Friday, July 31, 2009

adventures in roughin' it

today is ben's birthday.

he is 30 and has turned into a mature, old man overnight. or that is what he tells himself.

the truth is, he will always be a boy at heart and i love that about him. he will always be excited to give people presents, anticipate vacations, make birthdays special. he will always be the first adult male on the floor with a bunch of kids, making up games and encouraging them to use their imagination.

and no matter how old he gets, he will always be the boy who i fell in love with 7 years ago, and the man who i am still in love with today. sigh.

that being said, i agreed to do something for his birthday that i normally wouldn't do:

camping. (cue scary music)

now i don't dislike camping because i'm a primadonna and can't stand to get dirty. i think it's healthy to get a little dirty, go a day without showering, and have your husband tell you that you smell like sweat and dirt.

but there are two things that have a tendency to provoke an anxiety attack just from mentioning the word "camping."

1) bugs. i hate them with a passion so deep inside my soul that it sometimes astounds me.

2) my overactive imagination. i have heard too many scary camping stories, seen too many scary movies, and was born into this world on july 22nd with the ability to scare myself to the point that i can become paralyzed with fear.

that being said.

when our friends called and invited us to celebrate jardan's birthday, i fully intended to turn them down kindly but made the mistake of looking into ben's hope-filled brown eyes. and all he had to say was one word.


blast it all. so i conceded, and we packed up to go.

luckily our fantastic friends had a camper so at least we weren't going to just be sleeping in tents. shudder. my mind can conjure up some pretty intense things when i'm sleeping in a tent. and instead of getting rest, all i can think of all night is, "there is only a scrap of material between you and..." whatever it is i am most afraid of at the moment.

but i decided that ben would only turn 30 once, and so therefore i would only have to go camping one last time in my life. this is the lie i told myself in order to get in the car.

the ride was great, i got to stare at leah's little mug the whole way.

the minute we arrived at the camp site, i coated myself in bug spray. one fear down, one to go.

so we got all set up and after the kids finally went to bed, roasted s'mores and as visions of charcoaled marshmallows and chocolate danced in our heads we got ready to settle in for a long summer night's nap.

unfortunately, right before we got in the camper, we took a potty break. and as our friends were out and about tending to their business, they heard a noise. something was right next to them, creeping through the trees. and it wasn't human. aubrey took off running, and as she relayed the story to me, my imagination started spinning.

what could it be? a bear that's going to eat my brain out of the back of my head? a bobcat who likes to munch on chubby babies? or worse...what if it was something that my mind couldn't come up with?

i reminded myself that there wasn't just a scrap of material between my flesh and the great unknown...i was in a camper! that's right! totally safe! i closed my eyes in comfort.

somehow we came up with the idea that it would be fun for caleb and his little 2 1/2 year old friend eve to share a bed. just below them was myself, leah and ben. on the other side of the camper was aubrey and jardan.

well surprisingly enough, there is a place in arizona that does get cold at night. a miracle! but unfortunately, eve woke up cold. and upset. twice. each time i had to sit up and move out of the way so that her parents could comfort her. then leah woke up. ben continued snoring like a bear. the third time that eve woke up, the sun was rising and i decided to give up hope that i was going to get any rest at all.

jardan was nice enough to offer to take leah outside of the camper with eve so i could try to sleep, but 10 minutes later caleb woke up. that was it. i walked outside, greeted the morning with puffy eyes and a lovely bed head, and coated myself in bug spray.

when ben finally rolled out of the camper, i handed him the baby, said "goodnight," and walked back into the camper to fall asleep.

i don't know how long i was out, but i woke up laying next to leah without another person in sight. i assumed they had gone on a nature walk, which wouldn't have been a problem except...

i had to go to the bathroom. badly.

you know that feeling when your bladder actually hurts because there's too much fluid in it? well that was where i was at.

since i had leah and didn't want to leave her in the camper alone, i wasn't sure what to do. the portapotties weren't an option because they were seriously nasty...someone had decided to make artwork out of their bodily waste and spread it all over the walls. flies were everywhere. and since i am one who will only "hover" in public potties, i couldn't do that and hold onto the baby.

my only other option was to head out into the trees somewhere. but as i looked around, we were surrounded by other families camping. that, and again, i couldn't figure out the logistics of being able to hold onto leah and do my business.


i waited. painfully.

to distract myself, i did a little photo shoot of miss leah.

she looked happy, elated, even. well of course she does. i had just changed her diaper and her bladder was empty.

