Sunday, February 28, 2010


In my goal to overcome anger issues, I identified charity and temperance as goals to work toward. I figure if I can teach myself to be charitable and temperate, my anger will abate and I will become a better [Christian, mom, wife, daughter, neighbor, person].

Since I already lightly touched on charity, today's topic is temperance.

According to, temperance can be defined as "moderation or self-restraint in action or statement; self-control."

"In a spiritual sense, temperance is a divine attribute of Jesus Christ. He desires for each of us to develop this attribute. Learning to be temperate in all things is a spiritual gift available through the Holy Ghost.

'I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things.'

Likewise, a temperate soul—one who is humble and full of love—is also a person of increased spiritual strength. With increased spiritual strength, we are able to develop self-mastery and to live with moderation. We learn to control, or temper, our anger, vanity, and pride. With increased spiritual strength, we can protect ourselves from the dangerous excesses and destructive addictions of today’s world.

When we are confronted with affliction, He said: 'Be patient in afflictions, revile not against those that revile. Govern your house in meekness, and be steadfast.'" Kent D. Watson, “Being Temperate in All Things,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 38–39
I like the idea of temperance being a spiritual gift. Some people are naturally temperate. It comes easily to some but is much more challenging for others. That doesn't mean that I shouldn't seek to become more temperate if I am not a naturally temperate person. We are told to seek after the best gifts.

Additionally, “If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. … No man ought to say, ‘Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature.’ He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give gifts that will eradicate them. If a man lack wisdom, it is his duty to ask God for wisdom. The same with everything else. That is the design of God concerning His Church. He wants His Saints to be perfected in the truth. For this purpose He gives these gifts, and bestows them upon those who seek after them, in order that they may be a perfect people upon the face of the earth” (Millennial Star, 23 Apr. 1894, 260). quoted in Robert D. Hales, “Gifts of the Spirit,” Ensign, Feb 2002, 12

"Temperance can protect each of us from the aftermath of excess."Russell M. Nelson, “‘These … Were Our Examples’,” Ensign, Nov1991, 59

I'm sure we've all felt the "aftermath of excess" at one time or another. If we overeat we feel bloated and lethargic. If we stay up too late partying we feel like a train hit us the next day. If we get angry and blow up...well, there are a whole range of possible outcomes: divorce, bitter estrangement, physical, emotional, and/or spiritual damage, grudges, loss of trust, death, etc.

"[Being temperate] means he is restrained in his emotions and verbal expressions. He does things in moderation and is not given to overindulgence. In a word, he has self-control. He is the master of his emotions, not the other way around." Ezra Taft Benson, “What Manner of Men Ought We to Be?,” Ensign, Nov 1983, 42

I think it's just too darned easy to lay blame on external things and people for our feelings. We like to think that we are victims of circumstance. That we are good people and if it weren't for such and such or so and so, we wouldn't be so unhappy. But luckily our emotions are within our ability to control. We aren't victims. We can change. We can choose happiness and temperance. Will it always be easy? No. But I've learned if I want something badly enough, it's worth working for.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


As you can tell by the title (and the infrequent posts), I'm not feeling extra creative in my writing. As I mentioned awhile ago, I started a craft blog with my best friends from college. While it's only been a few weeks, it's been fun and craftingly motivating so far. This month I have made: a child's apron, child's tool belt, birthday cards and an organizer for them, and 3 tag blankets. Oh, and I made a 104 pg. blurb book of Dean's first year, but I'm still trying to edit it before I get it printed.

This past week was Walt's worst week yet, poor kid. He started getting fussy last Thursday. He's normally such a content little guy. And then it continued. And it got worse. He kept throwing up in his mouth and swallowing, gagging and choking during and after feedings, looked like he was in a lot of pain when eating, and was HORRIBLY fussy and pained after waking up from naps. His night sleep was interrupted badly as well. I tried stopping solids since I thought it might be a food allergy, but it persisted and got worse. I ended up taking him in to get medicine for reflux and I was determined not to leave without a prescription (the nurse over the phone just told me to feed him rice cereal before his nursings and to keep him upright for an hour after every feeding--including night feedings!--and I just wasn't going to accept that. He was in too much pain.) He's had medicine for 2 days now and is mostly back to his content self. I am trying to keep him upright after feedings and we elevated the head of his bed a little so he's not laying flat. I can't tell you how glad I was to get a smile from him after 5 days of pained grimaces!

