November 14, 2008

Toby Crawls

Toby is becoming more mobile which is both a blessing and a challenge. Blessing: he entertains himself for longer periods. Challenge: he gets into EVERYTHING and I can't turn my back for a second. He's still getting the hang of it, but he gets better everyday. Its weird how fast he picked it up though; it was like as soon as he turned 8 months, like to the day, he started making an effort to crawl. I thought he was just going to roll around forever because he never seems interested.

And thanks to everyone who commented or emailed words of encouragement or helpful suggestions regarding my last post. Its nice to know others have been through the same thing. Sometimes I feel like I am surrounded by first time mom's who have easy baby's that really don't demand too much from them during the day and that sleep soundly through the night. Toby is definitely a challenge, but he is teaching me so much (especially PATIENCE). And I am happy to report that things are getting better! The past couple nights he slept much longer than he has in quite a while. Wahoo! Now lets just hope I don't jinx myself by typing that. :)

November 11, 2008

No rest for the weary

I am not trying to be over dramatic in this post, I just really need to vent about the recent happenings with the Tobeman. To say that this past month has been exhausting would be a huge understatement. I have never coveted more all you who take your uninterrupted sleep for granted. Towards the beginning of October Toby started teething and thus was up ever two hours at night. Don't get me wrong, I feel bad for the little dude. I can only imagine how extremely painful it must be to have a sharp object protruding through sore, swollen gum's. But honestly, how long must this teething thing last?! Soon after his two bottom teeth came in, he caught a bad case of croup, a scary virus that causes the trachea to swell and make it hard to breathe. Poor guy. So then he was doubly miserable and up every hour and a half. Then as he recovered from the croup, he actually had one night where he slept 7 hours straight! Too bad Nick was also sick and kept me up with his coughing and snoring. "No matter" I thought, "I will just catch up on sleep the next night since Toby is obviously feeling better." No such luck. Every night after that his wakefulness got worse until we figured out that his top two teeth were working their way in. So currently Toby is up EVERY HOUR! Even now as I write I am paranoid about him waking up. But the worse part of it all is that sometimes when he wakes up (usually around 2 or 3 am when I am extremely exhausted) he will just be awake for a good hour and there is nothing I can do but hold him until he falls back asleep on his own. Oh but last night I discovered that if I sung to him, it helped him fall asleep faster. Hey do you have any idea how hard it is to sing at 3 in the morning when you have only gotten maybe 3 hours of broken sleep? Try it sometime, just for me. :) And some of you might be saying, "Debbie, you can just nap when he naps during the day!" Well Toby is the best cat napper of all time. His naps are hardly ever longer than 45 minutes. You would think though that all this nightwaking would make him more tired and extend his naps during the days time, thus letting me catch up on sleep. Wrong! By the time I close my eyes and start to drift off, he is wide awake, giving me his jackolantern grin, and making it so hard to be upset at such an adorable chubby face. And one more thing to vent about: the only time Nick can relieve me is basically on the weekends because he is gone from 6 am til 10 pm every weekday. *sigh* So needless to say when I talk to other mom's and they tell me how teething never affected their child's sleep or that even if it did, their spouse could help out at night so they could get some sleep, I am just a little bit bitter and envious. And if any of you have had a similar experience to mine (I have yet to find one person!) and found something that helped your child please feel free to share!! Right now I have pretty much resigned myself to just waiting it out until his teeth come in. Just so I don't get a bunch of tips that I have already tried, here is my list of failed soothers: Infant Motrin and Tylenol (not together, don't worry), teething tablets, sleeping next to Toby, giving him frozen wash cloths during the day, and rubbing Oragel on his gums.

Again, I am sorry if this came across as one whiny post, I just needed to get it out. I feel much better. Now I am going to attempt to get some sleep! Wish me luck!

November 7, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

OK I know some of you absolutely despised our first snowfall that we had a couple days ago and whined about driving, and it being too cold, waaa waaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaa! I just want you to know that it automatically cheered my spirits. I love the change of seasons. As soon as I saw frost on my windows and a blanket of snow on my lawn, all I wanted to was to make some hot chocolate, play Christmas music, and snuggle in a warm blanket on the couch with my husband. Plus I think snow makes the mountains look even more beautiful and majestic against the night sky.

So since I know there are some who have strict rules about not listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving, I will only have one Christmas song playing for right now in light of the recent snowfall. Its from an all time favorite movie of mine: "Nightmare Before Christmas." I will gradually add more and more Christmas songs as it gets closer to December. Enjoy!

November 6, 2008

God is in charge

All you need to do is flip on the TV and it becomes more and more evident that we are living in the last days where the war between good and evil rages on. When I have days where I am depressed from watching the news or hearing about friends that have tried to paint the LDS people as intolerant and bent on taking away peoples rights, I have to remember one simple phrase: God is in charge.

