Friday, December 11, 2009


My girlfriend Kellie was always so positive when she found something that was ailing her while she awaited the arrival of her daughter. In her blog, she would always post things to uplift her and those around her. I admire her for that.

I'm probably one of the most whiny, miserable pregnant women ever, and I'm sure my girlfriend Mary would chuckle and secretly agree with you, since she's the one who listens to me the most. **giggle** I get those little moments of "Here's something to help you be grateful for your pregnancy" moments, but I'm usually so sick and miserable, I don't take that time to really absorb it. As I type this, I'm listening to "The Forgotten Carols". The song Sarah sings "Mary Let Me Hold Her Baby" has always been one I loved very much.

Sarah's Song
Mary let me hold her baby
her newborn son.
Though I'd never be a mother
I felt like one.
Mary let me hold her baby
so she could rest,
and ever since that night I held him,
my life's been blessed.
Those like me who can't have children
still can be mothers.
Something in his eyes convinced me
I could serve so many others.
Mary let me hold her baby
so soft and warm.
Mary let me hold her baby
and I was reborn.
Something in his eyes convinced me
I could serve so many others.
Mary let me hold her baby,
so soft and warm.
Mary let me hold her baby
and I was reborn.

The verse that opens the song is the one that always touches me the most: "Though I'd never be a mother, I felt like one."

There are so many women out there who would give anything to have a child. This is my second. How blessed am I with fertility? I don't have to go through weeks, months, years trying to discover why I can't conceive. I don't have to remortgage my house or refinance my vehicles to afford fertility treatments.

When these thoughts enter my mind, I realize how selfish I am. This song has a way of reminding me that regardless of how sick I am or how emotional I get, I need to be thankful for all of it. More than that, this song is special to me because it speaks of Mary and her sweet newborn son. I felt so close to Mary last year with the pending arrival of my own son's birth so close to Christmas time. On the calendar in my room, there was painting of Mary holding her new son, Jesus. I often reflected on how she felt and how tender a spirit Jesus would have been. Babies come with such a spiritual strength because they're so fresh from heaven. My own son had such an overwhelmingly strong spirit, I wept many times just holding and looking at him. I can only imagine how powerful the newborn Christ child's spirit would have been, even just being within proximity of him.

I know things will start to get me down as pregnancy sickness takes over, but today, right now, I feel the spirit and know that my heart is in the right place being grateful for the most precious gifts anyone can ever hope to receive: my children and my husband, for without him, I would not have them.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Today was wild. I was supposed to hang out with my girlfriend Kellie today, but she was in her cleaning groove and was still doing so when I returned her call this afternoon. I laughed and joked about it with her, but when I hung up, I was so depressed. I was really looking forward to escaping the dungeon which was my apartment.

I was on Facebook later talking to a very dear friend of mine who I grew up with telling her about my pregnancy. I felt she could really get me since she has 3 children and her first two are more than likely the same age distance as mine will be. But as I talked to her, I just started to feel worse. That never happens when I talk to her. So I got off the net and had a quick thought pop into my head.

I called my girlfriend and visiting teacher Mary. When she answered the phone, I nearly lost it. I was at my rope's end. I asked her if she could come over to help me. She said "Of course. I have the missionaries over but I'll be over in 15 minutes."

I felt bad for calling her in the middle of having the elders over, but right after I hung up, I started to feel SO much better. I had a little burst of energy to bathe my son and get him ready for bed, which I rarely do without my husband.

In the time waiting for her, Lars came home for a few minutes to unload his baggage, pick up the computer and leave. Right as he was leaving, Mary called saying she was waiting at the gate. I was trying to find my shoes, but by the time I was able to find some that wouldn't leak rain water into them, someone had let her in and she met me at the bottom of my balcony stairs.

And we divided and conquered. She did my dishes. Can I just tell you how amazing it was to have someone do all those piles of dishes that were making me so sick I could barely walk into my kitchen? I was able to sort through the trash and toys on the front room floor and get it all picked up and vacuumed. She even helped me rearrange the tree and furniture. It was beyond crowded and the tree was sucking the light out of the room. Needless to say, it wasn't helping a very moody mother feel better about her position of staying inside all day because it's been raining. While she did the dishes, I was also able to scrub my tub and bathroom counter top and clear off my bar area to put up a nativity my step mom bought me last year.

Mary came over around 7 and didn't leave until after 10. Before she left, she actually thanked me for feeling comfortable enough to let her come over and help. Who does that?? Seriously?

I love Mary. I'm so grateful she came over. You're awesome! Can I just say I love you? Well, I love you.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Big One

Today is the one year anniversary of my son's life-saving surgery. At 10 in the morning he went in to be prepped and came out a couple hours sooner, shortly around 2pm. I dropped off in the waiting room as I'd been up for about 48 hours, sick with worry and a kidney and mastitis infection. I was beat. But when I heard my name called. I instantly woke up, walked my broken self over to the doctor who saved my son's life and he told me everything went very smoothly and I could go back to Jonathan's room and get some lunch and a nap. Wise words. I ran back up to the room and dropped off the minute I sat down. When I woke up, my son was back in that horrible hospital crib sleeping soundly.

