Monday, January 5, 2015

It's A Full House, And Not The Kind With John Stamos

I don't even know guys.

Sometimes I forget that I ever had a blog, because what are those? And I'm busy and that's all well and good but I also miss writing about the dumb stuff that goes on every day around here. And my kids, remember when I didn't have any kids and NOW I HAVE THREE? That's a weird things to self-actualize when I sit and think about it. Since The Nub was born I've kept a private blog for them where I use their real names and post all the stuff I never posted here because the internet is weird and what's personal anymore? I also meant to print that out into a book every year but HAHAHAHAHA! Nope.  I'm about 20 years behind on that too. Just another thing for me to file under "you suck". Except, whatever. We're all still alive and functioning and this season in life is what it is. I might never get those books printed but I will Instagram that crap out of their childhoods and that'll have to do until the next great social media movement comes along. I tried my best, kids, you're welcome.

What I feel like saying is that I wish I could be one of those moms who is good at having large amounts of children, and before I actually had any (children, that is) I fantasized that I would be. When the truth is, I'm pretty sure that skill set just isn't in my wheelhouse, at least not currently. Which is a shame, because I am really good at having beautiful babies. I'm also good at gaining a lot of weight while pregnant and eating donuts, all things currently listed on my resume. My kids are 6, 4, and 16 months right now. I always knew I would have at least three kids, well let's just say I always planned on at least three. But now that I'm here I think any more would be a ticket to crazy town and every time I find myself losing my mind in an embarrassing way over something stupid and trivial (like the lack of flushed toilets around here), it occurs to me that I am stretched, maybe to the max, and I don't know how to come to terms with that.

So I'm not going to.

I feel pretty lucky that adding a third to this mix went as smooth as it possibly could. People seem to equate adding a third kid to the moment where everything went to hell. It wasn't that bad over here, probably because I made up my mind that it wasn't going to be, and the fact that our 3rd musketeer was a pretty chill babe didn't hurt either. Paul is still in school full time (13 credits last semester) with a job that requires a long commute and 40+ hours a week. The man is not home a lot. We survive on grilled cheese and breakfast cereal. I still work a few hours a month too. It's not a ton, but what I do means I work into the night and I'm a night owl anyway so that's okay for me. It gets a little embarrassing for my kids when they're dragging me out of bed and I'm clawing them off to stay in, I don't know why they want things like "breakfast" and to "go to school" anyway.

I don't know where I'm going with this, as per usual. It's late, that nap I took after church (9 am call time, hallelujah!) is finally starting to wear off and maybe I'm a little tired. I do know that I'm glad Christmas break is over because I'm not sure how much more Wii my kids could play without burning out the machine and I'm over diffusing fights involving Lego Star Wars for the moment.

Oh, and we got a dog.

I don't know why either.

2015, it's gonna be super!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Bears Weren't Even Chasing Us Either

Look, in Utah everyone drives a minivan or SUV with race stickers plastered across the back window. "13.1" and "26.2" and "Ragnar" and the like. I like to interpret things this way: our extracurricular activities are limited since there's not a lot of alcohol consumption going on so we take up running instead. Also, we are unnaturally competitive in this state. Oh you only have two kids? I have three, it's so much harder than two. My kids only watch t.v. for 30 minutes a day and it's only PBS. We only have Netflix and they have to earn their t.v. time by doing acts of service for the neighbors. You nursed your baby for 5 months? I nursed mine exclusively for 2 years, breast is best you know. My son taught himself to read by studying the scriptures every morning and now he's fluent in Mandarin and has the Gettysburg address memorized. I ran 10 miles this morning, for funsies! And then I came home and made my family gluten free waffles and cleaned my whole house with a q-tip, all before 10 am. And that's sort of how it goes. 

I've never had any aspirations of becoming a "runner" and I use that term loosely. I've always been athletic and active, sure. But running has never been my jam. I used to skip out on long runs during track season in high school and go to a friend's house for a snack instead, and I'd cry and argue with my coaches when they wanted me to run any further than a 100 meter dash. I'm going to go ahead and call myself lazy because that's really what it boiled down to. Anyway, I ran my first 5k a few months after I got married and did a few more here and there. 3 miles was plenty far. The only reason I'd ever run further (farther?) is if a bear were chasing me or a tornado or something. 

