Friday, September 1, 2017
It only took finding 4 scorpions in my house for me to conclude that humans just weren't meant to inhabit this place. What will it take for us all to get the message? The 125 degree days? Or the black widows festering around the perimeter of my house? Could it be the dozens of crickets that creep in every night from who knows where and cover my carpet despite several pest control attempts? No? How about the rocks and cacti just waiting to shred my children's hands and knees? You pick, but I'm convinced that we should just stop fighting nature and ship out.
OK I'm mostly kidding. I just happened to move here during the most extreme time of year. I LOVE LOVE my house, and my kids are making friends and Alaina is enjoying school. The area has a killer Craigslist and there are 3 Goodwill stores within 10 miles of me, thus satisfying my thrill for bargain hunting. I have 3 cousins and an uncle living close by, which has really helped with the transition. But I may or may not have already written Aldi headquarters with a plea to open a store here, and I miss having lots of grad student families around, and I really miss all the GRASS. So in the meantime I'll give myself the same advice I give Jesse every time we get in the car and burn ourselves and he yells, "I HATE PHOENIX:" Just give it time, Buddy. Someday soon this place will be home.
There is really good news though. In 4 months I'll be blogging about how wonderful the winter is here, and all you Midwesterners will be eating my dust (maybe literally if you come to visit me. There's a lot of dust.)
Friday, June 30, 2017
We received a very warm welcome when we arrived. Like very warm. I'm talking 125 degrees warm. Our kids have really struggled with the heat, and tell me all the time that they want to go back home. Thankfully my MIL came out for a few days to watch kids while we looked for a house, but also provide some sort of normalcy for my poor uprooted children. It's been 7 days and we've already bought a car and put in an offer on an adorable house in North Mesa. Caleb isn't so convinced on the house, though. Maybe it's because I call it the "cutesy", and most men probably don't want to live in a life-size dollhouse. But all the women in his life gave it a double thumbs up. Pictures to come when we close next month!
Friday, March 17, 2017
This made me ponder about a few things:
1. Constantly seeing "perfect" images of ourselves and others only leads us to feelings of inadequacy and competition. It's unhealthy and unrealistic and we shouldn't buy into it.
2. Never compare yourself to others based on what you see on social media. For all you know, that "gorgeous" girl you graduated high school with used "touch up" mode to hide 50 extra pounds and a mustache.
3. I have a little souvenier on my body from the pregnancy/birth of each of my children. Alaina left a freckle on my temple and a zillion stretch marks. Jesse gave me permanent bags under my eyes from the sleep deprivation, and about twenty more stretch marks. Koy's mark is a wallet-sized patch of varicose veins on my right lower leg. It's so visible that most people ask me if I got kicked in the shin. Sure, it's not ideal, but that's mortality for you. All are prices I would happily pay for the blessing of having them in my life.
Physical flaws just give us character anyway. I guess the one perk is that now have an idea of what I'll look like after the resurrection.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
We're still in West Lafayette, Indiana. Caleb is currently applying and interviewing for jobs. We have loved our time here, but are both ready to move on to the next phase of our lives.
I don't think I even wrote about Koy's birth story. Probably because I'm trying to purge it from my memory. Best baby, but worst delivery. I guess it could have been a lot worse. Nobody was in danger of dying or anything, but let's just say that pushing out a posterior 9.5-pound baby es no bueno. I had planned a water birth again, and we even invited Caleb's mom to be there because we were so confident everything would run as smoothly as the last time. Contractions were a piece of cake. I basically skipped into the hospital at 7 cm dilated. But when my water broke the midwife suspected meconium, and so they nixed the water birth plan. Then came pushing, which was no fun. I mean, it never is, but with your third you expect to push 3 or 4 times and be done. Instead, because Koy's head was turned and he was HUGE I pushed for about 35 unbearable minutes. Lots of pain, and lots of screaming. I'll forever remember looking up and seeing Caleb's mom hiding in a corner with a pillow covering her head and thinking, "Inviting her sure backfired. She'll need therapy after this." The recovery was also a lot more difficult, probably because of Koy's size, and because I'm apparently no spring chicken anymore.
But in retrospect I'll take a harder delivery for a healthy chubby baby who sleeps all the time and never cries except when his older brother kicks him in the head or steps on him or bites his finger.
So yes, life has been great, and suddenly I blinked and my baby turned six months old and my oldest is registered for kindergarten. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to pastry week with Paul and Mary.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Those of you who have had lice before can empathize with me. You know exactly how miserable it is.
Those of you who haven't can feel free to judge and stigmatize, because you probably still think lice only comes as a result of poor hygiene. I won't try and dissuade you, but you'll probably eat your words one day when your 5 year old brings it home from school. Then you can call me. I'll come over and help you get rid of it.
