Monday, October 31, 2005

Up In The Air

Yet another disappointing day at Livingston Memorial Hospital's Ultrasound room... I have no news, but in this case no news doesn't mean good news. The ultrasound guy did both the regular wand and the probe to get measurments today and he found out that I am most certainly not 10 weeks, more like 7, and since I am only 7 weeks he couldn't quite pick up the heart tones from the embryo, although he says it looks like only one sac, but couldn't be sure for another 2 weeks.

Um, okay...that doesn't sound ANYTHING like what I was expecting to hear today, but...okay. Of course, the first thing that pops into my head is my friend who had an ultrasound at 10wks and measured 7 weeks because she was miscarrying. I kept just asking the guy, "So what does that mean?" when I really should have been asking, "So is my baby alive or dead?" but I just couldn't say it. Besides, the answer would have been, "We just can't tell" (which--okay--PLEASE, in this day and age SOMEONE should be able to tell me if my embryo is alive, doncha think!?!). He just said to come back in two weeks to get measurements. "Dont worry--in two weeks we'll know exactly where you stand."

DON'T WORRY??

TWO WEEKS??

Have you never dealt with a pregnant woman before? IT'S ALL WORRY, Buddy, 24/7!!! And I have to wonder for TWO WEEKS?! I held it together and got dressed as fast as humanly possible so I could run out of the hospital and cry like a baby in the car (but not too much because I didn't want to freak out Rich & Heidi who were with me). I calmed myself down and reminded myself that I haven't had any bleeding at all since August 26th, that I have felt pretty pregnant, that the uterus and sac looked healthy and pregnant...I tried to figure out if it's even mathematically possible for me to be only 7 weeks (meaning 5 weeks gestation)--it's not, because I took my pregnancy test 5 weeks and three days ago, which means I am 9 weeks at the least. So I am just hoping it's just a mix up and I am right on in the next ultrasound.

I was getting a little suspicious about not being sick--but I can handle 12 weeks of throwing up WAY better than I can handle a miscarriage and starting the first trimester all over again. We'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

What Matters

We had the best church meeting today. Time does not permit me to expound on the details, but it was really wonderful and every talk touched upon something I have been thinking about a lot lately.

I realize that I am a little bit too introspective and analytical and critical with myself as I live my life--I know this, but I haven't been able to improve much (there have been improvements, though--I am slowly letting go of my death-grip on the clean house and perfectly groomed children, mostly out of necessity, though). The ghost of my great grandma (and lots of my own psycho demons) is always whispering over my shoulder to do things "right"or "better" or "perfect."

Although I am learning to tune it out when I need to, the thoughts are still there and lots of times they distract me from what matters most. I focus on the objects and the controllable things in my world, not because I am materialistic or because they mean so much to me (because they don't), but because in the chaos and emotional challenge of raising a family, contollable things give structure, predictability, stability. Putting chores and duties above my true responsibilities makes me look like I have a handle on things, puts me in control of something, when in truth it is perhaps a way of (unwittingly) avoiding the hard things--what matters most: relationships, communicating things like feelings, needs, and spiritual experiences with my family, finding the right ways to discipline and teach my daughters and they grow into different stages and have different needs. It's hard work--lots harder that doing dishes and scrubbing toilets.

This post by a dear friend of mine hit the nail on the head, just when it had become obvious to me as the next big thing I need to work on in my life. I let the low things press out the high things so often. Then I found an old songbook and started playing piano and singing songs to myself one afternoon while the girls were asleep. When I turned to this song, I couldn't even choke out the words:

"Are you giving the least to those who matter most
Or are you sharing your best with those who really aren't that close?
Well, it's time to look around
And find out where your greatest joys are found.
Do you listen with love when someone's soul is aching
Or do you simply choose which judgment you'll be making?
Well, it's time to turn around
And find out where your greatest joys are found.

Are you running the race by rushing to conclusions?
Are you part of what's wrong or part of the solution?
If you don't know where to turn
Just listen to your heart and you will learn."

And if that's not heart -crushing enough, Addie has started to crumble to pieces and cry when I yell at her instead of obstinately yelling back (don't even ask me why we are yelling in the first place--things are THAT out of hand). And now at least once a week I cry myself to sleep at night after I review my day in prayers and realize what has come out of my mouth and all the chances to show love that I gave up. Today's church meetings cemented my resolve to make it stop. Today is the day. The following poem is the last word...I am going to be a better mother and wife and that's it. Everything else can wait.

