Sunday, October 31, 2010

The week of Halloween

Sorry I've been a little MIA.  The past couple of weeks have been. . . challenging.  There's been lots of financial uncertainty and worry (not exactly new), but after failing my Family Finance exam I'm feeling less confident dealing with money right now.  I won't even count the change in my purse, sure I'd find a way to mess that up somehow.  Lately it's felt like someone is pulling a rug out from beneath me and in my desperate attempts to stay upright I'm knocking over the delicate things around me.

Thankfully, God gives us handrails when we start to loose our feet.

This past week in particular, as an answer to a prayer for much needed income, my boss asked me to come in a work an extra shift.  I hesitantly agreed knowing my week would already be filled with papers, tests, and assignments.  I didn't think the minor tooth ache I was experiencing would turn into a infection spreading to my jaw and a tooth extraction.  Once I finished at the dentist Tuesday morning, I went to straight to work, sobbing at the mess I was in.  Numb, upset, and depressed, I stepped into the bathroom and tried to calm myself.
After work I drove to BYU and walked to the art museum to work on a paper.  As I sat on a vinyl bench staring at a painting of a dead tree, the numbing I'd received hours earlier finally wore off and a wave of pain engulfed my head.  I began to cry again.  There was no relief-- no medicine I could take.  A security guard walked past the hopeless scene and smiled at me, obviously touched at how moved I was by that stupid painting of a dead tree.  I left the museum and found a soft place to lay down.  Class didn't start for another hour and a half, I knew I was in too much pain to nap, but as placed my head down on my backpack my eyelids drooped and thirty minutes of heavenly relief came to me.  No doubt a tender mercy.

When class finally started my teacher announced that she was pushing back the due date of our papers originally due on Thursday.  It was another tender mercy that could relax and recover for a few more days without having to worry about one more assignment.

Being on the "all liquid" diet was a challenge.  I felt hungry all the time and I worried my baby wouldn't get the nutrients she needed.  I added ground oats to my smoothies hoping it would help keep me fuller longer.  Instead it clumped together in my open socket.  Part of my blood clot eventually came out and with the impending threat of dry socket, which I heard was nearly unbearable, I began to panic again.  Thursday morning my pain was not lessening as the dentist said it should.  When my visiting teacher showed up at 9:30 a.m. she had the privileged of watching me cry at my seemingly hopeless situation.  Once she left my house she called a lady in the ward who knew a lot about essential oils.  At noon, this ward member showed up at my door with a small vile (all natural and pregnancy safe) to help me recover.  Within hours of repeated applications of the ointment I could feel some relief.  Another prayer answered.

I wish I could go on about the other ways I was blessed this week amidst my trails, but this entry would be a little too long.  But I will say this: no matter how hard this week was, there was someone leading me though it by the hand, hoping I would hold on long enough to realize it.

On a happier note, last year for Halloween I was. . . pregnant.  This year for Halloween I was really pregnant.  So I dressed up as a hippie to avoid being the same thing twice 'cause we all know that's just lame (or so I'm told).

Paul and I haven't seen much of each other lately so we decided to celebrate Halloween by having an at-home Sunday date.  I made peanut butter witch hat cookies!


 The first batch got a little burnt on the bottom.  Paul was calling them peanut butter "charcoal-ate" cookies.  I followed the directions on the recipe.  375 degrees for 12-14 minutes but that gas oven is just a little. . . hot.  So I cooked the remainder of the batches at 350 for seven minutes.  That seemed to do the trick.

We ate jack-o-lantern pizza!

 And we finally got to carve the pumpkins we bought weeks ago.  Every year Paul and I have been together we've carved a pumpkin.  This year we purchased two.  One for us and one for our little pumpkin, which we carved for her. ;)  It will be a while until I feel she's old enough to wield a knife.

P.S. We don't plan on eating her.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Making Steve Irwin proud

Our new apartment is in a basement.  This is good because it stays cool.  This is bad because there's more. . . wild life.  I'm learning to care for these creatures though like Marsha, the spider above the washing machine, and the feral cat from the deck I affectionately call Kitty-kitty.  Often the Kitty-kitty is usually proceeded by a 'good', 'nice', 'stay', or 'please don't eat me!'  But for the sake of blogging, I'll stick to plain ol' Kitty-kitty.  A couple weeks ago our upstairs neighbors asked us to watch the critters while they were out of town.  I was happy to oblige.  This job entailed feeding Kitty-kitty, changing the litter box (which Paul agreed to do for me), and gathering eggs from these creatures:

I've had some irrational fears in the past, but this goes way beyond rational.  It's survival!  Everyone said that these birds are total chickens.  Just walk in the hen house and they'll scatter.  Picking up eggs should be a synch.  LIES!  These chickens like human flesh.  When I approach the pin they immediately perk up and file out of the house, slowly pecking toward me as they squawk madly.  They do not 'bock bock' all cutely like in movies.  That is another lie.  My ankles feel vulnerable thinking about them.

So. . . I asked Paul if he'd gather eggs.  He is the man.  It's his job to do yucky and scary.  I volunteered to distract the poultry outside so he could sneak into the house without incident.  This worked masterfully, but one evening Paul decided he could gather eggs on his own.

That was a really bad idea, bless his heart.

He opened the door to the hen house very slowly.  Most of the animals were out in their little yard.  He entered and closed the door behind him.  Two eggs sat precariously on the ground and he picked them up with his left hand.  That’s when they caught a whiff of man scent.  One entered through the little bird-sized door. Then a second and third and fourth and fifth.  The ferocious fowl began marching towards him.  Their cries were piercing and shrill.  "Doom on you," they shouted.  He waved his foot out at them, which deterred them momentarily, but they were not frightened. Paul bolted for the door and continued to nudge them with the side of his shoe hoping he could escape without letting any chickens out.

