Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Delicious Humble Pie

When I got pregnant in June, that translated into me getting sick in July, and staying sick through to... well, I don't actually know, to be honest. Until recently, at any rate. Because of that, a lot of my cleaning schedule went down-hill, or was completely ignored and forgotten. Months of just going through the laundry room, finding a few clothes to wear for the week, washing just those, and leaving a huge heaping mess. And when the kids went in search of clothes, they were like a dog digging, clothes being flung about, scattered wherever they happened to land, and promptly ignored after that. I did my best to keep the surface of our house clean, the areas where people would see were always quickly straightened before company came over. Whenever we would try to get the kids on board with cleaning, they did what kids are best at. They would take everything from the family room and throw it into the laundry room. Seven months of this created the most spectacular mess ever. The laundry room/craft room floor was completely carpeted with toys, clothes, and any other dodad that the kids didn't know where to put. Once the floor was a few feet deep beneath the mayhem, the chaos climbed up onto the counters and completely overtook them.

That was the downstairs black hole.

Upstairs, we had quite a different black hole. It was called Faye's bedroom.

I know I have written about this before, but her room seems to be in a permanent state of pandemonium. No matter what we do, her room is an abyss that seems to suck in any sort of anything. It became a sort of joke that if we can't find something, it is most likely in her bedroom. Like the laundry room, her room floor had a couple of feet of anarchy, silently trying to take over the house.

Because of those two rooms in my house, and the mountainous layers of laundry that needed to be attended to, my stress sometimes seemed to choke me. I have absolutely nothing ready for the baby. Nothing! I did not want to get anything out of the shed because it would just get swallowed up in the lawlessness of the house. Really, there was no point.

Which obviously created a problem for this third trimester-nesting-at-full-force mama.

And so, I tried to tackle the mess on my own. Except Little Man had other plans. I was merely trying to fold some clothes while watching a movie with the kids on Sunday after church, when my Little Man decided he didn't like me moving around. At all. Now, it is important to note that this little boy is stubbornly sitting upright, aka breech. He head buts me all the time, which causes quite a bit of discomfort. More than that, though, I believe his foot is stuck down near my cervix, and when I move around much, he kicks. He kicks and kicks and the pain is both startling, sudden, and somewhat suffocating! He has been randomly causing this pain for quite some time now, but on Sunday he decided that he would kick every minute or so. I contacted Christy (my midwife) and she told me to knock it off. I needed to quite doing anything that would cause him to kick, and if it didn't let up in an hour or two, I would need to go to L&D to get checked out. Which is obviously something I want to avoid at all costs, because I know I am not in labor, I just don't want him to kick through the cervix and come too early! And so, I stopped.

I stopped and I looked at the mess in my laundry room and remembered the mess in Faye's room, and my heart sank. There honestly seemed to be no way to get it all done and the despair tried to settle in and make itself at home. But I am not the sort of person who makes things easy for despair. We are not friends, and if he ever comes to visit, I do what I can to get him to leave immediately.

And so, I took a deep breath, ate a very large slice of Humble Pie, and called my mother for help. I don't like to ask other people to come in and clean up our messes. They didn't make them, so why should they have to clean them? I don't like asking people to come help me do things I should be able to do on my own. It is so very difficult for me to admit that I can't actually do it, and that I need to allow others to step in and help me. And so I called my mom.

She is so wonderful! She immediately said yes, and both she and my dad came over Monday to help me with the laundry room. If I stand up for long, the pain hits and I have to stop what I am doing and sit down. It was so incredibly difficult to let them clean for me. I kept trying to help, because I know where things belong and they don't. It is easy for me to delegate one thing while I am working on another, but my mother kept threatening to leave if I didn't sit on the floor and play a little Raja, directing them on where to put things. Apparently I would make terrible royalty! But together we got my laundry room black hole clean! And things were found, and it was exciting and it looks so lovely now. And all the while we were cleaning the laundry room, Adrienne was upstairs in my kitchen, in stealth mode, cleaning. Because she is wonderful like that. When I saw all of the work that people had done, all the service they had offered me, I was overcome. I nearly broke down in tears because I was so grateful. There are not words sufficient to express my gratitude to them! It feels so good to have a clean laundry room!

This morning, I woke up, not sure what I was going to do with my day, but fully expecting to babysit. Brickale (the mom) texted me to tell me she was sick and so wouldn't be bringing the girls by. When I heard that, I knew it was a blessing in disguise. It was a chance for me to get Faye's room clean! Fired up by the great success of yesterday, I took another large helping of Humble Pie and sent my mom a text. Like the angel she is, she gladly responded to my plea and said she could come over after work. In the meantime, I got down a busy. Beth and I worked on that mess for two and a half hours before we had to go pick up Faye from school. I kept pushing myself to go faster and do more. It wasn't bad, because I could do it while sitting, so I wasn't getting the cervical kicks. But when it was time to go and get her, it seemed to me we had barely made a dent, and I was discouraged.

Tuesdays are crazy. I pick up Faye and her friend. I drop her friend off and then take Beth and Taelyn to dance. I then rush off to get Brynlee from her school (she does not attend the one my kids go to), and then we go back to the dance class and wait for them to finish. Faye and Bryn are always invited to join (since the class basically consists of Beth and Taelyn right now). The four girls prance around, laughing and playing, and then I take them all home from lunch, and put the two littles down for their afternoon naps, thoroughly worn out and ready for sleep! It is crazy, but I love it. And so, I did the mad rushing about with school pick up and dance and naps. Once Beth was finally sleeping, Faye and I decided it was time to head on into her room and see what we could do.

Daunting, I tell you. Even after my work from all that morning, it looked like the surface had just been scratched. I sat down anyway, armed with my garbage bag and a basket for clothes, and we set to work. Or rather, I prayed for patience and the ability to not yell at Faye while I cleaned her room, and she flitted about, landing on nearly everything, like a curious little butterfly discovering new flowers. My mom came, and that is when things seemed to really pick up. I made her some lunch, and then together, she and I tackled that anarchist rebellion of a room. We struck hard and fast with order, organization, and law. And I threw so much stuff away. I have learned it is very hard for my mom to clean with me because I want to get rid of everything. If it is a stub of a broken crayon, I want it in the trash, because I know if I keep it in my house, it will gravitate back to Faye's room, and that spot in Faye's room, and there will never be cleanliness or order. I suspect messes are habitual creatures and like to return to their favorite places. Faye has made her room into a haven for messes, and so everything we try to put away keeps finding its way back to its spot in her room. My mom, on the other hand doesn't live with Faye, and so doesn't understand this as well. She kept trying to talk me into keeping things I wanted to toss. I am brutal when it comes to throwing things away. I would much rather toss something than have it hanging around, waiting for the day I might use it... unless it is a crafting sort of thing. I have so much of that, just in case!

