Saturday, January 31, 2009

Un-paper bag #2

The first bag I ever made was for my SIL for Christmas. When I bought the material for hers, I also got some more fabrics from the Metro Green Goes Blue by Michael Miller. I thought they'd work together nicely as a bag. I finally got around to making the bag last week and finished putting on the handles tonight. I am hoping to use this as a church bag since I can't ever seem to fit everything I need in my little diaper bag. I used the un-paper bag tutorial from Purl Bee again, but I modified it slightly so I could have the chocolate vinyl bottom. (Thanks again Erin for the great big piece of of it!)

Next I think I want to try making a real diaper bag with this free pattern.

The emergence of two word sentences

I just thought I'd make a note saying that Dean's been using a few two word sentences the last few weeks. "Get up." "Hi Dad." and "Hi Dean." (in the mirror). His vocab is definitely increasing as well (both understood and spoken).

He doesn't have a ton of nonsensical babble, but he seems to be very deliberate in his speech. He thinks it's pretty funny when I try and teach him new sounds and words.

Things he can say (or tries to say and I know what he means because he's usually mimicking me), not including the old things he already knew:
  • Walk (WWWWWAAH)
  • Watch (WA) (Always wants to play with mine)
  • Rock (WAAc) haha. Yeah, they're mostly the same word, but he uses them contextually. Rock refers to the rocking chair or ottoman when he wants to "Ge' up" and "WAA."
  • Grape (Gway)
  • Book
  • Duck
  • Quack
  • Hoohoo haha (monkey sound)
  • Vacuum (Wac)
  • Nonononono (The few times he's said this, it's been to tell himself he shouldn't be doing what he's doing!)
  • Hi (he used to say it "ha", but now it has a very clear dipthong.) The other day at the grocery store he was on my hip with his head on my shoulder since he was tired. The cashier said, "Hi, how are you today?" Immediately Dean whipped around and clearly said, "HI!" It was very cute.
  • Truck (Guck) This term is used for most vehicals, but he gets extremely excited and repeats it over and over when he sees semi-trucks and school buses.
Almost every time I ask him a question with recognizable voice inflections, he'll shake his head no, even if the real answer is yes. He's answered "yes" once or twice, but not often.

We've been working on body parts since Christmas, and he almost always points to the following correctly (though he can't say them):
  • Eyes (usually shuts them)
  • Head
  • Toes
  • Ears
  • Nose
  • Tongue (He's been really into his tongue lately. Sometimes I'll catch him looking in mirrors or windows or reflective metal just sticking his tongue out. This actually makes me happy because he didn't even try to stick his tongue out after his z-plasty for nearly 6 months!)
  • Belly button (he loves to try and find my belly button as well)
When I ask him to give me a kiss, he turns his cheek for me to kiss it. haha.

Also, he loves to point at airplanes overhead. There are lots of them since we're so close to DFW.

And lastly, when I was in Snowflake for Christmas I decided to keep one of my old teddy bears. I am usually not sentimental about things, but for some reason I wanted to have this one. I have been sleeping with it at night (it fits nicely under my new little belly). Dean LOVES it. It's nearly as big as he is. He gives it a hug nearly every morning when I set him on our bed to say hi to daddy.

PS. I nearly forgot. Ok I did forget. One of his favorite games right now is ring around the rosie. He'll spin in circles while I sing until he's so dizzy he falls over. If I don't notice he's started twirling and start singing he'll make it known! On a similar note (literally!), he thinks it's super funny for me to start singing a high note when he throws his head backward. When he puts it upright I stop. He loves that game. He also loves swinging and is very sad when we drive by the park and don't stop!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The foods I'm loving

When I was pregnant with Dean I never really felt like I had cravings. The closest I came was eggs in most forms, but I didn't crave them. They just always sounded good.

I have definitely had cravings this time; not "I have to go get some right now or I'm going to die" type cravings, but cravings nonetheless. The two things I've craved are more general categories rather than specific items.

Anything tasty and salty. Chips, fries, crackers, seasoned bread sticks, jerky, plain old salt, etc.. (Yes, I will admit I have recently put salt on my finger and licked it.) Now, I've always had a weakness for salt. I'm sure I've admitted here before that when I was a child my siblings teased me by saying things like "It looks like it snowed on your plate!" or "Would you like some food with your salt?". But upon marrying Matt and just getting older, I've reduced my salt intake dramatically and definitely upped my other spice intake, especially pepper. This has gone by the wayside the last little bit, and the salt has made a comeback.

On a related topic, after 3 years in TX I finally, FINALLY purchased some DELICIOUS PINK GRAPEFRUIT! I tell you what, ruby red is NO substitute. Blech. I've also had some bad pink and yellow grapefruits here, so I was hesitant to try again. But oh divinity. And then to sprinkle some salt on the beloved and I am in heaven. It reminds me of going to my grandparents' in Mesa and picking fresh grapefruit off their trees. My grandparents ate it with salt, and as far as I can remember, all the kids did too. It just offsets the sour so nicely. My sister recently told me that all of her kids and all of another sister's kids eat them with sugar! A travesty! I let Dean try the grapefruit. He spit the first bite out, but he came back for another try. He ate two small bites, but he was funniest when I was squeezing the grapefruit half into my mouth at the end. He really wanted some of the action. So I squeezed it in and he loved it. Every time he got some juice he made the "aakhhh" sound after he swallowed. He's such a crack up.

