Monday, January 28, 2008

President Hinkckley in the rest of the Lord

We shed bittersweet tears in our home yesterday upon learning of the passing of our beloved Prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley. For our family members and friends who aren't familiar with the LDS Church, I'd like to tell you about this wonderful man. Gordon B. Hinckley has been the Lord's chosen Prophet for the past 12 years, leading the church and the world with his sweet example and by receiving revelation from the Lord and providing guidance and direction to the world. He was 97 at his death, and despite his age, he was as familiar with the trials and adversities of this day and age as any. He was humble and hardworking and sincere. We will miss him dearly, but we are also relieved that he can be in the rest of the Lord and can once again be reunited with his dear wife Marjorie who preceeded him in death in 2004.

At our house, President Hinckley is the first Prophet that either of us remembers in our adult lives, as I was only 12 when he was sustained in 1995, and Chris didn't become a member of the church until 1998. We will always remember him as an incredible spiritual giant.

He will be succeeded by another man, and the Church will go forward, but we will always remember with fondness this man who has done so much for the Church. Although I can't provide an exhuastive list of his accomplishments, here are a few things from his life and ministry that make up his legacy:
  • His utilization of radio and television media to spread the gospel's message
  • Revealing The Family: A Proclamation to the World in 1995

  • The Perpetual Education Fund, which provides means for young adults throughout the world (mostly developing countries) to obtain an education

  • His involvement in building and dedicating temples, including smaller temples, Houses of the Lord in which individuals can learn more of the nature of God and receive essential ordinances, and in which families can be sealed together for eternity

  • The building of the Conference Center

  • His extensive worldwide travels and humanitarian efforts, even in his advanced age

  • And so many more...what am I missing?

Short-Order Breakfast

My favorite breakfast option as of late is French Toast. I justify making this for myself and my child because it has milk and eggs in it, and I make it with whole wheat toast. Fiber. Protein. Calcium. Sounds good to me! Its cheap, only takes about 15 minutes to make, and is super tasty. I make it approximately once a week.

Since Chris is back at work this week, I'm now on my own with two kids, but nevertheless, I had the craving for French Toast this morning. I decided to make a double batch so that I could keep some in the refrigerator and reheat it later in the week or as a midnight snack. I busted out the 20" griddle so I could make 8 at once. My toddler waited patiently by playing with tupperware on the floor, and my baby was blissfully sleeping. By 8:30 I served Leah a piping hot slice of french toast, soaking with melty butter and dripping in hot syrup. I poured myself a glass of milk and took a bite.

It tasted really funny. My first guess was that it tasted different since I coated the griddle with butter instead of pan spray as usual. I took a second bite. Like a brick it hit me with perfect clarity: I had used 1/4 cup of salt and not sugar. French Toast is not supposed to be salty. It tasted awful and it was not salvageable. Leah didn't seem to notice and ate her whole slice, but didn't ask for seconds either. What's really a shame is that I wasted 8 eggs, 2 cups of milk, and 8 slices of bread. And I was still craving buttery, syrupy, sweet French Toast.

I mournfully poured the remaining batter down the sink and all 7 remaining slices in the garbage can and started over. (A month ago, still pregnant, this would have made me cry). Of course by the time my second try was ready, my glass of milk was warm, the syrup was cold, and the baby had woken up. So much for being Supermom. This is the kind of thing that has contributed to the "Inadequacy" label having so many entries--this kind of thing happens to me all the time.

Here's the recipe so you can make it right the first time (Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook):
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup of milk
2 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
8 slices of bread

Friday, January 25, 2008

Five Years and Counting

We've made it five years!

Here are the stats since our wedding day, January 25, 2003:

Number of homes we've lived in: 5
Number of states we've lived in: 2
Number of wards: 4
Number of cars we've owned: 4
Number of schools we've attended: 3
Number of degrees we've earned: 2
Number of callings: 11
Number of jobs (Chris): 8
Number of jobs (Jenny): 5
Number of children: 2
Number of ER visits: 3
Number of surgeries/hospitalizations: 6
Number of trips together: 9
Number of diapers changed: don't get me started

We plan on having a very boring and stable year until our next anniversary. We're not anticipating moving, changing jobs, having a baby, or obtaining any degrees, although hopefully we'll get to go on a few trips. How boring!

