Friday, May 30, 2008

Plasma Reject

I never knew how much donating plasma has come to mean to me. I donated today and I have actually missed it! Who'd have guessed?

Previous to today, the last two appointments that I had scheduled I was unable to donate. The first of these two, I went in, got weighed, got my finger pricked and blood milked from it, got my blood pressure, heart rate and temperature taken. "Go on back and find a bed", they say to me. I go back, talk to my sister for a minute, and find my bed and start to stash my purse. Next thing I know, the gal that poked my finger comes to inform me that she sent me back preemptively. You see, they prick your finger every time you donate to check your iron and the protein levels in your plasma. I passed my iron test... it was on the low side, but I passed. However, my protein got a big fat 'F'.
You Were Rejected

I felt like I got hit in the stomach. I felt like a reject! It was so strange how bummed out I was that I couldn't get a big fat needle stuck in my arm and have my blood taken out and put back in. I left the building feeling dejected.

The very next time I went to donate I did the whole process over again. This time my protein was fine. Everything was looking good. EXCEPT... my temperature. You think of temperature being a problem and you're thinking a fever, right? Nope. No fever for this girl. You have to have your temperature at a minimum of 96 degrees. I came in somewhere around 94.5. Yeah. That's what I said! They do give you a second chance on this one. I went and sat for 5 minutes. They called me back and I had gone up to a measly 95.3! Uhhhh... sorry! Buh-bye!
Twice in a row. Seriously. The second time was better because they didn't send me back to get a bed. I felt worse the first time because I went back all set and they had to retrieve me from the donation floor. It was embarrassing.

Like I said earlier... I am happy to report that we are back vampire-business today! Got the blood sucked and I'm feelin' good! :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Ella Brae!

Yes, it's true. Rohan and Ella's birthdays are just five days apart. We had a little family party on Sunday. My sister was in town with her two kids. We had a cake for Rohan and Ella both, so they both blew out candles. It was fun.

Then for today, which is actually Ella's birthday, we went to the zoo. It was just Mac, Ella, Rohan and I and my parents. Dustin was at work, of course. It was raining earlier this morning, but we went after it stopped and stayed til they closed. It was a very pleasant day. The animals were mostly very active in the cool but comfortable air. The crowds were very sparse, I'm guessing due to the rain earlier. Very pleasant indeed.

As we left so late, I didn't want to go home and cook dinner and have everything run, we went to 5 & Diner! While we were sitting there eating she asked, "When are the workers going to come out clapping and sing Happy Birthday to me?" It was so cute! She, apparently, remembers that they do that at restaurants and wondered when they would do it for her! We asked and they sang AND gave her an Oreo milkshake on the house! She felt very special.

So, as I did with Rohan, I wanted to take you on a little tour of Ella's 6 years of life...

Ella Brae

The little miss just hours old.

The new and expanded family. Check out the swollen nose on the mamma~

A couple weeks old... so pretty.

Sleeping by big brother Mac.

Look how cute!

This is Ella and my Grandma Carol. I miss Grandma every day. She was sunshine in human form!

The impish side of Ella...

My mom photoshopped it and made lots of little imp Ellas.

One of my favorites... she is about 7 months old.

Her first Easter. I made the dress too big, but look how cute she is!

She had the bow-leggedest legs you ever did see! She walked at 8 1/2 months. I think she was about 10 months in this pic. (Mac's boots on her. And stitches in her eyebrow...)

She loved to pretend she could read.

Christmas, 19 months old.

Ella and her famous Dee Dee.

Easter number two. She was almost two years old.

Mac and Ella got into the flour and sugar. She was covered!

On our way to an impromptu Halloween party!

Easter number 3!

Ella on her 3rd birthday!

Camping, three years old.

She decided she wanted freckles, so she drew some herself.

This was typical Ella hair at this age. That's why we chopped it short not too long after!

She would fix her hair herself... can you tell?

A favorite picture of my Ella.

Happy Birthday number 4!

Halloween at four years old.

Halloween at five.

Taken last Saturday. Happy Birthday, happy girl! We love you!

From The Jar... #3

Yes, it's Wednesday. Time for a jar post!

And the jar says....

What church callings have you had? Which did you enjoy the most?

This was a real temptation for me to pick a new one out of the jar, but I made a promise!

