Sunday, July 31, 2011

We Like To Take Our Time

Our garage is detached from and sits behind our house. There's a narrow driveway along the side of the house that leads back to it and a large parking area in front of it. It was paved with old, cruddy, cracking asphalt when we bought the house in December of 2005. It was in really bad shape and was in great need of replacement. So, in early November of 2006 we ripped out the entire back parking area (leaving the narrow drive in asphalt) and poured cement in half of it. We figured we would pour the other half in the spring (of '07). Well, spring came and went and we didn't pour any cement. We thought we would wait for some cooler temps and do it in the fall (of '07). Fall came and went without any cement poured. And so, we again planned on spring (of '08). Spring came and went and we didn't pour any cement. We decided to wait again for the cooler temps and said we would do it in fall (of '08). It didn't happen then either and this meaning to do it thing turned into a vicious cycle that lasted for three years. It just kind of turned into this thing where if we had the money to do it, we didn't have the time. And then, when we did have the time, we didn't have the money because we had spent it on other projects. But now, thanks to my father in law, 3 brothers in law, and some others ☺, we now have a parking area completely covered in cement. Hooray! I'm so glad it's finally done. Better late than never is what I always say. We're determined to get the asphalt in the driveway ripped out and cement poured in the spring (of '12). Or, maybe in about 4 1/2 years. We'll see.

Thank you so very much to all who helped with the work! It means the world to me and it feels wonderful to finally have that entire back area done!

P.S. I was holding Peyton yesterday when he tipped his head up and I could see up his nose. I said, "ewww! You have a lot of nasty boogers in your nose!" He said, "they aren't nasty boogers! They're tasty boogers for eating!" He then proceeded to stick his finger up his nose. Oh, my.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm Already Thinking About It

It's really ridiculous, but I'm already thinking about and preparing for Halloween. In fact, I've already bought costumes for Peyton and Avery. (Hey! Don't start with me. I know it's ridiculous to be buying Halloween costumes in July, but if you want to get what your kids want, you HAVE to shop this early.) Avery wanted to be Princess Peach (Super Mario Bros.) again. (She's asked to be her for about 3 years.) Unfortunately, I've only been able to find slutty, adult Princess Peach costumes. (I had no idea that Princess Peach ever wore short, short skirts with thigh high stockings and hooker heels, but apparently she does when she's all grown up. Whatever.) This year, however, a mighty miracle happened. I found, online, a child size, Super Mario Bros. licensed costume that isn't slutty. I snatched it right up and decided I would have Peyton wear something that coordinated with her. (They'll probably hate me for it when they're teenagers. Oh well. ☺) He's going to be Toad. Yay! They're done.

Cameron wants to be Deadmau5. I think it has something to do with raves (he doesn't know that) and techno music. I think. I'm not hip and in touch with what the young folks like. Cameron just thinks the mouse head is cool. I googled costumes for that and did find some on places like eBay. And guess what? They were only.........$275.00!!! No siree. I flat out to refuse to pay that much. I don't care how cool he thinks it is, or how happy he says it will make him. I'm a waaaaaay mean mom like that. He says that if he can't be that, he doesn't want to be anything. So, it looks like I'm going to have to figure out how to make the silly thing. (Google it if you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about.)

Tyler thinks he's too cool for Halloween and at the moment, says he doesn't want to dress up. I'm sure he'll change his mind. Especially since this will probably be the last year for him to do it. At least, it will probably be his last year to wear a costume to school. He'll be in 6th grade this year and I'm pretty sure that you don't wear costumes to the big, bad junior high. He needs to take advantage of his last year of elementary and wear something. We'll see what happens.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tom Hanks and Jane Austen Have Been Helping Me Get By

I woke up feeling like crap this morning. Why? Well I decided that I was tough and could get by just fine if I didn't take my pain meds in the middle of the night. (I've had to take some around 4:00 every morning.) That was so stupid of me. My throat and ears were throbbing by the time I woke up at 6:30. I think what I was experiencing was more never pain than simply sore throat pain. It still hurt like a son of a bee sting. Apparently, it happens because there are nerves running between where your tonsils sit (or, in my case, sat) and your ears. So, experiencing pain in your ears when you have pain in your throat, or severe the connection of the nerves to the tonsils, is perfectly normal. I've learned my lesson and will continue to take the meds every 4-6 hours for the next few days. I don't want to take any chances and experience that kind of pain again.

