The Life of Bon: November 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The 14 Greatest Moments of Thanksgiving Break

It's 8:30 on the Sunday night after a glorious Thanksgiving break.  Twas the break to trump all breaks.  We slept in and stayed up late and watched movies and played games and went shopping and saw my family every dang day.  It was so rad.  Now I have to go back to work in the morning and I wonder what the heck is up with that.  Can't we all just live in a world where there are no ends to Thanksgiving breaks?  I guess that's called unemployment and they say it ain't as great as it seems but I don't believe them.

And now, a Thanksgiving top fourteen

1)  Monday night was the closing night of Les Mis.  Them teenage actors were all crying because it was over and it was so freaking great and all that nonsense.  I, on the other hand, was crying tears of sheer happiness because one more day of that crap and I think my marriage would have been over.  Now I have my husband back!  Also, Greg had the biggest audience for closing night than the school has had for a play in over ten years so maybe the blood, sweat, and tears were worth it?  No.  Definitely not.

2)  Tuesday I went to lunch with one of my besties who now lives in California.  Besties are awesome because they call you out on everything like having a messy car and running red lights.  Strangers might notice it, but they don't say anything, you know.  I love it when my out of state besties come and visit but it also makes me sad because why can't they live here all the time like they used to?

3)  I started watching The Mindy Project.  Greg had said he wouldn't watch it with me because he's not a big Mindy Kaling fan, (he's a fool) but after two episodes I knew he'd appreciate the writing even if he doesn't love Mindy.  So I forced one episode on him, he was converted and now we're halfway through season 1.  Cheers!

4)  Wednesday night I saw Mockingjay.  After seeing it I remembered why I didn't like the book.  That is all.  Also, I'm as big a J.Law fan as the next person, but I didn't love has as much in this movie.  Don't hate me.  We can still be friends.

5) Thanksgiving was about as perfect as a day as they come.  We decided to cut back to a smaller group this year- you know, down from 75 to about 35 no big deal.  (There are eight kids in my family- add spouses and kids and the numbers add up quick!)  My mom is becoming a better and better cook by the year, I swear.  And she's always been amazing- it just keeps getting better. This Thanksgiving dinner was the best I've ever had.  Perfect stuffing, hot homemade rolls, salad with the yummiest balsamic pesto dressing, yams smothered in brown sugar, fall apart turkey with some kind of magical French herb on it.  There wasn't a dish that wasn't perfect.  I was assigned to bring ice cream.  I guess I complained enough about having to make pies last year that they gave me a non cooking ability.  But seriously.  Making pies was hard.  Perfecting that crust is about as easy as perfecting a new language.  Ain't nobody can do that right!  Except for Mary and Trent who nailed the pies this year.  So basically I just can't make pies.

6) After dinner we all went to my dad's grave.  I was kind of worried that it would make the day sad, but it was actually a really beautiful way to have him there with us.  Thanksgiving was my dad's favorite holiday so we all stood around his grave and said something we are grateful for.  It was sweet and dorky and sublime all at the same time.  It was one of those moments where you kind of step back and look at your life and think, "Yep.  This is what it's all about."

My mama and seven of her eight kids.

7) After the cemetery my mom insisted that I head up some games.  Somewhere along the way I became the "game person" in my family.  I know about three games and just recycle those at every family get together.  No one complains because if they do, they get put in charge of the games.  My mom acting out the drive in movie theater and my brother acting out getting hit by a meteoroid were highlights.

8) Thursday night I braved some "black Friday" stores with my French friend, Agathe.  I am kind of over Black Friday.  The extra ten percent off isn't worth it.  This year I kind of felt manipulated/ taken advantage of/ conned.  It's not a great feeling.  I don't think I'll do much BF shopping next year, but Agathe really wanted to experience it, so you know, whatevs.  She thinks us Americans are straight up off of our rockers to go out at 10pm on Thanksgiving night to get a good deal.  But she thinks it is awesome that we have a holiday just for eating a big dinner and hanging out with our fams.  ME TOO, AGATHE, ME TOO!

9) Friday we went to lunch with my sister, Mindy, and her husband, Ben.  They live in Germany.  We only see them once a year.  (This year we saw them twice because Greg and I went out to Germany in June.)  It was so awesome having my sister around.  They even brought us our favorite European chocolate cookies and please don't ask me to share them with you because I just can't. I wish my sister lived closer to me but I remind myself that I get to visit her and go on lots of inexpensive vacations thanks to her nomadic lifestyle.  (Military husband.)  I miss having her around so it was awesome to spend a lot of time together.  Also the lady at Cafe Rio got mad at me because I argued with her over how many free meal stamps she gave me.  Sassy lady, that Cafe Rio worker.

10) Friday night I was in charge once again of planning games.  This time with cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.  It was wild.  People get mad at you when you're in charge of the games, you know.  It's not an easy position to be in.  We were playing Family Feud and peeps kept getting mad because they were giving the wrong answer.  Yo, it ain't my fault!  After those games my cousin and her husband came over to our place and we played cards until 2 am.  We ate buckets of popcorn and drank a lot of soda and acted like the true idiots we are.  I felt like I was 18 again.  Then June woke up at 7 the next morning and I remembered I am not 18.

11) Saturday we were supposed to get a tree and do some decorations.  But then my mom called and said she was shopping at the outlets right next to my house so instead I went and got two new shirts.  Almost as festive as decorating a tree, right?

12) Last night my family attempted to go to temple square.  It was a zoo.  There were 23 of us and temple square was beyond crowded.  We got separated and there were a lot of panicked phone calls but somehow we all made it out alive.  Note to self:  Don't go to a busy public Christmas attraction with 23 people and expect to stay together.  Note to self #2:  don't go to a busy public Christmas attraction on the weekend of Thanksgiving and expect the crowds to be reasonable.  THEY WILL NOT BE REASONABLE.

13) Greg was sick pretty much the entire break.  He only joined in for about half of the festivities.  He's had some sickness that has been hanging on for three weeks now.  That is what happens when you spend 1000 hours directing a high school musical and survive on Reese's peanut butter cups and energy drinks alone.  You almost die.  He is finally on an antibiotic and so hopefully he'll get better although he's got a pretty nasty cough that sounds an awful lot like he's got the black lung.

