Tag Archives: Motherhood

Finding the Joy

Ah the Goof

is

BACK!!

Here I sit with my foot wrapped and propped up. (It’s looking like a sprain and is already feeling better than it did this morning)

Sitting around – especially on a beautiful day – is not much fun, but it gives plenty of time for thinking.

And I found myself thinking about how lucky I am to have such an amazing family and how proud I am of the choices my kids are making.

I first thought of it when James wandered up from the basement in the late morning. He didn’t say anything to me, just walked to the dishwasher and quietly opened it. I thought he was getting a drink when I heard the chink of dishes, but as the chink lasted longer than a few seconds I realized he was quietly unloading the dishwasher. No one had asked him, he just decided to come upstairs and do it for mommy.

And I smiled and thought of all the joys of parenting.

Sometimes we get bogged down in the negatives – I know I do – how hard it is (after all – being a parent is one of the hardest jobs we’ll ever do). And I wondered if I told my kids how much I look up them and how they set amazing examples for me.

Almost every night when I go into Jacob’s room to tell him lights out he’s sitting on his bed reading his scriptures.

Emily frequently goes out of her way to help friends, siblings,  parents, and teachers. I often hear her ask, “Anything I can do to help?”

Even Robert sets an example with his loving hugs and willingness to help pick up toys.

And Dot – I  am often so amazed by my Dot. She seems fearless and is so courageous when it comes to standing for what is right. The other day I picked her up from Stage Band and asked her how her day went.

“Good,” she replied, “but I think my whole science class hates me now.”

I of course asked why and she explained that the class before hers – or maybe it was hers had angered the sub so much that he had walked out. Not having a teacher, Dorothy got up from her seat to report the situation to the office. The class members told her not to go – “We can have a party” they said. But Dot went anyway, informed the office of the situation and a sub was provided for the class.

To me that was pure bravery. That was awesomeness. I am in awe of the courage and example that she set. The youth theme for this year for our church is “Stand Ye in Holy Places and Be Not Moved” – she embodied that to me and I couldn’t have been more proud of her.

Sometimes I want to stand on top of a mountain and shout for all to hear

“MY KIDS ARE AWESOME !!!!”

Sure, kids are hard – and I know many stories of how difficult teenagers and preteens can be – but there are SO many joys. It’s worth it. Those moments when you see and hear of your child making the hard choices and doing the right thing – standing up in the face of possible ridicule to do what’s right – standing up for other kids who are being made fun of – not being afraid to live up to their standards and not compromise them. Sure they will make mistakes and maybe they won’t do all of these things all the time – but the moments they do should be celebrated and remembered. I hope I can remember to focus on all the good my kids do and not get bogged down in the negatives of parenting.

There’s so much negative in the world today – we don’t need more. My kids make plenty of mistakes and poor choices and it’s easy to think that’s all they do and then I remind myself that they do just as many good things if I’m paying attention. Most people are eager to point out how hard parenting is, how tiring, how difficult – how awful the dreaded teenage years can be – most people know all these things.

But, how many point out all the joys, the rewards, the pay offs, that come with it? I can’t count how many times I heard the words loaded with negativity “Just wait until their teens” when I talked about how good or hard my young children were. How discouraging those words felt. We don’t need to be told and tell other parents how hard things are – or how hard they may get – I think most of us already have a pretty good idea of the heartaches – just check the news – what we really need to to remind each other of are the things that make parenting joyous.

Let’s not be so eager to point out all the negatives – let’s encourage, lift & celebrate all that our children are and can do. I know I have hard years ahead – what stage in parenting doesn’t? But I know for every battle lost or mistake made there are many battles fought and won.

Celebrate the amazing in your kids!

And who knows – maybe it will give them the courage

to be even more amazing than they already are.

MY KIDS ARE AWESOME!!!

AND YOURS ARE TOO!!!

(I think this calls for an ice cream party – and when asked why, I think I’ll just say “Because you are all AWESOME!!”)

