Ever since Dave and I bought our house we have tried to beautify it. Note the use of the word “we.” Dave is not a big fan of this word as in reality the “we” is mostly, if not all, “he” when it comes to home remodel. When I take credit for past work via a “we” it doesn’t bother him nearly as much as a suggestion for future work via a “we.” For example, I suggest “we should re-paint the bedroom this weekend!” (Note: the first time “we” painted the bedroom it was he who wanted to go for the subtle tan – and I who pushed for the apple green.) He always gives me a sideways glance in response to such suggestions, and says “we?”

Of course I’m not the only one in the family who uses and abuses the term “we.” Dave often declares “we really need to clean the house” or “when are we going to get going on dinner?” This is nothing short of a demand placed directly on me. So I’m curious – what is your favorite way to miss-use the word we? Or, what is your least favorite way someone uses “we” on you? Mine is definitely when my boss says “ok, let’s make a list of all the things we need to do.”


Dave and I camped in Moab over Memorial Day weekend with some family & friends. All in all we had a fabulous time.

The low point of the trip was a few isolated moments on our first mountain bike trail. We ran into a convoy of 30 people each driving their own motorized contraption in a single file line. Just for reference, members of this group sported leather pants, sleeveless belly shirts (yes, the men too), tight perms, and camo bandanas. The demographics varied; so our guess is some backwoods family decided Moab would make a great reunion locale. Unfortunately they were novice drivers traveling at approximately 5 MPH (about the speed of us on our mountain bikes). So there was a lot of jockeying back and forth; fighting for trail time. Several times they stopped with no signs of moving, so we had to attempt a climb or decent past them, while their beady eyes bore down on us. They always stopped in the middle of the trail, right on top of the easiest route, leaving maybe 2 feet of clearance room past their vehicle. My 3 athlete companions made the passes seamlessly while I totally buckled under the spectator pressure. I wiped out HARD not once, not twice, but FOUR times with-in arms reach of the caravan. It was as if they were watching TV b/c their eyes were fixated on me, merely inches away, but they didn’t seek any interaction. You know, like ask “Are you ok? Do you need a Band-Aid to stop the bleeding? Would it help if me and my ridiculous posse moved to the right a little?” I was close to flipping one jeep off – but decided not to bring more shame upon myself.

The highlight of the trip was definitely the camera miracle. On day 3 we realized our camera was missing. After searching the jeep and campsite, we could only conclude it had fallen out of Dave’s pocket while driving the 15 mile dessert/dirt road to our campsite. (Note the jeep didn’t have doors on it, so the camera landed somewhere in the middle of the dessert while we traveled at 50 MPH). When we got home Dave called one of the visitor’s centers to ask if they had a lost & found. I still can’t quite believe it, but someone actually happened upon our black camera case in the middle of the dessert, thought to get off their bike or out of their jeep to pick it up, realized it was a new nice camera, hauled it to a visitor’s center probably 20 miles away, and turned it in. Definitely a Moab miracle.


I have an announcement to make

Oh come on. I know what you’re thinking. Don’t you remember my Mother’s Day post? The one where I vowed to never have sex again? Or at least for 6 months (I keep trying to convince Travis that the Dr. said 6 months instead of 6 weeks). No, I’m not pregnant. My big announcement is this: I HATE working in my yard.

Last year was the first year we’ve ever had a yard. I very much enjoyed sending my kids out to play in it, and they had a blast on the slip-n-slide for most of May and June until we left for the summer while they tore our house apart. Since I knew we were doing tons of construction, I didn’t give yard work a single thought. What was the point?

In the fall, we hired our ace contractor Met to rip out our yard. He put in a new slate path, and pulled out all the old shrubs, and then we reseeded the lawn. The ripping out and path went well; the reseeding? Not so much. Our lawn looks like it underwent chemotherapy; there are HUGE patches with no grass growing at all, tons of weeds, and about 300 cigarette butts that some idiot keeps throwing in my lawn. I was able to ignore the yard again, because we were getting siding put on, and anything planted would surely be killed by the guys re-siding the house.

So now the siding is done. Today, Travis went out there with the weed whacker and cleaned up what he could, and then I begged him to take the kids to the zoo since our pass is about to expire and there’s no chance I want to take them with a new baby. In exchange, I promised to begin painting our front door and reseed the spots of grass that are bare.

The door went well. I caulked the heck out of it, spray painted the knocker a nice silver color, painted the door jamb white (some joker had decided to paint it red), and taped it up. Tomorrow I will paint it a nice, shiny black.

Then I began the lawn work and it was all downhill from there. What is it that people like about this? My neighbor Tania has been working in her yard for two solid weeks now. Their yard looks fantastic... but come on. There are about 300 other things I would rather be doing with my time... like blogging. Or painting my toenails. Or catching up with PerezHilton.com. Or watching old episodes of Felicity, which is what my mom was doing while “manning the baby”, who slept for 5 hours while I was laboring out in the hot sun.

