“If the First Amendment means anything, it means that regulating speech must be a last - not first - resort.”
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I think it's been about a week and a half now since the girls and I sat down and read all of the books in our little library except one (the title of THAT one is When The Baby Comes, I'm Moving Out, and I think Kat is a little too young to handle that one well). Kat is not THE sit-still-reader at almost 19 months old that Ria was from about 9 months old and on. However, I can happily say Kitty Kat is starting to bring me books really frequently AND sit very still for the enjoyment of them. However, the fact that she sat VERY still and paid VERY VERY close attention to ALL the stories we read that Sunday about a week and a half ago is something else! I think one story, in particular, has had a really big impact on Kat. It's called I USED TO BE THE BABY. It's a really GREAT representation about the new things the "big sibling" has to do differently and how s/he has to take into consideration the needs of the littlest one. In the end, though, the big brother does say something like, "But sometimes I like to be the baby, too." If that's not the direct quote, it's something really close to that! (I've read it often lately, can you tell?)
So, preface done... this morning Kitty Kat brought me one of the receiving blankets that she and Ria usually use as slings for their babydolls. But she didn't have a babydoll and she wasn't gesturing for me to make it into something for her use. I finally figured out (when she wrapped it around herself and made little mewing sort of noises!) that she wanted me to hold her like a baby! So, I did. She TOTALLY loved it. Now, this might not seem terribly strange given that she IS pretty young still and all, but I have to inform you that Kat is NOT a cuddle bug! I mean, she has cuddle-bug moments, of course. But generally she does not want to be grabbed and hugged, she is VERY independent, she is off on her own and, a "don't bother me" sort of girl. So, when she was acting SO cuddly and even acting a bit baby-like it finally clicked (remembering the book). And I asked her if she was pretending to be a baby because she still wanted to be a baby sometimes after the NEW baby is born. And she vigorously nodded her head (so that he whole body wiggles) the way she does when someone GETS what she's communicating. So... interesting.
She did it again this evening after our long walk. She wouldn't even let me stretch. And I totally needed to because I didn't yesterday and it hurt my belly later! So I had to fend her off, with her little receiving blanket (same one as this morning, by the way) until I was sufficiently limber.
Ria still likes to be the baby sometimes, too. But she made that very clear when I was preggie with Kathryn. And she lets us know in a very "big girl" sort of way when she needs some cuddles, which she almost always wants to happen in the hold one usually reserves for a newborn. :) My funny girls.
So, we've started the sex-ed/baby prep course again through the reading I've mentioned. ;) One of the AMAZING books we have in our LITTLE collection goes into the REAL details of how the baby gets IN the belly in a very gentle and super easy-for-Mama-to-read way. Kat definitely has a clear and complete understanding of what her little parts are called and, since the lessons, can easily identify in cartoon and photo the little boy parts shown in the books we have. (I'm ever-so-slowly getting to the bit about pictures!)
Well, my Mom was able to take a good number of pictures of Kathryn's birth. One thing I regretted about our preparation of Ria for the homebirth of Kathryn was that she hadn't seen any graphic representations of birth. So she really didn't have a clue what to expect except for the baby coming out of Mama from a general area.
Ria was totally UNfazed by my labor noises. She sat entranced, as it were, when the head was crowning and even when the head was out. She lost it, though, when the rest of the baby came out quickly and ran from the livingroom to her room screaming, "Baby GO BACK, baby GO BACK, make the baby GO BACK!" I was completely lost in labor land, but Jessie was aware and, in the AWESOME Daddy way he has, brought her gently back to actually MEET Kitty Kat. Well, I have some pretty graphic pictures from Kat's birth, thanks to my Mom. The girls and I sat down to look at them this afternoon. Ria was, once again, mezmerized and Kat was just tickled pink to see pictures of "her," though when she said anything it was "BABY!" She's very excited about babies!!!
We went through all the pictures. When we were finished and they were back in order I had to get dinner together. Kat was not having ANY of it. She wanted to look through the pictures AGAIN... and RIGHT NOW!!! Ria had the same desire, but she was letting Kat throw the fit tonight. I was, eventually, able to get away and put the pictures up and move on to dinner, but Kat didn't calm down about the injustice of it all for at least 5 minutes! So, I think both of the girls will be QUITE okay with this birth. :)
Ria even made sure to tell me while I was talking to my Mom that she is NOT going to tell the baby to go back this time! heeheehee ^_^
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Kat coloring on the retaining bricks in front of our house. Kathryn found the container of sidewalk chalk someone gave us a while back and she's been bringing it to me for the past few days. She didn't know what it was. As far as I could tell she just wanted to open the package of birghtly colored things and figure out what to do with them afterward. She caught on really quickly to their purpose and had a really great time coloring right on or next to existing drawings; either Mama's or Ria's. And where Ria went, Kat followed quickly after.
Even though the next is a picture is just Ria, Kat was just there a moment before AND after the picture was snapped. She just LOVES her Ria!!!
Ria, so pleased with herself over the swirly-twirly that she drew (acutally two of them). The one on the right is the one Kat drew on just a moment before. She hadn't had a chance to draw on the larger one yet. She did before we went inside. And believe it or not, Ria wanted to stay outside when Kat picked up all the chalk in the little plastic thing and headed for the door. Usually it's Ria packing up and ready to go inside - ESPECIALLY when reading class and a movie are waiting on the other side of the door! Funny role reversal for today, I'd say! :)
A Smile by Ria! She made very sure that I took a picture of this drawing.
Anyway, my goal is to walk 5 days a week, at least, and walk for 1 hour each day. The first week I did 4 days. But last week I accomplished my minimum goal! YIPPEE!!! I'm on track this week even though it totally looked like it was going to rain when my walk time approached. But I decided I really couldn't give myself that excuse and got the girls and snacks and water ready anyway. We left and it was overcast, slightly windy, but nice weather otherwise. It did sprinkle and even sprinkled sort of hard at one point, but I kept walking and finished the hour! I wasn't soaked, which is good. And the buggy/trailer I have is AWESOME! I would recommend it to EVERYONE who wants to be active! It's a hybrid, which means that it converts from a trailer you can use behind your bike to a jogging-style stroller. It is as manueverable as a jogger, which can get frustrating sometimes, but isn't enough of a detractor to take away from all the advantages. What ARE the advantages? Well, the one I have is a two seater, BUT has a seatbelt configuration that will safe and comfortably ride just one child as well! The belts go across the lap AND over the shoulders and basically connect at one point in front of the child. But they are NOT easy to manipulate. Ria can, finally, put her own on, but cannot completely unbuckle. So, it's safe! :) Another advantage is that it will safely carry up to 100 pounds of kids! Awesome, right!?? That's two large toddlers!!! There's TONS of room in the buggy/trailer, too, as in leg room! Another advantage is that it not only has a bug net built in, but it ALSO has a wind/rain shield built in!!! This was the advantage that made it totally possible for me to walk in the rain and not worry about my girls!! What a BLESSING!!! Another HUGE and MARVELOUS advantage is that this buggy/trailer converts with ABSOLUTELY NO TOOLS!!!! If you think I'm not serious, you really should not doubt me. I would totally NOT lie about something like this! The front wheel is securely in place when in use, but disasembles by the push of some buttons and extraction of the handbrake. It took a bit of figuring with the little handbook, but it makes SO much sense, mechanically!!! OH, and the front wheel stores in the back of the buggy itself so you can carry it WITH you, which means that even if you go for a bike ride, you can walk your children after you arrive at your destination!!! And the back wheels release SUPER easy for packing in a vehicle. AND it folds up with a tug on two sturdy pull handles; one on either side of the buggy!! When you check out the site and see that it advertises for SIMPLE, EFFORTLESS, QUICK on the front page where you see a lady packing a single stroller... well, I'm SURE that's totally true for the single stroller, but for the double it does require a bit of effort for me and average to strong chick, but it IS SIMPLE and QUICK!!!! Do you wonder where I found this amazing miracle of a buggy? Well, I'll give you the address: http://www.babyjogger.com/ And mine is, of course, the Switchback/Hybrid. I wonder who would ever buy the Tailwind because you'd still need a regular buggy/stroller... but I guess if you HAVE tons of money.... We don't. We invested in this buggy with our tax return in 2007.
You might be shocked by the tag, but the cost is TOTALLY worth it if you're like I was - single car family - planning to do EVERYthing walking. I don't do grocery shopping walking, but will as soon as the new WalMart is up!!! It's going to be under 2 miles away. TOTALLY do-able, even for cold stuff, as long as I plan it well during the hot months. :)
Just as a note about babyjogger... if you have one, or one on the way, but plan to have more, I would HIGHLY recommend the initially higher/greater investment in the double bike trailer hybrid because it TRULY is worth it. And the singleton will ride in it safely as soon as s/he can sit up reliably! There are other options.