I have compiled some quotes from the leaders of the LDS church that help me keep things in perspective. Their words remind me that everyday is a battle with the adversary, but when we firmly stand on the Lord's side, we need not fear. We must not let the attacks of others weaken our resolve to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ or cause us to shrink from defending our convictions of truth.

“The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done” -Joseph Smith

Boyd K. Packer, “‘The Standard of Truth Has Been Erected’,” Liahona, Nov 2003, 24–27

"We do not set the standards, but we are commanded to teach them and maintain them. The standard remains abstinence before marriage and total fidelity in marriage. However out of step we may seem, however much the standards are belittled, however much others yield, we will not yield, we cannot yield.

If you, our youth, feel alone, remember there are millions of you in the Church now. Tens of thousands of you at this moment serve missions. You are a visible example, a testimony of the Restoration, even to those who will not listen to your message. Wherever you are—in school, at work or play, in the military—you are never alone.

Now words can be used as weapons against you. If they throw the word diversity at you, grab hold of it and say, “I am already diverse, and I intend to stay diverse.” If the word is tolerance, grab that one, too, saying, “I expect you to be tolerant of my lifestyle—obedience, integrity, abstinence, repentance.” If the word is choice, tell them you choose good, old-fashioned morality. You choose to be a worthy husband or wife, a worthy parent."

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Terror, Triumph, and a Wedding Feast

CES Fireside for Young Adults
September 12, 2004
Brigham Young University

"We should watch for the signs and read the meaning of the seasons, we should live as faithfully as we possibly can, and we should share the gospel with everyone so that blessings and protections will be available to all. But we cannot and must not be paralyzed just because that event and the events surrounding it are out there ahead of us somewhere. We cannot stop living life. Indeed, we should live life more fully than we have ever lived it before. After all, this is the dispensation of the fulness of times.

...we must never, in any age or circumstance, let fear and the father of fear (Satan himself) divert us from our faith and faithful living. There have always been questions about the future. Every young person or every young couple in every era has had to walk by faith into what has always been some uncertainty—starting with Adam and Eve in those first tremulous steps out of the Garden of Eden. But that is all right. This is the plan. It will be okay. Just be faithful. God is in charge. He knows your name and he knows your need.

I do know this: When Christ comes, the members of His Church must look and act like members of His Church are supposed to look and act if we are to be acceptable to Him. We must be doing His work and we must be living His teachings. He must recognize us quickly and easily as truly being His disciples. As President J. Reuben Clark Jr. once advised, our faith must not be difficult to detect.

Yes, if in that great, final hour we say we are believers, then we had surely better be demonstrating it. The Shepherd knows His sheep, and we must be known in that great day as His followers in deed as well as in word.

Surely that is why President Hinckley said: “It is not enough [for us, you and me, now, in our time] to simply be known as a member of this Church. . . . We must live as true followers of . . . Christ.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Faith, Family, Facts, and Fruits,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 25–27
"Sometimes people just want to know what the Church is. Those who are curious in this general way deserve clear and accurate information that comes directly from those of us who are members so that they do not have to rely on the incomplete answers, half-truths, or false statements that may come from the media or other outside voices. The many misunderstandings and false information about the Church are somewhat our own fault for not clearly explaining who we are and what we believe."

Dallin H. Oaks, “Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall,” Ensign, Oct 1994, 11

"Other strengths that can be used for our downfall are the gifts of love and tolerance. Clearly, these are great virtues. Love is an ultimate quality, and tolerance is its handmaiden. Love and tolerance are pluralistic qualities—encompassing all—and that is their strength, but it is also the source of their potential distortion. Love and tolerance are incomplete unless they are accompanied by a concern for truth and a commitment to the unity that God has commanded of his servants.

Carried to an undisciplined excess, love and tolerance can produce indifference to truth and justice, and opposition to unity. What makes mankind free from death and sin is not merely love but love accompanied by truth. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). And the test of whether we are the Lord’s is not just love and tolerance but unity. The risen Lord said, “If ye are not one ye are not mine” (D&C 38:27). To follow the Lord’s example of love, we must remember his explanation that “whom I love I also chasten” (D&C 95:1). And we must remember that he chastens us “that [we] might be one”

Elder M. Russell Ballard, The Truth Shall Go Forth, Oct. 2008

"The little Church that started in 1830 with just a handful of members has now grown to more than 13 million Latter-day Saints in many different nations around the world, and we are well on our way to penetrating every continent, visiting every clime, sweeping every country, and sounding in every ear.

This is God’s work, and God’s work will not be frustrated. But there is still much to be done before the Great Jehovah can announce that the work is done. While we praise and honor those faithful Saints who have brought us to this point of public prominence, we cannot afford, my brothers and sisters, to be comfortable or content.