I have always love sour things as well, so it's no surprise to me that my desire for it has increased. Sour patch kids, sour starbursts, citrus fruits, homemade pickles (yes, it's so funny!), warheads, a cranberry topped shortbread I made (I'll post the recipe sometime) etc. Mostly at night too. I couldn't care less for most baked goods or chocolate right now. Just give me something sour. yuuum.

Since I'm on the food topic, I thought I'd throw it out there that I bought some delicious natural ham at the Target deli the other day. It's not cured and has no nitrates. It was so good. Dean loves it too. He also loved the natural turkey that was being sampled. He's never been into meat, so you better believe that I'll be buying some deli meats so long as he's willing to eat them! He's not loving beans at the moment, so it's nice to have a non-dairy protein he's willing to eat. Oh, and Target has Gruyere cheese on sale (at least here) for 4.99/lb. It's normally $11/lb!! I already had some other swiss, but I bought some anyway!! If nothing else it makes delicious fondue and really makes Chicken Cordon Bleu extra tasty.

And for my own record, Dean's appetite made a comeback today! He ate quite a bit of dry homemade granola, half a yogurt, and about half a nectarine for breakfast. He ate a handful of grapes for a snack, and at lunch he ate 3-4 slices of the deli ham, 2/3 of a cheddar cheese stick, 3 crackers, half a banana, and attempted to eat a carrot stick but didn't like it much. He also had a little apple, but those are also slightly too hard and cold for him to chew well. So, remember Celia, babies' appetites wax and wane! Just remember to offer small portions of a variety of foods and go from there.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Terrific little Tuesday

Well, today has been just as terrific (for Dean and me) as Sunday was sad! We were stuck inside all day with the fear of getting stuck outside when the freezing rain decided to hit. I was worried we were going to go stir crazy, so to help break up the toy play we did a whole house pick up and vacuum. I rarely get all rooms clean in the same day. It was kind of nice because 1. My house looked better. 2. The vacuum kind of intrigues/terrifies Dean, so he was very occupied and content on my hip while it was on, and he enjoyed playing in different rooms while it was off and I was picking up. and 3. It kept me from laying on the couch feeling pregnant while I let Dean play and get bored.

He ate all meals (small, but substantial enough that I would call it a successful meal) and two (or three?) snacks! Woohoo.

During his nap I finally got around to cleaning up my pukey (literally) toilet. It needed it after the last couple puke days.

After his nap we cleaned up the kitchen, and inspired by the Montessori stuff I was reading earlier, I let him help me unload the dishwasher. I've never attempted it before, and he did quite well! He pretty much just took all of the dishes in the lower level out and set them on the ground.

With a clean kitchen I decided to make rice crispy treats with some leftover marshmallows and cereal we had from our Christmas treats. Dean LOVED it. I let him try a marshmallow before we melted them and he was a little distraught when they started disappearing, but once we finished, he delightfully partook of the goodies.

It is getting increasingly difficult to hold him while I cook. I tried putting him on a kitchen chair so he could see, but he ended up falling off sideways. Luckily I caught him before he hit anything too hard. After looking into safe step stools, I all but decided to buy the Little Partners Learning Tower. While it's expensive, I would buy it in a heart beat if it were just up to me. Matt is not sold on it. He thinks it's too expensive and too big for our already crowded kitchen (our rather large table's in there since we have no dining room). Valid arguments. But all I hear all day long is "Ge' up. Ge' up." He is not content being down and out of the loop. Chairs are not safe. The stool we have is not safe. There is only one other option that is comparable to the learning tower in safety and height. It can fold up, but reviews say it's not built as sturdy and doesn't wear as well. Plus it's still pretty expensive.

Anyway, off of my tangent and on with my day. One of my lessons canceled because she was afraid of freezing rain, so I ended up with 2 instead of 3. Dean is so much more manageable with only 2! He did pretty well during lessons, and thank heavens since Matt was stuck at work with a time sensitive project!

I didn't really have to do much for dinner since I did another crockpot dinner. Twice in one week is unheard of for me! I only have a handful of crockpot recipes that I consider delicious, and I just can't bring myself to eat or make un-delicious food! But the swiss chicken hit the spot tonight. (Thanks again for the recipe Pam--if you're reading this!) Dean even ate it. Well, he ate the stuffing and one small bite of chicken. And like 5 helpings of green beans.

Poor Matt. He was at work from 8AM-7:15PM. There was freezing rain when he got out of work. He has the neon which is not so great at heating up quickly. Luckily he has our 1 ice scraper in his car and got the ice scraped off, but by the time he got out of the parking lot it was totally iced over again! He scraped it again at the stop light going out of the parking lot. He drove to the next stop light with his head half hanging out the window to see and pulled over again to scrape it. It's a good thing we live only a mile from his work or he would have never made it home! Luckily I had a hot dinner and rice crispy treats waiting for him when he got here. Dean was asleep when he got home, but that's how it goes sometimes.

