Saturday, April 29, 2006

Sunday Scribblings #5 (but #1 for me)

I was looking on line for journal prompts that weren't too cheesy, just meaningful enough, and that my kids might like to read one day. I found this site, and I'm going to give it a go. One of my goals for this year was to journal in my personal journal every week and our family journal once a month. I've been doing pretty good with that goal. But honestly? My life isn't too thrilling, and sometimes I've just got nothing to write in my personal journal that feels meaningful. The topic for the week is to write the story of why you moved to the place where you currently live. I've been thinking about it a lot since we've been getting ready to leave. I'm not being thankful enough for the place we now call home, so this is something good for me to reflect on. While we were engaged, we spent some good time figuring out how we could save a down payment for a house, how much house we could afford, where we'd want to call home forever. It soon became quite apparent that we would not be able to buy a "real house" in our town and keep the family life we want - we're not too far outside of San Francisco. In order to buy a house, I'd have to work full time, and even then it would be a stretch - if possible. It was important to both of us that I stay at home with the kids, so we were resigned to apartment living for awhile. And really? It wasn't all that bad. Every week we still miss living in the neighborhood we did when we were first married. We were a short walk from one of the most fun downtowns we'll ever find. Great shopping, fun people watching, fantastic restaurants - this neighborhood had it all. It makes me so sad we'll never live in a place like that again. I was visiting a friend in her rented condo about 7 months after we were married. She had a postcard on her kitchen counter that had the prices the condos in the complex were selling for. The 2 bedrooms were in our budget! We didn't think we could find anything in our budget! Of course, we never had considered condos. We are pretty against HOAs, and I'm basically unhappy with the idea of anyone telling me what to do, especially when they're telling me what to do with something that I paid a whole lot of money for. Mine. It's mine. And you're telling me what to do with it? Ha. We ran numbers and found out that - wow - we really could do this. It was perfect timing. I was pregnant and we were getting ready to move into a bigger apartment one street down from our current one in just a few weeks. We were even seriously considering managing that apartment building. Whoa am I thankful we didn't do that! We started the process late January and got the keys March 3rd. We were homeowners! We celebrated our first wedding anniversary just 5 days later amid lots of paint fumes and half empty boxes. We thought we were in heaven. This huge apartment is ours? And it's this big? And the closets are really that spacious? Awesome! Nathan told a friend at work that our new place was so big (we moved into 1150 sq feet from a 500 sq foot apartment!), he felt like he needed to play Marco Polo to find me. We never intended to stay here long - two years, three years tops. In fact, we started talking about leaving when we'd been here for about six months. I have this pain-in-the-rear thing about planning ahead. Far ahead. Like five years or more at a time ahead. This condo has been good for us. Financially, it's been amazing to us. As much as I'm itching to get out (we need a yard! we need more storage! we need an office! a bigger kitchen! et-cet-er-a), I really am going to miss this place for the memories we have here. Three wedding anniversaries. Six birthdays - so far. Many fun game nights. Two new babies welcomed home. It wasn't all sunshine and smiles - the depression happened here, which was worst thing I've ever been through (and hopefully ever will go through), led us to adoption and to Josh. It's funny how you start to see the worst trials as the best blessings.

Hi, Dad

I just got a phone call from my sister. "Did you know that Dad reads your blog?", I didn't. Well, Dad, at least you could drop a comment that says something like "Hi, Favorite Daughter. I read your blog!" (note, watch for a comment to this post where my dad leaves the exact comment I just suggested. Because that's just like him. Well, except for the Favorite part. Because my sister also reads this blog and - since she lives in his house - would start something like World War 3 if she really knew I was the favorite.) As more and more people in real life (current friends, college friends, family) are reading my blog I've become a little more self-conscious. So I asked my sister if I sound like a self-absorbed idiot, or if I overshare. I've been worried about the oversharing thing for a couple weeks. The idiot thing? Not so worried. Because if you met me in real life it would only take a minute for that to become glaringly obvious, anyway. She said I sound just like "all the other blogs - do you think they sound like self-absorbed idiots?" Nope. Not at all. Not the few blogs I read regularly, at least - mostly mom blogs, LDS blogs, LDS-mom blogs. So, it's settled - I'm not self-absorbed, don't really overshare, and am not a total idiot. Back to packing.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

a new food group in our house!