4 Comments

Filed under Bobert, Dot, Em, Jacob, James, Parenting

Redemption

You know those moments in motherhood? The ones no one likes to talk about.

The moments when you flop it SO big time that you’re sure you have a neon

“L”

tatooed to your forehead.

Not only is it neon, but it

FLASHES!

LOOSER  MOM LOOSER MOM

Well, I secretly think that EVERY mom has those moments – even if they don’t admit it, at least I HOPE so, because otherwise I am the only mom out there who accidentally sabatoges her daughter to FAIL her Intro to Languages class.

But now I’m getting ahead of myself. So lets back up and examine what made this moment my ultimate LOOSER MOM moment.

Liz had a huge project due today for her Intro to Languages class. We’ve known about it for weeks and weeks and weeks… and I promise I wasn’t procrastinating. I wasn’t procrastinating because it involved making a cake.

Well, I suppose I could have been an over achiever and made it three weeks ago, but then it would have gotten moldy and everyone would have gotten sick from attempting to eat it, and  then this would be a WHOLE different looser mom story.

Anyway, the cake. A Black Forest German Cake. YUMMMMM!!!! The plan was to make it on Sunday (so it would be fresh). Which meant Saturday I was supposed to buy the ingredients.

She reminded me.  “Don’t forget to get the stuff for my cake.”

And I, with my little ‘oh honey, I won’t forget‘ smile, said, “It’s on my list.”

I could blame it on the fact my husband had to work 6 hours, help someone move AND attend a wending with me. I could blame it on the fact that Jacob was sick, I was crazy busy with mothery stuff, I had a wedding to attend, and Liz was off babysitting another family when I got home from said wedding and couldn’t remind me. I could blame it on the fact that after 6 pregnancies my brain was left full of holes –

SWISS CHEESE BRAIN!

(the memory you suddenly loose when prego, never comes back)

Regardless of the excuse, the horrible, numbifying fact of the matter was that

I FORGOT!!!!

It didn’t even enter my head until Liz walked into my room Sunday morning and said, “Oh, Mom, did you get the stuff for my cake?”

And there accompanied by

chirping crickets

was the biggest

LOOSER MOM

moment I have had so far.

I gaped at her like a fish.  “I forgot.”

“Mom! That’s a HUGE part of my grade!”

“I know, we’ll figure something out.”

What to do? I was panicked. Granted we had a day, but it was SUNDAY. After all we had taught our kids about keeping the sabbath day holy and dedicating it to the Lord.  We always made a big point of making sure the car had enough gas to get to anywhere we needed to go, and making sure we had everything we needed for dinner or lunch. And here I was holding my daughters grade in my hands.

I suppose the ox was in the mire. More like I had pushed the ox in the mire. Well, ok, honestly, the way it would have happened was I was supposed to get the ox out of the mire on Saturday but tripped and fell in myself.

(Hey! I’m not nick- named Goofy for nothing – it would have totally happened had I oxen or mires about)

Anyway, oxen and mires aside, I couldn’t see breaking the Sabbath to go buy the stuff on Sunday. There had to be a way, some way to accomplish it.  I could call people, but Sunday mornings are hectic enough, and I couldn’t get a hold of the one or two people I tried. I finally settled on a solution, provided by my awesome hubby.

Solution?

Wait until midnight when it technically wasn’t Sunday anymore and I could go to the store guilt free and attempt to redeem myself.

The one tricky part?

The cake is frosted with

whipped cream –

I can’t exactly put that on a hot cake.

SO not only did I have to go to the store at midnight, but I had to bake it,  so it could cool completely by morning.

So, in an attempt to seek redemption from my looser mom status, I ran to the store at midnight. By 12:30 A.m. I was home and whipping up a cake. by 1:20 I was pulling the cake out of the oven and putting it on the wire wracks to cool. By 1:30 I was in bed asleep.

5:00 in the morning, Liz tip toed in. “Mom, can you help me finish my cake?”

