Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Break, Pt. 1

Wednesday morning, we opened all but a few presents with our kids and had breakfast. I ran a few errands with Joseph, went to a doctor's appointment, and attended my self-reliance class. I also cleaned and packed for our trip.

Thursday was travel day. We made pretty good time and actually got to Rexburg around 4. That was even with a stop in Pocatello to see Rex and Joseph, who were on their way to get Angie and did not get back till the middle of the night when we were all asleep. We had dinner and then went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It was a fun movie. Even better is that it was free! Sam and Jesse went too.

Friday, I worked on my latch hook rug and cooked dinner after my nap (yellow curry). Rex and Melodie went to clean the temple. I went to bed early, around 10, because I hadn't had a very good nap.

Saturday, Christmas Eve, I worked on my rug again and cooked jello, bread bowls, and potato soup for the non-dairy folk. I attempted a nap that didn't go well. The kids all went to a live Nativity, we had dinner with the Lees, and we did our own Nativity. I opened a cute cowboy blanket for Lewis. We opened the rest of our presents from Grandma Lee, set out stockings and presents, and then went to bed. I was exhausted and uncomfortable by then. It's been really hard to keep cool in this house. If it's not the wood-burning stove, it's the oven being on. I feel miserable when I am too hot, which is almost always unless I am in my own house.

Sunday, Christmas Day, I got the kids ready for Church and had breakfast. They had a little candy from their stockings before leaving. I didn't go to Church because I wasn't feeling well (fatigue, high blood sugar) and I broke down crying out of sheer frustration and loneliness. All my siblings are home in NC right now, but I'm here instead. It would have been our year to go, but my pregnancy might have ruined it anyway. I don't think they want anyone to fly at 35-36 weeks. We haven't spent Christmas with my parents since 2012. I really just want to do Christmas at my own home in Vernal, because I keep things really simple. Here there is no rest from the constant flow of people, goodies, or attention to some small details that I don't feel are important. (Example: bread bowls. They turned out more like rolls. For all the time I spent on them, I really felt like it was a waste.) I was feeling a bit better by the time everyone got home from Church. We opened presents and had scrapple for lunch. Then we headed to the Head grandparents' home for the day. It was a pretty good day. I worked on my rug while dinner was cooking and talked to my family for a while after dinner. Too bad the internet didn't cooperate very well, and then cell phone service died shortly thereafter. We still had a good conversation. The drive home wasn't too bad despite all the snowy weather.

Monday was a bit frustrating. I worked on my rug some more and we had dinner with the Lees. The really hard part was working on all the digital photos from the past 20ish years. I consolidated (Tuesday morning too) from 5 computers, 4 jump drives, and 8 SD cards onto 2 external hard drives. It took forever because the computers are old, but I got it done. I really can't do the next part, which is actually organizing the pictures into years and then possibly subcategories. I wish the family luck on organizing it further, because there are 75 gigabytes of data just in pictures.

Tuesday, I still worked on my rug while doing pictures, as I mentioned before. James and I went out for lunch at the Thai place. It was so yummy! We stopped at D.I. afterward and I even got a nap. After dinner, the Rammells came over for dessert and a game. The game was called Code Names and was actually really simple and fun. I worked on Melodie's pictures a little more and showed her how to go about organizing them. It shouldn't be too terrible, actually, thanks to the genius of Picasa.

Wednesday, I finished my rug! (A whole day early too, so I felt pretty happy about that.) I also read the next lesson for my self-reliance class. It was sad not to be there in person. I worked on a few paperwork-type things that I needed to get caught up on. I went to my first ever massage in the afternoon. Angie had one too, so I drove her and read a book while I was waiting for mine. It was so incredibly relaxing. I almost fell asleep, and the half hour was definitely over way too fast! We had dinner and then celebrated Jacob's birthday by going to Rogue One. It was a really good movie, even worth staying up late for.

Today, Thursday, should be pretty relaxing. I'm finishing up putting all the photos in one place. There is one more computer after I finish up the CD's and DVD's. I'm making dinner tonight, eggs rolls and fried rice, and then Kenneth and Nick are coming over at 8. Other than that, I'll probably just hang out and get ready to leave tomorrow. It's been a really good, but challenging week for me. I am definitely ready to go home and get back to my own bed and schedule.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Myles, Mara, Carmel, and Nash arrived safely in Vernal last Thursday at 11ish. We had fun staying up late and eating junk food. I wish they could have stayed another day, but they had to leave the next morning to make the long drive to NC. I finished my first queen-sized denim quilt! My plan for the break is to make the latch hook rug and then do the last queen quilt when I get back from Rexburg. Then, I should still have 2 plus weeks to prepare for the baby.

James and I went to the faculty Christmas party on Friday night. It was really fun. We enjoyed a yummy meal and participated in the white elephant gift exchange. Two people got to take home live chickens!

