Friday, March 21, 2014

When I Grow Up I'd Like to Be.....

I am a first time mom. Unfortunately for you readers, this is all I do with my days anymore. As much as I love it, I really didn’t want my blog to go in the direction of a “mommy blog.” There’s just so many of those out there, and the pressure to create something original is a stumbling block of sorts between me and paper. But alas, this is my life. Every extra thought I have is devoted to this little 17lb chuck of rolls and soft skin. The fact of the matter is that I could spend all day with my nose buried in his neck and be perfectly content.

I think that one of the reasons in my “writing block” is that I am nervous to overshare. There are a million things that I would like to say, things that would be so therapeutic to get off my chest, but they don’t make it past my writing journal, or even to a second draft because the subjects scare me.

Reasons I don’t write

1) I am scared of offending people in my life
2) I can’t spell. Too many people have said “You can’t spell? I thought you were a writer.”
3) My husband won’t watch the baby
4) My husband thinks that I can take care of the baby and write at the same time
5) Dinner is waiting to be made
6) The family room needs to be vacuumed.
7) My room needs to be swept. There are piles of dog hair that I need to take care of. And heaven knows my husband won’t do it.
8) I think you all need something interesting to read. I shoudn’t think this, because some of my best writing happens when I mostly just think about the things I need to say.
9) There are a lot of red squiggly lines under words on this page.
10) My computer battery is dying!
11) I actually don’t like a lot of things, and a lot of things (people) annoy me. I’m afraid that if I start really writing all that will come out and I will lose friends.
12) I wish I could ride the bus too and from work again. It would give me time to write in that journal.
13) It seems to always take way too much time.
14) And now the baby is awake.
15) I will write something stupid and people might make fun of me for it, or I will ruin my “online reputation” before I even have one!
16) I absolutely hate the formatting of this blog. I really want to find another venue for my writing.

Things I want to write:
1) That survey proving that postpartum depression is linked to epidurals, inductions, and C-sections.
2) I would love to edit one of the seven novels I wrote in high school. Maybe I should sign up for an advanced history class so that I can focus on my writing. It seems that I did a lot of fantastic fiction writing in AP history.
3) My family history. Just my personal immediate family.
4) Stories about Luke’s life.
5) Stories about how me and Chris met and started dating and got engaged. I am afraid I will forget these stories and I won’t be able to tell my children about them.
6) I would love to write in a journal every night. I never seem to be able to find the time.
7) Something that I could get paid for.

Well, I wrote a whole page! Yay me!
Now it’s back to house work. Maybe I will find the energy to make dinner before I leave for work.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ambiguous Facebook: Things that bug me the most.

