Life of an Albuquerque Mommy

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Beauty of the Desert

(originally posted on fishbowlinsider yahoo!group 7/22/05)
Okay, before you say that sounds like an oxymoron or something please let me explain. :-) My little ones go to bed at 6pm at night, this is because my son ALWAYS wakes up between 6-6:30am, and he just wasn't getting enough sleep going to bed at 7:30pm like he used to, even with a nap. So now he goes to bed at 6pm. "Sy" also goes to bed at 6pm, but shes like me and really likes her sleep. Usually she won't wake up till 8-8:30am. And then I start on my morning walk around 9am after she has eaten breakfast. Well this morning, "Sy" woke up at 6am.And there was no getting her back to sleep. SO we got started on our morning walk a little earlier than normal and I am so glad we did. You see, I have always lived in a desert area. I would probably go into a deep depression if I lived anywhere that had more than 8inches of rain a year... You see I grew up in Kennewick, Washington. Yes, I know you're thinking, Washington isn't a desert, it rains there all year round, Seattle is one of the most rainy places on earth. Well, you see thats where you're wrong. Let me give you a little geography lesson. The state of Washington is cut in half by the Cascade Mountains. These mountains cause what meteorologists like to call a "Rain Shadow". What this means is that when the clouds come off the ocean they have to drop all the moisture in them before they can pass over the mountain range. Therefore the reason Seattle gets so much rain, but because of this, the EAST side of the state doesn't get much rain at all. And thats where I lived, SouthEastern Washington. Where three Rivers converge at one spot. The Yakima River and the Snake River flow into the Columbia River and that is where Kennewick is. We were lucky to get 8 inches of rain a year there, and we had mild winters, and very warm summers a few weeks in July would reach 100 degrees or above. But we didn't mind this, we had more than enough water for whatever we wanted to do provided by the River. I lived there from the day I was born till I moved to Rexburg to attend Ricks College. Rexburg, Idaho was also in a desert. You're thinking, no that can't be. But its true, it was a High Desert. Did you ever notice all the grasses and sagebrush around the area? After Ricks, for the first three years of our marriage, we lived in Phoenix. And I'm sure you can all agree with me, that Phoenix is definitely desert. You may think, well anyplace that gets above 100 degrees must not be that pretty. The deserts provide you with the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see, during the monsoon season (mid July-Late September) you're pretty sure to get a rain storm almost every afternoon. And because of all the rain in late summer, fall and winter, the Spring is so beautiful. All the plants and flowers that lay dormant during the heat of the summer all come into bloom. The most brilliant colors to meet your eye. The cactus, standing statuesque against the horizon...This morning getting out of the house earlier than normal I was able to see the beauty of the desert in Albuquerque. Albuquerque is a high desert like Rexburg, a river running through it like Kennewick,and a monsoon season like Phoenix. We are at 5500 feet elevation, so it doesn't get as hot as Phoenix though we're in the southwest. We have mild winters, sometimes lucky if we get any snow at all, and we hardly ever go over 100 degrees in the summer. Walking later in the morning, its sometimes hard to notice the beauty all around. As we walked I could feel the coolness in the air, and smell the wildflowers, and sagebrush that were still in bloom this late in the summer. You could smell and almost taste the wet dirt from the rain shower last night. The bright blue clear sky, with the puffy clouds that look so close you could almost reach up and pull them down. There was a gentle breeze in the air, birds and butterflies flying around. The path I walk on run alongs a Volcanic Rock Mesa.Remember "Craters of the Moon" Natl Park near Blackfoot? Same idea. The path runs next to the massive cliffs that the lava flow created when it finally slowed to a stop a long time ago. I thank my daughter for waking up early this morning. Because she did we were able to walk at a time where I could notice the beauty thats all around.