Nash did stay until Saturday night. That was a bit of a fiasco. He had apparently missed an exam and somehow didn't know he needed to stay in Provo. There were no buses available (and there is only one from Vernal to SLC a day anyway), so James had to drive him Saturday night and come back Sunday morning. That meant I had to sleep alone and worry about icy roads, transfer the car seats to the crappy Corolla, and shovel the snow before church so we could be on time. That was not fun. James's phone also died, so I had no contact with him until he showed up at church about 20 minutes late. I was so worried that I started crying. Thankfully I was able to pull myself together. They told me it was my last week in Primary. Hurray! It was a crazy day; 8 kids all bouncing off the walls, and the super rowdy one even left early.

We did have a good Saturday. The teachers' union gave us a ticket to see Moana for free. I really enjoyed it. I think it's the first time James and I have ever been to a movie with our kids. (It doesn't help that Vernal doesn't have a cheap theater.) The kids did remarkably well. We got a few errands done after that and then James took Nash shooting while I napped. They went to try to get Nash on the bus, but no luck there since it got cancelled.

This week has been good, but a little boring so far. I am ahead on lots of chores and things. We plan on opening presents tomorrow. It will also be prep day for the trip since we leave Thursday. I also have a doctor's appointment and self-reliance class. I always worry that I'm going to forget something for the trip, but that really doesn't happen. Still, it is a source of anxiety for at least a few days before (and on the drive there too.)

I am so tired of being tired. It's always something keeping me awake: heartburn, restless legs, having to use the bathroom, aches and pains, weird dreams, insomnia, too warm...
Going to bed at night just isn't the break from life that I need. Some nights it feels like I see every hour on the clock. Thank goodness for naps. I can't wait to be done being pregnant. Having a newborn is so much more restful that being kicked from the inside.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Projects, Reflux

Dad and Nash arrived safely Thursday night. It was not a good night of sleep for me. Nash decided to dismantle James's gun and bang on the table till about 4 a.m. I got barely any sleep.

I had Dad fix a couple of small things while he was here. He installed new handles on the small bathroom sink, fixed the leaky tub faucet that wouldn't turn on, and reinstalled the panel on the front of the dishwasher. It's pretty great not to have to turn off the bathroom sink after the kids use it. The lever-shaped handles are much easier for them to use than the round, plastic ones.

I felt really terrible Friday night. I'd had a lot of treats (Cheetos, chocolate, etc.) and pushed my normal heartburn to the next level. I ended up eating barely anything for dinner and sent James to the store for the stronger heartburn medication. I'm glad I could recognize the terrible tightness/squeezing in my chest. It's like what I had after Katie was born, though not as severe because I recognized it this time. The medicine finally kicked in by 5 a.m. I needed it for 3 days, but I haven't needed anything for the past 3. People who say eating habits don't matter are just wrong! They really help, even with the pregnancy heartburn, which does have a lot to do with the baby pushing everything up.

Saturday we went to D.I. and then Golden Corral for dinner. James took Nash shooting in the afternoon. I'm so glad I was feeling better.

Sunday was pretty normal. I really struggled with my class because there were 8 there, and one of them was the kid with severe (and unmedicated) ADHD. I think we got about 5 minutes of spiritual stuff in the 45, but at least that's better than nothing. I do not deal well with the rowdy kids. It's one thing when kids are fidgety. I get that. This one will not keep his hands to himself or listen to anything I say. It makes me want to pull my hair out. Church is during when I normally eat lunch and take a nap, so that really doesn't help matters. Dad and Nash left early afternoon, so I spent some time over the next day putting things back together.

Monday and Wednesday we delivered goodies to the neighbors. I usually end up with a hodgepodge of things based on what I have in my cupboard. I did a combination of curry powder/coconut milk/recipe for curry bags, brownies, peanut butter cookies, and pumpkin bread. I finally got around to listening to my Christmas playlist this week too and read some Christmas books from the library. I've been keeping busy with my first queen-sized denim quilt since I finished all my small projects last week. I'm all set to finish the quilt by Tuesday, make the latch hook rug during Christmas break, and then finish the last queen quilt during January. It is really fun to see it all coming together. I can't wait to donate a big pile of stuff to charity.

We still keep receiving gifts that we don't feel we deserve. Mosquito abatement bosses came by and brought a huge turkey and a 3 lb. box of chocolates. I plan on cooking the turkey tomorrow for dinner because there is no room in the freezer for it! (First world problem, definitely.) Myles, Mara, Carmel, and Nash will be here tomorrow night on their way back to NC for Christmas. I hope sometime we can go for Christmas, but this year wouldn't have worked out anyway. I'd be flying back at 36 weeks pregnant, which I don't think airlines like very much.

We had preschool today and visited James at school for a little while during the fundraiser, during which no one has to take school seriously. It was fun even though Katie had a huge meltdown right before we left home. She still refuses to wear pants, boots, or coats. Actually, she has been pretty horrible to me this whole week, and I'm not sure why. I hope it's just a phase. My pregnant emotions don't handle being called stupid by my 3-year-old, even though I know it isn't true.

It's been a good week. A few inches of snow are making it seem more like Christmas. I'm glad I have enough to keep me busy. It really helps me take my mind off of being tired and helps me feel less grumpy because I know I'm accomplishing something good. Maybe I will sew for charitable causes every year.