We kept encouraging Faye, telling her she couldn't go to her dance class if she didn't get her room clean in time.

We kept fighting and fighting the mess until it was vanquished! We moved her bed around, making room for when Beth will be moving in to share that room with her (at a future, not yet determined, date).

Her room is clean. My laundry room is nearly clean. In cleaning Faye's room, we found 4 baskets full of clothes. Not just hers, Beth's, Keith's, and Jeffrey's clothes were all mixed in with hers. I am waiting for the clothes to wash right now, actually, so that I can go to bed. But the feeling of gratitude and accomplishment is great tonight. Faye is thrilled to have a clean room. She wanted to read in her room, and draw in her room, and work on her animal report for school in there. She is being so careful to keep her room clean (we'll see how long that lasts), and I know that she feels so good to have it looking as good as it does. Despite all the times she told me she likes it dirty. Silly girl.

I am so thankful for a mom and dad who can come and help when it is needed. I am thankful that things lined up so that they were able to come and help me when I needed it, and that those things are done and taken care of now. Two of the biggest things on my list are taken care of. What a wonderful feeling to know that I am looked after and cared for. I know that all of this happened because God has been so aware of my worries and stressors. I know that it is because of Him that everything lined up perfectly so that my parents and even Adrienne were able to come and help, at the drop of a hat. I really didn't give people much notice. What a humbling experience it has been.

Now, I just need to get this baby to flip!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Unwrapping the Onion

I was silly and just didn't go to bed last night. Nothing was preventing me, I was just too tired to get up off the couch and go to bed. You know, you tube videos, and meaningless internet searches, all because I just didn't have the energy or motivation to get up and go to bed. When I finally dragged my tired bones to sleep, knowing full well that today would be a difficult day, all my own doing.

Oddly enough, today was actually a really good day! I was able to stay patient and calm with the children, and even enjoy them so much more than I usually do, despite it being an incredibly busy day.

I had an appointment with my midwife today. The baby is still the wrong way. He is breach, and hanging out with his head just under my ribs. He loves to do little head buts which are ridiculously uncomfortable and also fill me with a longing to cuddle that sweet little bobbin in my arms. Beth was adorable while we were there, as usual. She asked first the nurse and then my midwife to check her tummy too. Christy (my midwife) is an angel and poked around on Beth's tummy, asked her if it hurt, told her that she looks wonderfully healthy but should probably eat some yogurt when she got home to fill her up with wonderful probiotics. I am so happy that by chance I found Christy 7 years ago.

We stopped at Macey's on the way home, because when baby uses the bladder as a trampoline, pit stops become essential. It was fun being in my old stomping grounds. It was the Macey's down the street from where Jeffrey and I lived when we were first married. Beth thought it was the greatest thing, how big it was. She ran and ran and hid among the isles, and we basically had a wonderful game of hide and seek while picking up a yogurt drink for her.

We picked up Faye from school, had lunch, and then despite the many tantrums Faye threw, and her insistence that she wasn't tired, the three of us all fell asleep and had wonderful 3 hour naps. I hate that it was necessary, but I also view it as a tender mercy that Faye was able to take a nap with me as well. I was able to sleep better that way, knowing that she was asleep next to me. When we woke up, Faye and I had a precious half hour before Keith got home and before Beth woke up. Faye has really been missing Mommy-Faye time, and so instead of cleaning up from lunch, we sat down at the table and colored. I put my phone far away from me, and just enjoyed her. And I loved it! I need to make time to do that more often, that's for sure.

And then Beth woke up and the big kids went out to play, and Beth and I got to bond one on one. She found an onion and wanted some of it, thinking it was a fruit. Since I needed one for dinner anyway, we pulled the trash can over to us and I let her unwrap it. Like Christmas, it was. She would stop every once in a while, hold my face in her little hands, look into my eyes, and tell me that she loves me. That absolutely makes me fly. I remember thinking how much she makes me love being a mother. All of my kids do, really, but the toddler stage is my favorite because they are so cuddly and sweet and trusting. And they have more love than any other human being on earth!

Keith and Faye have had a hard day today. Flying off the handle for no justifiable reason. Faye commented that Keith is almost always nice to her. He interpreted that as her saying he is mean. Faye didn't get to ride from the school to the house on her butterfly booster chair, so that made her break down in sobs, and the need to be loved and mothered has been achingly clear for both of them, today. Which is what I live for. I live for those crystalline eyes welled up with tears looking to me for comfort, fully confident that I carry the balm for which they seek. When they cuddle me because they are tired or just needing the comfort of a mom's arms. And that comfort was much sought today.

We had a delightful curry for dinner, which was oddly enjoyed by all. The last time I made any type of curry, they complained and refused to eat it. I half expected the same reaction tonight, but was happy to be wrong. Dinner was full of laughing as we recounted stories of the kids when they were little. How they all dropped their forks when they were Beth's age. And everyone looked at Beth who was driving her fork along the edge of the counter like a train on precarious tracks. And then she dropped her fork. Again.We all laughed. Which started the "tell me about something funny I did when I was little!" begging. Dinner was so wonderful.

And bedtime again. The gathering of clothes for school the next day. Making sure they have their homework in their backpacks and that the homework is finished, jammies, stories, and bed. But not without lots of hugs and cuddles and excuses, because to have a bedtime without the excuses would be a miracle indeed. Also, reading with Faye is one of the most difficult things I have to do. She gets so distracted by every. single. little. thing. It takes twenty minutes sometimes to read one page consisting of five words. I try so hard to be patient and encouraging, but there comes a point when I need to just take a break! I told Jeffrey after Faye was tucked in bed tonight that he has to read with her from now on. He is so much better with not being bothered by the constant interruptions. Sigh. I think he is okay with it, because his mind works a lot more like hers in that capacity.

And now it is glorious bedtime. Which I have been waiting for ever since I woke up from that nap.

But it was a wonderful day. I hope tomorrow can be as fantastic as today has been!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Every Mother's Worst Fear

Background: Every week day, I have two extra little girls, the same ages as my little girls. They are delightful and the four of them get along famously.

It was nap time. The dreaded time. When I announce it is nap time, two little girls disappear, trying to hide and evade me in hopes of getting out of their naps. That also seems to be the cue for the two older girls to begin fighting, or squealing. At that time, their volume somehow magnifies exponentially, which makes putting the littles to bed incredibly difficult.

