Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 836: Breathing Again

Thanks to pregnancy congestion and allergies, I haven't slept well in ages.  Or, at least it feels like that.

But this morning I woke up and could only remember waking up one other time in the night.  And that was a gigantic Joyful Moment right there.  Not only does the lack of sleep make me exhausted, but lying awake for hours is kind of depressing.

Then I began the day I've been stressing over for a couple weeks now.  Mainly because I had to have an ultrasound since I've has been measuring on the small side for the last few visits.  I've been concerned about what that means, all the while knowing that most likely, everything is fine.  But there's just that little bit of doubt.

Turns out, she's measuring right on schedule to the day.  And even the external measurement of my uterus was more accurate today.  And everything else looked great.  She continues to be quite healthy.  I couldn't ask for more.  That was an indescribably enormous Joyful Moment.

And then HH picked up this for me:

From brother and his sweet wife.  I love love love these things.  Ah, so yummy!  Forgive the poor picture, but I could barely keep the kids hands off of it long enough to snap this.

And then we devoured it.

Thank you!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that make a previously dreaded day become most wonderful!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 835: Light It Up!

I forgot to mention yesterday that strawberries were on a seriously wicked sale, so I might have bought 12 pounds of them.  And, so far, I've made 15 jars of freezer jam.  Yay!  I plan to make at least a couple more batches on Monday.  Hip hip hooray!

So, that was another Joyful Moment for yesterday.  But it kind of got overshadowed by my time with HH.

On to today.  Where to begin?

Sleeping in was a seriously delightful Joyful Moment.  I made it all the way to 8:05 AM.  (of course, I was awake from 4:30 to 6:30 thanks to fabulous pregnancy congestion...)  But it was really nice to not have any little people barging into our room, for just one morning.  And a leisurely breakfast.  Then we headed out.

We hadn't intended to shop at all during our weekend sans children, but it ended up happening anyway.  We picked up a couple of noise makers to try and help those struggling to ever get enough sleep (me and Baby B).  We checked out some shotguns and accessories since that was what HH was supposed to get for Christmas.

Of last year.

We finally found a set of matching lamps for our bedroom.  Actually, we found two potentials, but after setting them both up tonight, there was a definite winner.  Maybe I'll remember to take a picture some time so you can see...  But having those is a big Joyful Moment.

And then we headed off the beaten path to try a lesser known restaurant.  It was a vegetarian place and definitely unique, but super tasty.  The menu varies, but is pretty simple.  Today it was four variations of mac n' cheese and four soups.  We both opted for mac--HH got a baby bella mac and I got the chipotle mac.  I liked mine best, but both were quite yummy.  And you know that good food always brings me Joyful Moments.

Then we took our very full tummies to the movie theater (it's only been three years since we last saw a movie together in the theater) and watched the Hunger Games.  I loved it.  Seriously.  And I was quite pleased with the casting (I'm usually pretty picky about this when it comes to book-based movies).  All except Peeta.  Ew.

And, of course, reuniting with the kids was another Joyful Moment.  And hearing all about how much fun they had jumping on their friends' new trampoline.  And being satisfied that no one had been seriously injured on said trampoline.

Yeah, it was a really great Saturday.

Wishing you all really great Saturdays!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 834: Home Alone

We dropped the kids off at our friends' house again this evening for another weekend to ourselves before Darling A comes.

But, this time, we decided to just stay home.  Well, in town, at least.  We still went out to dinner.  We tried out a highly recommend new restaurant.  It was good, but not the best.  Still a Joyful Moment because I got to sit and chat with my HH without anyone interrupting us.

We also purchased some new dress shoes for him.  The soles of his old shoes have been cracked for quite some time.  I keep trying to find time to buy him some new ones, but he never makes it a priority.  He always tells me that the rest of the shoe is fine, it's just the bottom.  Not a big deal.

Unless it rains.

So, I was very happy to finally make this happen.  And not having little people running around pulling every other shoe off the rack made it all the more of a Joyful Moment.

Then we enjoyed a quiet evening in playing a couple games--I got my first Yahtzee ever (at least as far as I can remember).  Always a Joyful Moment there.  And we had a really nice long verbal stroll down memory lane.  It was really fun.  And relaxing.  And so nice to just be together.

I love my HH.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and at least one Yahtzee in your life!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 833: Busy Toddlers

A couple months ago, a friend invited me to participate in a Toddler Busy Bag Swap.  I don't typically sign up for these things because I struggle with any sort of commitment, as you well know.  But, for some reason, I signed up for this one.

Tonight was the Swap Night.  And my first Joyful Moment was eating the delicious treats made by my friend.  So yummy.  But it was also a Joyful Moment in visiting with friends and then in seeing all of the super fun things they'd created.

Baby B (and the older two) will be well-entertained!  I'm going to mainly reserve them for church, as this is a very difficult time to keep him quietly busy, but some will also come in handy during long car drives, and others will be nice to have when my hands (and arms) are busy with the new baby.

And, even though I chose the easiest idea out there, I've spent a great deal of time stressing over my own contribution to the swap.  I volunteered for this Twist Tie bag.  I mean, it doesn't get more basic than that, right?

Sort of.

You'd be amazed at how difficult plastic bottles are to come by.  Glass jars--yes.  But that's not exactly what you want to be handing to your little toddler to keep his/her hands busy.  I finally ended up going with bubble bottles.

