Friday, April 25, 2008

How (besides the usual ways) I know I'm REALLY pregnant

(Sorry, Paige, unfortunately, I couldn't find any pictures of my Emma pregnancy, when I resembled a whale. I did, however, find one of you and me, with our first boys...)

1. I can tell if my kids have really brushed their teeth, even if they haven't come in my room.

2. Chocolate doesn't sound that good. (It still tastes good, but sometimes I can actually forget about that and forgo.)

3. I (queen of homecooking) have not made a meal for 5 weeks.

4. I don't really want to talk about how my pants don't fit, even though the baby is the size of a strawberry and I've gained a whole 3 lbs.

5. I can't open my fridge because the stench is hideous.

6. I can't eat anything that's been a)prepared in my house or b) in my mouth previously. (After 6 weeks of this, there isn't a whole lot left to choose from.)

7. I've actually skipped workouts. (Anyone who knows me well, knows this is completely shocking.)

8. Blogging annoys me.

9. My daily 45 minute naps have doubled. And I don't even look forward to them, because I know after I wake up, I am consigned to nausea for the next 7 hours.

10. I cannot remember ANYTHING. Really. I've never had pregnancy brain before, but honestly, I forget every church assignment I have, Gabe's soccer practice EVERY WEEK, and my husband's temple recommend when I met him yesterday, 30 minutes after he called and specifically asked me. And I am NOT a forgetter.

11. Every other blog post has some mind-numbingly boring reference to My Great Expectation. (sorry.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Please use #2 pencils.

(In response to some questions about Ryan's post regarding me and nicknames, I thought I would sponsor this little quiz. Don't get nervous (or excited: I'm not giving anything away).)


Please answer C for Correct way to use a nickname in Jessica's presence and I for Incorrect way to use a nickname in Jessica's presence.


1. While walking through the hall at church, you see me and call out (reverently): "Hey, Jess, does your family want to come over tonight for some dessert?"

2. At Blogapalooza, you call me over and say: "Hey, Laurie, I'd like you to meet my good blog friend, Jess Romney."

3. While making a comment on my blog, you say: "Hang in there, Jess, we love you."

4. After meeting me for two seconds, you say: "It was really good to meet you two seconds ago, Jess."

5. In a conversation with another person, you say: "You know Jess Romney? Well, her blog is just hilarious."

6. While I am downstairs watching The Office, and Seth is climbing on the counters getting into the sprinkles, you call: "Jess, I need you! Quick!"


1. Correct! If we are friends and you are passing me and think of inviting me over to share your chocolate cake with lots of frosting (which is my favorite) and you quickly shout out a shortening of my name, I think that's perfectly fine and endearing...even if you aren't offering me Sunday dessert.

2. Incorrect! If you are introducing me to someone, my name is not Jess. It is Jessica.

3. Correct! If we are good friends (or sisters in law) and you are feeling bad for me because I keep whining about my morning sickness, and you make me feel all loved and cozy by using a diminutive of my name, then you are correctly using the nickname.

4. Incorrect! If we've hardly known each other at all, let's not immediately revert to nicknames, mmkay?

5. Incorrect! While I appreciate the compliment on my blog, when talking about me to others, I like to be known by my full name.

6. Correct! If you are in a big hurry, by all means, shorten away.

I hope this clears up any nickname confusion. Do you have any nickname rules, for yourself or your kids?

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Summary (I'm not labeling it Sunday anymore, because I'm too exhausted by the end of the "Day of Rest" to post anything)


--alternately drove us crazy by pretending he doesn't understand anything we say and then responding in crazily complex sentences to the world around him.

--REALLY needs some firm sleep techniques as his 4th child status has led to many irritatingly scream filled night.

--is the messiest, into everythingest kid around

--disturbs us with his desire to wear girl-everything and be called "Princess Charming" (a distortion of my attempt to suggest a more manly fairy tale persona: Prince Charming)


--just broke my favorite red bead necklace, so I'm trying to not be mad at her.

--proclaimed that she knows what this baby is! "A gill (girl) because Sef was a boy last time!" Well, duh. We do it every other around here.

--tells me, "I love you, mom. I hope you will get better when you get your baby."

