Friday, April 22, 2011

my mind = steel trap sieve

It's been another red letter day so far!  It started with missing Charles' orthodontist appointment at 7:30 this morning (we miss approximately 3 out of 5 -- I wrote it down, they e-mailed me) and has proceeded to about an hour ago when I realized that I bought tickets to see Peter Pan in Chicago on the same day that my good friend's daughter is getting married.  I also recently scheduled a get together with an embarrassingly large number of people and then remembered I was busy that night and missed my visiting teachers a couple of days ago for the second month in a row.  It's not like they didn't call ahead.  What is my freaking problem?  I did manage to do my own visiting teaching this morning, but that is probably only because I made the appointment yesterday.  It is as if in my perfect world everything would be spontaneous:  a "walk-in's welcome" orthodontist office, oh your daughter is getting married this afternoon -- I'll be there, a stake leadership meeting in two hours -- surprise!!!  I suppose I can see some of the problems in that plan for most people, but it would be ideal for me.  And of course, I am always left with the horribly sinking feeling of what am I forgetting that I never do remember?  Alzheimer's is going to be hard for me.  I also just broke a glass and had to pick it up piece by eensy weensy piece since it had had water in it.

I'm not all bad -- I did end up vacuuming the entire house yesterday, made dinner, went to yoga and walking this morning...  I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

raiment lament

Phin has been so completely cute lately.  He was a bit grumpy while he was sick, but he still tries to be as pleasant as possible.  Just now I could see that his pants were a little damp so I asked him if he was wet.  He quickly said, "No.  Bye!"  And ran upstairs to change his clothes.  And last night before bed he didn't want a regular kiss, or even the "bisous" that we like to do, he wanted me to kiss his fist and he called it a "kiss bump."  Can you stand it?  I'm probably beginning the mourning process of him not being my youngest anymore.  I know the day the baby comes home he will seem like he has gained 50 pounds -- and gotten 50 times more smelly overnight.  And it's always hard for me to imagine loving the new baby as much as my other kids, but then all those great hormones come along and falling in love is easy.

I've reconciled myself to having another boy.  It isn't as if I don't like boys, because I do, it really has more to do with those baby girl clothes!  And I liked the name I had picked out.  But probably more with the sweet, pink, soft, floral beauties that I'll have to pass by.  I walk into a store and listlessly sift through the requisite navy, striped t-shirts and then I turn and -- be still my heart -- there are five million adorable things stuffed into the other side of the store.  It will probably save me money in the long run, except that to make myself feel better I have been buying some baby boy things that were a tad more pricey just to achieve a slightly greater level of adorability.  You do what you have to do.  And my maternity clothes are already getting too tight.  I'm enormous!  Anyone have some mumus I can borrow for the summer?

Still haven't honed in on any particular boy name... (or written my talk for Sunday, or vacuumed the house for a couple of weeks, or made the appetizer for RS tonight, or showered).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

pin pricks

My husband and I escaped to the temple alone last week and it was so pleasant to be just us in the car for the 6 (!) hours.  Matthew was still really sick with a strange virus (which Phin subsequently caught and then developed into pneumonia -- yay for antibiotics!) so I drove and we talked about fascinating things like world peace, baby names, copyright laws, being nice (totally annoyed with the govt. right now, but won't get into that).  But for some reason I just couldn't settle into the peacefulness of the temple.  I had bad heartburn and I kept thinking rude and critical things about other people in attendance (why does that pregnant lady have everything tied under her belly?  That looks so ridiculous), but then I felt bad and Matthew reminded me that God wants to purify us one way or another so I can try to humble myself or be the recipient of some humbling.  So all night and the next morning I thought about how I should be more loving and charitable to people and then at yoga after our relaxation practice, our teacher told us to take the peace that we felt right then and use it to spread compassion to everyone we meet -- from the most intimate relationship to the slightest acquaintance.  Once again, all things come together to point me in the right direction.  It is so hard for me!  

On Sunday I have to give a talk in church.  I've been informed that with my calling I get to talk more often -- it is the gift that keeps on giving!  Of course, my topic is Easter and I just cannot get inspired.  Everyone already knows what it is about, everyone will be having lessons on it on Sunday -- I can't think of anything new and revelatory to say about it.  I really have been trying to work harder on my spirituality and with each push I feel like I become farther away from where I want to be.  Then last night I was reading in a book by Bruce Hafen that said that  the amount of truth that we comprehend is first like a pin prick and after growing it gets bigger into something like the size of a coin.  If you picture both circles in a vast white space of the unknown then the more you study, the greater the circumference touching the unknown and you have even more questions and even doubts.  Did that make sense?  I clutched at it with both hands -- yes, okay.  Anyway, I am hoping that my stupor of thought about my talk and my grumpiness at the temple is simply growing pains and pregnancy hormones and not that I am dead inside.

Do you ever question your truth?