102.5 FM All Things Social Morning Show transcripts October 10, 2012
Carl: Hello and welcome to the All Things Social morning show. We’ve been getting quite a bit of overwhelming response from our listeners on Facebook all looking for some help. We’ve decided to dedicate a whole morning show to this certain issue that is plaguing the people of America and beyond. Facebook has been growing in popularity. In fact, I have here a recent study that claims that people spend an average of 22 hours a day with ready access to their Facebook accounts, and that they check those accounts 15.8 times per hour. This surprised me because I and most of my associates have access to Facebook 24 hours a day. But another part of their study says that people spend the majority of these Facebook checks either trying to figure out their friend’s Facebook statuses, or trying to figure out how to word their own. This, folks, is what we are going to talk about today. Facebook status updates! How to interpret your friends’ status updates, and what to post on your own when you’ve got “status block.” Of course we can and will answer any other questions you have about this social network. You are welcome to call in! Let’s take some callers now. Hello Amanda! What can I help you with?
Amanda: Well, first off, thanks for having me on your show! I’m such a fan! And I totally agree with you, I spend way more than 22 hours on Facebook!
Carl: I know, I don’t know where they got only 22 hours from.
Amanda: They must have surveyed some of those people who make a Facebook account and then forget their passwords and are never ever on. Gosh, people like that are so annoying.
Carl: They are annoying. It’s like they are totally not interested in our lives.
Amanda: Exactly! So, anyway, here is my question: I have a lot of friends on Facebook, and most of them I don’t see on a regular basis. I mean, there’s people from elementary school that I don’t even remember, people I meet at parties that I never see again. You know. Now, if someone from my “close friends” list posts something weird I know what to think. But how do I respond when one of my “distant friends” post something weird?
Carl: Like what kind of weird? Give me an example.
Amanda: Like one of those friends posted “Why am I always so alone?” like, just an hour ago. I looked at his profile, he only has 150 friends, so I understand why he is lonely. I just haven’t seen him since kindergarten so I didn’t know if I should comment.
Carl: I can see what you mean. But it’s critical that you respond just to let him know that you are there. He sounds really lonely and, especially since he has only 150 friends, at least let him know that when he logs onto Facebook, he isn’t alone. Does that help answer your question, Amanda?
Amanda: Oh yes! Thanks so much!
Carl: I think it’s so sad when people have so few friends on their Facebook accounts. When I set up my account I had the goal to get 1000 friends, and I am almost there! Anyway, lets take another caller. Kevin! Welcome to the show! What can we do for you?
Kevin: Hey Carl! So, I have a problem. My wife hasn’t been talking to me for two days. Everything was fine until one night I came home from work and asked her how she was. She just glared at me and yelled at me to check her Facebook status. All it said was “Spent all day cleaning and the house looks fantastic! I love being so productive!”
Carl: Oh Kevin, how long have you been married.
Kevin: We are almost to our sixth anniversary.
Carl: Well, here is where you went wrong: Your wife doesn’t love being productive. Clearly you should have known that your wife wanted you to bring home flowers and maybe throw her a parade for cleaning your house. Then give her some money to go get a professional massage so that her back won’t hurt anymore.
Kevin: Her back hurts?
Carl: Of course it hurts. I’m looking at your wife’s Facebook page right now. Three months ago she posted that her back always hurts after cleaning the house.
Kevin: I forgot about that…. Wait. You’re looking at my wife’s Facebook page?
Carl: You know Kevin, you should really be more attentive. Alright, lets move onto the next caller. Wow these phones are ringing off the hook! Welcome to the show Marsha!
Marsha: Oh thank you! Oh, I’m so excited! I’m such a huge fan!
Carl: Well, thanks Marsha. What can I do for you.
Marsha: Well, its just that, see, I just don’t know what to do. I… I go through the whole day trying to come up with something to put as my Facebook status. I mean, I don’t want to come off the wrong way or , ya know, offend someone. I have a lot of opinionated friends. I just…. Should I be myself? Am I thinking about this way to hard? I can’t not post something. Yesterday’s post doesn’t apply for today. What if someone looks at my Facebook page and they think that it still applies?
Carl: I think that this is a legitimate fear! So many people rely on Facebook to stay updated with their friends, it would be a lie to NOT update at least every day. This survey that I have says that people update their statuses an average of 10 times in a day. It is so important to be honest in your Facebook status updates too. Marsha, maybe you could post something related to your feelings of not knowing what to write. Maybe something like “I just don’t know today” or even, if you wanted a cool effect you could revert to the old Facebook style and write “is so confused about this” even though Facebook hasn’t forced you to use your name in front of your status for years.
Marsha: Oh, Carl you make such great points. I always love and live by your advice! This conversation is so going on Facebook right now!
Carl: Thank you Marsha, for joining us on the All Things Social morning show. We are going to cut to some commercials, but keep your dial where it is, we will be back with more solutions to your Facebook conundrums!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Soft Scrub Experiment

So, for my birthday, Chris got me pretty much the greatest gift ever. $100 to Barnes and Noble. Woot Woot! Bring on the reading!

So I've purchased quite a few books, And I suppose you can tell what my current hobby is, just by looking at the titles...

Make Your Place: Affordable, sustainable nesting skills by Raleigh Briggs

Preserve It!:Bottled fruits; Jams & Jellies; Pickles; Cured Meats

Yeah... So I spent the better half of today trying some things out. Here is THE SOFT SCRUB EXPERIMENT!

So, Make Your Place has a recipe for a "make your own soft scrub." And I have read a lot of other recipes like this, so here is my mix.

1 cup baking soda
1/3 cup castile soap
2-3 aspirin crushed
A few drops of Tea Tree Oil
A few drops of any other kind of oil that might make it smell nice.

The Castile soap that I got was made with tea tree oil. I love the smell of tea tree oil and, supposedly, it wards off bugs. Double Bonus!

So, I'm really embarrassed about my tub... But for the sake of science!

So that was the before picture. Gross, I know. But there it is.

I decided to compare my home made soft scrub with actual soft scrub.

One half was scrubbed with my soft scrub, and the other with the store bought stuff.


I'm not sure if you can see it very well, but the left side was cleaned with my own soft scrub mix, and the right was cleaned with the store soft scrub. The light is horrid, but the side cleaned with my own concoction is much cleaner. I spent approximately the same amount of time scrubbing both sides.

Woot! Weirdly excited about the outcome.

Homemaker: 1
Commercial Products: 0

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What I Wish I Knew While I Was Engaged

I'm pretty sure one of the harder parts of my life so far has been the time Chris and I were engaged. Between having little real help and less money, it was rough. While I adore my husband, I don't think that he was very confident in helping with all the decision making, and my family was four hours away. Now looking back I can think of a lot of things that would have made the experience better both emotionally and financially.

