Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Weekend Roundup

Bright and early Sunday morn: my three babes

#1 just learned how to pull this cross-eyed face. Nice huh?

Monday AM: hike at South Mountain Preserve

Monday PM: Swimming with friends

Monday Twilight: Costa Vida with wild children for entertainment

the end

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Leave Your Pride at the Door

Today I left my pride at Victoria's Secret.  A large chunk of it sank when after "fitting me," a young, buxom 19 year- old flatly informed that my chest is now a size smaller.  I know she doesn't know anything about having babies, putting on 50+ pound, loosing 50+ pounds (three times!) and what that does to a woman's body (and mind).  I'm sure she had no idea how just hearing the letter B deflated not just my ego, but part of the definition of the way I see myself.  Why can't V.S. hire mom-types to roam the store measuring people and making suggestions? I imagine instead of the dead look of apathy, this mom-type would break it to me gently with real compassion, "Oh honey, I hate to tell you this, I know what you've been through.  But you are now a B cup.  I know how disappointed you must feel, but don't you worry, you're still a woman."  Strike one.

In an attempt to preserve my self-respect (and also because I blindly wanted to believe it wasn't true) I took both sizes with me to the dressing room.  The line to get to the dressing room was 40 minutes long.  But for me the possibility of proving that young thing wrong made it worth the wait. When I finally got to the front of the line and a door opened up, I started to move to the empty dressing room but was stopped by another young woman, dressed in a tight revealing top.  "What's your bra size," she loudly asks.  Remember that I had just waited for 40 minutes, so you can imagine the large crowd of women within immediate hearing distance.  "What's your size?"Again, louder.  I felt like a squirrel caught in the headlights.  Why in the world would I announce to all of Victoria's Secret my freshest disappointment? I cut around her and slammed the door shut, sweating with humiliation.  Strike two.

Inside the dressing room, my worst fears were confirmed. Indeed, I am now a B.  Strike three.

Completely deflated, I waited in yet another line to pay.  As I waited I looked around watching people, noticing the variety of women in the store.  It seemed that every woman made me feel worse and worse about myself.  And then I saw something strange and most unlikely. A black cap pinned on the back of a braided head.  This head belonged to a mennonite woman in a simple, long dress. She wasn't wearing any make-up and had probably driven to the mall in a horse and buggy.  She wasn't alone. There were four of these women browsing the braziers in Victoria's Secret.  I realized how foolish I had been feeling.  If these women could walk into a place where they completely didn't fit in and confidently buy themselves the bras they needed, then gosh-darn it, so could I!  

Yes. It's true that most of my pride is still on the floor of V.S. But in the end I came out ahead. Lo and behold, my bra rang up for $15 less than I expected.  And I learned an important lesson:  a woman's a woman no matter how small.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Birthday #3

You can tell a baby is your 3rd child if she:

Has fallen off the bed

Has no scrapbook to prove her mother's love

Has sat in a run-away grocery cart as is cruised down the sloped parking lot

Wears hand-me-downs almost exclusively

Drinks cow milk before her 1st birthday

Gets wrestled by her big brother without crying

Generally gets ignored and is unappreciated

My sweet #3 turned one. She is a happy gem, smiling and laughing easily. Right from the start she's been easy to please, sleeping and eating like a champ. Now she stands and walks along the furniture but hasn't dared more than a step or two unassisted. She takes evil delight in playing in toilet water and laughs uninhibitedly when I tickle and pretend to eat her fat rolls. She is a joy.

Here she is pre-cake

Stages Luau Performance

#1 is in this great singing group called Stages. Every semester they learn songs and dances that they perform at the end. I love this singing group because it's all about the kids having fun, gaining confidence and developing talents. There is no pressure for perfection, in fact, there is a lot of room for the kids to be themselves. This is a perfect fit for my #1 as she definitely hears the beat of her own drum.

This semester the theme was "The Luau," so #1 learned a stick dance, a hula and bunch of surfing songs. In this video I cut out the hula and stick dance and more than 1/2 of the singing, so you're just seeing a sample of the fun that was had.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The New Face of Dentistry

Things have really progressed in the dental profession since I was growing up. I remember the appointments with my family dentist in his tiny basement office. He had one receptionist/dental assistant/hygienist who remembered everyone's names. My dentist would sit me down in one of his two patient chairs, exam my teeth, clean them and if needed fill a cavity (this only happened ONCE - yes, folks, your beloved poser here had one lone cavity in her long life before babies). He did all the work himself and in 45 minutes time I was back on the road to soccer practice.

A few weeks ago Spouse and I decided to stretch our ever tightening budget just a bit further and enroll in dental insurance. I found a "Phoenix Top Dentists" list and picked a name that sounded reliable. So today I dropped my kids off at a friends and went out for some good, clean dental fun.

