Things I'm Glad I'm Not Doing Right Now

Whenever I see people unloading a moving truck, I think to myself, “Man, I’m glad I’m not moving today.” I really like to appreciate when I don’t have to do things that I hate. I couldn’t believe how many times yesterday I thought that about different things that people I know are doing. Here’s a sampling:

My friend Ashley, who is due 1 month before me, went into labor. I went over to collect her kids and as I walked out I was thinking, “I am SO glad I’m not in labor right now.” That’s how you know I’m not miserable enough yet. I know in two weeks I’ll be crying if someone else is in labor and I’m not. But I still have a slew of things to do to get ready, like getting a crib and a dresser and diapers. Plus I’d like to paint a couple of walls in my house and hang a bunch of pictures. This might be overambitious, but I at least should have a vibrating bouncy seat on hand when the baby comes. And does anyone know of cool rocking chair I could buy?

Then I talked to my husband on the phone. He’s on a trip around the world, and despite a nasty sinus infection is having the time of his life. All I could think while we were talking is, “I can't believe how happy I am that I don’t have to sit on an airplane right now. My feet would be so swollen I wouldn’t be able to walk, not to mention how uncomfortable I’d be. I don't even think my body would fit in the airplane bathrooms.” Someday I might be up for a trip like that, but definitely not at this stage of pregnancy.

And late last night, my next door neighbor (who I adore) came over. Her mom is in Australia and she’s going on a class trip today to Washington, and needed make up tips for a big dance they’re having the last night of the trip (she’s 14). Obviously she didn’t come to the right person for make up instruction, but I did the best I could to help her figure out what goes where. She was telling me that a lot of the kids had purchased Sharpies, and were planning on decorating their classmates who had been up late the night before, and wanted to sleep on the 6 hour bus ride to Washington. And this time, I just said it out loud: “I am SO THRILLED I don't have to chaperone your class trip to Washington!” The days of me being on a school bus with a bunch of teenagers are hopefully over forever. The field trip specialist of Marie Murphy Jr. High has officially retired.


The nearly perfect bike ride

Spring has arrived in Denver. Yesterday we saw 75 degree weather, and with church not starting until 1pm, thought it would be a great day for a bike ride. We embarked on an expected 30 minute ride – and 2 hours later had ridden through the bulk of Denver. We saw the ritzy homes of Country Club & Cherry Creek, enjoyed Capitol Hill & Cheeseman Park, the Denver Zoo in City Park, the ghettos of 5 points & Whittier, and the heart of downtown.

Just past downtown we stopped at Confluence Park to join the “beach goers” laying out & throwing sticks in the river for their dogs to retrieve. I’m pretty sure if I had thrown a stick in the river Dave would have happily jumped in & retrieved it for me (he was looking upon the dogs with serious envy). Anyway, we checked the clock – and upon realizing it was 12:20pm, knew we had to head home. We were still a good 25 minute ride from our house, church started at 1pm, and Dave’s sister & family were coming to our house at 12:45pm so Dave could give them a ride to the airport.

Not 30 seconds into our ride home the chain on Dave’s bike broke. You would think we would be prepared for this as 40% of the rides we go on result in something similar. Since we have been married, Mr. “bunny hop” has “broken” in one way or another 2 rented bikes, 3 borrowed bikes, and of course his new bike a few times. And while we were only 2 minutes from REI, we had no $. So with the clock ticking Dave decided to take my bike & race home – hoping he could get our car, come pick me up, and made it back to our house in time to take his sister to the airport.

I reminded him there was NO ROOM for error as everyone we knew who lived close would very shortly be in church. He assured me he could beat the clock.

So I started walking his bike home. Being inconspicuous proved difficult as there were hundreds of people riding past me on the bike path – and turns out it is hard to lay low when you are wearing a bike helmet, bike gloves, bike shorts, bike clip shoes, and WALKING your bike. After 25 humiliating minutes of saying things like “No, I’m not hurt,” “No, I’m not lost,” “No, my tire isn’t flat” Dave called. The relief I felt immediately disappeared as he asked if I had used the bottom lock on the front door which the hide a key has no power over. Of course I had, and I had the keys to the back door with me. So, he couldn’t access our cars or our house.

Of course at this point church was just starting and the bike and I were starring down the barrel of a 1.5+ hour walk home. So Dave text messaged Chris at church, and Chris found a friend who was willing to be my knight in shinning armor. I felt more than sheepish having our friend in his Sunday best leave church – to find me in my scandalous/skin tight biking outfit, smelling & looking like I had been on a 2 hour ride, and polishing off my water bottle as it dawned on me it was fast Sunday.

Is this some sort of heavenly retribution for the $2.01 trick I pulled last week? The ironic thing is this week I had asked my seminary kids if it was more important to be on time to church, or to stop and help a friend changing a flat tire.


