Monday, September 15, 2003

"Johhny Cash was the perfect blend of Saturday night and Sunday morning..."--somebody on NPR

While I was in a TV-less and internet-less void last week, Johnny Cash and John Ritter died. Sad. But still not as sad as when I was all post-partum-y and I cried and cried when George Harrison died. They kept playing "Here Comes the Sun" and I just kept crying. Ah, hormones.

Feeling better today. Gotta love the unisom and vitamin B6 cocktail!

Saturday, September 13, 2003

So Tired

Once again, the wee embryo is sucking the life outta me, just like with Addie. The sickness part started this week, just like it did with Addie. We are 7 weeks along and feeling pretty run-over-by-a-truck. But in a good way. I am not as barfy this time around--just as nauseated, but not actually getting sick, but that may be because of some experience and preventative measures (like getting up at 7am and eating something then going back to sleep until 9am! I sure couldn't do that before, and I can't always do it now, but it does seem to curb the throwing up). It's all much less stressful this time, too. I suppose it helps to know what to expect.

So I don't have many tales to tell aside from the minutiae of daily pregnant living. Adeline has been as sweet and loving as she knows how to be--she has her 2-year-old moments, but she is mostly very sweet to me and tolerant of my laying around and being listless. Rich, too, is pitching in, knowing exactly what to do--I love that he cleans up his dishes and takes the trash out wihtout being asked because he knows the smells can send me running for the porcelain. And I have discovered the miracle of Oust air sanitizer--the outdoor fresh scent makes my house livable, even in the face of a rotting bumper crop of squash and tomates and Ad's diapers.

We had a wonderful trip to SLC to visit with my sister Jill and her family, and my brothers Willy and Matthew and their families. We all stayed at Jill's with 5 kids between us and 4 due in the spring and had a wonderful time together. We were rejoicing because Matt was coming home from his Army Reserves assignment this month and Will was interviewing for a job in Pocatello. Since that weekend, though, we have learned that Matt will be retained (leaving is poor new pregnant wife at home in Utah alone) and Willy didn't get the job and will have to stay is lame ol' Palm Desert, CA. At least we still have new babies to look forward to, and five smart, beautiful kids to raise. I stayed through the whole week with Jill, coming home the 6th, but it wasn't as fun as we had hoped because we were so exhausted. Our daughters had a lot of fun together, though.

Well--that's the update. I am too tired and busy with Addie right now to write more, but I'll try to get around to it more often and not do too much pregnant-whining.

Oh, PS--my Melin sister in law, Kelli, is expecting her 2nd baby the same week as me. Rack up 5 cousins and a sibling for Adeline!

Monday, August 25, 2003

Two Pink Lines

What a kooky month. The Grandma and Grandpa saga continued, culminating last week in a Bonnie-n-Clyde run from the law (they hid from the family and drove up to Butte to avoid being served guardianship papers; they spent nearly $2k there on a lawyer who reversed the guardianship the next day). They held an estate auction and sold everything in their house and are staying with a friend until the official guardianship/conservatorship hearing in September, after which they plan to go live in Hemet California. But considering the recent antics, I doubt they will be able to legally retain their autonomy (which mean they’ll be in assisted living in Billings).

We were so concerned with that family drama and my being released form Young Women, the days of August just flew by. Before I knew it, I was 3 days “late.” So yesterday, Rich suggested I take a pregnancy test before our Melin family dinner. So we came home from church—I “took the test” and then all 3 of us changed clothes and went back to look at the stick, which was hidden under a tissue. Addie got up on her footstool at the bathroom counter and we looked on as she pulled off the tissue and yelled, “Surprise!” (as if she knew what was coming). The two pink lines told us that our Wee Melin #2 was on the way—ETA=April 28, 2004. We began jumping and telling Addie, “Your baby’s on the way!” I hugged Rich and Addie waved the stick around going, “My Baby, my baby!” Then we sanitized the stick, wrapped it up and put it in a gift bag.

