Wednesday, December 24, 2008
She's keeping me up at night. She sleeps and eats much better during the day and I've wondered if it's not because she's used to the noise of the hospital nursery (it being similar to the regular daytime noise around home).
Besides the normal exhaustion of having a new baby at home, life is pretty darn good. I did have a few minutes of extreme frustration while speaking to Medicaid people yesterday, but I've grown to expect that. Sigh. (Felix found the sugar at Wal-Mart)
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Me: Oh, good morning, Dr. Freestone.
Dr. Freestone: Good morning! Would you sleep better tonight if your baby was home?
We're home. It's a very happy day. 14 years ago today I went into the MTC. It is also my brother's birthday. And exactly 22 months ago, Felix was born. I might have to change my favorite day to be the 21st...
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
As of this moment, doctor's orders are for Amelia to nipple every 2 out of 3 feedings. That means she gets to breast or bottle feed every 3 hours - with one gauvage feeding after every 2 nipple feedings. Since she did really well yesterday, I'm hoping to talk the doctor into letting her try to nipple feed every feeding but not to force them. See, we tried having her nipple feed every feeding, but she only did about half. I think forcing her to wake up for the feedings was more tiring than she was ready for.
It's tough to give updates when it feels like we're in a holding pattern. Amelia weighs almost 7 pounds now, so she's growing very well. But she's just not eating enough on her own to go home. So we have lots of ups and lots of downs. She had a 24-hour apnea study done and we'll hopefully get the results this afternoon. Dr. Freestone thought she could have reflux, which is making her pause in her feedings and triggering the apnea. Sounds bad, but it's very treatable.
So, no word yet. Amelia is still safely tucked away in the special care nursery at Timp Hospital. For the moment, she's back near a window, so if anyone wanted to come and see her they could. Once I find my camera again, I'll take more pictures.
Oh, on Saturday I had a houseful of extremely helpful volunteers. We got my living room organized for food from the kitchen, we cleaned out the kitchen (making it ready for renovations), cleaned out a bedroom downstairs so we could move back downstairs, and organized a room upstairs for storage. We got a whole lot done, which made me feel wonderful. I would still like to get a bunch more done, but I'm feeling much more relaxed about everything.
Yay for all kinds of progress!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Brent says, "That's not the way to get your stomach pumped!" Felix decided that he wanted to pump too. I just can't wait to add this to the photos for his wedding reception some day... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
She's doing well. She has finally started eating more again, after a long week of not eating much at all. I'm going to meet with the occupational therapist in about half an hour to see maybe what we need to do to get her to eat. A week or two maybe till she's eating enough on her own?
Kari said Amelia doesn't need her anymore. She told me that with a sad look on her face, and said she has grown quite attached. Who wouldn't? :) So tomorrow, Amelia will be transferred into the care of one Dr. Freestone, a normal pediatrician. I have no idea how good he is, but Kari highly recommends him. So that's a plus.
My sister said she would take Felix on Thursday and Friday, so I'm going to try to get some housework done. It feels kind of odd to be excited about that, but I am honestly looking forward to it. Wish me luck!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Amelia has been ordered to nipple feed only 4 times a day. In between those feeds, she gets her milk through the gauvage tube. Mostly, though, she has only been taking a tiny amount from breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, so even for those 4 nipple feeds, she's having to get milk (most of it) through the gauvage too. Kari really does think that Amelia has been fighting off what I had. She said that she's sure Amelia would be a lot worse off if she wasn't getting my milk because it has the antibodies to help her fight off the sickness.
Thankfully, I'm still getting tons of milk. I even gave away a bunch of it because I heard of some babies in need. Brent told me that the occupational therapist recommended saving all my milk for the first month before giving any away just to make sure I had enough. As long as things hold, I won't be running out anytime soon though.
Yesterday we had an extended family get-together and then I spent some serious time with Amelia. Then I went to play with friends. I can't even begin to express how wonderful these friends of mine are or how much I needed their company yesterday.
Today after learning of Amelia's latest apnea I spent some good time crying. I thought long and hard about the direction of my life and the people in my life (including my babies) and how different everything is than I would like. No matter how well-intentioned I might be, I will always fail at my life if I try to take over. I have to constantly remind myself that the Lord is in charge. He really does know best and temporary upsets are both for my good and indeed temporary. And it really could be worse.
I have family who supports me, friends who care deeply, a husband who does honestly want me to be happy, and two of the world's cutest babies. What more could I want, right?
Thursday, December 4, 2008
There are three new babies in the NICU, making it full. Of course, there are only 5 beds, and one baby that came the day before Felix was transferred out yesterday. But now it's Amelia's turn to be transferred out to make room. Yep, she's going to the special care nursery.
So, although it might seem that the feeding tube is a step back, it's just a preparation step. Kari said she thinks that Amelia might be fighting off what I had and that's why she hasn't eaten well the past couple of feedings. Either that or she's just being a normal preemie. Whatever it is, I'll be glad when she's past this particular hurdle. Man, she hates being so hooked up. Kind of like her mom...
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Let me explain that I almost NEVER get this kind of sick. I get colds quite regularly and sometimes even get them quite severely. But stomach bugs thankfully stay away. And even when I do get a bug, it's pretty mild. Not this time.
I think it's been probably 10+ years since I had thrown up last. Well, I did throw up once when I was pregnant with Felix, but that's different. I'm talking about throwing up violently because of sickness. Brent throws up far more regularly than I do. Thankfully, this hasn't touched him yet. I'm hoping he escapes without getting it at all because it's miserable.
Because I was feeling so terrible, I ended up just pumping at the hospital and sending Brent to feed Amelia. I want a parent there as much as possible. Thank goodness I'm feeling tons better today. I should probably wait for an update from the doctors before saying anything (don't want to jinx myself!), but as of yesterday, her last bad apnea episode was on Saturday. She did have a couple mild episodes since then but always pulled out on her own very quickly. Kari said this means she's growing out of it. Yay!
Also, because she's progressing with the apnea, we need to make sure she can get enough food on her own (no tubes, no supplements through an IV). So we've upped her feedings to every 3 hours to try to get her used to it. We want to bring home a chubby baby...
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Anyway, she is actually doing better. I do still want her to come home, but I'm trying to be patient. In the meantime, I took a bunch more pics with my cell phone today...
Saturday, November 29, 2008
When she was born, the doctors decided to give her nutritional supplement through an IV. It's called a pic line (not sure how it's spelled) and it's a central IV that goes deep into her body. That thing is a source of frustration for me, because every time I try to breastfeed her, the pic line alarm goes off, saying that it's blocked. Every single time, at least 2 or 3 times per feeding.
This nutritional supplement consists of fats and lipids and apparently is standard (in this hospital at least) for premies. Not that I was consulted.
The first neonatalogist said that because she was latching on and getting quite a bit of milk (they weigh her both before and after feedings to see how much she's getting), we could go with on-demand feedings. That means that they wouldn't force her to eat at certain times or intervals, but would let her decide.
