30 April 2011

Last day to enter the give-a-way!

Be sure and enter my giveaway before it's too late! Comments close at 10pm PST tonight! Also if you have done something and not commented please let me know so I can make sure you get an entry. Good luck!

28 April 2011

Desire and Progress

**Don't forget to enter my give-a-way!**

A few months ago I decided that my abs were way too weak.They never really improved from being pregnant with Mr. Smiley and I guess I thought they would just improve on their own. Haha, I know, right? I was really slouchy sitting at the computer and especially on the couch. They needed help. My posture needed help. I could hardly stand up straight. I had this idea that every day I would get up early and do a few sets of 25 situps in the morning. 

Well that lasted all of about three days. I got super sick and then took a few weeks to recover and just lost all motivation in the morning to get out of bed any kind of early. So I didn't do any situps for a while. Then I started seeing my friend's postings on Facebook about how many situps and pushups she had done each day (thanks to a handy little iPhone app). That was just the motivation I needed to get my butt in gear! 

I bought both the apps and did the initial tests. I could do 50 situps (even though I have lousy posture I can do situps) and a big whopping 3 pushups. I knew I needed some help!

I did the first pushup workout but barely and I'm sure I did some of them on my knees. The next few days I did most of the workout on my knees and it was still really hard.  Finally the wall came on the 6th workout where I couldn't even finish it on my knees. I knew the app was making me progress faster than I could. So I went back a few days. From then on I've only done them on my toes. I have slowly progressed so that I can do 20 in a row! Also I can do 200 situps consecutively, as well now.  It's so great to be able to see myself progress.

There was a talk given in the LDS General Conference about desire by Elder Dallin H. Oaks. He said:
Let us remember that desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. In addition, it is our actions and our desires that cause us to become something, whether a true friend, a gifted teacher, or one who has qualified for eternal life.
I know that this is mostly about the desire for eternal life and to be a better person through coming closer to Christ, but I think that it can apply to most of the things in our life. If we desire something, we are going to make it a priority and choose what we want to accomplish that goal. I had a desire to be strong. I chose to work hard. In one month I've improved so that I'm 5 times "stronger" that I was when I started. That's a good feeling. It's good to see progress.

25 April 2011

Some other choices

I have a lot more things that I haven't listed on Etsy or that due to the designers wishes, I can't list on Etsy and I wanted to share some of those things that you could choose from if you win the contest!

Yes, I've been on a black and gray kick lately! :)

All of these are color and size customizable!

22 April 2011

600th Post and a Contest!

This is my 600th post! I've been blogging since November 2005 and while I'm sure there are many people who have been blogging less time than me and have many more posts, I'm satisfied with my result. It's not a competition after all. I feel satisfied with my quality of blogging. I feel like I have chronicled my children's lives well for them. But most of all I feel like I have chronicled my life for my children. I want them to be able to know who I was when they are older. I want them to know me. I want them to understand why I have made certain decisions in my life. I want them to see that there is both good and bad in life and most importantly that we can overcome the bad; that we can always find the good and keep going.

So in honor of this my 600th post, I am holding a contest!  I will give away one handmade (knitted or crocheted) item of your choice--either listed on my Etsy store or a custom item that the winner and I will agree on!

So there are a 4 ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment

2. Blog about the contest

3. Twitter/Facebook about it

4. Visit my Etsy store and tell me your favorite thing listed!

Please tell me what you have done in your comment (no need to leave a separate one for each entry)

The contest will go until Saturday, April 30th and I will announce a winner on May 1st. Good luck!

21 April 2011

One of Those Days

Today has been one of "those" days. It started out innocently enough. I dreamed I was partners with Sarah from Chuck. We were kicking but and fightinh bad guys. It was a weird dream because I woke up out of breath like I'd actually been fighting with someone.

After rushing out the door to get Big Sister to school since she was moving at slug's pace this morning, I hurried home and rushed through my own getting ready routine. I managed to make it out the door on time to my visiting teaching appointment. We had two and on the way to the second Mr. Smiley started to look tired. I made sure he didn't fall asleep on the way knowing that would ruin all chances of a good nap later and we had a lovely visit with our other lady. By this time Mr. Smiley was pure exhaustion and I laid him down as soon as we got home. Naturally he protested so I got him out of bed and fed him lunch.

