Wednesday, August 25, 2010

no more bed rest!

I no longer have to stay in my house. Granted, I haven't been so strict with the "couch" rest lately, but I've done my best to stay at home. Today I walked with Christian, Graham, and Maisie to the park to celebrate my new found freedom as well as my last day of freedom (back to work tomorrow). It was awesome (and about 15 degrees cooler than our apartment).

You'd think I'd be having a great night. Not so much. I'm not sure if it's the idea of going back to work tomorrow that is bringing me down, but so far tonight I have gotten really annoyed (I mean fuming in my head) at the fact that:

1. The neighbor girls all leaned on the baby gate in the front door at the same time, breaking the gate and tumbling into my apartment. Luckily Graham had JUST crawled out of harm's way. Could you imagine if he had been smashed by a baby gate with 4 little girls on top of it? I was so mad. This is the second time they've leaned on the gate and caused it to fall, only this time the gate is permanently warped. They are nice little girls, but I've had enough!

2. I couldn't find our wheat bread recipe. Going back to work means I need to take lunches. We have no food so figured I'd put our bread machine to work. Couldn't find the recipe. I was mad. Modified a white bread recipe instead only to find the wheat bread recipe sitting on the other side of the kitchen after I had finished putting everything in the machine. Of course.

3. After 2 months of bugging Richard DAILY to get everything ready for his mission well in advance, his room is still a disaster and he hasn't packed. He leaves in 48 hours. The last thing I want to do is have to move his stuff to his parent's house and clean out his room after he leaves. This really shouldn't bother me since I'm the world's best procrastinator, but tonight I'm just in one of those moods!

4. I have no desire to do anything (get ready for work tomorrow, pack for Utah, fold the huge pile of laundry sitting next to me) because I'm so annoyed tonight. Yes. I'm annoyed at the fact that I'm annoyed.

These are the dumbest things to get all worked up about. I know they are. I'm not even dreading going back to work tomorrow, but maybe my subconscious knows better--that I really just want to stay home with my little Graham. Or maybe it's the fact that it's hot. Or maybe that I'm pregnant. Or maybe I just need to go to bed already.

Bleh. Here's to a better tomorrow... And yummy homemade bread in about 3 hours...

{Baby #2 just kicked me. Reminded me that I got to hear his heartbeat today. I am no longer annoyed. Thanks, baby #2.}

Monday, August 23, 2010

shi(f)t work

Christian is busy looking for jobs (story of our life right now). Here is the latest job description. Looks like whoever wrote it wasn't hired for having an eye for detail...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

how they do it

Maren is having guests writers contribute to her blog this week. Many people have asked Maren "how she does it"--being a mother to a beautiful little girl whose first two years of development are being robbed from her by Rett Syndrome. Maren has always said that no one knows they can "do it" until they have to.

This week Maren has asked guest writers who have been asked the same question to tell their stories and explain how they do it. So far it has been heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. These writers are inspiring. They never knew they could do it until they had to. I highly recommend reading Maren's blog this week (and next).

Thanks, Maren!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

offending v. being offended

I recently heard someone say that they were "opening a can of whoop-ass" when they meant to say they were "opening a can of worms." The best part was that they didn't even know they said it wrong. I am opening a can of worms here. Not whoop-ass. Probably a boring can or worms, but I find it interesting.

There is a great talk from the October 2006 LDS Conference by David Bednar that encourages us not to take offense or not to let ourselves be offended to the point that we hold grudges and allow it to hold us back in life. Unfortunately, I have heard people use this the other way around.

"I don't need to watch what I say. She just chose to be offended by what I said."

I don't think this was the point of the message. Elder Bednar wasn't giving us permission to say whatever we want and then blame it on the other person for "letting themselves be offended."

The reason I bring this up tonight is a recent Facebook discussion. (Oh, the drama that can arise from the lovely land of public forum discussions...) It seems everyone in the discussion disagrees with me, which actually surprised me and made me a little sad for the future of mankind (okay, not that last part). So I'm bringing the discussion here to see what you all think.

