Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Remembering Funny Stories: Pregnancy Sickness

I need to write about something funny! These stories that I am about to share are Funny NOW. They were definitely not funny at the moment. But I feel like reminiscing. Leif and I were thinking back trying to figure out when the last time was that we had a romantic weekend together without any children. We remembered, and this is where I will begin:

When Jakob was almost 2 years old we found out I was pregnant again. We were excited! We knew that it wouldn't be easy to get away together once we had another baby. So Leif and I took the opportunity to go on a little business convention trip to Park City. We left Jakob with grandma and set out on our way. Now something you have to realize is that I was a few days shy of my sixth week of pregnancy. We knew that we were cutting things close when it came to my traditional pregnancy sickness trimester. But we wanted to get away together. So we decided to risk it. And we paid the price!

All went wonderful for the whole trip up to the last day. We had a wonderfully romantic hotel room, yummy food, and a great time together. And Then it happened! I woke up the morning that we were supposed to go home and I FELT IT, PREGNANCY SICKNESS! I remember nibbling on an apple and crackers telling myself that this would go away and the next six hours in a moving car, winding through the mountains would not faze me. I got up, got dressed, got in the car, and we started to drive. We made it three miles to the McDonald's parking lot. That is where the fun began... once the car stopped, I immediately opened the door and lost all contents of my stomach in the parking lot. In any other situation you would just stop and wait until the illness went away. But we knew otherwise. This was only going to get increasingly worse for the next 8 weeks. So, we drove on.

I had a plastic bag with me that was respectfully dubbed the "gag bag." We made it to Provo when Leif really started to wonder if I was going to survive the journey. He decided to pull off on a random exit and look for a church. It was a Sunday and he knew he could find a church right away and find someone to help him give me a blessing. We did find a church right away. He helped me out of the car and into a chair. Then we realized something, everyone around us was speaking Spanish! We had fell upon a Spanish speaking ward.:) Luckily, we found someone who spoke English and Leif and this brother gave me a blessing. The power of the priesthood is real! From that point on I managed to fall asleep for the next several hours.

I remember how it felt to arrive home and see my sweet mother in law and her sympathetic face as she handed me a cup of ice chips to suck on. Little did we know, that was only the beginning... I found out that I was pregnant with twins a couple of weeks later.

I have several pregnancy sickness stories I could share. Like the one where Leif drove me to work in the morning and I stepped out of the car, puked in the snow, and walked in to the house where I worked. Or the time when I woke the little boy up in the morning with my melodious worship session of the porcelain throne. And Finally, a word of advise: NEVER suck on frozen cherries when you have the threat of throwing them up! They are a bugger to clean up! ;)

Looking back, these stories makes Leif and I smile and chuckle. They are NO FUN at the moment that they are taking place. But ahhh, the memories and lessons they teach us in the end.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Just What's On My Mind

I know there is A LOT going on when I sit at the computer to write and I have five different opening statements come to mind. I haven't written for a week. That usually indicates emotional turmoil or something. That's not really the case this time. Just a busy world.

I have lost track of days and time...

Last week we had family come in to town for their Spring Break. It was fun to visit and spend a little time together. Jakob was So grateful to have cousins to play with. It was fun to marvel at how everyone is growing up and notice the differences and similarities. We are blessed with very good family. It was a pleasure to have them here. I fear I wasn't the best co-hostess, I apologize for that! But I did enjoy the time we were able to spend together!!

I have really bad Hay Fever this year. I have never had it before. It is very Frustrating! Luckily, I have been able to manage it through nutritional medicine. But on occasion it gets so bad I have to take a lot of OTC medicine. No Fun! Especially when we try to work outside.

Life is pretty much "business as usual." I am really looking forward to this Summer!! I love having Leif home with me! He is such a positive influence. He will be busy with school work, but just having him around boosts my spirits.

I am learning a lot with my schooling. My focus has narrowed down to Nutritional Medicine and Women and Children's Health. I love learning about how what we eat, the supplements we take/don't take, and the things we do on a daily basis effect every detail of our life. My favorite book is called The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford. I have learned a lot about the basics of living a healthy lifestyle. The latest avenue of research has been about the "Blood Type Theory." It is based on the Dr. D'Adamo's book titled Eat Right 4 Your Type. Dr. D'Adamo details what each individual blood type should and should not eat, and why. It has been a great reference. I was disappointed to find that Leif is an O blood type which is polar opposite of me an A blood type. This makes for hard menu planning! His body requires hard core red meat. Where the kid's and I Shouldn't eat meat and require Lot's of vegetables and foods that you harvest. I knew we were opposites from the beginning, but this is a bummer!;)

Next week my baby Caleb will be One Year Old! It seems unreal. He's still so little and... my baby! I'll update the boy's blogs so you can read about how fun and cute they are.:)

That's about sums it up at the moment.

