Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Last week I had an amazing opportunity. I was invited to go see a play with one of my kids, and then write what I thought of it. 

I feel a little bad as I had intentions to go straight home and write about it, but it happened to fall on the day Keith had his birthday party. So I got home and had to get ready for birthday festivities. But I am getting ahead of myself.

The play is designed for children between the ages of 4-8. I decided I would take Faye since she and I don't get a lot of one on one time together. For some reason, about half an hour before it was time to leave, Faye decided she would rather stay home and clean. Whatever. That was probably better for Jeffrey, anyway. And Beth was more than happy to fill the sudden vacancy! So we got ready and ran out the door. I was extremely apprehensive as it is a 45 minute or so drive to the city, and I had just fed Kip right before we loaded up the van. I just prayed he would be quiet through the whole thing.

We got there, barely in time, and with Kip strapped to my chest, we headed in to the theater, not knowing anything about the play other than the title.

As it unfolded, I was very impressed. It is a play about 2 kids (cast: 2) who have recently lost their grandmother. Isabella is 8, and her little brother J.J. is 5. Together they go on a journey, an adventure, as they sort through their feelings about grief and death. I thought it was very cleverly put together. The play was full of high energy and incredibly relatable for kids. The play explores the theme of death from a child's perspective. As they went on their adventure the relived their memories of their grandmother, and the things they taught them, which ultimately helped them through their grief. 

I found it interesting that each place they went was relatable to a stage of grief. The river was sorrow, the swamp was anger, the cave was guilt or fear, and the mountain was acceptance.

Beth just glowed through the whole performance, and loved it, even though she hadn't had any recent experiences with death. After the play was over, we did get to talk about her two cousins who had died when they were babies, and her great aunt Mimi. When it ended, Sharah (my friend who had invited me to the event) went up and invited all of the children onto the stage where each of those feelings were talked about, and then we did a feelings Hokey Pokey. Beth had a lot of fun!

Surprisingly, Kip stayed asleep through the whole thing! When the play and activity were over, out in the foyer they had set up tables with art supplies on them. There were cute little tags that the kids could decorate. Grief tags, they were called. They looked like luggage tags, about that big, maybe a little bigger. There were also papers they could draw on, and the 2 actors came out and mingled with the kids and talked with them.

What a great experience for the kids! I am so excited that they are touring! It is with Plan B Theatre. The show is specifically for grades K-3 but also great for 4 year olds. You can catch it here:

Public performances, Salt Lake City Library branches (FREE, no tickets required)
  • Thursday, October 19, 2pm- Main Library Story Room, 210 E 400 S, SLC
  • Friday, October 20, 2pm- Glendale Branch, 1375 S. Concord St. SLC
  • Saturday, November 4, 11am - Sweet Branch, 455 F Street, SLC
  • Saturday November 11, 2 pm - Chapman Branch, 577 S 900 W, SLC
  • Saturday November 18, 11am - Marmalade Branch, 280 W 500 N SLC
  • Saturday November 18, 2pm - Anderson-Foothill Branch, 1135 S 2100 E, SLC
Public Performances, Davis County Libraries, Presented by Davis Arts Council (Free, no tickets required)
  • Thursday, October 26, 4pm - Centerville Library Auditorium, 45 S 400 W, Centerville
  • Friday, October 27, 4pm - Central Davis County Library Auditorium, 155 Wasatch Drive, Layton
  • Friday, November 17, 4pm - Roy Library Black Box Theatre, 2039 W 4000 S, Roy
After the play, while Beth colored and drew pictures on the Grief tags, I was able to feed Kip. We visited with some of the people who made the play possible, and then we headed for home.

Traveling with a newborn really is quite tricky. I had to time everything between his feedings. We stopped at Kneaders for lunch, and talked and enjoyed each other's company. I like, when I am out with my kids, to give them my undivided attention. I try really hard to focus on them, what they are saying, and their experiences. Beth is really funny and kept talking about the Sweet Tooth Fairy because I had taken her into that magic shop on our last Beth/Mommy date. She is such a special girl, so full of happiness and smiles! Of course we went there, and got a cupcake for her, and then a cookie for Keith, Faye and Vince. And then we went home, because we still had to get ready for Keith's party.

