Friday, October 14, 2011

Food Cravings

You know what is the worst? When you crave something, so that's what you decide to fix but then you taste something else while you're out and now that's all that sounds good. I've been wanting pizza all day, which is good since Fridays are pizza nights and I always make pizza. But then, when I was at the grocery store, I sampled some steak they were cooking up and it was so tasty. Now all I want is steak. Go figure.

Of course, now that I'm looking at the pictures of pizza, that looks delicious again. Maybe I'm just hungry.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Baby Problems

For me, if someone wants to torture me, all they'd have to do is keep me awake long enough for me to be sleep deprived. Yup, this is torturous to me.

Saturday night: baby went down FINALLY around 9 pm. Woke up at 10:30. Down again at 11:00. Woke again around 1:30. Down again by 2 pm. Woke again at 4:30 then again at 5:30 and wouldn't go back to sleep. At 8:30, I finally got him down for a nap and he slept until 10:30. Went to church, came home, he slept again from 2:30 to 3:50. Same story Sunday night.

Sunday night: down FINALLY around 9 pm, after two hours of trying to get him to go to sleep. Woke up SCREAMING at 10:15. Put him down and he woke up SCREAMING again at 11:30. I brought him into bed with me and the rest of the night was the same--45 minutes of sleep then 30 minutes of screaming.

Monday: Woke up for the day at 6 am. Baby went down for a nap FINALLY at 10 am. Slept til 12:30. Took another nap from 2:30 to 4:00. Went to bed at 7 pm. Slept until 7 am.

Tuesday: Woke at 7 am. Went down for nap at 8:30 am. Slept until 10 am. Second nap not until 1:30 pm. Slept until 2:30 pm. Fell asleep at 6:45 in carseat and stayed asleep until 9:15 pm. Went back to sleep and slept until 4:30.

Wednesday: 4:30 a.m. Baby up. Wouldn't go back to sleep. 8:45 nap. Woke up 9:15. 11:45 nap. Woke up 12:15.

Now it's 1:40 and he won't go to sleep but it doesn't matter because I have to take one of my other kids in to the doctor for a regular checkup anyway and if he fell asleep I'd just be waking him up.

I feel like screaming and crying.

Most of all, I just want to sleep.

On top of all that, I'm just not feeling good.

I'd really like a break. I'd really like for the doctor to just figure out what's wrong with my baby so he can eat and sleep like a normal baby.

Yes, he's seven months old and still not on solids because every time I try any solids, he gets bad tummyaches and won't sleep and spends all his time screaming. We waited TWO weeks between every single introduction to solids.

In my book, it points to something wrong with his digestive system. Not a food allergy. A food allergy would be consistent with one food and with elimination, the problem would be resolved. We even changed his formula. After having a rough adjustment to a new formula, he's not doing any better.

He doesn't show signs of a food allergy either. His poop is regular, although he seems to have trouble passing it, it is not constipated (not hard or dry). It's not super runny and super frequent either, like diarrhea would be. There is no blood in his stool. There is no vomiting. There is spit up, but compared to the spit up he had up until about 5 months, it's really quite minimal and not nearly as bad as any of the other kids.

The only signs that something is wrong are how often he screams and cries when he should be sleeping and how little he sleeps.

I'm really convinced that something isn't right, but I don't know what and I don't know how to convince a doctor to take a closer look. I'm afraid to give him solids. I'm afraid to give him formula. I'm afraid of feeding him at all. He pushes the bottle out of his mouth while screaming in hunger at the same time.

Something isn't right.

Something simply isn't right.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Don't Judge Too Quickly

My friend posted this link on Facebook. I read the whole blog post, which was rather long. It was about how a father in a store had belittled his child to make him feel like nothing. The man who wrote the post, a single father, was upset because he sees too many dads doing such things and not realizing how powerful a role they have in their child's life.

I agree with much of what he said about the role of fathers and how a comment, a touch, a kind word or an angry word, can make or break a child was true. I think dads play a powerful role in the life of a child and a very important one.

