Adventures in Left-handedness

Hey guys ... breaking a limb as important as a wrist is going to have life-changing consequences.  Some of them I predicted; more have surfaced along the way.  But I can never feel too sorry for myself because, as I recall, many pioneers (and other people!) have raised families/lived their lives without the limbs that I still have use of.  Also, a sister in my ward had a cast up to her shoulder when she had a two-month old to take care of.  Oy.
Anyway, here is a little list of things that have happened, predicted or not.

Foreseen: eating simpler meals to save time and cleanup
Unforeseen: the great hospitality of people I barely know, bringing wonderful meals in when we had little time to fix it for ourselves

Foreseen: holding my baby only to feed him ... even that can be painful
Unforeseen: taking him from Slice in church, only to have him immediately start rooting around and shrieking like he just realized he is STARVING TO DEATH, just because Mom is now holding him (insert: quick exit from Sunday School)

Foreseen: Slice getting up at night to get Liam, change his diaper, rock him to sleep, etc.
Unforeseen: me getting so used to it that I don't even wake up when he cries anymore

Foreseen: not being able to fix my own hair
Unforeseen: not even being able to convince Slice to try to fix it.  I thought I could get him to practice braiding or something; I was wrong.  He flat-out refuses.

Foreseen: taking longer to do just about everything
Unforeseen: a new bout of clumsiness wherein I drop everything, bump into things, and lose balance on a regular basis

Foreseen: a messier house than I would like
Unforeseen: going without staples like milk, eggs and bread for days on end because I'm too lazy (and it's too much of a pain, too many other things to do, or whatever other excuses I pull out) to go to the grocery store

Foreseen: being unable to put Liam in his carseat or get him out
Unforeseen: being unable to go anywhere without Slice, because I can't get Liam in or out of the car, period.

Foreseen: having a hard time keeping any secrets from Slice while I am so dependent on him
Unforeseen: having NOTHING for him on Christmas morning (besides the pistachios and toothbrush in his stocking) because all my other Christmas present plans, some of which involved sewing, fell through

I believe in Equal Opportunity Parenting, and Slice is doing a great job. He never complains but is always asking what else he can do for me.  And while I miss being the primary soother, etc., I have also really enjoyed watching Slice build his relationship with Liam.  That kid loves his dad more than anything.
(And vice versa.)
We're in good hands.


Room #1 - comprising Projects 0, 1-4, 6, 8-11, etc. etc. etc....

One of the things we loved about this house when we first walked through was that it was pretty much move-in ready.  No major projects needing to be done before it was livable.

Cue: ominous music

When the previous owners moved out and we came to (surprise!) deep clean, Slice and his father checked the ceiling in the living room.  It was sparkly asbestos -commonly referred to as "popcorn ceiling" and/or "linked to cancer" - applied to plaster, and we thought it would be easier to take care of without any of our stuff in it.  So while I finished up packing for the move, the men scraped and wiped the ceiling, then cleaned up and vacuumed/cleaned carpets before moving the furniture in.

Then we waited a month.

Slice primed the accent wall and formerly dark green hall.  Then as soon as the texture gun was available, we covered all the furniture and widened the cracks in the old ceiling.  Once again Slice and his dad worked to patch, sand, patch, sand, texture, scrape, prime, and paint. 
(Okay, I did a little of the sanding, priming and painting too.)
They did a fabulous job.  

Liam watched with great interest, and more than a little concern that his newly-found home was changing once again.
We decided on white walls ... for now.  We also replaced the original flowery sconces with new brass ones, but have not yet installed the main light fixture, because that will require some preliminary electrical work.  In the attic.

Last week, Slice and several of my brothers/in-laws moved our piano to the house.  My brother Jordan even tuned it for me!  I was so happy to have a piano in my house again, I broke my wrist to celebrate.

Now all we need is a light fixture, some "window treatments"* (I hate that phrase), a new piano mirror & bench, new coverings on my chair/cedar chest/couch, pictures on my walls, and the room will be DONE!
Good thing I have all this extra time and money on my hands; Liam and I can knock it out in no time.

Yes, that was sarcastic.

*more thermal ones, of course, because those windows are huge and we just got our first heating bill and YOWZERS!


a picture to appease

We're a little short-handed around here (ha ha), but I'm working on some posts, don't you fret.


Thoughts on Energy Efficiency

Firstly, GOOD NEWS!  The break is not such a bad one, says the Dr., so I don't even need a hard cast on it!  They put me in a splint that I can take off to shower, wash my hands, and eventually exercise my wrist a bit.  This is so good.  It means I can also type, write, and (attempt to) fix my hair over the next six weeks, which we previously thought unlikely.
And now for the rest of this post.