I am so happy I was able to go to the play, and see (and learn) such a great way for kids to process their grief, or even any other big emotion! I love that they talked about sometimes we feel big emotions and so we want to express them in a big way, and that is okay. Big emotions are sometimes scary, but are always okay. I hope that Beth could feel the biggness of my love for her on our little outing, though!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

According to Plan


Daily Goal: Get to IKEA to pick up birthday gift for Keith.

Action Plan: Feed the baby, get the kids ready, feed the baby, leave the house by 11:30 at the latest. Get to IKEA, feed the baby, leave the kids in the play area, and hunt down a nice but inexpensive comforter for Keith. Leave IKEA. Stop at Culver's on the way home for some insanely delicious cheese curds and concrete frozen custard. Be home before the kids get out of school, as if nothing happened. They will never suspect a thing, that we had an adventure without them.

This is what was on the docket for the day today. See, a simple, easy to follow plan. I should have known that nothing ever goes according to plan this morning when Vince started dry heaving in my bed. But he was fine after having breakfast, no more vomiting, no more dry heaving, he was fine. So I set about with my action plan. I started to feed the baby.

...and I fed him and fed him and fed him. He just didn't want to stop eating! From 9-11 the boy ate, nonstop. And then I was getting Beth and Vince dressed so that we could rush out the door...

And then I realized the sad, cold, hard truth.

Vince is really truly actually sick.

There would be no birthday shopping today.

The poor boy, though, just doesn't feel well. 102.5. That is what the thermometer read, although who knows if it is accurate because he kept taking it out of his mouth to look at it. Poor baby.
It has been a very interesting combination of giving Vince the adequate cuddles and care that he needs, while still taking care of Kip. Sanitizer. Lots of sanitizer. That is the answer. And thank heavens for naps!

I must say, though, children's books and shows are taking on a stale quality today. We have done so much reading and watching today, accompanied by lots and lots of cuddles!

I am a little sad that my plans were derailed today, though. I wont be able to go down to IKEA until Keith's birthday, and that is cutting it rather close, if you ask me. But there is nothing I can do about it. Beth has preschool tomorrow, and then Friday is early out day, Saturday is Keith's birthday party, and then Monday is the big day. I also had a type of baby shower to go to tonight, but realize sharing germs this close to her due date (next week!) is probably not the nicest thing to be sharing, so I will keep my boy's germs home with me. 

Meanwhile, there will be so much baby snuggling time, and I will never complain about that!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Decade in the Making


September 15, 2017: This was the day that was to be my due date for my fifth child, who still had not been named. Because of that, I expected the baby to be born anytime between August 25th, and September 8th. Because all of my babies had come early. Every single one of them. When August 9th hit, everyone, including my midwife was shocked that I was still trucking along, and had no baby to show for it. I was annoyed, and uncomfortable, but tried to keep a good attitude. Because that is what you do when disappointment happens. You keep a good attitude, and it doesn't matter what the disappointment was, it is always lessened. The problem here, is that I am a planning sort of person. I like to have my planner, and to fill it in, and to be able to look at it and see what is going to happen, and to see what I have planned, and to not live my life by the seat of my pants. That is not to say I don't like spontaneity, because I most certainly do! I just hate living my life in anticipation of an event, never knowing when it is going to take place. Because then, I just can't plan anything else.

Back to the baby. On the 14th I went in for my weekly checkup with my midwife. She again was shocked that I still hadn't had the baby. She checked me, and I was dilated to 4 cm. Still. I had been sitting at 4 cm for a month now. 4 cm and 75% effaced. For a month! No change. I had been drinking red raspberry leaf tea, I had been going for walks, I had been talking to my baby, trying to encourage him to come, that the world wasn't such a scary place when you have a family that loves you. I tried spicy foods, and *ahem* other modes of getting the baby out, but nothing doing. Nothing had budged and I sat, unchanged, still at 4 cm and 75%. It was getting a little frustrating. But I was determined that I wasn't going to get started, I wanted my body to do everything on its own. Besides, at this point in time, my baby still was nameless. I was okay with having a few more days to find a name that would be absolutely perfect for my little guy. Except at this appointment Christy my midwife said something that changed everything. She asked how old I am. 35 in case anyone else is wondering. She then said that it makes her very nervous when people of my age (that doesn't make me feel old at all. Noooooo.) go close to, or even pass their due date, she worries. Evidently the incidence of still births are much higher for women 35 and older, and the closer to and past the due date a baby goes, the higher its chances to be stillborn are. And then she suggested inducing me.