14)  Two of my brothers also welcomed babies this summer.  We had a lot of fun stripping the three cousins down to their diapers and taking pictures of them.  If you don't think those babies are adorable then you have no soul.

The babes with their daddies

And that's a wrap!  Three more weeks until Christmas break.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

thankful for:

my husband
my baby
my health
hot showers
rainy days
my parents
my siblings
my beliefs
days off of work
the ability to work
a job that I love
dirty doctor peppers
movie theaters
language and the power to communicate
this blog
goals and dreams
financial stability
a car
the beatles
fingernail polish
my in laws
my puppy
road trips
sleeping in
staying up late
nintendo games
playing cards
waking up to smell of someone baking
the first snowfall of the year
the last snowfall of the year
basketball games
my students
energy to get everything done in the day
the smell of a new baby
big groups of people
small groups of people
alone time
reality tv
diet coke
date night
new clothes
Jesus Christ

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A story of unbalance

I don't know what's going on with this school year.  It's absolutely bonkers.

I guess I've felt a bit "off" working every other day.  Don't get me wrong, the part time gig is amazing.  I am so grateful that I can work one day and then be at home one day.  I get to still teach and be involved in these kids' lives without completely losing my head.  (Some people can work full time while they have kids and, gosh, I respect that. I cannot. I think I would pull out my hair and have a mental breakdown and then probably shoot my husband because the dishwasher hasn't been emptied in a week and the Gatsby tests still aren't graded.)

That being said, I can't quite figure out how to master the balance of school days with home days.  Take yesterday for example.  Greg didn't have rehearsal after school so we drove to school together which already kind of upset what little routine there was.  One block away from the school I had one of those awful, gasping, "oh my gosh I forgot the breast milk at home!" realizations.  (Which has now happened to me three times. It's great! I drive all the way to school to realize I have no food to leave June with at daycare and I certainly can't run down in the middle of class to feed her.)  Greg has his prep second period so he said he would go get the milk then.  But in the meantime I needed to top June off to make sure she wasn't hungry before he could bring the milk.  Which is a really weird thing to say, don't you think?  That you are going to top off a baby?

That meant my morning time to grade the notebooks was shot and instead I sat in the daycare and tried to feed a baby who had just eaten an hour ago.  I ran up to my classroom where first period started in a blaze of glory and ended with me telling a student he was not welcome to enter my class again until he had a guardian with him to discuss his behavior. This year I have had more discipline problems then I ever have in teaching. I don't know if kids are getting worse each year, if I'm getting stricter, or if it's just a particularly rebellious group of kids that I got this year.  (Or maybe some kind of perfect storm combination of all three?)  I am teaching the same subject I have taught for five years so my lesson planning is a freaking cake walk.  That leaves all my spare energy to handle kids who sluff class, kids who copy each other's tests, kids who bring their parents in with them to beg for an extra week to hand their stuff in.  I'm at my wit's end with the kids!

I've said it before and I still believe that the trick to "surviving" teaching is to focus your energy on the good kids.  The ones who want you there. To let the kids who want to fail, fail.  If you put all your energy toward the rebellious, the apathetic, the helicopter parents (or worse, the administrative policies, the evaluation systems, the "next big thing" in education) you will lose your stamina quickly and be one of the many teacher  burn outs.

But this year it seems harder than ever to focus my energy on the good kids because the rebellious apathetic helicopters are so insistently demanding my time. And that's one thing about good kids- they don't demand. So they don't get my energy. The others do.  What is a good teacher to do?!

The day continued in a blur of craziness.  Greg went home to get the milk.  I tried to pump during my third period prep to hold June off in the afternoon only to discover that I had also left key breast pump parts at home.  So no pumping for me!  It had been over four hours since I had fed June and it was starting to get  uncomfortable painful so I ran down to the daycare hoping June would relieve me.  Well, June had taken the bottle an hour ago that Greg had gone to get her so she wasn't a bit hungry. (ARE YOU STILL FOLLOWING THIS MADNESS?!)  But I couldn't carry on this way so I pretty much forced June to take any milk she could from me to which she reacted by spitting it up all over me!  Touche, June!  The whole "relief- from- my- full- of- milk- breasts" didn't really happen but I was hoping it was enough to last me until 3:00 when I could get home and properly feed.

When I got back to my classroom for what was left of my prep period the vice principal was waiting for me to talk about the first period situation.  I have documented every time I have had a problem with this student, just like I should. (Seven different incidents into our school discipline system from me.  SEVEN.)  I have emailed and called guardians.  I have followed all the proper procedures and now I want the student out of my class.  I have tried!  I really have!  But he is not going to change, he's not going to respect the classroom rules, and he is disrupting the learning of everyone around him.  Like my principal says, I'm not Jesus.  I'm not going to leave the 99 to reach out to the 1.  I am going to sacrifice the 1 to help the 99 because right now the 99 are suffering because the 1 is taking all my time and energy.  The 1 needs to go.

The weirdest thing is that the kid desperately wants to stay in the class.  He likes it and he says he likes me.  But then he blatantly refuses to follow classroom rules and when I try to make him he storms out of class and doesn't come back.  Then he shows up the next day like everything is as perfect as a summer morning.  One of my teacher friend said yesterday during lunch that all discipline problems are solved as soon as students accept that you are the alpha.  There is no power struggle.  You have the power.  Stop fighting for it.  I think she's right.  The main reason I have so many problems with this kid is that he is constantly fighting for control of the class.  Just accept that I am the alpha, kid!

My VP essentially told me that I can't get the student out of my class.  That is just dumping the problem on someone else.  I understand that.  But then why should the student be allowed in class at all?  He's 17- why are we forcing him to come to classes for which he refuses to obey rules and follow the procedures?  I know education is supposed to be available to everyone, but do we really need to force students who refuse to follow any of the school rules?  Education is a privilege and if you can't follow the rules like the rest of the students then shouldn't you lose that privilege?  Are there no real consequences?  The consequence should be that he can't be in my class and he can't be in any English class and so he has to pay for English packets to get his credits and do those at home because he's not welcome at the school because he can't follow any rules.

