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Musical Magic?

So I think I have rebellion issues… I am an Instrumental Music Education Major.  I have graduated and though I’m not teaching right now, I could (if I lived in Utah).  So anyway, I have a really difficult time having a desire to be labeled “musical” at church…  I have a really good reason for this and it comes to disliking being sprung upon for “instantaneous musical numbers” at the drop of the hat.  Yes, I really can do it, but do I want to?  Not really.

So for the primary program the primary chorister was so scared of “A Child’s Prayer” and getting the kids to sing two parts at once that I told her I could help if she needed it.  She took this as a volunteer to sing a duet with the kids.  It actually turned out nice.  There were four darling girls from the Spanish Branch that sang the first part and I sang the lower part (now I’m like a rock-star to those girls which is kind of fun).

Well, since I sung a primary song, everyone in the ward has decided that I can sing. Hmmm… yes, I have been in choirs and sung lots and lots but there is a real huge reason why I chose instrumental over vocal which I may get more into at a later date.

I got an invitation when I got back from Thanksgiving to sing in a “special group” for the ward Christmas program.  It was actually mailed to me and seemed like something fun to do while I wait for this baby to bake and one way to actually get out of the house when Jared is home so I can just be me.

So I went to the first practice, the pieces are easy so it’s not a big deal.  Then the choir director hands me a piece of music afterwards for me to play a violin solo.  *cough* Wonderful!  I now have a reason to practice while I’m feeling like I’m being punished from the inside out…

Last night I went to the last practice before the day and the choir director looks at me and announces to everyone (including me…surprise!) that I’m going to sing one of the verses as a solo!  Thanks for the warning.  I may have musical training but really…do I want to play a solo and sing one too?  Good grief!!

And what in the world do you say when everyone is there and listening to you get a part in such a manner?  I feel really stuck and unprepared, annoyed and kind of put upon.  So I sang the part to practice and then he starts making comments about my breathing…etc.  “Ahem, I am 36 weeks pregnant.  I am being kicked in various places at random moments”.  He looked at me in a funny way.  You know, I doubt that a woman who has ever been pregnant would even suggest that I be in the program at all.

Everyone keeps telling me not to “pop” yet…until after the program.  I’m not worried, I’ve had braxton hicks like crazy almost every night but Christian was late so I figure I’m a slow baker.  What I do feel like is that I’m a giant belly walking around rather than a woman who just happens to be pregnant.  I guess people just want something to say to me so they feel it’s okay to make annoying comments about how “ready” I look or that “you’re making them nervous just watching you touch your belly” (not that I haven’t heard it a dozen times a day when I go out in public).  The touching my stomach one bugs me the most, there’s not really a reason why me touching my stomach should make them nervous (it really means I’m just trying to breath since my baby loves putting her feet in my ribs), it’s not like I’m suddenly going to drop on the floor and birth my baby right there.

Sorry for the rant, hopefully everything will go well on Sunday and then I won’t have to think about singing or performing for months and months because once my baby gets here, I’m taking a hiatus from such things because though music may sound “magical” it’s not really magic to put together…. it’s mostly just focused effort.

Ever since we got back from Utah I’ve been having problems with getting swollen feet and ankles.  I’m not even sure why.  It doesn’t seem to make a difference what amount of water I drink or amount of exercise I get.  Some days I am swollen and some days I’m not.  Weird.  The weirdest day was a couple of days ago when I had one swollen ankle and one completely normal one.  How do you explain that?


Can you tell which ankle is swollen?  Oh well, at least my toenails are cute…


Warning this may be a little TMI for those of you not interested in my preparation for birthing.

Another thing that has been bothering me is that I went to meet my OB’s partner and I don’t like a few of the things he had to say.  I gave him a copy of my birthing preferences and I really didn’t like a couple of his responses.

