Saturday, October 30, 2010

in which i self-sabotage and watch gleefully from the sidelines giving the play-by-play.

i am nearly caught up with grading.

no, seriously. i'm like 2 sets of response papers and a bunch of discussion board posts away from being COMPLETELY CAUGHT UP. 

(well, if you don't count the stuff that came in late, because of whatever reason, which i don't because they get graded when they get graded and i'm about to tell everyone who asks about it to suck it.)

seriously. i teach eight classes, four of which are online classes. this is a miracle of epic proportions, which can only be explained by MIRACLE OF EPIC PROPORTIONS.

so today, what do i do?

i wake up.  i eat a pumpkin spice donut, my second in 24 hours. the first bite of which was pure pregnancy-induced bliss.  this time? not so much. i wish they made them without glaze.

but i digress.

i eat a donut.  i get dressed.  i take musicboy to campus so he can get on a bus and go to a nearby away game with the entire band.  i come home. i make peanut butter celery.  i think about how i'm kind of tired.  i start the remaining laundry.

i dink around on facebook, i dink around on my email, i make speech orders for the last big speech (HUZZAH!), i make rice krispie treats for the halloween church activity, i find someone to take said rice krispie treats to church because i'm not going but don't want to be one of THOSE people who signs up for something and then doesn't do it because they are lame.

i think about how i'm kind of tired.  i think about how i should probably take a nap before it's gametime.  but then i have to switch the laundry and then i decide that i'm hungry and then i start planning all of the many things i am going to cook and ooh wouldn't chili be good but i don't have any beef hey what about chicken and black beans? then i make pinto beans from scratch (like, i soaked them and then boiled them, not that i created them from dust) and a double recipe of pumpkin bread.

and at this point it because quite apparent to me that, though i have achieved perhaps the easiest thing on my academic to-do list by completing the speech orders, i have done nothing else.  and, you know, that's stupid.


but i'll lose that momentum, perhaps, if i don't do something today.

but then it was game time and i was hungry so i ate a quesadilla with hummus and it was delicious and then i ate some other stuff, because it's not a day that ends in y if my moments aren't completely consumed with planning what i am going to eat next and trying to make wise decisions and also just because i'm hungry ALL THE TIME and now i don't feel like puking every time i eat anymore, so that's nice.

and then i wrapped and froze two mini loaves and a big loaf of pumpkin bread (seriously? SERIOUSLY.) and put the 24 mini muffins in the cake holder (i know.  SERIOUSLY.) and then i made some chicken black bean chili that i might have put a LITTLE too much spice into (i.e. i can't eat it without lots of sour cream and MILK, so musicboy will probably love it) and then there was this pile of laundry that needed to be folded and then i realized it was 9:15 and instead of doing anything productive, i was doing anything but.

including blogging.

but this realization has been one that has been quite clear to me all day. that, despite my best plans and copious to-do lists, it just WASN'T going to happen.

and it's sort of amusing how productive i am in my attempts to do anything other than what i should be doing, but it's sort of sad too, because in the land of what might have been, i'd be practically caught up.

but there's still another hour at least until musicboy gets back, more than likely, so maybe i'll get something done then.

but that pile of clothes isn't just going to fold itself, you know.  and the dishes really do need to be done. 

good grief. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


"not completely certain HOW everything will work out, but nonetheless sure that it will. it always does."

way number one: finding out that the classes that you thought might be entirely on campus will, in fact, be entirely online.  and that there are two.  so that makes five online classes for next semester. they're not the highest paying gigs, but they're gigs that pay the bills. and they don't include any OIOHL classes, of which i am planning to partake mightily until Baby comes.

i worry too much, you know? and every single time i do, i'm always shown, very clearly, that we are cared for and loved and that everything will be okay.

also, on a somewhat smaller but nonetheless nice point: this means that i don't need to dress up and get out and wear professional clothes every single dang day when i'm third trimester.  this means less spent on maternity clothes and more opportunities for me to wear pajama pants. huzzah!

these things are good.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

music widowhood.

i believe i went into this whole wife of a music major thing quite cavalierly, humming and singing with my fingers in my ears, believing that we could totally do it without even breaking a sweat because it was so easy when musicboy was a music major at local cc.

if i didn't know the difference before, boy do i know the difference now.

i mean, i don't think i was so stupid as to believe we wouldn't be busy. i don't really think it's possible to be in school more than full time and have a part time job without being somewhat busy.  we were busy before, though, and it was totally fine.  we managed.  i mean, i complained a little and the house always seemed to be a mess (wow, i'm seeing a trend), but it was manageable.

it's funny how your definition of manageable can drastically change.

i thought it was just the whole marching band and football season thing. i thought that was what was singlehandedly requiring planning dexterity of the highest degree.  10 hours a week and game days will do that. 

