15 September 2014

I don't care for you.

When Keith gets home from school, I try to have a snack ready for him.  Today, Jeffrey and Faye were on a "date," watching Tale Spin downstairs and eating popcorn, so naturally, Keith joined them. Which left Beth and me upstairs with all the rest of the popcorn.

Which she devoured quite happily.

It was darling.

Rather quickly the popcorn was hoovered away (by the kids, not an actual Hoover) and tummies were full.  But shortly thereafter came the question of dinner.

Well, I have to leave the house once a day.

At least once.

If I don't, I get cabin fever and go a little crazy.  It's best for everyone if I get out at least once.  And taking Keith to school doesn't count.

So, around 6:30 I left to go to the grocery store, and to get a pizza for the kids.  $3 on Mondays, can't beat that!

While I was at the grocery store, I chatted with my brother while I browsed the isles, enjoying being alone for the first time that day.  I got things for Keith's lunch, and for our dinners for the week.  I paid, left the store and was so very nearly to my car when I felt something hit my leg, and then another something hit my foot and bounce away.

What on earth?

I turned around and saw my apples and pears merrily bouncing away down the black asphalt of the parking lot.  With a sigh, I picked up the ones near my feet and put them back in my bag.  More apples and pears jumped out of my bad, and embarrasingly, it took me that long to realize I had a hole in my bag.  I was so thankful when a bagger and another shopper were so kind to rush to my aid and stop my produce before it rushed into the oncoming traffic in front of the store.  They helped me put the fruit into a different bag, a better hole-less bag, and I was on my way back to my van. However, somehow in the fruit kerfuffle, my purse, which was hanging on my shoulder, mysteriously got turned upside-down and three steps later, its innards were spread across the parking lot as well.


I don't care for you.

I stopped for the pizza and there weren't any ready, so I did have to wait 15 minutes or so, but I was talking to my Mom, so no biggie there.  While I was driving home, I saw the missionaries, and had to flip a U to talk to them as Primary has been on the brain lately.  We talked for a bit, until Jeffrey began calling me because he was getting worried.  Somehow time had skipped ahead without telling me and nearly 2 hours had passed since I left home.  Oops.

When I got home, this is what I found.  The baby in bed, and the other three passed out on the luvsac where they had been watching Tale Spin together.

While today had its downs, there were absolutely some adorable ups!

See picture evidence.

I guess Monday's aren't all bad.

14 September 2014

I Fought The Week and The Week Won

This moment, right now, is the moment I have been waiting for all week.

All week.

The moment when I complete all the things I had been working on during the week and I can finally sit back, let out the deep breath I seemed to have subconsciously been holding in, and relax.

This week, we volunteered to have Jeffrey's family over for dinner.  The same week I had a training meeting for Primary.  And due to scheduling problems, they ended up being at basically the same time.

Go figure.

All week long I stressed about getting my house clean.  Because it is important to me.  I know that no one would have cared if my house was messy, but I cared very much.  And so I cleaned, and stressed and became a nightmare to live with.

Monday I got sick.

Thursday I had a complete melt-down.  It wasn't pretty. Wednesday Faye and I had worked hard to get her room clean.  When that was done, I went down to help Keith with his room.  It had been sorely neglected since we moved in.  I had never made time to go down and help him organize it and make it look like a real room.  It was a lot of work and I happily was able to get rid of a lot of toys (yay!), and finally, after working nearly all day on his room, and then the family room, I went upstairs to go to bed around 1:00 am. 

 I peeked in on Faye, and my heart dropped.  Her room was a mess again.  All of the toys she owned were yet again all over her floor.  All of her clothes were out of her closet, off the hangers, out of the drawers and were carpeting her floor.  After the hours I had just spent cleaning, trying to organize our house, it hurt to see all that hard work ignored and gone.  And so, I did the only thing that made sense in my mind.  I quietly went into her room and began cleaning it.  I put all of her toys into their boxes, and moved all of those boxes into my room.  I feel like such a mean mom, but what else can I do to teach that girl?!