I've already got a plan for a third child. I'll use my sling for walks at first, but for long walks that won't last more than a few months. So, there's another THREE seater jogger I've found that is reasonably priced. So, we'll buy that will next year's tax return. I usually walk all over town during the week so it's a valuable investment for my family. Also, for bike rides, I'll purchase a bike seat that will be right in FRONT of me on the bike! So, we'll still have the mobility that I'm so happy to have with my current buggy/stroller... except the rain might hold us up a little because the new stroller doesn't have the built-in amenities and the bike seat isn't rain proof. :) Now, if I happen to have twins growin in there, I'm not really sure how we'll do the bike thing... but I hope to figure it out. I'm SURE I will figure the walks out... probably Ria will start biking a LOT! :) She would love that right now... but not the whole way. I'll just have to build up her endurance.
Moving right along...
Today we did Joy School with Sage and her daughters. It was the PERFECT weather! Seriously! The sun was out, but mostly hiding and the wind was only gusting gently. We played at one of the NUMEROUS playgrounds in the area... Flagler County really is good to parents!! The playground we enjoyed today has two swing sets; one for big kids and toddlers and one for babies. There are also two play/climb areas with slides. One meant for the smaller kiddos and one for the "older" who are 12 and under. It was lovely to spend time with my friend. She's the awesome chica who will help me with my girls for the birth of the baby currently "in the oven".
And currently I'm waiting for the eggs to boil to make salmon salad (like tuna salad for sandwhiches). It's yummy already, so I'm pleased. The eggs will just finish it. You know, of course, that kids AND preggie mamas are supposed to have very limited amounts of tuna and if they have it it's supposed to be a certain kind. I can't even remember the specifics because I decided it would be better to steer clear of tuna once I learned the bits and details of why to avoid it. Basically, it's all big fish because of mercury, I think. My brain is really muddled right now about the research I did on that subject. Anyway... we actually do Salmon (Alaskan, preferrably) for our food storage, which is what we're eating for lunch. Working on keeping it cycling, ya know. :)
Oh, my brother Josh shared with me that it looked like the extra money from the gov't to stimulate the economy is going to be a lot more than I was told it would likely be. So, I'm sort of hoping for the same. If it is, I think we're going to be able to "officially" have our food storage completed!!! In Florida we can only have 3 months supply - law of the land and all. And given my experiences with the Lord's will and His examples to me of why I should live faithfully, I feel very strongly that we should not exceed the limits places on us by the gov't. Now, I'm not going to be such a stickler that I'm going to count my pantry items and such as part of the food storage amount because I REALLY feel/believe they are different for different purposes. Like, to me, food storage is in case of imminent or pending disaster of any kind (loss of income is our most frequent experience with disaster to effect our abity to provide for our families nourishment). While pantry is the stuff you use all the time and have to worry about keeping stocked and worry about running out of on a weekly basis. Anyway... I TOTALLY know from experience that pantry supply is extremely valuable when life necessitates use of food storage exclusively. Pantry almost becomes gourmet extras! But anyway... I'm so excited to discuss this more with Jess and hope we will be ABLE to use much of the money (if not all of it) for this purpose! I've been feeling anxious about food storage, which I KNOW is a blessing from past experience and I need to heed the anxiety!
More later. Must finish lunch.
Monday, April 28, 2008
I ran across Savonara via one of the teams of which I'm a part. Her shop address is http://savonara.etsy.com/ and upon seeing her products and READing her descriptions I was hankerin' to try what she described. I learned in her profile that she might be willing to trade product for product with another Etsian. Well, that's what I am, so I decided I couldn't lose if I tried! Sher responded quickly. While she didn't seem TOTALLY keen on the things I had showing in my shop, she still agreed to make a trade. How cool is that, right?
So, we communicated a few times to determine what sort of figure she might be interested in and decided on an Angel Sheltering a Nursing Mother. That's what SHE got. I received, as payment:
Moonlit Snow http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10417449
Backberry Sage http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10386688
and Lavender Deodorant http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10983576 shows the product most similar to mine.
Well, I'm going to start with the deodorant first. I would venture to say that any of her deodorants will be as wonderful, but I particularly enjoy the Lavender of the one I have. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10983576 It does NOT prevent sweating, which is key for me because I have sensitive underarms... like they get cysts if I use antipersperant or regular deodorant. I've found little relief for the scent of Tori using the crystal, so I pretty much was just going aunatural. Not nice when I'm really hot. But that's the way it is... was. :) Now I have a lovely waft of lavender instead of just TORI!!! The deodorant is easy to apply. It's a very light scent, which is VERY important to me because my nose is SO very sensitive while I'm preggie!! The deodorant is made with unrefined shea butter. This is a really awesome natural lotion that will leave your skin feeling conditioned. So, not only is my smell better, my underarms are getting softer! Basically, I LOVE my deodorant and highly recommend it and any of its "siblings"!
Next to Blackberry Sage soap. You can see this product at the following URL, but I would recommend visiting the shop to find it because her other soaps are SO beautiful to behold! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10386688 This is a lovely soap. The scent is, to my nose, mostly blackberry, but NOT too sweet of a blackberry scent. The soap glides on and rinses off very easily. It left my skin feeling squeeky clean and smelling yummy. I'm currently using it as handsoap in my main bathroom because being able to use it in the shower just wasn't enough! Even though we are using it pretty often it's still basically the same size as when it arrived, but with the edges smoothed over. So, it's lasting quite a while!! And what a special soap, handmade at home by a woman who has a great deal invested in providing a quality product for sensitive skin. You can learn more about why she's concerned with those things by reading about her products in her blog at http://savonara.blogspot.com.
I've saved my favorite for last. Moonlit Snow is just AMAZING! This is the soap I wrote about before, so if you read that bit you might just go check it out in Savonara's shop and buy some now! :) This is SUCH a beautiful soap. It's mostly blue with a creamy color swirled through it. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10417449 Across the top there are little partial circles that Sher describes as a cloudy grey moon, which is a slightly different shade of blue and adds contrast and interest to the block of soap. The scent is divine! It is called "fresh linen" but it doesn't smell like laundry to me! It's got a tiny hint of sweet and the overall effect is one that my nose is drawn to over and over. This soap only stays in my bathroom which means it isn't used as often, but is savored all the more! I use it in my shower. This is strange because I usually don't use soap. I learned, through research that soap isn't terribly good for the skin because it increases the need for alternate hydration and a few other negative things. So, I would, in the shower, scrub my body with the water and rinse under my arms until they didn't smell like me anymore! Well, even though I still believe those things I stopped using soap over, I'm using Moonlit Snow in the shower! It IS divine... okay, well, as divine as Earthly things can be. :) I actually hope to have money enough for this to be a Christmas gift to some!!! Seriously, check it out!
Sunday was a bit less wonderful, but started out fine. If you've ever been around a smoker trying to become a non-smoker, you'll understand what I'm about to say. If you haven't, you may thing I'm just being nasty... but you'd be wrong! So, I'm not being nasty when I say that Jess was super mean and snipey toward me about a real problem. He was adressing an issue he had with something, which is TOTALLY his right, but he did it in an attacking manner. Now, this has, in the past, sort of been MY M.O. I realize this and have been striving to change the way I address problems. However, even if/when I've done it, Jess has a whole different life, as it were, with work and his associates there to distract his thoughts from my wrong behavior. I, however, do not - so much. I find ways to distract myself, but they are not mentall absorbing most of the time. :( So, I was a bit peeved about the attack. I knew why is happened in the way it did (smoker => non-smoker stuff), but that didn't alter the hurtfulness of it.
We've discussed it a little and we're all right. Thus, it's all okay in the end. Actually, Jess was super happy today when he came home for lunch. He even held a little bit of an informal FHE with Ria. The subject being gratitude for the food we have. She's commented that she didn't like the eggplant in the stir-fry I'd made. He responded that he thought it was wonderful. She asked if it was special and he told her is WAS special because Mama had made it. He went on to say that Mama hadn't just opened a box or can, but had spent her time chopping the veggies, cooking the rice, preparing the sauce and then cooking it all up just for us (as he siad it) and that's special. I was getting sort of teary eyed because Jess doens't really praise or even encourage my cooking much at all. But to hear that he was grateful for the work was something special for me!! (I actually read a post in my sister's blog about how her hubbie praises her cooking and felt sort of sad and wishful because I've tried to communicate the desire I have for that sort of encouragement!) ahwell... Jessie's response, "I'm not the same sort of guy." hahaha Of course not! I wouldn't have chosen Chris, but DID choose Jess!!!* I'm sure he's feeling very accomplished in his non-smoking pursuit. He's doing REALLY well with it!!! Saturday he used only 2 lozenges and Sunday, well, I don't actually know the day total, but he'd only used one in the morning that I was aware of. So, he certainly has a great deal to feel pleased with!