Until Later...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Summer Trips

I have mentioned several times about our Summer Trip(s). I am finally getting around to "announcing" what are plans are. So here they are:
We are going to the California's Redwood Forests! We will be going with my parents. We are hoping that Leif's parents will join us too!! We'll be going the last week of May and two weeks into June. So it will be another long trip filled with beauty, fun, and Great Memories!! I am really looking forward to all of the beauty.
We'll explore the forests. Walk and drive along the ocean cost line. And explore the little villages sprinkled throughout the coastline. We are all VERY Excited! Jakob is especially excited to see the Fern Forest that Jurassic Park was filmed in. Now you can see why I am trying to condition my body for our summer ventures.
Later on in the Summer my mom's side of the family is getting together for our annual family reunion. It will be in Washington State this year. There is a possibility that we will go to that as well.

I also have Young Women's Camp the week after we get home from California.

And finally, There is a possibility that I/we might take the kid's out to Maryland this Halloween to visit my sister and her family.

It is a lot of traveling and some of those are still just possibilities in the works. But I am still really looking forward to some great experiences!

Thanks Ya'll I'm Doing Better!

Thanks everyone for your sweet support! I am doing better. My moods parallel the weather. This is not really an easy thing. We had Beautiful weather for a couple few weeks. It felt just like spring. And then WHAM back to Winter! It threw me for a loop. I'm working through it though, thanks to my good friend Harmony and her willingness to walk with me each day. I'm looking forward to walking with My friend Karin too. I'm going to be walking A LOT (probably around 2 hours each day) for the next couple of months. It will be really good for me! Harmony and I walk around our neighborhood. Karin lives in the hills outside of town. So That will be good to get an uneven course (muscle training) in too.

So, that's my update. Just pluggin' along. Trying to really get as healthy as I can. Working when I can with my schooling. Planning what my summer Community College classes will be. Helping Leif figure out the best route for his studies. Preparing for Jakob's dance recital. Planning our Summer trips (that I still need to announce...) Trying to help Caleb gain some weight (wish it was going better) Trying to be a good Young Women's Leader. And in the meantime, trying to maintain the house and everyday living... Just like all of you!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ice Cream Is Of The Devil!

Leif bought me some ice cream and pre-made cookie doe on Saturday night after the long day of yard work. Tonight, I've made a connection... Ice Cream for me, is of the devil! (You must know I am not literal here.) But in a sense, this is true in my world.

Last night (Sunday) right before bedtime I fell into a Funk. A Funk is a stupor of emotion and physical strength. There is no clear explanation of why I am in the Funk, I just AM. Last night I had strange dreams. The worst dream ended with someone (a man) Stealing my car,driving off, with Jakob still inside. It was so traumatizing that it woke me up and I had to cling to Leif until I fell back to sleep.

I was fine throughout the morning. But then I sent Jakob off with grandma, my sister in law, and his cousins for the whole day. I was like an anxious mother hen all day! Here I FINALLY had a whole day where I could just get things done (school work) and the whole time I just felt uneasy. For NO GOOD REASON! Leif finally came home from work and got me out of the house for dinner. Even through that I just steadily declined in my Funk. We watched a movie and had ice cream and cookies. After the movie I fell right back into the pattern of Funk. I felt anxiety about whether we'll make it through the heavy school load (in the future), whether Jakob will do well with his dance recital (in the future), and ... I am just not "well" tonight. You should have seen me when Jakob got home. I felt like he had been gone a week!... I've been doing really well too...

And I put it together tonight. I pondered what had changed in the last few days. Really, the only change has been ice cream and cookies before bed, Leif having a heavier school load last night and tonight, and the warm sunny weather has declined. My conclusion: Ice Cream Screws Me Up! It is the straw that can break the Camel's back in my world. I can not resist it when it is in the house and I eat a lot of it in one sitting, always at night before bed. The Results: Messed up chemicals and hormones from all of the contents in the ice cream.

So, Just don't eat ice cream, Right? Uh, yeah, Wish Me Luck!

Just to clarify: Leif doesn't do homework on Sunday's like I implied in this post (his choice.) But he did discover that his homework load is heavy this week that night. Just wanted to put that plug in...

