Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Random Thoughts from the Westland Mall

So, I'm still pregnant. Nothing is happening. I am almost hoping that it doesn't happen until after Saturday. Saturday is the boy's second and last football game. For Calvin, it is the only game he gets to play in. It is also Homecoming which means extra festivities that moms and dads need to be there for. If I go into labor by Thursday, I would be able to attend. If I go Friday or Saturday, I will miss. I will not have Chris miss. If the horrible happens and I go Saturday, Anna will have to be my coach. Chris has to be at the game with them. That's not selfish of me is it? Will Lizzie feel slighted later in life is Chris misses her birth for a football game? I hope not because if she does that's just too freaking bad. She has had ample time to come out and if she picks Saturday that's her own fault. :)

I went to the Westland Mall this morning to walk around and maybe get my slow moving cervix moving faster. I am not a mall frequenter. I can't remember the last time I went...maybe in March to get Emily's ears pierced. I am always shocked by the things I see there.

I am pretty sure that Satan and his minions live at Spencer's Gifts.

Some store called "Forever 21" was selling a crested sweater. The crest was exactly like the one on my HS uniform blazer. I could totally be in if I had saved that blazer!

Victoria's Secret is selling U of M t-shirts.'s been a long time since I've worn lingerie and even longer since I've been in a Victoria's Secret but since when are college t-shirts considered lingerie? I really want to know.

Charging $0.75 for a little kid to ride a little car for 3 seconds should be punishable by law.

All of my favorite scents are no longer available at Bath and Body Works. :(

Monday, September 29, 2008

That's all I have to say about that, Part II

Cervix has not changed since last appointment on Wednesday. I feel crappy. Scheduled to be induced on MONDAY, OCTOBER 6th. Maybe changing her name to Mandakini which means "slow moving."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I used to think a wedding was a simple affair. Boy and girl meet, they fall in love, he buys a ring, she buys a dress, they say I do.

Yesterday, I went to my cousin, Andrea's, wedding. The ceremony was at Divine Child Catholic Church and the reception was at the Dearborn Inn. It was really lovely. Andrea is Anna's age, so she was better friends with Anna than she was with me. However, since I was 10, I spent a week at her house every summer. I can remember taking her to the park and having her bonk her head on the monkey bars when I was supposed to be watching her. Ugh. I can remember going with her to the Battle Creek Balloon Festival. I can remember her taking her first steps in our living room in Toledo.

Andrea is a special cousin to me because she is the daughter of Aunt Susie and Uncle Dave who I love a whole lot. As I watched them yesterday at their daughter's wedding, memories flooded my mind and I was so thankful (!) that I hadn't had the baby yet and was able to attend. I was the flower girl for their wedding 26 years ago. It was one of the most wonderful days of my life.

I felt like such a princess. My Uncle Dave was an outsider in our big family, just like I was. Neither of us was from the small town where the rest of the family lived. I wasn't Catholic and didn't have a Godparent like the rest of the kids in the family. That meant that at the big Christmas party, I didn't get as many gifts as the other kids which was a huge crisis. Uncle Dave recognized this and adopted me as his Godchild.
Me and Uncle Dave, 1990.

He and my aunt gave me a gift every year to make me feel like a part of the group. Aunt Susie stayed at our house for weeks while my mom was sick and in the hospital. They let me stay at their house every summer for a week and be silly and goofy and took me shopping and put up with all my antics. I remember sleeping outside at Binder Park Zoo in the rain. I remember shopping in Battle Creek. I remember going for bike rides. I remember biking to Feldpaushes for some dinner items and it wasn't such a great experience. I remember seeing "The Color Purple" at the movie theater. For one brief week, I was part of a normal family where no one was sick or dying. They were at every crossroads and important event in my life including HS volleyball games, the day my mom died, birthdays, HS graduation, wedding reception, birth of babies, rough times, etc... And they didn't live right around the corner. They lived 2 hours away but they always took the time to make me feel special. I love both of them with my whole heart.

