Sunday, March 25, 2012

One of those days...

I woke up this morning with sunshine all around me. Today is one of those gorgeous spring days that I crave throughout the rest of the year. Sunshine, blossoms, green grass & still. While I was in the shower I kept thinking about how badly I wanted pancakes and by the time I was dressed, in my springiest dress, Dave had read my mind and made them. They were delicious... but sitting down to eat set us back, causing the last few minutes before church to be a mad rush. There was sunshine all around me, and I had absolutely nothing to complain about, but a dark cloud was forming in my mind; I was grouch. 

Church was fine. Roland was well behaved, and Dave took him out when he could sit for no longer. Dave and I sat together in Sunday school... maybe for the first time since we've been married? It's been a LONG time since neither of us were teaching primary on Sunday. We even got to hold a lovely little baby - a perfect little boy for a few minutes. Dave put his arm around me, and even gave me a smooch when I went off to Relief Society. 

I hate sharing this, because it makes me seem crazy. I feel like I'm a pretty level headed human being, but at times as a woman... and more often as a pregnant woman especially, I am an emotional being! I have these days where attacks of emotion cause a constant lump in my throat that is impossible to explain away. Today was one of those days. A simple comment, made in passing, with a smile on the face of this sweet woman that I visit teach hurt my feelings and brought the lump into my throat. We were talking about my due date, and she laughed and said "are you sure there's only one in there?" Good one. It hurt my feelings for a few reasons- maybe because I'm feeling (and thought I was looking) pretty dang good - I still fit into normal jeans. I've been active- walking, biking, swimming. I was on skype a few weeks ago and someone said it looked like I'd lost weight (obviously not true, but it was nice to hear). So that comment, made in innocence, just a lady trying to crack a joke cracked my sun shiny glasses, and let the clouds roll in. It was fast Sunday, and although I wasn't fasting (ie: previously mentioned pancakes) I was trying to be respectful to the people around me, and refrain from the constant drinking of water, and snacking that I've become accustomed to. The nauseous head ache had set in, and I was irritable.

I sat there for the rest of Relief Society, hearing a wonderful lesson about the worth of souls. It was beautiful, but I felt disconnected. The teacher asked for comments about a specific circumstance; one I had found myself in in the past, and had got through with the Savior's help. And yet, I couldn't bring myself to comment. I just wasn't feeling it. 

By the time we got home from church I was done emotionally. Dave was being sweet. He took over prep for supper, while I made lunch... but a few simple comments from him landed me in bed with a tear stained pillow. They weren't mean comments, not even offensive on a normal day: some constructive criticism about the dinner rolls I had made the day before, and some poking fun at my spelling on the list of Japanese words on our fridge- but to me in that moment, I just couldn't handle it. I ate lunch begrudgingly, then went to bed for a few hours, leaving Dave to make supper, put Roland down and get Roland up... yes I outnapped my 19 month old. But I woke up with a new perspective and apologies on my lips. 

I hate it when I get like this, but I don't know how to stop myself. I remember the feeling, as a teenager- just screaming at my mom, slamming the door, then thinking "I don't even know why I did that. I'm not really that mad." I thought I'd get over those hormonal outbursts as I got older. It happens about once a month when I'm not pregnant, and way too often while I am, that my emotions get the best of me. That I am irritable, and angry, quick to take offense, and quick to dish it out. Like I said before, I think of myself as a pretty level headed human being... but on days liek today it doesn't take much to tip the scales one way or the other.

One day a few months ago Dave was in another room, and I called to him. 
He came out, looking concerned and said "What?" with a tone of fear and remorse. 
"Nothing." I replied, "I was just wondering... " 
But then I thought for a second, and said "What did you think I was going to ask you?" 
He admitted he thought he was in trouble for something. I laughed and apologized that he lived in constant fear of his wife. 
He smiled and said "It's not constant fear. Only when you're pregnant, or have your period."
I thought for a few seconds... at that point in our lives together that came to about 3/4 of our marriage that Dave had spent in fear of this old lady. Poor Dave.