Dean's having a hard time adjusting his sleep. He's been waking up between 6-6:30 the past two weeks. He takes a nap at nap time about every three days. I know he still needs it because he has fallen asleep on the couch 3 or 4 times around 4:30 the past few. If he doesn't take a nap he's in bed by 7. If he does, it's about 7:30 or so. I don't know what I'm going to do with him come day light savings! I will NOT get up with him at 5 or 5:30! That's where I draw the line...

We had a simple Valentine's Day celebration awhile back. I made heart shaped mini meatloaves that didn't turn out as well I would have liked. I got my meat at a different place, and I think the pork was a different blend and tougher. Ah well. I did make my classic cheesecake and Matt got me gerbera daisies, the longest running traditions we have (dating back to 2003). The cheesecake was really quite divine, if I do say so myself. My best yet. I used the base of Chantal's New York Cheesecake and Betty Crocker's graham crack crust recipe. A water bath. It was consistently cooked from center to edges, and the consistency was perfect. I was happy. We gave half of it away, though, since we just don't need a whole cheesecake!

My Valentines

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The toll keeps rising

Dean has really hit a non-malicious destructive streak! We are currently in the hundreds of dollars of damage done in the last few weeks.

He bit our rockband 2 disk rendering it useless!

He somehow ruined the wii play disk.

He's ruined 2 remotes by chewing them.

He bit a curious george dvd from the library. (I really do try and keep these out of reach, but he's figured out how to use toys, chairs, the couch, etc. to climb up.)

He cut a skirt I'd just finished sewing. ("Dean doing hard work!")

He ripped the cord off his space heater. (We just found this tonight. Not sure how he did it. Glad he didn't electrocute himself!)

He got into Matt's paints today while I was nursing Walt. He opened one, tried dumping it in Matt's palette, got it all over his shirt, hands, and face. Got out a couple of Matt's expensive paintbrushes that he can only get online. I only noticed one of them because he put the cover back on the other one. Matt's in the middle of a "paint to sell" project and the paint he spilled and brushes he ruined were crucial to his project. Luckily he didn't spill all of the paint and Matt was able to salvage the brushes enough to use until he gets new ones.

He is constantly biting and gnawing on his hands or something else. Tonight he was chewing on the cord to my mouse. I'm pretty sure he has all of his teeth, including his 2 year old molars, so I don't know what the deal is.

He was playing in Matt's car and left the door open which left the light on. He had to buy a charger to get it charged up again.

He's gotten really good at climbing up onto the counters, and that worries me.

I guess terrible twos includes more than just tantrums! Good thing he's a cutie pie.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snowflakes are falling on my head

It snowed all day today. And I'm not exaggerating. The snow kept coming and coming. As of the 10 pm news DFW airport had gotten 9.4 inches, a record for one day. It was fun. And cold. Before Matt left for work we took Walt and Dean out for a few minutes to take these pictures, so you can't really tell how much snow we ended up with by these. Walt had his fill (though he never cried, just looked uncomfortable.). A little while later, Dean asked again to play in the "snowflakes". I started to say I didn't want to because I was too cold, but then I thought, "How often is this kid going to have the opportunity to play in this much snow??" So we played outside for about an hour during Walt's nap. We made a much larger snowman in the front than our tiny snowman in the back. We took a walk around the block, and he was quite cold by the time we got back. At least he chose to wear a coat!

It was kind of like a flash back to the March snowstorm we had in 2008.

Sometimes I get it right

Yesterday while Walt was taking a longer than normal nap, I got out some paper and my circle punch to keep Dean busy. After making a couple of circles, Dean held one up and said, "Dean make cookies. Take them to somebody." He then ran to the door. It was cold out, and I thought he'd just pretend to take it to somebody, but I opened the door for him anyway. Next thing I knew he was two houses down, almost to our friends' front door. He knocked and when Chris opened the door, he was so excited to share his cookie with her. Right after he gave it to her, he said "bye, bye" and headed home to get more cookies to take to more people. =)

He successfully got to one more house where we found out that our neighbor went into labor early and was at the hospital. Maybe we'll take them some real cookies tomorrow as a congrats.

As I watched him, it made me feel good. Every time we've made goodies (and occasionally dinners), we've shared some with friends. He's learning to think about other people from my example. It's nice to know that sometimes I get it right.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I guess you could could say, "I told ya so"

(This is the face he makes when he's trying to get Walter to smile.)

Well, we've more or less jumped train...the potty train that is. He'd been doing pretty well (meaning he'd go 5-6 times a day on the potty), but he hit a really oppositional streak shortly after he turned 2. His desire to go on the potty has steadily declined from October till now. Now he mainly only goes before nap and before bed, and half the time he only goes then to get treats.

