Monday, October 25, 2010

Making A Few Changes Around Here

I'm changing things up around here a bit. They're mostly blog related changes. But there are some life in general type changes as well.

This blog began it's life as solely a digiscrap blog. A place where I could post all my digital scrapbook pages and such. Over time, it has evolved into being my everything blog.

I still digiscrap, but not as obsessively as I did when I started this blog. I haven't made a template in ages. Honestly, I haven't really wanted to. It's easy to turn one of my pages into a template (Photoshop is seriously The Awesome). It really doesn't take much time. But it does take some time. Time that I'm not keen on spending right now.

Since IkeaGoddess stopped posting her freebies list, my downloads literally cut in half. As such, I don't feel that motivated to make them. If there's a particular LO you really want a template of, let me know and I'll throw it together. But generally speaking, the whole template making is on hold indefinitely. I may randomly make one; who knows. Maybe for a CT blog train or something.

As such, the blog title is no longer that relevant. I post about so many things now. I don't know how to change the name and keep my archives (LoLo, help me out here?). I haven't looked into it at all yet. I have no idea what I'd change the name to if I did anyway. I'm welcome to suggestions.

If you have a suggestion, please comment. But if your suggestion involves our last name or any other kind of personal info, please email or Facebook me. If you put it in a comment, I won't publish it. I'm sure you understand. Just sayin'.

In other bloggy news, I'm loving this whole write-about-whatever-I-want thing. I used to do that on livejournal all the time. Here, I've mostly stuck to digiscrapping, kid updates, and Project 365 pics. I'm broadening my blog scope. There's more to me (and my family) than that. This is becoming more and more our family blog. And my introspective-rambling-about-whatever's-on-my-mind blog. I like it that way.

I will write about religious things. I hope you don't mind, but...well, it is my blog. I can write about whatever I want. Ish. Obviously I'm not going to publicly rant about people close to me ticking me off.

Ok so that's not entirely true; I just did that in the previous post. You get the idea.

But I will write about some spiritual things. If you don't want to read it, you don't have to. It's entirely up to you. I'm just throwing that fact out there.

I'll likely have some mommy soap box posts as well. Every mom has them, after all. Mine include breastfeeding and car seat safety. Again, read what you want.

If you get offended by something I write on my own's kinda your own fault. Not to be rude, but if you choose to read it and then choose to be offended by it, you are responsible for those choices. I try to write in a non-offensive nice way, but I can't possibly please everyone.

Politics, on the other hand, I will not touch here. No way. Not gonna open that can of worms. All politicians are worms anyway...

I think that just about covers the blog related changes. I'm basically giving myself the freedom to write whatever I want. I had that before, but I felt obligated to write updates on my kids every single time. Hence the ridiculously long posts and the large time gaps between posts. My hope is to post more frequently and not have every post be a super long novel that nobody but me wants to read. I tend to write a lot, so that length thing? It's definitely an issue. Hopefully I don't bore everyone.

At least I have a firm grip on the language, right? I should since, you know, that's what my degree is in ;)

As for other changes, John has made a few school related changes. Nothing super drastic like switching schools or a major change (I'd totally freak out if that happened - but I know it won't). No, we're just going to be here a semester longer than previously anticipated. He planned to graduate in December 2011, but now it will be April 2012. But it's really not that big of a deal since we were planning to stay here until then anyway. The grad school we reeeeaally want to go to starts in May and there's not much point in moving until we know for sure if we're in or not.

I'm not really a fan of being here another winter, but since we weren't planning to move until April/Mayish 2012 anyway, it works out ok. This will actually be easier for us as a family. It's less homework stress on John to stretch that last bit of school out. It gives him a chance to retake statistics to get a better grasp of it (he must be a glutton for punishment). And it means we'll get financial aid for one more semester.

In other school news, John really likes his auditing class. A lot. It's funny; when he first started his accounting major, he thought he'd go into taxes.

And then he took that first tax class.

Definitely not. The stress, the frustration, the ever-changing tax thanks. He even thought of changing his major back to business. He didn't, and now he's glad he stuck with accounting. But he didn't know what he wanted to do with it.

Every time he said that, I suggested auditing. He hadn't taken the class yet, so he didn't know that much about what it was like. All the same, he had a lot of hesitations based on what he'd heard about it. Travel, liability, etc. But now that he's in the class, he loves it. He thinks that's what he wants to do now.

I'm so happy for him. I'm glad he's found something in his major he enjoys enough to as a career. It's comforting for him to have more direction than simply getting the degree and going to grad school.

