Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hope during Infertility

What better time during the year to be filled with hope and gratitude than Christmas!? (Perhaps, Easter?) However, I have been filled with hope, indeed!

I know a post about infertility right after a pregnancy announcement may seem a little insensitive, but I've done a lot of thinking about my experience with infertility. It is my sincere hope that other women find strength in their trials.

For months and months, I wanted to get pregnant. But, because I was breastfeeding Bug, my cycles hadn't returned yet. And consequently, my fertility hadn't returned yet. Then, my body started showing signs of returning fertility. Signs...but not reality. Every time my body began another cycle, I was filled with painful emotion. The flowing blood of menstruation is a physical cleanse. The body dumps the old to make room to try again. A clean slate. Another month to temp and chart and record and plan. Another month for hopes to rise. Yet, every time my body would cleanse itself, my spirit was sullied with grief, anger, jealousy and fear.

I always trusted my body, until it didn't do what I wanted it to do. Or what I though it should do. My body had always done what I wanted it to do, before! Finally, I realized that I had a defect. For all I knew, my body could have been aborting a possible baby every cycle. But that was just it, my body didn't understand to keep it, and it would begin the cleansing process before it even knew whether or not it was necessary.

Day and night, I would suckle my needy toddler, with tears in my eyes. Weaning him could be the answer. But I couldn't do it. I knew he needed to nurse. Would it be right to take something away from the child I have to -maybe- get a child I want? *Note: I still have not weaned Bug. In several months, I will probably do a post on nursing during pregnancy.

That child I already have been blessed with brought other questions forward as well. If I already have a young child, did I have a right to mourn my infertility? Did I have a right to claim infertility? I had been wanting to get pregnant for a whole year! By medical standards, I was infertile. Did breastfeeding change that? Maybe. But it didn't change my desires.

I know that there are probably women that are jealous of me and my one child. And I was jealous of women who are expecting or already have two. Did my one child make my sadness any easier? To a woman who strongly desires a(nother) child, but cannot get pregnant, I think there is little solace.

Many women experiencing "true" infertility may not appreciate the difficulty of the situation I was in, just as I could not fully appreciate their difficulties. But, if I am able to get one point across, I wish it to be known that infertility of ANY kind or duration, is difficult if a woman truly desires to get pregnant.

So, every time I began another cycle, I would swallow my pride. Through my grief, anger, jealousy and fear, I would pray for strength, faith, patience, health and hope.

And sometimes, even if it doesn't seem like it, we have a loving Heavenly Father who is watching over us. He knows our desires. He knows our struggles. And He knows the best way to bless us, and the right time to bless us. In hindsight, our struggles always look easier than what they really were. Heavenly Father knows how difficult things are for us. But if we remember Him always, He will bless us in the most unexpected and marvelous ways!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Top Ten Reasons Why....

So, I wrote the best post over a MONTH ago. I had this post all planned out prematurely, because I thought it would be really cute. But what I conceived would be the situation, didn't really fit the situation. I have re-written the post completely on the sperm of the moment. And I have impregnated it with a lot more hilarity than I had originally planned. In fact, I may be pushing it a little bit!

May I present to you the Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Not Write A Blog Post About Something That Hasn't Happened Yet. (I know, it's a mouthful of a Top Ten list!)

10. You are likely to get the date wrong.

9. It hasn't happened...yet.

8. All the funny things you wrote in the post actually had nothing (kind of) to do with the topic of the post.

7. It hasn't happened...yet.

6. No matter how great the post is, it doesn't matter unless you can see the future.

5. It hasn't happened...yet.

4. It might make you cry when you realize it hasn't happened yet.

3. It hasn't happened...yet.

2. You would feel like an idiot if you went ahead and posted it, even though it hadn't happened yet.

And the Number 1 Reason Why.....(I'm not going to type the whole thing out. Honestly, it's just ridiculous!) ....is: It is always better to write a post about something AFTER it has happened!

But wait, you weren't expecting that to be the end of this post, were you?? You all want to know what I had developed in that other post, don't you??

Well, my old post was the Top Ten Reasons Why I Might Be Pregnant.  But all those reasons (as I was getting really excited) ended up being just plain, old PMS. This month, however, there were no signs. (Ok, there were signs, but I would have to do a whole post about FAM before I could share them!) The whole post I had formulated, the one that I thought would be so adorable to make a big announcement, didn't fit when it actually came time for that big announcement!

So, without further ado, I am pleased to announce that I am gestating a speck! Soon it will be more than a speck. Soon, as in around September, I will have baby number two! I couldn't be more pleased!


Here is my (prematurely written/consequently edited) post on hope during infertility.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oh, Christmas Tree...and other wintry stuff

Christmastime with a toddler in the house is interesting, to say the least. Last year, Bug was just crawling. We put our little 4' tree on a table and he couldn't reach it. No problem-o. THIS year, however, Bug is a running, jumping, climbing, maniac of a daredevil. The tree is still on that table, but raising it a couple feet really hasn't done much. Our poor tree is feeling quite naked from the waist down! (And all the ornaments are hidden throughout the house in Bug's multiple secret hidey holes!) Thankfully, I remembered to put all the delicate ornaments on top of the tree. That should keep them safe...at least until Bug pulls the whole tree over. He hasn't done that yet, but I wouldn't put it past him.

Speaking of pulling things over, our stockings hanging from our mantle are apparently a hazard to curious toddlers. But, it only takes pulling a heavy stocking hook down on you one time before you learn that it hurts and you don't want to do that anymore.

Under the mantle, is a fireplace (what else would there be?). Oh, the fireplace. Practically since we've moved into this place, we have had the fireplace tied shut. Naturally, I didn't think to do that until after I had to pull a sooty toddler out of it before church one Sunday morning...and try to clean off his white shirt and black pants and pale skin...while we were already running late. You know, that's a funny thing about soot. It looks black on white, and grey on black. You just can't win when you crawl into a fireplace!

But that isn't the only bad thing about the fireplace. Now that it is getting cold, we have been building attempting to build fires at night. Bug always wants to help. He gets into the wood. He gets into the tinder. He gets into the kindling. He gets into the lint (which, by the way, hasn't really been helping to get a fire going...thanks a lot Girls Camp!). He plays with the fireplace tool set. Luckily, I haven't caught him running around the house with the stoker yet!

Oh, that fireplace. My husband is an Eagle Scout. And I have had my fair share of scouting education. But still! We can't get a fire going in that stinkin' fireplace. We usually get a good 5 minutes of teasing before the whole thing fizzles out on us.
[Update: Yes, the flue was open when we were building the fire. We just didn't have good, seasoned wood. Once we got better wood, we were able to create a lovely fire!]

No matter how much I love having a blanket of snow (we haven't had one yet), singing Christmas music (I have a sore throat), a cup of warm hot cocoa (are we out of milk?), and a crackling fire (or smoldering pile of ash)...can't it just be Spring again?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Crock Pot Lament

I really think it is still way too early in my marriage for me to be replacing all of my kitchen appliances. But for some reason, they seem to all be breaking. One thing I know, it sure as heck isn't MY fault they are all breaking!

Our hand mixer wobbles, screetches and screams when we turn it on. Of course, that doesn't keep me from using it when I need it, but I prefer to turn it off as soon as possible. The reason: "I was creaming butter and sugar to make cookies." -the Husband

I suspect that the butter was frozen. Really, really frozen.

Ok, so I haven't had to replace the mixer (yet) and there is only one other thing: the Crock Pot. But it still feels like all of my kitchen appliances!!!

But let us get to the reason for this post. The Crock Pot. Mom's best friend and tool in the kitchen. All you have to do is dump your whole freezer into the pot and you will have a delicious meal in 6-8 hours. It never burns. The meat is always tender. The veggies are always perfect. You don't have to stir. It never dries out. Seriously, I'm conviced I could put something in the Crock Pot and come back to it a month later and it would still be delectable. THAT is how much I love my Crock Pot.

But beware of toddlers in the kitchen and cords that are hanging within reach. (I bet I don't even have to finish this story!) Oh yes, Bug pulled the cord of my Crock Pot. He used his amazing strenth and brought down the whole thing. LUCKILY, it was empty. And the lid wasn't on it. And the ceramic pot didn't break. And it didn't crush my kid. Apparently, the actual pot was cushioned in the landing by putting all the weight into the electronic doodad that makes the whole thing work. The doodad doesn't make the thing work anymore. Even my electronically savvy husband was unconvinced that he would be able to fix it, even with his soldering gun and...goggles.

So, I said a sad farewell to my old Crock Pot. I went a couple of weeks without one before I died. Er...well...not really. But it didn't take long before I convinced the hubby that we HAD to buy another one. And another one we did buy! It's pretty cool (literally, it has cool touch sides)!

I couldn't be happier! And we're having a Crock Pot dinner tonight!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blame the Baby

Ahhh....has it seriously been a whole week since I last posted? I keep thinking that I will get back into the blogging groove, but it just isn't happening. Apparently, I have too much stuff going on during the holidays. You should expect the blogging to continue to go slowly...probably until January. Uhm, or March. Who knows!

Anyway, I thought I would share at least a little story that is marginally funny (if you are in the 7th grade). This is one of those stories that happened months and months ago (when Bug was only crawling) and it has been written down in "Mallory's short hand"on a yellow sticky note next to the computer (with all the other yellow sticky notes), waiting for the right time to actually get posted (I guess that is today). And, now that I have started typing this all out, I think this introduction to the story is actually longer than the story.