--has had lots of playdates this week, thanks to friends who want to relieve me of some kids.


--scored a goal at his game this week.

--rolled around in dirt on Saturday. (Why do they do that?)

--got one of the leads in his play and already has all of his lines memorized.

--is in one of those exceptionally good-looking phases. (You know how your kids' faces morph in and out of cute-because-they-are-yours and cute-because-their-bones-have-moved-to-a-very aesthetically-pleasing-place? Well, he's in the latter morph, currently.)


--just got her baptism pictures taken. (What? Just cause it's 13 months later than said Baptism?)

--is SUCH a helper around here

--still calls me every day to pick her up from school even though I say No every time.

--has been cooking by herself lately: Waffles and muffins. At least some female in the house is.


--is contemplating a new girlfriend (see him here with another spouse-less friend at a recent party) as his doesn't a. clean b. go to stuff with him c. cook d. have a waist anymore e. come out of her room after 5 pm.
--had huge upheaval at work when planned buy-out fell through.
--should receive a job offer from buy-out company today to open an office without old company's stuff.
--has been home a lot more due to said upheaval which has been a huge blessing.

(no picture)
--wonders if she'll actually return to productivity after The Excuse is no longer valid.
--read lots of blogs because clicking on your laptop doesn't make you want to barf.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Story Corner #6

by Ryan
So we started dating a lot … Rather than document every step, I thought I would just compile a top 10 list of memories that I have from that time.

By the time Jessica finally came around, I was dating a few different girls on and off. My family began to joke about it because all of their names started with “J.” One of the other girls I was already dating happened to be named Jessie. I am horrible with names. I thought I would simplify matters by transitioning over to calling both of them Jess. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware that the Sherrills are very particular about their names. After trying out the new moniker on Jessica a few times and feeling like “this is really going to work out,” I was accosted by a 9 year old Bekah (same attention to detail, just a smaller body): “Jessica HATES being called Jess!” she bellowed. Jessica politely tried to soften her blow only to be met by Bekah’s continued insistence that “yes huh” she did hate the name and began citing instances when Jessica had said as much herself. Needless, to say I abandoned the Name Consolidation Effort and figured that based on Bekah’s passionate response I would be wise to return to using Jessica’s full legal given name.

Sam. Jessica has a younger brother Sam. He was 10-11 at the time we got married. He was a complete loose canon. He got very hyper, especially when guests came over. The Sherrills adopted California’s “3-Strikes” policy. In CA, if a criminal is convicted of a felony 3 times, he was automatically “out” (i.e. sent to jail) for life. At the Sherrill house, every time Sam would do something outrageous or crazy (i.e. yell, destroy a plant, eat a live squirrel, etc.) he would get a “strike”. Dorrie (Jessica’s mom) was typically the umpire “calling” the game for Sam. Throughout the afternoon/evening you would randomly hear chaos emanating from Sam’s general vicinity, which was followed shortly by Dorrie’s voice announcing “OK Sam … that’s strike 2!!” He was usually “out” by about 7:00pm, which meant he was in his room for the rest of the night.

On Sundays I would come over to Jessica’s family’s house a lot. We would usually go for a walk with whomever wanted to come because the list of acceptable Sunday activities is relatively short. We would always end up taking her dog with us. It was a dachshund. It was kind of a silly dog. For example, instead of laying like a normal dog, it would sprawl out on the floor like a teenage boy crashed out on his bed (i.e. on its belly with all its paws fully extended and sprawled). So “Heidi” would usually come on the walk too (unless Sam had already been sentenced to walking her in an effort to get him to expend some of his uber energy). Unfortunately for our walks, (and Sam’s too) Heidi’s little legs could only handle a few blocks before she would be dragging way behind. So the walks always ended up with someone having to turn back way early to give poor Heidi a break.

Shortly after deciding to get married, we began discussing our big plans. In the middle of one discussion Jessica blurted out in a semi-irritated voice “You know you have to buy me a ring … don’t you?” I quickly gathered that she wasn’t joking. I was horrified by the comment because it seemed so materialistic and greedy to me at the time. Of course I intended to buy her a ring! We had only been talking about marriage for a couple weeks by this point. Later, I came to find out that Jessica had previously progressed toward marriage only to be stifled by her boyfriend’s inability to actually go through with the purchase of a ring.

