Friday, July 29, 2011


Yesterday I made a delivery for my richy brother and his lucrative business to Hill Air Force Base.  Security is tight there.  Had to park, get out of my truck, go into an office and take a number and wait. . .  Had to show my driver's license, registration and insurance.  Had to answer a bunch of questions about my criminal past. . .  Finally got cleared to enter base.

Here's what I found curious.  I had an entire truck filled with boxes.  Nobody asked me what was in the boxes.  Nobody asked me who I was delivering the boxes to.  Basically I could have had mega bombs in those many boxes.  So if I understand HAFB security process, although I could have blown the whole place to smitherines, at least they would have known it was me and that I had a valid driver's license and that I am an organ donor.   

BTW I had books.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Childbearth South of the Equator

Still no baby, :( so my dream of playing doula has not transpired.  Sigh.  I know ev'rything bout birthin' babies because I had 7 and 63 months of pregnancy and watched Gone With the Wind which is almost the same as medical school, right?

When I had my last baby almost 11 years ago--by the way I am still excluding heavy lifting and strenuous exercise from my routine to avoid hemorrhaging--I was under the hormone induced notion that it would be a good idea for my children to be present at the birth.  Being present includes witnessing.  Funny how that works.

The plan was to stoically labor while my children sang songs, held hands and shared treasured family memories.  When the big moment came, I'd have everyone step north of the equator as their brother miraculously made his earthly debut. Did I mention that I planned to have this baby natural?  You know what "they" say, "The best laid plans of mice and pregnant women or something like that. Okay, these plans were not "best laid."

Here's the 411.  We are at the hospital.  I am laboring gracefully.  The kids are excited.  I am dilated to a 4.  The kids get hungry.  Kids go to cafeteria.  My mid-wife leaves to check another patient.  My water breaks.  I dilate from a 4 to a 10 in 2 minutes.  Graceful laboring turns into loud, cow-sounding, guttural moans.  Nurse informs me that my mid-wife is delivering a baby across the hall and that the mother has previously delivered 2 stillborns.  I am low priority.  (Did I mention that of my 7 children, only one has been delivered by my chosen provider?)  I inform nurse that she will deliver the baby.

There is much screaming by me.  There is much silence by her.  I am pushing and pushing and nothing is happening.  When I look down, something is happening.  Baby's entire head is out and he's rooting from side to side. The four daughters born before him with perfect rosebud lips did not do this.

If you're wondering why you pay the doctor/mid-wife the big bucks, this is why: They can multi-task. They can focus on the baby and you at the same time by saying things like, good job,  the head's crowning, breath, one more push, etc.  I do some more screaming, and when I'm not screaming I do some biting of my husband's finger.  I push some more and the baby is FINALLY out.  The pain is FINALLY gone.

This is the moment I turn to my whole husband (not just his finger) and say, "Where are the kids?  Did they make it back from the cafeteria?"  He does not say anything.  He points to the end of the bed.  At the foot of my bed my children are standing in a line, pale, wide-eyed, jaws on the floor.  It was a moment they've never forgotten but wish they could.  At some point they will most likely need therapy.  I just hope it's when they are off my insurance.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Good News and Bad News and Birthing Babies

The good news is that I am home from girl's camp.  The bad news is that I'm home from girl's camp.  Some of you will know what I mean.  Girl's camp was great except for the time I got lost--I really have no sense of direction--and was the leader leading the 90 and 9 astray.  But that's all water under the bridge or gray hairs colored, or cake that's been eaten (mostly by me). 
Me, catching some serious air.
Me, photographing Camille so that it looks like she's getting some serious air.

Another bit of good news for me is that my daughter-in-law did not have her baby while I was gone.  Some bad news for my daughter-in-law is that she did not have her baby while I was gone.  Not that she doesn't want me around, but she wants that sweet Jennaline (my suggestion for a name--which nobody's buying--combining my name Jill with her other grandma's name Kenna) on the outside.  I keep telling her to enjoy life like it is while it lasts because soon it will be several years before she ever feels rested, has a hot meal, or wears clothes that don't have some type of bodily fluid on them.

In case you're wondering, I have been invited, along with the other grandmother, to the birth.  And yes, I am wearing my mother-in-law of the year crown.  My daughter-in-law does not like blood, needles or pain and has been known to pass out during illnesses and simple medical procedures, so I figure us grandmas will be an asset.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Give Me Silly String or Give Me Death, or Send Me to Girl's Camp or Maybe to Bed

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to camp I go.  So basically, I was going to have some things ready to post while I was gone.  But since it is midnight and I am just packing, that ain't gonna happen.  I do have to give a 5 minute talke on "motherhood matters" while at camp which I still haven't written because that is like so tomorrow.  I did ask my children at the dinner table last night what I should say.  My 10 year-old son said, "Take out a can of silly string and spray it all over and then say, 'Do you want a mom like this, or a mom that says go to your bedroom and die!'"  (Okay totally not sure if I did the whole quotation within a quotation thing right but I'm not looking at my ELANG 325 notes right now and nobody's grading me, right?  Right???) So for all four of you who read my blog, you could read another masterpiece like War and Peace or June B. Jones instead. Or, you could just eat chocolate.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What Else but Harry Potter?