Today as I made the terrible announcement and got ready to play a ridiculous game of hide-and-seek where I always win and the little ones end up crying because they don't want to go to bed, the older girls decided they wanted to go play outside.

I glanced out the window and decided that would be a great blessing to me, as the house would be quite. The big girls wanted to go check on Bryn's house (the girl Faye's age). It made her feel better, just walking up to her house, while her mom was at work and she was at my house. Since they really only lived 2 houses out of the cul de sac, I decided it would be okay. I told them it was fine if they came right back home. They needed to report in to me that they were back, and then cul de sac rules apply.

  1. You may play outside as long as you do not play in the street.
  2. You must stay between the evergreen in my front yard and the mailboxes across the street
  3. No going into people's back yards without their permission.
We reviewed the rules, the girls agreed to them, and I helped them put their winter things on, and then chased down Taelyn to tuck her in first. Taelyn sleeps in Beth's bed, and Beth was patiently waiting for me in my bad, probably dreaming up new schemes on how she would evade naptime today. I read a story to Tae, tucked her in, and then went to get Beth all squared away. I pulled the blankets up around her neck when I heard Beth's door opening. I went back to her room, and Taelyn was standing there, her big brown eyes looking at me sadly. "Peed." She stated simply. She then pointed to the bed. Now, Taelyn is a tiny nymph of a thing, and I am amazed that she is potty trained. Amazed and jealous, if you want to know the truth. I checked the bed, and indeed, it was peed in. We changed her into a pair of Beth's undies (they wont be missed, because, you know, Beth doesn't really care all that much) and a skirt because any of Beth's pants would just slip off her tiny waist. I stripped down the bed and Tae helped me wipe down the mattress with antiseptic wipes. We put new sheets on, and this time, I sat next to her and read 2 stories, and sang 5 songs. She usually goes to sleep half way through one story, but today she was much more difficult to get down. When her face had relaxed from the anxious grandma look she happened to be wearing, into the sweet cherubic sleep of a toddler, I left the room, and did the same thing with Beth, minus the changing of the bedding. She eventually dropped off and as I left Faye's room (because after the third time of trying to get her to go back to sleep in my room, we decided a change might help), quietly closing the door behind me, I did a happy dance going down the hall. Both littles were asleep! It had taken an hour, but they were finally, both sleeping!

Keith had just gotten home from school, and I asked him if he had seen the older girls playing outside. He said no.

The beginnings of worry crept into my heart.

I sent him to Bryn and Tae's house to see if the girls had somehow managed to go inside, and then if they weren't there, he needed to check with the next door neighbor, because Faye likes to play there sometimes. He came home saying they were not in either place.

Panic rising.

I called my neighbor and asked if she could come sit at my house while the babies slept, and I would drive around and look for them. She is wonderful and came right over.

I inspected the snow all around my house, and there were no fresh prints. And right then, the snow began falling. Not the little tiny misty flakes that had been going off and on all day, but the big gorgeous lazy flakes that I love so much. Except I couldn't enjoy them, because I was worried about the little girls. I drove over to Bryn's house and looked for footsteps. I didn't see anything. I knocked on the door and upset the dogs who went into a barking frenzy! I peered through all the windows I could find. I went to the back and did the same. There was no sign of them. I got back in the van and slowly drove around the neighborhood calling for them.

Panic rising, bringing tears to my eyes now.

I called some of the moms in the neighborhood, wondering if maybe the girls had decided to go play with some of their other friends in the neighborhood. My sweet friend put up an alert on the neighborhood facebook page, asking if anyone had seen the girls. The immediate response was wonderful and heartwarming, but ultimately negative. No one had seen them.

I began praying harder and crying and driving and calling for them out the window while I drove. I can do some serious multi-tasking when I need to!

I tried calling Brynlee's mom, but I knew she didn't get service in the building where she is working. I called Jeffrey in tears. "I can't find the girls. I put the babies down for a nap, and the girls went out to play in the front, and they are gone and I can't find them!" I choked into the phone. Jeffrey immediately said "Okay. I am coming." He hung up, and left work immediately. I love that man!

I tried again to call the girls' mom, but while I was calling her, I got a call on the other line. As a rule, if I don't recognize the number, I don't answer it. I didn't recognize it, so I let it go to voicemail. Besides, I was trying to get a hold of the girls' mom. But I did listen to the message as soon as it was left. It was a lady named Angie. She said she was at the round about half a mile away, and the girls were there. They were standing on the corner, looking as if they were headed to the park across the street.The main road was busy with cars whipping around the round about, and being a mom with young kids herself, she thought they looked to small to be out alone in the middle of a snow storm on a busy road. She asked if they needed help crossing the road, and they told her that they were lost. Faye gave her my name, number, and our address, and the lady called me. When I didn't answer, she offered them a ride, and those silly little girls accepted. Thank heavens that she was a good person! She drove them back to our house. As she was driving them, I called her back, and she explained what had happened. I fear I may have become a tad bit reckless with my driving once I knew where they were, and that they were not in a safe place, like in the neighborhood, rather were out wandering the main streets! I got back to the house no more than a minute after she did. Jeffrey was there. He, too, had been out driving the neighborhood looking, but had gone back to the house just then. We thanked the lady profously for stopping to help the girls, and for giving them a ride back to the house. She said I should be proud of Faye for knowing to give my name, phone number and address. I am proud of her for keeping a cool head, even when she was cold and scared. The lady said that the girls had commented that I would be so mad at them, and they were worried about what I would say when I found them. Rightly so, too!

We took them inside, and my wonderful neighbor went home. We got their wet clothes off of them, and then after they were warmed up, Faye came and told me the whole story.

They had found a way into Bryn's house. While there, they tried to make some cotton candy with the cotton candy machine. They couldn't figure out how to work it, so they put it away. They then sat down and watched some television. I am not sure why or how, but Faye did mention that there were two or three tvs on at once. Then, Bryn wanted to take Faye to her grandpa's house, so they turned off the tvs and headed out. Except after they had walked for a bit, they realized they were lost and had no idea how to get back home. That is when the lady stopped and helped them.

