Thursday, May 21, 2015

Belly Bully vs. Skadoosh

Chewy has taken to calling me ‘Belly Bully’…just because I happen to push him around with my belly.  I can’t help that it sticks out there and happens to be effective with guiding him where I want him to go. 

The other day I was eating a piece of cake (no judging – it was delicious).  A small piece fell to the ground and I couldn’t find it, neither could Chewy.  I’m at the stage where my reaction to this is, “Well, I’m sure if will get stuck to a sock or something later.”  Yes, I gross myself out.  I’ll be a cleaner person again soon.  Annnyway…so fast forward to a day or maybe an hour later, I’m helping myself to another little piece.  I see a crumb begin its descent from the bottom of the cake to the kitchen floor.  I thought, “not today, crumb.”  I stuck out my belly, redirecting this crumb from its current course to landing on the counter.  Findable, reachable, and overall cleaner.  I picked the crumb up and threw it in the sink.

Chewy had been watching these events.  He asked me if I seriously just belly bullied a piece of cake.  I told him I preferred to think of it as skadooshing the cake.

Needless to say, I've done it at least one more time since this first happened.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Baby Update

37 Weeks down - 3 more to go

It's blurry and Chewy is in it - but I hate taking these pictures so this is it.

Things are finally starting to come together too.  I've had a baby shower at work and one with friends and family and I feel really blessed for how generous everyone has been.  I'm pretty sure we have everything we need now (more than we need really, but he'll grow in to the other stuff).  I've got my hospital bag together (I think I have everything), we've got the nursery painted, we are down to two names (middle name already selected) so hopefully we'll have that by the end of the week.  And last night Chewy set up the crib and we arranged the furniture.

The other side of the room isn't ready for viewing

Now I just need to organize everything the way I want it.  We will be getting new siding on the house...probably around the time I come home with the I have to wait to put up wall decor until after they are finished. ....We didn't really think through this whole siding bit, but we need it (I'll try to remember to take pictures of what the siding looks like now).  I'm going to try and get pictures from my baby showers and post those as well.

Monday, May 11, 2015


I realized as I was preparing to write this post that I never wrote about the first food debacle.  A few weeks ago, I started to crave rice krispy treats.  I put it off for a while because 1) I eat too much sugar right now and 2) we had enough sweet stuff in the house.  But finally, one night I had had it with waiting and made some.  I cut a nice big one and headed off to the bedroom with it.  Chewy was in the bathroom as I passed and he asked me a question.  I had been about to take a big bite but stopped myself to answer his question.  As I turned back for that bite - the treat fell from my hand and on to the hallway floor.  Ruined.  Who knows what is on that floor, and the cat always walks down the hall after he uses the liter box so there was no way I was going to eat this treat.  I cried out in pain and grief and picked it up, threw it away in the closet trash can.  Chewy asked what happened and I told him my treat fell.  My eyes filled with tears as saying it aloud made it real.

"Get another one," he suggested.

"It's fine. I'm just going to brush my teeth." I sulked toward the other bathroom.

I guess Chewy heard something in my voice because he popped his head around the door frame, "What's wrong?"

"Nothing." I lacked conviction.

He came to me, saw that I was crying and panicked as husbands do (and should) when their pregnant wife starts crying.  "I'll go get you one." he offered.

I shook my head.

"Just lay down in bed, I'll bring you a good one."

"It's fine I don't need it."  (I'm such a sugar martyr)

Chewy gave me a hug and started to crack jokes.  He made me laugh but sadly, didn't get me to stop crying.  So I was laughing/crying and when he pulled away from the hug I think he may have panicked some more about the state I was in.  I don't know why I was crying so uncontrollably about a rice krispy treat hitting the floor....there was almost an entire pan of them in the kitchen.

I calmed myself down before bedtime, but I didn't go get another treat that night.

OK - so now that you are caught up on that history.  I swore to myself that night that I would not get Foodmotional again.  But then Saturday came around.

We had a busy day, Jartha (my sister Martha and her husband Jeff), came to pain the nursery.  I took their two girls to the "park" (a playground at the church around the corner).  They were really well behaved, but my feet were swelling and it was a struggle to keep them pink instead of blue.  So we went back to the house for the end of the painting and tried to watch a movie.  They left and I was just exhausted. Which I probably would have felt weather or not I had babysat.  I don't really remember much else about the day, but I needed to go to the grocery store, and while there I planned to pick up something for dinner.  Chewy suggested fried chicken, so I got that in my brain.

