Friday, January 1, 2016

January 1998. (Isabella is turning 18)

December 31, 1997. Wednesday.

New Years Eve. I went to the mall to try to find something presentable to wear that night. I was at some trendy store and tried on the largest junior’s sweater I could find. I didn’t want any more maternity clothes. It still looked ridiculous. I gave up. We went to hang out with Brent’s friend from work and his girlfriend at her house in West Jordan. We made pizza and played games. We brought pie and we watched the first Austin Powers movie. I was so tired and uncomfortable in that giant bean bag chair while 35 weeks pregnant.

January 1, 1998. Thursday.

We went to the mall. It was crowded. I got a frufru pink dress (not too frufru) from Sears for the baby. I think we picked up Olive Garden with a gift card and brought it home to eat.  We put together the dresser we bought and filled it up with little clothes. Brent thought it was too soon because she wasn’t due until  February 2nd.

January 2, 1998. Friday.

I went to work. I felt kind of sick and didn’t want to be there but I wondered if I was being a baby about it and kind of faking. I went home early anyway. The supervisor gave me that “frustrated, but what can you do to the pregnant woman” look. I think Brent was at home, I’m not sure. Little did I know I wouldn’t be coming back to work again for six weeks.

January 3, 1998. Saturday.

I started feeling like I was having contractions at some point so we went to the hospital to be safe. I was about 35 weeks and 6 days along. They thought it was too soon and wanted to give the baby more time for her lungs to develop so they put me in a hospital bed and gave me drugs to stop the contractions. I think they gave me terbutaline. It made me shake really bad and felt weird. It worked pretty good though and they let me leave, but they did say I might be back again soon, tonight or tomorrow or something.  We went back to our apartment and hung out. I think we got sandwiches from Hoagie Yogi and I tried to eat but didn’t have an appetite all that much. The contractions started again and kept up until we decided to go back to the hospital around 10 that night. They said you are at 36 weeks just about so it should be fine.

January 4, 1998. Sunday.

They gave me an epidural and I couldn’t move anymore so I fell asleep, it was probably between 12 and 1 am, I slept until around 7 am. I think they may have woke me up and told me it was time to push. I pushed unsuccessfully for hours, it’s hard to get a first baby out and I couldn’t push well because of the epidural. The doctor showed up around 11 in his church clothes. Isabella was born around noon, 12:07 to be exact (I had to look it up.)

* * * * *

You were about 6 lbs 13 ounces. You were the prettiest newborn I’d seen and I was grateful you didn’t look like a pasty chicken, froggish baby.  We were going to give you the middle name Ryan but I chickened out and we named you Isabella Sydney Hales. We went home the next day. It was snowing and you were in this huge, white baby bunting thing to keep you warm, and you had a little pink hat on. Our biggest thought was how could they let us take her home? We are stupid! But we figured it out with lots of screw ups along the way. You were my little companion, my little best friend who went with me everywhere. I was scared to death, I was messed up on post partum hormones. But I loved you fiercely. I still do.

Monday, September 7, 2015

I'm on a diet, or something

Oh jeez. A year and a half ago I went back to work. Right before that I sarted taking fluoxetine (prozac). I've always had issues with depression and anxiety, though I've always thought I had a pretty good life. Sometimes you can't help what you feel though. And I've had terrible mood swings. I was so freaked out by anxiety about trying to go back to work and depressed that I wouldn't get a job (I was totally blowing things out of proportion) that I started taking the "crazy" pills. I really did feel kind of crazy at times. They helped sooooo much! I think there is a very good chance I would have been fired without them. Because my anxiety really messes with my confidence and I would have done a poor job because of it. I would have at least been a crying mess. But a side effect of the pills is weight gain. It's also a side effect of being 44 and being a junk food addict. So I've gained about twenty five pounds and I'd already been steadily gaining over the past few years. not anything close to that rate though. I try and try again to lose weight. To kick the junk habit. There's been a lot of failure in that arena though. So I'm going to try again. This time I'm going in phases, because my all or nothing mentality doesn't work.

