Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wrapped up

Well, I've made it through all the performances of Savior of the World (Act 2). I've also made it through most of the kids' Spring Break. I'm tired. And we're about to go visit family soon. So I should finish doing all the laundry.

Also, one of the local librarians is retiring. Today is his last day.
And I'm so very, totally bummed.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that he's able to retire ... but we are going to miss him.
He's such a great person -- so fun and funny and able to make everyone feel welcome ... and I don't know that the libraries will be the same place without him.
Yeah, I don't take change all that well. I'm aware of that fact.

So ... let's get all caught up ...

Lots of people asked how Michael and I made it through our performances and who took care of the kids.
It was a community effort, really ...
Tues: Mom and Dad C (They got to come see the performance)
Wed: My mom
Thurs: Nichole (a wonderful babysitter we know from church choir)
Fri: Joy (another wonderful babysitter from church. I've known her for a few years, since I was the ward YW Camp Director)
Saturday: The kids went up to spend the evening with Mom and Dad C (and cousins)

How did Michael and I get through it? Well, Michael'd leave work a half-hour early and drive straight to the church to get in makeup and costume. He didn't really get to see the kids much at all, until Friday, since he gets home early that day.
I would work to get dinner done and the house clean, then race over to the church around 5 to get makeup done and into my costume ... USUALLY before we had a prayer, devotional, and warm-ups.
(Yeah, what with character makeup -- Michael needed his beard a little darker and more eyebrows; I needed to have aging makeup done -- I was not always successful in getting into my costume before 6:30. There were a LOT of people who needed makeup. Last time [Act 1] was easier, since we usually did everything ourselves -- except for blush. We had someone to do our blush. ... The only thing I did myself this time was mascara. And ONLY on the top lashes, which is different for me.)

I did have a MEDICINAL Cherry Coke Saturday. And it was SO GOOD.

Besides that, we were just really tired.

And, after everything was over, we jetted home and gave Michael a haircut and shaved off EPICBEARD and the Mustache of DOOM.
It's so nice to have the man I married back again. So very nice.

Monday, I had high aspirations to get some spring cleaning done.
Which were dashed because the kids didn't want to listen to a dratted word that I said.
So I was irritated and ready to go on strike.

Tuesday morning, I lumbered out of bed to find that Michael left me a cinnamon roll (Awww).
And that the kids ate the top two-thirds (Booo).
So I ended up bursting into tears and pretty much going on strike.
The kids had to endure swishing some soap in their mouths for lying about it ("I don't know [what happened]." "I didn't do it!" followed by "Bruise did it first!!" ... Yeah. *sigh*)

Mom came up Tuesday night (their water pump is out on the well, so they're ROUGHING it). Michael got me ice cream and a Cherry Coke. (Good man. I wish everyone could have such a good spouse. He's thoughtful and funny ... I'll stop before I disgust you all.)

Yesterday, I donated blood. For the first time in how many years of doing this, my vein didn't want to stop. So the nurse/phlebotomist/whatever and I had to spend a few minutes applying pressure, then checking, then HURRIEDLY applying pressure again, repeating all that a few times. We were cracking jokes about it ... it was a lot more comfortable than the time that I had to KEEP lying down so I didn't pass out back in, what, 2003 or so.

After I stopped bleeding, I was fine. My elbow pit was pretty sore from having bandages on it for so long ... but overall, it was pretty great.

Mom and I took the kids to McDonald's and then to pick up stuff for dinner ... and I wrapped up my Visiting Teaching (before the last day of the month, what?!?).

Mom headed back home this morning. I took the kids to help me use up some coupons (Got an Essie nail polish for $2.29, since I had a 15% off coupon AND a $5 rewards coupon. ... This is right up there with how Bruise, Bubbles, and I scored me a $10 pair of pants Saturday) ... and a Plesco (algae-eater) for Bucket's fish tank.
(Cue: Fish Watch 2013 ... Let's hope that this one, Jasmine, breaks our bad luck. Emmy, the catfish, is having a ball darting around like a ferret on a Pixie-stick bender.)

And we've just gotten back from the open house for the librarian I mentioned above.
We had some cake and said hello/goodbye and dropped off some cards that we made for him.

I should close this up and finish laundry/make dinner/snuggle with Bubbles .... Yeah.

Weighing in ... but not in physical-type weight...

So ... I went on a bit of a limb, Facebook-wise ...

And I had the indigestion to prove it.
(Go fig, I can sing on a stage in front of hundreds of people without much issue. But state my opinion/beliefs? Yeah ... Not the most effective missionary, huh?)

So, I posted this --

http://middle-agedmormonman.blogspot.com/2013/03/simplify-my-thoughts-on-marriage.html
I think this sums up most of how I feel on this issue. I love my brothers and sisters, regardless of lifestyle ... or any other form of difference. 
I may not be at my most eloquent right yet ... so bear with me, please.
I could talk about how allowing the courts to decide who is or is not allowed to marry is NOT something that I could support (Seriously, do we really trust our courts that much? When people get awarded millions for spilling coffee on themselves or having to eat dog food when they get stuck in a house they BROKE INTO?). (See also: http://www.christianpost.com/news/gay-marriage-social-experimentation-and-legal-precedent-92041/)

I do believe that our homosexual brothers and sisters should have all the rights that a married heterosexual couple have, under a civil union. I believe that they shouldn't be bullied for having same-sex attraction.

I also believe, as this blog states, that God still loves us all and, ergo, speaks to all His children today.
That He knows best.
That He's expressed an opinion.

I support the leaders of the church (who've also said that we need to show so, so much love to ALL children of our Heavenly Father. And that, just because someone might do something or act in a way contrary to the commandments, it is NO EXCUSE to treat them with anything other than the love that Jesus Christ has for all of us).

I wish I knew of some easy and fast fix that would result in everyone being happy. I was hoping that recognized civil unions might be it ... Apparently it's all or nothing. Which tears at my heart, to be honest.

I understand that not all of us see eye-to-eye on this. And that's one of the great things about having agency and the ability to choose for ourselves. I respect your opinion on this whole issue. Like I've said, I feel torn about it. Part of me sees it like Queen Victoria's quote (about not scaring the horses). But, there's also the fact that I can't go against what I know is true. It wouldn't be honest to myself or God.