I even got one load of laundry folded as I watched The Biggest Loser. I swear tears come to my eyes every episode! I feel very productive and happy with the day's outcome.

Re-educating myself

My BS is in Marriage, Family, and Human Development. I had a lot of good and interesting classes on how kids develop, but honestly, I think I've forgotten a lot of what I learned. Additionally, I think that some of what should have been taught in that major was not offered.

I have been interested in the Montessori Method since my sister told me about how much it helped her son. I haven't done a whole lot of research on it, but I've taken a heightened interest in it since Dean's more aware of his surroundings. You know you have a boring home when your kid starts crying when you turn onto your street after running errands! (That happened twice yesterday!) So, I'm trying to find more meaningful activities to do with him.

I started reading some of this e-book on the Montessori Method for ages 0-3, and it's very helpful. It has reminded me of a lot of information I've already learned, plus it's introduced a few concepts I never thought of. (Teaching a small child to use and respect beautiful and breakable items. Keeping only toys that are played with and have purpose. Keeping only as many toys as you can keep orderly. Storing toys in small baskets on a shelf rather than in a large toy box they have to dig through. )

Some things I already do, but there is much I do that can be improved upon. I need to keep reading and start practicing!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Working on that better day

Well, Dean did indeed wake up dry! Early and thirsty, but dry. Still not much of an appetite, but I'm not going to force it since so many of you said it's pretty normal. He only ate 1 peach slice for breakfast, 1 cracker for snack (and drank a little of my Isagenix shake), and an applesauce cup for lunch. He refused the other foods offered (as well as his milk for nap, but he went down anyway without a peep), but I guess he'll be fine in the end. I guess I'm just super worried about ending up with an uber picky kid. Lets just cross our fingers this is just a phase, right?

He was the perfect little angel at the doctor's office. I had my 13 week ultrasound to check for chromosomal abnormalities. It was my second ultrasound since I had one at 6 weeks to make sure everything was ok with me fainting. This was much funner, though, because it really did look like a baby instead of a throbbing blob. The baby was asleep or very lethargic when we were doing it, so I had to cough a couple times to get it to shift to the right position. Everything looked fine and her best guess (they can only be up to 80% sure at this point) on the sex of the baby is male. Before she said anything I looked at the screen and thought, "I really think it's a boy." We don't really have a preference, though it would have been fun to add a girl to the cousin pool on Matt's side. All boys so far. Cheaper this way, though, since we already have boy stuff.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sad little Sunday

Well, it was kind of a rough day all the way around.

Matt woke up feeling really sick to his stomach. Almost like he had the stomach flu or food poisoning or something. We went to Sacrament meeting, but we ended up going home after that. He's feeling a little better tonight and was able to eat a little dinner.

Dean woke up wet once again. He had very, very few incidents of wetting through his diaper at night before he was weaned. I don't know if he's been dry once in the morning since we weaned him. I'm not quite sure what to about it. We've been using Pampers Cruisers size 3, and he's not really close to the weight limit on either end or anything. It's definitely getting old.

Dean has been having serious eating issues the last couple days. He's not really even eaten his favorite foods very well. Most days he drinks a good amount of milk (3-5 cups) with a little tiny bit of chocolate Isagenix in it, so at least he's getting something. Today, however, he didn't want anything. At breakfast he ate maybe 3 bites of his waffle (he normally will eat 1 1/2 waffles!) and drank most of his sippy. At church he ate 2 small bites of a granola bar. At lunch he ate a peach applesauce cup of his own free will but refused the bagle and cream cheese. He dumped out his snack (marshmallow mateys) on the floor and after eating only a couple marshmallows and pieces of cereal. At dinner I forceably fed him about 5 small bites of mashed potatoes in between cries and protests. He did eat a sting cheese on his own but spit out the corn. He didn't want his milk for his afternoon nap or at bed time. Hey, maybe he'll wake up dry tomorrow. And extremely hungry?

I didn't have a horrible day today. That was yesterday.

Last week I got back my test results from my first OB appointment. Surprise, surprise, I had a mild yeast infection (story of my life!). I also had a bacterial infection in my urine, so they put me on the dreaded antibiotics. I HATE HATE HATE taking antibiotics because it always gives me or aggravates yeast infections. It also messes up my digestive system. The pills they put me on are ridiculous, though. I have to take 4 pills a day for 7 days. It is supposed to be on an empty stomach (when does this pregnant lady EVER have an empty stomach?!), taken 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after. YEAH RIGHT! I've been trying really hard but boy has it messed up everything. I get hungry a lot and I actually have to set the kitchen timer to remember. I can barely remember to take my prenatal and they expect me to take 4 more pills! It has given me digestive problems (my food just sits in my stomach until it makes me feel like puking) and worsened my yeast infection, but I guess I should be grateful that there is something to get rid of the bacterial infection.

Yesterday afternoon I felt exausted, was puking up the lunch that didn't digest, crying because I felt sick, and the wretching made me pee my pants a little! The weakened bladder control during pregnancy is one of the things that gets to me. Talk about a bad afternoon. But today was a little better. I got to take about an hour nap when Dean slept after we came home from church. That was nice. I made a crockpot dinner so I didn't have to do much in the way of food. My house is a wreck from my little rearranger, but I'm closing my eyes to that right now.

