Monthly Archives: March 2009

Week 22—What’s That About a Glow?

You just about can’t be a pregnant woman without hearing all of the goofy little old wives’ tales about gender prediction. You know: heartbeat speed, belly distribution, rings on hair dangled over the belly, what color Drano turns if you pee in it (who the heck had the idea for that one???)…

And then there is one of my favorite gems: A baby girl sucks all of the beauty out of her mother. So, you know, if you are glowing and radiant, expect a boy. If you’re all haggard and ugly, start buying pink.

A week or so ago, I had spent the day in front of my computer working on my new pet project of learning Joomla. My progress was of the sort where a lot of time was spent with my face plopped in my hands. The most this pose had done for me was, apparently, to wear off my makeup. At one point, I looked up to see Sean staring at me with an odd expression on his face. He got a bit closer, obviously examining me with some amount of confusion.

“Are you breaking out?” he asked.

Um, yeah. Thanks for noticing.

A few days later, I was standing out in the yard talking to my father. At one point, he stopped, looked at me, and asked, “What’s that on your face? Did you get into something?”

When I recounted this exchange to Sean he laughed and asked if I responded by saying, “No, but you sure just did.” He said that, after so many years of raising daughters and being married, my dad should have known better than to make such a rookie mistake. I resisted the urge to remind him that he had displayed his own rookie status quite well just a few days ago–thankyouverymuch.

Hormones have always wreaked havoc on my skin, but this time around—yikes. All I can say is: Thank goodness for years of practice with foundation and concealer.

22 weeks

For those who are wondering, no, the baby is still nowhere near having a name. Tonight, I decided that if I was going to get more active participation from Sean in this process, I was going to have to take a bit of a Goldilocks approach. I didn’t want him going through the one baby name book that I have because it is so limited in what it offers. I knew there was no chance of ever getting him to sit down with the 100,000 name book because it is just too overwhelming (and you just space out after awhile of reading lists of names that you have never heard of).  So, this evening, I bought another book. Hopefully, this one is “just right.”  This book boasts a much more manageable 20,000+ names, has lists based on categories, and is visually appealing. He’s going through it right now. And he’s written down several names.

Then again, I’ve written down several names, too. A lot of good that’s done me.



Filed under Baby naming, pregnancy

Protected: Three Years Old Already

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You know, when we were going through all those years of infertility, a lot of people would say a lot of things to try and comfort me. Probably the one I heard the most was, “If you adopt, you’ll finally relax about having kids—then you’ll get pregnant!” I’m sure many people felt their comments were proven when we DID start having kids after adopting. (For the record, that is about one of the most painful things that a person who can’t have kids can hear—that it is somehow their fault because they are being too uptight about it. Adopting isn’t a cure for infertility. We’re talking about a child—not a fertility idol.)


I never could understand those comments. And now that I HAVE children? I’m completely flummoxed by them.

Before I had kids, we would go out on a regular basis. We had season’s tickets to the local theater’s Broadway series for several years running. And Saturdays? I was never out of bed before nine or ten.


I tried to sleep in. Once I did get up, I had eaten breakfast, taken a shower, cleaned up some, checked my email and read some blogs before I happened it glance at a clock. It was 9:30.

I haven’t stopped moving since.

One of the kids in Sean’s Primary class at church got baptized today. Sean was asked to give a talk on the Holy Ghost. OK, in my family, we have a baptism tradition. It started when I was baptized (24 years ago—gah!). The primary presidency gave every child a little white box when they were baptized. I still have mine, and my mother has made one for each of her grandchildren as they have been baptized. I offered to make one for Sean to use with his talk.



I also put in a small scroll of paper explaining the symbolism of everything in the box:

Dear S~,

I would like you to have this little box to help you understand how important the gift of the Holy Ghost is in your life.

The white box signifies how pure and clean you are now hat you have just been baptized.

The little mouth in the box is to help you remember that the Holy Ghost will speak to you in a still, small voice.

The ear is to remind you that you can always choose the right if you will always listen to the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost is like a warm blanket. When you have chosen right, and have to stand alone, the Holy Ghost will strengthen and comfort you.

These books will help you to remember that the Holy Ghost is a teacher. As you study the scriptures and listen to your teachers, the Holy Ghost will help you to understand and know the truth.

The Holy Ghost is like a compass that shows the way for you and helps you to walk along safe and righteous paths.

May Heavenly Father bless you throughout your life.

While working on that, I was also making brownies for my mother to take to a Historical Society fundraiser this evening (she was up at my sister’s house for a party and so my dad could help build a swing set).


In all fairness, she did treat us all to dinner at said fundraiser this evening.