I've been watching a lot of Tom Hanks and movies based on Jane Austen books during my convalescence. Let's see, movies of the Tom Hanks variety I've watched are: Castaway, The Burbs, The Terminal, The DaVinci Code & I think there was one other, but I can't remember right at the moment. As far as Jane Austen goes: Pride & Prejudice (2 times), Emma, Sense & Sensibility (2 times) & Persuasion. I don't get to have movie marathons like those very often. It's been lovely.

On another note, I really like Giada DeLaurentis' recipes and her cooking. But.....I can't stand her over-pronunciation of Italian words. It's so flippin annoying. We all know you're Italian. Okay. Over-pronouncing the words doesn't make you sound more legit, or make me respect you more. I almost have to watch with the sound muted because it bugs me so much. Okay, enough of me being a jerk.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Putting It Out There

I'm just going to put this out there into the universe. Just in case people (Ryan) are wondering, "hmmm? What should we/I get Christa for her birthday or Christmas?" (Just so you know, I would do a hyper link these items, if I could. Stupid Blogger STILL won't let me do ANYTHING!!!! I was trying to think of how long these atrocities have been occurring and it seems like it's been happening ever since Blogger had their big collapse and it was down for a couple of days. I think almost everyone had problems at that time, BUUUUUUTTTTTT......their problems were fixed. MINE HAVEN'T BEEN!!! Enough of my whining.)

Here's one thing that I would really love to have:

And while I'm being a brat and asking for things that I really don't need, just want. Here's another:

My sewing machine is basically out of commission. I don't sew tons, but I do just often enough that not having a working one really bites. I've always wanted a Serger and I figured, why not whine and beg for one at the same time I whine and beg for a new, regular sewing machine. I have quite a few projects in mind I would like to do, but can't unless I have these things.

There. Enough of me being a spoiled brat.


I really can't wait until I can again eat solid foods. I tried eating a piece of bread on the 21st. Big mistake. I thought that since I was numb from the pain pills, I would be able to get it down. No.flippin.way. I was barely able to gag down 2 bites before I had to stop.

I was able to eat a very, very, very (like about as thick as a cracker) thin slice of bread yesterday. It took me 15 minutes and I had to chew until it was liquefied, but I got it down. So, I figured it would be no problem to eat something at Avery's birthday dinner. (She chose Ckick-fil-A.) I ordered the chicken salad sandwich. I nibbled on the chicken and got down about 5 bites. Tried the bread and just couldn't do it. So, I gave up. I took everything home, including the fries, to try again another time.

I was able to eat about 4 bites of the birthday cake because it was extremely soft. So, I decided around 9:15 to try to eat one the fries. I even broke off all of the edges and only ate the softest part from the center. HOLY COW! I thought I was going to die. It was like swallowing broken glass. I started to cough/gasp/cry/gag. It was truly, truly AWFUL! I think it's because I had pushed my luck and tried to eat too much. I had to take 2 pain pills and 800 mg of Ibuprofen to kill the pain. I also lay on my bed and cried for a while. It didn't help with the pain, but I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. So, I'm sticking to a very soft and or liquid diet indefinitely. I'm really missing solid food.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


My little girl is 7 years old today! She's been so excited she has hardly been able to stand the wait. She's been counting down for about 364 days. (She'll start counting down to the next one tomorrow. She's especially excited for that one because when she's 8, she'll be able to be "bathtized".) She's a little worried about the present thing this year because I've been laid out for more than a week with my tonsils. She's pretty sure that since I've been so sick, I haven't had the opportunity to get to the store. She even offered to call her dad yesterday and tell him what she wanted. You know, so he could go shopping on his way home from work. (Little does she know, I planned ahead (something I very rarely do ☺) and did all of my birthday shopping more than a week ago.)

She's really is such a sweet, kind, loving, helpful, thoughtful, fun & silly girl. We are truly blessed to have her in our family. Happy Birthday Avery! May all your princess birthday wishes come true!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

He Must Love Me

Ryan has been taking such good care of me these past few days. He's been making sure I take my pain meds. He makes sure that I always have something cold to drink or suck on. He keeps me comfortable. He lets me sleep when I need it. He's been a wonderful nurse and I love him so much. ♥

P.S. I'd also like to thank my parents for taking the kids for several hours on Wednesday evening so that I could have a quiet house to sleep in. I love you so much! ♥

P.S.S. Finally, another big thank you to my in-laws for taking the kids to a family reunion from Thursday morning until this afternoon. That was such a big help, too. I love you so much! ♥

Heck, I love everyone right now! And that's not just the pain meds talking. I am a very lucky girl to be surrounded by such kind and caring people. ♥ Thank you so very much everyone!

