Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Discussion about Depression

Once again, I'm a little ashamed for my little outburst yesterday. Sorry. But, then, again, I'm not, either. Because I use this place to vent, and unload my burdens, and I guess it's better to type it out, then take it out on my husband and kids. But, I'm sorry that you come here to see what's up with us, and get bombarded with whining.

I was asked by a few people, what I thought my problem was, and received a few suggestions that I find the root of the problem and start there.

Well, that just the thing. I don't know. To be honest, I often feel incredible guilt for getting depressed, because logically speaking, I have a really great life. I really have nothing to be depressed about. Really, I am truly blessed to not have any REAL problems. I have a few friends who are dealing with me pretty heavy stuff right now, and it really puts me in my place. Yeah, we're over scheduled. Yeah, my kids demand a lot from me. Yeah, my husband works long hours and is gone a lot. But, what Mom out there doesn't deal with these same things? None that I've seen, so far.

I really think my problem is simply a good, old fashioned chemical imbalance. Which is why the damn anti-depressants (not happy-pills for you, Queen Elizabeth) work. I don't want to take them though. I didn't like how they made me feel. I don't like the side effects. I felt like I had more "episodes" when I was taking the pills, than since I've quit. When, I say episodes, I use that term loosely. If you ask my husband, he wonders still if he should've committed me to an institution last spring. I don't think he truly understands depression because it was never discussed in his home. I don't know if his Mom ever struggled with it.

I also don't know why people are so afraid to talk about it. I think I would probably feel better and a lot of other people would feel better if we all just came out of our comfort zones, let down our barriers, and just talked about it.

So, I want to discuss this. If you don't want to, that's Ok, but I just wondered who else out there suffered from depression, or seasonal affective disorder (which I think is my big problem right now). What do you do for it? Do you take medication? Do you have home remedies that work for you?

I'll tell you what works for me besides taking the pills:

First of all, being depressed makes me want to sleep all day and do nothing. And avoid contact with people at all costs. But, I've noticed that if I get outside, and socialize, even just to go to the store, it helps. Also, surrounding myself with friends and family. I think this forces me to think about other people besides myself, and helps me realize that yes, people care about me, and my life is worth something. Holing myself up in my room only locks me away with my dangerous thoughts.

Also, exercise. I always feel better after a good run, or going to the gym. Sometimes, after I run a few miles, I like to finish it off with a sprint. I just run as hard and as fast as I can for like 20-30 seconds. It's amazing what that does for me. That, and laying off sugar. Sugar does nothing but gives me instant gratification. And I always feel like crap after I eat it.

And Prayer. Sometimes this is so difficult for me, it's almost unbearable. I don't know why. Because I don't feel worthy of His love when I'm depressed? Or I'm ashamed? But, I have to force myself to get on my knees. Sometimes, I don't even say anything, I just kneel, and cry. Honestly, sometimes, I feel like I am just crying at His feet. And I know He is there, and wants me to be happy. Just acknowledging God, and coming to Him for help, helps.

These are my home remedies. Obviously it's a work in progress. But, I'd like to know, what works for you? Leave me a comment, and lets talk about it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas, Winter blues, etc.....

UTI:

Unnecessary Torturous Ignition

Ugly Troll Inside

Untimely Terrible Incineration

Ultimately Terrifying Insult

I had a whole bunch of these milling around in my head last night whilst I tried, unsuccessfully, to sleep. This is all I could come up with today.

I know, I know TMI. But, since I have a rapport for being keeping it real and honest around here....well...that's what's on my mind today. Thank goodness for Nitrofurantn.

Ok, now that you are officially disgusted with me and never want to read my blog again, I'll just go off and whine some more.

I'm really struggling right now. I haven't taken a "happy pill" in four months. I haven't really felt like I needed one. I've felt more myself since I've been off of them. Except the occasional outburst, or "bad day."
Well, I had my usual, annual Christmas Eve breakdown, in which I felt so overwhelmed with things to do, and no time to do it that I stopped and cried for a hour. That Definitely solved ALL of my time problems. Amazing how perspective gets so skewed when you're feeling depressed, isn't it? Let me tell you about ALL the things I had to do on Christmas Eve. I had to make Wassail, a salad, and do my hair, and make it to my Mom's for dinner by 3:00.
Oh, and did I mention that my brother came and took my kids sledding for 3 hours?
What is my freakin' problem?
So, then, the day after Christmas I woke up at like noon, made it all the way to the couch (after turning on movies for the kids), and sat and read a book all day. I finally ventured out at 6:00 to go, an hour late, to my extended family Christmas party. I got there just before the closing prayer.
I'm not really feeling necessarily sad, or stressed, or angry. Just blah. Like nothing. Like nobody. I just want to sleep.
I don't want to do anything else. Just crawl in bed, and sleep. My poor little neglected children.
I'm just grateful for Mario Kart and webkinz for entertaining my children over the last few days.
Hopefully, they are still novel and exciting by the end of this week.

I'll post about Christmas later, when I feel like it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Word to the Wise:


When travelling with friends, and their kids, GET SEPARATE HOTEL ROOMS!

