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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Two weeks of catch-up! But not ketchup.

Last week can basically be summed up as "sickies".  I was sick Saturday, as you know.  Sunday we were magically all healthily.  Then BJ got sick Monday late morning, so took the rest of the day off work.  He took a nap, then spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch.  The poor guy is the favorite parent, so as soon as the girls realized he was there, they had to be with him.  They spent every possible moment by/on him.  It was adorable, and BJ handled it well.  Thank goodness.  Because turns out that taking care of a sick husband while in early pregnancy (especially when still recovering from my own sickness) doesn't lend itself well to also constantly pulling chillins' off Daddy.

We both went to bed early out of sheer exhaustion.  And then Kessa woke up crying.  Trying to give BJ more sleep, I got up with her.  While she coughed and coughed and threw up clear mucus.  Oh great.  I finally get BJ better, he'll go back to work, and I'm going to have to deal with a sick preschooler.  And honestly, I didn't know if I could do it.  It was bad enough being sick and wondering all the time if I needed to be in the bathroom or not.  I didn't how how I'd do it with such low energy with a 4-year old.  I went to bed miserable that night.  Oh, and she had a low-grade fever. Which neither BJ nor I had.  Which confused me a little.  And disheartened me.  So we kept her home from school, even though she was acting fine the next day.  In hindsight, she just got a bad cold and probably would have been fine.  Thankfully she didn't ever get the stomach bug BJ and I got.  But colds, of course, last forever.  She's still got a minor cough, but it's almost gone.

But a few days later, Abby got the same cold.  A little worse off, even.  After the Primary program, I brought her home to sleep.  She was falling asleep there and I figured we could both use a nap.  So we did.  She spent the entirety of the day either napping or cuddling on my shoulder.  It was pretty pathetic.  Poor girl.  A day or two later she completely lost her voice.  Which is one of those moments that you feel awful about laughing.  But it was also hilarious.  So we laughed.  For almost a week she took 2-3 naps per day.  And long ones too.  1.5-2 hour naps.  One morning she woke up so early that she was down for her first nap at 8:30 am.  Just as I was finally getting out of bed.  She's almost out of that and back to one nap a day.  Though that one nap is often a little longer than normal.  And she's still got a pretty yucky barking cough.  But hopefully it'll get better soon like Kessa's did.

BJ appreciation dinner
So, I keep telling you how BJ is the best husband ever, right?  And how you need to find someone to live up to his example?  Well, one day I was crockpotting a chicken bacon alfredo dish (freezer meal) and saw some Martinelli's at the store and thought, "I should do a special dinner to thank BJ for all he does!"  Kessa got into it, too, and we had a lot of fun.  We bought some artisan bread.  We googled how to fold napkins.  We pulled out some candles for the table.  Kessa and I made a puzzle out of a picture of BJ and the girls.  And we had it all ready when he got home from work.  He was rather surprised.  And it was awesome.  And he totally deserved it, because he's the best ever.  And to prove it, he still did dishes.  :D

Primary Program
Kessa's primary program was last Sunday.  After last year's fiasco of Kessa being so confused about what she was supposed to do, we practiced with her constantly.  Her part was "I am a child of God; I can make choices."  She got very good at saying it slowly and clearly.  (Not in a baby voice, thank goodness.)  Just before the Saturday practice I practiced with her waiting in line, then climbing on the stool to the microphone and speaking her part into it (and not eating the microphone) about 6 times.  We talked about where she was sitting and how she could see us while she was up there.  What we didn't talk enough about was how many people were in the audience.

The poor girl ran up there on Sunday, sat down, and burst into tears.  She had a front row seat (like, they put the little chairs right in front on the stand) and as she explained it later, "I was scared.  I've never had so many people at one of my programs!"  Poor girl is used to a max of parents and siblings of 5-14 families.  Instead she got a chapel and an open gym.  BJ ended up sitting up there with her for the first half, then she wanted me.  So he came back down.  But of course I happened to be busy trying to write a card to the Primary about how awesome they did, so I couldn't go up.  So her teacher bribed her with two suckers if she could be happy.  Which made everything better.

The funny part is that when it came her turn to say her part, she was totally composed, brave, and did exactly what we'd practiced.  So we did do some good!

Watch Kolter
We watched my nephew, Kolter, last Saturday so my brother could take the rest of his family to the BYU-ISU game in the freezing cold snowy rain.  Sounds like a good time, huh?  Kolter slept for 2-3 hours of it, but when he and Abby were both awake, she adored him.  "Koh-tuh!  Koh-tuh!"  She would follow him around and try to play with him.  She just loved him.  I love when my kids get along with their cousins.  Even if most of their closest-age-wise cousins are boys.  And even if my girls are girly girls.  (I'm not kidding.  This morning Abby woke up, gave BJ her binkie, pointed to her closet and said, "Dresses!  Dresses!"  Then picked what dress she wanted to wear to church today.  GIRLY GIRL!)  I hope it lasts for a long time.