To celebrate, I gave Jonathan his first ever major haircut. He's been trimmed around his ears and face, but his soft baby hair on top of his head had never before been cut.

Before Photo
I had a lot of help from Lars in strapping down the munchkin. I did his basic bath, but then decided his hair could NOT wait for his grandparents to see his long, adorable curls. He was getting a mullet and he was having a hard time hearing because it was so long over his ears. Out of control!

After Second Bath

I have a few pictures of his beautiful curls, but I couldn't find them to do a before and after shot.
Personally, I think I rocked his hair. I know of no other mother who would give a real haircut to their child this young. Everyone else just buzzes it all off. Not this mom. My child has a head of hair and I'm NOT about to chop it all off.
Five days short of his 13 month birthday, he gets real haircut. I'm sad to have to chop off the fine, soft ends of his baby hair, but I didn't really think too hard about it while in the process. It's like I'm ready to help him grow because I can feel the impending arrival of the next baby... most of the time.
There are those times that I'm just devastated how fast he's growing. Tonight I rocked him to sleep. I held him long after he'd dropped off. And then I cried.
How on earth do you figure out the balance between making room for the next baby and holding onto your firstborn's infancy? I suppose it just happens and you move with it, or go insane...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Jonathan's **FIRST** Visit with Santa!!

Tonight at our ward Christmas party, Santa showed up! I was so happy, since last year Jonathan was too sick and had only been home from surgery for a few days. That and the party got cancelled due to the release of the entire Primary presidency (which consequently happened AGAIN last Sunday).

The food was amazing. It was the first real meal I've been able to eat in about a week. Funeral potatoes, bacon-soaked green beans, cinnamon glazed ham, seamed baby carrots Oh! It was good. Let's just say I looked more than my share of pregnant after I was done eating and I'm only around 7-9 weeks pregnant. =P

Here we are, all piled on Gary Langham, uh, I mean Santa Claus' lap. I had a picture taken with only Jonathan and I at first because Larry was helping clean up in the cultural hall. Gary wouldn't let me up off his lap until I told him what I wanted for Christmas and I said, "I want a nice, easy pregnancy." He chuckled and said, "Honey, I'm only Santa Claus. I can only do so much!" Silly Santa. But I was able to find Lars and we got a a family shot. Lars told Santa he wanted a new computer for Christmas. Yeah, right. Not with a new baby on the way.
Then Santa came through the cultural hall doors after the benediction. Our ward young women came in after him. So cute! Santa's reindeer. =)

Marley (the girl on the right) put her antlers on Jonathan. I was lucky to get a clear shot with how much he was moving. He was trying to figure out where the jingling was coming from. Hee, hee!
This was his little stocking for visiting Santa. Needless to say, his younger sibling ate it....
It was such a good night full of wonderful food and great entertainment. The Primary kids did their Nativity program. I had a shared solo singing with the children. They were so cute, I had a hard time choking back tears before the last number with my solo in it.
I can hardly wait until I can go home and do the Nativity with my own family on Christmas Eve like we did every year growing up!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

**Update on Jonathan**

Jonathan turned one entire year old on the tenth last month. I haven't posted anything about it because we've had LOTS of computer problems. **UGH** moving on....

Kellie took us to this great little place to do our Christmas photos, which coincided perfectly with Jonathan's one year, since we all know I do baby photos every 3-4 months. He is SO big!

All his skills he's learned in the last 3 months since living in our new apartment are crazy. I'll try to list them all in order: walking a couple days after we moved in in Sept. but he got uneasy so he kept cruising on furniture until Halloween when he took off across Gma's bedroom, he opens our doors and we ended up having to be doorknob covers months before I ever thought he'd be able to do that, he started to take PediaSure and water from a cup instead of wanting Mama for every second of everyday, he can clap his own hands together, he learned how to crawl up a small flight of stairs- the chapel stairs at our church, his first word other than "Mama" or "Dada" is "Nooooooo" when he touches the computer and he purses his lips **I used to do that to enforce what I meant. Oops**, when he needs a change he'll bring me a diaper from his bin without prompting, he's running, and now he cuddles with me in the morning after he wakes up and gives hugs most of the time. He's due for his 12 months shots on his 13 month birthday so he's behind, but there was a mix-up with a flier we got from his pediatrician. Long story short, he'll get his shots right before we go to Idaho, so he should be good. **sigh of relief**

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Eternally Grateful

There has been a church video circulating around about what people are thankful for. I haven't been able to see until a few minutes ago on a friend's blog because our computers have been having many issues.

I posted this as a comment on her blog and wanted to make sure I put it up on my blog as well.

"When I see videos done by the church like this, my heart wells up with so much gratefulness and I am humbled to realize everything, EVERYTHING in my life is designed just for me. I am a child of God. He loves me. He knows who I am. And I have the knowledge of the restored gospel. I have parents who bent over backwards to make sure I would follow the straight and narrow path and for their gift to me being members of the church, I will be forever grateful. I am thankful to be me."

