Sunday, March 12, 2017

That Time Scotty Interviewed Me... Five Months Ago

Back in October, I interviewed Scotty for a blog post. Then he decided to interview me for a blog post. He fell asleep 11 questions in (am I that boring?) so we decided to finish the interview later.

That was almost half a year ago, which is a pretty accurate representation of our version of "later."

Today, I found that interview in my draft folder and decided it's time to post... finished or not.

I highly recommend that you interview your spouse once in a while. Just try to stay awake... It makes a difference.


Here are the questions Scotty asked me:

1. Who is your favorite musician or group?

Maroon 5 is definitely up there. I also like Pink.

2. What would you consider to be a perfect date with your husband?

It's not so much about what we do - I think almost any date can be perfect as long as we aren't going to a haunted house. I would love to go on a Disneyland date sometime.

3. What's your dream job?

I would love to be a writer, and I would love to be a choreographer. There's also a part of me that needs to be a professional mascot. The key word is "professional." I don't want to be the Chick-Fil-A cow.

4. What do you consider to be one of the strongest parts of your testimony?

I believe very strongly that there is something more than our earthly existence. A God, a heaven, and life before and after this one.

5. What is your favorite thing to do when you're by yourself?

Depending on my mood - I like to peruse the thrift store or Ross. Pretty much any time I go to the store by myself, it's amazing! Sometimes it's nice to just read a book or take a nap. I'm becoming a napper in my old age. Ha ha!

6. If there was one thing you could teach somebody, what would it be?

I'm not saying I'm capable of this, but if I could choose a topic to throw my heart into, I would love to teach marriage and family classes. I would love to teach preventative courses to help marriages succeed from the beginning so they do not require intervention later.

Update: This is actually happening! I wrote a workshop on happiness in motherhood and am currently teaching it. I am also signed up to become a facilitator for a marriage preparation program, and I will also be piloting a workshop curriculum for an organization beginning in April!

7. If you could pick a dream car, what would it be?

I just want a really awesome van with all the bells and whistles. (Scotty is not convinced that this should be my answer, but I'm for real!)

8. What is one of the hardest things you've ever had to do?

Dealing with some family circumstances.

9. Growing up, what was one of the funnest things to do with your friends?

Sing and dance. Some of my best memories involve turning a song on and going wild.

10. Who is your favorite actor?

I really have a lot. I like Matt Damon, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Tom Hanks, and Michael Caine - to name a few. There are a lot of actors I like.

11. What's something you can't live without (excluding food and water)? 

My cell phone, quality chapstick, and pen and paper.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Other Creative Things

Over the past few weeks, I've channeled my energy into some creative tasks.

For one, I dabbled in making weighted blankets. I made an experimental one for Zoe. I thought I was doing it the "easy" way, but I was actually do it the time-consuming, tedious way (story of my life!)

When it was finished, Zoe wasn't interested in it at all. Eva likes to use it sometimes, and Scotty has been sleeping with it on his legs to help with restless leg.

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The next week I made another blanket and used a completely different process that ended up being much better. I gave that blanket to my friend's daughter who has autism. Now I'm going to make one for someone with fibromyalgia.

A year ago I painted my bathroom. Scotty and I made a frame to go around around the mirror, and I painted the cabinets.

Then I never finished the bathroom. This week I finally bought a shower curtain and hung some stuff on the walls.

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I found the pink trays in the dollar bins at Target for $3. I added hardware to the backs and made them into shelves. I wasn't sure if pink was a good idea, but I figured I could paint them a different color later if I don't like the pink.

Now that it's all up on the wall, I'm sold on the pink. I like the color with the wood sign and the wood detail on the hooks. The pink stays!

(For now... I can guarantee I will paint them or take them down at some point because that's what I do).

Another thing I've been throwing my creativity into is a workshop series I'm teaching for my practicum. My first class is in two days. I'm very excited. I love my topic! I've created a three-part workshop about some of the scientific findings of happiness as well as depression, body image, comparison, perfection, and relationships. 