Nick and Chelsea for dinner
We invited Nick and Chelsea for dinner last Sunday so Nick could help me make an amazing spreadsheet.  Of course, I was feeling sick, so I wasn't much help, nor did I understand half of what he did.  I still haven't looked at it.  Probably because my brain always feels so muddled.  But the girls got to play with Chelsea and sometimes Nick, so that made it all worth it.  They just love Chelsea so much.

Midwife appointment
I had my first midwife appointment last week.  I'm currently 12 weeks along.  I ended up going with my previous midwife, largely because if I'm going to travel, I might as well use someone I'm familiar with and travel to a city where I can multitask my trip.  Plus, they hired a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife.  A midwife who is also a nurse.  And usually only work in the hospital because they can make more money there.) and are talking about moving to Lehi.  Which all came out to me when I was still struggling to figure out who I should go with.  It seemed like good timing.

We got to hear the baby's heartbeat!  There really is a baby in there!  Not just some sort of benign tumor that replicates the symptoms of pregnancy!  Haha.  Kessa thought it was incredible.  Her eyes were huge.  It was adorable.  And then Heather (the midwife) used the doppler so we could hear Kessa's heartbeat.  I thought that was really sweet of her.  Kessa thought that was pretty great, too.

Joy School
It was my turn to teach Joy School again.  It went better than last time, because I had more energy.  Not a lot, but I didn't teach from the couch, which was nice.  It was a really fun and awesome week of lessons, too.  They're the intro lessons for The Joy of Service and Sharing.

So the first day we focused on Serving.  We drew each other pictures, we served each other snacks, the "secret elves" (aka the girls) cleaned up toys after free play time while I "took a nap" (though, to be honest, it was really hard to keep myself from actually falling asleep).  Then I asked BJ to come help with Abby (who, to be fair, was being incredibly cranky) and while he was upstairs, we all snuck down and secretly cleaned up a big mess the girls had made down there.  (This may or may not have been pre-planned.  Not the mess, but to have BJ come upstairs so we could secretly clean his office.)  Then we went across the street and picked up leaves from a neighbor's yard and put them in a garbage sack.  With our hands.  Because the thought of giving these 3- and 4-year olds rakes was a little unnerving to me.  How great a day is that?

The second day was more focused on Sharing.  They brought show and tell to share.  I shared some stories with them and a special snack.  For free play time I brought out play dough and they had to share the cookie cutters, rolling pin, and butter knife.  And it was really hard at first, but they got really good at, "May I please have the flower cutter?"  "Not yet, but you can when I'm done with it."  It was adorable and warmed all those little cockles in my heart.  And we turned the idea into sharing ourselves.  We read The Giving Tree and how the tree gave of herself and it how it made her happy.  And basically showed how when we give of ourselves, we're doing service.  And we learned yesterday that service makes us happy!  So sharing ourselves makes us happy too!

All of this is the lead in to the Christmas program we'll be doing first at the retirement community in our ward, then for family members.  They'll sing songs and act out the Nativity story while a mom narrates, then they'll give the elderly a present (probably cards they colored) and a hug.  Then for the family one, we're charging admission of a can of food.  Then the girls get to give the food to a food bank.

Joy School is the coolest idea ever!!!

Bridal shower
One of my best friends over the years, Taralyn, is engaged.  Hooray!  I've lived with her 5 times, including China, and I just love her to death.  Her bridal shower was Saturday, so Kessa and I went down to it.  Poor Kessa.  I told her there might be a couple of games.  I think she was thinking more along the lines of Candyland than "Guess the age of the bride in these pictures."  But there was yummy cake and fruit, so she was mostly placated.  And then we played, "Make a wedding dress for the bride out of toilet paper."  And all of Taralyn's nieces jumped at the chance to do it.  So it was mostly girls 11 and under.  So, of course, Kessa wanted in the fun.  But, of course, she ended up too shy to do it without me.  So we grabbed a roll of TP and sat on the sidelines making accessories.  We made a bouquet, a wedding band, and a necklace.  Kessa thought it was the greatest thing ever.  By the end of the shower she didn't want to go home.  But I think that's mostly because she wanted more cake as I got her out of there by reminding her that we'd have pie after dinner.

Goddard Thanksgiving
Why would we have pie?  Because dinner was the Goddard Thanksgiving dinner!  Hooray!  It was fun, as always.  Uncle Richard has been serving a humanitarian mission assembling wheelchairs in 3rd world countries, so he took some time to tell us about that.  Typical Uncle Richard stories.  Full of laughter and tears.  :)  (But good tears.)  Your cousin, Brieanne, has a 2-year old girl who turned out to be the perfect playmate for our girls.  She is 6 months older than Abby, but she's Kessa's size.  I'm not kidding.  She wears 4T.  So both girls felt totally comfortable with her and the three spent the evening running around and playing.  I tried really hard to get a picture of them together, but it just didn't happen.  We're hoping to try again at the Christmas party.  Because it's seriously hilarious.