The day ended in a whirlwind of me chewing out fourth period students who 1) never come to class on time and 2) come to class every damn day wearing hats even though I ask them every damn day to take off their hats.  Seriously, what is with the power struggle this year?  FOLLOW THE RULES YOU FOOLS.  Then suddenly the bell rang, Greg was up in my room with a hungry baby ready to go home, and I was released from school until after Thanksgiving.  Hip Hip Hooray!

And of course, the burning question... will I make it to Christmas?!


+ I read this stunning birth story one night this week when I was feeling frustrated and lonely and completely overwhelmed. I cried and cried and I felt the beauty of birth all over again.  It almost makes me want to try a home birth.  Almost.

+ Is it time to get our holiday cook on yet?  I can't wait to try these peppermint oreo balls.  It's live heaven.  In a ball.

+ I love these 103 random acts of kindness.  This week I am going to try the "compliment strangers" and the "bring in snacks for coworkers.

+ This post on "living with giants" humbled and strengthened me. "Maybe it’s not doubt. Maybe it’s comparison. I look around at all of these women who have their partner, who come home to their forever, and I wonder what they have that I don’t?" 

+ And lastly, Time Magazine thinks teachers are a bunch of rotten apples.  Do you agree?  And should I take offense?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

June: Four Months (Alternate Title: Teaching your Baby to Sleep?)

four month appointment:

weight: 10 lbs 5.5 oz
length: 23.25 in
weight percentile: 1%
height percentile: 6%


two month appointment:

weight: 8 lbs 5 oz
length 21.25 in
weight percentile: 1%
height percentile: 1%


two week appointment:

weight:  5 lbs 15 oz
length: 20.5 in
weight percentile: 1%

June is still little.  As the doctor said, "Well, someone has to be the first percentile.  Why not her?"  But she's healthy and happy and hitting all of her developmental milestones so I am going to go ahead and file her small size under "borrowed trouble."

Having a baby has been the absolutely most surprising joy of my life thus far.  Every day I am amazed all over again at how much I like June and how much I like taking care of her and how much I like being a mom.  June is the light of my life.  She rolls with the punches and doesn't seem annoyed that we take her anywhere and everywhere to accommodate our busy lives. (Ten pm last night found her at Village Inn with 80 high schoolers after their performance of Les Mis.  I think she thought she was part of the cast.  Then she passed out in Fantine's arms.)  She lets anyone hold her and will take her breast milk straight from the source or in bottle form. (But don't you dare try to give her any of that formula stuff.  She can smell it from a mile away and she don't like it!)  She drools like a dog and farts like a 13 year old boy.  She smiles at anyone who smiles at her and seems to especially know when someone is complimenting her- she lights up and giggles like "Ah geez, go on!"

As far as eating goes, the doctor said we could introduce rice cereal if June acts interested in our food.  If she doesn't act interested and is as content as can be just nursing, then we can exclusively breast feed up until six months.  Well June couldn't care less about the food that we eat so I guess it's more of June being attached to my chest.

People told me that a little baby wouldn't sleep as well as a big baby.  If that's the case, then June doesn't seem to know that she's little.  She sleeps like a champion at night- usually sleeping from about 7 pm to 6 am.  When she wakes up early in the morning I feed her in bed while I fall back asleep.  The days that I don't work June falls asleep too, and we both sleep until 8:30 or 9:00 am.  The best thing I ever did for June's sleep was to lay her in her crib by herself and let her learn to fall asleep by herself.  She cries for ten minutes and then is fast asleep.

During the day she usually naps well, too.  If I am at home and can lay her in her crib with the noisemaker she will almost always sleep for 2-3 hours in the morning, and then again in the afternoon.  If she's in a car seat or being shuffled around, she doesn't sleep as well.  At daycare she doesn't get as many solid naps in- she's too busy checking everyone out, watching the other little people.  Her eyes bug out and she just sits and watches and watches.

I feel very grateful that June sleeps as well as she does.  I know that a lot of this is just luck of the draw- some babies just naturally sleep better than others.  I do, believe, though, that there are some things you can do to help teach babies to sleep.  There are so many books written about teaching babies to sleep- I kind of picked and chose what worked best for June and for our family.  These are some things that helped me a lot with establishing healthy sleep patterns for June:

1)  The book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby.  The main thing that I took away from it is that adults often don't let babies sleep as much as babies want- insisting on keeping the baby up because they don't realize the baby is tired.  Most of the time when babies are fussy it's just because they're tired.  As soon as June starts acting a little bit fussy, she goes down.  It always weirds me out because I think she can't possibly be tired again already, but then in ten minutes she's fast asleep.  From the time she wakes up to the time she is ready for another nap is only one to two hours.  It seriously boggles my mind that after a three hour nap and then being awake for an hour June could be ready to sleep again.  But she is.

2)  I follow the pattern mentioned in Babywise- eat, play, sleep.  When June wakes up she eats immediately and then is usually very pleasant while she plays for an hour or so.  She starts to act a little bit cranky and boom, she is back down for a nap.  I feel like this gives a very natural way to tell when June is tired.  Because she has just eaten within the hour I know that if she is starting to act fussy again she is ready for a nap.

3)  Bringing up Bebe has an entire chapter dedicated to "the pause"- the 5- 10 minute time that French parents give their kids by themselves before the parents rush in to help.  June will often wake up about 45 minutes or an hour into her nap.  Sometimes she cries at 2 am.  When this happens I look at my clock and give her ten minutes to figure out how to soothe herself before I go in.  It works more than half the time and she goes back to sleep without me having to do anything.  Bringing up Bebe mentions that a lot of times babies will make noises just like we toss and turn in the night.  They are still asleep, but if we rush in and get them up, then we stimulate them and wake them up all the way- we've then woken a baby up halfway through the sleep cycle and the baby is then grumpy and can't fall back asleep.  It is not unlike when we are enjoying a nap and are awoken by a phone call.  We are still tired, but can't fall back asleep and then we're just grumpy for the rest of the day.  If a baby has slept enough, the baby should be waking up happy.

