Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Goodbye Bread Dough Bod.

Don't worry. The pic posted above is not Garrett but since West Virginia takes 3rd place for the most obese people in the United States, we are doing something about it so we don't take home a little WV with us when we leave this place.  Anyone that has had a baby knows that long after the child is born, there is a remaining souvenir from the ordeal in the form of a nice flabby pooch.  I'm not saying I was a bikini model with a 6 pack prior to the pregnancy but I do feel like I am a snowman made out of bread dough with a head since the delivery.  SO, the antidote to this problem involves our new fine fit friend Tony Horton. For those of you who have never met the machine may I introduce you to the program called P90x:
We started yesterday.  And by started I mean we started,  right.  I guess I should have expected that when my husbando G fitness became involved.  We took our "before pics" or what Tony calls our "goodbye pics", bought protein powder and bars that taste like sawdust bird food with waxy brown on top and then labeled a huge misnomer by calling them yummy things like, "Peanut butter chocolate crunch".  Like I'm not going to notice on my first bite that this is not a reeses peanut butter cup.  I've come a long way.  Before Garrett I had never been inside a gym.  The first time we went while we were engaged at 5 am I went to the girls bathroom and fell asleep. Anyway, don't be intimidated because I couldn't even finish the first video but never fear, I'll meet Tony with his glistening muscles again tomorrow morning while Liv sits in her swing.  We tried to go off sugar for a week last month and I ended up licking the "Life" cereal squares.  Hopefully this will prove a little more successful for me.
For the record, she's way worth the pooch. Way.

The best room at the chuch.

There is a secret room in all churches that I now have an elite membership to. It's better than the Costco gold card.  I have access to what is titled and even has a name plate to a magical place called "The Mother's Lounge."  Seeing as we have been traveling, I have learned that not all Mother's Lounges are created equal.  The 2 star low scale ones don't have a diaper genie making it a small room that smells like a baby outhouse and an unpleasant place to "lounge" around while everyone is sitting on hard cold metal chairs listening to lessons while you enjoy the rocking chair and recliner.  The Michigan mother's lounge was a 4 star because it has 2 rocking chairs and free wipes under the changing table with a sink.  Not bad accommodations.  The one in Bluefield actually has a play pen but the rocking chair is made out of that plastic table cloth stuff you use for cheap campouts as that you can spill anything on which would cause me to give it 3 stars. I've noticed that there's quite a bond between the lounge members.  You get to know the same women who have babies on your same nursing shift.  I've noticed there's more of them when a speaker is especially boring. It's fascinating to me how so many women suddenly find the need to take their babies to the lounge during Sunday School.  Interesting.  Personally, there's a little room for some lounge improvement.  Besides having the stinky can o' dirty diapers and the same DI cracked changing table, I think we should have a small vending machine for free, or at least a little fridge with water bottles.  Hydration is critical for successful lactation.  It wouldn't cost much to put in a little table with church magazines either or a webcam so you could still be apart of whatever meeting you were missing. Anyway, the point of all this useless blabbing is only to have an excuse to post this darling picture of Liv which was taken in the mother's lounge on Sunday.  I thought she could use a good photo shoot on the changing table and every time I look at this pic, I just want to kiss her cheeks. For those of you who have never been allowed access to the mother's lounge, this may be the closest you get.  This is exclusive inside footage of an authentic mothers lounge changing table. Soak it up:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Thoughts on Water...