but then i planned next semester's schedule for musicboy, mainly because i totally dig doing that and i don't get to do it anymore because, hi, not a student anymore. 

and it's not going to be ANY different.  literally. the only difference is that musicboy will get a later start on tuesdays and thursdays and will only be gone until 2pm on saturdays for work. 

he'll still be gone until 9pm three nights a week.  one of those nights, i may be able to go with him to a church class, which will be nice, but otherwise? it's solid days and solid nights of classes and work.

but towards the end of that semester (thankfully, literally at the end--like two weeks before classes end, if we're exactly delivering on our due date, but more than likely one week before classes end, because that's how we roll), we'll have a baby.

and for the majority of that semester, i'll be very large with child.  hugely pregnant. unable to do things like carry large things down the stairs or do anything massively strenuous. 

the realization of that reality struck me somewhat hard.  it's just not going to get better until it's over.  it makes me share musicboy's motivation to just push through it and get it over with as soon as possible, but it also makes me worried that, somehow, we won't be able to do it all.

i know we will. musicboy, when we discussed this ever-so-briefly as he headed out the door to a recital, said that Heavenly Father likes to make us grow.  i chuckled. it's so true. 

i'm not angry.  just...unprepared, perhaps?  afraid, perhaps a little?  definitely unsure of my own capacity to pull up my metaphorical bootstraps and suck it up.  not completely certain HOW everything will work out, but nonetheless sure that it will. it always does.  lest you read this as all forlorn, it's not.  i'm not depressed about it.  resigned, perhaps, but not depressed.  not even really that worried, so much. 

but i definitely don't have my fingers in my ears anymore.  reality can be quite bracing in that regard. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

dear baby: your dad.

dear baby,

you haven't met him yet, but you have the best dad in the whole world.  how do i know? because he's probably the best guy in the whole world.  he has his flaws--we all do--but his flaws are things like being distractable or not noticing the dishes.  they're not important in any way to the really essential things about life. 

he's probably the kindest person you'll ever know. i sincerely hope you take after him in this way. he never meets a person that he doesn't like. sometimes, when i'm not sure about someone, i ask him if he likes that person and why. when i do, i begin to see that person through his eyes, and that helps me to make a much better decision. see, you'll learn this about me, but i'm not always the nicest person in the world. i try very hard to be, but i have to try very hard to be. your daddy doesn't. he was born to love, and the world is so much better off because of it.

he easily forgives.  this is good for both of us, let me tell you, because we'll both mess up--probably big time sometimes. and daddy? he just takes it in stride. even when we've done something dumb, when we apologize, he takes it and moves on.  he one hundred percent emulates the Savior like that. he will teach you more about forgiveness and repentance than you might think, so pay attention.

and he's fun, baby. he makes life fun, even when it's crazy. i think you'll like how much daddy sees the fun in life and how much he can make a game or a good time out of even what seems like the most mundane, annoying, monotonous nonsense.  it doesn't matter what it is, he always makes it better.  you'll like that.  he'll be a fun dad.

but he's serious about what's important, and he'll never let you forget that.  he'll put what's right for you first, even if you don't like it, but he'll always explain why it's important.  i really like that he can do this, that he's already practicing how to that.  he wants to make sure that you know why we want you to do what's right, why it's important to do the things that Heavenly Father wants us to do.  i love that.  he won't be one of those dads who just says "because i said so!"  he'll be humble and kind enough to teach you--and there's no greater gift that he can give you.

did you know your daddy is ridiculously talented? as soon as you have ears that can hear, i'm sure he'll be playing one of his many instruments in your general direction--or just singing to you. music, to him, is food and air and breath and life. it's what makes him tick, it's what he's best at. just like i love books, and will probably already make you crazy with reading before you even join us, daddy loves music.  some days you might wish that he's be home instead of at band camp, or some days you might wish that he didn't practice his trombone when you wanted to watch TV.  i understand--i've definitely felt the same way at times. but remember what i do: he's extraordinary, and we're so blessed to know someone so talented.  it's a testimony of the fact that we all come here with gifts and talents, and that it's our job to find them and use them. daddy found his, and he uses it every day.  when he sings to you, be glad to hear it.  when he plays for you, be grateful that he's your daddy. not everyone has a dad so extraordinary.

he loves the hugs and kisses, baby, and he loves the idea that there might come a day when you might not love it.  i just have to warn you--we won't be afraid to embarrass you, if embarrassing you means that we show you how much we love you and how much you are treasured. we are also not afraid to use our crazy willingness to do whatever you DON'T want us to do in public, in front of your friends, to make sure you do things our way. that seems manipulative.  we don't mean it that way.  we just...see it as incentive for you to comply with things that you might otherwise forget about. 

