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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, September 29, 2008

How Do You Deal?

It's so high school... but I just found out that someone I've liked and wanted to know better just really does NOT like me. When I saw her Sunday at church she was basically the same as always. Come to find out, she thinks I'm a know-it-all, she thinks I talk too much (as in, won't let her say anything during a conversation), she's sure that I want to tell her exactly what she should do with homeschooling (rather than share information, which is all I really ever want to do when I know things about things I think others might not know), she thinks I'm chemically imbalanced because it runs in my family, she specifically mentioned some problems with one of my brothers that I totally do NOT talk about regularly and I'm pretty sure I only spoke about it with her because I was super upset about it at the time and I thought I could... and she's just flat out is not interested in being around me - which I certainly could not tell when I saw her at church on Sunday.

Now, I've heard that this sort of thing is common in my Ward, but this is my first personal interaction/experience with it. I'm sad. This certainly does not help my feelings of loneliness! I think I've determined a couple of things to do to sort of deal with it so I won't be in this position again. One: I'm going to be more careful about who I share things with, FOR SURE! Two: I'm going to pull back from the women with whom this particular one associates. This won't be too terribly difficult as they don't reach out to all that many people... mostly, in my observation, you have to have a certain look to become part of their group. And I certainly do NOT have that look (particularly, I'm not thin, super pretty, and all-the-time wearing makeup). Theirs is a sort of closed group - which is really depressing considering that it's a group of primarily (if not exclusively) LDS women! Third: I'm going to turn more to the older women in my Ward and the women I've met in the community that have similar parenting intentions to that which I aim at and try to spend more time with THEM as well as become active in the already established homeschool groups around town to meet more women like me and children the girls can enjoy. This could be really positive in the missionary efforts side of my intentions, too.

Is this a trial of my faith? I've been pondering this a lot today (as this intelligence came to me Sunday evening). I feel confident in the knowledge that the membership of the Church is not the Gospel. I'm grounded in that foundation of my testimony. But the fact is that I am aching for women with whom to socialize and with whom to feel close. Honestly, if I could feel safe in developing friendships with guys, I'd really rather pursue that at this point... but Jess wouldn't be cool with and so I won't.

Perhaps it's just because I'm at the end of my pregnancy (this aching desire to have friends in real life) and "this too shall pass," but it's so sad to feel that I really can't trust a large number of the younger sisters in my Ward! :( At least I have two really good friends there. I know I need my sisters! I'm working to make at least 2 other women into good friends because they are good and kind and I cannot imagine them speaking unkindly about anyone. *sigh* It's so depressing to have to even consider such a thing. None-the-less, I do know that I have a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I know that it is found in its fullness in the LDS Church and that even if the world's manifestation of THE Gospel, in the form of the Church and its membership, were to crumble, I would hold fast to my testimony. So, no worries. Right?! :) All will be well and this really will pass just like everything else.

The only thing we can really count on is change, right!?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Parents Joys

Today has been full of awesomeness! I'm going to start with the most recent and go backward. Just because.

Ria just told me, "I've learned from the Lion King that when we die we turn in to grass and the cantelope eat the grass." She added, when asked about it again later, "Cantelope are animals. And then the cantelope turn into food that we can eat. People grind up the cantelope so that we can eat it." I have been giggling about this since she said it to me because it has just tickled me to no end. I'm not exactly sure why because, really, she's only one letter off... but I guess it just has to do with the whole 'insight into what my daughter hears' sort of thing. Ya know?

Moving back in time.... This morning was our Ward's Primary Presenation. Ria has had her part (THREE lines: big-time for a Sunbeam) memorized from about a week and a half after we received it. I'm pretty sure I was more nervous for her than she was for herself as her turn at the microphone approached. When she went up I was worried that she might freeze upon seeing the large congregation. (People who have not been to church in a long while were present, so we were quite full today!) She didn't bat an eye. She arranged the mic and went right into what she had to say, "The Bible and the Book of Mormon testify of Jesus Christ and teach me how to live the Gospel. For example, the Bible hero Daniel showed me how to be true and have courage. The Book of Mormon prophet Abinidi had great steadfastness and faith." She did start to leave the podium before she said the last word, so it was fainter than it should've been, but it was apparent that she knew her stuff and she executed it CLEARLY confidently! Jess and I were both in tears (aren't all parents, especially the first time around?!).

Well, if that's not the coolest thing, ever... I want to and feel a need to add that upon her exit from the podium there was a tremendous and TOTALLY audible exclamation of "OooohhH!" from the audience. Can you imagine my surprise!? I mean, of course I would be effected, but to hear such a reaction from the rest of the whole Ward! My goodness gracious, if there EVER was a more pleased or gratified Mama than me, I certainly canNOT imagine how she would've felt!!! And as for me, as soon as she was near the last couple words tears were streaming from my eyes... upon hearing the Ward's reaction my heart filled so full I felt like I was just going to burst right open. And then, to look over and see Jessie's eyes full of tears. WHAT JOY!!!!

It's not that I had to work with Ria day and night to help her memorize her part or anything. It would be deceptive of me to say that it's ever TRULY difficult to help Ria memorize things (because it's not very hard at all), but I did work with her to help her to her performance point up there on stage. And it's an indescribable joy to feel and HEAR other people's pleasure in her!

I did have to spend a good deal of time reassuring Ria that even though no one would clap after she said her part, they would be very pleased and impressed with her. She argued with me on that point quite a bit. She was just SURE that at least one person would clap for her. When I agreed that at least one person would WANT to clap for her she was mullified. :) My little prima dona... but no attitude prior to or even at church following the show, thankfully! She did have a bit of a breakdown at home this afternoon, but I honestly believe it was due to a let down from the stress/fun combined with her too late bedtime (10:30pm) last night due to the Women's Broadcast. We did experience a similar breakdown after the ballet recital. And I actually had my own little breakdown of sobbing immediately following the Program, so I think it was just a release of FEELING. Ya know?

To top off those wonderful experiences, while still at church Jess and I received numerous compliements from just about everyone that could possibly know we were Ria's parents. Our Stake Primary President was in attendance and she gushed to each of us individually - twice to me - about how completely and totally impressed she was with Ria. Jess told me that people stopped him up and down the hall to tell him that they were tremendously touched and impressed with Ria and that they thought she was just a firecracker! My friend, Kelli, told me that when she went to the bathroom there were a few ladies in there and all they were talking about was Ria and how impressed with her they were. ^_^ Sister Crunkleton, Ria's Sunbeam teacher, expressed how awesome she felt Ria was to me once again. The first time she saw/heard Ria read she was so in awe that she told me she was sure Ria was a genius! :) I did correct her and agree that Ria was exceptional, but probably not quite a genius. (I've done some reading about the subject and that seems to be the case. Of course, I'm not about to stop trying to help her develop guinius like intellect, of course!) Sister Crunkleton also related, from her perspective, her reaction to Ria during the practice. I'd seen it, but it was fun to hear how she felt about it.

Yesterday we had our Primary Presentation practice. Ria was the first in her class to go up to practice. She delivered her part perfectly and returned to her seat. Sister Crunkleton's jaw had dropped and as Ria approached Sister Crunkleton was raving to Ria about what she's just done. That was wonderful and made me feel good, but was also pretty funny because Sister Crunkleton was supposed to direct the next child to the podium and she completely forgot about it because she was just totally blown away by Ria! :) When she told me about it she added something I would never have thought and know is not true, but she said, "I forgot about the other children! What a moron, right?!" How funny! ((*_*))

And, as an added point of interest, if there were any other children with their parts memorized, they didn't stand and look out at the audience while they presented. There were a few who looked up, but not one looked around the congregation while they presented, as Ria did! That, to me, shows what a little star Ria is! She just LOVES to be in front of people and no group (large or larger) puts her off. What a joy!!! I think this is SUCH a humongo deal to me because it's only been in the last few years of my life that I've felt comfortable in front of people (and I don't think I've ever performed in any way shape or form to as large a group as was present for the dance recital). So, it's gratifying that, at least, thus far Ria is unintimidated! ^_^ One of my goals with keeping her in Dance is that she maintain that kind of comfort with an audience. I really don't know why this is quite as important to me as it is, but I feel it will benefit her greatly in the future!