In the meantime, Chris treated me this morning by getting up with Leah so I could catch up on Z's. As of 10:30 this morning, all four of us are in pajamas. We do eventually intend to get dressed. We plan to further celebrate our 5th anniversary by doing errands, changing diapers, wiping Leah's runny nose every 3 minutes, and ordering Pizza Hut for dinner.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I watch Jeopardy, so what?

OK, this is so random, but I just have to brag. I just watched Jeopardy (yes, I really enjoy watching Jeopardy) and I knew some answers that none of the contestants got (and this wasn't kids Jeopardy, either). I got one answer (what is tenon?) when no one else got it (as in mortise and tenon) thanks to a design and architecture class I took nearly 3 years ago. Then, the final Jeopardy clue had to do with a "rich and famous" person whose wealth of $900 million once equaled 2% of the GNP, but at his death in 1937 he only had something like $30 million. Two contestants guessed Carnegie, and the other one spelled Rockefeller wrong. I knew the answer and I even knew how to spell it! Can I get some credit for that, Alex?

And for the record, I'm not just vegging out in front of the TV, I'm folding laundry.

End of random bragging.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Complaints Department, Please take a number

So I'm in the mood to complain tonight. You've been warned.

Complaint #1: It is January and it has been actively snowing for several days in a row; there is probably over a foot of snow in our backyard, and seeing as it will still be winter for several more months, I can't imagine we should expect the snow to disappear anytime soon. I don't mind snow, but here is my question: Why do all the department stores, shoe stores, and kids stores have spring rain boots out already and consider snow boots out of season?

Complaint #2: So after trying at least 5 stores at the mall (I even set foot in Baby Gap!), I tried Kmart. Sure enough they had snow boots in one toddler size, and of course they were on clearance. But they were annoyingly pink and have Dora on them. Usually I don't mind pink, but they are so flashy--don't they know there are other colors that girls can wear and still be girly? And Dora? I can't stand Dora. And somehow, even though I've never let Dora grace our television set, my daughter knows who she is. How is that? Seriously people, we don't make adults walk around wearing flashy bright shoes with cartoon Keifer Sutherland on them, so why do we do this to our children? And for that matter, why is there only one option for kids snow boots (pink and cartooned) when adults get entire stores full of options?

I think I'm done complaining for now. I could probably think of more things to complain about, but I'll rest my keyboard instead. You can expect that tomorrow I'll be back to my same old witty self. In the meantime, let me know what you need to complain about--something you have absolutely no control over. Make it anonymous if you want, but come on, just get it off your chest.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Women of Power

This week the women around here have proven themselves. My mom spent the week taking care of me; she loaded and unloaded dishes repeatedly, changed diaper after diaper for two, tolerated my toddler, cooked delicious and nutritious meals three times a day, cleaned my bathroom, did at least one load of laundry per day, scrubbed the floors, stocked my pantry, provided emotional support, was my personal seamstress, even polished my toaster, and the list goes on. In sum, she was everything but the wet-nurse. (That was my job).

One evening she lamented that my vacuum cleaner wasn't working, otherwise she'd vacuum the rugs and stairs. I had already made several attempts to unclog the hoses, had even attempted flushing them with water, and was at a loss for what else could be wrong with it. My friend Julie was here and volunteered her vacuum-repairing skills. In a matter of 15 minutes, and with the aid of a screwdriver and a long wooden pole, we had removed a large soggy hairball (gross) and a plastic outlet cover from the hose, and thereby had a fully functional vacuum cleaner. That was certainly a women-of-power moment for all of us, even if all the credit goes to Julie.

One of the requests I had made of my mom for this week was for her to make decent curtains for the kids' room. She kept saying that curtains were an easy, single-day project, so I busted out my sewing machine and set her to work. We picked out a fun, colorful plaid decor fabric, and she fairly easily made four panels for the main window. But the architectural half-circle window at the top was a bit of a challenge. This window was the most important of all to cover, since uncovered it causes the room to bake by mid afternoon, and Leah would often complain that the lights were on at nap time. It was obvious that generations of residents have tried tactic after tactic to make some kind of window covering stay in place, as there was evidence of several types of tape and even Velcro adorning the window frame.