Some rites of passage into adulthood are fun. Like writing checks for example, I always feel like my maturity goes up at least 3 points whenever I write a check.  Making grocery store lists is my most recent banner of adulthood I proudly fly as I ease into my motherhood title with grace.  I have recently reached a whole new level of postpubescence and sophistication with production of my own offspring.   There are some downfalls to this whole adult thing.  When you're a teenager people expect you to say stupid things, be completely saturated with you, you, and a lot more you, an act impetuously as you try to say no to drugs and safely navigate yourself through the years of toliet papering, and texting. Maybe I missed some part of this magical metamorphasis because sometimes I still have impulsive desires and just want to play a good old fashioned round of truth or dare.  I don't think getting my braces off removed my immaturity.  Even though my prom corsage has long since biodegraded and returned to mother Earth and I no longer put on headgear at night, I still laugh at the exact same things that made me laugh when I was in 11th grade.  I pack a diaper bag now for heavens sake and yet I admit I still stuff in some wintergreen lifesavers and treats for myself in that bag for boring sacrament meeting talks just in case.  I thought I would really arrive and feel like an adult when I finally was permitted to shave my legs, buy my first deoderant (I can never forget that first stick of "Teen Spirit", it was purple and tropical breeze scent) and drive a car.  Now I drive around a carseat with a living breathing child in it and yet I still feel those same silly girl giddy feelings when G kisses me sometimes as I did when I would ride my bike past my first crush's house over and over again.  I wonder if I will be in the nursing home still waiting to feel like a real live adult. Anyway, the point of all of this is that there is one adult thing that we do now that I do not like.  Paying bills. We got our first water bill last month and it was $66.  Sixty six bones to brush our teeth and make koolaid with a few showers.  G called just to make sure they knew that we didn't have a pool and there wasn't a mistake.  Well, oddly enough we got our water bill this month and....once again it was an outrageous $66.  I think it's fishy.  We're going to start showering like this soon if it doesn't go down:
Anyway, I was complaining like Laman because water is not an invention.  It falls out of the sky. For free.  So I was just having a hard time processing why the heck we were paying 8 Cafe Rio burritos worth to just have a necessity that naturally comes from Mother Earth.  Paying $66 to rend a ferrari or borrow a scanning electron microscope I can understand, but water? I'm beginning to get nervous that we're going to start getting a bill for breathing.  My heart was dramatically softened when I read an article on water and women and learned the following facts:

In just one day, more than 200 million hours of women’s time is consumed for the most basic of human needs — collecting water for domestic use.  This lost productivity is greater than the combined number of hours worked in a week by employees at Wal*Mart, United Parcel Service, McDonald’s, IBM, Target, and Kroge
Approximately one in eight people in the world lack access to safe water
3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease
The average North American uses 400 liters of water every day.
The average person in the developing world uses 10 liters of water every day for their drinking, washing and cooking.
The women carrying water in Ethiopia carry an average of 40 lbs of water on their heads and spend 5-8 hours every day transporting water.
So, as I sit here in my gluttony, not putting my dishwasher on the "light wash" cycle, I have decided to not complain.  It truly is incomprehensible to recognize what we have.  One of my wifely duties that does not thrill my homemaker heart is laundry.  As I was loading in the whites I suddenly had a flashback to my mission and remembered the women of Ecuador doing their laundry as well, only they had dirty well water, a rock and their arms to get the job done.  How quickly I forget.  In keeping with the water theme of this post  I will post a pic that demonstrates my American gluttony and overabundance which I enjoy every second of my pampered life.  While women are carrying the equivalent of a carryon filled with bowling balls on their head, Garrett, Liv and I spent last week in Michigan enjoying the family with homecooked cuisine, frequent swims in the pool and soaking up the family bonding rays.
I love water.  I love America.  I'm so glad that I only have to walk 6 feet instead of 60 miles to take something for granted that is such a necessity. In conclusion:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Helen Keller and the flower child....

Ok. First item of todays business.  I saw a car that reminded me of my brother Tay.  Lots of things remind me of Tay, specifically anything from the reptile phylum.

It's so funny how when you love someone, so many things remind of you of them or there are certain jokes that you know they would laugh at or a certain dish at a restaurant they would love.  My favorite blind and deaf person, Helen Keller said, "That which we once enjoyed and loved we can never lose; all that we love deeply becomes apart of us."    That's true.  I don't need to stalk everyone's facebook status updates to remember and think of you because once a memory is made it is stored in the social food storage of my mind and I visit that food storage often, sometimes just in the simple acts of being alive on ordinary days. Chocolate milk always reminds me of my Grandpa Harris. Buttermints with those little white beads on the bottom remind me of my mom because anytime we would go to the grocery store she would let me go to the bulk section and pick out 6, one of each color (pink, green, yellow) for both of us and then we would suck on them on the way home in the red van.  Obsession Cologne reminds me of my dad. There's this little stream by our house and it smells just like my first area on my mission and every time Liv and I walk past I feel like I have my name tag on again and can literally feel the lice, rice, and power of how it felt to be a missionary all over. Squeeze-its, bunk beds, and Super Mario Bros reminds me of waiting up with Em and Mike until midnight on Sunday so we could play on our little post it note size TV in the basement with the bearskin under it.