1) It is really, really okay for you to skip handwritten thank you cards. Do a cute pose with a thank you sign in your wedding garb and send that out to your guests. Seriously it's better than nothing, which is what happened with me.

I'm going to expound a little bit.

After the wedding, and we got home and settled in, depression also set in. Don't get me wrong, being married is, and was, great. I love my husband, and I am so glad I got to marry him. But for those first few months I was either catatonic or hysterically crying. I've always known I had issues with depression, but this was probably one of the darkest and longest episodes I have ever had.

Then mom told me "You have to hand write your thank you cards because just sending the same thing to everyone is impersonal and rude." Okay, I don't think that is what she said really, but that is what I felt like she had said to me. So I tried. I tried really hard, and I got most of them done, but there are only so many ways to say thank you. After exhausting every wordage I could come up with, I felt like an idiot. I should have thought to look up "creative wording for thank you cards" but even that didn't occur to me because after finishing two or three I would desolve into tears and self loathing because I can't even write a nice freaking thank you card! And then I would get homesick and cry even more because mom would be able to help me and no one was ever helping me with anything and I'm such a failure and why did I always need so much help and....

Pathetic much? I think so. Looking back I wish someone would have said something. I wish I would have said something. But instead I'm pretty sure I offended most of my relatives and my in-laws. Two years later, I am still trying to figure out how to tactfully thank everyone.

People always talk about postpartum depression. I had post wedding depression.

2) Make a list. Being engaged makes you ditsy. It happens to the best of us, so make a list and stick to it. I am so glad I got my wedding planner at Barns & Noble. It was probably the biggest help that I had.

3) Give your wedding party agenda and a list of expected responsibilities. It's not fair to expect anyone to do anything that you never asked them directly to do. Some people just never learned exactly the roles that come with their title in your line. It's okay to ask for help, and I think that it would be okay being a little bridezilla in this area.

4) Collaborate with your clergy early and often. Especially if you are trying to blend families from different faiths. I tried my darnedest to do something that would make everyone feel involved, but because of poor planning on my part and poor communication on everyone's part, I'm pretty sure I only succeeded in making everyone uncomfortable and offended. The ceremony is the most important part, so get that part organized first. Everything else is secondary.

5) Spend time researching your photographer. If you are going to be paying for one, make sure you check references and your contract is clear. That goes for all the vendors, but the photos you will have forever.

6) Consider video. I wish I still had with me the words that my parents and in-laws gave us on that day.

I loved my wedding. At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is that I have the most wonderful man by my side for the rest of forever.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Why I LOVE Minimalisim

Have you heard of minimalism? It's this new movement all over the internet where people are throwing away all their crap. Some people are even narrowing it down to only 100 items total! They report to feeling free. More free time, more money in the bank, and emotionally liberated.

This lifestyle appeals to me imensly. I've already taken garbage bags of stuff (really just stuff) to Deseret Industries, and I've taken two garbage bags to the recycling center, and that felt really good. While I try to convince my husband that it's okay for me to keep throwing away all our crap, there are a lot of things about the minimalist lifestyle that I'm certainly not going to do.

There are a few blogs about people selling their houses and moving to small apartments. This is the opposite of what I want. People being proud of getting rid of their deep freezers! I have to admit, one of these is on my list of "Want very badly." It's up there on that list with the piano.

But I also want a huge yard. I think that a big part of this minimalism movement for me is reducing my consumerism on a drastic level, and a garden would help with that. I want a compost pile and a chicken coop. I want most of our food to come off of our land and I want most of our meat to come from my husband hunting. I hate spending all our good money on processed food that is killing us anyway.

But it's not all about making an impact on the environment. I think about all the money we could save on food, all the stuff we could do without and it makes me think of the trips we could go on. It makes me think that maybe, just maybe, we will get to a point that I can stay at home with our future children and teach them and read to them.

So here I go on another fast. I have done food fasts before and I love them. They make me feel free and the spiritual and mental clarity is unbelievable. But this time I am going on a money fast. Starting in June, I am going to save every possible penny that I can. I think we probably have enough food in our house to last us a whole month, so that is the goal (I just have to start cooking more). No restaurants, no malls, no extras. My bank statements tell me I spend an average of 2000 dollars a month. I'm looking to cut that number in half.

And then maybe go to Mexico this year or the next.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Things I Love About my Husband!

