Friday, November 28, 2008

My Baby

I sat on the floor painting my toenails when Michael let Ender crawl into my room, happy and groggy from his nap. He started toward my nail polish, so I smiled and said "No no no!" But he looked up at me with big eyes and gave me the saddest little frown and nearly cried! I immediately felt horrible! Those were the first words I said to him after he had woken up, and I had not even looked at him yet! I put away the polish and held him tight. I felt kind of like a bad mommy. So the rest of the day, I tried extra hard to pay attention to my baby. He had a hard time with the "no's" that day, which made me feel really sorry. :(
* * * * * * * * *
I LOVE my baby's soft, chubby legs. I love his sweet nose. I love his perfectly-timed eyebrow raising. I love his pretty, little mouth. I love his great big grin! I love to cuddle him in my arms, or to chase him as he crawls as rapidly as he can (quite fast) while I roar when he glances back over his shoulder, squealing in delight.
I love that he does not hold still while I change his diaper. How could he with so many things to explore?! He seems to me a very curious, observant boy. I feel so excited to get to know him better and better. I would hope he hears more than "no" from me all the time.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Just When I Thought I'd Have a Sick-Free Winter

I woke up last night feeling claustrophobic.

The bedroom heater was on, and my nose was stuffed dry, and my throat felt like the tender inner skins had been stretched taut by pliers. My head felt three times bigger than its appropriate size.

Ugh. Thankfully, we have a door in our room to the back porch. I turned off the heat, opened the door, and laid down just waiting and waiting to fall asleep.
I guess it happened, because I woke up again. I did the good thing and took some medicine (I just don't like medicine--that's a whole other post). When Michael left to practice, he said "Take it easy, okay?"
That is beautifully sweet of him that he understands if I sit around like a compost heap all day. But take it easy? I'd love to--but I'd have to hire a babysitter. It's endlessly hard for a Mommy to take it easy.
Oi. I just have to be done. My giantess head is weighing me down.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Airport

Airports always give me a sense of excitement! Even as a kid, I felt important as I independently strolled through concourses and found my way by picture signs. I had a place to go! And on the way, I would get to enjoy roasted, bland peanuts and free gingerale. I could draw in my notebook for those many hours by using the tray in front of my seat. Why not be excited?
Now I don't get quite as excited about the peanuts, but I still love flying. And because I love that, I love the airport. Maybe that's why I kept a smile when things turned upside down...

After our little group of ladies had gone through the security checkpoint and eaten a meal, we were settling for the wait when Angelica received a call from the House Phone (a white phone for communication between airport personnel and customers, found in any airport). She had left her boarding pass and ID at security! Since my papa always taught his five beautiful daughters to pair up for safety, it felt absolutely natural to go with her. Thinking we'd be fast, I left everything but my own pass and ID with the other three women. Angelica and I took the airport tram back to security. She felt pretty annoyed, but we were able to smile about it.
Finally at security again, a woman by the last name of SLONSKIS helped us. That name is burned into my memory by the sheer differentness of its sound! What a name! *psst, if your name is Slonskis, just admit it's cool and don't be offended* I murmured it to myself over and over, marveling at the absurdity of it while we waited for another person to address the problem. A man with Dr. Seuss-like blue gloves on told us they'd sent everything to the lost and found. Which happened to be across the airport.
At Lost & Found, a woman told us Security had sent nothing since early that morning. *exclamation of disbelief!* Angelica was being very quiet at this time. She felt quite aware of how much time we had till our 4:20pm flight left. To be exact: FOUR MINUTES.
We ran back to security (people gave me disgusted looks as I ran barefoot, clutching my shoes--but if anyone tried to stop me, they'd be sorry)! The same Blue Gloves man happily presented the boarding pass and ID. I had a few words lasering from my eyes but kept it clean. We couldn't be angry--it was how it was, so why not just be happy?
Angelica and I ran to the tram and sat aggravatingly still as it took its normal speed through the concourses. The recorded voice for announcing stops sounded unusually expressive! The voice was preceded by a little country-jig blip that made us laugh like we were crazy. And then we laughed harder at the voice: "Hoooooold on!" Oh, brother.
My cheeriness kind of wooshed away when I saw no plane behind the windows at C49. Feeling a little stupid at the obviousness of my question, I asked for reassurance "It's gone?"
The remaining flight attendant smiled kindly at my forlorn expression.
"Yes. Your friends did everything they could."
"Did the plane try to wait at all?" Why did this matter? It was gone!
"Yes, the plane left six minutes late."
SIX MINUTES! OH POOH! THAT'S NOTHING! THAT'S NOTHING! Ah, but six minutes makes a huge difference on the other end and an even bigger difference for connecting flights. I decided to feel thankful.
And then a rush of excitement filtered in. It had actually happened to me...stranded at an airport! An adventure! Angelica took a reasonable time to warm to the fun of it, but once she did, we got hyper! When we couldn't get on the 7:35pm flight--already overbooked and oversold, as airlines like to sneakily do things--we just shrugged and got something to eat. I felt a little on the homeless/helpless edge, but glad to be with a friend. And such a fun friend! We laughed so hard! And she kept making me laugh when I had food in my mouth. Let me just say that it's an unpleasant sight for anyone to see. Luckily, she had kleenex.
We killed time by walking the wrong way on moving sidewalks, sharing personal stories and racing to the bathroom (I panicked that I'd take too long with the personal details in the bathroom and miss yet another flight). And then Angelica's phone died.
I can't even tell you what a relief it was to finally get on the 9:30pm flight. Our adrenaline kicked back for the first time in five hours (maybe more because before we even got to the airport, Louisa forgot her cell phone twice). Hah! What a day.
Those sweet women all waited for us! Cindy, Jess, Louisa! They are such great friends! Thank goodness Cindy didn't have a myocardial infarction. Phewf!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Therapy of Writing