Twist ties ended up being quite a challenge as well.  You can't buy just twist ties at the store.  And the ones that come with garbage bags just aren't very nice.  Plus they're short and skinny.  The grocery store has some lovely, long, thick green twist ties in the produce department, but they weren't sure how they felt about selling them to me.  Amazon has some, but they were black and plastic and I just didn't like them very much.

I am certain that pregnancy hormones had absolutely nothing to do with my finickiness here.

So, I briefly contemplated driving around town and, um, "taking" 20, or so from the produce department of each store.  I never use these on my own bags, so it would just be like catching up on all that I'd never used and not like stealing, right?

Well, it didn't really sit well.  Plus, I didn't exactly feel like driving all over town.

And then I remembered something.  Someone gave Little M a package for this past Christmas.  But, we had to travel quite some distance with it and by the time we got home, the wrapping had come completely off.  It had torn a bit on a couple of the other gifts, but this one was totally unwrapped.  And that's how I knew it was a package of Bendaroos.  Which look like a ton of fun and are something I wanted my kids to have, but it was a Spongebob package.  I have serious beef against Spongebob.

Again, no pregnancy hormones were at play here at all.  I am sure.

So, I decided to exchange it for a different one at the store.

But I didn't.

Christmas came and went and this box stayed hidden, and eventually forgotten, on the top shelf in my closet.  Saturday night, HH and I were sorting through the potential gifts for Baby B.  I buy these things when I find them on sale or clearance throughout the year and put them all up on the top shelf in my closet.  Saves money, time, and stress.

And that is when the Bendaroos were rediscovered.  Not a month ago when it was Little M's birthday.  Then they somehow stayed hidden.  But now, they made their appearance.  And I set it aside, deciding to just give Little M the gift and overlook the Spongebob problem.

But I didn't get around to it.  And then, two nights ago, I couldn't sleep because I couldn't figure out how to make my twist tie project and I didn't want to let my friends down.  And I might have some hormone-induced struggles that cause me to obsess over weird non essentials.

And then I thought of the Bendaroos.

And yes, my friends, I do believe that this whole long story was a tender mercy from a loving Heavenly Father.

And I finally fell asleep.

I was able to divvy up the Bendaroos (with a plethora still left over for my own children, for anyone concerned about Little M missing out) into the emptied bubble bottles.  Bada bing, bada boom--project complete.

The End.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are a little lengthy, but important to remember!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 832: Changing Stripes

Growing up, my mom always made sure to announce on the 25th of every month how many more months until Christmas.

I find myself doing the same thing.  HH thinks it's weird.

But do you realize that we are already 1/3 of the way to Christmas?  Can you believe it?!  It feels like it was just barely Christmas morning and I was washing load after load of laundry because half of my family was stricken with the plague.

Ah, good memories.


After three kiddos and billions of diapers, our changing table pad was in pretty sad shape.  The thin plastic  covering had ripped in so many places.  I'd given up on taping them because Baby B would just pick at the tape and rip it off, ripping the plastic even further.

So, I'd added "sew new waterproof cover for changing table" to my list of things to get done before Darling A arrives.

But, I'm not much of a seamstress.  And, I know I haven't really mentioned (or whined) about it here, but I'm REALLY tired and severely lacking in motivation.  So, it kept getting put off.

And then we saw a bunch of those patterned Duck Tapes at the store last weekend.  I'd never given these much thought beyond, "Weird.  Who cares what their Duck tape looks like?"

But suddenly, a brilliant idea began formulating in my brain.

Who needs to locate waterproof fabric, cut it, or sew it when you have cute Duck Tape?

Ta-Da!  This was my Joyful Moment today.  (Ignore the badly scratched paint.)  Isn't the pad super cute?  I'm totally in love with it.  Even HH was pretty excited about what a difference it made.  I really should have done a before, but it was in a very embarrassing state.  And this took hardly any time to do at all.  Unlike sewing, which would have taken me hours because I'm sewing-impaired.

Can you tell how happy this made me?

SO happy.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that make you SO (not sew) happy!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 831: Friends and Surprises

Today I got to Visit Teach a friend.  So wonderful to catch up with her and chat with her.  Joyful Moments.  And then let our kids play at her park, for as long as I could stand the heat.  Not long, unfortunately.  We're having a very strange spring for the North Pole.

And then HH surprised us by coming home super early.  Super wonderful.

And we all did a bunch of yard work together.  The yard is looking so much better than it was a month ago and I get a little Joyful Moment every time I look at it.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and Spring that feels like Spring and not Summer!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 830: Panic Attacks

I had several of those today.

I'm way past the point of exhaustion where I typically can finally sleep well for at least one night simply because my body is too worn out to do anything else.

Sadly, that one night of relief is still eluding me.

A part of it is my ability to hold onto stress (and stress over anything and everything) that becomes especially heightened during pregnancy.  Yay hormones.  So, I lie awake at night freaking out about all sorts of things, both important and ridiculous in nature.

And by the time I got out of bed this morning, I was a frazzled wreck.  I wrote everything down in a to-do list, hoping that would help.  But every time I looked at that list, or my calendar for the week, I would have a panic attack.  Complete with shaking and difficulty breathing.  Yay, hormones.

Have I mentioned here how amazing my HH is?

He helped keep me grounded throughout the day.  And I was actually able to knock several of the items off of my list, which helped quite a bit.  And then tonight, he stayed home and put the kids to bed while I ran to a craft store to get supplies for three current projects I have going.  And that was a huge sigh of relief.