This morning, the neonatalogist decided to change the order slightly to try to ween her off the pic line. Not that I was consulted. The result of that weening was that they wanted her to eat a certain amount every certain amount of time.
Because of this, I was pretty upset when the nurse told me they would be putting a tube in her nose or forcing her to take a bottle if she wasn't eating that certain amount every certain amount of time. And I only feel slightly bad about pretty much yelling at both the doctor and the nurse about this whole thing. I told them that I did NOT want her to be bottle-fed and I really did NOT want her to have a tube in her nose. I really really really don't want her to forget how to breastfeed. That was a massive source of frustration with Felix and I don't think I can handle that mentally again.
The doctor conceded that they would hold off on weening her off the pic line to make sure she's getting her feedings by breast first. And wouldn't you know it, they turned down the pic line again and she still got a great feeding last time I was in.
The other frustration is the apnea thing. The neonatalogists have both told me that no hospital will send a baby home if it has apnea. Well, after practically yelling at the doctor this morning, I finally got him to tell me that there are certain levels of this apnea. And Amelia is having bad enough apnea that it will keep her in the hospital for 7 full days after her last episode. Since she had an episode this morning (change of color or 20 second documented without breathing - this morning it was the color change), that means I won't be able to take her home for at least another week.
This is one of the reasons why I think it's premature (hah!) to ween her from the pic line. If we know that we have at least 7 more days before she can be discharged, why can't we just ween her a lot more gradually? It doesn't make sense to me to fill her more full of tubes and force her to take a bottle that will only make things more complicated once we get her home. Plus, she's already back up to her birth weight so it's not like things are any kind of desperate... You can imagine my heartbreak at not being able to have my baby yet. She is in every other way healthy and it just kills me to not have her here. I'm finding it extremely difficult to adjust mentally to having this baby that I don't actually have. I will concede that the hormones left over from pregnancy might be making things worse, but I doubt I'd be happy with the situation any other time.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The tube in her mouth is because she aspirated some fluid during the night. She's still doing well and I'm still hopeful that she'll be coming home soon - early next week maybe?
Thanks for all the well wishes. I'm excited to be showing her off in person sometime in the next couple of weeks.
For those who have asked, I'd love to have visitors. There's no window to the NICU and they've limited us to only 4 different visitors (besides her parents, of course) for the entire time she's here. But once she's home and as long as you're healthy, you're welcome to come and gawk at the beautiful new baby. :) And you're welcome to visit me any time. I'd love to see you.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I had a midwife appointment this morning at 10:30 and was contracting the whole drive up. By the time my appt was done, my midwife had decided to transfer my care to Timp Hospital because my blood pressure was still high and she was still so early. And since the doctors from last week had ordered twice-weekly non-stress tests on the baby, I came straight to the hospital on my way home.
A non-stress test requires 20 minutes of uninterrupted baby heartbeat, but it took over 3 hours because with every contraction the baby would just move and they'd have to move the monitors. And while I was trying to hold still so the baby wouldn't move, the contractions were getting stronger.
About 4:10 this afternoon, the nurses came in to give me IV fluids and some pills to hopefully slow down the contractions. They also checked my cervix again and I was still dilated to a 3 - same as last week. They said that since I wasn't progressing they'd come back in an hour and check me again.
4:22 I had one giant contraction and I had to push. That broke my water. I elbowed the nurse button and she came in to check the printouts. When I told her my water broke, she called in two more nurses, and still on that giant contraction/push, out came baby.
Before I could even look up, they whisked baby off to the NICU and she hollered the whole way - a very good sign. Doctors and Brent and mom showed up a few minutes later, and by then I was feeling a billion times better.
So, Amelia Linda Webster was born at 4:25 this afternoon, weighing 5 lbs 12 ounces, 20 inches long. Long and skinny. She has blond curly hair, and she looks a whole lot like her big brother. What a cutie! How in the world did I get a long skinny baby with blond curly hair?!
I'm doing fine and will ask the doctors to send me home tomorrow. She'll likely be here for a week or so. There are some criteria that have to be met for them to send her home, but she really is doing great.
Monday, November 24, 2008
But I wasn't surprised. So I'm starting round 5 of antibiotics as soon as Brent gets to the pharmacy and then when it's done I'll be on a maintenance dose through the rest of the pregnancy.
I called American Fork hospital and asked what I would need to come in for non-stress tests on the baby and they said to just show up. Then I called the midwives to see if I could get one of them to assist in case I went early and they said I would have to have an appointment first and they're booked for a few weeks. That means that by the time I would get in to see them I would be at 37 weeks and wouldn't need to go there anyway. Oh well. If baby decides to show up in the next 2 1/2 weeks then I'll just have to go with whoever is on call.
My back is killing me. My dad thinks it's a kidney stone. The urologist today said that was a likely cause of lingering infection. The hope is that it's actually just the baby causing problems and that it will all just magically go away once she's born. I'm crossing my fingers.
Oh, some have asked if I'm going to have a baby shower. I don't have anything planned and I don't honestly need much. I don't have a single scrap of baby girl clothing, although I do have some generic onesies and such left-over from Felix. We haven't started stocking up on the diapers yet, but will soon. Can't have too many of those, eh? My mom says she's going to get me a diaper genie because she was impressed with my sister's. And I could eventually use a toddler bed. We have something rigged up for Felix in the meantime that he likes so there's no pressing need.
In other words, if you feel like you'd be interested in giving a gift, I'm open to anything. I would be just as happy with a visit as with an actual gift. So there you have it. I don't really feel ready for this, but there's not much left to do. I need to pack an overnight bag and put it in the car and stuff like that. For just in case. I don't want to be completely unprepared again.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I don't know what it is, but sleeping last night wasn't pleasant. I was so exhausted, but I woke up twice in the night feeling like I was about to throw up. I finally slept in the comfy recliner. It wasn't as comfy as I would have liked, but it was better than waking up every couple of hours with the acid at the back of my throat. blech!
I'm feeling exhausted more than anything. The belly doesn't want me to do anything strenuous and I'm fine with that. So I sit and try to direct traffic. It doesn't work all that well with Felix trying to undo all the cleaning that gets done.
I did talk a niece and nephew into coming over and helping. Becca is an amazing helper, and we repaid her for her work by taking her to see Twilight. Cheesy but fun. I'm glad I had low-ish expectations because I then wasn't disappointed. And Andy is giving Felix a bath after his spaghetti outing. At least I don't have to lean over the tub.
Brent is trying his hardest to get work done, but will probably be working all night tonight, all day and all night tomorrow just to get finished in time. I feel guilty asking him to clean up because he has so much to do, but I can't stand the mess of life. You know?
Brent was kind enough to make me an alternate dinner. The spicy sausage in the spaghetti sauce would have definitely given me heartburn and I really don't want a repeat of last night. I think I'll go to bed pretty soon. Soooooooooo tired!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Otherwise, I'm good to go. I still need to call Becky (my midwife) to see how she wants to proceed. But... I'M FREE!!!!!