Goats - Gardening - and Chickens

On Friday we worked out in the yard all day. We got a lot accomplished, but I was EXHAUSTED! I think I got too much sun... Leif did a whole lot more then me and he didn't fall apart... Crazy! But this is all beside the point. We borrowed a couple goats while we were gardening. Our neighbor brought them over and they ate weeds and got tangled in their ropes all day long. It was actually kind of fun.

Our little family liked having them here. But I'm not sure everyone was so thrilled about the idea of getting our own. By the end of the day the "farm smell" was noticeable. I did a little research and the goat experts say that if you take care of the goats well enough that they shouldn't stink (unless they are males, then the ALWAYS stink) No male goats for us! We're pondering a couple of miniature goats... But we'll see.

Leif cleaned out the green house area that we're going to use. That was a lot of hard work! I planted seeds (not very hard.) And Leif trimmed a bunch of tree limbs to let the sun in. Unfortunately, he cut a limb that his dad had been nurturing through the years to use as a tree swing branch. We felt REALLY bad about that!!! Ahhh, the joys of sharing a yard...

Saturday morning was our Chicken Decision Day. We decided which breeds we wanted and then we placed our order. Can you believe that we will be getting our chicks in the mail! It's like the Stork Delivery Tale in real life!:) We ordered 6 hens and 2 roosters. So around April 21-22 we'll get a special delivery of chicks. We'll actually get around 29 chicks in all. Because we combined our order with Leif's brother's 21 chicks. YEP! 21! Here are some photos of our chickens. They are going to be fun!

Araucanas/Americanas: These chickens are known as the "Easter Egg Chickens" because they lay multi-colored eggs (blue and green colors.)We ordered 2 of these because they will be so fun!

Golden Laced Wyandottes:We ordered a hen and a rooster of this breed.

Crested Chicken: There are several types of Crested Chickens. We aren't sure which one we will get. We hope it's this color. We ordered a hen and rooster of this breed.

Red Star: This is our classic brown egg laying hen.

Partridge Cochin: This is our Mother Hen. She'll lay eggs. But we'll eventually let her raise chicks. She is the classic mother hen.

When the chicks arrive we will keep them inside for just over one month. Then they will move outside into the coop that we've made/are making for them. It will be a new experience for me. But I think it will be a good one!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Every Day Happenings

It's been a little while since I've posted about the every day happenings of our world. So I'll take a minute to do so. Here's an idea of our typical day.

Lately I've been trying out a new concept. It's called waking up with the sun:) Once we're all settled for bed we actually open our blinds and curtains just before falling asleep. Then Leif and I are able to slowly wake up as the sun rises. This has been really helpful for both of us. It's not so hard for Leif to get up for work and I'm not as distraught when Jakob comes to my bed to ask if it's morning time (the morning sun makes it kind of obvious;).

From there, I climb out of bed and it's time for showers. During Jakob's shower I sit and read to him from the Book of Mormon. Today we read about Abinadi. Tomorrow we'll find out how King Noah reacted to his prophecies.

As Jakob gets dressed and earns his Accountable Kid's ticket for the day, I make breakfast. Lately the normal meal is fruit or oatmeal. By 9:45, it's time to meet our friends and go for our morning walk. We walk about a mile or more and our middle destination is the local cemetery at the edge of town. The kid's like to hear who is buried in the very decorated plots. This is not your "typical" cemetery.

After our walk I take Jakob to school. While he's in school Caleb naps, and I do my school work. Occasionally I'll fit in my house chores. Thanks to my sister's willingness to talk me through it, I usually manage to get the dishes done once each week (the sad thing is, you think I'm kidding;) Thank Heaven's for Paper Products!!!

A couple hours later, I drag Caleb from his deep sleep and go pick Jakob up from school. We get home in time to get a bite to eat and then Leif gets home from work. This is our FAVORITE part of the day!! Papa is very special in our home!

Once Papa's home the second half of the day begins. Sometimes we jump right into family chores. Other times (like today) Leif and I will study together while Jakob uses his AK ticket to watch a movie. After study time it's family time. Now that it's spring we head outside! First we work together taking care of the outside chores. Then we usually eat our dinner outside. After that, Jakob insists on playing together for a while. From there, we reluctantly go inside to do inside chores. We work together to get our little cottage straightened and sanitized. By then, it's quiet time. This usually means "Grandma Time" or "Story Time." If grandma and grandpa are home we usually find our way over there or they find there way over here. If it's quiet time, we'll either all do our own thing (Blogging, Jazz Game, Coloring and Clay, etc.) Or, we'll sit down together and Leif will read us a book (right now it's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.")