say, for example, that you're 15 and out with your friends, and we ask you to call when you arrive so that we know that you're safe and so that we know what time you will be home. if you're anything like your daddy, dear baby, you might forget because there's something more exciting going on. we understand this, but we also want you to understand how important it is to be considerate and to follow the rules, even if you don't understand them or if they don't seem important to you.  so, we might set forth some consequences. other parents might think that not calling would be worth a grounding or losing privileges. we think it might be awesome to just show up where we know you'll be (because we will always know where you are and who you're with) and smother you with hugs and kisses, proclaiming loudly and most dramatically "oh, MY SWEET BABY, we thought you were dead! when you didn't call, we just HAD TO COME DOWN HERE and see for ourselves that you were okay.  oh, baby, we remember when you were born and how you used to do (insert embarrassing baby story or pet name here) and we just COULDN'T not know where you were!"

it's just a plan, but it's a quintessential mommy and daddy plan. be warned. we have a sense of humor, and we're not afraid to use it--and daddy's probably the ringleader of them all.  he's not afraid to embarrass you, to put you out, to make you work, or to give you pause if it means it teaches you a lesson.

i will teach you, every day, to appreciate and love your dad for exactly who he is.  he's a treasure, even if you can't or won't always see it.  that's my job--to show you.  i'll keep reminding you, even when the two of you don't see eye to eye, that you are one blessed baby to have such an incredibly strong and righteous father.

our job is to love him with our whole heart. he deserves that plus so much more.  we'll keep working at it, right baby? 

we can't wait to meet you!

love, mommy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

murphy's law of teaching.

what doesn't normally happen to you will, in fact, happen to you in the semester in which you are teaching most frequently, causing you to test every element of your teaching persona and all of your policies to the limit and determine, ultimately, whether or not you're any dang good at your job.

in the eight classes that i currently teach the following have happened:
  • people just not showing up for assignments (already talked about that) due to illness, car trouble, and who knows why, but there's usually an actual legitimate reason, which requires me to be understanding and allow for make-ups
  • people falling off the planet and just not responding to emails even though they're still enrolled in my class (at collegetown u, no less, which just...doesn't happen)
  • a major meltdown during a speech which was perhaps the worst thing i've ever witnessed, from an empathetic human side
  • the weirdest attendance requests i've ever heard, including requesting to miss as many as 12 classes
  • plagiarism. lots and lots of plagiarism. and not even good plagiarism. like "i will take the first google search that comes my way and then take the entire paper from that" kind of plagiarism.
  • a whole host of random injuries, including two broken wrists and two torn up knees that required medical intervention which often occurred just before class
  • a whole host of child-related issues, including child-care issues, a child having multiple surgeries, and a child in utero
i  there's only so much one teacher can take before i really start to wonder WHAT THE HECK IS UP WITH THIS SEMESTER?


Monday, October 18, 2010

bullets on a monday.

  • nothing makes me more nuts than people who walk, while a car is waiting patiently to turn right, like they are the center of the universe. i just encountered this on campus, and it makes me nuts. so of course i was, uhm, strongly speaking to the people when a poor guy who really didn't see me began to cross, saw me annoyed and yell-y, and felt bad.  then i felt bad.  
  • jesse ventura looks BAD.  like hard living bad.  like this and hulk hogan are the cautionary tale of wrestling bad.  and yet he has a tv show that looks insipid.  probably gets paid a lot more than i do in a year for one episode.  show me the justice.
  • i'm addicted to pumpkin bread.  and baking.
  • making food ahead of time for the win.  today has been INFINITELY less stressful, and i'm assuming it's because i don't have to think about ANYTHING.
  • i'm contemplating the least obtrusive way of telling my students that i haven't just eaten too many chicken wings at too many tailgate parties and am, in fact, pregnant now that my belly is beginning to look infinitely rounder and is busting out of some of my pants.  i think i might just do it.  i have a plan, but i wonder if they're all just going to stare at me like "so? we don't care." which is fine. they don't have to care. i just don't want them to think i'm fat.  i'm so vain.
  • my homemade jam is like the best thing i've ever had. besides pumpkin bread and apple pie yogurt and oreo klondike bars and broccoli salad and toast.  oh dear.  i'm not very discerning.  there are all of these spaces in my belly book journal thing that ask what i'm craving.  i don't crave.  i just...get on kicks.  like cinnamon and pumpkin and salsa and sour cream.  anything i can include those things in, i am down with.  is that weird?
  • the one kid that just continued to be an aggressive, confrontational jerkweed to me has now turned a corner. i'm not sure it's because i made an aggressive attempt to act as if nothing was wrong and tried to be kind and outgoing to him or if he decided that he was a jerkweed, but every single time he seems decent, it blows me away. i doubt i will ever cease to appreciate it.  it's amazing how your perspective changes.
  • i just ate a snack and i'm still hungry. this is most assuredly musicboy's baby. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

things to do on a saturday other than address the pile of papers that need to be graded.