Jacob never used sidewalk chalk before today. To get him excited about it - ok, to get him to stop screaming after I so rudely yanked him out of the library - I talked about it the whole 4 mile drive home from the library. Chalk! We're going to color! Outside! Where it's 75 today! With CHALK! Chalk is SO fun! Chalk! We got home, and I got him a sippy and the chalk and he started to scream. CHALK!! CH-ALK!! It sounded like he was being attacked by CHALK! but at the same time, wouldn't touch it. Are you as confused as I was? I went outside to show him how cool coloring with chalk - outside! - can be. And he sat down on the kitchen floor and started crying: "Chocolate. Chocolate. Choc. Chocolate." Apparently, he must have thought that I had just started abbreviating the word 'chocolate'. How confused must he have been? Chocolate! Outside! on the Sidewalk! He came around. We're good. And he's not eating it. Yet.

Attack of the old journals!

I am just dying here, people. DIE-ING. Today is the day to pack up all the books. Actually, it was yesterday, but I'm never, ever on time since becoming a mom of two. Which is kind of a pain since being late and behind schedule gives me these really fun panic attacks. And digressing and getting sidetracked just like I'm doing at this second (by 1 - writing and 2 - getting off topic in my writing) are doing nothing to help. So back to the subject. These old journals? I'm flipping through some of them and I want to just puke. I've only kept journals since college, so the oldest are 12 years old. I can't believe I was that person. Was I really that person? Say it ain't so. Please. I'll pay you, make you the most amazing chocolate cheesecake ever - anything you want. Tell me I was not that stupid, self-centered and flat-out dumb. Here's my thing: I'm so tempted to throw at least some of them away that I'm considering not packing them so it will be easier to trash them. But does throwing them away help to erase the past? I don't believe in re-writing the past and changing it to be more convienent and pleasing to remember. Or HA HA HA maybe I really do, especially when I think of people I know and like and respect reading them one day. My kids? Reading those journals? Aasdfasdlfkhsadljkhasdf (I don't know how else to type out the sound that just escaped my body when that thought went through my head) It just can't happen. Truly, there are things I've written on this blog that I already regret. If I were to do a do-over, I'd most likely be anonymous, with pseudonyms for the kids and hub. But too late for that! Just like too late for those terrible, horrible 12 year old journals! Anyway - the stuff I regret on this blog - it's not as bad as the journals. Not even close. But I've reread some stuff and thought "man, you're dumb" or "I can't believe you would've overreacted like that and then shared it with the universe. Dork." I really, really need this shirt. Question time: what do you do/have you done with those old journals? The ones that make you cringe and almost hork and find your eyes rolling away under fast moving cars? Those ones.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

And, that spells trouble, with a capital T and that rhymes with...

Why are we in trouble? We have a wiseguy on our hands and he's not even two! This weekend we were at my parents. We had friends over to visit. The friends had a son, Taylor, who is about 11 or so, and whom Jacob adores. Jacob and Taylor were on the couch, probably because Taylor could not take two steps without Jacob following on his heels. Remember Jacob's infatuation with trains? Unfortunately, I'm afraid we may not even be in the thickest of it yet. Jacob would turn to Taylor and say "Choo choo!" Taylor: Where's the choo-choo? Jacob: choo-choo outside! (and he pointed outside) - we were on my parents couch, facing the street, and there most definately was not a choo-choo outside Taylor: Is there a choo-choo outside? Jacob: NOPE! Followed by hysterical laughing with a "made ya look" attitude

what the heck?

I'll join the's your chance to learn all the nitty gritty boring details of my life:

How many times has someone on your friends list posted about something and you were really confused, but you didn't want to ask because you knew you SHOULD know? How many times have you felt 'guilty' asking a question that should be 'obvious'?