You know, Jess has always wanted to be a performer. Perhaps it's knowing that he would like to stand in front of people and put on a show that makes me feel that one of our kiddos will certainly DO it! I think it's possible that Jess will also, but I have to admit that I hope it won't be really soon just because it would freak me out too much! hahahaha

As for the presentation as a whole, it was just wonderful, special, sweet, and joyful! I think the message, I AM A CHILD OF GOD, was apparent and conveyed very well. The sisters of the primary (less me) sang a song that was just absolutely GORGEOUS! They sounded marvelous and tears sprouted big and blurry in my eyes as they sang. Because of the time at the end of the whole program, the congregation joined the Primary in the last verse of the last song. "If the Savior Stood Beside Me." We'd copied and passed out the song for everyone to read so they could sing along. I was totally in tears during that bit - even unable to finish singing fully. The Spirit had enveloped the room and was huge in my heart! It was just WONDERFUL!

So, the day is just over half done and super full of goodness. I think it could well make up for the frustrations and such of yesterday.

Of course, my hips are still troubling me tremendously. It's actually been excruciating to walk (the little bit I've had to) all day and while sitting (even now) the pain throbs down my left leg periodically. :( But, there must needs be opposition in all things, right? So, that's mine for now, I think. I just really hope I get a break from the hip grinding physical pain I've had lately (for the last week!) before I go into labor because pain is just not something I do well... especially when it's constant and even more when it feels unnecesary or pointless! It sort of wears me down and then I totally crack... like last night. Man, did I crack. Sobbing and crying and ranting a little bit. Well, I think I've only done that sort of thing about once each trimester this pregancy. MAN, Jess sure is a LUCKY guy!!!! ^_^ I tell him as much, but since he doesn't have really any reminders of it - in that there aren't any other preggie women we know well for him to see how rollercoaster off the hook they are - he doesn't really appreciate it, I think.

Before I close I want to add that Kat was amazingly well behaved today. We sat in the pews section of church today. Normally we sit in the overflow area and, even if we sit in a row with chairs in front of it, Kat is all over the place. We were determined that she would be in the area we'd designated as ours during sacrament meeting so that Jess and I could enjoy the whole program. It totally worked out (except for when I took Kat to pee). She was mostly quiet for most of the time and she was actually really cuddly and sweet most of the time to boot!

Also, I don't think I've mentioned (but appologize if I have) that I asked Kat the other day who she was. Her first answer, "Ria!" I said, "No, your sister is Ria. What is YOUR name?" She thought about it for a second and said, "Tat!" That's sort of funny because she can TOTALL say the "K" sound. Obviously, though, she identifies herself with the nickname Kat, of the MANY we use to refer to and call her. Really, the most frequent names (in order of use) are probably: Kit Kat, Kat, and Kitty Kat. Interesting to hear what could well be her personal preference! :)

I wanted to add that this morning, after getting dressed in one of her pretty church dresses, Kat declares, "TEMPLE!" She was just sure we were preparing to go to the temple. When I told her we were not going to the temple, but, rather, going to church, she emphatically declared that I was wrong, in her very own Kat way. And then pouted. It was pretty funny. Then, as we pulled into the church parking lot, she once more declared, "Temple!" I again corrected and let her know that this was church, not temple. I think she thinks of the pointy spire on the building as an indication that it MUST be the temple. I'm glad to have the difficulty of correcting this misconception... it reveals that she has a clear understanding of PART of the temple, at least! :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fatigue, Frustrations, and an Odd Sort of Temple

This week has been hellacious, to put it mildly. I've had way too many days that have been full of too early wake ups and not enough or long enough naps. (And even no naps some days!) I'm exhausted and it is manifesting as an inability to control my temper! :( I'm now feeling like a horrible Mom, wife, and person as a result. I just want a more normal life... as much as it'll ever be possible with a Chef husband. I can officially say that I feel completely done and over having to work in the middle of the night and sleep during the day.

Jessie's boss knows of this crap situation yet, for the second time now in a short time, has scheduled Jess to work a day shift (which he shouldn't be able to do ANYWAY because he should be working a morning job!) and can't do anything to change it except say that he'll try not to do it again. I'm so tired of being TIRED!!!

I'm quite certain I could continue to carp about this frustration of mine since I feel it SO completely right now, but I'm going to discontinue right now.

I don't know why I bother.... Well, okay, I do, but I'm frustrated, ok!? I went to the Women's Broadcast tonight. I could have stayed home and watched it on my computer. But there was a light dinner at the church before the broadcast and I've been lonely, so I really wanted to go for that as well as the broadcast. I was only able to go because Mary Kay gave us a ride. Of course, my girls were along because, well, what else can I do with them!? So, I got to listen to some of two of the talks. :( The dinner was really nice, though. I've been so lonely.... It just feels like everyone has such a full and divergent life and no time to add anyone else in - even though there are so many women who say I should call if I need anything. I'm pretty sure they don't mean someone to talk to and sit with... which is all I really need. :( I'm so lame! And I'm so tired of talking on the phone and not having physical interaction/relationships with people.

On a lighter and more positive note.... Kat was eating a piece of luncheon meat after we returned home from church this evening. She's eaten it into an odd shape. Suddenly she set it down with the flattest part on the plate and said "temple" in the way she does and kept saying it until I acknowledged her. When I asked her if she thought her meat looked like the temple she agreed that she did. This was a heartwarming moment with her after a great deal of frustration in dealing with her at church this whole day (though, of course, we were at home in the middle). I can't remember really being aware of the temple so much when I was young, much less as a toddler. So, I'm really happy about that, at least.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Today was a full day and my body is full in more ways than one.

Bloating as Part of the Process
With my first two pregnancies, I started to fill with/retain water around 37 weeks... this time it held off for a week, but I'm definitely feeling it now. :-P Not comfy. At least the hips were better when I awakened this morning... yes, you read right! I actually woke up in the morning hours of the day. Well, I did that on Tuesday as well, actually. Rough week, this one! Sunday I was only able to sleep 2 hours before church, Tuesday was around 6, and this morning was 3.5! UGH!!! I keep hoping the baby won't decide s/he is ready right now because that would make for a difficult labor (starting tired and all). I can do it since I was super tired after laboring for TWO days with Kat, but I'd rather have a more peaceful time this go 'round. Ya know? I was finally able to get to sleep this morning around 5:30am (due to some kiddos night waking issues as of late).

Tire Troubles
Jess awakened me at 9am this morning because one of the tires has been leaking so badly that he had to fill it two times each day for the past two days. That's $0.75 at a "pop," of course. So, he informed me last night (after my totally physically painful evening) that we had to purchase two tires whether new or used, it had to be done. If you can imagine that on top of what I'd just been going through physically you'll probably guess that I broke a bit. You'd be right. But I was sobbing, just a few tears was all. I knew it (about the tires), but it was really depressing to hear out loud. He even went so far as to say that he felt we should use credit. We've been struggling horribly because we're doing our best NOT to add debt to the tremendous pile already on our backs!

I disagreed vehemently and since I'm in charge of the bills, we used our checking account... sort of floating the purchase of tires on other things not yet mailed out, but due sooner than I would like! :( I'm worried about it, but I REALLY believe that Heavenly Father does NOT want us to use credit. So, I'm trying not to actively worry about it and just have Faith that things will work out somehow. They always do... they always have. And I'm really trying to make sure we're doing all the things on our end that we can. *sigh*

Story Time
So, Jess awakened with the girls, figured out where to buy the tires, and then hit the road to do that by 9:15am or so. I was up, of course, to monitor the girls. He was able to get home in time to take the girls to Story Time, which is a huge BIG deal around here because it's one of the few outside activities that they get to count on attending and enjoying other people. And, if you only knew how TOTALLY social these little butterflies are, you would understand how really important Story Time and other such activities are for them both. Right when he got home from taking care of the tires he departed with the girls.

I put myself back to bed to rest. Unfortunately, even in my exhausted state, I didn't fall asleep. I was hoping I would be able to, but it didn't happen. Go figure. Me and my sleep issues, I should've known, really. I did doze lightly, but my mind was hopping the whole time. ahwell

The Mad Dash
The girls and Jess got home RIGHT before noon and we went right to work getting things ready to take Daddy to the drop0-off point so he could catch a ride to Orlando to do service work in the Cannery/Bishop's Storehouse there. He's been SO excited to be able to do that work! He specifically asked for the day off about a month in advance, and then when he was put on the schedule, he traded with someone so he could make sure to be there!