I'm 100% positive the comment that spurred the conversation was not intended to offend. The intent behind it was sincere but was just written in a way that could be misinterpreted. It just served as a lead in to a bigger discussion. Also, the person who made the initial comment was not part of the ensuing conversation. The comment in question was that of a thin person wondering why so many people gain weight after high school. My gut reaction (my own misinterpretation) was that many of the people reading this person's Facebook post were probably old high school friends--many of whom had gained weight and probably inspired the comment in the first place. Even if those specific friends didn't inspire the comment, they will probably think it was about them once they read it.

The discussion itself occurred on someone else's page and covered the more general topic of being sensitive to what we say out of respect to those whom it might make uncomfortable. I tend to worry a lot about people's feelings. I try not to post anything that will make people feel bad about themselves. If it will probably hurt someone's feelings and doesn't need to be said, then it probably doesn't need to be put up in a public forum.

Turns out no one agreed with me. The overwhelming opinion (of the few people in the discussion) was that if we point out obvious stuff, it's not our fault if the other people "allow themselves to be offended." If the information is accurate, it's okay to say it. No questions asked.

I believe the choice not to be offended is ours to make, but it shouldn't be a free pass to dismiss other people's feelings. Perhaps the least we can do is be more careful about the way we say things if we really think they need to be said.

Am I alone on this? Does it make anyone else uncomfortable to think that we don't need to take other people's feelings or sensitivities or struggles into account when we talk?

I'll bet some of you don't agree with me. And that's fine. You probably have thick skin and expect that everyone else does, too. Or you're just a meanie. :)

Your thoughts?

By the way, if the people in the Facebook discussion are serious about what they said, then I don't need to worry about offending them with this post--since they are of the opinion that it's their own fault if they let themselves be offended...Right?

the blessings of unemployment

Christian was laid off in July of last year. That means it has been over a year since he had full-time employment. Even so, his time out of work has been a blessing to us in many ways:

1. He was able to go to school full time and graduate.

2. He has been able to stay home and take care of Graham. It is nice that we both understand what it is like to stay home full time and what it is like to work full time.

3. We were able to stop having the "Should we move to Alabama for your job?" conversation. I'm glad we're still in California.

4. We were able to get rid of one of our cars since we didn't need to go to two different jobs at the same time.

5. We've gotten much better about not spending money. I think this is a very important skill to have in life.

6. He has had time to help Richard do everything he needs in preparation for his mission.

7. He has been able to watch miss Maisie Lou during the day for our good friends, the Cutlers. (Graham LOVES when his girlfriend comes over.)

8. He has been here to do everything while I've been on bed rest. If he had a full-time job, I would have had to ask my mom and/or everyone I know to come help out for the last 8 weeks.

While it would be nice to have more income and/or for me to get to stay home with Graham, things have worked out well for us. We always knew it would. When Christian called me at work to tell me he had been laid off, we just kind of shrugged and said, "Okay. Sounds good." We know not everyone is in the position to react that way, but we have been lucky and we're grateful.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

how i spend my money

I actually don't like spending money. I spend too much of it, but I don't like it. I'd rather have a big savings. My friend, Julianne, recently posted an article about what kind of spending makes people happy. Like most of us, we have to pick and choose how we can use our limited funds. In times like these, I can't help but think about what kind of spending makes me happy.

{Obvious but important side note: Even though I like spending money on some of these things, it doesn't mean I always can. And even though I don't like spending money on some of these things, it doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy them if they were free...}

I like spending money on travel. We have been on many fun vacations in the last 6 years and I hope to go on many more.

I don't like spending money on eating out. I like food, but not that much.

I like spending money to send things in the mail. That's why I came to the conclusion that I wanted to send candy to my friends who helped me plan my weekend getaway.

I don't like spending money on haircuts. I'll admit it. I'm too lazy to do my hair. I find it hard to spend lots of money on my hair when I wear it in a ponytail every day. Although I do like actually having my hair cut (and I love my Lindsey), this is one of those things I opt out of when money is short.

I like spending money on races. However, because my funds are limited, I'm often picky about the races I'll pay for. I have to really want to do that race.

I like spending money on charities. I don't so this often enough. I need to more since I highly enjoy it.