But then I had another baby. And I was feeling pretty sads about my postpartum bod because even though I'd worked out the entirety of my pregnancy, the scale wasn't budging much. And yo, it was starting to mess with my head. So my sister says, "run a half-marathon with me!" and I'm like "okay!". So I signed up and printed off a training schedule, and I started running AND IT SUCKED. I was mad. I complained a lot to everyone about why did I play $80 to run 13.1 miles because that is no kind of logic. I got freaked because it didn't seem to be getting any easier and I was suffering through these miles, straight suffering. And then one day, it wasn't so hard, one recent day, maybe in the last 4-5 weeks of training even. I did 6 miles, and then I pushed a stupid double jogger uphill halfway for 7, and then I ran 8 on a dumb treadmill because it was pouring rain outside, and then 8 again outside and it was beautiful! And then my sister joined me for 9, and then we pounded out 10 a week later and I thought, HOLY SHIZZ I CAN DO THIS, and I was pumped. 

So yeah, Saturday morning my sis stayed over and we woke up at 3:50 am, got on a bus at 4:30 am which eventually broke down halfway up the canyon, so we got on another bus and then it was go time.  

Guys, we crushed it. Even though I felt like dying the last 2 miles, I can't wait to do another. I had a baby 9 months ago! I ran a half-marathon! Running with my sis was magic, she is my unicorn running partner and I'm not sure I can ever run a distance like that without her. Hitting the straightaway to the finish line was pretty much one of the top 10 moments of my life, it made me so high guys, I totally get it now. 

We finished in 2:02:58, about 8 min faster than I'd hoped for. I was pleased as punch with that time, until I was pissed we didn't get it under 2:00. Next time, sis. Next time. 

 Nat and Whit gave me that shirt the day before with some words of encouragement
it says "find your happy pace"
I sure like those lady friends 

Codi looks like a champion here, I look like I need an ambulance. 
Really? I was just thinking "don't poop yourself!"

Our dad woke up at the crack of dawn to drive up and cheer us on because he is a tender old dude.
He and Paul were at mile 9 and at the finish and cheered us down the final stretch. 
Not gonna lie, totally made me cry. 
This is the pic he took to send to my mom because she had to go to a funeral and couldn't come.

We sure made that race our bitch. 

and I still refuse to put a dumb sticker on the back of my car 
unless that sticker says "I run for donuts", because I support that

Thursday, May 1, 2014

In My Next Life Stage, I Hope I Get Rich

My house is pretty quiet right now.

That shizz is rare. Someone needs to warn you that the more kids you have, the more noise your precious ears get exposed to, and the less you'll feel like a normal person - however relative the term.

We live on a street that is rapidly filling up with old people, thanks to a developer cramming houses in with no yards and main floor master suites and laundry rooms. Didn't you know that every old person's dream is a main floor laundry and master suite? No stairs, no problem. It's cool, I guess. I can't hate on the senior citz. I'm just glad we have some kids within playing distance, it's no cul-de-sac of fun, but it'll do. Also, I really love that my big boys are at the age where they can just run across the street to play. that I don't have to help them go down the slide or up the rock climbing wall at the park. Self-suffiency, it's a wonderful thing to behold! Of course we'll do that all over again when Baby Ruth gets ambulatory in a few short months which leads me to my next point:

Moving in and out of life stages is weird. Nubby goes to kindergarten this fall, a thought that brings me simultaneous joy and terror. I'm kind of an old mom around these parts, most women my age have kids that are already in school. I didn't have my first baby until 26, and my third at almost 32. If, by some miracle, we have another kid I will likely be considered of "advanced maternal age" which is fine, whatever. Paul's the real grandpa, he turns 38 in a few weeks, two more years to 40! Did I notice a big difference between having a baby at 26 and another at 32? Hell yes I did. I don't know why your body has to suddenly decide it's old and wants to hold onto baby weight like it's going out of style (my favorite euphamism), even when you work out the hardest you've ever worked out in your entire life and you signed up for some dumb half-marathon so now you're actually running miles in consecutive order and going for "long runs" on Saturdays when you'd rather be at home eating waffles with the rest of your family. Suddenly, I get why these moms fill the back of their vans with Ragnar and 26.2 stickers, and it's because their life is changing stages, and they don't want to be irrelevant anymore because their kids need them differently now, it's less physical and more emotional, and they need something else to put all of that motherly energy and anxiety into. Plus, you know, accomplishment and fitness and all of those things to check off the list when you run races and blah blah blah.