Well, when you put it that way, there is no way I could possibly say no! I live in fear of having a stillborn baby. Or a baby die of SIDS, too. Or really, having any child pass on before me. I think most mothers are the same way, to be honest. But, with that idea lingering in the air, we set up an induction date. I wanted it to be the 19th of September, but she already had one for that day, so I needed to chose something else. She suggested the 16th, which would have been that Saturday. Only 2 days away! With much trepidation in my heart, we went ahead and scheduled it.

Friday night came, and we went out to dinner with our dear friends Shaun and Lisa. We talked and laughed, and gosh I love those two! I am so glad that Shaun married Lisa last year because I just adore her! Anyway, we went out to eat, and we visited, and it was a wonderful distraction from my nerves. I know if I had been sitting at home, I would have been an absolute mess! Even at the restaurant I had moments of panic which passed quickly, because I wasn't able to dwell on them.

Saturday morning dawned bright and early. The hospital called me at 6 to say that they didn't want me to come in at 7 after all. They said they would call me around 9. 9 came and went, and I finally called them around 9:45. They said the charge nurse would call me back. I hadn't heard anything, so I texted Christy around 10:30. She said they had told her they would want me in around 11. At 11 I still hadn't heard anything, so I decided to be proactive. I wasn't going to just sit around and wait anymore, because I was feeling so anxious and useless and frustrated because I was being kept in suspended anticipation. We packed the overnight bags for the kids in the van. Their bags had been packed for weeks! We loaded everyone into the van, and we headed out. Keith and Faye were going to stay with their cousins, and Beth and Vince were going to stay with my parents. We felt it would be a lot easier on whoever had the kids, to split them up, and I must say, it worked remarkably well! The kids were all excited to get to have a sleep-over, because we don't do those. After the kids were safely deposited, Jeffrey and I went out to get some lunch, and then we headed to the hospital, still waiting for their phone call. As we were pulling into the parking lot of the hospital, my phone rang, and they asked us to be there in an hour.

So we got to have a picnic in the parking lot of Labor and Delivery. Jeffrey knew I was going crazy with waiting, so he suggested we walk. We did have an hour to kill, after all.

We got out of the van, and memories flooded me. The hospital is directly across the street from my late grandparent's condo. I used to roam the fields that have since been turned into apartments and office buildings. I loved to run around in the rain. The harder the rain the better. The smell of the damp earth, the sage brush and the weeds was intoxicating to me, and I loved the feel of the rain, drenching me as I ran beneath the Russian olive trees. I really did have a sort of idyllic childhood. There is only a small portion of that field and the grove of trees left, an island of the past being choked out by modern living, and the demand for more. Since everything else around was parking lot, of course, we headed for the fields and trees.

We would have anyway, because that is where I am happiest. That is where my soul finds peace and is able to recharge.


As we stepped from the sun baked pavement onto the hardened soil, my heart gave a sigh of relief, and all of my worries stayed piled nicely on that pavement, waiting for me to return. But in the meantime, I was free of them, and I was happy. Literally and genuinely happy, a huge smile etched onto my face, completely of its own accord. We walked hand in hand down a little trail, curious where it would lead us. I breathed deeply, willing myself to remember every little detail. The bumpy terrain, the trail with random muddy spots, the dappled pathway with the sun playing with the dust and particles in the air. It was simply magnificent! Soon, it was as if we had stepped into another world. No longer could we hear the rush of cars or the hurry in the air. Everything was peaceful and calm, with no need to scurry. Birds were chirping, and grasshoppers were jumping out of our way as we walked, leading our procession deeper into the shadows of the trees. We rounded a bend where the trail split off in three directions, and I wished I could split myself and go down all three. Jeffrey and I laughed and talked, enjoying the moment. We heard a rustle in the trees to our left, and no more than 20 feet in front of us, a deer gracefully leaped out of the brush, and bounded away. She was magnificent! And it was decided for us. Obviously we would have to follow the deer. That was the only trail we could go down. We soon enough found her lair, but no other sign of her. She was long gone, and the trail ended abruptly into a rocky stream bed that had gone dry.