Next step? Find an internship, hopefully for this summer. And since he's leaning towards auditing, it won't matter that it's not during tax season. We don't want to move for an internship. With 2 small children that would be more hassle than it's worth. So our options are local, or...back home. If we did the back home route, we'd keep our apartment here and simply hang out in my parents' basement for 4 months (or however long the internship is for). Uh...I have yet to mention that idea to them. And they read this blog. So, uh, consider yourself informed?

And yes, Mom, Dad, I know you want pictures. I will post them. I promise. Hopefully tomorrow?'t get too mad if I don't follow through. Because...well, let's be honest here. I probably won't ;)

That pretty much covers all the changes around here. I'm improving on my scripture reading. I'm trying to exercise more. I want to look into exercise videos. Something effective that I can do at home with my kids running/crawling around at my feet. Any recommendations? Now that the weather is turning cold and yucky I won't go on walks as much.

I'm dreading winter. Absolutely dreading it. I hate how cold it is here. I get so sick of snow after 5 months of it. We've had such a wonderful summer and fall. I'm not emotionally ready for the cold. I know it's coming soon. Too soon. So, can we please postpone it a little longer? Please?

My attitude about this place has changed. When I graduated from college 5.5 years ago, I swore I'd never live here again. Apparently Someone had something else in mind. At first, I mostly laughed and scoffed at the irony. I still do. But now? I actually like it here. Much more than I realized I do. It came on gradually. Do I want to spend my life here? Heck no. But it's a good place to be for the time being. I'll miss it when we do eventually leave.

I'm sure much of my attitude change has to do with the fact that I have a car. And that I actually like all my roommates. I'm pretty sure they like me, too ;) Plus, when I was a student, I only spent fall and winter here...which basically translates into normal winter and butt-freezing-cold winter. Being here in the summer has definitely helped my attitude. All the family-friendly activities have, too. Especially now that I have kids.

All the same, we still want to live back home. That's not changing. Ever. We want to be where our family is. We both spent most of our lives there. It's home to us.

I'm trying to balance things. Some things I'm doing great on. Others...not so much. Yummy planned out meals? Doing great. Cleaning? Eh...not so much. It's hard to get both the motivation and the energy to clean at the same. I look at the mess, get discouraged, and end up doing something else entirely.

But hey, Hyrum's Halloween costume turned out super cute and Emma's dollhouse is almost done.

Now if I could somehow magically get (and keep) my house clean...where's Mary Poppins when I need her? I think homes should come with a self-cleaning button. Wouldn't that be nice? It's probably on the money tree. The ever-elusive money tree. I wish I had a backyard to plant it in.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stake Conference

Dear son,

Thank you for ruining what should have been a wonderful experience. You have made today much more difficult than necessary.

The day started out well; I got a good night's sleep, a lovely shower, and I even blow dried and straightened my hair. I almost never do that nowadays. I put on one of my favorite, most flattering shirts and everything.

Of course, I didn't get to wear it because you spit up all over me. Just as we were about to walk out the door. I was already running late and I had to change my clothes. Thank you for making me even later.

But that's not even the worst of it.

No, you were Mr. Grumpy. The whole time. Daddy and Emma stayed home (she has a nasty cough), so it was just you and me. On the stand, with the rest of the choir.

I took you to the mother's room after the first choral number. You were tired and needed to nurse to sleep. You fell asleep...for about 10 minutes. You seemed fine after I bounced you for awhile, so I attempted to go back up on the stand with you. I needed to be up there eventually for the closing number anyway.

Big. Mistake.

You were sooooo grumpy. You cried, squirmed, and fought me like crazy. You flat out refused your pacifier. You turned away any time I tried to put it in your mouth. You didn't want to be on the floor. You weren't content to simply be held. You wanted to nurse to sleep again. Not for hunger's sake, but because you were exhausted.

I can't exactly do that on the stand. A little inappropriate, don't you think?

But I couldn't leave, either. I knew our choral number was coming up soon. And as one of the choir directors, I was part of a solo group. They'd have been fine without me, but...I really wanted to be a part of it. I love the song we sang for closing. I even blogged about it last week. I didn't want to miss it because my son was being a turd.

In your defense, I understand that you were tired. You normally nap at that time of day. If we were home, I'd have nursed you to sleep - despite the fact that I'd just fed you. If I were anywhere else in the congregation, we'd have hung out in the mother's room and done the same.

But we weren't. We were on the stand. Waiting for the final choral number. I couldn't very well walk out in the middle of the stake president's talk.