By the time 8:00-9:00 rolls around, it's bed time! Leif is my hero and he still takes on the roll of putting Jakob to bed. This is a whole routine in and of itself. While he does that, I get Caleb ready for bed. We all pray together, Leif finalizes Jakob, and I go finish putting Caleb to bed. Ahhh! Silence....

The in between details lately revolve around keeping/getting everyone healthy, and building our little farm and garden. Caleb is feeling better and it was time to decide whether to do tubes or not. We decided to try one more thing before we tried surgery. We took him to an osteopath today. He was able to do some adjustments, acupressure, and drainage today. All of this has very high success rates for infants with Chronic Ear Infections. So here's hopin'! Leif came down last night with a large swollen lump over one of his sinuses above a tooth that we knew needed a root canal. BUMMER! I rubbed olive, lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus oils over it on the outside, and ground clove inside his mouth. This morning the swelling was gone. I'll do the same tonight and we'll make an appointment to get the tooth fixed. As for me, well, I have good days and bad days. I have serious issues with chronic bone and muscle pain. I'm working with my Dr as well as the knowledge that I'm gaining through school to figure it all out and create a better game plan. In the meantime, I just try to stay healthy and have as many good days as I can!

As for our little farm and garden, we are having a lot of fun! Tonight we spent our quiet time researching and deciding what chickens we're going to get. We're going to get a few really neat kinds. When the decisions are final, I'll post pictures. I really am looking forward to the chickens after reading about each of them. We're going to choose the chickens that are the most friendly and prone to becoming more like pets. It will be fun!:) Our garden will be huge this year! Tomorrow we're cleaning out the green house (NOT a small project!) Wish us luck!!!

Life is good. I am half way through my schooling. Leif is almost done with the school year. Which means work is almost over. He's doing well in school. And we're REALLY looking forward to a FABULOUS Summer together! I can't wait to tell you about our Summer Plans! That will be tomorrow;)

Until Then... G' Night!

My Dear Friend

If you read the comments below for my Saint Patrick's Day post, you will find one written with a beautiful thick Irish accent. This is written by my dear friend Patricia. Patricia was my Joy School (preschool) teacher, as well as one of my best friend's mothers (which made her one of my "other" mother's.)

Patricia's mother in law is from Ireland. Because of this and many other reason's I'm sure, Patricia fell in love with Ireland. We always caught a bright glimpse of this every year for Saint Patty's Day (no coincidence that at the time we called her "Patty":)

St. Patrick's Day was celebrated at that Pott's home by a huge celebration! Filled with Lot's of Green Food (mostly artificial;) relay races to kiss the Blarney Stone for good luck, I remember something to do with green toilet paper... (wonder what that was all about?) Music, and it would not have been complete without our Patricia speaking in the Irish tongue.

Thank you Patricia for these sweet memories! You have truly enriched my life in Many Many ways!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saint Patrick's Day

Holidays are so fun when you are surrounded by children! Leif works at an elementary school. So he had a fun day all dressed in green. He also wore his Bowler hat made authentically made in Ireland. Jakob was so excited to go to school today! He made a point of making sure his "Green Clothes" were clean for the special day ahead. hen he got home from school he enthusiastically told me about how funny it was that the mischievous leprechaun stole Miss Lindsey's hat and sneakily opened the gate to the chicken coop and scattered the chickens throughout the yard;) Such precious times...

I was inspired by Jakob's stories. I decided to join in the fun! I made cookies for everyone. They were very tasty coconut cookies. I even made my own green food coloring with Spinach juice. They turned out so good we've eaten the whole batch!
After we ate a bunch of cookies we went outside to work in the garden. The spring that I was pregnant with the twins we planted a Wild Flower Garden. All of the flowers bloomed while I was in the hospital and during the days after the girls' birth. Each year after that we have tended that garden in memory of our girls. This year we decided to mix things up a bit and plant bulbs.
We're really excited! I'll post pictures throughout the season.

After we worked in the garden we came in and ate some delicious chicken noodle soup given to us from the sweet lunch ladies at the school that Leif works at. Then to close our special day we went to the park. Leif and Jakob had a great time playing basketball with our new glow in the dark basketball.

Turned out to be a great day!

A New Mission Opened Up... In Heaven

It seems that there must have been a new mission opened up in Heaven recently. I say this because through the recent weeks I have been made aware of several little babies and children who have passed away. It brings me comfort to think that maybe they have just been called on a mission... like my little girls. But the pain of loss is very real for many parents and families right now. I know that pain, and I pray for them.

