Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm alive, awake, alert, enthusiastic!

Actually, none of that is true. Barely awake, definitely not alert or enthusiastic. And in the spirit of Halloween, I think I officially passed over into undead zombie territory around 4:30 this morning.
  • 10:30- It all started around 10:30 last night. All the older children were finally in bed and asleep. Rylen was snoozing on my lap and I thought about putting him in bed so I could go to bed. Then Rylen started stirring and I decided I'd better wait a little longer.
  • 11:30- Finally decided I could put Rylen into bed. He immediately woke up. 
  • 11:45- Rylen asleep again and managed to put him in bed without waking him. Laid out clothes for all the children for tomorrow. Climbed into bed by midnight.
  • 12:30- Rylen awake again. Another 30 minutes to settle him back into bed.
  • 1:00- Brekken has a coughing fit that wakes me up. I lay listening, hoping he'll stop coughing and go back to sleep. Hear him say: "I gonna throw up." Which is a lovely habit of his when he coughs too much. Leap out of bed and get him water to calm the coughing before it leads to throwing up. Go to get cough medicine. By the time I return, he's sound asleep again. Go back and pour cough medicine back into the bottle. 
  • 1:30- Rylen awake again. 30 minutes and 3 tries to get him back into bed.
  • 4:00- Preston climbs into our bed. Kicking and squirming as he wiggles into place between us ensues.
  • 4:30- Rylen is awake yet again. My alarm is going off now because I forgot that I'm driving today and could actually sleep another 40 minutes. Reset the alarm. Nurse Rylen back to sleep. Give up on trying to put him back in his bed. I'll just nap sitting up for another 30 minutes.
  • 4:45- Rylen awake again. Soothe him back to sleep. Cry. Try to ignore screaming baby. Fail. Nurse baby back to sleep again.
  • 5:30- Alarm going off. Have to get up for work. Cannot hit the snooze anymore. Sure... now the baby is sleeping.
  • 5:45- Get out of shower. Baby is crying again. But I hear Aaron taking him to the other room so at least the other children won't wake up.
  • 7:15- Aaron calls me at work to let me know Rylen is now throwing up. So at least now I know why he was so very difficult last night. But of course, now I have the mommy guilt that I was so annoyed with him all night. If I'd realized he wasn't feeling well, I might have been more sympathetic when he kept waking up.
*sigh* It's shaping up to be a great day...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

That's a new one...

My boss has occasionally asked me questions about Mormons... just things she's heard and wondered about. Like "Why can't anyone else go inside a Mormon temple?" Or "Do you really wear special underwear?"

The other day, the topic of temple marriage came up (as part of a discussion about a wedding of another religion that someone had recently attended). Afterwards, my boss followed me into my office and said, "Can I ask you something?" I said, "Of course," and waited for her to go on. I could tell that she regretted bringing it up even as she was asking. She was having a really hard time even getting the question out.

"I'm sure it's not even true... I mean, if it is, there's nothing wrong... I don't want to sound like I'm judging... I just... I heard once, and I thought it can't possibly be right... but of course, maybe it is and there's deep symbolism... If you don't want to discuss it..."

I tried to put her out of her misery by assuring her she could ask and I wouldn't be offended, and she finally spit it out.

"I heard that in a temple wedding, after the ceremony the bride and groom go into another room with the... the... what do you call the head of your church?"

"The prophet."

"Right. So they go into the room with the prophet... and he... has... relations... with the bride while her husband is there and it's all okay with everyone."

I couldn't help myself. I started laughing. And assuring her it was most definitely not true. For one thing, I pointed out, the prophet is often a man in his 80s or 90s. And there are a LOT of people all over the globe who get married every day. There's not enough Viagra in the world. :)

Not sure where she heard that one, but at least now there's one less person believing a really odd Mormon rumor.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Getting Drunker All the Time

As much practice as I have in decifering the mangled English and strange accents of little children, sometimes 3-year-old-speak still stumps me.

Brekken just walked in and told me: "I'm really drunk, Mommy. And I'm getting drunker and drunker all the time!"

I was naturally a bit concerned by this. After a bit of questioning, it turns out that he is actually really STRONG. And getting STRONGER and STRONGER all the time.

Whew! Much better.

Fall Festival

The kids' school had a Fall Festival carnival last week. They looked forward to it for WEEKS. Every day they asked how much time was left before the carnival. So my heart sank when Preston came down with some sort of stomach bug and spent the day before the carnival throwing up - a lot. I was sure that either he would be sick or some of the other kids would catch it and be sick. Luckily he recovered and no one else came down with anything. There was a very sweet moment between my kids on Thursday night - Preston was feeling sick and was crying and sad because he just wanted to go to the carnival so badly and knew that if he was sick he wouldn't be able to go. He said: "Everyone else will go and have fun without me." And Haley walked over and gave him a hug and told him: "If you're still sick we'll all stay home. It wouldn't be fair to go without you. And I wouldn't have fun if I knew you had to stay home and be sad." My little drama queen can be such a sweetheart sometimes.

A few pictures from the big night...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Driver's Ed

The radio show this morning talked about a statistic that says 61% of new drivers say that the person teaching them to drive was distracted by a smartphone and paying attention to that instead of the driving lesson. It reminded me of when I was learning to drive. No smartphone involved, but plenty of distraction...

At our school, we took a driver's ed class during the trimester before you turned 16, then once you hit 16 you could actually go out in the practice car with the driver's ed instructor. I grew up in a fairly small town and I know a lot of kids there did some driving before their 16th birthdays. There were plenty of people I knew who weren't too concerned with legal niceties like learner's permits. My parents were not among these people. Before getting in the driver's ed practice car, I had MAYBE driven the family car once or twice for very short distances. In other words, I was far from a confident, experienced driver.