He still hates diapers. More than ever even. And he HATES diaper changes. He can't stand to have me wiping him. He says they're cold and they hurt. I try and tell him it'd hurt a whole lot more if we didn't wipe, but he doesn't get the logic yet. He'll occasionally ask to wear underwear or a pull up, but his frequency for accidents is actually higher now than it was a couple months ago.

So, should I have waited? Maybe. I think it could have worked if we'd hit it hard before he turned two when it was still fun and he wanted to be like us so badly.

So, I'm guessing he'll not be totally potty trained until he's 3. I guess we'll fit the "start when he's 18 mo. end when he's 3" model. Oh well. Maybe he'll decide it's for him between now and then, but I'm not holding my breath. I know he knows when he needs to go because he'll usually announce it but then decline to sit on the toilet.

A funny, non-potty story about his oppositional streak: Last night we were reading David goes to School before bed. I'd say what the book said, "David's teacher always said, No David! No yelling. No Pushing. No running in the halls." All the while he'd coach David opposite of the teacher's direction. "Run in the halls David!" "Chew gum in class!" "Don't raise your hand David!!!" "No go home David!"

Silly kid.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

And what about you, Celia?

I've been thinking a lot recently about the Anne of Green Gables books that I read last year. After reading Anne of Ingleside I remember thinking, it really shouldn't have been named Anne of Ingleside because it was more about her kids than her. Now I understand. When you're a mom (at least with little kids, and especially for a stay at home mom like me), much of your identity is wrapped up in your kids.

(Just so you know, I read them when I was pregnant with Walt, and that's actually where I first saw the name Walter - one of Anne's kids- and started considering it. Matt doesn't know that though.)

In 2006 I started this blog because I felt like my mind was getting too "soft" after graduating college. I wanted to write interesting things for people to read. My blog has turned more into a child brag blog and/or mommy venting session, but I don't mind too much. That's where I am in life, and this is now more of a journal than a literary venture. Hopefully I'm not too terribly boring, but if I am, at least I occasionally have pictures and videos, right? =)

Six months after having Walt, I wanted to check in on where I am in life.

At 28 (almost 29) years and after 2 kids I:

wanted to post a good picture of me but unfortunately don't have one! I guess I take all the pictures around here.

spend most of my time doing something for someone else be it my kids, my husband, or church. edit: I guess I shouldn't have included this, because as I think on it, almost everyone spends most of their lives doing things for other people be it employers, family, etc.

am still 5'3" (since 6th grade)

weigh between 122-127 depending on the time of day and if I'm clothed or not.

don't have as flat as a tummy as I used to. Need to work on pulling my muscles back up and in.

bought pants for the first time in 5 years. I had NO clue what size I really was. According to Old Navy, I'm a 4 in fit and flare and a 2 (what the?!?!?!) in boot leg and capris. I've never, ever been able to fit my legs/booty in a size 4. Ever. Don't tell me if their sizing is different from all other stores. I don't want to know. =) edit: While I fit size 4 and 2 I actually bought size 6 and 4's. After wearing them for 1/2 a day, though I realized with the bit of stretch in them I should have gotten a size smaller because they're looser than I want. Not bad looking though.

go to sleep between 10:30-12 if I don't have insomnia

have insomnia (meaning it takes me longer than 45 min. to fall asleep) at least once a week

finally feel like I'm getting over my postpartum mess

am starting a crafting blog with some of my best friends from college (so excited!!)

want to train for a 1/2 marathon as well as run the Snowflake 24th of July 10K

just purchased Brooks Adrenaline running shoes (size 7 1/2 wide) after trying 3 pairs of Asics that just didn't fit my foot.

want to buy a Tike Tech Sport Twin or a Baby Jogger Performance Double very badly

have no "mad money" to buy a jogger because ALL of my piano students dropped after my semester break I took with Walt. Most were for economic reasons. Some moved. Some switched to a teacher who could go to their house.

have dusted off my sewing machine and might just start an etsy shop to try and earn a little mad money. scary.

almost never turn on the TV anymore. Matt and I watch a few shows (Burn Notice, Heroes, The Office, Chuck) on his computer on the weekends, but other than that, I rarely watch a show on the day it airs. Leno most days. Don't know if I'll continue to watch him once he's back at the Late Show hours. Just too late.

read scriptures online now. It's nice to have conference talks, hyperlinked cross-references, institutes manuals, teacher manuals, etc. all in one place.

have given up paper crafting scrapbooks in favor of blurb photo books.

think we'll end up having at least 4 kids. Even with all of my craziness, I feel like there are more kids to come, and I do mean kids, plural. We'll see, though.

