A new mommy's mishaps, mayhem, and majesty

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Meaning

I just had the most humbling experience in the grocery store today.

I was checking out at the grocery store when my debit card wouldn't work. Which isn't the first time it's happened- our bank changed its name last year so everyone was issued a new debit card. For some reason there was a conflict with the bank's new cards and Wal-mart's card machines. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes the card reader gets picky about how and where my card is swiped. So I didn't think anything of it; just put it through the usual paces and figured it would work. Sadly it didn't- so I got on my fancy-schmancy smart phone (which I regret being stuck with- I love my phone, but not the contracted service bill) and checked our bank account.

There wasn't enough money to buy my groceries.

I stood there in shock for a minute- We just got paid a few days ago! And it wasn't like this was one of my big trips either... I was trying to keep it cheap.

I wasn't quite sure what to do...I don't carry a credit card with me even though I have one. We ran out of checks last month so that option was out...dig through the car for change?

 I thought of the money bag sitting by the front door with my earnings from this weekend's craft boutique in it. There was enough money inside, but it was at home, not in my hand. I debated whether or not to call my husband and have him bring the bag. But I didn't think he would take the news very well; he would stressing out and demanding answers from me about where the money went and what happened, blah blah blah; and I wouldn't be able to tell him until I got home and took a good look at our account history.

As I feebly pawed at the grocery bags trying to decide what to put back, the lady in line behind me put her hand on my shoulder. "How much are you short?"

A sick feeling rose up in my throat. I didn't want her to help me- I was embarrassed enough that she had to see me like this.

"Whatever it is you're short, I will pay it." I opened my mouth to protest when she added, "Merry Christmas."

Those simple words were all the encouragement I needed to accept her gracious help. "Twenty dollars," I choked out.

I paid what I could and she took care of the rest. I got a couple of encouraging smiles and an arm pat from the cashiers as I sheepishly wheeled my cart out of the store. As I loaded my precious groceries into the car I remembered the empty compartment where my emergency $20 used to be.

A couple of months ago, our family was on our way to visit my parents in California. We stopped for gas in Primm, Nevada; the last service station we would see for hours while crossing the Mojave. When Matt got out of the car, a bigger gentleman approached us. I couldn't hear what he was saying, but Matt reached into that little compartment and handed the guy the $20 bill inside. After filling the car with gas and getting back behind the wheel, I asked him what happened. He said the guy needed money for gas.

 As I watched the man walk back over to his nice car, I'm ashamed to say I began to judge this person. I knew it was wrong, but I griped in my head about how much it was, what that person might buy with it, and how it was there for our emergencies, not someone else's. I had smaller bills in my purse and wondered why my husband would automatically reach for the twenty and not ask me first if I had any cash. I tried to get over it and move on. I remembered about that missing twenty again last week when our funds were getting low and Matt needed gas to drive to work. He ended up using rolls of change to buy gas.

The lesson God was trying to teach me began to sank in. He knew that $20 meant something to me.

 It's PAPER! It's WORTHLESS! It won't last past this life!

But for some reason my heart was set on that eternally worthless piece of paper. And He saw that it was returned to me.


I don't even have words to describe my feelings.

I've been seeking to understand the true meaning of Christmas. Presents are great- I love watching people's faces light up with excitement when they open gifts and find something just perfect. I love the feeling of making someone's day. But I always feel disappointed when I don't find that same perfect gift given to me. I want Christmas to feel what I imagine Christmas feels like. Trying to capture the spirit of the holiday when I am soo focused on shopping and gift wrapping and making sure I get everyone so no one feels like I don't love them if I don't have a gift or something for them is counterproductive. Money and material gifts are not what Christmas is about.

I may be forced to sacrifice my favorite day of the year- Black Friday- because it is a day of spending money....which is now gone. Could I find a way to pay for it on credit? Absolutely. It would be all too easy. But it isn't paid for if you owe the credit card company money. And it's not really a steal of a deal if I am owing interest on it.
Our girls are little so if our tree is a little bare under the branches it won't bother them any. Not to say there won't be anything there- but I've been wanting to do more of a homemade Christmas this year anyway to make our holiday have a little more personal value to it. This might be the perfect year to start teaching them the true meaning of Christmas anyway.

