Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's a Boy!!



On Wednesday, May 30, at 5:40 a.m., we welcomed our 8 lb 8 oz, 19.5 inch baby boy Preston Michael into the world!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lessons From a Quilt



As I worked on this quilt I knew it forwards and backwards. I poured my heart and soul into the design and the colors. I spent more nights than I can count staying up until 4 am trying to finish the appliques. But even with all of that effort and time it's not perfect. I made mistakes that I couldn't alter without causing more problems than it was worth. The beauty of the quilt is, however, that with a little distance and perspective none of the mistakes stick out. In fact the quilts' beauty is the only thing that I see when I look into Sophia's room. I could think, oh I don't like it, because it's not perfect. It holds no value because I didn't do everything right. Or I can take a step back shift my focus from the small details and look at it in it's entirety.

I think of my mission that way. I wanted to much to be the perfect missionary. But I wasn't, because I am not perfect. There are somethings I wish I had done differently. I could dwell on those things, and think because there are things I wish I could change I had a bad mission... Or I can look at my mission as a whole, and realize that I did serve a good mission.

I think we can look at our lives that way. We can dwell on the things that haven't gone how we planned. We can dwell on the negative things... the frustrations... the could of, would of, should of's... and be unhappy and feel dissatisfaction with all of the other things we've accomplished. Or we can step back and look at the big picture, and take joy in where we're at, and chart what we need to do to go where we want to go.

The same lesson applies to motherhood. I want to be a perfect mom, but I am not. I don't want to yell, but sometime I do. Sometimes I don't pay as much attention as I should to my kids. I get impatient with Sophia's tantrums. I could dwell on this and think, I am a terrible mom. I could let my weaknesses dictate the kind of mom I am going to continue to be. Or I can take a step back and think... No, I am trying my hardest. Overall I am a good mom, and I'm not going to let a few setbacks cloud my image of what kind of Mom I am and the kind of mom I can be.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

nesting

Okay, so this is a random picture, but Doug snapped it of me as I was ranting about getting the garbage clean completely clean and sanitized... since when have I been worried about cleaning the garbage can??? Since I got hit with this uncontrollable urge to have my home completely, 100 % clean and organized and ready for baby... The nesting instinct manifesting itself in modern day applications I suppose...






They didn't stop with the garbage can. I devoted one week to scrubbing tile and grout, (yeah for Oxy Clean... I had only used it in laundry, but my visiting teacher clued me into it's merits for cleaning other things as well) , then the tile looked so good we had to get the carpets cleaned as well... scrubbing walls (hooray for Magic Erasers... my walls look almost new again... no more smudges, crayon, pencil, fingerprints...), cleaning under the refrigerator and stove, straightening closets...etc. ( I did choose to ignore my shower until after the baby comes, with the excuse that I don't want to breathe in all of those harsh chemicals in such a small space.)

The next week I spent on Emergency Preparedness... Hurricane Season is almost upon us, and I wasn't going to have peace until my 72 hour kids were caught up, and my pantry was better stocked...


The next week I spent on last minute details from decorating, to washing all of the baby equipment: sheets, car seat pad, swing, etc... in preparation for my mom's arrival... and she's here! She got in last night! Yeah!



Now I think I just need to rest and prepare mentally and physically for baby to come... oh, and pick a name for this little one! Details... Actually we have a list for boys and girls... but I feel like our boy list could have another name on it... I just haven' t found it yet, I've been searching baby books and family group sheets... to no avail... if you think you know the missing name, please let me know... the sooner the better!

Leap of Faith



For our May book club we read Leap of Faith... Memoirs of an Unexpected Life by Queen Noor, the Queen of Jordan... While I really enjoyed reading about her life, and her thoughts and feelings regarding different policies, I had to crawl through all of the details she included regarding Middle Eastern Politics. After a lesson in the history of the creation of Israel, and the war of '67 I felt like I was better able to follow and understand the conflict, learn more from the book, and form some of my own opinions.

Things I learned from this book :

* Forgiveness-- I think the only way the conflict in the Middle East is going to be resolved is through forgiveness. I know, I know, it's easier said than done... But fighting is getting them no where... One 80 year woman said in the discussion, they lost the war, they need to move on with their lives, and start again, instead of passing on the hatred from generation to generation. At first I was kind of surprised at her hard nosed opinion... I feel bad for all of the Palestinians who were kicked out of their homes. And I can see why the people are so upset about the Israeli boundaries, and America's support of them... But in a way, she is right... The LDS people were persecuted and driven from their land (granted they had not lived there for thousands of years) but they didn't hold grudges that have passed down to us. They went else where, they forgave, and rose past the abuse.