I always want to spend money on makeup and accessories, but I know I don't even use what I have, so I don't. Super cute earrings are the exception. I know I'll wear those.

I don't like spending money on clothes. I love having cute clothes, but it takes some convincing for me to buy them. This is why I will probably never dress exactly the way I'd like to.

I do not buy DVDs. I rarely watch things more than once, so this has always seemed like a big waste of money for me. The exception will be kids movies. Eventually.

I like to spend money on crafts and stuff for projects. I could spend a lot of money on making things, and it would make me happy.

I don't like spending money on going out to the movies. It's a lot of money. I'd rather rent. But Christian likes going out to the movies, and I like doing anything that's with him, so I like going by default.

I don't like spending money on electronics. Our TV has been acting up, and I dread the idea of spending our money on a TV. A TV, people. Bleh.

I like buying things I've wanted for a really long time. I just ordered a pair of rain boots, because 1) they were on sale, 2) I had a $10 off coupon, 3) shipping was free that day, and 4) I wanted some every time it rained last winter. Feels good to wait until I'm positive I want something before I get it. I need to do this more often instead of impulse buying.

I like spending money on gummy candy.

I'm not interested in spending money on a nice car. My husband is, so eventually we will. He has to be happy, too, you know.

I like spending money on pedicures and massages, but my frugality conscience keeps me from doing so except on rare occasions.

Without telling them what this post is about, I just asked Christian and Richard what they like to spend their money on. Without hesitation they blurted out "food, clothes, entertainment, electronics." Awesome. I knew Christian's list would be different than mine. That's what compromise is for, right?

Christian just added that he likes to spend money on traveling. Awww. That's my #1. He's my #1.

What kind of spending makes you happy?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

thoughts on hypocrisy

I often call myself a hypocrite. Perhaps that's the wrong word to use.

A hypocrite is a fraud, a phony. Someone who pretends to be one way but secretly is not. Someone who professes to believe one thing but whose actions prove differently. A hypocrite is technically someone who knowingly deceives others.

So perhaps "accidental" hypocrisy is self-deception rather than the deception of others. Convincing yourself that you always live by a certain set of standards when in reality you don't always adhere to them.

I'm certainly not deceitful to others. I don't "pretend" to be a certain way. More accurately, I think at times I base my advice and criticism on how I think I live my life, only to find myself time and again going against my own advice, often unknowingly.

What would you call that? Accidental hypocrisy? Self-deception? Clueless of my own weaknesses and flaws? Human?

As we get ready to ship Richard off to the MTC, I can't help but look back on the time he has been here and think of everything I have learned (in other words, everything I did wrong). All the times I gave him a hard time for doing or not doing something, only to find myself making the same mistakes the next week. Have I "fixed" all the things I learned about myself? Surely not. If I have learned anything, it is that I have a lot more that I need to fix.

Do I beat myself up over the mistakes I have made and the "hypocrisy" I have discovered in myself? No. I don't think beating yourself up is very productive. I just try to be more conscious of the things I recognize.

This extends into all areas of my life, especially marriage. Complaining about something Christian did only to find myself acting the same way soon after. It is amazing how much Christian and I have learned about each other in the 7 years we've been together. I am eternally grateful for how well we communicate with each other. Sure, we still have a lot to work on, but for the most part we are good communicators. This makes it easier for me to recognize when I'm being a "hypocrite." It makes it easier for me to come forward and admit my flaws (of which I have many).

Perhaps in all this I should be more tolerant of other people's "accidental hypocrisy."

On that note, it's time for bed. Zzzzzzzz...

Monday, August 9, 2010

weekend getaway contest winners

I FINALLY figured out what to do for our weekend getaway. I have been searching bed and breakfasts (feeling really guilty about spending a lot of money but not wanting to stay in a boring yucky motel room), craving a trip to Tahoe (but not wanting to count that as our weekend getaway), and craving cool weather, pumpkins, and everything Autumn.

