Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Two Democrats On an Escalator

I found this on my cousin Shelli's blog, and had to steal it. At first it made me laugh. Then, not so much...

Where Have I Been?

I have been a blog slacker! It is not like me to go over a week with no post. I have been kind of busy. Sort of;) My excuses:

I have been getting ready for Wendell's family to visit from out of town for Mitchell's baptism last Saturday. O.K this is kind of a copout because his family doesn't really expect that much of me or my house:)

I have been trying to finish the Eragon series so I can return the books to my friend. I like this series because it is interesting, but not interesting enough to neglect my family and my house. I have just been reading every now and then. Which is totally unlike me. And kind of a relief for my poor husband, and again, kind of a copout.

I have been a little addicted to Hulu. And Netflix online. I don't even watch T.V anymore. I watched all 9 seasons, of "As Time Goes By" which is a British comedy about old people. Also, hilarious. And thoroughly enjoyable. Nothing beats good subtle British humor. In my defense, each season is only 6 or 7 28 minute episodes. And the ninth season only had four. So it isn't as bad as it sounds. And I have been able to do other things while I am watching. Like the laundry. But not blogging. Because my computer is taken up with the Netflix. Do you see the problem here? Honestly, this is probably the real culprit. And Hulu gives me all of the latest episodes of my favorite shows. Like Friday Night Lights. And 30 Rock. If you don't know what I am talking about go here.

It is an addiction, I admit it.

The last couple of days it has been the book. One thing my in laws are great for is bringing me good books and movies. They make a regular habit of this. And this trip was no exception. My MIL brought me The Host. You know the book. The Stephanie Meyers book that is NOT about vampires. I have to say I loved it. Probably better than the Twilight series. I may have changed my mind about this particular author. She may have some substance after all. At the very least, an unparalleled imagination.

Wendell didn't know what to think of this. On one had he was happy to get some time on the computer. I am kind of a computer hog/bully. I admit it. And it was nice for him to get a turn. On the other hand, the once semi clean house shot straight to h e double hockey sticks in the span of two days. In my defense, I wasn't feeling well enough to keep up anyway. We ate some bad Mexican food in Payson, and on top of that, my uterus went into it's once a month rebellion. So last night, he had to clean up AND feed the kids. Because frankly, it was necessary to clean up in order to make dinner. Thanks, Hon. You are a trooper.

Mitchell's baptism post coming soon!

Friday, March 20, 2009

To Nurse or Not to Nurse...(revised)

That is the question.

There are certain women I have a great amount of empathy and respect for. These include (but are not limited to)

1. women who have fertility issues
2. women who have miscarriages
3. women who either cannot breast feed or have a very hard time with it.

These are problems that I am very grateful to never have had. I get pregnant without necessarily trying at all, have never miscarried, and produce enough milk to feed all the babies in the neighborhood if I had to.(would have made a great pioneer;)

Now don't get me wrong, I definitely have my parenting struggles. But most of them are my own doing. I know too many women who have these problems that they can do nothing about.

So I feel a little guilty about wanting to quit nursing this baby.

To tell you the truth, I am conflicted. There are definitely pros to nursing:
1. It is easy for me. Abigail has always been a good nurser, and we don't have issues like thrush or breast infections to deal with. Or teeth.
2. I don't have to make a bottle every time she needs to eat. Like in the middle of the night.
3. She is my last baby. I love to sit and rock with her. I love the way she pats my cheek when she nurses. I love the little sounds that she makes.
4. breast milk is wayyyy cheaper than formula;)

Basically, I like to nurse, and it is easy for me. But the child won't take a bottle. Period. Brenley did not take a bottle either, so I did everything I could with Abigail to ensure she would. Including starting her on a bottle at 3 weeks old. But it didn't last. The stubborn little thing will go 7 hours plus without eating. Even when given a bottle of breast milk!

So there are the cons of never being able to give the child a bottle:

1.You can't leave her for longer than 2-3 hours.
2. It is hard to be out of the house during feeding time. you can't hand her a bottle in the shopping cart or the car. And she won't nurse well if she is covered with a nursing cape and it isn't totally quiet.
3. Your husband can't feed her while you do three other heads of girl hair on Sunday mornings. You have to be the one who feeds her AND does the girl hair, as your husband is not equipped to do either.
4. Since she won't take a bottle, she won't take a cereal bottle. My babies sleep longer through the night with a cereal bottle.
5. There are certain things I can't eat, because it makes her little tummy hurt.
6.It is hard to nurse her at the gym. It would be much easier to get some much needed exercise/sleep if she would take a bottle.

Then there is a girl I keep thinking about. I subbed in a bunko group last week, and naturally looked up all the girls blogs;) As I was reading Lindsey's, I stumbled across her brother and sister in law's blog, and how they lost their little girl. And this post keeps popping into my head. That wagonful of breastmilk, and more. That was meant for their sweet little girl who did not make it. What would she not give to be able to give up her freedom and nurse that baby?