* Our government is not perfect-- They support Israel 100%... It seems like they support them blindly. Some of our efforts at "peace" have caused way more problems than they've prevented. It was eye opening to read an account (perhaps biased, yet still accurate according to the author's point of view... and isn't that how our news comes to us?) regarding how her life and country had been affected by the United State's decisions. It puts into questions other foreign policy, and blind acceptance of what's going on.

* Make the best of your situation-- Queen Noor mentions, although does not go into great detail, how she often tried to put her own personal concerns and worries to the side, so as not to burden her husband with more than he already had on his place. She expressed that early in their marriage she had to get used to the idea her husband was a busy man, and may not be the kind of companion that she had dreamed of in regards to their leaning on one another. She loved him very much, and he loved her very much, but her reality may have been different than her fantasy. She didn't dwell on unmet expectations, she took her situation, and ran with it. She didn't complain. She tried to be the best wife and queen and mother than she could be.

* I love the addition to the title, Memoirs of an Unexpected Life. Aren't we all living, some of us in a higher degree than others, an unexpected life?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

On the receiving end...


Yesterday day was a hard day. I didn't feel well and had to go into the doctor for an unplanned appointment... I had a primary meeting in the morning, and one of the sister's offered to take my kids, not just for the appointment... but for the whole afternoon... it was hard to say yes, because I felt guilty... but she talked me into it... when I picked up my kids she sent me home with dinner... she said she knew that I had been gone all day, and surely hadn't had time to plan or prepare dinner... again, it was hard to accept it... but when I went home and was able to sit down for a few minutes and rest instead of preparing for and cleaning up after dinner, I was so grateful... I just felt taken care of and loved... I slept for ten hours last night with fewer interruptions than normal (ie. waking with a full bladder, or needing to adjust due to various aches and pains, or needing to comfort Porter from a night terror) and I woke up feeling so much better... It was hard to be on the receiving end of so much service, but I am so grateful for her love and cheerful attitude, she really went the extra mile, looked for what I needed, and acted without hesitation... her house didn't get cleaned yesterday, I am sure she threw her to do list out the window, but I knew she received blessings from heaven!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mother's Day Tea



The Mother's Day Tea was so cute! Siblings were NOT invited this time, as Porter kept reminding me. The kids sang a song about moms, Porter gave me a flower he had planted in a planter he had painted, he ate two pieces of cake (one for me) got a stomach ache :), and we had a really sweet date together.

He gave me a card he had made. On it was a picture he had drawn of me, the rest of it was a summary of :


"My Mother"
age: 31
height: 68 inches
weight: 49 lbs
hair color: blonde
eye color: blue
I like it when my mom... takes me on a bike ride after school
My mom can do many things! I think she's best at ...cooking
My mom has a pretty smile! I like to make her smile by ...washing the dishes
My mom is as pretty as a ...(my personal fav) ... a rainbow
If I could give her anything in the world, I would give her... Chocolate
signed: Porter date: 5-9-07

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Soccer Banquet

Porter's soccer team had their end of the season hurrah at Cici's Pizza. He was excited to get his medal. The kids were cute and excited. It was a fun way to celebrate.








Splash Day

The second to last day of preschool was officially called

SPLASH DAY!

You can imagine Porter's delight.

He looked forward to it for two weeks.

You can imagine Sophia's delight when parents were invited to come and watch and siblings were welcomed too! She calls Porter's pre-school, the big pre-school ( I guess fun shine express isn't real enough for her! How funny she can tell such a difference.) She marched right into Porter's classroom with a big smile on her face, ready to take part in pre-school. She a little disheartened when I called her back out, and told her we couldn't wait inside the classroom for splash day to begin...



A cute sibling moment. Porter spread out his towel so that both he and Sophia could enjoy a snack together. Sophia seems so bubbly and outgoing, but I am just now seeing a very shy side to her. She stuck close by me, and didn't dare venture into the water until one of her friends her age showed up after the party had been going for almost an hour.

Then finally she tested out, and completely loved, the slip and slide.

