Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm a Loser.

This is random, and hopefully not gloaty-sounding or lame to post. I feel a bit self-conscious about talking weight (it's one of those awkward things like money), but when in doubt, I tend to spill.

Hopefully this won't be as awkward as my Obama post a few years back (*ahem). :)

You see, one of my neighbor/friends Facebooked me and said that she'd just seen me out and was again impressed by how skinny I look (um... seriously? SUPER flattering!) and wanted to know what I did/do to get that way. She's noticed my weight loss and wanted advice so she could do the same.

I was uber-flattered.

Side note: please don't be disappointed when you see me next; I really don't look that smokin'. But this has all been a big part of my life lately, so I'm sharing it. For journaling purposes.

Anyway, this is what I wrote back (excessively wordy, go figure):

My climax of feeling icky and fat, etc, was June 1st. I remember because it was the last day of our quarter at school (I teach adults English), and we had an end-of-quarter class picture. And I was severely disappointed in my pic. I tend to be in denial, thinking I look great... and seeing how not-true that was was the last straw.

So I told Aubrey that I needed to work out (took her up on her standing offer, really), and we did. I made it my goal to work out EVERY DAY (well, minus Sunday- unless we went on a family walk or something). I would run/walk (run as much as I could, which was like 5 minutes at first... it is now more like 30, months later) for 20 minutes at least twice a week. Then I'd do SOMETHING else on the other days. Yoga, an exercise DVD, something. Yoga is super easy sweat-wise, but it really helps my posture and helps me feel fit and sexy. So I'd make sure and work out. Often. It was a big deal, and helped me FEEL tons better as well as lose about 5 lbs. Woot.

Then, in September, I decided I needed to "up" my game. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on my phone (it is available online too, free as well, at if you don't have a smart phone; having it on your phone is significantly easier to do, though).

Anyway, MyFitnessPal is a calorie/workout calculator. I know you said you hate counting calories, and I always swore I would NEVER do it. But oh. my. gosh. It totally worked. I realized initially that so many things were WAY more calories than I ever had realized. I also realized that I snacked far too much. Then I got things under control... and was hungry. Quite a bit. For a few days. So I figured out how to eat things that were higher fiber, higher protein, etc, so I would feel fuller longer. Turns out if you eat healthy stuff- you can eat TONS more of it! So that helped. It was an adjustment, but once I figured it out (which really wasn't that long later) it was honestly pretty easy!

So that's what I do now. Well, what I SHOULD do now. The biggest thing is the calorie counting. Apparently weight loss really IS just a mathematical thing. Eat less, burn more. And having the app to do it makes my life mostly stress free. And the control freak in me actually kinda thrives on it.

So I try to run once or twice a week. For 30 minutes now (start small, then increase a month or so later). I also try to go to Zumba once a week (this kicks my butt). And while I suck lately at squeezing in other stuff, I'm trying to re-incorporate that... like Yoga in the morning or shoveling snow or something. And then I track what I eat. The more I exercise, the more I can eat. So that's good incentive. I try to eat like 200-300 calorie meals so that at the end of the day, I have calories to use for junk. :) Probably not smart, but I seriously love late-night snacking... and I seriously love ice cream and pie and candy. So I still eat it. The real stuff. Just less, and only when I can "afford" it.

Wow. See why I couldn't type that all from my phone? :) Sorry it's so long. I just want to be thorough and hopefully as helpful as I can be. Don't beat yourself up if you suck at it at first. Just tell your body "thank you" and "good job" and be glad you're not on the couch eating a brownie sundae. Anything counts.

You are gorgeous already. Really. But being more healthy is a fantastic goal (and feels super great). So good luck. And good for you.


PS. After I started doing the MyFitnessPal thing (counting calories), I started dropping pounds like crazy! I lost like 10 lbs in a month or something wild. I have now lost a total of like 20 (!!) lbs. We'll see if it stays off, but now I feel like it's in my control. I like control.

There's my testimony. :)

Okay, chao.

There you go. My weight-loss story, lol. I honestly do feel (and hopefully look) so much better now. It's like I'm now the right size for my body. Know what I mean? Before I wasn't nasty-fat or anything, I just wasn't "me." I feel much more "me" now... and much less inhibited by my out-of-shape body. It's pretty sweet.