Addie carried the gift bag in to the family dinner with a gift tag saying something like, “Dear Gramma: I know you’ve had a hard week, so we got you something to cheer you up.” Grandma Melin whooped and hollered and so did our other family members, and we sat happily down to dinner. After we ate, I called my family and learned that my sister, Jill, had just found out (same day!) that she is pregnant and due May 2nd! How cool is that!?! For anyone keeping track of me and my fertile sisters, that’s Audrey in February, Amie and Erin in March, me in April, and Jill in May.

I’m glad there’s a reason I have been so tired. It will be a challenge keeping up with Addie while my energy is so sapped, but hey—only 7 weeks until the second trimester and a little boost of energy, right? We can hope.

Friday, August 08, 2003

This week seems to have creeped along--it seems months since I wrote a post here. After the Grampa drama I wrote about below, some dear Melin family friends (the Hites) arrived form Colorado and we all took a much-needed hike to Pine Creek Falls and shared a delicious dinner. I spent August 1st with Mom Hite--we took a digital cd to get photos printed at Costco and had a yummy lunch at Livingston's Depot cafe. Saturday was a very hot day. I spent it at a Young Women's Fundraiser car wash while Rich and his Dad went to help out some friends. These friends live far away and have a rental trailer here which was trashed and abandoned a few months ago. Rich, Dad, and a few otheres literally shoveled out old food, dishes, papers, toys, etc. scattered knee deep througout the trailer house--11 dumpsters worth! YUCK! At least my job mostly consisted of soap, water, and funny girls!

On Sunday, we finally received the rainfall we've been needing. It just let loose after church and it was so nice to take a nap to the sound of rain. I also confronted some of the issues that were bugging me back in my May 21 entry. They mostly had to do with my assignment to work with the YW at church. Mostly I guess my ideas about being an LDS teenager don't gel with the leadership or even the general culture here. After trying to adjust for 5 months, I think I might just not be the best person for the job, at least right now. So I just had to let the Bishop and some other people involved know that. It was kind of hard because I have been raised to do my best, 100%, no complaining, etc. until I am released. But I had to say something because it has really been eating me up inside and affecting my family life. I just don't feel like we are focused on our Young Women and what's best for them, so the conflict has not been good (and it's not with the girls--they're great--it's just the leadership and the culture, really).

Anywhooo--that was a weight off in some ways. Now I am just rying to get all the other facets of my life and my health back up to par. I'm trying to be more clean and organized and HAPPY. I am trying to get in better shape and have another baby at some point. I am trying to stop being so sleepy and grumpy and be a better wife and mom--to make the most important relationships in my life the best they can be.

No small task. Speaking of, it's time to get ready for our Friday night date, so more later.

I should have posted this last week when it happened. Here is some text from an email to my brother, written on July 31st.

You would not believe our day! Rich's cousin and her family are here (they have a daughter exactly one month older than Addie--so cute--and a son Ally's age). They are moving from SLC to Boston and wanted to come and see Grandpa (Rich's mom's dad) one last time in case he dies while they are in Boston. We had a family BBQ last night and she brought Grampa over and we had fun, photos, etc.

The back story is this: Grampa's wife, Adeline, died about 15 years ago and he remarried an ol' lady named A.L. , but we'll just call her "Marsha-at-80." A.L. has alienated all her own kids and recently started in on Grampa's family. Her whole purpose for living is to get to Grampa's money and assets and spend them before anyone can catch her (they are still married, adn they spend 6 months her and 6 months in Hemet). Trouble is that (a) most of grampa's stuff is in a trust, meaning all 3 of his kids plus himself have to sign for any spending of money, reallocation of funds, transfer of property, etc. and (b) grampa is way-senile. Grampa's kids are just trying to save as much of his money as possible for his long-term care and funeral because they know A.L. would spend or hide it all and leave him if he got in one of those situations.

SO--Rich's cousin also wanted to pick up her dad's boat (she has the title, etc.) that Grampa gave him a while back. She told A.L. when she picked up Gramp last night that she'd be back in the morning to pick up the boat and say good bye. Well, turns out, while Grampa was over here for the BBQ (AL won't come--she hates us), AL called the police and told them someone would be trying to steal the boat at 9am the next morning. The police are so used to her kookiness that they told her they'd send someone over, but who ever has the title gets the boat.