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs; Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Trunk or Treat

Last night was our annual Halloween Carnival and "Trunk or Treat" at church. We had a busy day and had to rush to get ready, but it was worth it. We had a really good time--Rich and I even dressed up ourselves as an afterthought (thanks to the 75% off stuff I bought last year). Here's Blonde Witch, Strawberry Shortcake, Scarecrow, and Apple Dumpling.
Heidi dressed as Apple Dumplin' with her pumpkin bag on her arm
...she danced along side the cake walk and thouht that was the most fun game of all!
Strawberry Shortcake's freckles started to rub off after she bobbed for apples!
Addie/Strawberry Shortcake bobbing for apples
Look at the prize!
Sister Orton (Addie's teacher) dressed as a hippie!
Berry with her Booty Bag
Our Trunk (our dry ice-in-the-kettle idea literally evaporated)
The girls compare their booty--Heidi liked the Cheetos!
Imagine about 20 cars parked like this, handing out candy to the kids--it was great!
Somehow we didn't get a picture of all the cousins together on our camera, but they exist and I will post one soon--meanwhile, here's Jess and Summer the Princess.

Friday, October 28, 2005

ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Triple Whammy

1972: My brother-in-law, Jess Melin, was born (Jess with his son, TJay) 1999: Addie's friend, Cayden, was born (Cayden is 2nd from left looking darling)
1985: My brother, Michael, was born (Michael is on the left)
I had to include all 3 of them because it's so cool! And 2 of the 3 of them are here in town with us today (Michael is serving a mission in Washington State, so he has to miss our pizza party tonight). But we wish them all a very Happy Birthday and we're glad they were born!

RE: Sandra Day O'Connor

Yesterday I posted about feeling sorry for Justice O'Connor who would very much like to retire. Last night on the Daily Show they said the very same thing during a fake news report about Miers resignation. Here's what reporter Ed Helms said: "Who ever they nominate, they'd better move quickly-- O'Connor resigned almost 6 months ago, and if this recent photo is any indication, the only case she's fit to decide now is Trinidad v. Tobago."
Heh, heh. It's a fuzzy picture taken right off the screen, but that image should keep you giggling all day! :)

Pre-Natal News

I spent 2-1/2 hours at my first pre-natal yesterday-- 3pm- 5:30pm, mostly WAITING. I got really hungry, so when I went to the lab for my blood draw at like 5:15, I fainted (just in my chair for a second). So then I had to sit there until I stopped seeing stars. Other than that, it's all good. They told me my blood pressure is a little high at 122 over 72--I thought that was good, but I guess I was wrong.

And I am measuring a little bit big, so I have an ultrasound on Monday morning to see if there is just one baby. I don't feel like it's twins, but wouldn't that be fun? The due date is still 5/27, although after delivering two babies at 38 weeks, they are guessing around May 15th. Today I am feeling less nausea but more achy--the lower back and the front of the pelvis where all those ligaments attach are giving me fits today.

Addie is also giving me fits today; she wants t go puddle jumping, so I need to go get her outfitted. Send an email or leave me a comment to cheer me up on this rainy fall day!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

"When Sandra was in Egypt Land...

...let my Sandra go!" Poor, poor Sandra Day, she just wants to retire, people. Let's nominate a good, qualified person (no offense to Harriet, and NO, I don't think Bush should nominate a more conservative justice, just a more experienced one) and let Madame Justice retire to the ranch in peace!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY:Oct. 26, 1972...

...my brother, Willy, was born! He was the first of many siblings I would have, but since I can't remember life without him and we grew up so close, our relationship might have been the most significant.There we are; I'm hugging "My Willow" and
we are both hugging our Easter Booty, Easter, 1973.
And here we are later--maybe a year later (?). Look at Will's cute dimples! I thought he was seriously the cutest little boy ever!
December 1991: Willy leaving the Salt Lake City airport to serve a mission in Michigan. We are all washed out because we are facing the morning sun--Will, Me, and our Tucson friend, Paul.
1989: Will & his friend, Ty, on the day after Thanksgiving
June 1990: Willy's graduation from Buena High School- that's Willy with our great-grandmother, Marie (Gramareeee!).
If you click here and here, or even here, you'll read a little example of the relationship I have with Willy. Sometimes he drove me nuts because he always seemed "bulletproof"--like that Oingo Boingo song, "Nothing Bad Ever Happens to Me," and I often felt like I was carrying the weight of the world. I had to work so hard for everything, while things just fell into Willy's lap because he was so terribly charming. Of course as the years have gone by, I have learned that the weight I thought I was carrying wasn't all that bad, and besides, it allowed my brother to be who he was--happy and goofy and free from too much worry. And we were always there for eachother-- dating each other's friends, racing home for curfew, working at Donut Hell, boogeyin' at Stake Dances, swapping clothes. Thanks for making it fun, Will. Happy 33rd Birthday!
Will & his cute family in 2004: He and Audrey have been married for 11 years(!!!!!); Will is now a Chemical Engineer with a company in Salt Lake City; they have three kids: Melanie (7), Liam (almost 5--Will's mini-me), and Spencer (20 months).

