Thursday, October 30, 2008

The great pumpkin adventure

Tyson and I planned a very festive activity on Monday when we invited our friends Brady and Laura over to carve pumpkins.

(Laura is the one looking excited and Brady is the one that isn't Tyson)

In order to magnify the Halloween spirit we not only carved pumpkins we also ate our dinner out of one! Recipe courtesy Kelly

And we made the best caramel apples EVER! Even though the caramel came in sheets with weird directions we persevered to create a delicious product.

Mine had Heath bar on it, yum yum.

Ta Daaaaaa!
I felt pretty good about my pumpkin until I watched pumpkin carving on the food network channel. Oh.
You may have noticed that Laura and Brady got all fancy with stencils and stuff while Tyson and I stuck with the ol' cut now, measure later method. We were ok with that. Maybe next year I will try a stencil though cause they turned out pretty cool.

So the day after we carved the pumpkins Tyson and I of course wanted to light them. Even though we were too lazy to take them outside we figured it would be fine to have jack-o-lanterns in the house. We lit the candles and then went to the couch to hang out.

About an hour or so later I smelled a little smoke which I figured was one of the candles burning out.

About half an hour after that Tyson got up to go to the bathroom and sniffed the air.
"What's that smell? Oh yeah, our pumpkins!"
He turned to look at the jack-o-lanterns and...

"Ack!! My pumpkin!!!"

So of course I had to look at our carvings of delight and in place of a pumpkin there was A RAGING INFERNO!!!!

Tyson's beautiful creation had caught on fire from the inside and instead of being a joyous holiday decoration it was now a thing spawned from the devil intent on burning our house down. Tyson tried to blow it out which only fanned the flames and sent a pillar of smoke rising to the ceiling. The only other thing to do was grab the fiery beast and get it outside. And did you notice how big his pumpkin was? El grande my friends, el grande.

Luckily he didn't burn himself and a few more hard blows and another ginormous cloud of smoke later the beast was dead. Never to rise again. Until tomorrow probably.

Moral of the story: Do not have jack-o-lanterns inside the house. They are not meant for the kitchen table.

Other moral of the story: The only thing that will get the smell of charred pumpkin out of your living room is opening all the windows and doors and allowing nature to take it away.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wacky Weekend Giveaway Winner!!!

After much deliberation and love to all who entered, I have chosen a winner. Your comments were all so hilarious and I had a way hard time deciding but the winner is...


October 24, 2008 3:14 PM
Liz said...
Egypta. 1989. I like to jump rope with friends on campus, even though we're not kids anymore because it's back in fashion and I like to do everything that's in fashion including wearing my hair like this even though it totally doesn't suit my facial structure.

It was the name Egypta that got me. Ha ha! It was just too perfect. I wish everyone could be a winner though!!! If I do another thing like this I think I'm going to randomize it because I feel bad choosing just one winner and I'm not rich enough to have everyone win. Sorry friends.

Anyway, awesome entry Liz, email me at marissalowder at gmail dot com with your address and I'll send you a sweeeeeet card! Oh! And happy birthday to you!!

And have you guys noticed that I've been blogging more? I'm trying real hard to stay connected via the E net. I love you all!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Um, Guys....?

I did something...

Something drastic.

You see, with all the stuff that's been going on lately I felt like I needed a change. So I went out and got me one.

And so I went from this:

To this:


The hair which I had been growing out for FOUR years is gone, and I feel really great about it! I mean sure, I may not be able to do it myself yet but that will come! It so fresh and healthy and light that my head feels disconnected from my body. Kinda as if the anesthesiologist came back to visit.

My homegirl hairstylist Rachel (holla!!) is gonna send it in to try and donate it. It had been dyed a few times so hopefully it will be good enough to use. It was long. And now it's gone. Long. Gone.


But I'm totally cool with it.

Ooh, only two more hours for the giveaway thingy (see post below)! I will probably post the winner tomorrow because I have to go to school tomorrow so I need to be in bed by nine. Sorry folks, you will have to contain yourselves for one more day. You can do it!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wacky Weekend Giveaway!

Before we get to the giveaway (be patient!) I would like to address an issue that I believed has been plaguing you all week. I am sure you have all been wondering what I've been doing with all my extra time. My cooperating teacher offered the whole week off to me and. well, she's the boss! Plus, since I'm doing 5 more weeks of student teaching than the school requires I decided to take this week off and embrace it to it's fullest. Which left me home alone for loooong periods of time.
First I thought I would be nice and make some cards for people who have given me extra help in this trying time. Here they are:

I'd never done any card making before (scrap booking yes, card making no) and I think these turned out kinda nice. Success!