The wedding was beautiful. The bride was beautiful. The reception was the nicest I've ever been to. I was able to sit with Anna and talk and laugh. We ate yummy food including mini-desserts. Don't you just love a plate full of mini-desserts? I sure do. I got to dance with Chris which happens almost never. I got to see most of my aunts and look into their eyes and feel, for a brief moment, that I was with my Mom.

It was such a wonderful experience. I wish Andrea and Ryan all the joy and happiness this life can bring. I sure have been blessed with it.

Anna, Aunt Susie and Me.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Song sung blue, everybody knows one

I liked this post on Mark Brown's blog:

"Pick the six saddest songs you can think of, list the titles, and pick what you think is the saddest line from each."

Here are my 6:

1. Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles:

Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name. Nobody came.

2. November Rain by Guns N Roses:

We've been through this such a long long time. Just tryin' to kill the pain.

3. Ringfinger by Nine Inch Nails:

You just left me nailed here.
Hanging like Jesus on the cross.
Ill be dying for your sins.
And aiding to the cause.

4. Cat's in the Cradle by Harry Chapin:

I've long since retired, my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind"
He said, "I'd love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job's a hassle and kids have the flu
But it's sure nice talking to you, Dad
It's been sure nice talking to you

5. Luka by Suzanne Vega:

Maybe its because Im crazy
I try not to act too proud
They only hit until you cry
And after that you dont ask why

6. Please, Daddy, Don't Get Drunk This Christmas by John Denver:

Please, Daddy, don't get drunk this Christmas
I don't wanna see my Momma cry

When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.

I finished the Book of Mormon today. Every time I read it, I find something new that amazes me. This time when I was reading, I was especially drawn to the story of Alma and Amuleck. Their faith was astounding. I was also struck by the quick downfall of the Nephites after the visit of the Savior.

I don't know how many reads that makes in my lifetime. I do remember the first time I read it. It was 1988 and I was 13. Our Young Women leaders challenged all of us girls to read it and if we did, we would get a keepsake pillow. I was motivated by the idea of the pillow. In fact, I still have the pillow and it has been on every bed I have owned for the last 20 years. The pillow reminds me of the first time I read the most correct book on the earth. The pillow reminds me of the feelings I had that first time reading it and knowing it was true. The pillow reminds me that I need to read and reread the Book of Mormon daily. It reminds me that I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that I will get closer to the Savior by reading it. I am thankful for those YW leaders who challenged me to read the Book of Mormon 20 years ago. I am thankful for a book of scripture that I can turn to and find answers to life's most pressing questions. I am thankful for a book that guides me on a daily basis and encourages me to press forward in the face of adversity. I know the Book of Mormon is true and I am thankful that it is a part of my life.

I know it looks ratty and dirty, but I'm afraid to wash it because I don't want the paint to come off.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thankful Thursday 9/25/2008

1. Pop and Cookies on my back porch.

2. New dressers.

3. Finding Calvin's DS

4. A husband who is good at organizing.

5. Anna. Anna. Anna. Anna. Anna.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

That's all I have to say about that

My cervix was not dilated enough to have the midwife break my water this morning.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You're It!

Emily tagged me and I must comply.

I am Jennifer Lynn Ballard Vos.

I miss pudding pops.
I think about what it would be like to have a first floor laundry room.
I Love Beverly Hills, 90210.
I know how to get under my husband's skin.
I want an easy deliver.
I have too many pairs of underwear for my boys.
I wish I could see dead people.
I hate debt.
I am scared of really needing to survive off my food storage.
I feel content.
I Hear my favorite music playing.
I Smell Bounce.
I don't always remember appointments.
I wonder if I am doing a good job.
I care about my family and friends.
I am not afraid of the dark.
I believe in casting your burdens on the Lord.
I dance rarely.
I Sing in the car on the way to church.
I write grocery lists on the backs of scrap paper.
I win at Word Whomp Dash.
I lose at Scrabulous.
I never want AIDS.
I listen to oldies.
I can be found at my desk.
I read ET Weekly.
I am Happy when I am surrounded by my family.
I Tag anyone.

