Wednesday, July 30, 2014

50 Questions

I will be seeing my best friend tomorrow - the one who's been there for me since 7th grade. So, for the past decade. We used to do this thing where we would send each other the same questionnaire every few months, just to see if our answers would change and just to keep up to date with where each of us were in life. I couldn't, for the life of me, find the original questionnaire we used to pass back and forth but I found a similar one. And since I'm feeling nostalgic, I decided to fill it out. Just for kicks. 

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:40 am

2. Diamonds or Pearls? Diamonds

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Arthur Christmas. It was the Summer Dollar Days and I took Axton while my in-laws watched Rhenner. He got scared at the very end, so we left 10 minutes before it was over.

4. What is your favorite TV show? Friends. America's Got Talent. 

5. What did you have for breakfast? Homemade breakfast burrito (what I get for visiting Mom)

6. What is your middle name? Rose

7. What is your favorite cuisine?  Italian

8. What foods do you dislike? Crunchy onions. Mushy tomatoes. Plain cauliflower. 

9. Your favorite Potato chips? I really don't eat potato chips that often, but I like Salt and Vinegar and Sour Cream and Onion

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Hehe. CD. Like we still listen to those! Um, how about my favorite Pandora station? I actually really like the Children's Lullaby station. It gets mixed up with some chill jams. 

11. What kind of car do you drive? MY car is a Honda Accord

12. Favorite sandwich? Chicken. As in Chick-Fil-A chicken. Or chicken salad.

13. What characteristics do you despise? Er. Um, rudeness? Tactless-ness? This is a strange question. I would much rather tell you characteristics I admire in others. And that would be courage, kindness, and faith in the face of trials.

14. What are your favorite clothes? Cute sweats and a V neck tee shirt

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would it 
be? Probably back to Switzerland or Germany, but this time with my husband.

16. What color are your eyes? Blue, blue blue

17. Favorite brand of clothing? The ones that fit and look good while making me feel comfortable

18. Where would you want to retire? Probably back in Hawaii

19. Favorite time of day? If I wasn't so darn tired when I woke up, it would be the mornings. My babies are happiest in the morning, so therefore I am too.

20. Where were you born? Hastings, MN

21. What is your favorite sport to watch? Probably soccer, since I know the most about it

22. Who do you think will not send this back? Gag me.

23. Person you expect to send it back first? Seriously.

24. Pepsi or Coke? Pepsi. But only once in a blue moon, on a hot summer day. With ice.

25. Beavers or Ducks? Another strange question! I honestly thought there was some sort of sexual innuendo associated with this question but I didn't want to think about it too hard so I will innocently answer ducks! Because I like feeding them bread. 

26. Are you a morning person or night owl? I'm a Life person.

27. Pedicure or Manicure? Pedicure! I adore having my feet rubbed.

28. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with everyone? 7 week old slept 7 hours last night! (Not that that means I got 7 hours of sleep, since I didn't go to bed right when he did...but still, exciting!)

29. What did you want to be when you were little? It depends on how "little" we're talking here, but generally speaking....a writer. 

30. What is your best childhood memory? Vacations with my family. Oh, and living on 14 acres of land and exploring it nonstop. With chickens and a dog and two barn cats. And fields and fields of strawberries. 

31. What are the different jobs you have had in your life? Police Cadet (yes, seriously), Coffeehouse Barista, Reading & Writing tutor, Newspaper photographer, Nanny, Freelance photographer

32. Ever been to Africa? No. And I used to want to volunteer there, really bad. But then I read this article floating around on Facebook about how skinny white girls volunteering overseas are generally more self-gratifying than actually being helpful to the locals. I figured they had a point - I could probably help orphans in Africa a lot better by donating my money to them instead of spending a week playing with the children. 

33. Ever been toilet papering? No. Not even a desire.

34. Been in a car accident? Yes. It was the first and last time I ever needed stitches. Only a few, but right next to my eye. If the tree branch had been one centimeter further, I could very well be blind in that eye now.

35. Favorite day of the week? Saturday. It means Daddy is home. 

36. Favorite restaurant? Squisitos has the best Italian pasta and Cannoli I have had so far.

37. Favorite flower? I don't even know. I like flowers. Good enough for me.

38. Favorite ice cream? Mint Oreo Blizzard. Or maybe MooseTracks.

39. Favorite fast food restaurant? Taco Bell. It's just a great fall-back. Even if I don't think it sounds good, the moment I put it in my mouth I'm doing alright, you know?

40. How many times did you fail your drivers test? None. And the only speeding ticket I've ever paid for was not even mine - the stupid cameras photographed another car, not mine, but I still got the ticket in the mail and I didn't feel like fighting it.

41. From whom did you get your last e-mail? Heather

42. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? I would never max out my credit card -- unless I had the money in the bank to pay for it. So the question should really be, if you had an extra $5,000 where would you spend it? And the answer would probably be something like Lowe's or Home Depot so I could add some nice touches to our house.

43. Bedtime? Just as soon as I put Axton down. And then Rhenner. And then edit some photos. And then pick up from dinner. And then hang out with Adam. And then write some emails. After that, then I go to bed.

44. When was the last time you cried? Last night. Adam and I had ended our phone conversation on a bad note, and it made me sad. It's been a week since I've seen him so I am especially sensitive. 

45. Last person you went to dinner with? Like, an actual sit down restaurant? My grams, my mom, and my great Aunt Merlene. But it was lunch, not dinner. And we ate at Perkins. 

46. What are you listening to right now? The occasional car passing by the house, windows open and breeze coming through

47. What is your favorite color? I think it's pink. I think I like that it's soft and feminine. I find it comforting and familiar. 

