Sunday, August 30, 2009

Last Night's Dirty Dishes

I stumble back to bed after the 0600 feeding. I'm hoping to get just one more hour of sleep so that my cumulative total will allow me to function today without depression.

Life with a newborn has taught me that I can survive on 6 hours of total sleep, fragmented though it may be. If I get at least 6 hours I can function. I can deal with my toddler without wanting to scream and pull my hair out. I may not be happy, but at least I'm not crying.

If I get less than 6 hours I am a bear. I feel out of sorts, depressed, angry, tired, and become just an all-around unmotivated grump.

If I get more than 6 hours, I feel like myself. I'm in total control. I'm happy and content.

Fortunately I get 6 hours most of the time and slightly more than 6 occasionally.

Unfortunately (for both me and my children) I get less than 6 hours occasionally as well.

This has been one of those nights. One of those Zzz<6.>

The clock reads 0630. My husband is just getting back from his morning run. Please don't wake up the baby; I try to send him my message through ESP.

Of course the "one more hour, just one more hour, please oh please, just one more hour" I try to get doesn't happen. The husband has to get ready for work and is moving around the bathroom and kitchen. How come the baby can sleep through that and I can't? I doze. I lie there with my eyes closed and whimper.

0730. Husband is still rattling around. Baby is crying. I drag myself out of bed, grumbling all the way across the room and down the hall. I carry crying baby to the diaper changing station I've set up on my bed.

I change diaper.

Baby squeals and grunts.

Baby smiles.

Mommy melts.

We coo at each other for a minute.

Suddenly everything feels good. It's okay that I didn't get enough sleep because I have the most gorgeous, smart, amazing, and perfect baby in the world. Have you seen those dimples?

Baby is lying happily on the bed for a few minutes, so I figure I can go get a bite to eat before the toddler wakes up.

That's when it happens (like it happens almost every morning).

I walk into the kitchen and am confronted with Last Night's Dirty Dishes.

Depression instantly sets in. I'm back to grumbling.

Why is it that I am incapable of cleaning the kitchen up the night before? Yes, I'm tired. That's always my excuse. But it's so much WORSE to clean up a dirty kitchen when I'm tired in the morning than when I'm tired at night.

I should think I would have learned my lesson by now, but there's ample evidence sitting on the counters proving otherwise.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Toddler Fashionista

My mother taught me that the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.

And when you think about it, you realize that truly it is the accessories that make the outfit. Plain black pants and black top. Boring. Add a long necklace, some dangly earrings and some red shoes and BAM you look fantastic.

I'm teaching Jenny this subtle art and she has taken to it with aplomb.

Here we have Her Darlingness simply dressed in a hot pink top. She has chosen to set herself apart from the crowd of other two year old girls with a simple turquoise ball cap. This one is unique with its shimmering texture and bold graphic of Jenny's favourite Disney princess. Simple. Tasteful. An ideal accessory for dressing up any casual toddler outfit.

Next Jenny models the new trend in sporty eyewear. Not only do these goggles function to hold your hair back and make everything look a very exciting shade of blue, but they just prove that you can find fashionable statements anywhere, even in your father's gym bag. Paired with a simple white onesie, this girl looks ready for adventure and looks good doing it.

Here our charming girl reveals the truth that fashion trends tend to reemerge every 20 years. The 80's provide inspiration for this style. Pink is the dominant hue here, with other neon colours accented in the t-shirt and sippy cup. A pink bow starts the look off right at the top of her head, and she finishes nicely with a pair of leg warmers in lieu of pants. A comfortable style that allows for ease of movement, yet hints at those timeless lyrics "Let's get physical, physical. I wanna get physical."

Last up Jenny shows us the latest fads in grunge style: skulls. This pirate themed look turns soft and sassy when the black do-rag is softened by the butterfly and heart t-shirt. Of course no outfit is complete without an exotic seashell necklace, which can be found in the grass at a park near you.

Well there you have it. Let's give a round of applause for our gorgeous model who has so well shown us that you can take a boring, frumpy outfit, and turn it into a head-turning trend, just by adding one or two carefully selected accessories. Big fashion on a small budget.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Hate Exercise

My first failure at an attempt to exercise came in high school.

My friend Aimee and I decided to go walking in the mornings before school. We started out great. It was helpful to have someone outside in the wee sma's of the morning to motivate me to get my sorry arse out of bed. I didn't want to stand her up.

Well, I'm not sure who stood up whom first, but I guess it was inevitable. We started missing more often than we would have liked, and after a while it got cold and we stopped doing it altogether.

The following 13-14 years have followed the same pattern. I commit myself to exercising. I make goals. I take baseline measurements. I make a log. I exercise.

Then I remember I hate exercising.

Then I stop exercising.

I don't think I've ever reached any of my exercising goals. Ever.