Friday, July 22, 2011

No Kidding

The nurse who took care of me while I was having my tonsils removed, told me to expect to feel "okay" for the first couple of days after surgery. She said there would be pain and discomfort, but nothing that would be too terrible. She told me when I could expect to feel the real pain/swelling/discomfort would be day 3. And then it would be bad, probably very bad, until day 7. She said after that time, I could expect a great improvement and things would feel better. Well, today is day 3 and, oh boy, was she not kidding! Today, I feel like gum stuck on the bottom of a shoe. My throat hurts. My tongue hurts. My ears hurt. The roof of my mouth hurts. But...I will never say that having my tonsils removed wasn't worth it. I'm so very glad that they're gone!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Today is the Day

I'm scheduled to go in at 3:30 this afternoon to have my tonsils removed. That's kind of a late time in the day to do it. Especially since you can't eat anything after midnight the night before. Don't you think? ☺ I'm not a person who can eat breakfast first thing in the morning. I need a little bit of time to wake up and get going before I can think about food. Sometimes, if my day gets crazy busy, I can forget about breakfast altogether (which is really stupid and something I should stop doing). (Plus, I just CAN'T eat prior to my workout and I do my workouts in the mornings. It makes me sick to my stomach to try and do anything if I've eaten.) There are days when I don't eat anything until 1:00 or later. So, I figured I could easily handle going without until post-op. No big whoop. I even ate 2 helpings at dinner at 7:00 and then ate a nectarine at around 10:00 in order to tide me over. But....guess what the only thing on my mind is this morning? Food. And lots and lots of it. Oh, food! Glorious food!

Right about now would be the time I'm getting around to breakfast on an average day. I've finished my workout, I've done a few things around the house and finally have a moment to stop and eat. I'm feeling hungry out of habit. I didn't do a workout this morning because doing it and then not being able to refuel would be a bad idea. I'd be done for, have a headache and be ultra ornery the rest of the day.

Thankfully, I can drink clear fluids like water and apple juice up to four hour prior to my check-in time. I have until 11:30 to chug liquids and fool my stomach into thinking that it isn't hungry. I hope it works! ☺

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Jerk Dog

My dog still loves me the best and while I do kind of secretly like it because it is a little fun (it bugs the crap out of Tyler), it does get old. I don't get a lot of breathing room when he's around. He follows me everywhere. (I'm trying to force him to stay around the kids once in a while. I have them put his leash on him and hold onto it so he HAS to stay in the same room as them. It's helping a little. Baby steps.) The minute I make any sort of movement that might indicate I'm leaving a room, he's up on his feet and ready to follow. (I'm a jerk and will sometimes stand up and then sit right back down. Just to see what he'll do. Hey, I've never claimed to be nice. ☺) He still waits for me outside the bathroom door. He's always lying right under my feet while I'm making food. He watches me while I do laundry. He likes to lie across my feet while I'm at my computer desk. (I have to admit, that one is kind of sweet.) And all of those things are okay and relatively easy to deal with, but he's taking it a step further now. He's decided that he can't eat unless I'm standing in the room. (We keep his dish in the kitchen.) Now, that just goes beyond all that's reasonable for me. I don't have the time (or desire) to sit and watch him each time he eats. I've been trying to break him of it by having the kids do the same thing they do to keep him around them. They put his leash on so he can't run away from them, then they start to hand feed him. It's been taking a lot of coaxing and doesn't always work, but we're going to continue with it come heck or high water. Again, baby steps. I refuse to be present for every single one of his meals. It's just too ridiculous!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I've Finally Decided To Do It

I have abnormally large tonsils. Like, massively huge, alien sized ones and they've been that way for as long as I can remember. It seems like I've always had issues with them, too. Whenever I get sick, it always seems to settle in my throat. There was one year (somewhere around 7-10 years old) that I had strep throat or tonsillitis at least 10 times. It felt like I was at the doctor's office all the time. I tried every antibiotic known to man, but it always seemed to come back. Doctors, unfortunately, were reluctant to remove my tonsils because of the open heart surgery I had at 10 months old. They didn't know how my heart would handle the surgery (they were also worried about infections, etc) because when I had my open heart, the surgery was a fairly new procedure. Most babies up to that time simply didn't survive the defect. In 1976, they were starting to blaze new trails. I was a pioneer and was basically a case study they were learning from as I grew. Well, times have changed and doctors have figured out that simply cutting out my tonsils won't kill me. Thank goodness!

