Monday, January 31, 2011

A Conception Story: Chapter 1, The Background

I've been composing this post for well over a year now. The top line news story is that yes, I am pregnant. This is definitely good news. Due date is August 6th, but my doctor has already decided to induce earlier that week to ensure he'll be my delivery doc.  But underneath this headline are so many substories that I don't even know where to begin. So forgive the post in multiple parts. And let me also say this: I know that so many of you out there struggle with infertility and have done so for much longer than I did or will (this is it for us!). Although I do have a better understanding now, I in no means will pretend to know what it's like to want a baby for years and years and get nothing. I am so grateful that our foray into infertility was as short as it was.

When Chuck and I decided it was time to start a family, we got pregnant almost immediately. At the time, we were so clueless as to how conception actually works that it's quite laughable now. I read just enough (online, so you know, totally reliable) to know that two weeks after a period, I should ovulate. At which point, Chuck and I knew to go crazy with the baby making. That's what we did. Two weeks after the baby making, we took a pregnancy test and it was negative. I was devastated. Absolutely devastated.

This inspired us to learn more and more about conception, during which we had a big AHA moment. My whole life I’ve been a girl with irregular periods (as in I could go months with no period). But little did I know that this meant I was an irregular ovulator. So for all Chuck and I knew at that point, it was quite possible that I hadn't even ovulated! We immediately ordered some ovulation predictor kits and started testing as soon as we got them, which was a Friday. Friday and Saturday were negative, but Sunday…was that positive? Monday…positive. Tuesday…positive. Wednesday…positive. (Why keep taking them? Well, because it's fun when they're positive and I bought a 100 so why not use them?) For those of you who know, they shouldn't be positive for more than one or two days. So I called my favorite OB/GYN, who happens to be a college roommate of mine, to ask her what was up. She said it was likely I was pregnant so I immediately took a test and yeppers! Little embryo Rhett was there. Nine months later, he was out.

I should mention that this is probably why Rhett was late. Because they base due dates on day of last period (because that’s what they know), I’m sure it was off. But shhh...don’t tell the doctors!

Chapter 2 tomorrow...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Utah, We ALL Love Thee

It should come as no surprise that we've had another two great days in the UT. On Wednesday we went to the Salt Lake Children's Museum (which to me is just a glorified indoor play space, but whatever). It's really unbelievable to me how much these places charge, so thank goodness Rachael was willing to share passes with us. Anyway, we had a great time. Rhett loved playing with the water pump. It was hysterical. I also made some super yummy root beer cookies that tasted even better when there was ice cream sandwiched between two of them.

Yesterday, Chuck, my brother, and dad went snowmobiling (or as my brother, the Alaskan, would say "snow-machining") while the girls made a trip to Ikea. Yes, yes, I have an Ikea at home. Yes, yes, it's much closer to my house than the Ikea we visited in Utah was to my parents' house. But it's what my sister wanted to do and I wanted to be with my sister! Plus, I had to keep up my run of daily frozen yogurt.

In case you're keeping track: Monday a frozen yogurt (fy) at The Store in Midway. Tuesday a fy at Golden Spoon. Wednesday a fy at Maverik. Thursday a fy at Ikea. And today? Who knows?! I did see a shop in Heber I just might have to check out. And you think I'm kidding. The best so far? Golden Spoon, hands down.

Also today we're heading to the swimming pool (again, yes, something I can do in Maryland, but this time with people I don't get to see at home) and then seeing more friends and family. It's going to be a good day, if not for the fact that we have to leave the next.

Can I just mention how NOT excited I am to return to 8" of snow and a house that was without power for 12 hours? I'm not. I think I'm going to have to wear my snow boots on the plane so that I'm ready when I step onto my driveway. At least my feet will be will warm on the plane.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Utah, I Love Thee

So far we played with cousins, visited some crazy ice castles, had an extended family dinner (complete with family pictures), snowshoed, sledded, visited the dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point, and ate Golden Spoon frozen yogurt. I'm not sure it could be better if I tried. Remaining is a trip to the Children's Museum, snowmobiling, and swimming. Fun times! (How cute are the two little ones sledding down on their own?!)

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Projects

For Christmas my mom requested a cover for her sewing machine. She sent me a picture of the bedspread on the bed in the room shared with the sewing machine. It is not easy matching fabrics to a picture on a computer, let me tell you! I'm pretty pleased with the construction and how it looks; I just hope it looks good in her house.