The next thing I wanted to do was improve on my pizza making skills. Every time I make pizza dough it ends up tasting like something the pioneers would have eaten on the plains. Not good.
I'm happy to say that this dough turned out pretty good! In spite of me being scared to pre-heat my stone to 500 degrees and, in fact, being to scared to even turn my oven to 500 degrees we had tasty soft (slightly underdone) dough to go along with our ooey gooey (slightly overdone) toppings.
This is me being nervous and uncertain before we ate (please ignore the sauce on the counter).
Did I mention we invited Austin over for pizza? There is nothing like a little brotherly love to make your day.
We were dancing while sharing an ipod.
You guys, I'm not even sure what to say about this next thing. Everyone is doing it and I succumbed. And not only did I succumb, I succumbed bad (succumbed is a weird word... is it even a word? Is it bad that basically used it 4 times in a row?)
ANYWAY, here I am with too much time on my hands.
This is me in 1968. My name is Karen but I make everyone call me Mary after my idol Mary Tyler Moore. I am afraid of hippies and aspire to be a wife and mother.
Here I am in 1954. My name is Doris and I am Vice-President of the chess club. I eat lunch by myself while reading Ernest Hemingway. I bought an Elvis record without telling my mom and I dance to it in my room when no one is watching.
This is me in 1970-something. I forgot the exact date. My name is Diana and this is not my neck! My mom put me on a diet at home and can't understand why I'm not losing weight. It's because I go to my friend Janice's house after school and we eat boston baked beans and devil's food cake to make up for the spinach we're forced to eat at dinner.
Ta da! 1964. My name is Joan and I'm the most popular girl in school. My glasses are the envy of every girl and my since my dad promised me a chevelle when I graduate the boys envy me too. In a few years I will be wearing bell bottoms and flowers and protesting the war on the street.
1984, best hair ever. I am Jennifer and I am a hottie! I love to party and am frequently seen at every club in town. I dance like Tina Turner and my favorite song is Lucky Star by Madonna.
1950. My name is Peggy and I am the nicest girl at school. Everyone likes to hang out with me even though I'm not very interesting. I did, however tan the underside of my face from leaning over the oven too often. But no one cares about my deformity because I make the best apple pies in town and I'm always willing to share.
Ooh! In other exciting news in our lives TODAY is the day of Tyson's dissertation defense. I'm pretty nervous for him but he seems to be just fine with it all. He just wants it to be over. Assuming he passes, by the end of the day I will be Dr. Mrs. Tyson Lowder. Eeek! He is so awesome.
Speaking of Tyson....
Yaaaay! Here he is in 1952. I will name him Clarence.
How about 1962? This one is Eugene, definitely Eugene.
And him? He is a 1976 stud named Johnny. And I think he's hot.

And last but not least,

The Giveaway!!!!

The winner will receive one (1) card made by me. It will probably be a thank you card since that is my specialty. All you need to do is...

Name her. Give her a story. Make her real.

You can enter as many times as you like until 9 p.m. mountain standard time Sunday night. Winner will be announced sometime after that.

Please please please play along. Even if I don't know you and this is the first, or not the first time, you've read this blog please play. I'll be so sad if no one comments on my first contest ever.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The good, the bad, and the ugly

So I decided to make a list of the goods and bads of my current condition. I don't mean to make light of having a miscarriage and I normally wouldn't even think of it but since I just had one... Well, let's just say all bets are off. After being pregnant for 11 weeks (and feeling every minute of it) and then suddenly not being pregnant for 5 days I feel justified in my observations.

Good: I am no longer nauseous.
Bad: I no longer have an excuse to be a picky eater.

Good: I can start training for a marathon if I want.
Bad: That would require training for a marathon.

Good: My boobs don't hurt anymore.
Bad: They shrank.

Good: I don't have to gain 35 lbs in 9 months.
Bad: What happens if I do it anyway? Darn those truffles and their magical healing powers!

Good: I can fit into my pants again.
Bad: So much for that new wardrobe.

Good: The thought of chili doesn't make me sick anymore.
Bad: The smell of it still does.

Good: At least this all happened during fall break from school.
Bad: I need another fall break to recover.

Good: I'm not bloated anymore.
Bad: Actually... there may not be a bad side to this one.

Good: I have the energy to blog again.
Bad: There is only one thing I feel like blogging about.

Good: I'm not going to have to worry about swollen ankles anytime soon.
Bad: It's getting too cold to show off my sexy skinny legs.

Good: I haven't worn mascara in a week (very liberating)
Bad: It's because I'll just cry and ruin it.

Good: I'll still be able to reach my legs to shave them when spring comes.
Bad: Dang.