And so, Thursday morning came, and Faye woke up, noticed all her toys were gone and didn't care.  

This is her not caring, and practicing for an apple juice stand.
After breakfast we went into her room and I sat on her bed, telling her I wasn't going to clean up her clothes for her, she needed to do it.  And we made a game out of it.  I was washing her walls while she was folding and hanging up her clothes.  Except I finished washing the walls and she had only put away 3 things.  So I sat on the ground with her and talked her through it.  Except she began kicking her feet and yelling that she didn't want to do it.  So I calmly talked to her about how we often have to do things we don't want to do, and the benefits of having a clean room.  We talked about how she needs to learn these skills so that when she is in college or even a mom, she will be able to live in a house that is clean, and when we live in clean areas, we are naturally more happy.  Except she began to yell even more, and kick the floor even harder, and the baby had just gone down for her nap, and we have an anti-yelling rule in our house.  The consequence of said rule is toothpaste on the tongue.

I sighed, looked at Faye sadly and reminded her of the consequence and told her I was sad she chose to yell, now she needed the consequence to her action.  I took her into the bathroom where she yelled even louder and then clamped her mouth shut tight so I couldn't put any toothpaste on her tongue.  I hugged her close, but held the toothpaste at the ready, because a consequence is a consequence, and when we break rules, we have to accept the consequence.  Finally, she opened her mouth, and I got some toothpaste in.  She spit it out immediately, and then went into her bedroom and began spitting on the floor.

That is not okay.

That is where I lost it.

Which is not okay, either.

All the love and tactics left my brain.  I grabbed her arm, lifted her up and set her across my knees and spanked her.

I spanked my little girl and it broke my heart.

I had vowed that I would never spank my kids, especially out of anger.  I was spanked growing up and it only taught me to be more sneaky and resentful.  It didn't work on me, and I didn't want to do that to my kids.  I didn't ever want them to be afraid of me hurting them.  But in that moment, my anger was in complete control and I spanked her bum 4 times.  Not hard enough to really hurt, but hard enough that she would know I meant business.  She squirmed away, yelling and screaming at me the whole time.

I looked at her red wet face.  Her freckles standing out like angry little soldiers on her nose.  Her bright eyes were full of life and defiance, and her hair was a complete mess, curl tendrils stuck to her cheeks where they were tear wet.  I saw her with such clarity, and her littleness and vulnerability were so prevalent.  I looked at her glaring at me, yelling at me, and I was so ashamed at  what I had done.  I could not believe I had spanked her out off anger.  I was disgusted that anger had such complete control of me that in that moment, I succumbed and broke a promise I had given myself when I was a kid.  I looked at her and I broke down.  I began to cry.  I began to weep.  I buried my face in her blankets and my sobs shook my body racked with guilt and self loathing over what I had done.

Funny enough, as soon as I began to cry, Faye immediately stopped her tantrum and began to comfort me.  She put her hand on my shoulder and told me it was okay, she loved me, and I didn't need to cry.  She told me it sounded like I was laughing and that I have a funny cry, but I should stop.  She said that she will help me so that I don't have to feel sad, so that I don't have to feel like a maid, and she would tell her brother and her dad to help me because I shouldn't have to feel like the only one who cleaned. Faye then jumped down from her bed and began folding her clothes and putting them away, dialoguing to me the whole time how she was helping and I didn't need to worry about it anymore, because she would always be my little helper, and she was good at making the boys listen to her, so I didn't need to worry anymore.

What a sweet and kind hearted girl that one is.

I apologized profusely to her, telling her how sorry I was and that I shouldn't have spanked her, and we cuddled and talked and folded clothes until her room was once again clean.

Shortly after that I went into the bathroom to shower, but ended up on my knees praying, begging for forgiveness for spanking my daughter.  Which prayer turned into more crying and praying, and just being overwhelmed.