It is often said that when you are dating, you tend to hide your flaws because you are on your best behavior. To an extent, this is true. However some flaws are so mammoth and gaping that there is just no covering up those suckers. Such was my experience with my innate sense of misdirection. I have this gut feel for directions. I refer to it as “the force”. When I get a tentative question from Jessica as to whether I know where I am going, I like to assuage her concerns by announcing that I am driving “by the force” and thus don’t need any directions. My Force leads me the wrong way 90% of the time. It is only correct enough to make me second guess myself on those rare instances that it does in fact lead me in the correct direction. As we were dating in CA, I tried to take Jessica to the beach numerous times. This is about an hour and a half trip from lovely Tracy. We would always end up near the beach, but we only actually made it to the beach twice. We would literally unroll the windows and be able to hear the waves crashing or feel the sea mist in the air only to continue to make u-turns for the next hour never to find the beach. We would finally run out of time and have to just turn around and drive home, without ever even stepping out of the car. I really feel sorry for Jessica because of my namby-pamby sense of misdirection, but as my friend Kyle likes to say, “she knew what I was when she picked me up.”

… actually I am now realizing that this “top 10” is too much for me to write and you to read, so I will have to finish up with the next 5 next week.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Without a permit...

Dear fun neighbor parent who owns this child's size driveable vehicle,

Now that it's spring, and we're all making our way out of our caves and waving at each other again, I have something I need to talk to you about.

You have, really, given your child the ultimate "fun gift" and my child/ren are desperately wishing you were their parent, instead of me. How great for you. There are hours of fun to be had, speeding up and down the court in this pint-size jeep. And you are so generous in teaching your child to share this gift with my child.

Please don't.

Really. I'm serious.

While my child will gaze longingly at the jeep, I beg of you. Ignore him/her. Here are my reasons:

My blood pressure goes seriously through the roof as I watch our children "share" your toy. My child is bigger than your child and has ways of making him "share" that don't really do justice to the idea of My Turn/Your turn.

I also dislike, immensely, following the jeep around the court, because my child is a maniac (without a driver's license FOR A REASON) and enjoys running over people's flowers and lawn ornaments and into real cars (parked, of course) all the time.

I also enjoy having NON-bruised shins and UN-smashed toes. These are things that fall by the wayside as I, gritting my teeth, follow my irresponsible driver around the court, trying to protect expensive or living things from their driving path. They invariably get the reverse and the drive buttons confused and come crashing into me. And then I want to yank them off, drive the thing home to you myself and mutter naughty words, as I stalk away.

So while we all admire your fun-ness, and your generosity--Romney kids have no interest in your toys.

You are just imagining their pitiful weeping.

I promise.


Your neighbor in the yellow house.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Su-Monday Summary

Last Sunday I had a breakdown. Word to the wise: don't re-evaluate your life, the day you get home from a trip, when you are 9 weeks pregnant, right after your church's General Conference, when you have 3 church callings and 4 kids. I can barely control my life when I'm not sick, and being nauseated all day, with NO ENERGY and tons to do...was putting me over the edge. I asked my husband for a Priesthood blessing (click on the link if you don't know what that is). Not for any divine counsel; I just truly felt like I needed some major blessings over my way.

So Monday, I wake up and I feel amazing. It's a miracle! The blessing worked!! I get tons done, go to meetings that run short (!) and feel great all day. We get to go to Mallory's (our cousin's) 8th birthday party and drool over their family's fun cruise pictures.

I wake up Tuesday and I'm sick again. No miracle. Monday was just a little blessing of a day so I could feel semi-able to complete my life. I guess I'm going to actually continue sick, at least till that magical 2nd trimester begins.

On Tuesdays, I get to go help in Emma's class. I've never enjoyed helping a teacher so much. I work with 8-10 kids on their reading fluency, and I love it cause I walk in, grab my notebook and timer, without waiting around for the teacher to hand me something to do. I also love it, because I know the kids really well and I get to see progress each week. I get all teary (seriously, this was before pregnancy) when they score really well and have to try to hide it from them.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are sick blurs. My poor husband, who loves cleanliness and order, comes home from his job, only to do mine, if he wants to not have his head explode. I've had kind friends bring meals (best thing ever), and oldest children really help out. I've also read lots of books and lots of blogs.