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY: October 25, 1979 in Tucson, AZ...

...my sister JILL was born! Happy 26th Birthday, Jill!!!Here is Jill with her Isabelle
Me & Jill playing w/ the viewmaster on Christmas Morning 1980.
Jill as a foxy high schooler in Ohio, 1993.
Not only is Jill like 72 weeks pregnant wit her 4th child right now (really, he's due Novemeber 20-ish), she has had the week from hell--POBRECITA! We hope your fun birthday surprises more than make up for the previous week (and the whole 9 months). LOVE YOU!!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Our Week in Pictures [10.15-10.23]

Last weekend, Addie helped me clean up her room and earned this Princess poster. Here she is posing with her new poster and her tiara.
It's still warm enough to hang out on the lawn! Rich and Addie made the most of it by watching for shooting stars and the northern lights the other night.
Here is a preview of Addie's Halloween costume, as modeled by Heidi. We made a great big Strawberry Shortcake hat and Heidi loves wearing it. She has a smaller Apple Dumpling hat.

10-19 at the Park

Addie swinging!
Heidi sporting her new hair-do at the swings
Also on Wednesday, we planted bulbs along the front walk way--tulips and daffodils! Of course Heidi just ate dirt.There we are, digging 6" bulb holes.
AdAddie and Heidi head for the swings at Sacajawea Park
Addie trid to make a leaf angel

Quick Trip to Helena

On Friday Night we drove to Helena to have a sleepover with Matt& Amie at their new house. It's the cutest little starter place and they are already making it so cute! When we got there, they had just finished painting their stark-white kitchen a pretty shade of lichen green. And they painted thier dark 70's style wood cabinets a pretty almond off-white. It looks great! Here's the front of the house in the sunset.
There's Matt trying to make Jake laugh instead of cry. Jake was asleep when we got there, but early Saturday morning all the little munchkins got up and were so happy to see each other, they just ran around in circles giggling! Anytime I wonder why we make these silly trips, I am reminded that we are, at the very least, building the relationship between the little cousins and that is a very worth-it thing. I love that they are always so happy to get together. Of course we always have fun with Amie and Matt, too. Amie had a Pampered Chef party and the boys worked on designing and pricing a bathroom in the basement, so it was productive and instructional and fun!

More from Helena Handbasket

Heidi playing in Uncle Matt's backyard
Addie playing with Aunt Amie's soap dish in the back yard; she and Heidi kept fighting over the "Nemo"--then we found there was a lotion pump AND a soap dish, so they both could have a "Nemo." Luckily, Jacob didn't care about the fish--he was loving Heidi's baby doll!

Heidi & Jake are Growing Up!

Jacob & Heidi in August 2004 right after Jake moved to Montana.
Heidi and Jacob October 2005--they are getting big and play so cute together!

Thanks Nana!

Nana sent the girls Halloween cards with dollar bills inside, so while we were in Helena, we went to their big dollar store and let Addie choose something to buy with her dollar. She chose this stuffed fish.Addie loves her new fish! Thank you, Nana!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Harvest Party Menu

Salad (with tortilla chips)

1 can black beans, drained
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
Salt
2 cups corn kernels
about 1/4 red onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup olive oil
Pepper
Cayenne

In a serving bowl toss tomatoes with salt and set aside for 10-15 minutes to bring out juices. Add beans, corn, and onion and mix well. Add cilantro, lime juice and oil. Stir to coat. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. Serve immediately, or set aside for 30 minutes for flavors to intensify (I served it the next day and it was just as good).

Turkey-Cranberry finger sandwiches (aka Thanksgiving -on-Bun)
Wheat rolls
Pulled turkey
Stove Top turkey stuffing, prepared
Cream cheese
Cranberry sauce

Layer ingredients on wheat roll and serve cold

Fall Fruit Dip
1 can solid pack pumpkin
80z package of cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tsp pumkin spice (or a tsp each: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, dash of nutmeg, etc)

Beat cream cheese and pumpkin together until smooth; stir in sugar and spices, Chill and serve with sliced pears and apples.