4)  If you establish healthy sleep patterns, the idea is that you can deviate on occasion and it won't ruin everything your child has learned.  For example, last night we were out very late with June.  But that doesn't mean that 11 pm will now be her new bedtime.  I feel like by giving her a predictable sleep schedule it allows us the freedom of being able to switch it up once in a while and still have a baby who is pleasant and sleeps well.

* I wrote this post this morning and am now editing it while June screams at the top of her lungs in the crib upstairs.  So, you know, take it all with a grain of salt.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Starry Night: For my Dad

Five years ago today my dad passed away.

One year ago today I found out I was pregnant with June.

November 19 was such a sad day for me.  And now it is such a happy day, too.

My dad used to love to look up at the nighttime sky.  I remember summer nights in the backyard looking through the telescope, listening to him describe what was going on up there.

"That one is Venus," he'd say.  "You can tell a planet because it doesn't sparkle like a star does."
"Can you find Orion's belt?"
"Here, look in this telescope, Bopper.  You can see Saturn's rings."

One thing that surprised me about the early weeks with June is that I didn't hate the middle of the night feedings as much as I thought I would.  There is something almost magical about being up in the middle of the night when no one else bothers to stay awake.  We bonded while the rest of the world slept.  Just June and me.  No one else to distract us.

There is one night especially that sticks out in my mind.  Greg and I had just moved into our new home.  About 3 am, June cried in the bassinet beside me.  I sat up in bed and held my baby and stared out the window directly in front of me. Outside there were no cars humming down the road, no sounds, no lights.  Greg snored softly beside me.

The stars were terrifically bright.  It was one of those nights where the sky is so black and the stars are so bright that it is almost as if the stars are showing off for you- begging you to pause for a minute and admire their sparkle.

I nestled my baby close to me and admired those stars, and in that moment I felt the overwhelming presence of my dad.  He was there in the stars.  Saying hi.  He was telling me that he could see me there feeding my baby and that he was proud of me and that he loved watching me be a mom to his grand daughter.

Three am.
Just me and June and my dad.

Sometimes I think about November 19 and everything that happened five years ago- the absolute and enormous loss that I felt that day.  I couldn't imagine anything so great being taken from me.  And then I think about that same day a year ago- how I can't imagine anything so great being given to me.  I marvel at God and the way He is in the details of our lives.  How such a day of loss could turn into such a day of gain.  How sorrow transforms to happiness.  How family dies and family is born.

How there is no permanent loss.
How family never stops growing.


Monday, November 17, 2014

The Mormon Fast: What it Means

My mission days where I really learned what it means to fast.

One thing that a lot of non Mormon folk don't know about us Mormon folk is that we are totally into "fasting."  Once a month we all fast together.  It is usually the first Sunday of the month.  We call it... wait for it... fast Sunday!

A full fast for us is considered 24 hours.  We believe that fasting combined with prayer can strengthen us spiritually and bring us closer to God.  Usually Mormons fast with a purpose- for help in some way, for understanding, for peace, for comfort, for health.  There are a million reasons why someone would want to fast- it is basically an extra strong prayer going up to God.

In my teenage years I didn't fully understand fasting and struggled with it immensely.  I didn't see the connection- how does me not eating food equal feeling closer to Heavenly Father?  I had a couple of experiences on my mission and since I have been home that have given me a better understanding of it.  Fasting is a sacrifice- we are showing to God that we are willing to sacrifice for Him and to feel closer to Him.  Going without food and water makes us feel humble and vulnerable, often allowing us to be more receptive to the spirit.  Fasting shows Heavenly Father that we are willing to rely on Him for our needs, not on ourselves.  It is a way for us to tell God that our spiritual needs are more important than our physical needs.

We believe that fasting helps in a myriad of other ways as well.  Fasting improves our lives and gives us added strength. It helps us live other principles of the gospel because it draws us nearer to the Lord.  Fasting teaches self control and gives us extra spiritual power.

However, there are times when it is advised not to fast.  When you are pregnant or nursing are some of those times.  My body needs constant nourishment when it is growing a baby or feeding a baby and so for the past year, I have not fasted.  To be honest, the first few months I loved it.  An excuse to stuff my face to my heart's delight while everyone else was going without.  Yipee!

Lately, though, I have started to miss those blessings that come from fasting.  Yesterday our Sunday school lesson was on Esther and how she saved her people from a practical genocide.  We talked about how she and all the Jews fasted for three days before she went in unto the King to ask him to save the Jews.  The fast gave her the strength to be able to complete such a daunting task and softened the heart of the king.

I shared with those ten year old tikes some experiences I have had fasting.  The most recent experience was in July.  The Sunday before I had June Big my brother let me know that my mom, siblings, and siblings' spouses  would be fasting that Sunday for me.  The knew the baby was breech and that there could be some complications.  They fasted for a healthy baby, a safe procedure, and healthy mom.  I had been so nervous about having that baby leading up to that day.  That fast from my family combined with a blessing from Greg left me calm as a cucumber the morning I went to have June.  All the stress, anxiety, worry, was gone.  I was so happy and felt so at peace, and was just so ready to meet my little girl.  I look back on that and think of the power that it gave me to have all of my family fast for me.

All of this to say, that yesterday it struck me especially hard how much I have missed fasting.  I know that it is for sure not a good idea for me to go without food or water for 24 hours while nursing June.  But I have been thinking about doing some kind of modified fast, or in some way still honoring the "spirit of fast."  Any of you out there who have tried to do some kind of fast while you are nursing or pregnant?  I would love some ideas.  I am missing that extra spiritual strength and peace that comes from fasting.

