Saturday, June 30, 2007

Run, Forest, Run!

So a long time ago, before Evan was even born I was a runner. Yes, I know this seems difficult to believe for anyone who knows me now. Believe it or not I really enjoyed running for a time. I decided the summer that we got married that I was just going to do it. I had never enjoyed running before and it was tough at the beginning but I was determined to do it.

I am a voracious reader and in so many books the herione is a runner who finds peace and serenity in her morning run. I decided that I wanted to find this for myself. I am not sure that I ever reached this zen. I do know that it became something that I enjoyed. Running became more than something I had to do and something that I wanted to do.

After Evan was born I wanted so badly to get back into running shape. Well, for many reasons, it just didn't happen. I was diagnosed with fybromyalgia and the docs keep going back and forth on the Lupus diagnosis. It is really hard for me to do exercise with such impact. I do try and work out but if I work out too hard I really feel it.

Here is the catch: If I don't exercise, I don't feel well. BUT I don't feel well enough to start exercising. Ugh. I used camp as a time to boost my activity and it worked a little too well and when I got home I had a few really bad days which put me back into a slump. I am feeling more like myself again and I am ready to start working out.

Dieting is simply not working for me at this point. My medicine makes me gain weight and apparently makes it harder to lose as well. I think if I can really get myself to a point where exercising is simply a normal part of my day, like showering, eating, etc... then perhaps I can feel better. I need a push. I need accountability. I need to lose at least 30 lbs. I know if I can lose weight, exercise and eat better than I can perhaps get back to a normal place.

Any ideas?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Items of interest....

I have been a bit blah about blogging lately so I have been checking out other blogs that I never looked at before. I have found some great stuff!

I found some jewelry HERE that I really want for my birthday....hint, hint....Take a look at her sight. She has some really cool stuff!

I also found some great recipes HERE and HERE. In fact I even found some of the recipes from my old Utah fave Cafe Rio HERE!

Oh, and last but not least, I also found this great site that will send you a weekly menu and shopping list. It is to help budget so it is inexpensive items and gives you tips on how to save time and money . I like it. I may not use the whole menu but it gives great ideas and is good when you find yourself in a slump recipe wise.


I'm putting pictures up today, I promise!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Here I am!

Whew! I am back but I feel like I'm only part of the way here tonight. We have had such a tiring day. I wasn't sleeping very well and got up around 5:30 this morning. Griffin woke up at 6 and I took him for a 2 mile walk. It felt good but it was already really hazy and humid outside.

Around 9:30 I took Evan to the park for a play group and man was it hot! There was hardly any shade and we were just dying. We played for about an hour and had 2 water bottles and a few freezer pops. As we were playing my cell rang and it was Ryan saying I needed to come home.

Apparently while he was painting and taking care of Griffin and the 3 month old boy we sit for, Griffin tipped over a can of paint (1/4 full) and was playing in it. Ugh. Ryan needed assistance. Then when Ryan was giving Fin a bath, he pooped in it. What a kid. Three baths later all were clean. When Evan and I showed up Evan took one look at the bath and was naked in about 2 seconds. He wanted a bath too. So they both got early baths today.

We spent the rest of the day painting, doing 8 loads of laundry, trying to clean up after ourselves, and watching 3 boys. During this time Evan got a huge grass stain on his shorts. Oh, and I also made dinner for a family in our ward who just had a baby. And heaven forbid I forget to tell about the large piece of red sidewalk chalk that Fin ate and got all over the carpet and himself. *sigh*

Around 4:30 I told Ryan we were going to Hoss's for dinner and he was done painting for the day. I took the boys and went to deliver dinner and went back to pick up Ryan. When we got out of the car I realized how bad we looked. Evan had a huge grass stain on his butt and also had apparently backed into a wet wall and paint was all over his left side. Griffin was covered in red chalk. I didn't fix my hair and was wearing grubby clothes. Ryan actually looked very handsome.
We went to eat and Griffin went crazy. He couldn't get enough food in his mouth to satisfy him. Evan ate a lot of chicken and some chocolate milk. He also spilled a lot of the milk down the front of his shorts. When we were ready for the soft serve machine Evan said, "Momma, I have to throw up."