After my 3 1/2 hour nap I hopped out of bed.  (okay, honestly, I stumbled, staggered, and crawled out of bed) We sliced the cake into layers and slathered each layer with cherry pie filling and whipped cream.

By the time we were done we had a masterpiece of cake, whipped cream and cherries.

And I had a very happy and grateful 12-year-old daughter that was no longer in fear of flunking her class. Cake in hand, she hopped on the bus at 6:45 A.M.  (I did attempt to snooze between when we finished the cake at 6 ish and 7, but that SO didn’t work.  Ever notice how in that one moment when you actually NEED the extra snooze, EVERYONE is suddenly wide awake? Yeah.)

Oh, and not only did I redeem myself on that count, but I was also able to save myself from a second looser mom moment. Emily needed grapes for her class Halloween party today, so I got those while at the store.

So, I am functioning off of 3 1/2 hours of sleep (and a 15 minute cat nap from this afternoon).

Was it worth it?

The whole zombie mom lack of sleep status?

Absolutely. I would rather sacrifice sleep than compromise my beliefs. I would rather show my children that we make sacrifices to keep the commandments, then to do what is easy. I could have gone to the store in the middle of the day, or evening, and I would have been justified. It was an “ox in the mire” situation after all. But when there was an alternative available, I had to take it, no matter how difficult, to teach my kids that if we look hard enough we can find solutions that will allow us to stand firm in our beliefs. We may need to make a few sacrifices, but it can be done.

So, I suppose my looser mom status was redeemed, at least, I hope it was. In fact, I felt like at the end, I came out a

winner!

SO…

take that, swiss cheese brain!

(I’m going to take a nap now…..)

(oh, and Liz just came home and said the cake was AWESOME! YAY!)

5 Comments

Filed under Every Day Life, Lizy, Parenting, Religion

Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

Now – before we begin you have to merrily sing the following chorus from a song in the Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan.

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

(This link will take you to an amazon page where you can here a snippet of just the chorus if you haven’t ever heard it before 😀 Just scroll down and press the little play button.)

This was our main theme when we sat down to Family Home Evening a few weeks ago with the children to sort out the house rules and their consequences. We find this is an ongoing process that is always in need of change and tweaking. Somethings work long term, but more often than not we frequently have to change things up. So, I’ll start with what we are doing now and then mention some things we tried in the past.

We started off by going around the family a few times and having each member state a rule they thought was very important in our family. After we had a list of 15 – 20 rules we stopped the kids and began to work on narrowing the list down to 5 major rules that would help create a better atmosphere in the home. A lot of the smaller rules ended up being encompassed in the larger rules. These were our top five house rules:

1. No Fighting (this ecompassed the pushing, hitting, kicking – you get the idea)

2. Do not throw things (we seem to have this issue with people chucking things when they get mad – drives me NUTS!)

3. Treat house with respect – no running (mainly because we’ve had too many collisions with all sorts of things and the dog gets riled up and starts jumping on people), no graffiti, no slamming doors, pounding on walls, and so on.

4. Listen to your parents – do not argue with them.

5. No yelling/ screaming/ temper tantrums.

Then, we had the kids help us decide what good consequences for those rules would be. We reminded them that ultimately Mom and Dad would decide if the consequence was appropriate and reminded them we wanted “the punishment to fit the crime”. This is what we came up with:

1. Service – since we are trying to encourage love and kindness, if they are mean to someone and hit them, etc. then they get to do some act of service to make up for it. Pick up a few things in their room, make their bed, help with the chores – something to let them know they are sorry and to make up for the meanness. Often (since it usually takes 2 to tango) we will have them work together or stick with each other until they are happily playing and getting along.

2. Extra job – the logic here was that since throwing things makes more of a mess they would not only pick up what they through but have an extra job to do on top of it.