The priesthood requested 12 workers for this particular trip and was able to get that many volunteers a while ago, but this past Sunday a bunch of (at least 6!) people had pulled out at the last minute. Jess was REALLY troubled by that, but was SUPER glad that the Bishop and someone else had spoken to the Brothers about keeping commitments and such. Jess was really disappointed in those who'd signed up and then renigged, though I don't think he knew the names of all involved. It was/is really interesting to me to see how invested he is in "my" church. Honestly, he often refers to it as OUR church, but when it's convenient or he's aggravated with me about something he calls it "YOUR" church. Take of the "Y" and you have... heeheehee ;)

So, even though we left late to drop Jess off, we were able to make it to the drop point TWO minutes before we were due there! YEAY! I'm so grateful for small miracles!

Researching Jobs
Upon returning home I set to work to find jobs for Jess to apply. He's set some really great goals for his employment and I'm doing my best to support him in accomplishing them. Hopefully he'll be able to get out tomorrow after food pickup and put some applications in! We'll see.

I was actually able to find quite a few in the near area. That's pretty awesome to me. In addition, since I was looking in Craigslist, I also looked at property and, believe it or not!, found a house in Ormond-by-the-Sea for $92,000!!!! It's a small home, but from the front door you can see the beach entrance. That is a rediculous and amazing price. Another house in the near area was $115,000. So, it seems that we may not have to move to Orlando to find a home in our price range if things keep at this level and Jess is able to get the job he needs or replace his morning job. Amazing, right!?

Dance Class

Today was Dance class day! Even though I had the van, I took the walk. Who knows when it will be too rough for me to do it, so I'd rather keep plugging along as long and as much as I can! Frustratingly the walk (normally at most 15 minutes) now takes me just over 25 and feels likeI'm creeping along like a snail! :( But at least I'm going!

Ria did quite well in class today and I really only reminded her about her behavior once! I was a pleased Mama. Also, she was SUCH a sweetie... a little girl who arrived right before class started was sitting all alone apart from the other girls (Ria as part of the other girls). I suggested and asked Ria to go sit with her and she was happy to do it. As soon as Ria was over there by that little girl, at least 3 other girls joined her! So, the little girl was no longer all alone! The Grama of the little girl was very appreciative, which was nice, but I was more happy that the little girl wasn't all on her own anymore.

They are definitely learning new steps! It's so exciting to see. And, MAN, I love to see my little Ria lined up with the other ballerinas at the barr for exercises and stretching! It just brings such joy to my heart!!

Kat Dance
Kat has been "tapping" all over the house. There's a particular song from dance class that she LOVES and she'll tap her foot and demand that I sing it for her. Most of the time I love to and I, of course, encourage her desire to dance almost every time she does it. But every once in a while she'll make a poor choice or won't do something she's been asked to do because she's asking/demanding I sing for her dancing. I refuse to oblige her until she's done the right thing. Most of the time she does because she wants me to sing the song SO much! Funny, right?

My Walks
I do feel obligated to add and sort of confess that my "long" walks at this point are 35 minutes. And the distance is puny! No, seriously! It's 1 block west, 2 blocks north, then 1 tiny block north, 2 blocks east, what amounts to 2.5 blocks (in reality) south, and then 2 blocks west to my house. And THAT took me THIRTY-FIVE minutes on Tuesday! UGH. I was totally out of breath through points of it AND sweated a bit at the half-way point (which I knew because I had to stop at the public potty near that playground!). Can you believe it? The funny thing is that I often feel like I should just be able to GO and GO... but then I get out of breath and I realize that having a baby in this belly of mine really DOES put some breaks on me!

I'm still a Top Guide with ChaCha! YEAY!!! It's so much easier to work and build up my payday in TG status. Now, if only I could refuse to answer certain questions!

Typing Training
Oh... as part of my self training I've been working on my typing skills. :) I'm at between 67 and 71 words per minute and 100% accuracy right now. At least, that's how I do when I'm focused and not too tired. I'm pleased, but I would really like to get up to 100WPM! Good goal, right? That could help in numerous ways, too, not just ChaCha (especially since I write....). ^_^ I haven't added the site I'm using to my HS list yet, but it's quite cool. If you're interested in it before I get around to it, just let me know and I'll be HAPPY to share!

Toilet Training (done?)
Kat is doing amazingly well with using the potty! She's kept her special panties (some pull-ups my Primary Preside gave us that have little dinosaurs, which smear if the diaper is peed in, on them) dry each day she's worn them all week this week! Today, as a matter-of-fact, she actually pulled down her shorts and "special panties" to use her little potty ALL BY HERSELF! And then, if that's not cool enough, she actually pulled them back on rather than stripping (as is normal for her as of late). She subsequently stripped a little while later, but still! She hasn't had any accidents since we moved the little potty into the kitchen/dining room for her.

After the last couple times that Kit Kat had accidents, which were really Mama's fault since I couldn't get to the bathroom fast enough to let her in, we brought a little training potty in from the garage. She wouldn't use it when Jess first started her potty training, which is why it ended up there. Jess threatened to toss it a few times, but I couldn't let it go and I'm SO glad!! She's so pleased with herself. But she still uses the big potty for poops, which is awesome. I just hated cleaning poopers out of the the training potty with Ria!

Ria and Reading

So, Jess is picking 2nd and 3rd grade books as a standard for Ria's reading class now. I have to say that she IS, shockingly enough or not, pretty dang competent!! The problem I've encountered since I've been responsible for reading class a few times in the midst of it being primarily Jessie's job is that I can tell he dozes off while she's reading. HOW can I tell such a thing? Well, she's gotten even sloppier than she was when she knew I was attentively reading along with her. She injects inappropriate conjunctions and articles amidst her reading of actual text. Also, she's not as careful with her sounding out of long or unfamiliar words. She's SUPER good at figuring out how to read long and new words on her own, but it's apparent she gets away with sounding confident with Jess because she's not trying as hard when she comes to unfamiliar or infrequently use long words. She seems like she's reading, but she's really guessing. Very upsetting to Mama.

I don't mind if she guesses a bit as a silent reader, to some extent... when she's older. But I feel it's SUPER important right now that she read precisely. Not only for her own development, which is the main reason (right practive makes right performance), but because she's reading SO much to Kat! It's entirely possible, even probable, that Kat will learn how to read by reading with Ria... and I don't want her learning wrong habits and guessing strategies! *sigh* Well, it's a problem I'm glad to have (on one hand). I mean, how many Mamas have to worry about such a thing with their 4 year olds!??

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Rather Full Day

Off to a... Start
Today started, for me, with a big bang! I awakened to a calf cramp, which is frequent enough to be unsurprising. The problem arose when I couldn't stretch it out and it kept hurting and hurting like the dickens! It hurt SO badly that I called Jess to help me. I figured if he could rub it, it might help. And it did, until he held near my achilles tendon and then it started the whole thing over again and worse. For whatever reason, though, this time I was able to put my foot flat (the normal solution) and it calmed the horrible cramping. So TOTALLY NOT a nice way to wake up! And it was at least 1/2 an hour earier than I'd planned to get up, so I was pooped to boot. BLAH!

Thankfully the rest of the day, while full, was easy. Until the end, that is.

Jess Forgot to Mention
that he had to leave for work early today. He remembered it about 20 minutes before he was supposed to be there. (ahwell) The girls got to watch a movie after his departure because he did reading class with Ria. I spent that time lying down. Normally I'd work on ChaCha during such "free" time, but today I felt REALLY run down since waking up. Not just tired: my head felt ever so slightly stuffy, I was more tired than normal, and I sneezed WAY too often. So, I made myself lie down even though I didn't sleep, in hopes that the rest would enable my body to hunker down with some healin! :) I did feel a little better when the movie was over. What a relief!

Ready to Go?

When the movie was over it was time to get ready to go. Departures, without Jess, take me quite a while lately! :-P One of the less attractive and enjoyable aspects of late pregnancy. But we were on our way in plenty of time thanks to almost complete cooperation from my girls. My right leg has been super weird today (the one with the calf cramp/Charlie Horse this morning). I can't hold my leg up on my toes (when seated) because my leg goes all jittery and shakes like crazy as if it's not strong enough to support itself. That is TOTALLY normal when I have a fever or I'm in labor, but MAN... it's weird when I'm apparently well in every other way. :( So, I took it REALLY slow on my walk to Mary Kay's house. (And still sweated when I was not walking!) Do you remember who she is?? Yep, Ria's PIANO teacher!!!