A friend had a baby in November and her shower was just a couple of weeks ago. Actually, it was the Saturday of the week of ill. Because we were so sick, I didn't get to run to Target to get a cute gift, nor did I feel much like sewing. However, the day of the shower I felt more like sewing than Target-ing. Besides, I had such cute corduroy fabric that was crying to be used. Problem? I couldn't find a simple tutorial for a skirt for a 12-month old. Can you believe that? I couldn't. I tried to piece together dimensions from websites and this is what I got: two skirts that fit Rhett. That's right, about three years from now the new, sweet baby will be able to wear these. Sigh.

P.S. I'm in Utah! Hooray!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Book Report

At our most recent trip to the library, Rhett grabbed a bunch of books off the shelf as we were leaving. I didn't bother looking at his choices, because, hey, they're children's library books: they're safe, right?

Questionable Book 1: The Gunniwolf by Wilhelmina Harper. This book is about a little girl who lives on the edge of a forest. Mom leaves her alone but tells her not to go near the forest (um, but if you live on the edge, don't you already live near it?). Anyway, of course girl goes in the forest as soon as mom leaves, and, of course, the Gunniwolf finds her. But this is what he says to her, "Little Girl, why for you move?" Uh, can you repeat that Gunniwolf? Apparently the little girl needs no repetition because she replies, "I no move." Ugh. Then the Gunniwolf responds, "Then you sing that guten sweeten song again!" Double ugh. Is it supposed to be cute?

As the daughter of a strict grammarian, this book bugs me on the grammar level. I mean, aren't we taught these days to not speak to our kids in baby talk or with poor grammar because we're modeling language for them? Am I supposed to ignore it because it's a small part of a small book? Maybe. All I know is that when Chuck and I read it with Rhett, it mysteriously comes out, "Little Girl, why do you move?" "I don't move." "Then you sing that good sweet song again!" Go ahead and call us not fun.

Oh, but it gets worse.

Questionable Book 2: Arthur's Birthday by Marc Brown. This book's premise is that Arthur and his friend Muffy unknowingly planned their birthday parties for the same day (horror!). As both parties have dates that can't be changed, their friends must decide whose party to attend.

When Arthur and the boys discuss the conflict, they decide to "stick together" and go to Arthur's party. Besides, "Who needs girls?" asks Buster. Uh, gee. I don't know. (Problem #1--Do we really need to teach this attitude? It's like telling little kids that math is hard. Well, duh, it will be if you tell them that all the time.)

But when the girls are discussing the two parties and opt to stay with Muffy, Francine says, "But it won't be as much fun without the boys." Come on. (Problem #2--Do we really need to start this with kids this age? FYI, Arthur is turning eight in this book. Again with the stereotypes.)

Most people might disagree with me on the previous two. That's fine; I can take it. But there's no way you'd dismiss the finale. At the end, they decide to combine both parties (although it's not really clear what happens to poor Muffy's party and her pre-booked entertainment). Everyone is happy and together. When Francine gives her present to Arthur, she tells him to "use it right away." And what is this gift? A green bottle. Why would I have a problem with this? Because the bottle is marked, "Francine's Spin the Bottle Game." Uh, WHAT?! Really?! (This was not the first reference to Spin the Bottle in this book. When Arthur initially invites Francine she expresses her delight in being able to play this game.) I'm pretty sure I don't need to state Problem #3.

So come on, this is totally inappropriate, right?

And just so you know, I have never really had problems with any of Rhett's books before now. Sure there are some that I'd rather not read (any of the knock-off Corduroys come to mind). And sure, I have a questionable children's book that I love, but these are the first I've ever really gasped at.

In case you don't want to click on the link to my "questionable" book I'll tell you about it. This kid, William, just won't be impressed. His dad shows him amazing sight after amazing sight, followed by a bored William replying, "Whatever." In the end, William's dad shows him the world's hungriest tiger, who then eats William. When William tells his dad that he's still in the tiger's belly, how does William's dad respond? "WHATEVER!" Awesome. I'm pretty sure Rhett doesn't get it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How I Spent My Christmas Money So Far...

A new (to me) Bosch mixer! Now to make the six loaves of bread at once like my Mom used to do. (Note: This is not a picture of my new machine, just one very similar. I forgot to take a picture before it was put in its new storage space.)

Four jars of this totally yummy to-die-for hot pepper jelly. I am so in love with it. So much so, I might marry it (a la this). Seriously.