We turned around, and went down another trail, which also ended abruptly at a barbed wire fence, surrounding a farmer's field. Finally, we went down the third trail, which took us back to the parking lot. We still had 45 minutes before we were expected, so that is when I decided a little bush whacking was in order. Because another grove of trees was just yonder, through the weeds, and I knew that this very well might be my last jaunt in the wild before winter came. Reluctantly Jeffrey followed me. He commented on my demeanor. Apparently I glowed. Nature and the wild just do that to me. I transform. I think I could have been very happy living in pioneer times... after they were already settled here, mind you. Because even though they had to really work hard, there was so much wild around them. So much wide open world where the heart can be free and grow and replenish and heal. Because that is what happens to me when I am out. I heal. And so, despite his reluctance, Jeffrey could see plainly how much that little outing was doing for me, and kept his grumbling words to himself as he followed me through the uneven ground, weeds, and world of little bitty grasshoppers. We quickly made our way to the trees, and we sat down to talk. We talked about a name for the baby, which had been our main means of conversation for the past few weeks. We talked about our kids, about how sad it was that BYU was once again being trounced in their game which was happening right then. And then suddenly, it was time to go in.


We went into the hospital at 2:30, and then the tortures began.


I was still at 4 cm and 75%, which was incredibly frustrating for me because what the heck, body! I had never had this much trouble getting a baby out before! I had a sweet nurse named Emily. We talked about what was going to happen during this birth, and then she tried to set up a stint for an IV. Bless her heart. She just couldn't find a vein, and when she did, she blew through it. Twice. And then she called the head nurse in to help. She also couldn't do it. Finally, they called someone from the lab to come and place an IV for me. It was really quite ridiculous. I still have 4 massive bruises on my arms because they couldn't find my veins.

For the first time ever, I had to be placed on antibiotics. I was really annoyed because I have been working so hard to get my gut balanced, and then everything was going to be destroyed in one fell swoop. But, I was strep B positive, and seriously, I can continue to fix my gut. It would be a lot easier for me to recover than for my baby who still had not been named to recover from strep. The sacrifices we make for our babies. I then learned that I would need to be on the antibiotic for 4 hours before Christy could come in and break my water. The nurse wanted to start me on pitocin, and I laughed. I told her I most likely wouldn't need it, that I deliver quickly, but if I didn't deliver quickly, then we could talk about it.

And so the waiting began. The monitoring, and the constant penicillin drip, which burned as it went in. I am so fortunate I never needed it before! Jeffrey and I nervously talked. He slept quite a bit in the corner while I chatted with a few friends online. I remembered delivering Vince and had to work hard to dispel fear from the memory of 18 months prior. It took a bit of prayer and a lot of positive thinking, but I got through it.

At 7:20 Christy came back and checked me. Still no progress. She broke my water then. I told her I would see her back in an hour. She laughed and said, "We'll see."

At 8:30 she was back. I had dilated to 9 cm, and I was not the nicest person. I don't remember ever yelling at my nurses, but this time around, I do remember yelling. I felt bad as I was doing it, but they were being bossy, and I had no patience for them. I think labor and delivery nurses are angels, by the way. They put up with so much, and are so patient and kind despite being yelled at. I really wanted to deliver in a way where gravity could help with the birth and not on my back, but once again, that was not in the stars. Christy had me lay on my back again, and I pushed. I really don't know how many times I pushed. It was a lot. Beth came out in 2 pushes. This baby was perfectly content to stay inside and not budge. It turns out, he was posterior, just like Vince was. Which explains why it hurt SO much! But he came out with a wail, and he was an adorable purple, and as he continued to fill his lungs with the powerful wails, his skin slowly pinked.


And he was perfect. 8:49 is when he came into this world, his chubby arms flailing about, desperately searching for his mama. They plopped him down on my chest, and he snuggled in. I was in a bit of a daze, just happy to be holding him, and not being uncomfortable on my back for the first time in many months. I snuggled him, slimy and all, and just couldn't get over how perfect he is! I was sad that we still hadn't been able to pick out a name for him, though. A nurse suggested I do skin time, and I am so grateful for her, because all things of practicality and sense had left me the moment they placed him in my arms. And for the next 3 hours, the baby and I snuggled, all 8lbs 11oz and 20 inches of him.