3. 15 push-ups (to release all that pent up energy they obviously have, heh) and if there is damage to repair then they have to repair it – such as scrubbing a wall if they wrote on it – mainly in place for the little people who are still learning that you don’t touch mom’s walls with writing utensils – EVER.
* My other standard consequence which is still in place, is that if you beat up on my furniture – kick it, jump on it, etc. you have to give it a hug and a kiss and apologize to it.

4. Time out – the standard age old consequence we figured to be a good one for arguing with mom and dad to allow thinking time. They sit in time out for one minute per age. So James who’s only 2 only has 2 minute time outs, while Liz who is 11 (and would hopefully know better :-D) would have an 11 minute time out.

5. Sock in mouth – no, we’re not socking our kids in the mouth – they have to put a clean sock in their mouth and keep it there 1 minute per age. This accomplishes a few things – first off it is hard to scream and yell and carry on when your mouth is full of sock, 2nd it saves everyone else’s ears and sanity. 😀 We figure it’s longer lasting than washing mouths out with soap – and you don’t have to worry about nasty chemicals and such.
Some other things we have tried in the past – hot sauce – a dab of it on their tongue. This one backfired when our main offender developped a liking for it – she is now our girl who LOVES spicy food. Rather funny, really.
I have to say really quick where I came up with the idea, a few years ago the kids were yelling about something and I, being totally frustrated, muttered none to kindly under my breath, “Ah, put a sock in it.” Then I paused and thought, “Not a bad idea.” After which I promptly fetched some clean socks and silenced the problem. 😀

And there we go, our rules and consequences. I am in the process of making up a chart to – you guessed it! – laminate and put on the fridge. I like doing picture charts for rules and consequences so that the kids who can’t read yet can still understand what is expected of them.

I also have to say that we made sure each kid understood and agreed tot he rules and consequences. Also, we made it clear that consequences could and would be stacked. So if some one started to argue with me they would have a timeout, then if they got angry about it and yelled, they would take the timeout with a sock in their mouth – if they slammed the door as they stormed off to find a sock they would have 15 push-ups to do and so on. We are hoping to help them learn to stop and think before they make the situation worse.

SO, the thing to remember is these rules have pretty much always been there, but it is setting them up again with the kids as a refresher in the hopes there will be a renewed effort to keep them. We still have other rules and consequences in place, so they don’t get away with other things. We’ve tried to be pretty creative with some of our consequences, but we’ve also tried to stick to two general ideas:

1 – Always follow through – so, if we aren’t planning on sticking to it, don’t say it. Where possible and applicable we also try to let the kids set their own punishment – they are usually much harder on themselves than we would ever be.

2 – Try to the best of our ability to make the punishment fit the crime – we’ve found it more effective because it is more logical to the child and helps them think about their actions and the impact it has.

Anyway, discipline is tricky and there are a million ways to go about it and it’s always a work in progress. I also firmly believe there is no right way to go about it (a few wrong ones perhaps – but those are pretty extreme anyway) and it depends heavily upon kids’ personality and family dynamics and so forth.

That being said, I would love to hear what creative things you do/ have done for consequences and discipline. And if I remember more things we’ve tried I’ll post them in the comments section.

5 Comments

Filed under Every Day Life, Parenting

An Organizational Blog Post…

…about being organized. Or the attempt at being organized. Or wishing to be more organized. Or hoping… anyway, you get the idea.

So, the idea for this post came when we had some friends over the other night and we were talking about things that work (as well as anything can with kids, heh) for cleaning and having a semi organized house, and also disciplining. They asked me to send them the ideas and I got to thinking it just might make a fun, or at least informational, blog post. I mean, we can all use more ideas right? So, I will post some of my ideas and if you all would be so kind as to post some of your ideas in the comments section that would be AWESOME.

So, here we go. Upon moving we realized we had a lot more house to clean. So we decided to simplify it as much as possible and focus on keeping up rather than catching up. We have three schedules:

#1 Kitchen schedule.