Piano Lessons Begin!
Today was the first day of piano lessons!! Ria was so completely excited. And I have to say I was pretty darn excited myself. Of course, Kit Kat fed off of all that excitement and was SUPER excited! Sweet toddler girl! She's just SURE that every class or activity we do is for her. Ria and I might talk about something, and here comes Kat, "ME, ME, ME!" And, of course, she is always involved at least a little. She's so funny.

Mary Kay and I (I think mostly me) had a few mixed signals, so I ended up there before she got home. I really think her hubbie, Tim, is wonderful so it was nice to chat with him since he was home reading outside. She called him while we were there and he conveyed that she would arrive in a bit. As I was thinking about it, I decided to leave so they could say hi without an audience and have a few minutes before their family time was barged in upon by piano lessons. I would prefer a few minutes to be home before guests. So, we left and went for a walk up to the beach.

In Love With the Weather
MAN! I LOVE the fall here! The weather is sooo cooled off and the wind... WOW! It's like the wind is wrapping you up in it's powerful gusts of excitement to welcome the change of season! I LOVE IT! Spring is also pretty windy, but not (it seems to me) as rowdily so. :)

We went to the boardwalk and I sat on the bench closest to the end (also only about 4 blocks from Mary Kay's street). A sweet lady, Marjorie, walked by and my SUPER social Ria was all about greeting her, which drew her in to chatting first with Ria and then with me. Kat was fast asleep or she would have made sure her greetings chorused with Ria's (as they usually do). We ended up talking for about 15-25 minutes. She was very impressed with my trailer/stroller and my eldest daughter - as most people are and was determined to remember the name (of the stroller) for her daughter. It was a very pleasant way to pass the time! By the end of our brief conversation she told me she considered me a SuperMom! Can you imagine? ME!??!?! Well, it certainly felt nice, though I would definitely not consider myself such! ^_^ So nice to hear, though!

By this point my hip had started to ache a little, which is why I was sitting on a bench near the beach instead of walking around for exercise.

We returned to Mary Kay's house for Ria's piano lesson after she called us, which went really well. Ria is SO excited and happy about her class. I was able to pay attention to most of it, which is really important to me so that I can properly guide Ria in practices at home. It was lovely to spend time around Mary Kay as well and talk with her afterward. She has a strong, confident, peaceful, and generally pleasing spirit and feeling about her AND in her home!

Exchanging Services as payment for lessons
Because of my time chatting with Tim, Mary Kay knew about my ability with hair AND she's going to let me teacher her how to cut it!!! I'd been racking my brain for things we (Jess and I, or just I) could do as service exchanges. I'd told her about making meals for her (Jess and/or me), teaching her crochet, but had managed to forget that I do hair. Weirdo, right? Well, I noticed that Tim's hair was getting long just this past Sunday, I think. It really looks quite good on him, but I figured it would be useful for Mary Kay to know how to cut it herself if she didn't already know how. So I asked him... she doesn't already know how, he shared our conversation about it with her, AND she's going to let me teach her! I'm so happy!! Also, she's going to accept recipes as a form of payment... not sure how that will work out exactly, but I'm definitely going to work on that one (and work on getting Jess to share some of his private stash!).

The Hip Flares
We returned home, which walk was very painful for me. My right hip was in full-on throbbing cramps at points. And I still had to make dinner! Ria and Kat are so used to this sort of thing by now, which I'm SUPER grateful for! I can only imagine how scarry it would be if I started crying the way I did tonight out of nowhere! They were quite worried this morning, though... Ria has this sweet funny thing she says to me when I'm having a BIG pain. She says to me, "At least it will be over sometime! Remember, it will end sometime." SO true and it helps a great deal to hear that EVERY time! :)

Thankfully lying down to help Kat fall asleep has calmed the pain a little. Now the pain in my calf is more apparent. Well, I suppose a dull throb is better than extreme cramping throbs! :-/

And tomorrow is another one....

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pictures Update

Some Random Shots
A sweet Kit Kat smile!

Ria with the black eye and bum lip.
Notice they are both on the right side.
What does THAT mean?

Kitty Kat at Dance Class:
The Evolution In An Hour

After a nap, she eats a snack.
OH! And can you tell she has
a little bun in her hair!?
And it stays for ALL of dance class!

More snack eating while watching Ria.

Still working on the snack in
a new watching position.

Running in her new tap shoes
after Ria's class is done.

Do you see the fully joyful look
on that little shmoook?

Oops, the shoes slipped off again.
She's not perturbed a bit.
"Just takes a minute and,
I'm off again!"


This is what you see as you approach his area
from the house. Quite tight... small.

Looking at it from right next to the striped chair.

Looking at it from behind the striped chair.

The view from sitting on the couch.

Another of the same.
This is really just to show you
how close he is to the parked van.

Sort of a width shot.
This shows that the "entertainment" shelves
are not fully dedicated to his area
AND how little they actually are.

This is the view out from the couch
to show you his saved fan.
He is SO very pleased with it
and how COOL his area stays with it in place!

Jess just joked Sunday (the 21st) that he was going to steal
the leather recliner we received from some friends
who moved and put it in his 2X2 space.
That was both a joke about the amount of space he has
(being as little as it really is)
and an acknowledgment of the space that is JUST his!

Temple Trip and Lots of Other News

We were able to get to the temple on Tuesday. It was WONDERFUL for me. Jess let me do an endowment, which is at least 30 minutes longer than if I serve in an alternative way. I was able to converse with a lady I met last month. It was really nice. Jess and the girls were really hot when I was finished. I'm so grateful for their sacrifice for me! (Especially Jess, the girls were just totally happy to be at the temple!)

Kat was especially pleased to be there. She shrieked when she saw the temple spire the first time and then when she saw it (and I was present) each time after that she would say in her sweet loving way, "Bumpoo," which, 'in Kat,' is temple, of course.

Ria was totally and completely excited to get to go to the temple when we told her about the trip the night before. She was thrilled to be there and excited about the prospect of a picnic for breakfast, made possible by a sweet, generous, and totally thoughtful gift from someone we all love! That gift enabled us to have STORE BOUGHT food (we've been bringing our own lately) and that was RIGHT UP THERE with the joy of being at the temple for Ria! ^_^ It's pretty funny how into food our girls are... but, then again, maybe not. ;) We were able to stop at Chick-Fil-A on the way home, which was our first meal out in a restaurant in a VERY long time. And our girls really seem to LOVE eating in restaurants! It's pretty cool and sort of funny. They are quite well-behaved, too! Believe it or not.

Acorn TEA!
Jess and the girls gathered acorns for the purpose of making Acorn Coffee. Ria was just tickled pink that she would get to have some "coffee" and Mama is not pleased about the name of the beverage. We're trying to call it Acorn Tea, but Ria is really attached to "coffee" much to Mama's chagrin! Jess cracked the acorns and the girls and Mama worked to remove the meat from the shell on Wednesday. Jess finished the preparations and we had Acorn TEA with out dinner on Wed. It was actually pretty interesting in flavor. And then we tried it with some creamer - even better! And finally we added some Quick... WOW! What FLAVOR!!! And, apparently, acorns are FULL of nutrients (the squirrels knew it all along!). Indians used it in everything and it's really good as a fortifier! So, we're hoping to experiment with it (especially Jess). There will, surely, be a blog post about ACORNS from Jess before too long. ^_^

Midwife Non-Visit
Today at dance class someone made mention of the fact that Karen, my midwife, is the only one in her practice so that if she had a birth and I had an appointment I wouldn' t get to see her. I acknowledged that, but added that I probably wouldn't want to see anyone else even if there was another midwife in the practice. Well, Karen had a labor this evening and I had an appointment... so I didn't get to see her. It toally IS a bummer, but I still feel that I wouldn't want to see anyone else, so it all works out. She's planning to come on Saturday, so I'll still get to see her this week. I'm in my weekly visits now, so I think she feels it's important to make sure to see me this week.

People really look at you oddly when they find out you home birth... I never really KNEW it the way I do now because when I was preggie with Kat I couldn't really talk about it since my midwife was sort of not totally legal and all. It's weird how totally brainwashed basically EVERYONE is... okay, so out of 5 women, MAYBE 1 will be admiring or say something positive about the prospect and fact of home birth. The others just look at me like I'm a freak or say something negative (or both, really). I don't say rude things about their choice to expose their newborn to untold numbers of pathogens by having a hospital birth when they are completely and totally healthy... but hey, at least I know it! I'm glad hospitals are there, but I just wish people knew how unnecessary they are for the majority of births, mothers, and babies! ahwell...