There you have it. In a nutshell. Ideally, it would be best if she would nurse AND take a bottle. But no matter what we try she won't. She is a stubborn tiny thing. I have really been wrestling with the idea of going cold turkey onto a bottle.

What is your opinion? Don't be shy, I have no qualms about other people telling me what to do;)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rachael's 12th Birthday

My darling first born child turned 12 years old today. I can't believe it! She had a crazy wild party last month because she combined it with her friend Carli.

(If you look closely, you will see that both birthday girls are wearing their birthday tiaras.)

They planned it all themselves, down to the decorations. They wanted black and white. That's right, folks, black and white. Birthday party. Not funeral. You can see the black and white streamers and balloons in the background of the above pic. And in case you can't tell, their shirts say, "Party like a rock star" of course.

(Abigail helping to decorate)

They ended up having 2 boys and 7 girls. I really didn't want it to be a boy/girl party, but I knew they had these 3 little boys(one couldn't come) that were really good friends with them. So I figured what the heck. And they turned out to be very nice, polite boys. Here's a picture of Trevor holding the baby:

I believe I heard the second boy(Jesse) say, "she's like the Paparazzi" but then he said, "yeah, my mom's like that too"

And the girls, of course, swarmed together like 12 year old girls.

The party went from 5-10. Which in my opinion is toooo long. Apparently, the more 12 year olds you put together, the shorter their attention span gets. Who knew? Well, any one who has taught a large class of Beehives, I guess;)

They opened presents, nibbled pizza (I mean it, 9 kids went through less than one pizza!What the heck!) and looked at the birthday cake while singing.

Then they played a few games with plenty of candy prizes.

And then they watched a movie. In the dark. And didn't appreciate the flash of my camera;)
(sorry I had to include this picture. Because it made me laugh;)

Then they all played outside until their parents came. Of course, paranoid mom that I am, stayed outside with them, and overheard some fun conversations.

The verdict? These 12 year olds, though they are a tad hyperactive, and have the attention span of a flea, are basically good natured. Maybe the teen years won't be so frightening after all. Or maybe they don't turn evil until 13;)

Happy Birthday Rachael! We love you.

Happy St. Patty's Day

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Green Eyes

In case you were wondering...I put Brenley's eyes in my header in honor of St. Patrick's day. She is my only green eyed child,and I think they look stunning. Again, thanks for the magic, Marg!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Wordless....Oh Whatever!

Yes, I realize it isn't really Wednesday. I just wanted an excuse to post these pictures of Abigail;) ....

Look at those little baby blues!

Thanks Marg!

I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ....(Updated)

...of Latter Day Saints.

I got an e mail this week about that Big Love series on HBO. There is a picture and an article in T.V guide that I found offensive, and I was appalled. I forwarded that e mail to all my Mormon friends and family so that they could be appalled too;)

A friend in my ward e mailed me back saying that basically all publicity is good publicity. And that people who know Mormons personally may ask their Mormon friends and get the truth from them. Basically, any discussion is good. And grudgingly, I guess she is right.

I need to struggle with my temper and deal with misconceptions with patience and grace. There are people around the Internet who do this.

There are many LDS bloggers out there that handle these issues wonderfully. I like to read this blog a lot,(her button is on my side bar) and she mentions her faith often without pushing it down anybody's throat. I really enjoyed her post today, and the video she has of a young LDS girl at Harvard who handles a lot of grilling with poise and dignity. She is wise beyond her years. The video is worth a look. (It is about 20 minutes long, though, so keep that in mind)

Anyone who wants to learn more can go here or here.

This quote by M Russell Ballard that is on my side bar bares repeating: " Most of you already know that if you have access to the Internet you can start a blog in minutes and begin sharing what you know to be true.We are living in a world saturated with all kinds of voices. Perhaps now, more than ever, we have a major responsibility as Latter-day Saints to define ourselves, instead of letting others define us. "
Danielle sent me this link from the church news about all of this Big Love nonsense. It is helpful

Sunday, March 8, 2009

BBC's List of 100 Books

A little while ago I ran across this list on my old friend Jeanna's blog.(No, Jeanna's not old. She is my age. But I have known her since 6th grade. That makes her my old friend;)

One of the radio stations was talking about the BBC's top 100 list of books to read. I thought it was interesting. The "BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here". I think that is pretty crazy. My official number is 37. But many of them are series of books, and I think should count as more;)

My favorites were:
All Jane Austen books
Jane Eyre
All Harry Potter books (what?)

It is fun to look back on these books and reflect on when it was that I read them. Many have been read while I was on bedrest with one of my babies. Many others were read on the computer while nursing my little ones. Many of the classics are online in their entirety, so I can rock and nurse my babies in front of the computer and read some of the classics.

