10.31.2008

Sssshhhh!

I guess all of the gymnastics tired her out!

Just In Time

Today, I put Lexi down at 1 for her quiet time. At 2, she was still talking to her babies, but fairly quiet. At 2:20, I hear some loud thuds and something about the blue baby. I had decided that if she wasn't down by 3, I'd go get her. Well, she made my job easy.

I was lounging on the couch in the recliner trying to relax for a few minutes. Just a few minutes after the thud and blue baby noise, I hear "What are you doing?" as she comes around the corner. What am I doing!?!!!! Yup, she jumped out of her crib.

I took her back in her room and asked her to show me how she had gotten out. As you'll see, she was all too willing to comply. We'll be moving the rocker tonight, that's for sure. Tomorrow is the big transition to the "big girl bed" and I guess it's just in time, too.

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10.30.2008

Side Notes

I forgot to mention how well the 2nd and 3rd weeks of Missionary Month went. The 2nd week we had elders and sisters from our ward meet with the youth who had been called to the mission areas where the ward members had served. Both the kids and the adults loved the experience. The adults brought their journals, pictures and letters from their missions. The kids loved hearing about and seeing how it was for others to serve. The only thing I would do different is make sure they had lots of time. We gave them 45 minutes and they all said it was way too short! Definitely a must do for missionary month.

The 3rd week was Pday and we asked the kids to bring a friend to play volleyball. Lots of the kids acted like it would kill them to try, but about half of the kids did bring a friend. They had fun and it was very low-key. It was an excellent suggestion by the YM president to do that and the kids enjoyed the chance to have their non-churchy friends there. Another great way to change it up.

So, even though last night was less than perfect, overall it was a really good month of good activities that the entire ward enjoyed. The kids did ask to do it again next year, too.

10.29.2008

Missionary Month Wrap-Up

Tonight was the big finale for our annual Missionary Month. Let me just say that I will be venting a little (ok, a ton) throughout this blog entry. However, my frustration with people doesn't preclude the importance of this activity and the impact it had on the kids.

So, as I mentioned before, the toughest part of this whole thing is planning companionships based on the kids who show up regularly, the kids who show up sporadically, and those inevitable few who only show up when you're not prepared for them. I muddled through the assignments and got everything pretty well set. For the most part, the kids were predictable and came when they said they would. And really, for the other weeks, a kid missing here or there isn't really a problem. But, for the dinner night, a missing companion can be an issue since sending one kid alone really isn't an option.

And as you all know, the kids don't always think of things how we adults do. When they decide "I just don't want to go" they don't think about the grocery shopping, planning, cooking, and effort that these volunteers put into this night. They just don't show up and think that it's no big deal. Those kids that don't come all month long and then decide "oh, I think I'll finally show up" don't realize that the people who have cooked may not have enough food for an extra mouth (really, some people who volunteer have really tight budgets) or car space or whatever.

Sunday, I had a volunteer bail on feeding a group of 3 (note: because of the really inconsistent nature of this particular group of kids - YM, I'll admit - almost all of my companionships had to be in sets of 3 because I knew at least one kid would flake most nights) for tonight. I called a friend who is always a glutton for service and she agreed to feed the three. Well, at 4 p.m. today, I get a message that her son (also a participant) has rear ended someone with his car, the car is wrecked, and she can't feed the kids. I sought the advice of my counselors and we decided that 1 of 2 things would happen: 1. Enough kids would be no-shows that we could re-arrange some companionships and it would work out fine or 2. the kids whose family had cancelled would have to stay and eat pizza with us adults and teach us the lesson. Not ideal, but definitely workable. Whew.

At 5 p.m. (we're meeting at church at 6), I get a call from a parent. "My son doesn't have a mission call and we want to know if he can get his." This kid hasn't been out to mutual all month and an hour before showtime, I get the call that he's being left out. I called back and told them that their son had not been to mutual all month so he didn't get his mission call since they were handed out at mutual activities. However, I had his letter and name tag waiting patiently for him and he was welcome to participate. I was pretty frustrated. You know? First of all, this guy was the former YM President. He knows the deal. And you call me an hour before wanting everything made perfect for your kid? Grrr. (This family also signed up to feed some missionaries for tonight. Yeah, I know, they don't send their kid to mutual but want to feed the active youth? Anyways. They had requested we provide a ride for the missionaries to their home. Now that they are clearly bringing their kid to church to drop him off, I ask if they can give the kids they are feeding a ride back to the home. Well, sure, I guess. It'll be 2 girls, I say. Oh, well, you know, according to mission rules, I can't be alone with 2 girls. I said that we could get permission for this one event (hello!!! it's not a real mission and the girls are in a pair). You know what he said, "Well, you DO know the rules, DON'T YOU?")

