A Politician at Heart

Remember how there was a pool hullabaloo in Duchesne County a couple years ago?
The proposition got voted down.  By a large margin, in fact.  It was devastating for many of us.

The dream didn't die, but was put to rest until other Basin residents took it up.  A new committee formed and quietly made plans.  Last week was the all-important City Council meeting, where the council would decide whether to support the new project or not.  I walked in and sat for two hours, listening to my neighbors and doctors and coworkers and friends have a passionate, respectful discourse about how to improve our community.

I left inspired by the goodness and the vision of those around me.

The next day I recounted the evening's events for my mom, who had missed the meeting.  She smiled as I told her how pleased I was by the outcome, then surprised me by saying, "You're just a politician at heart."

I've been thinking about that ever since.  Am I really?


A New Leaf

Today I'm turning over a new leaf.

I set an alarm for this morning.  Do you have any idea how long it's been since I set an alarm?  Of course not; I don't have any idea myself.  Probably pre-Liam.  For shame.
For the past few weeks I've been waking up with Liam, bringing him into my room and letting him play with my phone/Kindle until I want to get out of bed or he begs for breakfast, whichever happens first.  Previous to that I woke up to screaming or door-banging, or both.  What a life.

I've spent too much time on the internet - reading but not writing, watching but not doing, browsing but not creating.  It has a way of creeping up on you.

I HAVE been recovering from surgery, that's my excuse.  I've also been depressed about the end of summer (which happens every year) because it means WINTER IS COMING.  The neverending Basin winter that feels like Narnia pre-Pevensies.  How can anyone be happy about this??

Add all that up and you have: unambitious, unproductive, unhappy Jean.  Something(s) had to change.

So I've created a schedule for myself - starting with an alarm clock.  If I can get up before my kids do, I can get stuff done first thing in the morning.  I can work for two hours before even opening the laptop.  I can start doing more of the things I should be, so I'm not thinking about things I shouldn't be.
I can start exercising ... with two kids in tow ...
I might need help with that.
Any ideas?


Eight Things

.... that I love about Slice.

When he comes home from work, he drops his stuff and goes straight for the kids.  He changes diapers, he wrestles on the floor, he takes Liam to run errands with him.  He even makes dinner, pretty frequently.

He puts the kids to bed.  He and Liam have a nightly ritual after family prayer: brush teeth, bedtime song, "tooth medicine" (fluoride).

He lets me take naps.  (Okay, he makes me take naps sometimes.)  He takes care of the kids so I can go to two-hour city council meetings, and Bunco night, and Relief Society activities.

He notices things.  Like the light fixture in the bathroom at Chuck-a-Rama. I love that.

He doesn't gloat too much when the Holy War goes badly for me....

He pays for other people at restaurants.

He talks about politics ALL.DAY.LONG.  Well ... actually I get sick of it, but I'm glad that he cares.  If he DIDN'T care we'd have a bigger problem on our hands.

He tells me to blog.


to the eye

Last week I met up with my sister Kiana in downtown Salt Lake and we spent a couple hours at Temple Square.
I wouldn't recommend doing this with two small children and no stroller.
(You'd think I hadn't been doing this for over two years ... I still forget pretty important things.)

However, I would recommend visiting the second floor of the Church History Museum, which houses not only a children's interactive exhibit but also the winners of the Ninth International Art Competition.  Ki and I wandered through, soaking it in as well as we could with Liam and MG toddling about.  It made me realize how much I miss art museums.

(See: here and here and here and here)

I would link to my favorite pieces from the competition, but I can't, so I'll just tell you: Early Spring, 1820 by Jeffery Robert Pugh, While Mary Sleeps - Morning by Lester Lee Yocum, John the Baptist, Alexander Carlson Rane.  You can look through the online gallery if you're so inclined.  It just won't be the same.

Speaking of ... would you believe that no representation of The Kiss does justice to the piece?  I'm not even a Klimt lover and WOW.  I'm telling you, in person it is mesmerizing.  The gold SPARKLES.

So I want to know. do you have a favorite artist?  (I fell in love with this one in Prague.) What makes him/her your favorite? Do you have this artist's work in your house?  What would your piece of choice be?

I'm also a fan of Rembrandt.  Etchings, mostly.


