Saturday, November 18, 2017

LDS Temple Tour

 A couple weeks ago we had the opportunity to tour the Meridian Temple.  It was a great opportunity.  Normally only endowed members of the church who hold a current recommend are allowed to enter the temple but during the time before completion of the construction of a new temple and the dedication everyone is allowed to tour.  Our kids loved the tour.  The temple is truly beautiful inside.  The wood work, tile, furniture, paintings, mirrors, everything is of the highest quality.  The kids favorite places were the baptismal font on 12 oxen and the sealing room where members can be married.  This week the temple is being dedicated and the kids will no longer be allowed to go but before that Captain E had the opportunity to participate in the cultutal celebration.  It was the culmination of 9 weeks of practice.  Their were dances and singing.  E was part of the choir.  I had to drop him off to be taken down to the performance at 5:30 in the morning.  There were 5000 youth performing so there was no room for parents.  We watched instead at the stake center.  Remarkably I actually caught a glipse of him.  There were so many youth I'm pretty sure not every parent can say that.  It was a great experience.  He never once complained about practising and had a great time performing.

Flashback to my premature baby

Cheetah's birth was still the hardest thing I've ever gone through, so I shouldn't have been shocked when last month during that birth survey I started crying talking about it.  I now have a vibrant, enchanting 6 year old but that it hard to imagine when you are on bed rest, with ruptured membranes at 27 weeks.  I knew early on there was a very good chance she would survive.  I was in the hospital long enough to get steriods and babies born post 27 weeks have like an 80% survival rate, by the time she was born at 29 weeks it was 90%.  She was still born though with a collapsed lung and need surfactant and cpap to get her going.  Had she been born in Eldoret Kenya where we took her two years later she may not have made it.  We were lucky she was born in the time and place she was.  Earlier when I was thinking about it I was tempted to say blessed but if you believe in a God and believe he loves all of his children it almost seems cruel to me to claim that as a blessing while it is still an opportunity lacked by many. 

Years later when I was pregnant with Mr Squish my pregnancy was more closely monitored.  It felt like an intrusion almost but it was also great luck to have people who cared so much and the technology to keep that pregnancy healthy.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Catch All

 I have this desk counter in my kitchen that 90% of the time is covered in odds and ends.  It is the bane if my house cleaning existance.  The rest of the house can be immaculate  (you know the one day a week Esperanza comes that one hour before the kids get home) but this space is normally just the worst.  The problem is it is a catch all and clearing this one space takes a ton of effort. I started this morning and after covering my other counter trying to organize stuff to decidw where it went I just gave up.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Birth Choice Survey

I had the opportunity to participate in a survey about feeling pressured in birth choices.  I saw the survey on empowered birth project a birth instagram site I follow.   The survey was pretty easy and after I was asked to share my personal info if I was willing to talk with the researcher.  She called me last week and it was a great experience.  We talked for about an hour discussing birth experiences and things she's learned talking with OB and nursing staff.  There are many times I'm grateful to be out of school and separated from Dr. Js school but I do miss academia occasionally.  If you have any interest in participating feel free to check it out here.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Barn Update One

 We are in the process of updating our barn.  It was probably put together with a kit but for whatever reason they never pur any siding over the OSB board.  J bought the siding but first things first he wanted to replace this side door with an actual door.  It was just a cutout with some hinges, a backstop, and a latch.  It worked but it wasn't great.  The OSB board was getting torn to shreds at the bottom, it was very narrow, it didn't lock, and worst of all it opened out.  That doesn't seem like that big of a deal until you get two feet of snow and your sliding doors freezes shut and then it super sucks.  So J bought a prehung door and today he replaced the OSB board and made a box for the door.  We got it all the way hung before he had to head to work.  I'm super excited to have a inward opening door this winter and to be a step closer to uodating the barn.

Family Resemblance?

 Facebook is this weird time suck but it also gives you access to things you wouldn't normal see.  Yesterday J's aunt posted a picture of his grandad from when he was in the navy.  J's grandad wasn't much for talking or sharing and honestly there just aren't that many pictures of him and the ones there were he didn't display so this is the first time J had seen this picture.  We scrutinised it for a bit trying to find the resemblance.  Then I spent this evening checking over my kids to see if I could see him in them.  Maybe a tiny bit but it seems like at least in their family grandmas genes were stronger.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veteran's Day

A kiss and a good wish to my father on Veteran's Day who started serving this country even before he was a citizen of it.  He taught me the importance of order, clean shoes, and service to others.  This picture was taken in Iraq during Iraq II. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Random pics from Grandma and Granpa's visit.

 When Grandma and Grandpa were here we took the kids to a Brazilian Grill.  My oldest of course complained a ton about it, "Why can't we just go someplace normal."  Turns out everyone loved this place.  They bring you meat.  They have cheese puff breads.  There is a salad bar.  What is not to love.  We also went to the water park but because I refused to take my phone with me there are zero pictures.  Thank goodness.  J got me to go down one of the crazy slides.  My eyes were so big he said it made his life.  I did grab a couple pictures at Grandma and Grandpa's hotel pool. 

 I didn't bring any swim trunks for Mr Squish but he kept crawling to the edge so much that his clothes ended up soaked. 

 This was after the water park.  Can you tell what he is doing.  This ended up going all over the floor.  It was a disaster. 

 Before they moved Peach got to go to her best friend from Indiana's birthday party.  We really will miss them.  I hope someday we get to live in the same state again. 