So, we love going to book stores. We have a Borders book store that is the closest, so we usually go there. As soon as we walk in the door, I head for the pregnancy/childbirth/breastfeeding/parenting/whatelsecanIputafterthisslash section. I also had Bug with me, so I plop him down to crawl around and chew on books. And I squatted down on my haunches to get to the bottom row. And as I squatted down, I definitely passed some gas. Audibly. It was small and kinda cute in that totally gross way, but definitely audible. I quickly looked around to see if I could just get away with it. But there was a lady standing within earshot. I KNOW she heard. So, naturally, I blamed the kid.

"Oh, Bug! I heard that! You are the root'n'est, toot'n'est cowboy in the wild, wild west! Aren't you!?" (We always tell Bug he is the rootnest, tootnest cowboy when he farts.)

And then, I found my book, grabbed Bug and got the heck out of there.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner

This year, I had some friends over for a Thanksgiving dinner yesterday (we did it before Turkey Day so we could get together and eat good food without interfering with family gatherings). I cooked all the food. And I will tell you what...it was all delicious! So good that I am sharing the recipes that I used, so everyone else can enjoy great food, too! I used recipes from the Internet, so to save from having to type them all out, I will be putting in links with my side notes.

The Turkey. This site may seem a little hokey, but I will tell you what...my turkey was GOOD! I had a ten pound turkey. I let it thaw out really well (but when I was cleaning all the giblets out of it, there were still pieces of ice in the cavity.) I cut half a stick of butter up into slices and just put them between the meat and the skin. I also added some dried oregano. On top, I put pepper and coarse salt. I didn't have a lid for my roasting pan, so I made a makeshift one using the rack and foil. I may not use even that next time, though, because I prefer really crispy skin, and this was just somewhat crispy skin. When this turkey came out, it was just falling apart! Did I mention it was really good??

The Cranberry Sauce. This is actually made with pears and honey, too. It was very yummy! I didn't care for the shell of the cranberry, I didn't like the texture of it so much. But I did like the pear chunks. If I make it again, I will probably up the white sugar, do a little less honey, and try to strain the cranberry. (I don't know HOW I will do that....but I will try!) Also, you have to cook the cranberries a little bit longer to get them all to pop. Fifteen minutes works.

The Broccoli Casserole. Yummy stuff! I used whole wheat Ritz crackers. I also made it in a crock pot, which would have been fine if I had drained the broccoli a whole heckuvalot more before adding the cheese. (I didn't add the cheese until about half and hour before I was going to serve it.) This is a recipe that I should have doubled, because it is so good!

The Carrots. I wanted to find an awesome honey-glazed carrots recipe. And I did. The only thing that I would do with this recipe is either double the amount of carrots, or half the amount of everything else! So good!

The Potatoes. I didn't get this recipe from the Internet. I just learned it growing up in a home cookin' family! Peel and dice about a dozen potatoes (for 8-10 servings). Boil until tender. Drain. Add a whole stick of butter and about half a cup of milk. Mash (with either a hand masher or a hand mixer). Add more milk until it is the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper. Voila!

The Stuffing. Don't put it in the bird. Just follow the directions on the box. Can't go wrong!

The Gravy. This is another one of those learned-it-from-my-family recipes. Pour all the turkey drippings into a frying pan, turn the heat to medium-high/high. In a small cup, add about two heaping spoonfuls of corn starch and enough water to make it easily stir-able. When the drippings start boiling, slowly pour the corn starch mix  in while whisking. Whisk and add corn starch mix until the gravy is as thick as you like it! You can add salt and pepper...but I always forget to, and it still turns out great!

So, there is your Thanksgiving dinner!

I didn't make dessert this time, but if you want some good recipes, try this recipe for a super yummy pumpkin pie....don't forget to use real pumpkin! And if you want to make your own crust, here is a simple but wonderfully delicious recipe. This site also has lots of tips for pie making!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Toddler's House

It seems that nearly everything in my apartment reminds me that this is probably more Bug's home than my own. Let me take you through a tour to show you why:

Welcome to my Bug's house! This is the hallway. As you can see, nearly all of the shoes are out of the closet. I know this doesn't say "toddler" in and of itself (unless you count the toddler sized shoes among the mommy and daddy sized shoes). But, Bug likes to pull shoes out and wear them around the house, whether they are his or not.

This is what I normally would call the "guest bathroom". Right now, it has all of my makeup and hair supplies on the counter. That's so I can get ready on Sunday mornings without waking Bug up until I have to...or I can get ready while the Husband has Bug with him in the shower in the other bathroom (and I don't have to worry about the mirror being all fogged up). Also, note that the tub is full of toys.

Here we have the second bedroom. We have rearranged a lot since moving here. This room has been known as Bug's room (he never slept in it once), the TV room (we moved that to our room), the exercise room (HA! like that ever happens), and just "the other room". It is basically our storage room right now. It has a dresser in it, which may or may not full of Bug's clothes...depending on whether I have folded the laundry or not. It also has a toy bin and daddy's tools. Naturally, Bug likes to go in there to mess things up, so we usually keep the door closed so I don't have to clean that part of the house. Of course, that explains why my plant is turning yellow...I always forget to water it.

Now on to the living room. There are toys all over the floor. Bug thinks the living room belongs that way, because whenever I put his toys away, he promptly replaces them to the middle of the room. ("Excuse me while I put some of these toys back....HEY! I found Bug's other sippy cup that has been missing for a couple weeks! Oh, it's ok...it only had water in it...I think.") On our back door we have some of those gooey window decals that look like snowflakes. I thought Bug might think they were fun. And what do you know, he does think they are fun...to rip into a million pieces. So, that is why they are crowded at the top in the middle. Bug can't reach them that way. Nearly every paper on the computer desk has scribbles on it. Pen scribbles. Pencil scribbles. Marker scribbles. Highlighter scribbles.  There are some Cheerios in the couch and on the floor. I could have sworn that I just vacuumed this place. I think Bug got that box out of "the other room". He was having fun pulling pieces of the cardboard off of it. I have had to tie the fireplace shut. If I don't, Bug will crawl in there and get all covered in soot! I also just keep the diapers and changing mat on the floor right here in the living room. It makes it easier to change Bug's butt, and then let him hop up and get back to playing.

Now we are into the dining room. Shoved in the back corner (because I don't know where else to put it) is my yarn bag. As you can see, the yarn is all so tangled that I might as well just throw it away. The table is full of junk. Mostly our mail and my latest sewing project...even though I should just put it away, because it actually IS finished! There is Bug's high chair. It's at the head of the table. He's practically the patriarch of our family, didn't you know? Please don't look too closely at the carpet around his chair. It is full of crumbs and crusty, dried pieces of cheddar cheese (extra sharp). Oh yes, I still have bone to pick with you, mister "I-think-it's-a-good-idea-to-have-carpet-in-the-dining-room", whoever you are! The half wall by the sink hold nearly everything I own that I don't want Bug to touch. Ok...that may be a little exaggerated. But, it does have Bug's wipes on it. I don't want him to get those, because he pulls them all out of the box and tears them into tiny pieces or lets them dry out and wastes them all. Our sink is full of dirty dishes. Most of the dishes still have half nibbled food on them. (Those are the big pieces of food that I actually pick up off the floor when Bug announces he is done eating by tossing his plate off the tray.) Our fridge is covered in magnets...all the ones that Bug can reach, however, are lost forever under one kitchen appliance or another.

Through that door is the laundry room...and the trash can. I don't think I will show you in there.

Here is the hubby's and my bedroom. Shhhhh...Bug is actually taking a nap! Luckily, I folded the laundry today. If I hadn't, there would be a very large pile on our bed. (By the way, do you like our TV? It's huge, I know! I still can't believe that I let the hubs buy that thing.) There is a crib in that back corner. Don't know why. As you can see, Bug is fast asleep in the middle of our bed. (Poor husband nearly gets kicked off the bed every night these days...er, I mean, nights.) You can also see that there are far too many books that are OFF the shelves. Oh, there's another toy bin. A baby towel on the floor. Toys in the bottom drawer of the dresser.

And, here is our bathroom. I can't believe I'm actually showing this to you! There are two baby toothbrushes on the counter. One is to use, the other apparently, is to lose. (Inevitably, when we lose the one to use, we find the one to lose. Did I make that clear?) That step stool is Bug's potty. He has found that he can slide it up to the sink to reach everything up there. He has also used it in other parts of the house. That kid is smart! (And strong. It is hilarious watching him tote that thing out to the bedroom so he can reach the top of our short bookshelves.) That roll of toilet paper actually came out of the package looking very neatly rolled. Even when I put it on backwards, Bug figures out how to unroll it. And apparently, he thinks he needs 50 squares. I keep telling his that is way too many. And then I try to roll it back up nicely, but it never works!

So, that is our place! I'm sure it would look a lot different if I didn't have any kids yet. And I'm sure it won't be clean until at least  a week after the day the last one moves out. But, in a way, that's alright...because it gives me an excuse...

"Sorry my place is a mess. You know how it is with kids!"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Apples

I know, I know...I seriously need to find a more creative title for this post. But at least I'm actually posting, right??? Right?

Anyway, I hate apples. Mostly. The last time I sat down and ate a raw apple, I threw it up just seconds after I had swallowed the last bite. (Of course, I was pregnant, but I don't think that counts as much, because I only threw up twice throughout my whole pregnancy!) I will tell you one thing, throwing up freshly eaten apple hurts!