One part of my workshop that I'm really excited about is that I have prizes to give away! I wasn't required to provide prizes, but as I was reading my textbook that teaches family life educators how to create a workshop curriculum, one of the recommendations was to partner with other organizations. I started thinking about some of the organizations that I follow on Facebook, and I thought, "I wonder if any of them would be willing to donate items for a drawing for my workshops." So I emailed some people. Then I started getting responses. Pretty soon, I had a stack of materials to give away to deserving mothers. 

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Guys.

I love this. The workshop writing. I love to teach, I love to write, I love to learn, and I love to give people stuff. Maybe I'm even good at it. I don't know yet. I'll let you know. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Birthday Poster Round-Up

A few years ago the PTA president at my kids' school asked if I would make a birthday poster each month for the school. I did the posters for two years. Then it became a little too much with school, so I took last year off, but this year I started up again. Here are the posters I have made for this school year so far:

Birthday Poster

Birthday Poster

Birthday Poster

Birthday Poster

Birthday Poster

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It's a fun way to exercise my creative muscles and help out at the school. 

See some of the other posters I've made:


Saturday, March 4, 2017

To act and not be acted upon

Oh, hi.

It's late Saturday night, and I just finished my homework for the week. For the last few semesters, there is at least one class that I completely slack off in. I refer to it as my "back burner" class. Now that I'm finishing the uppest of my upper division courses, I put all of my focus into the more challenging classes and hardly pay attention to the "back burner" classes. 

Here is how my classes have gone for the past three semesters:

Spring 2016
Front burner: PSYCH 201 - Development of the Lifespan
Back burner: CHILD 320 - Adolescent Development

Fall 2016:
Front burner: MATH 221C - Social Science Statistics
Back burner: FAML 430 - Something to do with families... and communities... and I don't even remember. 

Winter 2017 (current):
Front burner: FAML 445 - Practicum
Back burner: FDREL 200 - The Eternal Family
Waaaaaaay back burner: PSYCH 302 - Research Methods

Last week in Sunday School, I was talking to my class about the difference between acting and being acted upon. I gave several scenarios and had the kids identify which scenario is acting and which is being acted upon. 

One of the scenarios I gave was, "Memorizing what you need to know just long enough to take the test." I viewed this as being acted upon, since the motivation is to simply pass the test and move on. Some of my kids disagreed with me, saying, "But you chose to study!" My argument was that, in this scenario, you are being acted upon because you are not taking any action beyond getting the grade. You're being acted upon by the the need to pass the class. 

Another scenario was , "Internalizing what you learn by applying to to your life." I viewed this as the alternative to memorizing what you need to know just long enough to take the test. In this scenario, you are acting because you are taking the initiative to make your education personal, which will result in long-term learning. You are going beyond the grade.

I had to confess to my Sunday school kids that I have spent a lot of my life memorizing what I needed to know for the test - being acted upon - but in those areas where I have acted, I have been truly blessed with wisdom.

After that lesson, I realized that, in my front burner classes, I am acting, and in my back burner classes, I'm being acted upon

Today I had to take a test for Research Methods, my waaaaay back burner class, and as I read through the questions, I thought, "Have I even been reading the right textbook for this class?"

Oops!

Fortunately I got a 'B.'

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Save me

My kids have all been big pukers from birth.

I have a friend with a child who didn't throw up until she was six! When it happened, the child was so freaked out that she started apologizing profusely and thought she was in trouble. She really didn't comprehend what was happening to her.

Then there's my sister-in-law whose daughter has grown to the age of nineteen having only puked about three times.

What the what?!?

Around my house, throw up is just routine. We don't like it, but it's just part of our lives.

In fact, our most recent trip to Disneyland (October 2016) was the first time we've been on vacation and not had a kid throw up.

What the what?!?