I can't stress this enough. Even though you booked a three bedroom penthouse suite with lots of space. Because, the bedroom doors won't lock. And your friends' views on privacy might be slightly different than your own. And their children might just walk into your bedroom while the door was closed, unannounced, over and over and over. And your friends might just not say ANYTHING to their kids about it, because, I suppose, they don't see what the big deal is. And you might be really tempted to just go ahead and walk around in your room naked, just so that the next time the nosey little kids walk in, you can teach their parents a lesson about privacy. But, then you wouldn't have the nerve, so you don't. And you also don't have the guts to say anything to the parents, so you just put up with almost being walked in on, while dressing, showering, etc.
Imagine your friends' kids walking in on you during etc? Yikes! Not to mention eeeewwwww!

Draw your own conclusions.

Actually, despite having zero privacy, our little getaway was quite enjoyable. I read a good book, started a second, and had some fun time with my little family. I'm now recovering from major motion sickness. My husband drives like a maniac! I think he was trying to beat the rush hour traffic. And we made it home in record time. p.s. I love Dramamine.

The choir sang beautifully on Sunday. The program turned out really great, and I'm so glad it's over. My wonderful friend, Motherboard, came through for me, once again, and sat with my kids during the meeting, and claimed they were good. I think she might be sugarcoating to ease my stress, but I appreciate her, nonetheless.

Here are some cute pictures of the kids in their Christmas clothes, that I took on Sunday morning.


Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday. Random. Blah.

Yeah, that's how I'm feeling today. Maybe it's the ginormous blizzard outside my house today. Thanks for the white Christmas, but I'm good. You can stop snowing now.

Maybe it's the fact that I just kissed my hubby goodbye for the weekend. Every year, he and his buddy drive down south to go to the Vegas Bowl. I think BYU is playing Air Force? Don't quote me. I try to listen when C tells me about his sports endeavors, but sometimes, it doesn't always stick. I can't remember my own name sometimes, don't ask me to remember trivial stuff that I don't particularly care about.

I DO care, however, that I will be husbandless for the next two days. And that Sunday morning, I have..I mean get...to direct our ward choir for the entire Sacrament meeting program. Sans husband. With 3 naughty children. Yeah. How the hell am I supposed to do that? Sorry, I said Hell when I'm talking about going to church. I guess that's where I'm going. Hell, that is. Actually, somewhere hot does sound kind of nice right now.

Anyway, in a brief moment of insanity, and unusual positivity, I picked three songs from the Messiah for the choir to sing. Uh...what was I thinking? Actually, I think it will be really good. We have some really, amazingly talented people in our ward. Especially our accompanist. She can play anything I throw at her, beautifully by the way, and without complaint. I think she has no clue how much I appreciate her. Maybe I need to go bring her a present and tell her so.

So, directly after standing with my rear facing the congregation for the entire meeting, while also wrestling with three restless monkeys, we are hopping in the ole Tahoe, and heading south to meet up the C and T, and T's family. I'm sure I'll be super organized and will have all my Christmas wrapped and ready to go (for when we get back on Christmas Eve), house spotless, and car loaded before we go to church, so we can leave immediately after Sacrament meeting.
I'm also sure that my children will behave perfectly all through church, and then also, sit quietly during the 4 hour drive down to St.G.

What are you doing this weekend?

Speaking of Random randomness. Wonderwoman tagged me. You know how I like tags. And it kind of goes with random, so here it goes. You are supposed to list 16 random things about yourself, then tag 16 people. Ok, so here you have it.

Ummmmm....16 things? I can't think of one. Let's see......

1. I'm rethinking the whole release my CD and becoming a famous recording artist. It's proving to be mighty pricey, and a huge gamble that I won't sell any CD's. I might just keep my recording to myself. Maybe my kids can release it when I die.

2. Remember the chin hairs I talked about? Well, I found another one. A gray one! AAARRGGGH!!!

3. I think I spent too much money on naughty kids for Christmas and, so, the last week, I have been returning stuff. Yes, I have returned my kids' Christmas presents. I'm so mean.

4. I don't have a gift for my in-laws. Any ideas?

5. I'm copying Wonderwoman's idea on this one. After having two babies with an epidural, and not feeling a darn thing, and being disappointed that I didn't know what labor felt like after having 2 kids, I decided to have baby #3 without an epidural. Yeah, it hurt, but it was better than being numb. I would do it again.

6. I always get depressed around the holidays. Every year. I don't know why. The weather? The stress? My agoraphobia kicking in and all the parties we have to go to?

7. I want a cleaning lady for Christmas. I can't keep up with my housework. How does one family create this much clutter? And the laundry!! Oh, the laundry!!!!!

8. I hate candy canes.

9. I like chocolate oranges.

10. I also like Almond Roca. So does C. Every year, I buy him a can of it, then eat some. He never buys any for me. This year, I bought two. One for him, one for me.

11. I'm still curious about Motherboard's wassail.

12. I haven't drank? drunk? dranken? drinked? had eggnog in years. I don't remember if I like it. (I don't know how to do that stike through thing. How do you do it?)

13. C and I are going to watch the Superbowl in February. In Tampa, FL. At Madison Square Gardens. Live. In Person. :)

14. My sister is pregnant with twins. She lives halfway across the country. I really wish I could be there and see her growing belly, and help with her other 3 children.