My very first day in the driver's ed car, there were two students and the instructor, Mr. Henry. (As a total side note, I remember the other student was Tyler - who was born one day before me. Which I knew because every time his mother substitute-taught a class I was in, she would comment on the fact that her son was born one day before me and she and my mother saw each other in the hospital when we were born. By the time I got to high school, other students in the class would mouth the story along with her.) 

Tyler lived about 30 minutes outside of town, so the instructor announced that Tyler would drive us from town to his house, where we would drop him off, and then I would drive the car back into town. Tyler confidently set off - he had obviously had some practice and did not seem nervous at all. He drove to his house, grabbed his things and hopped out. Then it was my turn.

I got in the driver's seat and started to pull slowly out of the driveway - very grateful that Tyler's family had a semi-circle driveway so I didn't have to try backing up first thing! I cautiously and nervously headed out to the highway. A few minutes later, Mr. Henry asked if I remembered the way back to town. I told him I did. He said I was doing great and he was sure I wouldn't have any troubles on the way home... and then he reclined his seat a few inches and went to sleep.

Yep, my first time really driving - especially driving on the highway instead of little back roads! - and the instructor went to sleep. I'm glad I didn't actually have any problems on the way! But we did make it back safe and sound.

Other memorable moments in Mr. Henry's driving instruction included the time he read the newspaper - unfolded fully in front of his face; there's no way he could see the road or anything that was happening out the front windshield. And of course the time he took off his shoes and clipped his toenails the entire time I was driving - I'll say this for him... he was a very flexible man.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This Week in Mormons

I remember when I was a child we would go on family trips and my parents would listen to talk radio. I couldn't understand it. Why on Earth would they want to listen to people talking instead of music? It seemed so boring!

Now, as seems to happen in many ways, I'm turning into my parents. I often decide to listen to someone talking instead of music. I have several podcasts that I download and listen to when I'm walking or driving and I really like listening to the people talk. :)

I thought I'd share one of my favorites, as it's something that might interest a few of you. This Week in Mormons is a podcast by a couple of guys who talk about the news in, around, and relating to the LDS church. They're pretty funny, without being irreverent or mean-spirited. Plus they go to the trouble to research a lot of stories that I'd never hear about otherwise. The news about the Provo tabernacle being converted to a temple? They predicted it weeks before it was announced in General Conference. So when it was announced, I felt very "in the know" when I could just nod and think, Yes. That's what we thought would happen.

The podcasts from this week and last week are a review of General Conference. They go through talk by talk and rehash some of the main points of each talk - with a few random segues along the way (for example, who is the most attractive Church leader? Apparently it's Young Women General President Elaine S. Dalton.)

You can listen to their weekly podcasts at their site: Or friend them on facebook: Or download the podcasts on iTunes. However you may do it, I would recommend it. I really enjoy listening to them talk. :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

That's a lot of firemen...

I was listening to the radio the other day and they were talking about asking kids the question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" At the moment, the answers at my house are a mommy (Haley), a fireman (Preston), and a fireman (Brekken).

Apparently, my boys fit right into the mold, because the top answer for boys is fireman. That led to a discussion of what would it be like if adults everywhere were really doing the jobs they dreamed of as children. There would be a lot of firemen, policemen, astronauts, teachers and princesses (top answers for girls) out there! What you probably wouldn't find is a lot of accountants, office managers, or burger flippers. All jobs that someone needs to do, but you don't find a lot of kids dreaming about it from a young age. :)

It got me thinking about what I wanted to be when I was a kid. I remember when I was really young I wanted to be a teacher - specifically a kindergarten teacher. These days, I know I just don't have the patience to handle a room full of 5-year-olds every day! It takes a special person to be a teacher.

Shortly after that, I decided I was going to be a vulcanologist. I have no idea where I originally learned that this was a profession, but I do remember for a number of years every time someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would immediately tell them I wanted to be a vulcanologist. Very few people had a response to that other than a weak, somewhat confused... "well, that's nice." I was fascinated with volcanoes for a lot of years and had grand plans for all the studies and discoveries I would make as a world-traveling vulcanologist. Alas, it turns out that I really have a huge fear of being burned, not to mention an aversion to breathing smoke and ash and a dislike of climbing large mountains... All of these being rather common activities for a vulcanologist investigating an active volcano, it's probably best that I eventually decided instead to be a doctor.

That was my career plan for a lot of years, actually. All the way through college. I majored in Biology (specifically, Public Health) and even took the MCAT and started filling out applications for medical school. I had decent scores, too. I probably could have been accepted. But organic chemistry filled me with dread. I barely managed to pass the organic chemistry courses required for my bachelor's degree - and looking ahead to medical school I saw a LOT more organic chemistry in my future. It was at that point (my final year of college) that I changed my path and decided to go to nursing school and become a nurse practitioner instead.

At the same time, I had a job building computer-based training courses for K-12 geography students. I loved it. I was so involved in it that I happily spent 60+ hours a week working on the projects, often spending the night in the computer lab, going home only long enough to nap for an hour or two and then heading out to class and back to work. (I obviously had much more energy back then than I do now!) My boss pointed out how much I loved what I was doing and suggested that I look into it as a career instead... which led to a complete change in direction for my master's degree and a career doing what I do now.

And I love what I do. I especially love my current job because it combines my interest in maternal/child medicine and education. But I do occasionally wonder what life would be like as a vulcanologist...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Melt My Heart Moment

On Saturday we were practicing a song for church that includes the line: "God gave us families." Preston thought about it for a moment and then said:

"I really like God. Because he made all the people I like the most. And he made you and made you my mommy. And I really love you so much."

What a little sweetheart!