Friday, September 26, 2008

Hiatus from the Heat/Sick of Sweat

I thought I was adjusting well to the Saint George heat. I figured my ability to keep my mind in a sane place even while my skin was seeming to crackle with the baking heat was a good sign that I'd do just fine with the weather here in Utah's Dixie.

I was absolutely wrong. I am not adjusting well to the heat. I was doing great when it was summer--but now that it is technically fall, I'm, well, feeling like I'm going to lose my mind!! I need autumn. I need the leaves changing and the cooling air and the watered-down sunshine. I need the respite from ferociously hot summers. And guess what? Apparently, Saint George doesn't do fall. And it's taking its toll on me.

When picking up Reed from school, as I buckle Jaxon and Savvy into their seats, leaning over Savvy's chair to do Jaxon's buckles because one of our doors is broken until we get "that one piece", sweat drips down the sides of my face in maddeningly slow trickles, mixing with the stuff the dermatologist gave me, which THEN causes my skin to itch furiously!! So as I struggle with buckles that are almost unreachable to my outstretched arms over the back of Savanna's seat, trying to get Jaxon to cooperate instead of moving like molasses, I hope it's understood why I feel rather nuts in my mind. I don't say a word. I wait until I'm sitting in the front seat, air-conditioning full-blast on my face, sweat wiped off, hair pulled up, before I ask Reed sweetly, "Did you have a good day, honey?"

Very much missing Cedar City right now.

HOWEVER!! However, I will have some rest, it appears. Since Phill will be gone for six weeks in the next month and then six weeks again in February (you know, Army stuff--as it always is), he has lovingly insisted that I go to spend this weekend with my friend in Pleasant Grove. (He actually did have to insist, and I'm glad he did. I'm getting progressively happier and more excited as it gets closer to me leaving.) And if it's even five degrees cooler than here, I will fall to my knees and kiss the green grass.

Sayonara! :) I might stop in Cedar City on my way back--we shall see!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Note how our expressions really do tell the story of these 2 minutes in a photo booth.....

Frame 1: Savvy - Demonstrating what seems to be a newly-developing fear of enclosed spaces. Shrieked when we went into the mall bathroom, too, even though we weren't in a stall.
Me - "Ssshhhh, it's okay, sweetie! [laughing]"
Jaxon - Overjoyed to see HIS face up there

Reed - This is a time for extreme expressions.
!Frame 2: Savvy - Wondering in horror why there is another Savanna INSIDE the camera
Me - Maybe I can get a good smile in this one! Or maybe not! Maybe twenty forehead wrinkles!

Jaxon - Past joy and on to making good use of this time

Reed - The snarl

Frame 3: Savvy - MIGHT be okay if we're done.....oh but wait, we're not
Jaxon - Picking his nose?

Me - Laughing at Jax

Reed - Picking Jaxon's nose?

Frame 4: Savvy - Cannot face it anymore. Nearing full panic mode.
Me - "Just this last one, sweetie? Almost done!"
Jaxon - Done. Has spotted quarter machines outside the curtain.
Reed - One last fierce snarl for the camera!

Exercise Report Card

I keep thinking that it has been forever since I last posted, that my blog is threatening to become a barren wasteland--but today I realized it has only been 5 days since my last post. Silly me.

Pictures of Ava coming soon.

Today is a bit of a milestone for me! I have been working out consistently, according to the rules I set for myself, for one month! It's said that it takes 30 days to create a habit. Well, ladies (and gentlmen?), I think I've made a habit of it. I actually look forward to my early-morning wake-ups. (Yes, I typed that, not some mysterious morning bird ghost floating around in the computer.) I have found unexpected peace in those hours, when I read my scriptures (exercise my spirit) and run (exercise my body). I'm noticing all kinds of blessings--physical, spiritual, emotional--from doing this, and it's exciting to me that I am able to overcome (continually overcoming, really....) what was one of my greatest weaknesses. It makes me hopeful that I can overcome other weaknesses of mine. Lots of other weaknesses.....hard to pick just a couple to work on. I made a chart for myself at the beginning of this venture, because, well, I like charts. I like visual ways to track my progress. I like the little sense of self-satisfaction I get from coloring in each square. (I would probably love doing kindergarten all over again.) And my chart has all my reasons for exercising listed. The funny thing is, as I've been getting up early to get my workout done, I find that I don't care about my reasons--it's this: I'm up. I'm up this early just to work out. I can get this done and out of the way right now, before the kids are even up or at least before they are listing their first needs of the day. So here's a scanned picture of my chart. Note the way my routine becomes more consistent and regular on the 8th, the day I started waking up earlier. I'm so happy this "method" works so well for me! One hurdle cleared.....five million to go.....
p.s.-If you're tired of me blogging mostly about exercise, I apologize, but it has been huge for me. I promise I have more things about which to post, and I actually usually post this stuff on an exercise blog I have. But I couldn't help but share. I have shared so many times how hard it is for me to wake up early/in general, so why wouldn't I share when I've started to overcome that difficulty? I share in the hopes that it might help someone else feel like they, too, can overcome some of their own difficulties!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Who Knew?