This is one of the times writing becomes especially therapeutic for me. Not physically--my shoulders are so knotted and tense!
I've had a fabulous weekend--and today hasn't been bad, either...but the excitement has washed off a little. I went to a Mary Kay retreat for the Jan Harris Area. I'm still feeling motivated and happy.
The reason I feel like I need cheering is pretty silly: Ender has been cranky with me today. He was so excited to see me this morning after I'd been gone for three days, and he gave me the cutest little laughs and smiles. But the rest of the day? Maybe he's just worried when I'm not holding him or looking him in the eye. I resisted impatience, so I'm fine.
The other reason...the other reason is way sillier...I'm embarrassed to admit it! I went to my blog so excited to see if there were comments, but there weren't any for the last two posts. (Now, don't go and write out of pity). I think it's just that I wanted so badly to hear what any reader thought. At the same time, they're not my favorite posts or anything. Anyway, I decided I ought to write and return to my previously wonderful mood!

I look hot today. I went grocery shopping in high heels. And somehow, I picked a time to go when there were lots of guys there (I mean for real--there were hardly any women at the store at all). A couple of them gave me a once-over and one whistled, one awkward cashier got big eyes and asked my chest how it was doing rather than my face. :\ Meh...THAT's gross. Besides that, though, I feel flattered. It's nice to realize I put up a good image for myself today, refusing the urge to slump through the grocery store in my jammies.

That did it! I feel good again. I have an adventure to relate about my flight (or non-flight...) home! First, dinner. Which happens to be my lunch, too.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Boogers, Pain and Excitement

I just had to laugh!
While sitting through the Rexburg Tabernacle Orchestra's concert until it was time for me to play, I noticed a boy--eleven years old at least--in the audience rummaging through his nostrils. I peered closer to see if he was, indeed, serious about this search of his. I got quite a little show! I pursed my lips to refrain a laugh as his eyes shifted back and forth, making sure the coast was clear *is that a sailor's phrase?* before he surreptitiously slid his finger from his nose to his mouth. My eyes grew big. "NO! Is he really doing it?!" I watched with glee as he munched. Once the task was complete, he cozied up to his mom or sister. Only, he wasn't done. His finger made a few more trips from his nose to his mouth, and I finally laughed! I was lucky enough it came during a great crescendo in the music.

* * *

Sometimes I feel guilty when I don't feel well. Because it's so often, I think I must be some kind of hypochondriac to always have something going on. So guilty that it drives me to silence, hoping the pain is simply overrated by my oversensitive level of pain tolerance. Why am I so disturbed by it? Why worry?! Maybe it's plain old GAS! But a little thought teeters across my focus, a frazzled ant lost in a forest of grass: Is this what an ulcer feels like? Ibuprofen can give you ulcers if you don't eat it with food! Is that another kidney stone? Tylenol makes those worse, and you're susceptible now that you had them so long with Ender. I hate medicine. Should I take some to make myself feel better? This is aggravating!
Most of the time I just wipe it out and go on without any conclusion to the matter. It's annoying to be in pain, and since I am so often, I just ignore it.
In fact, I don't even know why I wrote this paragraph. I'll leave it in case I figure that out later.

