Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Makes Me Thankful . . .

for Loki. Suddenly he doesn't seem quite so annoying.

A Few Personal Letters

Dear Emma: Thank you for your wit and humour. Thanks for feeling like you can vent to me. I'm glad we're sisters. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Dear Jenn: Thanks for being my friend. I'm glad we've started walking together (assuming the weather will allow us to go again). I need someone to motivate me to get off my lazy rear end and kick me into gear. I love your creativity and goodness.

Dear Loki: Please stop meowing so loudly. It's really irritating. Why don't you just curl upon my lap and purr?

Dear Jenny: Please stop kicking the wall and just go to sleep.

Dear James: Thank you for sleeping through the night. You are the best baby ever.

Dear Cottonwood Title: Thanks for the money.

Dear Bono: Thank you for much comfort and inspiration over many years.

Dear neighborhood: I'm glad you're safe and full of people I like.

Dear Brent: Please come home and cook dinner. I love you. And you're dead sexy. Especially when you're cooking dinner.

Dear House: Why can't you just learn to clean yourself?

Dear Laundry: ditto

Dear Rocky Mountains: how I love you. I love your fall colours. I'm not sure why I love the colour of decay, but in Autumn it is just gorgeous. Let's get together soon. How about a leisurely walk in your loveliness this weekend?

Dear Mom: I love your cooking. I love your company. I love your house. I love you.

Dear Jess: I wish I was more like you. I know you aren't perfect and have your own struggles, but you inspire me to improve myself. You have a spirit about you that is calming and nurturing. Thank you for being in my life.

Dear NPR: Thank you for keeping me sane and preventing me from slipping so deeply into mommydom that I forget who I am. Also I thank you for giving me something to talk about with other adults other than the most recent developmental milestone achieved by my children.

Dear Blogger: Why do you insist on adding more spaces between paragraphs than I want? I don't know how to fix it because I am html ignorant. Please stop trying to be smarter than me (like Microsoft Word) and just do what I ask without additional formatting that I do not ask for.

Dear Father in Heaven: Thank you for my life. I know I complain a lot, but I am awfully grateful for my endless blessings.

Happy Birthday Jenny

Not this Jenny:

That Jenny is actually a namesake for this Jenny:

Today is Jennifer Alicia Neddo's 31st birthday. At least, it would be if she hadn't been killed by a drunk driver 14 years ago. (Deseret News coverage of the accident here.)

14 years.

I can't believe it's been that long.

Jenny was my best friend. She was kind, good, loving, creative, and fun. And she had amazing hair. She was like a sister to me, and when I lost her it was like losing half myself. The bulk of my childhood memories are of things I did or imagined with her. She was a good example to me and I believe I was and am a better person than I would have been without her in my life.

We are 13 years old in this picture, taken after coming in from playing in the rain.

There are lots of stories I could tell you about her. Suffice it to say that I loved her. Still do, in fact.

Happy birthday Jen, Jenn, Jenny, Jennie (she liked to rotate her name spelling), also known as Bob.
It's been 14 years since I've seen you, and I still miss you.

Monday, September 28, 2009

More Jenny Conversation

[We drive away from the Homestead and wave to Grandpa, who is standing in the front yard.]

Jenny: That was a Grandpa. I love him.

Mama: I love him too.

Jenny: I love him too.

Mama: And I love him too.

Jenny: I love him too. I love him too. I love him too.

Mama: Do you love him too?

Jenny: Yes. [pause] I want a treat.

Friday, September 25, 2009

We Miss Brent

Brent's been out of town again this week. He gets home tonight around 2130-2200, but since that's after Jenny's bedtime I told her he's coming home tomorrow.

This morning when I got her up the very first words out of her mouth were "Daddy go?"

Here was our conversation:

Jenny: Daddy go?

Mama: He's in Connecticut. He'll be home tomorrow.

Jenny: And I can hold him.

Mama: Yes

Jenny: And I can hold Daddy.

Mama: Yes

Jenny: Daddy come home and I can hold DADDY!

We miss our man.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I've been watching Cranford on DVD today. It's a British mini-series with an all-star cast, made in 2007.

It's simple and simply delightful. The acting is wonderful and the writing excellent.