How innocent it had all seemed to them! Neither of them realized that they were out of the neighborhood. Jeffrey and I, of course got to lecture them on SO many different things! We talked about why we have rules. Brynlee said she didn't know why her mom wouldn't let her stay at her house while she was at work. I explained that they came to my house so that I could make sure they were safe and that nothing bad happened to them. But if they didn't follow the rules, I couldn't make sure they were safe! We talked about not leaving the neighborhood. We talked about how they should have come back and reported to me, as they had agreed to do. And finally, we talked about what a huge blessing that such a kind lady stopped to help them. She could have been a bad person, and the girls could have been kidnapped! Stranger danger! We went over and over with them how it is never ever okay to get into a stranger's car. Even if she is helping them! They were so lucky! If they are in a situation like that again, it is fine to give the person trying to help them my phone number, or even my address, but under no circumstances are they ever allowed to get into the stranger's car. They can tell the person that they will wait right there until Jeffrey or I come and get them, and we will always come and get them. Especially if the stranger calls us. The only exceptions to that rule are if it is a policeman, or if the person has our secret family password and can tell them. Then they will know that it is okay to go with them.

Oh. my. goodness!

And then, on top of this all, I got a call from my neighbor who said that while she hadn't seen them today, she had seen them yesterday playing by the busy road, and on the rail road tracks, and in front of an empty house that is for sale.

WHAT?! I was floored. I asked the girls about it and they both said no, they hadn't done that. I am going to have to talk to the neighbor and find out more what she saw. The girls hadn't been gone that long yesterday, only 10-15 minutes when they went to "check on the house." But then again, they were on bikes, so maybe it was them. They both denied it and seemed confused, so maybe my neighbor had seen someone else out there. I need to verify the facts. But when I heard that, we had to talk to the girls about never ever playing on the train tracks! The trains wont stop, and they could very easily be hit and killed by the trains! And there are so many trains that go by there. There is a train about every 15 minutes.

I felt so guilty for having lost the girls! I did eventually get to communicate with their mom through text, but I didn't fill her in on the whole extent because I didn't want her to worry.

Jeffrey decided to not go back to work as there were only about 45 minutes left. He was happy to have an excuse to come home early as he wasn't feeling well. Happy that it had turned out well and that he could stay home, but not happy that they had run off, I mean.

And everyone was safe and well, and gradually the panic subsided. But the tears still come. When I think about that terrifying hour of searching for them, and not really knowing what to do. Should I call the police? Should I call all my neighbors? Do I call her mom at work? Driving, searching, praying, pleading, begging. That hour of dread, trying to ignore my imagination and focusing on staying calm and rational. I was fine if I didn't have to put voice to my words, but when I asked my friend if Faye and Bryn had been there to play with her daughter, I lost it. I could barely speak from crying. And I am sure it was only half from the pregnancy hormones.

When my friend came to pick up her girls, I made sure they were downstairs so I could tell her the whole story without them interrupting. If they had been in the room as I went over that afternoon, I am not sure I ever would have gotten through it, and it would have been much less un-biased as I was trying to make it. I tried so hard to keep unemotional and focus only on the facts as I recounted what had happened. Obviously, she was mad. I had been too! She was especially mad because this had happened once before with the previous sitter. Bryn had wandered off while Taelyn was taking a nap. The difference was, a friend of their family found Bryn and took her home, but Brynlee didn't know her sitter's number or name, and so the friend had kept her there, but was watching for someone to be looking for a child, or police cars, or anything. I guess the sitter hadn't gone out looking, and that day my friend quit her job, because she couldn't know for sure that her girls were safe. Also, her husband (their father) works for Union Pacific, and had talked with them many times about the dangers of the railroad. Both she and I are hoping that our neighbor had simply mistaken their identity and saw two other girls playing there, and not our own, who have been warned again and again to stay away!

What an emotionally exhausting day today has been! But the most important thing is, they are safe. They were protected. And they are never ever again allowed to go outside if I am not right there with them!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Nine Years Can Give You Such a Crick in the Neck!

I loved dating. I know not a lot of people can profess that, but I really did. I think the difference is the purpose behind dating. I dated for fun and nothing more. I always knew I wanted to serve a mission, and so everything before that was purely for enjoyment and playing, and nothing more. Yet through that whole time, I always felt a little piece of me was hollow, empty, waiting for someone or something to fill it. There was a guy I dated, though never exclusively, for seven years. I loved him and I thought I was going to marry him. But even when he and I were together, I still had that vacancy, that hole in my heart. I didn't understand it, and didn't worry about it too much. Life went on, and I didn't marry him. Life took us in different directions, and we both found happiness elsewhere. But here is the weird thing. From the get-go, when Jeffrey and my paths crossed, that hole dissipated. It was gone, truly, completely.

Yesterday was our 9 year anniversary, and I am so happy to report that the hole is gone, and I am whole. (See what I did there? Ha!) Knowing that our anniversary fell on a weeknight, and more than that, a night Keith had scouts, we decided we would go out the weekend before, and on the actual night we would stay in and have some sort of stay at home date. We arranged babysitting, and everything was set.

Friday Jeffrey switched schedules with someone so he could get off work early. We took the kids to his parent's house, and we went out. We stopped by Cafe Rio for food, and that is where I had my first real dose of people watching. I was having a lot of top ligament pain, so I had to sit while he ordered the food, and I sat, looking out a window, and watched people go by. I learned that people watching is actually a nice way to say "watching people and silently judging them." But I did enjoy seeing mis-matched couples walking around. It was fun thinking of their stories and deciding if it was their first date, if it was, the probability of a second date, or if they were so comfortable in their relationship they didn't have to try hard anymore. It was a pleasant way to pass the time. Jeffrey eventually joined me, and I shared my observations with him. We hadn't really planned the evening out, and so while we ate, we tried to think of what we would do next. We talked about going to some museums, or I tried to convince him going to a trivia night would be fun, but ultimately we ruled out anything with a lot of walking, or anywhere that might have second hand smoke. We finally decided to go to the library and get some baby name books because Little Man still doesn't have a name. We sometimes jokingly refer to him as He Who Has Not Been Named.  We read for a bit in the library, but they were closing, so we had to find a new location. Because of my earlier introduction to people watching, we decided to just go to the mall and laugh. I thought we were going to be doing more people watching, but Jeffrey for some odd reason thought we were going to go laugh at the "stuff." I am not sure what he had in mind, but after walking for a bit, we realized we had completely different intentions, and they didn't exactly overlap. 

Since neither of us have seen the new Star Wars, and Jeffrey was beginning to feel a bit like a social pariah for having not seen it yet, and working and moving in high nerd circles, we felt obligated to see it. But here's the thing. Neither of us like going to the movies for a date. It isn't a real date, in our opinion. You sit, silently, in the dark, eyes focused ahead on something completely not even close to you. And heckling or whispering is frowned upon. I love heckling or making wry comments during movies. Because of these many things, we enjoy watching movies from the comfort of our own home where we can sprawl, pause, talk, heckle, or even turn off the movie if the mood strikes us. But, because we had nothing else planned, we went to the theater. It was packed! We should have figured, it being a Friday night and all. There was no where to park, and since neither of us wanted to see it that badly, we decided to forgo the crowd fighting and to just go somewhere we could talk. 