However, I think in his overly long rant, he went a bit too far. Sometimes, as parents, we just get angry. Sometimes, as parents, we say angry words that are hurtful to our children. Sometimes we don't apologize for them either. I don't think that necessarily will screw our kids up for life because we might do that.

And we also shouldn't really judge what another person is doing at a grocery store in the five or so minutes we see them. We don't know the whole story. Someone posted a video on Facebook a while ago about not knowing the whole story, seeing through new lenses. I wish I could post the link but I couldn't find a non-Facebook link to the video. A man is having a bad day and annoyed with the people around him until he is handed the special glasses. When he puts the glasses on, he sees a statement with each person explaining a little bit of what they're going through and he begins to understand why people act the way they do.

So let's not judge others on their parenting unless they're actually being abusive. I don't think it's right. I've had those days where I was the one yelling at my kids in the grocery store and I don't feel like I'm a terrible parent. We all have bad days. In the meantime, we can try to control our anger and be better parents.

P.S. Try this link to the video and see if it works (if you're on Facebook).

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sewing Club

When I was in fourth grade, my friend and I wanted to start a sewing club. We thought it would be a fun place to be with friends and to also learn how to sew. We planned all these fun projects we could do (neither of us really knowing how to sew at that point). We organized every minor detail of the club. It was all very exciting. But it never panned out.

It would have been neat if we had made it work. I remember going through my mom's patterns and picking out the ones we wanted to learn how to do. I can even remember some of the specific patterns.

The thing is that I wasn't brave enough to actually initiate starting the club. My friend and I talked about it all the time. It really was mostly a club just for the two of us where we talked about sewing. But to actually start the club, well, neither of us had the nerve to try, especially me.

It's kind of too bad that I'm still like that. I have all these ideas but am always afraid to try them. Or when I finally do, I try them with the wrong people, people who, although good friends of mine, aren't really interested in doing something like that.

I think it would be awesome to go on a cruise with a bunch of girlfriends, or have a girl weekend away and go to the beach or somewhere fun. But I don't seem to have a group of girlfriends who share that interest.

I think it would be fun to have a girls group where we have girls night out, but we don't always just meet at a restaurant and talk. Playing board games is fun. Meeting to go do something, like ice skating or bowling, or going to a museum or another tourist site would be fun. But I can't ever seem to make that happen.

So, if you're a cool chick who makes things like that happen, what's your secret?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Same as Always Sunday

I almost didn't go to church today. I just didn't want to. I was up with the baby at 10:30, 12:30, 4:30 and 5:30 last night. My husband closed at work, so he worked from 4:30 pm until 2:00 a.m. That pretty much makes him useless all day Sunday. I'm lucky if he makes it to church on the days after he closes. Though it's better now with him working only 15 minutes away and church not starting until 11 a.m., but I feel like his mother dragging him out of bed at 10:15, begging him to hurry so we won't be late for church.

Anyway, back to the original story. I didn't want to go to church. I'm tired of church through my eyelids. Frankly, it's majorly uncomfortable to try and sit upright in a pew or in a chair for three straight hours as exhausted as I am, not to mention embarrassing at how easily I fall asleep.

I get nothing out of church. Nothing. I don't even feel the Spirit anymore. Can't remember what that feels like, really.

And I knew that if I went to church, I wouldn't get a decent nap at all today. I was right. I got to sleep for about 20 minutes before my husband had to leave for work again. When he left through the garage, that woke the baby up, and I had to get up. Now the baby won't go to bed.

Anyway, I did go to church. I guess my sense of duty is more powerful than my exhaustion. I don't remember a thing that was said. Mostly, though, I went because at 10:15 am, my husband was still not out of bed and the kids were all ready to go. So I got myself dressed (had showered at 5:30 am when the baby wouldn't go back to sleep) and made sure the rest of us were ready. We actually weren't late this time and even got there early enough to sit up front. But still, I hate rushing to church, especially since I'm up at the crack of dawn (actually, much earlier now that it's darker later), and I hate going to church tired. Lately, I find myself not wanting to go to church at all. Yet, still I go. Now that's dedication for you.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Favorite Toys

My favorite toy(s) as a child were my Barbie horses. I had three of them. Dallas, Dixie and Honey. I played with those things so much that I ended up breaking off most of the their legs from the knees down. They did not survive my childhood even though my Barbies did.