First of all I offered to give him a copy incase he is the doctor who delivers my baby and he said “I’m willing to look at it but I’ll probably just lose it anyway”.  Okay, whatever.  That doesn’t make me feel like he really “cares” about whether or not he “happens” to be my doctor at delivery and if he even “cares” about my feelings on my birthing time.

Second thing was after he read through my preferences he said “well I have a problem with the last one,” (which is: I appreciate your patience in waiting for the placenta to detach naturally), “I prefer to “help” the afterbirth along by pulling the placenta out”. 

HELLO!  I’m so glad I put that last part in as an afterthought.  There is no reason on earth why he should have to “help” me birth my placenta!  This is my baby’s birth and I don’t need to feel rushed or pushed into having this baby any faster than nature intends.  I never had to have this discussion with my last doctor (whom I miss greatly).  After I gave birth to Christian he told me to go use the bathroom and try to get comfortable and then tell him when I felt like it was time to push for the afterbirth.  That’s the way it should be.  I never felt like he was rushing me.  Besides, whoever my doctor is, he/she is being paid ample for the amount of time they actually spend with me…even if I have a long labor.  I think doctors who rush you on your special day are morons.  Thus, I’ve been a little concerned.  I like my regular OB fine but if it happens to be his partner…I’d rather fire him!

This makes me wonder if I really should just change practitioners (again) or find a midwife.  Maybe I’m overreacting.

Any thoughts?


Here’s my birthing preferences for those who are interested in looking…

· Please no IV. A Saline Lock is fine.

· I would prefer intermittent monitoring (20) minutes on the monitor each hour).

· Please do not offer pain medication or ask me what my level of pain is. I know what my options are, and I will ask for medications if I need them.

· I would prefer not to have any drugs to “speed” labor along.

· I would like to eat and drink as I feel the need as birthing takes a lot of energy and I need to keep my strength up.

· Throughout my birthing, I would like to pick what position is the most comfortable for me at the time.

· …I do not want an episiotomy, but am willing to discuss its medical necessity if one should arise.

· I prefer not to have any “coached” pushing. Please allow me to have mother directed pushing.

· We will provide blankets and will dry our baby ourselves. Please allow me time to get to know my baby before removing him from my chest for newborn procedures.

· Please do not clamp or cut the umbilical cord until it has stopped pulsing. Birthing partner would like to do the honors as well.

· I appreciate your patience in waiting for the placenta to detach naturally.

Dance Baby, Dance!

There are no little kids in our apartment complex that are Christian’s age so he’s been spending a lot of time learning how to play by himself or with Jared or I.  He never seems bored though which is good.  He keeps himself moving and jumping around and coming up with imaginative games.  I confess that I let him watch TV too much but there’s really not much else to do some days.  One of his favorite shows is the “Imagination Movers”  on Disney Channel, they have a lot of fun songs (though I wish they had more episodes to rotate through).  One of the arguments against TV is that it causes kids to be more sedate.  I guess they’ve never watched Christian watch a show with music!  Here is just a little taste of the fun I get of watching Christian dance…


Christian’s Halloween Costume ‘09

I am so relieved!  Yesterday, I finished the last bit of Christian’s Halloween Costume for this year.  I meant to have it done earlier in the month but I got sick with a cold for about the first two weeks of October and just wasn’t up to sewing.  I was trying to get him to be a dragon since I had a pattern for that and it was from the same pattern I made last year and the year before so I knew it would be quick.  But alas, he did not conform to my ideas.  A while ago he watched The Disney Three Musketeers with Mickey, Donald and Goofy and decided he wanted to be a Musketeer.  As luck would have it, I had bought a pattern at a pattern sale when I first got my sewing machine that includes a Musketeer Costume.  So though it was more tedious than I had originally planned, I made Christian a Musketeer Costume out of it and also a hat from a pattern I already had for one as well.

 IMG_1333  My Handsome Musketeer 

 Copy of IMG_1344  Copy of IMG_1322 copy

Of course, once I get started on something I can’t stop, so after a while of sewing a doublet and tubard, I decided to make the other pieces in the pattern so that he could have a prince costume when he plays prince (which is actually one of his favorite games).  So here he is as a prince as well.