Walking into that dinner was quite the experience. For starters, my mom was definitely one of the younger members of the group. And there is just nothing quite like walking into a room and being greeted by the sight of a 70-something woman standing behind basic DJ equipment, wearing a black shirt with heavy gold bling and singing Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. I could see the fear in Sean’s eyes.

It was almost (but not quite) as shocking as his grandfather’s wedding reception when we were nineteen. That experience included a little old lady doing a fantastic (and wholly unintentional) impersonation of a geriatric Mimi from The Drew Carey Show and dancing the Macarena.


I will probably never get that image out of my mind—that’s the kind of stuff that just permanently alters your brain chemistry.

The dinner, however, was nice. And by the time we left, the little-old-DJ had moved on to a more predictable selection of “Mares eat oats, and does eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy…” We even won one of the raffle prizes. Of course, it was a cake. Just what I wanted on a day that I had already baked a pan of brownies and a huge birthday cake.

Which brings me to…

Tomorrow is Caleb’s birthday. It is also Sean’s father’s birthday (I should get some major extra daughter-in-law brownie points for that one—how many women give their father-in-law a GRANDCHILD for his birthday?). Sean’s grandfather decided that he should have a family get together tomorrow to celebrate. It technically starts at the exact moment that we get out of church. So…

I have spent the entire evening wrapping presents:



making two bowls of fruit salad:



and decorating a birthday cake:


Oh, OK, fine—I didn’t actually write the words on the cake. I can barely write legibly on a piece of paper. Frosting is way out of my realm. My mom did the lettering for me. But Brobee? I take full credit, responsibility…I did that. No, I haven’t had a sudden change of heart. I still think that Yo Gabba Gabba is the kiddie television equivalent of an acid trip (no, I’ve never experienced one personally but, come on, I wasn’t THAT sheltered—I knew people). That doesn’t change the fact that my son sleeps with his stuffed Brobee every single night. And I’m a mom.

Which brings me back to my original point. From before 9:00 this morning until almost 11:00 this evening, I have not stopped moving. I’ve been doing things all day long. Heck, I’ve technically been multitasking the whole time, if you consider the fact that I did it all while continuing to MAKE A PERSON.

I’m exhausted.

And I can’t help but wonder…At what point is being a mother supposed to start helping me relax???


Filed under Church, Daily Life, Kids, Parenting

Frighteningly Creative

Every day, while the younger boys take naps, I have the older boys do “quiet time.” They can look at books, watch tv, or play their Leapsters. I really don’t care what they choose, as long as it is quiet and independent (so that I get a break, too).

Recently, this is what Noah chose to do:


Those are his clothes with a ball for the head and stuffed animal “stuffing” for the body.

I’m contemplating bars for his bedroom windows. He’s obviously plotting his escape.

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Filed under Daily Life, Kids

Can You Blame Me for Being Neurotic?

Today was a beautiful day. Gorgeous. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and only the slightest breeze could be felt.

Apparently, however, the slightest breeze was all it took today:


Ironically, it was only about five minutes before this came down that my mother was standing in approximately this exact location, picking up sticks and looking around to see which trees were dying.

I think we have a candidate here.

Of course, this is the most disturbing part for me:IMG_2018

Notice how close it fell to the kids’ swing set? The one that my boys play on ALL THE TIME? This is not the first time that a huge branch has come down close to where my kids had just been playing.  Last year, a branch the size of a tree landed on the picnic table about fifteen minutes after the kids had been sitting at it. There was no wind that day, either.

On windy days, they aren’t allowed to play anywhere near the woods.


So, the saga of She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named continues.

What the heck has happened over the past couple of years that Sean and I are suddenly so far on the opposite ends of the baby girl naming spectrum?

I like names that are unique.

He likes names that are traditional.

I like names with spunk.

He likes names that are ultra-girly.

He told me that he likes names that end with the long A sound.

I suggested a few.

He told me that, with long A names, there is a fine line between beautiful and ghet-to.

I suggested not trying to walk that line, then.

Today, I went through the L’s in the baby name book. He turned his nose up at Linley. He said that naming her Lisette would doom her to a lifetime of being called “Lizard” (just like his Grandma Mary—don’t ask). He couldn’t imagine yelling “Lorelei” out the back door when playtime was over, although it might be ok if there was an N at the end (WTH???).

And I pound my head against the cursed book of 100,000 Baby Names—none of which we seem to be able to agree on.

In the end, I take solace in the fact that, when the time comes, I’ll be the one answering the hospital phone and telling the vital statistics employee what to put on the birth certificate. Let’s hope there is a peaceful resolution to this battle before then. Otherwise, you just may witness a coup.