And don't be speaking about how "my God" is a god of hate. He's not. If you want to know what has been said lately, go here (instead of taking other people's words for it. Would you take a cat person's opinion about dogs at total and complete fact? Really?): http://www.mormonsandgays.org/
(Spoiler: The main message is "Love One Another." Not "we hate everyone who is different.")

 And, even though a good deal of my friends are LDS, I know that I have a lot who aren't.
And, even among the LDS friends I have, there are some that don't share my exact opinion on things.
And I can handle that ... Life would be BORING if everyone was exactly the same.

Most of the comments that I got were decent and sharing an opinion that differed in some bit.
(One idea that I am totally in favor of -- Let EVERYONE get civil unions that offer all the protections of a currently-defined marriage. THEN, those who want a church-ordained marriage can have one in addition. Like how England demands that EVERYONE get married in the Church of England. Then, for LDS couples, they go to the temple to be sealed. I think this would be suitable and satisfy the majority.)

However, one of my friends (I like him. He's smart and he's funny. I respect his opinion ... though, as you'll see, we don't see eye-to-eye on everything. Also, I like him even though he doesn't care at all for C.S. Lewis. But, well, it takes all kinds.) lambasted my post. He said that since The Church was at all involved with Prop 8, that it should have its tax-exempt status revoked. He was ... harsher than I would have anticipated.

I don't LIKE to upset my friends.
It sucks to have an opinion that others (in general) mock.
I'm NOT a homophobe ... I like PEOPLE. And I don't think that people should be classified solely by what they choose to do with their sexual organs. Heck, I don't really CARE what one chooses to do with one's equipment. As long as you are relatively kind and have some semblance of a sense of humor, I'm totally on your team!

A FOAF (friend of a friend) put it really well on Facebook:
Here are my thoughts on gay marriage. Please try not to get offended and try to see where I am coming from. 
I think this argument started a long long time ago when marriage became more political and about property than it is about what God set it up to be. According to the Bible, God set up marriage as a three way covenant between man, woman and God. I don't think this definition of marriage would interest many gay couples. But when marriage became political it became about rights, and the three way covenant was pushed aside. I, and I am pretty sure a huge majority of LDS members, agree that all people should have equal rights regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender. We have said many times that we have no problem giving them those rights in a civil union. But marriage, which used to be Gods, has already been taken and belongs to government. So of course religious people are getting upset when you take a core belief of theirs and change and reinterpret it as something it was never meant to be. A lot of this mess is our fault (traditional religionists) because we let the covenant of marriage leave the faith world and enter the political and now we are trying to get it back too late.

Now I have been too long winded to express how much I love and admire many of my gay and lesbian friends. I do not think I am above them or better than them in any way. I do want them to have all the rights I do. But it is difficult for me to understand how a person can think a gay lifestyle is okay and still believe in the Bible. And then, it is difficult for me to understand how one can believe in the Bible and still feel it is okay to make a covenant with God in a way that He has clearly stated is wrong and not have it feel like mockery. Let me be clear that I know that no one, especially me, is perfect and follows Christ perfectly. But doing something wrong and calling it wrong is different that calling it right.

The bottom line is, I don't think government has a right to have ANY say in marriage at all but we have already let it get its sticky fingers on it. I hope we can find a solution that works for everyone.

Now I have been too long winded to express how much I love and admire many of my gay and lesbian friends. I do not think I am above them or better than them in any way. I do want them to have all the rights I do. But it is difficult for me to understand how a person can think a gay lifestyle is okay and still believe in the Bible. And then, it is difficult for me to understand how one can believe in the Bible and still feel it is okay to make a covenant with God in a way that He has clearly stated is wrong and not have it feel like mockery. Let me be clear that I know that no one, especially me, is perfect and follows Christ perfectly. But doing something wrong and calling it wrong is different that calling it right. 
The bottom line is, I don't think government has a right to have ANY say in marriage at all but we have already let it get its sticky fingers on it. I hope we can find a solution that works for everyone.

I think that she's put it beautifully ... and yes, marriage has now been (for far too long) bastardized into some political/property thing.
But ... at its heart and creation, it's a covenant between a man, a woman, and God.

I have no problem, myself, with homosexual couples.
It's not like they're schtupping in front of me ... Therefore, it's none of my business.

(I have the same opinion in regards to people who have premarital sex. It's not what we've been commanded to do. BUT, they're still children of God. Most all of them are wonderful people. As long as they're not schtupping in front of me or my kids? It's not an issue that I'm going to focus on. I have enough sins of my own ... I'll work on those first.)

I also like how Eli over at It Gets Stranger covered his take on the issue: http://www.itjustgetsstranger.com/2013/03/about-that.html

I have friends who identify as homosexual or even bisexual. It doesn't bother me.
I have no issues with homosexual couples ... I think that Neil Patrick Harris and his partner or George Takei and his partner or Ellen DeGeneris and her partner (the girl from Arrested Development) are all adorable and wonderful people. I would love to have any of them as neighbors and/or personal friends.

I think, though, that this marriage discussion is broken.
I do want a solution that can make most everyone happy.
I just don't know how that's going to happen ... and maybe it won't happen until Christ comes again.

Oh ... and when people go and quote random laws from Leviticus and Deuteronomy as proof of how dumb those laws are and why aren't folks up in arms about THOSE laws instead of just being upset about same sex marriage?
Well, IF one reads the New Testament, the reason we don't follow those laws is the same as why we, as Christians, eat pork and shellfish.
The Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ fulfilled the law of Moses.
Christ gave us a higher law to follow ... Those that followed Moses were incapable of following these laws at the time (That's why Moses had to go get the ten commandments ... and why they had to wander in the desert for SO. DANG. LONG).
So ... yeah.

We do still follow the ten commandments ... but first, we love God and love our neighbors (i.e., EVERYONE. Even if they do stuff that we don't agree with 24/7... Heck, I sometimes do stuff that makes me regret knowing myself. Still have to love myself, though. I am a daughter of God ... and He thinks that I'm lovable.)

Yeah, I just want everything fixed.