20 minutes went by. then 30. i called their cell phones. no answer.


finally i started getting nervous. i wasn't sure how long they would be gone and knew that a UTI was in my near future if i didn't get some relief.

outside the camper, i heard one of our neighbors talk to the lady in the camping spot next to us, who had 2 dogs with her and was in her mid 20's. she sounded nice enough. hmmmmm...

no. i couldn't.

as far as mothers go, i would consider myself one of the most over-protective, cautious ones i know. i get extremely angry when i hear of parents being negligent with their children and something happens to them.

i watched the neighbor lady.

just then, i realized she was packing up to leave.

then judged the distance from her to the portapotties. she was in plain sight, so the only time i would actually have to take my eyes off of my child would be the 30 seconds or so that i was answering nature's call. her dogs were still outside, tied to a tree. i knew that if she really loved her dogs, there is no way she would have time to shove my baby in the car and grab her dogs by the time i came running out. could she?

i had to make a snap decision. i said a little prayer in my heart, grabbed my baby and walked over to her.

"hi." i said.

"oh, hey there." she answered back.

i just blurted it out, quickly.
"um,iwouldneverdothisexceptireallyneedtogotothebathroomandit'sanemergencyandisthereanywayyouwouldholdmybaby? and you're not crazy are you?" my voice squeaked a little with the word crazy.

"oh, sure. that's fine. no, i'm not crazy." she said with a little laugh.

yeah, that's what the crazy people say, i thought in my head. but knew there was no going back.

"hernameisleahandshe'sagirl," i rambled again. not quite sure why i had to specify that, but it seemed important at the time. i handed her over, took one last glimpse at my chubby gal and took off in a sprint. i'm sure at this point, the stranger was thinking about how crazy i was, but whatever, i had more important business to tend to.

i was in an out in a flash, and even though i could see returning from the porta potty that leah was safe and sound, sprinted back. i thanked the kind lady, thanked God in my heart, and went back into the camper. a few minutes later, the good samaritan left the campsite.

5 minutes after that, the rest of my crew returned. i told them that leah had almost been kidnapped (just kidding). and ben said to me,

"well the reason we came back was because while we were out on our hike, we saw you running back and forth fromt he porta potty and thought something might be wrong."

apparently they saw the flash of my blonde hair and black shirt and decided to head back. nice to know that they were close enough to see me and that i probably could have screamed out ben's name so that he could relieve me so i could go to the bathroom, but whatever. it was over, i risked my child's life in order to save my bladder's and all was well.

after that, we ate lunch and packed up. then we went to slide rock, which was a beautiful area that you could swim and go down natural water slides. the water was ice cold and felt fabulous.

i got in, cooled off, and then hung out with leah while the rest of the group went down the slides. for a long time, she did snoozed.

then she finally woke up and i sat in the water and dipped her toes in. she looked like little bo peep in her hat. cute, but a bit ruffly. ah well.

when everybody came back, both toddlers had had enough and were starting to decompose, so we decided to head back home. after an icecream break.

leah decided to sleep for the first 1/2 hour of the ride, then wake up and torture everybody with her dislike for her carseat. and by "everybody," i meant me. amazingly enough, even through her screams, the row of people in front of me held up surprisingly well. (for pictures, go here.)

we finally made it home, and all in one piece! and to think, it was barely 24 hours from the time we had left. it was fun and exhausting all in one day. really though, the company was great and none of us were eaten by anything. not even one bug bite!

a birthday miracle.

when it was all over, ben had the guts to ask me,

"soooo. if we had a camper like that, would you come camping with me?"

