Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sunday Soapbox

Hey, they still start with same letter.

Short and sweet today, because I'm tired.

I just got a part time night job at an assisted living center as a care giver. It's really my first time being around elderly people who can't fully care for themselves and I'm sad. Some of them are alone in there. They have family, the family just doesn't come. Why? I don't get it. In a perfect world, it would just be the circle of life. These sweet old ladies and gentlemen cared for their children for years and years. The children should be returning the favor. I realize some of them require full time care, but some of the families don't even visit! Ever.

So, if any of you have a relative in an assisted living center, go visit.

That's all.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fooled them all!

Just smile and nod. Then you're not really lying.

Like when you are invited to a dinner group that is being planned by the Elders Quorum and the first one is at the EQ President's house. It's all planned among the men, so you find out last minute that you're in charge of a fruit salad.

It's one of those days and you're still not home by 5 (dinner's at 6) so you swing by Safeway with the intention to get some fruit, rush home, chop and mix.

You run inside, all the while running the next hour through your head... (ok, I'll get home, take the kids inside, nurse the baby, change his diaper, wash my hands, chop the fruit, grab something to eat since I probably won't be able to eat whatever they're having on the lovely TED, wash hands and faces of three kids, Dave will get home, off to the dinner). You walk by the deli and something catches your eye. Angels sing from heaven, pre-made Ambrosia Fruit Salad! No washing, chopping or mixing! Pour it in a bowl, cover with saran wrap...nobody will know the difference!

And they didn't. In fact they were quite impressed with my delicious fruit salad.

Smile and nod.

And then write a thank you note to Safeway.

Did you ever wonder what makes your keyboard work?

Yeah, me neither. But apparently Nathan was curious.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Guess what?

It's 11:33 PM and 2 of my 3 kids are still awake.

That's all.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

6 weeks along...

I've never shared my photography on here before...but that's about to change. Feel free to comment!

She just found out she's pregnant. I'll be doing a shoot every month for the pregnancy, then compiling it with her feelings each month. What do you think? Did I capture the feelings you have when you find out you're pregnant with your first child?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Soapbox Saturday

My last post got me thinking about this again so it's my soapbox for today.

Body image. Specifically for women.

I hate hate hate that we live in a society where the "perfect" body is shoved down our throats constantly.

I hate that it's totally fine for JLo (or half the teens in the country) to wear next to nothing (remember her see-through dress? Or the one cut to her belly button?) but discreet breastfeeding in public is not only "gross" but a woman can be kicked out of a public place and even sited with breaking the law for doing it!

I hate that my gorgeous friends and family members don't realize how stunning they are.

I hate that women see the body changes that come from pregnancy and child birth as scars and not badges of honor!

I have three children. I've seen the things they pick up. Too often we assume that they're too little to understand. Don't make that mistake! Your daughters are watching you. They will internalize and mimic the things they see from you. Please don't put yourself down! Especially in your childs presence.

Do not teach your daughter that she is anything less than her perfect self by commenting on what you believe are your own imperfections. Because, guess what? She thinks you're beautiful.

Do not teach your son that women should be anything but revered and respected by not respecting yourself. He loves you and thinks you're perfect just the way you are.

DO NOT buy into the "model" image that you see in magazines. If you find yourself thinking that magazine photos are real, bookmark this site. Go there now. GO! (I know some of you don't click that one!) Scroll over her picture with your mouse. If that doesn't convince you that they're fake then I don't know what will.

Now, don't go thinking "sure...she can say all this, she just lost 90 lbs," because I thought I was hot in the first picture too. It's not uncommon for me to just announce to whoever's around (usually it's my husband) that I think I'm hot. I distinctly remember saying it on both of the days those pictures in the post below this were taken.

I'm not saying you shouldn't take care of yourself. I always feel my best when I get dressed (I'm usually a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl) and do my hair right when I get up. (as opposed to lounging in my jammies...not uncommon for a stay home mom of three). I keep a low maintenance hair style on purpose. I buy clothes that are flattering to my build and I try to look nice. Because when I feel good about myself, it's easier to stand tall and announce how "hawt" I am!