So here is the plan:

1. To fulfill my Tahoe craving, we will postpone the weekend getaway a bit and go to Tahoe in September instead. We'll take Graham. I will go swimming in the lake. (Oooooh. That sounds nice right now.) We will go on a little hike and finally use our baby backpack. We will take naps. We will only spend money on gas. I like it.

2. For our pre-baby/sans-child weekend getaway we'll go to Cambria in October! That way it can double (triple?) as a birthday getaway for the two of us. We are going to stay at the Ollalieberry Inn bed and breakfast. It is small and cute, it won an award from, and they offer cooking classes and a cookbook. I don't actually care about taking a cooking class, but that says to me that the breakfast is going to be YUMMY! French toast, here I come! Plus I reserved the only non-frilly room in the place. Love it.

So the question is... Who won the contest? Let's look at the entries:

Cheri was the first to respond and reminded me that I wanted to head south to the Cambria/Cayucos area (in which Paso Robles is included). I had forgotten. She also made me really want to stay in a bed and breakfast, which we have never done.

Lenessa gave a thumbs up to heading down to the Paso Robles/Pismo area and volunteered to help watch Graham.

Jenni thirded (you know, comes after "seconded") the area and suggested Cambria--which is where we chose to stay!

Amy/Arthur fourthed the area.

Erica suggested camping in Cayucos and lots of fun physical activities. I may be too pregnant come October, but good suggestions.

Aubrey suggested staying at SpinDrift in Monterey, and I am always in search of recommendations for hotels so that I don't have to search and search.

Ella recommended the Big Sur Lodge. I want to go to there.

Amy reminded me that heading south makes for an easy kid drop off at my parents' house, and she can tell me everything I need to do in the Cambria area since she made that trip last year.

Ashley likes candy.

And Madika suggested Big Sur yurts and waffles. Yurts and waffles! That will be next year's trip!

Drum roll please...

Cheri is clearly the top winner! She was the first person to remind me that I wanted to visit the Paso Robles/Cambria area and got me hooked on the idea of a bed and breakfast.

And everyone else's suggestions overlapped. How could I choose a second winner? I'm terrible at making decisions, so... I choose all of you! Everyone wins second place!

Send me your addresses via email or facebook message. Those who didn't specify a candy type will get whatever I feel like giving you. All you lovely locals will get a doorbell ditch package rather than mail delivery.

Hurray for vacation and hurray for candy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

latest DIY projects

I've gotten a bit done while on house arrest bed rest. If I can't run around doing useful household projects, the least I can do is sit around and cut fabric, right? Would you like to see?

1. Happy Birthday banner/bunting. I already had all the fabric. The only thing I bought was spray adhesive for the letters (too lazy to sew them...maybe some day). My plan is to make little clip-on decorations to go with the birthday theme. The pom poms are on clips. Christian, Graham, and I all have Fall birthdays, so naturally I made some pumpkin clips. Maybe I need to make some new baby decorations for December when baby #2 comes. It will, in fact, be his birth day, so he'll need the banner.

2. Mei Tai baby carrier. While I'd love to buy one of these, we're currently broke, so I'm not allowed to spend money. Instead I decided to make one out of things I already had around the house. This carrier cost me $0. Yep. Free-ninety-free. It is constructed of old slacks, an old baby blanket, leftover fabric from the dress I wore for my sister's wedding, an old sweatshirt (for the padding), and thread and elastic from my sewing box. I used this tutorial but modeled the top after BabyHawk Mei Tais. I added a big pocket and plan to make an Ergo-like hood (I like the idea of elastic sides). Please excuse how awesome I look in the photo below, the fact that I need to practice tying this thing better, and the fact that I have my baby on my back while I'm supposed to be taking it easy on the couch.

FYI--My friend Cheri makes and sells cute Mei Tais and cloth swim diapers if you are interested! The Kitchen Sink Boutique.

3. Maternity dress. I found this blue fabric in the scrap bin at JoAnn's months ago. All rolled up it felt like sweatshirt material. The other day I finally unrolled it and discovered it was a big thin piece perfect for a skirt. I played around a bit and altered an adorable old shirt (that was too small and starting to fall apart), and...voila!

4. Growing a baby. The ultimate DIY project. My belly is getting bigger every day!