SO--Rich and his cousin went over this morning with a sheriff guy and Gramp and Annalee were gone. They couldn't break and enter, so we had to hunt them down (they were at the Senior Center where I occasionally do meals on wheels) and the police had to make an appointment with AL to escort Rich, cousin, Dad, and some trucks out there to try to get not just the boat, but all the stuff that Gramma Adeline and Grampa promised to the family. What was supposed to be a little half hour errand at 9am has taken until 2 or 3 pm and involved the whole family and the police. CRAZY OL' BAG!

Luckily, we talked to one her daughters today and her kids are so sick of her antics, they just filed for legal guardianship over her because she's driving everyone nuts. They will probably find her a nice assisted living apartment and get her some psychiatric medication. We'll probably do the same for Grampa because he said last night if he knew how to get away from her he would. Poor Papa--he hardly remembers his own name.

Anyway...just when I thought my family was way too dramatic! It's time we started having kookiness on the Melin side!

[I'm still having the same concerns with my church job... ]What more can I do?!? This quote from Raising Arizona sounds good: "Did y'all bust out [of prison]?" "Uhhh--we've released ourselves on our own recognizance--we no longer felt the institution had anything to offer us."--that might just be me soon. :)

SO. I made about 2/3 of Melanie's Chirstmas gift today, and about 1/2 of Liam's. I am having so much fun, despite being surrounded by psychiatric-patients-on-the-lam.

Well, thanks for letting me ramble. I do miss you so.

Love ya!--Maj

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Entertaining Grampa

My dad came to visit this weekend with my half sister and two step nephews. We had a lot of fun, although the weekend was quite exhausting--I am just now recovering! We camped at Pine Creek Friday night, then enjoyed Livingston's Summerfest on Saturday (even though it was close to 100 degrees outside). Our nephew Mason caught a really big cutthroat trout in the Lagoon while we took Addie and my sister Erin to the wading pool to cool off. Saturday night we went to a barbecue in Cokedale, then watched movies in Melins' basement (it was so hot at our house). Sunday was a busy day with my teaching two classes and hosting dinner for 10 right after church (crock pot rost and potatoes--delicious!).

While I was cooking, Addie was playing babies with my dad. She brought out a yarn doll that has no facial features. My dad sais, "Addie, where are this baby's eyes?" Addie pointed to her own eye, then thought for a minute. Dad asked her again and she pointed at her bedroom. Intrigued, Dad told her to go get them. Well, turns out she had seen him dump his change into his suitcase earlier, so she went and dug out a penny and brought it to grandpa, happily announcing, "Eyes!" Dad thought this was so clever, he came and told me about it in the kitchen. We laughed, and then I remembered something--when we made snowmen last winter, I would always give her pennies for the eyes. She remembered! What a smartypants.

Since dad left Monday morning, we've mostly been trying to clean up, get laundry done, etc., and stay cool. We are having a terrible heatwave--I can't sleep until it cools off around 1am. We celebrated Dad Melin's birthday (7/22) by giving him a personalized ceramic popcorn bowl decorated with the hand and foot prints of his grandkids. My Young Women went up to camp on Tuesday morning--they'll be there until Friday, and I am going up for the afternoon today. I did meals on wheels this week, too, and Addie is big enough to carry in the drinks now--that was a hit with the ol'folks. I feel bad for them because many of them don't have air conditioning (or even a cooler like we have), so they have to sit there sweltering. I made sure everyone at least had a fan and a beverage when I delivered their lunches. We did get a little tiny rain storm last night and some clouds today, so we'll keep praying for relief!

Monday, July 14, 2003

My Funny Adeline

It took us a while to understand why, but Addie quite enjoys stashing precious (to a toddler) things in her shirt (she wears undershirts with a snap crotch, so we usually find this stuff perched precariously on the edge of her diapers during a changing). She went on a 250-mile road trip with a glue stick in her shirt. The other day it was mardi gras beads and a rock (she calls rocks "Gwocks," by the way). Last night (actually at 3am), she came and slept in our bed and all I was wearing was a camisole-type top and pj bottoms. She snuggled up to me and tucked her hands right in my cleavage, and went back to sleep. I started to laugh and said to Rich, "Now she has her hands in MY shirt." Then she groggily murmured, "Pocket....pocket...mommy's pocket..."

She is a riot, I'm telling you.