I don't like apple juice. I don't like apple sauce. I don't like apple flavored candy (except Sour Punch Straws, sour green apple...yum!). I don't like apple tarts. And I can only eat apple pie if I pick out all the chunks of apple.

Unless I made the apple pie with my dad, then I can apparently eat a whole dang pie all by myself!

A couple weeks ago, I was at my parents' house during the day to visit with my dad. After we chatted for a while, he asked how long I was able to stay. I told him that I had several hours, and then he announced he wanted to make a pie. (He knows that I am an awesome pie crust maker.) My little sister had gone apple picking with her friend about a month before and they still had a couple dozen small apples sitting on the counter. The apples were soft. They weren't rotting, but they were soft. My dad figured the only thing we could do with them, other than throw them away, was make pie! So, he washed, cut, peeled and sliced all the apples. I measured, mixed, cooled and rolled the pie crust. Then we put together brown sugar, white sugar, flour, cinnamon, butter and apples inside the crust and created a lattice top on the two pies with the leftover crust dough. Shortly after the pies came out of the oven, I needed to go pick up the hubby, so I took one and left.

That evening, I tried a piece of apple pie with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. I was nervous. Afterall, I didn't want to run to the bathroom to upchuck the apples! I took a small bite. It was tasty. I took another bite. It was tasty, too. I was surprised that I was tolerating the apple. And I was surprised that the pie was the best I had ever had....and my dad and I didn't even know what we were doing! I called my parents right away to tell them the pie was a success. And to ask if they liked it, too....they hadn't even tried it yet. So I told them to stop waiting and try a piece of miracle pie!

Over the next week, I ate all but two pieces of the pie. (I left two for the husband. Oh, I did share bites with Bug, too). I didn't even vomit! In fact, I enjoyed every bite!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reverently, Quietly

Every Sunday, I am reminded of why I dread Sundays.

I LOVE going to church. I have a stronger testimony of the gospel than I have ever had. I love to partake of the Sacrament to renew the covenants that I have made with my Heavenly Father. I enjoy teaching the sweet CTR 8 class (the 7 year old kids that have almost all turned 8 by this time of the year). I love socializing with the other members of my ward. I am happy to have a reason to dress up nicely, do my hair and wear make up. I love having my husband with me nearly all day long.

But....I don't like trying to keep Bug reverent and quiet during Sacrament meeting. The hubs thinks Sundays are great now that Bug is old enough to go into nursery for the last two hours of church. Unfortunately, nursery doesn't take care of the first hour.

I bring assorted snacks. A full sippy cup. Books. Puppets. Pens. Paper. LDS action figures (which are actually made by a Brother in my very ward!). And other toys. They don't work. Bug throws things. Whines. Screams, sometimes. Crawls around. And does everything he can to be generally disruptive and very irreverent.

I struggle to keep Bug as quiet and reverent as possible. Then, when my hair starts to get too messed up, and my face is flushed with the effort...Bug gets taken out to the hallway, by either the husband or myself. It is so embarrassing to have to leave the chapel so often. Because, you know when you come back in, Bug will only last five more minutes before he needs to be taken out again.

Sometimes, I feel like I am the only mom with a psychotic non-reverent, non-quiet kid. Please tell me you guys have irreverent kids, too!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Goddess

When I was in elementary school, I felt a strong connection to the planet Venus. I wasn't into astronomy. I didn't gaze up into the sky on clear nights. I really wasn't interested in planets. I wanted to be an alien. I wanted to be different. I wanted to have purple skin. And I wanted to be from Venus. The planet just sounded cool. It was supposed to be a place where nobody could live. Full of noxious gases. Constantly hot. Totally uninhabitable. But, I really wanted to be from Venus. And no other planet would do.

Years later, I can finally see the connection. I understand that desire. The name Venus, the connotation, the connections, the true meaning. When I was a kid, I wanted to be from Venus to have purple skin. But now, it is so much more. I don't want to be from Venus. I want to be recognized as being my own kind of Venus. Not the planet. But the goddess. I want to be every goddess that is praised for being a woman.

So now, I am Venus. Roman goddess of love, beauty and fertility.

And I am Hathor. Egyptian goddess of feminine love, motherhood and joy.

I am Turan. Etruscan goddess of love and vitality.

And I am Aphrodite. Greek goddess of love, beauty and sexuality.

I am Artemis. Hera. Epona. Persephone. Ishtar. Ba'alat Gebal. Juno. Frigg. Parvati. And Eve.

I love these ancient feminine ideas. These goddesses were full of love, beauty, happiness. And above all, they were mothers. They were worshiped for their ability to conceive and bear children. To suckle children at their breasts. They were depicted with full, round bodies. Soft. Curvy. It is the symbol of motherhood. Of being a woman. Of being a lover. It is beauty. I want to inspire my husband. I want to nourish my children. I want to be that. I want to be praised for being that.

I want to be a goddess.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Public Park Pet Peeves

This past Friday was absolutely gorgeous! I mean, October 30th and 78 degrees!?! I had the windows open and the back door open, too, but I still wanted to get out into that beautiful fall weather. Luckily, it was my week to have our car (being a stay at home mom in a single car family can be difficult sometimes)! I was able to throw our junk in the car (take off our jackets, "Why on earth did we even bring those?") and set off for the closest park, dubbed "The Helicopter Park". It is a Veteran's park, and has a huge helicopter on one corner of the ground. Aside from the fact that the park doesn't have much shade, I like it fairly well.

Erm...well....except for all the things I hate about the park. I don't like to be so negative about enjoying a day at the park, but I have some serious public park pet peeves.

1. Every public park should have great shade. It doesn't matter quite as much in the fall, I guess. But in the summer, that park is horrid! There is no escape from the blistering heat. It is almost so bad that I don't even want to go in the summer. Plus, what kid wants to scorch his bum just by riding down a slide while wearing shorts!?

2a. Smokers. Gah!!!! I dislike smokers at my public park more than anything! I can't even begin to tell you. Smoking in general is one of my biggest pet peeves, even outside of public parks. I am one of those infernally rude people who hack and cough loudly when they walk by smokers. I know, it is horrible...but so is blowing your nasty smoke into my clean and healthy lungs! This hate of smoking is compounded ten fold when it is at a park around kids. Especially my kid. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS A WINDY DAY AND YOU ARE LETTING YOUR SMOKE BLOW INTO THE WHOLE STINKIN' PLAY GROUND!!!! I hate it. Hate it. HATE IT! It takes every ounce of my energy to not go up to the smoker, knock their cigarette out of their hands and crush is with a super stomp and twirl. Ohio has a law against smoking within 50 feet of any public building (not that it is ever enforced..stupid cheap law that should be wonderful)...don't you think that it should be illegal to smoke at a park where children are, too?

2b. Cigarette butts. Like smoking at parks isn't enough, many smokers then choose to litter the stubs of their nasty addiction among the wood chips of the play ground. My curious 18 month old can then pick up the incredibly disturbing piece of trash, while I frantically try to get him to drop it before it makes it to his mouth and pull out wipes from the diaper bag. Lovely.

3. Mothers (or grandmothers) that are overprotective of MY kid, even though I am two feet away. My mother-in-law, bless her ever-loving heart, would probably fall into this category. (This weekend, at trick or treating, she offered a tissue to a couple of young, red nosed kids.) It may seem like a kind and loving thing to do, to be an attentive mother to a child that isn't yours. BUT...it definitely has a way of making the real mother feel like she is failing at her calling in life. Bug is very adventurous, and will climb on the playground and slide down slides by himself. I stand close by all the time. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop other well meaning ladies from "helping".

4. Unfenced pond with a steep slope. Toddlers can run. Fast. But they can't stop very easily, especially if they are running down an incline. If my legs were any shorter, I would be jumping into the pond to rescue Bug, because he is almost faster than I am. Sure, a duck pond looks nice (just ignore all the crap on the ground). The only problem is the sign that says to not feed the water fowl (what fun is that?)....the steep slope with lots of rocks...the lack of fence...the unsanitary ground conditions...the potential drowning hazard. Maybe they should just save some money on the blue dye and fill in the pond with dirt.

5. Busy parking lot that is really close to the play ground. Remember how I said Bug is almost faster than I am? Well, he is. And it takes him about two seconds to run into the parking lot of our busy park....

...When I finally reach him, I figure it is about time to go home.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Halloween is finally here. I must admit, this year is WAY more fun that last year was. Last year, Bug was only six months old. He didn't care about candy or costumes or carving pumpkins or going from house to house for trick or treating. THIS year, however, Bug cares about all of that. He is your basic toddler. That means he is curious about everything and into everything. He loves sweet treats and getting messy. And he even loves seeing everyone dressed up in costumes. He just stares and stares, wondering why people look funny.

This year, we dressed Bug up as Avatar Aang. If you don't know who that is, you are seriously missing out. Avatar is an adorable Nickelodeon anime-type show. I love watching it. And it was going to be so easy to turn Bug into Aang that I couldn't resist. So....I shaved his head. Bought him a yellow pullover sweater. Made him a red cloak. The best thing about his outfit is that he can wear most of it on any other day, too! (In fact, he is wearing a pair of red sweat pants that he wore for Halloween last year. Except last year they were huge on him and this year they are getting too small!) And he stood incredibly still while I painted a blue arrow on his head!