I will admit that I was pretty frustrated at this point. I really didn't feel like this guy should be telling me anything about any rules anywhere! It's now 5:20, Lexi is needing my attention, dinner is burning on the stove and I have to call in pizza still. I'd been on the phone for a while at this point with the car wreck, last minute request, and counselor recommendations to try and iron a little of this out before I got to church. This whole time Lexi had been managing herself. She had been doing really well, and then got bored. I can't say I really blame her. She started spilling the salt and pepper out on the table. I asked her not to do that and she kept doing it. I'm still on the phone at this time and I took the s & p away. She starts yelling, "MY PEPPER! MY PEPPER!" When I hung up, I took her down from the table and she started yelling at me. I scolded her and she started crying and saying mommy. I let her marinate for a minute and then explained why she was in trouble. She should have listened, yes. However, I knew she was hitting her wall and because of the aforementioned nut case, I was dealing with other issues. I got even more frustrated that I was so busy dealing with other people who are totally irresponsible that it affected my ability to be responsible with my own kid.

Allen pulled into the driveway at 5:42 and I jumped in the car and drove to get the pizzas. I made it to church at 6:10. The kids were supposed to leave at 6:15. We waited a few minutes for some kids and then decided to just send the ones who were there. I only had 2 companionships go on their assigned missions. As with most things, HF ironed it all out and we had exactly enough people who had signed up to feed the kids for the number of companionships. Now, the kids ended up with different missions and comps, but hey, real life happens.

I had ordered all of this pizza expecting to feed about 8 adults and 3 youth with all of the YW leaders, YM leaders and the possible 3 youth. Well, only my counselors, myself, and one member of the bishopric showed up (4 people). Where were the YM leaders? At 7:15, they come strolling in. Even though I had printed calendars for each person explaining each week AND had announced every Sunday (the YM leaders lost their calendars and asked me every week what we were doing) what we were doing on Wednesday, they "forgot" the time and swore we must have changed plans. Um, no, pretty sure it's been on the books for the entire month (they also thought they were putting together their booth for the hotly debated fall festival you've already read about - what! - I swear, do they not communicate with each other at all!?!). So, we got to bring home lots of pizza at least.

The kids said they enjoyed the time and learned a lot. The people that did feed the kids made awesome ethnic food and shared their own mission experiences. Service isn't always understood or appreciated. I know that. I really don't expect the youth to be perfect in their understanding of how much we work as leaders to make their experiences fun, memorable and spiritual. I do expect the other youth leaders to do their part, support one another, and encourage their youth to be responsible. I kind of hope that parents will be respectful and helpful when possible. I don't think these are unreasonable hopes for adult people. I do love my girls and have a really good time with them. I know that I try to fulfill my calling to the highest degree and I hope that it will make a difference in the lives of those I work for. I hope that my kids will have leaders who are willing to do the same. This year was incredibly frustrating for me as the person organizing the event. The support we received from the YM leaders was pretty dismal. But, if one kid decides to service a mission and this activity helped with their choice, then it really was worth it. However, I am asking to be released on Sunday (just kidding!).

10.27.2008

Punkins!

Lexi was very excited to carve pumpkins - until she realized this meant touching the seeds and squishy stuff inside.
Recoiling from the "sticky" and "stinky" pumpkin guts.
After seeing what lay inside of the pumpkin, Lexi kept her distance from the pumpkin carving and hung out with me.
Allen wasn't really thrilled about doing pumpkins alone.
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After the comment on this video, Allen told Lexi he was sad about her not wanting to help. The video below is her response.

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We shared a caramel apple after we were done with pumpkins.

10.26.2008

Boo-hoo

Of course, Halloween falls on a trick-or-treatable day this year. I'm not super thrilled about this year's actual Halloween night and here's why:

1. We finally live in a real neighborhood and our area has a really neat activity. They shut down a couple of streets, put up a few spotlights, and the whole street puts up cool decorations. They have activities and all sorts of cool stuff for the kids.
2. Lexi would probably love to trick-or-treat this year and we live in an awesome place for this.
3. I have to be at church this year for a special Fall Festival on Halloween night. They aren't doing trunk-or-treat; instead, there will be a carnival and each auxiliary is in charge their own booth or booths. So, the YW are in charge of 2 booths for the night. It starts at 6 p.m. so I have to be there at 5:15 to set up. That means our family can't participate in the local stuff unless Allen and Lexi go alone and then come to church later.

Originally, I thought we could do a little trick-or-treating on our own and then head to church. That was before I found out the activity starts at 6 and I don't think we should start trick-or-treating at 4:30 in our neighborhood in order to make it to church by 5:15. I probably shouldn't be bitter, but I was really looking forward to taking Lexi out. I certainly understand the activities committee trying to do something different than trunk-or-treat every year and this will probably be lots of fun for the kids (although I think a lot of people will go out on their own rather then come to church this year). I'm still a little disgruntled about it though.