And so is pie.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


My house is quiet, except for the occasional clink-clink-clink of LEGOs coming from the back room. My kids are playing together. And I'm enjoying some marvelously peaceful alone time.

I ostracized them to the back room. I told them they were to play in either James' or Jolie's room, and I counted to five. I'm a good mom like that.

I just need them to realize that they can have fun and be happy without clinging to my pant legs. They tend to hover. And lots of times I don't mind it (except when I'm trying to cook; then it drives me nuts). But they both seemed restless and bored but were doing nothing about it. So I sent them away.

I wasn't angry or punishing them. Just directing their play. And they seem to be happy. It's been quiet and nice. No one's cried so far. Not even me.

I love it when they play well together. And lately- 'lately' meaning the past several months- they've done so fairly consistently. They're at a wonderful age to be perfect playmates. Jolie takes direction from James (which he gladly offers), and they'll play contently for hours.

It's wonderful for me.

What have I been doing this morning while they've played? Well... I've sat in the living room and relished in the Christmas atmosphere. I've painted my nails- several coats, even. I've checked Facebook. I've talked to Derek (on the phone; he's headed up to school). I'm blogging (gasp- I know). It's seriously been great.

A lot of my friends are pregnant or wanting to be. And although I'm super excited for those who are having or wanting to have newborns, I really am glad that I'm not. Life is really great right now, really easy most of the time. The kids are old enough to run errands with me and flexible enough to let me push them a bit past naptime or even lunchtime. They're getting to be quite independent and able to do a bunch of things by themselves. I can communicate with them, and they with me. It's nice around here.

I'm content.

And while I'm not ruling out the possibility of another child someday, I'm really happy to be just the four of us right now.

Sometimes life is just good. That 'sometimes' is right now.

(Note: This time the silly play was directed by Jolie.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

From the Mouths of Babes

This happened about 4.2 minutes ago. I had just gotten out of the shower and was putting lotion on my face, when Jolie walked in. She got down on her knees and folded her arms and said, "Mommy, a pair?" "You wanna say a prayer?" I replied. She nodded. "Hess." Uh... sure... okay.

So I got down on my knees next to her and folded my arms. Prayers thus far with her have been more of the say-and-repeat variety, but this time she just took off. No prompting necessary. This is what she said (translation to follow):

"Dear. A Fadder,
Tay-too Daddy coal.
Ike-Oh in-eh gun.
A name. Day-dus.


Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for Daddy's school.
Michael is gone.
In the name of Jesus Christ,

This girl seriously melts my heart.

PS. "Hess" is her new, adorable way of saying "Yes." I love it. It makes me happy every time.

PS#2. She must have noticed that Daddy has been stressed about school as of late.

And PS#3. She really misses Michael. She tells me he is gone and not at Grandma's house at least once a day, and always with a frown. :(

Sunday, November 27, 2011

FHE: The Christmas Story

Sheesh! Three posts in one night!! {If you want me to keep 'em coming, I recommend commenting on each.} What are Stefan and Damon going to do without me?? :)

Okay. The post. I have been pretty crumby at posting our Family Home Evening (FHE) lessons on here, but generally speaking we have been routine about having them. Tonight I whipped something together while the kids finished eating dinner (they are seriously the slowest eaters). This is what I came up with.

FHE: The Christmas Story

Opening Song: Away in a Manger (though any Christ-centered Christmas song would work)

Opening Prayer.


1. Brief recap of The Christmas Story (using a fabric book I made for James in '09)... Mary, Joseph, the manger, Baby Jesus, shepherds, wise men, etc.

(I bought the fabric panel from
Hobby Lobby. This photo is not
actually mine, but it looks basically
the same. I swiped this off of ebay.)
2. Elaborate if necessary... We talked further about the fact that Christmas is a time when we celebrate Christ's birth. ("It's Jesus' birthday", is actually what I said.) I like to tell them that Jesus doesn't need us to give him toys, but we can give each other toys and other presents because it makes Him and Heavenly Father happy. Kind of like when James is nice to Jolie, it makes me happy... etc. It is my way of explaining Christ's teachings when He said, "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matt 25:40) Our theory is that Santa must love Heavenly Father a lot, cause he gives so many people presents! :) Really, though, I think they understood.