Monday, September 22, 2008

From the souls of your feet, with every ounce of blood you've got in your body, lay it on the line until the final whistle blows.

Chris, Christopher and Calvin had the great opportunity to go to the MSU v. Notre Dame football game in East Lansing on Saturday. They attended with fellow Steelers, Bob Callahan and his son, Lucas. They reported that it was a great time. The first thing Chris reported on, even before the score, was the super parking space they got. It looks to me like they made their own.

They were happy that MSU beat ND 23-7. Maybe MSU can make something of themselves this year. We've been MSU supporters for a long time and it's been a long time since they've had a great team.

I'm glad my boys got to take part in such a fun day.

Lucas, obviously, a little disappointed in his Fighting Irish.

Calvin pointing to Sparty.

Get out of town. You must let me do the baby shower.

You can't throw a baby shower for baby #6. It's really not right. I am a firm believer in one shower for first baby. I will bend my rule if you are having a new baby of different gender from other children. Then a second shower is acceptable. That's how I feel about showers.

Other people don't have the same feelings as I do. With this baby, I had many, many offers of sweet women wanting to throw me a shower. I appreciate their love and kindness so much. I know they wanted to do it because they care about me and are excited for me and the baby. However, I gave them all a firm, "N.O."

A couple of the more persistent ones insisted on a shower for me anyways. They called it a "Baby Celebration Lunch" and promised no games or big to do. I made Anna promise there would be no balloons. She was true to her word.

Saturday, they treated me to lunch at Chili's. We laughed and talked and ate and it was really fun. I did get a few gifts that were very practical--diaper wipes, bottles, a few cute clothes. I am so blessed to live in a ward full of women who are real and nice and unpretentious. I'm not sure how it happened that so many great women have settled in one place but I am thankful for my associations with them. I do love all of them.

Thank you to Amy, Rachel, Lisa, Theresa, Alisha and Anna! You really made me feel special!

Weekly Top Five 9/22/2008

Top Five Favorite Game Shows

1. Jeopardy!

2. The Price is Right

3. Family Feud

4. Double Dare

5. $25,000 Pyramid

Thursday, September 18, 2008

But after my third arrest and court-ordered anger-management counseling, I learned to channel my rage into an effective nonviolent puppy training tool

I posted on Facebook yesterday that I hate my dog. I've had a couple of inquiries as to why that is so. I've decided to write about it here because it's too long to put on my Facebook wall.

We got our dog in January of 2003. She is a purebred German Shepherd. She cost an arm and a leg. We thought it would be worth it. We were wrong. Her name is Nala. She started out pretty much like any puppy. She peed and pooped in the house, but we were training her and she was progressing. She did get the hang of going outside and being a good girl pretty quickly. But after a few weeks, her poo accidents were increasing in frequency. And the consistency of the poo was like brown applesauce. And she would puke all over too. That's when I started to hate her. There were nights that we penned her in the living room and Chris and I would take turns sleeping so that we could catch her before she pooped in the house. She would poop anywhere...floor, carpet, crate, towel. She didn't discriminate. Then a very horrible thing happened.

It was Easter Sunday and we woke up to the most foul smell known to man. It was worse than poop. Worse than vomit. It was Sex Panther by Odeon. It did not sting the nostrils in a good way. We didn't know what it was so we cleaned her, cleaned her crate and went to my Dad's for Easter dinner. Came home...smell was back. This happened on and off for several months. We took her to several vets but no one could figure out what was wrong with her. They would express her anal glands (source of the horrid smell) and that would take care of the problem for a while. They all wanted to send her for majorly expensive tests at some specialty vet. Finally, the owner of the pet store that we frequent suggested trying a different food. We took her advice and the anal gland problem and diarrhea problem (mostly) went away.