These pictures were taken at our church's Trunk or Treat this past Tuesday. So tell me...do you think Bug makes an excellent Aang, or what!? (And believe it or not, he isn't eating candy in these pictures, he was sucking on his cloak. Weird kid.)

Bug as Aang:
Compared to Aang as Aang
[photo removed, click to get the picture]


Oh, yeah. I did a good job on this costume!

The whole family:
The husband and I were going to go as Peace and Quiet (a hippie and a mime), except the hubby didn't want to be a hippie...and I wanted to actually dress up! So we decided to both go as mimes. It was fun. And, I tell you what, the hubs should make a profession out of it! He was hilarious the whole evening; picking on people, staying quiet, juggling and doing all sorts of mime things! Now, if only he had let me do his makeup for him!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I gotta go...Again!

Last week, I bought Bug his very own potty. I was always very opposed to buying a potty that I would have to empty and clean...but it seems to be worth it.

Over a month ago, I bought a cushioned toilet trainer seat that fits onto the regular toilet. I would sit Bug up on the toilet and try everything I could to encourage him to -go- on the toilet. I would turn water on, sprinkle Bug with water, say "Pssssss", vocally tell him to pee and try all of the techniques that are recommended by those who do elimination communication. (I also would grunt and tell him to poo...I wasn't going to be picky, of course.) He went pee once. I would try and try to get him to do it again. But he just was not interested. I knew it was still early for me to try potty training Bug, but I wanted to try. Bug is so independent, I just felt that it would be good to go ahead and start to try.

Finally, I gave in and bought a cheap toddler potty. I took Bug's pants and diaper off and helped him sit on the potty. Then I asked him if he would go pee. And you know what? He peed!!! I got so excited for him. I clapped. I hooted and whooped and did a little dance. And Bug smiled hugely at me.

Then, I emptied the container into the toilet, rinsed it, and put it back in the seat of Bug's potty. I hadn't put Bug back into a diaper (I figured he would be fine with some diaper free time, because he just peed). As soon as I got the potty back together, Bug sat down on it again. He clenched his hands and grunted and strained for a couple seconds. Then he looked up at me with a happy face and started clapping his hands. He got up off the potty and we both peered into it. There was a little puddle of urine. I clapped again and verbally praised Bug for using his potty again. And I, once again, cleaned the container...still without re-diapering Bug. And...AGAIN...Bug sat on his seat and squeezed and strained and clapped. And was rewarded with praise again as I found three little drops of yellow fluid in the potty. Repeat cleaning process. Finally, I got a diaper and clothes back on Bug before he could once again show me how great he is at using his potty.

And that is how it has gone ever since. In the morning after we wake up, I let Bug use his potty....about three times in a row. Before our shower, I go through it all again. Sometimes we do the routine in the afternoon. And we always do it before bed.

It can be annoying...because I never wanted to have to clean the stupid potty in the first place. (And now I have to clean it three times more than I should have to.) But it is also exciting, because Bug understands. He knows that it is where he should go potty. He obviously recognizes and knows what it feels like to pee. We don't use it all the time, he still has to have his diaper changed throughout the day. And he hasn't learned to defecate in his potty yet. But, I must say, it is a great start to teaching him how to use a toilet!

Monday, October 26, 2009

One, two, WHEEEE!!!!

Bug is a climber. Seriously, I should encourage him to join the circus when he gets a little bit older. I have no idea how he does it. If the wall has a .002mm indent, he will use it as a foothold and climb. He fears no heights. Actually, he fears nothing. Maybe he would fear not being able to climb? I don't know? The kid is crazy.

And it gets better...after he has climbed (on top of side tables, kitchen tables, computer desk, dresser, coffee table, chairs, step stools, four inch wide headboard...) he likes to jump. And I must admit, I probably encourage this behavior. I can't help it. When Bug gets up to the summit of Mt. Whatever, he turns and looks at me with such pride. And then he holds out his hands.

So, I count. One. T-Bug jumps while I am totally unprepared and I nearly drop him on his head-wo. Three! And Bug enthusiastically calls out, "Tee!" or "Whee!" Sometimes, Bug will climb up, bounce and "count" while he waits for me to outstretch my arms. His counting sounds like this: "Uh, Ooh, TEE!"

If I am within 5 feet of Bug, I must be prepared to catch him. Because he will jump.

The kid is crazy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Support and Acceptance

It is human nature to desire to be different....yet, it is also human nature to conform. We want to have our individuality, but we want to have people that agree with us and support us. Women, especially, have an emotional need for support and acceptance. That is why women like to go shopping together, have social gatherings, gab with others, blog, etc. Women like to have a group of women that will listen to and agree with all their joys and woes. Sometimes blogging can satisfy this desire. Sometimes, you really need a group of women that are there for you in real life.

I guess I have been feeling a little discouraged lately. (It happens every now and then...I like to blame it on hormones, because it is an excuse that my husband seems ready to accept.) I have surpassed my human desire to be different. I am definitely my own unique person. I have broken societal norms and I haven't looked back. But, even without looking back, I am looking around and feeling very lonely.

Where are all the mothers, young and old, that are passionate about pregnancy? About natural childbirth (including *gasp* unassisted birth)? About breastfeeding, even into toddler hood? About baby wearing? About not vaccinating? About not circumcising? About bed sharing? Are these all lost arts? What is wrong with just leaving things simple? Why are there so many people who think it is wrong to be a "crunchy" parent? I am continually trudging through the crowd of all those who think I am doing things wrong.

I don't want to be a hypocrite. I am often verbal about what is wrong with other parenting styles. (Usually after I feel attacked...which is probably more perceived and less real.) But science is giving more and more support in saying that natural parenting habits are actually BETTER than the parenting styles that have become more mainstream. How can there still be so many people that are completely ignorant about this? How can there still be so many people who blatantly reject this? Parents have become lazy. They don't want to learn, they don't care to learn. They choose to rely on "experts" instead of scouring for the knowledge themselves. Is there anything wrong with being self sufficient in more ways that growing your own vegetables?

What is wrong with being a "crunchy" mom? And if there is nothing wrong with it, why are naturally minded mothers lacking support? And why aren't more mothers delighting in the knowledge and ability to be an intuitive mother?

Bring back the art of mothering! Listen to your body. Listen to your babies and children. If they want to be held, hold them! If they want to nurse at your breast, nurse them! Keep them close, day and night. Protect their health, their bodies, their minds. Women are strong. Women were divinely created to be mothers. Our bodies were created to give birth without complications or trauma. Our bodies were made to nourish our children. Our hearts have the ability to love and to cherish our children, and give them exactly what they need. There is such great joy in simple mothering. It is an art that has nearly been lost in the Western culture. Bring back the art of mothering!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Aunt Flo

Every woman has an Aunt Flo. Young girls may not have met her yet. Old women may have long said "Farewell" to the good relative. For most women, she makes a monthly visit. Dedicated, if you ask me.

Or to some, Aunt Flo takes an extended vacation, shows up after a couple of years and says, "Holy Macaroni! You have a stinkin' toddler!" And subsequently makes it the worst visit you have had with her in your whole life. At first, you are excited to see her again. But then you realize she isn't happy. She can't believe that you fooled her into that long absence, and is so upset that she brings her fury down heavily, unrelentingly, and painfully.

When she finally leaves again, you are wiping your brow in genuine relief. Then you beg your husband to please, please, help trick her into another extended vacation. Because life without Aunt Flo is a comfortable life, indeed. So you and your husband start formulating plans to keep the bad Aunt away for a while. You don't know if the plans will work, but you will keep trying until they do.

True story.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Please Research: Why the breast?

It has been nearly a year and a half since Bug was born, and it has probably been less than a dozen times that he has had a bottle given to him. I received exactly five bottles at my baby shower. One of them broke. The other four are sitting on the top shelf of one of my cabinets. They are collecting dust, and I don't know why I haven't gotten rid of them yet. The fact is, I never really felt comfortable leaving Bug alone for extended periods of time that would necessitate him needing a bottle. And because of my parenting style, which I sometimes refer to as intuitive or instinctive parenting, I chose to keep well within my comfort level most of the time. Before I knew it, Bug was old enough to use a sippy cup and eat solid foods. And what do you know, I was more comfortable leaving him with a babysitter.

Recently, a family member sent me an email curiously asking why I was still breastfeeding my toddler. She told me that she had thought I was bottle feeding Bug, but when she found out that I was still nursing she was so curious that she emailed me. She wanted to know exactly why I was still nursing, from my own point of view, not some web site's information. She wanted to know how it could be beneficial to Bug or to me. So, I told her. I pulled from my memory all the things I had learned about breastfeeding. I've done a lot of research concerning all kinds of parenting topics, including breastfeeding, and I used that knowledge to fill my response. My email got longer and longer as I explained as straightforwardly as I could the physical and emotional benefits, for both Bug and me. Here is some of what I told her:
A lot of people question mothers who nurse longer than a year. In our society it has kind of become taboo, for unknown reasons. Bug is 17 months right now, and yes, he is definitely still nursing. The World Health Organization has recommended that children be breastfed for at least 2 years, and as long after that as mutually desired by mom and child. Breast milk has a lot of stuff in it that is really healthy for children, and the benefits of breast milk don't go away at a certain age. They are always there. Human specific healthy fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and antibodies are all found in breast milk, but aren't found in formula and cow's milk. Because we don't give Bug any vaccines, it is especially good for him to continue breastfeeding. It helps him keep from getting sick. It prevents earaches, cold/flu, childhood obesity, asthma, allergies and other health issues. Also, breast milk helps build up the myelin fat in the brain, so children that are breastfed longer are generally more intelligent. Breastfeeding can also help oral development (especially keeping teeth healthy and straight).