10.25.2008

Exhale

Ok, so in the previous post I worried that I neglected Lexi and she had passed her "window of opportunity" for potty training. Well, today she told me she had gone #2 and came right over for a diaper change. She's also been letting me know about #1. So, I'm not the horrible mother I thought.

Next decision: to train or not to train? Timing is short and the baby could be a set back. Plus, what sleep deprived mom and dad wants to be worrying about potty training and taking care of a brand new kid? Baby could, however, be a motivator if Lexi wants to be a "big girl". I'm sure in the long run, a few weeks either way won't hurt us, but it sure seems like a big thing right now. Well, at least I know I didn't ruin her completely yet.

10.23.2008

Breathe

"Two A.M. and I'm still awake, Writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, It's no longer inside of me, Threatening the life it belongs ".

That is my predicament at this point (well, not writing the song part). In my mind, I'm constantly running through the many things I need to get done before and after the baby comes, that I can't shut down at night. I fall asleep between 1 and 3 a.m. and wake up at 7 (with the exception of the last couple days as Lexi's been getting up at 5:45 a.m.). Last night, I fell asleep around midnight and woke up at 4. I couldn't fall back asleep for nothin'! I can sometimes nap when Lexi does, but that isn't always possible. And, as we all know sleep deprivation is a proven form of torture. Three to four hours a night for weeks on end just doesn't help a person function very well. Plus, there's the "parking meter syndrome" I have with my hips. They have a one hour use time, max, for either side. Then DING! times up and I better change the way I'm laying. As you moms know, that makes for lots of tossing (or should I say, grunting, pulling body over, stomach coming a full 2 seconds later and you crash into your new position) during sleep time.

Sometimes, writing down what is inside of my head helps relieve the congestion. So, you lucky readers get to see the tornado of disorganization that is my brain. These are in no particular order.
  • I've got to get back in shape to ride by Spring. Not the shape I was in before I got pregnant. No, the shape I need to be in to be safe. Lots different and way more work.
  • Will I be able to ride with 2 kids?
  • I already have clients waiting for word on what I'll be doing come Spring and Summer, and I'm really missing saddle time. I can make this work. Who can I have nanny for me?
  • Don't worry, things work out the way they should.
  • I'm still worried. Who can I get that I trust with my kids?
  • Will I be able to have this baby VBAC? Am I really going to be able to have success at this endeavor? Not the actual incision being an issue, but my strength? Will it be enough?
  • Will I get any rest once Lexi is in her big girl bed? Will I wake up to her staring at me all of the time? Will Lexi ever get any rest once she has a big girl bed?
  • When will she potty train? How the heck do you potty train a kid? She used to tell me when she had gone #2 in her diaper. Now, she doesn't say anything. Did I miss the window of opportunity? Have I created a child who is so used to filth, she isn't bothered by it?
  • I Be Streakin' needs exercise. I need to develop a fitting program for him so that by Spring he'll be ready for me to use to pony colts, take clients out, give lessons, etc.
  • Will Lexi be ok if we have to leave her in the middle of the night if I go into labor then? Will she be scared when she wakes up to someone else and can't see Mommy or Daddy for who knows how long? Maybe I should just go alone to the hospital and Allen can bring her after the baby has been born.
  • How are we going to afford the few things we need for "the second coming" without going into any debt when we've put so much into the yard recently and with Christmas coming? Can we? What can I do without?
  • Will I be able to breastfeed? Should I get the breast pump and give it my all? Should I hold off and see what happens? I don't want any excuses when it gets tough and a little time may be all we need so I lean toward the breast pump in case we take a little while to get it all worked out. But, they cost so much. Allen's already expressed (ha! No pun intended though) his doubts about it actually working and how much money it would cost just to fail. So, the guilt of failing is already top of mind, especially if I invest in a pump.
  • How much weight have I gained? Will I be able to lose it and the extra I put on when Lexi was about 10 months old? Can I ever really be disciplined enough to get to a place I'm content?
  • Will we have a nursery for this kid, or will it live in the pack 'n play because we don't have the time to finish all of the work in the yard, do Lexi's room and do the nursery by the time this kid will show up. If that's the case, should I just keep Lexi in her crib since the baby can be in a bassinet anyways and not change too much too soon?
  • Am I the only one in this family who worries about this stuff?
  • Sometimes, I feel so lonely. But, I feel like all I want is some freakin' alone time!
  • I better do some more research and find Lexi a good preschool for the Spring. There's none in the area so it looks like ABQ for us. That's ok. Baby can just come along and we'll run errands or something while Lexi's at school for a couple of hours.
  • A horse trainer I know if is totally taking advantage of some people I know. Do I say something? Advice I've given (when asked) is sometimes taken, sometimes ignored. Should I risk insulting someone they trust or let this be a school of hard knocks type lesson? What if their kid gets hurt?
  • Will I be able to take some time off from my calling? Is everything organized so that I can walk away for a few weeks and everyone is clear on what's going on? Do I have some bits of information in my head they'll need? Have I missed anything?
  • Will we go full term? There's no reason we shouldn't. I'm a little concerned about it though.