15. 2 of my brothers are also expecting babies. Well, their wives are, at least.

16. I'm starting to kind of, sort of, maybe starting to feel a little teeny tiny bit baby hungry.

I tag (whew, here goes): Mikki, Jess, Tammy, Peggy, Red, Shauna, Motherboard (even though I think WW already tagged you), Shelle, Kristina (because you love tags), Tink, Jan, Cynthia, Erin, Shaila, Andrea, Mina

Wow, this is proving to be a long post. I guess that's Ok, since it will probably be my last until after Christmas.

Here are some Rockin' Christmas tunes:

1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen(Manheim Steamroller)
2. Variations on the Kanon (George Winston)
3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Coldplay)
4. Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella (Jon Schmidt)
5. What Child is This? (Kurt Bestor)
6. Christmas Dreaming (Harry Connick, Jr.)
7. Jingle Bells (Jim Brickman)
8. I'm getting nuttin' for Christmas (Barry Gordon)
9. Let it Snow (Michael Buble)
10. The Hat I Got For Christmas is too big (Mel Blanc)
Bonus: Breath of Heaven (Amy Grant)
Bonus bonus: Merry Christmas, Darling (Carpenters) Because I love this song!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

You Can Call Me Elphaba


I think I'm turning into the Wicked Witch of the West.

And, ironically, NOT because of the amount of yelling I've done at my kids this week. (That alone would qualify me, I'm sure)

Today, I discovered two little black hairs growing out of my chin. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I'm growing whiskers. Sick! Seriously!

I mean, I've always said that I have more testosterone that the average woman. Mainly because of my ginormous "man arms", and that I'm uber competitive.

But whiskers? This is getting a little ridiculous.

Actually, now that I think about it I'm not sure that the Wicked witch even has chin hair. Just a giant mole, I think. I don't know.

I haven't even seen "Wicked." And my hubby TRIED to get my tickets for Christmas, but they were sold out before he could buy them. I know, I'm sooo bummed. Maybe, if I give my first born, we could afford to buy some from scalpers.

So, needless to say, those two little hairs got the tweeze.

Anyway, so, am I alone in the world? Please tell me there are other bearded ladies out there.

Please......

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wassail-off!

Motherboard and I are having a "wassail-off" tonight. I told her to just give up because mine is better, but she's unrelenting.

I'm sure I'll win, but just in case, wish me luck!

I'll update this later, and let you know when I win, and everyone likes my wassail better!

Ok, Motherboard knew she would lose, so she didn't even make her wassail! So, I win by forfeit!!!
She did tell me her recipe, though, and I am intrigued. It sounds really good. Someday, I'll get to taste it.
It's just too bad that you can send stuff through the web to taste.

The Thing about Driving in the Snow...



I like it.
Yeah, you heard me right. I like driving in the snow.

Ok, don't get me wrong, I hate driving among other stupid people who don't know how to drive in the snow.



I'm sure it helps that now that I have a 4 wheel drive, I'm feeling a little more confident out there on the slick roads.

I think the immature kid in me comes out when I drive after/during a snow storm. If there's not much traffic on the road, I like to drive as far to the edge of the road as possible, where the plow hasn't come, and slosh through the virgin snow banks. I like to make my own tracks.

And when I turn a corner, I like to gun the gas a little bit, so I kinda fishtail.
I get all giddy when the car starts to slip a little bit.

There is a huge part of me that wants to go to the church parking lot and do doughnuts. I resist, because, you know, I'm 30 and I need to behave myself, and act mature. But I really want to.



Also, after a huge rain storm and there are big puddles on the shoulder of the road, I just can't resist driving straight through them. I just can't help myself. There is something about that huge splash on both sides of the car that just brings me pure joy.



It's the little things in life that make me happy!
(Thanks to google for all the pictures)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Crazy Busy!!



It's midnight. My kids are wired. That's why I'm still up. They're watching TV, hubby is asleep in bed, and here I am.

I have to admit, it's kind of been nice, have so much to do that I haven't had time to blog. I've checked my email here and there. Everything I posted this week was done ahead of time. I'm sneaky that way. So, you thought I was around, but I really wasn't. Except for the fact, that you're not getting any comments from me either. Sorry, I'll come back, and read your blogs, and comment eventually. After this weekend, hopefully things will go back to normal.

I've had a lot of piano gigs this week, which is exciting and crazy at the same time. Last night they asked me to play my arrangement of Joy to the World at my ward Enrichment night. It was a dinner for couples, and they asked several people in the ward to do musical numbers. Mine was the last one, so while everyone else was performing, but my hubby kept whispering jokes in my ear, and making me do that silent, almost snort out your nose, whole body shaking laugh. I felt bad, like I was being disrespectful to the performers. I hope nobody noticed. That's one thing, though, that I love about my husband. He always makes me laugh. If you've ever had the grace of having a conversation with him, you'll know he is a really witty, funny guy. If he ever gets tired of being Bryantman, he should go into stand up comedy. Seriously. (HA, HA, did you get that joke? Seriously? Cuz it's the opposite of funny? HA HA. Ok, I'll leave the jokes to him. I'm not so good at it).