Phase 1 will be for the month of September. Starting tomorrow, of course. It goes like this:
Eat healthy all day, as much as you want/need. At night you can have a bowl of the slow churned ice cream (1 cup). On the weekends you can have a little dark chocolate. Just do this until the 1st of October, then move on to phase 2 (yet to be determined).

The reasons I am doing this is because I look bad, but mostly, I feel terrible a lot. I've never been this heavy without being pregnant and it is hard(er) to go up stairs. I'm out of breath constantly. I need to get back to healthy and exercise alone isn't going to cut it. (I will do that too. I already was, off and on.)
Now I will post super unflattering pictures of myself. They are already on facebook anyway, so whatever. The best wake up call pictures I can find without stripping down to the yoga capris and the Down East undershirt and taking a selfie. 'Cause I'm not in the mood to do that. I'll check in once a week, or whenever I feel like it. Join me if you like.

Yes, that's me with Howard Jones, and cousin in law, Heather. We met him after the concert last night. 

199.5 lbs. Oh dear.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


I don't fear being excommunicated,this just resonates with me, especially the highlighted part:

“Now, any day now, the church might decide to dispense with me, and I will say very frankly and very honestly, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t. I really don’t. It’s just that simple. And if I were called in for ex… sometimes they say, “What would you do if you were called in to be excommunicated?” Well, I can tell you one thing for sure. I wouldn’t miss the trial like some of my friends have, who don’t bother to go to the trial. I wouldn’t miss it on a bet. Now, I would want a witness there, but not a witness on my behalf. Now if President McKay had shown up, I wouldn’t have objected to anything he said. But I wouldn’t want a witness there on my behalf. But I would want a witness, somebody else who could tell what happened there. I would want somebody to see what happened. But I wouldn’t try to defend myself at all in an excommunication trial. Because I don’t have any defense. I would have to say, “Now look, you are the people who are sort of on trial. You have got to decide whether you want guys like me in the church or not.” And there are good reasons for not having people like me in the church, and there may be, for all I know, there may be some good reasons for having people like me in the church. When I was a young man and started teaching seminary for the church there were liberally minded seminary teachers, you know. And we thought we could make a contribution to the church. We really did. Well, I don’t think that any longer. The church belongs to the true believers who are 100% tithe payers and the general authorities. I used to think the church belongs to all of us. That was back in my youthful idealistic days, you see. I don’t believe that any longer. I seriously don’t believe that any longer. And if they decide to get rid of people like me, which I am well aware would include a lot of people in this audience, I would think they would be perfectly within their rights." -Sterling McMurrin

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Happy Birhtday Zoe

Zoe's birthday was a couple of weeks ago. She is fourteen! I can't believe she is that old already! This is the first time I don't have a picture of the cake or the kid blowing the candles out. :( I went to Arizona, my step dad, Chuck, passed away sadly. I came home the afternoon of Zoe's birthday and we had a family dinner before Brent's mom took off south for the winter. Brent and Zoe made the cake the night before and we took it to the dinner. Brent even hosted a slumber party for Zoe and a few friends the Friday before! Well, "hosted" isn't exactly the right word. He was there, in charge, while the girls were over, a first for him. We are usually at home for the birthday cake and we forgot a camera when we sang to her and didn't even do the candles. I think she still had a good day. She wanted giftcards so she could go on a shopping spree, she ended up getting a "smash book" which is a scrapbook that has all sorts of fun doodads and it gets really fat after you fill it up so you have to "smash" it together. Zoe is such a beautiful, bright girl. She amazes me with her creativity all the time. I love her!