Well, here's your chance.

If you've missed a few things, missed an entry and are confused, ask me anything. Even something EXTREMELY basic, like where I live! I'm not allowed to get even slightly irritated at any of the questions - we've all missed things before.

family health

There's a new round of commericals on TV. I wish I could remember who sponsors them, because I would love to find a clip on the internet and link to it here. Hopefully I'll get to edit it in soon. Anyhow, it's full of cute toddlers asking their parents not for snacks, but diseases.

"Mom, can I please have some diabetes?" "Will you pass the heart disease, please?"
I love these commercials, and they've really hit a nerve with me. I've had body and weight issues for a long time. Once upon a time, I lost a great deal of weight. It took me from September 2001 until September 2003 to lose 100 lbs. How did I lose the weight? It was the easiet thing ever, quite honestly. I made a decision one night that I didn't like living in that body anymore. I was watching family members deal with serious health problems due to their weight issues, and I never wanted to find myself in that very avoidable situation. I also remembered that my body was a gift from God, and I was not being a good steward of the body I have been given to enjoy on earth - I missed the frequent sports, hiking, swimming, etc. Most of all - I wanted to know I was healthy. It was that easy. I made one decision, and I found myself eating much more healthfully and exercising often. After having Jacob, I found myself losing weight because I wanted to be thin again, fit into those prepregnancy clothes again, etc. But being thin doesn't necessarily mean you're healthy. A bunch of the weight I lost right after I had Jacob has re-found me. Instead of just trying to get the weight off to be thin again, I'm finding my focus going back to health. Jacob adores fruits and vegetables. Today he brought me a can of V8 and said "V8 - pLLLease!" Alrighty, then. It's yours, buster. The other day he chose carrots over cookies. Of course, there are times he begs for chocolate, cookies and cake - words he knows all too well and uses all too often. And I find myself giving him more junk than he needs. How has that commercial affected me? Intensely. I understand that Jacob won't always choose fruits and veggies over baked goods. But why not try to make it last as long as I can? Why am I bringing sugary cereal into our house to give Jacob and Nathan for breakfast when they like hot oatmeal (and not the sugar-filled flavored kind - the plain old quick oats) just as well? How, exactly, is a bowl of Fruit Loops or Cinnamon Toast Crunch any different than a chocoalte cupcake? Why am I going to offer Jacob goldfish crackers or cats cookies instead of fruit leather and string cheese - two things he loves? Why am I going to continue eating less healthfully than I should, setting a poor example for my children? It's not just about fitting into that pair of pants, looking a certain way or getting ready for swimsuit season. It's about being healthy and making sure my family is, too. Getting rid of this extra weight is harder this time - my entire life is different. It's harder to get to the gym (they don't let babies in the day care before they're 6 months old and I've not been able to get there before Nathan leaves for work since I've been exhausted by the late night/very early morning feeds for Josh - what did you say? excuses?), harder to fix meals for my family and stick to decent portion sizes for myself instead of grabbing something when I got home from work or grad school. But I think it's more important this time. For me and my family. Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

quote of the week

Found at Tracy M's blog, I really needed this quote:

"There are years that ask questions, and there are years that answer." -Zora Neale Hurston
I keep praying the questions are over and that the answers will soon come.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

the results of Jacob's first Google Search

I walked into the bedroom, found Jacob typing, heard an "uh-oh" and saw this: Your search - eq'fsxsl dgdeweeietrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhuiik0lkmk,kl;/?l]y - did not match any documents. He obviously doesn't know how to type "train" yet, or "save me from another time out" or "how to avoid being packed in box when I keep hiding in them". At least he wasn't searching for "new mommy store". It's only a matter of time.