It's about a small English town (that has more than its fair share of single ladies of ascending age) and the goings-on of the townsfolk. Such gentle catastrophes are depicted as to make me smile frequently, occasionally laugh out loud, and even weep once in a while.

It's about people. People who are foolish, selfish, kind, giving, and loving. It's about longing, loving, friendship, and family. It is just wonderful.

Here are two of my favourite lines from one of my favourite characters, a Mrs. Pole (one of the single ladies of ascending age).

"This is no time for sport! There is lace at stake!"

"Men. They're all the same. My father was a man, so I think I understand the sex."

If you like English things and/or tasteful and extremely well written comedy that is simultaneously sweet, check it out. You'll be glad you did. And if you don't like it, then it's because you don't get it and you shouldn't take recommendations from me because clearly we don't have the same taste.

Where'd the Consideration Go?

Public Rant.

I have these wonderful neighbors across the street. I really like them. I do not, however, like it when they throw big parties because inevitably someone parks in front of our driveway.

We have had to ring the doorbell and request the Offending Party to remove their vehicle on more than one occasion.

My neighbor later apologizes and says something like "Ah, if it ever happens again, just call the cops and have them towed."

I'd love to, but first of all that would take too long, and secondly, despite what my neighbor says, I think that might end badly and I don't want to jeopardize my relationship with them.

So the last time this happened Brent had the Offending Party move their car. Many apologies followed. What was he supposed to say? "Oh, that's all right. Feel free. I don't mind."?

After she moved her car she asked him if she could go back and park there again. He said no, that he was leaving again in a half hour and would be in and out all evening.

She asked "Then where can I park?"

Umm. Gee. Let's think about that now. How about ANYWHERE ON THE STREET THAT ISN'T IN FRONT OF MY DRIVEWAY? So sorry if it mean you'll have to walk an extra 20 yards.

Later that night when we came home the parking lot in front of our house was gone. Apparently the party was over. However, it had left its mark.

Our mailbox was no longer in the erect position it had been a couple of hours before.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oi With the Poodles Already

Tuesday I woke up to my whole body aching like I had worked out the day before. It took me a while to realize that it was the result of holding children all day Monday. Getting out of bed was tough! Then Brent left for Connecticut. It made me cry of course, and the crying gave me a headache.

Then James decided to be more fussy than usual, rather than being his normal happy adorable self. He had his two month visit with the pediatrician, and merely getting out the door with two kids was a huge ordeal. Both were crying. What does a mother do when both kids are crying and you need to go to an appointment? Well, you just let them cry, unfortunately.

Walking from the car to the door was another ordeal. Jenny wanted me to hold her, but I couldn't because I was carrying an infant in a heavy car seat. So she walked, but grudgingly and slowly. Did I mention that the car seat was heavy? And that Jenny was taking her dear sweet time as I was holding said heavy car seat? And that my arms were already sore from the workout they got the day before from holding the children ALL DAY LONG? Sometimes the smallest things can be tough.

Checking in was fine, but as soon as we were in the exam room it started up again.

We waited for 45 minutes and I was spending a rather large amount of energy the whole time bouncing the baby. Jenny was mercifully quiet, though not content. She wanted me to hold her, but I was able to distract her by talking about the jungle mural on the walls.

When the doctor finally came in our visit went well. I was able to reduce the vigorous bouncing down to an easy rocking motion without too much trouble. James is growing and developing normally. It's odd for me to have a kid in the 75th percentile after having Jenny the Runt.

Then it was time for the shots. I had been dreading these all morning. Both kids needed them.
I told Jenny she was going to get a poke and that it would hurt, but it would be over really fast and then she'd get a sucker. She kept saying "No Amy poke me." (Amy is the nurse.) "No Amy poke. Just a sucker."

I was glad I was able to prepare her, and it wasn't that bad. James, however, had to get three pokes. He actually settled down quicker than Jenny did, but it put him in a bad mood for the rest of the day. Well, I guess he was already in a bad mood. This just did nothing to help.

Here's a video of Jenny talking about our doctor visit. Notice how rapidly her facial expression changes from on of tragedy to happiness as she goes from talking about her shot to remembering the sucker. (It was a tangerine flavoured Dum-Dum. It smelled really good, but she wouldn't share with me.)