I also believe that nursing Bug still will help him become a more emotionally healthy person. Babies and toddlers have a need to suck and be comforted. Most children Bug's age still use a bottle or a pacifier, which both of those are actually a substitute for the breast. Weaning could teach a child to lose trust, because they expect their parents to give them what they need, physically as well as emotionally. When Bug gets hurt or upset, I can nurse him to help him feel better...even if I only nurse him for a couple of seconds at a time, it usually stops a tantrum and helps us both deal with the issues at hand much better! I genuinely feel that Bug still has a need to nurse. I'm ok with that, so we still nurse. He gets so excited about nursing and he smiles and laughs. It makes me feel good to know that I can make him so happy that way.

As for how nursing benefits me, there are also lots of ways. In the beginning, nursing helped me to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and also helped my uterus recover from pregnancy and birth faster (as nursing causes mild contractions that help the uterus return to the normal size). That contracting also helps prevent excessive bleeding after birth too. But, benefits also come with extended nursing. The longer a mother breastfeeds, the less likely she is to have breast cancer, uterine cancer and cervical cancer. Breastfeeding also releases "feel good" hormones that can help prevent depression. Also, it helps with natural child spacing. Because I have been nursing Bug, I didn't start my period until just recently!

I guess I just see that the benefits of extended nursing are enough to keep nursing. Since around one year, Bug has been eating regular meals during the day, and nursing more for snacks and comfort. It makes it much easier for me to get him to sleep, for naps, for bedtime and if he wakes up in the middle of the night. It also makes it easy if we are out of the house and I forgot his sippy cup or snacks. I can let him nurse a little bit and it satisfies both hunger and thirst. I don't see any reason why I should wean him.
I hope that I was able to properly convey the benefits, and even the importance of breastfeeding. This isn't only about extended breastfeeding, either. Many people forget how important breastfeeding is, even for a newborn infant. I came across this wonderful article that reminded me a lot of my response to my curious family member. It is my hope that mothers learn about and come to realize how wonderful it is to breastfeed. I believe that if women knew...really knew...how great breastfeeding is, we would have less curiosity, disgust, ambivalence, etc. toward breastfeeding. It truly will be a happy day when every mother can put her baby to her breast without judgment or ignorance interfering.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cleaning out the Fridge

Dried, crusty rice. Five Tupperware dishes of congealed noodles with sad, limp veggies. Molding asparagus. A half eaten dish of toddler ravioli (we don't even buy that stuff?!?) Gelled fish. Curdled Alfredo sauce. Who knows what that is.

Oh, yes. Every couple of months, my refrigerator turns into something that is highly embarrassing and more than a little frightening. And no matter how long I try to ignore the feast that would make maggots around the world happy...there comes a time when I just have to clean out that fridge.

So, I don my yellow rubber gloves. I pull the trash can up right next to the sink and dishwasher. And I set my nerves. Then, I pull out all those dishes; small and large, Saran wrapped, lidded, bowls, Ziploc bags, and restaurant take-home boxes. Throw away. Open and throw away. Open, scrape, grimace, and throw away. Rinse and shove in the dishwasher. Repeat until there is practically nothing left in the fridge, except that gallon of milk we bought yesterday. Oh, and the pears we bought yesterday, too.

I'm really not a dirty person. I like my house to be organized and tidy. I would never pass a white glove test, but clutter grates on my ever last nerve. Of course, with a husband that likes papers, I'm learning to deal with the clutter a little bit better. And with a son, I am learning that I don't have the time to clean every day. Not that I would, even if I didn't have a son, but that is beside the point. I think having a clean home is important, but I don't want it to detract from having time with my family. I definitely think I am somewhere in between total slob and psycho neat freak. And it is a happy place for me.

Now, I need to do something about those bananas on my counter that are sending out party invites to all the fruit flies in the whole Midwest!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Contribute 2009

REMINDER: TODAY IS THE FIRST SHOPPING DAY OF CONTRIBUTE 2009!

Don't forget to get out to a small, local business and help! Go spend at least $50 to boost the local economy. Make it fun. Start your Christmas shopping. Anniversaries, birthdays, etc. Maybe you can buy something you need. Is there a local grocer or produce shop around? Go get your dinner supplies there instead of a major grocery store. Or treat yourself to something you want, and know that you are helping out in the process! Just go out and Contribute!

Little Boys

One really annoying thing about little boys is that they can pee in all directions. And when they pee, they pee. There is no trickling or dribbling. It is all out squirting and spraying.

I was once talking to a lady at a friend's party about little boys and their urinating capabilities. She told me the most hilarious story about when her son was a baby. She said he was just screaming away as she tried to quickly change his diaper. When the cold air hit his baby bottom he started to pee...up, over his body and into his open mouth. This lady said that he gurgled and sputtered through his cry because of the pee in his mouth. Luckily, he didn't breathe any into his lungs. But his mom just totally flipped out. She was a new mom, and so called the pediatrician frantically, wondering if her son would be alright. After all, he just had a mouthful of pee! The nurse on the phone told her that urine is sterile, and that the baby would, indeed, be alright. This lady swears that she heard the other nurses in the office laughing in the background!

When I found out that I was having a boy, I decided to buy some "Pee pee Tee pee's" to try to keep the spray at bay. I later discovered that they weren't very helpful, as they didn't stay on Bug's little pee pee to even act as a tee pee. All you have to do, is learn how to change diapers quickly. But, no matter how fast you can change a diaper, you have to make sure that the little squirt is pointing down. Not sideways. And definitely not up. I learned that the hard way-wet outfits and wondering how the heck my son could pee outside of his diaper!

Bug is old enough now that I don't really have to worry about him peeing while I change his diaper. The trouble now is him removing his diaper without my knowledge. OR sticking his hands in his diaper and pulling his goods out the top. One day the hubs noticed a wet spot on the carpet in our hallway. He assumed it was a harmless wet spot (we do have a toddler, after all....then again, that may not be a good explanation for harmless wet spots) but jokingly asked, "What, did Bug pee on the floor?" I shrugged my shoulders, but went to investigate anyway. And, what do you know...I discovered Bug with his pants off, onesie unsnapped, and diaper missing. The really funny thing is, I had seen him running around with his onesie unsnapped for a while and thought nothing of it. I wonder how long he had been without a diaper!? And I hope that I never find anything more menacing that a wet spot after something like that happens!

Friday, October 9, 2009

What is to come...

I've been working on getting my Bachelor's Degree of Psychology since I was 15 years old. Kind of. When I was a sophomore in high school, I started a program called Post Secondary Option (PSO) that allowed me to attend a local college and get credit for both high school and college. I knew even then that I wanted to major in Psychology. (Of course, I never imagined then that I would ultimately want to end up in Midwifery.) So, I worked hard and got excellent grades even as the youngest student in the whole college! I took nearly 20 credit hours nearly every quarter, and I graduated with an Associates Degree when I was 17 years old. I also graduated high school a year early.

Then I transferred to another local University. I settled nicely into my PSY niche. I continued to work hard (still taking nearly 20 credit hours, but now on semesters). Requirements for my degree included a wide variety of PSY classes, both easy and hard. They were no problem for me. Also, statistics. Easy. Philosophy. Meh...I passed the Honors course with...honors. Countless other electives. Fun and a breeze. AND......language requirements. Pass the 202 level of any language.

Now, I am a lover of the arts. Anything that doesn't quite resemble some hard science will find favor with me. English was one of my best classes my whole life. But give me a foreign language to learn and I struggle. Not my forte.

I took Italian 101. Passed top of the class. A+. I took Italian 102. Same deal. I started thinking it was easy. I took Italian 201. I struggled a little bit more. A-. I took Italian 202. The only one that counts, but took me a year and a half to get to. Bombed. Majorly. A big, fat, ugly F. Stupid class is the only one I've ever failed in my whole entire life! The only difference between my 201 semester and my 202 semester (and subsequently, the excuse for my ridiculous failure) was that I was in my third trimester with Bug. I didn't even go to class the last couple of weeks because I didn't want to drive an hour to campus and back all by myself. Oh yeah, and that little thing about taking the final less than a week after Bug was born. I mean, seriously, I was still wearing huge maxi pads, sitting on my stitches, wishing I had an ice pack...and I had to take a break half way through the exam to nurse Bug!

So, after I worked through the stages of grief over failing a class (which, to be honest, I'm not sure if I'm over it yet) I decided to learn Spanish. The hubby served a full-time two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Buenos Aires, Argentina and speaks fluent Spanish. I figured he could help me out. A year after failing my Italian class, I had forgotten nearly all of my Italian. Sadly, I hadn't been replacing the knowledge with Spanish. I just had no motivation to learn.

About a month ago, the hubs decided that he REALLY wants me to graduate. (So do I, hon, so do I!) We decided to purchase the Rosetta Stone software; which, I might inform you, is a major investment. But I am here to tell you, it is awesome. And it is going to work. If all goes to plan, I hope to graduate -finally- this coming May. Seven years after I first started college, and with enough credit hours to get me two Bachelor's Degrees. Too bad I'm only getting one. (But, don't congratulate me until it actually happens, though!)

