Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Nitty Gritty

For your viewing pleasure. Cuteness.

Now, on to the business at hand. I have tried to avoid the negative and focus on the positive, hoping that it will just fade into the background. Alas, it hasn't, and like dirty laundry, it is crowding the corners of my mind and I don't think I can see the floor anymore. Interpret as you see fit.

I am approaching a cliff. Not heading towards the edge to jump off. Oh no, not that easy. I am heading towards the cliff from the bottom...and I know that something GREAT is at the top. But I am nervous, scared, overwhelmed, any other adjectives that means "I am falling apart". That's where I sit and hesitate, because I am NOT freaking out. I am ANTICIPATING freaking out. I can feel the pressure in my chest and the tears burning behind my eyes. Why, you ask? Walk with's a long story.

So, remember a few weeks ago my post "A Broken TV Changed My Life"? Yeah, the one where I got all religious on you. Around that time I was feeling ready for change. Todd and I were wondering what we could change around the house to be able to STOP scraping by. Saving $60 a month on cable just wasn't going to cut it, and I'm not going to switch Chloe's schools so I don't have to drive her to school. We have a friend that decided that this would be a good time to move. OUT. OF. NOWHERE. We're VERY close to this family, so we asked why? They said that they had received spiritual confirmation that they were supposed to move to this place. (That is WAY freaking far away, might I add.) It also says in her patriarchal blessing (if you don't know what it is, read THIS) that she would move there. I decided that I would go and read my blessing.

Little time out here, these things are very sacred to me, so please, please, PLEASE, no judging or unkind words about my religion. I'm writing this for me, yes, but I am sharing it with you. If you have any questions, ask me! I would be more than happy to answer them for you, or find someone who can.

Game on!

In my blessing it says that I will have healing hands. It says in many places that I would be able to help others that it may improve their quality of life, that I will be able to heal and protect my family, and that I will be working with children.

Now, when I was younger I took "healing hands" literally and I went to massage school. I graduated. Then got pregnant...and honestly, who wants a big preggo belly bumping into their heads. Could you really relax knowing that the person giving you a massage is probably more uncomfortable than you ever have been? Anywho, we figured that it would be better for me to be able to stay home and watch the kids. I LOVE being able to stay home and raise my family. It is soooo STRESSFUL sometimes, but it is SO worth it.

Which brings us to my choice in education. I want to be a Pediatrician. I am GOING to be a Pediatrician. Plan for success, right? Visualize! Realize! Actualize! Yesterday I talked to a guidance counselor who did NOT know his stuff. He was telling me that I was enrolling at the wrong school, that they don't offer nursing degrees, that I shouldn't go full time, that I shouldn't go online, that I can't afford it without student loans....ugh! Talk about discouraging! I wanted to poke him in the eye. Random, but true. So I have to explain that I want to be a DOCTOR, and that I don't want to be a NURSE, THREE TIMES!

"Oh, well if you're wanting to go Pre-Med then you should get an Associates in Science."


"Alright, thanks for all your help."

I spent the next three hours trying to find the information on their website, finding the graduation requirements, course codes, etc. I get signed up for my placement exam, which is tomorrow at 1:30, I'll keep you posted. I printed out an exam study guide. Badda BOOM!

Who needs a guidance counselor? Not me.

Having all of this information isn't comforting me like WAY over planning usually does. I am actually starting to realize how REAL this is. That the next ten to twelve years I will be going to school AND being a mom.

Through all of this, I have felt extremely confident in my decision. I still do, but the nerves are starting to kick in. It is also difficult because our ward was just split. Our little neighborhood was swapped over to a new ward and I'm starting to feel a little wobbly without the support of my old ward. I was also called to serve in the Primary PRESIDENCY. I am over Scouts. SCOUTS?!? ME?!!! *deep breath* Okay, I can do it! I know that the woman I will be working with is AMAZING, and that she really knows her stuff.

There is still all the day to day nonsense that would be overwhelming without all of these other HUGE life decisions. Delaney is teething...and screaming, A LOT. Garrison is starting to be interested in potty training...ugh. Chloe has dance, piano, homework, and we're thinking about signing her up for soccer in the fall. I am driving BOTH to and from school. I don't think I've done my hair, makeup, or shaved my legs in a WEEK. I had some stressfully comedic stuff go down last week, but they can't be proven, and I don't want to give bad references.