Thursday, December 8, 2016


James returned safely from D.C. around midnight on Sunday. I actually had a decent time while he was gone. I kept myself busy with cutting and pinning all the crafts that I've been working on. On Saturday, I purchased a few supplies to be able to finish the crafts and took the kids out for lunch at McDonald's. They loved it, of course. I made the mistake of sitting on the floor to tie baby blankets. My back really paid for it for several days afterward. I could barely sleep due to sciatic nerve pain. Thankfully that is better since I now have a cold the deal with.

Sunday was the worst day of him being gone because I didn't work on any crafts but also started feeling pretty lonely. Everything well pretty well though, all things considered. I talked to the families like always and even worked on our Christmas card. I have yet to print it because the printer ran out of ink and then I bought the wrong cartridge. Hopefully I'll get to it this weekend!

This week has been decently good despite my being sick. We watched the Christmas devotional for FHE and had muddy buddies (family tradition). Last night (Wed.) was the ward Christmas party. We ended up with tons of good leftover from it. Someone also dropped off a box of food and goodies on our doorstep on Tuesday night. The kids were so excited to unpack it and put everything away. Someone loves us!

My new sewing machine came Tuesday! It is so much better than the old, clunky one I've been using for 5 years. I have sewn together most of the small things (like baby blankets and bags) and hope to finish them today. That leaves me a latch hook rug and 2 queen-sized denim quilts to make, which should take up lots of time until the baby is born.

Self-reliance class again today. I'm still really enjoying them. Facilitating went well last week. Nash and Dad are coming to visit tonight through Saturday, so that should be fun too.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thanksgiving, D.C.

I've been a little grouchy. Mid-November is really when the lack of sunlight starts getting to me and I feel a little crazy. I know I complain about this every year, but it continues to be a challenge every year. (In other words, it really sucks.)

My blender came in the mail on Friday! I don't have a lot of things to blend in it right now except for bananas, so we've had a few pretty awesome banana smoothies. I plan on getting back into green smoothies as soon as we get back from Thanksgiving and I go shopping. I can't wait. I drank lots of them when I was pregnant with Kenny (at least 2-3 a week for the last 3 months of pregnancy) and felt really good. That was definitely my healthiest pregnancy. I wish this one could have gone better, but I've realized there is only so much I can do for my mental/emotional state. That part gets harder every time. I really don't think I can do more than one more pregnancy without reaching suicidal. First, I have to make it through this one, though!

James was gone a lot on Saturday, so I got really bored and grumpy. I've realized over and over that boredom really kills me emotionally. It's better for me to work a little too hard and end up tired at the end of the day instead of sitting around and trying to conserve my energy. That never seems to work anyway. When I'm bored, I eat more and have to deal with the blood sugar spikes. (Not a great feeling to have.)

Sunday was okay. I only had 5 kids in class, which is pretty much a record low.

Monday and Tuesday were prep days for the trip, lots of laundry and packing. It went all right.

We picked up Nash in Provo on Wednesday and got to Rexburg in time for dinner. All the cooking was pretty much done, so I didn't end up helping with any. I was okay with that, because I was really tired.

Thanksgiving Day was great. I cut up a bunch of pants both before and after the meal/my nap. Carmel helped, or there's now way I would have finished. I have enough squares now for 2 king-sized quilts! That's crazy. The meal was wonderful, including all the normal dishes. I am very thankful to be alive, in good health, and to have such a great family.

Friday, I did a little shopping with Carmel. She was my navigator. I found 3 nursing bras for 60 bucks at Target (even after tax) and stocked up on some spices and things at Winco. I took another nap after lunch. We then went to the Lee grandparents' house for dinner.

Saturday, Melodie, Anna, and I attended a baby shower for Emily, Kortni, and me. It was a lot of fun. We had brunch and exchanged beads that we thought described each other. The games were fun too. We headed up to Driggs (Victor) for the rest of the day. It was nice and relaxing, but we did get home late and my kids and I were all grumpy.

We left Sunday morning, stopping only for sacrament, to drop off Nash, and for a small snack + gas. It was great to arrive home in time to unpack and eat dinner before talking to my family.

Monday, I caught up (including shopping, even though I was exhausted by that point) and decorated our house for Christmas. It's so nice to have a fake tree that we just have to pull out of the shed. The kids really had fun decorating it. I rearranged the ornaments after they went to bed.

Tuesday was a normal day. So was Wednesday. I hosted preschool this week.

James left Wednesday night for D.C. He will be back on Sunday. We miss him already, but I am less stressed about his trip than I was a few weeks ago. I've been in full-on crafty mode, cutting and pinning things since my sewing machine doesn't work. James told me he bought me one for Christmas, so it should arrive next week. I will have a lot of things ready to go by then. Hopefully, I don't run out of prep work before then and get really bored.

Today is self-reliance class again, the 5th one (6th overall). I am facilitating because the leader will be gone. It should be great.

Life is good. I feel a lot better this week than I did last week. I suppose healthy eating, exercise, and working on something that makes me feel useful really helps.