The Rosetta Stone software is great. It probably would have helped me graduate all by itself. However, a girl likes a little incentive. So, my computer genius of a husband has offered me my very own domain for my blog. I get to design it all, with his help, and make it perfect. Then, when I graduate, it is going up for the world to view! And this makes me more excited than all the diamonds in the world! (Well......maybe.)

Of course, I have been bookin' it through Rosetta Stone. I'm learning (and retaining, 'cause that's what counts) tons! And I downloaded a free photo editing program, that is awesome, called Inkscape. I've been designing my blog to be. And I'd like to offer my readers a sneak peek by showing you my design for what will be my new button. (Which makes my old button look like Bug made it, instead of me!)

Free Image Hosting

I bet you're really excited!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Thrilling Week and more

Never fear, blog world. I am still here and still alive. After a week and a half of having my sister and her husband in town, I am finally getting back to a basic routine. (And, hopefully, Bug will be getting to bed earlier than 11pm.)

My sister, Megan, and brother-in-law, Chet, are some of the most fun people I know. They don't have any children yet, which means that they spend all of their time having adventurous fun...well, all of their time outside of full-time jobs and medical school. So, Bug and I (and the hubs, after work hours) had our fill of adventures while they were gracing us with their presence.

Our family (ever since Megan married Chet) has started a tradition of making family videos whenever we are together. Last year, we rode bicycles all over Cincinnati (the video was put to Queen's song Bicycle, which we all hated with a passion by the time the video was finished!) Over New Year's, the rest of the family went to NYC (where Megan and Chet live) and made a video of us all being typical tourists...and getting food poisoning. This week was no exception. And we pulled together a Mockumentary about X-Men rejects. I haven't seen the finished video, but once it is posted on YouTube, I may share it....maybe.

And, speaking of videos...Saturday night, while all of our men were at the Priesthood Session of General Conference, Megan taught the rest of us how to dance the Thriller. We learned it (as best as we could) in an hour and a half. Then we dressed up as zombies and danced for the guys when they got home. And there was a video made. The video is more than embarrassing, but I may share it too. (But you have to promise not to make fun of us!) The Thriller is a HARD dance!!! Megan said it took her about 4 hours to learn it, and she still feels like she could be better. When...or If I put the video up, you will have to keep that in mind as you see us messing up and doing everything a beat behind. However, Bug had a lot of fun dancing to the music, too. And when we would line up at the back of the room to begin the dance, Bug would stand with us and wait for the music to start.

Megan, Chet, my dad, Bug and I went hiking at the Cincinnati Nature Center, too this past week. Our hike was a little bit less than two miles. It was gorgeous and Bug walked for about a whole mile all by himself! He also did a face plant after trying to walk down a hill by himself. He couldn't maintain a walk and ended up running full speed down the hill before he biffed it. But he barely cried and was ready to walk again shortly after.

It has been nice to get some outside exercise. I'm afraid I don't exercise often enough. And I'm feeling it in weight gain and inflexibility. I won't tell you how much I weigh, but it is about 50 pounds more that what I want to weigh. Megan brought (and accidentally left) a Pilates video and I have been doing it for the past couple of days. It is a work out and makes me feel good. I have also started cutting my portions in half. I use a small plate to help remind me to eat less. The more often I eat less, the less I feel like I need to eat. I guess there is nothing wrong with having a "mom" body: wider hips, saggy breasts, belly pooch, and stretchmarks. But, I definitely want to be fit and active and healthy. Plus, I want to be happy with myself.

We also got family pictures taken at Robert Glutz Photography. Bob is a friend of the family and I must say, he has quite the talent for getting toddlers to take great pictures! He danced and ran around with a stuffed animal to get Bug to laugh for the camera, and it totally worked! Bug is probably the most photogenic in the whole family!

Sunday afternoon we had some friends (and new neighbors) over for Conference. They have a daughter who is one month older than Bug. They had so much fun playing together. And they shared a banana (Bug's little friend giving him a bite, and then taking one herself). The whole time Bug was being a perfect little friend (a bit more rambunctious that a girl, but not being a bully) until he decided to bite her arm. As a mother, I can tell you, I was completely mortified!!! I apologized over and over again, told Bug that he had done something very bad, and made him apologize by giving her a kiss. Bug has never bitten another child before, and it terrifies me to think that he is starting now!

Also this past week, a good friend of mine had a baby! I got to go to the hospital and hold her sweet little boy. It made me want another one so badly, I can hardly stand it!!! Hopefully, it won't be too long until that happens.

Now that I've filled you in with all that has been going on this past week, I will be able to get back into the perfect blogging rhythm. Well...that's the plan, at least!

Friday, September 25, 2009

PS-It's babywearing week!

I totally spaced and forgot that this week has been International Babywearing Week. Yeah...I'm such a slacker. I did a whole week of posts when it was International Breastfeeding Week. I guess because I don't wear Bug as often any more (he is so independent and prefers to walk) that I haven't been as dedicated to the babywearing community.

HOWEVER...I did want to just put in a little plug about how great it is to wear your baby. It makes life so much easier. Babies (and toddlers, usually) love to be close to mommy. Close enough to kiss. And I think mommies love to have their little ones close, too. It was also a pleasure for me to wear Bug in a sling or a wrap (my favorite carriers for a young baby). I loved to pat his little butt and smell his sweet head. And then, once Bug was older, I loved carrying him in a Mei Tai. It is so sweet when he falls asleep while tied onto me. Honestly, I opted to get a convertible car seat rather than an infant car seat, so I wouldn't even be tempted to carry Bug around in the seat.

If you are interested in babywearing, I would recommend WearYourBaby.com. It is my favorite website for all your babywearing needs. It has information on all different types of carriers, how to make your own carriers, how to use your carriers, and much more! Go check it out, and wear your babies close enough to kiss!

Family Visit

I know I've been slacking a little bit on posting lately. This past week I've had too many real laments (as in the mommy meltdown, psycho woman, not-so-funny ones) and I just don't feel like they should be put on this blog...at least not until I can laugh at myself!

And the blogging slump isn't going to get any better this coming week. My older sister and her husband are coming into town from NYC tonight! I'm so excited that they will be here this next week. My older sister was my best friend growing up. It is hard sometimes to not be able to see her and chat with her whenever I want. But this week I will get everything in that I can (and she and her husband love to have fun, so we are going to get a lot into our schedule!)

So, don't miss me too much. I may try to squeeze some hilarity in when I can!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Contribute 2009

I've mentioned before that my parents are now Scentsy consultants (I think, have I mentioned that???) They sell scented wax that is warmed by special ceramic warmers and a light bulb. Scentsy consultants are each considered small business owners. Scentsy (I wonder how many times I will have to type that word out throughout this post) has put together a campaign to support small, local businesses. The campaign is called Contribute 2009, Big Help for Small Business. On October 12th, all those who want to participate will spend $50 or more at a small business to help out. Please consider making a pledge to help this wonderful cause! [Click the button for more information.]

Contribute 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Somersault

Bug often bends over while standing and puts his head and hands right on the ground by his feet. I always try to get him to do a somersault, because he is so close to doing one on his own. All it will take is a little push from his feet, and then he will be able to do it all by himself.

We all know how well kids learn by example. So, I helped Bug do a couple somersaults. Then...I tried to do one myself. I guess, technically, I succeeded. But, holy mackerel, I think I nearly broke my body! I never thought of myself as "getting old"...most people still think of me as a baby! But I can tell you one thing: my tumbling days are behind me!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Boobs, Bleach and Blood

I used to go to my grandma's house all the time (yeah, that one). And, you know how grandmas are...she was making some homemade chocolate pudding. (Personally, I don't like homemade pudding, because it gets that layer of rubber on the top after it has cooled.) Anyway, she was standing there, stirring her pudding and chatting to me and some of my cousins. As she went to taste the pudding, a huge glob of it dropped off the spoon...right onto her large chest.

Now, you must understand. Most of the women on the paternal side of my family are rather well endowed. Ok, actually, they're enormous. Luckily? Unfortunately? I was blessed with a little bit of those genes. Sometimes I joke and say I got my boobs from my dad (because that is the side of the family they came from...not because my dad is large and has them himself...he doesn't. Actually, until my dad went to nursing school several years ago, he was quite scrawny.) Again, I digress.

So, my cousins and I all burst out laughing when that glob of pudding landed on gram's most available tarmac. And that day, I think grandma put a curse on my barely bulging, jr. high aged body. She told us all, as she wiped as much chocolate as she could off of her white shirt, that it wasn't funny, and we'd all have the same daggone problem in the short future. (She told us all this in not quite those same words. But there is no way to effectively put grandma into a blog!)

Fast forward to years after that pudding event. Grandma was right. I have made mountains out of mole hills. And every shirt has a toothpaste stain to prove it.

Oh, and there's that one shirt....that brand spankin' new brown one that I loved instantly....that has bleach. Right on the bosom. I didn't even have that shirt on when I used the bleach! Which brings me to my next topic. Bleach has magical powers. No, not for its cleaning ability. But for its ability to get EVERYWHERE even hours after the bottle was closed again. Not only did I find a spot of bleach on my new shirt. I found a spot on my bedsheets. The bleach is on the opposite side of the apartment from my bed!!! How on earth did those bleach spots get there. (Oh, and I KNOW the spots didn't happen while I was washing those sheets.)

