Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the world of maggie.

i'm boring. she's not. let's chat about magpie.

  • she started solids a couple of weeks ago, but had some strange things happening so we stopped. we started again today. i'm ASTONISHED at how much she has changed in just two weeks. she was actively opening her mouth, getting the oatmeal back in there and swallowing like a champ. hopefully we won't have any gastrointestinal issues and we can proceed like puree champs.
  • i can't believe we have one month before her half-birthday. good grief time flies.
  • she's close to sitting up.  she doesn't get a lot of practice (when she's on the floor, she's rolling--ACROSS THE ROOM), but she pretty much does it on her own on our laps. 
  • i can see the tooth. I CAN SEE THE TOOTH. bottom left tooth. it's working its way up--and it's affecting her sleep. she flops around the bed like a dying trout, and i have to go save her complaining, half-asleep grunting self from the contortions she's managed to get herself into.  they sometimes scare me. i saw 12, 1, 2, and 3 this morning. yay.
  • she is so goodnatured.  she giggles now when you tickle her belly. that's new.
  • she loves the $15 exersaucer we got her. a little less now that she just wants to chew everything, but she still really likes it.
  • her favorite toy is the crinkly book that grandma got her.
  • she is such a spaz right now. like, literally, her arms and legs are always moving.  when we're trying to feed her, good grief. we have to pin her arms down sometimes just so she doesn't smack herself in the face.
  • she knows what the bottle is.  i'm trying to teach her to associate it with the word "milk." i may be crazy, but i think she's starting to get it.
  • i showed her a couple of times how to splash with her legs in the bathtub. now she does it.
  • she fell asleep on her own in her bouncy seat yesterday. first time she's just sort of passed out on her own. i'm really excited by this--i think it may be soon that she'll be able to do it on her own for naps and night. we'll see.
  • she does this grunting thing when she's hungry or tired. she doesn't cry, she fusses/grunts.  it's crazymaking. it gets worse when she's not feeling well. she does it all day long.  GAH.
  • she's a joy.
  • we went to choir on sunday. she sang while we were singing. it was adorable. today, she was watching me sing and was moving her mouth like i was and then started to sing a little bit.
  • she's so smart.
  • she's wearing 6 month onesies and 9 month sleepers. she's a tall girl!
we adore her.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

i just have to say...

...that if one more person on facebook flaunts the fact that they are back to their pre-baby weight in less than 3 weeks, i will lose my ever-lovin' crap.

i still have 30 pounds to lose. 

i hate everyone. it's so unkind.

i've decided that, breastfeeding or not, your body is just either one that sheds weight or one that hangs onto it. i suppose, were this a great, long, famine-filled winter, i'd be one of the people naturally selected to not die because of my copious fat stores (and yay for that--must mean my genetics are awesome, which Baby Girl clearly demonstrates), but in this world of not great, long, famine-filled winter, still not being able to fit into ANY jeans at all that are not at least a size larger is somewhat demoralizing.

especially since it's been almost 5 months.

that said, i have the most amazing baby on the planet who just passed out in her bouncy seat (WHAT?!?) so there's that. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

something amazing happens when you actually start TRYING to live worthy of the Spirit in your life.

you keep getting inspiration.

duh, right? but seriously...i feel like since i've been trying to put the effort in to read my scriptures every day, to pray even when i'm exhausted, to remember the Lord more, to make more of an effort to enjoy the baby instead of being frustrated, i keep finding more things i need/want to work on.

that seems like it would be a really bad thing, really overwhelming. in some ways, i suppose it is slightly overwhelming to be shown some of your weaknesses (i.e. being a crappy, frustration-fueled bratty, overtired wife and the world's worst housekeeper) but in some way i find it liberating and inspiring.

if i know what to work on, what to attack, what to even just pray for, it seems a lot more doable. 

i feel like, in some ways, i am on the cusp of figuring all of this out. isn't that crazy? but i felt that way before, when Baby Girl was smaller.  i felt like we were on the verge of figuring some stuff out--and as i recall, in my chronically tired haze, i was right. she figured out a schedule or figured out her eating or something that was bothering me.