So, anyway, I kind of bombed Joy to the World. But, hopefully nobody noticed. That's one good thing about writing your own stuff is nobody notices when you screw it up beyond recognition.

So, on to today. Whew! This morning, my SIL and I got together to make chocolates. I've tasted some...ok alot (sorry, Jess) and they turned out pretty good. (BTW, if you thought my Christmas tree story from last year was funny, go read her's. She's re-living my nightmare)

Thankfully, she was able to stick around for awhile and finish the candies, while I headed down South to play for my brother, Spence down at BYU. He had a jury today. In the music major world, that means that he basically has to go prove he's still good enough to be a music major. I love playing for Spencer because first of all, he the most amazing musician I know, and the songs are really uber hard, and that makes them fun for me to learn! He did an amazing job today!

So, after driving for 3 hours for that, I came home, picked up the kids from my Dad, then went down to SL for the Utah Composer's Guild Festival. I, again, played my arrangement of Joy to the World. This time, I did better. Strange, how I would get more nervous in front of my friends and neighbors than in a room full of complete strangers. I did make a few mistakes, but covered them up pretty well. Some of my most genius ideas come from making mistakes, and then it sounds cool, so I keep it. I wonder if any other composers do that? Hmmm....




Anyway, so last summer I submitted my song "Solitude" to the Composer's Guild Competition. They announced the awards tonight at the Festival. I got Honorable Mention in the piano division. I'm pretty happy with that. It's just too bad that I didn't get 3rd place..(or 2nd, or 1st) because those dudes get money. I noticed that the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in my division all wrote songs called "Etude" or "Sonata" or the like. Call me a cynic, but this is the 21st century. Why do I have to pretend to be from the 1600's to win a contest with my music? I don't want to write classical music. I think Chopin and Bach did a great job, and I give them all the credit. Not to take anything away from the dudes who won, I'm sure their songs were really good. I'm just saying...

So, tomorrow morning, I get to wake up bright and early and drive down to Lehi to play for my sister's ward's Enrichment night...er...morning...meeting. I'm playing my arrangement of Silent Night, I wrote last year for a piano trio. Last year, my brothers and I played it a couple of times. This year, though, my violinist brother has turned his devotion to the slopes (snowboarding--yeah, he's 16), rather than music, so we had to re-arrange it for just piano and bass. It'll be pretty good, though. I'm also playing Joy to the World again, which is actually the reason I arranged it in the first place. My sister asked me to arrange Joy to the World for her meeting. I hope she likes it.

After that, KJ has her performance with her choir, and then C's work party.

I'm looking forward to the days surrounding Christmas when we have nothing to do and we can just sit at home and relax.

Doesn't that sound nice?

So, Happy weekend, everyone!

Christmas Tag!

I'm going through some serious blogging burnout right now. I haven't been through my Googlereader in a week. I've checked a few blogs, but mostly, I've been absent. So a few days ago Wonderwoman did this fun Christmas tag, so I thought since this is easy, and I like tags, I'll do this, so you don't think I've fallen off the face of the planet.



Egg nog or hot chocolate? Of course, Hot chocolate. Because it's chocolate. I haven't had eggnog in a long time. I don't remember if I like it.

Does Santa wrap presents or set them under the tree? Santa wraps presents with special wrapping paper for each person in the family, so we know who's is whose. The big stuff isn't wrapped but is displayed by the stockings, which are set out the night before.

Colored lights on tree or white?White, on the upstairs tree. Colored on the downstairs "kids" tree.

When do you put your decorations up? This year, the day after Thanksgiving. Usually the first few days after Thanksgiving or first of December.

What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Excluding dessert? Uhhhhhh.......I guess it'd have to be wassail, if you can count that, because it's a drink. If not, then.....maybe.....I keep thinking fudge, and homemade chocolates, and fudge. That's a snack, not a dessert, right?

Favorite holiday memory as a child: Waking up Christmas morning one year, and having to wait for my Dad to come home from work before we could open presents. We were anxious to get our presents, but it made it special to make sure he was there for it.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?Everyone gets a present on Christmas Eve, and it's always a new pair of pajamas.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Uh....put ornaments on it? Duh...?

Snow! Love it or dread it?I used to love to ski, but haven't been in like 10 years, so I used to love it. I really love it in December, and it's Ok in January, but come April, I'm pretty ready for it to go away.

Can you ice skate?I love to ice skate. I've always fantasized about being a figure skater, but never learned how. I wish I had more chances to go now.

Do you remember your favorite gift?I got an Annie necklace when I was, I think, 5 or 6. I was obsessed with Annie, and it was supposed to look like the real one she wore in the movie. So, I put it on, and made my sisters act out the movie with me (including washing the stairs and singing "It's a Hard Knock Life". Of course, I always got to be Annie, cuz I was the oldest.

What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? I love spending time with my family, and the reminder to celebrate Christ's life, and to be more like him.

What is your favorite holiday dessert?My MIL makes the best fudge, ever! Also, last year my cousin made us this awesome chocolate chip cheeseball, that is way yummy! And a few years ago, I was dorking around in the kitchen and made up a recipe for chocolate mint/candycane cookies. Yum yum!! Oh, and toffee, and divinity....should I keep going or do you get the idea?