There are two things in which I've complained of having minimal (or no) talent: Crafty stuff and doing Savanna's hair. It's hard enough to do the hair of a 15-month-old girl while she's wiggling and twisting and trying to "help" or trying to slap my hand away, prompting me to wonder if it would be easier to braid the hair of a bucking bronco. But I'm also just very new at this doing-little-girls'-hair thing, and so I was surprised and pleased to master this 'do a few days ago. Next-I have a friend who had a baby yesterday, and named her Ava Layne (I LOVE that name!!). Tomorrow I'll get to see her (I'm almost breathless with happiness at the chance to hold a newborn again.....), and I hope we'll get some photos if everyone's up to it. But today I tried my hand at some sort of crafty-ish ideas I had for a gift, and I was pleased as punch with the result! The lettering on the blocks is pale pink, not white.
Customized the photo album with ribbon and the card-stock letter on the front; did the lettering on the blocks and tied the teeny tiny bows. :) Her nursery, which is ridiculously awesome, is kind of a Paris & polka-dot theme (very classy, nothing overdone) with black, creme, and pale pink colors.Oh, and did I forget to mention that I have a photography blog now? I did. I did forget. Well, it's HERE, and although I don't have work often enough to post something new every couple of days, things seem to be picking up--fingers crossed and arms folded! I'm not quite finished posting all I want to post, so keep your eyes peeled for new stuff, if you're interested. ("B" for blog! Actually, it's a gift for this darling boy's mama.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Birdie Babies

This morning, owing to circumstances mostly beyond my control, I was not up at my prescribed 6:30. (Sidenote: I've actually been enjoying waking up at 6:30 and come to look forward to those early-morning workouts and scripture time! Who would've thought?!) I was lying awake in bed before my alarm at 6:00, actually, but then so was Jaxon, and Savvy followed soon after at 6:20. Phill had to leave at 6:00 for the radio, and so instead of jumping on the treadmill at 6:30 while the babies peacefully slept (original plan), I ended up warm in bed with one snuggly sleepy 15-month-old and a back-to-sleep 3-year-old. And Savanna made it perfectly clear that she didn't just want to continue sleeping--she wanted to continue sleeping in my arms, in bed with me, not moving for the next two hours. Of course I consented!! :) I wasn't about to get out of bed and turn on my very noisy treadmill (I suppose that's the difference between Kmart-deal treadmills and thousand-dollar gym treadmills--noise) and wake up the two darlings sleeping peacefully in my bed.

So I wasn't too disappointed in myself (come on!), and I just hopped on the treadmill after getting the kids breakfast. I put the safety gate up at my bedroom door, put my headphones on, and turned on the treadmill. At first, all three of them stood there, totally enthralled, even laughing at my red sweaty face. Then for about four minutes, they happily occupied themselves with toys and 'toons in the living room. But when they came back to the gate, they began to make it clear that my eleven minutes so far was just torture to them, and that it simply wasn't enough to watch me at the door. (A whole ten feet away. It must have been awful.) So they proceeded, through frantic signing and pained expressions, to coerce me to stop running. Standing there at the gate, their hands on the top, their mouths open in protests that didn't reach my headphones-covered ears, and their eyes pleading, they began to remind me of little hungry birds. (Hungry for me to be right there with them, as opposed to ten feet away on my big, loud treadmill.) And then what song happened to come up next on my iPod?

Lady Madonna
The Beatles

Lady Madonna, children at your feet,
Wonder how you manage to make ends meet.
Who finds the money when you pay the rent?
Did you think that money was heaven-sent?