i feel like we are just a few weeks, maybe a few months, away from some good changes. i think naps are going to extend. i think her eating is going to normalize. i think we're just going to figure some stuff out.

i think i'm going to figure out how to do all of this work in the shortest amount of time possible. i think i'm going to stay on top of things better than i ever have before. i think i'm going to be able to grade faster and better and not be eternally overwhelmed.

i think i'm going to figure out how to blitz my way through cleaning my house in half-hour increments throughout the week. 

i think i'm going to figure it out. i feel it. i feel like there's good changes coming.

but in the meantime, i'm feeling like i have some work yet to do on myself and on how i manage things in my life.  i'm not beating myself up--i know why i am doing what i am doing and it makes sense to me--but i am not satisfied with being not all that i can be. (oy. terrible sentence.)

so i'm going to work to be better.

there's power in that, you know?

Friday, August 26, 2011

golf balls, pebbles, sand, and some chocolate milk.

i think i've been going about this whole juggling life thing the entirely wrong way.

at first, i thought i needed more "me time" to rejuvenate. not possible, and didn't work anyways. i wasn't any better at grading.

then i thought maybe i needed to use nap time to my advantage, so i tried desperately to make baby girl nap longer. didn't work.  she naps however long she needs to nap. right now, she's napping in my arms. i'm guessing it will be for 45 minutes, but hopefully i'll be able to keep her sleeping longer because she had a rough night and has a runny nose.  little cold, maybe? sometimes i still do things during nap time that need to get done, and i always feel like i have won some sort of prize when i cross things off before musicboy gets home, but i no longer cling to the belief that naptime is my salvation.

then i thought i needed everything in my house to be organized. i grabbed onto this belief that if i organized the closets and babyproofed the house and actually put things in places where it made sense for them to be, instead of all over everywhere, i would feel more inspired. i haven't had time to do that at all.  (i am still clinging to the belief that making it happen is a) important and b) necessary soon.  i have a plan.)

i turned off the tv, for various reasons. i spent more time on the internet, but i tried to keep the tv off in our home.  didn't do anything.

i bought a planner.  i make to-do lists. 

but still i feel fairly well overwhelmed, especially when i start trying to plan more than 45 minutes in the future, and realize that certain things need to get done before certain other things happen. (you're welcome for being so vague.) it feels like a puzzle that i can't quite make work--all the pieces are there, but they just won't fit.

courtesy of

i've been praying about this lately, praying the prayer of the person at a loss for what to do next. it sounds more desperate than it is, because i really sort of just approached it like that puzzle i mentioned earlier.  "what do i do? how do i do it all? please help me know."

after a few days, i started thinking about the analogy of the golf balls, pebbles, sand, and (my husband's addition) the chocolate milk. 

i think i've been putting the sand in first, so to speak. 

the golf balls in my life--my relationship with Heavenly Father, for example, and my own spirituality--have been taking a back seat to the other things in my life--immediate physical needs of baby girl, things like my job, cooking dinner, paying bills. i've felt like my life is filled with neverending tasks, but that those tasks don't leave any room for anything else.

that's because i haven't been putting first things first.

i still have no idea how to do it all, all the things that are righteous and worthy and that i need to do. i have no idea how to teach six classes, care for baby girl all day, work out and lose the baby weight (which is REALLY important to me for lots of reasons), and keep my house clean enough to not be a disgrace. 

but i know that there IS room if the big, important stuff comes first.

so i'm using my planner, but the first things come first on it: prayers, scripture study, baby girl and musicboy, family.  the rest will just follow.

i have faith.