Which meant Denny's. Even though we are not fans of Denny's, they do give free refills on hot cocoa, which is very important to a sitting and chatting environment. Especially when we are not all that hungry. We went and were happy that we had beat the weirdos shift. That usually begins around 10, if I recall correctly. 10 o'clock is when all the weird people begin to populate the greasy spoon restaurants of the world. We reminisced about the time we had gone to Denny's and the cook quit and walked out while we were there. That was pretty funny. The service was terrible, but it was Denny's. What were we expecting? We talked, read some of the baby name books, but really we struggle with naming our children. There are so many criteria that it is very hard to decide! 

The baby can't be named after someone I dated, or even went on a date with, or I liked, or he liked me. Jeffrey's rules. Must I remind, I dated without abandon. Not that I was a player or anything, I just loved going out and having fun, so I went out and had fun as much as I possibly could. So that cuts down our selection significantly. Also, we have a very uncommon last name. Our poor children are going to have to spell their last name for the rest of their lives, so we don't want to give them a weird first name, or a first name that they will have to spell for people. One name to spell is enough! Finally, Jeffrey and I both grew up with incredibly popular names. To this day, I will be in public and someone will call out "Amy!" and several people turn around. When I was in 7th grade there were 21 Amys in my grade alone. It was a bit ridiculous, and we don't want our children to have to deal with that as well. So I check the Social Security registry for the popularity of the name, beginning 1900 and on up through the current year. If it is a popular name now, it is automatically crossed off the list. If it is on the rise, it is crossed off the list. For Keith, his name was something like 987. Faye wasn't on the list at all, nor was Beth (or, if you want to be technical, Everly wasn't either. And then some dumb celebrity had to go and name his daughter Everly the same month ours was born, and that name is now in the top 200. Dumb celebrities ruining our perfectly thought out name! Which is why we call her Beth). I prefer names that aren't on the list, but if it is in the upper 900's, we wont cross it off if we really like it. SO! That is our extensive baby naming process, which is why it is incredibly difficult to find names for our babies.

Back to Denny's. We discussed a few names, and then I pulled out my phone. The NY Times had published a list of 36 questions which lead to love. I figured it would be fun to go over some of those on our date. We made it to question 8 before we gave up. In those brief 8 questions we learned I know Jeffrey far better than he knows me. But number 8 stumped us, and we deliberated over it for a long time. "Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common." Anyone who knows us well knows that we have virtually nothing in common. The kids don't count. It was ridiculously difficult to find just three things that we had in common, and it made us think. Long and hard. After a lengthy deliberation we decided we both like to read, albeit completely different types of books. We both enjoy intelligent or intellectual conversation, and he is awkward and I love awkward. We may have been cheating a bit on the last one, but it took far too long to come up with that list. I am not sure how we work. We compliment each other beautifully, though. We balance one another out so well. We just don't really have anything in common, which is why date night is so incredibly difficult for us! Somehow, though, we work very well, and because of our differences, I think, we are so very compatible and happy with one another. 

And that was our big romantic date where we laughed a lot, and really did nothing, which was absolutely perfect.

And yesterday was heavenly, as well. Not only was it our actual anniversary day, it was Adrienne's birthday. Last week she had mentioned in passing that she was really wishing for a thick rich, dark chocolate cake. I don't like chocolate, but I decided I would make her one. It was ridiculously dark, and I thought it was gross.  Waaaayyyy too much chocolate in it. And it had a dark fudge frosting with it. She said she loved it, and I am glad she was so happy with it, but to me, the amount of chocolate in it made it boring and gross. Apparently I don't get on well in the chocolate lover's circles. But it didn't matter if I liked it or not, because it wasn't for me. Adrienne said it was divine, and I am so happy that she liked it, because it would have been a terrible waste of all those ingredients mixed with the chocolate if she hadn't liked it. In return for the cake, she helped me straighten up the kitchen because my ligament pain was coming back and I had to sit down or I would be out of commission for the rest of the day. After she went home I fed the kids a frozen pizza, took Keith to scouts and then the girls and I drove to get some Habit burgers. We got home, I put the girls to bed and Jeffrey and I began our most common date. We call it PBT. 

It comes from a Doctor Who episode where the couple decides to stay in for the night and have pizza, beer and telly. Although we don't drink, and we don't always have pizza, the message is the same. Jeffrey and I cuddled up on the couch, eating our burgers and watching a brilliant British comedy called Spy. After we had seen about 3 episodes we decided to turn it off and just talk.

Whoa, Nelly! We talked about grammar. I mentioned I don't like books that write completely in present tense. I find them to be flat. That statement, or opinion opened up a whole can of worms. After much discussion on the different types of writing that you can do, and why rules are important in writing, Jeffrey insisted on calling in our friend who is a middle school English teacher. He basically just backed up my statements, albeit much more eloquently than I did. But it ruffled my feathers a bit, because I feel like I am ignored a lot. Not necessarily by Jeffrey, just be people in general. And then Jeffrey began telling me about a show he had seen on Netflix. It was agonizing! I don't know why he even watched the whole thing. It was worse than a train wreck! Just listening to him tell about it, I was getting ridiculously agitated and riled up. It was silly, I know, but it is true. I think I was just tired and that is why I was so annoyed with it. We decided to go to bed. Jeffrey said it was very cathartic to talk about that show, as if freeing himself of the idiocy by passing it on to someone else. I thanked him very sarcastically for that. But the conversation had given me a headache.

Rule 1: Don't go to bed with a headache. If you do (and you are me) you will wake up with a full blown migraine! Which is exactly what happened.

Because of my anniversary, I woke up with a migraine today. Sort of ironic, I think. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what could possibly have triggered it. At the beginning of my pregnancy I had received a priesthood blessing telling me I wouldn't have to deal with many migraines during this pregnancy, and it was so true! I haven't had one for nearly 6 months now. It has been heavenly and such a miracle! But not today. I went through all the things we thought were triggering them, and I came up with a blank. I am using an old retainer for a mouth guard at night which keeps me from clenching or grinding my teeth while I sleep. I have been getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night. This baby has been awesome with that. No insomnia with this little dude! I take 385 mg of iron every day. For the past two weeks I have been using an app to help me remember to get all the water I need every day, and I have honestly been loving it. I have noticed a huge difference in how I feel, and it has been wonderful. So I am not dehydrated, either. Nor am I very stressed... or so I though. As I was talking with Jeffrey over the possible triggers of my migraines, he felt my shoulders. He said they felt like concrete. I carry stress in my shoulders, apparently. I have no idea what could possibly  be stressing me right now, but I guess there is some sort of hidden stress.  And then I remembered our conversation last night and how annoyed with it I was. I couldn't sleep at first because I was worked up and had really bad restless legs. Jeffrey eventually got up and went to sleep with one of the kids because my tossing and turning and grumbling under my breath had gotten so bad. Of course once he was gone I could sprawl, which calmed down the RLS immediately, and I soon drifted off to a deep and disturbed sleep about royalty being possessed and blood letting their babies to death. It was not a happy dream!