3. Watch this YouTube clip {The Christmas Story, a clip from The Nativity Story I think, set to Silent Night sung by David Archuleta} *link here.

Activity: Make the following Christmas craft, using black construction paper, a nativity picture (found ours online here- scaled to about 5" tall), crayons, popsicle sticks, star stickers and glue.

Our pretty Christmas crafts
Mine (Becca's)
Treat: Cherry Crunch Pie via Marie Calendar with Blue Bunny Homemade Vanilla ice cream (226 cal for my small portion) Mmm!

Closing Song.

Closing (Family) Prayer.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We put up our tree this weekend. Yes, put up. We bought a fakey last year, and while we love the smell and effect of a real one, artificial is so, so much easier (and less messy)! We did spend a lot of time choosing a tree that looked fairly realistic, though, so that helps.

Anyway, the tree. It's up. And decorated. And glorious! We got out our decorations (this was all Friday, I believe) and had a grand time putting them all up/out. It's so fun to see all of the decorations and things I haven't seen in a year and remember just how much I love them. Our stockings, for instance. And the darling little nativity set I bought our first year of marriage... and how it sat atop our lil' TV back then because we basically had no other furniture. :) The memories and nostalgia are a delightful side effect of Christmas. I love it all.

So now our home feels cozy and warm... and definitely ready for Christmas!

Here are a few pics. Taken with my iPhone. Because my little boy may or may not have put our camera in the freezer and made it unworkable. :( Oh, well. C'est la vie.


Daddy, James and Jolie
"helping decorate"
Setting up the train

Various shots of our pretty, festive living room:

(Our "real" nativity set...
purchased circa 2005)
(The kids' nativity set;
James wanted it set up
next to the other one.)

Ah... Christmas.

Thanksgiving Week 2011

Thanksgiving time has been a riot! We've been going, going, going, and (besides the crazy-kids aftermath) it's been super fun!

My brother, Michael, came up last Friday night from NM. Mom and I drove down to pick him up; Derek stayed home with kiddos. We went to IKEA first... um... AWESOME! I could (probably literally) live in that place! It makes me quite happy inside. Then we waited. A while. You see, silly Michael didn't realize the importance of arriving early (well, earlier than 24 minutes pre-flight) to the airport, so he missed his flight. Several hours and much stress (mostly his) later, he got to Salt Lake.

I was home by then.

Hm... okay, backtrack (so much for a brief recap). Michael missed his flight. We were on our way to Salt Lake. It was crazy snowy, and the roads were bad. We didn't want to backtrack and try again later. Plus... you know, IKEA called. :) So we went to SLC, and Michael got on standby for a later flight. We (Mom and I) shopped. It was great. I got a bunch of materials I need for a Christmas present I'm making for my kids; Mom got her Christmas gifts pretty much all taken care of. Michael was en route at this point. Mom and I went to In-and-Out Burger for dinner. I exceeded my calories, needless to say, but it was yummy. Then we waited. And waited. Michael wasn't supposed to fly in until the morning, so we drove to Micah and Brittney's house to crash. As it turns out, Micah needed to head to {insert home here} by early morning, anyway. Britt didn't want to come until later. I had a hubby headed to work at 5am and therefore kids potentially left alone at home, which wasn't going to work. And I was supposed to run my first 5K at 10am.

SO... Micah and I took Mom's car and headed to {that town again} at 12:30am or so. Mom stayed at Britt's, and they would get Michael from the airport and then head up to {afore mentioned town} in the am. Micah slept over at our house and headed out to help his dad in the morning. I ditched my kids at Aub's and ran my 5K (SUPER AWESOME! More on that later...). Michael arrived safely, and Britt, Mom, Michael and the kids (Britt's, not mine... they're at Aubrey's, remember?) drove up here. We all met back at Aub's by about noon.

And the rest is history. :)

Jolie, Michael, James & Grandma
We hung out with "Uncle Ike-Oh" and "Glamma" for lunch time, had naps, then went out for Indian food (mmmmm....). Sunday we hung out too. Then Sunday night (afternoon, really) "Apple Pie" got here. More family, more fun.