Yet ... what am I doing about it?
Besides kvetching on my blog?

Yeah, I just don't know.

I just know that, whoever you are, you deserve to be loved.
And that I do love you ... might not always like what you choose to do ... but you are loved.
Heavenly Father loves you ... and if you choose not to believe in Him, I still love you. So you still are loved.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Opening night ...

Well, the house is MOSTLY clean-ish ... It could be a lot worse.

Mom C will watch the kids tonight (and bring them to the performance). My mom will watch them (and the performance) tomorrow night. Then a couple of gals in the ward will be taking on babysitting duties. Closing night, the kids will be up at Mom C's with some cousins ... then Michael and I will swing on up, nab them, bring them home, put them to bed ... and clean Michael up.

A client (older man) referred to Michael's facial hair as "cute."
Yeah ... he got some flack from everyone about that.
Just the word choice cracks me up.

I got some more sleep yesterday ... woke up before my alarm and couldn't fall back asleep. Oh well.
Going to make at least one dinner ... maybe prep some more. We'll see how awesome/motivated I get.

I really almost wish that it were already around 5 PM so that I could just get this performance STARTED.
That's the fun of opening night ... and, well, the fun of EVERY performance. Opening night, though ... that's when we have the biggest jitters.

Bubbles' doctor visit went fine. She's been declared "perfect." Her skull is almost totally fused closed, the big kid. She got three immunizations ... she took them well enough. A little crying, but once I held her she calmed down. She's got a large head circumference. Nothing freakish. Her doctor proclaimed that it's just "full of brains" ... along with being a beautiful child.

She did flirt with the few people in the waiting room. She had the play table all to herself ... and enjoyed crawling under the chairs.

Every so often she (along with Bruise and Bucket) will do something and I'll see, just for an instant, a glimpse of the adult she's growing into. And ... it strikes me.
At the same time, I'm glad that they're going to be such good-looking adults.

-------------

I'm still stuck on thinking about the whole situation at Steubenville ... It's just so wrong.
These kids there need adults to be leaders and teachers -- to teach what is and is not proper behavior, how to follow laws, how to treat each other -- regardless of one's sport status or gender or whatever.

I've started, from a young age, teaching my brood about their bodies. We've always used the terms "penis" and "vagina," partly because that's what they ARE ... and partly because children who can use the proper terms are less likely to be victimized.

I've also worked to teach them about treating others well. And that you don't touch other people's private parts or let others touch yours (with a few exceptions -- your spouse, your doctor as needed, things like that).

I also have felt the need to impress upon them that if they (or someone they know) is acted upon by another person who does something to them without permission, it is NOT their fault. The person acting upon them made a decision that impacted them. THAT person, not the victim/survivor is to blame.

I'm just getting REALLY FED UP with things that need to change. Like a person who says that we need to teach people not to rape deserves to have horrible things happen to her for saying such a crazy, outlandish idea.

I am more offended that these nay-sayers seem to feel that it's the default of men TO rape.
I am surrounded by wonderful men who would be aghast at the idea that all women, everywhere, should live in constant fear of all men turning into base creatures that have no choice but to force themselves upon others.

I'm just going to come out and say it: THIS IS STUPID. IT'S RUBBISH. IT'S BULL.

And I'm going to take a deep breath, flex my hands out of fists, and just hope and pray that things will get better.

And, until it does, I'm teaching my children to deal with what might happen ... though I really wish I never felt a need to. I'd love for them to be able to go out into the world without worrying about what someone might do. I wish I didn't have to instill a core of steel into their sweet, innocent hearts.

But I do.
Because some parents and leaders aren't doing their jobs.
Because some people are not in control of themselves.
Because some people don't care.
And that sucks. A lot.

So I will teach my kids to respect themselves. To respect others. To be brave and take a stand if they see anyone needing help. To know how to call 911. To know that they can tell Michael and me anything and that we will still love them. To stand up to "friends" ... and even their true friends, if need be. To protect themselves. To protect others. To stand up and give a voice to those who can't or don't know how to protect themselves. To know they can always turn to others for help, especially their Heavenly Father who is always with them ... because Michael and I can't always be there ourselves. To respect the privacy and needs of other people. To serve others.

And other things ... like what "consent" really is (if someone cannot say "no," then assume that it IS "no." You have to ensure they ARE saying ... and continuing to say "yes."). What masculinity really is and is not. That femininity is not purely submissive. The purpose of our bodies (i.e., the sacred power of procreation ... which, understanding that, helps to respect our bodies and others' bodies).

There are times when I can tell that I'm getting through ... like how Bruise knows that women have breasts (and men have nipples too) because we're mammals ... and their primary purpose is to feed babies. The kids know that they'll someday make babies with their future spouses ... and that they shouldn't do that before they're legally and lawfully married. As a sign of respect for both their spouse and themselves. They know that "penis," "vagina," and even "testicles" are real words ... not jokes or something to giggle at whenever they hear the words.

I have a lot of work ahead of me ... and I'm so scared sometimes at what might happen to them. Some news stories out there are so, so awful ... things happening to little babies and young children, people who can't even defend themselves against the strength and cunning of some wicked, depraved adults out there.

What can you really do?
Teach them as best as you can.
Make sure they know that they can always come to you, that they can ask you anything.
Pray for them, even fasting for them.
Love them as best as you can.
Letting them know, through word and deed, that you have their back, you WILL protect them.

If there's anything else ... well, I'll try to learn it so that I can do it.

Because, well, if I screw this up ... would I ever really forgive myself?

Truly, if my kids EVER took part in something like what happened in Stuebenville ... or stood by while something like that happened ... I would, honestly, believe that I had FAILED my children and my community as a parent.

And, if they were at such a party and stood up against the tide of peer pressure, protecting another person? Even if they were arrested for being there, I'd throw them a freaking PARTY ... and I'd invite the arresting officers (since they were doing their job. And I support that). Cake and sparkling cider for everyone, because my child(ren) did what was right. And I want the world to know that I am celebrating that fact!

There's enough glorifying the crimes and their perpetrators.
I say that we start celebrating the heroes in the world ...  Let's start showing appreciation and honor for people who are working to change the bad.