*I've been meaning to mention, as an explanation of why I chose the title for our blog that I did! So, since I realized the sentence prior to the star was a bit of an allusion to is, I thought I would comment on it here! :) Aren't yall so VERY lucky!?? You get to enjoy some of my marvelous and exciting prose! heeheehee ^_^
When I met Jessie, working on EIGHT years ago now, I was planning to live my 10-year-plan. I'd put together an outline of the things I would be doing for the next 10 years. It was pretty specific, but I've purposefully let most of those specifics escape my memory... self-preservation, perhaps? Anyway, on my list of things to do I DO remember graduating with my Bachelor's Degree, working for JET, entering and serving with the PEACE CORPS, obtaining my Master's Degree, and pursuing my PhD. There was, obviously, a lot more on the plan than I'm including here because I've forgotten most of the other stuff. But I did accomplish the graduation and I still plan to pursue both Master's Degree and PhD in due "season" and this is definitely NOT it. ;) As most mother's who plan to have more babies would likely agree.
Nowhere in that plan was there room for a long-term-guy or relationship BECAUSE I'd just lived in Japan and turned 25 there. They have a saying, which is TOTALLY bogus, which goes something like, "EVERYone wants Christmas cake before Christmas... and even ON Christmas, but you canNOT give the things away afterward!" How does this relate? Well, as it happens... VERY directly! My Okaa-san had mentioned this VERY often and told me that I would be Christmas Cake! Well, being the person I am with the iffy self-esteem I have and ESPECIALLY HAD, I agreed to this idea. (Have you read The Five Agreements? Pretty interesting stuff.) So, I was sure I would be an old maid and determined to be happy with me as I was and with that understanding of myself for the future. I'd already made my 10-year plan, but in my head there was the room in it for changes for a relationship/marriage. After my time in Japan I didn't have that room in my mind.
After coming back to the US from Japan, I wanted someone to spend time with, go to movies with, and cuddle with until I went to Australia (about 9 months later). So, I did the www.matchmaker.com deal. I'd used it before I went to Japan and met a bunch of interesting fellas and determined to use it for the free period (which is pretty substantial once you post a picture). Anyway, as "fate" would have it, Jess found me on matchmaker during my second to last free week and during HIS last free week; at the end of January. I'd made "rules" for myself in using matchmaker. One rule, in particular, was that I would not respond to a guy who answered a standard question about what he was looking for with "A one night stand" and in his profile Jess TOTALLY broke that one. But I still read the "essay" responses he had in his profile and then, worse yet, WROTE BACK TO HIM. WHY???? Well, I obviously CHOSE to do it. The reason I made such choice was because I had this overwhelming urging inside. In my current understanding of spirituality, I would refer to this as a prompting from the Holy Ghost. But I just felt compelled to write to him.
So, we began writing to one another. With EVERY other guy I'd written back to the GUY had alawys asked to meet me within the first couple days. I wasn't cool with that... it just felt sketchy. So, I'd always told the guys I just wanted to get to know them better first. With Jess, I asked HIM to meet ME on the second day of emails. He told me he couldn't! because he had to do LAUNDRY! HA What a joke, right? Well, I accepted it because he included with that info that he was departing for a 2 week cruise the next day. Okay. I told him I write to him while he was gone and we'd meet when he came back. I don't think he believed me. But I did.
He came back and called me. Unfortunately, even though I'd thought he would be calling (even though he wasn't supposed to be IN until the next day!) I accepted the invitation from another guy to go out... and he was TOTALLY into me... also very uncomfortable when the feelings are not reciprocated. So, I was annoyed and bummed to find out Jess had called while I was out with a guy who was trying to hold my hand... when all I wanted was to wait at home for Jess to write! And then I tried calling him back and couldn't reach him (they were online).
We met the next day. Jess almost stood me up!!! His roommate told him he better go because, "You might meet your soul-mate" so he went. As it happens, he went home from that meeting and called his best friend in Idaho and told Darren that he'd just met the girl he was going to marry. I was NOT there, by any means, but I did really dig the dude I'd just met.
Anyway... we dated and after about 2 weeks I realized/visualized my path had arrived at a fork. I felt strongly about Jessie, but wasn't allowing myself to sort of "leap," if you know what I mean. The catalyst to my choice: I asked my Mom what she thought of him. She has no recollection of her response, but she told me, "I think he's the right guy for you, Tori." I was not expecting this sort of response! In the past she'd always just told me what she thought of him as a guy and I'd had to press for what she thought of the guy for ME. Anyway, I know NOW that this response was Heavenly Father's way of reaching me... I wasn't exactly sensitive to the Spirit back then!
With my Mom's words in my mind I contemplated what I would do with my future. Should I made room for some guy?? Well, I decided that it would be perfectly acceptable to let myself love him, rather than "fall in love" as most people describe the feeling. So, as I was standing at the divide I decided to CHOOSE to love Jess. Afterward I asked Jess what he thought of making a sweet little acronym something special to share between us. He like it. It's "ICU" and has a double meaning. ICU literally stands for "I Choose You" and it also represents the idea of being able to SEE each other for who we are, as in "I See You."
Well, as you will understand if you have been in a relationship through the 7-year-itch! you cannot know during the first lovey-dovey time of the first year to three what will come!!! heeheehee But, COME the STUFF did! 2007 was our 7 year itch (and our councelor says this is a REAL phenomenon, it's not just a dumb saying or idea... and afterward there's a re-adjusting/shifting every 5 years). And BOY was it ITCHY!!! Does this mean I WANTED to leave or cheat like most people think when talking about the 7-year-itch? Uh, do you KNOW me???? My official answer is, "DUH, OF COURSE NOT!!!" However, last year was really horrible for/on me in lots of ways and I felt totally uncomfortable with our relationship... thus, itchy!! (Aren't YOU uncomfortable when you're itchy??) Anyway, so, I had to determine what I would do under the circumstances of being horribly uncomfortable in/with my marriage. Well, my decision is represented by the words of the title of my Blog!
I keep choosing us! Obviously Jessie does, too, or he would've dropped me/us. Thus, WE KEEP CHOOSING US. ^_^ So, there's the long and... LONG of it! heeheehee ;) Hope you had fun with the walk down memory lane! I've enjoyed sharing... without all the details that used to be characteristic of TORI, eh? heehee
Friday, April 25, 2008
So, Jess suggested, in a very determined sort of way, that we make a plan for a visit and just set it in stone as OUR FAMILY VISIT regardless of what the rest of the Farrell clan has going on. His feeling is that he wants us to enjoy visiting our friends AND family and that he doesn't really want the visit to be entirely about someone else. Part of this is coming from the fact that this will be our first family vacation - EVER. I don't have the actual dates, but I'm thinking the end of July is the time we're settled on and happy with. Mostly because this will be a year since I went back and I can certainly wait another year if I did it once! (A mental game of being okay with things I may not actually be okay with, ya know?) Anyway... I'm excited!
Because I don't have the dates already submitted to Jessie's bosses there is a little bit of flexbility here. If you would like to have a say about when we come... perhaps to try to influence the decision, I encourage you to contact me immediately. I should probably have the dates for Jess by Monday, so I REALLY mean IMMEDIATELY!!! Jessie wants the dates ASAP to ensure that he can get the time off from both jobs AND get the vacation hours submitted to HR at The Club.
So, we're planning a ROAD TRIP! :) I'm excited and think it will definitely be an adventure as Jess and I haven't traveled together since way back when. (When we drove to TN and MO for me to meet his family and when we flew to Idaho!) We certainly haven't done more than a morning trip to the temple WITH the girls. I have traveled with the girls, but he has not. He was driving the moving truck when we came down here... so it should be interesting! ;)
More pictures uploaded to Flickr this morning! Check 'em out!
I'm starting to wonder if I might be able to put pictures here, but haven't had the guts to try and risk a freeze. So, that will be something I attempt today, I think.
Jessie did really well yesterday, his second day quitting. He used 4 of the lozenges, I think he said. But that's 3 out of the suggested NINE! He made sure to mention specifically that even though he had used them he hadn't finished any of them. That's AWESOME!!! So, he's on day three today. Wish him luck and/or say a prayer for him! He has tonight off from The Club. He'll probably sleep most of the afternoon. *sigh*
A ROAD TRIP!!!! I'm so excited!