Punch: Old Orchard Apple Passion Mango Juice (2 frozen cans); 2 cans water; 3 litres ginger ale; ice.

Chili w/ cornbread- I had other people bring these items, but they were delicious. Also, I had planned to make Peanut soup, but considering the guest list, I settled on an Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken broth, celery, carrots, fat egg noodles, choped white chicken---99% fat free and YUMMY). However, Peanut Soup is so good, I want you to have the recipe. Same with the cider.

WEST AFRICAN PEANUT SOUP
1 cup chopped onion
1 TB vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cayenne or other ground chiles
1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 cup chopped carrots
2 cups chopped sweet potatoes
4 cups vegetable stock or water
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 TB sugarchopped scallions,chopped
roasted peanuts

Sauté onion in oil until it is transluscent. Stir in cayenne and ginger. Add carrots and sauté a couple minutes more. Mix in potatoes and stock, bring to a boil, simmer 15 minutes(until the vegetables are tender).
Puree the vegetables with tomato juice (and some of the cooking liquid if necessary) in a blender or food processor. Return the puree to the pot. Stir in the peanut butter until smooth.
Check sweetness and add sugar if necessary. Reheat gently, using a heat difuser if necessary to prevent scorching. Add more water, stock, or tomato juice to make a thinner soup if desired. Serve topped with plenty of chopped scallions and chopped roasted peanuts.

Spiced Cider

2 qt. apple cider
¼ c. brown sugar
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
½ tsp. cardamom
½ tsp. nutmeg
4 whole cloves
zest of one orange (optional)

Combine the cider, light brown sugar, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, and orange zest in a large pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Strain the spices from the mixture and discard. Return the cider to pan and keep warm. The cider is ready –serves 8.

There! Now go have your own party, and don't forget to delegate.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Steady On

"Just press the execute button"
No, I am not suicidal or anything--this is just a funny from today's engrish.com

I am not dead. It has been a crazy week. The kind where you're like totally out of gas and writing a sentence is out of the question. I am guessing I will have about 5 or 6 more weeks like this in a row until I graduate to second trimester bliss. Right now I am anemic and sporting a severely inflamed sacroilliac ligament-thingy for which I have to wear an ice pack on my left butt cheek, but only when I am standing because sitting and laying down are not good for the joint. But then standing up and moving around aren't that great for the tired anemic girl, either. And oh yeah, and remember how I always put Heidi's hair in a little ponytail on top of her head? Um, it's gone. My psycho-barber child, Addie, gave her baby sister a good chop, and took some off of her own scary recovering hair-do, too (of course pix will follow ASAP). Whatever, little freaks. So yeah, life is good.

Really, I am not complaining because (repeat after me) AT LEAST I'M NOT THROWING UP! I've been able to do lots of really good stuff, actually, including throwing a fun baby shower for my sister-in-law tonight. It was a dinner, too (yes, I am nuts) and the menu was fab. So good, in fact, I shall post the recipes when I get a chance cuz...well, just YUM! We played 2 simple games and opened gifts, then ate warm pumkin-carmel cake and said g'nite, all to the sounds of Loreena McKennit and the yummy smells of Gold Canyon Apple Spice candles and the pumkin cake baking. It was a fall-lover's paradise. Now I must sleep. Pictures coming soon...gestation is hard work.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Googling is Fun

From Crouching Mommy, Hidden Laundry we have this google images scavenger hunt. Go to Google Images and put in the name of the town where you were born, the town you live in now, your name, the name of your grandmother, your favorite food, favorite smell, and favorite song. Then you post the images. So, here goes:

The west side of the town where I was born.
The east side (my side) of the town where I was born.


Where I live now (yes, it's even MORE beautiful than these pix can show and you should cry yourself to sleep because you don't live here).
When I typed in my name, pix of cheerleaders and gymnasts came up, but then I found cute chef, Jamie Oliver. He rocks.
This is my maternal Grandmother's first name (which she rarely uses). I quite like it and she hates it. (PS: the author's name on this cover is what we would like to name our baby if it's a girl).
Hmmm...these didn't post in the right order, but here is my favorite smell--cinnamon vanilla.
This is what came ups when I typed in the title of my current favorite song, "Crimes of Paris" by Elvis Costello.

Is that the hallelujah chorus I hear? My pregnant appetite could really use some authentic tacos right now, right off the dirty ol' downtown taco cart, y'all. Too bad I am in Livingston and all the streets rolled up and hour ago (not to mention we are running low on taco carts).

FAMILY LETTER 07.15.18

Dear Loved Ones,                                                                                                                         1...