once upon a time, i told a friend at church that when saturday rolls around, i feel all domestic. i get the kitchen clean, i do the laundry that's piled up all week, i bake something (usually), and i clean up the living room so that it doesn't look like university life threw up under our coffee table. 

when i was telling her this, i said "i should probably make food ahead of time. it might be really nice to be able to have things already made during the week when i just sometimes cry when i think about cooking." she agreed, most strongly, and said that i would feel so productive.

then i read this blog and was at once inspired and totally intimidated.  spend the whole day cooking? have things completely made and then FREEZE them? how does one go about doing that? what, like, equipment does one need for that?

but when i started this day, i felt totally overwhelmed by my life. too much, too often, too little break.  so, of course, i began getting things done.

and, surprisingly (or not), i began to figure out things that i wanted to cook ahead.  something i call mexicubanacos (actually, musicboy coined that term), which is just chicken, black beans, and rice in a homemade cuban/mexican sauce. it lasts me AGES for lunches and it works for easy heatupability as well.  pumpkin bread.  HOMEMADE JAM.  next up is chicken burgers and then preparing the mini-meatloaf for tomorrow and taco meat for later this week. 

i like this idea, that i am preparing ahead. it makes me feel like perhaps life will be a little bit easier, a little bit more manageable.  at the very least, when i feel like my dinner will be cheese fries, musicboy will have something to eat when he gets back from work/school/practice.  that is my most pressing stress at night, to figure out what to eat (or to make sure there's something to eat), and i am happy to have options already figured out.

when i finally get to go to the store tonight, i will also make broccoli salad and wash fruit for the week.  i am just so excited to have FOOD.  food already prepared. food already made.  CHOICES.  no stress of creativity. i've ALREADY been creative!


we'll see how well it works, since i really should be grading. perhaps i can take the time i save doing all of this and use it to catch up.  at the very least, i'll end this day feeling like i have accomplished a great deal, and that's enormously important to my psychological well-being.

because, really, if you know anything about teaching, you know that you are actually never caught up. 


Thursday, October 14, 2010


the third student in as many class meetings has not shown up to give a speech.  as in, let the group down, didn't contact them ahead of time, they didn't know where the person was though they all did have an inclination that said student was unreliable so, bless them, they had very little trouble moving on without that student.

this has never--EVER--happened before to me.

i just fundamentally don't get it.  how do you just not show up? i heard from two of the three. one of them had one of those life explosion moments that involves towing a vehicle and having to deal with that and realizing that it meant you missed your class.  when he offered to scan his workorder to show me, i was like "nah. i believe you." the other was just dumb, but that dumb came on from 2 1/2 weeks of illness.  i'm sympathetic to that, perhaps more now than i have been in previous semesters, because i understand that sometimes when you feel like the awful truck has backed up over you and then proceeded to do the same thing in 15 minute intervals for a week straight, you tend to lose track of things.

so, those guys i can understand.

the last i still haven't heard from and it's now been 12 hours. i'm waiting. i'm not going to chase him down.  if he doesn't contact me, that's 200 points off the top of the grade. gone.  because you spazzed out and never showed up.

while that has to suck, i just fear that it indicates something else about students. they just...don't have their junk together. they are either far too overstretched or far too underslept or far too overcaffeinated to deal well with life.  while i understand this, i am somewhat unsympathetic what with the eight classes and the trying to make life work for my husband, who has no time to do anything except eat, sleep, breathe, work, practice, go to class, perform at various events, and even then there are a few things in there that he doesn't do enough of (namely sleep and breathe), so i pick up the slack for most everything that makes our household run, and trying to grow another human.  in general, if i can show up and keep track of 160+ students with relatively degrees of success, you can handle your small little part of the world.

i just worry sometimes about people.  what's happening out there in the world?


cinnamon.  what is it about cinnamon that just makes me swoon? i've been buying apple pie yogurt as a special treat. it is probably the most delicious thing i've ever eaten. i also buy cinnamon roll yogurt, which is less calories (doesn't have the delicious apple pie fruit on the bottom) and is more protein and less sugar but really just a hair less delicious.  i am currently baking cinnamon bread, which if it tastes remotely like cinnamon rolls will send me into some sort of gastronomical ecstasy, because that's really all i want.

that and pumpkin stuff.  pumpkin bread gets baked tomorrow.  we'll see how delicious that is.

while i've always been a fan of cinnamon, never this much of pumpkin or cinnamon in these quantities.  it's somewhat weird.


we had this spurt of fall weather that was legitimately cold--i wore a sweater to school one day and kept it on the whole day long.  i got a bit warm, but it was okay because i knew the nights would be cold again and i would be out in it. 

then it was snapped away by this regular october weather, which is warm but not humid (which i'm grateful for, don't get me wrong), and nights that aren't really cool enough to throw open your windows and get a cool breeze. 