My big boy is even bigger today -- Charles is 15!  I asked him a few weeks ago what he wanted for his birthday because I have no idea at this point and he said, "As long as you don't mind paying for all my athletics, etc. you don't have to get me anything."  Isn't that thoughtful?  I didn't even know he realized how much money we spend on him.  He really is sweet.  Did I mention that he offered a few weeks ago to make dinner every Sunday?  It is always pasta and without fail he will grumble about not having the exact right amount of the exact called for ingredients (I guess I improvise more than I realized and it shows how we are definitely not the same "type"), but still it was so out of the blue and so completely nice so I try to ignore the side benefits.  He came into the world like a tornado and he hasn't ever really slowed down -- my fastest labor, he always eats fast, moves fast, talks fast, just wants to get things done, gets ready for school in five minutes or less, whenever he gets sick (very rarely) he zonks out on his bed for a few hours and gets it over with, and has found the perfect sport in track and cross-country.  It is amazing how much he has matured in the last few years.  15 year old boys are a completely different creature than 11 year old boys.  I should stop writing, but just one more quick thing.  When he was in 5th grade I was homeschooling him because public school was just not working, but we usually had at least one big fight a day so I was discouraged and then at a basketball game I watched him walk across the court and was granted somewhat of a vision of his future.  I saw an aura, a glow, around him and was overwhelmed with the intensity of how much potential he has.  I know that everyone has potential, but I really needed to see it in him and it totally changed our relationship.  He is not mine to control, just my companion for a little while and I need to guide him in the right direction and help him find out how great he can really be.  A task for all parents with all of their children I suppose.

Monday, April 18, 2011

spring break

I took the kids to St. Louis for a little spring getaway.  I had wanted to go visit my sister in Florida again because for once they were having spring break the same week as us, but the thought of driving there without another adult was simply too much for my pregnant self to consider.  Instead we visited "The City Museum" which was even more impressive than anyone could have ever described to me, spent the night at a fun hotel and went swimming for a few hours, went up inside the arch, and saw the Science Museum.  My lovely friend then offered to take the two younger girls to a butterfly garden while I took the other three shopping and then headed home.

Some pics:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

some body to love

I finished up a series of childbirth classes last night and on the way out one of my students asked me if I had ever used an after birth belly band to get my stomach flat again.  I said that no, I never have (partly because I have never had a very flat stomach to begin with, thanks short torso), but that she should let us know if she decides to try one.  I then quickly added, "Of course, your body may never be the same again after your first baby because your ribs and hips have probably widened."  I often speak before I think and didn't realize how utterly horrified that last sentence would make her.  "What?  I won't fit back into my clothes???"  "Maybe, you will.  And maybe you won't."  I whispered.  She is due on Saturday and that was just the last straw for her.  She just could not wrap her head around it and continued to rant and rave about the injustice of all the sacrifice for a few minutes.  I have been thinking a lot about this very topic for a few weeks as my body once again expands supernaturally to help grow a baby.  It seems to stretch even further every time.  Initially this is alarming and upsetting, especially because my actual weight was higher to begin with this time (five more pounds than when I delivered Ella) and I am almost to a significant large number that I have never had the pleasure of seeing on my scale before.  I was hoping to avoid it, but there is only five more pounds and more than four more months to go so the math isn't too difficult on that one.  I struggle with body image at the best of times, but I am trying to subdue the inner beast and just enjoy letting my tummy hang out for a few months.  I am also trying to put myself beyond self-reproach by eating healthily and going to the gym almost every day.  What more can I really do anyway?  In yoga class the teacher always asks us to set an intention for our practice so the last few times I have decided to set the intent of simply loving my body.  Being grateful for all that it can do.  Not saying mean things to it when I look in the mirror.  Not wishing it could be altogether different.  Not begrudging the discomforts I feel so keenly lately.  Not obsessing about how it will look for the few months after the baby comes.   Sometimes all of these things can be really, really difficult, but they can make all the difference in outlook.  Today in class she asked us to really think about how our bodies felt, "Observation without judgement."  Is that even possible?  I realized that I can be very hard on myself and in turn I think it makes me more judgmental of other people as well.  I see that one really does have to love oneself before truly being able to love others.  So with all of this tossing around my mind I turned to my student and gently reminded her that she was doing all this for her baby, that sometimes mommy bodies don't look the same as they used to, but we still need to love them and be so very grateful for how amazing they are.  A new human life!  What can be more incredible than taking part in that?  She still looked skeptical, but hopefully she will change her tune when she holds that baby in her arms for the first time.

Speaking of first babies, my oldest baby is turning 17 today.  I remember those first moments with her so clearly.  What a blessing she has always been for me.  Those initial days I would stare at her with so much love and think that someday, when she is 15 or so, she would hate me and wouldn't that be sad?  But she has never been like that and has been nothing but sweetness, along with her own unique dose of pragmatism that helps us all not get too dramatic about life.  Happy Birthday Eleanora!

Friday, April 1, 2011

my mamba

My affirmation for the day is that I am really good at recycling.  I am so good, in fact, that I am pretty certain that I just recycled a check worth over $150.  And now it is gone forever.

At yoga class on Wednesday as we twisted our bodies into dancers pose, our instructor started to talk about how our lives are like a dance.  We move from one thing to the next, partnering up with someone briefly to have a conversation or arrange something, then away again to do some solo work.  She said that perhaps as we held the pose we could manifest the thought to make our dance a little more graceful.  Ooowhee -- that opened a can of worms in my head.  What a fantastic image, but my dance would be a lot more like Elaine's than Martha Graham-esque.  I picture something frenetic, choppy, inefficient, repetitive, full of almost everything but Grace.  And am I really responsible for the choreography?  Could I be more purposeful?  Could I add more finesse?  Yes.  And I love the whole mental picture of it -- how expressive we can make our own individual masterpiece as we convey each part of our emotions -- sorrow, happiness, peace, lethargy.

What is your dance like?  Comical, like mine?  Or simply life-like.
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