But I don't worry about the little things. I don't wear much make-up (usually just powder and mascara), and I don't obsess over my "imperfections." I'm proud of my body and it's ability to safely deliver three beautiful children, regardless of the badges of honor it left behind in the form of stretchmarks and bagginess. I like my crooked smile and it's okay that my eyes are set too far back to use an eyelash curler because I got them from my dad and he's the best.

One of My Online Friends (MOFs) says something that I often think of when I hear someone worrying about those "last 5 lbs" or wanting to surgically "enhance" anything on their body. I share it with you now and you have to promise to internalize it!

All of you need to remember to STAND IN YOUR MAJESTY like the QUEEN that you are!

Do not allow anyone, especially yourself, to push you down. You are beautiful and talented and each and every one of you is a child of God and He doesn't make mistakes.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Dude, I'm hawt!

I hit my goal weight. Hit it and now I just might pass it. WOOT!

This is me 7 months ago, tipping the scales at almost 230 lbs. I ended up going over 230 lbs, but the only picture I have of me at that weight was right after I gave birth and I don't want to scare you away forever. I realize I was pregnant and it's a good excuse to gain weight...but still. 230. Yuck.

This is me 90 lbs later. I weighed in at 145 today. I set that goal weight thinking I'd never hit it. I wasn't really expecting to get past 155. But I did.

That's me on the left, the hottie on the right is my sister. See? HAWT! (what? I'm not vain...)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I know, I know...

I missed my Saturday Soapbox...but I've got some great ones planned. Don't you fret!

Today, just a little randomness...

I've been on the lookout for some kind of bar, cookie, teething biscuit...anything that I can give poor Gabe. His diet (besides breastmilk) consists of pureed carrots, sweet potatoes, bananas, apples and pears, and plain puffed rice. Today I scoured Huckleberries (natural food store) for something and found it! Nana Banana cookies! They're vegan and free of gluten, eggs, dairy, sugar, corn, etc. I think Gabe thought he was in heaven. He gobbled it up. They're pricy (3.20 for 5 bars) but he can eat them!!!

Gabe is cutting his second tooth and it's a doosy! It's right there but is taking forever to pop through the gums. He's not enjoying it so much.

Nathan had hives for like 2 weeks, but I havn't seen any in a couple days. Fingers crossed!

I drove by one of those signs at the bank today and it said 98 degrees. WAY too hot for May.

Someone called today looking for a wedding photographer. Cross your fingers that I get it! The wedding is in 2 weeks!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Only half a brownie

Andrea and Vanessa get to split a cyber brownie because they were closest! "Sunshine" and "Whiskey and Wine" are tracks 8 and 9 on my Matt Costa CD. Those are Nathan and Aria's favorite songs right now so they fight over who gets to listen to which one first and it's quite amusing!

My sister can't wait for someone at church to ask Nathan what his favorite song

And for your listening for Sunshine. I can't find an mp3 of Whiskey and Wine. You'll just have to suffer without it.

Oh, and here's your brownie!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I'm also a photographer, but first, I'm a mom.

So please be understanding if I show up with your prints and my son doesn't have shoes on because he took them off before getting into his booster seat and buckling in and I didn't notice til we were already there.

And please don't judge me when I show up to see if you'll carry my business cards and my son is covered in hives and exhausted from Benedryl and collapses on your waiting room furniture like he's going to pass out or something. Also, thank you for being willing to give my daughter a drink of water when she suddenly decided she was dying of thirst and saw that you had a sink and little cups her size.

And suppose you call the number on my business card and a three year old answers the phone. Thank you for hanging up before she brought it to me because I was in the shower and that would have just been weird. Also, thanks for calling back.

And if you come over and my house smells like a chimney, it's just because my son wanted to warm up his chocolate chip cookie (because they're better that way), but when he put it in the microwave he accidentally set it for 5 minutes instead of 5 seconds and it got burnt to a crisp. Makes for some stink.