After entertaining many theories about possible ways to cover this window, we (or I should say, Mom) settled upon a flexible rod with brackets to hold it in place. The curtain itself is a long rectangle with two casings, gathered at the bottom...simple enough, right? This portion of the project took several days and a return trip to the fabric store, but it is quite a victory as the installation
instructions were completely useless and mom basically invented the curtain on her own. Kudos to you, Mom! You are a woman of power!

So what did I do this week to be a woman of power? Does baking bread count if you make it in an automatic breadmaker? I didn't cook or clean a thing, but I think it's worth something that my body just made a baby and delivered it successfully, and that my body now produces an insane amount of milk for this tiny baby to subsist on for the next year. That makes me a woman of power, thank you very much.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Baby Story: Part II

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

5:45 am: Woke up. Packed bags, ate breakfast, loaded car. Got ready to go to the hospital.

6:20: Dropped Leah off at sitter and headed to the hospital.

8:00: Hooked up to IV and pitocin. I was actually quite anxious and was anticipating that the pitocin would kick in really hard and fast and that it would be torture. It actually wasn't bad at all and was very gradual. My nurse Jill was really nice. This time they let me drink clear liquids the entire time, and it was much more tolerable than starving.

11:00: Doctor visited to check on me and broke my water.

12:00: Anesthesiologist came and we chatted about why my first epidural experience was so traumatic. He listened! He walked me through the process and it wasn't bad at all. I asked for a slightly smaller dose than normal--I wanted to take the edge off the pain but still be able to know when I was contracting. It worked very well to do it this way. I could wiggle my toes the entire time and the contractions felt like Braxton Hicks but were very manageable. It also meant that I wasn't numb for nearly as long afterward.

3:00: 7 cm. Still waiting. "Transition" was kind of scary--I got really dizzy and light-headed, jittery, and started crying for no reason. It was a strange feeling.

4:30: 10 cm. Time to go! We waited about 30 minutes for the doctor to come from another surgery. I pushed for only 15 minutes, and the baby was born at 5:13pm! Chris was a terrific coach. Overall, it was a very good experience!

6:30: Ate dinner. Voraciously.

7:00: Leah came to visit. We took our first family picture with the new baby.

I couldn't help but compare and contrast this experience with the first time I did it.

Baby: Leah Helen / Samuel Joseph
Birth day and time: Friday, 9:25 pm / Tuesday, 5:13pm
Baby's length: 19.5 inches /19.5 inches
Baby's weight: 7 lbs 4 oz / 7 lbs 9 oz
Baby's entrance was: 3 days late / 6 days early
Time at the hospital until baby was born: 12 hours / 11 hours
Hospital: Timpanogos /Orem Community
Doctor: Young /Young
Craving after delivery: Arby's beef 'n cheddar / French Silk Pie
Distracting comedy during labor: Bruce Almighty / Happy Gilmore
Stuck in my head all day: Annoying Christmas jingle from TV commercial / Honey tree song from Winnie the Pooh

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Samuel has arrived!

Okay, no fake-outs about scary pipe men. This time, it's for real: Samuel is here!

Name: Samuel Joseph Fosdick
Born: January 8, 2008 at 5:13pm
Vitals: 7 lbs 9 oz and 19.5 inches long
Distinguishing features: Lots of long dark hair, a round chubby face with dimples, he looks very Asian. He makes a lot of squeaks.

Quick details:
Labor and delivery were surprisingly manageable! I'm tired. He's already peed on me.

Enjoy some pics:

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Disappointment Only Maims

I am not in labor. I am still pregnant. How disappointing. It's like counting down to launch the space shuttle and getting to "blastoff" and then starting to count back up again. For the past 48 hours I've been watching the clock every time I have anything that resembles a contraction, and no...just a stomach ache. Sometimes a stomach ache is just a stomach ache.