So, I just had to respond to a comment in my blog about the post in which I shared my joy over finally being rid of the microwave I've felt iffy about for quite a while. I totally respect my dear friend, but just have to share more information about this issue because I think most people would not look for it themselves. And being the "teacher personality" I am, according to Myers-Briggs personality tests, I just HAVE to share what I know. Anyway....
Before I move to the information I'm sharing, I want to state that I acknowledge that toaster ovens must, certainly, be used with caution and care. I think that goes without saying, really, because it's like a contained fire on the counter. While there is potential for physical danger in using toaster ovens, I would, honestly, rather accept responsiblity for using my toaster oven responsibly than accept responsiblity for increasing or causing illness and perhaps, in the extreme, genetic changes in my children/family through use of microwave oven to prepare and/or reheat our food. Once again, I do not disagree that there is the potential for problems with toaster ovens. I accept, fully, that the information available on those problems is plentiful... but the information available regarding cow's milk and it's perported benefits is widely and readily available... but that doesn't mean that information is an accurate representation of reality! Iuse this change of subject as an example of widely available information versus information more difficult to come by. The article I found to share bits from was really easy to find, but when I first read about potential problems with microwave cooking I came across the subject through really obscure and unrelated research reading.
Okay, I'm drawing my information from an easy-to-find article about this subject by Anthony Wayne and Lawrence Newell called "The Hidden Hazards Of Microwave Cooking." You can find the complete article at http://www.mercola.com/article/microwave/hazards.htm
(I finished this at 1230am on Sat. 4-26... I don't like misrepresenting my post by backdating, but I really didn't want it ahead of the other entry!)
Beyond this point, all info is QUOTED DIRECTLY from the above named article!
Microwaves unsafe for baby's milk
A number of warnings have been made public, but have been barely noticed. For example, Young Families, the Minnesota Extension Service of the University of Minnesota, published the following in 1989:
"Although microwaves heat food quickly, they are not recommended for heating a baby's bottle. The bottle may seem cool to the touch, but the liquid inside may become extremely hot and could burn the baby's mouth and throat.
Also, the buildup of steam in a closed container, such as a baby bottle, could cause it to explode. Heating the bottle in a microwave can cause slight changes in the milk. In infant formulas, there may be a loss of some vitamins.
In expressed breast milk, some protective properties may be destroyed. Warming a bottle by holding it under tap water, or by setting it in a bowl of warm water, then testing it on your wrist before feeding may take a few minutes longer, but it is much safer."
Dr. Lita Lee of Hawaii reported in the December 9, 1989 Lancet:
"Microwaving baby formulas converted certain trans-amino acids into their synthetic cis-isomers. Synthetic isomers, whether cis-amino acids or trans-fatty acids, are not biologically active.
Further, one of the amino acids, L-proline, was converted to its d-isomer, which is known to be neurotoxic (poisonous to the nervous system) and nephrotoxic (poisonous to the kidneys). It's bad enough that many babies are not nursed, but now they are given fake milk (baby formula) made even more toxic via microwaving."
Microwaved blood kills patient
In 1991, there was a lawsuit in Oklahoma concerning the hospital use of a microwave oven to warm blood needed in a transfusion. The case involved a hip surgery patient, Norma Levitt, who died from a simple blood transfusion.
It seems the nurse had warmed the blood in a microwave oven. This tragedy makes it very apparent that there's much more to "heating" with microwaves than we've been led to believe. Blood for transfusions is routinely warmed, but not in microwave ovens. In the case of Mrs. Levitt, the microwaving altered the blood and it killed her.
It's very obvious that this form of microwave radiation "heating" does something to the substances it heats. It's also becoming quite apparent that people who process food in a microwave oven are also ingesting these "unknowns".
Because the body is electrochemical in nature, any force that disrupts or changes human electrochemical events will affect the physiology of the body. This is further described in Robert O. Becker's book, The Body Electric, and in Ellen Sugarman's book, Warning, the Electricity Around You May Be Hazardous to Your Health.
Carcinogens in microwaved food
In Dr. Lita Lee's book, Health Effects of Microwave Radiation - Microwave Ovens, and in the March and September 1991 issues of Earthletter, she stated that every microwave oven leaks electro-magnetic radiation, harms food, and converts substances cooked in it to dangerous organ-toxic and carcinogenic products.
Further research summarized in this article reveal that microwave ovens are far more harmful than previously imagined.
The following is a summary of the Russian investigations published by the Atlantis Raising Educational Center in Portland, Oregon. Carcinogens were formed in virtually all foods tested.
No test food was subjected to more microwaving than necessary to accomplish the purpose, i.e., cooking, thawing, or heating to insure sanitary ingestion. Here's a summary of some of the results:
Microwaving prepared meats sufficiently to insure sanitary ingestion caused formation of d-Nitrosodienthanolamines, a well-known carcinogen. Microwaving milk and cereal grains converted some of their amino acids into carcinogens. Thawing frozen fruits converted their glucoside and galactoside containing fractions into carcinogenic substances. Extremely short exposure of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables converted their plant alkaloids into carcinogens. Carcinogenic free radicals were formed in microwaved plants, especially root vegetables. Decrease in nutritional value Russian researchers also reported a marked acceleration of structural degradation leading to a decreased food value of 60 to 90% in all foods tested. Among the changes observed were: Deceased bio-availability of vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, essential minerals and lipotropics factors in all food tested. Various kinds of damaged to many plant substances, such as alkaloids, glucosides, galactosides and nitrilosides. The degradation of nucleo-proteins in meats.
Microwave sickness is discovered
The Russians did research on thousands of workers who had been exposed to microwaves during the development of radar in the 1950's. Their research showed health problems so serious that the Russians set strict limits of 10 microwatts exposure for workers and one microwatt for civilians.
In Robert O. Becker's book, The Body Electric, he described Russian research on the health effects of microwave radiation, which they called "microwave sickness." On page 314, Becker states:
"It's [Microwave sickness] first signs are low blood pressure and slow pulse. The later and most common manifestations are chronic excitation of the sympathetic nervous system [stress syndrome] and high blood pressure.
This phase also often includes headache, dizziness, eye pain, sleeplessness, irritability, anxiety, stomach pain, nervous tension, inability to concentrate, hair loss, plus an increased incidence of appendicitis, cataracts, reproductive problems, and cancer.
The chronic symptoms are eventually succeeded by crisis of adrenal exhaustion and ischemic heart disease [the blockage of coronary arteries and heart attacks]."
According to Dr. Lee, changes are observed in the blood chemistries and the rates of certain diseases among consumers of microwaved foods. The symptoms above can easily be caused by the observations shown below. The following is a sample of these changes:
Lymphatic disorders were observed, leading to decreased ability to prevent certain types of cancers.
An increased rate of cancer cell formation was observed in the blood. Increased rates of stomach and intestinal cancers were observed. Higher rates of digestive disorders and a gradual breakdown of the systems of elimination were observed.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
The playground was our after-Story-Time-stop today. I dared allow the girls to play there because we would be able to stay for quite a while (at least 1/2 hour) before we had to leave to get home and make lunch for Daddy's 1/2 hour break between jobs. The sun was out bright and hot today, but there were some cloudy moments to provide relief while we were at the playground. I've actually got what looks like dandruff because I keep getting sunburns on my scalp! No, seriously! I've inadvertently gotten one at least once a week for the past few weeks. And this week it's two thus far! UGH! Thankfully, my little part-indian children don't have a bit of problem with the sun. They just get a little pink when we're in it and then turn brown. Ok, so they aren't actually BROWN yet, but they are nicely golden. :) You can tell especially on Kat. Her little left-over baby chub rolls make it obvious that she's been in the sun! SO CUTE!
A brother from my Ward called to invite the girls and me to come for breakfast with him and his wife tomorrow. I felt odd about it and bowed-out until a time when Jess could be with us. So, we'll probably have breakfast with them in a few weeks. I was trying to figure out why this invitation made me feel odd because Joseph is a really nice old guy in my Ward and I talk to him every Sunday. I know he likes me very well and I think the main reason for his affection is that he has a daughter named Victoria who is also called Tori AND the same age as me! She's a bit inactive and I think he sort of sees me as a future her. Or how he hopes she may be. (?)