It may have just been the fault of the sheets though. I bet they were begging to get stained. Calling all the stain-able liquids to them, pied piper style. Because, you know what? Later that night, the hubby got a random bloody nose. And after he had rushed to the bathroom, I noticed a couple small drops of blood, just a foot away from those daggone bleach stains.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The ultimate excuse

I use one excuse for almost all of Bug's terrible antics: teething. Well, that and "he's tired". If he is sick, he must be teething. If he is a downright cranky terror, he must be teething. If he is drooling profusely, he must be teething. If he has a diaper rash, he must be teething. And, you know what, more often than not, he actually has a tooth pop out shortly after the "teething symptoms". I guess it helps that at his age, kids are ALWAYS getting new teeth. I honestly don't know what excuse I will give him once he has a mouth full of teeth. But, for now, I am blaming it all on teething. Bug has 11 teeth now. And one tender bubble where tooth number 12 is working its way out of his gums. (Yeah, that explains a lot.)

Really, sometimes I just can't handle my long days spent with a cranky toddler! I should be more understanding to his feelings. If he is whiny and clingy and fussy and angry because he has sore gums, I should show him more love. But, even if he is whiny and clingy and fussy and angry for some other reason, I should still love him.

What do you other moms do when you have a super cranky toddler?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Defiant Little Devil

Bug is quite your typical toddler. That means that he never listens to me and he is almost always disobedient. Sometimes, I wonder if he even really understands me. But then he is naughty after I KNOW he understood me, and I realize that he is being disobedient on purpose.

The other day, we went to our friendly, neighborhood grocery store as a family. After we got all of our groceries down the checkout belt, the hubby (who had been holding Bug) passed Bug off to me so he could pay. I put Bug back into the seat of our cart, squirming and fighting. I told him that it was ok, and that we were going to go home. Then, I told him to give me a kiss. And, as I leaned down with my lips puckered, Bug slapped my face. I sharply told him, "NO!" and that what he did wasn't nice. I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a young lady laughing at the exchange. It actually made me really mad to see someone laughing at my uncontrollable toddler. I guess I could look back at that situation and laugh. But, part of me looks back at that situation and wonders, how the heck do I get Bug to be nice and kind and obedient!?!

Elizabeth Pantley, (author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and other books) has some fantastic ideas for how to get toddlers to be a little more obedient in her book, Kid Cooperation. This excerpt, called Get Your Toddler to Co-Operate! is from her book Kid Cooperation:
Toddlers and preschoolers require finesse to gain their
cooperation, because they have not yet reached the age at
which they can see and understand the whole picture, so simply
explaining what you want doesn’t always work. Robert Scotellaro is
quoted in The Funny Side of Parenthood as saying, “Reasoning with
a two-year-old is about as productive as changing seats on the
Titanic.” (He must have had a two-year-old at the time.)

You can get around this frustrating state of affairs by changing your
approach. Let’s look at two situations – first the typical (Titanic)
way:

Parent: David! Time to change your diaper.
David:No! (As he runs off)
Parent: Come on honey. It’s time to leave, I need to change you.
David: (Giggles and hides behind sofa)
Parent: David, this isn’t funny. It’s getting late. Come here.
David: (Doesn’t hear a word. Sits down to do a puzzle.)
Parent: Come here! (Gets up and approaches David)
David: (Giggles and runs)
Parent: (Picking up David) Now lie here. Stop squirming! Lie still.
Will you stop this!
(As parent turns to pick up a new diaper, a little bare bottom is
running away)

I’m sure you’ve all been there. Oh, and by the way, David is my son.
And this was an actual scene recorded in his baby book. Like you, I
got very tired of this. Then I discovered a better way:

Parent:(Picking up diaper and holding it like a puppet, making it
talk in a silly, squeaky voice)
Hi David! I’m Dilly Diaper! Come here and play with me!
David:(Running over to Diaper) Hi Dilly!
Parent as Diaper: You’re a nice boy. Will you give me a kiss?
David:Y es. (Gives diaper a kiss)
Parent as Diaper: How ‘bout a nice hug?
David: (Giggles and hugs Diaper)
Parent as Diaper: Lie right here next to me. Right here. Yup. Can I
go on you? Oh yes?!
Goody goody goody! (The diaper chats with David while he’s being
changed. Then it says, Oh, David! Listen, I hear your shoes calling
you – David! David!

The most amazing thing about this trick is that it works over and
over and over and over. You’ll keep thinking, “He’s not honestly
going to fall for this again?” But he will! Probably the nicest byproduct
of this method is that it gets you in a good mood and you
have a little fun time with your child.

When you’ve got a toddler this technique is a pure lifesaver.
When my son David was little I used this all the time. (I then used
it with my youngest child, Coleton, and it worked just as well.)
Remembering back to one day, when David was almost three, we
were waiting in a long line at the grocery store and I was making
my hand talk to him. It was asking him questions about the items
in the cart. Suddenly, he hugged my hand, looked up at me and
said, “Mommy, I love for you to pretend this hand is talking.”
Another parent reported that she called her toddler to the table for
dinner a number of times, when he calmly looked up at her, chubby
hands on padded hips and said, “Mommy, why don’t you have my
dinner call to me?”

And suddenly, the peas on his plate came to life and called out to
him; he ran over to join the family at the dinner table.

A variation on this technique, that also works very well, is to
capitalize on a young child’s vivid imagination as a way to thwart
negative emotions. Pretend to find a trail of caterpillars on the way
to the store, hop to the car like a bunny, or pretend a carrot gives
you magic powers as you eat it.

It’s delightful to see how a potentially negative situation can be
turned into a fun experience by changing a child’s focus to fun and
fantasy.
And it is so true...when I make things fun for Bug, he is so much more willing to cooperate with me. It becomes a game, and what toddler doesn't love to play a game with mommy?? (By the way, I think that Titanic diaper scenario should be renamed the "Mommy tries to change Bug's diaper" scenario!) Perhaps, as I learn to employ more entertaining ways of teaching Bug, he will be more willing to give me kisses in the grocery store!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

One more...

When you were a kid, did you ever play those games where you try to shove your mouth completely full of food, but not suffocate? Like the "fluffy bunny" game, where you stuff as many marshmallows into your mouth as you can? Or the Hot Tamale game? (You know, I really enjoy those Hot Tamale candies, but they can be HOT when you have over a dozen of them in your mouth!!!)

Bug has started playing these games already...and he's not even a stupid teenager! But, for him, these games are more like the Goldfish game, or the Cheerios game, or the Mac 'n' Cheese game, or the hash brown breakfast casserole game. I just don't get it. He always wants more, even if he hasn't finished chewing and swallowing what is already in his mouth!

The other day, a friend and her 2 year old son were over playing with us. Bug was sharing his snacks like a good little boy. However, he was also shoving them into his own mouth. And shoving. And shoving. And shoving. Finally, he realized that he couldn't shove any more into his mouth. He also realized that he couldn't chew up what was already in his mouth. Of course, he figured out a solution. He opened his mouth and let that whole school of Goldfish plop out of his mouth. [Cue mommy frantically trying to clean up the half chewed Goldfish before Bug's little friend could eat any.]

And once Bug's little mouth was again free to chew away...he began shoving in more Goldfish.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Early Bird

Every now and then, I have "one of those weeks". The weeks when Bug wants to nurse ALL THE TIME (and I'm still using my lanolin religiously). And when Bug refuses to go to sleep until a ridiculous hour, even though I nurse him for hours on end and I know he is completely pooped. AND when Bug wakes up at the crack of dawn, even though we have been up numerous times nursing that night, after going to sleep insanely late.

I am a total grump in the morning. Actually, I'm a total grump whenever I should be sleeping and I'm not. And you have to be a brave soul to disturb my sleep. Oh yeah, I made exceptions when Bug was a baby and needed me to wake up at night with him. But, Bug is a toddler now. He shouldn't be nursing five times a night! And if he wants to nurse five times a night....he shouldn't get me out of bed before the sun is up! Especially if he is waking me up by screaming and whining and crying...and then giggling like a maniac as soon as I look at him. The giggling is probably the only thing that keeps me from pulling my hair out, because it is just too darn cute.

I'm sleeping in tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Whirlwind

This guest post is by my friend from church, Sara. She has some of the cutest kids I've ever seen (apart from my own kiddo, of course)! And Sara is so pretty, too. When I first met her, I never would have thought that she already had three kids! Her family has a blog here. And she also has an Etsy shop called SoLilly that has some of the most adorable kids clothes I've ever seen. (You should especially check that out if you have daughters. It seriously makes me want girls!) Enjoy Sara's hectic weekend lament:

Have you ever had something happen, even something little, that just kind of stops you in your tracks and really puts you in your place? Well, that was my weekend.

I have mentioned before that I run a tight ship staying at home with 3 little ones. I always have a packed schedule and I keep up with it and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I love serving. I love people. I love making new friends and catching up with old ones. I think I find every opportunity (or opportunity finds me) to do whatever I can possibly squeeze in to do good and be productive.
So it has to happen on a week when...
You are taking a meal to someone having a baby,
Going to a funeral and bringing rolls and dessert for the family's lunch afterward,
Participating in your calling at the church on Wednesday night,
Going out with the Sister Missionaries to teach,
Having a girl you visit teach over for lunch because she is leaving for college,
Going to your sister-in-law's at home party,
And then a friend from church's party the next day,
Watching a good friend's sweet little boys so she can work while her sister is in the hospital,
Buying all the school supplies because you procrastinate and wait until the last week,
Preparing a solo for Christmas (later post- no tome now)
Yearly check-ups at the pediatrician office,
Getting a scrapbook put together for your Dad's 50th birthday,
Not to mention the hours sitting in front of the sewing machine...
That you wake up Saturday morning and realize that 2 out of 3 kids have horribly broke out with POISON IVY!!

