1.30.2008

girlfriend in a coma

I made a new friend today- first official play date together at her house. Being it was at her house this took off any stress I could possibly have.

I like this part- the first time hanging out. It's easy to talk because you have everything to learn about each other. And all you have to do is ask basic questions. Anything from hobbies, to fav t.v. shows, to daily kid routines, to movies, to pre-baby life adventures, to prior home locations, to labor stories. It's normally easy to leave these kinds of encounters wondering if it went alright cos it seems you would have to pretty much be a loser for someone to not like you over the course of just a couple of hours.

But I suppose it's possible. And only time can tell. A second play date would be an good measure of this.

The boys played well, no fighting or time outs and I didn't even have to leave early in a huff with a screaming toddler under my arms as a move of consequence. Fun had by all!

Then I get home and start to make dinner and wonder more about the things we talked about. If I should have talk about X a little less and Y a little more. If she noticed I forgot to put make-up on today. If she cared. Did she have make-up on? Did she get my sarcasm? Is she overthinking this first encounter too much, as well?

Sometimes I leave wishing I could have left a brochure of who I am.

Are you OCD or Type A personality? If so, you might not like me!

I am often late, quite forgetful, and will always miss your birthday. But not on purpose, some of the people I like best get the least of my memory. I am a Nervous Nelly as a mom and it's the only way I know how to be. This will drive you insane. I obsess about things that worry me and just need you to listen sometimes, then I can bounce back and be fun again. I am very loyal and the things you feel might be the easiest to judge you on, I hardly notice. I am eager to learn from your strengths and offer sincere compliments. I am good about giving you my honest advice and opinion when you ask, even if it's not what you want to hear. But it's okay, cos I worked in HR so I know how to say stuff like that in a decent way much of the time. I will likely find your children easy to love and play with, especially if they are fast friends with mine. When I crave cookies or brownies with gluten, I make a batch and need to unload half of them, so those rare occasions you get the load if you live close. I will make a special drive just to give them to you fresh. New friend, I almost always believe you too quickly and trust you too quickly. Sometimes it's a fault of mine. Sometimes it's what draws you to me. Or drives you away.

At what point will each of us offially decide we like each other or not? Are you one I would call on a hard day? Or go to a girly movie with? Or cry on the shoulder of after my son's surgery? Or laugh with me when I make a fool of myself? I don't expect you to be all of them.

It is always fun to see how human relationships happen.

1.29.2008

see kai run

If i could design shoes for children, this is pretty much what it would look like. For the first time, I felt a GIANT urge to purchase girl shoes for no good reason at all. Many, many perfect options for boys as well. I can't wait for the boys to outgrow their current shoe size so I can pick their own!

Not only do I love the color and fabric and design, but the plethora of shoe options using velcro. I believe I may be doing velco for life with my kids, I love it so.



They also have another company called eleven for bigger shoe sizes.

1.27.2008

We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet

So the Prophet died. Tonight. Not that long ago this evening. And it feels sort of strange. Not panic, not necessarily teary-eyed, but sorrowful. I never met the man personally. But I know him to have been true. Benevolent. Inspired. Led by God. Amazing. Powerful yet tender. Funny. Talented. Direct. Charismatic. Humble. Real. Just to name a few.

I wonder what it's like for him to be with his beloved wife again. I wonder if it's anything like that first time you kiss. Or being together again after a long business trip, only times a million.

Having only joined this faith in the late nineties, he is the only Prophet I have listened to and learned about as an actual Prophet living on this earth in the present. I wonder if this feeling is a little tiny bit of what it might feel like when a parent leaves the earth. I know I will be alright and learn from others the things in which I need to learn, but his example felt like home and his words were just what I needed to hear at times.

1.25.2008

can you tell it's a rainy day and we are bored?

Hey Husband,
I know you wonder what we are up to when you go out of town. You better believe it's true, I really do make cookies with gluten and eat them all before you get home.
Zane made this crazy silly chicken hat at preschool today.


Then I tried to implant a microchip into my eye.

That didn't work out so well, so we tried to put it into Evan's chin.

That's about it. Oh, and you better believe we will eat pizza with gluten in it for dinner.

Um.......remember how you showed me how to turn the flash off on my camera? Nope, I still don't recall how to do it.

p.s. when you get back can you replace the 2 lightbulbs in the bathroom?