I had two talks with Ria before her dance class about her behavior in class last week and how she SHOULD behave. She did MUCH better even when she wasn't moved away from the other girls. She's SUCH a total social butterfly/magnet, though! A few times I saw her move from an "outskirts" sort of position (put there by teacher) to a position IN THE MIDDLE of the other girls. One of those moves is caught on a video you'll be able to view before long. When I asked her about it (without leading) she said that even after her teachers moved her the other girls came around her! ....hmmm.... that's TOTALLY NOT what I saw. But, obviously, that's how she felt things were happening! How funny, right?

Ria received her special pink sparkly tap shoes in class this week. She's TOTALLY happy with them! I'm pleased that she's so happy and now Kat gets some tap shoes, too! :) TWO winners for the price of one! They are both SO in love with dancing and, especially right now, their new tap shoes!! Kat was completely and totally happy to get to wear tap shoes (even though they are AT LEAST 2 sizes too big!!). She snuck her little feet on the grey dance mat during class time to do her own tapping to the music and when the class was over I let her run around on the mat with her tap shoes on. She was IN HEAVEN!

I took some video and pictures of our two little dancers. They are so fun! Ria is actually very attentive and DANCING (she wasn't so much, last week, if you recall). Now, I just have to make the time (amidst my work and other activities) to upload them to the computer and then load into blogger (here).

Daddy Gifts
I have this tradition around the time of the birth of a new addition to our family. I feel it's really important and a way I can show Jess how much I love him and appreciate him and all he does. It's a gift of some sort that I give to him in expectation of the new arrival or shortly after the birth. With Ria I couldn't really think of anything particular, so I arranged for a few of his buddies to take him to a bar across the street and hang out there for a while. He really enjoyed spending time with his friends, but wasn't thrilled with the whole bar atmosphere anymore. A joy to hear, but also a crimp because I would have to come up with a new "gift" for the next birth.

When I was still preggie with Kat things were crazy and I knew they would get even crazier after she was born, so even though the "gift" wasn't extra humongo or anything, I arranged for a day that I would encourage him strongly to go off and fish on his own. Considering that I was packing the house while trying to deal with our unruley 2 yr 6 month old Ria, sacrificing a day of him being away was a BIG gift from me at the time! He was pleased with it, though. If you know him, you'll think, "Duh, give that man some time to fish and he's happy for a week!" But, if you know me, you'll know that I would like to do more for him.

This time (currently pregnancy) I had something very specific I wanted to do, but never any time to do it. Seriously, I haven't even finished the new baby's blanket, jacket, hat, shoes, or Tigger!!!! Well, the other night I decided to sacrifice work time (money making time) and baby gift making time to work on his special "Daddy" gift and some other house stuff. The reason for the "other house stuff" is that I couldn't possibly do just one thing, as per Tori, I had to have at least 3 things I could vascillate among depending upon my interest and ability to focus my attention on any one of them. It worked out quite well and I accomplished a GREAT DEAL in 3 hours!

This particular gift is especially huge considering the amount of physical effort required. I have tried NOT to complain too much about the pain I've had more and more of lately, but it's getting quite rediculous, really. I'm going to share a bit about it here and now only to illustrate further what a great gift this thing that I did for Jess is. :) Illustration of my pains: most days I wake up and either my hips or back hurt VERY very baddly and I either have constipation and/or a totally upset tummy (like unable to eat barfy feeling upset!). My hips will throb off and on through the day and cause my walks, when I can kick my butt out the door (usually only 3 or 4 days a week right now), are very slow, but, amazingly, I still sweat! Perhaps I sweat as a result of the pain... either belly, back, or hips hurt every time now. Anyway... When my back hurts, it hurts ALL day. Major bummer, of course, but almost more tolerable than the off and on pulsing throb of the hips, which LITERALLY stops me in mid step and causes me to shriek when at their worst. I'm TOTALLY not exhaggerating. My poor girls are getting pretty desensitized to hearing Mama in pain... but then, maybe that's a GOOD thing! ^_^ I'd rather have neither of those pains, of course! And the upset tummy thing... well, I'm not eating very much. I'm drinking tons of milk (to get the protein in) and for whatever reason I can tolerate that. But I can often eat only 1 banana for breakfast and a ramakin size amount of most anything else. (I just discovered this is basically the perfect size (FULL) when I'm hungry. If I don't feel hungry, but need to eat, if I full the ramakin about 1/2 way it's enough to help me feel good about eating, but not feel barfy 30 minutes later. How annoying, right? Anyway... motion often aggravates the upset tummy feeling. ARGGH! BUT helps move the stuff that causes the constipation. Win on one hand, lose on the other! anyway...

Daddy's POCD Area/Spot
Back to the gift! So, when we were given the awesome livingroom furniture we have now Jess wondered what to do with the old $10 couch we'd purchased from Goodwill. I already knew what I wanted to do with it! I moved it to the garage and started a corner that I wanted to turn over to Jess as "HIS SPOT" at some point. He bugged me about getting rid of the couch, so I had to share my plan. He was really happy with the idea and subsequently found a really nice arm chair that seemed to go REALLY well with the couch! Then someone from Jessie's work gave him a small TV and VCR, which were the PERFECT size to fit in the shelving that I'd designated for his "entertainment center". You see, I got this idea that I wanted to make a corner in the garage for Jess from a house on my longer walks (way back when!). The front half of that garage was dedicated to a whole outside hang-out area/grill spot. While we couldn't do that because we park our vehicles in the garage, I could totally see using a small area for a Daddy area.

Well, over time the area was sort of jam packed with random things. Jess hadn't started using it because the TV/VCR came many moons after the furniture and he just never went out there to hang out alone when it was just the furniture. And the shelves had stuff he didn't want to move when he DID get the TV... so it just collected stuff.

The other night I spent the majority of the 3 hours I put ChaCha aside to clean up and clear out the spot I wanted for Jess. Just as a note, my back AND hips hurt really bad that night, but I just couldn't see it getting better and I wanted to have the area ready for Jess BEFORE this baby arrived. So, it was completed that night! The projected entailed reorganization of that whole side of the garage, movement of lots of things, large and small. It's been 2 days since the work and my shoulders are STILL killing me! My back actually felt better mid-way into the effort, but my hips have been significantly worse since then. But Jess is REALLY happy with it! Unfortunately, he found out about it WHILE I was doing the work because he heard something that woke him up. I was really hoping he would take the girls out there for Story Time and see it then... but, alas, he foiled my plan! My hard sleeping hubby actually awakened! :P

I had the joy of realizing exactly how much he loves his area over the past couple of days. I call his area "DADDY's POCD Area/Spot". The acronym stands for: Pissed Off Cool Down. ^_^ Appropriate, don't you think? So, not only did I find Jess with our girls chillin and sort of neslting down in HIS area after Story Time yesterday, but he told me how cool people at work thought it was (he doesn't tell people at work all that much, so that's a HUGE indicator of how much he loves it), AND again he and the girls were hanging out there today when I got up! ^_^ So, I'm SUPER pleased that he's so very happy with his spot!

Daddy's So Pleased
Jess has been Ria's primary HS teacher as of late. He's SO pleased with her reading ability and bragging to me about her reading level. I've sort of taken over the "Principal" role, in that I ask him to focus on ____ and follow up with questions about how it went afterward. It's been kind of nice. Difficult for me because he does classes SO different from how I would prefer... especially Writing Class, but I'm doing REALLY well at not criticising and just letting it happen. As Principal, though, I have asked him to be a little more attentive to reading class (since he falls asleep a lot) and to work more closely with Ria during Writing class so they can focus on spacing, which she doesn't stick to very well.

When they went to the library yesterday, Jess picked out a bunch of books that were all 2nd and 3rd grade reading levels. When he was reading through the levels of the books, he came across one that said FIRST and he turns to Ria, all surprised, and asks, "Who snuck that one in there!?" Of course, it's totally not a big deal because we DO want and ask her to choose books SHE wants to read. But it was REALLY funny for me because he was just SURE that ALL of them were 2nd and 3rd grade reading levels! ^_^

I'm not at all surprised that her capacity is so high since he's had her reading the HUGE Disney watercolor illustrated books (like +60 pages and totally NOT easy readers)! He bragged to me when I awakened today that her reading class consisted of a 3rd grade book and she'd done perfectly well with it. ^_^ As it happens, it was a 2nd/3rd grade book, but still!