And totally unrelated, but I have to ask. So. Chuck tells me that for as long as he can remember, he suffers with chronic stuffed nose syndrome (yes, it's totally a technical name). You know, like when you're sick and your nose is stuffed? Yeah, he has that ALL. THE. TIME. Can you imagine? I tell him this is most definitely not normal and should be looked at by a doctor. He just laughs at me and tells me I'm crazy. But I'm not, right? I am, in fact, quite right, right?!

Only three more days 'til Utah!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Being Sick (in the ill sense of the word) is Not Sick (in the skater/snowboarder sense of the word)

I think I won a slew of awards for "Mother of the Year" last week. Award 1 came at 3:00 a.m. Monday morning when I heard Rhett coughing. Because it was the middle of the night and I was tired, when one cough sounded like it may have included some puke, I chose to ignore it. However, when he started crying for us to "clean his hands" at 5 a.m., I found him sleeping in puke. NICE. Now, I can't be sure if the puke just happened, or happened at three. Regardless, WINNER.

Award 2 came all day Monday when Rhett and I didn't move from the couch and watched TV all day. ALL DAY, with the exception of nap time. If you don't know, this is very, very unusual for us. Usually Rhett gets one show on Wednesdays during my "long showers" and one on Saturdays with Chuck while I run. That's it. So for him to be able to sit still all day and cuddle with me and watch TV, was almost fun. It would have been completely fun if not for the need (and use of) the puke bucket sitting next to the couch stinking up the place (and that we watched "Sponge Bob" and "Curious George").

Award 3 came Wednesday when I woke up at 2 a.m. with stomach problems of my own. I grabbed the puke bucket and brought it close to the bed, tossing and turning the rest of the morning. Since we didn't need our regular babysitter on Tuesday, I made a decision to send Rhett to the babysitter (he completely recovered, with the exception of an appetite) while I sat at home and watched REAL daytime TV (judge shows, anything on Bravo, you know, the good stuff). If only I hadn't been puking, it would have been a great way to spend the day.

Award 4 came Thursday morning when I again sent my son to the babysitter; I sent my sick, puking husband to work; and I stayed home and repeated the previous day. While I was feeling better, I was crazy weak and the loads and loads and regular + sick laundry took all day. It looked something like this: Step 1. Load washer. Step 2. Rest for wash cycle. Step 3. Repeat previous steps multiple times. I mean, someone had to do the laundry, but seeing as though all I had to eat in those two days was two popsicles and a small bowl of chicken soup, what energy could I have to do much else? I did manage to give Chuck some time for him. When he got home, I offered to pick up Rhett from the sitter, do some grocery shopping, and hit the library. This gave Chuck some time to nap (on the couch pull-out in style!). That was kinda redeeming, right?!

Award 5 came Thursday when, for the first time since Sunday, I put on real clothes and a bra. I can't remember the last time I went that long in pajamas. Believe me, it doesn't sound as luxurious as it sounds.

Thankfully we're all back to about 94%. Energy is back, sleep is caught up, and appetites returned. You just forget how crappy being sick is until you live it. But unlike childbirth, it results in nothing positive, except maybe the weight loss of three pounds!

Only five more days 'til Utah!

Friday, January 14, 2011

This is What Happened...

...when Rhett's car had an "accident" and I told him it needed a tow truck. Pretty clever, right?

Then there was this conversation on Sunday. A sweet baby boy in our ward was wearing an adorable hat with a train on it. When we asked Rhett about the hat later that evening, this is what he had to say: "Yes! That train hat. I like that train hat sooo much. I wish I had that train hat when I was a baby. I am going to dream about that train hat tonight."

Only 8 more days 'til Utah!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hip Hip Hooray for County Fairs

I was inspired by all the crafty entries in my county's fair last summer and vowed I would try it this year. I think I'll enter one my candy corn banners, but help me decide in which of the following three categories it belongs.

Division 3: Crafts
295. Fabric craft
297. Fabric wall hanging
329. Holiday decoration (any occasion other than Christmas) may include candles

And since I'm so excited about this, I have become an unofficial spokesman and promoter of all county fairs. In fact, I think I convinced my friends the Smiths that they, too, should get involved. I even found my sister's county fair book and found something for her (her beautiful quilling, perhaps?) and her husband (a crabapple pie?) and am pretty sure they'll do it. So what will YOU do?

Only 10 more days 'til Utah!

Monday, January 10, 2011

More Fun Boy Stuff

You know how I'm always complaining that boys just aren't as fun to sew for as girls? Well, I found another fun thing to create for boys: vests! When Rhett wore his first one to church last week, a couple of people asked if I made it. I had to say no, but then I thought, "But I totally could have!" I knew I had to try.