I don't know what today's lesson is. Perhaps that I need to have lunch and take a nap a little sooner next time? Perhaps that I need medication and counselor? Maybe that I need to wear a sign around my neck on days like today that reads "If you talk to me I'll probably start crying. Approach at your own risk." And maybe this is it. My life I mean. Maybe this is who I am, and what I need to learn to deal with. Something I need to deal with without burning bridges and hurting the feelings of those I love every 4 weeks, or for 9 months straight every couple of years. I guess, this is another opportunity that I have to go to the Lord, and say that this experience is more than I can tackle on my own. With His help maybe I can get through it all- with less tears, less tearing remarks, and more love. 
I hope so (and I'm pretty sure Dave hopes so too).

Friday, March 16, 2012

Good Morning! Good Morning!

I'm not a morning person. I was nervous about becoming a mother for a few reasons, but my biggest fear (no matter how ridiculous this seems) was about sleep. I love to sleep, and I wasn't sure how I would react to a baby when I was deprived of it. Turns out I had a baby that also loved to sleep. We slept in until 10 am every morning for Rolands first 8 months of life. It was delightful.

When Roland had just turned 1, I was finally feeling like I needed to get my butt in gear and get back into shape. I enrolled in a bootcamp, in which there were 2 options: 6 am or 6 pm. I obviously wanted to go at 6 pm. Dave's schedule is super unpredictable, and when he's busy with his job the majority of his appointments should actually be in the evenings. So in my attempt to be supportive of him, as well as for a guarantee that he would be home to watch Roland (I didn't need any excuses to miss this thing!), I signed up for the morning class. This decision changed my life!
It was through groupon, and I got 6 weeks for super cheap. I really enjoyed it, saw results after just a few weeks, and would/should/could have continued, except I found out I was preggo, and felt like pushing my body to the point of pure exhaustion twice a week wasn't a good choice for me at that time. I'm still not sure if I made the right choice by not going back after those 6 weeks. But I do know that I WILL go back after baby #2 is born.

I enjoyed this experience for so many reasons. I loved what I learned about myself. I loved feeling like an athlete again. I loved going from the slowest one, (ok, I HATED BEING THE SLOWEST ONE) that had to lay on the bathroom floor halfway through the first class so I didn't toss my cookies all over the gym, to being able to compete with the people who had been enrolled in the class for the past few years. I loved that the class was ultimately designed and measured according to personal bests. It was about doing my best, where I was, individually. But there were people around me that would encourage me and challenge me to do better and to work harder. I loved coming home and finding my boys still in bed, happy to see me. I loved being drenched in sweat and feeling strong.
But the thing that I loved, that surprised me the most, was how much I loved waking up early. I loved knowing that even if I didn't do anything else that day I would have accomplished something. I loved beating the sun up, and having her guide me home. I loved feeling tired- really really tired - at the end of the day. No reward is as good as falling into bed at night when your muscles are aching and your eyes are burning.
We had to make changes in our habits to make this work. I will admit that we are kind of tv junkies. We wind down at the end of most days with an episode or 2 of our favorite shows. Midnight (or later) was the standard time we'd roll into bed. We'd awake the next morning, bleary eyed and tired, arguing over who should get Roland, and trying to squeeze every last minute out of our sleep. The truth is that I probably wasn't sleeping well through the night because I wasn't using my body through the day to do what it was designed for- to move.
So! We committed to be in bed by 10 pm every night- not just the nights before boot camp- every night. It is amazing what going to bed early, having a solid sleep, then waking up early can do to a person! It really did change my outlook on the world. I felt a million times better!
I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I've consistently been going to bed, sleeping well, waking up and working out since I gained my new outlook. In fact twice this week we stayed up passed 2 am, playing Rook with my brother in law & sister in law, then slept in passed 9 the next morning, BUT some things have changed for good. For the first time in my life I've stopped using the excuse "I'm not a morning person." And although I still frequently seek out a mid-day nap I am well aware of the connection between how much I move during the day and how well I sleep at night.
Last Sunday was Daylight Savings. Roland still hasn't adjusted. Having family in town last week, which lead to several late nights in a row for him hasn't helped. His bed time (ie: when he'll consider going to bed) has been pushed back by about an hour and a half. But that also means that he's not waking up until 9 am every morning. That means that I have been waking up before him, which is just bizarre. But it gives me some time to take in the day, instead of hit the ground running. It was nice this morning to be up and at 'er for a while before my little man, and to have my wits about me when I went in to get him, instead of stumbling in with bleary-eyed impatience.
It's been quite the experience to realize that not being a morning person doesn't mean I can't enjoy the morning... because what kind of excuse is that anyways?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Roly's Room

