Tuesday, January 29, 2008

a date a date a REAL LIVE DATE!!!!

Since Z has been born, my husband and I have been very bad about the date thing. It's been suggested at church and in all the relationship books I've ever read that a married couple should continue to court each other, and they should go on dates occasionally. I always have a tough time leaving my babies because they tend to be deeply in love with mommy, and don't behave as well for other people. Compounding that is the fact that I breastfeed, and my kids have never been very good about taking bottles (K was pretty good about it, but only if I used a particular brand and if the temperature was just right).

Nowadays, we don't have any teenage sitters around us, so we rarely, if ever, get out alone. Back in December we went to my husband's company party together. Then, in September, we went on a 30 minute ATV ride together. In July, we went together for my husband's vasectomy. And that sums up our alone time.

For his birthday, my grandmother gave Jim two tickets to a Utah Jazz game. My parents offered to drive up and babysit for us.

We went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. This is very new to Utah, so the waits are generally about 2 hours long. We had luck with us and were at our table within 5 minutes. The food was good, although the portions were huge. I ate my fill last night, then had some for lunch. S. also had some, and there's still an adult sized portion of spaghetti in the fridge.

Our seats were really great for the game. We had to kick some squatters out of them, but that was painless.

When we got home, my parents admitted they'd let the kids stay up a little late and gave them ice cream for dinner. I was totally fine with that. The little stinkers told on grandma and grandpa this morning though. They need to learn when to keep their mouths shut!

We had such a fun time, and it was so nice to spend time alone with my husband and not have to worry about chasing kids. I think we'll definitely have to do it more often.


Co-Sleeping. The Family Bed. Bed Sharing. All of these terms are euphemisms for having a couple and their child/ren all in the same bed. Outside of the United States, it is a very common, accepted practice. Here in the US, it's quickly climbing in controversy to crying it out and breast vs. bottle. Many people in the "attachment parenting" (google it) school of thought think it is the only way to go. Dr. William Sears is a huge proponent of attachment parenting and co-sleeping. I find this interesting because the American Academy of Pediatrics has recently come out with the official stance that co-sleeping is bad. No matter what.

Even the most staunch co-sleeping advocate believes that some rules ought to be followed- no excess bedding that the baby could suffocate on, drinking/medications and co-sleeping shouldn't be mixed, tight fighting sheets and bed frame so baby can't get trapped. Excessively heavy sleepers shouldn't co-sleep.

When the AAP came out against co-sleeping, I had a difficult time. I was currently cosleeping with S, and loving every minute of it. For the first time, I wasn't constantly worried that my baby was going to die of SIDS. In general, I have agreed with the AAP, so it was weird to find myself in one of the fringe groups. I will admit that S didn't sleep through the night consistently until she was over a year old and sleeping in her own crib.

When Z came along, I decided to mainly have him sleep in the crib because I couldn't take another year of a baby waking up multiple times in a night. Z has been a pretty great sleeper up until about a month ago. About that time, he got a cold (which he is STILL fighting). When the cold set in, he became a very vocal supporter of co-sleeping. From the beginning, he preferred to sleep with us (duh!), but he was at least willing to try his bed.

For the last month, we have had to make sure he is sleeping really, really deeply before we put him in his crib or he would start screaming as soon as his butt touched the mattress.

Last night, I didn't even bother trying the crib out, just put him in our bed. He fell asleep immediately, and slept til my husband woke up at 7:20. It was wonderful.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Gordon B. Hinckley

Last night, Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the LDS church, died at the tender young age of 97. He had been quite healthy, right up til the end, which I think was a definite blessing. I am sure he is happy to be with his beloved wife again.

Although I have my doubts and questions and emotional struggle with the LDS church at the moment, I have always had an enormous amount of respect for Pres. Hinckley. He was a kind, good man. The world is a slightly sadder place without his presence.

I have been a bit upset and struggling a lot spiritually and emotionally with regards to my religion. But I am mourning the loss of Pres. Hinckley; my issues were never with him.

Friday, January 25, 2008

What a week!

This has been a crazy week. The big kids were out of school on Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday night, our cub scout pack had the big Pinewood Derby. The big kids both made cars and had a blast racing them. I was a little dissatisfied because we were using the stopwatch function on a watch to time the cars. When the races were being won and lost be hundredths of a second, that just didn't seem precise enough. To make matter worse, I was one of the people timing it, so I felt like the sloppiness was my fault, even though I wouldn't have done it that way had I been in charge. M won second place in his den. I have a sick feeling that I inadvertently cheated, making him win. He was one of the first cars to race, before we got into a groove. I just hope none of the parents are too unhappy with how things went, and that nobody feels like I did anything to slight their child on purpose.

Wednesday I was "treat mom" for M's junior jazz basketball game. I realized as I got there that I didn't have enough treats for all of the kids, so I had to run to the store and buy another box. Oops.

To also toss into the mix, I had a photo shoot for a friend's son. She cut K's and my hair, and in exchange, I'd take pictures of her son, and make a baptism invitation out of it. I also had to take Z's picture. I have pictures of all four of my kids at the age of 9 months in a washtub. They turned out pretty cute, but I'm annoyed because the sheet I used for the backdrop has a big wrinkle in it, and I can't photoshop it out to my satisfaction. I may attempt to take the pictures again today with a freshly ironed sheet. It's also girl scout cookie time, so I'm going door to door in the afternoons with K, trying to sell cookies. She has sold over a hundred now, so that's good.