Of course, our challenges are different today, but they are no less demanding. Instead of angry mobs, we face those who constantly try to defame. Instead of extreme exposure and hardship, we face alcohol and drug abuse, pornography, all kinds of filth, sleaze, greed, dishonesty, and spiritual apathy. Instead of families being uprooted and torn from their homes, we see the institution of the family, including the divine institution of marriage, under attack as groups and individuals seek to define away the prominent and divine role of the family in society.

This is not to suggest that our challenges today are more severe than the challenges faced by those who have gone before us. They are just different. The Lord isn’t asking us to load up a handcart; He’s asking us to fortify our faith. He isn’t asking us to walk across a continent; He’s asking us to walk across the street to visit our neighbor. He isn’t asking us to give all of our worldly possessions to build a temple; He’s asking us to give of our means and our time despite the pressures of modern living to continue to build temples and then to attend regularly the temples already built. He isn’t asking us to die a martyr’s death; He’s asking us to live a disciple’s life.

This is a great time to live, brothers and sisters, and it is up to us to carry on the rich tradition of devoted commitment that has been the hallmark of previous generations of Latter-day Saints. This is not a time for the spiritually faint of heart. We cannot afford to be superficially righteous. Our testimonies must run deep, with spiritual roots firmly embedded in the rock of revelation. And we must continue to move the work forward as a covenanted, consecrated people, with faith in every footstep, “till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”

November 1, 2008

this is halloween...

Well Toby and I dressed up for Halloween. My mom bought him an adorable, gushy, bloated, bear costume and I threw together a cat costume for me at the last minute. And I literally mean"threw together": My tail was the fur trim from the hood on my winter coat (it zips off), my "costume" consisted of black dance pants from high school (yes, I know I'm just a little too sentimental), a black shirt and black shoes were kindly donated by my little sister and, ok you got me, I am not the craft type person so I bought a kitty mask for $3 at Smiths. The funny thing about the mask though is that I figured out too late it was meant for little kids. Whenever I put it on, it smashed my eyes so looked all Quasimodo-ish and well, just not right. Well I didn't want to look like a "special" kitty, so I just taped a couple make-up sponges inside, just above my eyes and it kept the mask from contorting my face and it fit perfectly. I was quite proud of myself for being so resourceful.

So back to Toby's cuddly costume. As I said before, his Grandma Rarick bought it- though this wasn't the first. That's right, your read correctly, this was the 2nd costume he was given! You see, my mom had originally bought him a little clown outfit and though I had my reservations about it at first because I am a little creeped out by most clowns, Toby actually looked pretty darn cute in it. And I realized that only babies should be allowed to be clowns, not grown men. Weirdos. Anyway, I digress....
So even though I was sold on the outfit, the colorful, exaggerated bow-tie and and orange hair just didn't cut it for it Nick. As soon as he saw it, he adamantly stated that no son of his would be caught wearing a clown costume. Well I just assumed that Nick would eventually forget about it by the time Halloween came and that I would dress Toby up in it anyway. Well somehow it leaked to my mom of Nick's strong disapproval, so instead of just doing what I do and say "that's just Nick, you don't have to be offended or take it personally" she went out and bought another costume! My funny mom. Needless to say, Nick was much happier to see him as a bear. I think it resonated with his rugged, Alaskan side or something. :)

As far as the clown costume goes, I am just going to hold onto it for our second child (no I'm not saying I'm pregnant, calm down). Maybe by that time Nick will not have such hard feelings towards it.
Toby was a little glazed over when I first put him in his bear costume. He had just woke up from a nap so that's why he looks a little drugged in the above picture. Normally he is quite photogenic.
Later in the afternoon, Toby and I ventured to my old work - Authorize.Net. The witch is my friend Aleta (ok that sounded really funny) who by they way is just over 3 months pregnant. I wanted to get pictures with my other friends- Karisty, Lindsay, Sarah, Kristy.... but I completely blanked out that I had my camera until I was leaving. Everyone had such cool costumes!
And the office looked so neat! I think that was my only visit where I truly missed working there because I had forgotten how much they get into this fun holiday. All the departments competed for the best Halloween decor. I was pretty impressed with the little spook alley (actually more of a spook corner) which lead into a room filled with stuffed animals and happy music. That was a nice touch for all the little trick or treaters that would be coming through. Very creative. :)

That evening Nick was able to escape work for a couple hours so we could hang out at my parents house. It was simple but fun: we ate pizza, had hot chocolate and donuts, and I got to take my little niece, Azia trick or treating. It was so much fun! It made me want to be a kid again.

And I have to post a pic of Vanessa's costume...she dressed up as John Lennon! Nice costume, love. Brilliant!
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