There are no words to describe how it feels to hold your baby for the last time and tell them goodbye for a while. But there are words to express the gratitude that I feel to have the knowledge that we will hold our babies again. We will feel of the joy that comes while raising them. That chance feels far away at times. But just the knowledge that because of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father, it is a reality, is enough to keep me going. That knowledge is what has healed my heart and soul over these 2 1/2 years. Day by day, week by week, month by month, and then year by year, the burden becomes lighter and lighter. All because of our Savior Jesus Christ.

I was reading the Book of Mormon with Jakob today and these are the verses that we ended up reading:

Mosiah 24: 14-15, 21

14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
21 Yea, and in the valley of Alma they poured out their thanks to God because he had been merciful unto them, and eased their burdens, and had delivered them out of bondage; for they were in bondage, and none could deliver them except it were the Lord their God.

Grief feels very much like bondage at times. It can smother a soul if it is allowed to do so. Only through our Savior can we move forward and heal from such pain. How grateful I am for my Savior and His healing power! He has eased my burden and led me out of bondage, for that I will be eternally grateful!

My mother lost her fifth baby, Justin. He was stillborn due to umbilical cord complications. My aunt Kathy wrote my mom a poem that draws a beautiful picture of the truths that are ours.

From One Gone Ahead

Dear mother, I went on a trip today
to see where I should have stayed.
I stopped in to see the little white crib,
I could tell the arrangements were made.
Eager young faces of sisters and brothers.
Brightness and hope on faces of others.
I wanted to stay, to be part there and grow.
But the time’s not quite right now, I know.
For my Father has asked me, “come back for a while.”
(You’ll miss my bright face and sweet smile.)
But a body was all I needed to rise
to heights yet unknown to your eyes.
Dear mom and dear dad, I love you, you see
for making a small special temple for me.
Please don’t be too sad or mourn long for me.
I’m going back home to learn at His knee.
I’ll learn well and work hard and when the time’s here
I’ll join with my family, of that don’t you fear.
Tell Heather, Lena, Jason, Jared, *and Nathan,
“Try to be good,” ‘cause I’m up here waitin’.
(Written by Kathy Westwood)

Praise be to the Lord for His eternal Love and His gospel that brings us the truths that keep us going! May your burdens be lighter today, is my prayer...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our Garden and Yard Plans

We live on Leif's parent's property. They built a large "Barn" that is actually a garage with a 800 sq/ft apartment above the garage. We have gradually made the apartment into our home. When it comes to the yard space around the garage it would be considered partly finished, and that depends on who you're talking to:) We have all used the majority of the space as a garden through the last few years. This year, we're getting down to business.

Leif's dad built a huge green house many years ago. Right now, the green house is being used as a storage space. Soon, we are going to organize it and put it to proper use. We are going to grow our garden in grow boxes in the green house. This type of gardening is supposed to help save on water. Living in the hot climate during the Summer, our gardens require A LOT of water to maintain growth. Hopefully this will be a fun way to help us save some money. We're planning on growing a lot of different plants this year. Even the root veggies like onions, garlic, and potatoes. It will be quite the project! My goal is to actually grow a decent crop of herbs that I can actually use. And my next goal is to grow the right foods to bottle a few different kinds of yummy salsas and some Pesto for pastas. Wish us luck!

Going along with new ideas, we've got a doosy! We're pondering the idea of getting a few chickens and MAYBE a goat. WHY you ask? Well... We can eat their eggs, and they eat our bugs:) Not that we have a ton of bugs, but we won't have any with chickens. They also go along with our family goal of preparing to be self reliant if needs be. We have the room, so why not. Now the GOAT, well, that's just my crazy idea of a lawn mower. :) Bless that little goats heart! We're still pondering that idea!

When it comes to landscaping the yard I'm excited about our plans. We're going to put grass in half of the space that we have been using as a garden. On the grass we will bring out the trampoline for Jakob and Leif to play on. For me, we will plant a row of roses to line the yard. We will also build or buy some type of shade maker (like that description:) Something like an arbor or something to sit under to give us shade. Somewhere in the yard we will dig a fire pit and put benches around it too. I'm really looking forward to it!