Filed under Baby naming, Daily Life, Scary Bits of Life

21 Weeks: Dusting Off My Dreams

Do you ever look back and wish you could relive a moment in your life? It doesn’t even have to be some big, life-changing event. Sometimes, it is just something little and stupid. And yet…

Earlier this week, I was thinking about Thanksgiving this past year. Or, more specifically, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. That was the day that I found out that my younger brother’s wife was expecting their second child. She told me while we were out hitting up a pre-Thanksgiving Day sale at Kohl’s.

As we wandered through the store looking at all they had to offer, I decided that I wanted to look for a new pair of earrings. We went to the jewelry counter and looked in every display case. At one point, I saw an adorable, gold baby bracelet that had been marked down from $60 to $14. I ooooh’d and aaaaah’d and encouraged her to buy it. After all, even if her new baby was a boy (which it is), she already had a two-year-old daughter who could wear it. She took it out, looked at it, and put it back.

I just didn’t get it. There was no question in my mind that, if I had a little girl that I could put it on, I would have bought it. The sad fact is, I came very close to buying it, anyhow. I kept telling myself that, even if I never had someone to put it on, I could eventually give it as a gift when I gave up the dream. Logic won out (well, that and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to admit buying it to my husband and I’ve never been one to hide purchases from him…), and I left it at the store.

Less than a week later, I found out that I was pregnant. I wish that I had that little bracelet to give to my daughter.

Yesterday, I remembered that I wasn’t always that logical.


I have had these dolls sitting in a wicker trunk since I bought them in 2000. That’s right—NINE years. Every so often, I would think about them and consider pulling them out and giving them to one niece or another. But I have always held off. Sure, they still have a few more years of exile in that trunk before my daughter is ready for them, but they’ll be waiting.

That is assuming, of course, that my husband doesn’t sneak them onto Ebay. Someone has Snow White listed for $60 there right now.


Now that we know we are having a girl, I have finally pulled out the baby name books.

Someone tell me: What the heck happened to all of the names I was falling in love with when I was pregnant with boys???

Seriously, I am up to “J” in the book that lists every last ridiculous variation of every name from Greek to Sanskrit, and only have about five options written down. And we can’t even begin to agree on any of them.

At least we can agree on some of the names we would never consider.

My favorite?


As best as I can tell, it is pronounced about like a pickup line for a caveman.

“You stacked…We, uhhhhhh….?”

If it were a British caveman, this would be followed by an enthusiastic wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

And the best part? The meaning.

Well-built. Yup—stacked.

Hmmm…Does that count as onomatopoeia?

In the meantime, I became aware today of the the fact that my mother despises one of my name choices SO MUCH that she is actually recruiting friends at church to tell me how much it sucks. Greeeeeaaaaat.


21 weeks

I wish I could blame the appearance of my bust on the horizontal stripes, but it’s definitely time to go bra shopping. Otherwise, I’m bound to pass out someday from the lack of oxygen. Either that, or my top half will pop off spontaneously from the sheer pressure squeezing inward.


Filed under Baby naming, pregnancy

The Mouths of Babes

I’ll warn you up front—if you aren’t familiar with the LDS church, this post may not make a lot of sense to you.

Several years ago, when we were still attending a small, inner-city Branch (tiny LDS congregation), Sean was the Young Men’s president and I was the Young Women’s president. It was a very small group of young people from challenging backgrounds.

We developed a special relationship with a 14-year-old boy who was the only member of the church in his family. Even after we moved to our current house and left that Branch, Chris would come over a lot of weekends to hang out, help Sean with yard work, and just be around.

As Chris got older, he would come over less frequently. He’s nineteen now. Even though we don’t see him often, he still calls Sean pretty regularly. Every so often, he will call on a Saturday and say he is going to come over. He almost never actually makes it.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Of course, my kids get excited when they think that Chris is coming over. I’m really not even sure why Sean even tells them that Chris might come over. He always reminds them, though, that there is a good chance he’ll flake.

So, when Chris hadn’t shown up by dinnertime last night and Noah was asking where he was, Sean told him just that.

“He’s not coming, son. He flaked out.”

“What does ‘flake’ mean?” Noah wanted to know.

I explained to him that someone who says that they will do something, then doesn’t do it, is called a “flake.” So Daddy said Chris was being a flake because he said he would come over, then didn’t.

“Oh, like the Home Teachers? Are they flakes?”

Oh. My. Gosh. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

That child is wise beyond his years.



*For the record, we have good Home Teachers. And I have NEVER called them flakes. And I’m the one who needs to call and reschedule our visit next week due to a family birthday party…

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Filed under Church, Kids