Here is the list. Tell me how many you have read, I am curious. I'll make a note of when and where I read many of them:

** Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (Computer nursing Brenley)
** The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (all of them. Should count as 3)
**Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (bedrest with Brenley)
** Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (first 3 or 4 on bedrest with Mitchell)
** To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (High School English class)
The Bible
**Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (Bedrest with Abigail)
** Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (When I was 19. Just because)
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
** Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
** Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (read after watching the movie)
Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
** Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (read on a beach trip.Rachael borrowed it;)

Complete Works of Shakespeare
** Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (bedrest with Abigail)
** The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (bedrest with Mitchell)
Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
** Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (preg with Abigail)
The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch - George Eliot
** Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell(bedrest with Kindyl, who was almost named Scarlett;)
**The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (Humanities class at ASU)
** Bleak House - Charles Dickens (just for fun after watching it on BBC)
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
** Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (was curious after finding out author was a druggie;)
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
** David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (After watching it on BBC)
** Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (once as a child, once after I had children.)
** Emma - Jane Austen (Nursing Brenley)
** Persuasion - Jane Austen (nursing Brenley)
** The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Berniere
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
Animal Farm - George Orwell
** The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown(just for fun, when it was all the rage. I admit it.)
** One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (on my cruise for our anniversary)
** A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving (because Jimmy Eat World wrote a song about it.)
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
** Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (Once as a child, again when I had children)
Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Atonement - Ian McEwan
** Life of Pi - Yann Martel(When I flew alone to Utah for Clark's wedding)
Dune - Frank Herbert
Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
** Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (Nursing Brenley)
A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
** A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
** Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
** Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas(While preg with Abigail)
On The Road - Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
** Dracula - Bram Stoker (While nursing Abigail)
**The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (As a child)
Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
Ulysses - James Joyce
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
Germinal - Emile Zola
Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession - AS Byatt
** A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Color Purple - Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
** Charlotte’s Web - EB White (once as a child, once after I had children)
The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
Watership Down - Richard Adams
A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
**Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl(once as a child, and once after I had children)
** Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (While nursing Brenley)

There are a few I think I may have read, but I don't remember for sure. I didn't count those. I know a disproportionate number were read while nursing Brenley. She was spoiled, and didn't take a pacifier, what can I say;) I was going through a classics phase. Some on the list I would like to read, some I have been meaning to.

Some I have read many times, like the Harry Potter books (every time a new movie or new book comes out. I am kind of a nerd like that) and all of the Jane Austen books. And Jane Eyre. etc.

Some I have loved. Some, not so much. But I love looking back on the time in my life that these books remind me of.

I love to read. These books are a part of my life. Don't worry, I will try not to neglect my children;)

The Opera

Last weekend (Feb 27th) my husband took me to the opera. We saw Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Right now you are thinking one of two things:

a. Wendell is Husband of the year
b. The company he works for must have sponsored the evening.

I will let you decide on your own which of those is true;)

We were invited beforehand to attend a reception featuring "heavy hors d'oeuvres and drinks" which ended up being delightful. The food was absolutely fabulous, although I wasn't quite brave enough to try the clams.( I don't really believe one should eat clams in a land locked state. Just my humble opinion) I think I ate two days worth of Weight Watchers points (thus the "heavy" in the "heavy hors d'oeuvres";)

I had never been to the opera before and did my research on this particular one beforehand. It was touted as one of the best operas ever written. I was inclined to like it because Mozart was the composer. I read a synopsis online, and even saw a couple of scenes on Youtube. I wanted to be prepared because it was all in Italian. I needed to know what was going on. Luckily there were subtitles , so I shouldn't have worried.

I have to admit, I was surprised by how risque it was for 1787. These people were not prude. It was like a modern day soap opera. Only a little more humorous.

I have to say I enjoyed it. The subtitles were sparse, and sometimes a whole song was accompanied by one line. But you got the gist. Really it was better that way, because it is easier to enjoy a play when you are not trying to read the top the whole time. But it would have been better if I understood Italian.

Parts of it were very clever and I found myself wondering, "was that a true translation? did they really write that in the 1700s?" I think some subjects, and some humor, are timeless.

Needless to say, Abigail was not invited. Jannalee was kind enough to keep her for us. But by the second half of the opera, the baby was having her revenge on me for not being included. I was so UNCOMFORTABLE! (warning:TMI ahead)I hadn't realized I need to bring a breast pump to the opera. I can't even describe the pain that 7 hours away from your baby can inflict. I didn't think it would be that bad, because when I left her with Joy for three days I was able to sleep through the night with just mild discomfort. Apparently the baby eats more in the evening than she does in the middle of the night. Who knew? (by the way, Abigail refused to eat the whole time we were gone. Not even breast milk from a bottle. Stubborn little stinker.)

Overall, I really enjoyed it. There was one character that was really overdramatic. I thought if she cried about how she was "going to die" of grief(literally) again somebody might slap her. But that may have been exacerbated because of how uncomfortable I was at the time.

I'll never know. Because I am pretty sure Wendell will never take me to the opera again. At least until next year;)