* * *

A couple posts ago, I wrote "I DON'T DO STRESS." If you were to imagine my voice declaring this, it's important to me that you would realize I say it as a matter of fact. A strong fact, but not in some kind of commanding tone as if I were trying to convince myself of it.
At a Mary Kay meeting, our director actually said that phrase casually, in passing. But it truly struck me as a powerful mindset! Of course stress is a choice! Why didn't I realize that before? I decided right then, "Well I don't either!"
It's not meant to be a way of saying "I don't cope with stress" or "I just walk away from problems."

* * *

Do you remember those times as a kid when you're looking forward to an event and you begin to imagine what it will be like? It's so exciting to get there and finally see what it's all about, and surprising sometimes when you see how different it is from how you thought it would be. I feel childish in my excitement for a Mary Kay retreat this weekend! And the only thing I feel nervous, I don't feel nervous. Hm. That's nice!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


On the day I had no conscience, my sisters became one for me. [insert big sigh]

Actually, I appreciate it. I had a good reason for my plan of self-indulgence; I'm playing in a concert tonight, and since I tire quickly lately, I thought I would save some energy by "taking it easy."
I gave Ender a bottle and stayed in my pajamas. The kitchen was kind of messy, the living room looked more like Ender's playroom, and our bed wasn't made. I was having fun playing with a
stickfigure animator on the computer!
But then I read my sisters' blog and just...well...Abby did the dishes, Liz did the dishes, Rae did a heroic mommy act...I finally realized the house just couldn't suffer a day of mess. Even a partial mess--there's no way I'd have time after the concert, Thursday will be busy in my preparation to leave and with a meeting in the evening, when I'm gone all the house will be under Michael's power of cleaning...which is not bad, it's actually splendid, but combined with his time available for doing it?
So I did the dishes, and while I was in that "GO" mode, I cleaned the rest of the house! Then in the middle of this, I went and folded laundry. I've got Megan's baby Audrey here now, and I'm having fun imagining she's mine to see a bit of what it's like to take care of two babies. Like I thought he would, Ender really wanted his mommy's attention, too. He didn't seem jealous, just that he wanted to join in on the fun! While I was rocking Audrey, he crawled to the chair and pulled himself up. I lifted him so we could all rock together, and he smiled at the silliness of rocking on my knees. But he soon got a little fussy because he wanted me to hold him. That was okay--Audrey had fallen asleep, so the challenge was in helping Ender down with a safe landing. I enjoyed the puzzle of it all.
Ender's getting some one-on-one time (not that he hasn't played with me a lot already). Just to remind him he's loved.
While I folded laundry, I threw socks onto the chair so he could play with them. He thought it was the best! It was almost magical to me--as much as I avoid using the word for its tendency to sound cheesy--that he was having so much fun playing with me, smiling his beautiful smile every time I tossed a sock, purposefully letting it brush his head on the way to the chair. He would then swish the sock to the floor and concentrate on how to get down to play with it. It entertained him for about half an hour!
The fireplace has him entranced now. But of course, as soon as I write that, he's on to something else (the National Geographic on the coffee table). And now Audrey's diaper bag. Hah!

I always know I feel better when the house looks better. It's one reflection of what I do all day. So why do I ever think I don't care if it's clean? And I should hardly think it's so burdensome when it's not, because unlike LOTS of women, I am actually quite blessed in the strange way of liking to wash the dishes, enjoying vacuuming, relishing in organizing things to the last detail. I love order (but thankfully I'm not a nazi about it)!
My mom always told me she wasn't afraid of a mess. Somehow, I was lucky enough that that rubbed off. In fact, I think it's cool when it looks messier than it is, because then I can pretend I did a grand thing cleaning it all up!
I just had to laugh at myself one evening when I was setting the table; I scooted the placemats just so, I turned the rounded-square plates to line up, I set the cups at equal angles, and shifted the forks on their napkins until everything pleased my particular sense of order. I smiled as I did it all, thinking how silly this would seem to anyone else. If Michael happened to turn his plate another way, it wouldn't matter. It was the presentation of the meal that mattered so much to me. I love art, I love food, and I love art in food.

Now I think I'll take my "GO" mode one step further and take care of myself. I'm unshowered as of...nevermind, I won't tell you how long it's been. Suffice it to say I'm in need of some pampering!

And Ender just crashed a hundred CDs to the floor. What a curious little boy...I think I'll rescue the music!

Monday, November 3, 2008


I forgot that not everyone is as driven at the harp as I am--not to say there's no one more driven than me, but I stick to a piece until it's perfect. That takes a long time with some pieces.
I have two harp students, 12 and 8 years old. I have forgotten that to help encourage them, I need to keep them moving on so they feel successful. I don't feel like going into details, and I am not depressed or feeling hard on myself. But I feel...surprised. I somehow forgot to be sensitive to their personal needs with the harp.