I did manage to get the unfolded laundry shoved into the laundry room and the door shut and the rug vacuumed and the kids all banished to their bedroom before my potential client showed up though!

So yeah...I'm a mom.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cyber brownies to the winner!

An argument my kids had today.

Aria: Mom, I want sunshine.
Nathan: NO! MOM, I want whiskey and wine!
(etc, etc)

Anybody know what they're talking about? (Rach, you're not allowed to guess. :P)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Crazy, crazy day....

Wanna hear about it?

I got up and called a bunch of gyms to see if any were hiring in the childcare dept. (since I could take my kids with me to's ideal for now) They had all "just filled the opening." Bah. So, I took the kids to my sisters house and then started driving all over town. In the next 8 hrs I....

-went to the music store, ordered Suzuki for piano, level 1 for Aria.
-went next door to Rocket Bakery and put a pile of business cards on the bulletin board.
-went to Huckleberries, bought some dark chocolate and Xylitol (natural sweetener I want to try) and put a pile of business cards on their bulletin board.
-went home and picked up my sisters gardening tools that I forgot
-stopped by Gold's gym, filled out an app and was hired on the spot as an "on-call" childcare worker. I'm the back-up if someone is sick or misses work.
-went to the Post Office and mailed my first print sale from my Yessy Gallery. (Columbia River Temple)
-went to Shopko to pick up some picture frames (40% off)
-went to Fred Meyer and got some fruit and tried to put some business cards up, but they don't do that.
-went to my Dr's office with a framed print and some business cards for her.
-went to a women's clinic to see if they would carry a print and business cards. They said yes. So I left them there too.
-went to the YMCA to see if they were hiring. They weren't, but I left an app anyway.
-picked up the kids
-came home to make dinner for the missionaries and an investigator.
-made cookies, FROM SCRATCH and stroganoff
-investigator backed out, so we just fed the missionaries and watched a movie about the restoration.
-listened to Dave tell the story about getting arrested on his mission for umpty-bazillionth time. (it's's a good story)
-bathed the kids, read stories, tucked in.

*sigh* was a loooong day.

edited to add...I forgot two things. I also went to a consignment shop to trade some baby clothes in. Got a credit for $2.50. woot. And I went to the bank to see about refinancing some stuff.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Soapbox Saturday

Lots of bloggers do a weekly post like About Me Monday or Wild Card Wednesday so I decided to do Soapbox Saturday. Weekends are usually pretty slow in internet-land so it's a good time for me to talk about the things that nobody wants to hear. And I have lots of things like that! So, my first soapbox speech is about religion....

I used to be pretty involved in some online religious debate. In case you don't already know, I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, often referred to as LDS or Mormon.

Online debates fall into a couple different catagories. First, there are the debates with atheists. Those don't work out so well, because there is no common ground. For example, if you're debating abortion, you have the common ground of the fact that abortions happen. With religion, one of you has faith, the other one has science and there's nowhere to start. At least, not in my experience.

The funner debates are the ones with "True Christians", aka Born Agains, aka Fundies. You have the basis of faith and then you go to town on who's "right." Granted, nobody really ever wins, but I enjoyed them because I learned SO much about not only their religions, but my own.

Most other religions are pretty open minded. My experience with Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc has been basically good. They tend to have their beliefs and we have ours. It reminds me of the 11th article of faith "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." But my experience with Fundies online and in real life (except for Amy) has been less than positive. I've been told everything from I'm in a cult, to I'm leading my kids straight to hell. Nice.

So, I made it my goal to just try to show them that Mormons aren't crazy. I figured if I could get just one person who hated/pitied us before to admit that maybe we weren't that bad, then I'd have lessened some of the worlds anger and hate by one teeny little iota. And that was good enough. So, I debated for a couple of years. And I was able to better inform some people and that made me happy. But more importantly, I learned A LOT.

