Monday, October 29, 2012

Party Poopers

Greetings friends!

Please, come and take a journey with me.

Imagine you have been invited to a party.  By the time this party occurs you have been anxiously looking forward to it for months.  Why are you looking forward to it?  Because of the party favors.  Seriously, this thing is going to be intense.  What would be your dream party favor?  For me, it would be... a free piano?  That sounds great.  Or, if you have a hard time thinking of this, imagine that you have been invited to attend Oprah's Favorite Things show.  (Yeah, I know it doesn't exist anymore.)  Now, you come to this party/show with a bunch of other adults knowing that there is enough for everyone.  It isn't some Black Friday sale, this is for everyone who was invited.  The moment arrives, the party favors are laid out/the magic door opens showing you what you have been waiting for.  All you have to do is go and get it.  Exciting, eh?

Now, as the door opens, there are about 3 out of the 50 people attending that run frantically and take as much as they can for themselves.  They get as much as they can, put it in their car, and then frantically run for more.  They push others to the side and are only thinking of themselves and how great it is going to be.  What will they do with all of the extras?  You don't know.  All you know is they are taking from everyone else there because they are selfish.  Are you angry?  Are you disappointed?  Are you sad?  Do you get in and fight at their level, or do you stay with you friend with the broken leg who can't get in there as fast as everyone else?

It sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn't it.  What adults would actually act that way?  I mean, I'm sure there are some.  Would you clap for them?  Would you be disgusted and complain?  What do you do in this kind of situation?

Even though that story seems a bit ludicrous, let's change the setting a little bit.

Maybe you are at a 4th of July parade.  And it's not you that is excited, it is your son or daughter.  You have worked very hard to teach them manners.  When the candy starts flying, they look to you for reassurance.  You tell them, that yes, that piece of candy 18 inches away from them is theirs for the taking.  As a wide smile spreads across their face, and they move to reach for the candy, they are pushed out of the way by other kids.  This exciting time becomes a sad day.  They wanted some candy too.  (And let's be honest, to the average 4 year old candy is as big of a deal as a piano would be to me.)  Instead of being a happy, joyous day, they leave feeling sad, dejected, and possibly physically hurt.  (Some of those kids push hard!)  As a parent (or aunt, or good friend) how do you feel?  What do you want to do about it?

This may seem pretty random, seeing as it is October.  However, Saturday my Ward had a Trunk-or-Treat.  We attended.  I didn't plan on getting much for #1, she's too young for that.  But it was fun to go and watch all of the kids.  Some of those little 4 year old kids were so cute!  There were probably about 40 kids, and about 15 cars.  Totally enough for everyone.  But there ended up not really being enough.  As the kids started going for candy, the older kids ran from car to car.  Their greedy hands excitedly took handfuls out of the offered bowls.  If you were lucky enough to catch one, you could make them put some back, but it was obvious that many of these kids had this down to a science.  Then they made the rounds again.  And again.  While trying to take care of #1, I was not as able to police my bowl of candy as I hoped.  Soon, I realized that most of my candy was gone, and all I had left was a meager offer.  When this happened all of the cute small kids were just making it around for the first time.  I happened to have the right kind of candy for some, but not for others.  How sad I was that I couldn't make all of the kids happy.  Something that bothered me the most was this conversation I heard between a mother and daughter:

Mom:  Darling, how many times have you made it around this circle?
Daughter:  (While holding a bulging bag of candy)  Oh, this is my 3rd or 4th.
Mom:  (Laughing now)  Wow, you are sure busy.  How fun.

WHAT?  Are you encouraging your kid to act this way?

As a Mom, this really troubles me.  What am I supposed to teach my kids?  I know that I should teach them to share, to not be selfish, to make sure you care about others.  But, if Saturday night is the norm, then it taught me that by having well behaved children they will be stuck with a plastic pumpkin full of Smarties.  Not that Smarties are bad, but seriously, a little variety is nice.  I realize that my kids don't need a ton of candy, but the event is half of the fun.

I won't teach my kids to be selfish.  I will stop the bad behavior that I see.  But I am seriously saddened by what I have witnessed.

Shouldn't we all teach our kids to be kind and to share?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

This and That

What is it about pregnancy that makes me SO klutzy?  I can totally understand running my ever growing stomach into things.  That is moving and changing every day.  But my elbows?  Same place they were 2 months ago.  Shins?  Haven't moved since I stopped growing.  The number of bruises on my appendages, is pretty intense.  And I never have a good story to go with them.  "Oh, that one?  That is where I hit the door frame cause I have no idea where my body is anymore."  Yeah, pretty lame.