Anyway, Eva is currently battling a stomach bug.

It started on Tuesday.

I'd been trying to get in the shower all morning and get Eva dressed to no avail. During one attempt to put Eva's pants on, I had her sitting on my lap in the rocking chair when she suddenly heaved and blew chunks all over me, the chair, and the floor. Then it just kept coming.

I was grateful that I hadn't managed to get either of us ready.

She hadn't acted sick leading up to the vomit, and she didn't act sick afterward, so for the rest of the day, I kind of forgot that she'd thrown up.

That's one of the problems with having frequent pukers... you tend to forget puke happened. This is mostly a result of Zoe's incessant puking from having reflux. She vomited a few times a week for about six months, but since it wasn't from being "sick," we got out of the habit of recognizing throw up as a symptom of a virus.

So I forgot Eva had thrown up until the next morning when she threw up all over the bathroom. Scotty was home at the time, so we tag teamed and got Eva and the bathroom cleaned up.

Then we had to go to the church to help set up for the Blue and Gold banquet.

Again, as stupid as it is, I kind of forgot about the puke thing until Eva threw up in the church's kitchen. Luckily it didn't get anywhere near anything important, and it was easy to clean off the floor.

At that point, reality set in, and I finally recognized that my child was sick.

The problem was, Scotty was leaving on vacation 15 minutes after Eva puked, and she had kind of puked on him. We ran home so Scotty could hurry and change before his ride showed up. Then off he went.

Since Scotty left (over 36 hours ago, but who's counting?) Eva has thrown up 8 more times.

You guys...

I'm sorry to be graphic, but let's talk truth. Eva is not quite two years old. A less-than-two year old can't communicate that she is going to throw up. A less-than-two year old can't aim for a toilet or bowl.

This has resulted in the biggest mess of all messes.

I have shampooed mattresses, the living room chair, and carpet in various areas of the house. I have scrubbed cabinet doors and floors and the kitchen table. I have used every giant bowl in the house (my sink is currently full, and my dishwasher is currently running). I have dirtied piles of rags and towels. Eva has no clean clothes. I have no clean clothes.

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This, hands down, has been the worst of my children's vomiting episodes.

After each incident, I've thrown anything that needs to be laundered to the bottom of the stairs. The pile is huge. It doesn't help that I brought a pile of coats and blankets in from the van this morning and left them on the kitchen floor where they later became a target.

And just to add to the fun, one of my kids peed the bed last night, so I had even more bedding to wash and another mattress to shampoo.

It's about 9:00 p.m. right now, and I'm more than ready to retire for the evening. Please send good vibes my way. I have vomit on my shoe. It's several hours old, and I haven't even bothered to wipe it off. That is indicative that I am surrendering to the vomit. It's becoming a part of me. Don't let me slip away into this world of throw up! Save me!

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The day after I wrote this post, I washed, folded, and put away twelve loads of laundry. My mom also washed two loads of my laundry at her house. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Wherein Justin & I Need to DTR

So... I don't mean to brag, but Justin Timberlake and I have some history.

As indicated by this photo of us together:

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No, really. That's Justin and me in the same frame.

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And a photo like that causes everyone to wonder, "What is going on with you and Justin?"

I know, I know. It's scandalous.

There was that moment where we made eye contact...

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Don't be concerned that his gaze is shifted slightly to the left.

We made eye contact. I stand by that story.

And just to make things more scandalous, Justin smiled in the general direction of my husband once.

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(Don't mind Alfonso Ribeiro. He just feels left out).

But Justin has also given Scotty a look of death.

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I'm not sure what that means for Justin and Scotty.

But back to me...

Last night I stayed up late watching clips of Justin on Fallon. This morning I was listening to a Justin Timberlake song post-workout. I was jammin,' and I started thinking about my relationship with Justin Timberlake.  Am I obsessed with Justin Timberlake?

This is what led me to realize that it's time to DTR.