My family doctor first suggested I have them removed around 7 or 8 years ago. He told me it wouldn't necessarily prevent strep throat (which I knew), but I wouldn't have massively swollen tonsils should I happen to get it. It would also, most likely, take care of my ahem...snoring problem. I also get tonsil stones (very disgusting things, you can Google them if you like, but don't say I didn't warn you) and not having to deal with those anymore made the idea of surgery more than worth it. I wanted to do it, so very much, but could never seem to find the right time. I had small kids, I was pregnant, I was breastfeeding a baby, it would be hard for Ryan to get the time off from work, etc. I don't have excuses like that anymore. (Well, I still have small kids, but they can handle themselves a bit better now.)

So, back in May, I had a sinus infection and went in to see my doctor. I told him I was finally ready to get the disgusting buggers yanked out. He referred me to an ENT specialist and I finally saw him on Monday. When he looked in my throat he said, "Oh! I can see why you want to have those removed. Those are gross!" Ummm...thanks? He was available to do the surgery yesterday, but I couldn't do it on just 2 days notice. So, I'm having them removed on the 19th. To say that I'm excited would be an understatement. I don't care that's it's probably going to hurt like a mother after. I want them gone because the improvement to my quality of life after will be so great. 35 1/2 years is long enough to live with those disgusting things.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Deep Thoughts Pt. 2

So, I said on June 25th, (can't link to it because of, you know, Blogger being stupid) that I had some deep thoughts that I wanted to blog. Well, my previous 2 posts were what I wanted to say. There's probably more I could say, but like I said, my mind is kind of feeble. That was the best I could do. (Oh, and I never allowed myself much "down time" while at camp in order to better organize my thoughts. Maybe I'll add a bit more later. Don't get too excited.) I wanted to get those thoughts out because of some events that had occurred in just about the month prior to June 25th. They were quite tragic and sad and set my feeble brain to thinking. I really just wanted to get them out. The few readers I have were the "lucky" recipients of my deep thoughts. ☺

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Looking Inward

This is kind of a follow-up to yesterday's post that I, of course, can't link to because stupid Blogger won't let me. (Do you hear that Blogger administrators? Your site has been a big, steaming pile of poop lately. At least, for me it has.) It's another reminder for ME because I have weaknesses, I forget, I stumble and....I need constant reminders.

So, as you may or may not know, I am the 1st Counselor (over the Mia Maids) in the Young Women's presidency in my ward. And as such, I have to teach lessons every other Sunday. A few months ago, I was teaching a lesson about resolving conflicts, or something along those lines. I had a thought come to me while preparing it: So very often, when we are in the midst of a conflict, we turn everything outward and blame all of our problems on others. What I realized, is that most often, the problem doesn't lie with others. The problem lies within us. (Whoa!? You mean everyone on the planet is NOT out to get me, or ALWAYS picking on me!? You mean it can sometimes be a problem with me!?) We do this, especially, if we tend to look at things with a "poor me" attitude. (Raise your hand if you sometimes do that because I'm raising mine.) It's such a self-defeating way of thinking and doing it takes our energy away from fixing the problem. So, we pretty much turn ourselves into our own worst enemy. We look for faults in others because we feel wronged, thereby, turning ourselves into the victim. We assume that everyone else is wrong and we're right. (Admitting that I am not always right is a very tough pill for me to swallow.) We let our own hurt feelings get in the way and prevent resolution. We waste countless hours screaming at the top of our lungs how right we are and how wrong is everyone else. Or, at the same time, we even let the opinions of others cloud our judgment and prevent resolution. A friend posted a great quote on facebook: "During the bonfires of life don't take advice from the person holding a gallon of gas." Are we letting those who are pouring gasoline on the flames of the problem, influence our opinions? Or, even worse, are we the ones pouring on the gasoline? (Unfortunately, I'm guilty of both offenses. I need to learn to leave things alone.) In actuality, if we want to resolve our conflicts, we are the ones who need to make changes. After all, WE are the only human beings on this planet that we have total control over. So, why not start with ourselves? If we aren't willing to make the changes in ourselves, down. Even worse, every time we take this approach, we risk gradually become more and more bitter, resentful, cruel or even vengeful. (Sounds like a lovely combination, no?) We only hurt and then destroy ourselves. I revealed my realization to the girls and I suggested/asked them if they might try to think of this the next time they found themselves in the middle of a conflict. Perhaps, try to approach it thinking, "what do I need to fix in myself in order to fix this problem?". I told them if they would it, they would see their problems and conflicts be resolved much more quickly and then dissipate altogether. (Remember how you said that, Christa? Hmmm...reminding myself.)