Talk - Spirit of Christ
I got to give another talk today.  Aren't you jealous? (You made a cameo appearance this time.)  My topic was "The Spirit of Christ." It was another talk with a high councilman, this time in my own ward.  It was fun to watch the girls from the stand.  They would get big grins on their faces whenever we made eye contact.  It was great.  My favorite compliment afterwards was something like, "Hey Tianna, Elder Oaks called and wants you to speak for him at General Conference."  (Or something similar.  It was noisy and he was a few people away.)  But I had two older people come up to the stand right afterwards and give me the most heartfelt thanks and praise for my talk that made me feel so good inside.  And a little guilty.  Because  honestly, I didn't start writing it until last night.

I've been thinking about it for two weeks, but really just had no idea where to go with it.  Like, is this the Spirit of Christmas?  Christ's actual spirit?  The Holy Ghost?  It wasn't until I sat down yesterday and started searching that I really started to figure out more what it meant.  And even then I felt like I was learning some brand new doctrine.  Which was hard!  Because I didn't feel qualified at all to teach something that I still didn't really understand.  I went to the Thanksgiving dinner a little worried because I knew we'd stay late and I had only written two paragraphs that I didn't like at all.  But BJ and I had some good discussion about it, and then I had a short conversation with your dad about it, and then BJ and I outlined what I wanted to talk about on the drive home, so I was able to type it all up in an hour or two.  Then I woke up early to add some more, do some editing, and practice it to make sure timing was right and to make sure I didn't have to just read it all.  It felt very rushed to me.  I can't tell you the number of times that I told BJ, "I wish I hadn't procrastinated this talk for so long!  I need more time!"  But last night I prayed, "I know I haven't put the work into this that I should have, but please don't let my lack of preparation adversely affect what the congregation learns.  Please help the spirit tell them what I should have been saying.  And apparently it worked!  Because I really don't think that what I said deserved the comments I got. :)

Fourth Sunday dinner
Well, we technically cancelled 4th Sunday dinner because we had the Goddard Thanksgiving yesterday.  But we're moochers, and I was tired, and your parents had lots of leftovers, so we went up anyway.  Two thanksgiving dinners in a row!  I noticed today that my belly is starting to show.  But I'm honestly not sure if that's my pregnant belly or my two-Thanksgiving-dinners-in-a-row baby.  Food babies for the win!  :)

Also, your mom is going to start taking over your blog for me.  I'm just so bad at getting it published in time.  And I feel bad for family members who try to keep up with you regularly.  And your mom is Super Woman, so I know she'll be more timely.  Once she figures out the technology portion of it, anyway.  :D  She did post your last two tonight.  And I wrote a list for her to follow.  So hopefully when she blogs your email tomorrow she'll do great.  :D  Also, I think she's having more fun coming up with nyms than I did.  I love your mom.  She's great.

I've been trying to read to the girls more often.  We got 5 of the My First Little House books from the library, which are a simplified, illustrated version of the Little House on the Prairie series (from the same author).  They've both loved them.  To read all 5 takes about 20 minutes and both girls will sit on my lap the whole time.  We've started to talk about how Laura and Mary were helpers to their Ma and lately, between that and the Joy School lessons, Kessa keeps asking if she can help doing things.  She's been loving it.  Hooray!  Let's keep it up.  (But not things like cleaning up messes.  She wants to help with cooking and drying dishes, etc.  Not her normal chores.)  

20 things about me
There's been this Facebook thing going around where someone tells you X number of things about themselves and if you like their status, you're given a number to do the same.  I hated it because I loved reading them, and wanted to like them, but I couldn't like everyone's or everyone would give me a number!  But one night I had a hard time falling asleep because my brain kept thinking of things I'd put on my list, so the next day I just made my own list of 20 things.  I thought I'd share you so you could maybe learn more about me.  :)