it's unkind, man. i want that weather back. i just looked. tomorrow night and saturday night look to be quite chilly, so the windows might come back open, but then it's back to the 80s. 

sometimes, when the weather gives me whiplash like this, i forget where i live and begin to resent the lack of fall. i wish it would just be constant, so that i wouldn't mourn the cold weather like i do.

but then i think about how very cold i will be when we're north-er for christmas, and i think maybe it's okay.  i really have no idea how i'll survive the freezing weather unless Baby becomes an internal furnace. in that case, i'd be okay with it.

please note that i just said i was okay with Baby cranking up its role as an internal furnace. never thought those words would ever cross my lips (keyboard?).


all i really want to do is clean my house. like, all of the time. all i want to do is domestic things. i'm sure it's some sort of avoidance technique, as i am quite good at those of late, but there you go. 


i just started reading the hunger games trilogy. it's violent in its subject matter, mainly (there's some description of violence, but it's not horrible.  it's mainly just sad.), but it's compelling and i paid far more than i should for the next two books (in HARDCOVER) just so that i could finish it. it's incredible to me, even now, how well-written books can just absolutely captivate me. 

i don't think that's bizarre, but i just wanted to tell you that if you haven't read these books, you should.

right now.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

dear Baby.

dear Baby,

if i do nothing else in the time i'll get to be your mommy, i sincerely hope that i will teach you to not be a brat.  because brattiness is really obnoxious, especially on college students, and i hope that seeing me doing what i do every day and seeing your daddy doing what he does every day and seeing how we really, legitimately try to do what's right for our students will help you understand that being a sniveling, snippy jerkface doesn't get you any farther in life.

you know, this will of course intersect with things like teaching you how to be a decent person who loves and serves God, other people, and knows how to treat those in the world. i'll also try to teach you about football and baking and how to be a pop cultural sponge because sometimes those things will win you a really slammin' spouse (it worked for me), but mainly i'll just try to teach you how to be you.

and how to be a NICE you.  because even though the world will tell you that it's not true, kindness goes a long way in this world. it makes the difference between dismissing someone and building a lifelong friendship. a smile can make the difference in a stranger's day--and offering it can make all the difference in yours.  thinking the good about people can make them feel like you're a safe place to be, and that can lead to trust, and to be a trustworthy person in a world full of shifting definitions of "honest" is a treasure.  and, on a much deeper level, learning how to be the best you will make life a lot easier. it'll be hard, sometimes, to figure out how to be that best you, but when you figure parts of it out, it just feels right.

i started this little bloggy letter to you in response to a student being unnecessarily jerky to me and me reacting to it, feeling like sometimes it doesn't matter what i do, but then it became something real. and i realized that, you know, doing your best every day is an awesome lesson and legacy to leave someone, even someone as perfect and small and fragile and malleable as you.  so, instead of giving up, i'll go try to do my best some more because that's what i would tell you to do.

but i might give you a cookie first and tell you that sometimes people are mean, but that's okay, because we don't have to be.  because all of those things are true.  so we won't be mean.  and we won't give up. we'll just be grateful for the opportunity to learn from a situation, eat a cookie, and then do the best we can do. 

keep growing, Baby, and as soon as you have ears to hear, i'll start just telling you these things instead of writing them down.

(but i might write them down too--there's so much to say!--and if i told you all of it now, you'd already be rolling your eyes by the time i met you.)

i can't wait to meet you. i have a feeling you are going to be one heck of an awesome kid. 

your worn-out but excited mom.

so, what is a blog?

i have a few blogs on my reader that have changed over the year or so that i've been following them. i found them, usually accidentally, when i began blogging and kept them because something about them inspired me. normally, when i follow blogs, it's because something about the way that writer writes that makes me think, helps me connect, or makes me feel like i know them on a deeper level.

this can be someone i know or don't know, but most of the time it's someone that i don't know. 

this was before facebook exploded into what it is now, before social media became something to use for financial gain, before the idea of sponsored tweets, before you sort of had to look around every bloggy corner to figure out who was sponsoring this message.

(this blog post is being sponsored by the letter R and the number 9, just because they're my favorites.)

now, i find that some of the blogs that i found most compelling are...empty.  they're sponsored, and coded, and full of business.  and while i know there's a place for that, and i appreciate that there is a place for that, and i even encourage the place for that in some circumstances, i feel it's like in some ways it's going to lunch with a girlfriend and getting a sales pitch.  it seems like the wrong place and the wrong time. it feels...duplicitious.