Anyway... I realized that I wasn't okay with the invitation because I really don't enjoy spending time amongst couples (even just one other couple) without MY "other half". And most of the time I really don't have a choice because there are places I'm expected to be and all that whether he's with me or not. But if I can choose I choose NOT to go without him, I will! That made me feel pretty good because there was a while last year during which I didn't care so much and would've rather NOT been around Jessie because of the crud we were going through. So, perhaps I'm healed/healing! YEAY!!! This feels like SUPER good new to me! :)
So, Jess told me this morning that he didn't use ANY of this nicotine losenges yesterday. WOW, right!!!?!! The package of the stuff he has advises 9 per day. Well, I'm just so super impressed with his accomplishment! He was feeling cruddier today than yesterday. Part of the increased cruddy feeling is definitely withdrawl and another (smaller) part is the fact that he used a lozeng today. It was after he told me about using one that I asked how many the package suggests. So, I'm still super impressed with his accomplishment this morning because he's so WAY under the suggested use! :) Anyway, I sent him for a 10 minute nap after lunch. Those minutes are when we get to sort of talk and the girls get to cuddle up to him. So, that bit of lying down at home was really rough on me because the girls NEED their Daddy... but I'm trying my best to help and not complain to him... so I need to do a little somewhere. Sorry if it's annoying.
When Jess got home I had cold grapefruit juice ready for him. In his experience drinking some of that down quickly can be energizing, which is WHY I had it ready, of course. He didn't want any of the other things I read about on http://www.cancer.org/. He actually asked me to read the section on that site about what others can do to help their quitter. ahwell I'm just going with what he says he needs and have to trust that he can manage his lifestyle change.
I have more pictures to get up, but I have already put a few more up today. The link is two posts down. I don't actually know it by heart otherwise I'd put it in here.
THANK YOU!!! to those who have left comments!!! I LOVE THEM!!!! AND, a special THANK YOU to Heidi for the sweet email to share her thoughts on my pictures of the work I've been busy with lately. I LOVE the feedback and suggestions!!!!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
So, Jess came home for lunch and was far more exhausted that normal. He felt that it was the only withdrawl symptom he'd suffered thus far. He was very pleased that he hadn't felt the need to use any Nicorete yet. I think that it IS a possibility, but it's equally as likely and possible, in my opinion and experience with him, that it's his natural tendency to sort of sleep through difficult things, so he's feeling the urge to do that. In reality it's probably a little of both.
Do you wonder how this came about? Well, obviously I can only tell you what I know from my point-of-view. A little while back we were seriously talking about a rather big change. A few days after we started talking about it he told me, very seriously, that he thought he should stop smoking to better be able to manage the change. Well, I sort of got aggitated and told him I just didn't care. I told him I didn't want to hear about it and if he felt like doing it - GOOD, but leave me out of it. So, I didn't hear anything more about the subject and that was just fine.
Then we received this package in the mail. It was a large envelope and for whatever reason I didn't open it even though I normally open all the mail. The next day I noticed the envelope open and a book and some papers from The American Cancer Society laying on the table. I was sort of weirded out by that because I thought he received it randomly. After another few days I asked him what that stuff was all about. It was then that I learned the a bit of the story.
Jess had decided to go ahead and quit smoking. He heard a commercial on the radio for a program that would help smokers quit so he called it and got some info. That's all he said.
I missed a package because I was busy with something I couldn't get to the door for a UPS delivery. I got the little sticky paper that they leave and didn't really read it, but thought it was for a package I was expecting. Jess saw it later and asked about it. I was like, "Why are you so interested?" He said it was because the package was for him. I argued until I read the paper and then appologized. I was sort of concerned and asked him what he was expecting in the mail (because we hadn't talked about a purchase). It was then that I learned "The Rest of The Story" as it were. With the information he received there is also a Program. In the program he gets eight weeks of Nicorette in whatever form he requests and advising sessions with someone for the duration of the program; all for FREE!!! So then I REALLY appologized. I was also SUPER impressed to learn all this and even the tiniest bit excited.
So, that pretty much brings us to today. He drove the van to work, which I think is a real blessing because the drive to and from The Club was the time he expected to be the most difficult. It's annoying that I'm going to have to limit my traveling to the morning until we can figure out the problem and fix whatever is wrong with the car. But, if it helps Jess quit, I'm totally all for it! I don't mind a little inconvenience!!!! ((^_^))
I have TONS of pictures to upload, but I'm not sure I'll be able to do anything with them. However, I'm going to share with yall my Flickr information anyway because that's where my newest "work" related pictures will be. http://www.flickr.com/photos/24548515@N08/ The last time I tried uploading there it froze up and I had to shut my computer down (just like here).
Perhaps we'll have this figured out soon and my blog will once again have pretty things to look at and not just lots and lots of words! ;)
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Well, as it happens, a few weeks ago the microwave we received from friends actually went caput. I felt this was a really great thing since I'd been feeling ever more strongly that I was ignoring a change that would only benefit my family (even if it did inconvenience me a bit). So, I didn't try to fool with the plug or even really TRY to get it to stay alive like I would have had I wanted to keep it. I told Jess it was dead and told him I did NOT want to replace it, was he cool with that. He already knew what I'd been thinking a year ago and at that time he wasn't really encouraging. Now, he was completely fine with it.
So, we are a microwave-free household!!! It's really not been a horrible adjustment. I'm learning how to re-heat things on the stove and using my little toaster oven (I LOVE THAT THING!!!). So, that's the first bit of news. :)
The second bit it extremely exciting to me. I've been rather concerned about what I would do, with regard to Ria and Kat, when I'm in labor/delivering the new baby. This would be an obvious concern for anyone who did not live near family and was going to have another baby. The matter is further complicated for me, however. You see... and hold on to your pants if you don't know my past birthing experiences as yet... I'm going to labor AND deliver this baby at home. Well, not so much a problem in iteself. That is, until you learn that I'm a NAKED birther. Women like me are pretty common, really. It's a sort of hypersensitivity of the skin during labor that makes it, basically, impossible to tolerate cloth of any kind on my skin.
This factor wasn't a problem before because my Mom was close enough to come at a call and I didn't think anything of her seeing me nakie under those circumstances. So, the problem: WHO, in the WORLD, would I feel comfortable looking at AFTER the birth!?!?!?! I had sort of narrowed it down to my visiting teachers and my visiting teaching companion, but I still felt unsettled about it all and certainly had not asked any of them.
So, this morning we went to Joy School. It was only Sage, Victoria, Mary, Ria, Kat and me. But I, honestly, REALLY love it when it's just us because it gives me a chance to spend time with Sage. And Sage is... well, SAGE!!! She's herself AND she's what her name means: wise! She's probably my hero right now. Currently she has 6 children and works nearly full-time to keep her family's business going. Her children are sporty (all of them play something!) and so she's SUPER busy. The only way I GET to spend time with her is by getting out kids together. So, I LOVE Joy School.
Anyway, we were talking about all kinds of things like we always do. I brought up my homebirth and some topics related to it. Through the conversation about all that stuff I brought up my concern over who to ask to help me with the girls while I'm laboring (we WANT them to observe the birth, so they'll be present for THAT). Anyway, as I was talking to her about itI felt an overwhelming desire to ask her to be my "call" person to come and watch the girls. She mentioned something about her daughters, but I thought that would make it even more perfect because then Ria and Kat would have other kiddos to distract them from Mama being noisy and pained. I did tell her that I was worried that the person I would ask would have to be okay with seeing me NAKED and she sort of laughed at that. And somehow I managed to make it clear that I would love it if she wouldn't mind being the person I called. She seemed really okay with it and even sort of interested. I was wondering if that meant I should call or not, but didn't want to press the issue. So, right before we're leaving she mentioned, "Just to make it official, I would be honored to help you with the girls while you labor and deliver at home." !!!! YEAY!!!! I'm sooo very happy!!!! Sage is really perfect for this because she has had her children naturally in the hospital (AND chose to do it that way... naturally), so she understands more than others. If you understand this issue, you will also know what a HUGE blessing this is for me. I'm SO blessed!!!!
Jess came home for lunch, as he always does. It was basically ready, but I didn't have it all served and ON the table as I sometimes do. He helped me set up the chairs and then move plates to the table. He has really desensitized hands as a result of his work in kitchens, so I asked him to get the forks for the table as they were REALLY hot, right from the dishwasher. So he gets them and as he's bringing them to the table he comments, "You know you have FOUR forks, right?" as if there was something off in my count. I pause for a moment and then turn around to look at him funny and say, "Well, UH, there ARE FOUR people in our family!" He seemed to almost miss a step in pondering that fact and then responds, "You're right. I just wanted to make sure you were on your toes and that we were on the same page." This strikes me as very silly and funny because it's as if Jess is sort of preparing for the increase in our family by reverting to his memory of a smaller family than we have. Perhaps this is not funny at all to the majority, but it brought an out loud laugh out of me! :)
Monday, April 21, 2008
So, we made it through Saturday without a single arguement. There was a group of minutes when I was particularly perterbed. You see, my dear husband rarely says what he actually means. I think it's a guy thing, really... at least a guy-in-relationship thing. Or, perhaps more specifically, it's those guys who are in relationships with strong women and don't like to deal with anything uncomfortable. Anyway! So, I was working online a lot on Saturday. It was nice to have the girls otherwise occupied and I was taking advantage of their focus being somewhere other than on ME! Perhaps I was on the computer a bit long, but it was refreshing for me, so difficult to stop. So, what's the point? Well, after a bit Jess calls to me and tells me he thinks he's ruined the macaroni.