No more snoring/smoking roommate. No more really good desserts. No more bed that magically lifts me up when I need to go to the bathroom.
Good riddance, I say.
I told the nurse that wasn't enough. I needed to know what the urine catch was testing for, what the results might mean for my body, and what might my expectations be either way. She said she'd call him again.
Apparently you just have to beg for information.
In other news, I got to take a shower this morning and I feel semi-human. Clean, at the very least. And this morning the nutrition guy actually took my order for lunch. Pulled pork and broccoli that wasn't overcooked, along with some potato casserole that had an unfortunate amount of onions in it. Cranberry juice to drink, and a roll.
But dessert. Woah. I'm almost feeling bad for complaining so much about this hospital. Can you tell what it is? Creme brulee'. I licked it out. Yeah, it was that good. There was even a little chocolate truffle as a side dessert.
I'm so glad I'm not the diabetic in the bed next to me. She's on a seriously restricted diet. My only restrictions are not knowing what's going on, apparently. And the nurses all telling me "your peepee is too dark". That courtesy of Yuko - cute Japanese nurse aide with a strong accent. She's told me that a few times.
Anyway, I'm back to waiting. But I'm comfortable, I'm clean, I'm fed (some yummy food even), and my husband and toddler are on their way.
Oh, nurse just came to tell me that the doctor will come with information when the lab results come in - hopefully by 2 pm. I would have hoped he could spare a moment before then, but that'll have to do. Better than nothing, I guess. Denise (my nurse for this shift) tells me that the charge nurse is even trying to put a rush on my results.
Huh. I guess when you make some noise things can actually go in your favor. At least information-wise!
More as I hear it...
I had some wonderful visitors today and spent some good time catching up on blogs. I'm not caught up completely, but I feel like a ginormous slacker for not knowing things about pregnancies and babies and adoptions and moving and stuff. I am sooooooo sorry I've been so wrapped up with things that I've been ignoring everyone else.
You're wonderful and I really do love you all!
Last I heard from the docs, they're going to monitor me through noon on Friday. And hopefully that means they're going to send me home. I plan on calling my midwife in the morning to see if she has specific instructions for me, but I'm guessing I'll be on bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy. Especially since my blood pressure isn't being consistent.
I'll update again once I know anything. Oh, I am feeling a billion times better. Last thing is to get the dang IV out of my hand...
Update to the update: 6:45-ish Friday...
I did sleep. For a bit. I've been up for almost 2 hours though because at first I couldn't sleep through the snoring. But now my roommate is out on a smoke break and she's been up for half an hour so I really should have tried again.
Doesn't mean it would do me any good.
I'm still quite swollen and puffy looking, and my blood pressure is still high. They took it at 6-ish and it was 158/56 I think. The nurse said that they don't get concerned unless the systolic (top) is consistently over 160 (it hasn't been yet, although it's been close for a while now) or if the diastolic (bottom) goes over 100 (which it hasn't even gotten close).
So maybe my fears about getting stuck in the hospital another day or two are unfounded. I seriously hate this hospital. I don't care about the specialists and the specialist hospital right next door. I want to see my other baby and cuddle him and have my husband stop by at least once a day. And I want to be closer to the rest of my family too so it's not such a burden.
I mean, I want to be cared for, of course, but I have no doubts that American Fork hospital could adequately do that. All I've heard are rave reviews.
Last night here, after asking for toilet paper like 4 times (I'm not exaggerating - I asked for paper towels too because we were out of those as well), I still got stuck in the bathroom with no means to wipe. And having a smoking roommate who snores like a logger means I'm not getting much rest. And I desperately need good rest.
The nurse helpfully told me that if I was here for another day I could have an Ambien to help me sleep. How about some ear plugs and housekeeping?! And a room temperature that's not set at 75? And maybe 14 more pillows so I don't have to lay on my back at an angle?
Sigh. Just a little frustrated with a few things...
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Truth is that my wallpaper is the generic one that comes with the Mac operating system. I'm dumb enough about Macs that I have not even the slightest idea how to change it. It's some kind of purple and navy space scene. Pleasant enough, I guess.
The desktop on my work computer (where I can't access blog stuff because of work blocks) is much more interesting. It's a picture of a Norwegian fjord. Some day I'll take a cruise up the fjords of Norway. I've wanted to do so ever since I can remember. My dad served his mission in Norway and I've been enchanted with it ever since. Alaska has some similar scenery (based on the pics of Norway I've seen), but Norway seems like the real thing. Not sure why.
I'm not really into tagging people, but I like the idea of other people answering the question and putting up a picture for people to gawk at. Feel free to share!
I'm at the UofU hospital in salt lake and have been miserable. I wonder if the stress of sitting in a super uncomfortable position for hours on end while the lab processed test results (like too much protein in my urine and bad stuff in my liver - can't remember what they called it) made the contractions start for real, but I was having pretty steady contractions (about 5 minutes apart - all in my back - ouch!) for 2 or three hours.
They finally did calm down and now I'm just uncomfortably hooked up to all sorts of tubes and wires. And the ob on today said they're going to move me to a regular room soon so as not to bother me so much. But I will be here overnight again. Yay me!
Oh, I got a shot of steroid to help baby's lungs out for just in case, and I had an ultrasound this morning. They said she looks and sounds great. Big head and short legs, just like her dad. :)
I'll update as I know more. Please keep us in your prayers that baby will be content to hang out for another 3 weeks to get to full term.
Update #1, 11:25 am. I'm moved into my new room, and although I'm more comfortable, it's only because I'm not all hooked up to everything any more. My roommate (that I've heard but haven't seen yet) has been jonesing for a cigarette and that worries me. And she's got the tv going on a channel that annoys me. Of course, most daytime tv bugs.
One of the reasons I was admitted to the hospital was so I could do a 24-hour urine test to monitor proteins and such. But the nurse who started it yesterday forgot to document when that started. So I'm starting over. At least that's without the catheter and without the iv and without the belly bands and without the blood pressure cuff. Right?
Monday, November 17, 2008
Today I spoke with my midwife and after describing all the various aches and pains, she said she wants me on bed rest till at least Wednesday afternoon, when I go in for an appointment. Who knows if she'll keep me on that bed rest after the appointment.
So yeah, I'm uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable. And I'm miserably dissatisfied by the state of my house. Sigh. Maybe if I just stick to my bedroom (on my wonderful new bed) and the bathroom, I will be able to block out the images of my terribly messy home.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I think I need a vacation. A vacation from my problems, that is! The heartburn has been especially horrible lately, and the baby's movements have been especially painful. I think she must be getting just as anxious as I am for this to end. Can I really hold up for another month and a half?
That reminds me... I really need to figure out what to do for Christmas. The stuff I want or want to give is all either really expensive or really time and energy-consuming. blech.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I told the midwives about some contractions I've been having and they decided to do a special test called a fetal fibronectin, which tests for a protein that babies give off often when they're getting ready to come out. If it's negative, then there's only about a .8% chance the baby will come in the next two weeks, but if it's positive, the chance is 65%. Mine came back negative, so I guess we're good.