"sure," i answer warily.

"so like, 6 or 7 times a summer?"

"try 3 times a year. max." and he accepted it.

the thing is, even though it's fun, camping is a lot of work. and really, i just like my bed. with it's four walls and a door. and most importantly, the working powder room nearby.

but for the chance to spend time with friends, my family, and enjoy nature for a night or two?

yep, i'd do it again.

happy 30th, bennigans. i love you.

Monday, July 27, 2009

think she's sleeping?

so did i.

think again.

(of course, as soon as she saw me, it started crying fest 2009. awesome.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

hold your breath...wait for it...

this morning, for breakfast, i had a bowl (well--truth? it was 3/4 of a bowl, but still) of this:

i actually crossed off a new year's resolution for 2009! i haven't set new year's goals for many years because i think they are crap. why do i need to wait for the new year to come around to set a goal?

but this year, i changed. and here i am, almost 9 months in.

(that's me crossing it off my list)

but aside from accomplishing it, here is my opinion of it. i will interview myself.

ahem. is this mike on? testing. okay.

q: so....did you like it?

a: about the first 3 or 4 bites weren't bad. but then, it got a little gooshy. which was my whole reason for not liking oatmeal in the first place. i am a texture lady, and don't do 'goosh.' (which also included in the 'goosh' department is: guacamole, any type of bean...except green...bananas that are too ripe, soggy bread--the biscuits 'n' gravy type-, the list could continue, but i will not.)

q: who witnessed the event?

a: my supportive husband, ben, who made me the bowl, and my two children. leah, who wasn't too concerned about the whole ordeal (she was preoccupied with her toes at the time--but who can blame her? those are some cute piggies) and caleb, who was equally grossed out (seeing that he has inherited the texture sensitive gene and used to throw up his own bowls of oatmeal as a wee one). however, i did end up having to move around a bit because as i surpassed the 4th bite, my 'goosh' radar went off and i started making some unpleasant faces. this doesn't help my goal for 2012 to get caleb to eat a bowl of his own oatmeal.

q: previous to this morning, when was the last time you consumed a bowl of oatmeal?

a: i think it was somewhere around the age of 12. maybe 14. but "consumed" is a word that would have to be used somewhat loosely. because i was a tricky tween. i used to just lie and say that i had finished the bowl, then quickly dump it down the drain and turn on the disposal when my mother wasn't looking. she caught on to that in about a day.

so my next tactic, i must say, was ingenious. i used to pour myself an enormous glass of milk, and would take small sips as i would pretend to eat my oatmeal. but when others weren't looking, i would drop the spoonful of oatmeal into the cup of milk. by the end of the meal, i would have eaten probably 1/4 of the bowl, and the rest would be smushed into the cup of milk. and then i would dump the milk down the drain.

q: wow. you are very clever.

a: is that a question?

q: no. but do you have anything to say for yourself, or to your mother (who was only trying to give you a good square meal for pete's sake)?

a: yes. i apologize mom, for deceiving you. it was gooshy, and i was weak. please forgive me.

q: so when is the next time you plan on eating another bowl?

a: well, if i don't need witnesses this time, then probably in 2012, when i eat another heaping bowl with a fake smile in order to get my son on board. if i do need witnesses to attest to the fact that i ate it again, then how about tomorrow? just as long as i can have a big glass of milk to go with it. i get thirsty, you know. ;)

***below i am re-posting the actual blog about setting this as a resolution for 2009. just in case you missed it.


i don't know who i am anymore.

today, not only did i enjoy my cereal, i actually drank milk from my bowl after the cereal was gone.

i am not a breakfast person. but i've been trying to become one because i'd like to be healthier. normally i eat a yogurt or toast for breakfast. not bad, but not great.

so i began the weaning process with this....

(about as non-healthy as you can get for cereal)
and quickly learned the error of my ways. there is still a half a box up in my cupboard of this sugary stuff.

and am now up to this...

(getting better, but every bite has to have a raisin or else i get ticked)

and am slowly (but surely) working my way up to this...