Let's bring it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

It'd be nice to have a clever title ... But, well, yeah ...

This is going to be a kind of random-type post.
Since I haven't blogged for a week, and I keep meaning to blog, I feel obligated to do it.
BUT, what with Bubbles being a PUNKBUTT last night, I don't have a lot of sleep (She went to sleep BEAUTIFULLY around 8. Then woke up SCREAMING about midnight. And whenever we'd put her back down -- after a diaper change and feedings, cuddles, more feedings -- she'd scream again. So, she spent the rest of the night in our bed, where she FINALLY conked out after a HALF-HOUR nursing session).

So, I'm sure that Michael is dead tired. I'm not feeling much better (even though I get, like, a couple hours more sleep). Bubbles has a well-baby check-up this afternoon ... let's just hope that I'm coherent enough to drive safely and conscientiously.

This weekend, as we were at Mom and Dad C's (the kids stayed overnight, so that we didn't have to scramble so much in the morning before Saturday's dress rehearsal ... more on that later), Bruise said to Michael (in reference to these little, bitsy mugs that Mom C has on display. Each of them has the name of one of her children) ...

Bruise: Dad, when you die, can I have your cup? So I can remember you. Because you're not around much. But Mom is.

Yeah ... Michael works hard (and long hours) for the money. And there's always a sacrifice to be made.
At least, with both of us in Savior of the World, I get to see him. But, yeah, the kids have been getting a glimpse before we leave ... and they're often asleep when we get back home.
This coming week is going to be worse ... since Michael'll be headed directly to church (where we perform) after work. But it's the last week ... and it'll be better after that.
And, in about five weeks, we'll have a family vacation ... and we'll get TONS of time together. Which will be REALLY nice. No stage make-up involved!

Let's see ... what else is going on?
In rehearsals, unless we're saying an aside to another character, we HAVE to FACE THE AUDIENCE. I'm remembering more and more to do it. I did flub up once onstage during rehearsal on Saturday ... however, I was also called out for doing it right (and being one of the people that the sound guy LOVES for doing it right), "One gal is picking fruit ... AND SHE TURNS and delivers her lines."
I'll try not to let it go to my head. ^_^

My costume kept changing, too. At first, I had my dress and two headwraps. Then there was a belt and an outer robe added. Then a scarf added. Then they changed the robe and outer headwrap. And then they changed headwraps on me ... And the belt isn't the same as I started with. But I think we've got it now. I have the original (jade-colored) dress with a striped robe and matching sash. There's a peach headwrap and a grey wrap that I mostly wear as a cowl-type collar. And I keep my original head covering (which, due to it's softness and texture, I refer to as "my dishrag") as a "pocket," hanging off my sash.

I do have to laugh, though. The grey cowl was part of Trish's costume in Act One (which we performed together in back in December 2011). And SHE is wearing my overskirt from that act. We snicker about that when we're not referring to each other with our Ancient Israelite gangster names (ModgePodge, since I'm MOJ [Mary, Mother of James] in the script, and MagDog [for Mary Magdalene]). Good times.

Also, I tripped going up the stage steps before rehearsal started on Saturday morning. I almost didn't catch myself, so I was THISCLOSE to falling backwards down the stage, which would have hurt a megaton.

SO, getting back to talking about dress rehearsal, Michael and I were there at 8, to get our makeup started (and completed) with time to spare, since we both have character makeup -- He ends up looking like a mountain man, what with his beard and mustache and the CRAZY DARK eyebrows they draw on him.
I am aged to look at least ten years older ... Our makeup takes time to get done. And we're not the only ones getting this treatment.
Oh, and I'm in the first scene, so I HAVE to have mine done and get dressed in time ...

We had two makeup gals who didn't come -- well, one did, to tell the others that she won't be able to do it. She needs to take it easy on her knee ... and it wasn't working. The other couldn't get childcare ... So, we were down two makeup gals who help get everyone through the line. And we only had one gal (the main one) who is practiced at character makeup. So she's totally swamped ... and stressing about getting everyone else through and done.

She did confide in me later that she really would have been glad if the other two gals had called earlier so that she'd have a chance to find replacements ... And, I can't blame her. It would have been more responsible. I also know how it feels to be on the end of scrambling to get childcare at the last moment. It wasn't a good situation from any angle.

BUT! We were dressed and made up and ready for our cues. And, really, I think that it went pretty well.

In other happenings that went on last week, the kids (Bruise and Bucket) had their school music program. I went to the rehearsal for it and recorded it. Bruise was doing okay. Bucket, though, was hiding behind the girl next to her and not singing and ... well, she, my mom, and I had a talk about it. My mom (who, yes, spoils her grandkids a bit), promised them that if they did good things at the concert (e.g., sing well, do the hand motions, DON'T HIDE, etc.), she'd give them a nickel each time she caught them being good. BUT, if they were not doing what's right, they'd have to pay HER a penny for each time.

In short, they both got $5. So did Bubbles. AND, to top it off, they both were remarking on how it was really fun and NOT AT ALL SCARY.
SHOCKER!

I mean, it's not like I told them EXACTLY THAT OR ANYTHING.
(That sound you just heard? That was my eyes rolling so much that they FELL. OUT. OF. MY. HEAD. I think they're in the kitchen now. Hard to tell.)

But, thankfully, a family friend recorded that performance for us. And, Michael and I made it to rehearsal ... and Bruise and bucket had a lot of family show up to watch them -- Mutti, Bubbles, Mom and Dad C, Grandma C, and (Great-)Uncle D. So, it went really well. ... And, by that point, I was a bit less crazy-with-hormones-and-angry-bees-in-my-head. So between having the performance recorded, having a lot of family there to support them, and having gone to the rehearsal, I was feeling MUCH better. Phew!

Backstage, on the first dress rehearsal night (Tuesday), I became QUITE popular.
I'd like to say it's all due to my quick wit and myriad charms ... but that'd be a lie.
It's really due to the fact that I had make-up wipes and fashion tape (strong double-sided tape).
Yes, I do come prepared! And I am willing to share ... since that's part of being a theater-type person. Your costars are family. (I mean, heck, in high school, most of us were used to getting dressed all together in the costume room ... You saw EVERYONE in their skivvies. And it wasn't any kind of a big deal. ... Though, if you wore a thong, you'd get dressed with your back to a wall. Or, in my case, you'd wear boxers over.)

