Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Weekly Drawing: Mezzaluna Set – $55 Retail Value | CHEESESLAVE
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
My sweet Evan has signed up for fall football and we're all really excited for him to play! This is the first time he's ever shown an interest in sports and I think it's going to be really good for him. He's come a long way this past year. He's taken a greater interest in water (and is much less afraid to be in water than he used to be). He's also learned to ride a bike and now he wants to play football. We are so excited to have found a wonderful team so close to home. As a bonus, no practices or games on Sundays! But it won't be easy. Pre-season practices will begin August 1 and will run Monday-Thursday. Once games begin, they still will practice three nights a week. Anyway, I took him out tonight to pick up his first pair of football cleats. To see him beam is such a treat because there is so little that really brings out that glow on his face. He tried on a couple of different sizes and ran back and forth in the store with them to try them out and then we settled on a pair. He proudly carried that box to the register and couldn't wait to own them. We still have a few things left to get him, but overall, he's ready. We will spend the next month out on the track trying to prepare him as much as possible!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I went and worked my first shift at the church cannery today. WOW... I had a feeling I’d enjoy myself, I just never knew how much! I highly encourage anyone to sign up when your ward or stake is assigned. When I arrived, I had a few butterflies in my belly. Isn’t that silly? I just didn’t know what to expect and wondered if I would do everything okay. I found out that someone else was there from my ward and it was her first time too! We ended up working together for the shift and if I do say so myself, we made a great team! I have to say, there was definitely a spiritual feeling as we worked together to can a very large order of food. My testimony of food storage and preparedness was strengthened quite a bit today. This program is definitely divinely inspired! We canned pinto beans, black beans, sugar, rice, flour, carrots, potato flakes, apple slices, oats, milk, hot cocoa mix, fruit drink mix, refried beans, wheat, macaroni, and spaghetti! It took us about 3-1/2 hours to do it all but admittedly, the time FLEW. I was shocked to see how much time had gone by after we were done. We had such a good time! Other than the sister from my ward, I didn’t know anyone else there, but it was fun talking to other people and getting to know others in our stake. I will definitely be going back!
I learned some interesting truths today:
Labels are important. One sister spoke of a time when she gave her son a can of beef stew to try out. He later reported to her that when he opened it, he was surprised to find raspberry jam instead! Oops!
If you can fruit drink mix, don’t be alarmed when you later blow your nose and find orange boogies. Just sayin’...
The apple slices are, as my husband put it, the elixir of life! Everyone in my family loves them... including the dog! It was my first time trying them. Mike wants me to go back and get a case. I think I will!
You still need to sort your beans. Try as we might, we could not get rid of all the rocks!
To end on a serious note... if you have a chance to go, DO IT! For so long, I couldn’t go because I either had small children at home or else it was on a night I had to work. I’m glad I’m able to make it work now! I definitely have a testimony of this program and all of the good that comes from it for people worldwide!
Sunday, March 13, 2011
This story took place about 16 or 17 years ago. I was still living in Hawai’i at the time. That year, Honolulu was taking part in First Night festivities. This is a HUGE block party (that really encompasses several city blocks and venues) on New Years Eve. It’s an alcohol-free event. There are a ton of bands that play music, food vendors, and other types of entertainment. It’s really fun to go to and it’s nice to take kids to because it’s pretty safe. My friend, L, and I decided to head down there. We caught the bus (we lived very, very close to downtown at the time), hopped off, and got caught up in the festivities. As I recall, the entertainment was really good! As we were walking down one dark street, a dirty-looking homeless man approached us and asked, “Excuse me but do you have any spare change?” We kind of hurriedly brushed him off and said “No” and kept on walking. But then something happened that is difficult to describe. As we continued to walk, it was as though all the sounds of the music and the atmosphere began to be muffled. I liken this to a scene in a movie where someone is fainting and the sound effect they use to sort of drown out and muffle the surrounding sounds. My whole body became heavy... very heavy... so heavy that it was difficult to walk and my legs felt like they had become weighted-down sandbags. In my head, I kept hearing a voice saying, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my bretheren, ye have done it unto me.” I simply could not go on. I stopped and turned to L and looked at her. At the exact same moment, she stopped and looked at me and we both said at the same time, “We have to go back. This was a test and we failed.” She then shared with me that she was having a similar experience. In her head, she kept hearing, “Because I have been given much, I too much give.” So we quickly turned around and began looking for this man in a sea of First Night party-goers. It actually didn’t take us very long to find him. We didn’t have a lot of money on us. But we emptied our pockets and gathered up what we had and approached him. He turned around and I will never forget the look in his eyes. It was as though I was staring at Christ himself... I no longer saw the dirty man or the tattered clothes. I saw the Savior. We said, “Here. This is for you.” He took the money so graciously and with a tear in his eyes and a most humble spirit, he said, “Oh thank you. God Bless you.” And then we turned and left.
I will never forget that experience as long as I live. We walked away feeling so light and so blessed... WE felt blessed! When we give, even just a little, we get so much in return! The song we sang in Relief Society today was “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief”. It is my absolute FAVORITE hymn. I have yet to ever make it through the song without crying. I have rarely been able to sing the final verse because my voice simply gives way to tears. Today was no different. After singing about all of the selfless acts of service in the first six verses, the seventh is so triumphant:
Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in his hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name he named,
“Of me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou didst them unto me.”
THIS is what I experienced that night with that homeless man... THIS IS IT. “Then in a moment to my view, The stranger started from disguise. The tokens in his hands I knew; The Savior stood before my eyes.”