Z has had a cold for a month now. He was almost better about 2 weeks ago, and then got bad again. I think he caught a new one. Ugh! He's also learned to pull himself up to standing, which in general is fun, but not so fun because at night, if he wakes up, he immediately pulls himself up to standing and starts screaming and crying for mama. He insists on sleeping with us. Except the last couple nights, he doesn't actually sleep. He lays perpendicular to husband and I and kicks. All night.

I desperately love my kids. They are truly the biggest joy in my life. But, I have to admit I think back to the spring of 2004. Both of the big kids were potty trained. M was on the cusp of starting preschool. I am three semesters away from graduating college. I was getting course catalogues and considering finishing school. If I'd gone that route instead of having two more kids, I would be about 25 lbs lighter, a college graduate, and probably working a great job by now. And our family's income would be significantly higher. I can't deny that some days, like today when I'm knee deep in baby poop and snot, the other path looks attractive.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

a peek into my obsessive, demented psyche

Great Harvest Bread company offers this delicious white chocolate cherry swirl bread around Jan/Feb. It is to die for. I crave it, and look forward to it coming out each year.

I've devised a recipe for it, but my cherries aren't quite right. Their cherries almost seem to be a dried, candied cherry. I've tried using dried cherries. Nope. Canned pie cherries? Really, really good, but not particularly appealing to look at (they have a clotted blood look to them since there's no artificial color).

So, a couple days ago, I got a coupon. Not only is THE BREAD back, but I have a dollar off coupon. SCORE!!!

On Tuesday, I took the big kids to school, and went to the brand new Great Harvest that is mere blocks from my house. Sadly, they are not making the cherry bread. They have a raspberry chocolate bread that I will have to try out, but my craving for THE BREAD was too strong to accept substitutes. So, I drove to one that's a couple of miles away.
I am told that for now, they're only baking THE BREAD on Wednesdays.

I suck it up and go home.

Wednesday, I drop the kids off at school, and drive back. They don't bake THE BREAD at their location, and they don't get it delivered until noon. So, I go to a third location (where THE BREAD is baked). They are rolling out the dough for it as I enter, so it's obviously not finished.

I am tempted to ask them about the cherries they use while I'm there, or hang out to watch, but the idea of chasing S & Z around kills that urge quickly.

I dejectedly return home. Play with the littles, feed them lunch, put them down for a nap. Get them up from their naps, pick up the big kids from school, host cub scouts.

Load everyone in the car and head back to Great Harvest. Get this. SOLD OUT! waaaaaaaah! The guy at the counter was really sweet, and called location #3 to see if they had any (they didn't). Then offered to take an order so that the loaf would be saved for me. I jumped on that.

But. Six more sleeps until I can have THE BREAD. I may make a loaf of my version to hold me over.

Here's what my bread looks like. Yummy, but kind of scary looking.


This morning our whole family (sans Z) had a dentist appointment. My husband hasn't been to the dentist in a good six years, but I got him an appointment today. Apparently, I have to make appointments for him to go, and I'd not made him an appointment for that long. They were shocked that his teeth looked as good as they did. He claimed they had to get a jackhammer out to get some of the tartar off, but he is still cavity free. He swears it's a combination of drinking Magna Water (for those of you outside of the area, Magna's water is notoriously full of minerals) and eating an entire bottle of flouride pills as a child.

I had never had a cavity until Zack was a newborn. They found a couple tiny cavities then. Until that point, I had not minded the dentist. Since having those fillings, I have developed a serious phobia of it. I hate going now. Hate hate hate it. And I feel like such a baby about it. Two itty, bitty cavities. In fact one of them was just barely into a cavity, didn't even show up on xrays. So very minor dental work. Anyway, I am happy to note that I have no cavities. Phew!!!!!

All three kids did really well with the dentist. None of them have cavities, and although S was nervous, she let the dentist brush her teeth as long as I held her on my lap.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Carlos Boozer

M is doing a community rec. basketball clinic called Junior Jazz. For a fairly modest fee ($55), he gets a jersey, a month of twice weekly basketball instruction by endlessly patient teenagers, two months of twice a week games, two tickets to a Utah Jazz game, and an appearance by a real Utah Jazz basketball player.

He has had a blast with his practices, and will have his first game this week. Tonight was the Junior Jazz pro-player appearance night. I have to admit I am something of a cynic, and figured the player would be some bench warmer. This suspicion strengthened with the weather today. The weather was terrible, getting at least 6-8" of snow at our house in the last 24 hours. However, the kids all were desperate to attend, so we went.

Well, to my surprise and the kids' delight, the player was none other than Carlos Boozer, one of the more popular and talented players on the team. M was especially thrilled because his jersey is #5, just like Boozer.

Boozer was very patient and charismatic with the kids. I was really impressed with how well he did with them. He has a toddler son who has sickle cell anemia and has had quite a few health struggles because of that. Unfortunately, Utah, with its' high altitude and cold winters is really hard on people with sickle cell anemia. However, Boozer and his wife gave birth to healthy twins a few months back, and they did a transplant with the babies' cord blood. This will hopefully cure their older son.

Boozer told a story of a 12 year old boy at the hospital whose parents were really struggling financially, and the boy was going to have to leave the hospital earlier than hoped as a result. When Boozer found out, he paid out of his own pocket to make sure this boy received the treatment he needed. Now, how cool is that?! A faithfully married father, doing acts of kindness that aren't really publicized? This is the kind of guy who we need in pro sports for our kids to look up to.

He even called S "really cute" when she went running out into the gym when he was in the middle of answering questions. ARGH on that toddler!