Kitchen Discoveries

Slice and I can peaches every year.  I'm not the best at home canning but peaches are the one thing I WILL can forever and ever, amen.  There is no comparison between the home-canned and the store-bought.  None.
We sliced and processed 14 jars, then realized we were out of empty quart jars with half a box of peaches left.  I had an idea: freezer jam.  I'd only had strawberry freezer jam before, which is great, and I had extra pectin from making it earlier this year.  Also, the container had a recipe for peach jam.  So the next night I pureed and chopped and mixed and poured, and YOU GUYS.  THE MOST DELICIOUS THING YOU HAVE EVER TASTED.  If you have tasted it, that is.  If not, you really should.  I've been planning meals around my peach freezer jam (crepes, toast, PB sandwiches, pancakes, french toast....).  I eat it every day, multiple times.  I look forward to it when I'm away from home.  I want to marry it.

I also pinned a cookie recipe last week that looked so good I had to make it that day.  I was not disappointed.  I made the cookies again Saturday night, rolled in raw sugar (the first time I used regular white sugar).  I didn't like the raw sugar as much, but Slice liked it better. Go figure.

Then last night we made ice cream in baggies for FHE, which I haven't done since 11th grade chemistry class.  It was a hit.  Slice liked it so much he's made it 4 times, with chocolate syrup instead of sugar, milk instead of cream, etc. etc.  I guess it's healthier than the Breyer's stuff that I love ...

Good eating around here, folks.  You should come visit.



Several months ago Slice called Roosevelt City to tell them about our sidewalk problem.

We have a cluster box in our front yard (Roosevelt doesn't have individual mailboxes, just cluster boxes) which means we get extra foot traffic.  And we have multiple neighbors with walkers/wheelchairs who couldn't use the sidewalk in front of our house without getting stuck.  Not too mention kids on bikes, skateboards, scooters...
Two weeks ago, someone finally came to fix it.

Liam was enthralled.  To say the least.

He pulled out his skid steer first, then the rest of his tractors.  The next day when the cement truck came, he pulled out his own little cement truck.  Boys and their tractors.

I promise I'll start taking pictures with something other than my phone.....


Every other Sunday

Every other Sunday I have myself quite convinced that no one has ever had it as hard as I do.  At church.

No one has ever had to take two kids 18 months apart (one of them being Liam) to church by him/herself every other week (every week alone would be easier) in a ward where Sacrament Meeting is last.  LAST I TELL YOU.

MG always needs a nap sometime during the block, but will she fall asleep in my arms like every other baby does? No. Never. She just gets crankier and crankier.  Liam loves nursery so much that he's wired by the end of the two hours, and does he want to sit quietly for over an hour afterward?  No.  Never. It's a full-time job just to keep him occupied.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: church is the worst.  The worst thing about Slice's job, the worst thing about having two babies so close in age, the worst thing about being in this ward.  Sacrament Meeting last!
I wouldn't go if I didn't believe in it so (darn) much.

On a different but related note, this is what happens when I try to take a picture of Liam:

And this is what happens when I try to take a picture of my girl MG:

Good thing they're cute, right?


Living Vicariously

Remember Matt?  My sidekick?

Remember how I taught him everything he knows and turned him into a singer?
(hee hee)

Remember how last week he just walked into Sister Hall's office and sang for her?


Remember how I auditioned for that choir five years ago but didn't make it?

Can't. Wait.  For the concert.
You done me proud, bro.


A Fate Worst Than ... Pregnancy

Most of you already know that after years of putting it off, I finally got my wisdom teeth out.  All four were impacted, the bottom two were growing sideways into my other teeth, I was developing cysts and having periodic infections plus jaw pain.  It was time.

Anyway, I wrote that I got them out on Facebook.  What I didn't write on Facebook - and what may or may not actually be true - is that I'd rather go through childbirth UNMEDICATED than have oral surgery.
Let's talk about the pros and cons here.

Oral surgery cons: numb mouth (HATE), teeth pulled (HATE), mouth holes, stitches (DOUBLE HATE), gauze (you get it), bleeding, drooling, inability to swallow, constant pain for at least a week.  I can't think of any pros.  Maybe being under deep sedation during the most excruciating part.

Childbirth cons: nine months of differing stages of misery, excruciating pain for hours on end, excessive bleeding, possible complications.  Pros: a beautiful baby that you made! People bring you meals! And gifts!  You can eat whatever you want!  You get to snuggle a little sweet-smelling creature that sleeps most of the day!

Here's the thing: I've had to ask for extra pain meds (something other than Motrin) only once after childbirth, for cramps.   I got a dose of Percocet.
Over the last week I have been on Lortab constantly because if I let it wear off the pain is terrible.  It is messing with me worse than any hormones, yo.  Crazy dreams, depression, irritability, fuzzy vision - occasionally feels like the cogs in my brain are slipping out of place.

I guess a baby costs four times as much?