I'd also be interested to know if any of you from other religions fast and what that looks like in your faith.  And even if you don't belong to a certain religion but believe in God, you can still fast, you know.  It is basically a way to gain spiritual strength and show your reliance on God, no matter what you believe.  I'm sure He wouldn't mind.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

20 Things to Expect from your C section

Alright, folks, I write this post not to scare, but to inform!  I had no idea what I was in for when I went in to get my C section, and I wish I had been a bit more prepared- I think it would have made a few things easier on me.  Remember, my experience is not your experience so none of these things listed will necessarily happen to you, but just in case- you can't say I never gave you a heads up!

1.  First and foremost!  Having a C section is a totally acceptable way to have a baby!  Be nice to your body.  It just spent nine months growing a beautiful baby for you and if it isn't in the cards for you to have a vaginal delivery, forgive your body and get on with it.  You don't have to "explain" to anyone why you had a C section.  Your baby, after all, doesn't much care how she gets here, just that she gets here!  And it's the perfect excuse to not vacuum for six weeks!

2.  The surgery in and of itself will most likely be very short.  From the time the incision was started to the time June was hollering at the world was a full six minutes!  The stitching afterward is what takes the most amount of time- 45 minutes to an hour.

3.  The incision is through the skin, abdomen, muscles and then through the uterus.  The first few weeks I couldn't figure out why I had sharp pain coming from places other than my scar until the doctor explained how the abdomen and uterus were cut.  My pains were from the incision on my uterus.

4.  You may not be able to walk or get up the first day.  My c section was at 8:30 am.  At about 4:00 that afternoon the nurses tried to help me stand and I threw up.  I didn't really stand on my own or take any steps until the next day.

5.  Following the surgery you will be given liquids and will slowly work your way back to a regular diet.  I didn't eat any solid food the first 24 hours after June was born because my stomach was so upset.

6.  Your stomach may feel upset/ you will likely have lots of gas build up.  There is a lot of shifting that takes place inside your body during the C section and one result is trapped gas that can be quite painful.

7.  Stay up on your pain medications!  I was prescribed Perkeset and Ibuprofen.  The nurses switch every twelve hours and their top priority isn't always making sure you have your next pain medicine the second you need it.  So make it your priority!  I kept a chart that told me at exactly what time I could take my next pill.  Usually the hour before I could take more medicine was the hardest- I could start to feel some pain, I was grumpy, emotional, etc.  Take the pill the second you can, even in the night!

8.  It will be hard to roll over or stand up by yourself.  Have someone who can help you get up and down slowly.  It is hard to be so absolutely vulnerable and helpless, but just enjoy it for those few days.  It was very sweet for me to see how Greg helped me with the most basic of human functions.  Most people are very loving when they see someone so pathetic!

9.  Don't drop anything because there ain't no way you'll be able to bend over to pick it up!

10.  Be prepared to not be able to get up by yourself the first few days.  The most frustrating thing for me was that I couldn't get up to lift June out of her little box/ bassinet thing by myself.  One afternoon Greg had gone to run an errand and the nurse was nowhere to be found.  June was crying next to my bed and I couldn't do a dang thing to comfort her.  I sat there, helplessly bawling my eyes out while June was bawling her eyes out too.  If I have another C section I will make sure I'm not left alone with my baby out of reaching distance.

11.  Sneezing, coughing, laughing, even passing gas will hurt!  Put a pillow up to your stomach any time you need to do any of those things because ouch.

12.  The incision will likely be right below your bikini line.  That's great because it means you can still wear a bikini and no one will see the scar!  Because we all know that when we're getting our stomach sliced open our first concern is the next time we will wear a bikini...

13.  Nightgowns are going to save your life.  Pants, pajama bottoms or even underwear put pressure on the incision and hurt it.  My mom got me three little nighties that I wore for two or three straight weeks.  They buttoned at the top to allow for easy nursing and they hung to about my knees.  They were infinitely more comfortable than sweats, flannels, ANYTHING because there wasn't that pressure on my stomach.

Best nightgown ever from my mom.

14.  Take advantage of the hospital disposable underwear.  As per point #8, even underwear (or garment bottoms for you Mormon folk) killed my incision.  The whole time in the hospital I wore the disposable underwear that they provided.  It is mesh and loose so it doesn't put any pressure on the incision.  When I was leaving my angel of a nurse asked me if I wanted more. I said you betcha!  She filled my bag up and I wore them for two extra weeks until it didn't hurt to wear garment bottoms anymore.

15.  This point might be TMI for some people, so just skip over it if you hate any kind of potty talk.  But I really wish I had known this ahead of time, so here goes.  The gas that gets trapped in your stomach can be so painful and you may go days without going to the bathroom.  I went five days before Greg pretty much made me get a laxative.  I didn't want to at all because, well, gross, but I finally listened to him.  What I didn't realize until after a few successful bathroom trips was that the not going to the bathroom for so many days had been putting increased pressure and pain on my incision from the inside.  I thought it was just  a normal part of the pain, but after going to the bathroom there was so much less pain!  So don't wait five days for a laxative.  (Mom if you read that, I'm very sorry.  I know you don't approve.)

16.  Take short walks as soon as you can.  I had June on a Wednesday.  Thursday I didn't leave the hospital room at all.  Friday night Greg and I finally attempted a couple of laps just around the labor and delivery unit of the hospital.  I was amazed at how much better it felt for me to try to walk a little- walking helps the incision heal without getting too stiff.  It also helped the trapped gas.  If I have another c section, I will try to take 2 or 3 short walks a day beginning as soon as the day after surgery.

17.  Your back may hurt.  I didn't realize at the time that this was fairly common, but aside from the pain around my incision the back pain was the thing that bothered me the most.  According to, there is back pain because "There is a type of shifting of balance from the abdominal muscles to the back muscles, overextending the pelvic muscles, and disturbing your fragile spinal bones."  That is another reason why walking as soon as possible was important- it helped relieve that back pain.

18.  There will likely be a slight "overhang" above your scar- basically the just skin and fat that hangs right above the scar.  Mine has gone down since the c section, and the doctor says it will get to the point where it probably disappears completely, but for now it remains.  Boo.