Working In The Garden

The kid's don't have school on Fridays. So Leif didn't have to work today. Well, he worked his part time job until 2:00 and then we had the rest of the day to ourselves. We decided to be productive. Spring has sprung here in our little piece of the world. So we decided to play outside. We cleaned up our yard. Now that our home is all fixed up(last year's project.) We are planning on fixing up our side of the yard this year. We're hoping to lay sod down and set things up so we can enjoy ourselves outside, or be able to send Jakob out to play and be able to see him when we peek out. Up to this point we have used Leif's parents yard (which is wonderful.) The problem is there is a large wall of pine trees that block the view of their yard from our side of the property. So I hope all works out so we can set up a little yard on our side. We're planning on setting up a fire pit too. That will be fun! ANYWAY... Here are some photos of our Spring Cleaning. We even burned our weeds (Something I hadn't done before.)

Sick Little Caleb

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Our Book Is Finished! Check It Out

We Finished Our Book! Click below to check it out! It's Called: Dinosaurs Among The Nephites, Tales From the Warriors of Long Ago.

Tales From the Warr...
By Leif, Lena, and J...

This is a funny little story meant to give a chuckle to the young, and the young at heart. This tale is all about a group of Nephite warriors out on a hunting trip that end up finding much more then they had bargained for.

This book is set up so you will not only be able to follow this fun-filled story about Nephites and Dinosaurs, you will find scientific facts about each of the dinosaurs depicted in the story, as well as a few of the action-packed and faith-filled stories from the Book of Mormon.

A perfect storybook find for the Latter Day Saint family with little boys!

Hospital Workers Agree To Go Without To Save Jobs - The Boston Globe

This true story really brightened my day today!

It was the kind of meeting that is taking place in restaurant kitchens, small offices, retail storerooms, and large auditoriums all over this city, all over this state, all over this country.
Paul Levy, the guy who runs Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was standing in Sherman Auditorium the other day, before some of the very people to whom he might soon be sending pink slips.
In the days before the meeting, Levy had been walking around the hospital, noticing little things.
He stood at the nurses' stations, watching the transporters, the people who push the patients around in wheelchairs. He saw them talk to the patients, put them at ease, make them laugh. He saw that the people who push the wheelchairs were practicing medicine.
He noticed the same when he poked his head into the rooms and watched as the people who deliver the food chatted up the patients and their families.
He watched the people who polish the corridors, who strip the sheets, who empty the trash cans, and he realized that a lot of them are immigrants, many of them had second jobs, most of them were just scraping by.
And so Paul Levy had all this bouncing around his brain the other day when he stood in Sherman Auditorium.
He looked out into a sea of people and recognized faces: technicians, secretaries, administrators, therapists, nurses, the people who are the heart and soul of any hospital. People who knew that Beth Israel had hired about a quarter of its 8,000 staff over the last six years and that the chances that they could all keep their jobs and benefits in an economy in freefall ranged between slim and none.
"I want to run an idea by you that I think is important, and I'd like to get your reaction to it," Levy began. "I'd like to do what we can to protect the lower-wage earners - the transporters, the housekeepers, the food service people. A lot of these people work really hard, and I don't want to put an additional burden on them.
"Now, if we protect these workers, it means the rest of us will have to make a bigger sacrifice," he continued. "It means that others will have to give up more of their salary or benefits."
He had barely gotten the words out of his mouth when Sherman Auditorium erupted in applause. Thunderous, heartfelt, sustained applause.
Paul Levy stood there and felt the sheer power of it all rush over him, like a wave. His eyes welled and his throat tightened so much that he didn't think he could go on.
When the applause subsided, he did go on, telling the workers at Beth Israel, the people who make a hospital go, that he wanted their ideas.
The lump had barely left his throat when Paul Levy started getting e-mails.
The consensus was that the workers don't want anyone to get laid off and are willing to give up pay and benefits to make sure no one does. A nurse said her floor voted unanimously to forgo a 3 percent raise. A guy in finance who got laid off from his last job at a hospital in Rhode Island suggested working one less day a week. Another nurse said she was willing to give up some vacation and sick time. A respiratory therapist suggested eliminating bonuses.
"I'm getting about a hundred messages per hour," Levy said yesterday, shaking his head.
Paul Levy is onto something. People are worried about the next paycheck, because they're only a few paychecks away from not being able to pay the mortgage or the rent.
But a lot of them realize that everybody's in the same boat and that their boat doesn't rise because someone else's sinks.
Paul Levy is trying something revolutionary, radical, maybe even impossible: He is trying to convince the people who work for him that the E in CEO can sometimes stand for empathy.