Cheers!

xoxo

more good beats


Cobra Starship

Hrmmmmm sort of like American Rejects meet Modest Mouse and the look of that Maroon 500 guy. Sounds tasty. Check them out in this video. Although odds are they are old news as I am a bit delayed. Doesn't change the fact that it's good stuff. Here is their bio. They come from different bands, some big and not all ones I adore, however I think this combo of people works really well.


1.24.2008

another one bites the dust

It's been an interesting journey to be married and hear about the couples we have known that have not 'made it' so to speak.

Early in your marriage you sometimes suspect what issues are glaring with some couples and guess what their destiny might be. As if others' marital satisfaction level and length of marriage is a game to place a bet on.

Years pass and you lose contact with some, not with others. You hear rumors and confirmations of some separating, many going to counseling, others officially getting divorced, and a few find their eternal companion actually prefers their own gender.

Each time my heart tears a little, but then heals, at the word of anything less than perfect in the lives of those we know. It's funny, sometimes it's the couples you thought were most connected or looked towards as an example. So when that example of what you thought was ideal falls apart, it leaves you a little shaken.

Not that there is anything to worry about in my personal marriage, I honestly can say we have learned a lot in 8+ years about how to communicate with one another and work well together on peaks and valleys that happen. The way we have learned to work together works for us. So what didn't for the others?

My immediate urge is to call and get the story from both sides of the break-ups. To get to the nitty gritty and discover which moment turned the hard part of their relationship into the slippery slope that ultimately ended the whole thing. Not to be nosey, but to learn from it what NOT to do. But that's not how life works. You can't really assume the same path of challenge will cross your feet.

While discussing recent sad results of a distant relative's marriage, Mike made a good point. When I exclaimed "but they seemed to have done everything right?!"

He said that past tense is the problem. It's making sure you are doing things right in the present tense that is most important. Which we pretty much feel we are, doing things right for what works for us and our marriage. And it will be good to continue to check in with each other on what the definition of that is for each of us as time goes on. True love is hard to find, sometimes you think you have true love and then you catch the early flight home from San Diego and a couple of nude people jump out of your bathroom blindfolded like a [friggin] magic show ready to double team your girlfriend... oh wait, that's not real. But we're waiting for it to be someone else's reality because it's pretty hilarious in that movie.

1.22.2008

face my lot

For some strange reason in my Junior year of High School I decided to switch schools. I wanted to be a tough girl and force myself into something hard and pretend it wouldn't be a challenge. Well, it was. My only sister had moved out of the house. The first boy I ever cared about was about to break up with me. I had distanced myself from all my girlfriends. My running went to crap and I went from earning my Varsity letter at the former school to barely making the new JV team. I essentially felt completely alone.

My step dad worked at this new school and I will never forget the third day. I went to his empty office and sat in a corner wedged myself between it and the door so no one would see me. It was raining outside so there was also a large coat hanging on the door to hide me. I sat there and cried during the entire hour of lunch. I just bawled. I was angry and afraid and lonely and sad. It sucked. But I think it was the therapy we all need from time to time. To stare directly at the fact that we are not immune to bad feelings, so accept it and purge it.

I think the next day I was boldly determined to shove those bad feelings into strength (maybe it was a week or month later...who knows). I used all the output of sad and translated it into fiercely active energy by making friends of all sorts. Not necessarily lots of them, just all sorts. The strange art kid who drew amazingly dark pictures and wore his girlfriend's black lipstick. The socially odd swimmer, Gib, who wore jeans with large holes in them. The girl in History who loved Smashing Pumpkins and got high. Anise, the girl from Germany, who ran cross country with me and loved to listen to Lita Ford. Angie and her friend with the convertible who was an only child and invited me to a fish fry. The boy in Physics who told me I was pretty, but that I would be more pretty if I wore make-up and fixed my hair. The girl who hit him and told him that was rude. It was true, I could have tried harder at looking nicer, and I wanted to kiss him hard for saying it out loud. He was right, although it didn't change me. Not that year. I still didn't really care about that sort of thing at the moment.


The interesting thing about this time in my life was how clearly I heard my teachers. It was like they were the people in my life at that time I found most interesting and gained some direction from. The ones that made the strongest imprint in my High School education because the kids around me didn't really matter as much as usual, they were all equally unknown to me.