Off to the bathroom we went. We stayed for a little while but he didn't do it. When we got back to the table he laid on the floor. Ryan picked him up and sat him on his lap and that is when Evan threw up. Most of it was on Ryan and Evan. Only a small portion hit the floor.

At this moment, Evan and Ryan were staring at me asking for help and Griffin was screaming and the teenage boys at the table near us were making gagging sounds. I distinctly heard in my mind, "CALGON, TAKE ME AWAY!"

We cleaned up and got out of there.

Now, both boys are in bed. Ryan is at young men's. I have another load in the wash and I did a basic once over in the kitchen. Tonight I am planning a late night Walmart (Super Walmart, open 24 hours a day! Love it.) run with my friend Michelle and then perhaps a bath and a book. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

I promise pictures by tomorrow afternoon! I have some good ones.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Random Thoughts.....

Today I don't have a lot of time to blog but I wanted to get in one last post before I head to Maryland tomorrow and then to Girl's Camp starting on Monday. I won't be posting for at least a week due to living out of a tent. Wish me luck!

Anyway, I thought I would just do some bullet points of things I have been thinking about lately and you can choose to comment or not, whatever.

  • What is it about crayons and Griffin. He has a serious love for the taste of colored wax. Is there something missing from his diet that crayons give him? I just can't stop him from eating them so obviously he likes them. Maybe he is just weird.
  • Why do unwanted things grow so easily and wanted things take so much work? Such as: weeds, unibrows, toenails, armpit hair, mold, inner thighs, etc.....
  • I think we should do a family trip up the east coast this summer. I'm thinking Maine, lobster, Boston.......Can we do this cheaply?
  • I'm so happy with the big sunglasses trend. I simply adore mine and love the ones with rhinestones on the sides.
  • Should we take Evan to Hershey Park this summer or is he still too small to appreciate it? It won't be cheap and I don't want it to be a bad experience.
  • Will I starve at girl's camp this week? If so, could I possibly lose 5lbs, maybe even 10? That would be awesome! Do I forgo my diet and just eat what they give me or do my best to eat what is good. We are a cook over the fire kind of a camp. We'll see.
Have a great week and I'll give you all the gory details when I return....hopefully thinner!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Help our trees!

I'm looking for a bit of advice here.

We have a small and new maple tree that seems to be dying. It was given to us and planted by Ryan's aunt and uncle last October. It seemed to be doing great and was full and green until about 2 weeks ago when the leaves suddenly began to turn brown. We water it and it has rained but it doesn't seem to be helping.

Does anyone know enough about trees to help? We really want this tree to live. I picture it being large in the next 20 years and having a big shade tree. This is part of the problem of moving into a new development, no big trees!

Anyway, let me know if you can help.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Miracle of Life

About a year and a half ago I decided to take the course to become a certified doula, or labor assistant. Wikipedia gives the following definition of a doula:

Labor/birth support doulas are trained and experienced labor support persons who attend to the emotional and physical comfort needs of laboring women to smooth the labor process. They do not perform clinical tasks such as heart rate checks, or vaginal exams but rather use massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, positioning suggestions, etc., to help labor progress as well as possible. A labor/birth support doula joins a laboring woman either at her home or in hospital or birth center and remains with her until a few hours after the birth. Some doula's also offer several prenatal visits, phone support, and one postpartum meeting to ensure the mother is well informed and supported. The terms of a labor/birth doula's responsibilities are decided between the doula and the family. In addition to emotional, physical and informational support, doulas work as advocates of their client’s wishes and may assist in communicating with medical staff to obtain information for the client to make informed decisions regarding medical procedures.

I thought this was a very thorough definition and really how I feel about becoming a doula.