Here's to a better tomorrow.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Don't throw your trash in my backyard

Our weather has been vacillating between delightful (70's) and cold (thankfully not much colder than freezing). On the nice days I've tried to leave the door open for a little to get some fresh air in the house. Dean decided the outside needed a little sprucing up to make it homier.

After I finished cleaning up in the kitchen I looked over and found this:

Our recycle bin is right next to the backdoor. While I try and hit home that he's not supposed to play in the trash, he's still obsessed. Luckily he rarely tries to get stuff out of the real trash and mainly sticks to the recycling. He has also figured out how to get things out of drawers (the pumpkin scraper) and has been a fan of the few unlocked cupboards (where he got the cheese grater).

I also found the sippy that had gone missing the day before.

Later, when we went to the front, he just couldn't resist the shoes by the front door.

I just couldn't resist that face. I let him take a couple pictures pushing the button on his own. This was the only one that turned out.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Minima"izing" again

Well, for the few who still come to the blog rather than use a reader, you've probably noticed the format change once again. I was getting a little frustrated with the 3 column because it just seemed too crowded and I couldn't get my main wrapper centered on a larger screen than my own. So, I decided to clean up my links and keep it a little more manageable with the blogger updates. Since I only have the 5 most recent posts showing per category, I can reasonably keep my links to one side. Back to my minima stretch. I like the clean look better anyway. I did keep my categories because I like everything compartmentalized and in their proper place. hehe. I also renamed most of the sites to the first names (or blognyms) of the blog writer rather than the name of the blog. Any thoughts or complaints?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Belly Beautiful: 12 weeks

If you were here with me during my last pregnancy, you know that I love tracking the belly growth...I mean baby growth. I think pregnant ladies are beautiful and it's just fascinating to me to see how much it can change in 4 weeks. I'm a big fan of wearing fitted clothes rather than the big tent maternity wear. I feel cuter, and personally, I think it makes me look smaller!

The only regret I have this time is that I didn't take a picture when I was down to my thinnest (124 lbs. with clothes on) right before I got pregnant. Between stopping nursing and just plain being pregnant, I weighed in at 131 at my 10 week apt. with the doc. Not bad, and actually better than last time.

I don't have the same shirt I wore last time, so I'm just wearing the most fitted shirt I own.

I've definitely shifted a little, and I'm popping out a little quicker this time around, but I am ok with that. I'm still able to comfortably wear my smallest jeans. At least for now. Gotta love lower rise pants.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

If you listen, you will hear: a svithe

This is a long one! Props to you if you actually read or skim it all!

Today I got to teach in Relief Society. I know I've said it before, but I think this is one of my favorite callings ever. It arouses so much passion and excitement for truth and doctrine. Another big reason I love it is because it ensures that I will have 1 child-free hour of church where I can actually focus on the spirit, doctrine, and sisters. I have to be honest, most weeks I don't even bother bringing my scriptures or manuals.

With Dean in tow, church is often like a glorified eating fest during sacrament meeting and a "quiet" playgroup in the other two. I've come to terms with this; it's just a stage that will pass like any other. It used to bother me, and one time way back when Dean kind of slept ok somewhere other than his crib, I had spent about 40 minutes trying to get Dean to fall asleep just to have him woken up 10 min. later by the bell ringing or people leaving Sacrament meeting and going to their classes or something. I stormed into my small Sunday School class and declared that "I hate church!" (To the shock and horror of one of the sisters in that class. I didn't mean it, I promise. I just hate that a 3 hour church is not that easy for children under 18 mo., nor the parents who care for those children. But that's unavoidable I'm afraid. Unless we could talk the Prophet into shortening church, but I like all the meetings so I don' t know what you'd cut out...)

Anyway, soon he will be in nursery and I will have (cross your fingers here with me) a chance to actually listen in class again. At least until August when we start this whole process all over. hahaha. 80D
On to my original post. The lesson I taught today was on the Parables in St. Matthew 13 and Joseph Smith's insights to those parables. It was such a fabulous lesson to read and I really enjoyed preparing for class. I mean, how many times have I read those parables? Yet I learned new insights from this lesson and my prep. I was a little sad I ended up with only about 20-25 min. for the lesson because of all the announcements and whatnots. Ah well, that is how it goes.

For those interested (mothers who can't really listen while at church? people who have aux. callings and don't get to go to R.S.? Anyone else?), I will share a few things that I loved out of this lesson.

First of all, for the lesson in the manual, click here. I will refer to the section titles and assume you've read it. Everything in quotes will be from the lesson unless I cite something else.

From the life of Joseph Smith
I think it's very important to note that they actively prepared themselves before going for the blessings they were going to receive at the temple. I often hear people wonder about why non-members can't go through the temple, but honestly, members shouldn't go if they haven't prepared and aren't ready to receive. Dedication to and understanding of church doctrine really are necessary to get anything out of the temple.

And reading the Old Testament in Hebrew??? It really amazes me what a man with a 6th grade education was able to accomplish by personal study, hard work, and the spirit. I really think that last one is a big key in learning anything. “Spent the day at school. The Lord blessed us in our studies. This day we commenced reading in our Hebrew Bibles with much success."

