Sunday, February 27, 2011

This week was great

Don't really know what to title this post...just the happenings of this week.

2nd week at the Halls this week. Everything went well, smooth, to routine, etc. Except Taylor didn't poop for a couple of days and I was a little worried. Ha! Last week it wouldn't stop and this week it won't come. Sigh, the grass is always greener on the other side. :) Monday night for FHE, 5 minutes before start time, Spencer informed me that I was in charge of the lesson and treats, (filling in for Mom and Dad)and since Allison wasn't feeling well, the songs. What is this, the 1 man FHE-the 1 Mere FHE? Luckily, Spencer suggested we talk about temples from Ward Conference and there was hot chocolate and 'dunkers' in the cupboard.

Phew! FHE on the fly. Perfect.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were regular days. The only exciting thing that happened was that Rocky ran away again. Then came back the next day. Thank Goodness. I am never in the mood to chase a big black lab around the neighborhood at 9:30 pm on a cold winter evening. I'm just not.

Oh. My parents came over Wednesday night to catch up, deliver mail, AND hot tub. It felt SO good. I love hot tubbing in winter. We chatted and caught up, mostly on my life, kind of a luxury to have both my parents' undivided attention for a couple hours. It was great.

Oh, the one funny thing this week. We ran out of milk on Tuesday and I had a window of time to stop at the grocery store on Thursday, so we went a day or so without milk and had juice instead. There was a 3rd of a pitcher left of pineapple, strawberry, banana juice and in preparation for the next day, I added a second can of juice to it. The second kind was pineapple orange, strawberry-close right? The combination is not a big deal. My dad mixes juice flavors all the time, so I thought nothing of it. Until the next morning when it totally threw the kids for a loop. They were super hesitant to taste it. Kind of hilarious at 7:30 am when they are running out of time to get ready and all they are focused on is this juice. Taylor loved it, Allison finally tried it and exclaimed, "wow, this is good!", Robyn followed Allison-almost exactly and Spencer mumbled something under his breath before he drank a big glass of it. So we got through it :) Then I was off to work, smiling to myself.

Thursday night I dropped Allison off at dance and went grocery shopping with Robyn, we had a few minutes before Allison was done, so we tried out the Yogurt Bliss place next door. Here we are at the shoppe. Robyn thought it was pretty cool, especially since it was much healthier than real ice cream :). She is so cute, I love hanging out with Robyn!


When I got home, I think I finally felt the wear of being a working single mom. I was tired and not in the mood to do showers and beyond the minimum, it was Friday the next day, and my last day, so I sucked it up and showered Taylor with all the TLC in the world and put him to bed. This experience is really good for me. I feel it purging the selfishness right out of me, but it's a bit uncomfortable.

Friday morning we woke up to a lot of snow on the ground, so we prayed that morning that Heather and Jeremy would be safe traveling and would make all their flights.

Friday at noon, Bonnie and I threw a baby shower for our good friend and coworker Deepthi. Baby Sid is due March 1 and we told him he had to stay in til after the shower. He agreed. So at noon, all the girls in the office brought their salads and goodies to the large conference room and we celebrated. We played the poop game and did a cash jar. Deepthi loved it. Swathi took pics, so I will post them when she sends them over.

Friday night we were out of pizzas for pizza and movie night at the Halls, so we had nachos instead, at this point I was so lenient on portion sizes, combinations, the amount of cheese Spencer insisted on having, etc. Sure, whatever you want.

Let's celebrate a successful 2 weeks together!

While the kids watched a movie, I cleaned up a bit, did some laundry, etc., getting ready for Heather and Jeremy to come home. They made all their flights and arrived home very tired and very appreciative. It was funny to see Heather after being up for 26 hours. She does better with sleep. :)

Saturday was, on a scale of 1-10, a 4. One of the worst days I have had in a long time. I was driving to rehearsal and my car overheated on the freeway just over the point of the mountain. There was an accident a little ways up, so I was rolling at about 20 mph. My car has been having overheating issues, but this time felt urgent-I needed to get it to the car doctor ASAP. After clearing the accident, I got off on 12300 S and went to Tunex Car Care. Diagnosis-probably a head gasket issue and possibly a crack in the engine. "Oh, what does that mean?"