I have people who love me, all of my crazy quirks, weird habits, you know- what makes me who I am. I have a mother, father, and stepmom who all love me very much. They gave me roots in the gospel- I didn't have to wander around through life trying to find it, I just had to figure out how to accept it. I have a husband who takes time to make my life easier, who loves me, who does everything in his power to make sure I can be a happy person. I have a beautiful son, who I think I practically willed into existance, who is very easy to raise (even when I don't want to be the grown-up), and fills everyday with smiles and giggles, and now hugs me back. I have the opportunity to bring another life into this world, when there are so many others who would give anything to have that opportunity. The older I get, the more I realize just how awesome it is to be me. I'm awesome! And I would NEVER want to be anyone else.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Most Thankful

Alrighty, for those of you who's been following my weird status updates on Facebook, I'm outing myself.

Story: I took this test on Sunday last weekend, right after we got home from church- middle of the day, hormones not that high in the cup, if you get my drift. I was pretty sure I was, so I bought this last week on Friday.

My initial test didn't turn immediately like it had with Jonathan, so I yelled at Lars from the bathroom that it was negative and then decided to tell him how long it said to wait on the package. He yelled back to leave it and come have lunch and we'd check it afterward.

I forgot it was even in there, so as Lars was getting up to put his dishes in the sink, I remembered and asked him to get it. He yelled from the bathroom that he wasn't sure how to read it, so I told him to bring it out to me. Although not as strong as the first line, the second was definitely there. It looked identical to the time I took Jonathan's first test. I was relieved to see I was right and I wasn't late and queasy from some other reason. But I still couldn't really believe it. I left the test on the bathroom counter by the sink for the next 4 days, double checking to make sure I was right every time I went in the bathroom for whatever. I finally took a picture and threw it away.
This whole week, I told only a few people and felt like I was lying, since I'd taken 6 pregnancy tests to confirm with Jonathan and I was worrying myself into a stupor. I sent Lars out to get more tests from the store, but wouldn't you know, they were out of stock and wouldn't be rotating it until Saturday afternoon. I hate life when it gets in the way of my own sanity...

So tonight, while he was coming back from La Habra, I called and asked Lars to pick me up a couple more. Bless his heart, he bought four... he knows me. And these are the results:

So yep. I'm DEFINITELY preggers. And to top to it off, I'm not sick hardly at all! *knock on wood* Just queasy at times and a little dizzy when I forget to drink enough water. After seeing this little panel of tests, I was instantly feeling more calm. Willing to tell the blogging world in fact. So there you have it. 'll be taking polls on what we're having later. As for me, I'm voting girl.
I'm thankful for babies in November: Jonathan turning one, and finding out the same week his little sibling is on the way.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thankful 4


Four little consecutive words, but how much they mean. I can not even tell you how seriously blessed I am to be able to stay home with my little boy. With how attached to me he has been this first year, especially the first 6 months, I just don't know how I could've ever gone back to work, even if we were overly desperate.

I'm sure part of me is lazy and hates working and would rather be at home than out slaving away for someone else, but really I do prefer to be at home watching my son grow, test my patience, spill things, eat paper and diaper wipes, throw up, run away from me, all those things that toddlers do. But amidst all that are the godlen moments- giggles, smiles, seeing him do everything for the first time, being there to cuddle and love him when he's hurt or lonely, able to put him to bed at night.

I am very thankful that I am able to be home to raise my son everyday.

Thankful 3 (yesterday's post, internet was down)


I am SO thankful for fresh, clean running water. I don't have much of a view while looking out of my bay window in my living room, but what I do see I love am very thankul for- there is a well house with a HUGE pipe that extends from it about 5 feet sround and 12 feet long before it goes into the ground, enclosed behind chainlink and brick walls on either side. Our city is one of only 3-4 in the entire area of Soutern California that has its own natural clean water well that doesn't have to borrow and pay another city for its use of water. And I'm lucky enough to live right on top of it! I do enjoy great hot water and cold water, good pressure most days, too.

I've had to try to live without running water for a few days on more than one occation over at my mother-in-law's while the plumbing was on the fritz and I'll tell you, running to the grocery store around the corner every 10 minutes is not very condusive to a normal lifestyle. =P

All the normal things in life we do everyday take lots and lots of water- bathroom use, laundry, making baby formula/food, washing our hands, cooking, cleaning up baby, drinking, etc. You get the picture. How blessed are we to live in such a wonderful time that we have fresh water at the twist of a faucet knob?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thankful 2

Alrighty. This may sound reaaaaally shallow, but here it goes. Today I am thankful for cable. I've missed it, but have learned that I can function and DO much more if I just shut off the tv.

But today I got cable. I feel like I've really made it, as if I'm really a grown up because I now have to pay for my own cable. Weird? Maybe, but everyone has that moment in their lives when they feel like they've really matured and are fully into adulthood. It just so happens that today was my day.

I'm most thankful for it because on those long days-Monday, Tuesday, and any other day that he needs to fully consentrate without a wife and a toddler vying for attention- I can flip it on in the evenings around 5-6 and have an adult voice to keep me company. I get so lonely around that time of night. It just feels nice to be able to have "adult conversation" around me after the entire day full of baby babbling and squealing.