That day, I also got a letter from the urologist saying that my tests had come back negative for infection. Tonight I got a call from my midwife saying that the tests taken on Tuesday came back positive. We're both thinking that I essentially have a UTI whenever I'm not currently on an antibiotic. So she prescribed me another round and is sending me back to the urologist who will likely put me on a maintenance dosage of antibiotic for the rest of my pregnancy. Fun! I'll have to be really careful because I get yeast infections really easily.
Anyway, on Tuesday evening mom asked if I wanted to do some window shopping with her at the RC Willey outlet in Provo. Since I had thought about going there to look at beds, I thought that was a great idea. On the way down to Provo, we decided to price out beds at DI, and magically, we found a new king-size mattress discounted to $325 because of a dirt stain on one side. What a steal, eh? Mom offered to buy the box springs for us and I decided Brent needed to feel it to make sure it would be good for his back.
So we made our way down to RC Willey and found some great deals. Nothing like the DI bed, but really nice beds for not too much more.
Last night, Brent and I hopped in the car and went down to DI to buy the bed. We decided that he should feel the other beds, just in case they were tons better for his back, so we went straight to the RC Willey outlet first. After looking for the saleslady from the night before (they get paid on commission and she had actually helped), the guy who helped us (she was gone for the day) said they had gotten in a bed just a few hours earlier that we might find interesting. $1400 king-size mattress marked down to $299 because of some small oil or grease stains on the top. Yeah, we decided that was the bed for us. Very comfortable, super duper nice, and much higher quality than the one at DI, even though the one at DI wasn't a bad bed.
The salesguy even found us two matching box springs for $150 and gave us a mattress pad/protector for free. Grand total for the whole thing: $479. That included taxes even. The only slight downer is that it's not being delivered till Saturday. Two more nights of crappy bedding and then sleep utopia!
On a side note, it turned out that the sales guy had served in the Rome mission the same time as me. But the first time we saw each other was at our mission president's funeral 2 years ago. It was fun to talk about the mission for a few minutes.
I'm so freaking excited about that bed. I think I'm going to go to "bed" as soon as it's delivered on Saturday... Mmmmmmmmmm :)
Saturday, November 1, 2008
We dressed Felix up so we could take some pictures. He was really mad when I made him wear the green suit underneath, but for some reason, he really like that costume and was very happy to wear it. We took it off to let Luke wear it for trick-or-treating, but don't you think it's amazingly cute?
We stayed home to hand out candy and almost nobody came. Their loss. We had some great candy.
Today I cleaned a bunch while Brent went to help with the Scout PowWow at UVU. And I had Lauren come over to help out. She kept me company and helped play with Felix while I did some cleaning. Can't do much because I ache everywhere and we don't have any chairs downstairs anymore. We did go out for a few hours and run some errands. We even started pricing beds. I think we're going to get the best prices at Ikea, honestly. There are some great beds out there...
Thursday, October 30, 2008
This week we went out twice. I know that may seem like a lot, but we had things to celebrate.
The first was a trip to TGIFriday's in Provo. While I have really enjoyed my two trips to that restaurant in Sandy, this was a different story.
TGIFriday's in Provo was disappointing.
1. It's a bit difficult to find: behind Denny's, off a poorly-lit, poorly-labeled, long driveway that leads to the Marriot.
2. They were unnecessarily slow. We walked in about 8:15 and it was dead. It took about 10 minutes for someone to notice we were standing at the front. The waitress wasn't doing much but she came back infrequently. She was cordial but incompetent, messing up a request and neglecting to fill drinks, and EXTREMELY slow.
3. Not good with special requests. There was one food I wanted to get so I could share it with Felix, but it was only available as a full entree (southwest mac 'n cheese), no exceptions. I ended up ordering it to take home because I really did want some. The food was pretty good. Not spectacular, but not bad at all.
4. When I got the take-home stuff, I opened it to put the rest of the potatoes in with it and found that the food had been upside down.
I don't know if that meant they had just put the food into the wrong side of the container or if they had dropped it. Either way, it wasn't cool. They (all of the staff, including the manager and 3 or 4 lackeys outside washing the windows/watching) just didn't seem to care about our business.
Compare in stark contrast our experience last night at Ruby River Steakhouse, also in Provo.
1. Seated immediately, and when we made a special request for a table instead of a booth (baby belly gets cut off if the booth tables don't move), they took us back to the front so they could clear a special table for us (they have mostly booths but have a room of tables for big parties - in this case the party had gone but the tables hadn't been cleared yet) and then the hostesses entertained Felix the entire time we waited - about 10 minutes.
2. Our own room. It was off on the side, but there was absolutely no loss in service. Our waiter was attentive and competent. He made some perfect suggestions and the food was to die for. Because we were in the party room by ourselves, Felix was able to roam, completely content for the entire meal, which took us less time than it had at TGIFriday's.
3. The staff. One of those hostesses from the front happened to walk by and she stopped to see how we were doing, flirted with Felix for a moment, and went back to her duties.
4. The wait. At TGIFriday's, they take you to your table, and between taking the order and getting your food, the most you can get is a drink refill - if you're lucky. At Ruby River, they bring fresh sourdough bread to your table (hot out of the oven - you can tell it's super fresh). TGIFriday's was nearly empty. Ruby River was nearly full.
5. The cost. While Brent and I ordered more expensive foods at Ruby River, and I did order a third entree at TGIFriday's, the amount of food we got was nearly the same, as was the total cost. We ended up with a take-home container at both places, filled with an almost identical amount of food, and the total cost at Ruby River was actually less. As you might have guessed, we left a very generous tip at Ruby River (and about half that at TGIF), evening out the bills to the point of a $.16 difference.
For intensely better service, and for intensely better food (easily the best steak in Utah County), the clear winner is Ruby River. While we will continue to try new restaurants here and there, we'll pick Ruby River for the really special occasions. Yeah, it really is that good.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
On Friday I left early from work and went to Salt Lake to help set up for a reception. By the time I got there they had finished setting up. On the way home I picked up a nephew and together with Felix we played for a couple of hours and then went back up for the reception. It was fine, but there were some really cute moments with Felix stalking a little girl and hugging her. I tried to get pictures, but they were too fast. I have never seen Felix do anything of the sort and we certainly have never encouraged that, so it was pretty surprising. Totally cute though.
On Saturday we went to the zoo for its annual Boo at the Zoo event. They had trick-or-treating throughout the zoo at booths. We've wanted to take Felix to the zoo for a while now, so this seemed like a good time. We met up with Dave and Cassie and Rylan and then with Jason and Char and Porter and Morgan and then we wandered around through hoards of costumed children, trying to see some animals.
We did get to see the elephant demonstration and had seats on the front row. Felix was impressed (as were the other children) for the whole 5 minutes the elephant was right in front of him - about 10 feet away.