IMG_1313 copy

Prince Christian

I think my mom must have given me some kind of costume obsession where I just want things for my children to be able to dress up and play make-believe.  Playing with dress-ups was one of my favorite things to do as a child growing up.  We always had amazing costumes that my mom would sew for us as kids.  As I grew and was in drama for a while I still continued to have a love for costumes and dressing up.

Christian has been wearing his prince costume almost non-stop through-out the day though he does take it off to eat because he doesn’t want to get it ruined.  I’m really pleased that he’s enjoying it so much.

Fall Withdrawal


I honestly have felt really crazy when I go into stores lately and I see all of this Fall/Halloween stuff all around.  It feels like I’m in a time warp and it’s all just a joke that it is October and that it’s the middle of fall when it’s finally down to 80 degrees in the day–time here.  The only real indication of the fall season is that it is dark by 6 pm now. 


I’m missing out on my favorite season…And it’s driving me crazy!!!!


Jared and I have been having some discussions about our ideal places to live and now that I have been here in the hot place for a while I know that the most important criteria on my list of the perfect place to live has to have


#1 Mountains that I can see the majority of the time


#2 Four Seasons


Yes, living in a place that never gets really cold has it’s perks like, you can pretty much depend on the weather being nice for whatever activity you have planned but call me a stick in the mud, I really do adore rainy “bad” weather.

I’ve been trying to plan a week to drive up to Utah to see my family and the Fall leaves before they disappear but everything keeps getting in the way.  I’ve been put in the primary and they, seriously, have an activity planned during each weekend of this month.  No kidding!  I would love to beg out but as there are only about four teachers in the whole ward that show up consistently, I feel really guilty about not going.  Especially since every activity that is announced the teachers are told that “It’s important that all teachers be there”.  Why don’t they consult said teachers about having every weekend taken up?  I really only want to find somewhere that’s has Fall weather.  That’s all.


Prize-Winning Pumpkins


Well, in the hopes of remedying my withdrawal, Jared and I took Christian to a “pumpkin patch”.  It wasn’t like the ones I’m used to where you pick your pumpkin off the vine but it was more of a set-up with the pumpkins displayed decoratively on hay-bails.  Cute but not quite what I was hoping for.IMG_1299They had a “hay ride” and the weirdest thing about that was the majority of the farm that we were taken past was a palm-tree area.  Not very fall-like if you ask me.  There were some fun things for kids such as a maze built out of hay bails and the kids could feed animals and decorate a small-sized pumpkin.  They also had some cute painted boards decorating the place.


Christian was thrilled to see how tall he was…I don’t think it was very accurate the way that he was standing…



Christian the Scarecrow!


Christian being cheesy after feeding animals


We did get some cute photos of Christian despite all my whining and it was fun.  I just miss fall!

Afterwards we stopped by the “In and Out”.  It was really good, and not badly priced!  I hope that I don’t go too crazy missing my favorite season.


Pretending to be animals


I guess we’ll find out next year where we will be living for the next few years and I’ll have to see if I become a “sun-bird” since I can’t see missing my favorite season every year.

My First Visit with New Doctor…

…was yesterday.  It was set for 7:30 so I arrived 10 minutes early hoping to be able to fill out all of the paper work quickly and get in and be done.  I had to bring Christian because Jared had to be in the office by 7:30 and to be honest, I don’t have any friends near by (Sherrada is in Mesa) and have no idea where I could have left him especially for an appointment that early in the morning.  Overall he was pretty good.  Well the receptionist came in at around 7:40 and gave me a lot of papers to fill out about my medical history.  After I gave the papers back to her she glanced through them and then exclaimed “Oh, so you have had previous medical care with this pregnancy!” Why yes, I have.  I guess when I explained on the phone that I had moved and needed to get a new doctor she zoned out or something because she was expecting me to say 7 weeks rather than 27 weeks.