The Savior taught in parables so that those who believed in His teachings could gain greater light, while those who rejected His teachings would lose the light they had.
Really, one of the best insights for me came not in what was written in the manual on this one, but what was written in the JST of Matthew 13:10-11. The original in the King James Version reads, "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath." Now, this seems so unfair, doesn't it? Those who have will keep getting and those who have not will have it taken away. Where's the justice?? But the JST clears it up nicely. "For whosoever receiveth, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever continueth not to receive, from him shall be taken away even that he hath."

Light and truth are gifts given to us from our Heavenly Father. If we refuse those gifts, He'll stop giving them to us. How do you like it when you give a gift to someone who throws it back in your face, stuffs it under their bed, spits on it, or won't even open it? I don't think that's ever happened to me, but if it did, boy I would not want to give them another thing! Ingrates. So, when we refuse God's gifts we stop getting gifts and the light and truth we started out with will fade until it is unrecognizable in our dark abyss. "Therefore he that will not receive the greater light, must have taken away from him all the light which he hath; and if the light which is in you becomes darkness, behold, how great is that darkness!"

And how is it that people get to the point that they just close their eyes, plug their ears, and harden their hearts?

Some are lazy. "Men are in the habit, when the truth is exhibited by the servants of God, of saying, All is mystery; they have spoken in parables, and, therefore, are not to be understood. It is true they have eyes to see, and see not, but none are so blind as those who will not see."

I think, however, most are just too proud and self-absorbed to open their eyes and ears. Think of a time you've had an argument with someone and you just stop listening to anything they say. You know you're right, and they're not going to convince you otherwise. And even if, deep down, you know there's truth in what they're saying, you don't want to hear that truth. You want to be right more than you want truth. D&C 136:32 "Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyes may be opened that he may see, and his ears may be opened that he may hear." We have to want to find the truth more than we want to be right. We have to surrender our pride and ask God to help us listen.

"The condemnation which rested upon the multitude that received not His saying, was because they were not willing to see with their eyes, and hear with their ears; not because they could not, and were not privileged to see and hear, but because their hearts were full of iniquity and abominations;"

The parable of the sower shows the effects of preaching the gospel; it also shows that the Savior established His kingdom in the meridian of time.

A missionary sews the seeds of the gospel. The seeds are all the same. The differences are in the ground where the seeds are sown. So, this parable is essentially about different types of soil.

Here in TX we've been trying to grow a garden. The last 2 years we have had some success, but we've also had lots of failure, often due to procrastination and poor soil prep. We have had good intentions, honestly we have. But we cannot harvest fruit (or in our case vegetables) on good intentions. To be successful you need to start early, research, prep, and work, work, work! It's easy to think, "Oh, I'll just do that tomorrow." But tomorrow often comes too late.

That's also the same with the gospel. It's easy to think, "I'm too tired tonight, I'll read tomorrow." etc. It's easy to put off, and put off and put off because we're too busy or not interested or not feeling it. But when tomorrow comes and you've not prepared, amen to you and your excuses!

There are different types of soil or different reasons people don't embrace the truth. I'm sure we've all seen (or been) one or more of these examples.
  1. By the wayside: these are people who hear, but don't understand and don't care to understand. They have no desire for righteousness. So the birds (Satan) comes and gobbles them up.
  2. Stony places: Initially these people joyfully hear and understand the truth. However, when they have little roots so when the heat is on, they shrivel up and die. They can't take the trials or burdens that come with the truth.
  3. Thorny places: They hear the truth, but they're more interested in worldliness and riches.
  4. Good soil: This soil has been prepped and ready for the seeds. These are people who hear truth, embrace it, live it, and are blessed because of it.

Some ground may naturally be more fertile, but that doesn't mean you can't fertilize and perp. less than desirable soil. It means you have to start a little earlier and work a little harder!

The parable of the wheat and tares teaches that the righteous and wicked will grow together until the end of the world, when the righteous will be gathered and the wicked burned.

Wheat represent Children of the Kingdom, those who receive the gospel of Christ and live it.

Tares are a kind of a grass that resembles wheat and its roots often intertwine with wheat. When at full maturity it's easier to distinguish the two. (paraphrased from the New Testament Institute manual.) Tares represent members of the church. They look like wheat, are intertwined with wheat, yet they are not wheat because they have allowed Satan to sow discord in their hearts. It is easier to tell the wheat from the tares as people grow up and make decisions on their own. Many will eventually divide themselves from the wheat before the end.

The literal separation and burning of the tares was a little hard for me to swallow. It conjurs up images of medieval crusades and burning people at the stake. It makes me think of torture and pain and unpleasantness. I mean, the tares grew up with the wheat! They are our friends! They came to church (maybe)! How could we separate and say, "You-Saved!" and "You-Burned!"

The D&C Manual came to the rescue for me on this one. Bruce R. McConkie explains on p.241 "The glory of a celestial being, of which the sun is most typical, is so radiant that to bring that glory to the earth will cause great burning. The cleansing of the earth by fire will be caused by the coming of the Savior to earth. Those who are not changed to withstand the presence of the Savior when he comes in his glory shall indeed perish by fire."