Some pics of the present opening:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Enough Already

You don't like Obamacare, I get it. Actually, I don't, but I get not liking something. The fact is it is law and has been voted on 40 times or something like that and still passed. Tea party people don't want to compromise. They don't care if the government is shut down anyway so why bother. Too bad they don't care that people are going to hurt financially because of this. Some facebook friends think it's the workers' own fault: They never should have taken a government job in the first place! They should have lots of money set aside to cover their expenses in an emergency! As if it is always so simple to do that. Just vote on a budget and deal with your Obamacare issues later. It's unfortunate that these teapartiers won't likely be voted out because they come from very republican districts or very gerrymandered districts. (I hate that they have ruined the term tea party for me, I used to have good associations with the Boston Tea Party and three cornered hats.) Hopefully, republicans will see them for the obstructionists they are and put some good republicans (by good I mean sane and not a$$hats) in office instead soon. Hopefully there is a lot of, "I think we might have made a mistake" thinking going on. Very soon, please. 

From a reader of this Ezra Klein story:

"In May 2007, 140 Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to defund the Iraq war. In September of the same year, Congress voted to increase the debt limit. Imagine if Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats had threatened to breach the debt ceiling unless Republicans agreed to defund the war. At that time, approval of the Iraq war was polled at 33% in favor and 64% against."

This pretty much sums it up:

Saturday, September 21, 2013


My cute baby girl went to the homecoming dance tonight. I guess she is not my baby girl anymore.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

first Day of School (2013 edition)

Isabella is a sophomore now. I can't believe how old she is getting!

Zoe is starting 8th grade!

And my "little" boy, Noah, is in fifth grade. Stop growing up. Just stop.

Monday, July 15, 2013


We just got back a few days ago from a trip to California/Oregon. We were right on the border, our hotel was in California but we spent most of our time at beaches in Oregon. The Redwood forest is amazing but it turns out the rest of the northernmost part of California is not so much. Well to be honest, we really didn't see that much of it so my apologies to Northern Californians. We just weren't that taken with Crescent City California and its foggy coldness. Though the wild, human loving grey squirrels were quite the attraction. Especially when one cuddled up to Noah. Noah leaned down to the ground, being distracted by the other eight squirrels surrounding us and accidentally gave the guy a good petting. Which made me screech of course, rabies you know. We love Oregon though (the whole Northwest, really). We'd move there given the chance. Maybe someday. Here is a slew of pictures for you picture lovin' types out there:

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

We went to the parade again, sans Brent. He had to work. He was probably better off though. It was HOT. Fireworks in the evening too and a nice 4th dinner.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Did you ever see that episode of Oprah where this woman was told her  baby daughter had a great chance of being mentally challenged so she put signs up all over her house, labeling everything and spent hours teaching her every day and there she was on Oprah years later celebrating her daughter graduating from college or getting a scholarship or some other major, impressive feat? I think that episode was a load of crap. Do I think it was bad that she put all that time into teaching her daughter? No. It's good she did everything in her power. But I don't believe her daughter was really learning disabled if this is how it turned out. We have put in hours with one of our kids trying to help her with her learning difficulties. She isn't anywhere near mentally disabled of course, but she does struggle. She is smart in her own right but some things, like math, are hard for her (really hard for her) and all of the hours we've put in aren't making her a math genius so far. I watched that episode of Oprah and I took some ideas and tried to do my own thing with my own kid. I made her letter of the day bracelets (kind of weird yes, there was no pinterest back then) and books to try to teach her the alphabet (she was three at the time). I read to her and did lots of other things I can barely remember years later. I'm not saying you shouldn't try but my efforts at the time were met with frustration. Frustration on my part, frustration on her part. She wasn't ready for what some of the kids in her little preschool were doing at the time. Now she is not ready for the math that others in her class are doing. So what do we do? Do we keep cramming kids through a hole, letting those that don't slide in easily fall to the sides? That is what happens. Or do we make different sized and shaped holes so everyone can fit and it doesn't become a sort of survival of the fittest free for all. I have my doubts that they are ever going to listen to me on this though.