I arrived to Martin's around 7 p.m. and picked up the items I needed.  I made my way to the deli.  The chicken case was mostly cleared out.  One side was completely empty and washed, the other had gaps where pans had been removed and the sickly remains of the dinner rush stared up at me.  I didn't care, there had to be good chicken somewhere back there, it was only 7.  But no one came.  I waited and waited.  I even checked out what cold chicken they had packed up.  Nothing fit what we needed.

I began to walk away from the case..but I wanted someone (or some thing) to know I was thoroughly annoyed.  I turned and gave the chicken case the stink face.  You know the one, I just posted about it and how I was going to try and not do that anymore....This one.

I hope that chicken case got the message and sent it along to the employees hiding somewhere in the back shirking their customer service responsibilities to hungry pregnant women...

Before I even got to the check out I had consoled myself...I would go to Hardee's and get an eight piece and with that they would have the oh-so-delicious biscuits.  To get there is kind of a pain though.  I had to drive past it and couldn't make a U-turn at the first or second light, I had to drive down a ways before I could U-turn.  Then I pull in...I drive up to the menu outside and all I see are burgers.  The voice came over the loudspeaker asking if I wanted to try something and I asked, "Do you still sell fried chicken?"

"No, we don't sell fried chicken anymore."

In my head - "Then what is the point of you?"*  If I wanted Carl's Jr. I would move out West.

The lady continues, "we have chicken strips though." P.S. when you want fried chicken, that LOOKS like chicken, you are not in the mood for strips that have too much breading on them.  I told her never mind and drove off.  But I hoped that no one inside could see me because I could already feel my face contorting into 'pathetic sob mode'.

In fact - I cried all the way home.  I sat in the car once arriving home and cried.  I texted Mart because I was embarrassed but I had to talk to someone about it and I felt like I had cried too much recently in front of Chewy.

I finally got myself together and went into the house.  I put the groceries away and walked past Chewy, "no chicken tonight" I said.

He followed me to the room where I threw myself on the bed. "Is that because you changed your mind?"

"No." Enter stage left, foodmotional breakdown.  I explained everything to him.  He said he'd find me chicken somewhere, but I really only like Ukrop's chicken (sold at pathetic Martin's) and Hardee's.  He offered to order pizza but for once, that didn't sound good to me.  So I did the food martyr again and said I was just going to go to bed.  I didn't though, I ended up just eating peanut butter crackers.

It's so hard being pregnant and having food desires you are unable to satisfy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Catholic Guilt and the Ugly Face Phenomenon

As part of the baby preparations, I emptied out my cedar/memory chest so we could move it out of the nursery.  I came across a million scrapbooks and journals.  On the first page of the first journal I opened it seemed like a confession.  I was 11 years old.  Martha threw something at Kathryn, I dropped a bottle of salad dressing into a basket of clean laundry (which I washed again), I had a spelling test and I made a bunch of mistakes.  I thought, "Man, I was hard on myself."

Then later I opened a seminary journal, I was 17 years old.  I expected to find my thoughts on whatever scripture we had been studying but as I opened it to the first page I read, "I forgot to say my prayers this morning."  I always joke with people that I'm half catholic because my mom used to be catholic.  I think this guilt I have displayed all through my life is further proof of that.  Catholic guilt is hereditary despite what Chewy may say.

So I'm 35 weeks pregnant now.  I can tell you that my back hurts no matter what I do, I pee more, I have begun to feel contractions from time to time (apparently normal), but even with all this I'm scared for the baby to actually come.  I'll be fine, I know, everyone has told me I'll do great and not to stress, but how do you not stress about suddenly being responsible for a little life that will be completely dependent on you?  Or for labor pain- yeah, how do you not stress about that?

Anyway, the emotions still run high, I am more cranky than before though my goal this week has been to be better about road rage.  Here's why.  Last Saturday, Chewy and I were at BJs.  It was cold and rainy and so he went to get the car and I stood in the lobby - people watching.  An employee was out there in the cold and rain collecting carts and bringing them inside.  He was coming down a hill in the parking lot with a whole line of carts.  A woman in an SUV starts backing out of her spot.  He waves his arm in the air to get her attention so she will stop.  She does, and then I watch as she turns toward the store watching the guy with the carts go by.  She is talking to her passenger, hands gesturing in anger and indignation and a face all like:

And of course my face went

and I thought, what an ugly face to make. Is that what I look like when I'm cranky on the road?  Therefore, I resolved to be better about my attitude on the road (and to not use my ugly face - especially when judging people for using theirs).  It's been really hard this week but I think I've done alright.  I've hit traffic every morning and I keep telling myself to keep calm and listen to my audiobook.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Of dogs and men

Lately, Chewy has been obsessed with dogs....he stays up later than he should researching the best types of guard dogs, which ones home owner's insurance won't cover, which have the most cases of biting people, the most intelligent, etc.  He's taken quizzes on finding "the right dog for you".  He's talked about dogs incessantly for the last week or so.