Friday night arrives without a suitcase,
Sunday morning creep in like a nun.
Monday's child has learned to tie his boot lace--
See how they run.

Lady Madonna, baby at your breast,
Wonder how you manage to feed the rest.

Lady Madonna, lying on the bed,
Listen to the music playing in your head.

Tuesday afternoon is never-ending.
Wednesday morning papers didn't come.
Thursday night your stockings needed mending.
See how they run!

Lady Madonna, children at your feet,
Wonder how you manage to make ends meet.

I know that this song illustrates circumstances much more dire than mine, but it was still hilariously apt and "spoke" to me in that funny moment. I ended my workout after 25 minutes, and made it count, too, with sweat disgustingly pouring down my face. But you would have thought I'd been out of the house for a few hours the way they welcomed me after my shower.

Oh, funny kiddos.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11: What I Remember

I do have some clear memories of September 11th, 2001, but most of that day is kind of hazy in my mind. That morning, I was sitting on my bed, listening to the radio. I remember that I heard something about a plane flying into the Pentagon. I remember that it just didn't really compute, and that I really couldn't frame what I'd just heard. My sister Liz, who was living in Gaithersburg, Maryland at the time (very close to D.C.) called. She asked, "Rae, have you been watching the news?" And I remember being shocked when she explained to me what had happened, and confirmed that what I'd listened to on the radio was something real, something happening right then, something that (of course) demanded immediate attention. She was due any day with her first baby, and I remember her talking to my mom and us wondering if she would get to the hospital in good time, should she deliver soon, and then feeling somewhat ashamed that we were worrying about that. (She delivered him on the 13th! Take that, terrorists!)

Phill and I had been engaged just 18 days earlier, and I remember that I didn't see him or my dad until extremely late that night. I remember that they were close-lipped about a lot of things, heavy-hearted, and we all just sort of held each other for a while after they walked in the door. I remember asking my dad if we were going to war, if we knew who did this, and if we were going to fight. I remember the way his jaw set, and I remember him telling me that he knew more than he was allowed to say, but that I should rest assured that we would fight back. I remember being proud of my country, proud of my Phill and my dad.

That night, though, after we were all in bed (and probably not at all asleep), I wrote in my journal. I was sobbing and finally overcome by all that had transpired that day. I remember writing that with this huge evidence of the many evils in this world, I was afraid to have children. I remember feeling that some light in me had been extinguished, some feeling of safety and some semblance of normal everyday life. I wrote how guilty I felt for feeling as shaken as I was, when I knew so many more were suffering so much more than I. I put away my journal, laid down in my bed, and was just shaking for a long time and crying. I continued to pray long into the night, and I finally felt reassured at some wee hours in the morning. I got up to write in my journal, feeling strong and brave and peaceful. I wrote that I was not going to be scared, and that I was just going to strengthen my resolve to have children, be a good mother to them, and raise them in a way that would make it so that they were my lasting evidence that I was fighting evil with good; fighting evil with strong personalities and strong children who love their country and are willing to defend it. I knew that this was yet another way that the adversary tries to silence us with fear, to make us cower in the shadows in despair and give up hope that we can make the world a better place by our choices.

I remember very clearly that I chose to be happy, to marry Phill, and to have children and to be brave, even if worse things might be coming. So this day makes me fiercely proud of my choice to be a mother.

The next morning, after my mother taught early-morning seminary, we drove together to take some of the students to school. I can still see clearly the lines of cars waiting to get onto (the military) post (every single car going on post that day was inspected: every bolt, every curve, every part of every car searched to within the last centimeter). I also see clearly the faces of all those in the cars next to and in front of us, faces that were not impatient in their waiting, but thoughtful and quiet. Faces that turned happy with tears of pride and joy as the national anthem came on the radio, and every single car rolled down their windows, turned up their radios full-blast, and honked and waved tiny American flags as we crept along, occasionally passing people holding posters reading, "Honk if you love America!"

So whenever this date comes, while I am solemnly mindful of those who were lost that day, those who lost someone they loved, and the way it changed so much, I can't help but be proud to be an American, proud to be a mother, and proud to be the wife of a soldier and daughter of a soldier. I feel like I am beating the terrorists who do things like this, fighting the entire mind-set of those who do these things, fighting them with my refusal to let this affect my decision to press on and endure with a happy heart.

So on this day I always think: Am I happy? And I feel that every time I can say honestly Yes, I'm happy--then we are winning.