Then we talked about all of my stresses as we got ready for bed.  He did a great job listening and being supportive, without swooping in and trying to "fix" everything.  Mostly, we talked about what we're going to do with our kids when I go into labor.  We don't live close to family, so it's difficult to know who to ask.  But nights in the hospital can be a pretty bad time for me if I'm alone and I really don't want to start things off badly when Darling A finally arrives.  So, we're trying to figure out how we can make it work to have HH at the hospital with me without placing an undo burden on any of our friends.  Because taking on three extra children for a couple days is kind of a big deal.

Anyway, when we finally settled into bed, he lightly rubbed my back for a few minutes as I did my best to shut my mind off from worry-mode and over to sleep-mode.  His gentle touch on my back was definitely today's Joyful Moment.

I love my HH.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and the ability to let go of silly stress!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 836: Collective Sigh of Relief

I kind of had a meltdown this evening.  One thing led to another and I just got more and more overwhelmed by all of the tasks at hand.

And HH was his typical, steadfast and useful self.  He listened to me talk it all out and then helped me get some important things done.  Mainly several necessary phone calls.

And I felt a ton better.  Making it a Joyful Moment.

And I might have someone to watch the kids--at least, the nights while I'm at the hospital.  That was a pretty big Joyful Moment, as well.

Overlook the sleepy-weird look, but here is my 7 month (plus a week) baby bump.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that make you feel a ton better!

Day 829: Two-Choo!

Today Baby B turned two.

Which is just plain crazy because I started this 1,000 days thing while he was still in utero.  And I can't believe how quickly time flies.

And it makes me a little sad.

Speaking of sad,

This is how we started our morning.

Don't worry, he didn't burn himself on the candle.

He didn't blow it out either.  HH helped him.

And eventually, he got over his sadness (started by me asking him if he wanted to wear a party hat like the other kids were.  I know--I'm such a mean mommy.)  And he adored the lemon poppy seed bread I'd made for breakfast.

I always try to make their favorite foods, but he is difficult because I couldn't exactly ask him what he wanted.  Besides, he will be scarfing something down one minute and decide it's disgusting the next.  There are very few things he likes consistently.

So, I took a gamble with the bread and it was a huge hit.  He ended up wanting it for lunch, too.

This is how the day ended though.  Much better.  This is the back of his train cake.  It looked better from the front, but I love the look on his face here.  He was so excited.

Which was, of course, a Joyful Moment for me.  And really, the day was full of Joyful Moments.  He was so cute about everything (besides the party hat at breakfast).  I bought him a balloon the night before and he found it first thing and was so delighted to have his very own balloon.

He was equally thrilled with his gifts.  So much so that HH and I decided to actually put one back in the gift storage for Christmas.  He was just so ecstatic over the first present he opened--a Zhu Zhu pet--that he could barely focus on any of the others.  Hearing his delighted giggles over its silly sounds and all was another Joyful Moment.

All in all, it was a really good day.  And I owe a huge part of that to HH for being my solid rock as I teetered on the brink of breakdowns throughout the day due to hardly sleeping for the past several nights in a row.

The best thing I've ever done was to marry him.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments completed by a balloon!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 828: You Hear Dat?

Baby B says that to me all of the time.  Usually, I do hear whatever unexpected sound he is referring to.  Today it went like this:

"You hear dat?"

"I do.  What do you think it is? (It sounded like big bells ringing)"

"Um.  Bananas."

We were walking back to our car after a fun morning at the zoo.

This is the best picture I got of the three of them.

It was our first time back to the zoo since it opened this year.  And you might remember that Baby B was seriously ill at the big zoo we went to a couple weeks ago.

So, this was his first real zoo encounter in a while.  And he's finally a great age for it.  He was so excited about everything.  Squealing and giggling in delight over every new animal and exhibit.  It was so cute and fun.  Definitely a Joyful Moment.

And really, it was a Joyful Moment to spend time with all of the kids.  HH was participating in a 60-mile bike ride, so we needed a good way to fill the time.  And our little zoo fit the bill perfectly.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that sound as lovely as bananas!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 827: Hats Off

Yesterday's ickiness rolled over into today.  It didn't help that I woke up at 3:45 and couldn't fall back to sleep.

We struggled through our morning and finally made it to the gym.

Where a friend presented me with a darling crocheted hat she made for Darling A.  Oh my goodness!  It is SOOOOOOO cute!  And I can't wait take pictures of her wearing it!  Which is why I decided against posting a photo of it tonight.  It is very cute all by itself, but I guarantee it will be infinitely more adorable when it's on my adorable baby's head.


I'm so excited for newborn pics.

Anyway, getting that hat was of course more than enough to shake my bad mood and bring me a Joyful Moment.  I love my talented and generous friends!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments brought to you by generous friends!

Day 826: Duet

First, I should clarify:  Pie Night is when a group of my friends get together at Village Inn on Wednesday night to take advantage of their free pie.  Order anything, and you get a free slice of pie with it.  So, I always order whatever sounds good to me (last night it was onion rings and they stopped sounding good after the first two--hooray for pregnant hormones!) and get the pie to go.

And I bring it home to HH.

He loves pie and cannot get enough of it.

Anyway, today started off rough.  Getting out of bed is always a challenge.  Well, these days, anyway.  I'm normally quite the morning person.  But this pregnancy has brought me to an entirely new level of exhaustion.  Awesome.