I promptly put him back in bed only to listen to him babble and play for 20 minutes. Knowing he probably needed a diaper change I went in there and took care of it. Who likes to sleep in a poopy diaper anyway? And while I'm asking questions, why does he always poop *after* I put him down for a nap? I sat down and listened to him play some more while I listened to my scriptures and watched a little TV while knitting. By 1 o'clock I thought he had finally gone to sleep. Boy was I wrong.

About 1:20 I finally gave up on him sleeping and went in his room. I found him on top of his dresser, clothes strewn everywhere, an empty sucked on candy wrapper and sticky drool all over his clothes, face and hands. First of all I had no idea there was even candy in his room! So I admitted the nap defeat and brought him to the living room to finish my show with me. Despite his lack of nap he was being really happy and well behaved--he must have gotten it all out in him room.

We finished my show and he continued playing while I busied myself with other things. About 5 minutes before it was time to get Rachel, I went to change his diaper. I laid him down and because he was wearing overalls I noticed his diaper didn't quite fit right. It was in a bunch by his knees. I prayed there wasn't any poop in that diaper.

Of course there was. It was also all smeared in his pants and on his legs. At first I thought it would be fine if I just cleaned him with wipes but it quickly became clear that he needed a bath.

Here's where I tell you I made a batch of delicious chocolate chip cookies yesterday for Knit Night at my house last night. It's also where I tell you I've noticed in the last few weeks that desserts are really messing with me. I have noticed that if I eat a "pick me up" kind of snack anywhere between 1 and 4 I am a bear to be around during the rest of the day. It makes me overly tired, emotional and extremely short tempered. I am an emotional mess come 6 o'clock when T-Bone gets home. I usually even out a little after dinner once my blood sugar has had time to adjust. So, lately I've been pretty consciencious about my eating habits so I can be a better mom in the afternoon. Well I'm sure you've guessed, I have eaten a lot of cookies in the last 24 hours.
So back to the realization that in 5 minutes I need to leave to get Big Sister AND give Mr. Smiley a bath after eating way too many cookies for my body to handle and not having my quiet time that I desperately love and look forward to. I lost it. I was ( ) this close to tears as I called my friend to rescue me. She gratefully went to get BS as I cleaned up the little monster.

As soon as BS got home we got in the car and raced off to her tennis lesson, me super emotional the whole way there. Luckily Mr. S fell asleep on the way and I got my much needed quiet peaceful time that I was denied earlier. It gave me some time to think about the day and reflect on other things as well.

I could be having a baby today. My due date was in a few days and while I really have come to accept my loss, it still hurts every once and a while. It still has the capability to make me sad. I know most of the sadness is sugar induced ultra emotionality (I don't know if that is even a word....) but I'm going to let myself feel it today and then I'm going to move on.

Tomorrow is another day. Mr. S will proabably take a nap like normal, I'll have gotten the sugar out of my system and things will be back to normal.

In the meantime, it's going to be a $5 pizza from Little Caesars kind of dinner tonight.
*PS I wrote this on my phone in the parking lot of BS's tennis lessons while Mr. S was sleeping so please forgive me if there are gramatical errors.*

19 April 2011

Things I Like

*Mr. Smiley's giggle*
He is the laughingest kid I know
*My nursery kids*
I'm finding myself really enjoying them and I'm glad I like my calling! 

*That there are only 4 rolls left of 1 ply toilet paper that I accidentally bought*

*My hair*
I got a hair cut a few months ago and decided to make a drastic change and cut bangs. For the first time that I can remember, I am really happy with my hair. I've always said I had bad hair and have never really been happy with it, but I'm happy to say that I really like it right now! (It could be too that the baby hair is finally blending in with the rest of my hair too!) Along the same lines, I love my flat iron. What did I ever do without it? Oh that's right, have crappy hair.