These pictures are a little random, considering Phill wasn't deployed until 2003 (and 2005), but they seem appropriate based on context.

The soldiers at Ft.Carson all prepared for deployment - April 2003
Our see-you-later (this started as one of those sick-feeling dark early stomach does weird little twisting things just looking at this!) -- Reed is 4 months (ish)
Something I made while he was on his second tour (still think it's hilarious that they call it a tour)
2005 (Reed is 2)
November 21st, 2002 (Note that Phill is still in uniform. Hee hee....he came right from work.)
I remember thinking that DCU's looked so weird. (DCU's are these lighter-colored uniforms they now have and that he didn't have until deployment....up until then it was the green BDU's and that was what I was used to!)
Phill and his gorgeous sister, Melissa, who lived with me for 2 months of the 3 months he was gone that first time. He kept being so silly and making us laugh and then of course I'd start crying again!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Kiddos Update

First, I just wanted to say thank you to all you who read my blog, be you family, friends, or close blogquaintances. You've all been so supportive and loving and my efforts would be a lot more like drudgery without your cheering me on. So thank you!

So--onward. I realize that I haven't blogged much about what my kiddos are up to! Don't feel obligated to stick around; I wax wordy where my little wonders are involved. Here's the lowdown:

Reed - Reed is liking school a little more, and more, I suspect, than he wants to let on. I asked his teacher how he's been doing, and apparently, he has words now. Many. :) She said he does just fine and seems to enjoy himself. He loves anything to do with Legos and Star Wars right now, or maybe I should say for the last nine months. He still asks me how far away his birthday is, and I try to help him reference time-passage in his mind. Very hard to do, though, and it was very difficult for him that his daddy and sister have birthdays in May, his mama and brother have birthdays in August, and he has to wait all the way until November for his lone fall/winter birthday. He is constantly telling me what he wants for his birthday. I believe a rocket ship was mentioned, as well as a four-wheeler. He can "read" simple books aloud to me. I'm not putting "read" in quotations to lessen his literary achievements--just for accuracy's sake, because most of what he's reading is formed of sight words and the boy has an incredible memory. But he also does some good "real" reading, and I'm just happy to see him enjoying books. I have been reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to both him and Jaxon at night, and he is deeply interested. He asks lots of Potter questions in the morning, but at night, just lays silently content, imagining who-knows-what in his impressive Imaginarium. :) Reed has a really special bond with both his siblings, and hugs them both when he comes out of school. Often, he and Jax say to each other, "I missed you!" He carries Savvy around a lot, which she loves--her own form of easy transportation. He is incredibly generous, helpful, and creative. He draws, colors, and writes all the time, and his latest project is making stories. He'll bring me sometimes ten brilliantly beautifully colored and lettered pages, and asks me to staple the sides together. Then he reads it to me. His intonations are right on, and the stories are usually funny or cautionary, and always long. He has created characters to go with his various voices, one of which we together named "Bronckley". When we play together, his character usually says things like, "Would you like to sleep over at my house? My mom says it's okay. Plus she says we can eat pizza in my room and watch TV in my room and we don't ever have to go to bed. Actually, my mom says you can live with us if you want."

Yesterday he drew a gorgeous picture of our family, complete with a pet white tiger. In that picture, Phill has a unibrow and ears (which I mention because none of the rest of us in the picture have ears), I have a lopsided smile and somehow weary-looking eyes, oddly scraggly hair, and Reed looks maliciously pleased (Reed loves drawing angry eyebrows) and has tri-colored hair, which he called "rock star hair" as he colored. The tiger is larger than all of us, and written on our house is "21000i". I'm standing in the doorway with open arms, with my weary lopsidedly happy face. Savvy and Jax have no faces and they are tiniest in the whole picture. Our house is surprisingly accurate in its portrayal. Hahahahah.....oh, my Reed.

Jaxon - Jax is obsessed with his water gun and frequently goes into the backyard to squirt all of the water out of it onto the walls or windows of the house. He also likes Savvy's spray bottle (that I use to do her hair) and he can soundlessly empty that out on the back of the couch at lightning speed.

He is getting really good at explaining his emotions, and has perfected his angry posture. (Slumped shoulders, furrowed brow, balled fists.) He can explain most everything he's thinking much better than, say, six months ago, and he has some funny questions. "Mom, are there people walking on the world?" He doesn't usually nap anymore, although he has replaced his naptime with either quiet glazed-eyes introspection or chatty Lego play.