six things meme

I got tagged by Jennifer for the six things meme. Reason I don't usually do memes: I can rarely, if ever, think of enough bullet points to finish the darn things. You know how so many bloggers do a Thankful Thursday Thirteen or whatever it is? Like I can promise to think of 13 things in the same category on the same day? As if! So I'll do my best to think of six weird things about myself. If I stop after 2 it's not because I'm not weird, it's because my brain has been sufficiently taxed for the day. 1 - I can twirl my tongue to make it go completely upside down. I've not met anyone else with my amazing talent. Most people think it's gross, but I think they're just jealous. 2 - Even though I am a voracious reader, it is only on the very rare occasion that I buy books new. They either come to my house used or borrowed from the library. 3 - Tacking onto #2, I have no problem paying late fees at the library. (except for that one $12 was for 2 movies that were 3 days overdue - each movie had a fine of $2 per day - and we didn't even watch them!!) I figure that the library saves me thousands of dollars per year, so I actually consider paying late fees to be my little way of "giving back". And no - that's not just the lazy mans way of justifying returning books late. 4 - Symmetry is a big deal to me, to a point that's almost OCD. that's where Jacob gets it from. When I was a kid, it was to the point where if I itched my elbow on one side, I'd have to itch the other elbow just to keep things symmetrical and even. 5 - I can't touch raw wood. Wooden spoons? The wood part of a pencil? Popsicle sticks? I'm shivering right now just thinking about it. If it's sanded, polished or something like that, we're fine. But raw wood? (shiver) 6 - I still have "issues" with the dark. I wouldn't call it scared, let's just use the word "uncomfortable". If you're reading this and you want to play, consider yourself tagged.

another one from yesterday

Jacob has this really annoying habit of screech-screaming when he's mad. Say it together: we love the terrible twos! Anyhow, now when he does it he gets the much-hated time out. I had started out with the attitude that the screaming isn't actually hurting anyone, it's just plain annoying. But really? Can't take it anymore. Yesterday on the way to the farm he got mad at something, most likely me. This is what I heard from the back seat: "SCREECH! Time out." I wish they were all that easy.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

scenes from a Tuesday

We went to a farm/ranch near out house today. It's just small, and mainly used as historical field-trip teaching thingy (yes, I've been out of the classroom a long, long time) for 3rd graders. It was full of animals and their poop and mud which made it heaven for Jacob. He wouldn't stop chasing the twin goats, and insisted on trying to pull daddy goats beard. He also kept trying to poke the poor mommy goat when she was nursing the twins. We visited the sheep and pigs and another goat area, but Jacob was mesmerized by the chickens, and especially the rooster, which said "cockle-loo" over and over. Jacob has been mimicking the rooster much of the day, "cockle-loo"ing his heart away. He went home kicking and screaming and full of mud. Much fun was had. After naps we went to Costco. Produce wasn't on my list, but then again, neither were the fruit snacks, 2 books, or photo albums that we came home with, either. Walking to get the frozen chicken we passed some produce and Jacob started screaming "ta-mo! PLLLL-ease! Ta-mo!" Ta-mo* is his word for 'tomato' (hey, it used to be may-may, so at least it's evolving) When your one year old kid asks for vegetables, you buy them. Period. I don't care what was on the list. My mood has been majorly elevated by the 2 amazingly sunny days we've had here. Two! In a row! Not only was today sunny, but it was over 70. You'd think we lived in California. Oh, wait...we do. Anyhow, I decided to stop at the park on the way home. Because, you know, that's what a woman with a car full of frozen and refrigerated food does on a warm day. Apparently, everyone else in town had the same idea. I talked Nathan into cutting out of work a little early and meeting us at the park. As we were watching Jacob play in the really tall grass, a mom called over to me: "Hey! Is that your kid? You know where he's playing is muddy?" Yes, today I will admit that he's my kid. Yes, I know it's muddy. He's a boy, he's 1, he's happy. Good stuff. *Speaking of Jacob-speak, my favorite word he has right now is the one for "bathtub" - he says "ta-ta-bub".

Monday, April 17, 2006

too much stuff!

