Archive for December, 2006

You watch my kids I’ll watch yours.

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

Last night was our ward party. While there I talked with a mom in our ward, Sam, who teaches dance classes for young children. Sam starts teaching them at the age of three so I decided I would enroll Lilah. They’re at a nearby elementary school so they’re cheap, just $15 for 6 half hour lessons. Really I just want Lilah to start socializing with other kids and maybe develop some talent or find something she enjoys. We’ll try it out and if she likes it she can continue if not then hopefully we’ll find something else. The classes are one night a week for six weeks. Sam’s husband is finishing his masters this Spring semester and it so happens that the last class he needs is the same night she teaches class and during the same time. She called today asking if I could watch her little girl for the two hours before the class and then bring her with me and Lilah to the dance class. Sam’s daughter is almost three and she wanted to enroll her daughter in the class also. Otherwise Sam’s mom would be watching her daughter and she wouldn’t be able to have her in the class since she would be on the other side of town being babysat. Sam suggested paying for the class or paying me for my time or exchanging babysitting. I took her up on the babysitting. I wanted to do something like this with other moms in the ward. One or twice a month I watch your kids so you can do whatever you need to, or just have time alone and then for the same amount or so, depending on the number of kids, you watch mine. Mostly a switch and maybe there would be play dates and socializing so it wasn’t just an exchange.  I thought this would be good so moms could have time to get the house in order without kids messing it up, or go to doctors appointments with just one child instead of two or three. Most of the stay at home moms that would take this offer have just two, like me, or just one.
Well Sam mentioned date night babysitting or middle of the day babysitting. I said I may save time up and have her watch my girls for a long morning so I could paint or do a large project. She said that would be fine to.
I’m excited at the possibility of getting things done or having time alone to do things. In a way it gives me a little extra motivation because I now know that I have a a babysitter for large projects that I want to do without the guilt of “how can I repay this person for watching my daughters for a whole morning?”.
I’m just happy that this happened. Her daughter is well behaved and my only worry is her daughters anxiety at being in a new place. She is usually pretty friendly after getting situated. Really, Lilah is the exact same way. Also Lilah’s nap is at the very time she would be at my house, but hopefully it all works out

Holiday Spirit

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

Jon’s parents are older and they have a hard time getting things done for Christmas sometimes. I remember our first married Christmas we came over and helped set up the tree and decorate it. Other years they’ve been able to pull it off. This year they had a hard time.  This past month their health as been ailing them and they had their one and only car in the shop for a week before the mechanic told them to take it to the dealership, in which the dealership diagnosed and fixed it in about 3 1/2 hours. Since we were in the middle of finals she didn’t tell me anything until this Wednesday, the first day we were able to make contact this week. I found out about all the craziness and that they had no tree up and had bought no gifts. They declined my help for Thursday. (Lilah had a little book reading holiday party with a nursery friend.) This morning I called them and nothing had been done for Christmas. Mom was planning on getting the tree out, but she was still having some difficulty. The reason Christmas is so important is Dara and Jason, my two down syndrome  siblings in-law. Since they still are quiet child like in their thinking I knew it would be important for them, and my in laws to have the Christmas tree up and some gifts. Mom said she had some videos from previous years that hadn’t been given and some pants for Jason that she had hemmed. I decided I would go and get her two items for each child and then we would go over as a family and help set up and decorate the tree, which Lilah was all for. Mom didn’t know what to get Dara and Jason. I suggested shirts and she suggested a photo album for Jason. Jason loves taking pictures. I went to Mervyn’s and Eden tagged along with me this morning. It was surprisingly not that busy and we got in and out quickly with no long line since I was in the linens department. I got Dara a shirt and a medium sized lava lamp and Jason a shirt and a photo album set. Since I got home at 10:45 am we packed up and went to the parents to set up the tree. I also wrapped the gifts while I was there so I knew that they would be wrapped.
We never know what to get his parents. They already have a lot of stuff, so this was our gift to them. Mom suggested we make it a tradition to have us over to help with the tree. She loved watching Lilah decorate, and just having company was a nice change. I suggested I could also be her elf and by this time next year because we should have a second car which would allow me more freedom to come help them. It may sound cheesy, but I love that I was able to help them for Christmas. I was a little pushy, but that was so Mom would accept the help. I know our help helped them and that makes my holiday feel a little bit more like Christmas.