So even though we missed the primary activity that I was supposed to help out with, and spent the day at the doctors and filling prescriptions and applying gunk on Lilly's face and Nick's leg, arm, hand, face, and neck... I was actually thankful for the opportunity to just spend the day with my own kids and not running around caught up in this whirlwind I find myself in. (We were still able to make it to church so I could sub for singing time in nursery:)) A friend of mine recentlywent on an extra service hiatus for a month. Although I don't think I would be able to commit to that, an entire morning can sure have lasting effects:)
I keep thinking it will slow down, but it seems every week on the calandar is more filled in than the last. It's moments like these when you remember the quote "No success can compensate for failure in the home." Not that I think I will ever "fail" in the home, but I was grateful for the reminder that my most important service is within the walls of my own home.
I am so so grateful for my wonderful husband and kids that just sort of hold everything together while I do my calling and serve others. I am thankful for that little slap in the face realization that it might be ok to slow down and take a deep breath every now and again.
I am grateful also for wonderful friends. While attending the funeral Friday and setting up tables and chairs and food for the family's lunch afterward, a friend was watching the kids. I leave them all the time with Nick, a few times with Nick's grandma and with my mom, once with Nick's sister's Celia and Emily, and (first time for everything) now with Michelle. Andrew cried 4 times for me but got over it. It was so refreshing to know that he knows her well enough that I could have my phone on silent during the service and I didn't have to worriedly run home. (My house was somehow miraculously clean when I arrived home too.) AND- when I called another friend at church to say I wouldn't be able to do my station at the primary activity, she actually offered to take Andrew to the primary activity so I could take care of the other kids without bringing him along and exposing him to the poison ivy. Buuuut... I kept him with me.
So thank you to every one who knows exactly where I am coming from and thank you to all who do kind acts of service for me and my family.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Barefoot Baby

When I was a kid, I used to run around barefoot all the time. It was a summer ritual to come inside once it got dark and pull thorns out of my feet. I guess you could say I was a country bumpkin. But it was something I loved. I loved the freedom of it. There is a mystical power to being natural (perhaps going barefoot as a child was the beginning to my natural/crunchy/hippie style). I have sentimental childhood memories of feeling like I could run through a field and then jump into the sky and fly away, with my clothes dirt smudged and grass stained, and my feet bare.

Bug hardly ever wears shoes. I always knew I wanted to be a mom that would let her kids run around barefoot. I couldn't imagine being a mom that required her kids to wear shoes. And I must admit, I still think moms that do require that are too strict! After Bug was born, we just put little socks on his feet. Then, in the summer, he went barefoot. When winter came around again, we were back to nice, warm socks. Once Bug started walking, it was warm enough again for him to go barefoot. Every now and then, I will put some shoes on his feet. But, more often than not, the shoes get pulled off and Bug is barefoot again!

Babies actually learn to walk better when they are able to walk without shoes. It helps them learn better balance, and helps improve the muscle control in their feet. Plus, shoes are a hassle. They are a pain to get on, and they always come back off.

I often get questions and comments about why Bug doesn't wear shoes. (Usually at church, for reasons unknown.) I just smile and say, "He doesn't need them". Because it is true. Right now, he doesn't need them. Of course, once it starts to get cold again, I will have to get him some shoes. But, I think I will try to get some soft soled shoes, so he will still feel like he is almost barefoot. And, you better believe it, as soon as it warms up again, he will probably be running around barefoot!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hormonal Art

Phew! Well, I think I have finally recovered from posting too often at the beginning of this month. And I have felt the need to post again.

I have been reading the book Birthing From Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz. It is incredibly interesting to me, because it talks about birth through art.

I LOVE art. I have always felt a special draw towards artistic creative outlets. I have fond memories of finger painting and large bottles of tempura paint from my elementary school days. When I was a teenager, I found my dad's old acrylic and oil paints from when he was a young man with artistic desires. Surprisingly, the paint hadn't dried out, and I began experimenting with my talents in earnest. I found that my emotions came out on the cardboard, poster or canvas (really, whatever I could get my hands on) in brightly colored, abstract forms. I experimented with other techniques, but I always came back to the style that I felt did the best at capturing what I wanted. Stark lines. Flowing curves. Bold colors. Abstract. Emotion.

When I feel too full of emotion, whether positive or negative, I sit down with a pencil and paper. I either sketch out a painting (usually when things are positive) or I write poetry (my typical negative emotional outlet). I find it highly interesting that my emotions tend to require different media. And it pleases me that I haven't written a single poem about my husband, Bug or being a mother. But I HAVE done paintings for them! (I am actually working on a painting for my husband right now! Well...not now but...you know!)

The birth art book has me really excited to get pregnant again (of course, I have been excited....so when is it gonna happen already???) because I want to do more birth art! For some reason, I just don't think it would be right of me to do birth art without being pregnant. But, when I was pregnant with Bug, I actually did do birth art. I guess it is a natural thing for artistically inclined people. (And, I'm not bragging about my talent there, I'm just trying to nicely address how obsessed I am with wanting to be an artist!)

Here is the painting I did when I first found out I was pregnant with Bug, it is titled "New Life":


This is the painting that I sketched out a couple weeks before Bug was born. I finished the painting while in prodromal labor a week before Bug was actually born. It is titled "Birth":


And this is a painting that I did after Bug was born. It is titled "Nursing Feet". It came about because I would sit in my glider for hours at a time while nursing Bug, and I would amuse myself by making different shapes with my feet:



I used to live with my grandpa, while I attended a nearby university. He would make fun of me all the time for being so abstract, and artsy, and hippie-ish. (And I would make fun of him for being a concrete, geeky, chemistry-lovin' engineer...which is actually what I ended up marrying, so it's probably a good thing I had to deal with the old geezer for a couple years! By the way, I do love my grandpa!) So, I am well aware that there are people out there that don't appreciate abstract art. Heck, there are even people out there that don't appreciate art of any kind. But, that is just too bad for them! I think more women should embrace their inner artist and experiment with some hormonal art!

I can't remember if I had linked to this before or not, but I have already done a post about my "Hormonal Paintings" on my family blog. They are all the same paintings, but with some different words.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's good for you

My grandma once told me that doctors now believe parent's shouldn't discourage their kids from eating boogers. The logic? Boogers have germs in them from the air around us that will help build up the immunity of the kid eating them. Part of me wants to say, "That makes sense!" and part of my wants to say, "Grandma, that is the craziest and nastiest idea in the world...other than eating something else that would be nastier, of course!"

It is interesting though. I've seen tons of kids dig in their noses for treasures that are apparently too tasty to pass up. In fact, I think it is something that is almost biological. Where else could so many kids learn it? Unless there are parents out there everywhere that have the habit. It reminds me of biology classes that I've had before where I learned that frogs eat their own skin after they shed it. And that mother animals will eat their placentas after they give birth. (And my little sister's dog that would eat what my dad referred to as "kitty crunchies" or...litter box treats.) It seriously intrigues me. I don't think it is wrong. But I can't help but think it isn't something I would prefer to do.

Bug has been a little bit snotty recently. I blame it on teething. (He has ten teeth now. TEN! Two of them are the first of his little molars. So grown up!) And the snot is continually running down into his mouth, where he licks it up like it is a delectable treat. I wipe and wipe and wipe, yet still it runs. And if it isn't running, his nose is full of crystallized boogers. A cave of wonders, I tell ya! And every now and then, he gets a sticky little ball of gummed up booger hovering right around the edge of his nostril.

It was one of those sticky snot balls hanging out on his nose the other day. I was feeling a little too lazy to go get a tissue to wipe it up, so I was just going to swipe it with my finger and.....uhm....stick it under the couch I guess. (Really, I'm not sure what I was planning on doing with the booger once it was on my finger. That might have just been the motivation I needed to go get a tissue.) But, as my finger swiped down, Bug stuck out his tongue. There wasn't time for me to pull my finger away. I swiped that gooey booger ball right onto Bug's tongue, and he ate it up.

Maybe this is why children eat their boogers (apart from it being good for their immune systems). Their parents must just be too lazy to grab a tissue, and they conveniently swipe those boogers into the kiddos' mouths.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Two Years and more to come!

A couple months ago, I was laying in bed with my husband and Bug. It was so comfortable. A baby snuggled up in front of me, a husband snuggled up behind me. The hubs and I were being romantic in that mushy, sappy way.

"How much do you love me?" my husband asked.

That is such a hard question to answer! I thought for a while. And then I told my eternal husband what it felt like to me to love him. How much I loved him. How I loved him. I told him that I loved him so much that I couldn't get close enough to him. Hugs aren't close enough. Snuggling in bed isn't close enough. Really, any possible physical intimacy isn't enough. I need his soul inside of me. I love him so much, I want our very cells to mesh together for all time and eternity.

After I finished trying to explain my love for him, my husband was silent for a few moments. Then, he told me, "That's what Bug is."

And it is so true. Our children are, literally, our cells meshed together. Each child is a living, breathing testament of our love. It is a little miracle that God has given us. Our mortal insight to a perfect, godly love.

"Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."
Psalm 127: 3-5

"Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation"
Doctrine and Covenants 49:16

We have had a happy two years of marriage so far. It is so short when you look at it from an eternal perspective. I hope to be happy, with my husband and our children, for a long, long time!

Happy Anniversary, Hubby!