He has dark brown hair, which is too short to tell if it is curly or not. At the moment he has cornflower blue eyes, but I suspect they will darken. And he has the most adorable dimples, one in each cheek, which just make me swoon every time he smiles. And his siblings are all just as smitten with him as I am.

The nurses and Christy were all amazed when I didn't need any medications for the pain afterward. I have been stocking up on anti-inflammatories in my body. I started taking Plexus when I was 7.5 months with Vince, and it helped a lot, but this time was so much better! I didn't need anything, except some Tylenol for a developing migraine from lack of sleep.

Sunday came, and the hospital gave us a complimentary Celebration Dinner. It was delicious, and came with some ice cold sparkling cider. My favorite part was the cheesecake, to be honest. Jeffrey suggested we sit down and not get up until we had decided on a name for the little baby. We prayed for help and guidance, and that what we chose would be a good fit for him, and then we sat down to eat and talk. After going back and forth a bit, we finally decided on Kip. We knew his middle name was going to be Hyrum. I had been sitting in Sunday School a few weeks ago, and we had decided on a different name. Ty Wilco. But in class, the teacher mentioned Hyrum, which isn't too unusual as we are studying D&C/Church History this year. But then she said that Hyrum had never been chastised by either the Lord, or Joseph. In that moment, I knew that that would be our little boy's name. And Ty Hyrum just didn't sound right. And so we went searching for the perfect name again. When one of us suggested Kip again at dinner, it just felt right. We both smiled, involuntarily. The name made us both happy. And so we wrote the name on the birth certificate, so that we couldn't change it again, and then messaged our family and friends with his name.


Jeffrey left to go pick the kids up, and he brought them back to the hospital. Sadly, Kip was not happy when they showed up. He was very gassy for the first few days of life, and subsequently, incredibly stinky! But it was wonderful to see them. I missed them all so much. Keith, as expected, sat in the corner of the room, far away from anyone else, brooding. He struggles with change so much, and it is always so hard for him at first when a new baby is brought into our family. Sad that he is the oldest, in that respect. Faye and Beth were very handsy and just wanted to hold the new baby, and touch him, and smell him, and be all over him. Vince didn't care so much about the baby, he just missed me and wanted to be with me. Which I loved. When it was time for them to go, though, it broke my heart. Vinny didn't understand why they were leaving me at the hospital, and he cried the whole way home. And Beth threw up on the way home. Poor Jeffrey had to deal with all of that. I, on the other hand, had terrible dreams, and didn't sleep well one bit. But that is most likely because I was in the hospital, and nurses came in every few hours to push on my stomach, take my blood pressure, and even to draw blood, so I sort of blame my terrible night's sleep on them.

And then Monday, I got to come home.



Kip is fitting into our family brilliantly. I am a little more sleep deprived than usual, which makes me have to work extra hard to be patient with normal kid things, like noise. chaos. playing. etc. But I haven't needed any ibuprofen, or lortab, or anything else. Just the occasionally Tylenol for lack of sleep induced head pain. And, I am off caffeine! It has been 2 weeks, and I haven't even wanted any. Until today, truth be told. But I would rather suffer from the effects of sleep deprivation than risk my baby getting the caffeine and him not being able to sleep. He is wonderful, and sweet, and I am so excited to have a darling Kip in my family. And, on a completely unrelated note, I am already fitting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes! Maybe not quite as comfortably, but I still fit into them, and it has only been a week and a half since he was born, so that is incredibly exciting for me!

And so, on September 16, 2017, Kip Hyrum completed our family. Which is apt because on October 16, 2007 Keith started our family. It seems all things really do work out for good.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

When Sleep Eludes

"Oh midnight’s not bad, you wake and go back to sleep, one or two’s not bad, you toss but sleep again. Five or six in the morning, there’s hope, for dawn’s just under the horizon. But three, now, three A.M.! Doctors say the body’s at low tide then. The soul is out. The blood moves slow. You’re the nearest to dead you’ll ever be save dying. Sleep is a patch of death, but three in the morn, full wide-eyed staring, is living death! You dream with your eyes open. If you had strength to rouse up, you’d slaughter your half-dreams with buckshot! But no, you lie pinned to a deep well-bottom that’s burned dry. The moon rolls by to look at you down there, with its idiot face. It’s a long way back to sunset, a far way on to dawn, so you summon all the fool things of your life, the stupid lovely things done with people known so very well who are now so very dead – And wasn’t it true, had he read somewhere, more people in hospitals die at 3 A.M. than at any other time..."
~Ray Bradbury from Something Wicked This Way Comes. Swears removed by me.