Gummy worms, U2 and togas always remind me of Amy James. Tuna fish reminds me of a girl named Emily Overman in 1st grade whose mom would make the best tuna sandwiches and I would trade almost anything for one. Honey roasted peanuts always remind me of sitting after school at the table with my friend Sundy.  "I saw Three Ships" reminds me of the first date G took me on because it was playing in the car and anytime I hear that song I get nervous all over again. Jones Sodas always remind me of my brother Jeff, especially the blue ones.

Rootbeer jellybellies remind me of working at Goodies Galore with Cami Henderson and singing "Saturday's Warrior" and other musicals every night when we would close. Snow cones, especially raspberry ones remind me of Kay. Every time I pass Rue 21 I think of Eliza.  Coconut cream bars always remind me of my aunt Karen and living in Seattle.  The list goes on.  We have that Helen Keller quote by our front door because I love it.  I love that miles or time cannot separate relationships that really matter.

In closing I am including some pics of Liv.  You may wonder why she has a massive flower growing out of her head.  I have found it necessary to have her wear headbands or plants coming out of her brain when we go in public or everyone comments on what a cute baby HE is.  Ok, just because my child is balding and looks exactly like her father does not diminish her femininity in any way but lest there be any question, I have started using these items:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Piccolo appreciation...

I read this quote that Rebecca James found and I was thinking about it this afternoon while I was vacuuming the upstairs so I am going to share it with all of your eyeballs:

"The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony. All of Heavenly Father’s children are different in some degree, yet each has his own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole." -Joseph B. Wirthland 

I have to be honest.  I don't even know what a piccolo is besides the piccolo pete fireworks that make you cover your ears because they are so shrill. If you too are piccolo ignorant I will post a pic for you:
Ok, now that you've got a fresh piccolo in your brain you can picture a piccolo person.  You know, thin, shrill, with an ear splitting personality.  Then there are the tuba friends in life.  Solid, deep, steady music in your life.  Then you have random drums that spice up your world, some sweet cello personalities, a couple of kazoos, you get the point.  Being out here has only made me realize how much I love the variety.  Evidence A- Georgia Williams (see picture for full appreciation:)

  By far in my favorite top 2 percent of people in our ward.  Last Sunday she colored a large picture of the Savior with magic markers that vaguely resembled Bob Marley and put it up in the relief society and is going to make everyone one for next week.  She has the purest heart and no and I mean not a drop of guile whatsoever.  When I drive her home from church we usually discuss our favorite kind of chicken at KFC and she kisses the top of my head whenever she sees me.  In my social orchestra of friends, she is in her own section and I love it.  
I love variety. I love that we are not all piccolos and how ridiculous it is when we try to be something other than what we are.  If someone was trying to play the tuba like a harp it would be a disaster.  How silly when we sit wishing we were different when we have been sent to be our best us.  Do you think the violins get jealous of the french horns?  I hope not.

In conclusion, I saw these bacon band-aids and I thought they were cool.  They have nothing to do with Georgia, friends, variety, or really anything other than I like this idea.
Wouldn't you rather have one of these the next time you cut yourself shaving? Think about it.  It would be funny if you had a cut on your forehead and everyone though you were walking around with a slab of bacon.  Now that's funny.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My mate the treasure trove...

