Monday, November 16, 2015

Raising a Boy

Lord, I'm not sure I'm cut out for raising a boy. My heart isn't strong enough.

A little over a week ago, I made grilled cheese sandwiches. Matt has a stool/tower he uses to watch me and help me cook. I pushed it away from the electric grill but not far enough. I had told Matt it was hot, hot, hot and not to touch it, but he either didn't understand or didn't care. He smacked his hand down on it for just an instant. The look in his eyes as he realized the pain just about broke my heart. I grabbed him, cared for the burn (only first-degree, thankfully), and loved him until he was calm. By the time he woke up from a nap, he was fine; his hand was just a little red and swollen. By the next day, it was as if he'd never been burned. We were fortunate; it could have been worse. I learned that he has to be even farther away from heat sources - the boy is getting so big!!!

Today, he was in his crib for quiet time while I prepared grilled cheese sandwiches. Yes, the same meal. I might have to stop making this accursed lunch! Anyhoo, Matt was playing with cars, happily chatting away. Just before I put the sandwiches on the grill, I heard a loud thump from his room followed by him crying hard. I ran into the room and saw blood coming out of his mouth. My heart stopped for a beat or more. I grabbed him and applied a tissue to his mouth, trying to see where the blood originated. He cried and cried until I put a cold, wet washcloth on the inside of his lip, which was slowly puffing up. Once the blood stopped, I could see two teeth marks on the inside of his lip. He must have fallen and hit his mouth so hard that his teeth bit into his mouth. And you know how bloody face and mouth wounds can be. Matt soon felt just fine, especially when Steve came home. He ate lunch without a hint of mouth pain. Whew.

When I told Steve what had happened, he said, "Matt's a boy. He's going to get hurt." Oh great. I know it's true and my heart can't handle it. And he's only TWO!

Wish me luck.

Julie :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Why I Quit Facebook

Recently, my church put out a statement that has created some uproar. When I heard about it, my first thought was, I'm so glad I don't look at Facebook any more so I don't have to see everyone's opinions about this.

I joined Facebook to reconnect with a college roommate I hadn't seen in years. I had no other way to get a hold of her. A friend suggested Facebook, so I finally caved and joined. At first, I enjoyed it. I read about the lives of people I rarely or never get to see. I was able to share events in my life easily (too easily??) to lots of people.

Slowly, my news feed contained less pictures, stories, and life events and more articles that "perfectly expressed" the opinion of the person who shared it. Articles about politics, religion, parenting, lifestyle choices; not all negative but certainly not all positive either. The negative ones always left a black hole in my gut, especially when shared by someone I really care about. And almost every article had its share of negative comments that disagreed with the contents, and sometimes, the commenters became quite nasty and mean.

I unfollowed people. I thought about unfollowing almost everyone but really close friends and family. Turns out, that may not have been an option. My friend started unfollowing a huge amount of her friends. FB issued her several warnings that she was abusing the "unfollow privilege". She ignored them and was eventually blocked from unfollowing anyone!!

I chose to quit FB.

There is a sense of peace that comes to me from not having other people's opinions bombarding me on a "news feed" continually. I get my news from fairly credible news sources (I say "fairly" because I'm not 100% convinced of the media's ability to be impartial or unbiased) so it's not like I'm an ostrich with its head in the sand and having no clue what's happening around it. The difference is that I get the news without all the commentary and opinions and arguments from every Tom, Dick, and Jane. There is so much negativity in the world without me welcoming it into my life by the negative views that routinely showed up on my FB.

Now, I have to reach out to people to find out what's happening in their worlds, to make a little effort instead of just pushing the FB app button on my phone. I email, text, call, and even write the occasional letter to connect with my loved ones. When was the last time you received an email from someone?? An email that was just them telling you about their lives and asking about yours? I bet you can't even remember when someone sent you a letter. I can because I have a wonderful mother-in-law that sends us handmade, hand-written cards once a month. They are lovely to receive. I can't remember the last email I received that wasn't from a business, school, city, or a comment on my blog.

It is sometimes said about science, "just because they can, doesn't mean they should".

Nowadays, everyone has a voice, an outlet to express their opinions about every little thing in this world. It's not a bad thing. Heck, I have a blog partly to express my opinions, to have a voice. It's empowering and special. The problem is that people haven't learned to shut up. There are some things that don't need to be said, especially to everyone on FB. Just because you can, doesn't mean you always should. And so, since there is too much chatter and too little restraint, I choose to be a lot more selective.

I don't foresee going back to FB any time soon, but if I do it will be with a very short friends list.

Thank you for putting up with my FB rant. I promise to be more carefree and happy in my next post.

Julie :)

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Snow Day

There's always something magical about the season's first day of snow. In May when it snowed, I grumbled and groaned, but six months later, and I'm loving it.

From our front steps

The loving could also be contributed to what I'm eating and drinking as I sit on my comfy red sofa and watch the snow tumble down outside. Last night, I made an apple crisp that was divine. Those of you who know me well know that I'm not a fan of apple pie or crisp or anything with baked apples. You can imagine Steve's surprise when I announced that I was baking an apple crisp. It was a spur of the moment inspiration caused by returning home from grocery shopping, opening the fruit drawer, and finding several bags of apples of indeterminate ages. I knew that one bag I had purchased last contained 4 apples...the rest had one, two, or even three apples and I had no idea how old they were. So, I took the 6 apples and tested them for hardness. They were still firm but also a little soft. I knew I wouldn't eat them as is, but they weren't bad so I didn't want to throw them out. I don't do pie crusts (someday, maybe, but not now), so I hopped on Pinterest and found an apple crisp recipe that looked good (i.e. had a lot of the crumble on top).