I think I cried myself out on Thursday.  By the time Jeffrey got home from work I was just done.  I went to my bed and lay there for a few hours, sleeping off and on.

I am still so ashamed that I spanked Faye, but I know both she and Heavenly Father have forgiven me, and I guess I will always have that memory to help me not lose it and spank my kids again.

Whew!  Just writing about that day was to re-live it, and to re-live it is exhausting!

Long story short, I eventually got most of my house clean, and I got some of my stuff put together for primary, and I survived.  The hard stuff is over, and my week is done.  I am so happy to be able to go to sleep tonight and put an end to this week.

And I have nothing planned for next week, for which I am very excited!

09 September 2014

Purple Haze

Just because.  She's cute.
I know I have mentioned before that I get sick when I don't get enough sleep.
Yesterday morning I woke up incredibly sick due to lack of sleep.  I was not able to function or really do anything.  I had to call Jeffrey to come home from work so he could watch the kids so I could sleep so I could get well.  Because really, if it gets to that point, I cannot cope. It is a quirk of mine that I really wish I didn't have, but what can you do?

Determined to not have another day like that today, I decided to take some melatonin before I went to sleep last night as I had a big day ahead of me today.  In the past when I have tried melatonin, I would always toss and turn, and I would awake with a ridiculous migraine.  Every time.  And so, to try to combat the headache that I knew would inevitably come, I took 2 melatonin.

That is when I learned another new quirk about me.

Melatonin has the complete opposite effect on me.  Even though I was very tired, I tossed and turned all night, wide awake.  Until 2 am.

Never again will I take melatonin.  Unless I want to stay awake, that is.  Then I am all over it!

Keith has been having a very hard time at school, though I am not sure why.  I emailed his teacher and mentioned some of my worries. He told me he didn't have any friends, and quite frankly, was terrified of going to school for a full day.  His teacher is brilliant!  She emailed me back and told me that she had asked Keith to be a special friend to a little boy in his class, as he didn't have any friends and needed someone to sit by him at lunch and to play with him at recess.  She told the boy the same thing.  When Keith got home from school on Friday, he was thrilled.  He told me he had made his first friend in first grade and recess was so much more fun now that he had someone to play with. That confession honestly made me a little sad, but happy at the same time.  He is such a tender hearted and sensitive boy.  I really hope he never changes, but I do hope things get a bit easier for him.  

Yesterday, we were talking, and he told me the reason he was having such a hard time is that he hadn't yet had a father's blessing. Last night, after FHE, Jeffrey gave Keith and Faye a father's blessing.  It was so sweet, the confidence and faith that Keith has.  His day today was so much better, he said!  

I do love having a girl day while Keith is at school.  Faye and Beth play so nicely together.  Well, Faye loves to play with Beth, but Beth does not like to be man-handled so much.  

Quite frankly, though, I seem to be seeing things through a very sleepy haze.  Curse you, melatonin!  

08 September 2014

Who You Gonna Call?

If there's somethin' strange in your neighborhood
who ya gonna call?
Google image
Last week Jeffrey and I went out with our friends who we lovingly refer to as "the Nerds." 

Although we do a lot of nerdy things with them (and enjoy it!), sometimes they branch out and want to do something completely awesome!

Because it is the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters, it is playing on the big screen right now* which of course meant that we had to go.  Because, Ghostbusters!  Big screen!

It was pure awesomeness.

Jeffrey and I got there early.  I am really enjoying this whole telling him the wrong time and arriving places on time.  It is wonderful.  Although I am not going to tell him that is what I am doing.  And he hasn't put two and two together yet.  I know he will not be happy when he does.  Until then, though, I will enjoy being early for things.  

I digress.  We arrived there early, met up with the Nerds, and then we all filed into the theater.

Which was empty.