1) That look he gives me when I have done something particularly stupid, offensive, or childish. It has a way of grounding me, reminding me of what I should be doing. 2) Kisses 3) Our version of Pinky promises 4) Foot-in-mouth syndrome. 5) The way he makes me giggle 6) He loves my family 7) He does pretty much whatever I ask him to do. 8) How he puts up with my less-than-adequate communication skills. Most days I feel like I am still learning to speak. 9) His willingness to stand up for me 10) Constantly hearing and saying "I love you" 11) Our little "adventures" 12) Talking in his sleep 13) His fantastically adorable boyish smile 14) The fact that his favorite hobby came out of his desire to protect his values and his family 15) His taste in comedy 16) He will see chick flicks with me (every once in a while) 17) His soft, sympathetic heart 18) He is the best friend I have ever had, and is everything a best friend should be. 19) Frugality. I know I complain about this one a lot, but the truth is that I'm not very good with money. Having someone to talk to about money helps to keep me in check so that I don't overspend. He is the reason I am out of debt today and that I actually, for once in my life, am secure in my finances. 20) I trust him. 21) He lets me cut his hair 22) The fact that he hasn't gotten sick of my overreactions means the world to me. I really freak out sometimes, and I know it freaks him out. But he is still always here when I get home. Always worried about me, and in the end we are able to figure it out. Believe me, I can be really difficult. 23) He consistently loves me. 24) He loves my dog 25) The way he reacted when I first told him about my past 26) How possessive he gets. I know I complain about this one too, but the truth is that I just forget how much I love the feeling of belonging to someone. It has made me feel safe, secure, and protected. 27) His friends 28) How much he loves his family, especially his mom. 29) At the end of the day, the most comforting and peaceful place in the whole world is in his arms. I will most defiantly be adding to this list later, but as it is 3 am, I suppose I had better get some sleep. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Saddest Thing I Ever Saw

I've been a CNA for about 5 years, and in that time I have seen some pretty interesting things. Everything on every spot on the spectrum and it has been an incredible learning experience. I think back on all the things that I have seen people go through, and all the things that I have done as a part of that. Right now I do something that most people would think would be the saddest. One of my jobs working in Labor and Delivery is to help with the demised and expired babies from our floor and sometimes from the NICU. But I can honestly say that this is one of the most rewarding parts of my job and it can sometimes be very difficult. I don't count this as the saddest though. My faith and belief in an afterlife brings me much peace and perspective that allows me to deal with this better than most. I understand and fully expect my perspective on death and childbirth to change dramatically when it comes time for me to go through these things myself.

But I think the saddest thing I ever saw happened while I was working on a Cardiac floor. We helped people prepare and recover from "small" procedures. One day this gentleman probably in his mid 50s came in to have his heart looked at, and his wife came with him. The procedure took about as long as expected, and the patient came back loopy from his procedure, and a few minutes after the patient arrived, so did the doctor. The procedure had taken such a short amount of time, because the damage to his heart was so extensive that they couldn't do anything about it in the cath lab. They would have to do the repair in a long open heart surgery that would entail at least a triple bypass. Unless he made dramatic changes in his diet and activity level and was compliant in taking his medications, even this fix wouldn't last very long. The doctor expressed his surprise at finding this much damage and explained that the symptoms that this would have caused should have brought him in for this procedure years ago. His life expectancy didn't look good, even if the heart surgery was successful, unless he made changes. Usually they schedule open heart surgeries for later in the week after one of these procedures. His was to be scheduled for that same afternoon.

Of course, his wife was in tears. Perhaps it was the medications that he had received for his procedure, but the patient seemed to take this information almost like it was old news. His children came, when they heard the news and they crowded around his bed to talk about the options and what the next few weeks would look like. Before he was moved from our unit, I went in to record some vital signs, and as I was taking his blood pressure he grabbed my wrist and looked at me and said "You look like a nice girl. Would you get me a nice big cheeseburger and a milk shake from the cafeteria. No one will run to McDonalds for me."

I was too shocked to answer. Here this man had just been told his eating and activity habits were killing him, and I was struck with the realization that food can be just as addicting as smoking or cocaine. His situation was no different from an elicit drug overdose, and he and his family were paying the price. I looked at his wife who's face looked just like the shock I felt. I'm sure I must have mumbled something about not eating before surgery before she started crying again and asking him desperately if his life was worth a cheeseburger. The most sad, selfish, and pitiful thing I ever saw was a man throwing away his good life, his wife and family, because he lacked the motivation to make healthy decisions for himself.

In Labor and Delivery I see people at their strongest. Individuals doing things they thought they could never do, their lives changing forever. I get to watch people overcome excruciating pain, both physical and emotional. People becoming parents for the 1st, 2nd or 10th time. Every day, whither there has been a vigorous gurgulling cry or a stillbirth, people leave these halls changed. Stronger. A new life ahead of them full of new challenges and experiences. I love being a part of every bit of it.