"If there's a crack, the only option is a new engine."

Oh. Great. I don't know a lot about cars, but I do know that replacing an engine is expensive.

Shoot. I am not in the mood for this. I am tired, exhausted, I've got to get to rehearsal, and I have a date this afternoon that I need to not be grouchy for.

So they kept it in the shop to look at it, did an oil change, yada yada... who knows what they really do. And I shot the breeze at the shops down there. Total waste of time. Not happy about it. No rehearsal for me.

Anyway, they ran a test with the cooling system and if it overheats in the next 600 miles, then I need to replace the head gasket. Okay, great.

I get home with about 15 minutes to change, spruce up, eat lunch, and get ready for this snowshoeing date.

I went out with Benj. He is a good friend of Scott and Stefanie Hathaway (I work with Scott at One on One).

It was really fun, we went snowshoeing up AF canyon for a couple hours. Benj is super nice-a total gentleman. This guy doesn't have a mean bone in his body. I was very impressed with how chivalrous and gentlemanly he was. He opened all my doors for me, grabbed my bag to carry it as we were leaving (hello impressive, I am not used to guys stepping up like that), and did up my snowshoes for me. Just little things. Put his arm around me when we took pictures, it was so nice to be treated so well, and just taken care of. Here are some pics of the date. Scott fell down about 18 times-pretty funny.

Lacing up my snowshoes and putting on my ankle protectors-he worked hard on those to fit them over my big fuzzy boots. He was a champ!

Stef was getting super cold, so Scott took care of that...
Great smile. Great eyes.
The snowshoes belong to Scott, that was the ending of his attempt running down the mountain. HA!
Snow Angels! with snowshoes.
We are snowshoers!
Saturday night Mags talked me in to coming up to visit, so I went up to Ogden for the evening and Sunday. It was great to catch up with Mags and Nate and David was up there too.
Sunday I went to dinner at Bonnie's parents'. So fun. They were a little more laid back and joking around, totally fun. We looked at scrapbooks and just chatted. I took Sarah (Bonnie's sister) and her husband Kevin home with me so that Bonnie could call her new interest Adam...:)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

one week down

One week down, one more to go, not really counting because it was a great week, just cheering for the success! As I mentioned in my last post, I am babysitting the Halls kids while they are cruising over in Europe for 2 weeks. Our prayers this week, I told the kids on the first morning to include in every prayer protection and health & strength. As long as we all stay safe and healthy, we will be just fine. As a result, I have felt a nuclear bubble of protection around the Hall house this week, a literal sustaining watchful care holding the energy of protection and power. Thank you.
I was surprised at how relatively easy this week was, it was actually a lot of fun. Heather had everything organized, right down to Valentine's and 'ask the kids to take notes at ward conference today'-I don't know how she does it. That is why I babysit these kids, it's actually to watch how Heather and Jeremy run their home and raise their family. They are incredible.
The week was pretty regular, I was extra tired, so when the kids went to bed, so did I. It was actually really nice to go to bed at 9:30 and get up at 6. I function SO much better with good sleep. Hmmm, weird.
Anyway, a little more about this week. Taylor pooped everyday this week. Like full to the max diaper and beyond, I have never seen him poop that much and I don't know how that kid had that much poop in him. However, he ate REALLY well this week, was very regular, and was very happy, AND hardly any seizures which is always a plus. No complaints changing poopy diapers if this results in a happy Taylor.
Valentine's day was great. Heather had left full length mirrors with inspirational messages on them for Spencer, Allison, and Robyn and for Taylor and me she had left some divine balls of chocolate somethings...I think they were those cheesecake balls, anyway, WOW. They were my guilty pleasure throughout the week. :) And here is Taylor enjoying his... he LOVED them. I think its great that somehow, even though most of his food simply goes in and glides down the throat, Taylor always knows when it is chocolate or something yummy and perks right up. Happy Valentine's Day Taylor!

