Monday, April 27, 2015

Rachel's FHE lesson

Rachel was in charge of tonight's family night lesson; she decided this during yesterday's quiet time and made a poster and everything! She wanted us to learn about how to take care of the earth (since it's one of Heavenly Father's creations and we're supposed to be good stewards).

First she showed us a diagram of the greenhouse effect and we discussed climate change and how it's hurting our planet. Specifically she wanted to inform us that there are polar ice caps on either end of the globe and that global warming negatively impacts "these little guys right here" (meaning her stuffed polar bears and penguins).

Whistle while you...JUST DO IT ALREADY!!!

Today it took Benjamin two hours and twenty minutes to put away the dishes, and by dishes I mean the silverware and the plastic plates and cups. It's not that intense of a job. There were tears and time outs and utter rebellion.

"Grab another plate and put it away, Ben," I'd urge.

"No, thanks," he'd say.

"You need to put away your dishes before we have lunch," I'd remind him.

"You put away the dishes," he'd say. 

"I already put away my dishes. You need to do the rest. It's your job."

Eventually Miriam and I gave up and had lunch without him, which just about broke his achy-breaky heart into a million pieces. But, honestly! He was driving me crazy.

"Where this fork go?" he'd ask.

"You know where that fork goes," I'd say. "You know where everything goes. Just put them away!"

He put a bunch of silverware with the tupperware and then put some plastic plates in the silverware drawer—just for kicks. Then he'd open the drawer and hang on it like a monkey, which is a big no-no. Did I mention he was driving me a little bonkers?

Finally, finally he finished his job and I gave him his lunch. And, truthfully, he's still getting on my nerves. He's not being terrible; he's just being two. 

The other day I was equally frustrated (with everybody). I can't even remember what everyone was doing, which probably means no one was being terrible but sometimes things just get a little loud/overwhelming in our house and I start to lose it. Andrew stepped in and said, "Rachel—you need to stop doing x! Miriam—you need to stop doing y! Benjamin—you just need to stop being two!"

And he almost can, but then he'll be three and...that's not much different. It's a good thing the hilariousness of two- and three-year-olds offsets the hysterics otherwise I don't know what I'd do.

Thankfully, Miriam was wonderfully helpful today. She helped me fold the laundry (in exchange for points) and then said, "I ran out of time to do my Saturday chore so I guess I'll do that today to make up for it!" She tidied up the living room and vacuumed all by herself (for no points) while I was doing my postprandial workout this afternoon. I could have kissed her (and I did)!

So I guess it was worth it to spend those two painful hours haranguing Benjamin about dishes—because hopefully by the time he's five he'll be as capable/helpful as his big sisters (which will leave me free(er) to pull my hair out over ZoĆ«'s two-year-old antics). 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Happy premature birthday to me!

My birthday isn't for another two months but Miriam made a card for me yesterday, anyway. Her original plan was to hide the card from me and give it to me on my birthday but then she decided she'd probably forget where she hid it (wise child) and gave it to me early. And it's the best card ever.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Definitely nesting

Clearly our due date is creeping up on us. We're a full week past when Benjamin was born, I only have two shots left, and I'm definitely in nesting mode. Things around the house that I've never even noticed before are driving me crazy so I've been tackling them slowly while doing other more normal getting-ready-for-baby activities.

For example, I caulked the shower on Monday. Yesterday I cleaned out the shed and sorted through baby clothes and treated for stains. Today I sold some bikes and a tent on Craigslist and washed a bunch of baby clothes. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


This morning I took the kids to the park. We walked, of course, and Miriam asked if she could run ahead all on her own so I told her that she could and as she ran down the road she spread her arms wide and said, "Hooray! I'm as free as the wind!"

We had a pretty fun time at the park but eventually decided we should go home for some lunch. On our way we stopped by an adjoining neighbourhood to make contact with one of the sisters I'm supposed to visit teach but who I haven't been able to contact. I only realized this month that she lives within walking distance from us, so we stopped by on our way home.

She was sick and napping, but I did get to chat with her grandmother who was tending her children. She has a daughter Miriam's age and a younger son (just over a year old, I believe). The phone number I was given was rather outdated, but I now have her cell number as well as the grandma's cell number (four generations live in the same household). I'm going to see if she'll join as at the park one of these beautiful spring days...when we're all healthy again.

Museum Monday

On Monday morning I got a text from a friend inviting us to join them at the museum, but there was no way that was happening in the morning. We did, however, make it in the afternoon, and unlike Friday morning when the place was teeming with people, on Monday afternoon the museum was practically deserted.