"Apple Pie" is Jolie's unintentionally funny way of saying "Grandpa (&) Polly." One day fairly recently, we were sitting at the dinner table, and Jolie piped up with "APPLE PIEEE!!" She was really excited, but it was really random. Finally we figured out that she was talking about Grandpa and Polly, and we all laughed quite a bit. Super cute. So funny.

So Grandpa and Polly came and stayed at our house. It was lots of fun! We played games ("No... a fish!"), went shopping, ate some nummy nummy food (again with the excessive calories!) at Firehouse, watched the boob-tube, and lounged around enjoying one another's company. I'm so glad they came. It's great to see my kids bond with family we rarely see. The effort of travel and time is certainly not overlooked.

Grandpa reading to Jolie
Polly reading to Jolie (spoiled much?)
One afternoon while they were here, Polly and I went shopping while Grandpa and Daddy and the kids stayed home. When we got back, we saw that they had been busy! Building some fan-tastic snowmen! Apparently there's a Daddy snowman, a James snowman, and a Jolie snowman. Grandpa is unrepresented though he did much of the work. Sorry, Grandpa. :) They looked great. Derek said Dad (Grandpa, that is) was very meticulous with his snowman-making. Well apparently it paid off, cause look at those beauties! The kids were very proud. And quite sad when the snow started to melt and snowpeople started losing their heads. :)

Our single-parent snow family:
Dad and Polly left on Wednesday. We recouped, cleaned up, and had long, wonderful naps. Then the "Amma" / "Ike-Oh" party recommenced. We went shopping to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner. We went out to eat (Mexican... Ole!) to avoid cooking (and cleaning) when Thanksgiving was just around the corner. Then the kids spent the night at Grandma's house.

They. Were. Thrilled!

Jolie was significantly more excited than I thought possible. I just assume she's too young to care about that stuff. She always surprises me by caring quite a bit. I think part of the excitement was due to the extra opportunity to be in Michael's presence. :) She really, REALLY loves him. It's super cute to see. I think she may have a crush on him. hehe. She just adores him, really. She was quite sad today when he had to go home.

Uncle Michael (with his new haircut!) shaving...
when did he become a MAN???
Jolie went from leery of Michael to
absolutely infatuated with him!

Here she is decorating his face with stickers-

Having a bath (all aboard!) at Grandma's...
let the Sleep Over begin!
Thanksgiving was wonderful. Mom made a beautiful feast (seriously; I made stuffing- and yummy, homemade stuffing- but still, everything else was thanks to Grandma), and we quite enjoyed eating it. We stuffed ourselves silly, took naps, then ate some more. We watched the Macey's Thanksgiving Day Parade (recorded, of course... we weren't even awake when it originally aired!). We hung out. We had a grand ol' time.

I should have made them wear Pilgrim hats and feathers.
Late that night, I experienced my first Black Friday. It was fun... for maybe an hour. The subsequent 2-3 hours (spent IN LINE)? Not so much. I will not be doing that again. At least with no sweet sale item in mind. It's seriously just not worth it. People weren't rabid or anything, it was just the waiting... But still. Ugh.

Friday morning, Derek worked and we spent a quiet day at home. That afternoon/evening, we met up with Grandma and Michael again. We did dinner at our place, then Grandma and Michael hit up the town (they went to the theaters to watch Jack & Jill... and liked it, I believe). Derek and I stayed home and vegged. Then at about 11pm, Aub came to my house and asked if I wanted to make a Kmart run with her, Tosha and Mel. I did.

We went to Kmart, perused the toys and such, bought some silly socks (and some pretty dress-up shoes to add to the Christmas stash), and came home. The Kmart employees pretty much escorted us out. Kindly, but still. Apparently we weren't picking up on the "our store is now closed and has been for twenty minutes... please get the heck OUTTA HERE" intercom messages. :) We came back to my place for pie and pie and pie and pie, watched some sexy vampires on the telly, and crashed. A fun time had by all. :)

Tosha, Aubrey & Melody
Saturday included a DI run (or slow mosey, really) with "Amma" and "Ike-Oh" followed by a quick jeans-buying excursion to Old Navy. Then we went to Grandma's house for lunch and naps and came home in the late evening for baths and sleep. There's really nothing like your own bed for getting some good zzzz's. The kids didn't know it, but they needed their own beds. They needed home. Vacations and parties and outings are fun, but they make for some very frazzled kiddos (and mommies, let's be honest). Home is centering. It felt good to touch base.