The sad thing is, I feel okay in the morning (as long as I keep food in my tummy) and so I can get kids to school, a few errands run, I even had a birthday lunch with a friend...but by the time Ryan gets home, I'm so sick I can't get out of bed and he has to do everything. (He's doing a great job, by the way).

I was so sick, I even skipped a party at the Albrecht's house. And, ask my mom, I NEVER miss anything social--I was so afraid of being grounded and missing ANYTHING, it was the best punishment for me. So I had to include it, in the Weekly Summary, as a landmark event.

I had a little reprieve on Saturday, so I could go to my cookday activity and prepare 8 meals for the following week. While I was at that event, Emma scored 2 goals (first ever!) at her soccer game. Later that evening, we attended Mallory's baptism. Emma sang, after a small false start (she started the first verse, with the second verse's words, but was elbowed in the ribs by her duet-mate) and sounded beautiful. We enjoyed seeing Ryan's parents and hanging out with Daines relatives.

Sunday was a good day, too. Jane was assigned the scripture and prayer for Primary. She had it totally memorized. ("Fowh he that receiveth my sohvents, receiveth me. D&C 84:36") Until she stood up there. And proceeded to bawl. I kept encouraging her (I'm big on my kids learning how to speak by themselves) and after a few minutes she semi-pulled herself together and was able to repeat it after me and then give a weepy prayer all by herself. I took her outside afterward and told her how great it was that she didn't give up and that when someone gave her an assignment, she did it, despite her fears.

I realize that this whole Summary has had like 45 "I"s in it, because it's very self-centered. Sorry. Maybe I should have just written: "I'm pregnant-sick and my life revolves around it."

Also, as you can see, pulling out the camera and taking pictures, was simply more than I could muster.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

3:00 pm, Tuesday afternoon

"Let me tewh you something, Mom. I had the best day of Pweschool, evowh."

"I went to the Albewtson's, but not the one by ouw house, the one by Teachoh Bawbwa's house and they gave us this red balloon and a gwanola baw and these fwuit snacks. We saw all the places of the food and then we came home."

"Isn't that the best day of my life, Mom?"

"Make sure Seth doesn't eat my gwanola baw, Mom."

Five minutes later...

crying "Something happened, Mom. I didn't do something wrong, Mom. I was playing with those kids, not Austin and Amboh, the other kids, and I got my red balloon to show them and then huge gulping sobs I let go of it. And it floated all the way up in the air and I couldn't get it."

"Do balloons go to heaven, Mom?"

Going Postal

You want to know what I hate? And avoid at all costs? And beg others to do it for me?

Mailing Stuff.

1. I hate finding the container to mail it in. I hate searching through my disorganized bill/old receipts/tithing envelope basket for envelopes. I hate remembering to purchase big or padded envelopes and because I'm a thrower-awayer, I NEVER have boxes.

2. I hate finding the address. I either have to look in my too-old address book, or on my "Christmas Card Master Address" list and hope I can remember exactly how I entered the addressee's names (the ______family? _______and kids? ___________and ________'s husband) so I can use the Find function (Ctrl/F) instead of combing through the huge document. Or I have to call the person, and because I am incapable of a conversation under 20 minutes, spend way too long on the phone.

3. I hate packaging the item. Look at the red duct tape on the electricity item in this weeks Sunday Summary. That covered my missionary brother's entire Valentine's package (at least it was red). We have no strapping tape. Are you kidding me? I would waaay rather use my WalMart budget for fresh basil than packing tape.

4. Do I even need to go into the horror that is my 4 kids at the Post office? (Go here for a hideous story that will make you really mad.) Or deal with the people who come into the post office asking, "Who's kids are out in the car all by themselves????" (Lady, the oldest is 9 and I PROMISE YOU, you were left in a car, for 5 minutes, when you were 9).

Basically, I will do anything possible to avoid mailing anything. It's the last thing I do at Christmas. It's the reason everyone's birthday gift is late (sorry, Dad). It's why I love electronic bill pay. It's why I don't participate in all those lovely Good Mail posts that you bloggers do.