Now let me be clear on my opinion of this subject: It's not just members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who will be changed and able to withstand the presence of the Lord at His Second Coming. There will be good people of all faiths, who have opened their hearts and ears to truth offered them. These people will live on earth during the millenium and have opportunities to gain more truth and light. They received initially and will have the chance to receive more. The people who will not be able to withstand that day are those who have iniquity in their hearts, shut their eyes to truth, and/or openly fight against truth. It's not going to be a rounding up of "bad people" and burning them at the stake. Light cleaves to light and darkness to darkness, so most (if not all) of the separation is done by people themselves rather than a 3rd party saying, "You-Saved!" and "You-Burned!"

The parable of the mustard seed teaches that the Church and kingdom of God, established in these last days, will spread throughout the earth.

Mustard seed=tiny; Mustard tree=huge

"Now we can discover plainly that this figure is given to represent the Church as it shall come forth in the last days. Behold, the Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto it...Behold, then, is not this the Kingdom of Heaven that is raising its head in the last days in the majesty of its God, even the Church of the Latter-day Saints, like an impenetrable, immovable rock in the midst of the mighty deep, exposed to the storms and tempests of Satan, that has, thus far, remained steadfast, and is still braving the mountain waves of opposition, which are driven by the tempestuous winds of sinking crafts, which have [dashed] and are still dashing with tremendous foam across its triumphant brow; urged onward with redoubled fury by the enemy of righteousness?"

I will agree that the church, as a whole, (the tree) has remained steadfast and immovable. But think of this: in a storm it is very likely for branches and limbs far from the trunk to be torn off and lost. When we are on the fringe of the church, not close to Christ, the Prophet, or our leaders, we can easily be lost when storms arise.

(There's one more section to this lesson, but honestly, it just didn't speak to me as much as the rest of the lesson. I don't have any extra thoughts on it more than what is written.)

Phew! You made it to the end of the lesson. Good job.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

double stroller giveaway

I generally don't link to giveaways, but this one on I Never Grew Up is looking pretty good to me right now.

The Bumbleride Indie Twin looks pretty awesome. Check it out.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Melt down man

It's been kind of a hard week. While my cold's mostly gone, I've been having a week of insomnia. Grrrr. I've been super exhausted between that and pregnancy tiredness.

Dean's had his own nap issues that haven't helped me out at all. It's just what I feared. I've been feeding him lunch around 11 and putting him down for his nap around 11:30. He's gone to sleep fairly well and hasn't really fought it, but he never sleeps past 1. So he's only getting 1-1 1/2 hours of nap when he had been used to about 3 hours of naps. He's been pretty well behaved in the morning (good thing since I'm half napping almost all morning because of my exhaustion), but the late afternoons during piano have been the worst ever.

He's had major melt downs every day this week during piano lessons. Matt has had to work late to make up for lost hours because of our dentist appointments, so he hasn't been here during the majority of lessons. So when Dean starts melting down and nothing I do helps, I just put him in his crib with toys, shut the door and go back to teaching. He pretty much cries his lungs out until Matt gets home and rescues him the last 15-30 min. of lessons. Good thing tomorrow's Friday and I have no students.

I guess I'm posting this because I'm too tired to think of something more interesting.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A mouthful of dirt and other fun flavors

Today Dean and I were out in our garden trying to figure out how many root veggies we have left so we can pull it all up and prep it for this spring. We are determined to actually get it fertilized, tilled and planted on time this year! Dean was having fun digging in the dirt while I looked at the carrots. When I looked back up at him, he had a mouthful of dirt and a huge smile. I couldn't help but laugh at him. He was so proud of his new discovery. I took him inside and tried to wash out his mouth, but really, how do you wash out the mouth of someone who doesn't get the concept of "swish and spit"? Basically I just had him drink a lot of water out of a glass and most of it went on down.

The other night we were having burritos and he got beans on his fingers. I taught him to just lick it off. Well, ever since then he has been taking his pointer finger of his left hand and running it over a multitude of things and then licking it. The cupboards at church, window sills, fire hydrants, aquaphor, and dirty ground covers. It's hilarious and disgusting all at the same time. It's just so fun to watch how he explores the world, I have a hard time stopping him.

One thing he's had a taste for that I can't allow, however, are the berries on our bushes out front. He is obsessed. I don't think he's ever actually swallowed one, but I have to be dilligent because we found out those are Nandina bushes and the berries are poisonous! We will be pulling them out the next weekend we have good weather.