I made a nifty little wheel with names on the back and jobs on the turning front part. Laminated it, magnetized it, and stuck it on the fridge. I put only the names of those old enough to really do all the jobs (with a little help) on the wheel. So, James was left off (and of course Robert)- consequently so was setting the table which is mainly James’ job. I thought of six possible kitchen jobs that I wanted done everyday. For us they are:

Load dishwasher
Unload dishwasher
Sweep
Clear and wash table and counters
Hand wash (the dishes that don’t fit in the washer)
Hand dry

Often they have to do the job more than once in a day. Every morning I turn the wheel one notch and they get a new job – Mom and Dad are included on the wheel.

#2 Daily Chore Chart

We decided that rather than having a day where we do a weekly clean of the house we’d break the weekly clean up during the week. So, our schedule goes as follows:

*Every day from 5-6 (dad gets off work at 6, so dinner is around 6:30 at our house) is family clean-up hour. Everyone pitches in and cleans up toys and stuff that have been played with during the day.

Monday Family Home Evening

Tuesday – Yard Pick UP – a weekly clean of toys, branches and other things that are bad for a lawn mower’s health.

Wednesday
– Floors (vacuuming, mopping, etc.) – Everyone gets a room or a floor of the house to mop or vacuum.

Thursday – Bathrooms – we have three, but instead of assigning kids to clean a bathroom we assign them a certain part of the bathroom – one will do just toilets, another just counters, another showers/tubs, etc.

Friday – Date night or Family fun night

Saturday – floors again – with most of the day being for big projects like leaf raking, in depth cleaning or family outings.

#3 Laundry Schedule

I found that the laundry just kept piling up indefinitely and now matter how many loads I seemed to do, so I created a schedule to try to keep things better under control. I even gave myself the weekend off and it hasn’t backed up much over the weekend. The kids are responsible for bringing me their clothes, sheets, and towels. If they don’t bring them they don’t get washed, and if they end up with dirty clothes to wear to school, so be it. They learn quickly when they go a few days with “nothing to wear” that it pays to get mom the clothes when she asks for them.

Monday – Colors
Tuesday – Whites
Wednesday – Sheets
Thursday – Colors
Friday – Towels

Folding is my huge issue now – I don’t have a good folding plan – I try to do it every day because I wash everyday, but I haven’t been to good at making that work. Any suggestions? What works for you?

So, those are our main organizational schedules. We still have hiccups in the schedules – especially with a new baby – but it does help things move more smoothely most of the time. We try to be flexible too and not panic if something doesn’t get done – and homework comes first – right after school. Our general rule is hurry and get your homework and chores done so you can play and have fun, but kids are kids and sometimes spend an hour complaining rather than working so they work long into playtime – but eventually (hopefully anyway) they learn that it pays to work quickly and happily.

So, what do you do in your families to keep things running semi-smoothely?

*Next post – rules and consequences – what we’ve tried that’s failed and what we’ve tried that works – kinda – some of the time anyway 😀

*Also – I’ve come to love the wheel idea – I was having a hard time finding an FHE (Family Home Evening) board or whatever that would fit our size of family so I created a wheel with all of us on it and FHE things for them to do. We move it one notch each week after FHE so they can see what their upcoming assignment is. I laminated it, magnetized it and stuck it on the fridge with everything else. Our fridge is a very happening place to be! 😀

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Filed under Every Day Life, Parenting

The Continuing Adventures of the Plunger Avenger

About four years ago (wow, that was a long time) I wrote this post about one of my many superhero identities.  This is a post of the continuing adventures of the Plunger Avenger as she branches out from the toilet to the general vicinity of the bathroom.

When the toilet is in crisis who comes to the rescue? THE PLUNGER AVENGER! She is fierce, she is fearless, she can wield a plunger like no other. She can take down ninjas with one swift suction to the face.

Someone flush multiple toothbrushes down the toilet? Call the Plunger Avenger!

Hair bands, elastics, scrunchies? Call the Plunger Avenger!

Perhaps you snuck some forbidden treats from the cupboard and wish to hide the evidence. Did the thick plastic wrappers get stuck part way? Have no fear, call the Plunger Avenger, and for a fee (namely chocolate) you might be able to buy her silence.