So I made a decision, right then and there. No more yard work for me. I’m out. Anybody know a good gardener I can call?


The genius that lives at the end of my street

On Sunday, I decided I was up for a walk with the baby. I went with Nana and the kids to the park for a while, and then headed home early. I was wearing Oz in his Baby Bjorn. I passed by a man holding a toddler, who said to the baby, "Look! Another baby!" and then he asked me how old the baby was. I said, "Twelve days" and the man said, "Wow! And you're already having another one!"

All I said was, "No, this is from THIS baby" while touching my stomach. But I really wish I had gone into the physical impossibilites of being pregnant again so quickly after having a baby. At least I gave him a really, really dirty look.


Oz visits Target

If he didn't look exactly like his brother (with his sister's chin), I'd think maybe they gave me the wrong baby at the hospital. On Thursday, we took Oz for his first trip to Target. And he cried the whole time. Apparently, he's not a fan of the sling. I had to carry him through the entire store, and he fussed until the very end when we got to the check out. I couldn't even treat myself to a Pepsi Icee at the end, because I'm afraid if I drink caffeine he'll stop sleeping 20 hours a day. Despite it all, I still managed to spend over 300 dollars... mostly camping gear for the daddy-daughter campout our church held this weekend.

Let's hope this anti-Target phase is short lived. We've got to head back to Target this week to return a bunch of the camping stuff that didn't work out.



So, I feel like I should get a party. Actually, what I really want is a parade in my honor. Is that too much to ask? You know I spent 4 ½ years working towards a college education, and at the end, felt no real desire to celebrate the accomplishment. Then I teach seminary for 9 months – and I feel like the red carpet should be rolled out accompanying lots of emotional tears and goodbyes. So far no parade, no red carpet, and no tears. But on the up side – I did get to switch my alarm from 5:45am to 7:45am. That isn’t too shabby of a reward.

Yes, this was my LAST week of Seminary. WOO HOO! But, I can’t lie on Thursday (my last day) I didn’t feel as fabulous as I thought I would. I actually felt a little…sad…if you can believe it. I will miss my kids. Would they think it weird if I tried to go to a movie with them, or hang with them at “the mall?” How did I get so attached to 15-17 year olds? The good news is all that sadness was gone when I woke up Friday morning, after nine hours of sleep, feeling refreshed and well rested.

The kids were cute - they had a thank you card and Rose bush for me on the last day. My favorite comment in the card was “I thought seminary was going to be lame. But you made it bareable.” It doesn’t get any better than that.


Mother's Day 2007

It’s been a hell of a week.

The longest pregnancy ever finally ended at 12.48 am EST on May 8th. The labor was quick, but very painful as the baby was posterior. There were many dicey moments where I thought for sure I was going to get a C-section, but with the help of a vacuum the little (8 lbs. 13 oz., 20 inches long, and the biggest placenta my OB had ever seen) guy finally got out.

The days that followed are a blur. We got bad news. We got good news. We got more bad news. I endured some of the most intense pain of my life. I truly believe that birthing him was the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done.

After many emotional ups and downs, I finally got checked out of the hospital on Friday. We immediately went to the hospital Oz (his nickname) had been transferred to the day before. He needed to be in a level 3 NICU and the hospital I was in didn’t have one. We made 2 trips to visit him on Friday, so I could nurse him, and then went back on Saturday. He was finally discharged Saturday night at 8.30 pm.

In the past, Mother’s Day has always meant a well-deserved vacation from my kids. I usually spend Mother’s Day Eve (not an official holiday, but it should be since you can’t really do anything fun on Sunday) in the city with girl friends, shopping and going out to eat. Then on Mother's Day I expect Travis to be in charge of dinner, and take the kids out to the park or somewhere so I can take a nap. This year was so different.

I had only seen the big kids for a couple hours on Friday... the amazing Amy P. had been here all week long, caring for not only her 3 but my kids as well. She sent me a lunch every day, knowing my intolerance for hospital food, with treats like my favorite oatmeal cookies and cupcakes she made for our 11th anniversary. She and Ashley totally cleaned my house before I got home from the hospital. Then on Friday, anticipating we would need peace + quiet and would be gone most of the next day getting the baby, she took the kids to Brooklyn. So I was very much missing S and C by the time they finally got back late Saturday night.

All I wanted for Mother’s Day was to be home with my family. I wanted to hold the baby, play Rat a Tat Cat with S, and watch Teen Titans with C. I wanted to snuggle by Travis on the couch (while sitting on my plastic donut and heating pad!). I had the added bonus of my mom coming into town late Saturday night, so I also got to spend Mother’s Day with her. She’s been such a trooper... having to come out and basically take care of 4 people so Travis can get back to work. I don’t know what we’d do without her. By the time she goes home she’ll be ready to climb Mt. Everest, given the thousands of times she has to go up and down our stairs every day.

