Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Last night, the husband and I took the kids to Temple Square in Salt Lake City to see the light display.  We had a "discussion" on the last time we went.  I knew we went 2 years ago, but The Rock and VOD both told me I was wrong, that it was 3 years ago.

Proof that I'm awesome.

I may not have the best memory, but there is no way Little Man was that big at 5 months old.  That coat is a 2T.  The Santa outfit he has on under it is 18-24 months and baby girl wore it last night!  That picture was taken 2 years ago.  And I was newly pregnant with Baby Girl.  (We didn't go the year he was 5 months old because he was a preemie and susceptible to lung problems and we didn't go last year either, because our family did not fit in the vehicle we had.)

After that "discussion", we walked through the square.  The Rock wanted to see the nativity -- a recording reads the story of our Savior's birth, plays some hymns, and words from our prophet.  I was terribly disoriented because we entered the square from a different direction than I ever have before.  So I followed The Rock, as he carried our little girl.  VOD and LM stayed with me mostly.  When we got to the area where the nativity was set up, the light from the star was shining down on baby Jesus and the choir was singing. 

I started sniffling as we neared Him.  The Spirit filled my soul with joy -- to know that we were seeking our Savior as a family, on Christmas Eve, the night before His birth, was a powerful witness.  We had not rested until we found Him.  

In our lives as Christians, we are to continually seek after Him and follow Him, obeying His commandments and following His example.  We are all human, and we are going to sin.  He knew this and gave us the Atonement so we can all repent and come back to His presence.  But if we persevere, not resting until we find Him, no matter how disoriented we might get, we will return to Him.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it, whether you are Christian or not.  Happy holidays to those of you with other beliefs.  The holiday season is a season of joy and love, no matter what your religion, creed, race, gender, orientation, or financial status.  I hope you've all found joy and love and peace this year, as I did last night in the lights of Temple Square.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy 18 months baby girl!

In our church, the meetings last 3 hours on Sunday.  First is the Sacrament meeting, where we take the sacrament and hear talks and sing hymns.  Second is Sunday School, and third the men and women separate into different classes.  Children stay together in age groups, but have two different classes called Primary.  There's the basic rundown.

Infants under 18 months stay with their parents.  This means from the time they are mobile, parents often miss their meetings because they are all over the place.  At 18 months, they go into the nursery during the second two meetings but stay with their parents during Sacrament meeting.

When Little Man was old enough for nurser, he refused to go in.  He cried and screamed and would only stay if I went in with him.  But I was in my first trimester of pregnancy with Baby Girl, tired, nauseated ... it was HARD.  He didn't start going to nursery until we moved 18 months ago.  He loved nursery from the minute we started going to this ward (congregation), and only had a problem staying in there one time.

He's still in nursery until January 1.

Baby Girl turned 18 months last week, but the boiler in our building was broken, so they canceled everything but Sacrament meeting.  So today, they got to go to nursery together.  She ran in and got to playing, and he sat down and did the big kid activities.  It was so cute to peek in and see them running around together.  I'm a bit sad it's only going to be the one time, since next week we only have Sacrament meeting because it's Christmas, and Little Man then goes into Primary the next week.  It's bittersweet to see them getting bigger.

On the other hand, I'm excited because for the first time in 3-1./2 years, I got to pee by myself at church.

In case I don't get back to blogging this week, Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Halfway through December ...

Most of the holiday shopping was done a few months ago.  The baking is just beginning.

Which is why the kids got chocolate chip cookies for lunch today.

Well.  Part of the reason.

Yesterday at church, one of the sisters who comes to visit me monthly said they wanted to come over today.  I started panicking.

Every weekend, our house seems to get trashed.  Every room, top to bottom, every flat surface, even vertical surfaces at times... just STUFF everywhere.  I'm a culprit, I know, but when VOD and The Rock are home, the mess multiplies.  So Mondays are my "catch up" days.

Today, Baby Girl had a checkup first thing.  And I was supposed to go to La Leche League.

I couldn't clean it all up last night; I haven't clipped my coupons in two months (bag over head), and the piles of inserts were threatening to take over the dining room.  So I guess in a way I did clean a bit, because I got through about 80% of the inserts last night and put all the trash in the recycling box.