Good: I can now take my prenatal vitamins without gagging.
Bad: They still taste like dog food.

Good: This whole ordeal has reminded me how many people love and care about me. Thank you all for your love and support.
Bad: No bad to this either.

Ugly: No sweet squishy baby to cuddle on April 29.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Now What?

So I survived the surgery. It wasn't all that fun, it wasn't all that pretty, but man the drugs were great. I don't want to bog you down with details so...


What's that?

You would love to hear every detail because you know it makes me feel better to talk about it and I'll never know if you read it all anyway? Great! I'll hit it from the top.

The night before:
The doctor told me I couldn't eat anything after midnight. No eating huh? No one tells me I can't eat. Even though the starvation period would only be from midnight to 9 am the combination of no food and being stabbed with needles was too much to handle. I needed a serious last meal before all this went down.

So I started off with about 17 mint chocolate truffles to ease my pain.

After my stomachache went away Tyson and I went to Arby's where I gorged myself on curly fries and root beer. I really like Arby's. Especially the roast beef sandwich with all the processed cheese squirted on top. Mmmm. Can't be beat. It was a good last meal choice.

A little later that night one of our home teachers came over and he and Tyson gave me a blessing. It was comforting and so emotional at the same time. Tyson and I were beginning to deal with the reality of losing this baby and it wasn't fun. We shed a few tears and held each other close and somehow made it through the night.

I also ate three more truffles. Don't tell Bob and Jillian.

The morning of:
5 am came really quick. I stumbled out of bed, dressed in my finest pajamas and ran a toothbrush over my teeth. I was so nervous but too tired to worry about it so I put myself on autopilot and let Tyson steer me through the day.

We made it to the hospital, got the preliminary paperwork finished and approached my first hurdle of the day. I had to get my blood drawn. I hate needles so much. Hate hate HATE them! I know it's irrational but I can't help it and every time I even see one heading my way I start to shiver and feel like I'm going to pass out. This was no exception.

Good thing it took her THREE tries to get my blood out.

So not fun. I was hoping to have a humongous bruise to show off how tough I was but no such luck. I took this as a bad omen of how the rest of the day was going to go.

After the blood bath the nurse took me to a not so private section of the hallway with a curtain to shield me from the world. She then gave me a backless gown (no pants or undies allowed) that was missing a tie and had a hole where the breast-pocket was. However, considering the surgery I was about to have I figured modesty wasn't a requirement so I didn't complain and arranged the gown as comfortably as possible. I should have put it on backwards and wrapped it around myself like a robe, ha ha.

I will admit I felt a little awkward as a male courier came to take me to surgery and I had to stand up and walk from my chair to the gurney. The tails of my gown flapped around my backside but I think I clutched the cloth tight enough to keep myself from flashing/mooning him. I hope.

He took me to another section of the hospital where I felt like I waited forever. It was probably only about twenty minutes but considering I was now separated from my husband and awaiting an I.V. (worst fear ever) I was not a happy camper. Finally the anesthesiologist came to stab me again. By this point I was visibly shaking and I told him at least three times how nervous I was. He patted my shoulder and told me he would give me something to relax.

I love anesthesiologists.

He poked me with something that was supposed to numb the I.V. area and then put the I.V. in. And you know what? I didn't feel a thing! Oh, I was so grateful. I had been praying and praying that the I.V. wouldn't be as bad as the blood drawing and it totally wasn't. Now I had made it through the worst... but wait. Someone else was walking toward me with a needle in his hand. Stay away, stay away!

He came to me and said he would be the anesthesiologist who would be in the surgery with me. "Ok" I said, "but are you gonna have to poke me again?"
"No way!" Said he, "You've got an I.V.!"


"This will help you relax." he said.

And it did. About 30 seconds after he injected the contents of his blessed little syringe I started smiling. I knew it was totally stupid and I wanted to slap myself but I just couldn't help it. What I really wanted to do was laugh out loud but I knew that would be so wrong and creep out the other patients so I actually did a great job of restraining myself. "A" man came back and asked me if I was feeling it. Uh, yes, yes I am. Muchas gracias.

A couple minutes later a nurse came over to me and covered me with about three pre-warmed blankets. She was very sympathetic and took great care of me... I think. It was about this point where I started to lose track of what was going on around me but I'm sure she was nice the whole time.

Someone wheeled me into the O.R. and put an oxygen mask on my face. Breathe deep they said. The nurse put another warm blanket across my arms and then...

Someone was waking me up. It was over. I was so relieved.