Friday, August 19, 2011


  • for a husband who knows just what to say, even when there's nothing to say. today? "i don't know why Satan is so invested in me," i said. he said "because Heavenly Father is." and that was exactly what i needed to hear.
  • for a baby who watched me cry with this look in her eyes that just spoke to pure love and a tender curiosity about what was wrong. i don't know that she's ever seen me cry before, not really. her sweet heart was so evident.  then she fell asleep, and when i kissed her cheek she smiled. i did it again to see if it was a fluke.  it wasn't.  that was exactly what i needed to see.
  • for the knowledge that when life is wearing you down, it's also rubbing off the rough spots in your character.  
  • for the power of prayer.
  • for the reality of a Savior who can succor me because He knows what I have been through, what i will go through, what i need, and how i feel. no one else does, no matter what.  they may sympathize, but He can truly empathize.
  • for this, which i read shortly after praying for help and guidance: "Pray a little more, study a little more, shut out the noise and shut down the clamor, enjoy nature, call down personal revelation, search your soul, and search the heavens for the testimony that led our pioneer parents. Then, when you need to reach down inside a little deeper and a little farther to face life and do your work, you will be sure there is something down there to call upon."--Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. the full text can be found here. i pretty much cried through reading the section called "call to conviction." read it. it's awesome. 
  • for my life. for truth. for knowing that, at our core, people are inherently good. come what may, when we do our best and put our feet on good ground and sow good seeds and reap what we sow, good things will come.  we are children of Heavenly parents.  we have a divine nature, and that divine nature can lead us to be truly great--if we don't allow anyone to tell us differently.  our infinite potential is not something to be denied or diminished.  anyone or anything that tells us otherwise is a lie.
it's a grateful day.  i have tons to do and not much time to do it in, but all is well.  i am blessed. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

lots of things.

there's a lot going on here in our house this week. it's the week before school begins and, among other things, i have an online class that just started (i can really barely remember it and it's one that i have to post on every day) and six more that are about to start on monday.

i know.

baby girl is adorable and perplexing and ate 9 ounces in an hour last night (woke up SCREAMINGBLOODYMURDER for the last 2 after she'd been asleep for oh 30 minutes). i just...yeah. apparently this is UBER common right now in developmental 4 month land, or so say my pals on the internet baby board. that is comforting, because i was freaked out last night. 

but she's also taller than she was a week ago (her jammies are fitting like they were made for her--and they're 9 month sleepers), so there's that.

i mourn the lack of time that i have to do any project whatsoever. i have so many plans, so many things that i want to do in our house. i want to organize our closets and move things around and get rid of things and just be able to have like 4 or 5 hours where i don't have to grade or plan or be on baby duty.  my non-baby-duty time is almost exclusively spent working, but that's going to have to change because this child is about to be mobile and our house is like Baby House of Horrors. there are so many things that i need to do to get it baby proofed.

and then so many things i need to do to keep it baby proofed.


musicboy saw an ad for winning a sweepstakes that would give us like $70,000 for redecorating. i said that i would hire a personal organizer, someone who could build us things that would hold everything that we have in a babyproofed, organized way, structures that we could move with us wherever we go.

he looked at me askance.

but that's where my head is at. 

that and the fact that i am SO OVER COLLEGETOWN U. i got an online class from them. i am grateful for it, i suppose, but i am consistently annoyed at how these departments expect the world from their instructors but then do not provide any means by which to achieve said world domination. i am expected to upload tutorials/lectures, but the software available to me is insanely difficult and, i am deciphering, doesn't even do what i thought it did. so i am plunking down $100 for a piece of screencasting software that might actually work for my purposes. i tried out the free demo and within 15 minutes had figured out how to create a movie with screenshots and audio.

you know, i just feel like the money's not worth it. not for the annoyance and stress. as if i don't have enough to do, you know? now i have to read your mind, decipher your nonsense, and make a bunch of crap happen that doesn't make any sense at all? whatever. so over it.

(but it is almost twice the amount of money for one class. that's why i keep going back to get smacked over and over again. i'm a sucker for the money.)

flip side? the guy at rural cc said "please don't ever leave me!!!!!!" in an email to me yesterday.

uhm, no. i won't.

and the department chair at collegetown cc basically profusely thanked me for asking to do something i had the power to do on my own, but didn't want to screw up departmental expectations/future instructor's lives. 

this is why i do what i do, you know?

sorry if this seems like a whiny post.  i don't mean it to be.  i'm just battleweary a bit.  the summer has been good, but i haven't been really "off" at all since the baby was born. there might have been a week when i was.  but when i'm not teaching, i'm planning for the next set of classes.  when i'm not teaching those, i'm planning for the next set or i have a quick 5 weeker in there. 

i know this is real life, and adulthood, and mommyhood, and i am grateful for all of these things. we are richly blessed (i'm not unaware of the fact that my constant teaching = financial blessings and security and the ability to pay off debts). 