Getting out of bed after being out late for Pie Night was even more challenging.  And then both boys immediately started crying at breakfast.  For very different, albeit silly (in my opinion), reasons.  Good start to the day.

But we survived.

Although, that was kind of the theme for the day.  We just "survived" it.

All the more reason why I'm grateful for days like yesterday to remind me that it is possible to feel happy without amazing things happening.  And that I will get back to being happy the majority of the time again.  Just probably not while I have this cute little thing growing in my tummy.

Anyway, tonight was Sweet P's violin lesson.  They're gearing up for the recital next month.  This time she is playing a duet with her instructor.

And it sounds SO good!  Every time I hear it, I want to cry.

Tonight she did fabulously well and it was definitely my Joyful Moment.  I'm so proud of her and all of the hard work she puts into this.  Pretty impressive for someone so young.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are so beautiful you want to cry!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 825: Normalcy

Today I felt pretty normal, emotionally speaking.  Which means that I felt happy.  Like me again.

And that was a really nice Joyful Moment.

I even surprised HH when he called to say he was on his way home because I didn't have anything grumpy to say or complain about.  It was kind of like neither one of us knew how to end the conversation since his typical, "I'm sorry.  Hang in there, Hon.  I'll be home soon to give you a break" wasn't really applicable.

I also had a Joyful Moment when I got a phone call from a support center letting me know that all of the crazy insurance hoops have been jumped through and things are proceeding perfectly for Sweet P to be able to continue with the necessary treatment for a minor (but expensive) condition she has.  We are very blessed because the staff at her doctor's office and at this support center take care of pretty much everything besides a few signatures.  I am so grateful that I don't have to deal with all the ins and outs of insurance coverage.  But it also leaves us in the dark for quite a while, not knowing how things are proceeding.  So, it's nice to know what is going on.  And to have it be exactly what we need.

And then another Joyful Moment going out with a bunch of girlfriends tonight for pie.  Again.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and happy, normal days!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 824: Longevity

Today was Little M's pre-K physical.  We all shared a Joyful Moment when the doctor announced that he'd had his booster shots last year and didn't need any today.

But the Joyful Moment I experienced when she offered to freeze off his nasty wart right then and there, might have been mine alone.

I'm pretty sure he got it at the swimming pool.  I was trying to treat it with essential oils, but I'm way too forgetful to do it with any sort of consistency.  So, when I was asking for a dermatologist recommendation and she said she'd take care of it today, it was a Joyful Moment for me.

Not so much for Little M who had heard scary stories from HH about how they take care of wart removal.  He was super brave, though, and blinked back his tears during the painful part of the procedure.  Cute, but kind of makes me sad to see my Little M trying so hard to be tough.  What is it that compels men (big and small) to do this?

Anyway, for those of you ready for a complete subject change--my main Joyful Moment today was remembering throughout that it was my parents' 37th wedding anniversary.  How fabulous is that?  I'm so blessed to have such wonderful parents who are completely committed to each other and great examples of love.

So, congratulations, you two!  Thanks for being so amazing and wonderful!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that come from great commitment!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 823: Eat Pie

Those were the wise words of Baby B last night.

I found myself in the midst of a plethora of strawberries.  So, I made HH's favorite fresh fruit pie.  Except that his favorite way is with peaches.  But strawberries are in season.  Peaches, not so much.

Fortunately, he's a big strawberry fan, too.  And once again, making him pie was a Joyful Moment for me.

And apparently, so is Baby B.  Especially, when they're layered with a sweetened condensed milk/lemon juice mixture, piled on a graham cracker crust, and topped with whip cream.

He ate three slices.  Granted, they were smaller than everyone else's piece.  But, still!  He just kept asking for "Mo?"  And then when I reached for the pie, he'd nod emphatically, while saying, "Yeah, yeah."  It was so cute.

But the best was when HH walked in and asked him if he wanted to get ready for bed.  That was when he very matter-of-factly responded, "Eat pie."

It was another Joyful Moment.  And a great laugh shared with HH.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and someone wise enough to tell you when it's time to eat pie!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 822: Sirens in the Night

Today's Joyful Moment came literally at the start of the day.  12 AM.

When we could go finally go to the bed because they lifted the tornado warning for our area.  And the tornado sirens finally stopped wailing.

A few weeks ago, they did a siren test right as I was running past a siren.  That was unbelievably jarring and unpleasant.

Sirens in the night, however, are just plain freaky.

I'll take the shrill blast right in my ear in the middle of the day with nary a cloud in sight any day, over what we experienced last night.

Even though the storm was north of us and headed further north, it was still scary.  HH and I debated back and forth whether or not to move the children, but eventually felt okay to just listen to the radio and watch out the window as the storm approached.

Maybe not the wisest thing.

And I promise that if the funnel cloud had touched down, or been closer to us, it would have been well worth the disrupted sleep to keep the kids safe.  But logically, it seemed like we were okay.  And in my heart, I felt at peace.  Baby B is still recovering and very much in need of sleep.

Waking up this morning with how little sleep we got, thanks to the sirens and the terror, was not a Joyful Moment.  In case you were wondering.

But you really can't put a price on a safe family.  And still having an intact roof over our heads.  So, I shan't complain too much.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and peaceful, quiet nights!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 821: Power Shop

Today was nuts.