Lice is so gross. I've seen it a lot before as a school nurse, but it's a whole different ballgame when you have it yourself. When you get it, you feel like you have this dirty secret, and that nobody can know about the creepy critters sneaking around your scalp, feeding off of your blood and laying hundreds of eggs on your hair follicles. Killing the live bugs is the easy part. Some OTC lice shampoo will take care of them in ten minutes. No, the hard part is getting rid of the nits (lice eggs). I can't tell you how many hours I spent prying eggs from every strand of Alaina's hair. Let me tell you, it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "nit picking." I'll never use those words as criticism again. DO YOU KNOW HOW CRUCIAL NIT PICKING IS? If you don't pick every nit out of your hair, then in 7-10 days you'll have a whole new batch of bugs crawling around you head. It's even worse when mom gets lice, because who will comb all the nits out of her hair? Caleb was a trooper, but the poor guy was out of his element. He doesn't even know how to put hair in a pony tail, so watching him try to navigate my hair with a lice comb bore a strong resemblance to a 6 month old baby trying to use a spoon for the first time.
Your head has probably started itching, hasn't it? Sorry.
So anyway, I have no idea where we got lice from, but if it strikes again, I'm busting out my clippers, and we're all getting pixie haircuts.
Friday, April 22, 2016
1. A thesis defense is basically like this, just 20 times longer, and instead of weapons there are impossible questions and wild postulations flying around. Waiting at the end is a firm handshake if you're lucky, but thankfully no poison.
2. The entire academic world is addicted to coffee.
3. These people are title hungry. It's all about the coveted "Doctor" title. Don't even think about calling a professor "Mr. Smith," and using a first name might just get you killed. Caleb now has the kids calling him "Doctor Daddy." I'm feeling rather jealous that all my work over the last 5 years hasn't earned me some more letters after my name, so I'm awarding myself a Doctorate of Motherhood. I am now Lindsey Snell Miskin, RN, MomD.
4. Consider the following analogy. Grad student : free food :: Moth : Flame. Tell me, would you sit through 2 full hours of boring science gibberish for a free bagel? They would.
5. How does a Mormon grad student with a wife and 2 kids survive on a stipend meant to support one single person? Easy: Don't drink alcohol and cook at home. We've discovered that grad students blow about 10% of their income on booze, and the rest of it at restaurants. So choose either "tithing and family" or "booze and take-out," but either way the pay is pretty comparable.
We're very relieved to be graduating, but next comes the stress of finding/starting a job. I'm pretty supportive of whatever Caleb wants to do and wherever Caleb wants to go. My one stipulation is this: I don't want to have this baby in the back of a U-Haul.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Friday, January 15, 2016
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Instead I wrote/performed an original song that pretty much summed up 2015:
"On the 12th day of Christmas my children gave to me:
12 dirty diapers
11 temper tantrums
10 loads of laundry
9 runny noses
8 tiny teeth marks
7 sleepless nights
6 urgent care trips
5 yearrrrs in grad schoooool...
3 messy meals
2 bottoms spanked
And we're one big happy family!"
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Most of my life is currently spent trying to understand the world through the eyes of a child. And it's really fun.
For example, this week a six-year-old paid me what I think was in her eyes the highest of compliments when she exclaimed, "Wow, you know a lot of stuff. You should work at Wal-Mart." And why not? Wal-Mart has everything. (except available check-out lines, quality customer service, and cilantro. But I'll save that post for another day.) Naturally, it's employees' intellect must be as abundant as the inventory!
My new calling as the ward primary chorister has also taught me that a child's coolness standard is based on how ridiculous I dress and act. There is nothing like watching a 5-year old roll with laughter because you are wearing your sunglasses on the back of your head. (A small part of me wonders if I've tapped into Lady Gaga's psyche with this one. Trust me, I don't dress like her though.)
I also love how children simplify things. Today in church Alaina candidly told the strangers in the pew behind us, "yesterday my mom went into her room and cried because she lost the carrot peeler." It's true. Let's just leave out the details about the entire tube of lotion squirted on the carpet, the Jesse-Alaina duo tantrum in Joanns, the daddy-is-gone-for-8-days exhaustion, and the discovery that, yes, Jesse did throw your nice and rather expensive carrot peeler in the trash--that was collected yesterday." But children aren't burdened with all of this emotional baggage. They call it like they see it. It seems so liberating, and I love it. Except for the near-daily glares we get from strangers following a pregnancy inquiry.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Who do I talk to about a hostile work environment? I think I live in one, but somehow I don't think OSHA is going to care, and I'm pretty sure they don't charge toddlers with parental abuse. I remember applying for a job where I'd be working with mentally handicapped adults, and the interviewer casually mentioned that some of the residents could get violent. "Don't be surprised if someone takes a swing at you every once in a while," chuckled the lady across the table. I ran out of there and never looked back. Well, the joke's on me, because now that's my life, and I've got the mother load (maybe that's where the term originated from) of reports to give whoever deals with work-related injuries for domestic homemakers.
Yesterday Jesse threw his noggin back into my jaw and I bit myself, taking out a solid chunk of my inner cheek. I have a minor abrasion above my right brow from the corner of a library book being hurled at my head. I have at least five things dropped on my toes every day, ranging from tv remotes to ceramic bowls to hammers (true story. He dropped a hammer on my toe). And I also currently have claw marks up and down my neck--that's Jesse-talk for "I'm dissatisfied" lately. I don't get paid enough for this, people! Wait...