realized I'll never have that "out of a magazine" house. I'm not a good enough house keeper/organizer/decorator/shopper. Oh well. It's at least a comfortable and inviting house.

still wonder if I shouldn't just switch to cloth diapers. Why does this still plague me?? I thought I had my answer and it was to stay with disposables for ease and husband help. My only answer is that maybe the spirit is telling me I need to get prepared for some future where it's a necessity. Am I just ignoring a spiritual prompting?

know I spend too much money on groceries.

don't read as many books as I'd like. I go in spurts.

own 6 pairs of shoes. 3 are Sunday shoes. 2 are running shoes. 1 pair is a "cute" shoe that I bought 6 or 7 years ago that doesn't fit my foot all that well and is tall and not comfortable when toting a baby around. I'm in DESPERATE need of cute/comfortable every day shoes. I'm currently using my old running shoes. edit: I forgot I have pool flip flops and a pair of sandals.

am trying to cut most sugar treats out of my life. Sugar's been doing weird things to my hormones and emotions. Most of the time I do really well and am happy with it. Then every once in awhile I get a hankering to make cookies (and memories) with Dean. I eat about 5-6 cookies in the batch over a couple days and get all sugared out again. Overall I don' t think that's a bad way to live.

want to buy a wheat grinder and do all or most of my own flour making. Currently looking at a Nutrimill on ebay that's ending in a few days.

am trading babysitting with a friend so Matt and I (and she and her husband) can go out on dates more often. I went there last week and she's here tomorrow for the first time. I think we'll do it once a month.

That's about it. If I think of other things I may update it just for my journaling purposes.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

6 months!

Big Walt has been alive for half a year! Crazy how much faster his first 6 months passed than Dean's. Maybe it's because I'm so much busier with two kids.

We went to his 6 month check up and got his official stats:
Height: 28 in. (91%)
Weight: 21.5 lbs. in a diaper (though I swear he's even heavier now) (94%)
Head circ.: 17 1/2 in. (68%)

We've had a couple of extra specialists visits with him. He had a bit of a flat spot on one side since he highly favored his left, so we saw the head doctor about the possibility of a helmet. It's out of network, but that doesn't matter because our insurance wouldn't have helped a smidge even if it was in network. After looking at the photos they took, I'm less concerned about it than I was originally. When we took him to his 6 mo., our regular doctor said it looked much better than the last time we saw her. She said she doesn't look at him and immediately think "head's flat and/or protruding". So we've decided against the helmet (which would have been $3500-3800 total).

We also had to take him to get an ultrasound for the urological issue I thought was over. He may have to have a very minor surgery sometime in the next 6 months.

What's Walter like at 6 months?

He likes his big brother. He watches him, laughs at him, tries to play with him, and generally doesn't mind Dean's rough housing too much.

He can sit up on his own for quite a long time! Upwards of 15-20 min. even.

He rolls from back to front. He has rolled from front to back, but doesn't do it often.

He can push himself backwards and spin in a circle if left on his tummy, and he also has tried crawling a bit, but doesn't get anywhere.

He likes things. Likes toys. Likes grabbing the wipes containers or anything within his reach, anything I'm holding. He likes running his fingers through Dean's hair. Likes his feet.

His tongue is a matter of fascination right now. Chews on it, sticks it out, blows raspberries. He chews (never sucks) on his fingers a lot too.

He sleeps with his hands behind his head the majority of the time. It's so cute.

When he nurses, he's constantly scratching. He scratches both of us. I have little nail marks as proof, but I won't show you that in pictures. =)

He nurses about every 3 hours (it had been every 2 or he'd get cranky) now and eats a whole cube (think ice cube size) of food 2-3 times a day. I've steamed and blended up carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes and frozen them. It's worked much better for me with Walt than it did with Dean for some reason. I work in things like cereals, applesauce, bananas, etc. I'll also give him table foods that are on his "ok" list that I can smash up at dinner. Call me a food snob (and cheap), but I just can't stomach the thought of giving him canned baby food. Oh, and he likes the little puffs crackers.

Solids have NOT made him a better sleeper. If anything, he's been a worse sleeper the last few weeks. He's had less poopy diapers and fewer blow outs, though.

(photo taken by Dean)

I just got an ergo carrier and boy is it helpful!! I can actually carry him around and about again!! Like today, for instance, he was on my back for the hour I was grocery shopping. Yesterday he fell asleep in it on my front while we were outside walking around with Dean. It's so much nicer on my back than any other carrier I've tried. Worth the $100 to me with this kid since he's so big while so young.