There is quite the litany of worries occupying my brain at this point. I love the message behind this song. Life is going to move forward, whether I'm stressed about it or not. Letting it go is a lot easier than it sounds, though. While stress never makes any part of life easier or more enjoyable, it is a real entity to deal with. And so, I try to take my own advice and just breathe.

"Cause you can't jump the track, We're like cars on a cable, And life's like an hourglass glued to the table, No one can find the rewind button now Sing it if you understand And breathe, just breathe" (Anna Nalick, Breathe (2 a.m.))

10.21.2008

Walkin' da Dog

When we go on walks, Lexi likes to "walk" Mia. Usually, that means she holds the leash while she rides in the wagon. Lately, though, Lexi wants to walk on her own and lead the dog. Mia is so patient and well trained that Lexi can actually walk her without any problems..

Lexi wanted to take a try with Davis. He did really well and enjoyed running.

There was a lot of stopping along the way, though.

The half way point. This is the beginning of a mini-meltdown. Lexi no longer wanted to walk, alone or with the dogs. She didn't want to run. She didn't want to hold my hand. She just wanted to sulk. So, I started home with the dogs.

I zoomed in with the camera since were about a football field's length away. The leaving method has never phased Lexi. Up until this point, she had turned her back to me. After counting to 2, she said, "ok" in her whiniest voice possible and drug her feet the whole way to me. I whipped her with the leash and her attitude improved significantly. Just kidding! Although I kind of felt like it; we sang some songs, counted our foot steps and ran a little to change the mood.

All better!

10.20.2008

Tradition!

There are a couple of things I like to do around Halloween. One of those, no surprise here, is to carve pumpkins. The other is to make lots of caramel apples. Inevitably, Allen eats only 1 or 2 and I have to finish the rest. Waste not, want not, right? This year, I've decided to make just a couple though. Lastly, I like to make frosted sugar cookies in Halloween shapes.
Last night, we made the sugar cookies. When it comes to baking, I'm a "from scratch" kind of girl. But, I took help from the store this year and got the bag-o-dough kind that is ready in no time flat. No refrigeration either. Super easy and fun, especially with a 2 year old who wants to do everything right now!

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Video of Lexi making cookies.


10.16.2008

Fruit


By that, I mean the "fruits of our labors". Can I just say how great it's been for the last few nights to feel "normal"? We've had relaxed dinners, play time outside, family time, and attended mutual - without all of the stress of the backyard looming over us. Sure, there's still a considerable amount of stuff left to do in the next weeks to be totally ready for winter. But, the relief that has come with getting the major work out of the way has been so nice. We're still so glad we forged ahead and finished the lawn. We did utter "what are we doing?" "should we stop?" a few times, but decided the best choice would be to move forward. With all of the work we've been doing for the last 9 months since we've moved in, it's been easy to forget why all of this is so important. These last few nights have helped us remember why we do what we do and even see the benefits already. Most things that are worthwhile in this life do take a lot of work and time, but they are definitely worth the sacrifice. However, many of those things don't bear fruit so quickly. Thank goodness for intsa-lawn!

Now, will some of you please remind us of this when we're 3 months into our second child, crying "WHY???" (Actually, please don't remind us at that point since we'll be at our wits end and probably won't accept any type of advice or sympathy anyways!)

10.14.2008

My Gamma!

Lexi had the best time with LaNell. She flew in last Wednesday and just left this morning. We didn't do anything exceptionally fun as a family since we spent almost 3 days straight in the yard, but they still had a great time together. Lexi loved having a completely captive audience and showered LaNell with affection. When she couldn't find LaNell, she would run down the hallway and say, "Gamma, where aaaaarrreee yyyyoooouuuu?" She would then run as fast as she could go when LaNell answered.


They played outside a lot while we worked in the yard. Lexi gathered her tools daily and would pick up rocks, prune the vine, take the tools on the slide and push them in the wheelbarrow. LaNell pushed her on the swing over and over and over and over which pleased Lexi to no end.


