Saturday, September 29, 2007

the things kids do

I don't know if it was the first snow of the season (in September), or the barometric pressure, or what - but I was so tired! I had just been chatting with my friend who also has a 3 year old, about how good our kids are. My friend said, "I can take a nap with Aimee free in the house and I don't have to worry about it. I know exactly what she'll do." I said, "Alex is pretty good too, I could probably do that too. It's Sam I have to worry about." So after putting Alex and Sam down for naps, I thought, Why not? I'll just take a nap too. Even though Alex can now climb out of her bed and basically roam the house unsupervised, she never does that. I heard some clunking sounds from the direction of her room, but that's not too uncommon. Some days she doesn't sleep, but she generally stays in her room and plays.

So after Sam got up I was in the kitchen giving him a snack when in walks Alex with a huge grin on her face. Her hair was completely PLASTERED with A&D ointment - which has been sitting on her changing table for years without her ever touching it. I couldn't help laughing, but after 4 washes with baby oil and shampoo neither of us was laughing anymore. Her hair is still stiff and sticky. In case you've ever wondered, A&D ointment just doesn't make a good beauty treatment.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Slowing down; books I'm into

Whew. This month has been busier than I wanted. I usually work 3 days a week but for the past 3 weeks I worked full time (2 weeks of ward attending on the VA neurology service, and one week of work meetings and recertifying ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support)). I'm hoping for things to settle down now, and looking forward to enjoying the fall weather. This morning I was surprised by the first new SNOW on the tops of the mountains near our house - a rude awakening! The leaves are barely starting to turn color - I hope the valley floor doesn't see snow for another month yet. I don't think Sam has a winter coat that fits!

Speaking of Sam, he has had a runny nose and 2 white sores on his tongue for the past 2 days. I wonder what this is, and I hope I don't get it. Since he has sneezed directly into my face a few times, I'm sure I'm exposed. Oh goody.

Despite my schedule I've managed to stick my nose into a few good books lately. I've read one chapter of The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning, and I can see a kindred spirit in him already. I felt like I could close my eyes and point to the page, and almost anywhere in the chapter I'd land on a good quote. I remember laughing out loud at one description of someone whose "cheese is falling off his cracker." Wish I had a sample for the blog, but I don't have the book with me. I'll work on that.

I also started reading Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith by Rob Bell. I think anytime someone starts talking about "repainting" or "re-visioning" or "re-thinking" some aspect of Christianity, it makes some people really nervous and threatened. There is a Wikipedia page about Bell in which some of his critics call him various names, like "relativist" and "liberal" and the like, but I find it interesting they are calling him these names rather than pointing out flaws in his thinking or inconsistencies in his positions. If they want liberal, they should read something by John Shelby Spong - perhaps "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism", a book whose title I really love (haven't actually read the book though). Bell is pretty moderate, if you ask me. It seems he is just out there saying what a lot of us(maybe most) have been thinking, and is trying to swing the pendulum from way over on the "orthodoxy (right doctrine)" side, to a balance between orthodoxy and orthopraxis (right living). I think it's a healthy change. I bet I'd enjoy going to Mars Hill, the church where he is a pastor. But alas, I haven't found a Rob Bell or a Mars Hill in Utah yet.

Other books to consider, when there is time - Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, by Marcus Borg - anyone out there familiar with this author?


The Kalahari Typing School for Men - by Alexander McCall Smith - I cannot say enough how much I have enjoyed this whole series!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Song women's group

Last night I attended the women's group of New Song Presbyterian Church, where we've been attending for the last couple weeks. I don't remember the last time I attended a women's church group - the idea usually turned me off. I had visions of sitting around doing crafts, painting toenails, swapping tips on makeup and telling childbirth horror stories. Not my thing. But this group was not like that. On the surface, what struck me most was that everyone was so young and skinny! I did have the advantage that my buddy Tammy had been in the group, and I knew she wouldn't have kept going back if it wasn't pretty good.

As an icebreaker we talked about where we were from and how we came to Utah. Not one person there was a Utah native. Several had just arrived here in the past 1-2 years. Amazingly, I had the (dubious?) honor of having been here the longest (13 years). Makes me feel old, but I probably was the oldest one there aside from the pastor's wife who has me by a few years, I think. Anyway, it reminded me that non-Mormon, non-Catholic Christians are truly in the minority (2%) here.

It also took me back to the days when we first moved to Utah. We went to First Presbyterian church and made friends with a bunch of people who were similar in age to the ones in this group - and they all moved away. I wonder how many in this group will still be here in another 10 years. I think a lot of people who move here wind up moving away again - especially if they're not of the "dominant religious affiliation."

Monday, September 10, 2007

terrible threes

What happened to my sweet, mostly compliant, reasonable little girl? Someone has kidnapped her and replaced her with a screaming, thrashing, tantruming little monster! The past few days she has been really obstreperous! The other day, after multiple scream-filled time-outs, she told Bryan, "I had a horrible day." Usually in the evenings she tells us, "I had a GOOD day."

resisting control or restraint in a difficult manner; unruly.
noisy, clamorous, or boisterous: obstreperous children.
[Origin: 1590–1600; < style="FONT-VARIANT: small-caps" href="">ob- + strepere to rattle); see -ous]

In her defense, she hasn't had the best week. She was ill for a few days, and last night she fell out of bed again (we really do need to install that bedrail). She also has not been napping consistently, so she gets more worn down at the end of the day. Between Sam's giving up his morning nap and Alex giving up the afternoon nap, we are all getting less rest these days. Anyway, I hope this behavior will be short-lived. I have heard people say that "threes" were more terrible than "twos" and I'm starting to fear what this year will look like!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Got my Silver

Today I broke the 45,000 point barrier and earned my Presidential Champions Silver Award. Woohoo!

I started this thing in January of this year as a way to motivate myself to keep working out. It is offered through my work and I signed up after getting a mass e-mail from the big boss challenging everyone to do it. Every time we work out, we log our points online and as they accumulate we earn "awards." The awards are mainly symbolic, but it's nice to have some little external motivation.The only other person I know who is participating is my friend Tammy, who has probably earned seven gold medals in the time it took me to get my bronze and silver. (Her 2 year old frequently boasts that his "mommy is buff" and it's true!) Anyway, I am taking the "slow but steady" tortoise approach but at least I'm still in the race.

On to the GOLD!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

anticlimactic first day

So, today was Alex's first day of preschool. I'd been trying to prepare her for the past couple days, telling her how much fun it would be, especially since her friend Aimee and cousin Ava would be there too. We loaded her little purple backpack with a set of extra clothes just in case of accidents, since she is still perfecting her potty training skills. She looked really cute in her pink blouse and matching pink barrettes. As we left the house she waved good-bye to Sam and the babysitter, saying, "Sam doesn't go to preschool." She seemed confident enough.

And then, in the car on the way there, she started crying and saying her stomach hurt. I took her inside and she seemed OK for a few minutes, even playing and smiling at a cute boy (already a natural born flirt!). But I noticed she stopped playing and started grabbing her belly, and soon she said again that her tummy hurt. Was this just nerves? She told me she wanted to go home and, despite my uncertainty as to what was really going on, I decided I'd better be safe than sorry. So we left - and very shortly afterward, she did throw up, thankfully not in the car. All told, I think her first day of preschool lasted about 10 minutes. Poor Alex. I was so disappointed! But VERY glad I didn't leave her at the preschool!

Sometimes things just don't turn out the way you planned.