He loves toast. He would happily eat toast for every meal if I let him. Usually when he wakes up his first words are: "Mom, my diaper's soggy. I want chocolate-chocolate milk and eggs and toast." He prefers to be fully dressed first thing in the morning, although he has finally grown out of his desire to wear everyday clothes to bed.

He growls when he's shy or at a loss for words, and he laughs readily. He's found kind of a threat in Savvy, who has started to be pretty bold and will happily walk up and take a toy right out of his hands. The first few times she did that, he followed her around, whining at her to give it back please, but finally absorbed what we kept telling him and figured out that he could just take it back. (I know, I know, we ought to encourage him to share, but she gets away with snatching toys away all too often. And when he gently takes back his toy, which he almost always does gently, she just walks away and finds something else.)

Jaxon loves to color, too, and used to ask that we make his colored paper into a ship. But now that he's seen Reed's recent projects, he asks for it to be made into a book. He hates to be sticky and loves to get wet. He loves hot dogs and toast and usually turns up his nose at anything that looks more complicated than that, although he's eating a little more adventurously lately (finally). His favorite joke is: 'Guess what?' -What? 'Chicken butt!' and he spices it up with all variety of substitutes for "chicken", including monkey, mama, potato, and toast. Sometimes that joke is the first thing he says to me in the morning. :)

Savanna - Savvy is deep in imitation mode. She talks on her cell phone (her hand), saying "Heh-doe??" She gets dressed (in Jaxon's clothes, which end up splayed out all over the bedroom). She combs her hair (while I try to do it). She kisses her babydoll and says sweetly "bay-beeeeee....." (after biting its head). She yells, she shakes her head no, she gives slobbery kisses, she pats your back if you're hurt or crying, she knocks on her wall when she's done with her nap, and she has a few words:

Hello (heh-doe), buh-bye (with a wave now!), hi, Reed (Wee or Weet), I love you (lut-youuuuuu), mine (courtesy of Jaxon), here you go or there you go (deer-doe or dare-doe), where are you (wah-youuuuuu?) the baby signs for 'dog' and 'more', and owee (usually this one is coupled with incredibly dramatic faux crying and gnashing of teeth and flopping helplessly onto the couch cushion or floor, generally her elaborate ploy to get attention).

She loves to stand on the dishwasher drawer when it's open. Today to keep her occupied while I did dishes, I buckled her into her chair and gave her two crayons and some paper. First she panted at the sight of the crayons, then shrieked with happiness as she marked up her paper. Then she explored the nutritional value of crayon wax, deciding it was a healthy addition to her diet.

She is strong-willed, sweet, and loves to make us laugh. She plays peekaboo by only covering her mouth or peeking out her fingers with both eyes. She loves her brothers and walks through the house calling for them when they're gone-"Weet? Dah-ee?" In three months she will go to nursery. She applauds herself when she dances.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Me?! I did THAT?!

Like everyone else, there are times when I am all too aware of my faults, my character flaws, my great shortcomings. When those times bowl me over and I feel like I'm a lost cause, I pray. I pour my heart out. And then while I do what I can, I wait for counsel, and when counsel comes.....I listen.

This isn't always easy. In fact, it's usually very, very difficult, and most often very uncomfortable to do what is asked of me.

One of my great weaknesses (as I've mentioned before) is getting up in a timely fashion. When I wake up earlier than I want to (I wake up earlier than I want to all the time, really, but I'm talking about really REALLY earlier), I'm blazingly aware of the weakness of my physical body, and disheartened by the fact that I just don't pop out of bed with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. Like I've said before, my emotions at these times seem to be magnified, and so sometimes I cry or almost throw up. (I feel like such a baby even admitting that!) Then once I've been up and moving for, oh, usually an hour, I start to feel like it's possible to be happy again.

So.....lately I have been praying for help to be more productive, more healthy, more spiritually sound, more.....more the person I'm striving to be. I have prayed about this for a while. Fasted about it, too.

