Wednesday, December 26, 2012

365 days 338-348

Third trimester belly.
The Dude was not in the mood to sit still.  I did not mind, since snuggling was involved.
Wacky Wednesday has reduced both my children giggle fits.
The cards they are a-comin'!
Just getting ready for the snowpocalypse.
24 straight hours of snow, with a blizzard in the middle.
The theme I was going for was End of the Road.  I was slightly disappointed the world didn't end as well as most of my fellow exhausted bloggers.  But at least the snow had stopped!  Ugh - 15 inches of it.
We were sitting in a nest he'd made out of a blanket.  Holy adorable, Batman!! (on a slightly related note, the Dude got some superhero underwears for Christmas and is currently wearing a pair with the Batman logo on them - or as he noted cheerfully, "A baby bird!"  I'm fine with that.)
Husband and I made our Christmas letters as a funny response to all the sappy ones that made us nauseous, or, as the Dude said after he tried to read on that was two pages and - single-spaced - "Humph!  Too many words!"  It was all in good fun, like when he said I'd spent all year as a Pinterest missionary - which was absolutely true.  He also noted my involvement in this 365 self-portrait project - "...that has produced literally thousands of photos of her appendages." Also true, but some days the last thing I want to do is get my mug in front of a camera. And there are some really cool appendage shots! Still, just to prove I wasn't all feet, I took one of my face. You're welcome.
Okay fine, another appendage shot.  But I was using my new Christmas present - a new lens with wicked low f-stop!  This is one of my favorites of the entire year I think - me, playing Santa.
Our only family shot of the day.  The shallow depth of field is a challenge with the new lens (and no zoom, eek!), but at least it works way awesome in low light.  Our Christmas was relaxing, happy and just right.  I'm glad we all like each other, because Daddy has the next week off work too!  Lots of Uno and Legos happening around here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

joy to the world. all the boys and girls.

WonderGirl wrote a letter to Santa the other day.  I've been meaning to take a picture of it, but I'll just paraphrase here:

Dear Santa,
We already have so many presents, so please save ours for next year.  Just fill our stockings. 
Thank you!

As I looked under the tree, I agreed with her.  Thanks to some very generous aunts, uncles and friends, our tree already looked bountiful.  Of course there were other toys hidden away that husband and I were bursting to share Christmas morning.  But we went to bed feeling far more blessed than we deserve.  Christmas morning was everything it should be, although it I could do it again I would probably monitor how much candy the Dude ate, seeing as we skipped breakfast and all he'd eaten all morning was M&Ms, fruit snacks and candy canes.  We went to a friend's house for lunch and he was berzerk.  Well, more than usual anyway,

Last Christmas was a tough one.  We'd just found out the husband's job was on the chopping block and we were struggling to keep a stiff upper lip for the kids.  We still had a wonderful day, but it also made me so much more thankful for the peace we got to enjoy this year.

Although the husband just asked me what we had planned for the next week, and I said nothing.  So there's a good chance we're going to hop in the car and drive 14 hours to Atlanta tomorrow.  Why not?

And now our Christmas, according to instagram:
Christmas Eve dinner with friends.  Biblical themed - not pictured, a goodly amount of goat cheese.
WG found this in our host's dress up collection. Greatest photo-op ever?
He was literally chugging M&Ms.
- and then racing madly along our walkway of bubble wrap.  Uncle Aaron and Aunt Katherine are geniuses.
Not to brag, but I did get this completely unsolicited accolade.

I hope you are feeling full of good stuff today.  Merry Christmas!
Oh, and you really shouldn't miss the husband's and my dueling Christmas letters.  I think he beat me out in the snark department, but I edged him out in the visual aesthetic category.  By actually having a visual aesthetic to begin with.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

and then I had time to blog

I'm so verklempt lately.  There's the horrible tragedy in Connecticut that has people spewing arguments right and left, the whole pants thing, and everything in between.  My faith in rational humanity is even more diminished than it was after the last election, where I sat on the sidelines and watched extremists on both sides make themselves look like psychotic angry monkeys.  And heaven forbid someone want to have a rational dialogue.  I'm so thankful for the few people left willing to listen, talk and love no matter the topic.

I'm going to blog.  It doesn't feel safe to say anything lately, but I'm pretty safe here.  Y'all are kind of awesome.  Saying anything on social networking sites is kind of like this:

But replace the older relative ruining it with a lame comment with someone you hardly know writing a long diatribe and then other people who don't even know them arguing for paragraphs and not even listening to what the other people are saying besides how they can attack it and it's beyond annoying.  I don't want to fight.  I just want to learn from other people and grow.