In other news:  #1 has her first birthday on Saturday!  It was this Thursday last year that I was finally able to meet her.  What a sweet girl!  And I have been AMAZED how much she has changed in the past week.  She is so close to walking.  She is also just seeming much more mature.  It is like something just switched on in her comprehension center.  Now when I take her empty cup and tell her that I am going to give her more, she doesn't scream, she just looks at me excitedly.  It is quite wonderful.  She is also exploring the option of pushing boundries.  As bad as it is, it just makes me laugh when I tell her no, and she gets a big smile and moves to do it all again.  I'm having to work very hard on my serious face.  Her giggles may be cute, but we do need to learn here.  But it's so hard to be serious with that sweet smile and laugh!  She is also finally sleeping for longer stretches through the night.  I think with all of the craziness of our life she has had a really hard time.  This has been evident in her sleep.  It has not been uncommon for her to wake up every 2-3 hours.  That is way to often for a one year old.  But this past week she is normally waking up once around midnight and again around seven.  (Most people would count waking up at 7 as morning, but she is still tired and with a little coaxing will go back to sleep.)  Naps still leave something to be desired, but I blame that on all of the random people stopping by my apartment.  Seriously, friends.  You do not need to beat down my door.  And your knack for stopping by approximately 3 minutes after my daughter falls asleep would be laughable if it wasn't so darn inconvenient. 

Anyway, life is good.  But I better run.  #1 is chewing on the coffee table again.  "Dear, you aren't a beaver.  If you're hungry, I'm happy to get you some food!"

Monday, October 22, 2012


I've never been too much of a morning person.  Well, compared to most of my friends growing up, I was a morning person.  That was mostly because of my dad.  We were expected to be up by at least 8:00 every day.  If we missed that, and he happened to be home, we were often roused with words like, "Get your bod out of bed!  People die in bed!"  To help with this, my Mom would usually give us an early rise scripture study time of around 7:30.  But just because I was up, doesn't mean I liked it.

Enter my dear Hod.  Anything before 9:00 is too early to him.  Right before we were married Hod was living with my parents (long story).  One of the first mornings I got a call from my sister around 9:30 asking me if Hod was dead because he hadn't surfaced yet.  For much of the beginning of our marriage I would wake up around 8, and then wait around for an hour or so before forcing him out of bed just because I was bored.  But slowly over time, he has converted me to sleeping in.  Now, I can happily sleep til at least 8:30.

However, the days that #1 sleeps past 7:30 are few and far between.  To allow me to continue my laziness I just pull her into bed with me and give her a bottle.  Some mornings she goes back to sleep, some mornings she doesn't.  Either way, when she really does decide to wake up after some quite enjoyable snuggling, she is just full of smiles.  She likes to play with my hair, and my lips, and make cute noises, and her eyes sparkle, and she does my heart good.

Even though it is earlier than I would like, it is pretty much the perfect way to start the day.  I hope I can find a way to continue it after #2 gets here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sniff, Sniff

This morning around 8:00, #1 woke up.  I went in to get her, decided I wanted to lay in bed a little longer and had her come join us.  I gave her a bottle and wondered if she would fall back asleep.  She didn't, but was happy to just sit there quietly.  That's not normal.  She has pretty much always been either moving constantly, or asleep.  This whole "lay by mom perfectly still just moving my eyes and smiling for 30 minutes" though cute was out of character.  That is about the time my brain turned on.  Thinking back, I realized that when I went to get her out of bed there was a strange smell.  Putting on my detective hat, I went to analyze the situation again.

I entered #1's room, and yep, there was a smell.  I woke up Hod and asked him to go smell #1's room.  After being reassured that there wouldn't be any smeared baby droppings on the wall, he went to go check.  He quickly returned, informing me that is smelled like natural gas.  That is what I was afraid of.  Hod called the gas company, I quickly showered and put together the diaper bag.  We were told to get out of the apartment.  After one more quick shower we got out.  Hod went off to work, and #1 and I played outside while the gas company guy checked everything out.

Turns out, we had a bad connector in our water heater.  After playing outside in the nice breeze, #1 was acting much better!  They fixed it all up, and now everything is ok again. 

I should probably go buy a carbon monoxide detector.

Monday, October 15, 2012

On The Road Again

Well, friends, we have officially moved!  It was a bit of an adventure.  Monday, Oct 1, we finished packing up our cars, locked up our old apartment, realized I had left my laptop there and cried a lot, and got on the road.  (Still waiting to see if the landlord will give me back my laptop, or if they are claiming it as abandoned property.)