Honestly, though, I had forgotten about my Barbie horses until my daughter started getting into My Little Pony. I remembered that I had two My Little Ponies. One was a purple unicorn with a white mane and tail and the other was a white pegasus with an orange mane and tail. I was explaining to my husband how I didn't really like the My Little Ponies as much as I liked the Barbie horses because the Barbie horses were more realistic. I never did get into My Little Pony very much.

Upon remembering this, I decided to see if I could find any of these Barbie horses on E-bay. I ended up finding ALL of them on E-bay, plus ones that were before my time and even later. I bid on all the ones I could and won almost all of them. Now, I have a full set of the Barbie horses I had, two of them are mint, in my closet and all the extras I won went into my daughter's toy box.

My husband laughs at me for buying the mint ones. He asked if I would ever let my kids play with them and I told him probably not. I just wanted them to look at and remember some of my favorite times as a child, I guess.

Friday, October 7, 2011

IMPROVE the Moments

So I've been doing a little therapy these last couple of months, just to work through some things and to try and gain a better perspective. Anyway, I learned this great technique for when I feel like things are flying out of control and I feel panicky and anxious. Here it is: IMPROVE the moments.

Imagery--Focus on an image, either imagined or real, that brings peace and serenity. This could be a memory, faces of people you love, a picture hanging in your house, etc.

find Meaning--Think "What can I learn from this?"  instead of "Why is this happening to me?"

Prayer--Pray for strength, comfort, answers, etc. to help get through the moment.

Relaxation--Do something that relaxes you.  A bubble bath, playing the piano, going for a walk, etc.

One thing in the  moment--Focus on only one thing that you can get done or that needs to be done.

Vacation--Take a break.  Either a real vacation, like a girls night out, or just a change of scenery, like taking the kids to the park to get out of the house on a nice day.

Encouragement--Give yourself self-encouragement "You can do this!" 

I feel like this has been helping me, simply by giving me something to focus on when I'm feeling like things are out of control.  Which, with five kids under nine, is bound to happen at least once a day or more!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New Recipe (Recipe Included)

Tonight I tried something new for dinner. I don't usually fly by the seat of my pants in cooking. People have complimented my cooking before, but I'm really only just very good at following recipes (most of the time). However, I like to utilize my leftovers and sometimes eating them the same way they were served the first time is incredibly boring.

Since we had oven-baked chicken on Sunday and I really don't like eating those leftovers (a leftover chicken thigh with skin reheated is just not very good), I was brainstorming what I could do with it. I decided that I would take the leftover pieces and take all the chicken off the bones and save it. Then I would throw it in the crockpot with some salsa and then serve it over rice.

Well, it didn't end up working out how I had planned. My husband and I ended up using the leftover chicken for lunch. He tossed some of it with shredded cheese and salsa into a quesadilla and I used some of it for a BBQ chicken pizza.

So when today came up, the day I was supposed to use it for dinner, I went with my original idea, only I thawed some chicken breasts I have in the freezer and used those. I tossed them in the crockpot and covered them with salsa. Then I set it on low and let it simmer for about four hours. I cooked up some rice and shredded some cheese and served it over rice topped with cheese. The kids LOVED it! Maybe I can try adding things like pinto beans or other veggies to the mix as well.

The nice thing was that it was easy and very few ingredients, most are ones that we almost always have on hand.

Salsa chicken over rice

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
jar of salsa--whatever floats your boat
shredded cheese (we like mild cheddar)

Place thawed (or partially thawed) chicken in crockpot and cover with salsa. Simmer on low for until chicken is cooked (our crockpot tends to cook things at too high a heat so an 8 hour recipe on low really only takes 4-5 hours).
Serve over rice and top with shredded cheese.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Was my college education wasted?

Was it worth it? The time, the money. I don't teach in an elementary school and haven't for eight years now. I don't even help out at the school.