so i'll take a cute baby and a cute husband and a blessed life and believe that i will just have the energy and ability to do what i need to do when i need to do it. 

and there's the baby.  45 minutes. right on the nose.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

letters to my girl: month four.

dear maggie,

WOW. what a month.  what they say about the "fourth trimester" and the enormous change that the fourth month brings is SO true. you are like a different kid. you're alert and eager to talk, learn, and tell the world about what you DON'T like. you are trying to crawl. you have learned to roll over from back to belly, so now you sleep on your stomach. you weathered two 8 hour+ car rides and a week of vacation where you spent a good chunk of your waking hours in the car going here there and everywhere. you made short work of getting the other side of your family as equally wrapped around your chubby little fingers.  you are amazing.

we went to the doctor for your four month visit: 15 pounds and 25 inches. you've been doing some growing! you more than doubled your birth weight and have grown at least 6 inches since you were born.  that's nearly half a foot! it's strange to think of you as nearly half the size you are now...but the fact that you're wearing 6 and 9 month clothes brings that all back into focus.  it seems like you've always been the cute, adorably rolly girl you are now.  you aren't pudgy--just rounded, and i like that.  we're doing something right. 

i have to admit--it's been a challenging month.  just after your growth spurt, you stopped eating well.  you just starting snacking through the day, not wanting to finish a bottle that normally would have been no big deal. you've started waking up to eat at night again, mainly because of this, but that's erratic as well. basically, there's no rhyme or reason to what you may or may not do from one day to the next, and that's hard sometimes for me.  i like to know what to expect, and when i don't, it throws me for a loop.  but we've gotten through it and sometimes i think we're on the other side of it.  one perhaps unfortunate result of these changes is that you now won't go to sleep unless you're full, which often results in your falling asleep while you're eating.  since you didn't used to do it, and still sometimes don't, i have a feeling that it won't always be a permanent thing.

you have this really perplexing tendency, however, to not KNOW you're tired or hungry. it's like you're not sure what's wrong but you know something is, and until we show you that you're tired/hungry (by giving you a binky, which tells you that's NOT what you actually want, or by bouncing you until you relax enough to realize you're tired AND hungry) it's all a big drama.  but we've gotten pretty good at doing this, and that's a really good thing.  but anyone who doesn't know you? might think you were the craziest kid in the world.  one second you scream if the bottle is anywhere near your mouth and the next moment you take it like it's the answer to all of your problems. feeding has always been our particular challenge.

but everything else is really awesome. you still wake up with a smile.  you don't eat a lot in the morning--you're like your daddy in that way.  you have to wait a little while before you're hungry enough to eat some breakfast--so you're no longer dying for food.  we've taken to bringing you into our bed in the morning and playing with you there. it's so much fun. you are happiest in the morning.

you're rolling over like a champ. you did it once on one day, and then did it five or so times the next day, and then you had it mastered. you roll over in your sleep and sleep on your belly.  you haven't figured out yet how to roll from your belly to your back, though you did that first. i've seen you working on it in your sleep, though, so i think you'll get it soon. 

you work on all of your new skills in your sleep, which means lately you've been trying to crawl in your sleep. on friday, you managed to belly scoot across your blanket to your toys. that was the first time that your efforts had caused demonstrative movement in any sort of forward direction. you'd managed to spin yourself in a circle before, but never get across something. it was pretty amazing to watch. you're getting stronger, throwing that butt up in the air, and i wouldn't be surprised if you have crawling down before we know it. mommy and daddy need to work on babyproofing ASAP!

i wish we could get you back into a consistent sleeping through the night pattern, but i also know that four months is hard on a baby's sleep. working on all of those skills can be hard work, and your body just has to practice them all of the time. we'll cross that bridge when we get to it, if we need to work on getting you back into a STTN rhythm, but i feel like, like with everything, you'll do it at your own pace.

on friday, you turned the pages in your own book. i showed you how for a few minutes, and then you started to do it. that seems to be the way it is these days--you watch, observe, and then try.  i love that about you. 