(still makes me dry heave when i even look at the picture)

this is a lofty goal. anyone who knows me well knows that i have had an aversion to oatmeal since i was a wee lass. my poor mother endured many a rough morning dealing with a stubborn, refusing child.

cross your fingers that i can get to the new me. 2009. a year should be enough time, right?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

the boy.

here we have

the boy with a bowl on his head.

the boy doing putting his laundry away.

the boy hanging out with his sister (who looks like she has a bigger head than he does) in his tent.

and the boy in a box.

we love this boy.

be a Real Moms Guide facebook friend!

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click here to add them as your friend.

Monday, July 20, 2009

episode 17: mom guilt

i really liked how this episode turned out...i feel like mom guilt is a huge, real thing that we deal with. like i said in the episode though, i don't believe it's a good thing unless we use it to motivate us to do better.

anyway, hope you enjoy it!

or, if you've missed episodes and want to get caught up, go here.

***keep in mind i was still at the hospital for this one and look like a really tired, worn-out version of myself!

Friday, July 17, 2009

coming out of the ugly closet

prepare yourself for some word vomit. or blogorrhea, whichever you prefer. but i've been thinking about this for the past couple of weeks. and then something happened that finally put words to my thoughts. watch out, world!


the episode from the real mom's guide online show (link no longer works) on "body image" was really difficult for me. it's hard enough to admit to myself that i don't like the way i look on the outside, let alone to whoever is watching me spill it to a camera.

i've been a bit down lately. and unfortunately, it all had to do with the reflection i saw as i looked in the mirror each day. because for me, starting at a very young age:

overweight = ugly

but honestly, until today, i never realized that before. enlightening, isn't it? not done yet. i will expound.

i always thought that i had cute features, okay hair, semi-decent skin (once jr. high was over), nice teeth (after braces), fantastic feet, and a good personality. i could hold my own in sports, had a talent for music, loved to have fun, loved to laugh.

but none of these things mattered if i felt i was fat or chubby. because those squishy parts were all that i could see, and for me they made the entire package an ugly one.

i don't know where this came from. my parents didn't put this on me, clearly not at 6 1/2, when i wrote a new year's resolution to "lose weight." i was always treated in a way that i knew i was loved, and appreciated, and valued.

so where did it come from??

i was not overweight at 6 1/2. in fact, i didn't really start to chub up until i was in 6th grade, and even then, i still looked like most of the girls my age, just a bit rounder.

but to relive a defining and devastating moment in my life, i will share a story....

and this is really, really hard for me to write about, even like 18 years later. because this traumatized me and broke my spirit in a way that probably has never happened since then.

i got asked to "go out" by a kid in 5th grade. he was cute, hung with the popular crowd, and admitted he liked me. boy, did i think i was a hot ticket. we "went out" for quite a while...which in elementary school terms, was longer than 2 weeks. we talked with each other on the phone, and would meet up with friends. got each other valentine's day presents.

that was as far as it went, but i felt special knowing that a guy liked me enough to not mind saying it in front of our entire 5th grade class.

sadly, all good things must come to an end. when he finally broke up with me, he wrote me a letter:


guess what? i don't remember 9 of them. they meant nothing to me, i knew that he was just a dumb boy and that his older brother had helped him compile this list. but the one that i did remember??

(this is word for word, burned into my memory)

"you're so fat that you can't even see the tops of your shoes."

i was crushed. devastated.

i am crying as i am typing this.

and just so you have a mental image of what i looked like, i give to you exhibit A:

(bottom row, far right, frizz-tastic hair, semi-sailor motif)

don't make fun of my fancy pants dress, my mom did make me wear that.

want to know who my BF was? ooh, just to be spiteful, i almost outed him. but i won't, because i'm sure he's evolved past the DB type of behavior he was a part of during this age. but he's cute, and tall, and on the back row, and he's the only one in a lighter color...aka, not wearing blue, green, brown, grey or black. you do the math. (sorry, he deserved it!)

so do i look FAT to you? i already know the answer. it is NO. but when this kid wrote these words to me, the saddest part was:

i believed him.