We are healthy. We are happy. We love each other. We love our Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father loves us. This is what I am supposed to be doing.

We can do this. I can do this.

...I can do this?...

Friday, April 22, 2011

I Don't Doubt It

There are many things that I don't know. There are many things that I doubt. Instead of focusing on the negative, or things that scare me, I will focus on the good not-scary goodness that surrounds me.

I know that this is one cute kid. I love her with everything that I am. I know that when I look at this picture, my heart smiles.

These two drive me absolutely crazy, but they love each other, and it shows. My little man is such a clown. We joke that if our family was a sandwich Chloe would be the cheese, and Garrison would be the ham. Not quite sure what Delaney will be...maybe the non-fat mayo.

I know that I love my family, and I never doubt how much they love me.

I am so grateful for my husband. I am grateful for his strength, his willingness to serve, his ability to lift my spirits and keep me grounded.

I am grateful for my family. I am so excited to be friends with my sisters. I am eternally grateful for how much they love my children. I am SO happy that I have a workout buddy to torture...I mean train.

I am grateful for my friends. It gives me great comfort knowing that if I need anything, any time, that all I have to do is call. I love knowing that I have friends that love me for me, not because I feed you, married you, or you're forced to because we're related.

I'm glad I decided to sit and write down my thoughts. I'll get to the nitty gritty (Thank you Nacho Libre.) some other time, I don't want to disturb my calm.

Monday, April 11, 2011

This is How We Roll

What to say? What to say?
This behavior is a regular occurrence in our home. Me likey. Just as long as it doesn't involve me at the bottom of the pile. Isn't that a dad's job anyway? The mom gets to hold babies and watch and laugh at the dad while they get pummeled by little 30 and 40 pound crazies.

Two things about this picture bother me. First, how dang close this pile is to the littlest munchkin, and that DANG purple thing coming out of Garrison's mouth. I hate it! I'm seriously considering throwing them all out...I really should just get it over with. Like ripping off a band-aid, or jumping into the pool...or school.

School. Oh, school. I have put off saying much about my plans about returning to school because I was afraid I would jinx myself. It's kind of like when you tell people you're starting a diet, then two months later someone asks how your diet is going...while you are eating a nice big slice of pie. Yeah, just like that. So, here goes.

I have decided to try online college courses.


I'm actually not that scared. Which, in turn, kind of scares me. I was always a good student. I never needed to try very hard, and I always got good grades. I need to start over, because, let's face it, I haven't been in a traditional classroom for over eight years. But the WORK doesn't scare me at all. Plus, it'll be nice to have an excuse to lock my door and tune out the kids for a couple hours a week.

What I AM afraid of is that I won't finish. Just like the diet, you know it's good for you...but yeah, so what? I like to eat!

I want to have SOMETHING to do when all my kids are in school. Which, depending on if/when we have more kids, that could give me 5-10 years to go to school! How awesome would it be if I had my associates, bachelors, masters, doctorate, etc. etc. by the time all my kiddos were off at school?

Which brings us to, "What does Whitney want to be when her kids grow up?" (tee. hee.) Well, I think I want to be a Pediatrician. I'm sure that when I get up to attempting med school that I might down grade it to nursing, or PA. My reasoning is that I want to work with kids, and I want to be in the Health Care field. If I was to be a pediatric nurse, all I would be doing is weighing, measuring, and poking kids and making them cry. I just did that to day with Miss Laney, I couldn't IMAGINE doing it All. Day. Long.

(For record's sake, I will state here that she is 11lbs 12oz, and 25.5" tall. This puts her in the 12th percentile in weight and the 90th for height! Wha? Since when do I have skinny babies?)

But, the fact of the matter is that I haven't done research on the difference in schooling between Pediatrician and PAs. Or if I would want to specialize, or what the pay difference is, and what the cost of insurance is...yadda yadda. THIS is why I never really pursued this as a career fresh out of High School. There are too many decisions! I feel like now that I am a mother, and manage the home/bills/chores/schedules, that I am MUCH better suited for returning to school.