So, we went to the doctor.  Baby Girl managed to leak through her diaper and soak her pants; she never does this, so I don't always have a spare pair of pants in the van.  The decision was made for me -- no LLL meeting today, just went straight home after the doctor.  (She's growing, thriving, communicating, and he has no concerns even though she likes to eat pencil erasers and glitter.)

Tried for an HOUR to get her down for her nap.  She started punching me halfway through that, so I got up and left and she hid in the corner and pooped.  Oh.  Change the diaper (4th change by 10:45 a.m.) and try for the nap again.  Phone rings.  Preschooler making noise and jumping on us.  The next half hour was a struggle, but she did go to sleep, so I started cleaning.  And worked super fast.

It is not spotless.  The dishes haven't been done.  The table is still cluttered.  But all the junk is off the living room floor and out of the hallway.  Vacuuming has been done.  Coats are about to be hung up.  I ate lunch while the cookies baked, and then gave the kids cookies and milk for lunch.  Hush.

I now have 4 laundry baskets full of laundry to put away, plus the washer and dryer are full and there are three loads of laundry to still put in, and I do need to do the dishes and clear my crafting stuff away, but you know what?  We are miles ahead of where we were a few months ago.  You can sit on the couch.  You can GET to the couch.  You can walk down the hall without tripping on anything.  You can get to my son's bed without leaping over piles of his sister's stuff.  (the same cannot be said for the sister's bed because her stuff is on the floor, but at least it's migrated to her own room.)

And I realized that even though I get stressed out about various things, I'm miles ahead of where I was a year ago, because my postpartum depression is better.  On a bad day, I still have to take my herbs and chill by myself for a little while, but I can DO that now without worrying myself nearly to death over it.  My husband understands that I WILL clean up messes, and if it's something he wants, he'd better put it away himself before I get to it.  The kids are learning to clean up after themselves, too, and I'm making progress on my research project.

If I think about where I was a year ago, I cry.  Because I was in bad shape emotionally and was not enjoying life.  Even though I still have days where I cry, we still have money problems, the kids are still rambunctious and wear me out, and I am tired more often than not, I am enjoying my life now.  I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and am hopeful that things will continue to improve.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this:  Everyone has times that are bad.  Everyone does.  If someone says they've never had a struggle or trial, they are lying.  But eventually, you get through it and things are so much better on the other side.  So if you're in the throes of a depression, or just a rough spot in life, keep plugging away.because it WILL get better.

And you might decide that some days, it's not so bad to give the kids chocolate chip cookies for lunch.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday Tip: Clean your microwave!

Sadly, my microwave doesn't get cleaned very often. Confession: I don't think I've cleaned it since we moved in (July 2010) until today!  It was funk nasty, but it didn't occur to me to take a before picture. Just trust me. It was bad.

So, how did I go from nasty to this in less than 3 minutes, with no chemicals or scrubbing?

Answer: I filled a mug 3/4 with plain tap water and nuked it for 5 minutes. The mess wipes right out, in under 3 minutes (obviously the 3 minutes doesn't include the steam time).

Thanks to the random sister at church years ago who taught me this trick.  Wish I could remember who you are right now!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy holidays!

Hello dear readers!

Thanksgiving was a bust at our house: the stomach flu came for a visit.  YAY!

Little Mister woke up at 5 puking, and VOD started around 8.  I felt fine and so did The Rock, so I cooked anyway.  We didn't go anywhere and just had a chill day at home in between puke episodes.  The Rock and I had dinner around 2 ... and I started feeling sick around 4.

I don't know if I'll ever eat dressing again.

But!  The Rock!  He was off for the long weekend and helped clean up after the kids and me and was loving and kind and helpful.  It was awesome!

A few days later, I was feeling much better and cleaning the kitchen and I realized something.  Even though I didn't do my routine for several days and there was stuff EVERYWHERE (because, let's face it, even though The Rock had a decent weekend didn't mean he turned into a neat freak), it took less time to clean up the kitchen after Thanksgiving than it did a year ago.  Because it was already CLEAN, just cluttered.  Crazy.

One thing I discovered I love about my kitchen is that the counter top is so big, nice and wide, that it makes a great cutting surface -- more than big enough for my cutting mat and rotary cutter and lots of fabric.

This means I've been crafting and not doing homework, but I'm working on my research paper finally.  Woohoo!  Hoping to get it done by 12/15 so I can enjoy Christmas with the family.

Assuming the stomach flu stays far, far away.