A few few of the things stewing in my thinker lately:

* I'm reminded of the Jaredites at the end of the Book of Mormon.  When their society hit the end, they were so desperate for control that they armed their women and children to attack their enemies.  I relate more to the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, who abhorred violence so much they met advancing armies on their knees, praying.  The world needs its Captain Moronis, and I think my husband relates more to that camp, hence the gun in our house, but I have a renewed love for the Anti-Nephi-Lehis.

* A moment of pride in my WG here.  Since the husband used to work for a company that makes sippy cups, we have a LOT of sippy cups.  So I send one of the full size tumblers to school in WG's lunch every day because they are handy, and they don't spill.  The other day a kid asked her why she had a baby cup in her lunch, and you know what her response was?  "Because I'm AWESOME!"  Yes.  Yes, she is.

* Read Annie's last post - devoid of the current button issues, just an example of a fabulous lady living the true spirit of Christmas.  Read it.  She's kind of my hero.

* There's a massive 24 hour storm coming in to the Midwest this evening.  Followed by a massive blizzard.  I so SO hate winter, but I have a snug home, a handy husband and a garage full of firewood.  I am truly blessed.

* Also, with that winter storm coming, I decided to go ahead and make my own hamburger buns last night for sloppy joes.  I like knowing I can make it myself, just in case.  I used this recipe and just used all white flour instead of a mix of wheat because that's all I had.
heck yes I instagram-ed the heck out of this.  It looks awesome.
* What was I thinking having 3 children?  What made me think I could even remotely handle that??  I'm about to lose my mind in pure fear here.  I'm potty training the Dude, trying to get WonderGirl's note reading ability up to her playing ability on the violin and wondering who the heck this boy will be and how I will give him even an ounce of attention.  So freaked out right now.  What I wouldn't give for outside piano, violin, reading, bowel movement teachers.  I am so overwhelmed with this job I took on.  It started out SO innocently, just being a caterer and a maid for one vomit monster and now this. AK.

Is that all I was going to write?  I've been thinking about blogging for days but never had the time to do it and now I can't remember all the beautiful posts I organized in my head.  This'll hold me for now.

Friday, December 14, 2012

365 days 323-337

I'm in there.  This job is never done!
Snuggling with WonderGirl.
I love my Dude.
Got some new shoes!!!  Those are the old ones.  Unfortunately, I had to return the new ones because they did weird stuff to my arches.  I REALLY need some comfortable, GOOD shoes that don't look orthopedic or athletic.  Suggestions???
This sums up my relationship with the camera this year.

Setting up for a photoshoot I did for the girls at church.  I shall NEVER achieve a decent bokeh!
Mwha Mwha.
Hiding from the kids.
Melts.  I love WonderGirl!
This is what being YW president looks like.  I was at the church churching for hours to make this happen, and it ended up awesomesauce.
Almost missed it!  We'd already been in bed about a half hour before this...

Meeting our dear friend Pascal's dad and almost-bride in Portland.  Woohoo!
Nice day for a wedding, n'est pas?
Spent most of the day travelling and then rushed the kids to play our annual family Christmas concert at the nursing home.  Exhausted, but loverly all around!

Would I have preferred to get my face in focus?  Yes.  Do I have the energy to make that happen?  Neope.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012


Blarg. Let's sum things up with a handy dandy bullet list:

• Survived a big night of churchy young women-ness last night. I almost didn't - but help arrived in the nick of time in the form of the husband, pizza and a fabulous tossed salad. Things went well and we are off the hook for another big to-do for a few months, but I still feel like I'm mediocre at best in this calling. Living in the middle of nowhere is rough for those who show up, y'all.

• I may or may not be going to Portland for a wedding tomorrow, depending on how our babysitter is coping with a stomach bug. Im terrified to go and leave the kids and terrified to not get to go at the same time. Again, living in the middle of nowhere is rough. I miss my mommy.

• It snowed. %#$&. I got to race to Walfart early this morning for a snow boot and snow pants run for WonderGirl. I know I should have grabbed some pre-first snow of the season, but I've been in heavy denial. Winter in the Midwest needs a punch in the face.