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 7/22/2005 08:30:00 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

One Year Has Passed

(originally posted on fishbowlinsider yahoo!group 7/17/05)
Today we celebrated the birth of my daughter. She turned 1 year old. All yesterday and last night I remembered back to the day I spent in the hospital in labor with her bound and determined not to have a repeat c-section. It seemed like all odds were against me,but finally after 26 hours of labor, she was born. 7 pounds, 12 1/2oz, 20 1/2 inches long. She was born at 3:03am Saturday July 17th.I have to admit looking at my new daughter I can't imagine not having a little girl. But the truth is, I was scared to death from the minute the ultrasound said I was having a girl, till the minute she was born. You see, I am the oldest of three and the only girl. I grew up a tomboy, and my entire first year at Ricks was like culture shock. I didn't know how to live with other girls. So I always imagined that I would have a whole herd of boys. Have my own basketball team or something. I didn't know what to do with a little girl. But now, a year later, thinking back to my silly fear I laugh at myself. I look at my daughter, the sweet thing she is and can't imagine how I would have survived if I had another boy twenty months younger. Please don't get me wrong theres nothing against my son, its just he's all boy, I might have gone insane, him times 2. He is very forward, and adventuresome(strong-willed you might say!), whereas she is very laid back,and easy going. (Sound anything like us at Ricks? Can you guess which one is alike?)It will be fun to see what the next year has in store. Today, she is one year old, but still has yet to cut her first tooth, or take her first step. There will be a lot of milestones to hurdle for my little girl as she ventures on towards her second birthday. And I look forward to every day and what it brings.

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 7/17/2005 08:21:00 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Diapers/baby wipes

(originally posted on fishbowlinsider yahoo!group 7/14/05)
I don't know about the diapers, I think I will always stay with Huggies Supreme, they're they only ones stretchy enough to go around all the "chubs" on my babies. But HUGE KUDOS to Costco on their baby wipes. They're Kirtland Signature brand, they come in a big box with individual packages in them, they're alcohol free, and they are supersoft, and hold up to ANYTHING. You can scrub carpets with them, (Idon't know how many of you have tried that with pampers or huggies brand wipes, but they don't hold up very well plus they disintegrate into lint all over the carpet). Plus they wipes are as strong as a regular cloth washcloth. And believe me that was put to the test. My 2 1/2 year old son got one and was trying to get the dog to play with him so he was waving it around. Soon they were playing tug-of-war with this baby wipe. It never tore, wripped or anything, it stretched to a certain point, but "W" and the dog gave up before the wipe did. And they went at it for a long time. I keep a package in my car to wipe down sticky fingers and dirty faces. Also to wipe down any messes that might be made in the car or booster seats. These things are amazing, if you haven't tried them go pick up a box, you'll never want to use anything else again. PROMISE!

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 7/14/2005 08:18:00 PM :: 2 Comments:

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Healthy Eating

(originally posted on fishbowlinsider yahoo!group 7/14/05)
When we were first married, I wasn't that great of a cook. Ask my husband he'll tell you what I made him for dinner the first time. He can't remember what we ate last night but he can remember the first dinner I ever cooked for him. It was very dry teriyaki chicken with white rice. Nothing all that impressive... I didn't come from a family that really cooked a lot, and when we did cook it was usually something from a box where you add water(macaroni & cheese, hamburger helper, etc). So because he came from a family that prepared a lot of homemade GOOD eating meals (both of his grandmas are wonderful cooks, and his mom too) and he could hardly even swallow what I was making him; I made it a goal to find good recipes and learn how to prepare better meals. I set out collecting recipes from friends and family, testing out things in cookbooks, some we liked, some we didn't. A few I had to try again to get it just the way we liked it, now I can say I'm a pretty good cook. Well at least I can follow a really good recipe, and change it to our liking. :-) I've learned for healthier eating to look for recipes that use a lot of spices for flavor rather than fat. "S" will tell you that I've come a VERY LONG WAYin just 5 1/2 years. And last night proved it, we were watching Emeril Live on Food Network and he asked the audience why you use tomato paste. Do you know why??? Neither did the audience or my husband. I was in the other room(cooking dinner) and I said "its a thickening agent". I didn't hear the tv, only "S" yell to me, "You're right, how did you know that?"
(Aug 25th, 2005)...after writing this, I must say that a lot of my motivation came after we moved from Phoenix to Albuquerque. I had just given birth to my first child, and went from breadwinner to housewife. Our best friends in Phoenix had us over for dinner a lot when we lived there, and after moving we went into "'C' Cooking Withdrawals". We also no longer had the pleasure of going over to "S"'s grandmothers house for meals which was always a treat! From that point on, I set out to be a better cook. Sometimes I don't think I'm quite meeting the expectations put upon me by myself, "S", "C" and family members. But then I just go out on a limb and surprise myself!