He was supposed to be working on the Macaroni Salad for the social. Instead of completing that, he stopped and did something else, and then swept the floor, then we had lunch, after that he vaccuumed up the piles... so he'd left the macaroni for a little while. When he finally got back to it it was a while later. So, the CHEF calls me? I'm like, "Uh. Ok, so you forgot about it. What am I supposed to do??" He calls back that he's frustrated and would I please come and take a look at what he's dealing with.
So, I go to the kitchen. The macaroni is definitely stuck together. I'm wondering, 'What does he think I can do about it that HE can't?' I say something about that, but without the 'tude and he sorta whines that he doesn't know. So, I suggest (which I think is pretty obvious) that he rinse the macaroni and break it up under the water, "I really don't think it's entirely ruined," I tell him. And here comes one of the two REAL reasons he's called me out. "Well, would you do something to help me because I can't really DO that with the dishes in the sink. I'll just ruin it more than I have!" Ok, so, why couldn't he ask me to just do the dishes? And the other (probably main) reason he called me, which he didn't allude to in a verbal way, was that he just wanted me to hang out with him in the living spaces rather than hole myself away with the computer.
Perhaps I'm wrong. But I doubt it. We'll likely never know the truth because if Jessie were asked he would tell you I AM wrong, definitely... but then you'd have to ask him if Bulgar is a different variety of wheat or just a preparation!!
See, Jess and I used to have this thing... well, perhaps it's more something I did. But you'd understand if you knew how Jess ALWAYS thinks he's right. Often times ALL of the proof is RIGHT in front of him and he will refuse to acknowledge that he is wrong. He started saying some bull, "I'm not wrong, just misunderstood!" Well, when you say Bulgar is a variety of Wheat and then learn that it's a prepration of it, there's not much arguing that you were misunderstood! (And that is just THE most recent example.) I used to keep track, on a calendar that I still have, of every time Jessie admitted he was actually wrong. It's important that one not lose sight of one's own fallability - if we don't, we begin to have pride greater than others can tolerate! Trust me when I tell you, I readily admit when I'm wrong and often appologize for making an assumption or presumption! It takes a GREAT deal of proving and then provocation for the same to happen with Jess.
The incident with the Bulgar was the closest we came to actually having an issue, so to speak, this weekend. Oh, and Jessie was off from the Club (pm) on Friday, off Almond Blossom (AM) Sat and Sun, AND off the Club on Sat. So, we ended up having about 2 whole days together. Pretty sweet, huh? :)
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I let Jess sleep in this morning. The girls and I went grocery shopping right after we ate, so we weren't noisy in the house. He didn't sleep in as long as I would have! But, then again, he was asleep yesterday afternoon, went to bed early, AND got to sleep in... so, he was WELL rested when he awakened. :)
Did Jess read the blog? I ask, not that you would know, because he actually swept AGAIN today! This time it wasn't a lame-o job like last time. (I totally did NOT complain about it last time, nor did I SAY it was a lame-o job! I was just happy he actually did something in the house other than cook. Not that cooking is nothing, but he's SO rarely home, that it's really not a regular thing like we thought it would be.) Anyway, so the GOOD job done is that he swept ALL of the main living spaces AND vaccuumed up the piles! I don't know if you recall, but last time he didn't sweep all the areas he did today and he left the dirt where it was! :p ugh! It's one thing if I do that because it's all my job (and sometimes lately I am honestly too tired to get that vaccuum cleaner out for one pile! I completely "blame" the baby (in utero)).
Later we'll go to the Ward Hawaiian Luau Social together. This is so very exciting to me because it's a first! He actually made it to the Valentine's dance thingy, but he was coming there on his way home from work (leaving early).
On a completely DIFFERENT subject...
Many of you know that I started dreaming about Tony Zeppetella, an ex-boyfriend, the night he was murdered. I dreamed about him just about every night for well over a year. The only reason I stopped dreaming about him EVERY night is because I had a dream in which I put his name into Google and then woke up. At work the next day I remembered that dream and did it, thinking, "If I do this, nothing will come up and I'll be able to put my mind to rest on this subject." MAN, I wish that was true! So, you can go ahead and do that experiement yourself. There are fewer pages now, but still MANY.
As a result, I sort of get a little worried when I randomly dream about people I care about, or have cared about, ever since. Do you blame me?? So, I had this crazy dream about Peter, an ex-boyfriend, over a month ago and I've been sort of worried since then. I did put his name into Google and no murder was reported, but I still felt sort of... anxious for/about him. (Don't you know, I'm a worry-wart!??) I could have asked our mutual friend Tom about him, but worried that would just be too weird. So, I just tried to let it go.
This morning I was trying to do this new thing to sort of promote my business. This thing is called Stumble Upon. I'm still not exactly sure how it works. I've been trying to figure it all out, but every time I try to upload a picture/icon it totally blinks out on me. (I'm having problems with pictures ALL over the place!! ARRRGGHHH!) Anyway, in process the first time there was this invitation to send an email to my Hotmail contacts. I was looking at it and thought I'd clicked OFF of it. As it happens I actually sent it. (I've never claimed computer genius, just competence and today my competence was at an all time low! SORRY!) Turns out to be a good thing because Pete wrote to me. YEAY, I know he's NOT dead now!!! So, that's the long of the short of it. I'm feeling a lot more peaceful. Strange how dreams torture me ever since 911 and the Tony experience!
Friday, April 18, 2008
He comes in the door and very coolly and calmly I say, "What are YOU doin' home?!" He explains that tonight is actually his night off. 'Oh,' I think and I'm sure my whole countenance fell because tomorrow is our Ward social and the first one I thought Jess would make it to with us. I'm sure my face fell also because Jess went on to quickly explain that he was origionally scheduled for tonight not tomorrow night off, but when he was talking to Steve, his boss, Steve asked how many nights Jess was on this week. After Jess told him SIX, Steve told him to go ahead and take tomorrow night off as well!! So, we actually have TWO nights in a row with Daddy!
Of course, does that actually mean he's conscious for the whole time? Uh... do you KNOW Jessie???
If you haven't been able to figure out why my heart was flip-floppin and I got all hot feelin' it's because this scene felt like a re-run of experiences we had WAY too many times before we moved here. Jess was let go from, like, 4 jobs within a year up in VA. It was very upsetting. Each time he was home earlier than I expected him. So, I thought (since I'm a worst-case-scenario-ist, according to our councelor) that he'd been fired. Not that I thought he'd done anything wrong, but I was worried that this was sort of pointing out to me that Jess really SHOULD be doing something different, which has been a focal point of many prayers... trying to make sure we're in the right path, ya know?
Back to the story.... Of course, Jess came home and subsequently fell asleep as he was supposedly doing reading class with Ria. *sigh* I wish I could just randomly fall asleep and the girls actually leave me alone - regardless of what I was SUPPOSED to be doing! But, I suppose Mamas are the tortured... I mean 'totally adored'! hahaha ;)
Instead of fussin at Jess to spend time with us, I fussed at him to go lie down in bed so I wouldn't get even more upset to see him sleeping when I thought we would have some family time. He did. And I took the girls out for our hour-long walk. This is the 4th evening this week of this. And let me tell you, it is NOT very much fun for me! I just wish, so often, for time to just be me... I don't get it on the potty, not while I'm sleeping, not while I prepare food, not while I eat, not while I excercise. But... I shouldn't complain, right? I'm a MAMA, afterall.
Obviously I'm feeling a little peeved about the whole ability my husband has of leaving his job. Ok, so maybe that wasn't so very obvious.... Well, that's the root of all the complaining. I would REALLY like to leave my job for a little while. I wish the hotel thing had happened... but then, of course, I would wish for more than that. But seriously, I think after 4+ years of never leaving my job (and over 1 year of that I was also teaching) I should be able to have ONE day off, right?? ahhh... My fickle fickle heart!
Today has been productive and exciting for me in my "studio." (Right! As if! You know, of course "my STUDIO" is actually our dining room table and if you didn't know, you could just scoot yourself on back to a past post and find out - with pictures even! Back in the day when uploading them didn't totally freeze up my computer!) I worked on, primarily, another team challenge piece. This one is for my SHE team. (Schooling at Home Etsians) And I'm a perfect candidate for that team with my smarty daughter who is only 4 and reading at an almost fluent kindergarden level and even higher with less and less fluency! Can you tell I'm just so totally thrilled with her reading progress?? So, this challenge is "Robin's Egg Blue" and that's all the direction we've had.