What a pleasure it is for me to hear him speaking with such excitement about her education! I mean, he's been totally supportive and all, and happy for my excitement, but he just wasn't getting excited about her abilities. Now that he's involved, he totally is! So, this is another way I'm trying to see this difficult time as a positive experience. He's becoming more invested in her education and intelligence! I'm so glad I turned classes over to him since he's home!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Me and MY Music

Okay, so it's not "MINE" in the formal sense... like, I didn't write it or sing it or anything of that sort, BUT I'm totally diggin' it! Now, if you know me very well (mostly only some of my family will recognize this), music can really REALLY aggravate me. Perhaps even ridiculously easily. Most people have no idea why. I don't generally try to explain it anymore because when I have those to whom I've spoke look at me like I'm a bit nuts. If you know me, you might think they're right. But, seriously, I'm not any more nuts than most people! Anyway... I attribute this hyper sensitivity to music to a few things, but the main cause I'd have to say would be my experiences in Australia because it was after that trip and time that my skin became SUPER sensitive to tunes. So... long story cut REALLY short, I'm just SUPER excited to find these new bands that make my heart race and cause me to feel wonderful and thoughtful, but don't agitate my skin!! If you'd been in my skin trying to listen to lots of music (especially ANGRY MAN music and stuff with HARD base beats) you'd understand and be super excited right along with me. Well, you would if you cared. :)

I'm letting ya know that I've reformatted my blog to show only THE most recent posts (as in most recent 3). Why? Well, I want the YouTube music videos to be at easy access BECAUSE I would LOVE it if you'd check them out and tell me what you think! If you hate it, please state comments as kindly as possible. They each have MySpace accounts that you can check out for more of their rockin' vibes. And of course, there are more YouTubes of them.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tori and ChaCha STUFF
I'm still a Top Guide! I'm VERY happy and relieved about that because I'm really REALLY close to payday and have certain goals I really want/need to reach. If I don't make my goals we won't be able to make our temple trip for the month. That would be particularly depressing to me because I REALLY look forward to our family trips and we've been going monthly for almost two years now!

YEAY for Top Guide status!! I'm actually very pleased about it this time because my stats are the best yet. This is more than a perfectionist's desire to do well... it's about security of pay/income. If I can keep my stats high, I'll stay a TG and my pay/income will be better. So, what were these stats, anyway? Well, Quality Control relates to whether my answers are satisfactory or not. I received a 100% for my QC rating. It has to be 95% for TG. I completed 469 searches for the week and to be qualified for TG you have to complete 200 for the week. Then there's % Complete, which has to be 95 for TG and mine was 100% for this last week!!! YEAY ME! :) I have to be happy with something I'm doing regarding ChaCha since I'm doing SO much of it!!!

Another ChaCha news bit... I actually did a REALLY awesome 2 hours during nap time on Sept. 12. It's my best yet. I made $5.50 per hour. That doesn't feel as hopeless and frustrating as it was a few weeks ago! I'm actually getting to my goals so much more quickly, which feels good!

I'm going to link some music into my blog. I've been running across some really nice new bands through my ChaCha work (and some ANGRY man music that I don't like at all). But, of course, I'll only share the things I like thus far. ^_^ So, if you don't wanna hear it, turn your speakers down way low.

My Schedule
Oh... and just because I want to have a record of it for myself (and I'm planning to print out my blogs for my family journal keeping type thing) I'm going to share my schedule with all of you lovely people who just HAVE to know. RIGHT! hahaha So, for the past month or more this has been what I do:
>I wake up between 12:30pm and 2pm (I try for 1 or 1:30, but it doesn't always work out.)
> I eat "breakfast" and try to spend time with Jess and the girls before he goes to work.
>Jess departs for work at around 2:30pm at least 5 days per week.
>The girls nap/have quiet time OR watch a movie (depending upon behavior and whether Ria and Jess did school already).
>I work on ChaCha while they nap or watch a movie (about 2 hours).
>We get ready for our walk when their movie is over.
>Lately the walk has been 45 minutes most of the time.
>When we get home, I make dinner and we eat.
>It's usually 7:30pm or later by the time we're all done and we do night night things, which routine takes at least 30 minutes.
>I lie down with the girls until Kat is mostly asleep (or asleep) and then get up to work.
>My goal is to be "at work" by 9pm, but that doesn't work out every night. It's sometimes as late as 10:30pm! :(
>When Jess comes home from work I try to take a break so we have some time to talk without interruption. I usually always have to "kick him out" to go to bed. The time is different depending upon when he gets home and how much pressure I feel to work (earn $$), but it's pretty much always by 1am.
>I work from then until 3am or 5am and go to bed to read/wind down and sleep.
>Every other Fri (right now) Jess goes to Daytona to pickup church assistance food, which means I'm up a lot with Kat. Makes for a rough Mama!
>And of course, church, for us, meets at 9am! UGH! Rough Tori, for sure!

So, I'm a busy little bee, right? Oh, and though I don't think it's necessary to remind any other Mamas, but for others of you, I want to make sure to mention that I DO still take care of almost all house maintainance. I have turned dishes over to Jessie entirely. I touch them only to eat. The belly causes that to be THE most difficult and painful job and my time is really not my own any more. I'm basically working full-time, so I feel very much that he should have housekeeping responsibilites! Since he does Ria's school almost all the time AND the dishes, I am placated. :) Oh, he also helps me make beds (usually) because just doing one causes my back to ache relentlessly! Weird, right? I can walk for 45 minutes, but not make 1 bed!

Kat and Potty Training
Kat had 2 accidents today. :( Both were matters of slow Mama problems, though. One, I took too long to get off the potty and the other was caused by Mama getting to the bathroom too slowly. How frustrating for both of us!

Ria Roughness
Ria has had a ROUGH week! Man, you'd think, to look at her, she and Kat were fist fighting or Mama or Daddy were beating her up. But, I promise, she has been goofing off at JUST the wrong moments and TOTALLY beating herself up! I need to take pictures!

The first incident occured a few days ago. Ria was walk/running down the hall from her room all crazy with arms akimbo and head wobbling. She was just totally being GOOFY! Well, as she rounded the corner in our living room/dining room (the corner is defined by the kitchen counter) she totally whacked her eyelid on the corner of that room seperating counter! And DOWN she went! WOW... the worst, for me, is that I was sitting RIGHT across from her when it happened and I totally could not have stopped it! Thankfully the bugger of a knock happened on the bone above her right eye and not ON her eye!! She had to sit with ice on her eye for a long while after that.

You'd think she'd be more careful? nope. Friday, 9-12-08, she fought the floor and lost! Actually, she was trying to climb (NO NO!) on a chair and fell off of it and banged her lower lip (on the RIGHT side) REALLY well. This time it happened while I was trying to sleep, so I didn't see the incident for myself. But I certainly saw AND can see the effects! WOW. Once again she had to sit with ice on her boo boo for a LONG while. For whatever reason, she HATES to hold ice on her sore bits. We'll see if she tries beating herself up some more anytime soon! *_*

Piano Lessons on the Horizon
I went my normal route for my walk today and happened to "run" into Mary Kay. She was actually the one running. :) She is such a delight and breath a fresh air in my low IRL (in real life) contact world! She was starting out for her run and stopped to chat with me. I'm grateful. I enjoy her and it was really nice to hear her thoughts on piano lessons and how she's doing with her first year (first 2 weeks!) teaching. Basically, she's willing to start lessons at any time with Ria, but we DO need to have a piano in the house for Ria to practice on. That is really doable now since just within the last week my dear friend, Sage, offered to let me use her little keyboard for Ria until we can get a piano! So, we may be able to start piano lessons THIS coming week! I'm soo excited! You'd think I was about to start piano lessons myself. ^_^

Just in Case You're Wondering
I've been working on this one post for the majority of my work hours today (9-12 &9-13). I work between searches and while pages load (very little time in a chunk). So, if I seem disjointed, please attribute it to preggie brain and ChaChaING! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Catchin Up a Bit

So, there are a few funny little things I've been meaning to share, but I've been super busy with ChaCha (when I'm on the computer), so I haven't been over here much. Weird, right?