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 7/14/2005 08:08:00 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

An initiative or motivation

(originally posted on fishbowlinsider yahoo!group 7/12/05)
Okay so I got the idea for a yogurt commercial but I figured, why not give it a try? The yogurt commercial shows a bikini hanging on a hanger in the middle of this womans room. Outside the window its snowing and shes wearing sweats. Shes eating yogurt while looking at the bikini then looking at herself in disgust. It goes through acouple different seasons with the woman becoming happier with herself while eating yogurt, then it shows the hanger swinging without the bikini on it, and then outside the window the woman wearing the bikini jumping into a convertible on her way to the beach. Throughout the commercial the music playing in the background is "She wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka-dot bikini..."Anyway I don't have a bikini hanging on my wall, but I do have my favorite pair of "skinny" jeans that I haven't been able to wear for awhile; hanging on my wall above my bed. Every time I look at them on the wall I am remotivated to achieve my goal.

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 7/12/2005 08:04:00 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Monday, July 11, 2005

a step back

(originally posted on fishbowl insider yahoo!group 7/11/05)
So Saturday I went on my morning walk like normal. But this time I wore a pedometer so I could see how far it is exactly and how many calories I burn on my walk. I thought the distance I had been walking was 5 miles roundtrip. How surprised was I when I stepped in my front door and looked down at my pedometer to see that I had only walked 3 miles. I thought, the pedometer is wrong. It wasn't reading accurately. I'll drive it in the car and see what it says on the odometer. How disappointing when in my car it also said it was only 3 miles distance. What a total bummer! My little pedometer also said I only burned 180 calories on my walk. Thats even more frustrating... Anyway, I won't let it get me down, after a few more weeks of walking this distance I'll explore another bike path and circle back around to my regular walking path to add on a little bit more distance. Also I discovered that the novelty and thrill ofriding in the stroller is now gone for my kids. Not only do I have to practically beg "W" to get in the stroller, the entire distance I'm asking them to be nice to each other, specifically "W". Hes almost 3 and "Sy" will be 1 next sunday July 17th. Its very tiring asking him to be nice to her the whole way. I hope that this eventually doesn't frustrate me to the point that I don't want to walk anymore because my kids no longer get along with each other while in the stroller...

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 7/11/2005 07:53:00 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Common Bonds

(originally posted on fishbowlinsider yahoo!group 7/7/05 titled 'young families in the ward')
Today I walked to the park to play tennis. Its like the second time in my life that I have even PICKED up a tennis racket, but I didn't care because I went just to have fun and to socialize with others from my ward. As I was walking home in the sweltering heat I started to think about what a blessing it has been to be in the ward that I am in at this time of my life.Our ward is of average size, but we have the unbelievable luck of having a lot of young families, with little kids and moms who stay home with them. And because most of us had some sort of career or something before we had kids, we needed something in which to interact with other adults. My ward has seen that need and have jumped wholeheartedly into meeting that need. Almost every day of the week there is an activity to participate in. The first monday of every month we meet at a pizza place for a "birthday luncheon". Basically its just whoever wants to come and we all sit together at a table and eat our lunches and chat. Every wednesday we have playgroup at the park, where all the kids can play together and the moms can chat. On the 3rd wednesday of every month rather than playgroup we have what we call "mid-week activity" which is basically a daytime enrichment. Every thursday morning we meet at a different park from the one we have playgroup and we play tennis. We hardly even keep score. Its basically to have fun, be outside and maybe if we're lucky burn off some calories. AND on friday mornings we play volleyball at the church. I think we burn more calories laughing than we do actually playing. I was so happy to come into a ward that makes it so easy for the new members to become quickly acquainted with people in the ward. This summer we had 9 very active families move out of the ward, but I know because of the many activities our ward provides, that when we have new families move in they will quickly catch up to become a vital part. If your ward has things like this, and you're not a part of them, you should be. Its a wonderful way to meet people and make friends. And for those moms that stay at home with their kids it can be a sanity-saver. If your ward doesn't have anything like this, figure out some way to initiate it. You'll be glad you did!