We went outside to get a little walk in first, stopping by the farm. When Benjamin climbed onto the stairs inside the alpaca shelter, three alpacas rushed in to see him. Often they shy away from the crowds but today I guess they were a little bored and were curious about the little boy who'd come to visit them (or all just decided they were hungry at the same time). Benjamin was a little unnerved by their sudden appearance in their stall.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Everyday is Earth Day

This evening was Rachel's musical performance at school, which made everyone feel a little harried at home. Fortunately we were all able to arrive at the school with smiles on our faces even if we didn't manage the same thing at the dinner table.

The flyer that was sent home gave us strict instructions to have the children report to their classrooms "no earlier than 6:40 PM," since the show was slated to begin promptly at 7:00.

We got there and had her in her classroom pretty much exactly at 6:40 on the dot, we walked into the gym and it was packed. I ran into Annie (Callin's mom) and we were both like, "What? How?" It was like 6:42, I kid you not. That was even part of the reason dinner was such a frenzy—we didn't want to get there and not be able to find seats like last year. But, there were no seats so we sent our husbands to get more chairs down and set them up. And then we sat and waited for twenty minutes for the program to start.

I wonder how long other parents were waiting (you know—the ones with the good seats (or any seat for that matter)).

Finally the kids came walking into the gym sporting their beautiful "recycled" costumes. The title of this year's performance was Every Day is Earth Day, so the kids were supposed to fashion an outfit out of recycled items over spring break. Some kids got really into it (one little boy (under the H in EARTH)) made a tree with applesauce packets for leaves) and others didn't. Rachel fell into the latter category.

She made a skirt out of some scrap material she found at Trading Tables, she made a belt out of egg carton pieces, she wore a hand-me-down shirt (which totally counts as helping the environment), and her crowning effort was the fez I helped her make out of a sour cream container and a scrap piece of fleece (because fezzes are cool).

Miriam's FHE lesson

Miriam gave the lesson for family night last night and we promised my mom on Sunday that we'd tell her about it. It was an interesting lesson, that's for sure! Miriam had wanted to give the lesson last week but I didn't let her because she didn't prepare anything. She's spent the last week preparing and was so ready for last night.

For the first part of her lesson we watched a short video about Samuel the Lamanite that I helped her find. She'd decided on Monday afternoon that she should probably have a scripture to go along with her lesson so she got down The Book of Mormon, opened it up, and said, "I'm going to find a scripture in Helaman chapter thirteen." And she did (and then she asked me to help her find a movie of it).

After we watched the movie she read Helaman 13:2–3 to us.

Then she got out her notebook and read the little talk she'd written based on some old stationary she found in a box. Each page of stationary had a little verse about friendship on it. She chose certain pages to turn into a "song" for us.

The top of the page says "What do friends do to you when you give them a gift!" She didn't wait for us to answer (after all that sentence ended with an exclamation mark, not a question mark) but just continued with the rest. "Here's a song for you to hear.

(Sidenote: her lowercase g's are always backwards, which makes it rather entertaining when she writes the word egg.)

8 is Great

I'm not quite sure how we have an almost-eight-year-old in the house, but we do, so we were invited to attend "8 is Great," a special evening to help children preparing for baptism understand what their baptism day will be like.

I've been involved with "8 is Great" in this ward for the previous two years because I was in the primary presidency, so it was a little weird to be an invitee rather than on the planning committee. It was a rather low-key event, but I don't see how they could have helped that. Rachel's class is down to two members: Rachel and Callin. When we moved in there was a whole row of sweet little girls: Eliza, Grace, Chloe...and others we didn't get to know quite as well. One by one they moved away, leaving just Rachel and Callin.

Numbers were few, but we had a good time. We played Baptism Bingo, which was more of a mix between tic-tac-toe and Jeopardy. There was a 5x5 chart on the chalkboard and we had to try to get at least four in a row. Rachel and Callin took turns choosing a box and answering the corresponding question (asking their families for help when they needed it, but for the most part they came up with the correct answers on their own).

One question that Rachel got right was a fill-in-the-blank scripture, John 3:5: "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into _____________________."

That's one of the scriptures we've memorized as a family this year so she didn't miss a beat when answering it. There were a lot of other questions (24, to be exact) but I can't remember them all.

We got to have a tour of the baptismal font and were shown how to fill it, and we talked about what clothes to wear and bring and other relatively boring details like that.

Rachel is rather excited to turn eight. Just before April's General Conference this year, she found a flyer for last September's "Cookies & Conference" activity for the General Women's Broadcast in the church bag (let's not talk about how often I clean that thing out (the answer is obviously not "every six months")) and said, "I can go to this! I'll be eight!"