Back to my story. I started out fast and did all of my class and book work fairly quickly. I was pregnant with Griffin at the time and I wanted to try and finish as much as I could before having him. I knew once he was born I wouldn't be doing too much for quite a while.

In February of last year I had my first doula birth and it was amazing. It was one of those experiences that changes your life forever. Up to that point I was going on feeling that this was what I wanted to do. After the birth I knew that this was more than a desire, it was a calling. I was good at this. It came naturally to me. I felt like I was able to really help the mother and at the same time be a part of something so beautiful.

Soon after that came bedrest with Griffin and our lives became very crazy with the move to PA. Now that we settled down here I wanted to continue my work as a doula. A young girl who I work with at Michaels became pregnant and when we talked I realized she was scared and uninformed about the birth process. I talked with her at length and she and I decided I would be her doula.

On Sunday night she began her labor. I was with her every step of the way. It was another amazing experience, reminding me of the love I have for this work. Being with her and seeing how much she needed me just emphasized to me the need for woman to help each other. She really needed me. She needed someone who could help her through the pain, the fear, the emotions, and everything that goes along with birth. It was a difficult birth both physically and emotionally but we got her through.

Monday morning she gave birth to a gorgeous little boy named Evan. He was 6lbs 8oz and 20 1/2 " long. I loved to see the relief and the joy on her face when he was placed on her chest. That makes staying awake all night long and working so hard all worth it. I never left her side.

I honestly don't have the words to explain how much I love this work and want to continue. I feel blessed to have found something that I am so passionate about and that I can do on a part time basis. I am going to work harder at getting a few clients a year to keep up with this.

I would love to eventually become a Certified Nurse Midwife but that would be way in the future. Perhaps a labor and delivery nurse first and then cnm. We'll see.


Griffin will eat anything that he can put in his mouth, literally. I have to watch this kid so closely. I try so hard to keep things that I know he will eat and shouldn't out of his range but somehow he finds them. The toughest thing is crayons. Evan loves them and colors at least once a day. I try to keep it contained but somehow Griffin always finds one and gets it to his mouth. He has at times eaten entire crayons. It is a good thing they are non-toxic. We will search and search and say they are all cleaned up but somehow he finds them. We have tried giving Evan one at a time but still they get out and Fin finds them. (I would say this happens about once a week at this point but seriously it feels like every day)

The other day Evan was playing with his sidewalk chalk. He brought it inside because it was raining. I was at work for all of this, by the way. When I got home Ryan told me that Fin had eaten quite a bit of chalk and showed me the following pictures. Mmmmmm..........

We have so many pictures of Fin eating nasty stuff but it never stops him the next time. I guess in his thinking, it is always worth a shot. You never know when you'll find something that is actually good, right?

Apparently, purple was the color of choice.
It had a nice piquant flavor.....

Swimming Lessons

Evan has been in swimming lessons for the past couple of months and he is simply in heaven when he is in that pool. He grins from ear to ear from the minute we walk into the building to the time we leave. Swimming is his favorite thing.

It has been so great to watch how quickly he has learned also. He went from hanging onto the wall and not being able to really keep afloat to swimming on his own for the entire half hour. He does have a little floatie on but it doesn't do all of the work. He has the cutest little doggie paddle.

He is always looking over at us for approval when he has done something well. One of the things that Ryan has said to Evan when he has done well at anything is, "Wowzer!" Evan loves this word.

At his last class I was standing watching and Evan said, "Mommy, Look!"

"Great Job, Evan! I'm so proud of you." I said.

"Daddy, Look!"

"Wonderful, Evan!" Ryan said.

"No, Daddy, say Wowzer!"

"Wowzer, Evan, Wowzer!"

Evan, quietly to himself, "I love wowzer."

Too funny. I have already signed him up for the next class and will continue to do so until he asks me to stop. It isn't so much about him learning to swim anymore as it is about him loving it so much. He takes them at the Y in the indoor pool so they offer them year round. Here are some pictures, dark and not very good, but still pictures of the swim lessons.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Feeling better....