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 7/07/2005 07:49:00 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Car Horns

(originally posted on fishbowlinsider yahoo!group 7/6/05)
As I was walking my 5 miles this morning with my kids in the stroller I thought back to the last time I was really focused on getting into shape....

(flashback 8 years)When I was in High School I was on the basketball team. Besides band that was my other extra curricular activity. The first couple of weeks of practice were always so hard for me because unlike everyone else on the team I didn't play volleyball in order to get ready for basketball season. But I enjoyed the practices, and the miles of running, the feeling I had after practice was over, and how good I felt at the end of the season. When I went to college though, I no longer had my basketball season to dread/look forward to, so like a lot of people I gained that Freshman Fifteen that everyone was always talking about. By the time "S" and I were married I had lost that plus a little more, and didn't want to gain it back. The first calling we were given after we were married was the Nursery. About 3 months after we moved into our ward in Phoenix another couple from Vancouver, Washington had moved in. They had a little girl that was nursery age, and were expecting a baby boy in a few months. We quickly became great friends with this couple and did a lot with them. When their little boy was about 6 months old, my friend and I decided we needed to start walking every morning to help shed a few extra pounds we were carrying around. We started in March right around our 1st anniversary. In Phoenix you can walk all year round if you want, you just have to get started pretty early during the summer months so you didn't die of heat exhaustion by the time you were done. The first couple of days of walking, my friend was pushing her baby in a jogging stroller and me walking with my new dog, we found ourselves being honked at by passing cars. We walked early in the morning but that still happened to be during early morning rush hour traffic. In the beginning when a car would drive by and honk their horn we would be insulted. "Geez what a perv." we would say. But after a few weeks of daily multiple car horns, hoots and hollars out windows of passing cars we started to take it as acompliment. "Well, we must be doing something right. If we were totally repulsive they wouldn't be honking."Now that I am walking alone in a different town with my own TWO kids in a stroller with a little bit more weight than I'd like to have; I thought that Phoenix is where I left the car horns with my friend. I was wrong! Even with two babies being pushed in a stroller, total strangers still think I look good enough to honk. Thats a nice ego boost...

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 7/06/2005 07:41:00 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Friday, July 01, 2005

My own little strip of Heaven... I mean Rexburg

(originally posted on fishbowlinsider yahoo!group 7/1/05)
So you remember how wherever you walked in Rexburg there was always someone that gave you a greeting? Whether it be hi, hello, good morning, good afternoon, or good evening. Remember when even when you were in a bad mood and nothing seemed to be going right a friendly stranger had some way of making the day a little brighter?Well the bicycle paths in Albuquerque remind me of Rexburg. Even if they are only 5 feet wide and run for miles all over town. Its quite typical to be walking along the path and have people say Hi, or Good Morning to you as you pass each other. Whether the person is walking, jogging, or riding a bike, people always make eye contact with you and say Hello. It gives you a little boost and helps you make it another few hundred yards until the next greeting. Its nice to have a little of that friendly Rexburg town whereever you might be living. Its sad after leaving Rexburg to move to a different place where everyone is so busy with their own lives they don't have the time to even give you a head nod. Though I have noticed after having babies people seem to slow down and have more time to say hello. I guess having cute kids helps...

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 7/01/2005 07:39:00 PM :: 0 Comments:

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