Oh, the smell that permeated our kitchen as the crisp cooked! I may not be an apple pie lover, but I've always loved the smell combination of apples and cinnamon. The crisp was delicious, even without the recommended ice cream or whipped cream. Yep, even I liked it. This afternoon, after putting Matt to bed, I'm indulging in reheated apple crisp leftovers and am a happy girl. Especially because I'm also sipping on hot apple cider. Mmmmmm. I'm a huge apple cider fan.

Hot apple cider + warm apple crisp + comfy red sofa + sweatpants and comfy sweater + snowing outside + toddler in bed = a really wonderful moment for me


I hope that wherever you are, you're as happy and comfortable as you can possibly be.

Julie :)

Monday, November 02, 2015

Halloween 2015

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone had a fun, safe holiday. We had a fun time and actually had festivities two days instead of just one. Lucky us!

We started by going Trunk-or-treating at my dad's church Trunk-or-treat. For those of you who don't know, trunk-or-treating consists of people handing out treats from the back of the vehicles in a parking lot, usually a school or church, to the costumed kids. I guess it started as a way for kids to safely trick or treat to people they knew or something like that. A lot of the churches around here do it, but ours wasn't and it was a good time to see my dad, so we went. Here's us:

Cleopatra, SUU football player, and Julius Ceasar
Steve and I decided that next year, we're choosing warmer costumes...we were pretty chilly and the weather wasn't even as bad as it could be for this time of year.

Matt had no clue what was happening. The costumes kind of freaked him out at first and he didn't want to carry his pumpkin or walk on his own. I had been working on getting him to say "Trick or Treat" all day but he had been pretty unenthusiastic. We walked past a bunch of cars, looking for my dad. When we found him, I had Matt say the magic words. He hesitated, but finally muttered something resembling them. HIs eyes lit up when Grandpa put candy into his pumpkin! Whoa! We chatted with Grandpa for a bit, then found my step-sister and her two girls and went around to cars with them for a bit. Matt's "trick or treat" got more hearty with every car as the candy poured into his bucket. He's definitely got his mama's sweet tooth. He also was very generous with the "thank you's" and received quite a few "aaaahhh"s because he's so stinking cute.

We stayed less than an hour before heading to my church's Halloween dinner. As we walked into the building, Steve threatened to leave if he was the only one dressed up. I assured him that most likely, we'd be the only adults dressed up and told him to buck up. Turns out, I was wrong, a couple other adults were also dressed up and several children. There were a couple games for the kids, and Matt loved the fish pond (more candy) but didn't want to get his face painted or do anything else. I'm learning that my little man is a little timid. I'm okay with this. We ate chili, corn bread, and salad then headed home because Matt hadn't napped and was getting ornery. It was time to get him his milk, relax a bit, put him to bed, and then collapse for the rest of the night.

The next day, we did a couple things around the house before setting off to buy a new dining room table. I won't go into why in this post, maybe later. We came home and got ready to go tailgating at the SUU football game with my dad and Paula. I really enjoy tailgating. We keep it really simple - hot dogs/brats, veggies, chips, fruit, and a dessert. We got there around 12:30, a little before Dad, and bought some SUU sweatshirts in case the game was chilly. Dad arrived around 1pm and we just hung out and ate for a couple hours. My niece Brooke was dancing with her dance school, so we got to watch her. Her parents had left for the Utah football game and her brother was hanging out with friends, so we invited her to eat with us and to go to the game with us. She did. I also saw my old boss, Eric, and his wife at the tailgating party. His daughter was dancing. I couldn't believe how old she was!! It was good to see them and to chat a bit. The years I worked for him were some of my best work years.

The game started a little slow but picked up and became a fun game to watch. It was soooo warm, though! We had all dressed for chilly weather, so it was a little uncomfortable. SUU maintained a lead the whole game but there were a few tense times when we thought they'd lose. They ended up winning - Yay!

We left the game a little early (after the 3rd quarter) because we were all getting hungry, especially Matt, and I had made a soup in the crock pot earlier in the day. Dad had church meetings to get ready for and Paula wanted to see Macey off on her Sadie Hawkins date, so it was just us and Brooke for soup. I had also wanted to leave a little early because it was prime trick-or-treat time. I love, love, love handing out candy to trick-or-treaters and seeing their costumes. So, the rest of the night, we just hung out and handed out candy. Steve took Brooke to her Halloween party around 7pm, we put Matt to bed around 8pm, and then sat out on our driveway to pass out candy to lower the chance of waking Matt. Just before 9pm, we packed up our chairs and candy and headed inside. The number of kids had dwindled and we were getting cold. We came inside and had a nice warm mug of hot chocolate. A perfect ending to a nice Halloween.

Next year, I think we'll take Matt trick-or-treating for the first time. I decided that he had received more than enough candy from trunk-or-treating the night before and didn't need more. He's young enough to not realize what he missed.

Julie :)