Instead, we hid on the back of the stand next to the sacrament storage cabinets. Where you cried and grumped some more. Your grumpiness made me grumpy, too. I got so frustrated and angry with you.

I'm sure the whole stake now thinks I'm the worst mother ever.

No, I didn't hit you or anything like that. I would never allow myself to do that.

But I'm sure my anger and frustration was evident for all to see. Hardly the type of attention I want.

And you made me cry. In front of the entire stake. I turned and hid so it wasn't so obvious, but I'm sure everyone could tell anyway.

Especially since my mascara ran. I still have ugly black mascara marks all over.

Way to undo any cuteness I might have achieved by doing my hair and dressing nicely. It was bad enough that you ruined my choice outfit for the day before we even left. But making Mommy cry in front of the whole stake? Bad form, son. Bad form.

I really wish I'd left you home.

Thankfully, I finally got you to fall asleep. You slept through the final choral number. Thank goodness.

Unfortunately, you didn't sleep much beyond that. Another baby joined her mom after. She sat next to us, made some noise, and woke you up.

At least you weren't as grumpy.

You'd probably have woken up when I put you in the car seat anyway. So I guess it works out.

You're still being grumpy now. You still need that nap. I can hear you crying at Daddy in the other room. And I know you want me to nurse you...and I really don't want to right now. I kind of need a break from you.

But I know I will anyway. Even though I really don't want to be around you at all right now.

But you'd better take your dang nap when I do, or you're spending the rest of the day with Daddy.

Is it horrible to say I don't really like you at the moment?

I still love you...but you're not being very likable right now.

I'm not being very likable right now, either.'s kinda your fault.

A few people said things like, "aw, poor baby; it's so hard for them to have church during naptime."

And while that's true, what I needed to hear was, "poor mommy; it's so hard when they're tired and grumpy like that."

Which I didn't hear until after I got home. From your dad, who is thankfully wonderfully understanding.

I don't hear you crying anymore. I hope you're asleep. You need it, and I need it.

I was able to catch some of stake conference between your cries. Most of what I heard was while in the mother's room and after you fell asleep. But what I did hear, I enjoyed.

I just wish you let me hear more of it. I didn't feel as uplifted as I really needed to. It's kind of hard to be spiritual with a baby screaming in my ear.

But at least I got something out of it.

Next time,'re hanging out with Daddy. Mommy needs a break.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Patch and More

I'm tired and I need to go to bed. But first, I want to tell you about our day. It was awesome.

First, we got to meet Brandon Mull, author of the Fablehaven series. We love his books. I someday hope to be able to write stories that well. Someday. Always in that elusive someday.

If you haven't read his books, you need to. Just sayin'. They're on the same level of awesomeness as Harry Potter.

He's really nice. And hilarious. And so totally down to earth.

And he signed all our books :D Plus a free bookmark and poster. Awesome.

Then, we went to the pumpkin patch. Emma and I went on a little train ride, then we all went through a kid-size straw maze.

Random sidenote: their website says they have a corn maze,'s made of little bales of straw. Maybe they mean the corn stalks sticking out of the straw or something. Anyway, just a nerdy observation.

We looked at pumpkins and decided it was most cost-effective to just buy one medium sized pumpkin for the whole family to share. I asked Emma what she wants to put on it, and she said "a kitty." We let Emma pick out 2 little pumpkins: one for her and one for Hyrum.

And of course, we took pictures. Lots of pictures. I haven't gone through them yet or anything, so...sorry, you'll have to wait a bit. I'll post some on Facebook soon. But not tonight.

We hit up Taco Bell on the way back, then went back up to campus to listen to Brandon Mull speak for an hour. So cool. I love how he tied spiritual things to his writing and everything. It was awesome. Sorry, my brain is only running on partial power at the moment and therefore can't adequately describe it.

Meaning, I'm going to be a lazy cop-out and not even try.

Then, to top off an already awesome day, we came home to 2 huge packages from my mom. Seriously, this is one grandma who goes waaaay overboard. Awesome. My kids are spoiled. Lots of cute clothes and toys for birthdays and Christmas.

And yes, I have started my Christmas shopping. Actually, I'm probably mostly done with it already.

You probably think I'm crazy.

I actually have good reason to start so early. Our holiday season is chock full of birthdays, holidays, anniversary, etc. Just in our immediate little family, we have:

Nov: 25: Thanksgiving
Nov 27: Emma's birthday (turning 3!)
Dec 5: John's birthday
Dec 21: our anniversary (almost 4 years!)
Dec 25: Christmas
Jan 1: New Year's
Jan 4: Hyrum's birthday (turning 1!)