This morning was just seriously one of those mornings where it seemed like everyone and everything was against me.  I'm not going to even delve into all the madness that happened (or how poorly I handled it).

But we did stop for RealFruit Slushes from Sonic on our way home from picking up HH and his broken down bike.  Those are delicious and a cause for a Joyful Moment.

Then we had some crazy storms hit.  Torrential downpours and a tornado warning.  Or watch.  I can't remember.

I had been planning on my weekly grocery trip.  But the rain was coming so hard and fast, there was talk of flooding.  Plus, I didn't feel like getting soaked on my way to and from the car.

So, I took a nap.

Given my level of exhaustion, anytime I successfully get a nap it is a Joyful Moment.

The storms eased up (or so I thought) around dinner time, so I headed out immediately after to get my groceries.  And I did it in record time.  Usually, I get there, list in hand, ready to speed through and then somehow and hour, or two goes by before I make my way back out of the store.  And I'm not really sure what happened, where they went, or why I'm still missing 2-5 things from my list.

But not tonight.  Tonight I somehow was able to stay focused and get what I needed in a relatively short amount of time.

This is always a Joyful Moment because it means more time with my HH.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and quick, dry grocery trips!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 820: Hands UP!

That was the advice we kept giving Sweet P today.

To help her pass her TaeKwonDo testing tonight.

Little M tested as well, but his was pretty basic and simple.

Case in point--They warm up together first and then begin the testing.

A little while into things I turned to HH and said, "Oh shoot!  They're testing!"  (We hadn't been paying the strictest attention.)  He calmly replied, "Nah.  It's still the warm up."  I said, "I'm going to go in and take pictures anyway."

And guess what--They were testing.

Sweet P's testing was a bit more technical and involved more areas.

This is her doing her Ho-Am Form.  I'm not going to say she looks like a real natural doing it, but she remembered all of the steps right the first time through (they get up to three tries).  And that was a Joyful Moment for me.

But probably, the biggest Joyful Moment was watching her spar and KEEP HER HANDS UP.  She's not the best spar-er either, but she did a great job remembering to keep her hands up and protect her face.  Some day I'll have to get a good picture of her in her sparring gear.  Pretty funny, if you ask me.

Here's keeping our fingers crossed that we don't receive a phone call on Monday telling us that one of them has to re-test!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and the ability to remember to protect your face, above all else!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 819: Greaner Cleaner

I spelled that wrong on purpose.

Just for fun.

Wasn't it fun?

Tonight was the second activity I was in charge of for Relief Society (the women, ages 18 and up in my congregation at church).  I had a lot more input in this one and it was WAAAAAAAAAAAAY less stressful.

It was an evening about homemade cleaners.

Another woman had volunteered that she would like to teach how to make homemade laundry detergent. So, she taught that in the kitchen, while I taught some other household cleaning stuff in the adjacent room.

And, for the most part, it was just a fun evening.  I got to share the information I've gathered over the past year, or two and I learned a bit more from what other people knew, as well.  Joyful Moment.  And hopefully, a little more "green" in the lives of those around me.

Here are the recipes, if you're interested:

*Although, here's a little disclaimer.  The first three recipes are from the other lady who taught.  Super cool and amazingly talented woman.  However, I differ a bit with her.  I used to use Fels Naptha until I did a little research and learned that it has a skin irritant warning on the label and that it has chemicals that pollute water sources.  Now I use a goats milk soap laundry bar.

Laundry Soap recipe

1 grated bar of Fels Naptha (my favorite or you can use any other kind of bar soap)
1 cup borax
1 1/2 cups of Super Washing Soda (I add the extra half a cup only because I have really hard water)
5 gallon bucket

In a pot half full of water...heat up & add the grated soap. Stir until all melted...this can take take a little while.

In 5 gallon bucket add the powders and fill half way with hot water..STIR

When the soap is all melted, pour into bucket. Fill the rest of the way with hot water and STIR.

Let sit overnight....mix and your ready. But this is super concentrated! You can do half water and half soap. So your 5 gallons is actually 10 gallons of soap. 

Use 1/4 cup per load. Pesky stains just add right to stain and rub, let sit for a bit and then wash. I try to leave at least a gallon undiluted for this reason.
I use a Downy ball filled to the line with vinegar for the rinse. 

Dishwasher Soap

1 Box Borax
1 Box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
24 packages of unsweetened lemonade drinking mix, like Kool-aid (sounds crazy but it works) Or a bottle of Citric Acid from the canning section
3 cups Epsom salt 
use vinegar for a rinse aid

Mix everything together and use just 1 Tbsp per load.

Baby Wipes

1 Roll of Select a size paper towels. (the nicer the paper towels the nicer the wipes...think thickness)
2 - 2 1/2 cups very warm water (depends on how wet you like your wipes)
1 1/2 t  baby oil. (pick up from the sample section)
1 1/2 t baby wash (pick up from the sample section)
2 containers big enough to hold the wipes WITH A LID

Cut your paper towels in you have two half will look like tp now (put one aside for next time)
in your container add the water...2 cups water and all the other ingredients...then put your paper towels cut side down
Invert the container after a min to make sure the wipe solution reaches the top of your wipes.
after at least 5 minutes turn them over and pull out the brown center...put in the start pulling your wipes from the center. 