Christmas is an action. Not a feeling.
Doing something for someone else that they cannot do for themselves.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ramblings of an insomniac

It is in that state between dreaming and being fully awake that I often have the most clarity and can see things as they really are. A fleeting epiphany. It is during these times that I learn the most about myself. Unfortunately, my brilliant ideas almost always never make it out of my head and onto paper. Much of my thoughts are lost at this point, though I will try to regurgitate what I can remember...
I've held myself back for years, probably because I am trying to preserve a time in my life that has passed and never will return again. Change scares me, a lot more than I admit to myself. I love my little girls with all my heart, but I find myself wishing I had fewer responsibilities and that I could go back to a simpler time in my life. I have yet to graduate college because that means I finally have to face the rest of my mortal life. That scares me. I fear age. I've been afraid to imagine what my life will be like when I am 40, 50, 60, etc. I suppose not allowing myself to think about it prevents me from setting worthy goals for me to accomplish in my lifetime. Instead I set my sights on much shallower goals, rather than goals that will be of use to me for all eternity. Perhaps watching my girls grow, and seeing how fleeting their babyhood really is, shows me that I need to start making for myself goals that will enable me to change for the better. Change during mortality is hard- but it will be made even more difficult after mortality. Alma 34:32-34 comes to mind (that is the scripture mastery about procrastination, right? I've been out of seminary too long)- "see that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end- for after this day in life which is given us to prepare for eternity; behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed...for that same spirit which doth posses your bodies at the time when ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to posses your body, in that eternal world".
Now that I've realized this about myself- the next step is, what will I do about it? Read my patriarchal blessing, for one... as for the next step, I'm not sure. Obviously I need to start allowing myself to move forward. Time is not going to stand still.
Some changes are only as permanent as I want them to be. I've wanted for years to find my own style of decorating and my personal style, as well. I've been looking for permanent solutions to a temporary problem. I've wanted a classic, permanent style.  It doesn't exactly work that way- things get old, worn out, broken, lost; and if something survives long enough, I get tired of it. I've wanted my styles to impress other people. So I get anxious and stay in my comfort zone, and deny myself of what I really want to try. I've heard over and over again to go with what I like, what makes me happy, etc.... but for me it isn't that easy. What I really want, though, is a home that feels friendly and open, where friends and family like to come over and spend time with our family. I want a home where my kids feel the spirit, and everyone who comes to visit can feel it too.
Looks like I have my work cut out for me.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Emma's Story

Emma and Lily are growing so fast. It is hard to believe that nearly 6 months have gone by since our second daughter came into this world, and almost two years since our first daughter changed our lives forever. Lily has grown so much since then- and we have, too.
I never recorded Emma's story.
My induction was scheduled for April 5, 2012 at 5:00 a.m. At 3:30 a.m. the hospital called and said that there were no rooms available for me. So I went back to sleep and at 7 we received another call asking us to come in. I changed in the triage room, had my water broken in a cesarean postpartum room, and after being in labor for a few hours I was moved into the room where we would stay until discharge. 
I feel like my labor with Emma was easier than Lily- mostly because I was a little more experienced- but I was also constantly drinking fluids, I had at least a couple of hours of sleep (Still didn't sleep very well- we slept at Kristynn's the night before), and my mom was there. It was so nice to have a seasoned delivery nurse there just for me ;) Especially after my epidural kicked in and I wasn't quite so coherent. Mom was even able to predict when it was time to call the nurse in because the fentanyl in my system was causing my blood pressure to drop too low.
For a few hours my labor didn't progress much. I finally started making some progress after lunch, and around 3:30 I was dilated to a 7. The nurse was about to leave my room when I started to feel pressure, and she checked me again. Within minutes I dilated from a 7 to a 10, and was starting to feel like I needed to push. The doctor was fetched, and at 3:46 p.m., Emma Leigh came into the world. She was 7 lbs 7 oz and 20 inches long.
Emma had jaundice also (her bili levels were around 11.5 at discharge), but because we had gone through it when Lily was born we knew what to do, and thankfully the pediatrician at the hospital sent us home with bili lights. We also made sure she was well fed, and I supplemented her with formula for about the first week. We continued to have her bili levels checked for several days after getting home, and  finally she was off the bili lights about a week or so after we got home.
Even though I had stopped nursing Lily less than a year earlier, I felt like we needed to learn it all over again. This time around though it was almost like magic. Emma had no trouble at all finding my breast. I think we waited too long to start Lily off, or maybe it was just my inexperience that got in the way, but that first time was much harder. We avoided giving the bottles that the hospital provided to Emma, anyway, just in case it screwed us up and made things harder.
She has grown so much since then. Emma was rolling over front to back at 2 months, and back to front at 4 months. She was starting to creep around before 5 months, and now can scoot backwards and roll around to reach something she wants. I can only imagine what my house is going to look like when she is running around with her sister :s
I am looking forward to watching her continue to grow into a beautiful little girl like her sister, and to become a big sister herself one day. Each little spirit that comes into our family is a true miracle, and I hope that we will be blessed with more little miracles as our lives continue.