Some other Dean things I've loved recently:
  • When he hurts himself, he always reaches out his hand for me to kiss. Even if he didn't hurt his hand.
  • When we go into our bedroom when Matt's still asleep, I shush Dean. He then starts mimicking "shhh. shhh." It's very cute.
  • When either we or he finishes a drink, he makes the "akhhhh" sound. He's actually been doing it during teeth brushing too. Cracks me up.
  • He loves climbing onto things. His toy box, the coffee table, our chairs. He gets such a proud look when he stands up on something particularly challenging.
  • His two newest words are "MMMMMik" (milk, always with a very pronounced "m") and "geta"-with a glottal "t"-(get out/get up).
  • He will fold his arms for prayer, often without prompting. He also often yells something like "aaaa!" when we get to the "amen".
  • He likes "sharing" his food with me. Sometimes he'll actually give the food to me, but he often will put it in my mouth, not let go, and then take it back out again and eat it himself. haha.
  • The other day when we were outside, he fell on the poky dead grass and started laughing at how it felt. He then moved his head down slowly for the grass to poke his cheek a couple times. He seemed to find the feel of it facinating.
Notice the slight belly? It's actually not that big, but if you know I'm pregnant, you can see it. Some clothes really accentuate it though!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Svithing on passing

I learned sad news today that Tyrel Nichols (age 25), a good friend of my little brother, passed away this week. Also, a little over a month ago another one of my brother's friends, Kyle Garrigus, also passed away (of unexpected heart failure at age 23!). Since they were in my brother's peer group I didn't know them super well, but both of these boys were funny, zaney kids, so full of life. They will be sorely missed by many. Unfortunately, these are the latest in what seems to be a long string of deaths in this peer group. I have never known a set of friends to have lost so many at such a young age. I feel out to my brother and his friends, and I send my love and condolensces.

It's hard to face unexpected losses and easy to wonder why it has to be so. Some questions are never answered in this life.

However, I do know:

When loved ones despart, if we humble ourselves and allow the spirit of the Lord in our lives, our broken hearts can be healed, and our souls can have peace, and we can gain understanding.

And when we pass through this life, because of the atonement, Christ has the ability to loose the bands of death and expand our souls that we may sing the song of redeeming love. I know that there is more to life than this world and that God is just and merciful; He will sort everything out and is more understanding of our life situations, challenges, trials and afflictions than we can comprehend. Of this I am sure.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Well, that didn't last long

We've had 2 nights now with no nursing. The first night was bad, but not horrible. He cried about a half hour and slept fairly restlessly. He woke up once or twice in the middle of the night for a few seconds. The next night he didn't cry at all, but he did talk to himself about 10 min. He seemed to sleep well, but he did wake up at 6:50. So much for the 13 hours of sleep. I guess I'll have to settle for 12. hehe.

It seems to be messing with his napping though. I mean, it's 1pm and he still hasn't taken 1 nap. (update: it's 1:15 and he's at least stopped making noise. He's either asleep or very close...) We had been doing 2 a day. One mid-morning (about 9:30-10 depending on when he woke up) , and one mid-afternoon. But yesterday after we got home at 11:30 from my doctor's apt. I tried putting him down. He laid there and talked/cried until 12:30 before he fell asleep! This morning I tried putting him down at 10:30 since he didn't seem tired before then, and he whined for almost an hour. I tried doing yoga but didn't get through my whole routine. I can't stand doing it while he's crying. So no nap this morning for him and no shower this morning for me. And I'm NOT going in to get him until he's slept this afternoon!! I just hope it doesn't take him forever to fall asleep.

I guess it's time for a shower...

So, when you transition to 1 nap, what time do you guys prefer putting your kids down? And how in the heck do you get showered and ready?? I've been doing it during his first nap.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Old Family Treasures

When my grandma passed away about three years ago, my aunt took all of their family photos and scanned them for the kids. At Christmas I was able to see them all for the first time. She must have spent hours and hours scanning them all in! I'm grateful for her hard work. Most of them were pictures that their kids and grand kids gave them, but they had some of their own in there too. There were some real gems I am happy to now have! I will share with you my favorites of my family.

1940's Dennis and Marion (Dad and Grandma)

1942 Pretty Marion (my grandma)

1948 Denny 3 yrs. (My dad)

1955 Grandpa Grider (the AVID fisherman) and my dad

1982 (I'm the baby. I love this photo.)

1992 Can't beat those freaking awesome glasses.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The End of an Era

Just to forewarn you, this post may contain more info than you'd care to read.

After I found out I was pregnant, I knew I needed to wean Dean relatively soon. I really have loved breastfeeding, and I was sad and scared to stop. Sad because it's the only real snuggle time I get with Dean. (He's not a cuddle bug! Must get it from Matt.) Scared because his meals really need to count for something now! There's no sure supplementing before bed. I mean, he's always on board for a good nursing session. I can't say the same for cow's milk in a sippy!

I cut out day feedings back in November, but I held onto night and morning feedings through the Christmas break. One night last week when I had a particularly hard time sleeping because of my cough, Matt offered to get up with Dean in the morning. It would be the maiden voyage of morning weaning. I took him up on it.

Dean was quite confused since Matt has never once gotten up with him first thing in the morning. He didn't really cry though. And while I didn't actually sleep after I woke Matt up to get him, it was kind of a relief to just lay in bed and not have to take care of anything. The next morning was not so wonderful. When I got up with him and didn't nurse, he was not happy. He cried and cried and rolled around on the floor. He finally got over it and drank a fair amount of milk out of his sippy. Luckily it was only that one day of unhappiness. The next day he was already used to the new routine. And he started sleeping later! Now he's sleeping about 13 hours at night!! (6:30pm-7:40am ish) We'll see how long that lasts.