All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

Mix one part vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle.  Add a few drops of various essential oils (lavender, melaleuca, and lemon are my favorites).  Good on glass, counter tops, toilets, walls, etc.  Don't use on marble.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Pour a bucket of water to make the toilet drain automatically w/out refilling.  Sprinkle baking soda generously.  Pour in a cup, or so, of vinegar.  Let fizz for several minutes (for stains leave on 2 hours, or overnight), then scrub with toilet brush.

Wood Cleaner/Polish

Combine two parts lemon juice and 1 part olive oil.  Pour a small amount on a clean rag and polish finished wood surfaces.

Fabric Softener

Add 1/2 C. baking soda or 1/4 C. vinegar during the rinse cycle.  Or just use the homemade laundry detergent when washing and be sure to shake each clothing article (to get it unpadded) before tossing it into the dryer.  I found that I don't need to do anything else to make my clothes soft and static-free.

Clogged Drains

Pour 1/2 C. baking soda down drain.  Add 1/2 C. vinegar and 1/2 C. salt.  Let sit 15 minutes.  It will bubble and gurgle.  Pour hot water down drain while covering face with hand for protection.

My Favorites

Vinegar--Disinfectant and deodorizer.  Its smell disappears when it dries.

Lemon--Antibacterial and smells fabulous!

Baking Soda--Non-abrasive cleanser and deodorizer.

Essential Oils--Antibacterial, Antiviral, and some are also antifungal.  They smell wonderful.  You can find them many places including Hobby Lobby,  or

Wishing you all clean and green Joyful Moments!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 818: Don't Mess

Today was not my favorite day.

I might be a little more prone to irritability when I'm pregnant.


All I know is, today pretty much everyone was bugging me, or making me mad.

Not the best of feelings to be having.

But I did have a nice chat with my mom this morning.  That was a Joyful Moment.  And more sweet snuggles with my Baby B.  His fever seems to finally be dropping a bit.  I'm not sure it that was truly Joyful though.  Good news, for sure, but not really Joyful.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and the sense to give a cranky pregnant lady her space!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 817: Pobrezino

Both of my parents served missions for my church in Brazil and thus, speak Portuguese.  They didn't raise us to speak it fluently, but there were a few words that we heard repeatedly.

Pobrezino (I have no idea how to really spell it) was one of my dad's favorites.

It's basically like the Spanish "pobrecito", "poor baby".

This picture is actually from yesterday, but it shows you what we were leading up to for today.  I got him into the doctor this morning to see what was going on.  I'm so sleep deprived that I had to stop her and ask her if she had said that Baby B has pneumonia about a minute after she actually said it.

Poor Baby!

And kind of freaked me out.

So, we took it easy today.  With a lot of snuggling.  A few times, he climbed down from my lap and wandered off.  When I would go check for him, he was always curled in a little ball on his bed sleeping.  I  guess it's a good thing we switched to the toddler bed, so he could climb in all by himself.

So, it was kind of a sad day, but there were some Joyful Moments to be found in all of the snuggling with my darling baby boy.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are decidedly pneumonia-free!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 816: I Love To See The Temple

I mentioned yesterday that we were going to Kansas City to see a new temple.  After a temple is built for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is open to the public for a few weeks before being dedicated to the Lord.  After this dedication, only baptized members over the age of 12 possessing a card known as a "recommend" can enter the temple to participate in service and to receive instruction.  A recommend is obtained by abiding by specific standards (i.e. paying tithing and obeying the laws of whatever country you live) and keeping the Commandments.

Our children have been to the outside of a few temples and about a month ago asked if they could ever go inside.  So, I was ecstatic when I found out about the new Kansas City Temple.  A bit of a drive, but totally worth it to share something so special with my children.

Sweet P and Little M were so quiet and reverent the entire time we were touring the beautiful interior.  They listened to what our guide said and were respectful of all the beautiful furniture and decor.  I am convinced that it was the spirit of the place that affected them so.

Baby B, on the other hand, had had a very very very rough night of sleep thanks to a horrible cough and a beginning fever.  He was clearly not feeling well and was crabby.  All things considered though, he did pretty well throughout the tour.

We can't take pictures inside, but I took several outside.  This was my favorite.  I would have loved to have Baby B in it as well, but he wasn't having any of that.

It was a little bright, but here's our latest family picture!

The morning was definitely a Joyful Moment.  I just can't express how thrilled I was to share this with my children and how wonderfully they responded.

We spent the rest of the day at the Kansas City Zoo (after getting changed back at the hotel, of course).  There were many Joyful Moments to be had there, as well, but they were all kind of dampened by Baby B's rapidly deteriorating condition.  His fever rose and rose and his breaths were becoming more and more difficult.  It was definitely worrisome and I was quite grateful when we finally headed home.

We were a little shocked when we got home to be greeted by an anxious Z.  Some friends were letting her in and out of the kennel at night and in the morning and apparently had misunderstood that she was supposed to be let all the way outside that morning!  So, she had spent the entire day locked inside our house without access to food, water, or (ahem) acceptable facilities.

I felt bad for her, but it was a Joyful Moment to walk through the house and discover that she had behaved herself 100%.  No accidents and no destruction.  We were quite relieved.

So was she.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments in beautiful places!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 815: Bunny Buns

Baby B didn't sleep well last night.

Translation:  I didn't sleep well last night.

And I was more than a little cranky this morning.  I did my best to put on a happy face.  It was Easter after all!

I made these "bunny buns" for breakfast.  If you look carefully, you can see the two ears at the top, a bump for the back of the head, a bump for the body, and a little tail sticking out at the bottom.  They were probably my Joyful Moment.