I'm just theorizing here, but dang if I'm not Dr. Phil-ing this one all the way to the bank. Anyway, stages. Who will I be when I don't have a fat baby on my hip? I already can't get right with Triple, seriously, he's three and a half and everything I do is offensive to him. My lovely, perfect, responsible oldest child is heading into the public school system in a few months, hello the next 18 years of my life.  

Let us pray I can figure this out and no one dies along the way.

I am the master of blurry photos.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I Don't Go To These Things, But I'm Going. So I Guess I Go To These Things.

I always only ever feel like writing, blogging if you will, when it's late and when I have to be up in a pre-determined amount of hours. 6 in this case. I know full well that Baby Ruth will likely wake up a few times between now and then so basically this all just means I'm a glutton for punishment and will be praying to the caffeine gods around the same time I should be taking a nap to make up for it. Naps, I miss those.

Tomorrow I'm going to a conference for people who design and create things and run blogs professionally amongst other endeavors. I've been a part of this world for 2 years now on the back end of things, and though I'm not sure how exactly I got there, I've been grateful for the work and thankful for the friendships and things I've learned and am still learning. I'm intimidated at the prospect of attending this conference because I am not artistic nor creative, in the way that people normally think about being artistic and creative that is. I don't draw pictures, I hate throwing parties, I am pretty damn good at taking iPhone pictures but my DSLR sits in a cupboard most of the time and I pull it out to take pictures of my kids every now and then because you know, THEY GROW UP SO FAST. And really, spending two days with people who create things, and wear nice clothes, and take beautiful pictures of those things and themselves and put it all on the internet for sale or inspiration or what have you…(I assume they don't sell themselves on the internet because that type of conference would be a horse of a different color), two days with people of such interests sounds like something I'd usually avoid and even roll an eye at. I'm good at that. I'm also good at sweatpants and watching network television, and eating, hooray!

But I'm going because I was gifted a ticket very generously, and I'm going to be friendly and meet people and fight the introverted extrovert urge to run and hide in a bathroom. The thing is, I'm good at what I do right now, but I feel like I have the potential to do some other pretty amazing things with my life eventually. While I have no clue what those things are, I keep waiting for inspiration to strike and I know that someday it will, and in the meantime, listening and learning from other people who've taken the leap and found success is probably a step in a progressive direction. You know how much I love progress, right? Sure.  

Plus, my mom always says that I need to give new things a chance and to stop being so negative all the time. Whatever, Mom. Not like you know what you're talking about ever.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

1 PM Church Is The Worst

Sunday dinner. Is there anything better? I submit, no.

Paul's parents gifted us some Omaha Steaks and other sundry goods for Christmas. We made quick work of them tonight, like the starving carnivores we are. Today was Fast Sunday, except I haven't fasted properly in years. Pregnant, nursing, hungry, I'm full of good reasons why not! Also, our church time went from 11 am to 1 pm, a completely a-hole move if you ask me. 1 pm church is 3 hours of torture for the families with small children of unusual size, like us. It's nap time, they're hungry, we should all be at home watching football. Paul says the church isn't true after 1 o'clock. I'm starting to agree. Oh well, I guess I love Jesus enough to stuff myself into a skirt (or pants if I feel like it) and go anyway. Connie would be so proud.

I have approximately one skirt I can tug up over my supple hips. Despite the fact that I've been working 'dat booty in the gym pretty regularly, most of my wardrobe still doesn't fit. Not even a little bit. Oh I'm strong, like bull, I just have a layer of winter insulation on top of it all. And sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night to feed Baby Ruth, I realize that I've been sweating up under my neck and hairline. My body temp is all out of whack. I blame the hormonees.