I sleep like a baby, usually. No, better than a baby! I know this because Vince doesn't sleep well unless he is kicking or headbutting someone. And I've never had those complaints from people I've fallen asleep near. These past few weeks, however, have been a bit more difficult sleep wise for me. Why? I couldn't figure it out at first, but then I did. I have a list of things to do, a mile long, that have to be done before babyman makes his grand entrance. And it is a domino effect of not being able to do one thing until the other is completed. And so, I've been laying awake, full wide-eyed, starting death in the face, just wishing, dreaming for the sweet release of sleep. The release from my worries, because during the day I don't allow myself, don't have time to worry. But when the quiet of night rolls around, and everyone is sleeping peacefully in their beds, that is when my mind decides to go into overdrive and worry. Because my hospital bag isn't packed! Never mind the fact I still have roughly 5 weeks until my due date. Or we don't have a bassinet for baby, or a name! Our the mountain of other things that are necessary. And so my mind races. Irrationally, usually. 

But the sleeples nights and racing thoughts have come in handy. On Friday I decided I was just going to bite the bullet and get started on things. We have to move kids around, but before we can do that, we have to build a wall in one of the rooms to separate themail furnace from the room. I have been waiting for that wall for months and finally decided to just go ahead and move Keith's things in there. But first, apparently, I had to move all of Jeffrey's things out. I thought he had already done that. 

The good news is Keith has a new bedroom! He is so excited for it, and frankly, so am I! It took a lot of sweat and tears, and honestly, the family room now looks like a war zone. It is quite overwhelming, not to mention the laundry room aka Jeffrey's new office. It is practically impossible to walk around in there. But I am choosing to focus on the victories right now. Because every step means I have one less worry, which means blissful sleep again. And I am fully aware that that will be a rare treat in a couple of weeks. Granted, he has to sleep on the couch now because his bed is in a room with the furnace, which is just a little dangerous. Until we get that wall up, though, he is going to have to get creative where he sleeps. I'm hoping it will help light a fire beneath Jeffrey to get it taken care of, and that it will be done soon. 

Also, I got Vince's room cleaned up. It's been overwhelming because anytime I get something for the baby, it gets thrown in there. And we switched him to a toddler bed a month or two ago because I could no longer bend over the crib to put him to bed. It put too much pressure on the baby. So the crib has been in the middle of the room, hogging all of the space as that is the smallest room in the house. It has been such a relief to get it cleaned up in there, and the crib pushed up against the wall because I put the bookshelf in the closet. So both boys have their bedrooms put together! Now I am trying to decide if I should put the upstairs back together (it has been sorely neglected since I've been working on those other projects), work on the family room train wreck, or help Faye get her upstairs room cleaned up so she can get moved downstairs into Keith's old room. We can't take apart the bunk beds because quite bluntly, her carpet is completely covered by junk. It's as if she wants to preserve it by never walking on it or letting the sun shine on it. Keep it safe from the wear and tear of life by covering it with every article of clothing, book, or toy she owns. Lately, however, Jeffrey and I have been laughing at the poetic justice. For years, any time we tried to help her clean her room, she would sit and play, or watch us, but would never help. It was so frustrating! Now, though, she has those exact complaints about Beth and we just laugh and laugh! Her current obsession is Anne of Green Gables, and she has told me she wants to have her room be just like Anne's. We have had many talks that this will entail actually cleaning it every day, because Anne was neat and tidy. Faye has high hopes, and I am so excited and optimistic that she can actually do it! And then I will have to move Vince into the room with Beth, launder and sort nearly 2 years of clothes because I have been given clothes for baby, and when Vince grew out of something I just tossed it into a "too small" bin and so have no idea on what I actually have. I need to fix the toilet in the basement bathroom, paint the bathroom because it is still just naked sheet rock, and figure out how to assemble the folding door that goes on that bathroom, so Keith will actually be able to use it.