Speaking of exceedingly cute kids, my brother Matt and his wife, Amie announced yesterday that they've got a bun in the oven. That's 2 more cousins (for a total of 14 on my side)---we hope to add to the tally soon. By the way, Matt has been home from his mission to NYC for 1 year and 2 weeks. Just call him Action Jackson.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

I am generally insanely annoyed by tv commercials, but there are two that crack me slam up.

1. The Ace Hardware commercial where the cuckoo bird comes out of the clock and rants about the paint color of the living room--"Whataya call this color--Life Without Parole?"

2. The Big Lots commercial with the lady "born without a shopping gene" (which I identify with); I love when she says, "Hi, bliss. I'm Susan." The commercial is silly, but that line kills me.

Addie is also pretty dang funny. She's been playing "cars" with different items, putting her dolls or toys in them and puching them around, making lame attempts at "car noises." She's such a freaking girl--her car noises are hilarious. When she cries, she says "I kwy...I kwy..." makes me laugh, too. If you are surfing around and need a good laugh, that oughtta do it for you.

More later.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

What a busy week! Last Saturday is the last truly peaceful day we’ve enjoyed, but it’s been a ton-o-fun. Saturday we had a “hobby day”—we did some laundry at mom and dad Melin’s while Rich worked on our log bed and I set up a scrap-booking table in their basement. We also took Addie to swim in the “big pool” at the park. She wore her floaty swimsuit and she was so brave! After a little warming up, she was jumping off the side to us. She is a funny kid—very intense, but very sweet, and much braver than me!

Both last Sunday and this Sunday I taught two lessons at church—the 16-17 year-old Sunday School class (where we study the New Testament—this is an official teaching calling) and the YW lesson (this is temporary until we call a teacher). It was a little stressful getting everything ready, but I think the lessons turned out pretty good. I like teaching, but I hope I can get better at it. I want to be more effective, especially teaching teen-agers, you know?

Last week I completed my goal to finish our family’s 2002 scrapbook by July 1st. I made it, but not without neglecting Addie a little bit—pobre cita! She had to watch a bunch of videos down in Grandma’s basement while I worked on the book on Monday and Tuesday, but we did it. Now we can work on 2003 and hopefully stay pretty caught up.

Last week we also spent our family night (Monday) with the Carter family in our Ward. It was the dad’s 50th birthday and we went and enjoyed a Dutch oven dinner cooked in their beautiful yard. We really enjoyed their company and I am so glad they are in our ward. Their daughters add a lot to our Young Women.

Wednesday (July 2) was the day all the patriotic fervor broke out in Livingston (well, they had a downtown hoe down last Saturday, but we missed that). The Livingston Roundup began that night, and the festivities kicked off with a parade in the afternoon. If you think they’re serious about rodeo in Tucson, you aint seen nothin’. Everything—even the banks—closed at 2pm for the parade at 3pm. Rich went early to stake out a spot on 2nd street (behind our house) at the beginning of the parade route. Then mom and dad Melin and Dad Melin’s brother Mick and his wife Cheryl joined us with little Danny and we had a ball. Addie and Danny enjoyed the sights and sounds (and the Popsicles and the candy thrown to them from the floats).

After the parade we helped mom Melin put together a delicious barbecue dinner at her house for all the company. As we were sitting down to dinner I remembered that I was supposed to be at a Young Women’s activity (at 7:22pm), but then figured they’d be all right without me (they were—oops!). There were beautiful fireworks that night at the end of the rodeo. The grounds are just down the road, so we watched them laying on the futon in Addie’s room (she fell asleep there, but managed to wake up and give a few oo’s and ahh’s).

Thursday I worked hard to get all my Sunday stuff ready (lessons) and clean this house so we’d be ready to camp our on Friday to celebrate Independence Day. Friday morning, we went to our ward’s pancake breakfast (how did that get to be a tradition, I wonder?—it’s a fun one, but makes me go “hmmm”). Then we left for West Yellowstone where we would camp. We followed mom, dad, Angie (Rich’s sister), Davey (her husband), and Danny (their son) in our own car with the tent trailer. We camped at Rainbow Point on Hebgen Lake about 5 miles north of West Yellowstone. We set up camp then went into Yellowstone Park to picnic and watch Old Faithful erupt. We took walks, explored the old lodge, had ice cream, and then headed back to camp to make dinner.