18.  My body temps were totally whack for the 48 hours following surgery.  The first day I was absolutely on fire and made the nurses turn the temps down as low as they would go. (A 60 degree room in the middle of July.)  Then, on the second day I tried to go to the bathroom and was suddenly shivering so hard that I couldn't even walk back to the bed.  It was temperature madness!

19.  You will likely have a catheter inserted before the surgery that will be taken out the day following.  Oh joy!  The plus side to it was I got to drink exorbitant amounts of diet coke without having to get up to go to the bathroom every half hour.

20.  And finally.... holding your little baby in your arms will be more than worth it all.  I'd do it again in a heartbeat for another little June Bug.

And that's a wrap!  From you other ladies who have had c sections- anything I missed?  What did you wish you knew pre surgery?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Can you be so stressed you are literally sick? Yes. Greg says yes.

I will admit that I have felt a bit off on this blog lately.

There is something kind of big happening in our lives, and I guess that when that happens it makes sense to kind of quiet up on the internet.  I can't write about it yet, (don't you hate those ultra vague posts like this one?) but in the meantime it is occupying a lot of my thoughts and time and energy so when I come to this blog to write, well, I don't have anything to write.  I can't write what I want to write and what I want to write refuses to let any other thoughts in my brain.  So I write about celebrity crushes and my love for scentsy.  You'll forgive me, right?  Greg has always teased me that I hide my emotions about as well as a three year old, and I guess that carries over to my blog, as well.  The more removed or distant I seem from this space, you can be certain, something is up!

In the meantime, life marches arm with alarming swiftness.  Les Miserables, Greg's musical, opens a week from Thursday.  He has managed to literally stress himself sick over it.  Stress sickness is a real thing!  Last week his tooth started shooting searing amounts of pain through his gums.  He went to the dentist.  Nothing was "wrong" with his mouth- it was a total dental mystery!  Well, I'll solve the mystery for you, babe.  The stress is literally eating away at your mouth!  Then, Sunday evening he said he wasn't feeling too well, and lo and behold, by Monday he was running from his classroom to throw up in the high school toilet. He spent Monday night and all of Tuesday in bed and today he seems to be kind of on the mend. Enough to go to work, anyway.  If he can survive directing his first musical then June and I will, by default, also survive, and it will be a Christmas miracle indeed!  Oh, and I forgot to mention that on Saturday Greg starts rehearsals for a show he will be performing in January.  So for one lovely week he will be directing/opening Les Mis and starting rehearsals for his new show.  Please beer us strength!

In other news, our school team got knocked out of the football playoffs on Friday.  I think the final score was 56-14 or something equally embarrassing.  It's a good thing there are more important things in life than football, right?

June bug is rocking my world right now.  I know it's so cliche for parents to be totally gaga over their kids, but sheesh, my kid is really really cool.  She'll just sit there on the couch, cool as a cucumber, and watch Greg and I battle it out in Dr. Mario.  Other times she'll stare at herself in the mirror for literally an hour.  Just sticking her tongue out at the mirror.  And she laughs after she farts, which means that she already has quite the advanced sense of humor, don't you think?  I never knew I could be this mesmerized by such a little person.  She is our everything.

Also, last night Greg and I watched Jumangi and tonight we watched Hook.  We decided watching old classics would be a good way for Greg to forget the stress that eats away at him 14 hours of the day.  It was the first time I have watched any Robin Williams films since his death, and it was weirdly emotional for me.  His opening scene in Jumangi has him running all over his house looking for his dad whom he hasn't seen in 26 years. It is just such a fun movie and Robin Williams is just so fiercely alive
in the film.  There is so much about life I wish I understood better.

And lastly, I really really like Taylor Swift's new musical video.  I mean, come on, those clothes...

+ I loved these 10 tips on capturing every day moments with your camera.  Alexa is a genuis behind the lens!  It makes me want to be better about snapping more every day pics.
+ This Venn diagram on whether or not to join Instagram had my inner nerd totally geeking out.  I'll be honest, there are many days I wish I never joined old Insta.  It's just I waste so much time thinking my life is not as cool as everyone else's!
+ I am absolutely trying out this easy pumpkin roll this month.  I haven't done any pumpkin themed baking yet, so this bad boy is definitely a must.
+ This nursery has got me all sorts of motivated to finish June's nursery.  I'm mostly so impressed how she does so much with such little space!
+  I have a former English professor from college who shares the most fascinating links on facebook.  Her most recently shared post, an article from the New York Times, had me thinking- is this the end of tv viewing for millennials?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I am not good at selling things.

Question:  Is it possible to be a “salesperson” and not annoy everyone you meet?
Answer:  I don’t know.  But I’m going to try.

If you hate everything about salespeople, it’s okay.  I still like you and I still like that you read my blog.  You have my permission to exit out now, skip this post, and come back tomorrow for lots of gory details for what it’s like to have a c-section! Fun!  

If, however, you don’t mind salespeople/ need some ideas for Christmas/ love it when your house and car and laundry smells good, stick around!

Last week I made a kind of weird and very spontaneous decision to start selling Scentsy products.  Just for the record, I might be the worst person at selling stuff ever.  My sophomore year of college I desperately wanted to go on a study abroad to London.  My dad, never the give-your-kids-what-they-ask-for type said he wouldn’t shell out the $7,000 for it.  So I said I'd earn it all myself. Only I didn’t have a car so that made getting a job kind of rough. 

My solution, naturally, was to start selling Mary Kay products.  I sold one tube of mascara to myself, walked around in the snow a lot trying to get previous roommates to buy some lipstick, and gave up.  I hated it.  I hated people feeling pressured when they were around me, I hated feeling like I was annoying them, I hated them thinking I was talking to them because I wanted them to buy something. 
And the carting a bag of makeup around in the snow certainly didn’t make it any easier.

So I quit.  After one month.  I quit and vowed to never do sales again.  I also didn't get accepted to the study abroad program, so you know, a lot of failure all the way around.