Anyway, the amazing thing is that most of my injuries are acquired accidentally. I have the most clumsy children on the planet, which actually makes sense now that I think of it. I'm a total klutz. Last month I shut my face in the car door. And last week I hopped off the kitchen counter (don't ask why I was up there in the first place. Long story) and ripped an entire cabinet door off. No joke, my belt loop got caught on the cabinet handle and tore the whole thing off. I wanted be mad at myself, but I was too impressed by the quality of my jeans. At least they'll survive raising my kids, even if I don't.
Friday, September 11, 2015
Well, recently I discovered that I misunderstood how I get paid for my part time job as a school nurse. I thought I got paid hourly, but I'm actually on an hourly salary, which means I got paid all through the summer even though I didn't have to work. Do you know how much money I made? $9140,0. That, my friends, is a tithing blessing. Paying 10% of your income seems nuts to most people, but time and time again I have seen how the Lord has blessed my family with financial stability, ideas for thriftiness, and debt avoidance because we pay tithing. I LOVE learning how to make more with less, and having a frequent reminder that everything I have--money included--comes from the Lord. Paying tithing doesn't mean we'll ever be rich, but the Lord, as promised in Malachi, will truly open the windows of heaven and shower us with the blessings we need if we pay our tithing.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
We've hit that point where my children reflect my unknown flaws right back in my face.
Did anyone know that I grunt when I get frustrated? Why didn't someone tell me?!? Now I have a 3 year old Neanderthal living in my house who snorts or groans at the slightest catastrophe. And I taught her that!
She isn't always subtle in exposing my weaknesses either: "Mommy, why are you always so cranky? I want Daddy to stay home with me." Ouch. She even made up a song to comfort me in those far-too-frequent bouts of melancholy. Most moms of girls have probably heard this song, but Alaina's lyrics go as follows:
"Everyone gets cranky sometimes
It's ok to hit, and it's ok to bite..."
I promise I didn't teach her that, but I must say I'm impressed with such creativity, which I have to assume was also learned from me. In fact, I'll go ahead and shamelessly claim that my kids learned every positive trait from yours truly. Alaina already has a talented ear for music and complements every stranger with "you look beautiful in that shirt!" or "I just love you!" So let's just say I taught her that. Jesse is showing signs of brilliance with his verbal abilities and sleuth-like escape tactics. Must be from my side of the family. (Let's just not mention that his father is a summa cum laude PhD candidate with an MIT acceptance and a perfect GRE Math score.)
Thursday, April 23, 2015
I think I'm having a mid-mid life crisis, because I just chopped my hair off, and I bought some crazy pants that are a wild deviation from my normally unremarkable wardrobe, and I put myself on a diet.
I'm not sure where this is coming from. Maybe it's the first signs of spring emerging from a dismal winter that make me feel like a new woman. Maybe my life has held fast to routine for so long that my psyche demands change before I have a nervous breakdown. Or maybe all the requests for bedtime stories about Pegasus Unicorn Princesses is slowly driving me insane. I can't really say. But I can say that I feel like I can conquer the world, and I'm slightly concerned for anybody who decides to cut me off in traffic.
Friday, April 10, 2015
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
I have yet to figure out exactly what to say to another parent after my own child hurts their kid. After all, she's, three, and I'm pretty sure she'll grow out of it--or at least I think she will. Otherwise I'm raising the world's first female bouncer. Like, isn't "Hey, I'm sorry Alaina pushed Gavin off a bridge" or "Myles may have a bruise because Alaina strangled him with the curtain sash today" a bit inadequate? (Yes, both of these things really happened.)
The girl can be ruthless. She will search out a weak spot and destroy--and she likes to practice on her brother. (At least this way I don't have to apologize to anyone, right?) Jesse got stitches after he sliced his nose open when he fell and hit our tv stand. So naturally, now when Jesse annoys Alaina, she pokes him IN THE NOSE. What's a mom to do! I feel so conflicted, because if I'm too lenient she may start torturing animals and then become a serial killer. Too harsh and I may crush that bright and spunky spirit that I love so much. No pressure.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Caleb convinced me to watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes last week, and it was so awful. I want those 106 minutes of my life back. But that's what you do when you're married; you sit through bad movies because your sweetheart likes shallow plots, terrible dialogue, and physics-defying special effects. Why? Because the next week he will sit through five hours of "Wives and Daughters" with you, despite its poor cinematography, sappy romance, and overly-dramatic theme music. It's give and take. (Let the record state that I LOVE Wives and Daughters despite its previously-mentioned shortcomings.) Thankfully we found an audiobook that required no compromise between us. It's called The Disappearing Spoon. We both are loving this book, but probably wouldn't recommend it to "normal" people because it's a history of the elements of the periodic table. So we may not like the same movies, but we've got chemistry! (I couldn't help myself.)