What is your favorite tradition? Growing up, we always had a big dinner on Christmas eve, and watched the Luke 2 video, and had a little talent show, and opened a present. Since we've gotten married, and with kids, we still go to Mom's on Christmas eve, up until the last couple of years. We're working on our own traditions now.

Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving. I get a little carried away at Christmas. But, my hubby is a super gift giver, and really good as surprises and keeping a secret, so it's always fun to see what he's going to get me.

What is your favorite Christmas Song?Oh, where to begin? I'm funny about Christmas music. I only like it for about 3 weeks. Any earlier than Dec 1, and I HATE it. And I can't take the cheesy Bing Crosby stuff. Sorry. I like instrumental Christmas music, (obviously). My favorite songs are: O come, O come Emmanuel, Angels We have Heard on High, Pachelbel Canon(yes that's a Christmas song) Carol of the Bells, Silent Night......I love Kurt Bestor, George Winston, Jim Brickman, John Schmidt (all piano artists), but I also like Harry Connick, Jr, Carpenters, and Barbra Streisand Christmas albums.

Candy canes! Yuck or yum? Yuck. NO thank you! Blech! But crushed up and thrown into chocolate cookies? YUM!!

Ever recycled a Christmas present? I've reused ribbon and wrapping paper off of presents before. I don't remember re-gifting, unless you count white elephant.

Don't Be A Scrooge! Tag 7 friends to Deck the Halls... If you feel like doing this, do it! Or not. Whatever.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Festival of Trees



In continuation with my last "this is what we did today" post, I thought I'd tell you about our day at the Festival of Trees last Saturday. We had a fun-filled family weekend!

KJ's children's choir performed at the Festival of Trees, so we went down there on Saturday morning. She sang so beautifully. I took some videos with my camera, but they're not very good, and TJ was trying to swing from my coat the while time, so it's really unsteady. And you can't see KJ very well, so sorry if this makes you dizzy. KJ is in the front in red, next to the girl who keeps leaning forward, so you can only see her when the other girl leans forward.
video

Afterward, we took the kids around to look at the trees. If you aren't familiar with the Festival of Trees it is a charity event where people donate amazingly decorated trees and they hold an auction to sell the trees. Every penny of proceeds from the event goes to Primary Children's Hospital. Walking around, and looking at all the beautiful trees, and seeing the signs that said "In Loving Memory..." with a picture of a child who had died this year, or a child who is fighting cancer. I was seriously affected by it. I wish I had the extra $1000 to buy a tree for the cause.

It was very touching.

It was also fun to see the kids light up, and get excited about the different trees. Also, I was amazed at the gingerbread houses. Unfortunately, by the time I got around to see those, my agoraphobia was kicking in, and I was getting tired of chasing TJ & Peter, who wanted to run wild, and I was anxious to get out of there, so no pictures of the gingerbread houses.

Here are some pics of the kids and some of their favorite trees.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ice Skating with Santa

For the last little while, I've been avoiding doing "this is what we did today" posts. Mostly, to be more private, while not going private. But, then I remembered that the whole reason I even started this blog was to replace scrapbooking, and document our life. Lately, it's kind of become a narcissistic social hour for Sher. So, since my family IS the most important part of my life, I'm going to start doing a little more "this is what we did today" posting.

So, last Thursday, C called me from work and said he had tickets to get in free to see Santa and go ice skating at the Gallivan Center.

The Gallivan Center has an outdoor ice skating rink in downtown Salt Lake. Santa wasn't actually ice skating, although that would've been cool. They had food, hot chocolate, and beautiful lights and music.

Of course, I was excited to go. I LOVE ice skating, and obviously don't get to go much anymore since my hubby thinks it's gay, and my kids have been too little up to now. KJ did great. We've taken her once before a few years ago, and she didn't last very long. She was awesome this time! TJ went once around the rink holding on the railing the whole way around, then he was done. So TJ and Peter sat on the sidelines with C, while KJ and I skated the night away!

Here are some fun pics!

Here are the monkeys with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Peter was scared of them and wouldn't look up for the picture. Notice KJ isn't shy at all about telling Santa what she wants for Christmas!

TJ, me and KJ before we set out on the ice!

See TJ hanging on the rail?

Look at TJ's face. He's not very happy about this ice skating thing.


I love this picture because it looks like we're doing a trick, but really KJ was falling and I caught her.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Beginning to Look alot like Christmas!

When we left this morning to drive the monkeys to school it was raining/sleeting. By the time I dropped everyone off, and made it across town to go to the gym, it was a full on blizzard!

December is the only time of the year, that I actually get excited to see snow. Suddenly, it actually feels like Christmas to me! It's really put me in the holiday mood, today.
I'm happy to see the snow. (Not happy that I'll probably have to shovel it even though it's not a lot because our house is North facing and it won't melt).

So, while I was driving around my little town today, I remembered I had my camera in my purse and decided to take some pictures of the winter wonderland.
This is my signature take on photography. My best pictures happen to come out from rolling my window down and taking pictures out the window while I'm driving. Don't worry, I'm incredibly good at looking at the road and NOT at what I'm photographing, so as not to endanger others on the road.
Here are my best ones:

While I was getting gas, a horse pasture across the street


This field is on my Grandparent's property.