I was so excited that I traced the pattern Sunday night, but then it just sat there all week, staring at me, mocking me because I just couldn't figure out how to sew it. When I still couldn't figure it out on Friday, I knew I had to ask for help. Bad news: even my project designer/product engineer (a.k.a. "Chuck") didn't have the solution. Ack!

Lucky me though, I know to turn to the magic of the internet! Of course someone else would have the solution. And of course, they did. (Thanks, Susan, at "Living with Punks!") Once I saw her solution, the vest itself was easy peasy. And so when people asked if I made the vest Rhett was wearing yesterday, I proudly said "Yes!" And now I think you should make one too. Don't forget the matching tie.

That crown? Rhett got it his first Sunday in Senior Nursery and has worn it at least once a day since. He loves the thing and frequently asks, "Are you a child of God, Mom?" And how to get my child to sit still for pictures and (kind of) look at me while taking the shots? The low, low cost of only two chocolate chips. Oh how I love this boy.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Pros and Cons of Late Church

Last Sunday, our church meeting time moved from 8:30 a.m. (best time EVER) to 12:30 p.m. (one of the worst times ever). But in an effort to find the good in things, I noticed that there are a few good things about later church. I'll just need to remind myself of them every time I want to complain.

Pro: We can have much slower breakfasts than we had with early church.
Con: No nap for Rhett: church goes right through it and to wait until we get home is just too late.

Pro: No nap might mean earlier bedtimes on Sunday. It certainly equalled a late morning on Monday.
Con: I hoped it would mean a good nap on Monday too, but if this past Monday was any indication, then I'm in trouble.

Pro: Despite the fact that Rhett's been sleeping in later and later, we still rely on him to be our  alarm on Sundays.  This made for a really fast morning with early church. But with late church, we don't have to worry about it.
Con: He's not sleeping in that late. I mean, people with older kids or no kids might get to sleep in until 8 or 9 or later. Oh the luxury.

Pro: My meetings (PEC, ward council, what-have-you) will now take place before church.
Con: I get really hungry since I can't eat between 10:30 and 4. At least Rhett gets a snack in nursery.

Pro: We get to listen to NPR's Sunday Puzzle podcast live.
Con: Poor Chuck will miss all 1 p.m. Redskins football games come next fall. (Of course, they are the Redskins: there's not much to miss. Besides, we do have the TiVo.)

Pro: Once it warms up, we'll be able to walk Bruno in the morning. It gets us moving and wears out Bruno for our four-hour absence.
Con: Once you get home from church (and this is especially true in winter), your day is essentially over.

And not related, but still a pro/con. We recently got our 2011 tax assessment for our house.
Pro: It's about 22% less than it was last year.
Con: It's about 22% less than it was last year.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Our New Door

Can you believe I didn't take a picture before the door man cometh? I cannot. But alas, that's how it went down. I had to troll through old pictures just to find these. The first three give you an idea of how our dated storm door looked until Monday.

Seeing the following in the Post last November just confirmed our desire to make the change:
A split storm door, with a solid panel (usually white aluminum) at the bottom and a glass window or screen at top, dates a home terribly, according to Debbie Wiener, owner of Designing Solutions, an interior-design firm in Silver Spring. "Everybody wants a full-view storm door - and one that's color-matched to the house," she said.

And because I want the shutters to be black eventually, we went with black on the new storm door. I love it. Now give me weather that allows me to have it open, gosh darnit! And if you ever come to my house, please don't touch the glass. It's a beast to clean.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Random Thoughts

Because Chuck bought an iPod touch for Christmas, I had to deal with this yesterday: Rhett playing with it at church. How do you feel about kids playing with technology during sacrament meeting? I'm still undecided. (You know, on the one hand, he's quiet and playing some game that's only different from the quiet book because it's electronic. But on the other hand, it's technology. And even though I know that scriptures come on the iPods, I think even adults look suspect when using them at church.)

As Rhett and I were driving home from church this is what he told me: "Mom, when we get home, I want to be a dead mouse." What the...?! Should I be worried?

I love avocado, but aside from eating it plain, what's your favorite way to use it? Note: A certain someone in my house will not eat guacamole. Just sayin'.

I didn't finish all of my "to do" projects for 2010. I guess it makes creating my "to do" projects list for 2011 easy. I did figure out how I want to finish my t-shirt quilt. Now I just need to find the energy to do so.

I could totally copy this vest and make a bunch of my own, right? (And I do mean for Rhett, not for me.) Would they have to be fancy or could I make them more a la this? And please don't ask what he's doing, because I just don't know.