**NOTE** I tried to publish this last night, but the internet connection was in and out for around 2 hours.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thankful November

I'm stealing this from an old friend who also stole it from one of her old friends. I need more time to think about all the good things in my life and be grafeul for all of it. So even though I'm a couple days behind, I want to try to be diligent in doing a "thankful post" everyday for this month.

Today I am thankful for my mother. She has always been there for me, even during the time I was ackward and angry through my teenage years and early twenties- which by the way, I'm just getting over. She has such a giving heart and is the most thoughtful person I've ever known. She's given her life to others to try and make them more comfortable and happy, insomuch that she now has permanent health problems. She now has some time to take for herself to be more healthy and active and I'm so very glad of that.

I love her sweet voice and her emotions as she feels for me all the things I go through. She is a wonderful grandmother. She loves to listen to me talk and talk and talk about my son and never tires of it, even though I'm sure I repeat myself over and over and over.

I'm thankful that she always taught me not to hate, even though there were many times which I'm sure she would've been justified in hating many people for the things that they did. I hear her voice in my head saying, "Never hate, Rebekah. Hate the actions, but not the person. It poisons who you are if you can't forgive." I could never understand why she was so passionate about it when I'd scream and cry about how someone had hurt me or someone I cared about and I'd say, "I HATE THEM!!" She was very right. Hate does poison who we are.

I'm thankful for all the skills she passed to me. She instilled a desire to be a good wife and homemaker. Even though she never took the time to officially teach me how to do a lot of things, I was always watching her- sewing, baking, crocheting, floral arranging, running her business in our basement. If someone wanted something, she could create it with her own two hands.

And she still calls me, talks to me. I have no idea what could possess her to continue loving me after all those horrible years while I was trying to figure out who I was, but she did and still loves me when I get angry about silly things, even when I shouldn't. She has the sweetest, most tender spirit. I am blessed to have such a mother.

Mom, today I am thankful for you. I love you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fresh and New

I got a chance to go over and see my girlfriend Kellie's brand new little girl. She is positively amazing. I wanted to hold her SO bad, but Jonathan got the sniffles yesterday and I'm just starting to get it myself, so there was NO WAY I was going to pass off those icky nasty germs to a *shiny* new baby that was kept in the NICU just for safety reasons.

I didn't stay too long. But what I can tell you is now more than ever, I want a new baby. Not because they're so wonderful, because we all know they are. No I want another one because it just feels right to have the desire to add to our family. This tender, sweet baby was a wonder to behold- her little mouth constantly suckling, eyes searching and studying, full of wiggles trying out her new-found freedom outside the womb. And her spirit. Her spirit was so incredibly strong. It was almost like I could feel her guardian angels encircling her.

And Kellie. Brave Kellie. Wonderful, tired, beautiful new mother. She kept asking for help with simple things, things I'd almost forgotten take so much time and energy when you're so fresh home with your first child. She asked me shortly after I got there how I ever left Jonathan in the hospital for so long, fresh tears glittering in her eyes. Speaking truthfully, I really don't know how I did it. I'm sure the Lord was holding my hand and walking me through it all. When my husband got home, I told him about what she had asked and it made me very emotional. I feel so much for her having to let other take care of her child, feeling helpless, not knowing what to do, being so tired needing a chance to heal.

Seeing someone else who is so close to me go through a similar situation is like looking through a pensive- memories, but not quite my own. Even so, I can't even imagine what it would be like to have my first brand new child whom I had waited 41 weeks to see being taken from me for her own precaution. Strong mother.

It's just such a huge relief for me to know my girlfriend is home safe with a healthy little girl. I love them so much.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Deep Thoughts Continued

Continuing on from my last post, I have some things I've been thinking about for awhile, but very heavily in the recent weeks and days.

I'm ready to have another baby. I was ready to have one shortly after Jonnie was born. I loved him so, SO much that I wanted to have lots and lots all at once. Then things got hard. Really, really hard.

I started to change my mind the older Jonathan got and the more things he learned and the more he changed and the more things he got into... I could go on, but we all know how children grow. I didn't know if I'd ever be ready to have another baby. I loved Jonathan so much I couldn't see how I could make room in my heart and life for another child. Jonathan was my light in the dark. Our worlds revolved around each other. How could anyone possibly love a child as much as I love Jonathan and make room for more children?

Funny how our thoughts change. I thought for some odd reason that making the decision to have the next child would be less complicated, require less contemplatives, be easier on us as husband and wife. WRONG!! How was I able to fool myself into such a delusion?? If people knew I was thinking that, I'm sure they'd whisper behind they hands to each other and point at me saying,"There's that crazy lady. She thinks life gets less complicated with each baby."

But I am ready again. I'm filled with the same thoughts of excitement at the possibility of adding to our family, creating another life, talking to my belly, getting to know the life within me, nesting. I think quite possibly I might even be more excited about the next child than the first- more because I was yearning so hard to a have child I was almost depressed, and what woman hasn't been there?

