Sunday, June 20, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Bella is turning FOUR!

So I am sure I'll have all kinds of fun details to write tomorrow about our crazy Dora party and all the fun we are going to have, but right now? I'm feeling a little sad that my little girl is turning four tomorrow. Four? I've been in Buffalo FOUR years? I left all those fabulous people in Utah that I loved so much FOUR years ago? (I have vague memories of sobbing my way out of town...) Four years ago we finished medical school and I took a five-day-old newborn to see my husband cross the U of U stage? Four?!? And that darling little baby girl, so tiny and perfect is a big four year old who likes her hair "scrunched with magic curl stuff in it please" and her tomato sandwich without pepper but with provolone preferably. My little Bella who can be such a Diva unless you ask her and she'll tell you "I'm NOT a Diva!" Still at the top of her lungs...and little Princess who calls her brothers "Brother" (O) and "The Other Brother" (X) but loves them expansively and follows them everywhere. Little "" as her Daddy calls her. Miss, "today I am the Queen" Bella is going to be four. She is so excited that her friends are coming to have a party. Me too. But I am going to miss my three-year-old. She's been quite fun. But maybe Four will be too...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Things I've learned from my children: Matching Socks are irrelevant to life.

We all learn from our little ones. They almost have more to teach us than we have to teach them. Personally, I think if we didn't live in such a fallen world, they WOULD have more to teach us. We just have the world-skills that they have to have in this world to survive, so we edge by. But really--they have the important stuff down pat.

Today's lesson is a doozy. One that may get me thrown out of the Mommy Hall of Fame. (Warning for Aunt Karen: my child may need fashion counseling fom you at some point in the future.) So, Bella taught me this week that matching socks really are irrelevant to life. Yesterday, Bella was wearing socks that in no way resembled each other (one purple, one blue stripey.) I think in combination they had something to do with her outfit, but I couldn't be sure. However, when I commented, she shrugged with complete ease and said, "Who cares Mom?" I tried to come up with an answer for that. "Well, I do," didn't work because really, I didn't and I needed to leave, so what she was wearing was going to have to do. Besides that--have you all seen some of my unfortunate outfits? Especially when I'm pregnant? Yeah, didn't seem the best answer. I thought about saying something like "Well, in polite society..." but I don't know if I want my 3 year old to get too hung up on that...I suppose I could have brought out the "Daddy cares" bullet, but I save that one for getting her hair I let it go.

Today, I realized that in my haste to get into the garage to clean it (because Matthew agreed to help me and I couldn't waste any time getting out there when he was ready), I had inadvertantly put on a dark blue sock and a white and blue stripey sock as I threw on my Crocs. Yeah, I was going to change them before I ran to the grocery store later, but I forgot until I was standing in the parking lot and I looked down and it dawned on me: they weren't even remotely close to matching each other OR my black sweats and sweatshirt. (We won't discuss the fact that I was braless--hey two shirt rule!--or that the shirt under the sweatshirt was vaguely disreputible.) I started to worry and then it occured to me: Arabella was right. Who cares? Do you know, not a single person in the grocery store said a word about my mismatched socks...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another weekend of running...and why am I still up?

Why do we wear ourselves out in the service of our God? Ok, other than the obvious, "because we are suppose to"? Because we love Him? Yep, check. Because we love the people we are serving? Yep, check. Because we are suppose to? Yep, check. Sigh... I'm ok with the first two. But I'm really tired of the "suppose to" one. Because when I fallback to that, I get a little bitter about what I am doing, and really, I'm motivated by the other two just as much, but there is still a part of me that...yes, you can see I'm conflicted by this.

I am constantly amazed at the amount of service that is provided by the ladies (and men) and church. And they do it with a smile and with love. And they keep on giving and giving. Of their time, their talents and their resources. Never stopping. It is amazing. Literally, I spent more time at church this weekend than I did at home--and I watched these people serve and serve and serve. They were in the temple, at the Stake Center, at church today teaching classes. I got to do simply celestial things thanks to the efforts of others.

Me? I'm pregnant. I find that I am short on patience and energy. I do what I can, but wish it were more and better, but then I realize, I need a nap! I know that as the Mom I do my thing there, but wow, we sure do have a lot that is expected of us. And we expect a lot more from ourselves perhaps than we should. I'm going to post Mosiah 4:27 on my wall and I suggest all you pregos out there do the same (or new moms, old moms, aunts, uncles, grandmas and overachieving Mormons, you KNOW who you are).
And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

I'm going to try for some wisdom and order. Or order and wisdom. Whichever comes first.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I'm a Martha.

So another Sunday, another set of really cool lessons to think about. As we were sitting in Sacrament meeting, I was really aware of this thought: "I'm a Martha." (See Luke 10:39-42) I don't know why--we had great talks about other topics, but this one came. Maybe because I had to leave with children 2 times because I hadn't brought my own wipes. Maybe because I really wanted to be the Mary, but sometimes, we just have to be Martha?