Ria has some funny little things she says. I'll start with the most recent: at some point after dance class (Sept. 4) I was talking to Ria about her Leotard. It's a pretty black one that someone gave to me for her. She was very excited about wearing it. After the issue of the shoes, I was worried that she might not have been quite so happy with her black leotard since almost all the other girls were wearing pink. So, I asked her about it. We were having a little bit of a conversation, and, as is normal lately, Kat realized she wasn't a part, so she came over and included herself as she does. Ria corrected her and said, "NOoooo, you don't have a black Riatard." I was caught off guard, but immediately started smiling when I realized what she said and how she might be thinking. I let her know how to correctly pronounce the word, of course, but didn't continuously correct her because it was really cute (and I think most people wouldn't even hear the mispronunciation).

The other thing I wanted to share is something she's been saying for a while. When she wakes up, one of the first things (jobs) she does is to open the windows. Sometimes they are very difficult to see through because of an accumulation of mist and water. Jess once told her that it looked foggy through our windows when they were like that. After a while she started talking about it and often says, before she opens the windows, "Mama, do you think the windows will be FROGGY today?" I LOVE it! I think it's soo cute! I let her know what the real term is every once in a while, but FRoggy is stuck. And I don't mind a bit.

September 9, 2008
Mom Farrell turned... oh, I won't reveal it. But she had a birthday on this date! I totally have been super bad about birthdays this year and even didn't call my OWN MOM until we were getting in bed around 8pm or so! I felt even worse since she didn't answer the phone. Hopefully she got the message, at least.

I'm making a gift for her with my girls that I think she will really like and use... well, perhaps Ria and I are making with some scribbles by Kat. ;) So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!

September 10
I woke up at least 30 minutes later than I intended, which frustrated me because that meant Jess would leave for work 30 minutes after I got up as opposed to an hour (family time). But I was really tired from the day before... so I couldn't be too mad at myself. And it was really sweet to see how Jess had occupied himself for at least the past 5 minutes (which probably wouldn't have happened had I been up). He was sitting on our BIG chair with Ria on the ottoman in front of him and he was painting her toenails! She was, of course, JUST THRILLED with that situation and the outcome! And he was pleased with himself, too, even though he had no clue that the "nail polish" he was using was total crud and would wipe off in two steps of her foot. (It's play stuff she received from somewhere and REALLY no good! But she LOVES it, so I haven't had the heart to throw it out.) She was super happy, though... and I think Jess was trying to win some points.

You see, Sunday Jess took Kat out for a walk so Ria and I could have some special time just the two of us. I'd been feeling like I really needed to be with just her and connect/reconnect and let her feel how much I appreciate her. We sat down and read her new book, which she'd wanted to do since we purchased it. Actually, she'd already read it, she wanted ME to read it to her. So, I did. Then we went outside and she rode her bike around the driveway and chatted me up a LOT! It was really relaxed and just a sweet time. Jess was gone for, maybe, an hour. Most of that time Ria and I were outside and I was just sitting while she talked and rode.

Subsequent to this (like the next day) Jess and Ria ended up doing something together and somehow (I think he asked) she told him, "Mama is more fun than you!" When he told me this he seemed rather chagrinned. This is a TOTAL reversal from the norm. It's been YEARS since I was cool to Ria! I TOTALLY attribute it to how much LESS time I've actually been around AND awake with her and Kat. So, I think the toenail painting was a way Jess was trying to win some COOL points with Ria. ^_^ Pretty sweet, right?

On the other hand, the time I've been unavailable lately has TOTALLY cinched the whole "Daddy's Girl" phase with Kat! It's rather... okay, VERY... sad for me when she runs to Daddy when she has a booboo! I mean, for a few more days or weeks she's still my baby! And anyway, I've felt a special closeness... like the way it seems like Jess has felt for/with Ria since she was super tiny... I've felt that way for/with Kat. So, perhaps that makes it even more heart wrenching for me. I dunno.

September 11
Jess thought he might attend a memorial, but didn't. Jess talked to me about the day and it was all I could do to not cry and boohoo! I purposefully do not think about the whole thing because of all the experiences attached to it PLUS, just the whole idea of it all. Anyway... I was bummed that it's still so very raw.

Another DANCE CLASS day. Ria's performance/behavior was very disappointing. It's SO obvious she is a TOTAL social butterfly! It pleases me that she is able to easily socialize and I even made sure we arrived to the studio early so she would have time to spend with any girls already there. She did and had fun, but didn't end upon entering class.

I was very pleased with myself for NOT interfering during all of Ria's disruptions and poor behaviors. I sat frustrated and annoyed that she was behaving so poorly. We went, together, to speak to her teacher after class. I apologized for her behavior and asked Danielle to suggest something we could do to improve her attention and participation. Danielle did tell Ria that she needed to focus and not distract the other girls, but no "plan of action." So, I suggested that next week, if Ria behaved improperly she could get 1 warning. If she didn't shape up, she's be sent out. She can return, but if she behaves poorly she'll be sent out and have to depart for the day. Hopefully it won't get to that, but she was REALLY disruptive today and I wanted her to know the repercussions for such behavior in the future. Danielle was quick to point out that Ria knew all the steps and did them, which I'm grateful she could see, but I don't want to pay for Ria to disrupt other children!

Kat, on the other hand, was SUCH a big girl during dance class. She was actually asleep through the beginning of our time at the studio. When she woke up she was very peaceful, which is a HUGE blessing! She ate some snack and then got out of the stroller. She sat on my lap and when she got down to go to the class she stopped right in the doorway and plopped her little bum down to watch. She was SOOOO good! She was bummed and pouting about not being able to dance. It was even worse after the girls came in to get their tap shoes on. Kat was just sure that once she got her ballet slippers on. It was so sad for me to have to tell her she couldn't! I don't think I'm going to get used to telling her she can't dance at the studio!

At least I can encourage her to dance at home! She DOES! Whenever there is talk of dance, dancing, ballet, or anything of the sort, Kat gets up on her tippytoes and flitters around the room in circles wide and loopy as well as some that are tight and dizzying AND NEW THIS school YEAR, she holds her hands up over her head (ballerina-like) with her fingers and thumbs together (making a little diamond over her head). It's just adorable!!!

"How do I know if Mormonism is true?" came as a question in ChaCha to me. I responded with my testimony and urged prayer and listening to the Holy Ghost. Wouldn't it be cool if I made a difference!?!?

I've actually received a few querries about the Church and respond with lds.org as my reference site and some REAL info. I like THOSE. Now to get rid of those darn explicit querries!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Thursday was Our First (and second) Day of Dance Class This Year

So, I'm pregnant. Everyone should be pretty aware of that by now, I hope. Well, there are certain memory/brain issues that somehow accompany the myriad other difficulties that plague preggie women. Thursday was a living embodiment of my brain issues. I'm CERTAIN they are (and were) complicated by the fact that my schedule is completely skewed relative to the rest of the sane population. (Ooops, did I somehow assume myself sane in that last line? Well, I think I certainly WAS compared to now!)

In addition to brain/memory/thought issues, I'm also rediculously weepy lately! No, seriously! I mean, I've heard of preggie women being emotional, but this is verging on exceptionally tedious. And not that I've been totally in control of my emotions for all that long (or even totally, for that matter), but it's really getting tiresome to have tears in my voice and pouring out of my eyes over every little thing that pulls at my heart! COME ON NOW!

Ok... so, back to dance class... sort of.

Ria, Daddy, and I have started working on a job chart/routine tracking system. (Kat has one, too, but it's MUCH more difficult to connect the reward with the activities in her case.) Ria has a total of 17 jobs she does throughout the day and earns rewards for completion of them. Over the course of a week she can earn money, a special dinner, a book, and even candy for completing full days worth of starts (ALL jobs completed). In the first 8 day period, she had SEVEN all star days! That meant that she earned, among other things, a new book that she could choose from the local book store here in town that she's wanted to visit for MONTHS! (The book had to be $2 or less.)

Since I'm not all full of gusto and gumption (meaning I'm totally lacking energy most of the time), I decided to combine our Dance class day with the Book Store trip. We literally pass right in front of it on the way to Dance, so why not! We left in plenty of time to stop for a book, get to class early so Mama could purchase dance shoes, and still have some "rest" time before class started. Or, at least I thought we did.

Well, we were in and out at the Book Store. Ria was SUPER easy to please with a Snow White book (which she read from start to finish on the way home from Dance!! and it's NOT an easy reader!!). It cost me only $1.75! ^_^ I was worried it would be difficult to find a book for under $2, but, thankfully, the store carries TONS of used books. I think the book stop was a bit too fast, really....