Me and my mom.  I ordered this shirt for myself.  It was a 2xl.  Um...not really.  This thing was so tiny that my tiny mom fit it perfectly.  My loss was her gain but I am super sad I missed out on the shirt.  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Birds of Prey

 We have a Birds of Prey reserve in our town.  When Grandma and Grandpa were here for Peach's baptism they came a few days early and asked us to plan some activities.  One morning we spent a couple hours at the reserve.  They had a couple of little talks, you could visit the California condors, some other birds of prey, and play with some displays they had.  The kids and I had recently watched a video on how the California Condor is being brought back at the Grand Canyon and how lead bullets were the main cause of there demise.  Condors are some seriously ugly birds but I felt a little sad standing there looking at them thinking about how Zinke just this year is re-allowing lead bullets in the national parks.  Seems like a really stupid rule to revoke.  You could have satisfy hunters and kept the birds safe by asking them to use other bullets but whatever I've given up thinking this cabinet has to make sense.  Anyway the kids had fun.  They enjoyed seeing all the cool birds, the feathers, and pretending to be birds of prey themselves. 
This little hawk is known as a chicken hawk.  Ironically it is too small to lift a chicken or a rabbit and mostly eats grasshoppers.  
 Hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa in front of the Condors.  

 It is so nice to have extra hands to hold the baby.
 Even Grandpa got in on the fun.

Check out my wing span!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

I bought my 13 year old a phone.

I'm sitting in a parking lot waiting for Captain E to call me and tell me he's ready to be picked up.  Yes I finally caved and bought my 13 year old a phone.  I went basic old school.  It does calls and text but old school texts.  It is like one of those old Nokia phones where each number stands for three letters.  It doesn't have an picture capabilities but it also only cost $19 every three months.  I went back and forth on this but I'm just not ready to put a smartphone in my teenagers hands.  He already has plenty of access to the internet.  It is on our TV, our Ipads, Alexa, our phones, his ipod, our computers but right now we are very careful about keeping those things in common areas.  I'd like to protect him for a few more years if possible, give his brain a little more time to develop and be better able to risk access.  Also cost wise this was just a lot more affordable way to go.  The phone was 19 dollars.  If he loses it, who cares.  There is no motivation for someone to steal it.  If it gets wet or dropped it is easy to replace.  The plan is also dirt cheap.  I know the day is coming when he will want a smartphone but that day isn't here yet and I'm glad!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Mr Squish

 It is hard to remember having a toddler since it has been five years but Mr Squish is such a fun little guy.  His walk is pretty much the cutest thing ever.  He loves music and dancing.  He loves climbing ladders.  Tools are his favorite.  He is very social and is happy to have the attention of his siblings.  He is all about open mouth kisses and yesterday he learned how to give high fives.  He gets siller the later at night it is.  When he is feeling really giggly he will roll over on his back and throw his short legs into the air.  Everyday he makes me laugh.  I love this little squishy bug!

Monday, November 6, 2017

When I Feel Sad

Here is a super weird thing about me, I love the way my husband smells.  It goes beyond just thinking his cologne or body wash smells good.  I actually have a chemical reaction to the way he smells.  If I'm feeling stressed out or upset and I give him a hug and take a deep breathe by him I can actually feel a chemical release of oxytocin in my body settling me down.  The same applies to my babies.  I don't know how long this last for because as my children get older they of course don't want to be held in a crazy mom embrace until she calms down.  It just isn't cool when you are 13 but for now I still have Mr Squish and at 14 months it definitely still works with him.

I woke up so sad this morning.  It feels like there is nowhere safe anymore.  In just the last month we've had the shooting in Las Vegas, the van attack in New York, and the shooting now in Texas.  Only one of those attacks came from some outside force.  The other two came from within.  I've traveled in the Middle East and I've traveled to Africa.  I've been places where terrorist attacks are not uncommon, places that at the time my mother was extremely nervous about me taking my kids.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't have my own worries about being there but the interesting thing is when I was overseas and told people I was from the US they'd say, "Oh but it is so dangerous there."  It is the kind of comment that you'd brush off thinking, "good grief look at your own country," but you know what, they are right.  Just because we don't have Boko Haram doesn't mean things are safe.  The wars of my childhood and adult life have been far overseas.  I had exposure to them because of the news, because of 9/11, because my father was shipped overseas to fight in Iraq II, because my cousin's husband died in Afghanistan but because so few of my friends and neighbors had personal connections, because I was asked to make no sacrifices, because it was contained to a relatively far away place I was able to put my blinders on and feel like I was living in a very safe time. 

It hit me yesterday though that maybe this is just the human condition and my feeling of safety is just an illusion.  Maybe we just suck.  Sure I don't have to worry about vikings, about colonizers, about current Major World Wars with drafts that will steal my children but we do live in a time when some guy whose motivations are unknown can kill 60 people.  When a person angered at their mother in law can walk into a church and kill 26.  Children aren't safe at school, at the movies, at concerts, or at church.  Maybe they never have been.  I don't have any great answers.  I don't know how to make this stop.  I do know though that just putting our heads in the sand, that typing thoughts and prayers is not going to get us anywhere and yet I get the sentiment because this morning when my heart hurt thinking about those children and parents who died I held my baby and I took deep breathes of his sweet baby smell and it made me feel better.  When are we going to say enough is enough?  If mental health is the issue then by all means lets do something about it!  Let's stop kicking the can down the road and then acting shocked when nothing changes. 


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