See what I mean? I have to start early, both for the sake of my budget and my sanity.

Thank goodness my birthday is in August.

Speaking of Christmas, we're staying here again this year. Last year, I was due right after Christmas, so obviously traveling wasn't an option.

I still get a kick over both kids coming on their due dates. Seriously amazing.

This year, we'd love to go home,'s way too expensive to fly. We're talking $300/person over age 2. That's $900. That we don't have. That we can't feasibly ask our families to cover. And non-stop is no longer an option. Connection flights with 2 kids? LAME. Too much money, too much hassle. And driving 800 miles on snowy passes is something we're not willing to do for safety reasons. John's work blacked out the entire holiday season as no-vacation-available time anyway, so even attempting the trip would be a moot point.

We're going back to visit in April anyway, so what's another 4 months?

Still...we'd love to see everyone sooner and spend the holidays with the rest of the fam. But it just isn't an option this time. Someday we'll live closer.

Anyone who really wants to see us can come here instead :D

On the plus side, at least this way we'll get a white Christmas.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Some Thoughts and Kid Updates

I'm a late night blogger, apparently. I don't know why. Maybe because I have Restless Brain Syndrome (ok, so I just made that up).

Or maybe because my children and husband are all sleeping peacefully.

Actually, I think it's a combination of those 2 things.

But once again, I have a lot on my mind late at night.

I should be sleeping. I know I'll regret staying up too late when I'm a total zombie in the morning.

But at least I don't have to go anywhere :D I love being a stay at home mom. I get to work in my PJs all day everyday. Seriously, what could be better than that?

That's not what I want to write about tonight, though.

Disclaimer: if you don't want to read goody goody churchy-ness, feel free to skip the next section of this post :)

Many of you may know that I'm a choir director at church. I direct the choir for our ward (congregation). We've been practicing for stake conference (basically, several congregations meeting together), which is next week. Thankfully, I do NOT have to conduct for that! Talk about scary.

We're singing 2 beautiful, inspiring songs. I love both of them. But one in particular touches me. You may (or may not) know it: How Can I Keep From Singing. Gorgeous gorgeous song. I bought a CD with this song on it several years ago, but I didn't know all the words until I had the sheet music in front of me.

You know how it's often hard to catch lyrics on choral pieces. Especially when you're multi-tasking. And most of my music listening occurs while driving or cooking, so obviously most of my attention goes to those tasks.

But this song is beautiful. I've always thought so. But I didn't know just how beautiful until I sang it myself.

And no, that's not a bragging "I'm such a great singer" statement.

Although there's truth to that as well ;)

No, the song itself is beautiful. I'm just an instrument in the orchestra, one of many voices in the choir.

Look it up if you don't know it, because seriously, it's gorgeous. It's about how beautiful the gospel is and how, knowing that, how can you not sing about it. The line that strikes me most is this:

"The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart."

Isn't that gorgeous? I love the imagery. Love love love it. And it's followed by:

"A fountain ever springing
All things are mine
Since I am His
How can I keep from singing?"

Seriously, this gives me chills. I can't adequately describe how much I love this, how much it touches me. I won't even try. I couldn't do it justice. But I love it. It's so true.

And I know all of us need that peace, all of us need a fresh heart that only His peace can give.

Something else struck me during the stake choir rehearsal today (er, yesterday now). While we went over the men's verse, I watched Emma climb all over the organ bench.

I realized her birthday is next month. Intellectually, I've known that for awhile. I've started on her birthday gifts and everything. But today, it really hit me.

My little girl is almost 3. 3!

And I got emotional. I started tearing up, mid-rehearsal. And it wasn't even a part that I sing in, so I couldn't claim the music caused it or anything.

My baby is nearly 3 years old. My tiny, 6 lbs 11 oz baby. The teeny tiny girl who wore newborn clothes for 3 months, who has spent most of her life below the 5th percentile for weight.

Heck, she still wears some 18 month clothes. And her baby brother is now in 12 month sleepers...

It's strange to think it's been almost 3 years since she officially joined our family. It goes so fast.

And yet, I can't imagine life without her.

I think of her as she is now. It's strange to look back at pictures of her as a baby. I know she was a baby, and she was a dang cute baby (and no I'm not at all biased), but I don't really think of her as a baby. It's hard to remember her that way. I think it's because I spend all day every day with her and have watched her gradual growth and development.

I'm glad I've taken so many pictures and written down milestones and such. Otherwise, I'm not sure I'd be able to fully remember it all.