Kevin Cullen is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at
© Copyright 2009 Globe Newspaper Company.Beth Israel workers agree to go without to save jobs - The Boston Globe

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bright Eyes

I needed brighten things up a bit by putting a cute photo at the top of my blog rather then my tired Yoga photo. Here's our Precious Bright Eyes!!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Healthy Menu and Grocery List Results

This last week has been busy. I have been juggling a lot of things throughout each day. I am moving through my schooling in a timely manner and learning a lot. It has been a life changing event. Because of all that I am learning in school we have committed to following as many of the health guidelines as we can. This is where the photo of Jakob and I doing Yoga fits comes from. This also includes eating as much organic or whole foods as possible. So I took the time this week to create a good menu and shopping list. I got all of my ideas off of This is a line of whole grains, beans, and natural baking supplies that you can find in any of your grocery stores (if I can find them here, I promise you have them!;) Anyway, they have a huge data base of recipes. So I found all of the recipes, made a menu, and a shopping list and yesterday Leif and I went into SG and did a huge shopping trip.

We were concerned that we wouldn't be able to stay within our budget. But we did and we even have money left over for the rest of the month. I am Thrilled!!! When we got home, I wanted to organize the cupboards and get rid of a few things that aren't part of our eating plans these days. This is what ended up happening:

It was NO fun putting it back together. But it's nice to have it organized. Tonight we ate dinner up at our house with Leif's parents. Tuna sandwiches and very yummy whole wheat & oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. It was a good night! I'm going to try harder to put all of my recipes on my Healthy Mama's Kitchen blog. So feel free to browse and get a few ideas.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Blog Book Arrived!

Well, my book arrived yesterday! It was the best part of a really bad mood day!

We've been anxious to see the quality of the book. On a scale of 1-5 here are the scores:

Cover (not graphics): 3-4 Good quality, Not necessarily the BEST. But I'm not afraid to show off the book. The only negative I'm noticing is that the cover boards don't lay flat against the pages at the edges. Almost wonder if there are too many pages for this size book. Not sure... Also, because we chose the wrap style cover the cover seems foggy.
Binding: 3-4 Good quality. But I don't think it would hold up to constant reading and rough handling. But it's a lot better then a 3 ring binder that could come open and spill all or some of the pages out.

Pages (not graphics and content): 5 We didn't even select premium paper and the pages feel great. They Look Great too! The pictures are clear and the backgrounds aren't too overpowering. Really Nice! It's a 208 page book.

Overall Quality: 4

Overall Value: 5 Priceless! We paid around $70.00

This was the first of many books to come. Blurb gives you several choices when it comes to book size, cover style, page layouts, etc. Really Neat!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Leif is waiting for the Jazz game to get over. I have some exciting news, but I will wait until tomorrow to write about it until I can take pictures. Instead, I will take a minute and try to process all that is going on in my world at the moment:

I have finished my first Module (text book) for school out of 6 Modules. It was really interesting. Tomorrow I hope to post a few more subjects in review on my Mama's Notebook blog. I learn better that way. My next Module is short, I hope to be finished with it by the end of next week. I really want to be done with my Holistic schooling by the beginning of summer (HOPE!) I'm kinda done with wanting to take community college classes at the moment. But for financial reasons I need to go part time this summer. So I will take a couple of English classes. Then I will be done with schooling for a year or so. Bet ya can't guess what the adventure will be after I'm done with school?

Well, the games over. It's time for bed. Tomorrow's another day...

Thank You Father!

Tonight I am pondering one of my greatest blessings. I had a total of 13+ years of high quality, professional experience in child care before I became a mother. Every single day, several times each day I thank my Heavenly Father for leading me in that direction. I know that the experiences that I learned from throughout those 13 years has made my current lifestyle possible and so much easier then it otherwise could be. I know I need to knock on wood... But really I just want to thank Him for this blessing!

- Thank You Father!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


I Did It! I Finally Exercised!

I was planning on joining the local gym this month. But finances won't allow it. So I mustered all the motivation I could to exercise, and I DID IT! I pulled up a Netflix Pilate's workout video and invited Jakob to join me.

I actually really enjoyed Pilate's. I knew I probably would. I much prefer the stretching endurance type workout to the jumping and dancing routine. I still feel like I got the calorie burning side too. So I'm happy. Jakob was so cute the whole time. I'd peek over and he was trying his hardest to follow along. It was fun to have a little partner. And THANK HEAVENS for Netflix and their Instant Movies! Tomorrow I'll try a new one and see how it goes...

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Mama's Health Update

Forgive me for these posts. Just ignore them... They're (you got it!) For the Record.