Do you ever see or read something that makes you feel much better about your life? Well, today it happened. I was reading a friend's blog (thank you Erin) and she was discussing teacher pay since she also is married to a teacher. She posted the pay for Utah teachers. It is abysmal. I am in shock at the low level of pay. Of course, this is just one district but it is indicative of the entire state. They are basically at the same level as they were when I graduated from BYU, in 2000! That is 7 years and they have maybe gone up $1000. Crazy.

Anyway, it made me feel so much better about our lives. Not that I was necessarily feeling bad but it just made me realize, once more, that we made the best decision for us to move here where the pay is so much better and the housing less expensive.


Things I can't live without....

My bestest of friends, Camie, and I have had this discussion several times. We find it interesting to discuss all the "things" we have in our lives now that we feel we can't live without but until recently didn't even know about. Here is a little list of items that I really enjoy.

Swiffer : Pretty much any type. I love the wetjet, the vacuum, the dry duster thingie and the plain old regular swiffer. What an amazing invention. When we lived in a townhouse with pergo floors and three cats it was an absolute necessity to pick up all the dust and cat hair.

Jergens Natural Glow lotion: Love it! For those of us who are beyond pale, like me, this is heaven sent. Other self tanners just make me look ridiculous but this one actually works for me. : This lovely website makes it so easy to read the scriptures and you get a daily reminder in your email. This is perfect for me since I check my email so regularly. Plus, you don't have to lug your scriptures on vacation as long as you have computer access.

Coverwear, Shade, Modbe, etc...: All of those shirts that are made to cover your garments and help you wear some of the in style stuff that may not be garment friendly. I just like them because I feel more secure with a longer undershirt on or one that for sure covers my neckline. Plus, they are very comfortable and strechy so I wore mine throughout my entire pregnancy. I loved that because so many maternity shirts are becoming shorter and lower cut and the pants hang below your belly, ugh.

Robeez: As a mother of a one year old who makes it his mission to get his shoes off I am in love with his Robeez sandals. Don't be fooled. I tried the ones from Target and he was able to get them off in approximately 5 seconds. I splurged and got the real deal and they have been worth every penny!

Pomade or Hair Wax: My current pomade of choice is called Molding Mud and is made by Paul Sebastian. I have short hair that needs to be piecey and without some sort of wax I just have a ball of fluff. Nasty.

Tivo: We have had Tivo for a few years and I simply adore it. It makes it so I never again just watch stupid tv because I am bored or want something on. I never miss a single second of American Idol or The Amazing Race or any other important show I need to see. Seriously, though, it is very nice and makes life easier.

So obviously, I could live without all of these items but isn't it nice to live in a society that keeps solving problems with lovely luxurious technology. I think it's great as long as we keep it all in perspective and don't go overboard or get things we can't afford.

I'm sure I will continue to add to this list and I could do so right now. These are the just off the top of my head! Add to my list and tell me what you appreciate!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Cousins make the best of friends!

Here are some fun pictures of the three oldest cousins on Ryan's side of the family. Evan went to stay with Lindsay, Larry and Samantha for a few days earlier this week. Evan and Sam are only 3 days apart and have always been really close. We are trying to keep it that way.

Here is Evan and Sam at the park.

Here are the three kids. Evan, Sammy, and Ashleigh at the cemetery where Uncle Graham is buried. We went there on the one year anniversary to remember him.
I can't believe how grown up they all look in this picture.

This one just warms my heart.

Trouble with pictures

I have been trying to upload some pictures since yesterday morning but for some reason it keeps getting stuck. Is anyone else having issues with blogger?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Fin can Walk!!

For the past couple of months he has been standing and cruising. He would take a step here and there but no real walking. On Sunday, which was his actual first birthday he started walking. It was as if he knew he was one now and it was high time he started walking. He is such a fast crawler but he is now choosing to walk instead. Here is a fun video of him walking. I wish it wasn't so dark and that there weren't crackers on the floor but I guess that is the reality of our playroom!

I'm not fat for my height. I'm short for my weight.