I'm continually amazed by the things she learns. She's such a smarty. She's learning her letters and their sounds. She recognizes many of them. I think she'll be full on reading by the time she's 4. At the rate she's going, I'm sure she will be. She's a smart kid.

I love that she says every kid is her friend. When she sees or hears other kids, she says, "oh it's my friend!" I love that. What a great attitude to have. I want to be more like that.

She said the cutest thing today. She was talking about her friend who's moving this week. We were going to babysit the other day so her parents could go to the temple, but it didn't work out. I told Emma we might have her over while her parents pack up and clean. She replied, "they go to the temple, to get married!" She was really excited about it. I love that she already equates marriage with the temple.

It means I'm doing something right.

Not everything, by any stretch of the imagination.

But definitely something.

She's so totally ready for the dollhouse I'm making. She likes to make people with blocks and play with them. Today, she made Emma, Hyrum, and "her friend" and they played on some sort of block playground.

I love how creative she is. She "colors" (draws) all the time. Her drawings are becoming more and more recognizable as actual objects. She's getting pretty good at drawing faces and people.

It's now 2:30 in the morning...and my son is awake. I just fed him, but he wouldn't nurse back to sleep. He's wide awake. Looks like he's going to be my little blogging buddy for a bit.

It's his turn for an update now anyway.

Hyrum is learning so many things now. He can for real crawl a bit. He prefers to army crawl. He's a little torpedo on his tummy. He'll get in real crawling position on his hands and knees, start going a little, lose his balance, and continue on his tummy.

He's cruised a little bit. He's so efficient at army crawling that other modes of mobility aren't as enticing. He's really good at pulling to stand now.

Hyrum now says mama!! I love love love it. Cutest thing ever. I try to get him to say dada, but he won't have it. Poor John. He's such a mama's boy. He does love his daddy, too. Sometimes I swear he says Emma, but her name is so easy to say that I can't be sure. I'd like to think he says it. I wouldn't be too surprised if he does. He just adores his big sister.

He waves! It's so cute! And he points. He's mastered the pincer grasp as well. He's all about the self-feeding...especially when he sees us eating. Or when it comes to forbidden non-food objects. He's like a human vacuum. I really need to pick up Emma's droppings (ok, that sounds sooo gross) after meals before he gets to them.

Gyah, and now Emma's up, too. Hopefully this means they'll sleep in for me? Here's hoping. Guess we'll have to call it a "night" for now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Great Fall Day and Digiscrap Pages

I love fall. I love the brightly colored leaves, the cool crisp air, Halloween, Thanksgiving, all the comforting fall foods. It's invigorating. I love it.

I try to ignore the fact that it hails 5 months of snow.

We had a great fall day today. It was such a gorgeous fall day out. Just the perfect amount of crispiness in the air.

First, the kids and I walked over to our favorite consignment store. Hyrum just had a growth spurt and his toe poked a hole in my favorite 6-9 month sleeper. I only had 3 sleepers in the next size up. Or should I say have, because the consignment store didn't have any either? But I did find lots of other cute clothes for the kids, including a super cute pair of shoes for Emma and shirt that says, "who needs Santa when I have Grandma?"

And Emma found the coolest thing of all. My mini bargain hunter. She's the one who found the kid digital camera for $2 back in March. It's in our living room at the moment.

This time, she found 3 LeapFrog froggies. She loves frogs. And we're hoarding a couple of the library's LeapFrog DVDs (Letter Factory and Storybook Factory). Don't worry, we'll turn them in soon. I don't think I can renew them again; I've had them for almost 3 weeks now. I want to buy them eventually (birthday/Christmas most likely) because Emma is totally getting the whole letters and sounds thing down because of the Letter Factory.

Oo, and I just saw on Amazon that it's under $8. Sweet. Hm, might do some 'add to cart'-ing very soon...

Anyway, I digress. She loves the characters. She quotes the DVDs. And she's learning from them. At first, I thought it was just the 3 frog figurines. But no; they come with an awesome bus that teaches the letters and the sounds they make just like the DVD. It even has the super-catchy song they sing for each letter. I get it stuck in my head all the time.

So you know we had to buy it. And it was only $4!!! John and I determined that the full retail would be around $15-20 ish. And we got it for $4. So cool. The frogs are sleeping with Emma tonight. I just love finding great things for great prices!

Then, we had some grocery shopping to do. Emma and I shared a ham sandwich from the deli while Hyrum scarfed down 2 jars of baby food. That boy loves to eat.

After some creative squishing of consignment purchases and groceries under my double stroller, we walked home. (Sidenote: have I told you how much I looooove my double stroller? Seriously, LOOOVE it. I love that the large basket can hold all my groceries.)