You know Martha, right?:
38 ¶ Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Martha: Bad. Mary: Good. Martha: NECESSARY! Right? I'm a Martha. Maybe we should start a group. "Hello, I'm Alaska and I am a Martha." I am very good at getting the work of life, the church, the Mom and whatever committee I happen to be on at the time, done. I know how to plan and do. However, there are times where I think I miss the glory of the moment, the spiritual insight or maybe even the joy of something because I am "cumbered about." (Luke 10:40) And can I tell you I HATE that about me. I really struggle with this story because I know so well, that I do miss "that good part" I know that the things that last forever require quiet, pondering and listening. Like small children who need "one more story, Mom." Or sweet sisters with a life story to share. Or a husband that needs a hug and encouragement. And sometimes, I am a great Mary and do that too. But lots of time, I am the Martha.

So today we had a fab lesson on loving God--now, lest ye start snoring--let me tell you Sister Majeroni's lessons are NEVER snore-worthy and pay attention--the Martha connection will become clear. Today she led a spirited and fun discussion on what we are suppose to be doing in the love department: loving God and loving our neighbors as well as how to accomplish that. I loved her hand-out that had a chocolate heart in the center of a circle that reminded us to center ourselves on love: "Love is the great commandment. Make it the center of all you do." I love that (ok, way too many uses of the word love in that paragraph...) I love that because I believe that Jesus Christ is the center of all we do and He is Love.

I really appreciated (see: not just loved) the advice that others gave about how we show our love to God. Rachel Nielson (one of my s-heroes) spoke about a talk Elder Wirthlin gave where he said that when we love someone we want to spend time with them--do we want to spend time with God? Do I spend time with God? Hmmm....the Martha in me was rumbling. I bake cake and cookies and casseroles and salad for God (yes, I feed his sheep well.) I go to church to learn about God. I get on my knees and talk to God--oh, good, that is spending time with God, right? I suppose it is if my prayers are getting out of the room because they heartfelt and real. Sometimes, not so much.

As I think about these, I realize that my Martha tendencies do keep me from being with God sometimes. I could pray a little more and Facebook a little less...scripture read and meditate rather than nap... However, if we are making love the center of all that we do, we are actually taking part in that better part--if we do it in the right spirit. As I lovingly prepare a meal for my family, lovingly seeking to make it an enjoyable and nutritious experience, I am communing with God. And I can do better, even as I am Martha-ing away at it by inviting the Spirit to attend me. I need to invite Him to be with me. To help me. To guide my hands and heart. (Especially when the kids HATE the nutritious meal I made and tell me so...)

My husband is a truly God-fearing man--and he tells me frequently that he tries to find God in ALL that he does--even the laundry and the dishes. And I know he does. very Mary in a Martha-way. This is something we Marthas need to take to heart. God is with us when seek Him and invite His Spirit. So, we need to ask him if the soup needs more salt, the table some flowers, or maybe if Child Number 1 might need to have a little extra tlc during dinner. We need to ask if the next visiting teaching appointment can wait a few minutes so the sister I am currently visiting can tell just one more story. Or maybe if the dishes really need to be done right now, if my baby needs one more snuggle and a family prayer.

In our "cumbering about" I also need to ask: Should I cumber, or sit and listen? And when I receive a "sit and listen," I need to SIT and LISTEN. However, maybe it is okay, and I need to finish the soup and then sit...

So, my cute handout from Sister Majeroni is on my bulletin board (minus the chocolate of course, I'm a Martha, not crazy.) I'm going to be a Mary a bit this week, I hope: I going to choose the better part more often. But when I'm Martha-ing, I'm gonna do it with love. And I'm going to invite God into my daily existence and humdrum chores even more. Because I do love Him--and I want to spend more time with someone who gave me so much and loves me with such abundance. Maybe then my Martha will be a Mary who multi-tasks. How about you?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New goals?

So, I didn't end 2009 well with my goal of having at least one posting a month--I missed December. I should probably have written in November and posted it in December because I knew I was going to be too busy. But I didn't. Such is my life. However, I am going to do better this year! January = new post. See, I'm so good.

January has been filled with angst and quite a bit of well, vomit. Can I tell you how much I was not prepared for the volume of bodily fluids that accompanied being a mom? Really. No one tells you how much vomit comes out of a 40 pound child when the stomach flu is upon them. I suppose if they told me, I would NOT have signed up for the job. I just really don't like to deal with it. It is bad enough if it is coming from me...which it has been. Oh yeah, the other part they don't tell you about parenthood: YOU have to vomit for a while before you get the bundle of joy. Yep, I'm in the middle of that early period of pregnancy where vomit happens. No, not just in the morning. I have morning sickness, I just-ate-something sickness, I need-to-eat-something sickness, twlight sickness and go-to-bed-NOW sickness. Pretty much the whole, I'm a joy to behold these days.