First thing you should know about this trip:  #1 did AMAZING!  (#2 did just a little bit better, but that is because she is just hanging out inside of my uterus, so nothing was really different about her life.)  We drove 8 hours the first day, 8 hours the second day, and 3 hours the last day.  I would say that in the car #1 cried maybe 90 min total.  That is stinkin' awesome.  I credit it mostly to her enjoyment of sleeping in the car, the advice we got from some friends to just put her forward facing for the trip (don't guilt me, we made it safe, and it made life SO much better!), and her newly discovered love of Teddy Grams.

Second fact:  The Hyatt has AMAZING hotels.  Because of a connection, we were able to get an amazing discount and stayed in the Hyatt House.  It had 2 separate bedrooms (kind of important when we have an 11 month old and people who enjoy their own space.  (Did I mention that my kind parents were with us?)  It also had a complete kitchen, that we didn't use.   But seriously, SUCH a nice room!  And that bed!  Wow.  It was amazing.  We also got to see one of my favorite people and meet her cute daughter.  The first leg of our trip was just wonderful!

Then comes day two.  Dad got a head start because he was pulling the trailer that was CRAZY full of all of our belongings.  Hod, #1 and I were all in the Mazda, and Mom was hanging out by herself, following us in the Buick.  (She kind of had to follow us, cause I had put the maps in my laptop case and that was stuck in Utah.)  We're driving around, looking at a whole bunch of nothing (though we did pass "Jesus with Corn"  It was probably the most exciting thing we saw that day.)  When suddenly my car starts feeling funny.  I couldn't figure out if the road was just really bumpy or if something was wrong.  Another car passed us, and I could tell their car wasn't being bumpy so we pulled over.  (Right as I pulled over Mom was about to call me cause she could see there was something wrong.)  We totally had a flat.  Hod was a little concerned (he's never changed a tire... or watched someone change a tire.  We need to teach him a few things.)  I wasn't worried at all.  I knew where the spare was, and sure, we had to pull about 6 things out of the car to get to it, but that's not so bad.  We got the spare, I reached for the jack.... and it wasn't there.  The lame pole that you use to make the jack work, we totally had, but the actual jack, nothing.  Mom called Dad cause he has AAA so we could get some help.  And we waited.  And waited.  And people just drove past.  And State Troopers just drove past.  (Really?  Isn't that their job, pull over and see the problem?  We just needed a jack, then we could put on the doughnut and drive the 10 miles to the next city.)  I got on the phone with a great friend and had her look up tire places in the closest city, Hod called them to make sure they had a tire for us, and we waited.  After about 2 hours of sitting on the side of I-70, I was getting really bugged!  #1 was still being amazing, pretty sure she had angels with her.  I lost it and cried.  Lame pregnancy hormones.  Then I had a great plan.  I went and took #1, and leaned against the back of the car, poking my pregnant belly out the best I could and tried to wave someone down.  Surely people would stop for a pregnant lady holding a baby, right?  WRONG!  Kansas is on my list of unkind places.  Finally a State Trooper stopped.  He was all, "Oh, yeah, I can help you change your tire".  We told him that AAA was supposedly sending someone.  Then he was all, "Oh, then I probably shouldn't help... let me find out where they are."  After he spent some time in his car we found out that they were about 20 min away.  So he left and we waited some more.  Finally the guy showed.  He had been looking for us for about an hour.  We wanted to follow him to the next town so he could show us where the tire place was, but he had to go the opposite direction for a dentist appointment.  Ok, fine.  We got on the road, got lost finding the town, got lost in the town finding the tire place, finally found them all, got a new tire and were finally back on the road.  This whole thing took over 3 hours.  That really throws off your schedule, especially when you were already loosing an hour that day because of time changes.

Dad was WAY ahead of us at this point, so I gave him directions to the fancy hotel we had for a night.  According to Priceline, it was a suite with a separate bedroom for the queen sized bed, and a queen sized hide-a-bed in the sitting room.  Also with a complete kitchen.  Finally around 10:00 we pulled in.  We were the victims of false advertising.  It wasn't two separate rooms.  It wasn't a queen sized hide-a-bed (more like a double sized piece of cardboard.)  And it wasn't a non smoking room.  Whatever.  We were all so glad to be there that we made it work.

The next day was pretty uneventful.  We drove through a ton of small cities and they were just cute.  We finally got to our apartment, signed all of our papers, 8 guys from our local congregation showed up to move us in, we discovered that our apartment was never cleaned, and we went to bed.

The next day was a flurry of unpacking, assembling things, and having a bit of fun.  I can't imagine how we would have made this without my dear parents.  Thanks again!

We've had some adventures since getting here, and I'll have to share those another day.  But we're here!  Missing family, but glad to be where the Lord wants us.

Love you all!