Nala eats out of the trash. We have to pick up the can when we leave so she doesn't get in it. She will eat off the counter. She will eat an entire meatloaf cooling on the stovetop. She will eat two loaves of your aunt's famous zucchini bread off the table. She will eat leftover birthday cake sitting on counter. She will eat the poop out of a diaper before you can roll it up and take it outside.'s nasty. She drinks out of the toilet and eats any floaters left behind in there. And then she wants to lick your face.

Once we left the house to go for dinner. Nala had eaten from trash earlier in the day and then had diarrhea all over the house. When I say all over the house, I'm not kidding. It looked like someone took buckets of mud and poured them from the living room, around the kitchen, down the hallway and into both bedrooms on the first floor. It was probably the worst way possible to arrive at home. We considered closing the door and putting the house up for sale. Chris and I spent hours and hours scrubbing the poo out of the floors and carpets. If she eats out of the trash, she will do this same thing still. It happened just last week.

Nala barks at dogs and people and jumps up. We took her for obedience classes. We had a private dog trainer at our house. Nothing helps. She does it no matter what. She barks and barks and barks and barks. I hate it. She tears around the yard barking at dogs and ruins the grass. She used to chew stuff up. Harry Potter book, stuffed animals, my mother's rocking chair...all chewed. She won't sit nicely and let you pet her; she has to tear around and wag her tail and be the most annoying pet on the planet.

I really don't like her. I try to like her. I let her lay by me in bed. I pet her. I feed her. I throw her ball. But really, deep inside, she is annoying and I will never get another dog.

Thankful Thursday 9/18/2008

1. Haircuts

2. Faithful Cub Scout Leaders

3. Recent quality of Sacrament talks has been so good

4. Homemade flannel baby blankets

5. Surprise ice cream and pop

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Go Sit On A Bench

One of my favorite pictures ever of Anna and I.

Random Thoughts by Jennifer Vos

I hate Caillou. I know hate is a strong word, but totally appropriate in this instance.

The Ford Flex is the ugliest car I have ever seen. It looks like a hearse.

I really really really need a caffeine free Coke.

Women who are having baby #6 shouldn't get baby showers or gifts. It's nice tho.

I love 4th Nephi.

There is no one on the planet crankier than I am.

Pregnancy is 12 days too long.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I say love, it is a flower, and you, its only seed

I still have 14 days til my due date. I go to the midwife today and I am hoping to find out if I'm making some progress towards the magic 10 cm.

One thing that I've been excited about with this baby is that most of my "mommy" issues are resolved. My therapist declared me cured about 4 weeks ago. It is is a relief for me to feel and be normal. Usually when I have a baby, I lose it a little emotionally because I really really really want my mom here. I was thinking that maybe it wouldn't happen this time but then I wasn't so sure. A lady in our ward just had a baby last week and her mom is here helping. Yesterday, when we walked into the church building, I saw that grandma with her granddaughter. We walked behind them to the chapel and they sat several rows in front of us but I had a perfect view of them. I kept finding myself drawn to watching them during Sacrament Meeting. The grandma was so cute and sweet with the granddaughter. The granddaughter was standing in the pew and had one arm around the grandma. It was truly adorable. I sat and imagined what it would be like to have my own mom interacting with my children. I know she would be delighted with them. I imagined what it would be like to have her take my newborn from my arms for the first time and snuggle her to her face and whisper sweet words and have her eyes fill with tears. As I thought of these things, I remembered the birth of each child and one of the most precious moments to me is when my sister comes in and meets the baby. She takes the newborn and snuggles it and says all the right words. She stands in for my mom.

I am going to be okay this time because I am "cured" like the therapist said and because I am going to let my sister be that comfort to me that I so desperately need.

I love these photos of my mom because her face shows so much joy in being a mother and interacting with me.

Anna finding joy with baby Spencer.

Weekly Top Five 9/15/2008

Top Five Favorite SNL Characters

1. Pat

2. Kaitlin

3. Dieter

4. Land Shark

5. Adam Sandler on Weekend Update with his "Gimme Some Candy" routine

6. The Tri-delts

7. Anything with Phil Hartman

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hey, there's only one subject. It's football.