Tonight, some friends stopped by with a cake for my husband. No, there was no special occasion. There was nothing to celebrate. It was not a “thank you” gift. It was simply an act of kindness, meant to make him smile... and it did. But it was so much more than that. It was a gift that said, “We are so lucky to have friends. Life would be so lonely without them. Friends add so much happiness and joy to our lives and make us feel loved.” I’m so thankful for friends and for acts of kindness such as this! These are the little things that buoy us up in life when things threaten to pull us down!
I am grateful for the all of the kind, selfless acts of service that I have been the blessed recipient of in my life. And I am thankful to be able to give as well. I only pray that I will continue to hear the Spirit’s still, small voice, prompting me to give to others in need!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sure enough... all over the bed, the goose-down comforter, the carpet AND the area rug. Nice! He got in the shower and brushed his teeth well in the shower and got all freshened up. I went to gather my cleaning supplies and when I got back to the bedroom, most of said vomit had somehow disappeared. There was my precious dog, looking up at me like he'd just had the best meal of his life and licking his chops. Seriously, THAT made ME want to vomit. But what the heck, he made my clean-up a whole lot easier... nothing chunky to clean now! Yay! (Please, oh PUH-LEASE don't let the dog get sick now!!!!!!)
I got the floor all cleaned up and then sprayed a vinegar solution all over the place and covered it with a ton of baking soda. ***Side note here: Nothing takes out the smell of puke like vinegar and baking soda. Trust me when I tell you that I have experience with this. Anytime they puke, I clean it up well and then wet the area (yes, even mattresses) with vinegar and water and then cover the wet areas with baking soda. Don't be stingy with it either. POUR IT ON! I buy the 12lb bags at Costco. They are dirt cheap and baking soda cleans like nobody's business. Plus, it's not a chemical, so I'm not afraid of my kids breathing in anything nasty. When it's all dry tomorrow, I'll vacuum it up and I swear to you it will not smell like puke anymore!!***
Meanwhile, while Cinderella is hard at work on the bedroom floor, Ethan is in the living room and I hear that nasty gag and yell at him to RUN!! That didn't work out the way I had envisioned, so now it's all down the hallway and the bathroom floor, bathroom cabinet, and bathroom sink. WAY TO GO ETHAN!!! When I had thrown the bed sheets and comforter in the washing machine on a sanitize cycle, I thought I had really done well keeping it to one load of laundry! That'll teach me now won't it?
So anyway... here we are... Ethan moved rooms. I had to give up my bedroom fan because my kid won't sleep without one (it's gonna be a L-O-N-G night I tell you!) and Evan was moved to the bottom bunk. I don't want anyone on the top bunk when the flu is going around. I don't even want to *THINK* about where the puke would go from THAT angle!! Everyone is clean and fresh and back to sleep and they have big bowls sitting next to their beds with strict instructions to aim into them should they feel the urge to hurl. Here I am, wired and just waiting for the next round to start.
Did I mention that my kids *always* do this the night before I'm supposed to work a 12-hour shift? Yeah. These are the joyous moments of motherhood that I'll cherish always! Stay tuned for the next installment in the Harris Puke Adventures. :)
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
JANUARY 18, 2011
We, in the birth community talk a lot about fear because childbirth in our culture is saturated in fear. And there is no doubt in my mind that it is because of this culture of fear that we have such a high cesarean rate. And in all our talk of unnecessary cesareans, and of fear, I don't hear a lot of talk about courage. Because no matter what the culture is, it takes courage to give birth. A lot of courage. The courage to give birth is in every woman, whether she knows it before hand or not, and even if she thinks it isn't there, she finds it inside of herself.
But can we please stop, for one moment and recognize, that no matter how educated or uneducated, coerced or informed the choice that woman on the operating table made or didn't make, whether that cesarean was elective or emergency, necessary or unnecessary - it takes a lot of courage to get there. Our birth culture may be saturated in fear-based decisions, but behind every cesarean and "unnecesarean" is a woman of courage. In that moment, it doesn't matter how that woman got to the operating table. It doesn't matter if the surgery is necessary or unnecessary, what matters is that it takes extraordinary courage to say:
That is courage. That is bravery and sacrifice and mothering in its purest form. That is the willingness to lay down your body and risk your life that your child might be born, that your child might live.
Were you a Cesarean Brave Mama? Do you want to recognize the courage of a Cesarean Brave Mama? Leave a comment.
Thank you for recognizing my courage. I said the words, "Cut me open". After seeing that doctor with her leg hiked up on the bed while she pulled on my sweet baby's head with forceps, I pulled myself from the very depths of hell and shouted, "STOP. JUST CUT ME OPEN. JUST CUT ME OPEN ALREADY." I would have allowed her to cut me open without anesthesia before I allowed her to yank on my baby's head like that again. Courage is putting yourself in that situation. Courage is laying there while a doctor holds up your baby over a curtain and says, "Hi mom" and then takes him away. Courage is laying there while someone else is holding your baby. Courage is wanting nothing more than to run to your baby and hold him and tell him how sorry you, while strapped to a table in a paralyzed state. Courage is looking across the room and seeing people doing things to your sweet child, knowing that it should be YOU in their place, protecting him. Courage is laying there paralyzed and looking over and seeing your baby rooting and looking for you. It has been 9 years of HELL and I am nowhere NEAR dealing with that trauma. But this piece today helped me, ever so much, to continue towards healing.
As a neonatal nurse, I treat babies so differently than mine was treated. Each time I am able to connect a cut-open mother with her baby, it helps me to heal. When I am the nurse, that baby goes directly to his mother. When I am the nurse, he is skin to skin with her, even if it is only with their faces together. When I am the nurse, the scenario is no different if a mother needs general anesthesia. I have been looked at and ridiculed by anesthesiologists for doing so, but it does not matter to me. Because I know that that baby needs his mother, even if she is asleep. And I know that deep down, that mother knows her baby is there and is well.
Yes, it takes oceans of courage to have a c-section.