I just have some very pressing concerns- 1) I'm even more out of shape now than I was when I got pregnant with Jonnie. I'm unsure what to do about that. But I feel I shouldn't wait too long and my sisters and mother lost the weight from their first baby after they had their second. Maybe that could happen with me, too. 2) How on EARTH am I going to ween Jonathan when he is so very ,VERY attached to nursing? My favorite times during the day are when I get a chance to sit down and rock my son and talk to him while he eats. How can I make him give that up when I don't want to give that up myself? And 3) I know I really shouldn't worry about this because the church specifically says not to be selfish in this way, but how on earth are we going to be able to afford a second child until 2011 when Lars gets his pay raise for paying his dues for getting his credential and working at the same place for more than a year?

I suppose I should leave these things in the Lord's hands, but my mind has always been meticulous in thinking things out waaaaaay farther into the future than I probably aught to. I really do want another baby, though. **sigh** Why do we always love to complicate things, us women?

Goings-On and Deep Thoughts

Well, most of you follow me on Facebook, so you know that my life has been a roller coaster of sleepless nights and broken nerves. I've been teaching my baby to cry himself to sleep. You all know the circumstances of his surgery 3 weeks after his birth, which made it very easy to fall into the habit of soothing him to sleep in our bed. He was always sick and it was like a freezer in my mother-in-law's house since none of her doors or windows seal out the cold or heat properly and her central heating and cooling system broke shorty before we got married. It was just easier to keep him warm and safe in our bed.

My brother Jacob, the doctor, told me that when babies have turbulent beginnings, the parents tend to coddle them long after they're better and can handle things on their own. That made me so hopping mad. I thought, "How would he know?" But his oldest was diagnosed with the same problem at a year and he's the father of two boys- he knows a great deal more than I do about parenting. I was discouraged because I knew Jonathan was still too little to be left alone. He was terrified of the dark and I had so, SO much remorse for having to leave him in the hospital at night so I could get some semblance of sleep and let my milk let down so I could pump because when I heard him, my milk would lock up. Besides that, all those late nights in the ER caused me to get masitis (VERY painful) and I wasn't allowed to nurse him until 48 hours after his surgery. I had a lot of guilt.

As Jonathan got older and started to take up more space and become more mobile, it became apparent to me that he needed to learn to sleep in his own space, but that was diffecult seeing as he shared his room with his aunt. I didn't really have the option to let him cry to sleep for naps and nighttime. I was resigned to the fact that I was going to let him do it, even if that meant pure hell for the whole family. Then we found out we'd actually be able to move. I was willing to wait until we were settled for a couple weeks to try to let him cry to sleep. Moving and trying to teach something is too much for a baby to handle, too much for Mommy to handle!

I don't know what prompted me to do it, but Monday this week I put him in his crib to cry to sleep and didn't get up. Lars came home shortly after I did that and he heard our son wailing. Lars asked if he should go get him and I was very clear that Jonathan'd been in there awhile already and he needed to learn to sleep. It was that night that Jonathan threw up from crying so hard and Lars discovered Jonathan'd been rolling around in it in his sleep for around 8 hours. Poor kid.

That same morning after a bath and clean up, I felt so guilty and his room smelled so bad (even after nearly a bottle of Lysol and an open window), I put him to sleep next to me at 7 until around 10. Talk about mixed messages, Mom! When I woke up, I quickly realized my mistake and put him in his crib for nap time. That was even harder than the night before!!

I called my sister Rachael and even though I'm sure my minutes were up (we'll find out when we get the bill), I talked to her while Jonathan screamed and screamed until he finally plopped off to sleep. Then bath and nursing the same time as the night before for bed. I was going to let him cry then, but he was so tired he fell asleep before he was even done eating. It was nice and peaceful that night. Bed at 8, no screaming and time to be with my husband. No wake ups until 5 the next morning. (Why can't that happen every night??)

Jonathan does cry less and less with each time at night, but it's nap time that's the hardest. He needs dark curtains to block out the light because he thinks it's playtime and I'm sure he gets confused. I love my son and I can only imagine how hard it must be to learn to be alone after Mommy had ALWAYS held him and rocked him to sleep for his entire life so far. But I need my space so I can sleep. It's not fun to wake up to a twitching child sleeping horizontally 12 times a night kicking you in the bladder. I thought I was done with that AFTER he was born!

Which brings me to my deep thoughts. But this post is already grossly long, so I'll make another...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This Day in History

On Friday October 13th, 2006, around 10:45 am (mountain standard time) Larry Sepulveda, Jr. and I were sealed together for time and all eternity in the Idaho Falls, Idaho Temple.

Walking out of the temple: The new Mr. and Mrs. Larry Sepulveda!

Thank-you for joining the church and being a worthy priesthood holder so we could be sealed together. I hope the rest of eternity will be as fun as these first few years with you by my side to walk the journey with. Happy third Anniversary, love. You are my bestest friend!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Digs

As you all know, Lars and I have moved into our new place and let me tell you- it's the hardest easiest, most wonderful, terrible thing ever.

Allow me to explain:

I thought having Lars go to work would be SO hard, but after a few days, we adjusted and I had help when I was desperate for a break during the day because of my wonderful sister-in-law and sometimes even my mother-in-law. Then we found out we could afford to move and to live on our own and believe me, I don't think anyone in the ENTIRE WORLD wanted to move more than I did. I won't complain about it because now that I'm not in the thick of living there anymore, I can truly appreciate how much of a sacrifice it was for all involved for us to live with my in-laws until we could afford to move.