If you know me, you will easily guess - and correctly - that this has been torture for me. I really had no idea where to go with it. That is, until yesterday on the hour-long walk. I saw this thing hanging from someone's mailbox and thought, "Wouldn't it be cool to make something like that and call it MAIL BOX JEWELRY?" So, I thought and thought, while I walked and walked and came up with the general idea of what I put into clay today! I'm very pleased with it!! It is baked, but unfinished as yet. The challenge isn't due until May 15th, so you'll have to hold tight for photos. I'm having problems with Flickr, so you'll definitely have to make sure to get added to my friends to see 'em in Photobucket. (Mom, you're already allowed to see those pics, under caregi.... You know the rest. You just have to contact me for the password!)
IN ADDITION to that, I also started AND finished another nursing Mama. I'm very pleased with this one as well. Perhaps more? I'm not sure. It's really great, though. Oh, and I'd previously made the angel that is going to shelter this Mama and IT is very cool, too. :) Not finished... You'll just have to wait for pictures. heeheehee
Man, I love Florida! I'm already getting a really great light tan. Just from walking while the sun is setting! Nice, right!?? Ok, so I know that was totally random, but I thought I would just sort of tempt you... perhaps you want to visit more now? Love it if you did! Try NOT to come in October (like at all!!). If you want to come for OUR Thanksgiving or Christmas, make sure you contact me in advance because we make up our own holidays! You know, you sort of have to do it when hubby works in a field like Hospitality. And, since we don't have family here to dictate that we STAY WITH THE DATE, we just DON'T! Such a priviledge, really.
Ok, so I'm TOTALLY overblowing how wonderful making our own holidays is because I've been feeling a bit down about being away from my extended fam for so long (only 10 months, I need to be strong, this hasn't been all that long. I will surely be away MUCH longer than this before I can get back there!). ahwell....
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Obviously, you'll have to sign up with ETSY if you want to vote. But, why NOT? It's free! :)
As I mentioned before, you'll have to be a friend to view the photos in my photobucket account. If you are unable to access it (mostly everybody) you'll have to drop me an email or leave your email address in my comments and then wait until I add you. Sorry. I know that's pretty time consuming and all... but, seriously, the pictures of my girls are TOTALLY worth it! heeheehee Of course, any Mother would have to say the same about their children, but it's SO totally true about mine! ;)
This is where you can find my smarty-tarty-hot-to-trot-party girls! (as if!)
I'm sure I have something to share, but cannot remember it for the life of me right now. So, it'll have to be another post. ^_^
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Oh, did you want a link to that information? Here it is: http://sheetsyteam.blogspot.com/ Check me out. ;)
The real reason I was writing again today was because I was feeling super impressed with Ria and wanted to share. I don't know if I've really shared with you how well she's reading. If I have, you'll have to forgive this pleased Mama for blabbering on about her precocious daughter.
Ok, so Ria and I worked really hard last year and a little bit early this year to finish How To Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons. THAT is an AWESOME book!!! I hightly recommend it as an AWESOME, perhaps even THE PERFECT way for a parent to begin teaching their child to read; whether you plan to homeschool or not. One note about describing letters, though: you should check your area's SOLs (Standards Of Learning), or whatever they are called where you are, to determined how they want you to refer to letters. For example, my area requires that the large ones are called Upper Case and the small ones Lower Case. When I was in school we called 'em Capital AND Upper Case, but whatever.
So, Ria and I finished the book well before her 4th birthday and she has been sky-rocketing ever since! I actually caught her on video reading to herself, but I cannot figure out how to get the video to change perspective, so I haven't tried putting it up here because you'd have to watch it with your head tilted to the side. Anyway, I haven't tested all her bechmarks (I've been doing a bit of research on teaching reading!), but I'm confident that she is solidly in the middle of expected reading ability for Kindergardeners. I would even wager that she's probably closer to a first grade reading level BECAUSE we've borrowed some reading lesson books from the library and they ARE for first grade reading level. I do have to help her with some of the more difficult words, but she astounds me with her ability to sound out some words that I think might be too hard, but give her a chance to try anyway! Her fluency (reference my research!) is not high, but she is improving daily. No, seriously... she's getting faster with words often referred to as Sight Words (many of which she has been sounding out). I'm totally okay with her Sight Words moving into that category for HER more slowly because it's strengthening her ability to decode.
Just as a sort of peak into Ria's love of reading I would like to share a regularly occuring scene AND a scene I was lucky enough to witness because the girls didn't know I was watching! :)
On a daily basis Ria picks up any number of books and sits down to read out loud to herself. She does have a few that are pretty much memorized. I think she "reads" them as sort of confidence builders. (See, she really IS smart. She finds ways to encourage her own love of reading!!) But she picks up books we haven't read together in AGES and wades through them ever-so-slowly. It's a really wonderful thing to see! I'm a VERY pleased Mama!!!
A few mornings ago I was late out of bed and the girls didn't realize I was out of my room. They were in their room and BOTH of them were on Ria's bed. Ria was sitting on the inside and Kat was lying down near the edge pulling the blanket over herself and trying to get comfy. All the while Ria was reading TO Kat! :) It was so very sweet to see!!! I was even able to snap a picture before they knew I was there AND I got a second one before Kat ran to give me hugs!!! This is a JOY for me because I love to read and feel that not only have I instilled that love in Ria, but by so doing she is helping me instill it in Kat!!!
~Switching gears and changing subjects~
I'm sure I've mentioned that I made a trade with another ETSIAN for some of her product. I made the Angel Sheltering Nursing Mother and Baby for Sher of http://savonara.etsy.com/ and she sent me three of her products that I specifically requested. I'll probably repost much of this in a later entry that will be ALL about her products, but I REALLY had to mention TONIGHT that I had my first experience with a soap I requested as part of the trade.
Ok, so this soap is GORGEOUS! I knew that because that's partially why I requested it as my part of the trade, but it's even prettier in person. (heeheehee) It's called Moonlit Snow. You really should check it out! I'd love to hear what you think about it as well as Sher's other products. Well, I wanted to take a shower the minute I got my package, but I didn't because it wouldn't fit my schedule and my girls aren't particularly good at letting me shower in the middle of the day!
Well, I finally took my shower tonight and it was blissful! I washed my hair with my coconut shampoo - just some stuff from the grocery store. But I love it because the scent it nice and sweet and sort of soothes me. I was almost worried that I wouldn't enjoy the soap as much as I hoped because I love my shampoo's smell so much. Well, that was utterly silly; I now know. Oh MY! This soap is WONDERFUL! (I'm NOT a big soap person since I learned the benefits of smelling like myself for my nurslings.) It is silky and rinses off very easily. The most amazing part is that I enjoyed the scent of my Moonlit Snow even MORE than my shampoo!!!!!!!!! Now, I'm the kind of girl who really loves sweet scents. When I was using Bath and Body Works my favorite was the Vanilla and/or Honey Almond. Savonara's Moonlit Snow totally blows them out of the water! When it was dry it didn't smell sweet in the slightest, but in the shower there's this soft almost not there sweet smell that titilated my nose. I actually used more soap than I really should have just because I wanted to smell it REALLY strongly more than just the one soap-up. I keep smelling my hands, even now, to have the scent in my nose! I LOVE IT!!!!!! I'm so excited to try my other soap AND the all-natural deodorant I requested. Updates about my experiences are sure to follow. And, if I can afford any gifts this holiday, I'm pretty sure it will be soaps by Savonara!!! ^_^ (By the way, in case you didn't already guess, I instigated/ requested the trade and Sher was sweet and consented. Luckily for me, she's very pleased with her angel, too.)
I'm not exactly sure how it began. I think Jess showed them once, with tea cups, and they have just generalized it. Anyway, what happens is Kathryn will have something and sort of push it toward Ria with this high pitched sound (that is immitation of how Ria sounds saying the word). Ria will immediately understand what she wants and push her ______(whatever thing) toward Kat's thing and they will both say, "CHEERS!" That's a little funny, perhaps, but I think the funniest part is WHAT they do it with! This morning it was cheese crackers! Yeah, I know, but seriously, that's what they did "cheers" with!