But the nice thing about this performance, since I now have a turban-type headwrap?
I don't really have to do my hair at all. WINNER!
(Though, I do pull it back into a low-key updo, so it's out of the way when someone helps to do my wrap.)

.....

I can't believe that March is already more than half-way over! With how busy we've been, the days are flying by.

There's a musical production that'll be done in July to celebrate 50 years of the Church in the Willamette Valley. Yeah ... no. We're not going to audition. We'll go see it, of course. But we NEED some time to decompress.

Five more days and I can make out with Michael again. And I can paint my fingernails and toenails any way I want. I can color my hair however I want.

I will say that, from watching so many make-up videos and reading so much online, I am pretty awesome at helping the guys to know how to take care of their skin. Most guys never think to moisturize. (Now I can only think "Moisturize me! Moisturize me!" 50 gold stars if you get the reference.) I've shared moisturizer and I do tell them that olive oil is thebombdotcom in a pinch.
Before Michael and I went to this last dress rehearsal, I had us both slap on some coconut oil before jumping into the shower ... and rubbing in some jojoba oil on top of that. With tea tree oil on any trouble spots. And that's when I'm not making us do an oil cleanse for the face (currently, I have grapeseed oil mixed with castor oil. Rub it in, steam your face [I use a hot, damp washcloth] and then scrub it off with the washcloth). Good times.
He's lucky I don't break out the mud masks ... which I might after all the performances are over. Theater makeup is THICK and rough on your complexion.

Oh, so last night, we were making some geeky jokes. It culminated with me coming into the bathroom and announcing that I was turning on the light in there (since it's dark, I give a warning ... and no, it was NOT "Brace yourself, the light switch is coming." ... Though I'll have to remember that one....)

Me: Okay ... LUMOS!!
Michael: You know that the mark of a great wizard is being able to do spells without speaking.
Me: Jealous, Muggle?
Michael: You are such a nerd.
Me: *laughs* Yes. You know it. ... We are so, so special. It's at times like this that I wish they did a show about us. ... Though I'd have to put on clothes more often. I couldn't just hang out in my underoos all the time.
Michael: I don't mind.

Like I said, we are special, special people.
Especially when we use geeky references with each other (Even though I haven't seen all that much Doctor Who, I can make a lot of references and recognize a lot of references. Same with Game of Thrones [Still need to read the books]. And a lot of movies that I haven't watched, but are referenced often in memes). Or when we give each other the Shawn/Gus fist-bump ... which is pretty dang often.

Yeah ... we're special people. Who just seem to be rather perfectly-matched.

(The other night, Michael came home ... after I was being all cranky and b-word-y ... and thanked me for being a good wife. And I was all, "Um, thanks ... I've been kind of a  jerk today. But I'm glad that you're happy." Yeah, our goal is to always be friends. And I think that we do a good job on that.  Even though, as I told him, I am not all that romantical or horny-as-crap ... but I'm glad that he puts up with me regardless. ^_^)

Oh ... I tried going shopping for jeans, since two of my favorite pairs ended up with holes in the inner thigh section. Ugh. ... Apparently a lot of stores don't cater to my size ... and, even when they do? Well, my shape is all wrong (thanks Bruise and Bucket! You stretched out my stomach enough that it's WEIRD!. Good thing I still love you!).

I tried on a pair of pants that promised "slimming and shaping."
Yeah, if the shape you're going for is camel toe.
Niiiiice.
NOT.

But, yeah. After three attempts where I ended up crying each time (I'm NOT going to cry right now. it's just that the inside of my nose went all prickly. Not going to cry), I ended up buying three t-shirts. At least they fit and look nice and are soft.

Ugh. Stupid body and stupid designers and stupid culture where it makes me feel like a giant land whale because I'm not a size 2 or 0 ... Ugh. Stupidstupidstupid.
And stupid hormones that make it HAAAAAARD for me to deal with the fact that maybe I should just go get a tummy tuck and lipo and staple my stomach closed since I like food a HELL of a lot more than I like exercise.

Oh!! Speaking of food!!!
(Yeah, nice segue there, right?)
BUT!!!! At Denny's they are having Baconalia ... Michael and I totally went.
He had the burger with bacon and pepperjack cheese and jalepenos. I had the caramel French Toast stuffed with white chocolate and bacon spread. I wasn't wild about the white chocolate. It was a little more like shortening than chocolate-y. But the bacon was EXCELLENT in cutting how DANG SWEET the French Toast was. It was really tasty.
AND!!
I also had the Maple Bacon Milkshake ... that was really, really good.
The first taste is all sweet, creamy maple ... then  you have the smoky, savory bacon taste.
And there are bits of bacon in there!
The bits are usually too big to pass through the straw, so at the end, I was spooning the remains of the shake into my mouth.

Michael: Is it good?
Me" *giddily* Ah haa a maafuu uh BAACAAA! ("I have a mouthful of BACON!")

And THIS is another reason why I'll never be a size 0 (or 2 or 4 or 6 ...)
Because how can I manage THAT when there is BACON in the world?

And cheesecake. Gotta remember cheesecake. And Cherry Coke. And Doritos. And pizza with spinach and mushrooms ... Oh, wondrous mushrooms!

I mean, look at Paula Deen ... She's not a stick figure. And she's HAPPY.
I'll just keep my blood sugar up. It's all good.
And I'll wear sweatpants or something, instead.
Yeah.
Maybe yoga pants ... if they have a pocket for my phone.
Yoga pants are a little classier, right? >.<

Monday, March 11, 2013

Insomnia

So, between Daylight Savings and a certain regular-type lady-occurrence, I can't sleep. Joy.

I've had some strange dreams, too ... in one, I was hanging out with John and Sherry Petersik (of YoungHouseLove). We were buying me a desk at a thrift store. John and I were cracking jokes involving 80s song lyrics. Yeah.

It could be hormones, but ... I'm feeling ... meh. It's a struggle to keep the house clean. Rehearsals are all crazy-making. I'm ready to feel accomplished and spiritual and contented ... and, at this moment, well ... I don't.