I have served as:

-Visiting teacher (currently serving as!)
-Sacrament Meeting Pianist
-Nursery worker (twice in the same ward)
-Primary Chorister (in two different wards)
-CTR 5 & 6 teacher
-Enrichment Teacher
-Choir Director (currently serving as)
-Assistant Music Chairperson {also currently serving as...} (basically, this means I pick the music and lead the singing in Sacrament Meeting when the real Music Chairperson can't be there-which is a lot. She has terrible back issues.)

I think that's it. Short list, huh? I didn't count being the Laurel president or Mia Maid whatever I was. I can't remember what, exactly, I was called to in any of those Young Women callings.

So... which did I enjoy the most? I can tell you that I really enjoyed being the Enrichment teacher. I loved that 1) it was a once a month calling. 2) I learned so much every time I prepared a lesson. 3) I was very comfortable teaching. I really just enjoyed it.

I mostly really like my callings right now. I'm kind of a crappy visiting teacher, but I love my partner and the little old ladies we visit. I also like leading the music in Sacrament Meeting. I'm entertained by watching people from up on the stand and watching for the few who actually look at the chorister!

I have really started enjoying being the Choir Director over the last year or so (been it for over 3 years). It's probably the most challenging and yet rewarding calling I've had and I've either totally hated it or really loved it, depending on the year.

I felt SO inadequate for the position during the first year. (just because you sing DOES NOT mean you know how to lead a choir!) Then, when I really started getting more comfortable and even enjoying it, they threw a stick in my spokes. They combined part of another ward in our Stake with ours and it brought some incredibly talented people into the choir who knew WAY more about directing than I did. I felt like a total retard all over again. It's been about a year now and I am to the point where I am feeling good again and enjoying it! Actually, one of those oh-so-talented ones helped me with some things I was struggling with (cut offs, for example!) which was great! ;) That wink is for you, oh-so-talented one! Leading the choir has helped me musically too. I am WAY better at timing than I ever was. And when ward members come up and tell me that the choir sounded wonderful, I feel an amazing amount of satisfaction. It has some unexpected benefits.

Can I throw in which calling I enjoyed the least? OK. I will. Sacrament Meeting Pianist. This was in a singles ward in college. No one played the organ in our ward so they called me and another girl to play the piano where we would alternate weeks. I was out of town for several weeks in a row so she played for a while. I think I was secretly just avoiding my turn. I didn't have a piano to practice and I was not very comfortable with accompanying- I had had almost no experience with it. SCARY!!

Let's just say I only played for ONE meeting, and I still chalk it up to the most embarrassing experience of my life. I hid behind the piano and cried and cried through all the speakers. Right after the meeting was over I bolted out the door at the front of the chapel, ran home and locked myself in my room all day. Dustin (who was my boyfriend at the time) came and knocked a bunch of times and I just told him to go away. It was awful.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Manic Monday: Star

I went to bed last night excited that I would get to do a Manic Monday post when I woke up. Then I woke up and realized that it was Tuesday. :( I missed Monday! Three day weekends do that to me. So... we are doing a Manic Monday Tuesday! (I was going to bag the whole thing, but I saw Britta's comment on Memorial Day asking where my MM post was! I laughed out loud and decided I'd proceed...)

So, here is my Manic Monday Tuesday post STARRING.... sippy-cups!

Am I the only mother out there who has a sippy-cup problem? I have about a zillion of them and my cupboard is either feast or famine with these babies. I am not the world's best housekeeper and when I reach the overwhelm point (or my mother-in-law is coming to stay) I go on a cleaning rampage. This is usually about the same time as my sippy-cup-cupboard-famine. Whilst I am cleaning like a mad woman, I find all the stray sippy-cups strewn about the house in strange places like under a random bed, behind the garbage can, under end tables in the living room, under the computer desk, behind the washer or dryer, under the stairs to the basement, outside getting sun-bleached or in a toy box. There have been some strange places that these puppies have ended up! Oh... let's not forget the car! I always find at least one in the car whenever I clean it.

As I clean the house, the sink seems to magically fill up with these wonderful little inventions. (Seriously, how did mothers survive pre-sippy-cup!) Then comes the dreaded task of washing all of them. You know what I'm talking about, girls! The sippy-cups that were lucky enough to get lost with a simple drink of water in them are breezy. They may get a funny little smell to them, but I don't mind. They're not so bad. Yes. You know it Moms! It's the MILK that's the doozey!