which again reiterated the belief that fat = ugly. a harsh belief at such a young age.

you know that christina aguilera song, "beautiful" where she says:

"you are beautiful, no matter what they say...words can't bring you down"

well, that last part is CRAP. sorry christina, i know the point behind the song. but it just isn't true. his words brought me down so quickly and so violently that i remember my cheeks burning with shame as my friends and i read his "stupid letter."

so what happens to a young girl who is told she is fat and believes she is ugly??

well, let me tell you.

she does everything she can to compensate for feeling ugly. she wears make-up too young, which then blooms into just too much make-up altogether, constantly compares herself to others, buys too many clothes to try to feel pretty. avoids things, sells herself short in a lot of areas, and begins to lie. not only to others, but to herself.

she lies that she is happy, and unaffected.

i didn't have a rotten childhood. there were rough moments, but i felt that others have been through much worse than i had.

but what i did go through was inner turmoil. i truly did like my personality. in fact, i will go so far as to say i loved it. i was proud of the fact that i could be funny, make people laugh, was well-liked, had good common sense, and was kind because i wanted to be.

i loathed my outer image though. i could not stand looking in mirrors, hated having my picture taken, never wanted to get into a swimsuit. and lied to myself in the way that i would say, "it's not that bad" but once i saw a picture of myself, the devastation would come in waves and i would vow that not one more cookie would pass my lips. which would last all but a minute.

i hated to have birthday parties for myself. and what kid doesn't want presents, and cake, and friends? well, me. i knew it meant pictures, and everyone looking at me. i kept these reasons to myself, and just told my parents that i was "shy" or didn't want a party for some other excuse.

i kept my ugliness locked in a tight vault, only for me to see. and pretended i liked being the chubby, funny friend.

but truth?


i ached to be the long-legged, straight haired, beautiful girl. or even leave out the beautiful, i just wanted to be thin. because to me, thin = beautiful. that was all i cared about.

i remember going with friends to malls, dances, roller skating rinks, line dancing. it didn't matter what i wore, how fantastic my hair was, or how cute i could act. i was constantly overlooked standing next to my thin friends.

most of the time.

every now and then, i would get noticed. but because my self-image was so messed up, i would tell myself cruel, mean things. "he's only asking you because the other girl couldn't go." and start the self-sabotage pattern which would eventually end the relationship.

which was what i was talking about in this post. believing for years that you're unattractive does a number on your belief of self-worth, and your belief on who you feel you deserve. so the good guys i dated, i would sabotage whatever was happening. the jerks, i stuck around far too long with.

for those who don't know, ben and i met in high school. we were friends, and kept in touch every now and then after high school. when i lived in jackson hole & he was going to school at BYU-Idaho, he decided to come and visit for a day. at the time i was involved with another DB and he had a girlfriend, so there was nothing but friendship going on.

but during that visit, we were at a park talking, and catching up on the past couple of years. and he said something to me that i have not forgotten, and will never forget.

he said,

"i wish you could see yourself the way others see you."

i remember looking at him and stopping all of the negative voices in my head, and only listening to one. it was the small, sad one that said back, "i wish i could too."

a few months later, i moved home to get my tonsils out and he was home on a break. we were both post-break-up and both anti-relationships. so it worked out perfectly.

and with him, i felt something that i didn't recognize.


and it started to show.


i am grateful because there has not been one time in our marriage that i have not felt beautiful when i am with him. no matter how stinky i am, whether or not i'm wearing make-up, if i'm 9 months pregnant, or if i still haven't lost the baby weight.

not once.

which is a good thing.

however, i'm realizing that i need him in order to feel beautiful. when he's gone, or when i see myself on the online show, or when i'm just staring in the mirror, i don't feel it.

which i think, is a problem.

because it's not coming from me, from the inside. it's coming from an outside source and when that source is missing, so is my self-worth.

another story, this one is a lot less depressing than the last...

last year, while living in north carolina, i took one of the group home kids out grocery shopping at sam's club with me. i was reaching for some water bottles and noticed a lovely, 30-something lady staring at me. i immediately felt self-conscious. she saw me catch her staring, and suddenly said loudly,

"you are so beautiful!" emphasis on the so.

i was flustered, caught off-guard, embarrassed. i had never had a complete stranger say these words to me.