We saw Harry Potter yesterday and we were not disappointed.  In the last 24 hours my kids ages 17, 14, and 10 have made their own wands, googled all the spells, casted spells on each other, locked the 17 year-old out of the house because she was making the Elder Wand--the most powerful wand in the WORLD,  and casted every unforgivable curse. I tried making up new spells like REDUCTO QUARELLESO and GLUTEUS MINIMUS which did not work.  Don't bother trying them unless perhaps you have bested the Elder Wand from my 17-year old who is running around the house trying to find an open window. I also found myself yelling EXPECTO PATRONUM at the most random moments.  My young wizards informed me that this was a stupid thing to yell because it only works on dementors, but then I did kind of feel like the life was being sucked out of me.

Thank you Jo Rowling for many hours of summer creativity, exercise, and entertainment.  Saying that you are a wickedly-talented writer is an understatement.  I can't wait 'til my grandkids are old enough to "take to Hogwarts."

Friday, July 15, 2011

Girl's Camp

I have been getting ready for Girl's Camp.  Mostly I have been doing this by not showering, wearing my hair in a pony-tail, burning dinner and making s'mores every day over the stove.

What do I remember from my girl's camp days?  I remember the year the theme was fairy tales and our ward chose The Three Little Pigs.  I remember the young women leader who brought up real pigsnouts, because her husband was a butcher, and frosted them with pink frosting--they looked like those yummilicious, pink sugar cookies you get at the gas station or the store that you might as well glue to your butt because that's where they're going to end up if you put them in your mouth--then she gave them to us as we returned from our 5 mile hike.  I remember dressing up like a tree and thinking I was pretty funny and catching pollywogs in my messkit--no I did not eat them. I also remember standing on top of Sunset Peak during stormy weather and thinking it was so cool that everyone's hair was standing straight up.  Yes, those were days never to be forgotten.

Unfortunately, I will not be taking pigsnouts, pigtails, or pigfeet to camp because my husband works with papers and numbers which are not fun to frost.  So during my no showering, s'more engoring week, I made these cute little cards that can be used for starting fires or smashing bugs.

If you know any young women who would enjoy some cute flyswatters, please feel free to copy.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Comfortable Shoes, Better than Fireworks

A couple of months ago Ric was driving me crazy. He was so annoying. So impatient. So critical. So selfish. He was pretty hard to live with. Then I started doing personal progress because I am a Young Women leader and that’s what young women do or are supposed to do. I started working on this goal, Divine Nature #3  and I chose Ric.

In less than 24 hours, I realized that the man walks on water. I was the “cat.” I was so annoying. So impatient. So critical. So selfish. So hard to live with.

Today I have been married to that man for 26 amazing years. I was not looking for him. When we met there were no fireworks, no butterflies in my stomach. (They came later) Finding Ric was like finding a long lost pair of my most favorite, broken-in shoes. So comfortable. I can’t imagine my life without him. I can’t imagine me without him.

Fireworks come and go, but comfortable shoes are hard to come by, especially if you’re going to wear them for 26+ years.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Do Not Disturb: Part of my Brain is Napping

I heard some happy news for me on the radio a few weeks ago.  The news went something like this: 

If you are finding your car keys in the refrigerator, don't worry.  You are not crazy; part of your brain may be taking a nap while the rest of you is awake.  

Mystery solved: My brain is a cat-napper.  (And I was getting worried--sheesh.) 

This explains why when I went to work out this week, I drove in the opposite dircection of the gym, and why I can't remember my children's names and why I once drove the gymnastics carpool and arrived at gymnastics with nobody in the car. 

I suspect this is also the reason I keep forgetting to shave my legs, switch the laundry, make dinner, and eat something besides junk.

My friend Camille says my mind is a steel-trap, that's because she is funny and thinks I am funny because I always forget to write things down.  But now I know I'm not forgetting, HELLO that part of my brain is just napping.  Shhhhh.  So don't be alarmed when I forget your name after 15 years or fail to get your kids where they're supposed to be on time.  Just be happy that some part of me is getting a nap.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

He Said, She Said

I heart my sister-in-law's funny blog, Table Talk, Conversations with the Campbells.  It makes me laugh every time.  I love my sister-in-law very much too because she thinks I am smart and she helped me make 350 carmel, chocolate-covered apples for my daughter's wedding, and she came and gave my stinky feet a pedicure when I was in the hospital for nine days and what's not to love about that?

So today I am doing my post Robyn-style.

Sunday dinner at our house with Ric's sister, her husband and 4 kids from Texas, Robyn and her 5 kids and Cassie and her "friend-boy" down from Utah State:

My neice Kate:  Cassie, are you and Landon roommates?