After living here during the day with only the baby, I've started to discover why my girlfriend who used to live here would walk to the local strip mall all the time. With an active child and no play area in the complex and no cable, a person can go nuts trying to find things to do in a small 2nd story apartment.

I am incredibly grateful to live on our own, but I didn't really understand how tight things really can get, even though we were living on $400 a month for the first year and a half of our marriage (and living in California, that's no small feat). I have a greater appreciation for those women whom I love and am friends with for all the hard work they put into making a home for their families and all of the activities they provide for their children.

It's hard work being a stay-at-home-mom with no car in a big city. I have so many things I want to do and, if I'm honest, I'm desperate for some advice on how to make time for myself with a child in tow. I really need an outlet so my poor friends I have out here won't keep getting sick of me. So please, all of you mothers who know where I'm at in life, bestow upon me your wisdom on how you keep your sanity.

After all that, let me tell you I LOVE living here. I love being able to put things where I want to them and filling the fridge and organizing things the way I want to, and cooking the things I love the way I learned. Like I said to my friend who lives here, "Kellie, I feel so liberated! There's a well of delight and pride knowing that I can do things for myself and not have to worry about every little thing offending someone else. I really feel like a grown-up."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And Finally....

To let all of you know. Larry and I are moving! We did get the apartment that we could afford and are STILL waiting to sign the contract **grumble, grumble** but we've been assured that it is ours and were given the tentative date on when we would be able to move in.

It will most likely be available this coming Saturday or Sunday. I started packing Thursday and believe it or not, I'm nearly finished. I'm dragging my feet about doing anything else, since the front room is almost bursting with boxes and I still have to pack our linens, our bedroom and wash all our laundry before I can pack it.

On a sad note, Lars and I will NOT be able to afford internet for the first 3 months after we move, so I might only be able to get on when we come over to my mother-in-law's on Saturdays to do our laundry. Life will be veeeerry different. No cable, no internet. But it should be good. It'll force me to get out and take walks now that it's almost cool enough to do so again, and now that I know where everything is, I can finish my high school scrapbook, start on our wedding scrapbook, and keep up on Jonathan's scrapbook. I just need to find a dining table to fit in our eating nook so I can lay all the stuff out. I'll also need to get a baby gate to keep the paper-eater away from all my goodies. =0

I'm not excited anymore. I got tired of waiting to hear back from the apartments, so the anticipation wore off before it even had a chance to begin. Since it's only a week away, it doesn't seem real. I've lived with my in-laws so long, I've almost forgotten what it feels like to be independent.

I think I'm just spoiled being able to flip on the tv whenever I want. I love being able to hand over the baby when he's tired of me and Lars isn't able to watch him due to making lesson plans. At college I never had cable or a computer with internet, but I had a big social life. Oy. My world revolves around a child who doesn't walk or talk. I have a feeling I'm very near losing my sanity thinking about all the empty sound I'll be living with...

I know this will be good, but now that it's actually happening, all I can think about are the things I have to leave behind. All of the sudden, living here doesn't seem so bad- until someone does something that makes me crazy, which is often....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Canned Labor Day

I had a very long day yesterday. It was full of errand running, sugar, and cranky baby noises.
First off, I got up and took care of the baby. Then I had a big bucket full of filthy jars that I was given from Sally English (who sold us our fruit and lent me her boiler to can) that I laid out on the lawn to hose down. I needed to pick up lids and rings to seal in the fruit, but I didn't have the cash to do so and had a couple returns I needed to take back to Ross so I could get the money. (Have I mentioned how much I hate moving and only because it makes wallets so blasted tight for a few months before and after?) So after feeding Jonathan again, we all hopped in the car and drove to Ross to return the goods and then drove to the super Walmart in Pico Rivera.

When we got to the canning section in Walmart, we realized that we didn't really know the size of lids we needed since there were so many different brands and a few different sizes. I could definitely tell it was that time of year again. The section was so picked over that there were no rings left and not enough of the size of lids we thought we'd need. Since Walmart sells that stuff so cheap, we bought two flats of quart jars that had lids and rings. I just needed to wash and sanitize them after I got home. (And they sell boilers for $18.98 so I'll definitely be able to afford that later. All the others I've seen have been upwards of $80. Talk about a bargain!)

We pulled up into our driveway, only to realize I forgot to remind Lars we needed to stop by Stater Bros. for a couple bags of ice to finish the blanching process, so we hopped in the car and he ran in to buy those.

When we got home again, Jonathan had been miserable right before we left Walmart, so we spent some time with him while I set up the kitchen and boiled the jars and lids. I fed the child again and put him down for a nap. I was beat because I haven't been sleeping very well the last week since Jonathan's been up late, even if he does sleep in. I crawled in my bed with the baby and flipped on the a/c for us both and closed my eyes. Lars came in to join us 10 minutes later, which was wonderful. I miss family naptime.