We also got to see some really cute little orange monkeys that held Felix's attention pretty well. He didn't seem to notice the cougars or the rest of the monkeys, but he did notice the zebras - one came close to our end of the enclosure and he could see it moving right in front of him. Again, I tried to get pictures, but the darn zebra turned his butt in our direction and then wandered away. (proof of the zoo trip)
Truth be told, we should have picked a different day. It was nice seeing friends and a few animals, but it was absolutely packed (guest services told Jason and Char that it was a zoo record that day with 22,000 people there). We got some food there at the zoo that was truly terrible, so on the way home we stopped at Chik-Fil-A (we had coupons that had been given out at a booth at the zoo). After that, we stopped and picked up Becca and came home. We watched an episode of Pushing Daisies and called it a night.
On Sunday, we went to church and I went to the nursery. 9 kids and me, but Tawna and Damon had pity on me and stayed with their little girl Shiloh. Although I didn't feel great (not sleeping much these days), it was pleasant to spend some time with a couple of grownups that I like.
So, this weekend was lots of ups and downs. Yesterday evening I posted our bed on Craigs List and have already had 5 people saying they want it. I'm just excited to replace it, frankly. Progress. Slow but steady progress.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Let me start with a little preface though. See, when I was young - especially when I was a teenager - I was acutely conscious of my size. I think a lot of that has to do with being a girl in our society. I believe it is this awareness of my size that has shaped my consciousness of my space. The space that I take up, not the space that others might invade. I'm talking about the space that I may inadvertently invade.
I have decided that not enough people in the world are aware of the space they use. Sadly, most of that realization has come when people take up MY space.
Example: In the grocery store, how many people go down the aisle and park their cart right smack dab in the middle, not seeming to notice that there are other people who need to use the aisle too? How many of us do that? I can say honestly that I don't.
I do have to admit that when Brent does it, it's probably because of Brent's past as much as it is because of mine. Brent was so skinny while growing up that he never had to worry about his size. He never cared. He does take up space now, but it's not too much. He just doesn't notice that the amount of space he takes up now is more than what he took up as a stick-thin teenager.
Example: On the road. How many of us accidentally cut people off? How many of us merge way too slowly for the rest of the travelers to be comfortable? How many of us talk on our cell phones while turning and thus neglect using the turn signal?
Here's the thing. There's a scripture that tells me we have responsibility for our actions and for the actions of others: Mosiah 4:28. "And I would that ye should remember, that whosoever among you borroweth of his neighbor should return the thing that he borroweth, according as he doth agree, or else thou shalt commit sin; and perhaps thou shalt cause thy neighbor to commit sin also."
In other words, our careless actions can cause anger (sin) in others. I think careless actions can be anything: borrowing something and not returning it, getting in the way of others when we could be watching our space, maybe even being lazy when others are counting on us.
So, why does it seem that so many people are completely clueless about how their actions affect those around them? Or how their space can invade that of others? Yes, it's still our (the invaded) responsibility to control our reactions. But when we (the invaders) have the power to affect the outcome, why wouldn't we want to affect it for our benefit? For everyone's benefit?
This is similar to common sense. But I would coin a new phrase for it: common consideration. It's a lot like the golden rule. It's treating people with common courtesy and respect, thinking about their feelings and needs, and acting accordingly.
Isn't it time we all strive for that standard of behavior?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I talked Brent into buying me ice cream this evening. And he made cashew chicken for dinner. Yummy dinner. Yummy dessert.
And now it's 9 pm and I'm totally ready to go to bed, even after a 2 hour nap this afternoon. I like to call it "sleeping for two."
One of Felix's favorite new toys. He's not very good at it, but he does try.
Friday, October 17, 2008
As you can also tell from this picture, pregnant belly is progressing just fine. I'm now 6 1/2 months along and besides having recurrent UTIs, everything is great. I'm seeing a urologist in a week. But I really do love my midwife and I'm still crossing my fingers that I'll be able to deliver at the birthing center. It's just that awesome.
Yesterday morning Brent and I left Felix with my sister for a few hours so we could go to an appointment. When I went to pick Felix up, he was all scraped up. He had been standing on a cinder block by the backyard drinking fountain and had fallen off. Happily, he had broken his fall. Unhappily, he had broken that fall with his face. The cinder block won, as you can tell from the picture.
Last night we went to dinner with some friends and didn't want to take Felix because he has a little cold (thanks to one particular boy in the nursery - guess who won't be attending church at all for the next couple of months?). Before we got back to pick him up, he had gotten upset and thrown up all over my sister. He calmed down perfectly as soon as we got there, but he's been throwing up since about 4 this morning. Poor kid. He just woke up from a long nap and actually wanted to eat, and he has drunk a few ounces of gatorade. He's still coughing tons (I'm not positive that this wasn't just brought on by a bad cold and being upset) but he's been keeping stuff down so far.
We found out our friends (the ones we had dinner with last night) are expecting twins. They have a daughter who's just over a year old. As exciting as this is, I feel truly sorry for them. Maybe "sorry" is the wrong word. Thankful it's not me, that's for sure.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Can we just say "crappity crap!"? Hours later and we do know where the problem started. Thankfully, it wasn't with me. That being said, I should have caught it. So should a couple of other people, but really it all came down to me. Dang it.
Callbacks are stinky in market research and we're already on shaky ground with this client because of other issues. In my defense, the client is particularly difficult to deal with and makes changes all the time that don't make a lot of sense. Of course that doesn't excuse my role.
A particular frustration is that everyone has been putting off my review. You know, the review where it would be decided whether or not I deserve a raise. I even asked my boss about it again just last week but then we forgot and got busy and stuff. Now I'm wondering if I shouldn't just conveniently forget about that review till this whole thing blows over. Blast.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Did anyone else hear this and then hear the huge gasp as it was announced? By the time he smiled from the collective gasp, I already had tears running down my face.
I can't possibly describe how happy this makes me. Wow. Just... wow.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
The first time I saw Felix blow on a window I was stunned. I can't imagine my parents teaching that to him and I'm pretty sure Brent and I didn't do it. Felix thought it was hilarious (as did we, of course).
One day not too long ago, however, after Brent and Felix came in the room to wake me up, I was sitting on the bed and Felix came over and blew on my arm. It made a good sound, I laughed, and Felix giggled. He has done it since and I'm convinced that Grandpa Hardman would have been extremely proud.
Side note: I think baby giggle is the most beautiful sound in the universe. Felix loves to play with Brent, and there's a lot of giggling going on. And Felix is very ticklish. It makes my heart happy to hear that much laughter.
The best was just a day or two ago, when Felix started blowing on my face. I couldn't take it anymore when he got to my neck. Apparently I am still ticklish - at least to zeberts.
I will always insist that I didn't teach him this trick. He must have some Hardman in him. I can imagine some of my favorite cousins secretly teaching him how to blow right in the crook of someone's neck for greatest effect. Shauna - did you do it?!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I ended up with 12 pint jars and about 20 quart jars of giardiniera. I think they might be hot, but I haven't tried any yet. I'm nervous.