I feel like I actually appreciate the importance of schooling more NOW than I did before I had children. I feel like I can be such a good example for all my kiddos, present and future. Plus, as it stands, I'm pretty sure that I won't be able to help Chloe with her homework once she hits junior high.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Creation Nation

Hi. My name is Whitney, and I like to make things. For example, these little nuggets, and their costumes.
Chloe has been Disney Princesses for EVERY Halloween that she has been big enough to make patterns for. She has been Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and now Cinderella. Todd has it in his mind to get her to dress in camouflage this year. I'm not so sure how much I like that idea.

We make some mean forts too. I anticipate MANY fort building days this summer. I also anticipate getting invited over to swim at my REALLY cool friends houses...but that's just a subliminal message. *wink wink*

It's a blackberry bush. These suckers are MEAN! But when the weather starts being meaner, they put on these pretty white flowers, and we get to look forward to heaping baskets of blackberries and making jams, syrups, muffins. Who am I kidding? They're not even going to make it inside.

Which brings us to these handsome gentlemen. We love to garden! We have three 4x12 garden boxes in our side yard, which will be expanded to one ENORMOUS 12x30 garden this summer. What is in our garden you ask? Well, not that cute little boy...I think they frown upon planting children. Just a hunch. (It's a joke!) This year we have planted tomato, cucumber, squash, cilantro, jalapenos, basil, onion, strawberries, okra, turnips, and beets.

We have an artichoke bush that is HUGE. It dies every winter, and comes back to life each summer bigger and badder than the year before. I don't water it. Quite frankly, I want the thing to die and stay dead.

We also have the a fore mentioned blackberry bushes, and we planted, or are going to plant this week Apricot, Peach, Apple, Orange, Grapefruit, and Jujubee Trees (it's not just a candy, it's a fruit! They are supposed to do VERY well in desert climates and they taste good too).

This is Delaney's car seat. It began it's life as Garrison's car seat. A sad sad blue Britax Companion. Then I was inspired! I had the cute white fabric in my closet, so I went to Joann's matched it to the hot pink corduroy and green was in the quilting area. I assume it's a cotton. It feels cotton-ish. Anywho, then I grabbed FOUR packages of black bias tape, and away we go.

I spent a whopping $1.99 for a tutorial from Puking Pastilles on Etsy. (I wish I knew how to do cool links and just say click HERE...but I don' It took about four hours of seam ripping, writing extensive notes ON the pieces, taking pictures so I would be able to reassemble, sewing, asking my extremely talented M.I.L. for help to sew button holes, borrowed a surger, sew, sew, sew, and then .... TA DA!

We get complimented on it all the time. I've had people ask me to make one for them, to buy it from me, or if I have a business. No, no, and no. It took me about 20 hours total to make this cover, and it was a labor of love. I now understand why people charge $80-$120 for custom car seat covers...and that's not including the cost of fabric! For some reason, it really bothers me when people ask if she's a boy or a girl...LOOK AT THE SEAT!!! Seriously, sometimes people's lack of common sense baffles me.

Next, hair accessories. I have made about 300 different hair accessories from clips, headbands, flowers, rolled roses, organza flowers, yadda yadda. You should SEE how many different things Chloe has to choose from each morning. It's pretty intense. Here are some of the most recent creations.

You have got to love craft time during General Conference. This was the perfect thing to occupy my hands so I wouldn't fall asleep, and leave my mind free and clear to pay attention to the talks. I felt all productive and stuff.

I'm toying with the idea of making Easter dresses for my girls this year. I just haven't been happy with any of the options that are available in the stores. Plus, I would have to buy TWO. I just can't justify breaking the bank on the dresses I do like. I'd better get started though, seeing as how I have about three weeks to get them done.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Cookie Hangover

I love my kids. I love my kids. I love my kids. No really, I do! Some days are just easier than others.

My sweet Delaney is a princess. I little tiny 11 pound princess. I love her to pieces. Yesterday was just not a good day. It seemed like any time I got her to sleep, and try to sneakily put her down, within five minutes she was sca-ream-ing. Bouncy chair? Nope. Swing? Don't think so. Tummy time? Perish the thought! Life stops for no Laney, princess or wailing banshee.