Ever tried flushing a pair of child’s sunglasses down the toilet that have lost their lenses? That one is a bit trickier and will often take the Plunger Avenger’s sidekick to defeat – the Snake is a good one, or sometimes it calls for the Wrench Master (for toilet removal).

The Plunger Avenger is on call twenty-four hours, seven days a week and has just one request: KEEP THE BATHROOM DOOR CLOSED!!!  The toilet has many dastardly capabilities, it can hide unwanted broccoli (my kids haven’t done this to my knowledge, nor did I, but I am sure someone somewhere has), send fish and squirrels to a watery grave, or steal your most prized possessions.  Avert this and all other tragedies and CLOSE THE DOOR!!

As the Plunger Avenger I would like to share this disastrous foray into the bathroom that had nothing to do with the toilet today and would have been avoided altogether if THE DOOR HAD BEEN CLOSED.

It started with an open door, beckoning the two-year-old to the mysteries of the bathroom and beyond. A vortex that sucks toddlers, squirrels, and other curious creatures in and spits them out only after they have undergone hideous transformations.

James was such a victim. The Plunger Avenger did not become aware of the situation until it was too late and the little tyke staggered out, screams tearing from his young little lungs, his eyes squinched shut as great gobs of goo oozed down the side of his face.  He staggered toward her, a strange sort of alien being, slimy and smelling of coconut, his arms outstretched with pitiful wails of “owie!”

The Plunger Avenger knew right away he was a victim of the evil villain Sham Poo, which the older girls keep locked away tight in a bottle lest he escapes and attacks the younger children. He’s quite dangerous and, as is prone to do, went right for the young boy’s head and eyes, depositing gobs and gobs of his viscuous goo all over his head. It slumped over his left eye and trailed down his cheek. The boy’s attempts to wipe it way, only made it foam and rubbed it in.

The Plunger Avenger had to act fast to defeat Sham Poo. The worst was already done, but she knew she had to wash away his gooey slime. She sent her PAT (Plunger Avenger in Training) to trap Sham Poo back in his bottle and CLOSE THE BATHROOM DOOR, while she snatched the little screaming James into her arms and dashed at super sonic speed into her bathroom with the removable shower head.

The boy’s eyes were shut tight, and his cries began to ease and he thought perhaps he could open his eyes, but to no avail, the goo was still there and great cries of  “owie!” permeated the premesis.  He tried this a few times until he decided it was better to keep them closed for good.

The PA turned the shower on and began to rinse the goo away. It was thick and coated the boy’s head, face and shirt. She rinsed for well over five minutes, leaving the boy gasping as she sprayed water time and time again in his face. Finally he was stripped down and completely clean, if still smelling of the evil Sham Poo’s coconut scent. She rinsed his eyes for nigh on fifteen minutes before leaving the screaming little soul to peace.

After much consolation and coaxing the little boy opened his red little eyes to a world of wonder. The Sham Poo’s goo had left its mark and would sting for quite some time, but he had the Plunger Avenger to cling to for comfort solace.

As a reminder to all who dare tresspass into the deadly vortex that is the bathroom, just SHUT THE DOOR and let the  evil within alone.

4 Comments

Filed under Children, Every Day Life, Humor, James

Well, He’s Got the Idea at Least

Traduccion al Espanol

We are still working on potty training Jacob. He can go in the toilet and knows he should go in the toilet, but gets so busy or involved that he doesn’t want to go in the toilet. For him he only goes if he feels like it – which is more often not, unfortunately.

Yesterday I had just finished cleaning up a stinky when the phone rang. It was a woman I had talked with last week about starting piano lessons. She had called to schedule a lesson time with me (yay!). I sent Jacob off to use the toilet and get dressed and began to talk with the woman on the phone.

A few minutes into the conversation Jacob ran up to me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him triumphantly hold up a ziploc bag and declare, “I did it!”