My first thought on this? Panic.  I'm about to have a baby, folks, in case you've missed that fact.  I will be a stay-at-home mom with my very first child, trying to sleep and adjust to that lifestyle and my husband keeps talking about adding a large dog to the family (his favorite is Doberman but before that it was a Rhodesian Ridgeback (the Lion Hunter), and he hasn't completely ruled out a Great Dane....a Great Dane!)  I started out by reminding him I would be the one home with the beastie all. Day. Long.  I would have to do the obedience training, I would have to take one of these giants out for walks while also trying to navigate the baby stroller.  As you can imagine this didn't go well.  Spouses don't like being parented, and I'm pretty sure I parented in that moment.  There's a series I really enjoy called, "For All Eternity" - it's a book too, but I haven't read it, I just have the CDs of the guy conducting a four week seminar on the topic of marriage and communication.  Anyway, he says at one point, "Don't be a dream killer, let life kill the dream."  And yet there I was, trying to kill Chewy's dream, but you've got to admit becoming a dog owner has more probability and less road blocks than owning a beach house.

Anyway - so I let him talk and talk and talk about dogs now.  He's decided I am a lot like a Doberman, especially the needy part (I like having my back rubbed...and my arms, and I like cuddling, I can't help it - I require so much attention!)  And I think I've convinced him I would live in constant fear if I had to share the house with a Great Dane, it helped to prove my point that my hand has been in a deaf Great Dane's mouth before - against my will.  Luckily she didn't bite down, but she sent a message I've never forgotten...that if she wanted to, she could have taken my hand off.

So - we shall see.  Fingers crossed I don't end up with a high strung, high energy, 5'9 dog any time soon.

In other news.  We had a doctor's appointment this week.  They did an ultrasound to determine the baby's weight and overall size.  Little guy is already up to 5 lbs 15 oz.  They said that's about two weeks ahead of where he should be and it puts him in the 90-something percentile in weight.  I think Chewy took a lot of pride in baby boy's weight because he mentioned in the waiting room it would be cool if we had an 18 pound baby.  I told him he wouldn't be having one with this wife!

I'm at 33 weeks now but haven't taken a photo this week.

Monday, April 13, 2015

'Twas I, but 'tis not I

This past weekend (Easter weekend) we had an excellent General Conference.

I wanted to write a little on one talk in particular, that of Elder Dale Renlund, entitled Latter Day Saints Keep on Trying.  He began by quoting Nelson Mandela, “I’m no saint – that is, unless you think a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying.”

He then went on to quote from Shakespeare’s play, As You Like It. “’twas I, but ‘tis not I” Meaning, that’s who I was but no longer am. 

This touched me.  When I spoke at New Beginnings in March, our theme ‘we are all under construction’, reminded me how different the 2015 Lildonbro is from 2011 Lildonbro.  A lot of the struggles I went through in 2011 were self inflicted, the pain and sorrow I felt acted like a black hole sucking all the light and goodness from my life and I could not see the end, nor could I feel I deserved better than what I had.  I made a lot of mistakes as I tried to handle life my way instead of the Lord’s way.  I was obstinate to say the least.  I thought I knew what would make me happy, what would make my life more complete and I went for it, despite the still small whisperings that I had chosen incorrectly.  I couldn’t bear the thought of waiting any longer to move my life forward.  So I made things worse for myself.  That’s why it resonated with me when Elder Renlund said, “’Twas I, but ‘tis not I.”

Yes, I made mistakes.  Yes, I thought I had it figured out who I should marry and what I should do with my life.  And when that didn’t happen I let an irrepressible anger take control.  I have since learned to hand things to the Lord, including my anger.  I have learned that he can heal and sooth all the emotional hurts in this life.  The ones caused by others and even (maybe especially) the ones caused by my own decisions and actions. 

Elder Renlund says, “No failure ever need be final,” and I agree with him.  We get up when we fall, we forgive when we’re wronged, we seek forgiveness when we’re wrong, we hand over all the pains and sorrow to the Lord and let Him have them. And then we do it all over again, slowly climbing our way to perfection.  And it's all due to Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us.  Elder Holland said it best in his talk on Sunday morning when he spoke of Easter and the Atonement, "Today we celebrate the gift of victory over every fall we've ever experienced, every sorrow we have ever known, every discouragement we have ever had, every fear we have ever faced."

So to all my blogger friends, Happy Belated Easter.  May we always remember that it is possible to be better than we are today because of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Monday, March 23, 2015

We Are All Made Of The Same Stuff

A few weeks ago we had New Beginnings.  It has been at least 14 years since I've participated in New Beginnings so I have to say I was more than ready to let everyone else take the lead and I figured I'd watch and help out more next year.  But that's not what callings are for.