I realize I've made this same complaint with all three of my postpartum bodies now. I get it, I just had a baby. He's 4 months old (and about to move up to size 4 diapers, naturally). I've been here before, I know it ends eventually. The thing I can't remember is how long this lasted before I could zip my pants up comfortably again. All my leggings are getting friction holes from where my thighs rub together. And I know there are people out there who are all "leggings aren't pants" and I'm all, "they are if you squeezed out a giant baby and can't fit into anything else, so bite me." I text my friends who probably all wish I'd shut the hell up about it, and then I bake a batch of cookies.


Tomorrow it's back to the routine. Nub goes to preschool, Paul back to work, me and the two littles to the gym. I'm glad for routine, I thrive on routine. It makes me feel contained and in control. These winter days are too long, and too indoors. Is it spring yet? You let me know.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out Like A Lion

10:25 on New Year's Eve.

December really punched me in the face this year, to cap off what I guess were 11 previous months of backwoods style survival. Assuming the backwoods have grocery stores, fountain Dr. Pepper, the city pool, iPhones and Target. I realize I've come a long way since the Wyoming ranch upbringing of my youth...

It's been a good year, and a hard year. But I don't know a lot of good things that aren't generally earned the hard way so I guess I came by it honest. It was the year of Baby Ruth, barfing through the first 1/3, watching and feeling my bod contort to magnificently round proportions in the second 1/3, and finishing out the final 1/3 with a perfect new baby, a crap load of lonely days and long nights, and a holiday season that felt like it was never going to end. I'm grateful, I am. Mostly that it's over. I'm also glad that I know that these seasons in our lives pass just as quick as the real ones. Paul won't be in school forever (I hope), we will see each other before the sun goes down again. I will, someday, sleep in more than 3 hour increments, and pee won't always be puddled on the floor in one or all of the bathrooms of this house. Or maybe it will. I'll pray about it.

Here are things I'm thankful for:
1. My car. Old Blazey keeps plugging along with the check engine light burning bright and the front differential leak dripping solid as ever. We just can't quit each other and that's all right with me. The kids are a little crammed but I've never been so grateful to have her paid for as I have been this year. She/He (I'm not really sure on the gender) treats me good.

2. Financial Aid. Ah, the benefits of heading back to school with a wife and three kids in tow.

3. Baby Ruth. That baby is solid gold, or maybe I'm just enamored enough to look past all the typical exhaustion/sleepless/babies are work stuff. I love him so much, my Instagram feed proves it.

4. Those other two children. They're pretty great too. Can you believe the Nub goes to kindergarten this year? I say that like you care, because I do. I'm too young to have a kid in kindergarten. Guess it's time for my midlife crisis. Triple, if he doesn't give me a stroke before I turn 40, I'll be a monkey's uncle. But I sure love him, and the blueberries he smeared all over my couch while I was in the shower.

5. These parents and in-laws and siblings of mine.

6. Friends. Such good friends. I've waited my whole life to have the kind of friends I have right now and I feel just lucky. They feed me, clothe me, love my kids, care for them if needed, and basically just show up, sometimes with a frosty bev. That's love.

7. Paul. He works hard, he rides the train, he goes to school, works on the weekends too, teaches Gospel Doctrine, and still has time to do the dishes before he passes out cold every night, dead to the world style. I love him. I'm proud of him.

There's lots more to add but my eyes are burning and I need to put myself to bed before my golden baby wakes up and yells at me for food or comfort. Babies are such selfish jerks sometimes.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Hello, 2014! I hope this is the year I finally get rich and skinny. HERE'S TO THE POWER OF THE SECRET, I'm coming for you.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

One Morning In August

What is it about a newborn that makes time move in absurd directions? One minute it's way too fast, and the next it's like you're all in the middle of slow-mo replay. But here we are, almost 4 months later and maybe I'm ready to talk about the day my Ruthie was born.

Simply? It was pretty magical and seven different kinds of speedy. The details have lost their sharp edges, but somehow that privileged feeling of having a new baby in my arms hasn't faded at all. I worried after I got pregnant, I worried about how this would all shake out. Paul is deep into school, taking time off from that or work just wasn't an option. He needed to push through and get it done so I knew I'd be doing a lot of the heavy lifting at home on my own. I prayed with the pleading heart of a desperate soul that this baby would be what I needed, that I could do this without losing my mental health or descending into the Hunger Games of motherhood and survival of the fittest. And then I made up my mind that I could, and so far I have.