Once I got the groceries put away (or at least the perishables anyway) and the kids situated, I made a super yummy chicken chili for dinner. Yuuuuum.

Not to brag (ok, maybe to brag a little), I make the best chili ever. In my oh-so-humble opinion.

After dinner, we had a super fun FHE. We collected leaves in a bag. The plan is to take fall pictures of the kids with leaves in the background. With how windy it is here, you never know when they'll disappear. So we made our own little stash for the hopefully soon photo session. Maybe I'll try to take some tomorrow.

But we didn't just collect the leaves. We had a leaf fight.

And I started it.

Big surprise, huh?

No, not at all. Of course I instigated it. I'm the troublemaker.

But it was soooo fun. We all laughed and had a total blast. Then we went in for hot chocolate and cookies.

Isn't that an awesome way to end a day?

But wait, there's more.

I got an unexpected phone call tonight. My name was selected from a drawing to win a free dinner for 8!! I think it's a marketing ploy, but hey, free is free. And free food from a yummy local restaurant? I'm certainly not going to complain. Now I need to decide who to invite...and find a babysitter.

I think I'll go to bed soon. But first I want to share some recent pages I scrapped.

As always, geniaBeana has kept herself busy making gorgeous kits. I seriously love her stuff. I'm so grateful to be on her CT, even though I'm a sporadic scrapper these days. It's been awhile since I posted anything scrap-related, so I'm sure I neglected to mention she is now exclusively at Scrap Matters. How cool is that? It's a perfect fit IMO.

Anyway, here are the pages. This one is pretty much my current desktop, with some alteration to accommodate the different aspect ratio:
Falling for You
Kit: Late September, geniaBeana Scraps

Bwahaha, this one has a funny story to go with it:
London Dungeon
Kit: Haunted, geniaBeana Scraps

Close up of the journaling:
London Dungeon - text closeup

Explanation: I went to Europe on a school tour just after my junior year of college. My mom freaked that I didn't call her right away when we got there to let her know I was safe. Um, I was almost 23...and with several "adults" (as if I didn't count as an adult...). And placing international calls is a major pain. My calling card was a retarded piece of crap anyway. As soon as we landed in London, we went off sight-seeing as a group. By the time I got back to our hotel, my mom had called them. Like, she literally called the hotel. In London. And she emailed me. And in her email, she threatened to call the International Police if I didn't contact her ASAP. So...yeah. Hence my quirky tombstone journaling :D

My mom is so going to kill me for this.

See? I'm a troublemaker :D

And I'm not the least bit sorry for it.

Now for some Project 365 pages:

July 16-22
Kit: Watermelon Festival, geniaBeana Scraps

July 23-29
Kit: Watermelon Festival, geniaBeana Scraps

July 30 - August 5
Kit: Carefree, geniaBeana Scraps and Captivated Visions

August 6-12
Kit: Carefree, geniaBeana Scraps and Captivated Visions

Now we're closer to being up-to-date on the P365 scrapping. One of these days I'll get caught up...maybe.

Speaking of being behind, I have a bunch of pictures to catch up on as well. But that will have to wait a bit. Selecting pictures, editing, resizing, etc takes awhile. The longer I go between posting pics, the more pics I have, and the longer it takes to go through that process.

If I wasn't such a lazy bum I'd post them every week. Or everyday. But that just isn't practical for me. Well, maybe the week one could be if I put enough effort into it. But I don't. And I don't really see that changing right now. I have more important things to work on.

Aaaanyway, now I'm really rambling. I know, that's really all I do here, other than post pics and such. But anyway.

As always, I have tons to write. But this is plenty long enough for tonight. Pics and kid update coming soon...hopefully. I make no guarantees :D That way, you can't be disappointed when I inevitably get distracte---oooo, shiny!! :D Night all!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Napstrike: Bane of My Existence

Oh yes. The Napstrike. Something I hoped I wouldn't have to deal with for awhile yet.

And yet, here I am. Struggling with it every day.

*sigh* Emma is apparently trying to drop her nap. I am so not ok with this. I'm not sure if she really is trying to drop a nap or if it's some combo of teething that last set of molars, potty training, or the stupid cold we all caught this week.

Whatever the case, she's not ready to give up naps.

I'm not ready for it.

I need the daytime downtime. My sanity needs it. My children need me to have it if they want to survive their childhood.

I'd be more willing to accept this anti-nap state if Emma was happy about it. But she's been cranky, crabby, irritable, overtired, and tantrumy. Oh, she's great when she gets her way. But when I say no, or (heaven forbid) do something for her she wants to do herself, she flips out. Total meltdown.