Cassie worried Kate has the wrong idea:  No, Landon and I don't live together.

Kate:  You mean you have separate bedrooms?

Cassie:  No, Kate, we don't live in the same house.

Kate a bit later after the topic has changed:  Cassie-

Cassie:  Yes, Kate?

Kate:  Some people when they are in college have roommates and they like it.

At Ric's birthday dinner last Sunday:

Quin:  Mom, is this Costco lasagna?

Me:  Actually, Quin, I got it at Wal-Mart.

Quin:  Humph.

Me:  It's a Stouffer's or something Quin. 

Quin:  It just doesn't taste right.  Homemade is better. 

Me:  I'm sorry.  I don't think it's bad.

Quin:  It's like putting the dollar store in your mouth.

At 4th of July party with my side of the family and Robyn and her family:

My brother Joe:  Robyn, you can come to all our family parties if you bring food.

Robyn laughs.

Joe:  This trifle is so good, I want it served at my funeral.

Daniel:  If it's that good, you should want it served at our funerals.

Joe:  Oh yeah.

Robyn, you are much better at "conversation" blogging than I am.  Please post something soon because I need a good laugh. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

You've Gotta Love the Bird AND the Cat

Squirt was an awkward, featherless, mess whose mother was MIA, so my mother found him and took him under her wing because that's the kind of thing my mother did. Squirt soon became family, riding on whomever's shoulder or finger was available.

One day we were working in the yard--I can still picture the scene perfectly in my head--Mom turning dirt with a shovel, Squirt perched on the top of the shovel blade, jumping into the freshly turned earth whenever anything juicy surfaced.  The moment was golden.  Until the neighbor's cat came. 

Squirt trusting, and not a seasoned flyer, sputtered across the lawn with the cat in pursuit.  I was closest.  Mom yelled, "Grab the cat, grab the cat!"

But the cat didn't need saving.  The bird did.  So, I tried to rescue the bird but the cat caught him instead, ripping his frail body to shreds.  I hated the cat.

Mom said, "You should have grabbed the cat."

I was a grown woman before I understood why my mother wanted me to catch the cat. 

I served as the YW leader for the *Miller girls whose father was abusive.  And this was the problem: the girls loved their father; and as is typical of youth, believed the best about him.  They didn't know they needed help or that he needed help.  It also didn't help that he was a policeman. 

After much anger, frustration and resentment all focused on the dad, I realized that to help the girls, I had to "catch" the cat.  I asked the girls what their dad liked.  Pie.  Apple pie.  So I bought a pie (because my home-made pie would not be a measure of good will) and was going to take it to him the next day, only he had a heart attack in court and died.

I took the pie to offer condolences. 

You can't change somebody until you change yourself.

You can't save somebody when you are filled with anger. Nothing can be mended with malice and hate-- you have to love the bird and the cat to make a difference.

*Name has been changed.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

This Week I:

This week I:

Watched too much Monk;

Felt my granddaughter, who should arrive sometime in the next 6 weeks, hiccup inside her mama;

Unsuccessfully tried to scare granddaughter inside her mama to get rid of hiccups;

Wished my grandchildren (and their parents) who live in Arizona, didn't live in Arizona, but here;

Started working out, again;

Found out something nice about somebody that "bugs" me and swallowed a bitter mouthful of pride;

Read a great talk on pride by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf;

Amused myself by yelling, "Kill the Christians!" (not too loudly) at the Big Mountain Jam (basketball tournament) when my daughter played against Valley Christian High;

Was disturbed along with my friend *Tenille when she received an invitation to a lingerie shower for her soon-to-be step-mother;

Laughed with my friend *Tenille when we analyzed the lingerie shower;

Wondered if the shower was funny just because thinking about your parents in lingerie is always funny or if once you hit a certain age, it really is funny;

Concluded that most people don't want to be involved with giving lingerie to others once they are over 30 unless the "other" is a spouse or if the lingerie is the white-elephant, leopard briefs that keep getting passed around each Christmas;

Cried when a woman I barely know that lives in the neighborhood next to me drownd while river-rafting, leaving behind a husband and 2 boys;

Felt joy and humility as I read the updates of Kendra--a girl my daughter has played soccer with for 4 years who broke her neck a month ago and has been in the ICU ever since;

Was amazed at the attitudes of Kendra and her family as they expressed gratitude for Kendra's ability to swallow, be able to take a partial bath, listen to music, and have her hair washed;

Felt badly that I didn't get a hold of my sister on her birthday;

Had great converesations with many good friends;

Abused my visiting teacher;

Worried that I'm not doing everything I need to be doing when it comes to serving, mothering, sprirituality, exercising, eating right, visiting teaching, being a good wife, a good friend, blah, blah, blah......

Am determined that I will do better next week;

Or at least try harder;


What did you do this week?
*Changed name to protect the innocent :)