Yay! Baby steps to completion! 

If only sleep were so predictable and methodical. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Rain Inspired Meditation

Wednesday July 26, 2017

It all started with the rain. The gentle enticing to leave my child ridden bed and welcome the morning properly! And so I did. I grabbed my scriptures, my notebook, and my water bottle and went about the house opening windows. I put a kettle on, and then sat down to study my scriptures. Instead of turning the garish electrical lights on, i lit four candles and settled in for an hour of uninterrupted scripture study and pondering. It was beautiful! The storm finished up just as I was closing my notebook and scriptures, and the children were coming up for breakfast.

We had tea and toast. A simple but favorite around here. Keith commented he misses eating breakfast together, so it is something I am going to work on. Hopefully the habit can be formed before little baby man joins our parade.

The rest of the morning consisted of me trying to deep clean and struggling to get them to listen or help.

I did not yell... much. I am very surprised with that turn of events, that I was able to mostly stay calm. Yay!

I am so proud of everything we got done today! The living room is now de-cluttered and cleaned out. It looks so bare and makes me super excited for those fall decorations I am frantically trying to hold myself back because putting up fall decor in the middle of July is just a little too weird. It will make me so happy to have it up, and all of my great autumn/Halloween books out, but to keep societal norms from locking me up, I oblige sometimes, with things like waiting until it is almost September. Meanwhile, we prep. The house smells like an autumn meander through rich amber and copper fields, though, and that makes me happy, too. 

Friday July 28, 2017
And this brings me back to the age old reason as to why I don't blog anymore. I fell asleep writing that above post. And as I want desperately to record what we have been up to the last few days, I am falling asleep now, as I attempt to record a little bit of this summer. It is nearly over, and according to my written record, we have had an incredibly boring time of it!
As it stands, Keith finished reading the Book of Mormon yesterday! I am so proud of him! I don't think he got much out of it, but that fact that he was spending about an hour a day reading in the scriptures, I know that has to do him some good somehow.

Okay, I literally just woke up again, attempting to write all of this down. I will do today's highlights, and then hopefully come back tomorrow to elaborate.

We were going to go to the aquarium with my brother and his family, but by the time Vince and Asa woke up from their naps it was too late, so we just hung out at my mom's house and visited while the kids played.Then when Jeffrey got home from work we took the kids to his parent's house, and we went on a date and it was awesome! I haven't had that much fun with him for a while, and all we did was talk, and laugh. And then we went to Barnes and Noble and I got to get 2 of my favorite books! I am so excited to read them again!

Tomorrow we are going to hopefully be framing a closet so we can move Keith into his new room and get Faye moved, and Vince moved in with Beth, so I can make room for the baby! And hopefully I won't be too tired to record it all!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

In the History of Time

This month for our Relief Society activity it was all about recording your personal history, and how it doesn't have to be difficult. It doesn't have to be from the very beginning, either. We talked about photo journaling and blogging and traditional scrapbooking, as well as recording everything with a pen and paper. Just finding your own style and doing it.

And so now, the kids are finally in bed, I am home from my meeting, and feeling a little guilty if I don't record something!

Yesterday was a migraine day. It was pretty miserable. I think it was stress induced as I was preparing for and worrying about my part of tonight's presentation. I cancelled on the missonaries who wanted to come over and do FHE with us, but my head couldn't handle it. The day is basically a blur. I feel so bad that my kids sometimes have to deal with a mom who can't cope, but they are possibly building character from it? Building real life experiences or something like that.

Today was much better, though. I was able to mostly be patient and calm with them. Faye was a saint. An absolute saint! She asked what chores she needed to do to get on the computer. She cleaned the living room. Later, I called for Keith and he sent Faye in his place. Except I wasn't just randomly calling for a child, any old child would do. I wanted Keith. He had left some appliances out for three days and he needed to come put them away. He's sneaky, that boy. He usually sends Faye, and I typically send her back and have her make Keith come. This time around, I gave her a chore to do. I explained that when I call for Keith, it is because I really need Keith to come, and if she keeps coming instead, I am going to just keep giving her chores.

She cleaned the bathroom and it looks phenomenal!

I wish I had thought of this tactic years ago!