Still trying to schedule the piano lessons I turned my attention on Jacob and saw that the ziploc bag had a fair quantity of yellow water in.

It suddenly hit me as I took the bag from him what I was holding – A ziploc baggy of pee!

Instead of running to the toilet he had peed in a baggy. I ended up spending the rest of my phone conversation holding a baggy of pee up over my head with Jacob jumping around me trying to get it back. I barely managed to finish my conversation in a dignified manner before hanging up and calling Paul.

“You’ll never believe what I am holding in my hand right now,” I told him and broke down in laughter.

13 Comments

Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob

One Day

One day without spit-up that is all I ask for – I would even settle for being spit up on once in one day!  I have never had a child spit up as much as James.  He is a spit-up factory.  Even Jacob when we were getting over his gag reflux after intubation and everything wasn’t this bad.

After every nursing James will spit-up at least once, though usually multiple times – and not dainty little ammounts either.  And then there are the times when he looses everything he just ate all over me, which results in another shower, and my laundry pile just keeps going.

I’d be worried, but he is gaining weight like a champion and growing like a weed, so he must be getting something.  Hopefully the spitting up will subside, and until then my wardrobe survives the ordeal. 🙂

I’m convinced though that spit-up is Mom’s coolest perfume…..uh, maybe not. 🙂

By the way, happy May Day!

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Filed under Parenting

One of THOSE Moments

I usually don’t mind drop-ins.  Mainly because it is almost always my friends, and they have lots of kids too and know that the house isn’t always perfect, though I usually try to keep it at least decent.

Today it looks like a bomb hit my house. Jacob was especially destructive, Emily starving, and the baby howling.  I had Emily make a couple of quick PB&J sandwiches, and managed to keep the baby happy while the kids ate a half-hearted lunch. I sent them off to quiet time and sank into my chair, baby in arms to nurse.

Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as the baby finishes eating, spits up on me as is his habbit, and I stand to go get something done, there comes a happy tapping on my door.  Uh-oh.  My friends don’t knock, they just walk in and announce themselves – that’s the way I like it.  Door salesmen knock, which are easy to get rid of, and old friends of my parents.

So, I open my door to find a very sweet lady who is the mom to one of my mom’s old piano students.  Me with toys flung far and wide, jam dripping off the counter and a half eaten PB&J sandwhich smashed into the table.  Me with spit-up stains all over my shirt, my hair disheveled, and clutter on the couches. Me with dishes in the sink, the art drawer open and masses of coloring books hanging out limply -loosing papers to the floor, and shoes boxes flung far and wide from kids playing with them. Why oh why can’t I have that kind of a drop in when my house, and myself for that matter, look good? Why just the other day the house was looking quite spic and span, and my hair was done, though I don’t think I ever appear without spit up on me these days. It was fun to see her, I remember her son quite well – he was very talented – but oh, how I wanted to hide as I invited her in while I found a pen and paper to write my parent’s adress on. 

There she stands patiently, as I frantically search for pen and paper, looking around. I am sure she is not thinking anything mean about how crazy the house looks right now, but I am SO embarrassed.  Then as I hand her the scrap of paper with the adress scibbled on it, Jacob starts banging on the wall – very loudly. “Um, that would be my son, the three old, who is SUPPOSED to be taking a nap.”

“Loud napper,” she chuckles.  I am sure she remembers the times when she had little tykes banging away, but I can’t help feeling moritfied.

Why does it matter that someone should see us at less than our best? Don’t we all have moments like this? I know we do. Maybe it was that I was thinking about how clean my Mom’s house was (I am the youngest, so she had no children at home when this lady’s son was taking lessons) when they would come for lessons, and how not clean it was today.

All I know is how horribly embarrassed I felt, and how the minute she left I wanted to clean from top to bottom, and then the baby started in to cry. And here I am pondering on why we worry so much about what others think, and typing it all with one hand.