Thursday, December 21st, 2006

All my grades are in:
CRJ 302 Quantitative Application in CRJ (stats)      B+
CRJ 450 Seminar: Sex Offenders                         A
JOUR 101 Critical Analysis of the Mass Media         A
MUS 133 History of the Beatles.                          A

My stats teacher sent out an e-mail the Thursday after finals about if we were able to use what we’ve learned and show that our grade is not the true mean or shows the true average, with mathematics and what not, then he would take into consideration the changing of the grade. I got the email Friday and was preoccupied with the thought. I also had a lesson to prepare for Church on Sunday. I did  a little bit of math to see of I could figure something out, but it was a true mean because I got some some really good grades then and got plenty of not so good grades (So it wasn’t that I got almost all good grades but had one outlier that dropped my grade.). I just decided to make peace and be happy. My total average for the semester is 3.825, just under the 4.0 average for A and over the 4.7 average for A-. I’m happy  that my average for the semester is an A-. I could have tried harder.. but I tried hard enough. I should have received an A- for Journalism, according to my calculations, but since I was an active participant and pointed out a mistake on the test he may have thought I deserved an A…I don’t know, but I’m happy with it.
It is done.

Let It Snow

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

So Vegas got snow last night. It’s funny because we’ve had an unusually warm winter thus far and then it got cold and it snowed!! Jon took pictures of our car at 7:30 am before he left for work and he got a picture of Frenchman’s mountain that is right behind the temple.

It’s funny because we were talking about snow on Sunday and saying how Frenchman’s never gets snow unless the valley also gets snow. My sister who lives in Henderson right off of Black mountain got 7 1/2 inches and it stayed until around noon. So her kids were able to build snowmen and what not.

Decorating the tree

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

We put our Christmas tree up the weekend before finals. Why the weekend before finals? I’m not sure, especially when I told Jon as he was in the shed doing things we should wait until after finals. He was taking the shades down for the garden and since the shed was open he decided to get the tree out and check it for spiders. At least when I saw him with the tree out in the backyard he raised it and said “Look no spiders!” I sighed and said “What on earth are you doing with that? We’re supposed to wait until finals are over.”
Lilah has been so excited for Christmas since our concert on the 25 of November. The couple who babysat them had their Christmas tree up and she couldn’t wait until Christmas. Her excitement along with Jon being in the shed fueled the setting up of the tree. ( I also think me stating that we should wait made him want to do it also. ) So while Jon finished checking for spiders I got things in a little more in order for the tree. Another reason I wanted to wait. Our house was a little more chaotic because of the neglect during the finals pre-week. He came in and helped me get the leaf out of the table so we could have more room by the front door…the only place to put a tree in our small living room. Well I swept and wiped the floor down and we set it up on Saturday. (The 8th I believe.) Since we had no plans on Sunday we decorated it. The girls had a blast. Lilah was so excited for Christmas to be coming.
So here is adventure of our tree decorating.

Eden loved the plastic hooks.
They were attached to a circle and looked like a flower. At one point Lilah put them on the tree.
Lilah loved the stockings
What else do you do with a stockings besides put them on your foot?…..

…apparently you also put them on your arms.
Here’s them decorating or looking at ornaments.
Eden putting our angle on.

(It’s an ornament from the year we become engaged. My mom gave it to me and we’ve use it as our tree topper since we’ve been married. I don’t know what we’ll do when we start using the bottom layer of the tree and make it seven feet tall instead of just five. )

The finished product.

The last thing I want to mention is why Jon was checking for spiders. We had a fake Christmas tree for many years growing up. The second or third Christmas while at the Edison house we got the tree out and began bringing it into the house. (It was stored in a wooden box on the back patio.) Well one of us noticed small black things on the branches and we realized it had been infested with a black widows nest and they were now running around on our couches! it was terrible. Scott, one of my older brothers, would have been the only boy because we were doing this without my father. I’m pretty sure we were all screeching a little bit as we tossed them onto the front patio…the closet door. So now since we store our tree in the outside shed…I’m a little worried of spiders getting in it. It seems pretty empty of crazy bugs and what not for now.

Good wife. Bad mom.

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

Yesterday I was a great wife and made chocolate treats for Jon to take to his coworkers. I was a bad mom because I was so immersed in the projects that PBS was on all day and Eden often came over wanting to be held but having to be turned down by her chocolate fingered momma. Even on days I had tons of studying to do I would have time for them. Yesterday I just had to get things done so the house could hopefully get back to order ASAP. Lilah was mostly okay. She just tried to “help” by licking any spoon with chocolate that she could get her hands on. Only when I told her no she could not have any more chocolate did she get upset. Lilah would just come and see what I was doing and them go on her merry way of watching whatever was on. By the time Jon got home Eden was a mess, even after a nap, because she needed some love and attention. Also I had put her in Lilah’s chair at one point and she wanted to stay in it, but if I was out of the room I took her down because she couldn’t be trusted to sit still and I was afraid she’d fall off of the chair, so whenever I took her out of the chair she got upset. It was a crazy.