"um, thank you," i muttered quietly, and smiled a quick smile. i walked around on clouds during that grocery trip.

as we got in the GH van, my thoughts were still focused on the comment from this stranger. so even though i didn't mean to, i blurted aloud,

"that was so nice!" another emphasis on the so.

and the teenage guy said, "what was?"

i felt stupid, because i didn't know how to get around telling him that i was still thinking about this comment. but couldn't come up with anything creative, so i said,

"oh, you know, when that lady said she thought i was pretty."

and his reply was,

"well, that's because you are."

in a very nonchalant way. like it was matter-of-fact. like, duh.

i was stunned again.

immediately i dismissed the compliment from the teenager. as i always do, when a non-stranger compliments my looks. "he said that because he didn't know what else to say," i told my self. and of course, i believed that. but as hard as i tried, there was no way to get around the compliment from this lady.

nice story, huh? i know.

so why can't i believe these words all of the time? and why does my weight have so much to do with it?

you want to know what's a tell-tale sign for me that i don't feel attractive? i change my hairstyle. so looking back in the last 6 months... i've changed my hair 4 times.





and still am not happy with it. but let's be honest here. is it really the hair?


as i was feeding the baby the other day, i flipped on the t.v. and "the view" was on. i turned it on in time to see the ending of an interview with margaret cho.

remember her? a comedian, who at one point had her own sitcom about herself.

anyway, she was talking about how the producers from the show asked her to lose some weight. to play herself. on t.v. she said she battled with bulimia, and body image issues for years.

and then one of the ladies asked her, "so, normally when people say they're coming out of the closet, it's referring to gender preference. but you say you're coming out of the ugly closet?"

and she said yes. that she was sick of feeling ugly and fat and that she was embracing her body image and finally telling herself that she is beautiful. she said she had to look at herself in the mirror and repeat it, so that she would believe it.

this was when the lightbulb came on for me.

i don't have to be thin to be beautiful! i already am beautiful!

sounds so simple right?

well, you try telling that to the 28 year old ugly girl inside of me. this mentality is years in the making, brought on by more experiences than just my 5th grade boyfriend. don't worry, i won't share them all.

so i've decided. it's time for a change.

time to come out of the ugly closet, undo the damage that has been done.

and become beautiful. or, finally believe that i always have been. no matter what size or shape i am. no matter what the scale reads.

i don't think this will be an easy or quick process. but i do believe that it will be completely worth it. i'm going to start with silencing the destructive voices and immediately change them into positive thoughts.

take more time for myself, eat better, exercise because i want to (what a novel idea this is!), get a good rest, and embrace every compliment that is given to me...without disputing it. whether it's from a stranger or not.

wish me luck, it might be a long journey.

Monday, July 13, 2009

to post or not to post...

i've been pouring out my heart in a posting that i'm hesitant to publish. it's about my life-long struggle with weight loss.

but each time i read through it, it seems disjointed, and a bit like i'm wallowing in self-pity. not to mention it is freakishly long and we all know that most of my postings aren't short! it's even long for one of my looong postings.

and it's not finished. when i first started it, it was like the words couldn't be typed fast enough....then all of a sudden, nothing.

so now i'm trying to figure out what to do about it. hmmmm...maybe just something for the private blog?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

it may not mean much to you, but...

today, this kid

was able to jump for the first time, with both feet at a time!

we know this is a skill that most 1 or 2 year olds have already mastered. but either lack of strength in his legs, or coordination, caleb has been unable to do it. as small as it sounds to most parents, this was a milestone we have been waiting to see him conquer.

and tonight, during a jumping-on-his-bed-fest before his nightly prayer, ben and i saw him jump with both feet. we told him to do it again. then again. we clapped and cheered, even though caleb really didn't know what he had done that was so spectacular.

then i pulled him off of his bed to see if he could do it on firm ground. it wasn't as strong, but he still did it.

such a little thing, but it brought on some big smiles.

my sister is a TV star!!

hey there,

my amazing sister lauren, who runs
was featured today on utah's channel 5 program "studio 5" on ksl!

click on this link to watch her talk about carschooling.
and see video of my cute niece & nephew & beautiful sister.

congratulations lauren, you are fabulous!