Allen and I purposefully chose the Friday of LaNell's visit to pick up and install sod. LaNell was very quick to help and had no issues watching Lexi so we could make the trip to the farm. What we didn't anticipate was it taking 3 whole days. LaNell was supportive and took total care of Lexi over those days. We wouldn't have been able to finish the lawn without her support. So, not only did Lexi have a blast, but her visit meant a lot for Allen and I in terms of the goals we had set for our schedule. We promised next time we'll actually do something besides push dirt and worms around!

10.12.2008

The Sod Saga

WE DID IT!

The sod is in, the sprinklers work, and the yard looks great! We got up at 6:30 a.m. to rake and roll Saturday morning. Around 1 p.m., Allen started laying the sod. I was on hose duty and kept it and the ground wet while he worked. We had 6 pallets of lawn to get through and Allen got through 2 1/2 yesterday by dark. It was a long and hard day.

We didn't plan to work today, but with the sod sitting out there, we didn't have much of a choice. Allen got up at 6:30 and started back at it (thankfully, he didn't have to go into work like we thought). We went to church and when we got home, Allen went back out. Our hometeacher got wind that we were still working and decided to come and help with the last 2 pallets. What a blessing, miracle and literally, Godsend. He made such a difference. He left his family, on the Sabbath no less, to come and help us out. A true act of service.

After getting all the rolls placed, Allen finished up some edges while I picked up remnants. We ordered an extra 200 square feet, but they totally shorted us. We ended up have no extra. If we had needed one more roll, we would have been short. Thankfully, we had just enough. Allen got the sprinklers going and all looks good.

We almost started crying from sheer relief. What a process this has been. We beat the septic, the well, the rocks, and all of the other annoying set backs that have plagued us along the way and got it done. We're so happy and grateful. Thanks for all of your support and words of encouragement as you've followed the Sod Saga.
The yard when we first moved in, December 2007.


Raking Saturday morning.


Ready for sod!

The minute Allen had any sod down at all, the dogs laid down on it. They are so happy.

Davis rolling and grunting on the grass. This must be his way of saying he approves.

End of day one.

Our great hometeacher helping Allen with the last portion.

ALL DONE!

10.10.2008

At the Farm

Today we picked up the sod. We got 6 pallets or 2400 sq. feet or about 15,000 lbs. of grass. The farm was 1 1/2 hours away. Delivery charges were outrageous so we opted to pick up our own. The price per roll was great, though, so way worth the drive.

Allen went to the rental place first thing to get the tiller again. We also chose to rent a flatbed trailer with a ramp to try and make the unloading process easier. Plus, our trailer is only rated for 5,000 lbs. and we had a 7500 lb. load for each trip.

I woke up early and put dinner in the crock pot, did dishes, laundry and made sure things were somewhat organized for LaNell. She watched Lexi all day so that we could get the sod and Allen could keep working while I went back for the second load. As soon as I got my chores done, we left at 8:30 to head to the sod farm.

Ta da! Doesn't the yard look great? (We wish! Hopefully, our lawn will look just like this when we're done, though.)

They cut the sod once you arrive so we were there about an hour. Allen and I had decided if the operation was pretty decent, I would go back alone for the second load. The drive home was uneventful. The unload process, however, posed some challenges.



We had to pull the first pallet of the first load off of the side of the trailer. For the rest of the pallets, we used chains to hook the pallets to the fence while I pulled forward and they slid off of the back. Those pallets stayed nice and stacked. In the end, the fence was still standing and the lawn was off of the trailer so we were happy. As soon as we were unloaded, I took off again for the farm. It was about 1:15.


The first load. We got one more just like it.


I called the farm when I left our house so they could cut the rest of our order before I arrived. While loading the sod, they broke the first pallet (closest to the truck). The last pallet had been loaded poorly so the sod was leaning. We strapped it all down and it seemed like all would be well. About 5 miles from the farm, I stopped to tighten the ratchets. I had a prompting to re-do the straps. I ignored it and got on the interstate.

The way home is through some mountains and they are doing construction so it's not a super smooth ride. Just as I get to ABQ, I see that that last pallet is coming off of the trailer. The sod is tipping over and I'm pretty close to dumping about 1/2 of the pallet on the freeway. I pulled over and called home to let Allen know I'd be late. The "bad roll" was near the bottom of the stack, so I had to take most of the rolls off and re-stack them by hand. The guys at the farm had done a terrible job strapping everything down, too. In order to make it all work, I realized we were going to have some casualties and had to leave 4 or 5 rolls on the side of the road. I could then re-stack the thing in such a way that it would probably make it home. After getting every one situated and putting the straps back on, all rode quietly and I got home around 4:30.