* * *

We've been going to the temple every Saturday. The blessings promised are so beautiful; we have a sweet experience every time. Going so often helps me stay in check! I'm so grateful I've been able to keep the spirit of General Conference vivid. Too often my vigor would fade, and I would forget all those goals I had for bettering myself. Hah...a little funny that "bettering" and "battering" are close words! Anyway, I've tried very diligently to make my prayers more meaningful through Elder Bednar's instructions. It has helped me change my attitude! And by going to the temple, I have felt nudged to take better care of myself. It's difficult, but it's obviously worth it.
For a long time, I have had a lot of various pains and discomforts that I have tried to ignore and even avoid mentioning at all. But I've known, more or less, the causes of all the problems. I didn't get enough sleep, I didn't eat enough (or at the right times), and I hadn't exercised for months and months. So I know my body won't be perfect, but I can help it feel better! I've been given several blessings and promises of health that I need to have more faith in. And faith requires action!

The last time we went to the temple, I received a valuable comfort. It's one I feel fine to share, too. I know it is a common thing--understandably--for mothers to question their ability to have a second child, third, fourth, etc. Because of my health and simply common reasons, I've had "nightmares" of having a second child all too soon--Ender is only 8 months old. But without really asking for it, I received a comfort that I will be ready, whenever the time comes. Even if it was now. We're not announcing anything. Still, I don't worry anymore. I will be able to do all that I need to. I know it. Not even vainly so, not in a naive sense of believing it's easy. But I have the strength of the Lord on my side.

I am not afraid of anything. There are scary things: sharks in dark, deep water; clowns; kidnappings; car accidents...Sad things, too. But nothing will conquer my family because we have the power of the gospel in our hearts. We can and will overcome obstacles and trials. I am not afraid of anything.
My part is so little sometimes. My best effort is laughable (often)! Perfectionism seems lightyears away much of the time, but it's never impossible in my mind. It's always there. While that used to drive me crazy, now it's beautiful. It almost feels like a memory. Somehow I feel like I've known before what perfection feels like. I have caught glimpses in performing music on my harp, glimpses through the love I feel for my husband and son, glimpses when I battle selfishness and win. I have been perfect before, I think. I think I was a perfect child of God in heaven and for a short time when I was born. The feeling is so desirable it drives me to find it again.
I'll just need to remember that when I disappoint my potential, it doesn't decrease my potential.

I had a swim coach who disagreed. For logical reason. He told us our potential is comparable to a jar of M&Ms. Each time we missed practice, we took a handful of M&Ms out of that jar. When the swim meets approached, suddenly we'd find we couldn't reach our goals because there just weren't that many M&Ms to be had--our potential for reaching the goal had diminished.
There's some truth to that. But it ignores the Atonement if you want to apply it to the eternal parts of life (such as perfection). Why else would we be commanded to endure? Keep trying!

I needed to hear myself say that. I have a concert coming up. You could say I took too many M&Ms out of my jar to make this a great concert...but gracious peas, I'm a MOTHER! I can't practice 4-5 hours a day anymore! I am determined to be grateful for this experience even if I have to laugh at myself. I'm more concerned about embarrassing our conductor, but not to the point of stress.


* * *

My daydreams usually consist of me having some sort of superpower. It's usually a universal kind, like the vague power of "magic." Once in a while, the superpower is called money. Nearly every time, though, I wish I had more power to help people. It sounds very cheesy, it does. I am mildly interested in daydreaming of a beautiful mansion, lovely fashionable clothing and a nice garden sometimes. But it's more fun to think "and if I had that much money, I could do all these things for my friends! For strangers! It would be SO fun!"

There's nothing wrong with that, probably. But I forgot I could still be generous with what I have! I forgot I still have many ways to serve others!
I do have the ability to get rich with Michael. Whatever, maybe we will be some day.
In Relief Society, they often hand out clipboards with lists of services to sign up to do. At first, I found myself thinking "but even if I can cook a meal for someone, I need to do that for my family first" and "I can't give any money, I can't justify taking from my family for it." I'm a little embarrassed how long it took me to realize DUH! I don't have to be asked to serve! I thought up some things I can do for people and made it known. I was so blessed--our ward did a service auction, like Heavenly Father instantly offered an opportunity!
I'm so grateful I can help in so many ways!

  • I can bake bread, any kind
  • I can give facials and teach about makeup
  • I can teach harp lessons
  • I can give harp performances
  • I can decorate cakes
  • I can clean
  • I can babysit
  • I can give rides
  • I can be an exercise buddy
  • I can be a good friend
  • I can go on and on and on!

It's my favorite blessing, when I count the many, to be able to bless others.