It's not my anniversary, it's not G's birthday, it's months away from Valentines.  It's just Tuesday and I just want to write about my secret treasure.  What makes finding a treasure so exciting in the movies is opening the actual treasure chest to see what it has hidden inside (i.e. Goonies, don't even act like you don't love Chunk and the gang)

If you have a treasure you don't really want to tell everyone because then hoards of humans will be calling wanting to see it or borrow money etc.  Having a treasure chest is exciting enough but knowing the value of what is inside is even better.  When I got married everyone said that when you're dating you should keep both eyes wide open and then after marriage you just have to shut one eye because you realize that they are human and it's a letdown but you're already married so you don't go back.  Well, I'm sure those people meant well but those people have obviously not met my better than Goonies treasure:
The longer we are married, the better he gets.  He is like a bottomless treasure chest.  If you just met him you would think, "Well sure, he's a nice 30 year old man who wears his seatbelt, stops at red lights, never files for tax extensions, does his hometeaching, has a mature quiet demeanor, works hard and probably buys lemonade from little kids and donates to the salvation army red bucket at Christmas."   All of those things are true but this man is like a human seven layer bean dip of qualities that I didn't know could all be contained in a single human body.  I sometimes don't open my mouth when I hear other women talk about their husbands because I know I have the secret treasure and I can't believe that I really am sealed to something so unbelievable forever.
I didn't know anyone could have such unending patience and consistent love until I met this curly haired trophy.  He checks on Liv 4:1 ratio as much as I do, all night long, because he wants to make sure she is not being stolen and that she is breathing and warm enough.  He leaves me notes all over when he works all night because he knows I get scared.  He never ever forgets to floss and is the cleanest most organized person I know.  He makes Franklin Covey look like a joke because of how meticulous he is in his planning every night for the next day.  He sets his alarm for 5 so he can have personal scripture study no matter what while I drool in bed cemented to the sheets. He loves me how I need to be loved even writes down to be spontaneous on his planning because he knows I need it. He is on the same level as Abe Lincoln and Brent Harris for honesty and having integrity in his soul. He wants to help me and asks me all about the details of my day because he knows I need to discuss them.  He is funny, beats me at tetris at Racko, gives me the best back rubs and all the old ladies in our ward always tell me how handsome he is (duh, like I haven't figured that out).  He loves order and is exact and does his best, even in the details of his life.  One day we had forgotten to make the bed because the day had been so busy.  It was 9 pm at night and I went in and saw G making our bed.  I asked what in the heck he was doing and what time zone he was living in because we were going to sleep in a couple hours.  He just said how he just feels better if we do things right including making the bed.  One of the items that remind me of G is this:
Exactness. In everything.  He never is last minute or does things sloppy or out of convenience.  I have never ever in over a year of marriage put away his shoes or had to clean up a single thing after him.  I don't think he's ever had a library fine, been late, missed scripture study, lost his temper, been unkind, or not folded his clothes in his life.  An accurate symbol of how I live my life is this:
I feel like most of my life has been lived like a garage sale inside of a tornado...disorganized, rushed and full of random items and things to do.  Watching how Garrett lives his life has been one of the most humbling inspiring things that has ever happened to me.  He makes goals and then he actually does them.  He printed us a binder that has all our family council agendas for us to fill in on Sunday.  He holds me for hours just because I love it.  He does the right thing because it's the right thing, not because he wants to look good or because he worries about what other people will think. He is so full of pure love and righteous desires. He has a quiet confidence and humility that I love.  He also loves to play and even when he has worked 13+ hours, and has to study and feels exhausted; he will always make sure to play a game with me before we go to sleep.  Sometimes I make him act out musicals and even though it goes against everything in his logical mind, he will sing "Open the Gates" from Newsies in the morning with my choreographing if I ask him.  Mostly I love when he comes home and he instantly does this:

I don't know where he came from or how come I get to be his wife but I will be thankful for the rest of my life.  He is my life. Sometimes I worry that he is one of the three nephites and that could get awkward in a few years when I start getting wrinkles and he doesn't age at all.  I had him get life insurance because sometimes I don't know if he'll get to stay on this side of the veil because I can't see what is keeping him here.  I mean sure, he's definitely for real.  I'm not saying that he doesn't get ticked when he slices at golf on a critical hole, or doesn't pass gas like he's at scout camp, or doesn't feel frustrated when someone cuts him off on the freeway,  but I am saying that even though he's not perfect, he's perfect for me in every way and it blows my mind sometimes at night when I roll over and remember who I get to be married to.  I'm so crazy about him, forever.