But still, I have to laugh right now. I want to be sleeping, but in an effort to relieve some of this tension, I am writing and recording all of this. Because writing has always been a way to detoxify and alleviate tension in my life. You're welcome. Besides, I needed to record about my wonderful 9th anniversary! Because I married such a wonderful man, who honestly completes me. 

As cliche as it sounds, I am whole and complete because of his opposite-ness. 

P.S. Jeffrey doesn't like me to take pictures of him, so I have to sneak them or I wouldn't have any of him at all. Which is why a lot of these pictures of him are so weird.

New Year and Book on Tape Worm

I was nervous. I mean, I know that just because something happened in the past, it doesn't mean it will happen again. But I was apprehensive nonetheless. Every time I have been pregnant around New Year's, I miscarried. Which is just bad luck, it is true, but I was edgy anyway.

We made plans with the Nerds for that evening, and the whole time leading up to it, I kept expecting something to go terribly wrong. I made pupusas for everyone and we enjoyed them while visiting. We had planned to watch a movie, but we were just enjoying chatting that we never got around to it. As per custom, we set the clocks ahead a couple of hours and did a countdown with the kids at 9:00, had some sparkling cider with them, and sent them to bed. Funny enough, though, by 10:00 we were all very tired. Granted, our group consisted of two pregnant women, and one friend with a migraine, and because of that, we decided to just count the kids' countdown as the official one, and everyone went home. Jeffrey and I went to bed. He fell asleep almost instantly, but I stayed up to say "Good riddance!" to 2015 and welcome in the 2016 with high hopes and open arms. And then I went to sleep at 12:05. Because that is what we do when we get older, I suppose. We go to bed at a decent hour and are just happy for National Sleep-in Day, aka New Year's Day.

New Year's was an exciting day for me. I had been trying to see a certain local band live ever since I heard them, but my schedule never quite lined up with theirs. Finally, after about 3 years of failed attempts, I was able to go see them with our dear friends Shem and Kylie. We drove down to Velour in Provo, got a delicious food truck burrito, stopped at a posh hot cocoa place, and then went in for the Sleep Over concert where everyone comes dressed in pajamas, wrapped in blankets and sitting on the floor on pillows, all mushed in nice and cozy while the bands do their thing. We ended up front and personel. My feet were touching the stage we were so close. But it was absolutely lovely. Flannelgraph was the opening band. They are from Montana and the lead singer is goofy and fun, and the music was alright. She had some songs I really liked and some songs that I wasn't overly fond of, but it was entertaining to be there. Oh my goodness, it did not disappoint at all! I am so happy that I got to finally see Book on Tape Worm live, and I can't wait until their new album comes out.

I decided the Little Man's lullaby will be one that I heard at the concert. It was beautiful and sweet, and perfect for the baby. Jeffrey was concerned at first that a concert would be bad for Little Man, but I laughed. Ordinarily, I would agree. A concert is probably not the best for a growing and developing baby, but Book on Tape Worm consists of a keyboardists, a cellist, a lead singer with a dreamy voice who also plays string instruments like the guitar, ukelele, banjo, etc., and the percussionist. It was absolutely wonderful. We were sitting right in front of the stage and Little Man kicked in time with one of the songs. It made me giggle, it was wonderful! He already has a great sense of rhythm, my boy does. 

In other news, I wonder if Beth can sense that things are going to be changing soon. She has been exceptionally cuddly and clingy of late. I love the mornings when Beth wakes up, I hear her little feet pattering across the wood floor in the hall, and then see her adorable little face right next to mine as she peels off my sleep mask. I pull the covers back a bit, and then she climbs into bed and cuddles with me, nestling in with a huge smigh and positioning my arms around her to her comfort, just so. She is not happy when I have to get up to help the kids get ready for school. I wish I could stay cuddling with her as long as she wants, but school and responsibility call. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Magic of Christmas, Jeffrey, and Books

What a magical time December always is. So full of family and friends, and the general feeling of joy and love and cheer, I love it! This month absolutely flew by, though. I think the older I get, the busier things are, the more life grows wings and soars with the peregrine falcons, a break neck 240 mph.

Jeffrey surprised me and offered to do the stockings on his own. He also wanted to do a lot of Christmas shopping on his own, but that made me a bit nervous, and I agreed he could do the stockings, but we had to do the regular shopping together. Thank you Amazon for making Christmas shopping so much easier for us! We simply browsed, clicked, and checked out in one night, from our bed. And that, my friends, is how to do Christmas shopping! By the time Christmas Eve came, though I was very nervous for the stockings. I mean, Jeffrey often does things his own way, which are way off from how I would have done them, and sometimes that makes me nervous. Because this year, he got the kids a ream of paper. From him. A ream of paper, I said. Each. And he was incredibly proud of that gift. Now to be fair, the kids love paper. They love to draw, and cut and fold and create with paper. They love to have their own paper, so while it is an odd gift to give to a 2, 6, and 8 year old, the children were incredibly excited to get their very own ream of paper to do whatever they wanted with. The thing that made me the most nervous, though, was the fact Jeffrey was being so secretive about it all. He wouldn't let me help him assemble the stockings, he kept insisting I go to bed, and he was just very odd about the whole thing!

So I was nervous.

I shouldn't have been, though. See, in our house, Santa does the stockings and we do the gifts. We only give them 4-5 gifts each, and we don't want all the credit taken away from us, so we let Santa do the stockings. And Jeffrey was a fabulous Santa!