When my precious Rohan carries off a sippy-cup of milk and doesn't return with it in hand, all the red lights and warning bells SHOULD start going off in my brain. Unfortunately, my wires that feed those alarms bells and red lights have been sabotaged and, by the time he comes back from his place of wandering, I have completely forgotten it! So, several days or WEEKS later comes the cleaning rampage, the finding of sippy's, the filling of the sink and, the delicious discovery of the curdled milk cups! Mmmmmm!

No, actually... ugh would be the appropriate word. If they are fresh within a day or three... not so bad. More than a few days... the gag reflex kicks on, and I'm seein' stars! Some of you might think... "Aw, come on Clancy! That's not so bad! Just send the offending milk down the disposal and chuck that baby in the dishwasher!" To any of you who might be thinking such thoughts, let me just say, "I WISH...upon a STAR!!" (OK, that was a terrible cheese-whiz covered stretch, and I know it!) I have neither disposal, nor dishwasher. I am pretty much living in the stone age at my house. I get to hand wash every one of those stinky little things. Suffice it to say... this is not my favorite job in the whole wide world of Motherhood... but it's not my least favorite, either! (Think "Mom... I have to puke!" I'll take the washing of curdled-milk-sippy-cups, thank you!)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Musings

This is an interesting holiday. All my growing up years I never knew what it was for. We talked a little about veterans in school and remembering those who died in the war, but it was always very vague. I just thought it was a strange reason to get out of school, have the banks close and get off of work!

The valley where my husband grew up is a conglomerate of small towns, the largest has a population of about 3,000. Each town has a cemetery. The whole valley is related to eachother so, if you live there, you have relatives buried in most of the towns. When I got married I was surprised to find a whole different culture surrounding Memorial Day.

In my husband's family, the whole weekend is spent driving from cemetery to cemetery decorating the graves of loved ones with flowers. I say flowers, but that is just what my in-laws bring. We've seen graves that have elaborate decorations including anything from pinwheels to stuffed animals and more. While they are visiting the various cemeteries, they see everyone they know and the day is spent chatting and catching up with people to seldom seen. On a few of these "Decoration Days" that I've been in attendance at, they pack lunches and we picnic graveside!

My mother-in-law knows every story and who is who's uncle or aunt or cousin or great-great-grandmother. She has a vast knowledge of their family history and she knows many stories about each one. It is rather impressive! She tells stories of these loved ones who passed on and we all listen remembering bits to hopefully tell to future generations. It is a beautiful tradition that has changed my idea of what Memorial Day means.

What does Memorial Day mean to you?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Baby!

Today was my little baby boy's birthday. It was on this day three years ago that Rohan Xavier came into my life. I was in love with this child the instant I saw him, as I was with all of my kids... yet, somehow I remember the feeling of the instant bond more clearly with Rohan, perhaps because it's my most recent memory of seeing my newborn for the first time. Regardless, Rohan has been a joy to have in our family since the moment he was born. (double click the pics if you want to see them bigger!)

Me in labor with Rohan... I'm having SO much fun!!

Rohan Xavier just minutes old.

Loved by Dad, brother and sister...

A couple days old.

Sweet sleeping boy.

Rohan and cousin Emma who is 15 hours older than he.

Smiley little munchkin!

His hair would not lay down flat... even with gel. He had wild hair ALL THE TIME! And, btw, that's my sister, Sarah, holding him! She's cute, huh?

Such a doll baby!

Notice the hair standing up?

Loved by his brother and sister... and the hair still won't lay down.

Rohan was always very skinny! This is his friend who is only a couple weeks older than he, but as you can see.. much bigger!

Our buddy eating prunes. He kept rubbing his face!

First birthday... so sweet.

Tastin' the cake... mmmmm... not bad!

He's a camera ham, for sure.

Blondie boy.

He didn't like to wear costumes until recently. Remember the frog? Anyway, this was Halloween and he wore this costume long enough to take this picture and that was it!

Rohan will jump off of almost anything. He is a daredevil! This is him in action at a mere 18 months old.

Always in action...

We used to ask Rohan to do his 'cheezers' and he'd do some version of this "smile" every time.

What a sweet boy!

Pre-recent-haircut on the ice cream day with Mom...

His best buddy, Keller!

Post-recent-haircut! He looks so grown up!

And this is my favorite picture of my sweet little Roh Roh! Happy Birthday, Buddy! We love you!