 P.S. The repetition of “me with” is a literary device called ‘anaphora’ – I learned about it today in my online poetry class – I didn’t even realize I was using it, until I came back to edit something. How cool is that? 🙂 Well, baby appears to be happy, so off I go to get something done. 🙂

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Filed under Every Day Life, Humor, Writing

To the Moms with Boys

A heart friend of mine posted this on her blog, and so I just had to steal it, knowing how many of my friends – especially you blogging friends- had boys…

1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep.

2. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3. A 3-year old Boy’s voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound Boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20×20 ft. room.

5. You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

6. The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn’t stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words “uh oh”, it’s already too late.

8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9. A six-year old Boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36- year old Man says they can only do it in the movies.

10. Certain Lego’s will pass through the digestive tract of a 4- year old Boy.

11. Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12. Super glue is forever.

13. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can’t walk on water.

14. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

15. VCR’s do not eject “PB & J” sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

18. You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.

19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.

20. The fire department in Austin , TX has a 5-minute response time.

21. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22. It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

24. 80% of Women will pass this on to almost all of their friends, with or without kids.

25. 80% of Men who read this will try mixing Clorox and brake fluid.

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Filed under Parenting

Even Supermom

I don’t quite know the reason why, but lately I have been thinking alot about our impressions of people and how we percieve them and they percieve us. Maybe it was that a good blog friend called me SuperMom. 😉 Maybe it was the fact that I ran into a gal who attends church with me and she mentioned that I made it look so “easy”. Easy? She must sit WAY in the back where she does not have a clear view of me as I struggle with my 2-year old trying to keep him from running off, let alone quiet.

It seems interesting that from a small window at church people gain their perspectives of our lives. So, where is this going? Well I was thinking of the dangers of impressions and pedastals. See, there are so many families that seem so “perfect”. I mean at church the kids never seem to fight – and even their toddlers seem to sit so quietly through sacrament meeting. Surely I must be doing something wrong if I have constant issues with behaviour in all my kids. Logically I know that they are not perfect, which is a huge relief to me. Then I realize that people think some of those perfect thoughts about my family which becomes quite scary. After all if we are expected to “have it together” than it makes it scarier on the many moments when we are hanging by a thread – if they find out have imperfect we really are, will we fall off that pedestal that we’ve been placed on and will they hate us?

So, a lot of these thoughts and other similar once were rambling through my head as I drove to a nearby town to run some errands. Jacob and James were in the car with me and I plopped in a Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band CD to listen too. All of a sudden we got to one of my favorite songs. With the thoughts that had been knocking about my head I listened to it completely differently and found it very reassuring.

The song is called “Even Superman” and the chorus goes as follows:

‘Cause even Superman has kryptonite
And though he tries with all his might
Even Superman falls to his knees
Begging please, please, please, please
Begging please, please, please, please

As I listened to the song I felt relief that even as “Supermom” 😉 I can have moments where everything is falling apart. I thought of those rough moments in life where the wind has been knocked out of me and I have had no choice but to fall to my knees begging for help from my Heavenly Father. And I was greatful that even the best of the best of us still has weaknesses.

Then after all that I had a thought that I should blog about it. Mainly because nearly all of my blog friends are women, and as women we often feel like we need to live up to certain expectations. Our kids need to be well behaved, good in school, sweet, loving, caring and nearly perfect, our homes needs to be spic and span, our gardens pristine, dinner made on time – and a healthy nutritional one at that, be stellar wives, supermoms, and look good on top of that – oh, and not to mention any moms who work need to do everything twice as good because they are gone part of the day. 😉 So, I wanted to share this with all of the moms and women who are trying so hard to be it all and to remember to cut themselves some slack

‘Cause even Superman has kryptonite
And though he tries with all his might
Even Superman falls to his knees
Begging please, please, please, please
Begging please, please, please, please

*if you want to listen to this very cool song, go to the website linked above and go to the Jukebox. The song, “Even Superman”, is the second song on the Album, “Dream Big”. These guys are AWESOME!!

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Filed under Opinion, Philosophy