Our friends Ryan and Erin brought dinner to us, and we all ate together. It was such a great day, even though I was still in immense pain from the birth. Healing is going to take some time, but overall I feel so totally thankful. I’m so glad the baby is going to be okay. I’m so grateful for Travis; for all the stuff he did during the week. I leaned on him like never before, and held me up. He ran himself ragged, trying to take care of us all. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt closer to him. Too bad we can’t be intimate, since I’m never having sex again!

Overall, a really wonderful Mother’s Day. The icing on the cake was Trav gave me the wallet I’ve been dreaming of for months now. Also, minutes after the baby was born they asked what his name was. Without hesitation, Travis abandoned all his hopes for a son named Otto or Thunder or Utah and told them the name I wanted. I’m one lucky, lucky girl.


2 different worlds

Church was awesome on Sunday. The feeling in sacrament meeting was the feeling you go to church for, but at least for me, often don’t feel (maybe due to excessive hangman games). During the closing hymn my emotions got the best of me and I started to cry. Dave, who was sitting close to me, looked over and saw I was crying. He smiled & then made a move…I assumed to put his arm around me for comfort, or maybe to grab a Kleenex to wipe his own pending tears. But his hand missed my shoulders and instead went straight for his pocket where he pulled out a gummy worm that he had hidden there, and popped it into his mouth.

Sunday school provided an equally comical experience. Our teacher opened by saying “I want us to imagine what it would be like to be blind – everyone close your eyes.” So, obligingly Dave and I closed our eyes. After 5 minutes of discussion with our eyes closed, and me shouting out comments (probably louder than normal b/c my eyes were closed) I peaked and realized while the teacher hadn’t directed us to, everyone else had opened there eyes the minute the discussion had begun. Several class members were looking at me after my last loud, out of turn comment, I’m sure thinking “how long will it be before these 2 realize everyone else has opened their eyes?”


False Alarm

We ALMOST had a really exciting weekend. All day on Friday, I was having contractions. They were pretty mild, but regular... starting out just the way they did with both S and C. Amy P. called Friday afternoon, and I told her what was going on. Since we want her to be at the birth (she assisted with C's birth) she packed a bag and headed up on the train. We sat down to watch a movie and from 10-11.30, my contractions were getting stronger and closer. I was sure I'd have a Cinco de Mayo baby.

After calling my OB, I got in the bathtub on her recommendation. The plan was to try and get a few hours of sleep before it got so bad I needed to head in to the hospital. Imagine my disappointment when I woke up at 8 the next morning! I had two really massive contractions at 3 am, but other than that, one of the best nights of sleep I've had in months.

So our next plan was to try and get labor going again. I did Tae bo, and Amy and I walked around the track for almost an hour, but to no avail. By Saturday night it was clear there would be no 5.05 b-day in our home. Travis would prefer the baby come today, so his birthday would be 5.6.07, but I'm feeling ZERO contractions today. I even agreed to go to see Spiderman 3 last night, thinking perhaps the action of the movie would do something. Nope. All it did was make my back hurt and my hands and feet swell up to THREE TIMES their regular size. Plus I can't believe we held poor Amy hostage all weekend. Enoch is a saint for having the kids by himself while she was up here with us, NOT having the baby. What would we do without such good friends?

I'm beginning to think this pregnancy is never going to end. The worst part about it all is now I feel like I've already been through labor. I was exhausted yesterday from all the contractions/adrenaline of Friday. Maybe I'll just ask for a walking epidural so when I do start, I don't have to feel anything.

Wish me luck!


Cinco De Mayo Eve

This morning we had a Cinco de Mayo party for seminary...yes, at 6am. The kids were horrified when they realized I wanted them to swing at a piñata blindfolded in the middle of Wash Park at such a ghastly hour. It wasn’t the activity they were opposed to, but the horror of being “seen.” We did get a few funny looks from the joggers/bikers, but I assume they were gazes of envy. The kids quickly forgot their embarrassment the moment the piñata bloodshed began. Note the bored look on the red head (Bill) who later DOVE into the grass to beat his peers to the sprawling candy. Teenagers crack me up. I'm so glad I'm not one anymore.

One Day Overdue

Well, my due date came and passed with no sign of the baby. I can't say I'm surprised. S was 12 days overdue, and C was 9. I should be happy if this one comes out 5-6 days late. I went to the midwife yesterday, and she informed me I'm barely effaced and doubts I'll have the baby this weekend. GREAT! Great, great, great. I'm so sick of being pregnant I could scream. Oh well. At least the weather is nice.

I was really hoping for a May 5th baby. What could be better than celebrating your b-day every year alongside Mexican Independence? We could have great food and a pinata for every b-day from here on out. And maybe we could name the baby Juan.

Anyone got a fool-proof way to induce labor?