Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bed Rest?!

So, I am typing this post while in bed. I had my doctor's appointment today and was told (by the nurse practitioner since my doc is out of town - Disney World to be exact!) that I need to be on bed rest. I have some swelling and my blood pressure was up. Since I have a family history of preeclampsia and since I'm "special" (euphemism for over 35), I get to be extra cautious.

Ok, so this is the same woman whom I saw on my very first visit. On that visit, she called me back for an ultrasound (the doctor wanted to get an initial ultrasound to establish a good due date). I told the nurse practitioner that I wanted my husband to be there for it. She looked at me like I was a total weirdo and said, "well if you really want him there, he can come." So in we all went. Then she started to take my "history" and one of the questions was if I had experienced any menopausal symptoms. At that point, I told her that I didn't think so and that I had just had a pregnancy test in the lab and it came back positive. She then laughed and confessed that she thought she was doing an ultrasound to look for fibroids (who wouldn't want their husband there for that?). After performing the ultrasound she told us that we were the second "elderly pregnant couple" she'd seen that day. Elderly????? We'd heard "high risk" but that was the first time we'd heard elderly. I'm still in my 30s (barely).

So, here I am seeing her again and this time she calls me "special" and tells me I have to stick to my bed with my "feet at or above heart level." Let's hope that when my doctor is back next week she'll reverse this decision.

-your special, elderly, bed-ridden friend

Monday, April 23, 2007

Confederate Memorial Day?

This morning I had a great time with Erin D. She is 2 1/2 and full of spirit and personality. She's quite adorable. The reason she was hanging out with me is that her mother was going to get her Alabama driver's license (they recently moved here from Michigan). Imagine our surprise when Corrie got to the government offices and found out that they are closed for a state holiday. What state holiday you may ask? Confederate Memorial Day of course! This holiday memorializes the end of the Civil War (on April 26, 1865) and more especially, it celebrates the confederate soldiers. I had no idea that such a holiday existed but it appears that most of the south celebrates it.

And now we know...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mother Knows Best

When I was in high school I was very social and very involved in choir and theatre. I loved it. I wasn't so serious about the more academic subjects and I certainly wasn't interested in homemaking skills.

I remember one day having a discussion with my mother about my need to assess my priorities. She said, in exasperation, "your husband is not going to care how well you sing or how many shows you were in! He will care how well you can cook!" Well, according to Phil, she was absolutely correct. The other day as I was making dinner (I quite enjoy cooking these days) this conversation of long ago came flooding back to my memory. I mentioned it to Phil and he confirmed that my mother (as always) was right.

Phil often mentions what great "perks" the good meals, cookies, breads, etc. are. He truly appreciates the fact that I enjoy homemaking. He thinks it is cool that I made my own wedding gown (although it ended up being a complete fiasco) and that I am using the remaining fabric from it to make our daughter's blessing dress. He likes that I crochet and even asked me to teach him (although he didn't find much satisfaction in doing it himself). Just as I'm in awe of his ability to create art out of thin air, he is in awe of my ability to "throw a meal together" (often without a recipe). He really DOESN'T care that I was in several musicals/shows in high school (except he likes to tease me about kissing Howard Bickle on stage). How did mother know?

Of course there are other things that he appreciates about me and these aren't just perks. He loves that I have a testimony of the gospel and a respect for the power of the priesthood. He loves that I enjoy children and the way I interact with them. He truly appreciates that I am interested in social and civil issues and that I like to be informed and form opinions about things that are going on in our nation and communities. He is proud of my degrees.

Although it took me a while, I'm so glad I listened to my wise mother and finally developed the skills that bring me such satisfaction and cause Phil to swell with pride about his talented wife. That mom, she's pretty smart! Here is a picture of her with my nephew, Caleb, after being drenched on the log ride at Lagoon. (isn't she cute?) :)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Young Women

I work with the Young Women in the branch of my church and most of the time it is great fun. There are about a dozen girls ages 12-18. They attend several different schools and in many cases are the only ones in their grades who belong to the church. In addition to getting together on Sundays, we also meet every Wednesday night for learning and fun activities. They are so funny. Once a month we also meet with the young men (scouts). Last Wednesday was one of these combined activities. I was asked to pull together some team/leadership type activities.