All of my babies have been inductions. One by necessity, high blood pressure, the other two by choice. I guess I lack the patience or maybe even the ability to actually go into labor by myself. I walk around dilated to a 4 or 5 weeks ahead of my due date. Each time praying that this will be the one time I'll do it by myself. The hospital I deliver at is a good 45 minutes away (thanks insurance), I have a history of speedy births (Triple was 3 hours start to finish), and I so did not want to do this in the front seat of a car on the side of the freeway, or on my bathroom floor at home. Nope. Plus, Paul had work and school requirements which made that day a particularly appealing one to have a baby. So, I did.

Early the morning of August 26th, I woke up, got my hairs did. Took care of the last minute stuff. My mom showed up, my boys woke up, we snapped a picture on our front steps:

And then we were off. Only a half an hour late. The skies were overcast again, just like the last morning I'd made this same drive three years earlier, the day that Triple was born. We checked into our room. Took one more photo to document the grandiosity that was my super hot bod. Exhibit A below:

I changed into my hospital gown, got hooked up and an i.v. placed. My doctor came and we laughed a little, I really love my doctor. The giant crochet hook came out and boom, my water was broken and I was again grossed out. Game time, 9:00 am. Walking back out the door Dr. Watts looked at the clock and said "12:30 is my guess, see you in a bit!" I was pretty convinced I wouldn't need pitocin after my last childbirth experience and those contractions sure did start rolling in low and slow. The thing about being dilated that far and then having your water broken is that you're pretty much in the middle of the active stage of labor with no build up and that can be super not fun. It's like getting on a roller coaster in the middle of a loop. I am so good at analogies! That first hour seemed like it took for.ever to pass, especially when those contractions starting picking up in intensity. Finally at around 10:30 I was over it and told Paul to go hunt my nurse down so she could call for the nice epidural doctor. Of course that took another 20 minutes and then the tiniest Asian lady anesthesiologist came into the room and took her sweet time getting that blessed pipeline of numbness placed. 

Let's just all admit that hard contractions and trying to hold still don't really jam so well. I must have been gripping Paul's hand something fierce because I looked up and his face was white and he had crazy eyes. He looked over at the nurse and said, "I think I need to sit down" and then he was gone, down like a tranquilized water buffalo. The nurse somehow kept him from hitting his head on the monitoring station. I told her to get out of the way because comatose water buffalo were heavy and I didn't want her to get hurt. She laid him out somehow and she and tiny anesthesiologist were hovering around him when he came to about 30 seconds later. I just laughed, because really, who passes out during that part? He couldn't even see the needle! Thanks Paul and your low blood sugar/hangry problem. Maybe you should have eaten before we walked out the door. A few crackers and some juice and he was right as rain. Everyone left the room, Paul went to get some breakfast, and I was alone. Except for that stabbing pain on the left side of my body because that epidural was most definitely not working. Paul came back fresh full of pancakes and I was gripping the rail of the bed in extreme pain with flashbacks of Triple's freight train birth. I just kept thinking, I don't want to do this again, not this way! I want to push and be happy and not feel like dying instead! Things get a little dramatic when you're in the middle of labor, am I right? I'm right. 

Paul chases down my nurse who comes in and clicks my epidural button again and says she'll be back in 10 to see if we need to get the anesthesiologist. 10 awful minutes later she comes back, no change, still dying. She looks at me and decides that maybe I'm just progressing really fast and decides to check for confirmation of that. Guess what, I'm complete. Let's have a baby. Dr. Watts comes back, the big mirror on the ceiling came out, hello lady bits-nice to see you again

Two big pushes and this time I watched eyes wide open as my sweet Baby Ruth made his way on out into this world and onto my chest. 

That moment, when your child takes his first breath, that moment is so full of sacred I can't even describe. And it was. And it's why I love having babies. The feeling in that room is palpable, I love it so much. 

Welcome my handsome boy, all 9 lbs 4.2 oz and 20 inches of you. We're so happy you're here. You've been an absolute joy and a bright light in our home. You maybe even softened my intense dislike for the the newborn stage because I've actually found myself relishing this time with you like no other. You're perfect. I love you. Thanks for choosing me. 