Porter of course had no problems, shooting water guns, playing with the shaving cream they provided (to paint the play cars), running through the volcano sprinkler... etc... It's amazing how well kids can be entertained with water. I'm not sure how much we'll make it to the pool after the baby is born, I am sure we will be spending some quality sprinkler time the back yard... I hope it will hold their attention as well as Splash Day did!

Friday, May 18, 2007

preschool graduation

Porter's preschool graduation was last Tuesday night. I can't believe it's already been a whole school year! It was so hard for me to agree to put him in pre-school... I just think kids need to be kids, and I hated to have him be gone from home that long every week... But Doug felt strongly that we needed to put him in, and not just for one semester, for the whole year. How glad I am that I let him lead our family in this matter! It has been the best thing for Porter! He has just thrived!










Here are Porter's teachers... He loves them so much. He asked me on the way home where Mrs. M* lives... When I told him I didn't know he started to cry... big crocodile tears... because he was afraid that after the last day of school he would never see her again... It was so sweet and so sad... I'm just so grateful to them for loving and teaching my son. They've been strict, and consistent, and loving... just what a 4/5 year old needs! I wish we could take them wish us to each grade of school! I'm surprised at how attached I've become, and how much I love them too!

38 weeks

I know my family is curious... so here you go, another pregnancy photo... 38 weeks and counting!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

swings




oil ranch

We LOVE THE OIL RANCH! I wanted to get in one visit before the baby came, and before it got way too hot to enjoy it... We had a great day living it up on the ranch!











Sophia doesn't remember has last trip... and she loved it... Although she won't ride the ponies. The cows made a big impression on her... just today she told me all about her hay ride and the oil ranch, and ended with the fact that the cow sneezed on her... I hadn't registered that detail!

SOPHIA'S BEDROOM

Note the freshly painted white furniture. Thanks Doug!!!

The furniture was Doug's sister's when she was growing up... We also have Doug's bedroom set from when he was a kid in Porter's room. Last spring Doug's mom said she was going to send them to DI... we told her we'd love them if she could hold on to them until this summer. When we moved to TX for school, we didn't anticipate staying, so we didn't move all of our stuff down. Now that we are here for the indefinite future, we felt compelled to move all of our junk out of our parent's homes... So that was one of our projects last summer. We made sure there was enough room for two awesome bedrooms sets. I love things that have sentimental value!

The furniture used to be a light creamy, almost yellow color. We purchased a paint sprayer and oil based paint, and Doug painstakingly painted each piece. He does the painting, because he does a way better job at it then I would. I do not pay enough attention to detail. My mom calls my dad Michelangelo when he paints, I think the same nick name could be given to Doug! Doesn't the furniture look great?!?

Sophia loves it too... and she loves that her daddy painted it for her. She tells me often that "Daddy painted my furniture white...and... I like my white furniture!"



Last summer when I was at home, my sister-in-law Erin agreed to help me make a quilt for Sophia's room... Neither one of us had any idea what we were getting into... It started out as a simple design, and escalated in complexity as our creative juices started to flow... The finished product is BEAUTIFUL... it just took FOREVER to finish! Erin just sent me the final product, conveniently the week after the furniture was finished. The flowers and vines are appliqued on, and Erin did every stitch of the quilting and the binding... isn't she an angel???

Thank you Erin!!!

I love the quilt and so does Sophia! I've seen many quilts since we made this one, and I haven't seen one I like more! This one fits Sophia's personality so well, fun, colorful and bubbly! It's such an amazing heirloom...



Sophia's a happy girl in her new room!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Grateful Sunday



This week I am grateful:

* Our neighborhood pool opened on Friday... Wahoo! Unfortunately it's only open weekends in May, but I'll take what I can get. My kids were in heaven on Friday and Saturday, soaking in some chlorine. I want to get all the swimming we can in now, because I'm not sure I'll be up to spending a whole lot of time a the pool in 100 degree heat with a brand new baby who can't go in. While it's nice to not be pregnant in hot summer, it's nice to be free to get in the pool to find relief during the summer!





* Doug and I were able to go to the temple Saturday night. We discovered a new quicker way to get there from K* . It was nice to feel the calm and peace that always accompanies me when I leave. I have a hard time leaving my new babies for any length of time, so I know it will be a while before I get back, and I was grateful to get in one last visit before the baby comes.