When I walked in the door of "Harris Dental" I realized I was under-dressed. The chic-ness was intimidating to a girl who hasn't been to the dentist in 4 years. From the freshly botoxed receptionist to the expansive granite counter tops, I could tell this was an upscale office for the "upscale" patient. There were large black and white photographs of beautiful people with beautiful smiles on the walls of the waiting area. Later, during my tour of the office my lady (I have no idea what her position or function was) explained that the photos were all of Harris Dental patients and all of their smiles were created by Harris Dental. We walked down the "hall of credentials" which was full of fancily framed diplomas, certificates, awards and photographs with celebrities. Now I was certain, I was unworthy to be in the holy presence of the Harris Dental Dentists. I was wasting their time with my measly, mundane existence.

After the tour my first stop was for photographs and digital x-rays, so different from the old x-ray negatives that my family dentist would hold up to the ceiling light. My helper-lady was gentle and in no hurry. She kept talking to me and would say "Now I'm going to ....." It was very relaxing. I half expected her to say, "Now I'm going to apply the cucumber facial mud." During my tour I had noticed that all the women in the office were wearing identical outfits, black trousers and stretchy blue button front blouses. No scrubs for Harris Dental.

When it was time for my exam with the dentist, she seemed very excited for me. "Now I'm going to get Dr. Joe. Are you ready to meet Dr. Joe?" Sure, that's why I made this appointment. Why wouldn't I be ready to meet Dr. Joe? What appeared before my eyes was a handsomer, taller, 50 year old vision of Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate." He held out and his hand and gently said, "JL, what a pretty smile you have. I'm so happy to meet you." Now I knew why she had asked me if I was ready to meet Dr. Joe. Apparently I wasn't ready to meet Dr. Joe because it took several minutes before I could think clearly enough to answer the polite questions he was asking in his soothing voice. He said, "Now I want to make sure that I meet every expectation that you have today. What do you want to get out of our time together?" Huh? I was so flustered, I wasn't sure what to say. "Um. I want you to clean my teeth and take care of the cavities."

Dr. Joe was at it too, "Now I'm going to lay your chair back." (Hand on shoulder) "Now I'm going to examine your neck and throat." (Hands massaging my neck, behind my ears, my jaws) I was frozen. I am not used to this kind of intimate contact with a handsome man that I've just met. "Now I'm going to bite your neck and suck your blood because I'm a vampire." Wake up, you're daydreaming. "Now I'm going to look into your mouth." All uncomfortable feelings of intimacy deflate; feelings of being a horse surface. This is much more comfortable.

After this strange encounter, he sits me up and invites me to talk to him about my dental health. Yes! This is what I came to hear! First, lots of compliments I didn't understand then came the smack down. Huge area of decay here, bubble in the filling trapping food here, eroded gums here. There is nothing like a heavenly smelling, handsome man talking about your gross teeth to make you feel like a pig. Just then, Dr. Brian passes by and my helper-lady whispers, "That was Dr. Brian! Would you like to meet Dr. Brian?" So Dr. Brian, equally handsome with equally perfect teeth, greets me in an equally gentle voice. All of this civility was unnerving!

This had been the strangest dentist appointment I had ever imagined. Why was everyone being so nice to me? Why was everyone so concerned that I understood everything? Was I really one of the special people who deserved to be a patient at Harris Dental? Did they feel sorry for me because I was obviously in way over my head in coolness?

I left Harris Dental without getting my teeth cleaned and without being any closer to having my cavities filled. Times have changed. You don't get your teeth cleaned or cavities filled that easily. You have to make a series of appointments to make that happen. My bill said that my insurance had just paid $288 for the surreal hour and a half I had just spent being massaged and coddled. Yes, times have changed my friends.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Highlights from Women's Conference

Here are the top ten highlights from BYU Women's Conference

10. Leaving my 3 little ones in the hands of a loving husband who took two days off work so I could get the heck outta there.

9. "Walk away from the world." -Sheri Dew

8. Getting to drive my sometimes bossy grandmother a little crazy with my apparently wild driving. {I love you Grandma B}

7. "Choose joy; choose peace" - in a talk to young mothers

6. Boarding a plane with just my little bag and a book. No strollers, no diaper bags, no kids.

5. Getting to relive my BYU days by rushing to classes and buying brownies at the Cougar Eat. There were moments when I felt 20 again.

4. Seeing that Deseret Towers (my old dorm) is no more than a pile of rubble. Unfortunately, the Morris Center is still standing strong. I hated the Morris Center.

3. Talking to my sisters until late at night, and then getting to sleep the WHOLE NIGHT without babies crying or wet beds.

2. "The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor's glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken." C.S. Lewis The Weight of Glory {Used in a talk entitled "Ministering to the One}

1. This accordion player at Ottavio's came to our table to serenade and in the middle of "All I Ask of You" he suddenly cued my sister-in-law to come in at Christine's part. Without missing a beat she confidently belted out her part...."then say you'll share with me...." That unassuming accordion player, who thought he was being cheeky, had picked the wrong girl to embarrass. She is a bona fide opera singer. He was very surprised. And then he played while she sang O Mio Bambino Caro.

Spring Recital

Here is #1 dancing in her spring recital. Unfortunately the recording is very dark. #1 is the 3rd to come onto stage. {I'm sorry about the 6 second gap between songs. I had a rough time matching up the music with the video}