What about my husband's? He majored in the easiest thing possible so he could finish as quickly as possible. Communications. He is a manager for a fast food company. They train all their managers from within, and don't even take into consideration the education level. Having one won't hurt but it's not necessary for promotion. So was that wasted time and money on his part?

What about my sister-in-law who majored in physics? At least there is practical application in child-rearing with what I studied--how children grow and learn, different methods of teaching them, what problems to expect. Was her education, the time and money spent on that, wasted as well?

I think having a college education is very valuable. Is it the most important thing? No. Can we be successful and smart in life without one? Sure.

I think people who blast college educations, however, are somewhat ignorant. They don't understand that in college, besides hopefully finding a focus that will help establish you in a career, you are also taught to think. You are allowed to examine different perspectives and analyze the information you find and sift through it for what's important. You gain a broader understanding of the world, of other people, and of their thoughts and ideas. That is what general eds are for--to gain perspective and hopefully find something to narrow your focus.

Even meeting the people I met helped broaden my mind and give me enlightenment and understanding. I met people from many walks of life from all over this country and the world. I had friends from Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Argentina, and Chili. I spent some time in Mexico and learned Spanish. None of that I probably would have done had I not gone to college and had the opportunity through school to do it.

I think it's upsetting that college costs are rising through the roof. But I still don't think that negates the value gained from getting a college education.

Perhaps I will use my education degree again someday to help with income. Perhaps I won't. I still will never regret those four years I spent at BYU, paying them for my studies, and studying what I did.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Busy Day Schedule

This is how my day went.

6 am Woke up to baby crying. Husband went to the store for more formula and to get gas in his car.

6:15 am Baby was almost back to sleep but sound of garage door woke him

6:30 am I shower but don't have a chance to dry and do my hair.

6:45 am I discovered that we accidentally paid our car payment twice and therefore had an overdraft all BEFORE husband's early morning store trip. That's $113 over (formula, car gas, some of the second car payment)

7:15 am We have scripture reading and prayer and husband leaves for work. We eat breakfast. I make kids' lunches and manage while they get ready for the day.

8:00 am Walk to the bus with all five kids and the neighbor boy who I help to see off to the bus every day.

8:30 am Put the baby down for a nap.

9:15 am Baby wakes up

9:30 am I do preschool with my 3 and 5-year-olds.

10:45 am Finish preschool. Put baby down for nap.

11:15 am Eat lunch

11:45 am Lay down while 5-year-old plays with Legos and 3-year-old watches Nick, Jr.

12:30 pm Baby wakes up

12:30-2:00 pm Help kids with Legos. Look up Lego directions online. Try to straighten up.

2:00 pm Start the canning process by pulling all the stuff out and running the jars through a heat cycle

3:00 pm Put baby down for nap

3:15 pm Start actually canning

3:30 pm Boys get home from school. They go outside to play. I keep on canning.

3:45 pm Baby wakes up

4:00 pm Peaches in jars in canner with timer on

4:30 pm Kids come in and start homework. I start making dinner and clean up from canning at same time.

5:10 pm Eat dinner.

5:35 pm Leave house for flag football. 5-year-old now has headache, fever, chills, and sore throat.

6:00 pm Arrive home from dropping off oldest at flag football.

6:15 pm Baths for all kids at home.

6:45 pm until now Facebook and Blogging. Need to regain sanity.

(Kids are still up, waiting for dad and brother to come home from flag football to finish out bedtime routine and stories)

That is actually how most of my days go, although I don't can every day. But it is always that busy.

Monday, October 3, 2011


I'd like to learn how to can. I like the idea of having a food storage that is partly made up of food I've canned myself. It would be even better if I knew how to grow said food and then I canned it.

Since we live in a place where everyone cans in the fall, I thought I would take this opportunity to learn how to do. I think, though, that it is one of those things you can't really learn until you do it yourself. Last year, I went over to a friend's mom's house to can a box of peaches. I'd like to say I learned how, but really, she and her mom did most of the work. It was fun talking while canning, much more fun than canning by myself would have been. But this year, I don't have much to can. I wasn't planning on canning at all, actually (since my friend moved away) but my dad left me a whole bunch of peaches, apples, tomatoes and pears when he came up last week and bought some to take home for my mom to can.