My kids have been pretty good about it. They think it is hilarious that I can't eat potatoes--yep that food taboo is back in spades. Orion has taken to "reading" the labels (he looks for p's and asks if that is the word "potato") to make sure there are NO potatoes in whatever I'm eating. Xavier thinks it is hilarious to offer me food he knows has potatoes in it. I may just vomit on him. Bella just keeps asking if it is August yet. Or rather, if it is Daddy's birthday yet, because the baby's birthday is after his August birthday.

As far as edible foods go, I'm into pears, apple juice and bagels with cream cheese. Blueberries seem to be really exciting--I like blueberry poptarts, mini-pies (thank you Evil Walmart Empire for yet another really healthy food...) and muffins.

Matthew was the most surprised about our impending arrival. I gave him a positive pregnancy test on our anniversary. He looked at it and said, "Is this real? Where did you get it? Did you use the one out of the medicine cabinet? Or did you buy a new one?" I just sat there and looked at him and waited for it to sink in. Then he was really excited. "Really?!? YES!" He is as excited as Arabella and is handling my nausea with the neutral expression of a doctor. I only have minor urges to smack him.

So, with my friend Amber, my goal is to gain 10 pounds of baby. Yes, it'll probably be that big. Aren't they all? I guess my third goal is to see how much I can shock these Buffalo doctors and nurses with the size of my progeny...So, I'll be trying to keep the blog going with my oh-so-enlightening blogging at least once a month. However, if not, it is because I am working on my second goal and making a zillion cells a day to create Baby Starfruit (our nickname for him...long story.). Happy New Year.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pie. Not the math kind.

Pie. I made the Thanksgiving pie. That was my assignment: make pie. How could I screw that up? Well, it was easy. And to do it in such an ironic and oh-so-fitting way? I must share with all of you.

I started out with the crust. Do you know that I am TERRIFIED of pie crust? Yep. I'll make bread, cake, cookies...even CREAM PUFFS for 200, but don't make me make pie crust. See, I never really learned from the master, my Grandma Mickey. She made pies that people travelled across the state of Alaska to eat. Her crust could make you cry. She never taught me that skill. Instead, she taught me to make cake. This is pretty ironic when you consider that she was the worst cake baker in town--she hated to make them because they always fell or cracked or were heavy or dry or--you get the picture. But she adored me and I adored cake, so the summer I wanted to learn to bake, she made a cake every day with me so I could learn to make cake. I make darn good cake. But I never learned from her how to make pie crust.

When I married Matthew, I discovered that his mom, Marilyn makes amazing crust. She has generously tried to teach me to make pie. However, she cooks like her son. Perfectly. Meticulously. And she can make pie and I am still scared and it is WAY easier to just let her make it. But she wasn't here last night and that was my assignment: make pie.

Now, other years, when I've been making everything else, I've taken the low road and bought frozen pie crust--hey, I'm human! But, since this was all I was suppose to do, and I would never dream of serving "fake" pie after my husband's amazing gourmet meal, I made pie crust. Long story short on the crust: yummy, but really very ugly. Buttery, flaky, crispy--ugly as sin.

To fill my lovely crust, I decided to make pecan--and chickened out. I was too tired after a day of pre-Thanksgiving crafts with 36 3rd graders, recovering from my birthday and cleaning for my arriving in-laws. So, we went with pumpkin and chocolate cream pie. Not just any ordinary chocolate cream pie--scratch double chocolate chocolate pudding and fresh whipped cream chocolate cream pie. Yum. I prebaked the crust and whipped up our favorite chocolate pudding. As "easy as pie". Pie number 1 done.

On to pumpkin. Now a little background on pumpkin. We have a standing family story about pumpkin pie that goes back to when I took Matthew home for the first time to Alaska. For some odd reason, my mother asked him to make a pumpkin pie while we were there. Unfortunately, we didn't have all the ingredients as listed on the recipe. For those of you who know my husband, you know that means: major issues. My hubby is stickler for recipe following. He and my mother had their first "fight" as he told her she couldn't tell him how to cook and she proceeded to make the pie filling and dump it in his finished crust. Unfortunately, the turmoil meant that she didn't quite get all the ingredients in the filling and the result: sugarless pumpkin pie. Not so tasty.

So, given a little background, I'm sure your avid little imagination can see where my foggy tired brain lapsed last night. After joking with Matthew: "Should I put sugar in it?" I somehow failed to put the sugar in. Yep, you guessed it. Sugarless pumpkin pie. Two of them. YUCK! Thank HEAVENS for the chocolate cream pie. And the fact that none of us were hungry--we'd all eaten way too much of Matthew's amazing dinner!