I didn't have the heart to tell her that paper was from an activity that happened six months ago, so I just said, "Yup! You can!" because there's going to be another get-together this September as well.

It'll be fun to have someone to go with (a built-in someone). I've just watched from home since we moved out here because going seems like so much work that late at night, but I think I could make myself go for some one-on-one time with Rachel. Plus, I won't be diabetic then so "Pie and Prophets" or "Cookies and Conference" or whatever they come up with will sound more like an appetizing event rather than an are-you-trying-to-kill-me one.

Still, I can't believe eight is right around the corner!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Shout, pout, let it all out

My numbers were good.

And now they're not. Not at all.

For lunch I had a peanut butter and banana sandwich paired with a nice bowl of cottage cheese. I hate cottage cheese but a half cup has almost two servings of protein, which is pretty awesome. So, less than three carbs for lunch and three whole servings of protein plus a half hour on the exercise bike (yes, on the Sabbath, but see, if I don't exercise after eating then I basically can't eat—for real).

Two hours after eating and my blood sugar was 136 mg/dL (on the new monitor). I freaked out and checked it on the old monitor and it was 118 mg/dL (which is still high but not as high).

I know that fruit sets me over the edge; I know that. But that high? It was a small banana, guys. And in theory I should be able to eat a little fruit every now and then. And I paired it with plenty of fat and protein and my bread was whole gives?!

Last night for dinner I had a carefully measured single serving of noodles noodles with cottage cheese and a salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and almonds. After a half hour on the bike my blood sugar was 110 mg/dL, which is still relatively high (though below my 120 mg/dL limit). I only had one serving of carbohydrate because my numbers had been ridiculously high all day, so I decided to experiment by cutting out some carbs just to see what would happen. Turns doesn't matter.

So, basically, right now I feel like I can't eat anything. There is no way to burn off all the sugar I consume since even one serving of carbohydrate puts me higher than I'd like to be. And it's not even like I'm eating one serving of pure sugar. I have had no sweets for about a month now: no candy, no ice cream, no cookies, no cereal, no honey. Nothing. No sugar.

I don't really want to go on medication for this, but I no longer believe diet and exercise is going to cut it. I really don't. Now I have to wait about two weeks to see my doctor and by then the baby's probably going to weigh ten pounds.

Part of the discrepancy in my numbers, I'm sure, is the new monitor. I've done a few double tests just to see where things line up and my new monitor consistently reads 10 to 20 mg/dL higher than my old monitor. But it's hard to say which monitor is giving the more accurate reading...

Suffice it to say, I'm going crazy.

Eating anything makes my blood sugar difficult to control, but I also can't wait too long between eating because my goal is to keep my blood sugar stable (so I have to avoid dropping too low between meals).

I felt like I was killing myself before, getting my numbers to sit just right. I don't even want to think about what I have to do now. I ride the exercise bike for an hour and a half every day. I try to eat perfectly manicured meals, balancing my proteins and carbs and getting lots of vegetables (and hardly any fruits) in there.

I have had an egg for breakfast every morning for the last three weeks. I HATE EGGS! But every morning I get up and I make an egg and a piece of toast and eat that with a spinach salad on the side. And I can do that for as long as necessary even though I hate it. But I can't do it for every meal.

It's dinner time right now. Everyone is eating except for me. I'm waiting for a little while longer because I have to take my blood sugar after dinner, too, and I don't really want to add any sugar to the 140 mg/dL already cruising my blood stream before I take my blood sugar again. BUT if I don't eat soon then I won't have time to work out before we leave for 8 is Great (because we have a daughter turning eight this year—what?!) and that's going to be problematic as well.

I meant to have a handful of almonds with lunch as well, but I forgot because Benjamin woke up from his nap just as I was finishing up. I napped during lunchtime, see, because I had a snack after church so I could make it through choir but then choir was basically cancelled (we sang through one song) which meant that I would have been fine not having a snack and waiting until lunch. Except that I already had my snack, which meant that by the time everyone else was having lunch it was too soon for me to have lunch. So I took a nap.

And then Andrew magically got everyone to take a nap (granted, the girls had a late-over at a friend's house and then we had to get up somewhat early to get ready for church) so when I woke up to my alarm telling me that enough time had passed—in theory—and I could eat again everyone was asleep. But Benjamin woke up just as I was finishing and instead of getting the almonds, like I was intending to do, I...forgot. Maybe if I had eaten those it would have helped (drought in California be darned) but perhaps not.

So, right now I'm sad and mad and stressed (and all those negative emotions help raise your blood sugar levels—yay!) and if there was a magical pill I could swallow to regulate all this without as much of a headache (which, there kind of is) I would take it in a heartbeat.