I try to be energy efficient, really I do.  Really, I have tried ever since 5th grade when we did Debate and the Resolution was "Resolved: that the State of Utah establish a program to substantially increase Renewable Energy Use within its borders."  (Yes I remember.)  I was on the Affirmative Side of that debate, so I learned all about how Utah's non-renewable energy resources are DISAPPEARING and by the year 20__ we will have nothing left unless we switch to renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and water power.
I've been scribbling in my margins ever since.

Then I lived in Europe for a while, and then I went to Japan, where not recycling a plastic bottle is pretty much a crime.  You already know I can't stand to waste food, but I also recycle my Walmart plastic bags and use my Green grocery bags every single time I remember to.  (Frankly, it's not that often.)

Now that we are homeowners and have utility bills coming, I've been investing in thermal drapes/curtains for my windows - especially since the previous owner scared us a little with the winter figures he gave having to do with electricity.  I've spent so many hours looking for low prices in decent colors and correct sizes, I might even be an expert by now.  Some of the drapes I've ordered certainly work better than others for blocking light in Liam's bright room, keeping draft out, etc. etc.

As it happens, the ones that work the best are the ones I put up in our bedroom, which is a Problem.  Capital P (and that rhymes with "T" and that stands for "Tool!").

The drapes are so efficient, they block out the morning light, and Slice and I keep staying in bed later and later, because the room is so dark and the (new) bed is comfy, and if Liam is sleeping we can just sleep and sleep and sleep ..............

Slice says we have to take them down now.
But what about the drafts??



You've all heard about the Provo Tabernacle by now, right?  Slice notified me first thing (like, 7:00) this morning.  And my friend Linnea got some incredible photographs of the incident.

The whole thing is so sad.  I loved that building.  It's strange, too, because just this week I found videos of one of my Spring University Chorale concerts (that we performed in the Tabernacle) on Youtube, pretty randomly - and Slice and I have been watching/talking about them for a week now.

The acoustics in that hall were amazing; I'll never forget what an awesome experience it was to sing in there.


...and I'm thinking Jordan is just bad luck.

Alternate titles for this post:
  • How the Lord warns prepares me for trials (and also moves in Mysterious Ways)
  • Left-handed is the new Black
  • the swelling, it was awesome
Have I got a story for you folks!

One day almost two years ago, my brother Matt broke his leg badly enough that it had to be operated on.  My other brother Jordan, a med student, was just pulling into town from St. Louis and was allowed to watch the doctors cut open his little brother.
Matt had to delay his mission 6 weeks, which caused all sorts of havoc, but it worked out all right in the end.

Fast forward to two weeks ago.

Jordan is in town again, this time for a month-long radiology rotation.  Shortly after he arrived in Roosevelt we got word from missionary Matt that he needed emergency surgery and would be coming home for a few weeks.  Once again Jordan scrubbed in, and not only watched but participated in the surgery.  (Matt will be heading back to Paraguay on the 27th, by which time he should be fairly well-recovered.)

Today I stepped out my front door and carefully made my way down the icy concrete steps.  See, I don't know about where you live, but here in Roosevelt we've had more rain than snow this month.  And just this morning the rain turned to sheets of ice, the likes of which many of us have never seen.
You see where I'm going with this.

My feet disappeared and I landed, mostly on my right wrist, which has given me trouble periodically since high school.  Slice came outside to make sure I made it to the car and found me hollering, swinging my arm, hopping up and down, and blabbering on about how we have no handrail (which we've never even talked about) so there was nothing I could do to prevent such a fall.  His confusion was quite understandable.
(Me? I was just in pain.)

A couple hours and six X-rays later, I am the unfortunate bearer of a fractured wrist.  Oh yes.
Meaning: I won't make it to his Holiday Open House, but I'll be seeing the orthopedic surgeon next Monday morning for a cast.  My 6-month old now thinks his mother is neglecting him.  I can't take a real shower for  ____ # of weeks.

Did I mention that my mother had shoulder surgery about a month ago, and my dad had a little surgery the same day as Matt?  And that my sister is expecting a baby in April?

Right now I'm counting my blessings: we re-instated our health insurance coverage this month; Slice is currently unemployed.  I have a dishwasher.  I scrubbed my bathroom first thing this morning.  Fig and Truffs brought me Christmas treats.

This post has taken me two hours to write.  The left one just doesn't work well alone.


Ward Business*

You probably already know this but in our old ward, the Bishop was -and is- my Dad.
This was great in all kinds of ways: sweet temple recommend interviews, grandchildren making faces from the second row, getting the true stories behind ward gossip, constant access to the church.