How he made it out alive, I'll never know.

You may be rolling your eyes right now.  I understand; I use to feel the same.  So I had a “friend” of mine film a documentary to help you appreciate the trauma we’ve experienced.

Complete with deleted scenes:

These clips and more can be purchase on DVD on November 31 at a gas station near you!
($79.99 plus shipping and handling)

This week the chickens went to the "Special Place" probably to become someones stew.  They will be greatly missed, but their memory will live on. . .  in my nightmares.  He he, just kidding.  I really do miss them and all their little quirks.  I miss the aggressive red hen, the self-mutilating spotted hen, and the hen that walked around with poop on it's back for a week or two.  I can't wait for spring when our upstairs neighbors get some new chicks!  They will be so adorable.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sign language

My husband is a sweet man.  He's always thanking me for the culinary masterpieces I cook up for him. . .
(Slightly burnt, but also slightly eatable.)
(I don't remember what this was. . .)
. . . as well thanking me for the trips to the bank I run on his behalf.  But rather than verbally acknowledging all of these things every time I complete one, (that would take too long anyway ;P), he varies his gracious gestures using signals that I've picked up on.

For instance, "Belch!"  Translated that means, "Gee, darling and talented wife, that food was magnanimous!"  Or when he plays with my hair before bed-- that means, "The back rub I got last night was superb as usual, darling.  Remind me how that went?"  My favorite is the lip smacking.  This usually means, "I'm thanking you in advanced for retrieving my water bottle from the fridge and bringing it to me, attractive lady."  Though, I only admit to understanding this signal occasionally.  Often I just smile at him real cute-like and pretend I didn't hear.  He he, the frigde just seems so far away sometimes. . .

I have signals too.  When I pat the couch cushion beside me it means, "Come sit down, kind sir.  I'm cold and I need snuggles."  Or when the alarm clock rings and I rub his shoulder, that means, "The alarm went off-- start wiping sleepies from your eyes."  If the alarm rings again, I rub his chest which translates into, "Get up or I'm turning on the light!"  When I turn on the light, it's my very polite way of saying, "I give up!  I'm going to start telling you about a long vivid dream until you roll out of bed to escape the boring slumber tales of my dad purchasing a donkey and a pig in order to become self-sufficient and how he brought them over to our house and tried to convince us to raise them but the pig kept pooping everywhere so I tied it to a tree and hoped my sister's dog would eat it and. . ."  And I'm quite sure that's where he starts to just hear, "Wah wah wah wah wah," like the grown-ups on Snoopy because he throws off his covers by this point.

These little things make being married so fun-- having our own secret code that only we understand and laughing at how silly it is.  I wish I got to see him more often.  Between school and work, we have very little time together.  Being at school, watching couples coo and goo-goo around campus makes me miss my sweetie a lot.  I’m thankful that life, like weather, flows in seasons and someday the season of being home together will start.  According to my Family Finance teacher that happens at about age 65.  I guess I can wait 40+ years cause this guy. . .

He’s worth waiting for.

In other world news, look what my sister bought for me.  Let the quilting begin!  Thanks Aunt Jelly!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sewing again

I walked into my work on Friday and was greeted at the door by a cashier, as are all who enter.  She smiled at me and said, "My, you are looking rounder!"

"Thank you," I beamed.  There will not be many periods of my life where that phrase will be a compliment, so I should enjoy it while it lasts.  Come January or February I might burst into a fit of postpartum sobs if someone dares to call me "rounder".

I have an aunt who was quite the fashionista in the 1970's.  She had many dresses that she wore or inherited from other family members.  Many of them were sewn by my grandmother.  Recently, she was purging her closet and she found some of these pieces.  She thought it would be fun to have a fashion show.  My younger sister and I took turns trying on these outdated dresses and modeling the groovy duds.  She said I could keep any dress that I liked.  I kept a few.  Some were stylish once again, and some had potential.

I finally unpacked my sewing machine today and tuned some of these dresses into more-updated maternity shirts and dresses.  I got an sense of euphoria sitting at that desk in my own home, being all domestic and whatnot.  I used my new counter space to lay out dresses and fabrics so I could more easily cut, pin, and iron.  It felt natural and wonderful, as though I was meant to do this since birth.  Dreams of beautifully home-sewn things danced around my head.  Then a feeling of sadness came over me.

Since April 15th, when I found out I was expecting, I've been saving up a little cash fund to use to buy fabric for a special quilt I planned to sew for my first child.  But, as tight as money is for a young couple, I've watched my fund dwindle until it is all but gone, being spent on things needed a little sooner than a quilt for my little girl.

I stepped out of the room and cried, wishing I had a special gift for her.  Irrational tears and snot began to descend down my face.  How silly I was being!  She will not sleep in the cold.  Her Aunt Janell has already made her a beautiful pink penguin blanket.  This comforted me a little as I took some deep breaths and felt that now familiar movement against my ribs.  Then, I looked in the linen closet and saw my baby blankets resting on a high shelf, clean and ready to hold a infant again.  It turns out I have something to give her after all.  When the penguin blanket is spit up on and in the wash, she'll still be bundled in love.

Here's a couple of the shirts I made from old dresses.  This one was big and shapeless so I cut it off, hemmed it up, and used the scraps to make a bow to tie in the back.

Here's the second.  It's going to be nice having clothes that fit.