For those of you who don't know what New Beginnings is, here is my simple and hopefully close to correct definition.  Each year, somewhere near the beginning, the Young Women put on a program to introduce the upcoming Beehives (girls turning 12 that year).  But the program isn't only about the new girls,  All the girls are asked to attend and parent's of all the girls are invited. We choose a theme and give mini talks.  Then we eat.

This year our theme was basically, "we are all a work in progress" or "under construction" - I honestly can't remember the official theme,  The girls wore hardhats and gave "tool talks" about each of the Young Women values (and they picked a tool to signify that value - i.e. blue prints, hammer,etc.).  Then - it was my turn to talk.  I was to give a 5-7 minutes talk on how we are all a work in progress.  I will admit, I stressed about this.  There isn't much already out there about this topic and I wanted to make sure I went along with the rest of the program without really understanding what the rest of the program would be.  I didn't know if I was near the beginning or the end (actually...I assumed beginning but I was at the end).

I want to share some of the thoughts I shared with the group (and some I didn't share).  I can't say I completely followed what I had written, which means I joked around a bit more because I do that when nervous and I hope it means the spirit spoke more than I did.

I started off with sharing a quote from President Uchtdorf.  He gave a talk in a Priesthood Session of conference entitled, "Four Titles" and one of the titles was "Son of God" (changed by me to "Daughter of God" for the evening).  He says,
"Compared to the perfection of God, we mortals are scarcely more than awkward, faltering toddlers.  But our loving Heavenly Father wants us to become more like Him, and...that should be our eternal goal too.  God understands that we get there not in an instant but by taking one step at a time.
I do not believe in a God who would set up rules and commandments only to wait for us to fail so He could punish us.  I believe in a Heavenly Father who is loving and caring and who rejoices in our every effort to stand tall and walk toward him.  Even when we stumble, He urges us not to be discouraged - never to give up or flee our allotted field of service - but to take courage, find our faith, and keep trying."
 Then I suggested that there were three versions of us coexisting each day of our lives.

  1. The person you used to be
  2. The person you are now
  3. The person you will become
Here's where I'll interject a bit more of a personal touch for the blog.  To better clarify this idea, I remember a time in my life when I felt so far away from God and from the person I thought I was, the person I wanted to be.  I never thought I would get back there, much less, to develop beyond to even better.  I was stuck with the person I had been, the one who had made mistakes and led me to that moment, and the person I was at the time because of those actions and consequences.  I can still remember a day only a few months after that when I realized how far I had come.  I read through an old journal entry and realized that in a matter of months I had completely changed (with supreme effort from the Lord and from myself).  In my moments of self pity and depression, I failed to see the third version of myself, and to understand that the person I am now is changing, sometimes as quickly as day to day.

For the girls I described the difference between being a helpless baby (completely dependent upon their parents) to the young women they are now.  How they can walk and feed themselves, how they can have conversations, how they can even take selfies now.  But I also shared with them that they don't have to look that far back to see the difference from a younger version to the present.  

I remember in a Sunday School lesson once, the teacher said "We are all made of the same stuff".  I can't remember exactly what the lesson was about, but this statement has helped me, especially when I still find myself comparing my qualities to others.  I used to look at others and the things I admired in them and felt as though I lacked the ability to ever get there.  They must have something that I don't.  Even at the beginning of the program that evening I couldn't stop comparing myself, a nervous wreck who had to look at her notes, to Annette, who wrote her talk a few minutes before and I don't believe looked down at her notes once.  Or Jen, much further along in pregnancy and yet she's always willing to give a talk or bake some goods, or run to the store to pick up decorations.  I feel so lazy compared to her.  While I can't stop the thoughts, I can remind myself, "We are all made of the same stuff".  It means I can be better than I am today, I have the same potential as everyone else.  If I see a quality I like in someone else, I can work on developing that in myself.  It's not about where someone else is in their progress, but about continuing to work on my own.

We all have the same basic building materials to start construction.  We have the same potential as the person next to us.  We are not finished products but we are under constant construction and it is a lifelong process.  We’ve been given everything we need; it is up to us how to use these materials.  It’s important to seek the Lord’s will since he has the blueprints for our best selves. 

C.S. Lewis gives an example of a living house.  He says: 
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
It is important to remember that you are created in God’s image.  You are a daughter of God with divine potential and he has a plan for you.  Each week in our opening exercises we stand and recite our theme which begins, “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us and we love Him.”  This statement reminds us who we are and whose we are.  He is the master architect and if we trust in Him he will push us beyond a cottage and into a mansion.  


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