August 26th, 2013, born at 11:27 am

*p.s., beat Triple's birth by a full half hour. 2.5 hours start to finish. I'm awesome.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday Cards Are My Favorite

You know I love me a good Christmas card. Getting snail mail any time of the year is my favorite, but getting a whole grip of snail mail is even more my favorite, which is why the holidays are the friggin' happiest time EVER. Okay, maybe not ever. But they are in the top quadrant of my happy times configuration.

I just barely pulled my shizz together and sent out Baby Ruth's birth announcements a few weeks ago. I should have just combined that business with holiday cards because I used all the best pictures of my children looking calm and angelic and now I'll have to figure out how to get more taken so I can further exacerbate that misrepresentation. But that's the whole point of holiday cards anyway, right? Yearly smuggery and showmanship? Look at us! My kids are the cutest! We are winning at all the things, me especially! I've had 3 babies and my thighs don't touch! (LIES LIES LIES). Oh bless, I don't care. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH ANYWAY! Get in my mailbox, cards. And just so you know, my thighs rub worse than ever thanks to the extra THIRTY pounds I seem to be storing for the long, hard winter ahead. If you need me I'll be in a cave hibernating (watching tv) with some carb laden baked goods and a frosty bev, and all your holiday cards to keep me company.

Anyway, you should check out the holiday card selection from Minted because they have about a million awesome options, none of which are lame thanks to their community of creative professionals who design, compete, and contribute some pretty amazing stuff.
I mean, actual gold foil? Bananas! 

You should read up about their story, it's pretty cool. Holiday cards are just the tip of the Minted iceberg, really!

I'd show you which ones I'm considering but that'd circumvent the whole point. Let's just hope I do a little proofreading this year after I slipped an extra vowel onto the end of Nub's name last year and didn't realize it until I pulled one out to start stuffing envelopes. Threat level: Genius.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bright And Sunny, Or Not

It's no big secret that I am the very opposite of a morning person.

Every morning my kids rudely wake me up demanding things like juice and breakfast foods, or sandwiches if your name is Triple. Sometimes I get lucky and they crawl in bed with me and watch Tom and Jerry and I get a good 30 to 40 minute buffer where I can stay them and their demands off before I have to drag myself out resentfully and do something productive. I'm only 5 years (and some change) into this motherhood thing, but more often than not, this is how most of our days begin.

This morning in particular, Triple curled up in the crook of my bent legs, his body soft, heavy and warm. The Nub was to my left occupying the spot his dad had vacated after leaving for work. It was dark outside, the drapes were shut, our house quiet and still. We stayed that way for the better part of an hour until the baby woke and forced us all from our nest and back into the routine of juice, breakfast, syrup, sticky, diapers and all the daily stuff. But that small slice of time?

I am not a morning person, except for mornings like that.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Every Day I'm Hustling

I'm so behind.

On this blog, on life in general if we're being honest.

Sweet Baby Ruth is 9 weeks old today. He's a nugget who enjoys in this particular order: boobs, pacifiers, extreme swaddling, the occasional bottle, and snuggling all the live long day. I'm deeply in love with him. Deeply. He's been smiling and making those baby sounds that are like napalm melting my face off because OH MY GOSH HE'S SMILING AND GURGLING AND I CAN'T TAKE IT!!!!!!!

Stand down, Mother.

It's taken me a week to write this post because my brain is broken and the only writing I do is for other people, mos def not for myself. I feel out of practice with this whole thing. Someday soon I'll catch up and write about the morning I brought another human being in the the world, again. Because it was amazing and it's over already and I feel a teensy bit sad about it because I don't know if I'm having any more babies, and maybe that's why my world is so wrapped up in this one. I can't quit him in the least bit. The other two are equal parts exhausting and just really awesome. 3 and 5 are some good ages (but 4 is probably still my favorite). Brothers are the best though, right? I love having boys. So much, so much.

I know that I'm tired every night, and I'm really happy. Having three kids is bonkers in all the right ways. My life is still sporadically crappy and average by some standards and almost always stressful, but I'm assuming it's that way for everyone so no top of the podium for me. I think maybe the trick is having a baby with a fuzzy head and blue blue eyes to make everything all better.

You should try it.

Ruthie, 8 weeks