This wouldn't happen if she got enough sleep. She should be napping now...instead, she's playing in her room.

Bedtime is problematic these days, too. Even when we get her to bed on time, it typically takes at least 2 hours for her to actually fall asleep.

I need at least 2 hours of kid-free time in the evening before I can fall asleep. I need relaxing veg time. Time to blog, read, craft, etc. Time to relax without little ones needing my attention. The way it stands, the earliest I can get to bed is midnight.

The earliest. It's usually later. So now I don't get enough sleep, either. Which makes being a patient mommy all the more challenging. Sleep deprived induced tantrums are the worst. Especially when I don't have the patience to deal with them.

My sanity is on the brink of extinction.

Oh the irony. Emma is asleep...on the floor with a blanket over her head. But since she went down around 3:30, bedtime will be super late. She'll wake up in time for dinner. And then what, try to put her back to bed? I'd like that, but I don't think it would work very well.

I'll probably try it anyway. And get frustrated when it doesn't work.

I'd like to take a nap myself, but Hyrum is wide awake. I know he's tired. I tried to get him to nap, but he's not having it right now.

He'll fall asleep just in time for Emma to wake up. Isn't that how it always works? Perfectly timed so Mom doesn't get a break.

If only John were home so I could pawn kid care off on him for awhile. But he's at work. He should be home soon.

There is no such thing as a day off. Weekends are pretty much non-existent for our family. John has school all day Monday through Friday, work on Saturday, and we're super busy with church stuff on Sunday.

Can I have a break? Please? My sanity needs one. I'm writing this with a baby fussing at my feet. I don't really want to pick him up right now. I want him to sleep so I can sleep. Or at least have some time to myself.

I'm going shopping tonight, sans kids. Not for anything fun or exciting, really. Milk and cheese aren't that interesting. But the time alone? Priceless.

I'm looking forward to it. As horrible as that might sound. And I am anxiously awaiting the moment John opens the door, signaling that I don't have to deal with the kids by myself anymore today.

I am really at my breaking point.

Goodbye, sanity. You were nice while I had you.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Introspective Ramblings

You know you're overdue for a blog post when you start blogging in your mind when you should be sleeping.

I do this all the time.

I started doing it again now. My mind is so full of bloggy thoughts that are just begging to be released into the blogosphere. I know I won't be able to sleep until I get something out there. Whether anyone reads it or not. This blog is more for me anyway.

And so, I'm here. Blogging. At nearly 2 AM.

And despite the fact that I have about a million things to write, I have no idea what I'm going to say.

So I'll ramble. A lot. I usually do, so it's not like it'll be anything new.

First, I want to express gratitude for my happy healthy children. I recently learned about a friend's baby who is going to need extensive medical care shortly after he's born. I can only imagine the stress this family is experiencing. The fear of the unknown, the what-ifs. I can't imagine how hard it is for them.

It makes me all the more grateful for my perfectly healthy little ones. If they weren't asleep right now, I'd hug them. Tightly. And kiss them repeatedly and tell them how much I love them.

They really are my everything.

Sometimes they drive me crazy.

But they are still my everything.

Lately, I've thought a lot about how all I do is talk or write about my children. It's totally natural. They are my life. The majority of my daily conversation revolves around potty training, diapers, meals, time outs, naps, bedtime, and no-Hyrum-don't-eat-that's.

As a parent, it seems all I have to contribute to a conversation regards parenting. Being a mother consumes every moment of my life. It is my life.

Who really wants to hear all the gory details of potty training other than another potty training parent? No wonder people rarely solicit my society when that's all I can talk about.

But I have more to contribute.

I often forget that.

I have hobbies and interests that don't revolve around my children.

I am still an individual and independent woman. I have thoughts and feelings that aren't solely rooted in my motherhood.

I neglect that aspect of myself too often.

It's time to write about me. Not to be selfish or conceited, but to keep things in perspective.

I often feel inadequate, especially around other women. Women who I think are more talented, beautiful, intelligent, charming, organized, kind, loving, spiritual, socially acceptable, etc than I am.

But I have those qualities, too.

I struggle to see the beauty within myself. My husband sees it. He always tells me I'm beautiful.

I say he's delusional.

But in reality, I'm the delusional one. I neglect to see the beauty Heavenly Father has given me.

It hurts my husband when I refute it. I'm sure it hurts Heavenly Father, too.

What an awful thing for me to say. I'm trying to learn to just say thank you. And to mean it and learn to accept it.