So my soapbox today is the Godhead vs the Trinity. Fundamental Christians (in fact most other denominations) believe in the Trinity. They believe that God, the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are all one being. They usually describe them as existing everywhere and in everything. They use analagies like the sun (The sun is God, the light is Jesus, and the heat is the Holy Spirit...three manifestations of one object). Ok...I get it. But it's wrong.

Did you know the nature of God (the trinity) was decided by a group of men in a council in AD 451. LONG after Christ lived. That decision (the three in one thing) has been expounded upon by many different religious leaders over the years, and none of it is biblical.

So, why do the scriptures say that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are "one?" Because they're one in purpose, in mission, in belief. The apostles were told to be "one" even as the Father and the son are one. So, did they meld into one shapeless being to fit the definition of one? Nope. They were to be united. One in purpose. But each a seperate individual.

When Christ was on the earth, he prayed to his Father (seperate being). When he was baptized, Christ was physically in the water, a voice was heard from heaven (his Father), and the Holy Spirit descended. All three beings of the Godhead were there, but seperately. And that is the Godhead. Three distinct individuals, united in purpose. "To bring to pass the eternal life and imortality of man."

This next part is my favorite. I think it's really interesting. This is ancient art depicting the Godhead and how it changed with the passing of time and the accepting of the Nicene Creed.

First, they're depicted as three seperate beings.

Then the Father and the Son are depicted seperately, with the Holy Ghost represented by a Dove.

Finally, they are depicted as one being with three heads or three faces.

Isn't that cool?

If you're interested to read a more in depth discussion on this topic, read Trinity and the Nature of God, a chapter from the book "Are Mormons Christian?" by Stephen E. Robinson.

The wise man lives in my back yard

We have a shed in the back yard for our lawn mower, garden tools, etc. Today the kids were out there playing and they found some old water balloons from the previous owners. They came inside and Nathan told me he found them in the Wise Man's house. Unsure of what he was talking about, I asked if he meant the shed out back? He said... "Yeah, the Wise Man's house. You know, cuz it's built on rocks."

I wonder what he'll say if he ever meets someone that lives on the beach...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Happiness is...

-Waking up to Aria quoting Willy Wonka in your face. "Good morning, Starshine! The earth says HELLO!"

-Dancing to the B52s (Love Shack, Cosmic Thing) with your kids whilst they giggle unabashedly. There is nothing cuter than all three of them giggling at the same time.

-The first time your baby blows a raspberry at you.

-New shoes for me and for Aria.

-Those shoes on SALE!

-Beautiful sunshiny days in spring. (not too hot, not too cold!)

-A good book.

-Endangered Species dairy free dark chocolate with mint. I can eat it, and as a bonus, I help save the animals!

-Having sisters.

I could go on...but I'll spare you the continual gushing. Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I will NEVER...

Have you ever said you would never do something and then a few years later, you turn around and do just that? Well, I do it all the time.

A few examples.

One time one of my parents said they thought I would marry someone who worked in an office. (I know, random). I believe my response was something like "uh, no way, never." My husband is a software developer/tester. Yup, office.

I used to emphatically exclaim "I will NEVER own a mini-van!" Well, it came time to get a larger vehicle, and economy won out in the end. I drive a Dodge Caravan. (which, ironically, is also the specific minivan I least wanted to own).

A couple years ago, I was walking down the street in the city I now live in with my youngest sister. She sighed and said "I love it here, I'm going to move here as soon as I can." I said "not me. I'll never live here." And now I can't picture myself raising my kids anywhere else.

So now, I've found myself entering another paradigm shift of something I thought would "never" change. My parenting style.

On one level, I've always believed that every person, every child is different and what works for one doesn't work for all. I still believe that. But on another level, as a parent, I've identified myself as "AP" (attachment parenting) and I'm finding myself fighting against the label now. So, I began mentally examining my real parental beliefs and actions against traditional AP beliefs and actions.