Tonight Brent and I left Felix with Anne so we could sneak out to a movie. We saw Ghost Town. I would say it's highly likely that none of you have ever heard of it. The lead is Ricky Gervais (best known for being the boss in Britain's The Office, but he was also the head of the museum in Night at the Museum), seconded by Greg Kinnear and Tea Leoni.
Brent and I both laughed a lot. It wasn't quite as silly as Get Smart, but Ricky really has a gift for understated humor. Honestly it was hilarious.
But the movie wasn't all about the laughs. It was quite thought-provoking as well, and I ended up crying quite a bit. I would blame it all on the pregnancy hormones, but Brent assured me he was pretty close to crying a few times too.
It was a really good blend of funny and serious, and we decided we would group that movie with a few other favorites: Stranger than Fiction (very funny drama) and Dan in Real Life (also drama that is quite funny) specifically. Ghost Town is funnier than those two, but it's also really a drama.
It is rated PG-13. There are two F-bombs and some other mild swearing. There is also a conversation about a mummy's body part that isn't really for young ears. Otherwise, the movie is perfect. I would guess the producers added the swearing just so it would get the PG-13 and be taken more seriously as a drama. How many potential viewers would be unconsciously turned off by it being rated PG? I probably would have been.
Anyway, it is worth seeing. I really really enjoyed it. I think I'd even have to put it in my top 5 favorite movies of the year.
Monday, September 22, 2008
By 2 pm we started the extended version of Lord of the Rings. We did take a few breaks along the way, we chatted while we were watching, and we generally really enjoyed each others' company. There were 6 of us and we really had fun. I got home at 4 am. Yeah, we watched all three, all extended. When I told my boss at work he high fived me. Apparently he approved that we watched it as part of a girls night.
Good times, even if I didn't get nearly enough sleep.
This morning we took the car to the shop. The check engine light is off - hopefully for good. And the blinker socket is fixed. Apparently the connection was bad. All that good helped get over a scary bit on the way to the shop... when I was pulled over for having an expired registration. The cop let me off with a warning, thank goodness, and Brent got the car registered online while I was at work.
We're in the clear for now, but that's a bunch of unexpected expenses we didn't want right now. Do we ever want them? Of course not.
On my way home from the office and the mechanic, I passed two boys holding hands. I would guess they were about 17 years old, and they were very obviously boys and very obviously holding hands.
I don't have huge complexes about gay people in Utah. But it was still quite unsettling. You know?
My world is changing. My world. I can deal with changes in other places. But here?
In other news, baby is still kicking up a storm. She's always very active and I guess that's a good thing. I feel like she's healthy.
Baby #1 (Felix) went to the doc last week for shots and a well-child checkup. He now is in the 75th percentile for weight. What gets me is that he's in the 95th percentile for height, and the 98th percentile for head circumference. You mean that 25% of kids his age are heavier?! Really? We did know he had a huge noggin though. :)
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Well, I'm finally starting to write the story. I have an email chain somewhere will all of the dreams. There ended up being like 7 or 8 of them.
Since I thrive on feedback, I would love it if any of you want to read as I write. I haven't decided on the age group to write this for, but since it's my first effort, it might very well come out simply. Or teenage-like.
I have this as a google document (I LOVE Google Docs!!!!), and I can share it with anyone who sends me an email address. So if you're interested, let me know.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Saturday morning I got up to go to the stake preparedness fair to help out in the nursery. There were 3 different nurseries, and each of them had an over-abundance of adults. Mine had like 7 adults and about as many kids, so they let me leave early.
I took advantage and went straight up to Salt Lake for a reception. Well, I did stop at Sonic to get a cherry limeade cream slush (I can't go to Sonic unless I get one). I waited for a long time in the drive through, although I'm not quite sure why. It was 10:30 in the morning and maybe there was only one girl working. Anyway, I took the opportunity to pluck. It had been a long time - apparently I don't look at myself closely in the mirror very often because I was hideously hirsute! - and I got it all done. I finished the last eyebrow hair just as the girl was bringing me the credit card back.
The reception was for my dear friend Kristina, who was my roommate in Alaska for a few short months when I first got up there. She didn't last very long because it ended up being a tough experience for her, but we bonded anyway. Such a cutie.
On my way back down south, I stopped in Sandy to drop off a pair of maternity jeans for my cousin. I had volunteered my mom to hem them for her.
Back in Orem, I picked up Brent and Felix and we ran to Costco to pick up a present for Brent's best friend Ian's daughter's birthday - a really cute touch and feel book. We would have gotten two but they only had one of our favorite. After Costco we ran to a park in Lehi for a cute birthday party. Felix even took a turn at the pinata - not that he knew why people were wacking the shiny pink thing up in the tree.
On the way home from the park, Felix fell asleep so we figured we could fit in a movie. So we went to Movies 8 and caught a late-afternoon showing of Kung Fu Panda. It was actually quite fun, even though Felix woke up at the beginning.
Back at home, I gathered things and took Felix over to my sister's house to hang out with the kids. My sis and her husband had gone on a date and the kids didn't want to be alone. I made them watch Rocky IV, even though none of them wanted to. Only Rachel was still mad by the end (she wanted to watch X-Men III even though she had seen it the day before). The rest of the kids LOVED it. Of course. That's an awesome movie.
Sunday morning I woke up reluctantly. Totally sick. I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. Completely congested, big bad sore throat, sneezing, coughing. Blech. Brent and my dad were also sick, and this morning my mom finally got it. We've finally started feeling better today, but I've tried to keep my germs to myself. It's been nice to rest, but I know that I'll be completely exhausted tomorrow, when I go back on schedule. I just hope three days of rest is enough.
I'm ready for another weekend. And the rest of this week is going to be super busy with scout stuff and more cleaning (I'll hire those kids as much as they're willing for the next couple of weeks - I want all those corners clean - no more spiders!). But at least I have an amazing set of friends who all want to get together on Saturday. And at least I have an amazingly understanding husband who will let me be gone most of Saturday to mentally recoup. I can do this. I just need to breathe deeply and take one step at a time. Right?
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Well, look a little closer at the passenger seat... I didn't want to get all stalker-ish for a better picture. Can you see it? The thing on the passenger seat that makes it look more bulky? Yeah, that's the part that makes this view appropriate for: Only in Utah. It's a toddler car seat. Seriously awesome. I love American Fork.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Last week I started working at my job in the mornings so I could take Felix in the afternoons over to my brother and sis-in-law's house to help out. Their nanny gave her 2-weeks notice but then never showed up again.
I've been tag-teaming it with Linda (sis-in-law) so everything can get done. It really is quite necessary to have two adults around at all times.
There are appointments and sports (soccer for all! Well, 4 of the kids have soccer twice a week - different days and different times and different places - makes things interesting), chores and homework assignments, trying to keep sanity and make lots of snacks for lots of kids without losing any cool.
I guess it's a really good thing to find out I'm not cut out to have a large family before I actually have one, right?