It's probably the PMS-angry-bees that buzz in my head.
Still ... I hate it.

I'm crap at reading my scriptures.
I'm crap at praying.
My blog is my journal ... and it's regular for me to go DAYS AND DAYS between postings.
My house is messier than it should be.
I've only NOW started chore charts with Bruise and Bucket.
We're down to one fish and the tank should be way cleaner.
I need to buy pants.
We can't have cell phones or anything like that backstage anymore. Grr.
(Yes, I admit I have a problem. I COULD quit anytime ... but I don't WANT to, you see.)
There are still ants scurrying around inside my HOUSE. (I had to spray the kitchen CEILING. What's up with that?!?!?)

So ... yeah. I don't feel RIGHT.

But enough about that ... what else have I been up to?
  • Renewed my driver's license. Even with the marriage license where the public servant MISSPELLED MY NAME. ... But we had NO problems at all. Phew!
    But ... my face looks all fat in my picture. Next time, help me remember -- PULL MY HAIR BACK, so it shows off my bone structure.
  • Had to pay owed postage on a letter that came in the mail ... Turns out it was a chain letter for a pyramid scheme. Took that sucker into the Post Office. Because that IS ILLEGAL.
    And hella annoying.
  • Bruise and Bucket stole my M&Ms ... and lied about it. Which rather ruined the rest of our Friday.
    They were in TROUBLE. For stealing and LYING about it. ... They're earning back our trust. But they've lost some privileges. 
  • Today was Stake Conference. I spent the second hour trying to keep Bubbles quiet. Almost got her to nap by hanging out in the (dark) supply closet and singing to her until she fell asleep. But another dad and his (SCREAMING) daughter were RIGHT OUTSIDE, so Bubbles did NOT nap.
    But I did run into one of my old neighbors from back home. He and his family live in the next town over. His mom was my piano teacher and is one of my mom's best friends.
  • Our sitter had to cancel on us Tuesday ... so, thankfully, Bri and her husband and daughter were able to come watch our minions. And we got to visit with them afterwards.
  • My stepdad got into a bit of a fender bender ... long story ... but we'll see what all happens.
    The only reason my mom knew about it was that his insurance agent called. Yup.
  • I had cleaned the front rooms ... but they're mostly dirty again.
    But, since the kids have chore charts now, I forsee it being easier to keep the house in better order. Phew!
Yeah ... not the most exciting week. There were some good parts. And some crap bits, too.

I was asked, at rehearsal, if I was a dancer.
I replied that, no, I wasn't really one. I took dance from 2nd-5th grade. (I also did some swing in high school. Good times).
Apparently, I have "the look."
Which I can't totally figure it out. Was my makeup on a little heavy? Do I sport a certain carriage?
Who knows? Since I don't!

I can't think of anything else to add in this braindump of a post.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Yet MOAR cdc

So, I don't remember much ... but I do know that I've been having totally whack dreams.

Not wiggety-whack ... just the regular kind.
(Bonus points for YOU if you got the reference!)

But, yeah ... in one dream, Bubbles was sick. Like really sick. Wasting away-type-sick.
She might have actually died in the dream.
But, really, she's fine and healthy irl.

In another one, part of my dream featured a bummed-out Taylor Swift.
(I don't have much to day about Ms. Swift either way. She's okay. I'm not wild about her. But I don't dislike her either. ... However, I'm SO GLAD that she wasn't cast as Eponine in Les Miserables. Just sayin'.)
I can't remember why she was SO bummed. But I was going to try and help her be happy again.

Yeah ... just lots of weird little things. Nothing that makes sense. Oh well.

But I think I'm starting to sleep a bit better now. I don't feel completely exhausted when I wake up.
That's a BIG benefit.

Bubbles' Birthday Bash! And other things. Mostly the other things.

Yesterday was Bubbles' birthday ... and we had her party on Saturday so people could come (and most of the people who said they'd come did! When people RSVP, it makes it SO FREAKING MUCH EASIER. Just saying!).

I had the house clean enough (not like I'd ever get it perfect ... and, even if I DID, having three kids in the house would assure that it would NOT stay perfect after a few minutes) ... and we got pizzas, soda, cake, ice cream, a veggie tray, apple slices (and a cream-cheese-based dip that I had wanted to try) ... everything was store-bought, which makes it WAY easier.

Since we couldn't find balls to make a ball-pit for Miss Bubbles, we blew up a shload of balloons ... which worked out being excellent. And a LOT cheaper.

I also found cute little pseudo-luminaries with fake votive candles, which we used on the table. And we hung up a little banner. And had plates and napkins with dots on them.

Bubbles is such an easy-going little miss that it's easy AND hard to get stuff for her. She likes everything ... but it's not like there's anything that she goes completely ape-crap crazy for ... So, yeah.

She got books and clothes and a doll and some toys and a pair of boots ... and she likes it all.
She also got to have a little layer cake all to herself ... and she ate SO much frosting.
Bubbles also got her first set of (Duplo) Legos ... which, of course, she likes.

The cousins that came all seemed to have a good time.

At the end of everything, we were tired ... but it was good. Nothing too crazy.

Now that her party is over, I'm starting to wonder what else to stress about do. We have SOTW (Savior of the World) coming up in a couple weeks. I'm still volunteering once a week at the school. There's an upcoming family vacation. And Spring Break.

I'm thinking of starting to work on the house. We've been here for over five years ... and ... well, I'd like it to start FEELING like a place that I LOVE. Don't get me wrong. I like our place. I spend a ton of time here ... but there are things that I could do.

We need different curtains. I want to have a proper backsplash. Our bedroom is not the most restful place, with all the clutter ... And I'm the guilty one. I'm a terrible packrat. I know. BUT ... I just am to the point where I really am ready to start deciding on colors (and stop being a coward ... it's only paint. If I hate it, it's not going to cost thousands of dollars to redo.) and start making this house a place that I can really handle having people over.