Santa was creative, and wonderful, and the kids were thrilled! They found their stockings lined up on the floor in front of the fireplace with a blanket over them. Beneath each stocking was a 12 pack of soda. Keith got root beard (which is what he calls it. Because we don't drink beer, he informed me), Faye got pink lemonade, and Beth got grape shasta, while I got a Martinelli's sparkling cider. We each got an impressively official looking certificate from Santa. Beth's said she gets 5 stories read to her by her daddy. Faye's said she gets to go on a 3 hour date with her daddy. Keith's said that he gets to play video games, eat pizza, and drink root beard with his daddy for 3 hours. Mine said I get a date, and one conversation on demand with my husband (which is really quite generous, if you think about it. He lives in his thoughts quite often, so being able to demand he talk to me when I want will really be wonderful!). Jeffrey got a certificate that said he gets to sit on his 3 kids. He redeemed his right then and there despite the squealing laughter and protests. Beth didn't quite understand why her daddy was sitting on her, but the older two thought it was the funniest thing in the world! The kids also got oranges, peanuts and almonds in their stockings, along with one box of their favorite type of candy. In place of candy, Jeffrey Santa gave me some tortilla chips and salsa, while he got mayo in his stocking. So, while our stockings were far from traditional, Jeffrey did a great job!

We gave Keith a bike this year. Not that we are cool parents or anything, because we aren't. My uncle was getting rid of one that is Keith's size and asked if we wanted it. The fact that Keith doesn't know how to ride a bike yet has bothered me for a long time. He reads far too much Calvin and Hobbs, and I think Calvin's fear of bikes has rubbed off on Keith. He keeps talking about falling and getting your face stuck in the chain. I've explained many times how nearly impossible that would be, but he is still worried about riding the bike. I think we are going to teach him in the church gymnasium as it isn't frigid in there, and it will be easier to fall on the gym floor than on concrete or a black top. Faye is fit to burst with excitement over the prospect of having her training wheels removed and to be able to ride her bike for real. I am excited to teach them, and for them to gain the freedom that bike riding gives. I roamed all over my city when I was growing up. I lived on my bike, and I really miss riding one. Jeffrey has one in the shed that I am going to pull out this spring and the big kids and I will go bike riding around the neighborhood, or on the trail near our house. We even inherited a bike trailer when we bought this house, and I am eager to hook it up and to be able to take Beth and the baby in it... if I could just trust Beth to not injure the baby. I really worry about that.

Faye got art supplies. She pretended to faint from the excitement.

 It was rather funny.

All Beth really wanted was a camera. It was hard to get a good picture of her face, but she has been absolutely thrilled with the camera, and playing with it every day.

And then, because I have two absolutely amazing people in my life, I was given the most amazing gift ever! Adrienne found some breathtaking china on KSL for crazy cheap. When she saw it, she thought of me, knowing I love beautiful dishes, I have been searching for a set for a while now, and that when I saw those, I would have to have them. She sent me a picture.

I swooned. How could you not?! I asked Jeffrey if he was good if I spent $50 for china. Jeffrey, being the ever practical penny pincher laughed and asked why I needed them. I tried to explain, but none of my justifications could convince him that they were anything more than a want. Sadly, reluctantly, I clicked away from the page and mourned the fact that I still don't have a decent set of plates for fancy dinners, or when company comes. But then, Adrienne always has my back. She understood the way these dishes called to me and decided to haggle the guy down, and get the dishes set for me anyway. She planned to call Jeffrey and get him to say they were from him, but she didn't know how to contact him as he doesn't facebook, and she doesn't have his number. Except I showed up at her house while she was washing them, and then the cat was out of the bag. But look at them!

Oh my stars, they are exactly what I have wanted! Silver around the edges with a very delicate design that isn't too busy or obtrusive, but dainty and appealing. Plus, the pale blue just makes me that much happier! I don't have an excellent picture of them yet, but I can't wait to one day get a china closet to display them in. For now, they will have to stay in the box, safely tucked away in my office where I can pull them out and swoon any old time I want.

Christmas is through and over now. I am happy that I can take my decorations down now. I am not a huge fan of the Christmas decor, I am not sure why. It takes me forever to get it up, and I usually get it down within a few days of Christmas, if not the day of. But I came down with something the day after Christmas and so haven't had a chance to do much in the way of packing up Christmas. Meanwhile, the kids have been so happy making messes with their paper all over the house. Everyone got several books for Christmas, so we have been having lots of reading time. Sometimes the kids and I will light a fire and cuddle up in front of the gorgeous flickering flame to engulf ourselves in a literary experience. That is what I call it. The story that wraps around you, transporting you, while the flames warm and soothe is just perfect and ideal, and I when I get to snuggle up with the little bodies of my kiddos, feeling their breathe catch at the exciting parts of a story, or feeling them surge with empathy for the characters is such an amazing experience! Jeffrey gave me a beautiful leather bound copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

To hold that book in my hands is nearly inexplicable. The feeling that flows through my fingertips at the touch of that beautiful volume is electrifying. And then reading it to the kids, letting them experience Wonderland through their eyes, their minds, and not through the depiction of Disney or Tim Burton is what magic and story-telling is all about!

 Next on my list is either Peter Pan or The Wizard of Oz. Both books are so different from the movies, and so magical and oh so much better! I can't wait to introduce my children into these worlds of wonder and adventure! Meanwhile, Keith is reading Janitors, which makes me happy, too. I love seeing him curled up on the couch with a book, Faye usually laying on the floor next to him with her colored pencils and paper in front of her, doodling or concentrating on her next masterpiece. It makes my heart sing to see them thus engaged. What a dreary world people without a love of books must live in.

I must say, though, I am excited to begin a new year and have all of the promise of new beginnings. As I look back on it, 2015 was a rough year, full of ER visits, tragedy, loss, and just getting through things. I am so excited and anxious for all of the beautiful and wonderful things that await me just around the corner of a fresh new year.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

ER Conundrum

This has been quite the medically filled week! I feel like I have been to a doctor office of one sort or another every day this week. Mostly we were there for Beth, trying to figure out this month long diarrhea thing she has been so patiently dealing with. But yesterday, it was for me.

I woke up at 7:00. A child was making noises in the kitchen, which usually means a gigantic mess is being made, or they are having something like marshmallows for breakfast. I got up, and it was Keith, pouring cereal for breakfast. I helped him with the milk, and then went back to my room so I could get dressed and ready for the day. Except I only made it as far as my bed.

Agonizing pain hit right then. Pain in my stomach. And when I say stomach, I mean my stomach. Not the intestines, not the colon area, but the stomach. Except being 6 months pregnant, all of my organs are squished out of place so who knows if it was actually my stomach or not. But the pain! Excruciating beyond all belief. Like food poisoning magnified to the nth degree, or... I can't think of anything more painful that I can relate it to. But it left me in a mangled heap on my bed. And it came in waves, much like contractions do. It came, lasted for about thirty seconds and then went away, only to repeat every 5-10 minutes. I texted my midwife to ask her about it, and she suggested I eat something as stomach spasms can sometimes happen in the morning when there hasn't been any food in the stomach for a while. I ate a small bowl of cereal, and then waited.