These are the chocolates I made.

I made different truffles and then chocolate covered popcorn. The recipes came from my friend Amber. I cut off the extra chocolate that you see on so many of the truffles. I figured I did okay considering this was the first time I’d done anything besides the chocolate molds you can buy. Wilton has special dipping spoons that might help avoid the huge amount of chocolate around the base of the truffles, so I may try those next time. So here are things I learned about chocolate.
In the truffle recipe it says to refrigerate the center for the truffle until firm. (Please refer to the recipe so you know what I’m talking about.)
Well I thought to save time on Monday morning I’d make the center the night before. I didn’t save any time because the center had completely harden by being in the refrigerator overnight! (So tip: it only takes about an hour in the fridge for the center to be firm enough to shape it. Or you can do it the night before but plan on letting it thaw the next morning.)
The second thing I needed to improve on was the outer coating. On some of my truffles the outer layer of chocolate cracked. What I think happened is the center was too cold…it had been in the freezer more like an hour, plus it was still fairly cold and hard from being in the fridge the night before…and the chocolate that I melted to coat it was a little too warm. So when I let the truffle centers sit for just a little while after being in the freezer and the melted chocolate for the outer layer to sit, then they were less likely to crack if they cracked at all.
I made a lot of popcorn and I think I made around 130 truffles. I still have truffles to give away even after Jon took some for his coworkers today. I packaged everything in cute bags, but I was too lazy to take a picture last night when all was said and done.
I think I’m good on making chocolate for a little while. I made these with the Wilton wafers, so I didn’t have to worry about tempering the chocolate. I hope as I become more experienced that I can use the real thing.

A Chapter Closed

Friday, December 15th, 2006

So, I know people are probably tired of me writing about school. Oh well.( You’ll get one more post after this because my final grades need to come in and possibly one when my diploma comes in the mail months from now.) I took my last final last night. It went well. I don’t feel like a college graduate. (Maybe I should have planned on going to commencement, but how would sitting on my butt for two hours listening to people I don’t know and then shaking the hand of someone I don’t know change this feeling?)
It’s strange how chapters of our lives close so suddenly. I was engaged for five months then suddenly after a half hour ceremony I was married. I was pregnant for nine months then after six hours of labor and ten minutes of pushing I had a baby girl. It seems like in a blink of an eye our lives change drastically and their is no going back. I’ve gone to college for five and half years and last night after a 20 minute final I was done. I had completed all I needed to do and that was my ending to this chapter of my life. I may go back to school. In some ways I look forward to attending again. Maybe I’ll get a second degree. Maybe I’ll get a masters. Maybe I’ll just never go back but will be at home homeschooling my own children while I discovery the world through their young eyes and remember things I’ve forgotten.
For now I say goodbye to the overpriced textbooks, the skanky dressed girls on campus and the terrible parking at UNLV. Goodbye to paying for a student union I never wanted or ever will use. Goodbye to the Political Correctness on a liberal campus in which conservativeness is not accepted. Goodbye to the teachers I hated and those I learned from. Goodbye to the business students who smoked right outside of the entrance to Beam Hall. Goodbye to running into old friends. I’ll miss school. It defined me as more than just a mom, or a housewife. I enjoyed saying I was a student and a stay at home mom. Now I’ll have to find other hobbies.

I’m already lost.