Do your daughters know they are beautiful?

Yesterday, my sweet not-quite-two-year-old tried to help me wash the dishes. While she is far from being able to do the chore by herself, it is yet another reminder that she is no longer a baby. She is becoming a little girl.
My time with my babies is short, and each day that goes by they get older and bigger. Soon my girls will be grown and gone. The best I can hope to do is raise them to know that we love them, that their Heavenly Father loves them, and that they truly are of infinite worth.
Our bishop spoke in fast and testimony meeting today, and what he said really struck me. Someone asked him, "Do your daughters know they are beautiful? If they don't, when they go to college, they will fall prey to someone who will lead them astray, simply because someone tells them that they are beautiful."
This happened to a friend of mine, who didn't know- and may still not know- how beautiful she is. She met a guy who said that she was beautiful, who said there was a light about her. He wasn't a bad guy, but he did not have the gospel in his life and didn't understand what he did to her when he took her virtue. She tried to bring the gospel into his life, but failed, and he left her because the light in her had diminished.
I hope my girls never, ever have to struggle with their self image the way my friend did. I want them to know every day how beautiful and precious they are, and how they deserve a man who will treat them like the
 queens they are destined to become. If any boys decide to come into our family I will make sure they know the same, and teach all of our children to treat their spouses like the kings and queens they can become by following God's plan.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Almost ready

I suppose since I have a few minutes to myself I can spend a little time on my little blog :). Within a few weeks time I will have very little time to myself so I might as well take advantage of what I've got. It still seems a little unreal to me that I will have not one, but two little girls in my home very soon. Lily is getting more curious about the second crib in her room, and though she understands it is for a baby, she still has no clue that the baby will require a lot of mommy and daddy's attention, or that mommy is even having another baby.
Everything is just about ready for baby Emma's arrival; I just need to make sure someone will be able to take care of baby #1 when baby #2 comes. My suitcase is packed, I have a list of things to grab when the time comes, and the babies' room is pretty much ready. The most important thing I wanted to accomplish before the baby comes was to pass my national pharmacy tech certification exam- which I drove up to Salt Lake for and passed on Monday- yay! The rest of the semester will be a cakewalk for me- I won't have to take the final exam or the test next week, and if I miss class I will get credit for being there anyway. I would still like to go when I can because there is still more I can learn; but if it isn't convenient for me to find a babysitter then I won't worry about going. As soon as the semester is over and I have my certificate I can go apply for my Pharmacy Technician license.
Since I have that accomplished, I am just watching and waiting for this little girl to decide that she is ready to begin her journey on earth. I will probably be induced between 39-40 weeks if my labor does not start before then; which since I live more than an hour from the hospital is just fine with me. So I have a definite end in sight, but I think these last three weeks are going to feel like the longest weeks ever. I have a list of projects to take my mind off of waiting though- revamping my ugly glider, designing and sewing a new nursing cover, stocking our freezers and cupboards with easy meals and snacks, and hunting for as many grocery bargains as I can find. I keep getting in trouble for rearranging the furniture in our apartment, so I need to find another outlet for my energies. She will be here before I know it, I'm sure!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Light At The End of the Tunnel