Today was Christopher first Steelers game. The Steelers played an away game vs. the Lincoln Railsplitters. It was raining for most of the game and we all got soaked. Christopher's team got 18 points ahead of the Railsplitters and had to put in their second string. Christopher played most of the second half and was so excited about it. He did awesome! The Steelers won 34 to 6. Way to go, CV!!!!

In the pictures, Christopher is #59.

Soaked Calvin watching game.

Anna trying to stay dry.

Mr. VP and Spence

He's on far right doing something that looks pretty cool.

You know you worked hard if you go home filthy.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I know it's a baby. What is it doing there?

Can you guess which baby is which? Your options are Christopher, Calvin, Spencer and Cameron. Sorry, Emily, you looked like a girl even as a newborn. Don't feel bad if you can't get them right; their own dad couldn't do it.



What my freezer doesn't look like

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I've got it! Nurse, call the Anesthesiologist, this woman needs an enema!

I have officially entered my least favorite part of pregnancy. It is called the Prodromal Labor phase. This phase involves losing my mucous plug (sorry TMI, I know) and a lot of contractions that last for several hours at a time and are rather mild but uncomfortable. However, the contractions stop and go nowhere. It is frustrating and annoying. I have experienced this type of labor with my three previous pregnancies and was hoping to avoid it this time, but no such luck. My midwife says I have a lazy uterus. I guess it goes with the rest of me.

I saw a friend at the grocery store last weekend and she asked me how I'm doing and I said I was fine but ready for the baby to arrive. She has never been supportive of our choice to have a large family and snidely said, "Being pregnant at 33 is different from being pregnant at 23. Maybe this will be your last one." I felt discouraged for a moment but just let her comment go. I was pregnant at 21 and 23 and 25 and 28 and 31 and now 33 and the last 2-3 weeks are miserable no matter how old you are. At 21, I laid on the couch for a week straight in my nightgown eating bananas and pop tarts and reading books. I got up to pee and shower. The only reason I'm not doing that now is because I have kids to take care of. Age has nothing to do with pregnancy discomfort. It's uncomfortable for everyone.

So I'm taking sympathy for the next few weeks. I'm letting myself wallow in my pregnant misery. I don't feel wonderful and glowing nor am I having a burst of energy. I feel like "Mr. Richard Feder from Fort Lee, New Jersey writes in and says: "Dear Roseanne Roseannadanna, Last Thursday, I quit smokin'. Now, I'm depressed, I gained weight, my face broke out, I'm nauseous, I'm constipated, my feet swelled, my gums are bleedin', my sinuses are clogged, I got heartburn, I'm cranky and I have gas. ... What should I do?" ... Mr. Feder, you sound like a real attractive guy! ..."

Thankful Thursday 9/11/2008

1. Facebook

2. Banana Bread

3. The return of good TV

4. People who are patient

5. Carrot cake from J. Alexanders

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Random Thoughts by Jennifer Vos

I love Coke. It is so choice! Have to drink it caffeine free, but I still love it.

Old people should not be allowed to drive. They drive me nuts and I want them off the road.

I liked "Fringe."

I have procrastinated doing my preschool videos and am still not done with them all. People are going to hate me.

When I bore my testimony on Sunday and said Chris is going to Texas this month, I had forgotten that I hadn't told the kids yet. When I returned to our row, 5 little faces were quite concerned and I was bombarded with questions. Sorry to the people sitting by us! It was kind of funny.

If there was a way to break my own water, I would do it.

Pregnancy is now 3 weeks too long.

Foos-ball? Buncha overgrown monsters man-handlin' each other...

Congratulations to Chris Vos who is the newly and unanimously elected Vice President of the Plymouth Canton Steelers!!

Now get out there and do something about those pesky Sunday games!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Weekly Top Five 9/8/2008

Top Five Things I Love About My Sister

1. Her infinite amount of patience with me

2. Her enthusiasm for making new recipes, trying new crafts, doing fun things

3. Her love for my children

4. Her beautiful smile

5. Her comforting embrace

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Carnies. Circus folk. Nomads, you know. Smell like cabbage. Small hands.