Breast-feeding. I breast feed my babies. I've read the studies and I made the conscious decision to breast-feed. Through further examination though, I don't really do it for the "right" reason. It comes easily to me. I've never dealt with engorgement, cracked/bleeding nipples (rofl, I can just imagine the kind of hits this post is going to get with words like these in it) or mastitis. Sure, I leak like a faucet, but that's easy to deal with. A little Lansinoh nursing pad in place and it's all good. But why do I breastfeed? Really? Money and laziness. I'd rather not pay for formula when my body makes milk for free and I'd rather not get up in the middle of the night to make a bottle when I can attach baby to the boob and go back to sleep.

Co-sleeping. I kind-of co-sleep. Again, I've read the studies and the debates and made the decision to do it. Sometimes. I nurse my kids to sleep, then lay them in their own bed. When they wake up the first time, I go get them, bring them to my bed, attach them for another feeding and go back to sleep. They finish the night in my bed. Maybe once a week or so, one of my older kids will show up in my bed early in the morning and that's okay too. Wanna know why? I'm sleeping and I don't want to interrupt it to move a kid back to their own bed.

It's all about me, baby.

Baby wearing. I own three baby wearing devices. A ringed sling, a mei-tai (chinese style front/back carrier) and a wrap. I use them all depending on what I'm doing. AP parents believe that if you literally attach your child to you whenever possible, then you will have a happier, healthier baby and a stronger bond with that baby. My views on babywearing? Depends on the kid. With my oldest, I didn't really know anything about it, so he rode in strollers. No biggie. With my second, I started with a double stroller, but later found it was easier (again, for me) to wear her and push Nathan. With Gabe, when we're out and about, I generally will wear him and use the sit and stand stroller for the other two. Although, lately I've been using the stroller more for him (he's getting heavy!) I very rarely wear my kids at home. If we're home, they're in the swing, the saucer or crawling around getting into stuff. Or I'm just holding them (like now...Gabe is zonked on my lap and I'm typing.) If I'm making dinner and he's crying, then he cries til I'm at a point where I can solve his problem. I don't automatically respond to a cry and I don't wear him constantly to avoid cries.

Spanking. I still don't spank. I still believe in positive reinforcement over punishment. But....I spanked Aria a couple times before I really truly converted to not spanking. She totally zoned out, it had no effect on her. So, in all honesty, I don't spank because it doesn't work for my kids. No other reason.

Cloth diapering. I've considered it, but I'll probably never do it. Too much work and I don't want to make the investment into cloth diapers, especially if I didn't follow through long enough to actually save money. I'm sure some of you are thinking, it's not that hard! It's totally worth it! So, let me give you a rundown of a typical diaper change.

-lay baby down
-locate new diaper
-find baby, put him back on his back
-locate wipes
-flip baby back over
-remove soiled diaper
-wrap wipes inside soiled diaper
-flip baby over again
-put new diaper on (probably flipping baby over a couple times during the process)
-snap the onesie back up...maybe put pants back on. Not always necessary.
-throw diaper in the general direction of the nearest garbage can to pick up next time I go that direction. (this will change when his poo starts to stink...there will be plastic bag locating in the list so I can tie up the stinky diaper before I toss it towards a garbage can)

You see? Cloth diapering just won't work for me.

So...what's my real parenting style? LBP. Lazy Bum Parenting. My beliefs are...

-Know your children and what makes them tick
-Love them unconditionally


-Do whatever you want as long as nobody gets hurt and everybody is happy but don't expend too much energy on it.

Seriously, though. I'm starting to move away from the total absorbtion parenting style. I want to raise independent (but family oriented) children and I want to have my own identity in the meantime. I consider myself independent, but I'm still very close to my parents and siblings. I can be a good mom (perhaps a better mom) by allowing time to just be me. I can teach my children to find themselves by knowing myself. I can encourage family unity without smothering them in "togetherness."

A few days ago, Aria was sitting alone on the back porch. I asked her if she wanted to come play with the rest of us and she said "no, I just want to be alone right now."

And I knew exactly how she felt.