*Big Sister's tennis lessons*
I had the idea that she might be good at tennis so I signed her up for a month worth of lessons. She is doing great and even better, she loves it!

*How Mr. Smiley says, "I Love You"*

*Listening to Big Sister read*
Her reading has really exploded lately and I'm so proud of her!

*Watching my garden grow*
It's doing so well! It's so fun to go up there and see the fruits of our labors. Most of the things we planted from seed and they are actually growing! 

*Knitting and Crocheting*
I made this tie for Mr. Smiley and he loved it. He was so excited that he had a tie just like Daddy! I'm making him and T-Bone matching ties for Easter.
And I made a skirt for Big Sister. She's always begging me to make her things, so she was pretty excited about this twirly skirt. (Sorry the picture is so crappy...)

*Knit Night*
I love being able to knit with my friends!

*And of course my family!*

17 April 2011

We have him trained

At the beginning of the school year I set an alarm on my iPhone for Wednesdays at 1:50 so I wouldn't remember to go get Big Sister on early release days. It was a life saver a few times. I would have totally forgot to go and get her had the alarm not gone off. Pretty soon the one day alarm turned into all 5 week days. I found myself getting caught up in things--especially if Mr. Smiley was asleep--and not realizing what time it was. Also I hated to constantly look at the clock to see how much time I had left until I had to go and get her. I knew that once the alarm went off, I would have enough time to gather what I needed and throw some shoes on before heading out the door. Most of the time Mr. Smiley was awake so he would hear the "Bell Tower" alarm too. A couple months ago he started recognizing it and would get really excited, grab his shoes and say Big Sister's name. He knew it was time to go get her. He knew what the alarm meant.

Around the same time we were trying to be better at reading the scriptures as a family. T-Bone had an idea that we should set an alarm for 7pm every night so that we would be reminded. So far it's worked great. At 6:58pm the theme from Star Trek goes off and Mr. Smiley knows it's time to read scriptures. He'll run to the living room and reach for our books. We have him trained.

So this leads me to the final purpose of this post--bedtime. We were finding that although Mr. Smiley was pretty good about going to bed, it was taking him quite a while to grasp the idea that it was time for bed. We had our routine: scriptures, jammies, teeth, books, but it wasn't clicking. Finally I had the idea to set another alarm. This time it's a duck sound. So at 7:26pm we hear "quack, quack, quack, quack." Mr. Smiley will always run to find my iPhone and bring it to me saying "gak, gak, gak". He knows that means it's time for bedtime. It has been the best thing ever! When that alarm goes off he settles down, we say prayers and walk out. No tears, no following us out of the room, just laying down on the floor--wherever feels right that night--giving kisses and saying good night. It's so peaceful!

I thought it was just funny when Mr. Smiley started recognizing the "Big Sister alarm," but now I love that he recognizes his bedtime alarm. It makes bedtime so much better! I love that we have him so well trained! :)

15 April 2011

A Random Memory

The other day I was driving home from running some errands and I saw a sign on the side of the road that read, "Shingles Shots Here." To the average errand runner that might not mean much but I found it odd. Also, for the last few months every time I shop at Vons I hear a commercial playing over the intercom warning senior citizens of Shingles.

All my life I have never heard one thing advertised about Shingles and now there are two places that are warning people of them and even inoculating against them. I had heard of Shingles before but always thought it was an old person's disease.

That is until I had them.

Have you ever had them? I hope not. They are so painful. Let me tell you about the time I had them.

When I was 21 I went to BYU-Hawaii. I got there in January 1999 and didn't know a soul. I went out there alone but hoping to learn, find some friends and get a job. The semester started the way it should and I commenced job hunting. I had no money as my student loans hadn't come in yet so I wanted to find a job as quick as possible. Every day I went into the Financial Aid Office to check the job boards. I applied at the PCC and other places on campus but no one would hire me. It was very frustrating. A couple weeks went by and I still had no money. I decided to take out a temporary loan from the school to at least cover my tuition and book costs.