The nurse who woke me up was so sweet and kind. She had recently had a miscarriage and had the same surgery that I had. She knew how I was feeling and had all the right things to say. Right before she wheeled me into recovery she gave me a little teddy bear so that I could at least go home with something. She knew it wasn't what I was wishing to go home with when this pregnancy started but it was something tangible in place of the baby who couldn't be.

I cried. She wiped my tears away.

Soon Tyson came and sat with me and helped me drink some water. I needed to stay until I could get some fluids in me and go to the bathroom. They also wanted to make sure I wasn't bleeding too heavily before they sent me out the door. Everything turned out fine and we went home.

But I don't know what to do now. Physically I'm doing ok. The cramps have been on and off sometimes pretty bad, but tolerable. Mentally, I'm on a roller coaster. Sometimes I feel really great and positive about the future and other times I just need to cry right that second. I'm not sure I'm ready to go back to school yet, I don't think I can be ok for that many hours in a row. It's too much work. Plus I'm still really tired. This took a lot out of me. I prefer being happy over being sad but I think all these emotions need to work their way out of my system.

So now what do I do? Any suggestions? What makes you feel better when you are sad? What helps you move on with your life?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hi friends!

Remember when Tyson and I went to Florida? For our anniversary job interview? And how it was super nice to have a free vacation?

And how it was only two weeks later that I got my first positive pregnancy test?

Yes, it's true. Don't worry, I was surprised too which is why I took not one, not two, but five pregnancy tests just to be sure.

Woo Hoo!!! About freakin' time! Never mind that I was now student teaching with morning all day sickness and the word "tired" didn't hold a candle to what I was experiencing. It would all be worth it in 8 months, right?



It was time for my first doctors appointment.

I had my appointment scheduled for Monday, October 6 when I should be nearing the end of my 10th week. I had not had any bleeding or cramping and I had been feeling sufficiently sick so I figured all was going to be well. Of course I worried like any other pregnant woman does but things seemed to be ok so why dwell on it?

Unfortunately we found through a series of tests that there was definitely no heartbeat and the baby only measured at 5 weeks. That was a problem. I had gotten those 5 positive pregnancy tests (oh yeah, plus another positive from the health center, heh) 6 weeks ago. I'm pretty sure these tests don't predict pregnancy unless there was a memo that I seriously missed.


But the doctor wanted to wait a week and check me again just to be sure. Maybe my dates were off. Waaaaay off. I wanted to be sure too of course so I scheduled an appointment for about a week and a half later. For Wednesday, October 15.

In the meantime I entered this crazy state of limbo where I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know if I was pregnant or not and it threw my life upside down. All my plans for the next several months had halted and I figured the best idea was to not think about it and try and focus on teaching.

That was difficult to do, but not as hard as you might think considering we had our first concert last Wednesday. Excellent timing, I know but I was so busy that I didn't have much down time to worry. It ended up being a good thing.

Enter: Today. Wednesday. The Day. I was nervous and I didn't want to go to the doctor. He would only give me news that I didn't want to hear and break the thin barrier of denial that was keeping my sanity intact. I didn't want to go. But I had to, so I did. And the news was still not good.

I was, I am having a miscarriage.

It is interesting having your worst fear realized. When friends and family members had miscarriages I always thought to myself that I could never handle that. That they must be stronger and tougher than I am to be able to survive through that pain and appear to come out on top.

What I discovered for myself is that the Lord will help me through this trial as He has helped me through the other trials that I've had. Just knowing that He would never give me a trial unless he knew I could take it has made all of this easier. I can do this. I can work through this and life will continue to go on and I will be stronger because of it.

Don't get me wrong though. This has been heartbreaking for us and I'm sure it will hurt for awhile.

Tomorrow I will have a minor surgery to remove everything that has developed thus far. I keep telling myself that it is no big deal and as long as I can make it through all the needles I'll be ok.

I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Trial by fire

So, as part of student teaching I have to do lots of things.

Like... Learn the students' names.


Yeah, it sounds easy but since I have somewhere along the lines of 300 students or so this has been hard! I recognize most of them by face but ask me their names and it's a gamble whether I'll get it right or not. I like them and I want to know their names but I just can't keep them all in my brain, ok!? Don't judge me.

Enter: Parent Teacher Conferences.

Oh crap.

But don't worry, my cooperating teacher will be there to help me not look like a fool in front of all these parents who expect me to know and love their kids.

Wrong again. Cooperating teacher home sick today. Must face parents A.L.O.N.E.

Well friends, in the end, I survived. Yeah, there may have been a few parents who came in whose kids I didn't know (only embarrassing when the kids came with their parents to conference) but I think I faked it well enough. Maybe. At any rate it's another rite of passage that I have completed on my road to becoming a teacher.

Go me.