Part of my problem is that with my chronic health problems, I have overactive pain receptors in my brain. Basically that means that when I stub my toe it hurts me more and longer than when you stub your toe. My brain doesn't shut down the pain signal.

What that means for exercise is that it doesn't get easier. It continues to hurt. I do it for a few weeks, thinking that it'll get easier as I get in shape and my muscles get used to the new activity.

Well, that's never happened yet. I'm sure part of the problem is that I don't stick with it long enough. Don't get me wrong. I get stronger. I build endurance. I get more fit (marginally). But it doesn't get easier. I don't learn to like it.

And what's with the "endorphin rush" I've heard about? All I feel is dread, pain, and exhaustion when I work out. I don't feel any high when I'm done. I think all runners are masochistic. How can running possibly feel good, people?

When I'm done exercising I feel a grim sort of satisfaction. I feel like a martyr. I sacrificed my comfort to the gods of fitness, and there is a slim sort of achievement in that. But I never learn to look forward to my workouts.

Now that I'm about 7 weeks postpartum, I'm feeling the urge to get this baby fat off my jiggly tummy. So it begins again.

I've made goals. I've even started working on them.

If history repeats itself I'll fail miserably in about 3-4 weeks. Finding the time to exercise is likely going to be an excuse for why I stop since my children won't let me work out unless they are both asleep. They are rarely asleep at the same time.

I have a whole list of (what to me are valid) excuses.

This very blog post is of course showing my defeated mental state and has doomed me to failure before I've hardly begun.

So how do I change this about myself? Is it even possible? People change so infrequently, and when they do it is quite gradual.

The scriptures teach us that God gives us weaknesses on purpose that we may come to Him and overcome them. We are taught that our weaknesses may become our strengths. Hmm. It must be possible.

So here we go again.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Four Happy Years

The proposal (reenactment)

The engagement

The wedding

Four years later we are a happy family of four

I love you. Happy anniversary.

to the Noel's for setting us up on that blind date!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Importance of Syntax: an Example

Have you ever been in a room full of people when something totally funny yet not intended to be funny happens and no one gets it but you and your spouse? Well some things just can't be scripted.

Things like that seem to happen with regularity at activities held by my church. My congregation holds a monthly activity. Dinners, talent shows, picnics, roller skating, golf tournaments, etc. Usually it's for the entire family, but occasionally it's just for adults.

At the big dinners there's often some kind of entertainment which is what you might expect from a bunch of Mormons who aren't Osmonds or otherwise trained in the entertainment business. It often includes acts that range from mildly amusing, legitimately funny, to downright inappropriate. (I am reminded of the time that in an effort to be humorous someone on stage defamed an ordained minister beloved by millions of children by implying that he was a pedophile.)

Well the activity for this month is being billed as the "Adult Themed Dinner".


We were rather surprised at this theme as it seems a little more, ahem, tolerant than the church typically is. Last year the adults of the congregation were assigned to dinner groups. Each group picked a different locale and dressed and served food accordingly. For example, there could be a table decorated in Mexican paraphernalia, at which the people would wear ponchos and eat tacos. I guess the idea was you could walk around and exclaim at the creativity of the other tables and just enjoy a rip roarin' good time with the irreverence it would seemingly foster.

Well this year the theme seems much more irreverent than usual. The Adult Themed Dinner will no doubt inspire much giggling, a few snide comments, a handful of blushes, a smattering of smirks, and many wide eyes.

Brent and I have decided to go as Submission and Dominatrix. Anyone have some fuzzy handcuffs we can borrow? Hmm . . . perhaps we should book a confession meeting with the Bishop in advance.

What's that you say?

Oh. You mean it's a Themed Dinner for Adults? Oh, I see. Silly me. I understand now. My mistake.

I guess I'll have to return that whip and blindfold to the novelty store now.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Brent: What should we name your horsey?
Jenny: Ummm.
Brent: Should we name it Silverado?
Jenny: No.
Brent: Should we name it Desperado?
Jenny: No.
Brent: Should we name it Stanley?
Jenny: No. Umm . . . how 'bout Sunbeam?
Brent: Okay, Sunbeam. That's a wonderful name for a horsey.
Jenny: Or . . . Child of God!
Thanks to Ethan for rescuing Sunbeam for Jenny. She loves it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

James is 1 month old today!

If you're not James' auntie or grandparent you probably won't get much out of this post. Sorry. This is for James and baby lovers only.

This is a little video of James, 10 hours after birth, and opening his eyes for the first time. Then it's him at 1 month old doing nothing but looking at the camera and being adorable.

What a difference one month makes! I already miss my little newborn.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

If You're a Child of the '80s . . .

then you'll love this video.

Total Eclipse of the Heart music video, literal version.

It is a delightful mocking tribute to the ridiculous music videos that were created in the early days of MTV.

Click here.