• The pregnancy insomnia won last night. I've been fighting it for months but now that it has its durn foot in the door, I'm in for it. Although on the plus side, my new heartburn medication seems to be working!

• I started my crazy pills a few days ago. We tried this whole "take the antidepressant during the end of pregnancy and then maybe she won't get depressed!" thing, but it totally didn't work. So let's try it again! And adding new chemicals into a pregnant woman's bloodstream is always so much of the funs, yes? In the last 24 hours I have cried at every conceivable thing. All the things.

• I just drank a creepy weird orange sugar drink and now I'm waiting around in the doctor's office to have them test me for gestational diabetes.

• This morning when I went on the snow clothes run, I nabbed myself a Hershey's cookies and cream candy bar because I felt ridiculously sorry for myself and those are the only candy bars I can eat right now. But then I remembered the diabetes test and realized if I ate a candy bar for breakfast, I'd probably fail the test. So I didn't eat the candy bar yet. This is huge, because I have zero willpower. ZERO. I'm dying here.

• I typed this all on my phone! Award please!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

girls rock

So we all survived NaBloPoMo!  I only missed a wee bit, but I think I also get extra points for hosting Thanksgiving and also not missing any 365 days.

I'm annoyed today,. Would you like to hear why?  Oh, joy!  The other day my mom e.mailed me and asked me why I didn't have a link to that CJane blogger in my sidebar since I'd referenced her in my last post.  My mom experiences most of the internet via the links on my sidebar - so you guys are famous (in a small apartment in China)!  I  told her that I actually wasn't a huge fan for a few reasons, but I like to read her and keep current since so many people read her and look up to her as what an LDS woman is.  I like to know what is being put out there.

Right after I e.mailed my mom back, CJane posted about discovering her Mormon feminism.  I'm not going to knock feminism, but how she came to that decision really, really, really bothered me.  She admitted she'd grown up thinking boys were more important than girls, and her sister said she'd felt the same way.  I read that and was horrified for several reasons.
1.  I've NEVER felt that way.  I've been an active Latter-Day Saint my entire life and never once did anyone infer men were superior to women.  I was always taught how important and divine both our roles were and neither was better.
2.  I get to fight a daily battle of dumb stereotypes against my religion, and I really dislike it when people perpetuate those stereotypes.
3.  Who taught these girls they were not as good as boys??  I don't want to point fingers, but whose mama let that one slip into their ears??
Baaahhhhhh.  If anything, I have to fight the urge to not not feel superior to men.  I guess I'm just really lucky to have skipped out on whatever inferiority complex creeped into ..... is it Utah-raised women?  I've never lived there so I don't know.  I railed about this to the husband last night and he asked me what I'm doing in my calling as head of the teen young women in our congregation to ensure they don't have this misperception, and had to say nothin', because I'd never dreamed it was be an issue.  As a LDS woman, I have always felt valued, important and equal.  It never occurred to me anyone would even think of us that way.  BAAAHHHHHH I say.

The only time anyone ever disparaged me as a woman was when one of my brothers used to make dumb, sexist jokes.  And my mom laid the smack-down on him.  I was raised by a really smart, really awesome woman and that's where I got that wacky ideal of gender equality.

Yesterday two of my friends from college played on the Leno show as part of one of my favorite bands - the Polyphonic Spree.  I'm jealous as all get out, but they are two of the most talented people I know and it couldn't have happened to more awesome musicians.  My friend Sean was documenting the day through instagram and it was so awesome to live in a teeny way vicariously through his experience.  While he was getting all did up and recorded though his day, I had WonderGirl throw up all over my bedroom floor at 1am, then managed to throw up in the bathroom while I was doing a lice treatment on her that night (more about that another time), the Dude spent the day still afraid to go to the bathroom, and my unborn child was/is trying to beat up several of my internal organs.  The juxtaposition was a bit much at that point.

After we got them into bed, my husband wrapped his arms around me and thanked me for choosing to live the life I do for our family.  We've both made sacrifices to raise children, but it sure does help ease the hurt when he's always aware of and grateful for what I gave up.  I didn't give it up because I didn't feel I wasn't worthy for anything else.  I didn't give it up because that was all I was allowed to do.  I gave it up because I prayed about it and knew in my heart it was what I was supposed to do.  If there was anything else I was supposed to be doing, I'd totally be doing it.

And I'm respected for that choice.   It's awesome.

HEAR YE. I need to document the fact that I ran 3 miles and didn't feel like death.  So just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, I did...