At home, unloading the second load was a beast because of the leaning tower of grass and broken pallet. After a lot of brainstorming and some "go! go! go!" accompanied by flooring the gas, we got the pallets off of the trailer. The sod did not stay stacked through the process so we have rolls of sod littering most of the yard (looks a lot like the first pallet, but this time, it happened to all 3). But, it's here!

Allen was able to pressurize the sprinkler lines, fill in trenches, and finish tilling while I was gone. Tomorrow, Allen has to rake, roll and then we can plant. We called around to see if we could get some help for this weekend, but only 2 guys could come. We found out Wednesday they probably can't come. So, that leaves Allen and me. We also just find out that Allen has to go to work early Sunday morning again, too. He also teaches the lesson in EQ on Sunday. No rest for the wicked, right?

Thank goodness LaNell is here and so willing to watch Lexi. I'm not much help when it comes to heavy lifting, but if I couldn't have gotten the rest of the load today, Allen would have never gotten the ground ready. I am so grateful I know how to hook up, back up and drive a trailer. What a blessing for the type of work we've been doing. We are pretty tired, and very intimidated by the amount of work we have left to punch out tomorrow. However, if we can just push through, the worst of it will be over! And, we'll have a great yard for lots of years to come.

10.09.2008

Night Owls

It's 2 a.m. and she says, "MOOMMMYYYY!"...

As you'll see from the time, it's just about 4 a.m. here in New Mexico. We all know I have serious insomnia - pregnant or not. Last night, I fell asleep at 2:30 a.m. Thankfully, Lexi didn't wake up until 8. I actually fell asleep around midnight tonight. At 1, Lexi was crying so I went to check. She was miserable. Nothing specific, but nothing I could do would comfort her. She wanted to lay on me, but was really uncomfortable with the beach ball that is my gut sticking into her. She was so frustrated, she asked to go back to bed. At this point, I was wide awake. I tried to sleep for about an hour, but it was hopeless. I decided to head to the couch.

It's now 2 a.m. and as soon as I get the pillows and quilt arranged, Lexi starts crying again. She's blubbering about teeth, her stomach and a bad dream. She's really cold, too. I told her I'd get her some Tylenol and milk. She said ok, but was crying pretty hard as I left. Allen got up (so you know she was pretty loud) and thought she felt cold and sick. He offered to take her to the couch and lay with her. She asked for Mickey Mouse and they cuddled. Well, about 10 minutes later, Lexi's full of vim and vinegar and Allen's out like a light. Since I was up and not going to fall asleep, I told him to go back to bed. No sense in both of us staying up in the middle of the night, right? Lexi stayed up until 4, quietly sitting on the couch, and then said she was tired. She played in her crib until 4:30. I fell asleep just after 4:30 out on the couch. I woke up at 8 and went to our bedroom. I fell back asleep until Lexi got up at 9:15.

I really think she was cold. After she got warm with Allen, she felt great and was her happy self. I'm just glad she didn't wake up at 7 and we got to recover a bit from being up in the middle of the night! I sleep best from 5-10 a.m. (you know, when I used to sleep as late as I wanted) so I don't mind being up late (I'm usually up anyway) if I can get a bit back in the early morning. I hope this isn't an indicator that poor Lexi has my night owl tendencies and insomnia...

10.08.2008

Admitting Defeat

Or is it accepting reality? After working non-stop for the last 4 or 5 months, we have realized that we must manage an act of super human proportions to really get the sod in this weekend. Those dumb rocks and then the rain that filled in the trenches have really put a kink in our efforts.

And let me just be honest, I'm getting tired! I hate to even utter the words with 10 weeks to go since I know what lay ahead. As I said to B & L on Sunday, "The only thing worse than being pregnant is having a newborn!" I'm not thinking getting un-pregnant will make anything easier. I'm not one to quit just because I feel tired, or my back hurts, or the whole day has totally sucked, though. And, I'm having a hard time pulling energy when it feels like none exists! Let me explain why this is an issue for us this week.

Allen mentioned not getting sod this weekend. Well, we have a carefully orchestrated plan involving completion of the yard, Lexi's room and the nursery. If one weekend doesn't work out, the ripple effect will hurt all of the other projects. And, they wouldn't get done by the time this kid comes which is totally unacceptable since it involves the nursery. So, when we think of moving sod out another week, I hear "Lexi won't have her big girl bed until mid-November. So mom, you get just 4 weeks to transition her to a brand new room. That means getting up with her every time she gets up, inconsistent napping (if any) coupled with the fact you don't sleep at all now as it is because it feels like knitting needles are being rammed in your hips 24 hours a day. Let's not forget the sleepless nights waiting for you after you push the baby out." I basically have a total melt down, my head spins around like the girl from Exorcist, and I start sobbing uncontrollably. Well, I don't start sobbing, but the rest has been known to happen.