I'm feeling a bit frazzled lately. What with two part-time jobs, trying to clear out the downstairs so we can make some much-needed updates (deep cleaning combined with mold removal and a few other fixes), extra calling stuff (still doing scouts and nursery, meetings and extra nursery duties), and a generally busy fall (I really thought there would be more socializing in the summer...), I almost wish I could get put on bed rest so I could take some time off it all.
I keep thinking, "there's no rest for the wicked," all the time trying to stop at just: "there's no rest." It's not really working, dang it.
She's dancing. Maybe doing karate. Or gymnastics. I'm certain it's something that will get her into the Olympics in about 16 1/2 years.
Today at the midwife appointment, everything went well. I still have a UTI and my midwife said I really need to take acidopholus and fish oil, and I need to drink a minimum of 2 litres of water a day (holy peeing all the time, batman! - she said that once the UTI is gone I will actually pee less often, hooray!).
Anyway, the baby in my tummy has been super duper active. I started really feeling her as early as 16 weeks and she's very regularly kicking my guts to expand her space.
So today at the appointment I told Becky (midwife extraordinaire) about all the movement. She said one of her daughters kicked her appendix so much that she had to have it removed - during the pregnancy.
When Becky put the thinghy on my belly to get the heart rate, baby kicked the machine. It took Becky a good 10 minutes to get a total of about 4 seconds of heart beat. Kid was everywhere!
I know they say you feel your second baby more because you recognize it better, but I swear Felix was a lump on a log in comparison. Little bundle of Olympic potential.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Sunday was pretty normal too.
Yesterday, however, that was the biggie.
My wonderfully generous work offered to send all interested employees and spouses to Lagoon for free. And they offered to let us bring guests for just $15 per person. I had 20 guests. :)
On Sunday evening we had some serious rain and we heard that the weather was going to cool down quite a bit. I have to say I was slightly worried, mostly that my guests (older sis and her whole family, cousin Rob and his whole family, youngest brother Than and his wife, cousin Robyn and her boyfriend, and a random nephew and two nieces) would wuss out and I'd be stuck with a bunch of extra tickets.
On Monday morning we packed up early and headed north. We made pretty good time till we hit Salt Lake and the rain was so hard we slowed to 40 mph. The hail on the freeway was so thick and wet that it looked like heavy slush and when cars passed by too closely it was freaky because we couldn't see anything at all.
We got to Lagoon about 10 and the guy asked us if we really wanted to enter since they were probably going to close about 11 or 12. We turned around and drove to the nearest Wal-Mart to buy a stroller and a sweatshirt. (Felix was the only kid on the ride but he liked it just fine - it was still raining here)
By noon the rain had all but stopped, and by 1 there was hardly a cloud in the sky. Good thing, because we were COLD and WET and we needed to dry out and be in the sunshine. (so we could get cold and wet all over again - that's Brent in the blue)
As you can tell by the pics, we had some serious fun. I didn't win any prizes at the company lunch (they paid for lunch for the employees and all guests too), and by the end of the day I just ached everywhere. Apparently, pregnancy and walking all day are a bad combo. :)
(Felix LOVES Dip'n Dots apparently - his shirt says "if I don't match, it's because daddy dressed me")
The nicest part (besides the cheap as free tickets, of course) was that the rain and the coolness kept out the majority of the people, and there wasn't a single line that was more than 5 minutes long. (he may look stoic, but he actually loved this ride - he smiled and even waved a couple of times)
All in all, it was a perfect day. Lots of family, perfect weather (once it dried out, of course), and very few extra people to get in the way. :)
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tonight we had a short-notice baby shower for Sarah. We did some moving around, invited as many people as we could think of, and ended up with a great little party. She's due in 2 months and her birthday was 2 days ago. She had some mission friends, some singles ward friends, relatives on both sides. It was great.
I got all the advancements for scouts ready ahead of time (with a LOT of help from Sue and Jolene who did all the inputting) so I could skip the pack meeting. I separated out all the awards by boy and by den, and I think I'm going to do that again next month. It was VERY convenient and it will make giving them out at the meetings way easier. I love organization!
I'm starving. Pregnancy is an interesting phenomenon. I can eat a tiny meal, but then I'm hungry again an hour or two later. And if I don't eat then I feel sick. I don't want to gain so much with this pregnancy (gained 54 pounds with Felix) because I felt totally bloated for months afterward. blech.
So far, though, this pregnancy has been kind to me. She's an active little bugger, but I feel pretty good. Uncomfortable, sure, but not really that bad. It's some good times...
I need advice. I have two callings, one scouts, which requires meetings every Thursday 5:30-6:30pm every week but one pack meeting every month. 7:00pm to 8:00pm. Then I have another calling getting babysitters for Enrichment meetings which is about once every 3 months, on Tuesday nights. I have two actually in The next three months because of some special activity they want more people to come too. I am also supposed to attend to supervise and check on things.
The question is. I want to take a class at UVU. Tuesday and Thursday are the two days that work best. Which calling do I dis? Tim said he was fine with me dissing him at Pack meeting. I wouldn't miss den meetings since class starts at 7:00pm. But that is one I would be dissing every month. If I do the Tuesday class I would only be dissing two times. Aaagh.
Am I evil for wanting to take a class when it keeps me from "magnifying" my callings? I did that when I was enrichment counselor and I felt pretty crappy about it. When I have two callings though...I feel like I kind of have to dis one of them. I am taking the classes so that when my youngest is in 1st grade I can apply for graduate school and have a good list of good grades and extra classes on my application. I already received my B.S. 11 years ago.
Seeking the Greater Good
I'm afraid that you're the only one who can truly answer the question. Essentially, you need to decide which calling needs you more.
Do you have confidence in Tim? Do you have confidence in the people you ask to babysit? Would the scouts be okay with only Tim to accompany them to the pack meetings? Do you have enough reliable babysitters that you would trust them without any supervision?
Another factor: Is the class the same on both Tuesday and Thursday so it's an either/or? Or are they two different classes? If it's the same class either day then it really is only up to the calling. But if it's different classes then you get to throw that into the mix as well. Then you get to ask things like, "Am I okay with having Tim do it alone once a month is the class I take is one I won't need till next semester?" and "Will the stress of this particular class add to the stress of trying to find a babysitter, and will it be worth it?"
The thing is that you're not completely dissing either calling by taking a class. You are fulfilling your scouting calling by helping the boys with regular/weekly activities and advancements. And you are fulfilling the enrichment calling by getting babysitters for the meetings.
Once you answer the questions, you might take it to the leaders and ask their opinions. I would guess they will have something to say, and that will help you decide. And when all else is equal - take it to the Lord. He will tell you if you need to wait on the classes or if you need to work on one calling more than the other. Or at the very least, He will help you find comfort in your decision.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
What is the cheapest of the best running shoes I can get? I just started running and my cheapo Wal-mart specials really aren't doing the trick. Sore knees! Go figure! I have been told to look for good running shoes to solve that dillema I want something good but I don't want to spend an arm and a leg if I can help it. Advice please?