As time went on I became more and more stressed about not being able to find a job. I had made a few friends with the girls in my dorm, but was feeling pretty lonely. I was on an island by myself, with no job and no money. I prayed every day to help me find an job and help my student loans to come through. Pretty soon my prayers were answered. One day I went to look for a job again. This time i talked to one of the girls at the front desk of the Financial Aid office instead of just checking the job board. She said that she was going to quit in a couple days and I could have her job. It wasn't listed yet but she let me apply and a few days later, I was gainfully employed!

I guess the stress of everything leading up to that point was too much for my body to handle though. A couple days later I started to feel this shooting pain in my back. It was like someone was stabbing me very rhythmically. I couldn't figure out what was causing the pain because there was nothing showing on the surface. I even asked my roommate to look at my back...nothing. A couple days later the bumps came. Then I knew something was wrong. It itched like crazy and the stabbing pain was unbearable. I went to the Health Center and the doctor confirmed it was Shingles. I guess since the disease had progressed so far the doctor said there really wasn't anything they could do. He gave me some medication, but with a comment that it really wouldn't help. I just had to let it run it's course.

The rash was so painful I would lay on my bed with an ice pack on my back just so I could numb the skin. There were a few nights when I slept without a shirt because anything touching my skin would hurt. It didn't help that the rash was right where my bra sat. I remember one time when a few of my friends and I were walking though the halls of campus and I cracked a joke. My friend slapped me on the back because it was so funny and the sheer pain of that impact brought me to my knees.  After two weeks the blisters and pain finally went away and I was able to go back to normal, thank heavens.

Even to this day whenever I feel random shooting pains anywhere in my body I fear that shingles has returned. It always makes me reassess my life and see if I'm getting too stressed about things.  So far I haven't gotten it again, thankfully. That is something I never want to experience again.

08 April 2011

I Decided

Thank you all for your comments (or phone calls) about the craft fair. I'm glad people think I can do it. Thanks for your confidence! It really helped mine. But, after thinking about it for a few days, and weighing the pros and cons I decided that I'm not going to do the craft fair.

The biggest point in making my decision was it's only a month away and I don't have tons of things just stashed away waiting to sell. I'd have to really go crazy making things and I think that would make me go crazy. Not that I don't always have a project that I'm working on but that I'm not sure that I'd have enough in a month. Plus there's this other contest that I want to enter that I need to work on. It's just too much. And the other thing is that most people don't want to buy beanies at the beginning of summer. It's just not the right season, ya know? I know I could make cute little spring hats or summer shade-type hats, but....As you can see, I'm really not that committed.

Anyway, I'm happy with my decision. I don't need more stress right now. I just want to continue enjoying doing what I do.

06 April 2011

Putting Myself Out There

I'm thinking of doing this: Sidewalk Saturday.

The thought of it really makes me excited, but it also terrifies me! I have such fear of putting my stuff out there and having no one want to buy it. I'm not sure I can live with the disappoinment. Since listing most of my things on Etsy, I've only sold a few custom-made things to my family members. I'm really happy about that, but I really want to sell something to someone who is not related to me. People are looking at my items, I have over 80 views on just one item but they just aren't selling. Are my prices too high? I'm not putting this out there so that you will all feel sorry for me and buy something, but just putting it out there because it makes me kind of sad. It's hard when your hopes are dashed.

Maybe I need to do this sidewalk fair to get my Etsy name out there. Etsy is such a huge place and I'm just a little fish. Let me be clear that I'm not looking to make a business out of this. I really just want a way to make a little money doing something I love. And mostly so I can keep buying yarn and supporting my hobby. :) 

I love knitting and crocheting. I love the peace I feel when I have those needles in my hands and they are making something out of string. I guess I just need some more confidence in myself.

What do you think, my few readers? Should I pay the $50 bucks and take a chance or just accept the fact that I am destined to make gifts instead of money?  (Not that I don't love giving my things as gifts, I really do)

04 April 2011

Family Pictures--as promised

I put these on Facebook too, but here are the pictures we had taken a couple weeks ago. I love them! Thanks again Brooke!