As was watching the kids' faces as they saw the fun stuff the Easter Bunny brought and then did an egg hunt around the house.  Pretty cute.

It was a very different Easter because after getting home from church we finished preparations for a quick trip out of town.  A new temple has been built in Kansas City, MO and we wanted the kids to see it.

So, we packed.  Took a nap (to help make up for the awful night before) and then headed off.

The drive actually went pretty well and the kids were all quite excited at the prospect of staying in a hotel.  Because hotels are the epitome of excitement when you're under 10.

It ended up being an okay day, but really didn't feel much like Easter.  Still, I am grateful for my Savior who died for me and then conquered death and lives again, so I can live again with Him and my family forever.  And though I love Easter, I don't need a holiday to make me remember what an indescribably amazing gift that is.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and yummy buns for breakfast!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 814: Hunting

This morning started off with an Easter egg hunt and breakfast at the church.  It was more fun than I expected.  The kids had a blast with the Easter egg hunt.

Baby B could barely hold in all of his excitement.

HH and I decided a little while ago that it's time to switch Baby B over to a toddler bed.  He's climbing out of his crib all the time and at least with a toddler bed he'll be able to climb back in unassisted.

Plus, someone else will be needing the crib in a little while.

So, today I went out in search of bedding.

Difficult because it needed to go with Little M's bedding which my mom and I designed and sewed.  But my Joyful Moment came when I found THE perfect quilt.

No one will appreciate this as much as my mom since she got up close and personal with the bedspread we made (mostly her) for Little M.  Those tan patches are actually corduroy, which his bedspread also has sections of in the same color.  What are the chances?

I love target.

Baby B was pretty excited about the new bed and the new pillow pet.  Until bed time rolled around, of course.

But we did have more Joyful Moments making our traditional Easter morning cookies in prep for tomorrow!

Wishing you all Joyful Moment and perfectly matching corduroy!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 813: Chugga Choo Choo

Baby B has the cutest way of saying that.

Not a biased mom at all.

He's a little obsessed with trains, so I told HH I wanted to take him to a train yard, or somewhere where he could get up close and personal with a real train.

HH one-upped that and arranged for the kids to ride a train.  A real live train.  Well, not live, but you know...

The children of a co-worker (and really good friends) came down for the fun as well.  They all got hard hats and safety glasses because it was so dangerous.

Not really.  It was mostly just for fun.

They had a blast.  Although, Baby B was a lot more excited to watch the train in action as it came toward us than he was to actually ride it.

Still, the fun all of the kids had plus seeing HH during the day and having lunch all together was plenty of Joyful Moments for one day.

And if that wasn't enough, the kids and I had a fun, relaxed afternoon out front watching a new house get the foundation poured across the street.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments just dangerous enough to require hard hats!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day 812: More Snuggle Time

Did I mention that I've got crazy allergies going on right now?  It seems to be the curse of several of the pregnant women around town.  No fun at all.

So, sleep was a bit evasive last night.  I can't sleep when I can't breathe.  Weird.

Waking up this morning was a challenge.  But my little Baby B came charging in full of enthusiasm and cheer a few minutes before I had to get out of bed to get Sweet P up.  He asked to be lifted up and then just snuggled in next to me.  Contentedly sucking away on his cute little thumb.  Just happy as a clam to be right there next to me.

This did not make it easier for me to get out of bed.  How I wished I could make that Joyful Moment last!  It was so sweet and snuggly.  I asked him if we should get up and he said, with his thumb still snug in his mouth, "No."

But then, I mentioned breakfast, and that did the trick.

He's a big fan of "bestast".

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that start your day off very very right!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 811: HH Time

Today was one of those days that just kept coming at me like an 18-wheeler.

And for some inexplicable reason, I decided it would be a great day for another 6-mile run.

Around mile 4, my body informed me that it's ready to put a pause on 6-milers until after the baby.  But, I still had 2 miles to go until I was back at the gym (they let me run outside.  It's awesome) and I couldn't bare the thought of how painfully long and slow it would be to walk back.

It's a good thing I'm stubborn because that is the only thing that got me through the last half mile.

Anywho, then I got home and things just kept coming bam BAM BAM!

But I survived them all.  HH got to listen to me complain and was kind and compassionate every time.  And the day did have a couple highlights.

Went to the dentist first thing this morning and my teeth are sparkly clean.  The dentist actually told me that I have such beautiful teeth, "they're glowing".  Looks like my pregnancy glow has even spread to the interior of my mouth.  Amazing.

Clean teeth is always a Joyful Moment for me, though.  I love it.

And then tonight, after the 18-wheeler finally passed over and let me be, I got to snuggle up next to HH and watch a bit more of Soul Surfer.  We started it last night, but have to keep pausing so I can go to bed. I am really enjoying it, though.  Good film if you're waaaaay behind like us and haven't seen it yet.

Except, Carrie Underwood can't act.

The Joyful Moment was snuggling up next to HH and just feeling the day's stress melt away.  I love my HH.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that melt the bad and yucky away!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day 810: Growing Time!



Joyful Moment.

(And this year, I even let the kids help!)

Wishing you all concise, simple Joyful Moments!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 809: We Wear Short Shorts

Actually, they really aren't all that short.

Modest is hottest.