* Doug finished painting Sophia's furniture white last Saturday, and Sophia's quilt came last Monday. Pictures and stories to come...

* I finally got to the Oil Ranch last week... I love it there... again, pictures to come!

* Girls from my old ward, Tara B*, Jamie C*, Emma G*, Ali H*, Shannan R*, Emily H* all came to K* for a girls night out to Pei Wei. It was so fun to see them! I miss them so much! I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. They even came bearing gifts of diapers and lotions to help welcome the baby. Thanks so much Tara and Ali for bringing us all together! The evening was perfect!

* I've had so many extra doctor's visits with gestational diabetes, I am so grateful to all of the girls I know who've been so willing to watch my kids for me. I've just been so needy, and I'm grateful for their willing attitudes. I even had some call and ask me when my next appointment was, and volunteer for the job.





* With extra visits have come extra tests, this week my doctor agreed, that because my numbers are good and because I have to pay for all of the extra tests out of pocket, that I could skip a week of non stress tests and AFI's... and I'll probably be able to skip next week... every bit helps! If I felt like I needed them, or if she felt like I needed them, then I want them. But I found out the extra tests I was doing are not at all mandatory, my doctor's office just happens to be extra cautious. In fact the tests are usually just standard on women who are on insulin. So I am grateful my doctor is a reasonable woman.

Goals for this week:
* Deep Cleaning... I know... YUCK, it's all I can do to get my basic cleaning done every week... but I've avoided the pencil on the walls for long enough (Sophia is a budding artist) and I can't pretend that the floor underneath the stove and refrigerator are spotless, and I can write in the dust on my blinds and have been able to do so for a while, and if I still have any energy left over I need to tackle some tile grout scrubbing... I even bought a special brush today... Those nesting hormones will not let me rest until I complete these jobs... Hopefully I will get through these tasks this week, and I'll be able to set some more fun goals next week!



I doubt I'll have this much energy, but one can hope, can't they?

Treasure Hunts

I love the rush of finding a bargain... It doesn't matter where it is... in Kohls... at Target... at a Yard Sale... on Ebay... As I've discovered the world of second hand steals, I've wished that I would have known about this world before I started having kids... I see the toys we bought new for Porter at Toys R Us at yard sales all the time, for 1/20th of the price, and in great condition!

Last week we had a yard sale, and it felt so good to go through things, and declutter! It was also interesting to be on the other side of it... I realized EVERYONE bargains at yard sales. One lady wanted the nicest mug we were selling, marked at 50 cents, she offered us a quarter... I just laughed at her as I said fine... I mean my goal was to move things... and move they did! We made over $200... kind of surprising, because I really felt like we were just selling junk! The kids made almost $20... it goes without saying that they were thrilled! Porter had his little table set up with toys, he pulled out a chair, so he could sit by his stuff and wheel and deal... I should have taken a picture!

So don't ask me why, after the liberating feeling of decluttering last week, I thought I would go see what a nearby neighborhood had in their neighborhood yard sale. The saying is true, one man's junk is another man's treasure... and vice versa! I guess I just love the treasure hunt!

The only problem with yard sales, is finding things that I didn't know I needed... like today, I came home with a baby bassinet... Doug asked me if I was looking for one... well, no, but when I saw it I couldn't resist it, it just looked like such a sweet and cozy place for a baby to rest... I also hadn't done any research on them, so I didn't know what they go for new (vital information when you're bargaining, as I also enjoy!) So now, after looking them up, I think I paid too much for it... It was a fair price, but not a screaming deal, (I am of the opinion, that if it's used, I want it cheap!)... Oh well, better luck next time! And I do love the bassinet...





I've found the spring to be a great time for treasure hunting... I think people must be spring cleaning or moving... We finally have furniture in our living room, thanks to this Craig's List find last week...




I thought it would make my house feel so much more complete, it does, kind of, however, it's opened a whole new bag of worms... Now I need a rug that matches the couches... and maybe a coffee table??? and the computer explosion in our office is now visible when guests sit on the love seat... so now I want a computer armoire... it never ends!

So I just pray that I can be happy with what I have, and content with things as they are, even though there are still lots of things I want to decorate and change... I need to enjoy what I've accomplished, instead of always looking forward to the next project, thinking, after that's done, then I'll feel like my house is done... because it's not... will it ever be??