James REQUESTED this picture.
I was more than willing to accomodate! :)
This morning (Sunday), we went to church with Grandma. Jolie coughed her germs all over the congregation; I'm sure they appreciated it. Needless to say we came home right after Sacrament Meeting. Church is wonderful, but not so much when you feel like death. The kids got into cozy clothes and played quietly. It was refreshing. I cleaned up the kitchen, and soon- we all got together here for lunch. A bit of wrestle-mania and some hanging out later, Grandma and Michael left for Salt Lake. :( They wanted to see the lights at Temple Square before he flies out tomorrow. We will miss him.

Uncle "Ike-Oh" being silly
We will miss everyone.

It is wonderfully peaceful to be home with just our little family, but I always feel a little lonely after holidays are done. I hate the craziness but I love the people. I miss the people.

Tonight we had a wonderful, Christmas-centered Family Home Evening. It was a pleasant and special way to end our crazy but wonderful week. And right now, the loudest sound I hear is my typing on the keyboard. The Christmas tree is glowing. It's warm and cozy in our home. And all of my wee family is under one roof.

"Peaceful" does not even cover it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Halloween 2011: a short story

Happy Halloween!! Okay, it was a while ago. But I'm going to post pictures anyway, cause you know- I'm crazy like that. I'm also gonna tell you a spoooooky tale. Here it is:

Once upon a time in a far away land lived a happy family of four. They were a perfectly normal family: a mommy, a daddy, a boy and a girl. Well one night when the moon was full and the wind was rushing through the trees, something mysterious and spooky blew through the air... and POOF! They all transformed into perfectly UNnatural creatures! Mommy turned into a witch (yeah, not a stretch at all). Daddy turned into a warlock with a crazy nose and mustache. The boy turned into a super-scary skeleton. And the girl turned into a glorious butterfly.

How surprised they were to find themselves in such a predicament! Whatever were they to do? Well, they decided to wander the streets in search of nourishment. They left before nightfall, seeings how it was warmer and the wee creatures were in happy moods. They went around from door to door, knocking on the doors and threatening, "Trick or treat!" Apparently the neighbors preferred to give treats and avoid the afore-mentioned tricks, so they handed over their candy. More and more and more candy. They family was thrilled! What a feast they would have! (What big thighs you have! Better to... hmm, that doesn't quite fit.) They continued to roam the streets and threaten any who would dare answer their knocks. Then it was time to return home. So they did.

At home, they devoured the candy, one by one... until at least one piece a person was consumed. Then they turned off the lights, turned to boom box high, and had a spooktacular dance party. What a glorious time they had! The lights were off. Each creature was armed with a magical glowing branch, and the house was a-rockin! Finally the wee creatures began to yawn (and yowl), so the witch and warlock readied them for Dream Land. In two straight (well...) lines they broke their bread, brushed their teeth and went to bed.

As they drifted off to sleep, they dreamt that change was coming at last. The wind rushed through the trees, a howl was heard in the distance, and magical fairy dust filled the air. When they awoke the following morning, they were normal again. A mommy, a daddy, a boy and a girl. Perfectly normal.

... Or were they?

Aaaaaa-ha-ha-ha-ha (that's a witch's cackle)!

:) Happy Halloween!

PS. The above tale is based on a true story.

PS#2. James got to dress up four times this year: once for a neighborhood party, once for Grandma Marilyn's ward party, once for preschool, and once for actual Halloween. His face paint got progressively better. Jolie got to dress up thrice. She was equally adorable each time. :) Both kids were super cute and very excited about the festivities this year. It was a very fun time had by all. Hooray for such a fun, silly holiday. Hooray for Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

James' Birth Story

Because I somehow never did and don't want to forget, I'm going to record James' birth story... only 4+ years late.