This weekend was the annual Plymouth Fall Festival. It is one of my very favorite things in the whole wide world. I am a big fan of fairs and festivals. Growing up we went to the Fulton County Fair every Labor Day. This tradition started when I was about 10 and we went faithfully every year until just last year. I remember one year my mom was too sick to go. I stayed with her at home and my dad and sister drove the 80 minutes round trip just so they could get her very favorite fair onion rings. I think that was one of the only years I actually missed out on going. We always did the same things every year: eat at the Pettisville Band Boosters booth, look at all the animals, look at all the 4H crafts, look at the prize winning veggies and flowers, eat onion rings, eat caramel apples, ride rides and play skeeball. I have several very special memories including my mom winning an (was it a buffalo, Anna?) animal of some kind playing skeeball, my mom puking on the Tilt-A-Whirl, getting flirted with by nasty carnies and just having so much fun doing something as a family.

Now that we live in Plymouth, we look forward to Fall Festival all year long. We have our fun traditions: eating Yaki Tori, riding rides, eating corn, riding rides, eating chicken BBQ, riding rides, eating a bucket of french fries, riding rides, eating elephant ears, riding rides. I guess it's just a lot of eating and riding. In past years, I've spent several hundred dollars on rides and food at the Festival. This year, I had $40 (plus Grammy and Grandpa treated too). Each child got their choice of 4 rides and one food. I'm pretty sure that our $40 bought the same amount of fun that $200 bought and I don't think that even if we were abounding in wealth, I would ever spend that amount of money again on a fair. I have learned so much from our stint in poverty's vale. We saw two families from our ward while we were up there. I found it very interesting that amid all the throngs of teenagers milling around and being yucky, there were three families with their children all having fun being with their family. I know it probably won't last, but I hope my children will always enjoy being together and always be able to find joy in one another's company. Enjoy the photos!!

Spencer and Cameron on the little train.

Calvin having a riot on the bumper cars.

The carnivores devouring bucket 'o fries. Technically, I guess eating potatoes would make them herbivores but they were eating them like carnivores.

Calvin exiting der Fun Barrel

Emily and Christopher on The Tornado

Anna is totally psyched for The Freak Out! What a great aunt to ride the scary ride with her niece!

Why I couldn't ride The Freak Out.

Cam and Lucy mostly got to just sit and watch.

Anna and Emily are on the hanging thing facing the camera in the middle. Both have on white tee shirts. Expression on Anna's face is awesome!!

They are still facing camera, just now at a different angle.

Wow, Mom, you are really way up there!!

Christopher giving Emily and Anna high fives after their scary ride.

Friday, September 5, 2008

You wear too much eye makeup. My sister wears too much.

I have never worn very much makeup. I like it and I think it's pretty, but I just don't wear it very often. Usually I do for church or a date with Chris, but sometimes I forget. I never wear foundation because it feels fakie to me. I usually just wear lipstick and a little eyeshadow. My favorite lipstick that I still wear I bought the day after I got married. The tube has lasted me almost 14 years. I have always been a Clinique girl, even though the Arbonne rep says its made of all bad stuff. However, I can no longer afford to be a Clinique girl. I needed a new lipstick since I lost my 14 year old tube. (Luckily, I found the tube during the basement cleanup. Yea!!) I headed to the local CVS to see what I could find. I am pleased to report that I struck gold. I purchased a product called Outlast Double LipShine. This product is two parts: the color and then the gloss. It looks pretty on and it lasts forever! I put it on Sunday for church, ate two meals, slept, ate another meal and went swimming the next day and it was still on. My sister asked me why I was getting all fancy for the backyard pool. Who has heard of lipstick that lasts 24 hours? My Clinique never did. I am recommending this product to anyone looking for a great lipstick.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thankful Thursday 9/4/08

1. Lucy

2. Page A Day 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said Calendar

3. Finding all my spoons

4. The original 90210

5. Kroger gift cards

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

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