The appointment went well though I sensed some apprehension when I explained the situation with my back and that because of my full fusion I can’t have an epidural and if I need to have the baby by cesarean I would have to be put under general.  He looked at Christian at that point and said “I’m assuming you did alright with having him naturally?”  I hope that served as proof that I have some idea of what I’m getting into. 

Honestly, I don’t think there is anything wrong with an epidural, however, in my situation it’s impossible so I need to do the best I can without it.  It would be nice to have more options but I don’t.  Other women have gone for hundreds of years without anything for pain when giving birth.  After I had Christian I read a story in a magazine about  a woman with a spinal fusion who discovered and tried hypno-birthing.  Shortly after that, I was talking to my sister Julie and we talked about hypno-birthing.  She was incredible and decided to look into it for her own daughter’s birth and found the hypnobabies home study program.  She is going to go this route again and this time I’m going to it try  for myself.

The CD’s are corny, but they do help you relax which is the goal anyway.  I sleep so much better when I practice with the CD’s so that is a definite plus.  In the manual they talk about how fear of pain can cause pain.  I think that’s interesting and it reminds me of that scripture in 2 Timonthy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  They say that birth doesn’t have to be painful if you can rid yourself of fear.  I guess I’ll have to see how well this works but since it is my option I’m going to try and take it.

But I digress….After meeting in the office, I was taken into the exam room and given yet another ultrasound.  Yes!  I love watching ultrasounds!  They are so interesting.  I really wonder sometimes why I didn’t just go into medicine.  My favorite classes besides music in school were Human Biology and Anatomy and Physiology.  I could have become a radiologist or something like that but I think I had a pretty limited view of medicine back then. 

The office was set up pretty nicely, they had a love seat and an additional monitor for those sitting on the loveseat so Christian was able to just watch which he thought was pretty cool.  The baby now weighs about 2lbs and thankfully is now head-down, though of course that can change, I’m praying it doesn’t.  She was crossing her ankles during the ultrasound and her hands were playing with her feet.  Her weight moved her date on the ultrasound up to January 3rd, though I’m planning on her coming late.  This doctor said that if you first child is that late usually your next ones will be late as well.  He gave me a couple of pictures of her face but in my opinion side views in ultrasound are cute but the face pictures are more like skeletons.

Here is a shot of her face…

ultrasound001 crop

…a little scary huh? I’m much more excited to see her in living color with skin!

Exploring the Zoo

I am so lucky that though I really don’t know many people here in AZ that I do have one good friend from high school and college who’s family moved here while she was on her mission so that she came back to her family here instead.  I had a great day Wednesday.  She invited Christian and I to join her, her sister, their kids, and her mom to the zoo.  We had a great time!


This zoo is rated one of the top 5 zoos for kids in US.  They are doing some construction that should be done soon which is good because I’m intrigued to see the fisher price petting zoo area.  It looks amazing (they’re fixing the water line so it’s closed off in that area).

There are also a few different children’s playground areas and a children’s walk where there are some gorgeous statues of various animals.



I was really impressed with the openness of the habitats that the animals were able to roam about in.  It was beautiful. IMG_0813

Isn’t this area for the monkey’s beautiful?  If you look close, you can see the monkey swinging from the rope.

You can also come up very close to these wallabies though they don’t want you to touch them.  It was amazing to be so close.




Checkout this area for the African herbivores…it was so incredible to see them all roaming freely among each other.  


One thing about the zoo during this month in AZ…it was HOT!  It is great that this zoo has a splash area for the kids to play in.  Christian had a blast in there!

 christian in the water   

Thank you for inviting us Sherrada, we really enjoyed it!

After a lot of hard work, drama, and driving; we’ve made it to our new place!