Which gave us license to comment and discourse through the whole thing.  Most of our friends have the movie memorized, so they had a lot of fun quoting.  And there were so many little details that we all had missed when watching it on a smaller screen.  It was so much fun!

Felina and I were the only ones who dressed for the occasion.  We were both wearing Ghostbuster t-shirts.  We felt awesome.

I wish a 30th anniversary of other epic films would be put back up on the big screen, because that was incredible!

Gosh, I love my nerdy friends.

Google image
I ain't afraid o' no ghost!

*In select theaters across the country.

05 September 2014

While You Were Outt

Message for: Keith

Message from: Mom, Faye and Beth

Date: 5 September, 2014                          Time: All morning                                            



I know you have to go to school each day.  It is just how it is.  Some mornings are easy and some are hard.  Today was a hard morning for you.  You said you don't like missing things at home.  In an effort to help you feel like you aren't missing things, this is what we did this morning:

  • Beth enjoyed smearing her oatmeal all over her high chair tray and in her hair.  I am convinced she is practicing to be a beautician when she grows up.
  • After I got Beth cleaned up she went down for a nap and Faye did her computer school time.
  • (See, things are boring around these parts without you.  Nothing for you to worry about missing.)
  • When Beth woke up, Faye and I cleaned her room because Faye had dumped out every toy box therein.
  • Daddy had the day off and was working on his homework all morning, and since the rest of the upstairs was clean, the girls and I decided to make some cookies.
  • Faye was a wonderful helper mixing the ingredients and shaping the cookies into balls and dropping them on the cookie sheet.  

  • She did eat an awful lot of dough, though.  She may have licked one or two of the cookies, too, but she will never tell which ones.  
  • We played for a while in the living room, Faye pushing Beth around on her cart until Beth was sobbing for mercy.  You know how fast Faye goes.  I would be a little frightened, too!

  • Beth pointed to body parts and demanded we tell her what they were.  Over and over and over.

  • When she pointed to her belly-button (her favorite body part, as you well know) for the umpteenth time, we turned it into a tickling game.  Beth squealed with delight, and Faye grinned and laughed, I think because she wasn't being told to leave the baby alone, for once.
  • We sat down for lunch.  Left over stew and grilled cheese.  While the kids ate, I tended the baking cookies, getting them ready for when you got home from school.  I had it all planned out, you would walk in the door, drop your bag, sit at the counter, eat cookies and tell me how your day went.
  • That is not how it happened. You got home, dumped your things by the front door, followed the intoxicating smell of the cookies into the kitchen, stuffed your pockets with as many as you could, and ran off to play in your room. 
  • We will try the cookie/talking tactic again another time. 
In a nutshell, that is all that happened today.  No playdough, no painting, no bubbles, and no carnival like you think happens every day when you are not here.  All of that stuff is for next week.  When you are going full day and we have more time.  That is when all the fun will happen!                           

I love you,


04 September 2014

A Family That Shares, Cares

I went to bed at 9:30 tonight.

I tossed and I turned until I couldn't take it anymore. The constant sniffling, the involuntary swallowing and perpetual throat clearing due to drainage steadfastly oozing down the back of the throat was enough to drive one mad. With an embittered wheeze, I got up to attempt the impossible. 

I tried to clear my head. 

A cacophony of trumpeting, gagging, throat clearing and spitting ensued. 

Triumphant, I went back to bed with minute improvement. 

But there was improvement nonetheless, and this pleased me enough to attempt sleep again. 

Except the cold I am currently dueling was lovingly given me by Jeffrey who lay obliviously snoring next to me through his resident virus. 

Because a family that shares, cares. 

And so, as I lay wishing for that sweet repose, I happened to glance at the window. 

Through the slats in the blinds I was overwhelmed by the brightness of the moon. It reminded me why we call this place Moon Hollow, and it made me smile. And then, right after that sweet innuendo, the moon deftly slid off stage behind a curtain of clouds. 