We arrived at Ria's studio in plenty of time to make our purchase and relax, I thought. I was able to get Ria some ballet slippers. Initially we received leather ones with flowers on the lining, which Ria was TOTALLY excited about, "Mama, they look like everyone else's!" But they were just right or barely too small, which we canNOT afford (replacing them in a month or less, PSHAW!). So, we received some canvas ones just like her previous slippers to try on. I like these as they look more like little ballet slippers to me, but Ria was obviously disappointed. She was NOT snotty about it, but her countenance was downcast, "Mama, I don't like these so much." I tried to build them up, but she wasn't consoled. Though she didn't complain or carp at all after the one comment. Strangely enough, to me, my heart hurt SO bad over this incident! I'm actually going to purchase her some leather slippers for Christmas because I know it will be THE hit of a gift (we're only giving one gift to each child this year because we're using any other money for camping/preparedness stuff).

There were TONS of parents present. There were at LEAST 15 girls in this class (which is the HIGH number for our class last year!). A few of them were the girls Ria had class with last year, so, of course, their mothers were there. I'm sure this impacted my percetion of everything and confusion. Well, class started REALLY soon after Ria had her shoes on and everything and I, not being a clock checker anymore and thinking that we were more on time than super early, didn't think twice about Ria going out for class.

A little way through class I realized I'd not paid for the new ballet slippers. So, I went to the office to pay. Cindy, the director, told me over $30 when I asked for the amount I needed to write on the check. I was sort of shocked, but not thinking, and wrote the check. Later, as I tried to rest a little in the waiting area, I looked at the receipt for the shoes. OH, NO! I'd paid for tap AND ballet slippers! I'd only purchased ballet slippers because her tap shoes from last year still fit.

So, I went back to speak to Cindy. She was sort of confused, understandably. There'd been SO many people she was dealing with... anyway. While I was waiting to talk to her, I learned that she was trying to switch over to a new tap shoe, PINK SPARKLIES. Well, I'd already subtracted a high amount from my ChaCha pay (for the shoes I thought was just one pair and turned out to be 2), so I decided to pay for the new style tap shoes and be able to give those to Ria when they arrived in (since they didn't have them in stock yet). As it happens, they cost only a couple dollars more than the other ones, so I'm really glad for the accidental quote of a high price. So, Ria will receive the new style tap shoes, which she is SUPER excited about because her very favorite color is pink and she LOVES sparkly things. And Mama feels happy to be able to provide something that she will love so well!!

After getting that all straightened out, I went back to the waiting room and sat down (trying to deal with Kat ALL this while). I realized, at this point, that the little girls waiting were the girls Ria went to class with last year. This was a problem because I'd asked for Ria to be scheduled in with the older group. Why didn't I notice this before? Well, mostly because I wasn't able to watch Ria in her class much at all. I was dealing with Kat's meltdown over not being able to participate IN dance class. SHE was just HEARTBROKEN. I was, of course, sad, too... which made convincing her that it was ok that she could just do dance class with me in the waiting area not terribly convincing. :(

Another trip to the office. I explained the situation to Cindy and told her I was totally willing to pay for the second class, but that it was actually the 415pm class that I'd meant to arrive for, "Blame it on the belly!" Cindy was very kind and refused the $10 for the class Ria wasn't supposed to be in. So, after Ria was finished, I talked to her teacher, Danielle. Danielle had thought we'd had to go to the 3:15pm class because of some sort of scheduling issue, which is why she hadn't said anything. I said, "Yeah, the scheduling issue is my preggie brain/memory and inability to keep track of time properly!" They were both very understanding.

So, Ria enjoyed dancing for almost TWO hours straight on Thursday. And Mama was beyond pooped from the rediculous amount of activity and exertion Kat required. (On top of the disappointment, it was her nap time during the beginning of all of this!) I walked too fast from home TO dance and could barely walk from dance TO home! How annoying. If I had a vehicle, I would probably drive to dance class every week after this (as long as I'm preggie) because it was really that difficult. But, as it is, I will walk VERY slowly to AND from dance class from now on!

Crazy day. Crazy preggie Mama!!!

Oh, and the ChaCha Universe is crazy right now, which makes time for me to write here rather than work for money. I was logged in for an hour and received only one query (and that while I was out of the room, so it timed out and I didn't even get to answer it)! ahwell... I should probably just hang out with the girls for a bit and get them to bed!

Adui, for now. ^_^

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


So, the only way I'm able to blog tonight is that the ChaCha "universe" is having some major meltdown issues. I was worried that my stats would be adversely effected, so I'm here trying to catch up a little on some more personal stuff. The following post is pictures that have been sitting in my camera for too long (for the most part) and such SWEET ones I wanted to get them up first. My girls are just a HOOT!

Just in case you aren't sure, ChaCha is a freelance/contractor job I'm doing on the internet. It's basically a program for people to text in questions (usually from their mobile phone) and receive a text response from a person/Guide, like me! :) It's a job I can do and build a paycheck for each month. This month my goal was $200 and I'm going to meet and exceed it. The money will be for Dance class and (possibly?) a piano (since there's a VERY strong likelihood that I'll get to have Ria start piano lessons REALLY soon! :) SOOO excited about THAT! Thus far Guides are only in the U.S., but I'm sure ChaCha big wigs have hopes of expanding it across the globe, since the internet does! Unfortunately, if you're one of my international friends you can't sign on at this point, but I hope you'll be able to soon! If you're a friend in the U. S. of A. you can sign up and use my email address as your referral. This will benefit me and not hurt your chances of being accepted. If you can't remember my email addy, just leave me a note and yours and I'll send it right along. I would post it here, but there are some other things attached to it that I don't want EVERYone to have access to (like my YouTube channel)!

I'm a Top Guide (at least I am right now), so I make $0.20 per search I complete. Much better than the training pay of $0.10, I must say! Training "ends" when you reach 95% accurace and completion. Mine was right around 97% the last time I made TG (my second time). Hopefully it's as good or better this time (meaning, I hope I KEEP TG!!!). It would be a major bummer to go back down in pay because 20 cents adds up A LOT faster than 10!!! As of last night I was making around $4.50 to $4.60 per hour. Totally not good money, relative to my education and such, but since I can do it WHENEVER and I can do it at home... it's something. And since we NEED something... so we can keep Ria in Dance and doing Homeschool stuff, it's worth it to me. I just hope I won't NEED to do it quite so much terribly much longer because I'm getting QUITE worn out by this horrible schedule! :( ahwell We do what we have to do, right!?

Pictures with a Story to Tell!

I just have to share these pictures!
They are totally heartwarming and touching
in my opinion, of course.
Our girls accompany me/us to each
prenatal appointment that I have.

The first picture is the only one that I "asked" for.
The girls were already playing "Midwife"
when I saw them and asked that Ria keep doing
what she was just about to stop so I could get a picture.
The Midwife checks the fetal heart rate with
a fetascope (we don't usually use a Doppler).

From there she just continued with the procedures.
This next one is the "Midwife" measuring
the height of the fundus (uterus).

Here the midwife presents the baby to the "new mama".

The "new mama" breast feeds her baby
for the first time!

New Mama covers her baby up.

New Mama loves her baby.

The Midwife checks the Mama's heartrate.

Mama snuggles with her baby.
Mama drinks some water while Midwife checks baby.
Thirsty work having babies!

Midwife bringing baby back to Mama,
who was getting anxious.

Midwife presents baby for first photo!

These pictures show Kat with her most recent invention. It's actually a plastic bag that comes over our PennySaver, but she, initially, used it as a "potholder". She would pick something up and tell us, "hot" and then move it to another location and repeat to us that it was hot. More recently, after my labor scare with midwife visit at home and check on my cervix, Kat has "used" it as a glove like my midwife's. She puts it on and then tries to stick her hand up between my legs. Of course, this is not allowed, but has cause me great guffaws (inside since I don't want to offend her sensibilities!). As of today she attempted to give Daddy a vaginal exam. He was totally clueless until I REALLY pointed it out and he realized what she was trying to do. Then he got all flustered and said something like 'That won't work on me, I don't have a vagina!' It was a HOOT! Just as absolute RIOT!

The "glove" pictures happened just yesterday, Sept. 2, 2008! The midwife appointment\
pictures were from a couple weeks ago. I have SO many pictures to upload! :p

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