Thursday, June 25, 2009


So about that last post? It's hormonal. I remember now that I get super-freaky-hormonal when I quit nursing and start mensing. This time I was caught off guard by the "panic" aspect that my personal brand of freak-out took, but in the end, it's just more of the same. Perhaps because I am mensing and nursing? Nevertheless...

It's hormonal, and progesterone cream takes care of it.

So yesterday was pretty landmarkish for me. Only the signposts I was passing were subtle, and I am not sure if I understood what they said. Or where I am.

Perhaps I am in Belgium. But no... the chocolate would be better in Belgium, don't you think?

Yesterday Dadguy and I went in to Orem to sign the papers for our refinance. We are moving from a 30 year FHA to a 15 year conventional loan. I find this strangely titillating. That too must be my currently unbalanced hormones.


Anyways, the gal who was doling out papers to sign pointed out that my driver's license had expired on my birthday, a week or so back. Did I tell mention that I turned forty on the twelfth? No joke! I did! Forty! Perhaps THAT'S why everything seems so strangish and new. Maybe I am now dwelling in FORTYLAND; home of the mid-life crisis and shifting hormonal balances!

But I digress... since all the kiddos were at home with a babysitter, I took the opportunity to run by the DL Renewal office on my way home to get a new one. Thankfully, I had actually put on make-up that morning; I don't always. But I had not wanted to go into some posh financial institution with the normal glob of spit-up-on-the-shoulder and snot-wiped-on-the-pants-leg look that I usually sport nowadays. The picture of the lady on the new card was a lovely representation of forty years old. With make-up.

That was when I noticed that the address on my old license is my current address. Another landmark right there. Since the day that I started driving and toting around a card with my picture on it that says I get to... this was the first time that had ever happened to me. Heck... I have now lived at my current home for longer than I have ever lived anywhere, either before or after the advent of my license to scare the crap out of my parents and send their insurance premiums soaring.

All four of my children have come home from the hospital to this house.

This is the little house, that when Dadguy and I discovered we were pregnant with Birdie... we chose the lot and picked the floor plan, colors and carpets for this house. We caused this house to be built, and then we put in landscaping, fencing and finished the basement over the past eight-years-this-Thanksgiving.

And now, we have just refinanced, digging in for the next umpteen years. I spent the better part of my thirties living in this house, I could conceivably spend the entirety of my forties here. It feels like this means something... but I have no idea what.

There is some sort of meaning at a tectonic level here; that I have surpassed even my childhood in terms of stability, and I had a stable and good childhood. Not that simply not moving from apartment, to house, to house means "stability," only in this case, to my heart, it sort of does. It is some sort of metaphor for my life as a wife to Dadguy and a mother to his children.

Like it is a physical manifestation of the haven that we are building for the Chaos family. How interesting. I think it is no coincidence that this Sunday I teach a lesson based on the talk "Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples" in Relief Society.

And isn't it great, this "blogging" thing. After having written this post I think I can now start to decipher the signs and markers of yesterday that stirred me so. Home. Progression. Thriving. Growing. Nurturing.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Panic In The Streets


Something has happened to me. Is happening to me?

I am afraid that if I write about it... what? It will be real, finally? I will have to do something about it? Somehow, that writing about it will make it into a big fat fuss when it's really nothing? Will it offend people who suffer from panic attacks to read my recounting of a couple of episodes of I-don't-know-what-but-it-might-be-panic-attacks, because really, I am just being a schmo?

I have probably not been having panic attacks. But I have been having... something. I have had a bit of tightly wound something that has been noticeable since I went into the mission field (I served a stateside LDS mission in my late 20's). Tightly wound. And that's the nice way of putting it.

The summer after Pearl got out of the hospital I got a little taste of an all new something though; a something that has hit me rather hard the past few weeks. I remember that Pearl still had her g-tube in, so it was probably in June, and we were at an amusement park just North of Salt Lake City, they have this big Ferris wheel that had extra-large, round baskets that easily held our whole family. A person would have to try really hard to get hurt on this thing, and we were there to have fun, and while I don't love heights, Ferris wheels seem pretty tame to me. But I fully freaked out on the ride.

I had my kids there, so I didn't get all screamy and outwardly freaked, but my heart was pounding, I was sweating, gallons of adrenaline were being dumped into my system and I cried steadily and quietly for most of the ride.

I'll buy that it was just some PTSD from the whole experience of the close call with Pearl, followed by her grueling recovery, and I hadn't much worried about it; till now.

This past spring we took the whole family plus my eighteen year old niece to Denver to visit my sister and her family. It was around the middle of April, so when my sister called the morning were we leaving to make the drive, to express her concerns about us making it through Vail Pass safely, I took it seriously, only sort of not. How bad can it get in April?

I'll tell you.... bad. Really, really, really bad.

And we were in our brand new
(to us... it's a 2008) van. A Kia Sedona, that for as nice as it is, has this feature called ESC... a sort of equalizing traction thingy that is it's default mode. A default mode that, while I am sure it is great for keeping you from hydroplaning or slipping in a patch of sand on the highway, has the unfortunate side effect of undermining the power the van needed to make it up an icy, snow covered mountain road. We know that this feature is called ESC now, because after 20 minutes of slipping about and physically pushing the van up the mountain a few inches at a time in the dark, with other vehicles slewing about past us... we pushed the button that said "ESC off" out of desperation (inspiration?).