Well, a few days ago, I was crying on the phone with Phill, who was patiently comforting me and hearing me out (I can't say enough what a good man he is), and my answer came through him. I was saying specifically how I just didn't feel that my workout efforts were making any difference. (This was after only ten days with my regular workout plan, but I was uber-hormonal and sick, which made things seem so much worse.) He said, "Sweetie, I know you're going to hate this suggestion, but I think we're just going to have to buck up and do it." Then he suggested (softly and patiently) that we wake up early together, so that after he runs, I could go running in the morning even before the kids are up, get showered, dressed, and make-up'd, and read my scriptures either right before they woke up or as they woke up. I realized (with a sinking heart and nervous stomach) that he was absolutely right, that this was really the best way to not only get my workout done and out of the way for the day, but also to help me be better organized, better energized, and more cheerful throughout the day! (Which translates to: Happier person > happier wife > happier mom > happier family)

We started this morning. When Phill came in, sweaty from his run (after which he vomited, ladies and gentlemen) and gently, smilingly, woke me up, I was inwardly angry and hardly said a word. I put my workout clothes on, picking them up from where I'd set them out right next to the bed, peering at the clock with dry aching eyes and trying not to cry. (Yes. Really.) Then I came out of the room and felt sicker when I realized it was still dark outside. I don't know why, but it is 100 times harder to get up when it's dark outside.* The world just seems so sad and sleeping and-and-and-shouldn't I still be sleeping if the world is still sleeping? Stalling for time, I went on the computer to find out what time the sun would rise in Saint George on Monday September 8th. No luck. It was 6:20, and the sun wouldn't rise until 7:15. I stared angrily at the screen for four minutes until Phill said kindly, "Honey, you'll be fine. There are lots of other joggers out there and it'll lighten up." I said, "I know!" in a croaky about-to-die-or-cry voice, and then quelled the very furious face I was shocked to find myself making, and walked out the door.

The first ten minutes of my run I went too fast and was still mad. But I kept going, and eventually started to feel a little less like pushing the other joggers off the trail. Still not excited, still not euphoric, still not feeling the pride in myself for doing something I didn't want--but needed--to do. The sky did begin to lighten around 6:45, and that made me feel a little less murderous. By the time I got home, I was not quite cheerful, but certainly not the bear I had been 45 minutes previously. I was showered and dressed when Reed woke up, and put my make-up on while Phill got ready. When I came out to read my scriptures, Reed wrapped me in his big 5-year-old hug. (And as cold-hearted as I can feel in the morning, boy, did that warm me up.) Reed woke up at 7:30. Jax woke up at 8:30. And Savvy woke up at 9:30. Tender mercies, I'm telling you. I made a YUMMY breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast for all of us and I was finally feeling like being nice was second-nature around 9:00. I hope that over the next few days my coming out of the morning fog will happen faster as I adjust to this.

Now, 9 hours after the fact, I'm proud of myself, and I'm happy that I was able to do what I know I need to do. I'm sleepy, but I took a 30-minute cat nap. I'm sore, but I'm enjoying how strong I feel. I'm sad that I will probably not be able to stay up very late to read my book (Harry Potter series for the 3rd time), but I now have more hours in the morning to do that. And Phill's doing this too, helping me, cheering me on with his wonderfully impossibly boundless kindness in my dark mornings.

*I think that another good thing about this is that I'm going to learn to associate my early mornings with something happy. One thing that makes dark early mornings make me feel sick is that at least two of the more nerve-wracking and depressing memories I have took place in early dark mornings:
Getting up for my very first day of high school (having just moved to Belgium, too) and going to my very first day of early-morning seminary. Although my mom was my teacher (so wonderful), I couldn't still the horrible feeling in my stomach until I was well into my second-period class and the sun had been shining for a while.

Getting up early to take Phill to the airport to say goodbye when he was deployed. (Dark early morning both times.)

So I'm hoping that as I create better dark early-morning memories--peaceful ones, healthy ones--that this will somehow become easier for me. And if not easier, then at least routine and habitual. I trust that I'll start to see the blessings of doing this.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Photos galore!!

I have tons of photos that I should have posted--several times I've had tons of photos I should have posted, actually! So I'm playing catch-up. First off, I had two newborn shoots (oh, how those sweet little babies just beg to be held!!) recently.

But I haven't posted them because.....*drumroll*.....I've been working on a photography blog! So far, it's not looking the way I want it to (help, Lara!), so I'm still working on getting those posted. And my website is still under construction, through no faults except my own. I just can't make up my mind about what to post. Argh...wretched indecision!