I'm going through all of our closets and throwing away bagful after bagful of "stuff" as we're getting ready to put our house up for sale in the next several weeks. This "stuff" has generally been sitting in closets for most of the last 2 years. Some of the stuff has made a Very Important Cameo during its residence in our home, and then gone back to being unused and neglected. I'm throwing away all these things (and recycling, and gifting and donating) and it is incredibly freeing. My mom, like oh so many other people in this world, is a hoarder. Seeing her stacks brings fiery anxiety right up to the tops of my eyeballs. I swore I would never have piles of unused "stuff"sitting around, no matter how important those things were to me at one time. And the thing is - I didn't think I had that many piles! Ha ha...joke's on me. If it wasn't making me insane having so much garbage on the floor of my bedroom, I'd take a picture and post it...but it's got to get out of the house before I need to start my happy pills again. Question of the year: will I be able to stick to my "just because we're moving into a bigger house does not mean we need to fill every room and closet" resolve - even 5 years after we've lived there? XXXXXX (that's all my fingers crossed really tight!)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

watch your language

Yesterday, I was talking to my sister on the phone when I told her where we had decided, just hours earlier, to move. While I feel peaceful about the decision and know it's where we're supposed to be for now, it's going to take me awhile to get excited about this move. I ended my explanation to her with an emphatic "CRAP". To which Jacob replied with the following: "CRAP! Joshie, say 'crap!'". Oops. He's not just repeating it, he's teaching Josh, as well. Oops.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

all good

I had a good 90 minute cry last night and got all the frustrations out. It turns out that the move, while the largest ouch to hit, wasn't the only thing bothering me, and crying about one thing got everythin else out. I'm better. I'm moving, for heavens sake, it's not like California is going to drop off the map and I will never be able to come back. (but, be away from the beach, the Sierras...ok, ok...stopping myself right here...) The crayons are 95% out of the laundry. Thank you to a product called 21 Mule Team Borax, or 21 Team Mule Borax, or Borax 21 Team Mule or WHATEVER. It worked. It is, however, quite hard on the clothes, and we've had major fading. But most clothes are still wearable. Next to try on the still stained clothes is some product that suggests you use it - with a mask - in a well ventilated area. Should be an experience. And the sun, glorious SUN. It's out! It is 70 degrees right now! It is incredibly beautiful and that alone lifts my spirits higher than they've been in a month. Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Grieving California

Why? I don't want to move. I want to live in CA, in the Bay Area, until I die. Yesterday we got the "all systems go" to move. I was so excited...for about an hour. Then we made the list of all the things we need to do before we can put our house up for sale. That took a good chunk of excitement out of me. By the evening, I was mad we were moving. It occurred to me today, after I had another episode of anger and frustration, that I'm going through the stages of grief in my head about leaving here. How unexpected is that? I thought I would always live here and I love it here and I have never wanted to leave. In order to live what we consider a comfortable lifestyle (getting a yard and a decent 4 bedroom house), we have to leave. And I keep going back to being mad, even angry, about moving. What are those stages of grief, anyway? 1 - Denial 2 - Anger 3 - Bargaining 4 - Depression 5 - Acceptance I'm at #3. I called Nathan today and told him this: "I am not moving. This is where I want to be. We qualify for a loan that would let us buy a house for $XXX,000, so just (do something I won't put on my blog for the world to see to get the) rest of the money we need to buy that house down the street (even though it's small and a total fixer upper) since it will keep us here in CA, and I promise I'll not complain about living in a 3 bedroom house that's not a ton bigger than the condo. I promise." As you can imagine, it was a no-go. #4's going to suck, so I hope it comes quickly and doesn't last long so I can get on with my dang life. It might even be here now. Hopefully, Depression won't show up at our door with five suitcases. An overnight bag will be sufficient, thankyouverymuch. I need to pack up literally half of our things to put in storage (before we can even think about showing the condo) but I can't bring myself to even go through the closets and throw things away right now.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Crayons in the dryer

Getting ready to leave this morning, I was rushing, which has become my new normal, which does not leave me living in a happy place. Jacob and I were in the skivvies when I went to open the very packed dryer. Guess what I found!! You can't guess if you read the title. Oh, wait! That's all of you. The crayons were blue and yellow, and my mood was black. Many of my favorite clothes were in that load, and a few of Jacob's new clothes were in that load. I am not a happy mommy. I'm all over this site right now looking for the easiest and most effective method to try to clean these clothes, instead of dumping them and going shopping. I'm realizing it's going to take several hours - at least. And I was planning on my photo albums and reading tonight! One more reason I hate laundry.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Withholding these pictures would be like denying you oxygen