I'm still sitting at the computer desk that my folks bought at Wal-Mart for me to take to college when I was moving into an apartment with friends. It has seen WAAAAAAAY better days.
... I'm thinking ... what if I find a cute used desk, repaint it, find a way to store the filing cabinet under it, have Michael put some shelves -- maybe even a cabinet-- on the wall above ... and have a much more interesting and lovely desk area?

Another thought, I have clothes that haven't fit me for, well, around a decade. I need to go through them  and save only the coolest things (as opposed to the t-shirts that shrunk lengthwise and are baggy/shapeless everywhere else) ... I can put those things away for when Bucket and Bubbles get to be teenagers (RETRO!! Hey, I was SO SAD that I only got a vest from my mom's collection and NOTHING from my grandmothers' closets -- they never kept much. If they'd had ANY idea that their granddaughter was going to be CRAZY INTO vintage, I know they'd have set some stuff aside for me). But, for the rest of it, I can clean out the closet and actually start filling it (not FULL-full, mind you!) with things that work for me NOW. Which would save a ton of room ... and make getting dressed a LOT easier.

I mean, I'm actually thinking of getting rid of some BOOKS ... YES, I  KNOW!!! But, well, this house is getting stuffed with things that I just am not using. And ... I look at the decorating-pr0n that is YoungHouseLove ... And, well, it'd just be REALLY NICE to get a house that I love every inch and it easier to clean and makes me happy to look at what I've done. ... And, well, I know that we're not going to be in this house FOREVER. Either we'll sell it to my mom or we'll find something else (we do talk of -- SOMEDAY -- buying the adjoining lots and putting something bigger on here ... AND having a good-sized yard).

Regardless, I'd like to make this place a good house with restful colors and everything.

And, I need to find a way to consolidate the kids' clothes enough (and the set-up in there) so that we can move Bubbles' clothes (and makeshift dressers) out of our room.

And, really ... I've gotten so used to being rather lazy ... But doing things where I can SEE results QUICKLY ... that's rather tempting. (As opposed to exercising ... where I feel AWFUL and sweaty and everything ... and, somehow, after exercise, I look down and where are those washboard abs? So depressing!)

But, yeah ... it's really nice to have the birthday parties over. And to have a LITTLE breathing room.
Most of the breathing room will be back by March 24th. Our evenings will be ours again ... and Michael won't be sporting EPIC BEARD and the MUSTACHE OF DOOM ... or the white boy 'fro.
He bought a hat for our family vacation ... while I was checking out at Jo-Ann Fabric, he took the kids out to the car ... and put on his hat.
When I came out, I got really confused. ... That LOOKED like our car. But who was in the front seat? There's some grizzly-looking gunslinger ... Oh! Never mind, that's my husband. The man I've slept next to nearly every night for the last 4, 364 days.

Yeah ... I saw him at church (we took different cars/arrived at different times due to his meetings before and after church this week) ... totally didn't recognize MY OWN HUSBAND. *rolls eyes*

Well, I'm trying to get Bubbles to take a nap ... which she is NOT. AT. ALL. amenable to ... and I should do the dishes and the laundry and a million other things ... and plan dinners, since there are THREE rehearsals this week (and FOUR next week ... then FIVE performances ... I do enjoy doing theatre ... and I really like the opportunity to get to know other people in the Stake/other wards ... but, goodness, I am ready to have time with my family all together, to not have to find sitters, to not take the chance of having to MISS my kids' music presentation ... *sigh* I can do this. I can get through this. And I will. It'll all be FINE. Soon. ^_^).

But, yeah ... Hey, I'm trying to blog more often. That should mean something, right?

Friday, March 01, 2013

No, not dead. Just alternately busy, crazy-stressed, or lazy

So, let's see ... what all's happened since I blogged?

  • Bubbles-fish passed (on Valentine's Day) ... which  had us cleaning the fish tank like CRAZY.
    We have just two fish now - Iris (Black Moor goldfish) and Emmy (emerald Cory catfish). ... And Iris is sitting at the bottom of the tank a lot. I hope it's just constipation ... since she is swimming around a little. Just not as much as usual.
    (By the by, water levels are looking GOOD. So it shouldn't be the water. Since we just cleaned the tank, too. BEFORE she started acting tired.)
  • But, going with that last bullet-point, the only Bubbles I'll be writing about is our youngest daughter.
  • Bucket had a dentist appointment. One cavity (VERY SMALL) filled ... and sealant to coat her six-year molars. Bubbles and I played in the waiting room while it was all done.
  • We went bowling with one of the kids' friends from school (and his mom and little sister) on President's Day ... which is fitting, since there's a bowling alley in the White House. We didn't go to that one ... but we figured that we were channeling our inner Nixon by bowling. It was fun. 
  • We called my Nana for her 82nd birthday. She's learned that she can hear a lot better on the other phone ... so it was a much better conversation than usual. I should call her more. A lot more.
  • I made it to the VERY END of the Relief Society meeting (that was going on at the same time as SOTW rehearsal). But they DEMANDED that I take some of the chocolate goodies home with me. And ... well, I live to obey! (I shared with Michael, too. So, OBVS, I'm a very good wife.) Yummmm.
  • I learned on Tuesday that the kids are having their once-a-year school musical program.
    AND it's on the night of a dress rehearsal.
    I asked our director if Michael and I could attend THAT ... but, since the newspaper is coming that week, she was leaning towards "no." ... And, well, you probably have picked up how NOT GOOD I am with disappointment (and there's the fact that I have the sinus-thing again AND I've not been sleeping well ... and I feel like a failure for missing the kids' events -- like when, last year, I was in the hospital on their birthday with a stupid kidney stone), so I TRIED to compose myself ... and utterly failed.
    BUT, thanks to awesome people and modern technology, we have a plan.
    IF the newspaper covers the play the night before the concert, I will go to the concert.
    If not, I won't ... but REGARDLESS, my mom and Michael's folks will take the kids and hold Vesper. Mom will use our video camera (SEE? Michael's brilliant for getting that for me!) to record the concert for us (since Michael probably won't be able to make it). AND one of Bruce and Zoƫ's nursery leaders has offered to tape it, too. As backup ... and she'd love to see them perform, too. (YES, awesome people).
    Also, a lot of the gals gave me hugs ... which was really sweet of them. One of the younger girls gave me a hug and asked me, "Did you pray about it?" Which was VERY impressive. We have amazing people in this production.
    The director did email me and apologize for upsetting me and told me that she wouldn't judge me for whichever decision I made (to attend the kids' production or the dress rehearsal). I apologized back for my behavior, which was not as professional as it should have been, and let her know that if they need me there, for the newspaper's story, I can be there ... otherwise, I'll probably go see the kids' concert ... since, well, it is the only one that year.
  • I did learn, though, from their teacher yesterday, that I could attend the dress rehearsal. Which is a great thing, too. 
I've been having really weird dreams ... and I keep waking up feeling exhausted.
Then I ask Michael if he thinks that I have sleep apnea ... HAVE I BEEN SNORING?!?!?
And he tells me, "No, you haven't been snoring. You're just stressed out."