(I don't actually know how to use the term "DTR." I only know from the teenagers in my life that it's a real thing - define the relationship, for those of you who are "old" like me).

So this is me attempting to DTR with Justin.

I think he's very talented. The boy can sing and dance. He's also very quick-witted. I think sketch comedy suits him very well. I love many of his sketches from SNL and the Tonight Show. I watch the Camp Winnepesauki sketches more than I want to admit ("You mean Africa?... By Toto?") I even dressed as a breast implant for Halloween once in homage to one of Justin Timberlake's SNL sketches ("Plasticville"). The fact that he is good looking is not beyond me.

Everyone knows I'm a Justin fan. My friends send me Justin memes and links to other great Justin-related things. Especially people from church (How funny is it that that's what I'm known for in the ward?)

I love Justin Timberlake. There's no denying it.

But...

I'm not in love with Justin Timberlake. That's where people get confused.

There is no secret poster of him by my bed. I don't doodle Brittany Timberlake in my notebooks.

I'm going to keep Justin in the friend zone. I want to be his Jimmy Fallon, not his Jessica Biel.

Relationship: defined. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

I'd Rather be Human

This week was rough. I don't have any real explanation for it, though. I was really tired all week and in a bit of a funk. I was also stressed with school and family responsibilities. There is an upcoming event that is really eating away at me - I won't bore you with the details, but I will say that it's something I wasn't supposed to have to do, but the people who were supposed to save me didn't save me, and now I have to tend to some responsibilities I thought I was going to be freed from.

So with that looming over me on top of my usual stressors, I think it triggered my depression. I haven't felt this bad in a long time.

After a few days of difficulty, I tried to get out in the sun and get some vitamin D in my system. Since it wasn't super cold (high forties) I took Eva and Zoe to the park.

  Weekend Fun

 It was really bright that day.

  Weekend Fun

They lasted about fifteen minutes before Zoe started whining that she wanted to go home. Zoe doesn't like being away from home, even if it's somewhere fun.  Eva, on the other hand, hates being home. So no matter where I am, I have at least one kid who's unhappy about it.

Later that day, I took Nicky in for his well-child appointment. On the way to the doctor's office, we saw a cloud that reminded us of Peter Pan's pirate ship.

Weekend Fun

That day was a short day at my kids' school, and then they had no school on Friday. Knowing I wasn't feeling the greatest, I was terrified of Friday (and also Monday... which is still to come). I decided I needed a game plan for handling my kids over the weekend, so I took them to Thanksgiving Point, and we bought a family pass. It was a bit of a splurge, but we had some Christmas money left from our parents and decided that would be a good way to spend it.

The kids and I spent Friday morning at the farm. The kids got unlimited pony rides, which is great except that half my kids, apparently, hate ponies.

Weekend Fun

Eva had her first pony ride, and I can't say she was thrilled about it, but she did stay on the horse, which is more than I expected from her (I had the lovely opportunity to walk around in circles holding her on the pony).

We stumbled across a very friendly calf who wanted some love. She was trying to snuggle all of us, and then she started nibbling my hair.

Weekend Fun

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe the calf wasn't looking for love. Maybe it was looking for food. It pretty much licked or chewed on every single one of us.

Weekend Fun

There was also a mama cow I had to get a picture of because she had a big old string of snot coming out of her nose.

Weekend Fun

I enjoy animals, but I am also very thankful to not be one. How would it be to be a cow and not be able to enjoy the satisfying feeling of blowing your nose into a tissue from a box you stole from a hotel room?

I'm also glad that I don't have crazy eyes like this goat.

Weekend Fun

And can you imagine how crappy it would be to be a ram and have big old horns blocking your peripherals and resting against your face?

Weekend Fun

This is what I'm going to think about from now on when I'm sad or stressed.

At least I'm not a ram!

(Is that even a ram? I don't really know).


I guess when given the choice, I'll be a depressed human rather than a stinky farm animal.