***and ps, tiffany, great job on her hair!

Monday, July 6, 2009

ben's church history.

i had to type this one down to go down in the history of funny church things ben has said to me.

"if i hear one more thing about dry pack canning
i am going to kill somebody and dry pack their body parts."

***he wanted me to include that every sunday during priesthood there is a
20 minute conversation regarding dry pack canning.
he understands that it's important is learning about God.

***he also wants me to include that he hopes no one is offended by that.
and is a big old fan of food storage. "but come on. let's get to the doctrine." --end quote

episode 15: body image

so let me preface this video by making a good defense case for how i look in this one:

  • they were filming in the hospital while leah was there.
  • i had gotten a total of like 3 hours of sleep...not consecutive hours either. 20 minutes here, 5 minutes there. on a plastic couch, no less.
  • i had not showered.
  • i got ready in about 7 minutes.
  • clearly i had not looked in a mirror.
i found it highly ironic that i looked so awesome while we were filming the "body image" episode. but what can you do?

and, about the xenadrine, what they didn't tell you was my explanation for starting to take it in the first place...

  • i have an auto immune disorder, called epstein barr syndrome, that i don't tell many people about. almost everyone has EBV at some point in their life (though it's usually associated with getting mono), but mine is chronic and stays in my system. it flares up when i don't get enough rest, or i get sick. basically it just breaks down my immune system and makes me extremely tired. all. the. time. i don't share this often because i hate using it as an excuse for not being able to do something. however, i shared it on the show because i felt it was relevant as to why i started taking these pills. they gave me so much energy and helped me to feel like a normal person.
  • i was working 2 jobs at the would end at 1am, the next shift would start at 5:30 am. so with my tough schedule and already being extremely exhausted, i used them as caffeine to function.
  • i told ben about them when we were dating and that i hated that i was using them to function. i told him that once we were married and i could quit both jobs, i wanted to stop taking them.
  • so i did. on our honeymoon, we had an 11 hour drive. i slept 8 out of 11 hours. in the middle of the day. and i tried so hard to stay awake, but couldn't do it. poor ben.
  • anyway, i haven't taken them since. in fact, i stay away from caffeine altogether because i've seen how much it affects my body. and even though it helps me to function, it doesn't feel...normal. it's an unnatural stimulant and whacks me out. i feel nautious, hyper, and feel the effects for a long time. then i usually get a really bad headache the day after.
and lastly.

to the friend i quoted, if you remember saying that to me in choir class, please know that i wasn't offended. i knew how you meant it, and i took it as a compliment. hope you know that i love you!

okay, i will stop justifying. it's just hard because i said like 20 minutes of footage and it was edited down to a couple of minutes.

i just didn't want to come across looking like some crazy closet druggie, with bad hair and severe bags under my eyes.

whatever, those who know me, know me. watch it here!

celebrating the land of the home and the free and the brave...

here we are on the 4th at a barbecue.
notice how none of us are wearing red, white or blue. no, we didn't plan it that way.
that's just how we roll...not good on the "plan ahead" aspect.

we had a great time, even though it was a bummer that we had to get home before fireworks. grateful that ben has a job, but this overnight weekend shift is killer on our social lives, not to mention holiday fun.
oh well, could be worse, right?

think this baby's going to have brown eyes? i'm sure hoping so!

other than that, i'm just struggling a bit here.
trying to find time and energy to exercise, organize and re-evaluate who i am right now.
going through an adjustment i guess, so if i don't blog much, that's why.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

our own little mary poppins

yesterday miss leah had her 4 month check up. and we heard the blessed words:

50th percentile!

in weight, (12 lbs. 13 oz), height (24 1/2 in) head (16 in)

straight across the board.

the doctor said,
"she's practically perfect" and we'd have to agree.

she is a rolling fool, and also does the sniper belly scoot when there's something out of her reach. she's now been switched from soy formula (because it was constipating) to normal formula. and she's doing fantastically.
still sleeps a big chunk of 8 hours each night.

she loves to grab her toys and gets mad if she can't stuff them all the way inside her little mouth. she loves to hear her own voice and has become quite the yeller.

she laughs a lot, and is ticklish on her arms and ribs.
she refuses a binkie...we think it's because she doesn't want to be stifled. so whatever, it works.

she is a content, happy little girl who makes our sunny AZ days just a bit sunnier.

she has a fantastic double chin, which ben & i realized made it difficult to see if she had any swollen lymph nodes when she was sick a couple of weeks ago. we couldn't stop laughing as we continued to search through the blub. (never could figure it out)

we can't resist smooching her all over whenever she's awake--or asleep.
especially her neck fat or toes.

and i'm pretty sure, if you were around her, you wouldn't be able to resist either.

getting a taste of what it could be like...

to have 3 kids.

to those of you who have 3 or more, stop rolling your eyes at me. because i know that i really have no idea.

my dream of having kids every 2 years was changed once reality set in of how much i could personally emotionally, physically and mentally handle at once.

a loud shout-out is sent to my sweet boy, caleb. for being the vessel to cause me to rearrange my "family plans."

but you know what? so far i've really liked the space in between my two. i know that they probably will not relate as well to each other and there are definitely downsides to that. but it has been very nice that caleb is able to communicate and understand what's going on. he hasn't gotten jealous yet of leah, and he hasn't acted out in a mean way toward her once. not saying that he never will, but so far so good.

in fact, he's the opposite. he is very sweet with her, and talks with her. she just stares in amazement at him and smiles whenever he looks her way.

i'm writing this down so that i can remember the good days because i'm sure there will come a time when they are screaming at each other and smacking each other. and my horrible memory will have blacked out these sweet moments.

sister chunk and brother bear laying in leah's crib staring at the mobile.

so anyway...

i've been baby-sitting for a new friend, aubrey, for the past couple of weeks. her daughter's name is eve and she is 2 1/2 and just as cute as can be. she is really good and easy to take care of, and it's been good social time for caleb. a win, win.

caleb & eve playing in their animal masks.

however, it's interesting to add one more in the middle to the mix. i realize that this is what my life probably would have been like if i hadn't waited so long in between years to get pregnant after caleb. and let me tell you, even though i consider all 3 of them to be relatively "easy" kids, there are moments when i get frazzled.

because no matter how much i plan, someone needs to go potty right as the baby needs to drink a bottle. so i put down leah who immediately starts wailing, help the one kid in the potty, and then the other one--right on cue--says, "i'm thirsty" or "i want crackers" or something else.

sometimes i think they are conspiring against me.

that the three of them look at each other and telepathically say, "let's give lynsey some gray hairs right now" or "let's see who can push her closest to the loony bin. not over the edge so much, just right to it."

it's not that bad, i am just always amazed at the coincidence of the timing of each child. and i'm thinking that if i were, say, ben--i mean dr. strader-- i would probably be diagnosing left and right, that there really is something to it. psychologically, of course. :)

when mom (or the baby-sitter) is available for attention, they don't need it. but as soon as she is off to help someone else, then it's oops! come back! i forgot i desperately need something!

so lauren, my dear sister, i applaud you. because you've been doing this for 2 years now and you're still alive to talk about it.

and to my other fellow multi-children bloggerees, i commend you. especially those who continue to reproduce even after 3! that thought astounds me. (i hope you know i'm saying this tongue-in-cheek, i think big families are awesome. and i'm hopefully not done reproducing.) but to be outnumbered by 2 is something. to be outnumbered by 3, 4, 5?!?!


i feel another gray hair that has sprung at just the thought.