in short, it's been a huge month for you.  you're still napping only 45 minutes at a time, but you're occasionally sleeping for 10 or 11 hours, so it's fine with me.  i'm figuring out how to work around you, with my teaching and things i need to do around the house, rather than the other way around. you're eating about 29 to 30 ounces a day, though i have a feeling that will increase soon. 

you love to smile. you love to laugh. your daddy is your absolute favorite person, which i will admit is sometimes hard for me.  i knew that's how it would be, so i'm trying not to see it as a commentary on my mommyhood.  i can still usually solve a problem faster than anyone else because i know you differently than everyone else.  that's still amazing to me.

i love you baby girl. you've got big things coming soon: some solid food, sitting up (you're so close! even in the last few days, that's been changing), nap changes (i can see them coming too...occasionally you'll sleep for an hour or so, but usually when i'm right there [but not always!]), and all sorts of amazing things.  i can't wait to see what they will be and what they will bring. 

keep growing. keep changing. i'm sad to see some things go away, but i'm always very excited to see what new things are going to take their place.  you never cease to amaze me. you're smart, you're sweet, you're beautiful, and you love people.  you are the best kid anybody could ask for, and we're so grateful that we get to be your parents.


737 days down...and eternity left.

i love him. two years married.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

mall thoughts part deux.

i've been watching couples a lot lately when i walk. the mall seems to draw couples like moths to a flame or mosquitos to a bugzapper--they're just there, no matter what time of day you go. they stroll together, holding hands, and i think it's quite adorable.

what i've been noticing most recently is how couples match. i've always had a theory that successful couples match--actually, it may be my mom's theory, but i subscribe to it. it's not necessarily that they look alike--i've seen couples of different races, of wildly disparate body types, and of hugely different heights match completely. it's more that they just seem to fit each other...when you see them, you think "uh huh. yeah. i get that."

in the mall, i notice these things. today, i saw this couple that just made me chuckle. they were...well...sort of nerdy (and i say that with affection, since i am down with the nerds).  and they just fit. you could see it, and it made me happy. 

the other thing i've noticed is how couples express a sense of ownership with each other. i don't mean that in any sort of pejorative way--i really mean it as a level of comfort with each other that expresses intimacy. i was walking the other day behind a couple--wildly different looking, by the way--and the girl put her hand on the small of the man's back and it was an incredibly intimate gesture. not because it was inappropriate (though she was so short that it could have gotten inappropriate really quickly), but because it just communicates so much.

i've also been thinking a lot about not letting my issues affect Baby Girl.  i have self-image issues, and baby weight doesn't help them. so i've been thinking and pondering how to be mindful enough of them to a) still work diligently to overcome them both through concrete results and positive thinking and b) work without negativity so that Baby Girl doesn't grow up in a house where she inadvertently gets the idea that body is the only thing that matters because her mom is obsessed with the size of her thighs.

i'm really concerned about this. i want her to live in a house where she feels empowered to be exactly who she is at any given moment, where the hearth of her home is the seat of her confidence.  i want her to see beauty and strength and courage and sweetness in her reflection, not something that doesn't meet the world's definition of size 0 sexuality. 

so what do these two things have to do with one another?

well, today as i was walking and thinking about what i would blog about my walk (aha) and noticing what i was noticing, it occurred to me that musicboy and i match.

if you don't know musicboy, or aren't my facebook friend, you don't know this. musicboy is hot.  like REALLY ATTRACTIVE. like when he got back from his mission i had to beat them off with a stick adorable.  i always thought he was entirely out of my league. and then i didn't. and then we dated and got engaged and got married and had a baby.

and in my core i don't think he's out of my league anymore.

which, then, leads to one conclusion: i must be pretty.  i'm not fishing for compliments here--just expressing a realization. if i believe that musicboy and i match, physically and spiritually and intellectually and emotionally, then i must somewhere believe that i am beautiful enough to be with him. 

that's a revelation that is probably more like a resurrected truth. 

so if i know that, then i must know that, while i still have 30 or 50 or however many pounds i ultimately want to lose, it doesn't much matter in the grand scheme of things. so long as we still match, i'm good.  i ought to live that way, then, and stop talking incessantly about my fat.

walking 4 miles a day in the mall, you know, is probably a good start.