We set up the trailer and our other big tent (you gotta love a tent you can stand up in!) while mom got the coals going to cook us a fabulous chicken and rice Dutch oven dinner. Camp was comfy and dinner was delicious! At dark, we went back into West Yellowstone to watch their great fireworks show and it was well worth the 100-mile drive!

Mom and Dad and Angie’s family slept in the trailer while we stretched out in the tent—Addie and I snuggled up in one bed, Rich was in another (we even set up a night stand and enjoyed a little bedtime reading). We got up around 8am; mom and dad were already cooking breakfast. We got dressed, played some horseshoes, and ate breakfast (eggs, bacon, little smokies, melons, grapes, cinnamon rolls baked in the dutch oven, juice, and milk). We broke camp and headed home at about 10:30am. We were home in time to get all our regular Saturday chores done, plus do my Sunday prep, clean up our camping stuff, and take a short nap. What a wonderful weekend together!

So that’s the run down. Oh, yeah—we came home to the JOYFUL news that my brother Will and his wife Audrey are expecting a baby in February! Hooray! We went about 5 years straight where there was always a pregnant sister in my family, but there has been nobody pregnant since Dana had Leanne in January! (Of course Rich’s brother Mark’s daughter was born June 18th, but none on my side for a while). This news made me hopeful that our pregnancy tests will come out positive in a few weeks—twin cousins rock! J

More later; Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, June 26, 2003

I hope Willy (my brother--#1 of 5) doesn't mind if I post his response to that earlier entry about the CD. He's a good brother and pal and man, we wish there were better jobs in Montana so he could be a chemical engineer HERE instead of Death Valley (well, Palm Desert, CA--close enough).


That was cool, I read the bit about the CD and memories from our youth. I never missed being young, in Tucson, close to the ones I love like I do right now. I think it is a combination of realizing that we are getting old, passing through the young adult stage, and being so damn far away from each other. I have these thoughts in the back of my mind that tell me to just drop it all and go someplace that will make me happy. But, I think anyplace could make me happy as long as I was not so isolated. I know everything happens for a reason, to accomplish something in the Lord's big plan for each of us, but that does not make it any easier to bear. I want to move to Pocatello where we can be between you and Jill and next to Dad.

If it weren’t for my little family here with me, I would not be here at all. Home is where the heart is, unfortunately my heart is in more than one place; wherever my wife and children are, Tucson, Pocatello, Montana, Utah (and a little in MO with mom).

Thank you for being such a good communicator. You seem to hold the family so close together even when we are so far apart, a skill that I just never refined. Perhaps I am more the kind of person that keeps the family from blowing up when we are really close together, a peacemaker maybe? At least I like to think that…[that's true--mom mever yells at Willy; he could always calm her down!]

I am glad you wrote that, and glad that it somehow touched me, (weird feeling like this at work). My day has not been the greatest, so I am that much more grateful.

Thanks, I love and miss you sooooo bad.

Wally Toledo

I am listening to a CD that my little brother made for me. It’s called “Up Hill Both Ways Barefoot in the Snow—music from our youth.” It totally reminds me of him and it’s a lot of stuff I haven’t listened to in ages. I was sitting here doing my computer stuff when “Six Different Ways” by the Cure came on. All of the sudden I got these butterflies in my belly as if I were 16 again and driving in the car with my brother with the music cranked. Then “Debaser” by the Pixies and “Laid” by James—ahhh. It’s amazing what music can access in one’s brain. It’s also amazing what my brain decided to lock away in my memory and that the only key to that file cabinet is music.

I wouldn’t be a teenager again for a million bucks, but it’s fun to feel excited about life once in a while, even if it’s just a memory triggered by a song.

(Halfpipes. The I-19 frontage road in Sahuarita in the Jetta with the windows down. Dry ice bombs. Saturday night dances. Kissing each other’s friends. Big Gulps. Postcards from Paradise.)

"I wish you were here...but I was always a wish away."--the Wonderstuff


Dear Loved Ones ,                                                                                We've enjoyed a great first week o...