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Friday, October 28, 2011

In Honor of Baby Kegel. And Some Other People Too.

Today's post is a tribute to some friends of mine. Which, for some reason, brings to mind that old Willie Nelson song, To All The Girls I've Loved Before. I'm really not sure why. Maybe because of that part where he sings:
I'm glad you came along
so I dedicate this song
to all the girls I've loved before...
But honestly, I can't explain how the soundtrack in my head works. I mean, I do love these two girls. Just not in the same way I think Willie Nelson would love them.


Moving on to the actual tributary part of this blog, I'd like to start with Sheridan. And if I were any kind of technical computer genius person, I would make that name light up and flash. Maybe even do a little dance.

Sadly, I think we've already established here, I am not that girl. Which is okay. Because Sheridan is not a flashy, name- in -lights kind of gal anyway. Quite the opposite, actually. In fact, Sheridan is the kind of gal whose husband once said to me, "please take her shopping and I don't care how much you spend. I just want my shirts back."

And what I heard is, "shopping spree at Nordstrom on somebody else's dime." 

So we went. But I told her before we left to wear a bra, because I knew she wouldn't if I didn't make her. Except she still didn't. Instead she packed one in her purse. Her small purse. (Here's something you should know about bras. If you have borne and nursed three children, you should be wearing a bra with cups and underwire. Not one that can be wadded up and stuffed into a purse. Those days--and those boobs--are gone my friends).

But Sheridan's boobs had been hiding under her husband's shirts, and she didn't know this. So, being the charitable woman I am, I sacrificed my own bra for her use so that she could see how nice clothes look when breasts are properly positioned inside them.

She's still not convinced. Which is actually pretty awesome, because it gives me something to tease her about. And thank goodness there's one real woman in the sea of plastic that is Orange County (not that there's anything wrong with the plastic--no judgment here).  

But her courage in the face of conformity is not why I want to pay tribute to her today. No, the real reason she deserves my kudos is for her tireless and underpaid efforts to educate women about childbirth. Not the sterilized, hospital, let's-make-this-as-convenient-as-possible kind, but the beautiful, calm, women's-bodies-are-amazing kind. Which I think is really cool. Because what we go through to have children--whether naturally, with an epidural, by c-section, or adoption--should be celebrated and not feared. And if you want to go to a place where it is, check out Sheridan's blog While you're there, take a look at the book she helped write, whose button I would grab, except... well, that whole computer brain deficiency thing I've got going on.

Let's move on now to friend #2, Nikki, who is as good at birthing children as Sheridan is at teaching people how to birth them. For example, one time Nikki gave birth to twins. Then about two years later she gave birth again.

To triplets.

Because she's efficient like that. Five kids in two pregnancies gets things done pretty quick if you're looking to have a big family. Which maybe she wasn't so much, but, hey, she's sure made life fun for those kids. Even if they don't always make it fun for her

Including the one that came a few years after the triplets. If you're counting, that's three pregnancies, six kids, and four years. See what I mean when I say that ability to have children is pretty amazing? Especially when you can have so many, so quickly.

And guess what Nikki did today. She went ahead and had another baby. Just one this time. And she waited seven years. But still, pretty amazing, right?

Before she had that baby, though, she got a little training from Sheridan about how to do it. Even though she'd already done it. Three times. But it never hurts to learn a few new tricks. Like how to hypnotize a baby using Sheridan's hypnobabies tactics (still don't think I have the definition of that right). Plus Sheridan gave her these cool stickers to put on her purse, and her steering wheel, and lots of other places, to remind her to "exercise"*

And when Nikki's kids found these stickers they thought they were really cool and wondered if they were for the baby. Because, did I mention? Her boys' names all start with K.

Oh, and the new baby is a boy.

So wouldn't Kegel make a great name?

Her kids thought so.

Nikki did not.

But welcome to the world anyway Baby K (but not Kegel). You are blessed to have such a fantastic mom who entertained herself in the hospital this week-- while waiting for you to be born six weeks early--by letting one of your big sisters do this to her:

Pretty awesome mom, right? Just imagine how much fun you're going to have once you're out of that pumpkin!

* If you don't know what a Kegel is then you 1) have never given birth or 2) have some serious bladder issues if you have.  Either way, you should look it up so this post will make a little more sense

Monday, October 24, 2011

Be Careful What You Joke About

Yesterday I thought of a really awesome blogpost. But I've slept since then and now it's gone. That's sort of how things work--or don't work--in my head.

So, until I remember what I planned on writing today, I'm going to tell you a little story about a friend of mine from high school. He was a Catholic boy and I was a Mormon girl. And there were a lot of us Mormon girls (and boys too) around because, as you may remember, I'm from southern Idaho. Which, while not the heart of the Jello Belt*, is definitely the nuts and carrots.

There weren't a lot of Catholic boys around though. Only two, in fact. And a lot of us Mormon kids didn't get that my friend was a pretty good Catholic. Like go-to -Mass-while-his-parents-were-out-of-town good.  Many of my Mormon friends and I, on the other hand, were the kind of kids who tried to get out of going to church when our parents were in town. There was no way I would have shown up at church without my parents. Which is probably one reason they never left town. Ever.

But, I was the "right" religion, so clearly I was on a more direct route to Heaven. We Mormons tend to think that way sometimes. (Although, I don't think we're the only religion guilty of that kind of arrogance).

Then one day I moved. To Cleveland, Ohio. Where there are more than two Catholic boys. Many, many more. But not many more than two Mormon girls. Especially at the Catholic school where I taught. In fact, there was only one there. Me.

And I figured out that there were really a lot of good people of all different religions. And maybe I didn't have all the answers. And maybe I could learn something from all these other people that would increase my own faith in Jesus Christ and help me live my own religion a little better.

I also decided that not everybody needed to be Mormon. Actually, I think it's best that not everybody is. Things tend to get a little weird when there are too many of us in one place. Case in point: Utah. (No offense, Utah. Love you! Your mountains are awesome!) And maybe that pastor guy who offended my cousins, Mitt and John, has been there and that's why he thinks we're a cult. (He's wrong, btw).

Anyway, my point is, I'm not really a send-the-missionaries to your house kind of gal. I live my life so people can see what I believe, I talk about my beliefs, and I'll answer any question someone may have about my religion. But, unless you ask me to, I'm not gonna send any nineteen year old boys to your doorstep.

So when I saw my old high school friend this past summer, I shared this philosophy with him. And we talked about lots of other things, including the fact that he should join Facebook so he could stay in touch with me and everyone else he's tried to avoid for twenty years. I may have mentioned this a few times. Like maybe a hundred.

And guess what? He did join. So the first comment I posted to him was a very funny one about how now that I'd converted him to FB I had a book he should read and I was sending some boys in ties over to hand deliver it to him. And I laughed and I laughed at my cleverness. Because what were the odds of some missionaries showing up at his door in Boise, Idaho?

Well, pretty high actually. Because they did. And he was kind enough to offer to weed whack their ties for them (I'm sure in a very friendly way. He's not the kind of guy to seriously threaten somebody with a gardening implement). And they offered to help him with his yard work. Which probably would have been easier for them to do if they hadn't been wearing suits and ties.

I don't know if they left a copy of the Book of Mormon with him-- or if he'll read it if they did-- but, just in case, here's a little message from some of my Baptist friends.

* the Jello Belt is the region of the United States from about Boise, Idaho, through all of Utah down into Gilbert, Arizona where many, many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints live (aka, Mormons) and consume large quantities of Jell-o concoctions they refer to as "salad". These salads often include the unlikely ingredients of vegetables-- such as carrots-- and nuts.