Dear RF -
Different runners swear by different shoes. My marathon-running siblings usually go with Saucony and Nike, but one sis ran her marathon in Asics and loved them. But what works for them might not work for you. These days, there are shoes engineered for all the different needs you might have. I got a pair of New Balance that are specifically for people who roll their ankles a lot and they've been life-saving.
Shoes won't necessarily fix everything, but good shoes will certainly help. You might look at inserts (orthotics are difficult to get used to but can be amazing for injuries) or knee bands (especially help with loose kneecaps) to complement a good pair of shoes.
What you want for shoes will really depend on how much you're going to use them. Are these for training for a major race? Are they for casual use (a couple of miles each run, maybe a couple of times a week) or serious use (10-15 miles for a run, 3-5 times per week)?
If you want serious shoes that will hold up for serious use, you're going to spend between $90 and $200. Because I know you're in Orem, go to Runner's Corner (800 South, just east of State St.). The guy who runs that store knows everything about all kinds of shoes and he will help you find shoes that fit your feet (for example, certain brands are made for wider feet but are equal as to quality and price). He also has very regular sales.
Or, you can talk to the expert, find the shoes that work best for you, and go to eBay.
Also, ask about last season's shoes, because those almost always have huge discounts but are just as good quality-wise as new ones. You can probably find a pair of very high-quality shoes for around $50 that way.
A good friend asked me recently how to deal with "emotional vampires" or people who tend to suck you emotionally dry. It was an appropriate question for me, since I seem to be dealing with my own emotional vampire lately.
I usually refer to them as high-maintenance friends, but they can be family members too. It can be the person who constantly borrows money by making you feel guilty for his struggling family. It can be a distant family member who plays the holier-than-thou card in all her dealings with you. It can be the sister in your ward who is so negative that everyone hates being around her because she's such a downer.
Unfortunately, these EVs don't recognize that they're the cause of the problem, but our behavior towards them (rolling eyes, lending money, letting them complain, etc.) facilitates the behavior. They cannot and will not get better unless we start putting our feet down.
As with most perceived negative news, the key is to be both gentle and firm. There can be no doubt as to our intentions and as to the cause. If there is, that EV will move on to their next victim, sucking them emotionally dry till they move on again, leaving a trail of dessicated emotions in their wake.
"I cannot lend you money because it puts a financial strain on me."
"Please don't write me emails if you continue to insult me and disrespect me by misrepresenting what I write."
"When you are negative all the time it makes me uncomfortable and I am not alone in that. If you can't drop the negativity then I won't be able to spend more time with you."
Making the break might be extremely exhausting, but in the end it will be worth it. Nobody can afford to spend all their emotional energy on someone who never gives back.
Get out the garlic and the wooden stake. Cut the Emotional Vampires loose or your soul might be lost for good.
Good emotional health!
P.S. As my wise husband adds, "At some point, you have to stop mothering the self-destructive."
Monday, August 25, 2008
I think people just aren't interested in asking because they don't realize how much fun it can be and how important it is to me.
So, I'd like to solicit some questions. Think of advice columns and what you might ask. I'll do the research for you and give you my own brand of humorous and/or serious response. Anything you can come up with. So far, I've gotten questions about tangled electronic cords, getting a guy to buy you flowers, dieting, dating, and inconvenient blisters. :)
Please ask me questions! I'll love you even more than I already do... :)
About our stupid car... Turned out that the part that circulated the water for the water pump was completely missing, so that was fixed and the check engine light was reset again. Yay! Although we again have a working car, we are even more resolved to get a better one. Sheesh.
On Wednesday last week we packed up the car and headed toward Hanna, Utah. If you've never heard of it, there's a good reason. It's hardly a blip on the radar. We stopped just short of the town at a place called Warm Springs Retreat. It was really more of a campground with cabins and such, but that's where we were for the big family reunion, mom's side.
We spent the next two days playing on the tiny pond nearby (paddle boats and kayaks) and in the stream that went past the campground. I got fried because I didn't think we'd be out very long, but it was very pleasant. We also played lots of games, talked to cousins, played games with cousins, etc. It was so nice and relaxing and fun. Perfect.
On Friday morning we packed up and grabbed a nephew and headed home, very tired and somewhat sore and crispy. That evening at 5 we met at a nearby park for a final dinner to use up some leftovers and to meet up with those who were unable to make it for the whole thing. Again, very fun.
Saturday morning we again jumped in the car for a reunion - this time for the other side of the family, but it was really just for a group breakfast because one of the cousin's wives (and her family) was in town. Also relaxing and fun.
Afterward, my cousin Shauna and I decided to do some pregnancy shopping so we dropped the boys off (her husband had meetings) and went to the mall. 6 hours later, we waddled out of the mall, completely exhausted and laden with bags of goodies. I love getting new clothes that fit. :)
Good times, this past week. For stuff like this, I adore summer.
Monday, August 18, 2008
As much as I love the people I get to associate with (that includes family), I've had a really hard time catching up with people lately. I really want to know what people are doing, but I've been so self-involved that I haven't caught up on anyone's blogs in a long time.
That doesn't mean I don't care, or that I'm completely clueless. But I'm finally pulling my head out of the sand and realizing that these wonderful people I love have been dealing with their own trials. Like moving and tough pregnancies and health issues and house problems and money issues and difficult children, to name a few.
In fact, a lot of what other people are dealing with sound very familiar to me. I'm sure that means I need to spend more time concerned with other people and less time concerned with myself.
In short, I love you. I really do. I'm sorry and I'll make it up to you. I'll pay attention and listen and catch up on my reading. I'm getting there. Please be patient. :)
Friday, August 15, 2008
A big survey was completed in June, and about a month later, the client told us there were problems with the data. I was all over it.
I did some serious digging in this data, and before I brought other people in to help out, I insisted that there was more to the story than what we were getting from the client. But it wasn't till the statisticians came on board that the client fully explained what they thought was wrong.
We worked our butts off - extra hours, weekend stuff, etc. And the client would not be satisfied. They finally told us they had lost all confidence in the data, so we buckled down and got more data. They originally told us that it was to be used as example data so we would know how to use the data we had gotten back in June. Then they turned around and said the new stuff would completely replace the June stuff and that the June stuff was bunk.
I suggested combining the old and new because the problem was essentially normalized and they rejected it without any hesitation. Instead, they would get even more data and use that instead. All of this new data was at our expense.
So today I go in to the office and the account manager tells me that they did end up combining after all. Any thanks to me? Of course not.
I guess it's gratifying that they would use my suggestion after all, but considering all the hemming and hawing they did about telling us the problem in the first place, and considering the amount of blame they put on me for convincing the account manager not to run additional data (like I have that kind of influence!), it's really just annoying. I am so glad I don't have to work with them directly. The whole thing just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Thankfully, I know how much my supervisor and my boss appreciate me and the work I do. And I know that the only opinion that matters is theirs. It's really nice to have them stick up for me.