I was due to have him on July 15th, 2007. Because I begged and pleaded for months and ultimately broke down in tears, Dr. Fxx (I should make that triple X; he's such a stud) finally relented and induced me- three days earlier than my due date. His excuse on record was that the baby was measuring large-- which while very true, was not severe enough to warrant an induction. Fxx took one for the team, and I was and still am eternally grateful.

I'm not a very good host, as adorable as the "parasite" may ultimately be. I wanted that baby OUT of me!

(Stud, right?)

So the night of July 11th, Derek and I went to the theater to watch Harry Potter. It was our last date night in a long while, and we knew it. It was fun... even with the far-too-frequent potty breaks on my part! We got a good night of sleep (again, our last one in a long while), and woke up ready to have a baby.

The morning of the 12th, Derek woke up to install the car seat. I remember being so excited and so happy to see him playing "daddy" already. Now all we needed was a baby!
Because by-choice inductions are low on their priority list, the hospital's instructions were that I call that night, and they would let me know if rooms were available. I waited and waited and finally, 7pm came. I called the hospital to see if I could come in, but they were booked with actually-laboring mammas and told me to call again in a couple of hours.

I don't remember what we did in those two hours. Probably paced the floors (have I mentioned patience is not a virtue I possess?). But I know that at some point in those couple of hours, I went to the bathroom. I just had to pee, no big thing for a full-term pregnant gal; it happens allll the time. But to my surprise, when I wiped (sorry; totally tmi) a ginormo glob of clearish mucus made itself known. I had lost my mucus plug! And all at once, too! It was seriously as big as a golf ball and was UBER-sticky (I may or may not have put it on my hand, tipped my hand so it was upside down, and waved it around to show Derek that it seriously was not coming off... I know; he thought it was gross, too). So exciting! That meant labor was sort of happening on its own! (Note: At my last appointment I was something like 60% effaced and dilated to a 1cm.)

I called at 9pm, and **cue Hallelujah chorus** they told me to come on in! Yay! We were so pumped. We grabbed our hospital bag and my pillow, drove to the hospital, got there in 10ish minutes, and checked in.

After filling out all of the paperwork, etc (which there wasn't tons of, due to the fact that I had been in to Labor & Delivery several times throughout my pregnancy because I was certain I was in labor or was paranoid 'cause I couldn't feel him move enough), I got in my gown and got hooked up to the machines. They checked me, and I was something like fully effaced and dilated to a 3. They had planned to put a little pill in my cervix to get things going (which is technically "inducing"), but they didn't have to since my body was already laboring a bit. I was even contracting, just not a ton. So they broke my water, started me on Pitocin, and labor officially began.

And oh man, that Pitocin was very effective! My contractions started banging away like crazy! Being a newbie, I had no idea they were too strong, but when the nurse came in and saw the charts/monitor she exclaimed in surprise and quickly lowered my dose. Then she came in a few minutes later, was again surprised, and lowered the dose again. Apparently I just need a teensy bit of drugs to kick start some pretty thorough contractions!

I wanted to feel the contractions, to experience labor and all of its pieces, so I hadn't planned to get my epidural until my pain was at a 4 or 5 on a scale from 1-10 (which, for the record, I am horrible with... I always figured 10 should be excruciating pain- like as much as you possibly can handle. After having now two kids and conversing with nurses as part of all that, I have learned that they view the scale a little differently, ha.). So once my contractions got to be painful enough that I was struggling quite a bit with them and having to breath "hee hee whoooo" style through them, I asked for the anesthesiologist.