Around an hour later, we all got up, fed the baby again, and put him in the tv room to watch the Disney channel so Lars could do his lessons and I could start on the peaches. I called my stepmom to make sure I knew what to do and got to work. I made a giant batch of the syrup and put it in a bowl. Jonathan had a very hard time due to the fact that I had to get the peaches blanched, out of the boiling water and into the ice water and skinned before I could tend to him. Every time he had a meltdown, it would be right in the middle of one of those processes. If I tried to do it on a day while Lars was at school it would've been even harder, albeit, Lars was doing his lesson plans most of the time.

I forgot to lay Jonathan down for his evening nap in time since I was trying to hurry and finish the box of peaches and didn't end up putting him down until around 8:30. I thought for sure he would sleep through the night after crying all day from being lonely and bored, but my gut told me he would wake up in an hour or two, so I worked to finish the rest of the peaches. I was right. At a quarter to 10, Jonathan woke up and I discovered that some of the sealed lids had popped because someone touched them before they had a chance to cool over night. I was miffed. But I was going to be up for awhile, so I turned on the boiler again and waited another million years for the water to get to a rolling boil.

Around midnight, I knew Jonathan and I were both ready to sleep, even if he didn't realize it and the tired's hadn't hit me. I got Jonathan ready for bed (again), did my nighttime routine, and we had family prayer. I knew if we laid down together in a dark area he would settle. So I pulled out the scriptures and read to him. Before the end of the short chapter, he dropped off to sleep. It was very sweet. I don't get a chance to get him to fall asleep like that very often, so it made me feel successful as a mother. I had a hard time being away from my baby even thought I could still see and hear him. I don't know how working moms do it day in and day out.

Start with a box of peaches. (This is only a little over half the box since I forgot to take a picture before I started.)

Blanch 6-8 peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and place in a bowl of ice water. Promptly slough off skin before ice melts and peaches are still warm. Cut in half, remove pit and place in a jar. Use melon baller to remove red walls of peach insides. Slice into pieces directly into jar. Shake jar to help pieces lay tightly together to get as much in as possible. Use a soup ladle to spoon syrup mixture in jar over peaches. Fill with syrup until there's about a quarter of an inch left before the neck of jar. (You need that room for the peaches to expand and not boil over.) Boil lid, dry and place on top of jar immediately while still warm to help seal better. Twist ring over top of lid tightly.

First two jars finished and waiting to go into the boiler. Put 2-6 jars (depending on size) into boiler and submerse for 25-30 minutes. Don't start the timer until jars are completely covered with water and lid to boiler is on. Promptly remove or peaches will start to cook.

25 pounds of peaches, 10 hours, and 15 jars later, I'm finished and waiting to do pears this weekend.

I'm really pleased with myself. I knew that it would be simple, but a long arduous process. I didn't realize how easy it would be to actually do it by myself, but also how hard it would be on me emotionally to leave my son to cry by himself all day long. They better be darn good peaches is all I'm saying!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Nine Month Check-up (Beware: IMG dump)

Jonathan had his nine month check-up today. He did wonderfully. He was 29 1/4 inches long (90th percentile), weighed 27 1/2 lbs. (still off the charts), and according to the pediatrician, far exceeds the skill set for babies in his age bracket. Like I needed the doctor to tell me he's above average. ;)

We stopped at Kellie's to pick up his nine month photos from a couple weeks ago. I LOVE THEM! I've been trying (unsuccessfully) for the last six hours to upload the rest of the pictures but the site won't allow it on this post. The first five photos were taken on the 8th and the rest were taken on the 15th. I'll try in a couple days to upload the rest from the first day. They're all just too good to keep to myself!

Also, on the 21st and 24th, Jonathan FINALLY popped out his top two front teeth! YAY!

Our little sun dial. He keeps the time in our house.


I'm ready for my photos now...
Life can be so hard...

Little Angel

Kewpie Butt!
All by myself! Well, almost...
My big boy!
No stoppin' this train!
This one cracks me up!!
Max Factor "bedroom eyes"
Who me?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Last Night of Summer

Tonight was the night I've been waiting for. I LOVE the Larsen's. They are an amazing and CRAZY family. We sit by them at church and Janet is our RS president. We went to a BBQ we've been planning to have for a little over a month. It was SO delish! We had this amazing specially seasoned chicken, rice, rolls, super red and sweet watermelon, and a FABulous fresh green salad my girlfriend Mary made with fresh cilantro.
We sat and talked and goofed around. It's SO wonderful to have so many people who can plug into your personality and understand your 'weird'. Everyone has a different 'weird', but all of us can connect on different facets of each other's 'weird', so it works out. It was the first time we've all gotten together outside of church things. We SO need to do it again!

Mary Puppe, me and Kellie Larsen- my bffs that I do everything with out here! I don't know what I'd do without them!
Then after dinner, we left the boys and baby. Kellie said good night before we left her mother-in-law's house to go to bed and rest her little pregnant body up for her shower tomorrow while Janet, Jennie, Mary and I all headed to downtown LA to this place...
It was yummy! All my girlfriends out here rave about it, so Janet treated us girls to a GNO. It was Mary's and my first time trying it. The girl who took our picture told us that Jake Gyllenhaal walked in and ordered earlier that day! WILD! Left to right: Janet, Jennie, Mary, and me.