Yes, even a bit up the nose. :)
On Thursday it was a full moon, so Allison and I (Robyn had already gone to bed) did the 'moon dance' and on Friday all 3 of us did the moon dance even though Spencer announced that it was only 99% full. (sigh) gotta love that boy. The background on this is, one weekend my sister and I were goofing around and dancing outside under the full moon and we found this great 'moon dance music' so whenever there is a full moon we do the "moon dance" and play this music while we dance under the full moon. Well, there was a full moon one weekend that I was at the Halls, so I went out with Allison and Robyn and introduced them to the 'moon dance'. This was a couple of years ago, but it is one thing they still remember and remind me of. Allison actually choreographed a little dance with Robyn and performed it for me. Too dark to video, but here are some pics.

Friday night crisis-couldn't find the TV remote! This is serious for the Halls on the weekends, especially pizza and movie night. So they watched it on the computer and settled for that. Phew! If the technology breaks in this house while I am here, good luck. I am of no assistance in this department. So this is the other thing I pray for-it's right up there with no medical emergencies.
Saturday I went to my dance rehearsal and Kelly, Heather and Jeremy's sister-in-law, covered for me. Saturday afternoon I made my list of errands-drop off t-shirts, pick up at Wal-Mart, groceries, fill prescription, etc. So the kids were really good as we went around town crossing these off my list because one of the stopping points was my office. We stopped there to play games. Spencer and I played ping-pong, we got pretty good at rallying after a while. We played some air hockey with Allison and Robyn and Taylor loved the giant love sac that he hung out on. Something for everyone for an hour or so. Then I took them to see my desk and raid the candy jar and jelly belly bowl. They just had to test every flavor... shoot. I was right along with them on this. Then we went to Denny's for dinner-kids eat free on Saturday nights. Perfect. Since Taylor was technically the adult over the designated child age, but eats like a child, Spencer got to pick his adult meal. Spencer was VERY happy about this. And go for it he did with a ginormous cheeseburger and fries. I got their hickory chicken sandwich that was not so good, so they swapped it for a burger. Allison and Robyn had their grand slam-breakfast for dinner, and Taylor had mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets (super clean and easy foods to feed him since I totally forgot his wheelchair). Everyone had a good time.
Sunday I made pancakes for breakfast, I learned my lesson last week after hungry and grouchy kids after church, they need substantial breakfasts on Sunday morning. It was ward conference and it was really really good. Centered on Temples, so the Stake President and Bishop spoke about going to the temple more frequently and maximizing our attendance. The sunday school lesson was AWESOME! It was given by the stake sunday school...counselor (I think). Anyway, he had been preparing for months, so the discussion we had was very rich and mature. They are making an effort to point primary children and youth in the direction of the temple and basically having everything we do lead and point to the temple. Wow, that seems young to me, but it is very wise being that that is the broader goal even to baptism, church attendance. It reminded me of the principle I have been thinking about recently and that I spoke about in church a few weeks back about 'all going home together'. AND connecting to the Tribal Leadership book I read, we are all on Heavenly Father's team (tribe :)) and we are all going home together. The goal is to go home together-not alone, that is why we are in families and grouped in wards and stakes-to strengthen each other to all go Home. This principle also bleeds into many arenas and I was thinking about it in the context of parenting and families. Kids deserve to know that their parents are on their team (routing for them, committed to their success, etc.) and when we are all on the same team, then we support each other, we route for each other, and we create a family network that is extremely powerful.
I have been thinking about mission statements recently and thought this would be a great mission statement:
"We're all on the same team!"
Some food for thought.
This is the fort that Spencer and Allison built on Sunday...for reading and for the sake of building a fort-the best thing to do on Sunday of course. Speaking of reading, so Spencer is having a reading competition at school, so he is reading any chance he gets, LITERALLY. He asked me to sign off on his reading hours for each day this past week. 10.5 hours on 2 days and 9 hours on the other 2 days, WHAT?! That isn't humanly possible, he is not even awake and able to read that much in one day. He is so funny, he recorded that he was waking up between 1-4 am to read and then going back to sleep, that's how he got all those hours in. I didn't believe him, he would be WAY more grouchy if he was doing that. So I didn't feel good about signing off on it. Shoot. Spencer was not happy. We finally agreed that he would lower his hours even though 'I was making him a liar'-don't worry Heather, it was okay, I would be frustrated too if I was him. And that he would tell me when he was reading along the way to verify his hours. We also worked it out that he would not get up in the middle of the night, but go to bed early and wake up early to read. It was the most compromise-able I have ever seen him, Good Job Spence!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What is the world coming to?

