Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Utah: Where everyone suffers in silence and no one hangs out

*Warning: This is a rant. This is me spitting out my feelings. I'll feel better afterwards. I may even deny writing this post in the future, but for now... well, here it goes.

This being my second time living in Utah, I was hoping for a change from the last time. Here's two sad stories to illustrate the "Utah-syndrome" I first experienced back in 2005-2009.

1. Left at the altar. Well, actually, left at the reception is more accurate. My bridesmaids, my closest girlfriends, a.k.a. my roommates, decided to no-show at my wedding reception. Not only did they leave me bridesmaid-less, but one of them was in charge of all the flowers for the reception. This meant that after finally getting ahold of them an hour before the reception was supposed to start and finding out that they weren't coming, I, the bride, had to run to Costco and purchase random flowers, barely making it back in time to arrange the flowers and throw on my dress. My hair and makeup weren't even done, I had an everyday hair-do and NO MAKE UP on for my own wedding reception. Seriously, weddings are so commonplace here in Utah it's almost sad.

2. Throwing my own baby shower. Yup, you read right. For my first child, I had to throw my own shower, paying for everyone else to eat and chat and run. We were on Medicaid for goodness sake. I patiently waited until I was just weeks away from delivering for someone to offer to throw something, even if it were a sprinkle instead of a shower, I would have be so happy. Honestly, I threw it because I NEEDED the gifts. We couldn't afford everything on our baby list.

This time around, Utah Round #2, it hasn't changed much. Unless you have cancer, the ward, your neighbors, even your "friends" don't know your struggles. And your achievements, like having a baby, are commonplace. It's like it's engrained in the Utah culture to keep your problems to yourself and your immediate family. No showers, parties or even a frozen yogurt run were offered to me in celebration of my upcoming baby. I know, it's baby #3, and I don't need any gifts this time around, but aren't your "friends" and ward family supposed to want to celebrate with you? As members of the church aren't we supposed to be a shoulder to cry on, not just a name on a list to deliver a meal?

I miss living in LA where I have FAMILY. Of course I don't have biological family in LA, but I was surrounded by people who LOVED me. They spent time with me, performed services for me, and laughed and cried with me... never once putting their name on a sign-up list to do it. On the other hand, I was privileged to do the same thing for them... I cannot tell you how fulfilling it was to perform Christ-like service.

I know, I know, I was spoiled in LA... and I just need to suck it up here in Utah. Some of you may say "it's what you make of it" but honestly there's a tangible, real ugly difference here in Utah and it's going to be a challenge to break down that wall. Doesn't mean I won't continually try...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Nesting Too Early

 So today marks the beginning of my 34th week of pregnancy... and I'm sad to say that I'm completely ready for this baby to come. Sad, because this means that I am literally sitting around twiddling my thumbs at this point. I started the nesting process shortly after Christmas, when we found out we were having a boy, and now everything is done. Here's a recap of what I've done in the past 3 weeks:

Researched and purchased $400 in baby stuff on which included the following products that I highly recommend:
-Angelcare Monitor- more than just a sound baby monitor, it senses the baby breathing and sounds a chirp when there hasn't been movement for 20 seconds. This makes it A LOT easier for me to sleep at night since I'm such a light sleeper and would normally wake up to every little grunt that comes through on a regular monitor. Now I can just have the only sound coming from the monitor be the alarm. This also means that if our baby prefers to sleep on his stomach from day one, we're totally safe there.
-Rocker/Sleeper- An oldie but a goodie for us. We LOVED using this with Corryn, it meant that she could literally chill or sleep anywhere in the house. She loved to fall asleep next to the running dishwasher or in the bathroom while I was taking a shower. Plus it's inclined which helped with gas/reflux/congestion issues.
-Glow in the dark binkies- I was thinking about making my own with Corryn. I'm so glad that they're finally coming out with these. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to search around for a binkine in the middle of the night.
-Cloth diapers- (Pictured in the armoire.) This was the biggest purchase by far, also the most researched. When I first heard of some of my friends switching to cloth diapering I pictured them soaking poop filled diapers in 5 gallon buckets and spraying them out with an attachment on the toilet- DISGUSTING! I was surprised to learn that I didn't have to do either of those things. I could literally take a dirty diaper, stick it in a garbage pail and then dump the contents of that pail straight into my washer and not touch a thing. I also pictured plastic pants and diaper pins- annoying and bulky. I was surprised to find that there are cloth diapers that pretty much look and function just like disposable. Here's to saving hundreds of dollars a month by not purchasing diapers and wipes!

That brings me to my next endeavor- sewing. I got a sewing machine from my hubby for Christmas and here's what I've whipped out so far:
-Wipes- I made over 100 flannel wipes. To use you just put them in a big ziploc and soak them with a homemade solution of water, rubbing alcohol, baby oil, and essential oil.
-Wraps- The hospital I delivered Corryn at gave us this thin flannel receiving blanket that was oddly shaped, perfect for wrapping a baby burrito. I loved using it in the beginning days because she wasn't old enough to wiggle her way out of it, it also wasn't bulky or covered in velcro, and I could use it as a nursing cover as well. Thin, flannel and perfect. Anyway, so I made two more of them out of boy fabric.
-Curtains- After we took the Christmas decorations down, I noticed just how naked our windows looked. I was wanting to use a fun bold print in our dining nook, so I found this fabric on clearance for 2.00 a yard. It's growing on me, a little too pink for my taste, but eh, who cares. I also made some Buzz Lightyear and Hello Kitty striped curtains for the kid's room. Hooray for no more pinned up blankets over their window.
-Church bag- I whipped this tote out in a morning and made it extra large and triple thick to handle multiple binders and table displays. I just accepted the calling as our ward Primary 2nd Counselor.

And my last endeavor- cleaning. Luckily, since I'm such a purger and keep my house extremely clean anyway (this is both a blessing and a curse), there wasn't a lot I needed to do in this area to get ready for the baby.
-Shampooed all the carpets
-Shampooed all the couches
-Sanitized all breast pump accessories
-Shampooed the van
-Reorganized and purged the toy room
-Washed, organized and put away all the baby clothes

As a family, we've also recently made a large change in our diet lately- the switch to whole foods. But that's for the next post...