So for now, I'll post some photos from tonight. We played in the front yard, and I decided to bring my camera out. Although it wasn't ideal light, we did take some in the garage (perfect light in there) and the photos still turned out in a way I love! They're full of authenticity and joy, and lots of times that means more to me than coordinated outfits or technical prowess or incredible clarity and color.

And Reed has been showing more and more of an interest in photography--meaning taking his own photos. (I actually have two folders on the computer of just his photos.) It started last November when my aunt, uncle and cousin gifted him with two disposable cameras, which he enthusiastically used in about 7 minutes. (That's my boy!) Well, now he asks to borrow my camera, and I usually let him, provided he wears the strap and lets me shadow him. I think it might be a bit heavy for him, though, as this following montage of photos demonstrates. But still! Still, look at his composition in the first of the four! Ah, that boy. :) I'm thinking about a good lightweight camera for him.....complete with in-depth How-to-Care-for-Your-Camera lessons from mama.

His photos (in the last one, he actually directed us to put Jaxon in the photo....):

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Much better, thanks!

All you well-wishers, thank you! Today found me feeling MUCH better already. First off, I was hoping and praying that the more painful part of my cold/flu/allergies/whatever it is would pass really soon--very fervently hoping and praying. Second, I found a medicine that does wonders (Western Family Non-Drowsy Severe Cold Multi-Symptom something something something.....and the pills are covered in something that cools your throat as it goes down.). Third, I chugged water like a champ last night, after doing what Phill suggested and doing a little 25-minute workout to "sweat it out", as he said. I drank some water before the workout, felt okay while doing the workout, then afterwards drank more water and took some more medicine before I fell asleep. And lastly--as an answer to my prayers, I'm sure--I didn't hear Savvy wake up in the night, and I only knew she was in bed with us because I felt her meaty little calf by my hand at some point in the night when I was not even close to coherent or caring. So I wasn't affected by her waking up at all....(thank you so much, sweet Phill)....and then Jax didn't get up until 8, Reed not until 8:30, and Savanna not until 9:00. (Thank you, darling babies!) So all of these things combined have made my symptoms much more bearable today! No more pain in my chest, no more sore throat (mostly), and most of all, none of that feeling of wanting to drill a little drainage hole into the front of my face!

So thanks, you well-wishers!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stinkin' September

So far, not a fan of this September! After my very motivating run on Saturday, I felt pretty great, until evening, when it started to get cloudy and humid. Then I started sneezing and my eyes began to look like I was in the throes of drug addiction. I figured it would go away after it rained on Sunday, thinking it must be allergies.

It didn't go away. It got worse. Not only were my eyes puffy and my sneezing coming more frequently--and I'd like to mention here that when I sneeze I feel as if I'm going to blow my scalp off with the force of it--but my nose began to drip. Then run. Aside from being just plain gross, it was annoying and eventually my nose became raw from all the wiping.

Yesterday I was brave and went for a run, thinking that it would help clear out all the gunk. Ha. I spent a good portion of my "run" walking, clutching my burning lungs and trying not to breathe through my very dry nasal passages. Unfortunately, it's hard to run when you try not to breathe. So I kept it short and came home, thinking I'd feel better once I held still for a bit. Not so much. It was all I could do to help the kids get PJ'd and bedded last night. I camped out on the couch with a roll of TP for my nose, some Powerade to re-hydrate and stay hydrated, a big fat book, and the remote. My head felt like it was growing larger and heavier by the second, until I found myself wishing that it would be logical to stick a needle in my forehead and cheeks and let my face drain. (I know that's really gross, but that's how I was feeling--gross!) Then I finally went to bed and talked to Phill for about an hour because I couldn't sleep while trying to get enough air through only one nostril. I woke up earlier than desired this morning because of that faulty nostril again, and couldn't go back to sleep. (Not fair.) And I'm cold, wearing a long-sleeved shirt and wrapping a blanket around my legs. (I suppose I'm acclimated, because 60 degrees felt pretty chilly this morning.)

I still don't know if I have just rip-roaring allergies or if I'm growing a sinus infection. (I had three almost back-to-back when I was 17. It was incredibly disgusting, but I developed a love for my raspy-hoarse voice and learned the value of lotion'd Kleenex.) But if it is allergies, well, September and I have a score to settle. I thought I was safe! Not pregnant, not summer, not surrounded by ragweed (at least not that I can smell/see)....what gives?