So last night at dinner, Robyn (who is 5) asked me if I knew the 'Single Ladies' song because she did. Then she proceeded to sing it for me and I had her repeat it for the camera.
Hilarious, but oh my, 5 years old singing "if you like, then you should of put a ring on it..."
video

Best Valentine EVER!

Happy Valentine's Day!
It was a regular morning with the Halls with Apple Cinnamon Rolls, not waffles (much to Spencer's dismay-it's okay, waffles were for dinner) and then I was off to work with not much planned. I thought about doing company wide valentine's, but decided to simplify and forego it because with the Halls and working it would have been too much and I didn't plan enough in advance to do it before. Sigh. the consequence of simplifying, BUT it encourages me to plan ahead in order to do fun things like this rather than burnout trying to scramble at the end.
However, I did stop at Wal-Mart before work this morning and picked up some conversation hearts and chocolate kisses to put on the lunch tables. Lunch today was Nonna Lucia's Italian Bistro. The food was GREAT, but the service and presentation (specifically the sanitation side of things) was NOT... I got word on Tuesday that over half of our company team members were up in the night sick with the runs. YIKES!
I also picked up Bonnie's valentine: stuff for PB&J. This girl could live on PB&J sandwiches, its one of her favorite snacks, meals, appetizers, etc. anytime is the right time for PB&J for Bonnie. I put them on her desk with a note while she was in a meeting. Hehe... I love things like this.
It was getting close to lunchtime, so I went upstairs to set up the candy on the tables and get things in order for the caterers. I came back to my desk as Bonnie was hopping around the suite. She came out of the glass doors by my desk and thanked me for her valentine. We shared a little Valentine dance (Bonnie actually danced for me) in the hall and I went back to my desk, to this...The BEST Valentine EVER!!
10 things I love about Mere...hello full love tank :)
1...how you are so considerate & thoughful (your little notes and presents)
2...how you are motivated to organize & simplify your life.
3...your organized closet (I'm kinda jealous)
4...your insight on life...I love your wisdom (eg trees and roots)
5...your positive and bubbly personality...I love being around you!
6...your spirituality and sensitivity to the spirit and your willingness to follow His will.
7...your willingness to serve others (at church, the Halls, your family, ME!)
8...how genuine you are when you talk with people...your excitement meeting new people.
9...your desire to learn more about yourself (I think it's rubbing off!)
10...the fact that you're the BEST ROOMMATE EVER! (it's true)
11...shoooot! I couldn't just have 10!!!
-your beauty inside and out
-how you can tell when you are 'pet-peeving' me
-your humor
-JUST LOVE YOU!

I have the best roommate ever.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