And here I am, today.  Nine years later, totally emotionally healed from that bad experience and a bonafide scentsy rep!  This decision was made on Halloween day after I spent a bunch of money on yummy new wax melts for winter.  I looked at how much money I had just spent and thought, “Freak, if I’m going to be constantly buying scentsy products I should just be a rep.  Then my friends and family and blog buddies can buy through me too.”  Plus, it was Halloween, and that day always lends itself to rash and sometimes bad decisions, AmIRight?

Soooooooooo here we are! (I don't exactly know why I think my Scentsy experience will be any different than my Mary Kay experience but the thing is I really really love scentsy.  I am obsessed with the product in a way I never was about the makeup.  Also I have a car now.)  If you want to buy some scentsy stuff for Christmas or for yourself, then I’m your gal.  I buy scentsy over the generic wax in grocery stores because scentsy 1) smells better 2) lasts longer and 3) doesn’t make me feel nauseous when it’s been burning all day.  I know you can buy wax at Wal-mart for $2, but this stuff is seriously so much better.  Trust me.  (Says every salesperson ever.  But I really mean it!)

If you don’t have a warmer, then obviously that is your place to start.  

(Very quick fyi- Scentsy is basically a way to have candles that last forever.  You burn the wax in your burner, it lasts much longer, and doesn’t get smoke everywhere. You pay $20-40 for the warmer and then $5 per scent instead of $20 per candle.  Scents last so much longer than candles.  If you are the type of person who likes your house to smell good, scentsys are an investment you need to make!  You will save so much money in the long run.) 

I love that they have so many cute designs for warmers.  They can match any room in your house.  My favorites are this one and this one and this one.

As for wax smells, there are seriously a million amazing scents.  I am sorta blowing my retirement on wax, if you want to know the truth.  (Not really.) (But kind of really.)  My favorite smells for winter are: (Click on the link for a description of what each smell is like.)

Peppermint Dreams (If you like peppermint, you will LOVE this one.)
Iced Pine (Piney buy with a hint of peppermint so it’s not overbearing)
Frosted Gingerbread cookie (This one really has a gingery smell to it.  If you like ginger you’ll love it!)

Overall awesome smells for any occasion are:
Newborn Nursery (this one is a must for a nursery!  I have it in a little nighlight warmer in June’s room and it makes the whole room smell so yummy and baby and warm and clean.  Just like a baby should be!)

If you have questions about any of the scents ask me and I can help you figure out the best ones!
Of course, scentsy has way more products than that.  I kind of love these dryer disks you put in your dryer and it makes your clothes smell SO good.  Or there's lots of different stuff to make your car smell good.  And bath tablets!

Obviously I’m biased, but long before I started selling this stuff, scentsy was my go-to for tough Christmas gifts.  A warmer and a couple of scents is the perfect gift for those hard to shop for people on your list.  Mother in laws, co-workers, neighbor who babysits your kid, etc.!  (Also I love the plug-in warmers.  They’re perfect for bedrooms and less expensive!)

A couple of things about ordering:  if you are ordering a lot of products, check the left sidebar and click on the "specials" link and then the "combine and save".  This will save you money when buying multiple things.  For example if you buy three scents, you get them from $14 and if you buy five scents you get one free.  But you have to click the button that says to get the deal- the site won't give it to you automatically.  There are deals with a warmer and a certain amount of scents, etc, etc.  And if you order $150, shipping is free!

AND... if you live in the Utah Valley area, you are welcome to come to my house Tuesday night, (November 18) at 7:00 for a scentsy par-tay!  We’ll be smelling all the scents and eating cookies and listening to Christmas music, ah yah!  And you’ll save on shipping which is the best part.  If you’re interested in coming, leave your email in the comments and I’ll email you the address and such.  If you can't make it that night but live locally you can still place your order through me to save on shipping.  

And lastly, if you ever thought about selling scentsy you can totally sell with me.  It's great to do if you have a blog or a fairly large social media presence.  Just ask me for details.  Happy shopping!  May you obsess over yummy smelling wax every bit as much as I do!

Monday, November 10, 2014

My six weird celebrity crushes

I think we all have the normal celebrity crushes, right?  Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Chris Hemsworth.  Yada yada yada.  Puh-lease!  Those guys are boring!  Here are six celebrities I totally have small itty bitty weensy teeny crushes on.


He's a meth head, yes.  But he's my favorite meth head!  I mean, I know he's supposed to be the "bad guy" in the series, but you know every single person is rooting for Jesse the whole way along.  My heart just breaks when I see how much he loves kids and what a good guy he is at the heart of it all. SPOILER ALERT AHEAD:  Sometimes when I am trying to fall asleep at night I think about the Breaking Bad finale and how every single genius, every professional, ends up dead: Gus, Mike, Walt.  And the one who outlives them all is Pinkman.  Jesse freaking Pinkman, screaming at the top of his lungs.  ALL HAIL PINKMAN!


I know you might think this is the same as #1, but it's not!  I'm in love with Jesse Pinkman and Aaron Paul!  Two separate people!  The actor who plays Pinkman is just as loveable as Pinkman himself.  Aaron Paul dresses up like Walter White for Halloween, says hi to the people who tour around Hollywood, and even went beserk for almost winning the Price is Right!  "TWELVE HUNDRED BUCKS!"

I'm not saying I would leave Greg for this guy, but if I had the chance... well, I'd have to think about it!  Also, Paul is crazy about his wife, Lauryn.  They are such a great example of a healthy relationship.  She runs the kindness campaign- an anti bullying program.  I follow them on instagram because I'm so nerdy like that and I just love how much they love each other and how much good they try to put into the world.  Successful Hollywood couples ftw!


I don't know what it is about Romney, but I totally fangirl over him.  When I watched him do the ALS Ice bucket challenge IN A SUIT I almost died of happiness.  Oh, Mitt, of course you did it in a suit you classy son of a gun.  And can I call you Mitt?


I had to include Orlando Bloom in here because I was obsessed with him from the ages of 11-18.  I had a giant poster of him in my room lying on a big bed of all white sheets. (That picture above.  Life sized.  On my wall!)  I have no idea why my parents were cool with that, now that I think about it.  I also named my journal Legolas.  I don't obsess over him anymore, (please I am way too mature for celebrity crushes!) and I actually think he is kind of grungy and gross, but a sliver of the crush must remain somewhere in my heart because I am always extra interested when I hear any news about him.  Out of respect for teenage Bonnie, maybe?