My response to Allen's very reasonable suggestion, "We can do this. We've been working in this *%$#?!@ yard for the last 10 months and we're only days away from reprieve. Let's do what it takes." This means not only does Allen have to work 16 hours a day. I do too. No help with Lexi. No help with dishes. No break from bending over and over and over. It means Allen gets up at 4 or 5 to get to work early so he can come home early and go straight to the yard. He comes in when it gets dark to eat and say night to Lexi. Then, he goes back out and works until 10 (now, in the past, we have both suited up for a night of working after Lexi has gone down - welding sparks flying in the night, moving hay, moving rocks, whatever it takes but since I'm exempt from heavy labor at this point, Allen's on his own). So, I get up with Lexi, play with Lexi, clean house, do dishes (and how can there be so many dishes, it's worse than the laundry - put one dish in the sink and 2 come back out!), do laundry, give riding lessons, do the shopping, do my calling, document our family, make dinner, do dishes, feed Lexi, bathe Lexi, sit on the floor with Lexi, get up, sit down, get up, down, up, down, up like 200 times a day, and finally put her down (the normal mom or stay-at-home person routine) for the last 10 months, 6 and sometimes 7 days a week. You know, Lexi's pretty easy. It's not the caring for Lexi that is the problem. It's the extra 8 lbs. of person and extra fluid hanging off the front of me that makes things a tougher than usual. Since this is my first time being pregnant while having to care for a child, it's just another lesson in how resilient a mom has to be and can be. Albeit, a hard one as you trudge the trail for the first time.

Last night, I actually asked Allen for help. I've tried to hard not to ask him for anything in the house while he's putting so much into the yard. He helped and very willingly. I felt bad the whole time. I also called our home teacher, neighbor, and a friend to see if they could come Saturday for a few hours to help lay sod (we'll be getting 12,000 lbs. of lawn and that's just a little much for Allen to tackle on his own). Our home teacher said he'd be happy to help. I was wracked with guilt. Why should someone else give up their precious Saturday to help us? We've done this whole thing alone and we can do this too. I'll help Allen. I can put sod pieces together while he brings it over. I've helped with cement, welding, ground prep all while playing full-time mom and I'm alive to tell the story. I can get tough, right?

The reality is that I can help Allen for about an hour and then my back disintegrates. I'm then useless for the next 2 days. It just seems to take a little longer to bounce back. This, for me, is really frustrating. It's frustrating to feel weak. I feel like I'm being defeated by the house, the yard and all of the other things I'm supposed to get done with a smile on my face. I'm not a weak person. I know my capacities and I know I can exceed those most of the time when I have to. I think every mom and dad has realized this as they manage to care for their kids. I also think of the 20 hour days I pulled in freezing temperatures while outfitting. I made it. I did just fine. I was a little delirious on some of those days, but who wasn't? The reality is this: I wasn't caring for a 2 year old and I wasn't pregnant. Now, that doesn't give me a ticket to whineytown or martyrville. But, accepting the reality (I know, I'm still in denial and I've been pregnant for what, 7 1/2 months?) will help me organize my responsibilities in a way that allows me get them done and have some life left to me at the end of the day.

We're going to put in sod this weekend. Come hell or high water, that grass will be in our yard by the time Saturday turns into Sunday. Only 4 more days. I can do that. Allen can do that. Then, we'll collapse, never to be heard from again! No, we'll finish the open sprinkler lines, fill trenches, put fences back up, and finish what we started in Lexi's room. Deadline for big girl transition: November 1. We can do that too!!

10.06.2008

I Love EBay!

I have used Ebay in the past to buy some horse stuff. But, I didn't really start to learn about Ebay and its wonders until a year ago. There's all sorts of great stuff there.

Lexi is in need of some winter clothes. Of course, some things I buy new from stores, or got from friends when their girls outgrew some stuff. However, if I know exactly what I want, I always check online first to see if I can get a deal. I have to factor in shipping, too, but with diesel the price it is, the hassle of shopping with Lexi, or the cost of a sitter while I go and shop, online is sometimes a better deal. Also, if we don't have a store in ABQ and I know the prices there are always too high (Gymboree, Gap, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn kids), I check Ebay and the online sales for each web site to see if I can find a special.

This is what I've gotten for her in the last 2 weeks: Esprit sweater dress with leggings. EUC (excellent used condition). Price including shipping: $14.75.