Here's to more GNOs and more barbecues with these guys! Thanks for the foodies, Janet! Love ya'll! Mwah!


Important Notice: For those of you who signed up on this particular post back in April (Rachael, Becca, Katie) I'm letting you know I haven't forgotten about you. I'm upping the the time to when I make these things for you until next year. There were things in life that have just happened that have not allowed me to spend the time or money on things of this sort this particular year. I will however pay my dues in the following year. Thanks ladies.

The first five people to leave a comment on this blog will receive something made by me.

However there are some limitations.

1. I make no guarantee that you will like what I make.

2. What I create will be just for you.

3. It will be done this year.

4. You have no clue what it is going to be, poetry, clothes, paper goods, or a little invention of my own. I may bake something and mail it you . Who knows? Not you that's for sure!

5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

Here's the catch, if you choose to do this. You must post this on your blog and be ready to make something for five people too. This will be fun! When you receive the fabulous item I make you, you must post a picture of it on your blog.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

First off, I'd just like to explain why my posts are always sooooo long. It just seems like the beginning and the very end of summer are the busiest. I've been on the internet looking for a place of our own to live and other furniture that we'd need when we move out. Also, Jonathan's been teething and more vocal about his needs, which may I say, can get very obnoxious. But I love him and I want to make sure his owies are taken care of.

Moving on, I want to take you back, oh, a week ago? Yeah, let's say that it was a week ago.
August 17th: Daddy and Jonathan enjoying one of the last naps in the middle of the day for who knows how long.

Last Thursday, we decided to go check out Downtown Disney. It was chilly and we forgot to bring Jonathan's jacket, so we put him in a burrito in his Nemo blankie. He had to have at least one limb outside to flop around. I love the lone foot sticking out.

Wednesday, August 19th: Our good friends the Jenks' invited us out to Bolsa Chica Beach for a bonfire. We got there right before sunset. It was Jonathan's second trip to the beach. He LOVED it and was impossible to keep him still. We ate s'mores and if I hadn't filled up on our turkey dogs, I would've eaten more than the amazing 3 I managed to stuff in my face!
Here's the whole group minus me: Lars and Jonnie with the Jenks and the Larsens. Both Tiffany and Kellie are expecting. I felt left out for a little bit, but Tiff is ready for delivery any day now and I remember that feeling.
Kellie looked SO funny and adorable all bundled up. Lame little me- I've only been to one other bonfire and it was two years ago, so I didn't bring a jacket or a another blanket or socks for either Jonathan or I. It only takes one mistake. I'm SO packing more warm stuffs for our ward bonfire tomorrow if we go. Lars was wonderful and gave me his leather jacket to wear and Jonathan was too wiggly to hold still, so I used his Nemo blankie on my feet. (Notice Brett's lovely foot also in the picture.)
On Friday night, it was the High Priests activity night. We did karaoke. Here's Lars and Chet Douglass singing "Rollin' On the River". It was a WILD night! There were only a few people there, so we got really loud and laughed until our sides hurt.
Lisa Mushet, Mary Puppe, and I singing, ummm, I can't remember. =}
Lars and I weren't going to go to karaoke, but we felt we needed to participate in ward activities since we've been so bad in the past. (I blame our memories and lack of cell phones with alarm reminders). After I got home (which BTW, was far too late to even think about starting this kind of thing), I washed and hand-dipped around 200 strawberries for Lars' cousin's baby shower the next morning. The chocolate turned out the perfect consistency and I was soooo worried about it. I'd never used that brand of dipping chocolate before. I was also a Nazi about how dry the strawberries had to be before I'd dip them. If water gets into your dipping chocolate, it makes it lumpy and it won't coat the berry correctly or even stick.
I double-dipped around 50 of them. Some were milk chocolate-over-white and the others were white-over-milk. The ones pictured tasted better, although the plain white chocolate ones tasted best. I was also worried about how the dried chocolate would taste because the raw chocolate was AWFUL and tasted like chalk. Most gourmet dipping chocolate tastes rich and sickeningly sweet, which is the only kind I've used. (But who has money for that?)
This was the cake. I've never seen anything like it before. The FROSTING had a pearlescent glaze to it, abso-friggen-lutely amazing. And the inside was even better- 3 layers of cake with a real fruit filling in the first layer and a vanilla pudding layer in the second. I would've eaten more, but I totally pigged out on guacamole and my strawberries! I love the little Mexican markets around here. They make the BEST cakes EVER!!
Larry Sr. with his favorite little person at the baby shower. I think they look alike a little bit.
The beautiful expectant mother, Yanela with her mother, Nellie.
One of the five 2 foot (in diameter) platters of strawberries we crammed into the fridge the night before.
Over-tired, but happy with Daddy. Jonathan's been going to sleep for a late afternoon nap and sleeping around 12 hours at night since the shower. He didn't take his early evening nap because there was far too many distractions. Finally, I fed him at 7 and he literally dropped to sleep. Nothing, not even a Harley motorcycle going down the street, could wake him, even though we tried repeatedly so he'd go to sleep later. (Which of course we didn't need to worry about.)

And there you have it a great little week of fun, friends, and sugar. =D