The farm next to the above field

The road on my way to the gym

The bank across the parking lot from my gym.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Random Friday

This always happens. I always have a gajillion things to talk about for random Friday, then when I sit down to write them out, I forget. I really should've taken Motherboard's advice last month and gotten myself a notebook. Sorry, Motherboard. I'm a bad follower.

Ok. Here's something. Next week is a little bit crazy insane for me. But, I'm kind of excited about it.

First our Enrichment meeting is on Thursday night and they asked me to play one of my Christmas arrangements for the program. Yay!

Then, a zillion years ago (read: in August) I entered my song "Solitude" in a little contest with the Utah Composer's Guild, and they want me to perform at the Composer's Festival this Friday. Yay!

Then, Saturday morning, my sister's ward is having their Enrichment meeting, and she asked me to play two of my songs.

So, I get to play a lot next week! I'm loving it!

Also, KJ has a concert for her children's choir that she sings in, and it is C's company Christmas party. All on Saturday. Crazy. We also had tickets to the Kurt Bestor concert. We always go to the Saturday matinee show with our friends, but it conflicts with KJ's concert, so we had to give them away. I'm really bummed about missing it, but of course, KJ's concert is more important.

Speaking of which, I have recently written new arrangements for Joy to the World; O Come, O Come Emmanuel; What Child is This, and last year I wrote an arrangement of Silent Night and a medley of Pachelbel's Canon and Angel's We Have Heard on High. Hopefully, by this time next year, I will have made mondo bucks on my Solitude CD, and will be able to release a Christmas album! So, moral of the story, buy my CD (when it comes out). ☺


**************

I'm going through some weird funk this week. I'm not really sick. I'm not particularly depressed. I actually feel pretty good, emotionally. But, I'm so friggin' tired. Probably because I decided to get off my duff and actually exercise this week, and have done something active everyday this week. Maybe that is why I'm having such serious food issues. It's completely out of control people! Tuesday, after running, grocery store, preschool, playgroup, and karate, I think I just came home and self-medicated on food. I think I was pretty much eating constantly from 2pm to 10pm, including an entire bag of Christmas candy (Hershey's kisses, and peanut butter cups), leftovers from Sunday, leftovers from Monday, more Candy, a cup of hot chocolate, and a banana split. I've been eating like that all week. No wonder my pants are all shrinking. I've resorted to wearing my old post-pregnancy fat pants. It's sad. And really, really depressing. I feel like such a loser. I really need to chocolate now, to make me feel better.

************


About play group. Here's the thing. My sweet little boy TJ has never gone to a playgroup in this neighborhood. And he NEVER has a friend to play with. Because they are all sooooo involved in their little play groups that they don't have "time" to play.

Wha? Huh? 5 year old kids don't have time to play? Someone put in my comments on that playgroup post about parents "forcing" their kids to play at a certain time and to be done at a certain time, instead of letting them play when they want to. I'm all for making them do their jobs before they play, but to make them play just because that's what's next on the schedule?

That's why I agreed to the play group for Peter. I was worried she'd have no friends to play with if we didn't "schedule" it in. It's driving me bonkers.

I'm soo NOT a schedule Mom. I'm not a schedule person. I'm not a "book" Mom either. You know the type. That do everything according to "What to Expect the First Year" and "Happy Sleeping Habits, Happy Baby" or whatever the hell it's called. I don't believe in parenting books. I DO believe in trusting your instinct, relying on the spirit, teaching the value of work, and good strong discipline (read: spanking--*gasp*, I know...wah!) and allowing your children to be who they came here to be, and not shoving schedules and activities down their throats, and making them act like adults. And I think I have really great kids.

They are independent, confident, and they act like kids. They're loud, and have lots of energy, and like to run around and play rough, and sometimes they're naughty, and sometimes they are down right annoying, but most times they're really good, and sweet, and I love that they are WHO they are. Each of them is different in their own special way. Three different little personalities, three different ways I need to raise them. What works for one child, won't work for the other. I LOVE that they are so individual. I LOVE their quirks, and that they want me to help them, but if I can't, then can figure it out themselves. I LOVE that about them.

Ok, I'm off my soapbox now. Thanks for listening.

***********

We took the kids ice skating with Santa Claus at the Gallivan center last night. Remind me later to post pics! It was fun!

************

Ok, here are some tunes....as soon as I figure out where my kids put my dang I-pod.....

Found it....and the batteries are dead...dangit!

1) Traditions of Christmas - Mannheim Steamroller

2) When My Heart Finds Christmas - Harry Connick, Jr.

3) Prelude - George Winston

4) Old English Suite: Sussex Carol - Kurt Bestor

5) Variations on the Kanon - George Winston

6) Ave Maria - Harry Connick, Jr.