The day followed in much the same way. It was just a parade of delightful events involving more puke, diarrhea (in the bed, in the clothes, down the leg, smeared on the arm, on the floor), crying, whining, and thankfully a little sleeping.

I was looking forward all day to Brent calling me in the evening. When he did I was unable to enjoy my conversation with him because of the kids continuing their challenging behavior. I recall telling Brent to hold on and dropping the phone on at least two occasions, one because, yep, you guessed it, more puke.

Well, I'd better go get the diarrhea load out of the washing machine now and load up the latest vomitous one.

After this lengthy and complaining post (if you've made it this far) I must restate that which I began with:

Oi with the poodles already!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day

Yesterday was Labor Day.

Brent spent the whole day laboring. He had a small home repair to do that should have taken an hour. Instead it took nine hours and five trips to the hardware store.

I spent the day holding children. I was either holding a fussing or nursing infant, or I was holding a sick and whiny toddler. The very few minutes I wasn't holding a child was spent cleaning up puke.

Round about 1800 Brent finished his project (successfully, I might add) and we decided we had to get out of the house. We went to Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point. As soon as we parked and got out of the car, Jenny threw up again. Instead of all over me, it was all over Brent. I think that's a positive thing, since he hasn't had a puking-on in a good long while. I'm usually the lucky one.

Farm country was fun. Here are a few photos for your viewing pleasure.

A Blessing Day

James was blessed this past Sunday. We had tons of family there and it was nice to share the day with all the people I love.

Jenny was sick and lethargic, hence the not so happy girl in the photo.

James was perfect and beautiful. During the blessing Grandpa Rasmussen was on bico duty to keep James happy and fuss-free. (Bico is what we call a binky in my family.) Then James slept the rest of the day.
Thanks to all who came.

A Hard Day

Brent left this morning for Connecticut. It's only for four days. It's really not so bad. However, the knowledge that he'll return on Friday did nothing to prevent me from crying when he left.

You'd think that four years of occasional business trips would prepare me for future business trips. But I always cry. In fact, I think it's getting worse.

The longer I'm with him, the more I love him. The more I love him, the more I hate it when he leaves.

I'm blessed to be so happily married. Not every marriage is a happy one. I'm lucky.

Just Now

Jenny is sitting on my lap and we were just looking at my sister Emma's blog. Emma's most recent post has a bunch of pictures of her son Benjamin and my son James. There are also a couple of pictures of me and Jenny as well.

As I scrolled down the page, Jenny narrated each picture.


"Benjamin and James."

"James and Benjamin."



The last picture was a picture of the two babies lying on a blanket, me lying half on the blanket, half on the grass, and Jenny lying on top of me in preparation for our flying game where she rides on my legs.

She narrated it: "A Family!"

Yes. We are a family. Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bedroom Declutter

It is time, once again, to purge.

Today I spent 30 minutes in my bedroom clearing out my closet and dresser.

I threw out/gave away

  • 4 wire hangers (at least there weren't any clothing on them getting stretched out at the shoulders)
  • 8 pairs of shoes (ugly, old, scuffed, don't fit anymore, still cute but never did fit well enough, hurt my feet, always make me trip, etc.)
  • a bunch of clothes (mostly shirts that look nasty on me, but that I've hung onto anyway just in case I magically drop 3 cup sizes)
  • 1 old digital camera (probably could be fixed but I'm not smart enough to do it and we have a new one anyway)
  • 2 pairs of sunglasses (bent and crooked, was cute 5 years ago)
  • 1 purse (sort of cute, but not cute enough Kate Spade knock-off)
  • 1 nasty old pillow (the best pillow I've ever had and now that it's worn out I can't sleep very well at night and my neck and shoulders always hurt when I wake up. I've tried to find an adequate replacement 3 times, but haven't yet found one as good.)
  • Assorted trash that just seems to accumulate on flat surfaces and in drawers

I also put away most of my maternity clothing. I kept the pants out. I still can't fit into my regular pants, and I refuse to buy a size bigger than my current fat-pants, so until I can fit into them, maternity pants or stretchy pants it is.

I feel so virtuous. I love getting rid of stuff.

Tomorrow I'll do the bathroom.