Osh Kosh 3 piece set. GUC (good used condition - jacket shows some wash wear, but items were hung to dry). Price including shipping: $13.99

Gymboree 6 piece set. All in EUC except the sweater which is listed as Good Condition. Price including shipping: $27.00 (Just over $4 per item.)
Old Navy Jeans. EUC. Price including shipping: $32.58. That's just over $10 a pair. Currently jeans are running $16.50 new at Old Navy.
So, for about $88 (including shipping) Lexi has quite a bit of stuff that should last through winter and hopefully start her off for next fall when it cools off again. We already had some things and I did get quite a few things from my sister-in-law, so we're close to done. I'll still collect t-shirts, socks, play clothes and stuff like that if I find it on sale (not to mention she might get some things for Christmas and her B-day), but with all of the pieces we have above, she's got some cute, quality (and cheap) stuff when we go out or to church.

For those of you who haven't tried Ebay, I'll leave a few pointers. First of all, lots of stuff on Ebay is NEW. There is a "buy it now" option if you know exactly what you want and don't want to bid. Since I'm in and out and don't like playing watchdog, when I bid on something, I put the highest price I'm willing to pay as my first bid amount. That doesn't mean the price automatically jumps to that dollar amount. Say, the current bid is at $10.00. I'm willing to pay $20. I put in $20. The price then goes to $10.50, or just above the current highest bid. If someone bid a higher price, the price would increase, but not until then. If the item goes above my original bid, I let it go.
Here are some of the things to know:
NWT - new with tags
NWOT - new without tags
EUC - excellent used condition
GUC - good used condition
PC - play condition
I always check to make sure it says, "Smoke free" home on the listing. Some are smoke and pet free, but since we have pets, I don't mind if the people selling the item have pets.
So, I can search "3t girls dress nwt" and get only dresses that have never been worn and are brand new. I can add the word "gap" and get only gap dresses. If you put "lot" into the description, you'll get a group of clothes - "2t girl old navy jean lot". Some are only one brand, but some are mixed. I do this when I don't want to pay lots of shipping charges.
Always check the feedback for your seller. I don't mess with people who have 99% positive feedback or less. If you do buy something on Ebay, make sure you read the auction rules. Some people give you 24 hours to pay, others give you 5 days. When you get your stuff, check it out, smell it, etc. and then leave feedback. Feedback is the life blood of Ebay.
Things to avoid buying on Ebay: electronics, movies/dvds/cds/, make-up, computers, and the like. The movies can be pirate copies, make-up is always best bought from a known source in a sealed package, and electronics can be hot items (stolen) or refurbished by some guy who isn't an expert, but unemployed and trying to make a quick buck. I have purchased candles and Bath and Body Works type things that are sealed with the plastic and been just fine. I also don't buy gifts for others on Ebay. Even if it's new, I still feel weird about it. Just my personal preference on that one.
If any of you have wanted to try Ebay, and felt like it was all used, crappy stuff let me assure it, it's not. If it seems way too intimidating, it's really easy. If you want to check it out, I'm always happy to help spend your money and give you some tips.
Happy Bidding!

Crime and Punishment?

How is it that every time a person with kids tries to get something done, they are punished? For example, let's say you go to take a shower. No, let's make it even more simple. Showering can be tricky and sometimes is a selfish endeavor so we'll make it something totally necessary. You want to go to the bathroom. You think "I'm just gonna run to the bathroom quick. I'm sure the child won't hurt, kill, maim, or tear apart anything in the 30 seconds I take." You unassumingly head to the commode. Taking your leave from the hot box, you hear nothing. That's right. Dreaded silence.

The child has rummaged through the nightstand and is chipping away at one of your nice candles. The wax has been smeared on the tv screen, in the child's hair, eyes, face and on the clothes. That is just one example.

Today, Lexi was enjoying a long snooze. I didn't have to work so I let her sleep in as long as she wanted. I was up, pitter pattering around waiting for her to wake. Around 9, she starts singing to her babies so I head back to her room. She is squatting in her bed and starts crying. Her diaper leaked as soon as she got up. Pee was running down her legs and soaking into all of her bedding (including precious pink). "It's pee pee!" she says and I agreed with her. She was horrified so she asked for a bath. She also let me know that pink needed to be washed because "pink was pee, pee too".

She was just trying to sleep. You know, a person can only enjoy sleeping in a few days a week so I think it's nice to let it happen when it can. And what did I get for my efforts? A kid who was upset and a diaper that couldn't even keep it together for an extra hour. I shouldn't be surprised by this kind of stuff. Any one of us with kids knows that when you try to do something productive or nice, we are appropriately punished for our efforts.

10.04.2008

Helping Hands

At our house, every one does their part to ensure success during any project.
Allen's head landscaper.


Lexi's Allen's assistant.

She's also in charge of excavation.


Mia is head of security.

She doubles as the union representative to make sure every worker gets the breaks they need.


Davis is the inspector who diligently monitors all work on the project.


And don't forget I Be Streakin'. He's in charge of fertilization and ground prep.

About Me

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What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.