Now in our new ward, the Bishop is my old boss.  The guy I used to spend 40 hours a week with.  The guy who sat and watched as I practically ruined his work life.
(You know, by quitting but not quitting and turning the aide position into a part-time one, then leaving him solo for an entire month, then saying I would come back to work in the fall but only working a few weeks before quitting for good....)
This is also great in all kinds of ways.

By our second official Sunday in the ward, I was substituting for the Primary chorister and Slice was teaching Elders Quorum; we juggled the babe between us.  We've been recruited to the ward choir and also given new callings.  I joke with people that it's weird to have a bishop who already knows me so well.  He knows my family and a fair amount of recent history; my opinions on books, current events and trends; my organizational quirks and (many, many!) pet peeves.  The nature of our work brought about a lot of discussion on such things.

My favorite thing, though, is that most people in the new ward don't know that I know the Bishop on a personal level.  They point out his children to me, telling me their names, explaining relationships and things that I am already well-aware of.
And I just smile and nod, thanking them for the valuable information.  These people are so kind.

In other news, the ward we moved into is very different from the one we left.
I know, I know!
The ward we left was (is) exceptional in many ways - literally.  Membership, activity, tithing and growth rates are off the charts, even by Utah standards.  Also, the ward choir is possibly the best in existence.
But as much as we loved it, I didn't really feel needed.  Except to keep 100+ Primary kids in check.  Meetings were big and often noisy, even irreverent.

Not so much here!

In any case - it's nice to feel needed every once in a while.

*My apologies in the off-chance that (as a reader of my blog, that is) you don't speak fluent Mormon...



speaking of Hallelujah,

If you are in the Basin and dying to sing some Handel,

(Carolyn? Hello? Are you there?)

we have one more practice until our Annual Messiah Sing-In.

You can still join the chorus (Carolyn? Hello?),

or you can just come and Sing In.  (Well, that's what you're supposed to do. Most people don't.)

Or, you can just come and listen.  Most people do.

Friday, December 17th 7:00 p.m. RJHS  - Free of charge

See you there?


Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, to us.

So the sleeping.
It's going well.
(Thanks for asking.)

We've had a rough few months with the sickness and teething and moving and switching from cradle to crib.  Quite rough, actually, because Liam was waking 3-4 (even 5!) times a night and expecting to be rocked back to sleep.  This did not happen even when he was a newborn.
See, I had that "cry yourself to sleep" thing going for a couple weeks, but it was only when I put him down for the night, and it turned back into "nurse him to sleep/back to sleep/whenever he won't calm down" as soon as the stuffy nose hit.  It was not good.

I waited for the croup and sniffles to go away.  So for a while we were zombies, Slice and I - slaves to our baby's desires.  I should probably mention here that Slice goes above and beyond his husbandly duties (according to many) by actually getting up and getting the baby, rocking him back to sleep, or bringing him to me to be fed.  He has done so from the start.  Thank you, you are so wonderful, love you long time, Slice.


As you're expecting, I got fed up again.  The cold was gone, his tummy was full, WHY ARE YOU NOT SLEEPING, CHILD.  So I told Slice, "Don't get him when he wakes up, let him cry.  At least until 5:00 or so." (We usually put him to bed between 9:30 and 10:00.)

He woke up once, cried for a while (30 mins?), then slept until 7:00.
The next night he woke up once and cried for 8 minutes - I timed, yes - and slept until almost 8:00.
The next few nights he slept all night and
my baby sleeps through the night, for reals!  9:30-7:30, consistently.

If only he hadn't gotten sick (and all that stuff), we could have done it sooner.


Project #1

 The Grand Bookshelf.
Formerly of a nondescript glazed beige ....

 NOW of a beautiful Colonial blue.
Still, not to be holding all of my books because it is too narrow.  Ah, well.  You cannot win them all.

(Sorry for the terrible pics.  Apparently the color changes throughout the day.  Don't click to make them bigger!!)


Possibly my favorite thing about this house

Father-In-Law: "Isn't it illegal to bury....?"
Father: "Yes, yes it is."



For his half-birthday the little munchkin got to meet his Uncle Matt!  Unexpected (until two days ago, that is), but really quite fun.  We sang some favorite Christmas carols, passed around the One-Tooth-Wonder, ate pistachio pudding and ice cream, and chuckled at the resident Paraguayan, who kept poking his head inside various appliances and repeating their names aloud, as if in wonder.

"Wow, Microwave Oven..."

Also he spouted off phrases in Spanish.

A happy day, all around.

(Isn't that tooth the darndest thing you ever saw??  So glad this kid made me a mother.)