A reality worse than any nightmare – Early Morning Seminary

I attended 4 years of early morning seminary growing up. Well, I guess it depends on how you define “attended.” 40% of my attendance came in the form of “make up work” done furiously before submitting my application to BYU. 60% of my attendance came via the following routine:

5:15am: Alarm sounds, Carrie turns it off
5:20am: Dad comes in “Carrie wake up”
5:25am: Dad comes in “Carrie WAKE UP”
5:30am: Dad comes in, turns on the lights, takes my blankets, walks out the door with blankets in hand
5:35am: Carrie crawls into the bathroom, turns on the shower, falls asleep on the carpet next to the heater
5:55am: Dad bangs on the door “You can’t possibly still be in the shower – WAKE UP!”
6:19am: Carrie arrives at seminary 19 minutes late, 1 minute before she will be counted absent

As you can see, seminary and I did not mesh well. Thus you can imagine the sheer HORROR I experienced when my bishop asked me to be an early morning seminary teacher. I wanted to say no – but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. That darn primary brainwashing!

Things have gone fairly well – and I must admit I love my 3 kids. In fact, I’m not sure they are real kids…but maybe aliens or robots of some sort. They are always on time, 6am on the dot if not 5:56am which totally throws me off b/c I really count on those last 4 minutes of preparation time. In addition, 2 of my kids have only missed 3 times this year. All 3 times they either called to apologize for over-sleeping, or warned me in advance they would not be able to make it. Let us not forget I, their fearless leader, have accidentally slept through twice this year…so my 16 year olds have only missed seminary 1 day more than me!

So miracle of miracles I have survived 7 months of classes and have only 37 lessons left to prepare. But, I have hit a serious brick wall. I have used up every game, object lesson, and “church” video I can think of. We have even watched the work & the glory DVDs which burned through 6 glorious days. Does Napoleon Dynamite count as a church video? What on earth can I do for 37 more days? Please! Someone help me! Today I was so burned out from preparing my Monday-Thursday lessons that I could not bring myself to prepare another. Instead we took a field trip to Albertsons to blow our $2.01 student activity fund. I kid you not – that was the total amount I was allocated for winter semester. And to add insult to injury they listed all these things I could use the money for like: “food items, paper goods such as plates, utensils, napkins, etc.” So in an effort to “stick it to the man,” I thought it would be fun to see how much we could buy with the $2.01 – and send in separate receipts for each item. This morning we were able to get the following:

Friskies turkey & giblets cat food - $0.29 cents
Top Ramen, beef flavor - $0.12 cents
Kuner whole canned tomatoes - $0.44 cents
Beech Nut baby food, pineapple glazed ham flavor - $0.32 cents
Bubbles - $0.50 cents
Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar - $0.34 cents
Grand Total = $2.07 cents

With our purchase we also got a free coupon for Fancy Feast gourmet cat food which I think I'll go ahead and throw in the reiumbursement envelope. Man – I’ve got to be the worst seminary teacher ever, teaching my kids to “stick it to the man” which let us not forget, in this scenario, is actually the church. HELP! Am I the only one with church calling woes?


Have You Seen These?

I bumped into my friend Megan about a week ago at CVS, and after noting the contents of my shopping basket (all I had in there were 8 full sized Cadbury Creme Eggs) she directed me to the MINI creme eggs. Until that day, I didn't know they existed. They are the perfect size; so much better than the big ones. I'd have to say this discovery has changed my life.



The first time I ever saw shawarma was on my trip to Europe with my mom and sisters. I was vegetarian at the time, and the site of a slab of meat on a spit was thoroughly disgusting to me. Fast forward several years and we’re living in Brooklyn. The 10 year vegetarian phase had been abruptly abandoned when I was about 6 months pregnant with S, and suddenly a burger was the only thing I wanted to eat.

About a year after the burger was eaten at TGIFridays, we moved to Brooklyn and I discovered Heaven on Earth: Zaytoons. A tiny Middle Eastern restaurant on Smith Street, this quickly became one of our favorite places to get take out. I started with beef shawarma, which was good. Then I tried their chicken shawarma: even better. But the falafel balls, especially their falafel sandwiches, took the cake. And don’t even get me started on their pita and hummus. I would estimate in the 6 years we lived in Brooklyn, we ate from Zaytoons at least once a month, except for the few months they closed after 9-11.

I didn’t realized they had closed after the World Trade Center came down; I walked over there one evening to pick up dinner and was shocked to see the gate down. A sign posted on the door said “Closed Until Further Notice”. Covering the gate were letters from people who had come before me. The letters were all different, but the message was the same: Come back. We don’t blame you for what happened across the river. We miss you. You are our neighbors and our friends. As I stood outside the restaurant, with little S on my back, I got tears in my eyes. I cried a lot in the days following 9-11. No, I wasn’t crying because I couldn’t get my falafel sandwich; I was touched at the way people were reaching out to each other.

Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. Several months later, Zaytoons reopened. And last weekend, we went down to Brooklyn for a day of fun with our favorite peeps the Palmers. I can’t tell you how good my falafel sandwich tasted; it’s definitely been a big craving since I got pregnant that I finally got to satiate. Travis had ordered a chicken shawarma platter which he ate about 3 bites of, so we took that home with us. There was so much left over on his platter that I ate it for dinner both Sunday and Monday nights! My only regret? I should have ordered more than the 5 pita I got. I could go for one of those with some hummus right now.


Was He One of the Three Nephites?

Last week the kids and I were on an airplane, flying back from our 2 week vacation in Colorado. We had all gone to the bathroom before getting on, and had been in the air about 3 hours when I realized we would begin our descent soon. I asked C if he needed to go potty. This is roughly how that conversation went:

Me: Do you need to go potty?

C: No.

Me: Are you sure?

C: Yes.

Me: Really, really sure?

C: How many times do I have to say it?! (Don’t you love it when they use your own phrases against you.)

Me: Because I need you to be really, really sure. Here’s what’s going to happen; the pilot will turn on the fasten seat belt sign and we’ll start going down and if you need to go potty then, there is NO WAY you will be able to get out of your seat and go to the bathroom. Do you understand?

C: I don’t have to go.

Me: Just try standing up in your seat to make SURE.

C: (standing) Mom, I don’t have to go.

So, I believed him. After he convinced me for about 10 minutes, that is. The pilot announced we would begin our descent in a few minutes, and C and I repeated the above conversation.

Five minutes into the descent C starts to yell and scream, “I NEED TO GO PEE!” I knew it. He continued to freak out as we taxied, and then the plane stopped. I tried moving as fast as possible, but by the time I got him unbuckled and my giant body up, the exit for our aisle was completely blocked by a Hasidic Jewish man and his impossibly huge carry on. Side note: there is NO WAY his carry on was legal: I have no idea how he got them to let him take it on. He stood there, in a daze, while I kept asking him to move and C was screaming. Finally, the woman standing behind him, who was also trying to get him to move, turned to me and said, “Just hand me your son and I’ll try and get him down to the bathroom.” I picked him up and lifted him over the seat, and she him down in the aisle, pointing him towards the back of the plane. Of course, C freaked at the idea of being separated from me and started trying to climb up the seat to get back to me. By this time, I’m sweating from every pore in my body and wondering what the heck I’m going to do when he wets himself.

Suddenly, a man two rows back says, “Excuse me, can you use this?” He hands me a ziplock tupperware container, complete with lid and about 5 napkins neatly folded in the bottom. I gratefully said, “YES!” and lifted C back over the seat. We pulled his pants down and he peed in the tupperware, not even splashing any out, thanks to the napkins in the bottom. I snapped the lid on, and we disposed of it on the way to baggage claim. It was, in my opinion, a miracle.

Top 10 Pregnancy Complaints

10. The vivid, scary dreams I have. Usually I can’t remember my dreams but when I’m pregnant, they are so real I wake up sweating and can’t get back to sleep. The one I had last night was awful... I had lost C and Ez in a large apartment building and was trapped in an elevator.

9. My swollen feet. I got the greatest pair of Frye boots for Christmas and I can’t wedge my fat feet into them. Soon the only thing I’ll be able to get on is flip flops. Let’s hope by the time that happens it’s at least 45 degrees outside. I actually cried a little yesterday, because none of my church shoes were comfortable.

8. My back; it hurts so much I can never get comfortable. In bed I shift positions all night long trying to find a way to sleep that doesn’t hurt. I even bought an exercise ball, hoping that sitting on that a few hours a day would relieve some of the back pain.

7. The swollen hands. My rings are so tight they hurt, but they are too tight to take off.

6. The metallic taste in my mouth. It lasts the ENTIRE time I’m pregnant and affects the taste of everything I eat. I have to brush my teeth about 90 times per day to try and get rid of it, if only for a minute.

5. The constant thirst. I’m so thirsty all day long, I can’t stop drinking stuff. Which leads us to....

4. The constant peeing.

3. The heartburn. Tums and Rolaids don’t make a dent in it.

2. The sweat. I’ve started sweating profusely, even when I don’t think I’m hot. Constant wet armpits are so not cute.
and the top complaint about pregnancy right now is...

1. The giant size of my belly. You should see people’s faces when they look at my belly and ask when I’m due, and I reply “May 3rd”. They give me such a pity-filled look I almost can’t stand it. I’ve started saying April just to avoid that look, but soon I’m going to have to answer “March” because my stomach will be so big even April will seem ludicrous. The people I tell March to are going to be VERY concerned when my giant belly and I are still going strong in the middle of April!

Okay, what are yours? I'm dying for people to commiserate with me.