And why am I stressed?
  • Well, we're planning a family vacation ... but I'm reaching the stage of "Okay. We're going. It's going to be awesome. And we have lodgings for EVERY NIGHT. Okay, come what may!"
    (As opposed to a family vacation where the person who booked lodgings didn't book the last night's stay. That lead to QUITE a bit of excitement. And I'm still bitter that I lost my shampoo, conditioner, and (MOST IMPORTANTLY) my Dirty Girl body wash. I loved that stuff!*sigh*)
  • Bubbles' birthday party is TOMORROW. The house is now MOSTLY clean ... but there was the fact that I had to CLEAN the house.
    For the rest of it ... well, I'll make a smash cake for her tonight. And we'll buy a cake and ice cream and stuff for lunch tomorrow. I've refinished the dining room chairs ... the old covers that L and I did about two years ago were ripping. Now, instead of plain brown covers, the chairs have cute brown and owl vinyl on the seats. Very cute ... but I'm still getting used to them. ^_^
  • I know that we're going to have to replace the kitchen fridge. And it's a very specific size. Which means that it's hard to find a fridge that will fit ... in face, we'll have to downsize by a couple cubic feet. Which is hella frustrating.
  • Still fighting off the ants. But, thankfully, all the bug spray (some of it's organic and safe enough to eat!) seems to be working. ... Well, judging by the number of ant corpses that I keep finding. *ugh*
  • I still suck at reading my scripture and praying. And exercising. 
But, in good news, we've preordered some awesome movies!
  • I'll be getting season/series three of Downton Abbey ... so I can be all caught up (well, I have to watch my DVD of Season Two. ... Shut up. I'm getting to it!) this coming week.
  • Amazingly, The Hobbit is already going to be on DVD. We should get it by our anniversary ... so, once the play is over, the whole family can snuggle up as we watch a bunny sleigh the start of an epic quest and listen to Benedict Cumberbatch growl ... Seriously, I'm tickled that Freeman and Cumberbatch are in another series together. 
  • And, a few days/a week after that comes in, we should receive Les Miserables. So good. I've only been listening to it for the last twenty years ... only seen it performed live twice ... only going to watch this DVD until it gets a hole burned into it from the laser ... what?
And, not too terribly long after that, we have a vacation! And the kids are going to be so excited! (And I'll go on a lot of rides with them, since they are tall enough for almost all the rides! (Six inches too short for the big roller coaster at one place ... but that's it!)

My kids also say cute things ... Well, Bubbles isn't QUITE talking yet. She's vocalizing ... but not to the point where I can brag about her wit or sense of humor. ;P

We were reading Lloyd Alexander's The Cat Who Wished to Be a Man. At one point, Bucket turns to me and says, "A woman wants to marry a cat?!? *singsongs* AWKWARD!!"
I burst out laughing ... which meant that for the next three minutes, Bruise AND Bucket tried to get the same reaction out of me.

Bubbles really likes peek-a-boo ... however she can get it. Sometimes, she'll just do the motions of pulling something (say a blanket) over her head ... when she's not holding a blanket. :P
But, for the most part, she'll wave and give kisses (wide, open-mouthed ones ... but, well, you can wipe that off!). She loves to give people "high five" ... and we're trying to teach her to pound it (you know, where to people put their fists together? I've also heard it called "knuckles").
She's walking all over.
Yesterday, she was walking through the kitchen, "reading" a board book (she was looking at it, anyways. At least she was holding it right-side-up!) ... then she got into the cupboard of pots and pans.
When I went to get a pan out for dinner, I discovered that she'd squirreled away some books in there!
(I can just tell myself that she's TRYING to put things away, right??)

Bruise's bottom teeth are coming in. No more new loose ones (that we know of ... yet).
Bucket is convinced that the teeth next to her front teeth will NEVER come in.
Bubbles has gotten in four teeth on the top and her two bottom teeth.
Those front teeth of hers have a crazy gap, though ... like Madonna. I'm hoping that they'll scoot a little closer together soon.

!!!!GIRLY TMI STUFF ALERT!!!!
So, last week ... dang, I was not feeling great. I was really itching ... It wasn't until I noticed that some, ahem, delicate skin tore that I figured out that I had a case of thrush. GREAT.
So, I got some medicine.
I have to say that the 1-dose stuff is AMAZING. I woke up the next morning and was all, "Oh. Something's different! What's different?"
And then I was able to figure out that I wasn't burning and itching in my ladybits.
Yes ... I'm out of touch with my body ... You'd think that after having a yeast infection for around a MONTH while pregnant with Bubbles, that'd I'd recognize the signs of it more readily!
Obviously not. Whoops!
----END OF GIRLY/TMI STUFF----

Besides that, I found a great pair of sandals for SOTW (since my pair from Part 1 ... well, they weren't too tight just because I was pregnant.) and I got a good deal on them. Michael's able to use his Birkenstocks (a present from my mom a few years back) ... so we're goo there. We just need to buy eyeliner (for both of us) and mascara (just for me) ... Twenty-two more days ... and then we have our evenings free again. And Michael will be clean-shaven ... and we can cut his hair ... and I can paint my toenails again.

Until then, well, we'll get through this ... just in time for Spring Break. Phew!

Let's just hope that my sinuses will get their figurative buns in gear and stop being all congested and gross. Because I'm ready to be done with that.

Good times, good times.

Counting ...

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