I saw a quote on Facebook a few days ago that said something to the effect of "the light you see at the end of the tunnel is a train coming from the other side." I had to laugh at that; I suppose I have an ironic sense of humor. In all honesty I really hope that it isn't true. For although it's been a frustrating road, things for us feel like they are starting to come together and we are getting closer to where we would eventually like to end up. I would really hate to be hit by a train right now.
We got our tax return back this month; it wasn't quite the amount we were expecting or hoping for, but it was still enough to pay off a couple of my student loans and (finally!) get us a queen-size bed. We were also approved for a loan on a used car in VERY good condition, which we desperately need. The two driveable junkers we own have worked out for us up until this point, and while Matt has been able to fix any issues we've had so far, I don't feel comfortable driving around my van when it could break down on me at any time with two babies in the car. Not to mention the lack of air conditioning- poor Lily was roasting in her car seat all last summer. We've managed to squish into the three seater truck when the van has been out of commission, but there is no way we would be able to pull it off with two car seats. Not even if I rode in the bed. Since most of our bills are now paid off and I will be done with school for the time being, we have enough disposable income to afford a car payment and still maybe put a little into savings each month. My parents had told me about a car their mechanic was advertising for sale back in December, and it turns out it was still available. A few people had tried to apply for loans for it but were unable to be approved, and we were lucky enough to qualify for a reasonable loan. So last week I sent the paperwork to California, which my dad handled for me since I am unable to fly at the moment, and he drove up our "new" 2010 Toyota Corolla, which now has 7,330 miles on it. It even still has a hint of that wonderful new car smell. The previous owner was in his 90's when he purchased it, and had died recently. The family wanted $11,500 for it, which was way below the blue book value. In a better economy the car would've sold within a couple of days; however, I am grateful that it was still available for us when we were in a position to buy a newer car. Even if we outgrow it I think it will still be a very viable car, and Toyotas generally have great resale value.
There have been rumors going around the mine lately that there will be layoffs and what not this year. As it is, everyone has to take a mandatory week of vacation during the 24th of July, after the next longwall move. With a new baby and a car payment things could get pretty tight. I am REALLY praying and hoping that things will be okay for us and that I won't need to go out and find a job with a newborn at home. The only thing that scares me more than Matt losing his job is losing one of my girls (or my husband too). I am pretty close to getting my Pharmacy Technician certification, but I would still like it to be awhile before needing to go out and find a job. It was really hard for me to leave Lily and go back to work, so I chose to stay at home.
And speaking of home, I am starting to finally feel like we live in our apartment and that we are not just here temporarily. I've been adding a few homey touches lately and driving Matt crazy with all my reorganization and furniture moving. It seems silly, since we are hoping to be out of here in about 6 months to be doing all of this now; but I want to feel content in our home, even if it isn't really "ours". Matt says he wants new couches next; we will have to see what his next bonus looks like. Though we aren't completely free of debt yet, it is amazing how good it feels to be as close as we are. So I would really hate to be hit by a train and have to start the process all over again.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Spring Cleaning

It looks like I won't be getting any more sleep tonight. I've had to-do lists and shopping lists running through my head all night, not to mention I am starving but too tired to get up and forage for food. Most of all, I am just uncomfortable- and I still have way too far to go to not be getting enough sleep. My due date is 9 1/2 weeks away but I am expecting sooner than that we will have our second baby girl in our arms.
I still have things to do before then- and I feel like I am just waiting for time to pass so I can get all the things done that I need to and finally relax. I can't really say I'd be breathing easier since my lungs feel so squished right now that I don't think it would make all that big of a difference (I've got a BAD case of the nesting instinct- and it probably isn't going away any time soon).
Because our apartment lacks a lot of essential storage space, we have a lot of stuff and not a lot of space to put it in. To try and squish in a fourth (though very small) person, I've constantly been arranging and rearranging our apartment (mostly the babies' room) to try and find the best way to maximize our space and get rid of the stuff that we really don't need. Most of our furniture is old and junky, and if we were rich I would probably go out and buy all new furniture. But we aren't; so I have to content myself with simply finding budget-friendly solutions for our storage needs. I've spent days working on the girl's room, trying to cram baby gear into every nook and cranny I can find, including the limited amount of space underneath the two cribs. The room is pretty small and barely fits two cribs, a dresser, changing table and glider. I'd move the glider out to the living room but it is wall-to-wall furniture in there as well. Today I think I might rearrange our bedroom closet, and see if I can't finish some of the unfinished decor projects I've started on and halfway finished.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ok, so the holidays are over, which means that my least favorite part of winter is here. It's just cold and there really isn't anything for me to look forward to except Spring and the end of winter. I start to get antsy for Spring as soon as January hits. I have more than one reason to look forward to Spring this year- and more than one reason to appreciate winter. We'll have our second girl sometime in early spring, which means that I have a few more months of rest before the sleepless nights start again.

A brief summary of our holidays:

Lily's second christmas was a little more eventful than her first. She was only six weeks last year; this year she was a little more interested in what was going on. She isn't really old enough to rip open the wrapping paper on her own, so we helped her quite a bit, but by the end she was starting to get the hang of it. It was really cute to watch her tear off tiny bits of paper at a time, look at it, and proceed to tear another tiny bit of paper off her presents. She got a few new toys and a couple of books. I think she had the most fun with her stocking though, pulling out the toys from inside. After video chatting with Grandma, we went to dinner at Sam and Prescott's house and had some more fun. I got a steam cleaner and a new set of pots and pans that I've had my eye on for months.

For New Year's we went to my sister's apartment in Lindon. My mom and youngest sister were visiting from California. We played a few games to while away the time, put together a puzzle, celebrated the stroke of midnight and went to bed. After a turkey dinner the next evening we returned home so Matt could go to work the next morning.