Hard Work:

Wednesday morning we went and picked up the truck from Penske and then came to our apartment.  There were a couple of guys there to help us load the truck at first until each left for work.  We were trying to at least get the house empty by 2pm when our inspection was scheduled.  We thankfully found some more people to help us get our stuff out of the apartment by about 1:30.  Some very sweet sisters in our ward came and helped me with the remainder of the house (most had been done the couple of days before)and miraculously we finished about a second before the inspector came.  Thankfully we got a full refund of our deposit!  He told me that he didn’t care when we left as long as it was by midnight which is very good because of drama #2.



1. My friend Amy moved the fridge back for me (I know I’m a little bit of a wimp when I’m pregnant). We were cleaning behind it and I couldn’t believe the dust bunnies!  There was one huge flat one that wouldn’t vacuum up and then I realized IT HAD A TAIL!  I screamed my blood curdling scream and got John (the only remaining guy besides Jared at that point) to take it out.  He got it with two sticks and then Jared came in and we explained the situation and he cleaned it up with some disinfectant.  I was sure their was a peculiar smell in my apartment.  I’m totally grossed out!

2. Once the inspection was over, Jared came into the apartment to tell me that there just wasn’t enough room in the 16-foot truck for all of our things.  When you read on the truck description that a 16-foot truck is good for a 2-3 bedroom apartment—don’t be fooled like we were!  He ended up on the phone for quite a while trying to get a hold of Penske to get a bigger truck.  When we finally were told that we could get a 26-footer, the RS President (thank you Angie), Jared, and I called around to find some guys to help us unload and reload the truck.  Then Angie, Jared and I went out and started unloading the truck.  Once guy showed up and then Jared took the truck and more guys showed up so we moved the stuff outside our door to right where the truck was to be parked.  Once Jared came back there were even more guys there to help us reload the truck and it went pretty fast.  Thank you!  Thank you to everyone who helped us get out including Brooke who kept us fed and Kristal who watched Christian!



We got in the truck and went to our shed and picked up all of the baby things we would need in the next year.  Then we stopped by to say good-bye to my grandma before we left.  After that, we were on our way to Kanabe.

Tip: Expect a lot of delays when you’re pregnant and driving a car with a three-year-old who’s newly potty trained.  Hopefully, if you’re following a truck it has a cap at 70 mph and the speed limit is 85 mph…it helps to catch up with them after potty breaks!

We got into Kanabe by 12:30 a.m.  I’m so glad we decided long ago to break up the driving.

The next morning we left around 9:30 and got into Phoenix by 6:00 pm (Utah) time.  The wonderful thing was that it was Utah time and not AZ time because they don’t do daylight savings here!  So were were actually here at the time we originally planned.  Nice how things work out.



The elders from our new ward were here right at 6 pm ready to help us unload.  The manager of our apartments is this cute lady named Anna who was very impressed by the help we received from our church and she was very sweet herself and made dinner for us.  Very thoughtful of her!

So far, everyone here has been quite welcoming and kind to us which I very much appreciate.  I’m so glad that I belong to the church I do….though not all people in it are very thoughtful, there are many gems that I’ve met that I’m so grateful for!


Domestic dispute

So this morning as Jared was leaving for work he was being serenaded by the bitter sounds of a domestic fight next door.  He left and I was so scared by the verbal abuse going on through the walls that I could understand (and wish I couldn't) and the sudden sounds of crashing that I called the police.  Nice of me huh?  I couldn't stop shaking so I worked out for 50 minutes so that I could get my mind to shut up as well as my body. 

Taking IT!

Well, we've decided that we're going to move to AZ to take the paid externship.  I'm a little apprehensive at the work that will be involved with moving our family to a new place but I think it will be good for our marriage so I'm excited.  My mom's not thrilled (sorry mom) and I will miss the rest of my family though they might be glad to get rid of me for a while.  It will be fun to live in a new place especially since I've been boring and lived in the same state I was born in my entire life.  Jared was born in Germany, lived in Italy as well as Brazil and thus is a much more interesting person than I am.  When we visited Phoenix in November everyone we met was really really nice and I had a great time there so hopefully I can make some new friends and enjoy getting to know a new place.