Now, once I challenged them to try and see things in a different light, I realized that I have to do the same. I can't be a do as I say, not as I do kind of person. Because am I guilty of doing this? Absolutely. And more often than I care to admit. Have I been perfect in applying this thinking to my everyday life since that time? Absolutely not. If I don't consciously keep an open mind during a conflict, I veer to the "poor me" way of thinking and I turn into a shrew. Who wants to be around a shrew? I certainly don't. And more importantly, my family and friends don't. I NEED TO TRY HARDER AND I NEED TO TRY HARDER EACH AND EVERY DAY! I need to be aware, conscious, present and mindful of ALL of my actions. Whether in times of conflict, or good times too. The Young Women president of my ward said it like this: We need to stop thinking that we should be treating others the way we want to be treated. Rather, we need to think that we should be treating others the way that Jesus Christ would treat them. The way he would treat others is the standard we should be holding ourselves to. She also gave the girls a fantastic handout yesterday. It's a coin with a sticker on each side, with one side reading: What I do reflects who I am! The other side says: Who I am reflects what I do! Great food for my thoughts. Time to apply, apply, apply!

This has been another long, jumbled, rambling post brought to you by: me. ☺ Have a nice day!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thought/Reminder for Myself for Today

"The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past . . . we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. . . . I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." Charles Swindoll

This is something I needed to remind myself today because I truly, firmly, with all my heart believe it. Adversity comes to us all, there's simply no avoiding it, but we CAN avoid having a negative reaction to it. Negative reactions destroy ourselves and pretty much EVERYONE around us. So, how do I avoid a negative reaction? Quite simply, by humbling myself enough to know that I may know some things, but I DON't know everything. I also need to place my faith and trust in God and trust that he can help me and those around me get through whatever is going on. (Somthing I need to remember. Taking out my frustrations on others/unnecessarlily stirring the pot of contention only brings just that: contention. And resentment. Not a good combination. Oh, and the problem never goes away, either, unless I let it. So, I guess the phrase that would most appropriately apply here is that I need to "let it go".)

To quote a bit from a book called "Adversity", by Elaine Cannon (and taken from a talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks):

"An old cowboy said he had learned life's most important lessons from Hereford cows. All his life he had worked cattle ranches where winter storms took a heavy toll among the herds. Freezing rains whipped across the prairies. Howling, bitter winds piled snow into enormous drifts. Temperatures might drop quickly to below zero degrees. Flying ice cut into the flesh. In this malestrom of nature's violence most cattle would turn their backs to the ice blasts and slowly drift downwind, mile upon mile. Finally, intercepted by a boundary fence, they would pile up against the barrier and die by the scores.

But the Herefords acted differently. Cattle of this breed would instinctively head into the windward end of the range. There they would stand shoulder-to-shoulder facing the storm's blast, heads down against its onslaught.

You always found the Herefords alive and well, said the cowboy, I guess it's the greatest lesson I ever learned on the prairies - just face life's storms."

Similarly, if we face up to our individual adversities or hardships (and I, Christa, would like to add if we face up to our weaknesses and shortcomings and stop blaming others), they can become a source of blessing. God will not give us adversities we cannot handle, and he will bless us richly for patiently doing the best we can in the circumstances. (And I, Christa, again would like to add something: if we stand together instead of trying to drive each other apart, the hardships will only be easier. Again, something I need to remember.)

(Stupid spell check still isn't working for me. I'm sure this post is just full of spelling errors.)