It has been one month since I adjusted my anti-depressant meds. I went off Wellbutrin and moved my Paxil down to 10mg instead of 20mg.

I haven't had the nightmares or bad dreams more then a couple of times. So that is a Huge improvement. My mood is stable most of the time. However, the last few days have been really unstable. Unfortunately, I have gained a couple of pounds:( and I am having a difficult time loosing weight. I am going to have to buckle down and exercise (Heaven Forbid!:) I struggle with getting to sleep off and on (possibly due to Caleb not nursing as much/lack of that hormone), and my body aches have returned. The aches are not as intense as they have been in the past. They could be from the fact that SSRI's have been used to treat pain (serotonin is a pain reducer) and because I cut down on my meds they pain is showing up again. It could also be because SSRI's have been known to block sodium absorption in the body which leads to muscle pain. Either way, it looks like I probably have to go back up to the 20mg per day. I am going to take 10mg in the morning, and 10mg at night. I wish there was a way to take 15mg per day. But the pills only come in 20mg and can only be broken once.

UPDATE: March 8th

The day after I wrote this I realized that I felt MUCH better then the previous three days. Then through happenstance (not) I ended up studying about vitamin B for school. I realized two things:

1. The last few day's struggles were most likely due to my menstrual cycle that I can't really follow clearly because I am still nursing and not bleeding.

2. I am most likely Vitamin B deficient. I have known this in the past and formulated a Mega Vitamin B complex for myself (and others who are interested) I took it for a while and felt better... and you know how it is, you feel better and forget the problem you just solved. Anyway, I have decided not to up my meds but to take my Mega vitamin B for the next month and see how things go. I am also studying up on parasites because it looks like that is a huge possibility in my world right now, GROSS!! So, that's my update.

Home Sick Again

We took another Sick Day today. It really wasn't because we feel terrible. It was mostly so we didn't share the sickness that we have. Leif has been getting better day by day. His cough is acting up at the moment. But hopefully it's better tomorrow. Jakob has never caught the worst of it. He has a lingering cold with an occasional fever. But that heavens it hasn't knocked him out. Caleb has a junky nose and a cough. Poor guy! But he's still in good spirits. I'm over the cold and just playing doctor mom to everyone else.

We had another Sunday School at home this afternoon. The subject went along with the Sharing Time lesson in the Friend Magazine, titled A House of Order. If you look at the header of my blog you'll note that I have the scripture about having a house of order as the blog description. That scripture is actually our family Mission Statement. So the lesson went as follows:

Prayer: Jakob
Story: Standing Up For Caleb (Mama: Friend Magazine)
Story: Daddy's Sunshine (Papa: Friend Magazine)
Sharing Time: A House of Order (Mama: Friend Magazine)
Activity: Making a house of order. Put away our own clothes from the mountain of clean clothes on the couch;) (Great idea huh!:)
Singing Time: Music Dice (Papa)
Prayer: Mama

The House of Order activity really inspired me to continue on throughout the house. It wasn't the best "Sunday Activity" but when I get the motivation, I have to go with it! So my house is a lot more tidy and Caleb can climb around on the floor and I don't have to worry about him being a human vacuum cleaner. That is REALLY nice!

Leif and I worked on our latest family project (dinosaur book)for a large portion of the day. We are almost done. I think it will turn out cute. I'm really Excited! I need to get it done and check it off of my list. I have too many little/big projects floating around in my world right now. I need to finish this so I can finish the big ones. But I'm glad we acted upon this idea. I know it will be priceless in the end...

My Holistic Health Practitioner schooling is the biggest project looming over my head. I am really glad that I am taking on the challenge. But I want to have it all finished by the end of the Summer. So I have to really focus. I learn so much every day. A lot of it so far has been added knowledge to what I already knew. But it is all still life changing information. As I study I have to realize that all that I am reading is biased material. So I have to take all of the information, and form my own conclusion. I agree with the vast majority of what my instructors feel. However, I am not as extreme as the majority of them are. I would like to be a lot more holistically healthy. But right now I have to take things one step at a time. Luckily, Leif is very supportive and has a similar stand on all that I am studying (for the most part). I did chastise him for putting green food coloring in the breakfast muffins today. I felt bad and ended up apologizing. We ended up having to talk about a concern I have. How in the world am I going to take in all of this information and find a way to apply it to my family life. One step at a time.

Luckily, we're not too far off of the boat when it comes to holistic health. Now I just have to come up with a way to find and afford Organic Foods, throw out all of the sugar (FOREVER!), and stay on the band-wagon. Wish Me Luck!
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