Thursday, August 28, 2008

Some stuff

I think I've "popped." I can feel the baby kicking quite a bit, and I'm starting to feel bumps - as in baby parts sticking out. Kind of interesting. I've been really enjoying wearing some cute maternity tops and even my one pair of maternity pants. And I'm starting to look more pregnant than fat. That's a happy thing. :)

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...

Dissing a Calling (courtesy of Kristin)

Dear Wifius,

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

Dear Seeking,

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.

Good Scouting/Enriching!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Running Shoes (courtesy of Kristin)

Dear Wifius,

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?

Running Free

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.

Good running!

Emotional Vampires (courtesy of Nicole)

Dear Readers -

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 really like the idea of giving advice on an anonymous basis. I've tried it out with a sample discussion on LDS Linkup and it went really well for about a day.

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... :)


I keep hoping I'll get around to having pictures to put up, but there really is nothing new. Well, nothing that I've downloaded yet. (in the meantime, here is Felix before he wiggled off the couch during his nap - yep, during, I caught his foot just in time)

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


I'm a bad friend.

No really.

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

Work stuff

Legally, I can't give out any juicy details, but I want to share with you something that happened this last week.

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.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My midwife

My awesome friend Jenica recommended a birthing center a while back, and after visiting and taking a tour 2 weeks ago, I fell in love.

Becky McInnis is awesome. She's competent and friendly and totally granola and professional all at the same time. Yesterday I had my first actual appointment and it was everything I wanted it to be.

The birthing center (Birth and Family Place) is small and comfortable. It feels much more like a bed and breakfast. There are three birthing rooms - they have a double bed in each room and a jetted tub in each of the bathrooms.

It's homey and friendly and wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone and I haven't delivered there yet.

There is one thing though - they won't take high risk pregnancies or births and they only take full-term. That means if I go early again like I did with Felix then I'll have to go to a hospital. So I'm doing my best to follow all the recommendations I can get from Becky. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Grand Day Out

On Friday night one of my friends called to ask if I wanted to go to the outlet stores of Park City on Saturday. I jumped on that.

Although we missed CarrieAnne and Laurie couldn't go, Wendy's daughter jumped in and we ended up being a group of 7.

5 hours later and we were on our way back, with the back of the van filled with purchases - things for school for various children, things for ourselves, and even some things for spouses.

Our favorite store seemed to be Harry and David. If you have ever been there you'll know what I'm talking about. If you haven't been there - go! It's all about gourmet foods, and the sales people were all sorts of willing to let us try everything. I had so many samples...

And I just finished eating some amazing pasta that I got there. Garlic rosemary fedelini (a little bit skinnier than fetuccini) with a cream sauce and topped with Italian 4 cheese medley. YUM!!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008


I can't even begin to describe my frustration with our car at the moment. Thank goodness for really good mechanics. It's not over yet, but it is better. By the end, however, we'll have spent somewhere around $600 on the latest round of whatever this is. And we're still not sure. So frustrating.

And so I reiterate - DO NOT BUY A VW!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's a girl!

(the one that says lips/nose is a little difficult to decipher - the little white stripe in the middle is her upper lip, the little tiny triangle to the right is her nose, and the little triangle to the left is her chin)

Want a drink?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


in the world gets morning sickness half-way through their pregnancy? It would appear that I do. Dang it.