The Chemistry teacher walked the track after school in white orthopedic shoes and always told his class you can eat anything you want if you exercise. The driver's ed teacher loved the bumper sticker "Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty" and laughed with me when my musical Christmas socks accidentally went off during a written exam in the middle of October. My English teacher found my writing to be rather mature and creative, this was a first I had heard of it being something of a talent for me. My math teacher was impressed I requested we turn in the homework when giving the class this as an option. I wanted to be able to hold myself accountable for actually doing it and being prepared for the exams. I believe this was the first semester I did not get a report from a single teacher that I displayed 'inappropriate classroom behavior'. I wised up sucker, and worried a little less about making people laugh around me and more on learning.

I completed that semester with remarkable grades, unique acquaintances I wouldn't see again, and headed back to where I started my High School experience. It all looked different and made me all the more eager to head off to college. Not just for my boy crazy grazing, but I genuinely looked forward to the knowledge and insight Professors might deliver.

rainy days make me happy




1.19.2008

things i learned this week

* what a "razz" sound from a baby is

* when visiting preschool with evan during circle time, don't sit next to the little girl who LOVES babies

* it's good advice to do at least 1 load of laundry each day

* taking a deep breath when frustrated about something really helps

* positive energy from the mom in the house spreads quickly and sticks well

* gaaaaaaaaaawsh is feels so good to spend time with friends in person and on the phone

* cookies always make people happy

* shows about finding bones sicks me out

* shows about celebrities coming off drug addiction is interesting, oddly enough

* Sprite never tastes good after eating mint cookies or candy

* Henry Rollins is inspiring

* walkie talkies make irritating sounds

* 3 year olds really can be helpful AND funny

* 3 year olds can really drive you nuts

* it feels amazing to have a clean house and home-cooked meal

* i miss wearing my pink winter jacket

* i miss New York

* i am happy to have a little family to take care of

* evan for certain has his father's hair

* it's time to put some color and photographs on my walls

* i am really lucky, i have a really great life

* when quickly eating a powdered donut, be sure you don't have any on the inside of your notrils when picking up dry cleaning

* it might do me some good to join a book group for reals sometime

* when i have a hard day, all i normally need is an ear and a hug

* although ice cream helps

* passing up computer time to play with the baby is always a good choice

* schedules really do make my life easier

* i miss each and every friend that lives far away

* i am so grateful i never tried drugs, especially coke. it sure must suck to a) never quit or b) come off of it (according to television of course, no first hand reports to share and make this learning official)

1.17.2008

don't do the dew


While there were some subjects in school that were enjoyable and came easily to me, math was never one of them. It's something I knew as a child and grew to accept. Sort of like the way you hate winter, but you can't escape it every year. You just muddle through it and think about spring.
Then those sore subjects slap you in the face when you begin college. There is no hiding it. When I was muddling through statistics I thought I would have a nervous breakdown with every exam. I had never experienced so much anxiety over a class prior and I knew where my grade was heading. Funny, those math classes never seen to have that bell curve to help those of us on the low end. I chose to withdraw from the course so I could retake it the following semester and get a better grade.
The next time the same feelings rushed back just like before; it wasn't any easier. I would spend much time meeting with the teacher, in tutor groups, and racking my brain to figure out what I could do to be better at this course. It seemed to suck the life out of me. The night before the final I crammed in hopes to squeak by with a C, even after several weeks of studying the best way I knew how. I got my first (and last) purchase of No Doz, a 2 liter bottle of Mountain Dew and parked myself into study mode until from 9pm to 5am. I wanted to walk into that exam knowing I had given this class every single minute I could, which I truly did. Probably too many minutes.
Then as I walked out of the class and began to feel like a junkie hopped-up on crack with all the craziness I put my body through, I finally realized loud and clear what I had been doing wrong all along. I remembered the instructor's words that I never followed: Study what you DON'T know, not what you already know how to do.
It didn't make any sense until I thought about the problems in the homework and on the tests I struggled with. Through both times taking the course I had trouble with the same types of questions. While others I mastered and felt proud to accomplish. Naturally, I spent time practicing problems over and over I knew how to solve because it made me feel like I knew what I was doing. I could have spent FAR less time on those and should been working on solving the unknown.
+++

Although I got my pathetic C for the class that would ultimately become an elective credit due to changing my major and I could never drink Mountain Dew again, I am finding the instructor's advice helpful as a mother.