7) Silent Night - Kurt Bestor

8) Jingle Bells - The Brian Setzer Orchestra

9) Bring a Torch, Jeannette Isabella - Jon Schmidt

10) Greensleeves - Manheim Steamroller

Bonus: Peace (Where the Heart Is) Jim Brickman feat. Collin Raye

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm due for another complaining session. I'm sure you were all wondering what happened to the regular Sher. Perhaps I was bit by the Christmas bug or something, and all that holiday cheer was getting to me.
Sorry, to get all cheesy and happy on you. I'm sure you were all worried about my well-being.
Don't worry, I can still whine with the best of 'em.
I have plenty of crap to complain about.
Like Tuesday, when I had play group at my house. For the record, having play group at my house makes me want to off myself. It's like having throw a friggin' birthday party every 5 weeks. It's ridiculous. I'm often asking myself why am I in this stupid play group anyway? Peter doesn't really care that much. If she feels like playing, we'll call a friend to come over. Why does it have to be so organized? If you know me at all, I HATE to be scheduled and organized. Don't ask me why. But it BUGS me. Why can't we just go play when we feel like it? Why can your kids ONLY play at 1:00 on Tuesdays? That just weird!
So, yesterday at about 10:30 it occurred to me that we had play group at our house. I hadn't planned any elaborate crafts or activities. I hadn't done any heavy baking that morning. In fact, I spent most of my "preschool" time (time while the kids are all at school) talking to my friend Lisa, who I went to visit because she'd recently had her birthday. I wasn't going to start baking cupcakes and cookies half an hour before I had to go get TJ & Peter from school. So, I thought to myself, well, it's just a play group. We have toys. I'll just send the kids downstairs to play in the toy room. We'll not make this a big deal.
That worked!.....for about 45 minutes. Then two of the girls were upstairs asking me when we were going to start our craft, and what games we were going to play. I really had to bite my tongue when I wanted to tell them this isn't a freakin' birthday party. So, I sent them downstairs and showed them where the dress-ups were. Problem solved.
...Not quite. We have one little boy in our play group. Which usually works out nicely when it's at our house because then TJ has a boy to play with. Well, about 45 minutes into our "play time" TJ came up stairs saying "Boy (because I'm not creative enough to come up with a nickname)" needs help wiping his bum.
Crap. I do NOT need to wipe the neighbor kids bum. No Thank YOU!
So, I went downstairs, told him to wipe his own bum, asked if he could put his pants on himself, and then went back upstairs to monitor the girls, who had gotten bored with playing dressup.
Several minutes later, it occurred to me the "boy" hadn't come out of the bathroom. I went back down to check on him. You wouldn't believe kind of damage a little 4 year old boy can do in 10 minutes. There was shit everywhere. Sorry, about the language, but that's just how pissed off I was. On the rug, on the toilet seat, on the toilet lid, on the bathtub. And he was still sitting there pantless. NAST!
There is nothing more disgusting than cleaning up your neighbor's kids poop.
I'm very seriously considering quitting the play group now.

Do you think I'm over-reacting?

I'm a little freaked about posting this actually, because what if the mom's in the play group read my blog and I don't know it, and now they'll be offended, because I'm such a whiner. I really like your kids, honest I do. But, I still have to be able to complain about it. That's my right as a person who likes to complain.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Somebody Loves Me!


I just got this in the mail today from Shauna, at Trying to Stay Calm. Isn't she sweet? She must know how much I love chocolate, and how disorganized I am, and can't remember anything, so she sent me some comfort chocolate and notepad and pen to help me remember stuff. Like to stop blogging and pay attention to my children.

That's why this post is short. Because my house that actually stayed clean all weekend, and looked somewhat decent up until today, now looks like a tornado hit. All in the name of blogging. (poor little neglected children)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas spelling

Thanks to my overactive, over excited children, we decorated for Christmas over the weekend. Friday, we put up the new Christmas tree. KJ was so excited she was hounding me all day. I made the kids help me clean out the toy room first. We took 6 boxes of old toys (including all my baby toys) to the DI. It feels sooo good to clean stuff out.

Then we got out the Christmas crap and started decorating. I think the tree looks pretty good. Although, I'll be honest, it seems a little small compared to our mondo Griswald tree from last year. I'll learn to love it, I suppose. But, part of me wonders if I should've bought the 12 foot tree, instead.


KJ put up the nativity scene. I love this set. I can't remember what it's called...Olive Tree or something, but they are beautiful.



Sup.



I found these cute little blocks. And it's taken me a while to figure out what their supposed to spell. Can you help me figure it out?


What could this possible have to do with Christmas?



Or this?






Oh, I get it!


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Note to Self:

Next time, pay attention to the lesson in Sunday school.

Here's why:
After chewing out my kids for laying down and trying to take a nap, and not listening during sacrament meeting, I ventured into Sunday school.

I sat down next to Brother and Sister O., said Hello, then opened up my scriptures, preparing myself for the upcoming lesson.
I don't know what it is about Sunday school, but for some reason my mind begins to wander. Like the time a few weeks ago when the person sitting next to me whispered to me about the scripture we were on, and broke me from my stupor of thought--wondering if the bishop's wife dyes her hair or if it is naturally that black.
So, today, as soon as the teacher started in about why we need the Book of Mormon in the latter days, I started thinking about the handful of Hershey's kisses in my bag, and wondering how I could grab one, unwrap it and eat it without anyone noticing.
So, I started rifling through my bag, pulling out old used Kleenexes, past sacrament meeting programs and tithing slips, and scratch paper my kids had colored on. Underneath the trash was the old PDA C had brought to entertain the kids.
Temporarily forgetting about my chocolate fix, I grabbed the PDA and turned it on (thankfully it was on silent) and began to play. Eventually I found the scheduling thingy (whatever it's called), and started typing in the coming week's events, proud of myself that I was being so organized.
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something fall on the front of my shirt. In silent panic, I thought a spider had landed on me and frantically start swatting at my chest. Looking down, though, I saw a single, thin silvery strand of spit. While intently focusing on my task at hand, I had started drooling.
I glanced slightly to my right to see if Brother O. had noticed. Either he was snickering silently to himself, or he didn't see. Thank goodness.
Quickly, I put away the PDA and started listening.