So here I am with all this food and no intention of canning. I called my friend and got her mom's number and asked to borrow her canning equipment. Now I have the equipment. I have the bottles (emptied from last year's canning exploits) and I have a box of lids in my pantry that I never used.

Tomorrow I will embark into the land of home canning on my own. I've printed up some Internet instructions as well as having obtained a copy of the instructions written by my friend's mom. I plan on canning the peaches. The pears, well, we've mostly eaten and will probably eat the rest (we LOVE fresh, ripe pears!). I am going to try to make fresh spaghetti sauce with the tomatoes and freeze some of it. And the apples. I can't decide whether or not to make them into applesauce or to just use them throughout this week making apple pie and apple strudel.

Wish me luck.

*image courtesy Google images

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Homecoming Queen

A few weeks ago, this article appeared in the newspaper here. It is about two sisters who were both crowned Homecoming Queen in successive years at a high school in Southern Utah. The interesting thing about the article is that both sisters were born with Down's syndrome.

This is a wonderful example of a high school pulling together to help these girls have a special experience. The neatest part was that the older sister got to give the crown to her younger sister on the night of the Homecoming game.

Oh, and I should mention. The cool thing for me is that the principal of this high school is someone I know--someone I even blogged about in this post a few years ago on Valentine's Day. He's a great guy and a great principal!

I just loved this story and thought it was so great that the school did that. What a wonderful memory for these girls and how great that they could have a positive experience like that in a public high school!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Best Pizza Dough Ever (Recipe Included)

Yep, I'm biased. But this is the best pizza dough. Since I learned to make this dough, I haven't wanted any other kind of pizza. At least not delivery. A few sit-down pizza restaurants might have it beat, but more so because I don't have to cook it! But here is my awesome recipe.

This makes 2 thick or 4 thin crusts (round). I have used it to make one big pizza on a large cookie sheet also. When I make a round crust, I use a round pizza baking stone.

Add to heavy duty mixer (Bosch, Kitchenaid) in this order:

1 2/3 cup warm water (about 80 degrees F)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp dry milk powder
4 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp active dry yeast

Mix until blended, 1-2 minutes. Then mix on medium speed for five minutes. Let rest for five minutes. Then mix again on medium speed for 12 minutes. I always move it to a greased bowl at this point rather than letting it rise in the mixer. Let rise for 40 minutes.

Roll out crust and place on cookie sheet or pizza pan. Fold edges under. Use whatever topping you like. I've even done BBQ chicken pizza with this dough before.

Bake at 425 for about 15-20 minutes until crust is golden brown around edges. Pop any bubbles in it while baking.

31 for 21 Blog Challenge

If you click on the picture above, it will take you to my friend Gretchen's blog. My friend Gretchen was my best friend in the 3rd and 4th grade. We became friends when I moved to her school in the 3rd grade, a state-to-state move. I was doing back flips on the playground and she came over and challenged me to a contest. I found out that, like me, she was also a gymnast, and it turned out that we both went to the same gym. From then on, we were inseparable. Until I moved away eighteen months later. We've kept in touch through the years.

Last year, she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He was born with Down's syndrome. This month, she has issued a blog challenge to blog every day for 31 days to raise awareness for Down's syndrome.

Down's is caused by an extra 21st chromosome and there are 31 days in October, which is Down's syndrome awareness month. Hence, 31 for 21! I am going to attempt this blog challenge.

Other than having a few friends with children who have Down's syndrome, I do not have any experience with it. However, if you read Gretchen's story, and I encourage you to do so, you might begin to understand what a challenge this is. We all have disabilities in one form or another.

I believe that the people who are born with this disability, like her son Julian was, are very special spirits who have a very special purpose in this life. So, click on over to Gretchen's blog and read her story. Then, if you feel so inspired, take on the 31 for 21 challenge too!


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