48. How many tattoos do you have? I have scars all over my body that are permanent reminders of the 18+ months I have carried my two children in my belly. Does that count?

49. How many people are you sending this E-mail to? Um, the whole blogosphere.

50. What time did you finish this e-mail? 11:08pm. Good grief. Go to bed, Woman.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

If only I could Tweet

That moment when you JUST get your newborn to sleep and then you take a big fat risk and fart....waking him up so you have to start the whole 40-minute process over again.

Axton was swimming in his kiddie pool - naked, because that's the only way he likes it. He looked down, pointed to his nipple and said, "Baby eat?" Not quite, kid. But pretty darn close.

I have always wanted to be one of those people at the gym who get shin-sweat. I feel like that is a really good indication that you're working hard, if your shins are actually sweating. What I have not always wanted to be is one of those people who get both shin-sweat and belly-sweat. Yep, that was me my first time at the gym in 6 weeks. Gotta love the post-pregnancy body.

Note to self: Rectal thermometer acts EXACTLY like an enema. WATCH OUT.

Axton just walked in on me changing - specifically, putting my bra on. He whispered a very breathy "Woooow."
Um, awkward? And really, do you have to be just like your Dad with everything?

So glad my mom bought Axton a giant green tube that magnifies his voice by 10 so he can yell, "NO DIAPER CHANGE!" at an even louder volume.

Axton hugging the iPad while spinning in circles like he's on the Sound of Music and singing, "Dada Games! Dada Games!" doesn't make me feel like the worst parent ever. Nope, it doesn't.

I must have been feeling ambitious this morning. Just had to ask Adam to help me take a shirt off that, nope, still doesn't fit, because I got stuck in it. Not feeling so ambitious anymore.

My son hasn't taken a bath in 3 days. He does, however, swim in his rain-water-filled kiddie pool everyday. That counts, right? (PS let's be honest, he hasn't brushed his teeth since then either. Parenting win).

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Late on Sunday

I was maybe, just a little bit, dreading going to church today. We had gone the previous Sunday for Rhenner's blessing when all the family was here. Even though Axton had been distracted with cousins, which meant I really only had to worry about Rhenner during sacrament meeting, it still was kind of a cringe-worthy Sunday (aside from the beautiful blessing Adam gave Rhenner, which deserves a post of its own because I have some feelings on that topic). Rhenner screamed all through Sunday school and Relief Society last Sunday and then promptly fell asleep in some old lady's arms at the end of it all. When she handed him back to me, he woke up and started screaming again. So, you can understand why I wasn't exactly looking forward to doing it all over again this week.

Regardless, this morning I thought I had given myself enough time to get ready. Apparently I hadn't. Minutes got away from me, and suddenly I had no where near enough time to do everything I had to: Get Axton's snack bag, get Axton's toy bag, get the diaper bag packed with extra clothes for everyone, eat breakfast, change Axton's clothes, change Rhenner's clothes, put on my own church clothes, try to do something with my bed-head hair, put make up on to cover up my bags under my eyes.....I was running around, stressed to the max. Rhenner was screaming - he was tired and he only sleeps under very carefully construed conditions. I was so frustrated with him being too picky about how and where and when he sleeps. I carried him in my arm, trying to multi-task, all the while getting deafer by the second with his wailing inches from my ear. Newborn cries have something terrible in them - black magic or something - that makes me ache, so I was getting all agitated. I told Rhenner, Fine, if you're not going to sleep you can just sit here and cry while I get all this done. I put him on the couch and ran off to do some seemingly-important task. His cries penetrated my every move, though and I couldn't focus on the tasks at hand. I kept glancing at the clock, and I was torn. I had this evil little voice in the back of my head saying, You're going to be late. You're going to miss sacrament. It is a commandment to take the sacrament every week. If you miss the passing of the bread and water, what is the point? ....You made a covenant to attend all church meetings. You need to do better, Meghan. You should have had everyone's clothes lined up the night before. You should have woken up earlier. If the sacrament were important enough to you, you wouldn't be stumbling around trying to get there on time.

All I could feel was this pressure to not be late to church - more specifically, to not miss the sacrament. I even had thoughts like, "Well there goes the Celestial Kingdom. You are obviously not perfect enough." (I know - that escalated quickly!)

Anyway, these thoughts and the ticking of the clock and the wailing of the baby......

I paused.

I took a deep breath and I thought about what was really important in that moment.
I picked up my baby. I didn't try to do other things while he bobbed around on my arm, still crying. I sat down on the couch. I patiently patted his back, and within seconds he was out. I closed my eyes and I let it go. And that, my dears, is when I felt the spirit re-enter my heart. Those thoughts were not from Him, they were from myself - an aching within me stirred by society and guilt and the need to be perfect.

You are trying, and that's what matters. 

We're going to be late.

And that's okay. At least you're going. 

And we were late, but not too late to take the sacrament.

Rhenner woke up halfway through the first meeting, and because his cry isn't a "Hey, I think I'm starting to get hungry, Mommy" kind of cry - it's a "FEED ME, WOMAN!" cry, I took him to the Mother's Lounge to get him calmed down. It was just me in there, and the speakers were on so I could still hear everything going on in the chapel. They were singing a song now, and I could very distinctly pick out a few voices.

I chuckled a little because man, those voices were terrible. Their words were a few beats behind and their pitches a few notes off. And then, for the second time that day, the spirit taught me the same lesson: That's okay, at least they're singing. 
They were not perfect singers, but there they were, singing anyway. Singing because they love God and want to worship Him. Singing because they are trying to do what's right.

And here I am, coming into church late. But I'm here. And I'm trying. 
I am far from perfect -- but I am doing my best. And that's all He has ever asked from me.