I wake up to Garrison's piercing scream at 6:30. It's been one week since we moved him into his big boy bed, (It's a pretty cool bed. Todd made it.) so there's a myriad of things that could be causing this. Is he in the kitchen with the knives? Did he knock the TV over on himself? Whew. No. His leg is just stuck in the guard rail on his bed. I un-stick the leg, pop a sippee in his mouth, then I'm heading back to bed to get another 15 minutes of sleep.

JUST KIDDING! His wailing woke up Chloe. So my day begins. Get Chloe dressed, homework signed, lunch made, hair brushed, breakfast, Laney diaper change, Garrison diaper change, shoes on, keys...where are my keys? In the car, drop off Chloe, get home.

Garrison- "What's that sound? Oh, I know! Birdies! Hi birdies! Tweet! Tweet!"

Me- "Hi birdies! Bye birdies"

Laney- "Feed me or you will die!" (it's a loose translation)

Me- "Garrison inside, come on buddy."

Garrison- "WAAAHHH!!!"

Me- thinks *Yes! I got them both to cry simultaneously! I am Supreme Mother Overlord!* ...right...

Inside, refill Garrison's sippee, dump out some blocks, and get about feeding my patient baby girl. Ahhh, blessed silence.

Now, it's this time in the day where I usually plan out what needs to get done, think about what I can realistically accomplish, and what I would be satisfied with completing if everything went to heck in a hand basket. Let's see, dishes, sweep, about 10 loads of laundry (four of which are clean on the couch, two in the machines, and another four more in queue), sheets, bathrooms, vacuum, need to make bread for lunches...oh, good she finished her bottle and is sleeping. I'll be able to get half of this stuff done before she wakes up!

I start attacking the kitchen, five minutes later, crying. So I move laundry along, make a small bottle and sit back down. She's started taking an extra two ounces before bed, maybe she's still hungry. Change the diaper, just in case and she takes one ounce and is out. I hold her for another ten minutes, then realize that I haven't had breakfast or fed Garrison yet. So, I go lay her down in her bed. It's quieter back there, she should sleep longer...yeah, nope...pick her back up and get working on some oatmeal.

This is my day. All. Day. Long.

Somehow, between holding Laney and working one handed, or listening to her cry (for an accumulative four hours) and working super speed, I managed to clean the kitchen, sweep the floors, finish the laundry, make lunch and dinner, and work with Todd in the yard pulling weeds (don't be impressed, it was for about 20 minutes before Garrison "accidentally" kicked her in the head and she woke up and started crying again).

Before we sit down for dinner I vent to Todd about how she has been crying all day, and if you have kids, you KNOW how draining it is. Before I had kids it was, yeah yeah, they're crying, so what? NO! As a mom, I have to be able to FIX things. If my kids are upset it stresses me out like CRAZY. I turn into a mindless zombie slave and clean. So Todd takes her and lays her down in her bed and closes the door.

Todd- "She's clean, she's fed, no ear infection, no rash...she's gotten used to being held, she's just crying to cry...and you need to eat."

I love him.

Let the timer commence. Let the stress begin. Let the mommy self deprecating feelings take hold. Let the need for chocolate chip cookies wash over you. Let the sound of the hand mixer drown out the screaming.

I ate six cookies. Six. But I felt much better...and she stopped crying and slept for an hour. I got to laugh with Chloe and Garrison, clean melted chocolate off the floors, and Garrison's entire body. Todd had brought home some bread, and folded the laundry. We got to read an article from The Friend, get the kids to bed, and give Delaney her last feeding before she fell asleep for the rest of the night. Then I was able to fall asleep with my head in Todd's lap while he brushed my hair. One of my favorite things of all time.

Bottom line is, I love my family. I love my kids. Even if I had to listen to Delaney cry for the next three months, I wouldn't love her any less. I know that with Todd by my side we can do anything. I know that in two weeks I'll be able to start feeding Delaney cereals and she will be MUCH more satisfied and start putting on more weight. I guess with the third child I can start to appreciate the fact that they are only small for such a short amount of time. It's all about perspective right? Well, right about now I'm wishing that I hadn't eaten so many dang cookies.