"take it off your google reader then, teachergirl. what's the big deal?"

i'm not sure. i'm not sure what i'm waiting for, except maybe for these bloggers that once could take a snapshot of their lives and paint it in such stirring detail to realize that shilling for sponsors isn't what got them readers. i keep waiting for someone to recognize that roots are roots for a reason and that constantly reading a sales pitch isn't interesting.  i keep waiting for them to come to their senses.

but the longer it goes, and the more it seems to be happening, the more i am beginning to think that perhaps i am operating under a definitional mismatch. perhaps my definition of what a blog is--a little (public, semi-public, or private) place to carve out your own creativity, to find your voice, to share with those who are interested what you're thinking and feeling about life, family, what dreams may come--is just not what it is anymore. 

this saddens me, perhaps because it just seems like there's no place left that isn't commercial, that isn't a place where we can be bought and sold.  blame the phd, but this poem comes to mind:

THE world is too much with us; late and soon,
          Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
          Little we see in Nature that is ours;
          We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
          The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
          The winds that will be howling at all hours,
          And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
          For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
          It moves us not.

i'm far from perfect in this capacity--i am more focused on the trappings of life sometimes than on the substance. but when the little piece of the world that we've carved out for ourselves stops looking like us and starts looking more like a catalog of potential wholesalers, that bothers me.  it just bothers me.  i'm not saying it's right or it's wrong--just that it rubs against me in some imperceptible way that even i don't truly understand.

i miss the small snippets of life that i used to get. i miss the snapshots of hope. i miss the things that would make me think that, in this small way, i am not alone. 

and none of this really matters much.  i'm sending it off into my little space, where the vast majority of people who read do so because they know me and aren't affected at all by what i am highlighting. the big bloggers that do this don't read me. and perhaps that's the problem.  they don't read the bloggers who read them.  they are too big, too grand, too popular.  and  i am sending this out into a relatively quiet space where, really, i don't think it will really be noticed.  that's okay.

maybe for those of you who do read, be aware that the loyal readers you have are loyal readers for a reason.  don't sell them out for 2 cents a page hit and a box of laundry detergent.  you're just...better than that.

Monday, October 11, 2010

week 14: tremendously offended on behalf of the world.

i feel like i have the worst PMS on the planet.

you're welcome and happy monday to you as well.

i must have had some kind of serious spike in estrogen, or else Baby is the most empathetic soul on the planet and is thus channeling said Christ-like feeling through me, but i just cry at the drop of a hat on behalf of puppies, kittens, band members, and (of course) myself. 

it's rather ridiculous, until i feel MIGHTILY.JUSTIFIED. about it, and then it seems VERY very important.  like everyone should feel as i do that THAT WASN'T RIGHT and thus the world should bow in honor of my astute wisdom and justice.

yeah, i'll let you guess how often that happens.

why i compare it to PMS is that it seems to turn on a dime.  one hour i'm feeling fine, the next i am sadfaced clown. it's kind of annoying, it's kind of ridiculous, it's a little bit funny when it isn't SO.VERY.SERIOUS, and i hope it ends soon.

this weekend was my birthday, and i got spoiled and then the second half of my birthday day i spent by myself watching my team lose.  it was a rather depressing end to the day, and when my dear sweet musicboy came home and told me that, after losing, the football team didn't come over the band (as is their home game tradition) for the fight song and for the alma mater, the slow burn began.

at first i was like "not cool, man. not cool." but it was also midnight and i think because i had eaten not good food all day and been fighting a migraine all afternoon, i couldn't really get a fight too ferocious on.

that is, until the next morning, when i began to think about it some more and began to feel tremendously offended on behalf of all people everywhere who sacrifice for something, show up and do their job, and get shafted. i made allusions to how life is about how you treat the people who serve you (comparing, somehow, the marching band to waiters?) and then i started to cry about it.  musicboy agreed with me, in principle if not in passion, and said "well, we'll keep showing up and doing what we do." and that's why i love the man.

but i was very offended for a while. and then that sort of morphed into just a general state of sadness about life and the world, combined with the tremendous sense of overwhelmageness i get every sunday because ohmygosh the week begins tomorrow and i am far from ready.

so yesterday was sort of rough, though i snapped myself out of it enough to have a pleasant enough afternoon until i ate three birthday cupcakes and my body said "oh thank you, idiot, now comes the feeling like death from sugar overload" (why can i not remember that?) and then a night of not sleeping well from back pain.

so, i just feel all off-kilter today, which may actually be an emotional byproduct of the fact that everything in my body is changing tremendously fast (though i see very little of it) and so i should probably just cut myself some slack. one of my three goals this week is to be kind to myself and listen to my body. 

today, i think i will choose me.

that's hard for me to do, but i feel like it's important.  sometimes you have to baby yourself emotionally by just giving yourself a break.  when the world is too much, sometimes you have to just go home and watch matlock.

and schedule some time for some prenatal yoga (hooray for amazon dvds over the weekend). 

sometimes life is hard work, you know?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

fast and furious.