It must be stated here that, as we were driving off the lot with our new van, we spent over 15 minutes pouring over the owner's manual and pushing that button trying to figure out what it did to no avail.

Now we know.

Once we were finally to a safer place, my hands started to shake and I started to cry. I don't mean a tremble in my hands, I mean I would not have been able to hold a glass with a half inch of water in the bottom of it without giving myself a shower. Which, you might just think that this was perhaps a warranted reaction to what we had just been through... I would like to point out that no one else was having this kind of reaction. Just me, and it took every last bit of my will and determination to not make a big scene out of it. I think that I should also say, I am not having visions of disasters replaying in my head while this is happening. I am not obsessing myself into freak-out. This is a physical thing and it's pissing me off.

Most recently, Dadguy and I have been looking at some mountain lots for possible purchase. We want to eventually have a cabin, and Dadguy has stumbled onto this area that has what we want... and we can actually afford some of it.

Only it's been really rainy lately. And apparently I have developed a "thing" about muddy dirt roads as well as icy roads. Because really... y'all... I have been stuck in the mud before and it is not the end of the flippin' WORLD!

And I mean really stuck, in some world-class, mud-season mud in Vermont's puckerbrush back of nowhere, in what the truly erudite would call "bee-eff-ee." Solidly stuck in the snow in New Hampshire in a whole bunch of places.
I have been spectacularly high-centered in a sandy wash in the tooley-bops outside of Farmpit, New Mexico in the middle of the night, and I, those who were with me, and the vehicles involved in each case, survived. This is not a Zombie Apocalypse we are talking about here.

But lately the adrenaline starts coursing, my hands start shaking and I get this note in my voice that I cannot stop.

I cannot stop.

And I hate this. I cannot stop it from happening, and it sucks down vast portions of my energy and personal reserves. Leaves me feeling wrung out and weepy.

I am not excited about being this way. I am not this way. Dadguy says that this is uncharacteristic of me, and frankly, he's only seeing the bit that is slipping through the cracks. The rest is a slavering, rabid dog tearing huge chunks of my insides out. But I am not really sure what to do. These episodes are so spread out, I'd hate to spend all of my regular non-panicking life being medicated for these relatively isolated instances. And really, I am still moving and sort of functioning while it's happening.

Only I have had two in the past two weeks, and this scares me.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

...And By "We," I Mean "Me"

So here are some pictures of the tile in the kitchen/entryway. The tiles are 16"x16" Montagne Belluno tiles from Home Depot. The grout is Mapei brand in "Chamois."

Do I love it? Why, yes... yes, I do.

When we put tile in the bathrooms- more Belluno in the main bath, and slate in the master bath- we discovered that the sink vanities no longer fit. The things were not high-quality, and I have never loved them, so when it came time to decide if we were gonna pay to have them fitted in, leave them skee-whompus-but-functional or replace; we decided to replace, especially since the one in the main bathroom had water damage, both at the base and in the counter top. We are trying to manage our pennies, so I hit the local Craigslist type website and found a gorgeous hardwood and granite, vessel style sink/vanity that I loved. I talked the lady down $200... and went and picked it up for a measly $450 (kof kof!).

And then I realised that I needed to cut down the top to make it fit, my pretty counter top that I had measured over, and over, and over again. It wouldn't fit because where the hot water came out of the wall. So another $75 to get it cut and the edges refinished... and here I will put in an unsolicited plug for a great company in Orem called "Marble and
Granite Solutions." They rock, har har har! Seriously though... they took the time for a teensy job like mine without once rolling their eyes or making me feel dumb. Kudos, guys! You will get my business if I can ever afford the lovely counter tops you make!

Then the drainpipe wouldn't fit... so some pretty chrome plumbing... $30. My next door neighbor, the guy we hired to do the tile work got it installed snugly and pretty (involved saws, chisels, drills and the like to make it tight): $100.

And then it became apparent that we needed to paint before all this went in. Can of paint, Ralph Lauren in a pretty grey called "Polaris." Approximately $30.

Yeah... I managed our pennies right into brokesville, thank-you-very-much. But it looks really pretty.

Still needs some shelving above the toilet, and something like this for the bottom shelf (as Dadguy will point out, the only shelf )of the vanity. But I think we will just love what we have for a while.

This next week I hope to get around to painting the main bath and taking pictures of my farrrrr more reasonably priced solution in there. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Henry's Hamburgers

Yesterday I took the girls and myself down the street to our hairstylist to get gussied up for our TV appearances. The TV folks were great, the interviews ok... but I am left with the regret of having said too much and not enough at once.

Yep, it's a little like blogging in that way. That oversharing sort of a way. Only I cannot go back in and edit any of it. That's a crying shame too... because at the last, when I they asked me if I could go back in and handle any of it differently, I responded in a way that I wish I had tempered with more gratitude for the awesome, dedicated and concerned doctors that we had along the way in figuring out what was up with Pearl. I am hoping they edit in such a way that I come off as less of a harridan.

Back to the hair. My friend who does my hair has a little girl who is just a month older than Pearl, but far more articulate. No one seems to know where she got it, but she started calling Henry's fat rolls on his thighs, his "hamburger's," a term I find screamingly apt. They LOOK like the fat and delicious layers of sandwich that make a good hamburger.

My friends, I invite you to enjoy....


And how's about a yummy serving of the whole thing!