The first activity that we did was to stand on a curb and without stepping off the curb rearrange themselves youngest to oldest. If someone stepped off, they had to get back into their original order and start over. It was interesting to see how they worked together (or didn't) and how they "solved" the problem. It took several tries, but they eventually managed to get it done.

The next activity they did was a team relay where each team had a bag of clothing that they had to put on then run to their teammates, undress, and the next person would then put the silly clothing on. This was pretty funny to watch these big kids dressing up in all kinds of funny costumes.

We also played the "dot game" - you get a dot of lipstick when you mess up. Poor Spencer:

They also had to un-knot themselves (holding random hands in a circle and then figuring out how to make it an un-knotted circle).

The last activity was a values activity. They were each given 100 jelly beans and 12 categories to bid on. The values included "family harmony," "educational success," "testimony," "love of friends," etc. Then we had an auction. It was interesting for the kids to see what they were willing to spend their jelly beans on.

After each activity we talked about what they had learned in general and about themselves in the activity. I think they had a good time and perhaps they even learned something. Kids just crack me up. At the same time, I so admire their strength in dealing with the world. It isn't an easy thing these days!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mrs. Charlotte Cantwell

Well it is 2:21a.m. on Saturday, April 14, 2007. My best friend, Charlotte, is getting married today (in approximately 12 hours). She's probably sleeping like a baby but not me! A little over a year ago things were very different for both of us. In Nov. 2005 I was at the end of a very long relationship/friendship/confused existence with my now-husband and in Feb. 2006 she ended a 3-year long relationship. We both wondered (usually with faith but sometimes with frustration) how our lives would turn out. In Feb. 2006, Phil and I decided to make a go of things again and became engaged on March 5. Just a few months later, Charlotte began hanging out with and then dating Eric (whom she is marrying today). We are both quite amazed at how different things are. It is too bad that my advanced pregnant state prevents me from being at the sealing but we both have such great joy knowing that our lives are progressing and we are both where we need to be. I was able to visit with her last month and we had some pictures taken of her in her gown and me in my belly. It was such a nice visit as we both gushed about our men-folk and shared the excitement and funnies of our current situations. It is awesome to have great friends!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


It is amazing to me how expectations can change. I used to think I was a slacker if I only worked an 8-hour day. Today I felt great achievement when I got dressed and even put my shoes on. How sad is that? Ok, that is somewhat of an exaggeration but seriously, it took me 20 minutes to put my shoes on today (yesterday I never did put shoes on - just slippers). I spent 10 minutes getting myself psyched up to bend over my ever-enlarging belly (also known as my sweet daughter whom I am so excited to hold rather than "carry") in order to put my tennis shoes on. That accomplished I took 5 minutes to recover from the exertion and then another 5 minutes of psyching up in order to tie them. When I was done, I proudly proclaimed a "ta-da" to a laughing Phil. Of course I had to point out to him that the bow of the laces was, in fact, in the middle - no cheating side-bows here! When I called Punka (the term of endearment for my dad - that's another story) and told him, he was thrilled that I now understand what he goes through every day (he's had many health issues including a new hip and back surgery). So, pregnancy has allowed me to empathize with my father? That's a little strange!

Update on the roaches: the terminix guy came and sprayed, we are still seeing a few in the morning but we are very hopeful that within the month we'll not see them anymore.

Update on the nursery: Phil did the sketches today for the animal scene he is painting on part of the nursery walls. He amazes me! They are so cute. I'm getting really excited to see how that will all come together. I'll post pictures when we are done. For now, here is a picture of the glider-rocker we just got (a gift from my siblings).

I guess that is all for now.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Lime-Cilantro Pork Tacos

Here is a recipe I tried for the first time this week and it was pretty quick and very yummy (and healthy too!). It is from the Cooking Light, June 2004 magazine.

Lime-Cilantro Pork Tacos
1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1/4 t salt
1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
2 t olive oil
1 1/2 C thinly sliced onion
1 small jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and chipped (I actually used bell peppers)
1/2 C fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
1/2 C chopped tomato
3 T chopped cilantro
2 1/2 T fresh lime juice
8 flour tortillas

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; sprinkle pork with salt and black pepper; add oil and pork; saute 4 minutes or until browned; remove pork from pan; place in bowl.

Add onion and pepper to pan, saute 5 minutes or until tender; add broth, reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; stir in tomato; simmer 2 minutes.