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

I still have one more final to prepare for. (The Beatles one went well, I’m sure I aced it. The CRJ stats went terrible. I have a solid 88% for my final grade. Jon mentioned how for the previous two fall semester, aka.FA 05, FA 04. I also got three A’s and a B, I’m just destined to never get straight A’s.) Back to the subject. I have my Sex offenders final to prepare for and then I will be done.  I don’t feel to much pressure for this final so in some ways I already feel done in which I already feel lost. What do I do with this extra time? I could clean and  organize my house, but when the girls are up that can be hard if I have any major projects to do. I could get up early and go to bed sooner, so I could do things before the girls get up. I love staying up and going to bed late, but when I stay up late I’m not accomplishing anything except adding weight to by butt. I could spend every waking moment with my daughters, but really I don’t want to spoil them with an expectation that mommy will entertain them all the time. I guess I have these goals and I feel at a little lost of how to do them. I want to start waking up at 7 to begin my day. (I really should write this down because Jon might hold me to this.) The problem with waking up at 7 is Jon is usually in the middle of his shower routine. The problem being we still only have one shower because the other is under construction, and that would be one reason to wake up, so I could take my shower at the beggining of the day while the girls are asleep, rather they the middle of the day  in hopes that they both take their naps at the same time. I could wake up at 6:30am but that is too early for me. I still have negative feelings from high school on getting up early. I’m just not a morning person. One thing I’m planning for my time is a cleaning schedule again. So I do small things each day besides the daily chores and once a week I have a larger cleaning chore. I feel comfortable in my organized chaos. I have a worry of getting it all organized and clean and then the expectation is now this higher sense of cleanliness. I also fear that I might not succeed and I will always be slightly disorganized with plenty of dust balls around the house. Anyways. Now I have more free time and I don’t know what to do with it. I know some of you are saying I wish I had more free time. Really it’s that I used school to block out things I didn’t want to do. Now I don’t have that excuse anymore and I must face my shortcomings and overcome them. We’re waiting to have our next child at the moment so I won’t even have pregnancy as an excuse any time soon. I suppose one reason I don’t like being out of school is because I feel a little more exposed and I have fewer excuses. What if I am a terrible housekeeper and an terrible mother? Everyone will now know. I grew up in a very disorganized house. I was often embarrassed to bring friends over. I don’t want my children to feel that way when they’re older and can feel embarrassment. I don’t want to be embarrassed of my house.  I also don’t want embarrassment to be my motivator. I hope once I have things more organized that I can feel proud of my domain and that pride work will be my motivator.  Like I’ve said before my house is usually presentable. I just have areas where there are piles of papers or books. We also have boxes of things we haven’t found a place for. Our bedroom  being the worst place, there just isn’t enough space for our clothes. I’m at a lost at where to start. Maybe after the holidays I’ll begin. 🙂
Sigh. I’m  so strange.

My final week of school.

Monday, December 11th, 2006

Today is the official start of finals. I had one on Friday. I got a  92.5 % on it, but I spotted a question that did not have the correct answer to choose from, so the teacher added another 2 points to everyones test, which bumped my grade on the final to a 95%. This is great, but it only gives me a 89.8% in the class. So close to the A – that I wanted. I may still get it because he seems like a teacher that rounds up the grades…I hope. Really I was just trying to get good grades this semester and it appeared that I may be able to get straight A’s if I aced my last test in a couple of classes. I’m happy that I did so well by just doing my normal routine for school.  I have one final tonight on campus to go to. It’s at 8:10 pm. That is one thing I hate about on campus night classes. The finals are so late at night. Plus I drive there for a total trip of 40-50 minutes for a half hour final. I think I’ll do okay on it. It’s my music class. I remember a lot of the info on the study guide, but some of it is questionable. Even if I get a B on the final I have a strong enough A in the class that I should still get an A for my final grade. My CRJ stats class has it’s final available from today until Wednesday at noon. I figure I’ll take it tomorrow. I need to get no less than 19 our of 20 questions to get a 90% in that class. He does not seem like a teacher that would round up. I know the second half of the material for the test pretty well, the first half is questionable. I figure if I study the chapters well maybe I can get an A on the test. We’ll see. I have gotten 19 our of 20 on a couple of the exams. but they were early ones, and this last one is a little more difficult.
My final final will be Thursday night at 8:10 pm also. That is my CRJ Sex offenders class. He gave us the questions and answers last week  so I’m confident that if I study I will be able to get an A on the test and in the class.
Then I will be a college graduate. I can’t believe it. Now that I am pretty much finished with school I don’t want to stop.  It was also a great semester to end on. I loved all my classes and I enjoyed learning.