preparing for motherhood

The first part of this week was tying up loose ends around the condo, making DI runs, returning stuff, etc before Friday when I will be tending the Halls for 2 weeks. Heather and Jeremy are going on a 2 week European Cruise and I am tending their kids, I know, so fun for me! I actually am very excited, but it means that I have a window of time this week to get things done.
Monday my goal was to find a headboard because I want to put my bed on a diagonal and I love reading or journaling in bed and would rather not use my core to sit up straight-I need a head board. I went to DI, Target, Wal-Mart, Bed Bath and Beyond with no luck. Finally Bonnie suggested that I just search online-simplify, Brill! I really didn't want to pay $100 for a head board, 1 because I just don't and 2 because I just had a chat about the budge with Carl and feel slightly accountable to him for being wise with my money :) Thanks Carl. Within 10 minutes I found a black faux suede headboard for $45. Done. I love it. And I love that my goal for Monday was accomplished. To celebrate, Bonnie and I went out for a 'Never on Sundae' treat at Pizza Factory, it was REALLY good (we had the oatmeal cookie on the bottom) and I love hanging out with Bonnie, she is a smash hit!
Tuesday
Wednesday during lunch Bonnie and I went to DSW to find some classic black pumps for me because mine are DEAD! My black wedges from Victoria's Secret, my all time favorite shoes are officially done. So sad. So we went to DSW to find some for me to wear on Thursday because an interviewee that I have a slight crush on was starting working at One on One (its on the shelf because of work, but I still intended to look hott). We were successful-I should have posted a pic. I will later. I found some classic black pumps with a mostly rounded toe AND I found a great set of black pumps with a leather bow accent with pointed toes-totally great. However, I found the clearance room right as we are leaving. This is the difference between me and Bonnie. As we are leaving I comment "Bonnie, I never pay full price for anything, I always shop clearance. Bonnie: "I never shop clearance" YIKES! Well, I will post pics because the shoes are totally great. Borderline Brill if only the price was right-not so much. Wednesday night Bonnie and I did condo stuff. She painted her bathroom-fuschia! It turned out great- you all will have to come see. Housewarming party, you're invited!
Thursday I wore my black skinnies with my fuschia top and black blazer with the black pumps with the bow and my hair down and straightened-very metropolitan and totally great! Rose, you would have loved it. And I did talk with the guy that day, and shoot, he is a lot cuter than I remember from when he interviewed. On the shelf.
Thursday night I was super productive, I dropped off Rosey's valentine and t-shirts with mom and unloaded boxes for Riss, I did a DI run to return the head board I got that was actually a full size not a twin, returned my curtains at JC Penney and switched them for the cinch kind instead of grommets, and cleaned out my car-go Mere. I grabbed a quick grilled chkn sandwich from Wendy's and arrived at Beth's place totally on time! Bonnie, I am getting much better at time management-thank you SO much! Beth and I went to see Cinderella at BYU-the ballet. I guess before the performance, they did a 'meet the princess' party, so there were so many little girls all dressed up like princesses, so excited to meet the dancers 'fairies' and Cinderella and the Prince. A dream come true for the little girls and for the ballet program, hello smart marketing! I heard that all the shows were sold out, way to go BYU dance! By this time, my feet were dying (new shoes) but the performance was really well done. Live orchestra, great soloists, the prince-not so much, but the step sisters were hysterical-very well done and not over the top. Shoot. I kept imagining me and Rose in those roles-that would be a dream-oh wait, we act like that anyway stage or no stage.
Friday-another great outfit. brown corduroy pencil skirt, white shirt, Bonnie's red blazer/jacket and her 'versatile' scarf (this scarf is incredible, it goes with everything!). I had a meeting with my boss and just wanted to wear the outfit, so... and I might see the crush... shoot.
Anyway, Friday morning, Thanks to Heavenly Father who woke me up at 5:30 for enough time to finish packing and get over to Halls by 6:30. I got home so late Thursday that I threw some clothes together and other toiletries and just hoped I would wake up Friday with enough time to finish. He is watching out for me.
I got over to Halls and did the morning routine until I left for work at 7:30. Heather is all prepared with 2 binders of information-1 for medical emergencies and 1 with each day of instructions written out. This woman is incredible, she remembered everything, so I am set to go.
Friday at lunch Bonnie, Swathi, Deepthi and I went to pick out paint swatches for baby Sid's room. Deepthi is having a baby boy (Sid) at the end of Feb and asked us girls (mostly Bonnie because she is the pro) to paint the baby room. Yes, of course. So she brought her bed set and we went to Home Depot and got some different paint swatches of color combinations to mull over. This project will be so fun, can't wait!
Friday night was pizza and movie night-the regular routine with the Halls. I was so tired that night, I looked at the pile of dishes and said good night to them. The best part about tending the Halls is that I get on their 'early to bed, early to rise' schedule, wow, this really is a good schedule for sleeping.
Saturday morning we went to my dance rehearsal. Our show is coming up in April and we only have Saturdays, so our time together is very precious-hence carting 4 kids to a 3.5 hour rehearsal, I know it was brutal for them. But they were GREAT!! Holy cow, I was ready to take them to Disneyland for the day after that. Instead we decided to go see Voyage of the Dawn Treader and go to Costa Vida afterwards for dinner. It was a fun evening and they let Taylor and myself in free for the movie! I was a bit worried that it was going to be too much for Robyn, but she happened to bring a 'Littlest Pet Shop' mask that she made at a birthday party earlier that day and anytime a scary part came, she just put up her mask. It was pretty funny!
Great movie! AND it has the part with the dragon and Aslan scratching away the scales and transforming Eustus back into a boy. That is my favorite analogy for repentance-ever! I had heard that part of the story and it stuck with me, but I never connected it to C.S. Lewis or the Chronicles of Narnia. I am inspired to read that book now.
Sunday-today, was just a chill day. It was great to go to the Halls ward because I know the neighbors and enough people to feel very comfortable. During the Sacrament I asked Robyn what her favorite story of Jesus was. "When Jesus comes alive!" was her response, me: "why do you like that one?" Robyn: "I just like when Jesus comes alive, that's all!" me: "okay. end of discussion." Love that girl.
Sunday afternoon Spencer and I had a power struggle with the nerf gun, but we recovered. The kids made their valentine's, this was so funny. Spencer waited around for people to help him because 'he had the most to make', Allison made hers quickly and then assisted Robyn and everyone else-including me with Taylor's. It was great.
Sunday dinner and then we played Ticket to Ride-my favorite game these days. I gave it to the Halls for Christmas and I looked forward to playing it with them. It was a lot of fun and kind of smoothed over the grumpy Spencer which we were all glad about.
Here we go for week number 1 with the Halls. My prayer for these next few weeks is protection and health. My goal is to maintain the regular routine and everyone stays healthy, happy, and safe. Perfect.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sickie Week