I have a thing for lanky funny red heads, I suppose, what can I say?!  I see Conan and I see my husband in 25 years... a  stand up comedian flipping his wild, red hair!  I love Conan's weird monologues and dances and the way he just owns the out of control hair.  I mean, who can resist a fifty year old ginger?


He played the greatest wizard of all time, what do you expect from me?  I know he's got the horrific eyebrows and he's lanky and looks like a little boy, but I just dig it.  Plus he's Harry freaking Potter!  I like that he's confident and funny and hasn't dropped off the edge of the planet now that HP is over.  I'm pretty sure we all saw him rapping his little heart out on Jimmy Fallon, right?  Oh, and the British accent...

Sunday, November 09, 2014

20 things you should know about me. AKA: a very narcissistic post

It's time for a reacquaintance.  I haven't introduced myself for some time on this blog and sometimes I feel like I don't even know who I am anymore! 


1.  This picture was taken hours after I got two cavities filled and a permanent crown put in.  You may notice one side of my face is drooping just a little bit.  Isn't that just the saddest thing when it's best picture you can find of yourself and half of your face is sagging?!

1.5  I don't really ever refer to myself as Bon Bon except for, strangely enough, when I am writing on this blog.

2.  When I was in seventh grade my brother, Reed, tried to do a wrestling move and about dang near knocked my tooth out.  It was hanging by a string.  The doctor popped it back in and put a brace on it and all was well within a few weeks.  A part of me is still mad at that dentist for fixing that tooth.  If I had had to go through life as a one-toothed woman, I could have sued my brother for big bucks.

3.  I'm working hard on a goal I made a little while ago to make people feel good about themselves.  Sometimes it's easy.  Sometimes it's hard.  Mostly it's hard when the people I am dealing with are idiots.

4.  I suck at:  texting back, calling back, and emailing back.  I think I was happier pre-cell phone days.  I hate that people know that I carry a cell phone and know that they can get a hold of me whenever they want.  Some days I just leave my phone in my purse when I get home from work and don't get it out until I go to work the next morning.  SO SUE ME.

5.  Below you will see the picture of the guy I married.  His name is Greg.  We met when I was reading on a balcony and he was walking across the parking lot.  He told me the pink streak in my hair was looking mighty fine and I told him to come up and make me dinner with his shirt off.  Eight months later I was throwing a bouquet.  We're coming up on four years of marital bliss/ hard work/ frustration/ giddiness/ whatever marriage is and no one's gone running for the hills yet.

6.  For a living I play blackjack.

7.  Just kidding about number six.  I'm a high school English teacher.  I have to teach high school instead of elementary because a) I don't have patience for little uns b) I don't want to have to pretend I like crappy drawings and c) I don't do snot/pee/poo/tears.

8.  Today in class we heard what appeared to be tribal music coming from the classroom next door.  In a moment of poor instinct I yelled, "Quick!  We need a sacrifice!  We must send over a virgin to sacrifice "  I don't know why that came to my mind, why I blurted it out, and why I thought it was appropriate.  The kids laughed anyway because they think I'm psycho and that would be reason d) why I don't teach elementary school.

9.  I was born into a family of eight kids.  This means I have learned to fight for attention.  I can put on a show with the best of them.  One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to tell acquaintances and friends not smart enough to know better that it was my birthday and soak in the attention all day long.  I'm messed up.  I know.

10.  I can be bossy.  I blame it on the 16 year olds.  I get used to bossing them around all day that I come home and think I have the right to tell everybody else what to do, too.  It's weird, but people don't like being bossed around.

11.  I have had close to 20 traffic citations.  And that's not even touching the boots, the towings, or the parking tickets.  Or the two cars I totaled.  I don't say this because I'm bragging about my bad driving record, but because I am bragging that it has been 19 months since my last ticket.  NINETEEN MONTHS.  I have been reformed.

This was the day I got two tickets 20 minutes apart.  
One was for going 26 over the speed limit- a $540 fine.  
My lead foot is was expensive!

12.  People always make fun of me for my bad driving and if we're ever going somewhere in a group they say I'm not allowed to drive.  This hurts my feelings.  I mean, come on, if you had 20 traffic tickets I wouldn't rub it in your face like that!

13.  The best part of my day is the hour at night before I have to go to bed and I cuddle up with Greg and watch TV and giggle and flirt and drift off to sleep.  

14.  The worst part of my day is 5:40 am when my alarm clock rings.  If I had known as a college student that I would be waking up at 5:40 am when I had a full time job you better believe I never even would have considered graduating.

15.  The picture below is what my husband looks like when I leave for work in the morning.  Some kind of praying demon?  What think ye?!?

16.  A couple of days ago I was passing out copies of Les Miserables for my seniors to read.  One girl looked at the title and then exclaimed, "Ah, man!  My copy is in Spanish!"  That's been making me smile for going on six days now.

17.  I once had a friend who called me Bonahrrea.  I am warning you now if you call me that name I will hold it against you forever.  Sally I'm talking to you.

18.  Every year I invest hundreds of hours watching my favorite basketball team, the Utah Jazz disappoint me.   It's not the healthiest thing I've got going on in my life.

19.  I make Greg late.  All the time.  Oops. I HATE THIS ABOUT ME.  MY GOAL FOR 2015 IS TO NOT BE LATE FOR ANYTHING. EVER.

20.  I like ladybugs and roses and anything girly.  I eat bowls of cereal with the milk overflowing.  I've got a hot head and a sharp tongue that is rarely controlled.  I've been known to burst into tears for no reason.  I am passionate about reading and writing and reality TV.  Long eyelashes are my guilty pleasure.  On Saturdays I do my best to sleep until noon and when I see old couples holding hands my heart completely melts.  I think painted fingernails are the epitome of femininity and a diet coke the cure to every curve ball life throws at you.  Take it or leave it, folks!

The bulk of this post was originally written in December 2012.