Next time, to save myself the embarrassment, I'll just listen to the lesson.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Why Fake Trees Save Marriages


Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, I can humbly concede to the spirit of this holiday that is Christmas. I know I've been a stinker and a scrooge, and might have offended some people with my bah humbugging. Sorry.

To express my sincerest apologies, I've decided to spread a little Christmas cheer.

As promised, here is a little story about why I have recently purchased a "fake" Christmas tree.


To preface this story, you must know that my sister's husband family own a huge amount of farm property outside the town that they live. Part of that property is up in the mountains. So, early last December, I thought it might be a fun family experience to go all Griswold, and drive up to my sister's property and cut down a Christmas tree. We drove nearly two hours to get there, trekked through mud and snow and forest for hours scouring the slopes for the perfect tree. After searching, and searching, and not finding anything good enough for my humble home, I started hiking up a hill way off the road. Finally, I found a tree that I deemed worthy to be OUR Christmas tree. I called for my hubby, who came with the chainsaw. He laughed and told me it was too big for our house, and I just guffawed and said "This is the one! Cut it down!" Of course, he was tired of following me around the mountain, so he cut down the tree, dragged it down the mountain, and strapped it onto the back of his truck.


We got home, did "a little" trimming to fit the tree into the corner of our family room. One side of the tree was fuller than the rest, so of course that part went in the front. I immediately set out decorating the tree. I was so excited and was sure it was going to be the most beautiful tree EVER!


Later that night, after the tree had been lovingly decorated, the kids and I went to visit my Mom (leaving C home to watch football). An hour later, C called me on my cell phone, fuming, and said that the tree had fallen down, but he'd put it back up. I gathered the kids, and came home. Patiently, I re-decorated the tree.


The next afternoon, the tree fell again. And we patiently pulled it back up. And again the next day.


The next night, around 2:00 a.m., while sleeping peacefully in my bed, I was awakened suddenly, by a strange sound. I heard a slight whoosh, then a tinkle, tinkle, and crash!

My first thought in my half asleep state was that a burglar was in the house. Heart pounding, I thought what to do. Then I realized at once: The tree! I jumped out of bed, flipped on the light, and sure enough there was my beautiful tree lying awkwardly on its face in the middle of my family room. Shocked and stunned by my tree's suicide attempt, I decided to take it upon myself to save my little tree's life. Tired and frustrated, I shimmied behind the tree, and proceeded to attempt to pull up the damaged tree myself. Grunting and pulling, sighing and pushing, I tried every angle I could think of to get that damn tree up. But the enormous mass was just too heavy for weak little me. I wasn't about to swallow my pride and wake up my husband and ask him to help me, so instead I made the biggest racket I could, until finally, he stumbled out of bed and came out to help me on his own. Both of us, agitated beyond reason, having been disturbed from our precious sleep, took upon the task of righting this horrible wrong. He pulled while I pushed, and finally the tree was up, crooked, and cockeyed, but up. With ornaments and lights, strewn everywhere, I again, shimmied around behind the tree, to hold it in place, while C rushed out to the garage to find something to weigh down the back of the tree. He came back with several bricks, and handed them back for me to put into place. Screaming at each other, because it still wasn't working and I wasn't understanding what C was explaining, as he tried to tell me where to put the bricks, we, finally, got the stupid tree upright.

I climbed back out from behind the tree and assessed the damage. A huge puddle of water and sticky sap soaked into my carpet in the middle of the floor. Lights were falling off the tree, and ornaments were everywhere.

After having redecorated the tree so many times that week, I just couldn't wring any more creative energy out of my physically and emotionally exhausted self. So the ornament were literally thrown onto the tree, strings of lights left where they hung.

Covered in sap, sweat, dirt and tears, C & I finally stormed back to bed in bitter silence.


We survived that Christmas. Barely. So, now you can understand my distaste for decorating. I did it enough in that one week to last me for the next decade.

So, to save my marriage, this year, I chose to go fake.

And I will be burning a pine scented candle for effect.

No more Griswold Christmas' for me, thank you very much.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

"It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.

Know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."

- Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lost and Found!

My camera finally turned up today. I was thinking how sad it was that I'd lost, yet, another camera (I washed and dried my last one, having forgotten it was in my coat pocket, right before Christmas last year).

KJ was outside jumping on the tramp, yesterday, while locked out, because I wasn't home yet, and found it on the back patio.
TJ had taken it out there and left it. Thank goodness it didn't rain while it was out there!!!
Here's what I found on there, unedited:

Ok, I took this one. This was from TJ's last Belt ceremony for Karate.


The rest are by TJ, himself!