It didn't help. The pain kept coming. Every time I changed positions it would hit again. And sometimes when I was holding perfectly still, it would come anyway. I texted Christy (my wonderful midwife) again, and she said to come in, she would squeeze me in. So, Jeffrey took the kids to school and I struggled into some clothes, and we left. Poor Jeffrey was so worried. I couldn't drive because of the pain, and he wouldn't have been able to work anyway, he was so worried. Of course, we had Beth with us, because this was all so sudden and such a rush. We got there, and Christy checked everything with the baby. He is wonderfully healthy and fine. I had been feeling him moving the whole time, so I wasn't worried about him, and although the pains came much like labor pains do, I wasn't worried about being in labor because the pain was far too high in my abdomen for it to even slightly possibly be labor pains. During the check, I was in tears from the pain. Jeffrey asked if it felt like labor, but honestly, you can't compare the two. Labor pain is a lot of pressure and a dull achy (but intense) pain. These were sharp twisting drop-you-to-the-floor-in-one-shot kind of pains. Christy tried to see other parts of my innards to see if there was any sort of obstruction of blockage, but she truthfully told me she didn't really know how to decipher what she was seeing. She is VERY good at the baby stuff, but the rest of the body is a bit more difficult for her. Especially when trying to figure it out on a ultrasound. After another wave hit me, she strongly suggested we head over to the ER as "you look like you are dying here!" she informed me. She told us the ER docs would try to send us up to Labor and Delivery, but to not let them. She had done several tests to see if I was in labor, and they have a 99% accuracy, and they all came back negative.

And so, we headed to the ER for the second time in my life. I had been trying to avoid going to the ER, but it didn't look like I had many other options. Sigh.

We got there, and the admissions girl asked if there was any chance I was pregnant. I looked at my obviously protruding belly, and then looked at her. "Um, yes. I am 27 weeks." I informed her. Without bothering to look up at me, she said "You need to go to Labor and Delivery. Standard procedure." With a great big sigh, Jeffrey and I explained I had just come from my doctor, and she had done all of the necessary checks. The baby is fine. I am not in labor. I need to be seen for something else, and we have no idea what it is! She finally looked up at me and remembered that Christy had called her to let her know we were on our way. Christy's office is right next to the hospital so it took us less than 5 minutes to get there, so I was surprised that she hadn't realized it when we walked in, but what can you do. Procedure runs deep in her veins, I guess. She admitted us, we went into a room, and there proceeded to have the exact conversation with every medical professional that came by. The nurse tried to send us to L&D. The doctor tried to send us up there. The ultrasound tech tried to send us up there. It was a bit ridiculous. Especially since we explained that I have my babies without any medication, so I know the difference between labor pains and stomach cramps! After taking lots of blood, and ultrasounding all around my middle and sides, they concluded they couldn't see anything. Granted, the doctor admitted, it is hard to see behind the baby, and my organs are all squished and out of place, so it is difficult to see them anyway, but from what they could see, there was no indication of the cause for my pain. They could see I was in miserable pain, but they couldn't figure out why. The doctor said the next step would be to have a CAT scan, but that isn't exactly safe for pregnancy. It exposes both me and the baby to high amounts of radiation. He also offered me some narcotics to control the pain, but acknowledged that any of the medication they would be giving me is a Class C medication, which means it has been linked to causing problems with the baby. Not proven to, and not in all cases, but there is a significant risk. Since I don't handle narcotics well anyway, I turned him down. I can deal with a bit of pain to keep this little one safe! And so, he sent me home. He said there wasn't anything he could do, and if it got worse, or was still here today, to go back in and they would do the CAT scan.

From this, we learned that pregnant women scare ER doctors. Ha! I figure it is because there is so much uncertainty with babies, and it is just easier to shuffle them off to L&D than to deal with it, but still, this is their profession! Silly doctors.

Meanwhile, my cousin took the kids to school. Even though she lives in a different city, Adrienne picked Faye up from school and kept her at her house until we could retrieve her. I felt so blessed and loved by the many people in my life who are willing to help me if I need it! I know there are many more people who would have stepped in to help had they known I was in need. We got home in time for Keith to be home from school. Jeffrey went to the store, taking Beth with him to grab a prescription the doctor had given me in hopes it would help, and I just lay in bed, trading off between writhing around and crying from the pain. I was pitiful to behold, I am sure! Jeffrey picked up Faye, and then took all the kids with him to his parent's house, and then he went back to work.

The pain came less frequently and slightly less intense, but I learned it hit whenever I moved. Whenever! So I lay in bed, too exhausted to read (which I really wanted to do!) and resolved on Netflixing my comfort show. Doctor Who. Jeffrey called me around 5 to see how I was doing. He had a work party last night, and I knew he really wanted to go, but would stay home if I asked him to. It was at a Chinese restaurant, which is his favorite food, and my least desired food on the planet, and they had changed the time, specifically so he could make it. So, I did what any good wife would do.

I lied.

I told him I was feeling much better and that I would be ready in time to go. I dragged myself to the bathroom and began the arduous process of getting ready, with plenty of time in between to pause for the wave of agony to hit. He got home, we rushed off to the work party, and while it was sometimes difficult to sit still and not betray what I was actually feeling, we made it through.

And I went home and went to bed.

I am happy to report the pain is much more mild, and less frequent. Although it can still stop me in my tracks, it doesn't leave me gasping for air, or nearly sobbing. I have to pause, bend over, and concentrate to get through it. But then it passes. What a wonderful blessing it isn't constant! If anything touches my belly area, it hurts, like getting punched in the gut, and using my abs is difficult now, but I think that is because of all the wrenching and twisting my stomach was doing yesterday.

And so, I have to spend the day in bed today. I had such great plans for the day, but I don't think I will get to do many of them. There is a family party, and I wanted to do the last of our Christmas shopping since Jeffrey will be home. It looks like I will be doing all of that next week, though. Happily, Keith and I still have our date. We will be watching the Holy War (BYU vs UofU football) this afternoon. We have been looking forward to this for a long time, and I am excited that it is something I can do from the comfort of not moving out of bed.

Here's to hoping I will be miraculously healed tomorrow so I can go to church, and go back to being the mom of the house instead of an invalid patient. But really I have the most supportive, best family ever! While I was trying to sleep some of the pain off yesterday, Keith made a sign to go on the door. It made my heart smile when I saw it. He is a dear, that one! Jeffrey has been amazing with his positivity and taking care of the house and the kids. It is nice to know that even on days when I have to completely shut down, things can still be taken care of!

This, I must say, is the greatest Christmas gift of all!