Return pork and accumulated juices to pan; stir in cilantro and lime juice; cook 1 minute or until pork is done.

Serve with warmed tortillas and fat-free sour cream.

Calories: 208 each taco
Fat: 6.5 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Carbs: 21.5 grams
Fiber: 1.8 grams
Cholesterol: 62.5 mg
Iron: 1.9 mg
Sodium: 284.5 mg
Calcium: 50.5 mg

It came together in about 20 minutes and was really good! Try them, you'll like them!

Crocheting 'n roaches

The night before last was a restless night of sleep (or lack thereof) for both Phil and I. Phil has pneumonia and has been receiving steroids which prevent sleep - I'm 8 months pregnant (enough said). Therefore, we found ourselves both awake at 4:am. He decided to work on the computer and I began a new afghan. As I was crocheting (in my sleep deprived state) I decided that crocheting was a good metaphor for life.

Since I was starting a new afghan, I didn't have the pattern established. I ended up taking the first row out a couple of times because of mistakes. Of course, there are all kinds of analogies to repentance and taking out incorrect stitches, but I won't belabor that point. I realized that so much success in life depends upon our establishing the proper pattern - once that is done, it gets much easier. Oh, we still may make a few mistakes along the way (as I did last night) but they are usually easier to detect and easier to remedy because they don't fit the established pattern. So, if the pattern is correct, the rest of the afghan comes together quite easily.

Now for a complete departure from the above, I just have to say that I hate roaches! Out here they are like house flies. Everyone knows they are dirty and disgusting and you do what you can to keep them out but occasionally they get in and you have to deal with them. YUCK! As the weather changes we seem to be seeing more of them. This morning there was one in my bathtub (actually it is still there because Phil hasn't dealt with him yet and I refuse to) and one on my kitchen floor. YUCK! They are both belly-up which means the poison we've put out has worked. I just want to find a way to deal with them once and for all!

Of course, there are much worse things I could be dealing with so I guess I'll count my blessings.


Incidentally (and on another totally different topic), we watched the movie "Driving Miss Daisy" last night and it was great to hear about "mashing" buttons and "carrying" Miss Daisy to Temple, etc. not to mention to see the Piggly Wiggly! I love it!!!!!!!

Monday, April 2, 2007

My adorable hubby

If you are averse to sappy gloating from a woman about her man, you will likely not want to continue reading this entry.

How in the world did I get so blessed to marry such a fabulous man? Truly, he is so good to me. This pregnancy has been one of crazy emotions, aches & pains, and such. Throughout it all, he has been so wonderfully supportive. When I wake up in the night because I just can't get comfortable, he also wakes and is willing to do whatever I need him to do from getting me something to eat to adjusting the plethora of pillows used to prop my various body parts. He never complains in word or otherwise.

When I'm emotional he seems to know exactly how to react. There are times I just need him to hold me - which he does so well. Other times I need him to reassure me that all will be ok or that I will be a good mother. How does he know what I need - I don't really know, but he seems to figure it out (don't tell him, it may go to his head).

He hasn't laughed at me when I've been completely irrational. For instance, one evening he came home from work at about 9:30 p.m. to find me in the tub and sobbing. It was the day I officially entered my third trimester. Upon asking what was wrong (and showing appropriate compassion) he didn't even smirk as I blubbered out that there was no way I could be pregnant another three months - I just couldn't do it! A couple of weeks ago we flew to SLC to visit with friends and family. Part way through the flight he got up and I switched over to his seat. When he returned and sat in what had been my seat, he had to tighten the lap belt (substantially). Little did either of us know that this little reminder of my girth would cause tears to well up. Again, he didn't laugh or roll his eyes, he just comforted me.

What a good, good man! (here is a picture of him with our niece - Chelsie)

Lest anyone think he is absolutely perfect, here is one of my favorite stories about his humanity. Phil has always wanted to go to China (he served an LDS mission to Taiwan and speaks Mandarin). A couple of months ago he received an invitation to go with other professors and some students to China during the last week of May (next month). As he read the invitation he was excited and then his face dropped and he said, "obviously I can't go - I'll be teaching that week!" Fortunately (for everyone involved), this was NOT one of those times I was irrational or emotional. I have had a great time reminding him that not only is he teaching the last week of May, but he is also welcoming his firstborn to earth! He takes my teasing very well!

Have I mentioned that I adore this man?!