So, today's post is kind of a convergence of three things.  And I'm not sure I currently have the mental clarity to really make it all flow together.  But, it was kind of an important day, so I want to remember it.  Cross fingers.

Sweet P has this problem:  She never outgrows a pair of pants.  She always gets tears and holes in the knees first.  I am not exaggerating.  I do not remember the last pair of pants that went into storage after she outgrew them.  They all go to the clothing drop (I figure, pants with holes in the knees are better than no pants, right?).

And now, it's summer.  Not because it should be.  It most certainly not be summer here in the North Pole, but 90+ degrees for the past three days equals summer as far as I'm concerned.  I blame this on the fact that I always vowed to never have a summer baby.

And Sweet P somehow only has a few pairs of shorts.  She managed to get holes in a couple pairs last summer (in the buns instead of the knees, since shorts don't really cover the knees), and outgrew some more.

And this is why I've been reluctant to buy her some new ones.  I know they're all going to wind up with holes!

Fast forward to today.

Sweet P started chatting a bit during homework, telling me about playing soccer at recess with a friend she was quite close to last year, but kind of drifted a bit from this year.  I made a casual comment about being glad that they're still friends because I can tell he's very kind to her and that matters to me.

And then, suddenly, she was opening up in a way she never really opens up.  And blinking back tears while telling me that she was glad he was her friend because if not for him, she might not have any friends.  All of her friends are "going over" to be friends with a couple of other girls.  "And they're bossy, so I don't know why everyone wants to be friends with them because they just boss them."

And my heart broke for her as I remembered how hard it can be to be a kid sometimes.  And I worry about my Sweet P.  There is a reason we call her Sweet P.  She is sweet.  So sweet.  And gentle and innocent.

And really, not bossy at all.


And then, for the first time, I think something good came of the fact that I have been forced to really slow down and cut back lately.  Instead of being busy cleaning, organizing, planning, or cooking, I was sitting while she told me all of this.  Had I been doing any of those other things, I think I probably would have just tried to give her the simple responses to soothe her hurting heart and then move on.  But, since I was sitting, I pulled her over into my lap to snuggle while we talked.  And I just told her I was sorry she had to go through all that.  And that friendships change and evolve as we grow.  And that, a lot of times, it is the bossy girls who seem to attract everyone else (for sake of time and all, I won't go into why I believe this is).  But I reminded her that she is a good friend and to keep being that good friend.

And then she told me about something that seemed pretty unrelated, but expressed something else that she sees that is good in herself.  And so, I'm thinking that meant that she's feeling okay about who she is and hopefully, better for having talked to me.

And all of that could be the only Joyful Moment I need to post about tonight.  Not because there was any joy in her heartbreak, but because these moments don't happen very often for Sweet P and I.  Partly because she just keeps stuff inside a lot, and partly because I'm usually too busy to recognize when she really needs a snuggly mommy and some undivided attention.  So, it was a Joyful Moment simply because it happened.  And I've been praying so hard to be a better mommy and to be closer with my sweet daughter.

But then, I went to her closet and pulled out all of the pairs of pants that had holes in the knees (I hold onto them for a little while because I'm always thinking I might actually fix the holes, or she might need a pair of junk pants for camping, or the like).  I found three workable pairs.  I took them down to my sewing room.  And I made them into shorts.  Nothing that you'll find on Project Runway, but they're wearable and suitably cute for my tomboy.  And long enough to look good on those long long legs of hers.

And then I actually did fix a pair of shorts she ripped last week.

And she was so happy when I showed them all to her.  And that was a Joyful Moment.  As was announcing to HH when he got home, "I did something today."

He missed the pride in my voice and for some reason, automatically thought that meant I was confessing to some mistake or problem.

Whew.  Well, I'm not sure how well it flowed.  But that is it.  The tale of today.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that make seemingly small and insignificant moments really important and worth remembering!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 808: April Foolery

Today brought more Joyful Moments in listening to General Conference.  Especially, at one point when Sweet P became quite interested in what our prophet President Monson was saying.  And then we discussed what it all meant after.

And in between, I had more Joyful Moments in playing April Fool's jokes on the kids.

All involving food, of course.

First, we had Bug Bread for breakfast.  I knew they'd be suspicious, so I enlisted the aid of HH.  I explained to them all that I purchased these super healthy, freeze-dried bugs at Trader Joe's.  The bugs were flies from Africa that fed on a very nutritious plant.  Our bodies are not capable of digesting the nutrients in this plant, but the flies can break it down.  So, they were caught after ingesting the plant, and thus still had its nutrients in their guts.  And I baked them into a lovely bread.  HH played his part beautifully by absolutely refusing to try it.

The kids were curious and actually ate a bit and then surprisingly announced that it "tasted like chocolate!"

That's because it was really Banana Bread with chocolate chips.

At dinner, they were surprised to discover that they couldn't get their drinks to move up through the straw.  Because it was Jell-O!

And then I told them about a time my teachers made me take a bite of clay before making a pot out of it (this really is a true story).  I explained that I thought we might try something similar to make our garden even better this year--eating a bit of the dirt first!  I thought they'd immediately guess since they've had Dirt Dessert before and they knew it was April Fool's, but they looked into that pot of dirt with quite a bit of trepidation.

Of course, as soon as I scooped it out they could see that it was in fact, pudding with cookie crumbs and gummy worms.

I used to be quite the prankster and I miss those days.  So, it was fun to revisit that a bit.

Wishing you all prankster Joyful Moments!