No, embrace it, for I know deep down that it's true.

It's a hidden truth, really. Buried deep beneath the layers of scorn and criticism the world throws at me.

I need to pull it to the surface where it belongs. It's not something that can happen overnight. I know that. I've struggled with self esteem issues all my life.

Looking in the mirror doesn't help much, either. I hate the post-baby pouch and inner-city road map of stretch marks. My genetics conspire against me. I don't know if I'll ever get rid of either.

I honestly don't understand how my husband finds that attractive.

But I want to learn.

At least that's a place to start, right?

I do like some things about myself. Some are physical, some are spiritual, some are emotional, some are talents I possess. I need to write about them to keep my perspective in check.

I don't care that it's 2:30 AM. This needs to happen now.

I like my eyes. They're green. Like, really green. They're surrounded by long lashes. I also like my fingernails. They're really strong and I have a natural French manicure.

I am a talented musician. I sing and play the flute. I can plunk out parts on the piano. I feel inadequate as the choir director at church, but I know I can do it. I certainly have the knowledge, despite being a bit rusty. I just need more confidence, which would come if I spent more time preparing in advance.

I am a talented writer. I can elicit emotions through my words. I try to use this gift for good. I can write stories. I've started a few books, but I have a long way to go on all of them. I have an English degree with an emphasis in creative writing. I'm a bit of a grammar nerd; I think editing is fun.

I am creative. I enjoy doing all sorts of crafty things: photography, digital scrapbooking, hair bows, mod podge projects, acrylics, hot glue, rudimentary sewing, and more. I have a lot to learn, but I enjoy it. Of course there are people who can do it better. But I think I do a pretty good job most of the time. One of my current projects is a dollhouse for Emma's birthday next month. I banned myself from the craft store; I could go broke too easily there. Someday I want to take photography and interior design classes. I can't wait to have an actual house to decorate (and paint!) how I choose.

I am a great cook. I make really yummy food. My husband loves this fact; especially when desserts come into play. I don't make super fancy meals that take forever to make or cost an arm and a leg (seriously, who has the time and money for that anyway?). But the meals I make are good. And I like finding quick-to-make recipes. I'm also fairly picky, and Emma has a nut allergy, so I omit or substitute a lot. Most of the recipes I use get altered at some point or another to accommodate my preferences.

I am a good mother. I love my children and they know it. I tell them all the time. And I know they love me. I'm not perfect by any means. Far from it. But my children know they are loved. I teach them the things that matter to me. I teach them about our religion. I teach them about the gospel. I teach them secular learning such as numbers and letters. I teach them what kind of behavior is acceptable and what is not. I teach them to say please and thank you. I try to be a good example. I discipline the way I feel is best for our family. My husband and I are almost always on the same parenting page, for which I am grateful.

I am a good visiting teacher. I know that might sound kind of dorky, but I am. I visit my girls every month. Sometimes it ends up being at the very end of the month, but I still make it happen. My visiting teaching companion is virtually impossible to reach so I've basically been on my own for months. I recently vented to John about how frustrated I get about it, how I feel like I'm doing the work of 2 people by myself. He said that's because I am doing the work of 2 people by myself. But I don't let that be an excuse not to go. I also try to serve my girls in other ways than just a monthly lesson. It's not just an assignment; they're my friends. I'm a visiting teaching supervisor and it makes me sad to know how many girls don't get visited.

I am a good friend. I am loyal and fiercely defensive of my friends. You hurt someone I love, you better watch out.

I am empathic. I feel for others in their joys and tribulations. I have a real soft spot for couples who suffer infertility or the loss of a child. I have never experienced either firsthand. I hope that I never do. My heart aches for those families.

When I clean, I'm good at it. LOL. I lack the consistency part on that one. I'm working on it.

I'm good at organizing things. Living in a small 2 bedroom apartment with 2 kids means I have to get creative with space. Ok, so I cheated and got a storage unit. But it's a small one and I keep things I don't use often in it, like Christmas decor and clothes the kids grew out of. And the dang treadmill that sat in my living room for 3 years. When we prepare for trips, I'm the mastermind behind packing the bags and the car. My little kitchen is well organized. I wish it was bigger and that the cabinets weren't so weirdly designed, but I did the best I could with the small space available.

And most importantly, I know who I really am. I know who I can become. I have a strong testimony of the gospel. And since I have that, everything else will fall into place. I just need to have the faith to know that and act on it.

I'm not perfect.

I know I never will be on my own.

And that's ok. I know where to find help. All I need to do is ask.