I was a sickie this week, so this will be short and sweet so I can take my Chloraseptic and Coricidin and go to bed. Bonnie was sick on Monday and then I felt a bug on Tuesday that just kept growing. Friday, I managed to shuffle across the hall to the bathroom and realize that going to work was not going to happen. Shoot. So I called my good friend Ashley to run the 1on1 Chili Cook-off and let my boss know that I was down and out and went back to sleep.
I don't remember the last time I was this sick. Maybe during my Youth Artists days-jr.high years when I couldn't go to my teacher's reception because I couldn't get out of bed... wow, it's been a while.
However, getting sick is kind of a game for me because it causes me to ask "why am I sick?" most of the time there is some other emotional or mental issue festering inside that I just need to work out. This time I was at a loss.
Blake? Okay, update on the guy scene-briefly. Blake, guy in our ward in terested in Bonnie. She was not, and we both thought that Blake and I were a better fit. He came over on Thursday for dinner and Groundhog Day and we just ended up chatting. A little anxious about it because of expectations, but conclusion is that we are all better off as good friends. Perfect!
Anyway, I couldn't figure out why I was so sick, so I consulted Louise. Louise Hay wrote 'You Can Heal Your Life', my all time favorite book on... how to heal your life. It's based on the belief that the physical is a manifestation of the emotional and mental, so it provides questions and avenues to answer questions such as 'why am I sick?' Love it.
So I looked up the throat and respiratory ailments. The throat is all about change.
BINGO!
Oh, thank you Louise. My life is just changing and my body is catching up. Okay, I have a little more patience to let it run its course.

The other thing I was involved with this week, other than simplifying and sick-ing :), was reading "Tribal Leadership", a fantastic book. Highly recommend it for anyone who works in any sort of business or organization. It is based on research about how organizations operate in one of 5 stages and how to move the organization to stage 5 where the most productivity and efficiency and happiness exists. Super interesting. The 5 stages are (these are the pervading mentality of the group):
Stage 1: "Life Sucks"
Stage 2: "My Life Sucks"
Stage 3: "I'm Great! (and you're not)"
Stage 4: "We're Great!"
Stage 5: "Life is Great!"

The goal is to operate individually and collectively at Stage 5.
Hmm...I found some striking Stage 3 mentality in my work and personal life that was alarming, so I am purging that right now. The rest I am still digesting and putting it in to the context of my life, but super fascinating especially in a family context or in dance.