So this is why I was DUMBFOUNDED, when Lisa-Marie sent me this:

with a note that explained about how FireBalls help her morning sickness and due to my love of lists, this new list-making list might cheer me up. Have I ever met Lisa? No. Have I ever sent her anything? Ha. No...she's just totally nice and realizes that little acts of kindness sometimes have the biggest impact.

Thanks for making my day, Lisa-Marie.

Feel free to comment on how great L-M is, or commiserate with me on the horrors of mailing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Was it a cliffhanger for you, too?

I know you've all been on the edge of your seats wondering about which job we were taking and if we were moving.

I'm about to put you out of your misery...

Is it Portland, with its' top-in-the-industry job, $500,000 houses and Bridget?

Or is it Spokane, with its' emerging company that will afford lots of opportunity, the best neighborhood in the world, and my cute bathroom?

(drum roll please...)

After much prayer and fasting (on Ryan's part, duh...not suffering this morning sickness for nothing!), we just really did not feel good about a move to Portland (so so so sorry Bridget, I'm sad to not be physical friends!). The Portland company upped their offer after Ryan turned them down, and called after the SECOND "no" to let him know there would always be a job, should he change his mind...but we just felt much better about staying here and the opportunities Ryan will have in managing, hiring, marketing and engineering with the company that's buying out his old employer.

We are happy. Always we've felt inspired to move and take on a new town, so we can hardly believe we actually get to STAY. This job "loss" has turned out to be a blessing, career-wise and financially for us and are deeply grateful for your prayers and a Heavenly Father who knows us and guides us throughout our lives.

Start praying for Celia now...she says it was an April Fool's joke, but who really knows?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Not Even Gonna Try Sunday Summary

I'm overwhelmed. It's been weeks since a real post and I've done a million things and I'm someone who has to tell everything exactly right, and in great detail and I can't possibly tell about it all so...

you'll never hear about how I signed Jane up for Kindergarten and I'm sad about it, unlike kids #1 and 2.

and you'll never hear, in excruciating detail, about Emma's electricity project that took Ryan 8 hours to get ready so Emma could do 1 hour of work

and you'll never hear about how completely easy our 10 hour drives to Utah and back were because we have this AWESOME video system that doesn't rewind, so Ryan does it manually

and you'll never hear about the fun stuff with did at the (expensive) Discovery Children's museum

or about bumper bowling in Provo with 11 kids, during which Seth named all the bowling ball colors over and over again, but never knew another color again the whole rest of the trip

or about Grant's CUTE CUTE new girlfriend

or about my meeting with a blog friend, Holly
or about the awesome tricks we all did at Jump On It in Lindon (Utah moms: Thursdays from 10-11am is Mom and Me: You are free, 1st kid is $3, every kid after is $2. Total deal)

or about taking my kids through the Museum of Art at BYU and having them actually listen to me as I talk about my one specialty and huge passion...(see how the light emphasizes the Savior here? What do you notice about these painting vs. the ones we saw in the other room? Why won't you please stop touching the paintings so the BYU security guard doesn't have a heart attack?)

or about how Bart and Meridith graciously allowed a million loud cousins and siblings to invade their homes for delicious meals OVER AND OVER
and how happy I am that Cade and Stacy moved back to Utah so I could talk to Stacy for hours and lose HUGELY to Cade in Trivial Pursuit
or how we hiked the Y with Aunt Brooke and Aunt Bekah (and would NEVER have done it with two 2 year olds, had we remembered how STEEP that hike is)
or how much my kids love their Grandma Dorrie (seen here with her clothing twin, Emma) and Aunt Bekah

and their uncle Cade wrestling them into a frenzy (Goldie will send me that picture any day now, I'm sure of it!)
or about how lucky we were to get to see baby Blake get blessed

or how lucky it was that we were in Utah the same time as cousins Erin and Spencer and got to hang out at the fun park for 15 freezing minutes for a picnic (before we moved it inside...thanks, Cathryn)
or about how I know I'm forgetting someone, or something great that happened during the last two weeks.
Sorry. Guess you'll never know.