I am working with my willful toddler on preschool activities at home and find myself planning activities I know he will enjoy. Of course he would love to learn about the shape of a circle if we play soccer and decorate cookies. These things are easy for him, it's the drawing of a circle and putting toys in a circle and sitting in circle time that is more of a challenge. But I hesitate to book too many of those into my plans because they will take more work, patience, and not leave me feeling as awesome as the easy would. He needs both, but a generous heap more practice with the things he doesn't know as well.
In addition, there are new things I need to be learning as a mother for each child and every new age we encounter. The fun activities are easy and come naturally, however, the developmental and behavioral information needs a bit of digging on my part to make sure I am directing these boys on the mark for their age.

+++
Stats teacher, I had never hated an instructor more in my entire life. But thanks for the tiny lesson that might help me to be a better mother. And thank The Good Lord above that doesn't include the direct use of differential equations.

1.12.2008

open letter to eric c.

dear eric,

you might not remember me, i sort of hope you don't. i was your date to your senior (my junior) prom. although unoriginal, i sort of liked the way you asked me. i woke up one morning for school and found it rather odd my mom was eating cold pizza for breakfast with her coffee. i asked her when she ordered pizza as i didn't recall seeing it in the fridge the day before. she told me she found it on the doorstep the prior evening and had no idea where it came from. she shrugged her shoulders and continued eating her breakfast. this early morning exchange always makes me smirk when i think of it. i love that my mom must have been like "hrm. a random pizza on my doorstep. how about that. i guess it'll be good in the morning. why don't i put it in the fridge and go to bed and not tell anyone about it". she had no answers to my 43 questions, she just kept slowly eating it as if these things happen every day. pizza, it just falls from the sky. [?]

i thought it curious and hoped it had a hidden message so i could go to prom that year; as it was 'asking' season. sure enough, i saw the word P R O M spelled across the pizza in pepperoni with your name written on the cardboard underneath (somehow my mom didn't see this cryptic message). i knew who you were with a quick memory jog thanks to your photo in the yearbook.

sorry i made the carload during the day trip listen to Depeche Mode's Somebody on repeat for several hours. i never heard the song before then and really liked it. we didn't really talk much, i mostly looked out the window wondering who my Somebody For Life would be and what he was doing at the moment. i only knew for sure it was not you. i don't know why, really, i never gave you a chance. perhaps it was the retainer on your nightstand that grossed me out? i saw it when i trashed/ decorated your room and left a fortune cookie that said "yes i will go to prom with you". that was my sister's idea. she drew the man with the asian hat on the sign we left on your door.

sorry i pulled away when you tried to hold my hand that night. it just means a lot to hold hands and i didn't want to lead you in the wrong direction. sorry i didn't hide the fact i had zero interest in you very well. sorry if we didn't dance, i honestly don't remember. sorry my favorite moment of the whole ordeal was while we were leaving. we passed another ballroom that was playing My Sharona with frat boys and sorority girls. i kicked off my shoes, ran in, and started to dance at 110% full energy in the middle of the dance circle. they just seemed to be a lot more fun to me that evening. i wish i had stayed there a little longer. i think i got their party started while you awkwardly waited by the door, probably wondering why your date had not had that kind of energy with you all night long. or..... perhaps you were embarrassed to be the one taking me home.

the truth is, i imagine you might have wondered why you asked me to go with you to prom. we didn't talk again after that, aside from the ritual of splitting up the photos. i could have been a better date. you also could have chosen more wisely.

1.10.2008

ohsven

What did you learn this past year? What did you change? What could you have done better? What went well? I think these are all important questions to ask before making resolutions and looking ahead.

One of the things I started learning this past year was how to be my son's advocate. To worry less of what others think of him (or myself as a mother) and to focus more on helping him succeed with any challenge that comes his way. To embrace teaching moments any and every time possible. To bring the adults he comes into contact with for the purpose of learning on to our team. To let them know how they can love him and help him channel his high energy; even on a challenging day.

I realized the feeling of this while teaching my son to unload groceries from a shopping cart behind a rather impatient and rude woman. She had inaccurately assumed he moved an item from her pile, when in fact we were purchasing the same item. She addressed him with coldness and shot icicles toward him often. It felt good to focus on the teaching moment I knew was happening with him and less on her negative energy and irritation with a busy boy she may have expected to behave differently. She didn't know my son. She didn't know how far we have come. She had no idea what a successful event that single shopping trip was for him and I, the effort it took to get to that. She and her opinions didn't matter in that moment as I refused to allow my focus to be derailed.
This year I have hopes and goals and ambitions. Within that list glaring priorities are having fun as a family and spreading happiness by example and service. These boys and this man in my life rock and I want to make them all laugh and smile as often as humanly possible.