Farm Day at the Bishops....

Welcome to little house on the prarie 2011.   Bishop Boone is 30 and his wife is 28 and they are some of the most unselfish consecrated people I have ever met.  They invited us to their house on Friday so Liv and I drove with April and her offspring for a long time until we finally arrived in a town called Bastian.  I saw two houses- the Boons and her parents who live across the river and road.  I asked why there were no neighbors and found out that they own 80 acres and their parents own 300 so basically the entire town of Bastian would more appropriately be named Boontown. It is such a different life here but I love it.  There is no air conditioning because the house was build before that even existed.
Bishop Dave Boon, a die hard BYU fan and one of the ponies walking around the property

After we saw the hogs, sheep, horses, minature ponies, ate wild blackberries and had fully saturated our flip flops with farm animal poop we walked to the cows, hundreds of cows that were just randomly walking around with no fence because as far as you could see belonged to the family.

Everything was going fine until the cows started mooing.  Not a cute barnyard Old MacDonald kind of moo but a low deep bellowing.  I don't know what they were all talking about but anytime one would start making that sound, Liv would make this face:

I was worried a bird was going to land on her lip it was out so far.  She wouldn't stop making this face until we left the cows.  We couldn't stop laughing.  She's so dang cute it's ridiculous.   Minus the cows, I think Liv's first farm exposure was a success.

Shot Day.

I hate getting shots.  I hate giving shots.  You would think in a day and age where we have hybrid cars, ipods, and even crustables (imagine explaining to the pioneers that we have packaged sandwiches with the crust removed in a cute circle shape for lunch) that we could come up with a better way to have life saving vaccines other than shooting them into our bodies by puncturing the skin with an instrument used to make quilts and for drug users.  I have never hated shots more than I did on Thursday when I had to take Liv to a doctor I had never met to get her 2 month immunizations.  After we sat in the pediatric waiting room with ugly 80's wallpaper and germ slimed walls we were led back to a room and I couldn't help feel guilty knowing that out of the 2 of us, I was the only one who knew what was going to happen and had the capacity to escape:
The door to freedom, the only way to escape....
While we waited I did a photo shoot of Liverpool (that's what G calls her) after they weighed and measured her and found out she is 14.6 lbs and 25 inches long.

Then the Doctor walked in.  I felt like I was meeting the cousin of the guy from Aladdin who is selling things at the beginning of the movie.  This was not the Arabian Nights Clinic but somehow Liv sensed something was going to happen because the second Dr.Safder walked in the room she busted out her best screeching tears and there wasn't even a shot needle in sight....yet.

We finally calmed her down and then a buxom woman in pepto bismal pink scrubs walked in with three shot needles and I wanted to punch her in the double chin because all of a sudden I felt very protective of my friend Liv. However, I restrained myself and realized this was a milestone not only for Liv, but for my motherhood.  As a mother there are plenty of times when I know that in order for Liv to grow and learn, she has to have experiences that bring pain, that are not fun and sometimes make you cry...hard.  I remembered a story my dad told me about when I was in nursery.  He said that he had brought me to to nursery and was watching me and a little boy came and pushed me down, well since I was his first and only birthright daughter at the time, his fathering reflexes kicked in and and walked right over and pushed that boy back.  Obviously this is not correct behavior but I understand why he did that.  Some of the most important events and lessons in my life have been learned by my own painful vaccine like experience that my mom could not rescue me from because I needed them. 

She could not rig the 10th grade student body election to help me win, she did not fly down to Ecuador and pick me up from my mission when I felt so alone except for a companion I couldn't understand and smelled really weird.  She did not keep me in a baby bjorn and never let me walk or date or get my heart broken, she had to let me learn.  Being in Bluefield is a good life vaccine right now.  I'm so grateful for my own mother and my own life vaccines that I need.