The other bit of the title is something that happened to me yesterday at the grocery store. Now, I've already told Jess and he was completely nonchalant and unperterbed by it. So, don't worry! He already knows. :) So, I was just grocery shopping when I almost stumbled upon this handsome fella who was restocking shelves in Publix. Okay, so I didn't almost stumble on him, but that would have been funny, right? heehee
Anyway, he was really friendly in the way that you can or canNOT be when someone briefly passes by. I was having THE darndest time finding Bulgur. I mean, I searched the entire store. I would have gone over it once more without any help, but then I thought of that nice guy who worked there. You know, I really prefer not to ask workers for help because it can be annoying for them and because I like to feel like I can do it on my own. Anyway, he was right where he was when I first saw him - and honestly I ended up on his row looking for the stuff anyway. So, I asked him if he knew what Bulgur was and where it might be. He didn't know what it was, but he totally stopped doing his work and told me he would go find out. How nice, right?! That's not the "fun" part, though. So, I was waiting and watched him disappear around the corner with someone else. I figured he would find out where it was and tell me. Well, when I saw him next he was comming down "his" row with a box in his hand. He held it up and asked if that's the stuff I was looking for. It was, of course. How NICE! Right? (Still not the "fun" part, yet.)
So, he brought it to me. And here I must interject that the description of this guy. So, he's probably about Jessie's height, a little bit more buff, with short hair just like Jess's (but this guy's is black), and REALLY bright eyes... like they seemed to be shining they were so very bright. So, he's got the box and he walked to me from the opposite end of the row. And he kept walking until he was right next to me. Now this might not be such a big deal, in some ways, but he was WAY "too" close and looking at me really piercingly. He could be the kind of person who doesn't have the same personal space boundaries that EVERY other American does AND he could be the kind of person that doesn't have the same requirements of looking away from the person he's talking to that EVERY other American does... but I'm pretty sure he was actually FLIRTING with me based on how he's spoken to me the first time, before he went to get the food, and then again when he gave it to me. Anyway... why all the fuss from me? Well, if you don't recall how I've looked for the past few years... THAT'S WHY! Guys haven't flirted with me in YEARS! It was really pleasant and I felt a bit more confidence in my appearance than I've felt in a while. It was just really nice. I also want to add here that I did, in no way, encourage the behavior I perceived to be flirting. I was simply talking to a guy the way I talk to people. So, it was only one-sided flirting that I've been describing. :)
Honestly, I WAS sort of hoping for a little more of a reaction from Jess. He DOES have a definite jealous streak, but I'm really not sure how to get at it! hahaha Not that I should want to, right? But the only times he's shown how jealous he can be is when I'm not doing a darn thing. Like this one time we were on the interstate (last summer) and my dress was hiked up because I was super hot and trying to cool off. He sort of pulled it down gently a little. I was like, "Uhhhh, I'm HOT!" And he said, "Well, I don't want those truck driver's lookin at MY wife's legs!" heeheehee How funny, right? Anyway, it's strange things like THAT that gets Jess showing his jealous streak. Not me tellin him some guy at the grocery store flirted with me. *sigh* ahwell.
Funny, though, right? ^_^
Monday, April 14, 2008
Let me see... Ria pulled a MAJOR tantrum on Saturday at the grocery store. This was a first for me, believe it or not. The only reason it happened at all is because Jess was along and he allowed MUCH more than I ever would have, so she decided to keep pushing. It was really horrible. And the fact that it happened during time when Jess was with us was, somehow, much worse than the stuff I face on my own. I believe I feel this way because I want the girls to treasure their time with Jess and vice versa. So I sort of protect it. Well, Jess didn't have very good feelings about his morning home on Saturday and that makes me feel worse about the temper tantrum. HOWEVER... it IS really important that these things happen when he IS around because otherwise he might think I'm exhaggerating. Right? ahwell....
Saturday night it was Kat's turn. Ria was much better for the afternoon/evening. Especially after Jess left. I don't even remember what happened, but it wasn't an extreme case of angry stuff from Kat... just blowing up at me for some small thing, I'm sure. But the fact remains that they are TOTALLY taking turns!!!
Sunday morning, another tantrum from Ria. This one was with me; about clothes! *sigh* We almost didn't go to church and that's actually what knocked her out of her bad mood funk. Ria LOVES Sunbeams and Primary. I cannot actually imagine her being okay with NOT going to church. She has even missed going to Sacrament meeting the one Sunday she and Daddy went for Primary when I was sick with Kat!
Yes, you guessed it. Kat threw some sort of hissy fit that evening. Funny how Ria throws them when Jess IS around (of course, not exclusively) and Kat throws them when he ISN'T! hehehe I guess Kat's still in the TOTAL adoration of Daddy phase. ^_^
So, totally changing topics:
I have been trying to up load a bunch of pictures that I've made mention of to my Mom and in previous posts. But when I tried THREE times on Friday the computer froze up EVERY time! It was terribly upsetting because when I upload pictures I'm usually working two or three other windows for my business. I had to shut down and restart the computer. It was really upsetting. I didn't even try on Saturday because I had WAY to much to do before Sunday! I had to finish up my quarterly analysis for Primary attendance, prepare the birthday envelopes and crowns for this next quarter, make sure I had the monthly news about no-attendance children for my Primary President, and prepare the spotlight stuff. Plus, I was trying to work on my business, mostly requiring reading at this point. I didn't really do much of any studio time last week; I was almost exclusively on the computer. I think I needed the break from producing. This morning I had some studio time and I'm REALLY pleased with the pieces I completed. They will not be for sale in my shop, but I'll show yall what I came up with. :)
Anyway, back to the pictures. I'll try to do some of that today. But I'm not promising anything!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
We went to Story Time at our local library. It's lovely. Our librarian read a couple/few short stories, then they have a craft, and finish with a snack. I'm the most regularly attending (missed 2 or 3 weeks when we were ill with the cold/flu bug we had back in February, I think it was) so we are usually the last to leave because I help put everything away. I adore my librarian. She has used me to re-learn how to crochet and I LOVE it! I love teaching, so it's wonderful to be used that way!!! Anyway...
So, as per our usual, we went to the little playground just behind the library after everything was done in there. Kat was having a good time swinging. I think that is her VERY favorite thing to do at the playground. She sits there for AGES!!! That's all fine and good except that today Daddy was going to be home an hour early because he had to go to the Club an hour early. His boss asked him to come in, set up the Pizza Station, and then go upstairs to work the sushi bar alone. No problem for Jessie, he's the most capeable Chef I know!!! :) So, his change in schedule meant that we had to head home early so I could make our family lunch and have it ready for the earlier time. Oh, dear... WHAT a problem!!!
When Kat has had enough time at the playground and has to leave, she usually has a little bit of a fit because she just has to... express herself. Well, today it was revealed how she acts when she has NOT had enough time at the playground. She threw a screaming, crying, trying-to-throw -herself-out-of-the-stroller-the-whole-way-home fit! It was highly stressful for me and she was certainly not pleased at all. Thankfully Ria sort of became an angel and, except for getting too close to one corner!, she was very good for the whole 2 blocks home. But ya know how it seems like horrible experiences, though they may last only 30 seconds, seem to last a lifetime!!??? Well, that was certainly my experience this morning!
Kat took a nap.
Around 3pm my friend Philine called to see if I was still up to meet at the beach to hang out. I totally was, if for no other reason than I rarely get to see this friend. She lives in Atlanta full-time and comes into town once a month, when the weather is warm. So, the girls and I got ready and we went.
It was LOVELY! Kat and Ria played in the sand AND in the water!!!! The latter is a HUGE development for Ria. This is literally THE first time she's willingly gone in the water at the beach!!!!! Believe it or not, Kat was actually ready to head out before Ria or Genevieve (Philine's daughter) showed any need for it. Kat was tired out! Philine invited us over and I totally wanted to spend more time with her, so we went. Ria and Genevieve played together so nicely!!! And Kat was really quite good given the circumstances. Philine fed us a wonderful, light dinner of quesedillas, olives, cheese, grapes, apples, crackers, guacamole, and a veggie/dip plate. It was wonderful to spend time with her again. We hadn't been able to get together the last two times she was in town, so it was over 6 months since we last spent time together! Once again, Kat was ready to depart before Ria or Genevieve seemed finished. This is good, though, because the other two girls will be happy to spend more time together at the end of May, when Philine returns!
Oh, just as an additional note about the riot Kat and I went through this morning.... So, many of you know I make special crochet gifts for my children before they are ever born. I made Ria an Eyeore doll as well as a sort of layette set. I made almost the same set for Kat, but made her a Winnie The Pooh Bear. (These are not little toys, they are about TWICE the size of my babies... and I don't birth small babes!) Anyway... Kat has been growing an attachment with her special bear. Well, she was in her bed after we got home and eventually fell asleep. When I checked on her she was asleep on her right side with the Bear pulled up behind her and sort of nuzzling her! It's SOOOoooo sweet! I DID get pictures, but I'm way too tired to get them up tonight. I'll TRY to do that tomorrow.
Have a GOOD day/afternoon/night!