  1. I used to collect autographs from anyone and everyone. It’s how I met my missionary (who is not my husband) when I was a Freshman in high school. I have very few famous people, but I do have the real Coach Boone from Remember the Titans, one of the Miss America’s (or Miss USA? I don’t remember), and one of the Idaho governor’s. I also have no idea where my autograph collection is. I have at least 1k, maybe 2k, autographs.
  2. My missionary broke up with me at his homecoming. I thought I’d be devastated. Instead I felt incredible peace, and we stayed friends.
  3. Speaking of ex-boyfriends, I tend to stay friends with my exes. Or at least on good terms. One ex was our mortgage officer when we bought our condo (until he was deployed to Afghanistan) and another ex has provided several art pieces in our house and still comes to our house for games or to visit on occasion.
  4. I’ve lived in two cities in Idaho, 4 in Utah, Urumuqi, China and Jerusalem.
  5. My address in China included the line, “In the middle of Wu Chang Highway.” And that was pretty darn descriptive.
  6. I was technically (and completely jokingly) engaged to BJ before I ever went on a date with him. My engagement ring from that shattered just days before we broke up for the first time.
  7. I didn’t serve a mission in part because I was scared of proselytizing and in part because I simply didn’t want to. I did start filling out my papers twice, though. I just never could bring myself to finish them.
  8. I went through the temple without going on a mission or being engaged. I just wanted to.
  9. I’m kind of a hippy/crunchy/naturalist/whatever word you want to use kind of person. I don’t like to take medicine unless I have to (but then I will). But if a natural remedy will work, I will opt for it every time. I garden and would love to heirloom garden. I birthed Abby at home. On purpose. And am planning on a home birth with this one, too.
  10. I’m driven by emotion at times, but mostly I’m driven by logic.
  11. I played the trombone for 6 years. I still find myself trying to remember the positions for my part when I hear Sleigh Bells (which remains my favorite Christmas song) and any pep band songs, like Summertime Blues and Eye of the Tiger. I still even remember their page numbers. (63 and I think 31, respectively.) I also want to start playing Jingle Bells every time it starts snowing. (Thanks, Mr. Bennett.)
  12. I could have printed off transcripts with the following majors declared: General Education, Computer Science, Nursing, General Education: Nursing, General Education: Health and Education, Communications, Open Major, Anthropology, Theater and Media Arts, Marriage Family and Home Development, Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, and Ancient Near Eastern Studies. That’s 12 majors, folks. But I didn’t necessarily choose nor even take classes in all of those majors.
  13. I can’t remember all the boys I’ve kissed. I counted 9 I can remember, but I’m pretty sure it’s actually in the low double digits. Does that make me a bad person? (Note: I thought of one more later, but I still think I'm missing maybe 2.)
  14. I gain my energy from social situations, but I don’t feel like I’m an extrovert. I think I’m somewhere in between extrovert and introvert. Many people don’t believe that I can actually be quite shy.
  15. Halloween is my least favorite holiday. I hate the glorification of violence, gluttony and immodesty. My stomach churns the entire month of October when I see pictures on Facebook and Pinterest of gore. But I don’t want to offend, so I don’t usually say anything publicly lest someone think I’m directing it at them specifically. Relatedly: I hate, hate, hate, the zombie craze.
  16. I have taken classes in French, Norwegian, Spanish, Mandarin, and Biblical Hebrew. I definitely learn languages better when they’re not written in Romanized letters. I can’t speak/read almost anything in any of those languages, though. I’m the most saddened by the Biblical Hebrew.
  17. I taught myself to not be a picky eater. I still don’t like shrimp. I only tolerate celery. And I still find myself reverting to my childhood tendency to look at something and decide I don’t like it before I’ve even tasted it. And then I have to force myself to give it a real chance.
  18. I almost choked to death on the fumes of cinnamon flavoring as a wee babe. I haven’t liked the taste of cinnamon candy since, though I’ve learned to tolerate it.
  19. My sister once let me try to crawl out of a 2nd story window without a screen and my brother tried to suffocate me with a pillow. Both times I was saved by my mother. I wasn’t a popular baby. They’ve both since assured me that they like me now.
  20. I’ve always harbored a desire to write a book, but I probably never will because I’m afraid of being judged. If I ever did, it would either be a YA fictional romance based loosely on my own dating experiences, an older children’s book based on a dream I once had, or Bible Stories told in modern English. I probably won’t do the first because it’s about real people and it’s too easy to read bad things into stuff like that. I probably won’t do the last, though it’s the one I’m most interested in, because I’m afraid I’d get things doctrinally wrong and be judged by smarter people than I. Which leaves the second, but I don’t remember the details and am too lazy to figure out how to fill the logical holes I already see in it.
  • Me: What does Abby say?
    Abby: [considers] Ruff, ruff!
    *Note: This girl is obsessed with dogs.  Every time she sees one, real or stuffed, she yells, "Doggy!  Ruff! Ruff!"  It's adorable and scares me greatly for the future.  I don't want a dog!
  • When Kessa talks about higher or lower notes, she calls them lighter or darker.
  • Kessa: And Daddy, if you ever feel like you don't have anyone to love, you can always love us!
  • Kessa: Next time you try to die a lot, before you even die, you should look and find this necklace because it has lots and lots of hearts on it to show you how much I love you.
  • Abby dropped her binkie on the floor. BJ lowered her so she could pick it up. The following commentary followed. “I dropped it! I got it! I did it! I found it! See it?” Seriously. She says so many things lately. It’s adorable.

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