A recollection of my many blessings was brought to mind and I couldn't help but think how much things have changed in just a year. A year ago I was a sleep-deprived kelpie struggling to juggle a new born and a kindergartner for the first time ever. Figuring out sleep schedules vs pick up in another city school schedules. Now, I am a sleep-deprived mother trying to juggle three very different yet individually impressive children, school (for the kids because, guys, their homework means my homework), working in the primary, house and yard duties, and just being me (which on its own is a monumental job in and of itself). 

There always seems to be so much going on and I keep hearing myself say "After this week I can breathe." It seems to have become my catchphrase. 

Note to self: Get a better catchphrase. Stat!

Still blissfully smiling through all these thoughts, I picked up my phone to glance at my photos, and hoping to get a picture of the stage shy peeping moon, I turned on my camera. 

My smile instantly evolved into a poorly muffled giggle. 

I had forgotten that Faye had my phone today. 

Her self expression makes me so happy. 

Despite going to bed 3 hours ago and notwithstanding the viscous germy residents making my head orifices very moist, I am quite glad that I couldn't sleep as the memories and discoveries more than made up for the lost sleep. 

Just remind me of that tomorrow when I am stumbling around in yet another narcoleptic haze. 

03 September 2014

Wedding Day

Last weekend our dear friends Gary and Felina were married.  They had asked us to be a part of the wedding party.  Jeffrey was the Best Man, as well he should be, having been best friends with Gary since they were very little.  Faye was the adorable Flower Girl, and I was a Bridesmaid.  We feel so honored to have been able to participate in their special day!

Friday morning was a very busy morning.  We had a lot of errands to run.  I still hadn't gotten my dress ready and I had just a few hours before the wedding began.  Once Jeffrey got home from work I rushed off to the store, searching for a shirt.  After going to 3 different stores, I finally settled on something.  I wasn't thrilled about it, but didn't have much other choice.  When I got home, though, that is when the fun began.

I walked in the door, and Keith was moping.  Jeffrey was ready to go, but Keith was wearing his "lounge clothes" (pajamas).  Apparently, he had told Jeffrey that he didn't have to go to the wedding because he didn't have a part in it.  He was very good at convincing Jeffrey, who truly thought I had told Keith he didn't have to go.  He should have known I would never have said that!

After a mad dash to get everyone ready, we rushed out the door, and made it just in time for the pictures.

The poor groom was so nervous that Jeffrey was going to be late!  They had made sure to tell Jeffrey everything began half an hour earlier than it actually started, just to make sure he wasn't late.  Good thing, too, as we very nearly were!

But then, the magical evening began.

Felina was breathtaking! Gary was dashing.  They were both so giddy, it was adorable.

I have to say, the Groom's room was so much better than the Bride's!  The Groom's room was equipped with a huge screen TV and an Xbox, complete with games.  The Bride's room was beautiful with large comfy couches and large mirrors, and honestly was lovely, but a bit boring.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to spend a lot of time in either room as I was in charge of keeping the children from tearing the place to bits.  A full time job!

Finally, it was time.

Faye was the perfect little Flower Girl.  She practiced and practiced before the wedding, and when it was her turn to walk down the isle, she slowly raised the petals up, with her hand touching her forehead, she let go of the flowers.  It was very funny!

The ceremony was beautiful.  When Gary and Felina were introduced as man and wife, they retreated down the isle to the Ghostbuster's theme song, so like them!

And then the food!

And then the dancing!

Felina actually broke something in her elbow from dancing at her wedding.  What a great story she will have to tell!  Happily it isn't too bad and will heal on its own.

I tell you, it was an incredibly lovely and exhausting weekend.

Aside from that, primary has been consuming my life.  I feel like I don't post here often, because everything in my life right now is Primary.  This blog is supposed to be for my kids, and about all the wonderful things they do.  I don't want to take up valuable space with my musings on primary. Hopefully one day very soon I can find a balance.