I did this a few weeks ago, but it took me forever to upload the pictures from my camera, so I'm finally sharing my latest creative endeavor now... drum roll... A collage wall in Roland's room.

I know it looks a little busy, but I love it!  I obviously still need to fill the frames & do some finishing touches, but here is the just of it. Shall I explain the process? I might as well, considering sharing this was the only intent behind this post:
  • Bunting - The fabric was originally purchased and cut out for Roly's first birthday party. I threaded a single piece of yarn through the single sided fabric, and strung it up all around our back yard. I loved how it looked, but when I decided to use it in his room I wanted it to be less flimsy. I ended up sewing 2 triangles together to add more structure, and crocheting a long chain (about 4 wide), which I sewed each triangle onto. Now that I'm looking at the picture it looks a little cock-eyed. Apparently I need to straighten it out a bit. 
  • Paintings - I used a few different types of canvases, mostly purchased from the dollar store or Michael's, and painted different patterned backgrounds onto them with the same neutral, yellow/ beige colours. I think I will paint a large 'R' on one of the blank canvases, and a large '__' on the other, for baby to be :) The tree was a long work in progress, and I'm happy that it finally has a place on the wall, in its completed form. 
  • Clock - A birthday gift from my brother Joel, probably 5 years ago. Who knew I would use it in my baby boy's room? "Whoooo?"
  • Animal Alphabet Poster - My sister in law, Shannon, got that made for Roly when he was born. I love it, but Roland absolutely adores it. He could stand at it pointing at the animals, and making noises for HOURS if I let him. He will stare at it for as long as I have the patience to hold him in front of it. 
  • Frames - Some were purchased at the thrift store, and my mom gave me a truck load of mismatched frames last time I was home. I painted them with thick layers of acrylic paint. I put simple brown paper as a background for all of the the frames. I like the look. I'm hoping to get the following prints / pictures for the frames:
    • A large photo of Roland and Baby for the big green frame. Until then I might even print a photo of Roland and my belly.
      Although let's be honest - baby is coming in 3 months! I probably won't get to printing a picture before then!
    • A picture of the Savior. Possibly Jesus and the children. I haven't found the perfect print yet. I'm still on the look out. I would love suggestions if anyone has any. 
    • A family photo of all of us. 
    • Pictures of Roland and baby with cousins and grandparents.
    • I already have pictures of the Vancouver Temple & the First Presidency in frames.
      Allow me to take a moment to brag about my child: He knows who to point at when I ask where Presidents Monson, Uchtdorf and Eyering are. The little smarty pants!
  • The Quilt - I just had to include it in the picture. I'm so proud of it! It was made by me and my mama over thanksgiving. I absolutely love it. It really helped with my struggles with getting Roly to sleep after we weened him off the boob, bottle and soother all within a week's time. 
I love turquoise and green together, with accents of red and brown. For months I've been wanting to have gospel pictures in Roly's room. I just couldn't picture how to implement it. I'm delighted to have at least the outline done!