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

dating myself

How interesting that I'm as excited for the Wiggles concert we're going to later this month (just found out about it this morning!) as I was for the New Kids on the Block concert when I was in 7th grade?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

how I love the milk-filled boobs

Oh, how I dislike the bottle. Oh, how I wish I appreciated the boob milk better when it was a'flowin'. I breastfed Jacob for 8+ months. I knew it was best, and that's why I did it, but oh how I hated 2 3/4 of every 3 minutes of it. I really attribute the dislike of nursing (for just one thing, it was never ending - he ate at least every 2 hours for more than 2 months straight) to the crazy-mixed up hormones that also brought me the joy of post-partum depression. Anyhow, when we were on track to be blessed with the twins in late September, I still had milk, and intended to nurse. By the time Josh was born, the milk was gone. I thought long and hard about trying to get my milk back and finally decided against it for several reasons. Want to know more? Ask. Anyhow, now we're a bottle feeding family, I realize how good it was to nurse. Washing bottles? Akin to my feelings on laundry. Buying formula? Sure it's necessary, but wouldn't shoes be more fun to spend money on? Or this? Josh has been congested since birth. Talk about snotty! I pick that kids nose several times a day, and the boogers? They just keep regrowing. I can also often feel his congested chest when I hold him. In the hospital, a person (not nurse, but white mother of a black baby) told me that her black daughter had bad congestion, and as soon as they put her on soy, the problem was gone. She told me it was common for black babies. I've been mulling that thought for six weeks and two days now, but when I talked to our doctors, two of them have told me that the "congestion" is just a noise that babies make, it's normal, no soy needed, etc. Well, today, I bought soy formula. It can't hurt to try, and might even help. The best thing in the world for bottle feeders: the Podee! I bought it when Jacob went on the bottle, but because he never took a pacifier, it never worked. The concept is that the kid sucks on the bottle nipple like a pacifier and the tubing systems gets every last drop of milk from the bottom recesses of the bottle. Someone is very smart and should get very rich off this thing. I've started trying it out on Josh this week in preparation for hiking season (should the rain ever decide to stop falling and the sun decide to come out of hiding) and for long car trips we're thinking of taking this summer. This system is fabulousness at its most fabulous.

for the fellow bibliophiles Incredible. It scans all the online booksellers you can think of, then 100 more you can't, and gives you the details on where you can buy your book, how much it will cost at each place, and how much shipping will be at each site. Love. True Love.

Monday, April 03, 2006

pictures! more pictures!

Some recent faves...not high quality photos, but they show my kids fun personalities!
In this one, Josh laughed so hard he fell over. :)

early OCD

Jacob has a thing with liking his crayons paper-free. It wouldn't bother me so much if he didn't keep whining "paper! paper!" when he was coloring; necessitating my walking over to him every 90 seconds to peel the paper off yet one more crayon. All day long. Did I mention how much fun it is to have crayon wrappings littering the house? I didn't? It is SO fun!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

See? This is how much it's been raining...

We have this painting above the couch in our living room. It is of a scene on Mt. Diablo in Spring sometime in the 1980's when that barn still existed, and the lupine and poppies were plentiful: Jacob stood on the couch today and pointed at the painting. "Outside! Ooooohhh...outside." It was in such a tone of longing. He misses the outside. We all miss the outside!

Baby books and calendars

My kids have a mom who, if their grandmas saw what was written in their calendars (an extension of their baby books - I have a calendar for each kid I can update everyday...or whenever I get around to it), said grandmas would gasp, roll eyes, and faint. Example: (from Jacob's calendar entry yesterday) Now, when you say "thank you" it comes out as "tank you" instead of "knock up", the way you used to say "thank you". I miss the old way. Especially when you said it to my pregnant friends.