i'm not angry, lest you think so from my title. i'm just...BUSY.  so overwhelmed.  but managing, sincerely because of the grace of God, and days like yesterday make me SO.GLAD. the first trimester is over because, though i do fall asleep rather early these days, i am not in desperate need of a nap every three hours and i can multitask again.


because i think it needs to be noted for posterity, yesterday i dipped a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread into salsa, and it was good. then i ate entirely too many cheezits dipped in salsa. they were also good.  today i ate carrots and cheezits dipped in salsa.  also good.  strange, odd, but good.  whatever.

also, i'm hungry all the time and my jeans don't really fit anymore. while i know this is all good and baby-ful, it's also somewhat difficult for me when i see the scale creeping up and i am not sure whether it's because i can't keep myself from occasionally diving face first into some cheezits or it's because somewhere in there there's a baby that weighs 1.5 ounces (yeah. doesn't explain it, although the girls probably each weigh an extra pound each. you're welcome for that information.).  i'm trying to be zen, but i also am trying to be smart.

sigh. carrots over cheezits. sometimes i just do my best and hope someone will make up the difference.

i believe that i legitimately have one million things to do. the piles of paper in my living room are multiplying, as they are wont to do toward the end of the week when i'm just trying to make it until saturday.  however, there's no real rest on saturday so all that stuff needs to get done on today and friday.  nevertheless, i might take a nap instead, because i'm beginning to wonder if it's ACTUALLY the end of the world if not all of them get done this week. i'm beginning to think, in fact, the answer is no. 

i want to go to the gym but some days, like yesterday, i can't imagine when i would have done that. there's just no time.  however, prenatal yoga and pilates dvds are coming in the mail soon, since my gym is suckage with the pregnancy-related classes (other than some water thing which i may eventually investigate but probably not because it's like during the times when people work for a living).  that should help. 

this is boring. i'm sorry, but as chaotic as this post is, my brain is 53x more chaotic. 

i can't wait until this semester is over.  i really just can't wait.  maybe i need a countdown?  about 9 weeks left, maybe?  and next week there's a 3 day weekend.  i can live for that.  parades and homecoming and free pancakes i didn't have to make myself.

sounds like a plan. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

come listen to a prophet's voice.

this weekend, i spent eight hours on the couch.

(actually, more, but the eight hours were the best hours.)

i listened to the voice of the prophets and felt the Spirit of the Lord enter my heart, comfort me, and answer questions i'm not sure that i had even articulated. stephanie, over at diapers and divinity, sponsored a blog meme about conference. i was so glad to have read the questions before conference because it helped me pay attention to a few really important things (like ties! i'm joking...they're only sort of important).

here are my reflections:

1. Who were your three favorite speakers?

Elder Holland, President Uchtdorf, and probably President Ballard.  The talks given by Elder Holland and President Uchtdorf were like two tandem answers to the same prinicpal question I've had for ages.

2. Favorite talk?

Elder Holland, by far.  He made me cry, pretty much from the beginning, because I felt like the Spirit was telling me that he was talking to me. 

3. Favorite hymn sung during Conference?

The Tabernacle Choir singing "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet." Seriously moving. "Lead Kindly Light" was a serious contender as well.

4. Who wore the best tie?

Mad props to Elder Gong for his slammin' maroon patterned tie. I think a close second goes to Elder Bednar's blue striped tie.

5. Do you think conference had a “theme”?

Unlike last year, I am not sure that I really saw one, though my husband and I saw some repetition: the power of agency and the need to use it wisely, the importance of being diligent in the simple things, and the eternal significance of heeding the prophets.

6. Share a few of your favorite quotes (paraphrasing is fine).

I loved President Uchtdorf's connection between ambitions and albatrosses. I loved most everything Elder Holland said. I especially loved Elder Scott's quote: "we become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day." like, wow.

7. Something that made you smile during conference.

President Uchtdorf, upon losing his voice, riffing that "it's a fundamental thing that I need."  Awesome.  I love that man.

8. Any evidence that your children paid attention?

Well, I only have a fetus, but I was much less sleepy than normal--I don't think I drifted off once, though I wanted to. Good job, fetus! :)

9. If you had to give a talk in General Conference (don’t faint, this is hypothetical), what do you think you’d speak about?

Enduring well.  That small things really do make up great things. That everybody can do small things.  That we are better at what we do than we think.

10. What are some of your post-conference goals?

Oh my gosh.  Two words, really: simplification and focus.  I've been lost in a sea of crazy chaos for the past few months, and I'm just done with it.  I'm ready to turn off the noise in my life, focus on the most important things, and diligently try to do my best in them.  I won't be perfect, but I know I'll be blessed.

those of you who watched--what did you love? what did you notice? 

week 13: dream a little dream of me.

once upon a time, i read an old wives' tale about how if you dream about one gender, it means that you're having the opposite. upon trying to find said website, i can't find it and everything that i have found indicates that, actually, your dreams have no meaning whatsoever.

but last night's meant something to me, only because it was my first about our Baby.

he was a boy (which is the prevailing wisdom in our extended family, though i have no idea).  he was beautiful and i was amazed at how advanced he was. i mean, the kid was super newborn but was walking and talking in full sentences. i remember saying to musicboy in my dreams "look at him! he's walking and talking!" and thinking how fast he was developing.