1.08.2008

my heart is crammed in my cranium


I remember a fellow snowboard enthusiast telling me about the process for teaching children to board. How it's important for their tiny little bodies and muscles to learn to ski for a while, first. Just having my first newborn at the time, this information freaked me out, and not just because many ski outfits are lame. But because I don't know how to ski, how could I possibly send him out into the hands of someone else that will hopefully train him properly to avoid trees, cliffs, and people. My knee-jerk reaction was that he would simply not ski and wait until he is old enough to board so I could teach him.
Then, of course, seconds later I came to my senses and realized I could suck it up and put on a puffy teal coat and learn myself. That gave me some relief, although led me into a list of millions of things I might need to learn in life before allowing him the opportunity to explore. What an exhausting thing that would be and limiting to his life- for him to only learn and explore from my experiences and knowledge.
While me learning to ski and helping teach him along with a professional instructor isn't a bad idea, it's not the only time this thought process and panic attack will happen.

++

This Sunday my son will transition from a nursery class at church into a primary program that will require him to sit and listen and interact instead of playing with toys. This is one of many transitions he will make while growing up as my Mormon son. Transitions and experiences I had not participated in as a child, myself. It's like he is going skiing this Sunday and I haven't even strapped on boots to see how they feel or purchased that snazzy puffy jacket.

While I am feeling relatively short in the preparedness end of it and slightly inadequate, I know I can learn next to him and help him to have a positive and successful learning experience each week. But there will also be weeks he might need to take a walk in the hall with mom again and be removed from the group due to his high energy and stubborn will.

And while I have not gone through the church primary programs as a child learning these gospel principles I know are true from an adult perspective, there are ways to teach it in creative little chunks and bits that I will need to be figuring out from the sidelines to reinforce at home.

The older he gets the more I realize there is much for me to learn. But, also, that I cannot always be there to lay my body down over the puddle for him to avoid getting wet. Some puddles he will figure out how to avoid on his own, from another examples, or even fall into. It's really such a naked feeling to know he would not be better off being the boy in a bubble, despite my urge to go that route.

1.01.2008

i wish the world was flat like the old days

For weeks now I keep repeating to myself (in my mind) "It's time".

It's time. Now. It's time.

It's time to not be alright with the excuse that I just had a baby (4 months isn't 'just').

It's time to remember what I feel about the word "diet". In my mind, it's not a permanent way of life, it's a temporary plan to get to a temporary place. It's not a realistic way of living, the gimmicks to cut or drastically change or starve eating routines. Modify perhaps, but in time and moderation.

It's time to schedule enjoyable lifestyle changes that will make me fit again.

To remember that the numbers on the scale don't mean much. It's where it was before in the digital window, but I am not where I want to be when looking at a reflection in the glass. The lifestyle is the important thing to change when working towards a desired fitness level- that is the important thing for me to focus on. And it's time.

Not because the month starts the year, but because it's gross for me wait to become who I want to be. It's yucky to figure out how to hide what needs to go. And I am all done with that.

So...if I am in a shirt that's not super flattering, know it's to help motivate me to get going on this new schedule-not-diet.

so this is the new year

December pretty much drug me around by the hair and not in a kinky sort of way. It began with a list of ways to teach my son about Christ's birth in creative ways in addition to balancing out the Hallmark aspect of it (the gingerbread house, sugar cookies ,etc). Then life happened and threw me into spin cyle and I realized while I was drowning in the bubbles with soap in my eyes that it's not a very enjoyable month. I believe, this year at least, I was the most stressed of all 12 months. And that sure isn't the best way to teach anything, except how this grinchy mama stole Christmas.

There is no need to list the series of tasks and activities I might have reshuffled or even ommitted, but it's fair to say next year I will have a better plan. Much of it can begin in November or even sooner (kids' photos, cards, gift shopping, gift mailing, clothing shopping (lots of us in the family had winter wardrobe issues).

When I get back home I just might rip that page off the calendar and drop-kick it.

++

As for New Year's resolutions.... I simply hope to never take a road trip with a baby in the car who needs to eat from my body. Tends to turn an 11 hour drive into 16.

okay so maybe some of that was LA traffic, but not much.
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