I didn't want to cut off night feedings until he was over the morning feedings. So tonight was our last night. I am sad, but I can tell my milk is not as plentiful since cutting off the mornings. Both last night and tonight Dean nursed almost 10 min. longer than normal and didn't seem satisfied even with that. And I hurt at the end. So, it's time.

The era of Dean's breastfeeding has officially come to an end. My little boy is growing up. And maybe I am too.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Kicking a Cough

You know, kicking a cough while pregnant seems neigh unto impossible. I've been coughing uncontrollably for almost a week now, and it doesn't seem to be letting up one bit. It's worst when I lay down at night. I haven't had a restful night's sleep in over a week!

I've tried herbal teas, vinegar and honey drinks, gargling salt water, baby vicks vaporub, and cough drops. I've coughed so hard and long I've thrown up two or three times because of it. My chest itches horribly, my nose is stuffed up, I sound like a baritone and I can't stop coughing. I'm getting pretty sick of it I tell you. And I can't really do anything about it. Grrrr...

Washing the Car in January

It was 80* yesterday and BEAUTIFUL! I took full advanatage of the great weather and went jogging, walked a mile to and from the park with Dean in the stroller, and washed the car. I am still getting over a cold, and I'm pregnant, so I was TOTALLY beat by the end of the day!! I did way more than I should have. But it was quite nice to spend time outside. Dean loved it.

And then today we had a cold front move in and our high was 41*. Back to reality I guess.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Goodbye D.I.

When we moved here and were unloading our furniture, our truck driver said something like, "Wow, this couch sure has been around the block a time or two!" I noticed a rip in the back of the couch and said, "I don't think that was there before we left." And the driver said, "Look at this thing, does it really matter?" No, I guess it didn't. We got it at D.I. 5 1/2 years ago and it has been through the ringer. It's still very comfortable and I often sleep on it, but it is UGLY.

Yesterday we went on a last ditch effort to Dallas to find living room furniture. We decided that if we couldn't find anything, we'd stop trying all together and go only once a year from here on out to see if stores had anything new.

We checked The Dump first and I was sorely disappointed. They tout prices as 30-60% off retail and they were supposed to be up to 70% off of their already reduced prices, but they were the most expensive store we checked!

We went to The RoomStore and found nothing (we weren't really expecting to since we've been there before).

When we walked into Freed's, we were a bit shocked. It looked a little more upscale than we were expecting, but at least they had a different selection! We walked around the upholstery (we've been holding out for microfiber) section and only found 1 set we liked. We were there about an hour trying to decide if it would really work for us. The one on the floor was baby blue with chocolate brown welting and some trendy blue and brown floral accent pillows. Nice, but not necessarily timeless. But, it also came in the green we've been hoping for!

Heavenly day! We bought a solid sage green couch with green pillows and green welting. I'll have to pick up some accent pillows somewhere else, but that is A.O.K. with me. We've been looking for furniture for over a year!! We also got a "chair and a half" instead of a love seat, but Matt and I fit just fine on it without being squished at all, and I think it will fit better in our small living room anyway. It was all on sale (even more than the list price on that link), so we got it for a very reasonable price with delivery, tax and warranty included.

It will be delivered in 6 weeks or something since it was a custom order. I hope it looks as good in our home as it did there!

I thought this day would never come.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Ring in the New

2009 already?

We were the lamest people for New Year's Eve. Matt watched Dog the Bounty Hunter (LAME), I started Anne of Windy Poplars, and Dean slept. But the New Year came all the same.

Dean and I caught colds in Snowflake, so we've been coughing up a storm. I knew he was cutting his top and bottom molars on one side, but I just found out today he is also cutting the top and bottom molars on the other side too! 4 molars at once. That could explain all the howling last night before bed. I just thought he was having a hard time readjusting to our house and time zone. He's also had diarrhea and a horrible rash. I think it must be from the teething, though it's never happened before. Poor kid. I was going to start weaning for good today, but I just can't when he's sick on both ends!!

I kicked off the New Year this morning with a rigorous cleaning of my living room and kitchen. Too bad things don't stay squeaky clean more than a couple hours!!

I don't think I set New Year's Resolutions last year, but I think I ought to give it a go this year.

  1. Don't leave the dishes undone more than 1 night a week. (I've been pretty good about this, but I can feel my desire to slack off after my nice long vacation.) Also, mop, dust and vacuum more frequently.
  2. Try menu planning once again. At least for 1 month and then evaluate the effectiveness. I'm going to try to plan the whole month and stick to it. I hate having to think up a new menu every week. I also hate sticking to a menu, but it really does take a lot of stress off me if I can do it.
  3. Figure out a good time of day to exercise and stick to it. I'm going for 5 days a week. This will probably require a new video or two. I started out this pregnancy about 10-15 lbs. lighter than when I got pregnant with Dean (the lightest I've been my entire adult life I think! Nursing worked wonders for me.) and I want to stay healthy throughout it!! It makes for a much easier recovery.
  4. Figure out how to work more veggies into Dean's diet. Once his molars are completely in it should be a little easier...hopefully.
  5. Try and at least put some effort into keeping track of our budget. I usually just try and pretend we don't have money, but I know I've gotten a little more spendy than I used to be. I can do better. Especially in the food category. I need to get into better habits before I cut back my piano students this fall!