(hmm.  perhaps a bit of a reflection of the pregnancy itself?)

but the kid wouldn't eat.  i was breastfeeding in the dream, and the kid had the worst attention span EVER. it wasn't that he was having trouble eating or that he couldn't or that i couldn't--it was that he would eat for like two minutes and then be JUST! SO! EXCITED! about life that he would have to go run around and do other things.

it was kind of adorable, in a perplexing mother-anxious way.  i just kept thinking "this kid really does need to eat" but also looking at him like he was the cutest thing in the whole world.  it reminded me of musicboy, and i think i thought "wow. you're distractable like your daddy."

it was sort of awesome, rather comforting, and exciting if only because i was a mommy and there was a Baby and he was cute, healthy, and smart.  i felt peace, even amid the non-eating, and that was nice.

i've heard lots of things about having nightmares about the baby. i think i've already had one or two.  but this one? this was peace. this was lovely.

i hope it's a sign of things to come.

(although, girl or boy, i'll be happy. i know that annoys some people (hi, saf!), but it's really true.  i always thought i'd have a preference. i'm trying not to even think about it, because whoever this Baby is, this Baby is ours. it doesn't matter at all. although, we are in more agreement about girl names than we are about boy. i haven't even really been able to think about boy names. which means, i think, that this Baby is a boy--that would be so typical. :) )

Saturday, October 2, 2010

plates and road rage.

i'm starting to really resent the mashed potatoes that are pushing against the peas that are all mixed up in the salad that's all over the meatloaf on my metaphorical life plate.

(how's that for a beginning?)

sometimes, the peas annoy me because i come to class every day, despite often feeling like crap, and people are annoying or don't try or don't read directions or read at all or always want to ask questions that i've already answered or never ask questions or quibble with me about little things or make me nuts with their attitudes.  sometimes the peas fail an exam that i explained in great detail (including everything that would be on it) and i begin to rant about what's even the point when you don't even try?

sometimes the potatoes annoy me because they're always there, like a looming mound about to fall on my head.  i always have something to do, which isn't bad because it keeps me out of trouble, but begins to annoy me because i never really have a break. i have these self-induced breaks where i fall asleep on the couch or choose to watch project runway instead of doing the work, but those are always followed by a short of small shake of the head recognizing that, in another time and place, i would have done better.

sometimes the meatloaf annoys me because, you know, dishes don't ever go away unless you do them and the laundry never really ever gets finished because unless you're naked when you do it, there's about to be something else in the hamper.  the house doesn't get picked up by itself and, much as i wish i was someone who didn't care, i do and it makes me just a little shade of crazy.  but i can't muster the energy or inclination to really do much about it except once a week. 

you get the idea.

but you know what i really think? it annoys me that these things annoy me.  i made my bed.  i am the one who signed up for eight classes and, while i didn't know that i would also be pregnant, i could have done more to prepare. i could do more every day. but even if i didn't do more or prepare more, i could be grateful more.

these are the jobs that are keeping us afloat. they are a 100% windfall indication of how much we are cared for and loved.  we are being watched over, not only because of the presence of these jobs, but also because i am always blessed with the capacity to get things done.  when it seems most unlikely, that's when the miracles happen.

so it sort of annoys me that i am annoyed, because i should be more grateful.

but when i go to class on friday afternoon, i am really nothing but annoyed.  it usually goes away, depending on how well class goes, but that walk from the car to the building? not fun. 

i may just resign myself to that fact. 


i think i am a slow pregnant person, because the mood swings have just now completely settled in.  when i drive, i am sure to meet the 50 most idiotic people on the planet...every single time.  and, you know, logically--that just doesn't make sense.  because, really, what are the odds? 

nope. it's me.  if you are the dipstick who rides in front of me on your bike like you own the road, i'm going to comment. if you do anything in your car that i deem slightly annoying, i will comment. and i will likely comment often and quite loudly.

it seems to be, pretty much, confined to the car so far. i seem to be able to muzzle it everywhere else.  don't worry: i'm still a safe driver. i don't do anything different--except yell a little. 

also, i feel inclined to sit down and cry when i'm having a rough day.  and rough day can be defined as any number of things that in normal situations i would take with a grain of salt and brush past as if they mattered not. 

essentially, i am a 4 year old.  which is good, because me and Baby will be able to hang out and bond since we'll be basically at the same developmental level.