Things I realized this past week

Monday, December 11th, 2006

I like my kids more than I like yours.
Before I had children I loved every one’s children. Now that I have my own, I realize I just like mine more than other peoples. Now I like other peoples kids. I just don’t know what to do with other peoples babies. I watched my sister Kristi’s two daughters on Thursday so she could go to the temple. Katy is four. She and Lilah just played the whole time. Really I don’t mind her. It was just funny because Lilah would talk to her and she would ask quite frequently what Lilah was saying. Katy could only understand about half of what Lilah said. What I realized is I don’t know what to do with other peoples babies. Adrienne is nine months. She’s just a very different baby than my girls, at least what I remember of my girls. She was in a new place so I understand that she was a little touchy. I would put her on the floor to play and if it even looked like I was leaving the room she would cry. She’s been this way sense birth. If she chooses to leave you it’s fine, but if you choose to leave her she cries. She also only falls asleep if you’re holding her. This is due to her sleep deprived father who falls asleep with her all the time, so Adrienne falls asleep with him. It’s mostly that I didn’t know how to react to the crying and neediness. There wasn’t this parental bond with her. I know Kristi lets her cries at times, but how much is too much? Does she respond to me singing? Does she like to be rocked? It turns out she was good in her car seat while I made lunch. She could see me and I sang some silly songs. I held and fed her cheerios while we ate our lunch, she had already been fed. Later she played, even with me gone, because she could see her sister. I had to hold her until she fell asleep and then she only slept for 45 minutes in her car seat. She is a happy baby, but since I didn’t raise and train her or create a certain routine and expectations of her I wasn’t sure what to do with her for a long period of time.
From this experience I also learned that I would not want twins, or closely born children. Eden and Adrienne are less than nine months apart and I realized that I love the age Eden is at, so I wouldn’t want another baby at this point. Plus it’s too much work.

The second thing I realized this week: I talk a lot and sometimes it comes out wrong. People who really know me will probably be laughing at this statement. I often say things that come out badly and then I am teased forever about them. I won’t say any here for fear of posterity realizing how silly their mom/ grandma/ daughter really is. I’m the youngest of six and of course I’ve been teased a lot. For some reason being the youngest as also made me mature. (don’t laugh 🙂 When I was 20 people often thought I was older, and even now other women I know think I’m along 25, not 23. When I teach in church I put a pretty good facade of being wiser than I am, though I was not always this way. When people get me in a social setting I think they then realize how young I am because of my words, or how uncouth I can be. I had a Relief Society social on Friday night. I think one of the women came away thinking I was an unhappy mother in an unhappy marriage. Why you ask? One reason is the age difference. She’s much older than I am so our worlds are very different and two because of some things I said, in which because of the age difference she is unable to relate to me. One thing I said was how I love hearing about my single friends love life, and that I live vicariously through them. (This was while talking to one of our eighteen year old Relief Society sisters.) She thought this funny and I mentioned after nearly five years of marriage there isn’t much excitement. She said then I need to put excitement into it. (all this was in jest) I then corrected myself and said that it wasn’t really the excitement that I missed, it was the newness of the relationship, and I enjoyed hearing about the newness and that excitement that my single friends get to experience. She seemed appeased at this statement, but I’m not sure.
The second thing I said was about my children. Talking about kids I mentioned how I felt I needed to relate to my girls more. That I feel at a lost sometimes at what to do with them. She had replied about how much she loved raising her boys and how fulfilling and fun it was. (Jon mentioned that her memory probably was a little forgetful of any negative feelings she may have felt as a mother since she was now so removed from that stage of her life.) So there it was, I’m an unhappy wife and mother. Really I’m not.I love my kids and I love my husband. My desire for newness is something I consider natural. Women’s downfall is romance. Yes romance. Or that longing for a new relationship and new lust. I say this because if you read any romance novel or watch any show or movie it’s always about finding that new person. So I don’t think I’m alone in my fantasy of newness. Some of you may be saying “Lacey what are you talking about. I’ve been married ten years and it’s still great. You need to get yourself together.” But honestly I’m sure everyone at some point has felt they loved their husband with all their heart, but has longed for the newness of when their relationship was starting. One thing I think society has wrong is that you will always love you husband and if you fall out of love then you probably need to get a divorce. Really marriage is hard work and their will be points you don’t love your husband as much as you think you ought to. Their might be a lucky few who always love their husband with this all consuming love, but honestly I don’t think it’s that way for life. One thing Jon mentioned to me is the beauty of two people choosing to be with one another because they want to be with that other person. Not because they feel forced into a relationship or are codependent, or not even because they love one another, but because they care for that other person and choose to be with them.
Anyways. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become a little better about thinking before I open my mouth, (not always before typing) but really I’m still learning. Maybe someday I can find that couth I’m searching for. 🙂
PS. This is not a post because I like my kids more than my sisters. They were just the example. Though some may say it’s because they are my sisters kids. I really don’t relate to anyone else’s babies as well as my own.
Also parental bond is used in the sense that I have not raised Adrienne, not in the I did not give birth to Adrienne sense. I think biological bonds are overrated.
This are just my after thoughts, because well if you know me you know I’m crazy.