Little did I know (again, live and learn), asking for an epidural doesn't necessarily mean getting one any time soon. The anesthesiologist may be in surgery (I think ours was in the middle of a c-section) or otherwise delayed, and your pain will get even worse before he/she gets there with the power to take it away. Our anesthesiologist was Dr. Garcia or something like that. He was very kind and did very well. He had me sit with my feet dangling off the side of the bed and my head down on Derek's chest (balled up that way to let him at my spine). Because James hadn't dropped at all and I had immense amounts of amniotic fluid, this position was a disaster waiting to happen. I immediately started gushing- and I do mean GUSHING- fluid. I told the nurse, but she brushed it off, assuming I was the exasperating type (we all know this is not true... ahem...). But then a waterfall started to pour off the side of the bed! Derek had to hop out of the way to avoid getting drenched! The nurse shouted in surprise, called for backup and started mopping up the mess. We hadn't gotten to the epidural part quite yet, so she changed my sheets and got me lots of towels to sit on, and we started again. The epidural administration was really not so bad (obviously not wonderful, though compared to my experience with Jolie's, it was a walk in the park), but I continually was gushing fluid. Maybe that was the comedic relief, 'cause it really was fairly entertaining. Once my epidural was in and the nurse(s) came to clean up, they had to literally mop up the water. "Oh my! Buckets!" was the phrase the nurse used.

The epidural was a relief. Not a total relief, as I could still feel a good amount of pain, but enough that I didn't (yet) just wish to die.

So once it was in, we waited. And waited. And waited. The contractions were coming pretty frequently and in full force, but I just wasn't dilating enough. Before the epidural, I wasn't dilating AT. ALL. My body doesn't relax well in pain. So once I had the epidural in, I did dilate some, but I got stuck at a 6 and wouldn't budge. James still hadn't descended, and the doctor was worried. They were concerned that they'd have to do a c-section. It was a stressful (and painful) waiting game for a while. Finally around 4am, I was exhausted, and things weren't going anywhere. They upped my drugs, and I fell asleep. Oh, sweet respite! They left me alone and didn't check me for a while, letting me sleep for about two hours. If I was still at 6cm when they checked again, I was going to have to get a c-section. But when I woke up around 6am, they checked me ... and I was a TENNNN! Yayy!! Sleep was just what I needed to relax enough and let my body do its thing. Hooray, hooray, hooray!

They called Dr. Fxx and got the labor tools out and ready. Ready or not, here he comes! I started pushing at 6am. I hated my labor nurse, but mostly because I hated the pain. She said she really wanted me to feel the "urge to push." But all I felt was the urge to DIE! I hurt so much. The epidural had put my legs to sleep but had left my lower abdomen entirely alone. So pushing hurt like a mo-fo. Ow. I pushed and pushed and pushed. James had finally gotten down into the canal during my little nap, but he was getting stuck on my pelvic bones and would not budge. Ugh. Again. I was angry that they hadn't induced me sooner (meaning weeks sooner) when he would have fit through my whoo-ha. I was frustrated that I would likely need a c-section even now, when I'd finally dilated. And I was in a whole lot of gosh-awful pain.

I pushed and pushed and pushed. I wept a good amount. Two hours later, I was ready to give up. My energy was drained after laboring all night and pushing for that long, and really- I just have crappy endurance. But Fxx kept encouraging me, and Derek was amazingly strong (and fantastic as a breathing coach, btw- love that guy). Finally they said they saw the head. I thought they were tricking me and didn't believe them (ha, but seriously). They got out the mirror to prove it, and once I could look beyond my own stretched-and-swollen-beyond-belief junk, I could see it- a teeny head, just wishing to come out. That gave me the strength to push harder. Fxx said "I know you don't want me to cut you, but if I make just one tiny little snip, he'll come right out." Well, you didn't have to tell me twice! He could have sawed off my right leg if it got that baby out! I gave him the go-ahead, he snip-snipped, and one push later- James' head came out!

They cleaned out his nose, etc. They untangled the cord that was wrapped around his neck (twice- scary). I pushed one more big push, and TA DA!!

My baby was born.

He was gooey and slimy, all scrunched up and swollen, and his poor little head was pointed beyond belief (that's what happens when you're stuck in a tiny tunnel for several hours). But he was mine, and he was wonderful.

Friday, July 13th, 2007.
James Russell Anderson
He was born at 8:11am.
He weighed 8lbs 11oz
and measured 22in long.
And he was perfect.

Fxx still had to "birth" my placenta and stitch me up and all that jazz, but I didn't even care. The second that boy was born, the horrible pain diminished. Instantly. It was amazing. James didn't scream like I thought babies did when born, and I remember being really concerned about it. The nurses reassured me that he was just fine. I figure he was tired. He'd been through a whole lot, that poor, sweet baby. We all had. But we had each other, and we'd be okay.