I had my heart set on going into labor this weekend, meaning I had nothing planned for Saturday and wasn't planning on being at church Sunday. I know I can hang in there until Tuesday when I'm scheduled to be induced, but still...a little disappointing, no?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Establishing a House of Order

Doctrine & Covenants 109:8
Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing,
and establish a house, even a house of prayer,
a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning,
a house of glory, a house of order,
a house of God;

I'm hoping that by working on the "house of order" part this week, it will help me to in turn create an environment where I can better establish a house of prayer, fasting, faith, learning, glory, and ultimately a house of God.

Over the past few months I've done things like hang a simple hook to hang my wok on, put up a cabinet in the kitchen for my microwave and for storage, commit to a regular floor-sweeping regime, organize the bathroom counter, arrange the nursery, etc. I've seen the light and had a change of heart concerning the cleanliness of my kitchen. If only I could have the same resolution about clutter and laundry...not to imply that either is tolerable to my fragile anxiety.

So this week, my efforts to "prepare every needful thing" have been to stock up on diapers and frozen dinners, anticipate the things I'll need the first few weeks with a newborn, put away Christmas, delegate my RS responsibilities, etc. Anticipating that we will be buying a dresser in a few weeks with our tax return, I went and got it this week so that at least that much more of my life can be in order before the baby comes. It took me approximately 5 hours to put together, but it is solid and sturdy and will undoubtedly meet our needs. Of course, it is so big that it didn't fit in the spot I had designated for it, meaning I made Chris rearrange our bedroom furniture at 10:30 last night. Poor guy.

Another preemptive measure to feel like I have a house of order was to put on our new couch cover. I just can't handle the thought of spit-up soaking into our nice couch, so here was a way to minimize that stressor before it ever reared its nasty head.

Incidentally, in the process of vacuuming the couch and scrubbing each cushion before putting on the cover, I found practically an entire box of cheerios, our checkbook, a plethora of pens and pencils, and yes, that long-lost remote control.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Welcome to the Family

I'm pleased to announce the arrival of the newest member of our family: Ted Bundy Fosdick.

Ted was born on December 31, 2007. He is made of heavy-gauge electrical conduit, PVC pipes, assorted tennis and racquetballs, and will soon develop a thick layer of foam padding. When fully grown he is expected to have accumulated 540 feet of duct tape. He is approximately 6'2", weighs less than 30 pounds, and has an unusually narrow shoulder width. Nevertheless, we love him anyway.

Ted is Chris's new grappling dummy for practicing Jiu-Jitsu moves, and is so affectionately named in order that we won't have any reservations beating up on him on a regular basis.

I personally think Ted's creepiness factor is rather high and that he has the face only a mother could love...let me rephrase that: a face only Chris could love. Hey, he may be ugly, but he's cheaper than therapy, or martial arts lessons for that matter. And when we go out of town, he can sit silhouetted in the window to keep the real creeps away, right?

Welcome to the family, Ted!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

What if...

At the New Year, we talk a lot about resolutions. Starting over. Getting off on the right foot. Starting that new diet or budget on the very first day...

Well, what if every day of the year were patterend after what you did on New Year's Day?

For example, today the whole family slept in late and barely changed out of pajamas. Since it was a Federal Holiday, Chris got paid even though he didn't have to go to work. I took a nice hot shower, bathed my child, made a yummy dinner, ran the dishwasher twice, vacuumed, took a nice long afternoon nap, did several loads of laundry, and didn't spend a dime! Wouldn't it be nice if every day were inexpensive and restful, yet productive?

On the other hand, I didn't actually leave the house once. I did shower and get dressed, but it was at 7:00 at night, and I never did bother to put in my contact lenses. I changed three supernasty diapers and kissed pinched fingers better. I didn't actually go to bed until 3 this morning, was hungover on Sparkling Cider, and had a double dose of dessert for lunch. Wouldn't it be awful if every day it was below freezing, I pigged out on desserts, I was extremely lazy, we were almost out of my toddler's diapers, and I were only days away from giving birth?

What would your year mean if you did today over and over again?