I should have slept while I was at the hospital. I should have taken advantage of the nurses and the "free babysitting" available. But I couldn't. (I tried, and it just made me break down bawling... so Derek went back for him, reassuring me that I didn't have to do anything. If I wanted to hold my baby, I most certainly could.)
I held him and stared at his beautiful face. I was captivated by that darling little child. I seriously could not believe that such a miracle had come out of me.

I think I resented him a little when he was inside of me (see my previous comment about "parasites."), but the second he was born, I fell helplessly and hopelessly in love. This darling, sweet baby was ours.

Derek and I were a family.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Child's Prayer (Part II)

James' prayer tonight was as follows:

"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Bless that we have trees that give us apples and that Grandma Julie is lots of fun. Bless that we can pick apples and plums and go bobbing for apples. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

I bet you can guess what we did this evening! :) Love that kid.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Welcome to the CIRCUS, baby!

Backtrack a week or so. We just picked James up from preschool, and the kids and I are running one last errand (Jolie and I had run several while James was in school, but we had one left and decided last minute to just getterdone). We go to Walmart to return a clock I bought that was craptastic and didn't work. We go to the customer service desk and wait in line. Finally it's our turn. I explain the situation with the clock, and the return process begins.

As she is punching buttons, the customer service lady asks, "Do you want to go to the circus?" I see fliers on the counter and figure she's trying to sell me something. "When is it?" I ask. I'm skeptical. She explains that it's October 13th and in town. Apparently the circus guy asked if he could leave some fliers at her desk, and in return left her two complimentary guest passes. Two free tickets! She was getting married just a day or two after, so she figured she likely wouldn't be able to go. So she was trying to give them away. To me. For FREE! ("Gratiz. That's free, yo." *Name that movie.)

So I said, "Heck yeah, I wanna go!" And she gave me her tickets! Woohoo! I was so excited. For one, free entertainment is always welcome. And two, I've not been to a circus since I was a wee one and have really wanted to take the kids to one! When I found out that adult tickets were $30 a piece at the door, I was even more grateful for the free tickets! What a deal!!

SO.... We went to the circus! And it was a blast!

Because our tickets were free, we upgraded them to VIP seating for $20. This way, instead of sitting in the general stadium-type, crowded, far-from-the-action seating, we were literally arm's length from the action! It was awesome! The kids did so well and were very captivated by it all. We got to see an elephant (though not in an act, boo), lamas, monkeys and horses. We saw a lady get turned into a beautiful, amazing-to-see-up-close tiger. We saw a man do outstanding, heart-stopping tricks on a flying trapeze. We saw a kangaroo boxing! We saw impressive juggling and spinning and twirling, hilarious clowns (well, above-our-kids'-heads clowns), amazing feats of flexibility and balance, and really just a whole lot of AWESOME!

We really enjoyed ourselves! Thank you, random lady at Walmart, for the tickets and your generosity! And thank you, crazy carnies for living the bizarre life of the circus to bring us fun family entertainment! So fun.

Here are some pics - via our phones (hence the fabulous quality):

I Love to See the Temple

Word up to those who don't know: We are Mormons. More correctly, we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We are Christians. And we love it.

For Family Home Evening (aka: family night) a couple of months ago (yes, I am just uploading those pics from our camera- ha), we took a "field trip" to the Temple. We dressed in our Sunday best to show respect and reverence. We taught the kids the importance of the temple and how we should be reverent while we're there- even on the grounds. There was no playing around of goofing off. We want them to understand that sacred things should be treated as such.

While there, we learned about what temples are for and why we have them. We learned about being worth of entering the temple and (again) how to act while we are there. We strolled around the grounds, felt the Spirit there, and took a few family pics. It was a great night, and a great idea (Thanks, Grandma Marilyn!).

I am very grateful for temples. I know that the ordinances performed there are ordained of God and are real, holding ordinances. I know that families can be sealed for time and all eternity in the temple, and this is perhaps the greatest blessing of all! We can be with our wonderful loved ones forever! Even after death! And this is indeed GOOD NEWS!

Enjoy the pics. They're pretty cute.

And visit a temple near you TODAY! ;)