Keith finished reading book 7 of Harry Potter today. I am so proud of him! He said I ruined the series, though. I had let him sit and read and not do chores all morning and most of the afternoon because it is Summer, and I hate putting a book down when I am at the climax, awesome things are happening, and then I have to do something menial. As soon as he finished reading, I asked him to do his chores.

Oh how the world ended! Also, did you know, I am the WORST mom in the history of Time. According to Keith, anyway. I really did laugh. He was so mad at me, and I just made dinner. I am glad he finished the series and loved it, but books end and reality continues.

It's a cold hard truth. All book lovers are very acquainted with the injustice of it.

Jeffrey came home and he and Keith had a time out so Keith could vent. He's very tired. He decided his bedtime is 10:30. We put him to bed usually at 8:30-9:00, but he stays up reading until much later, and then is grumpy. School starting is going to be another cold hard reality. Cold and hard like cash, reality like he doesn't have any cash.

I must say, though, it has been a lovely day. It isn't so bad being the Worst Mom in the History of Time.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Excursions to the Great Currently Green-ish North (this is Utah after all)

I am happy to report that I haven't yelled at my kids yet. I have been tempted, but I haven't done it. Lesson learned, for the moment. I say for the moment, because I really feel like I have learned this lesson before.

There have been times, the past few days, when I have had to take a deep breath and just walk away. Like the time I asked Keith and Faye to get something from the living room for me, and the kids decided the floor was lava and were scooting the piano bench across the wood floor, like it was a canoe across a lake, the broom being their oars. I wanted to go out and yell at them and lecture on the damage they were inevitably causing to our floor and broom, but instead, took a deep breath, told myself it didn't matter in the long run, and made a decision to let them be. Because they are kids, and sometimes they need to have fun without mom coming in and being tyrannical.

Today was lovely. I had gone to bed at 9 last night. I had started a post, but fell asleep about a sentence into it, I was that tired. I decided I wanted to take the kids to a Dinosaur Museum. Vince has been so much in love with dinosaurs lately, how could I resist? He wants to alternate between his 2 dinosaur shirts every day, and he insists that his hippo pajamas are really dinosaurs. He actually got really mad at me tonight when I told them they were hippos. He pointed at one and said, "Dinour! Rawr!" It made me laugh. I corrected him, he corrected me, and then I said, "Okay, dinosaur." He then muttered for a few minutes more, while pointing to the hippos, "Dinour. Dinour rawr." It made me laugh.

I got my room cleaned up. I have been trying to do it for a few months now. I know that sounds terrible, but life was just so busy, and I was so tired by the time the kids went home, that I never had a chance! The other kids would go home, we would have dinner, and then it was time to start getting ready for bed. By the time I got the last kid to bed, I just didn't have the energy any longer to do anything else. Sometimes I would get the kitchen clean, but more often than not, it would have to wait until morning, and I would rush around to get it done before Brickale brought the kids again. And so, my kids would bring all their stuff into my room. They would bring their food into my room. They would get crumbs all over the floor, and I felt so gross and dirty, I would let some of the other things I needed to do fall by the wayside because I was distracted and just couldn't do them in a messy room. I couldn't concentrate or feel creative in a mess like that, and it ate at the back of my brain that it needed to be cleaned, so other things, more fun things, were completely ignored. However, this morning I woke up refreshed, and tackled my room. It feels like home again. I cleaned out all my clothes that don't fit right now, and all the shoes I haven't worn in years, and I made one box for storage and one box for the DI. I'm having a lot of fun de-cluttering!

And then we set out! I had a couple of errands to run, and the kids were so good and patient while we ran them. And then Keith reminded me that he was supposed to play with his cousins this week. I called my sister in law and although it was impromptu, we set it up that I would take the kids to her house, and they would keep her kids busy while she did some work, and Keith and Faye would have a lot of fun with their cousins we don't see often enough.

Since we were already headed up north, I decided we were going to just continue on, and see where the road took us. It took us to Gossner Cheese in Logan. I have been having some serious heartburn with this kid. Like, I am not really eating much of anything because everything is giving me so much heartburn! But I remembered that cheese seems to help it. And squeaky cheese! Need I say more? Also, driving through the canyon would make Beth so happy! As we drove, anytime she saw an outcropping of houses, she would squeal and say, "Mommy! I see the village! I see the village in the Mountains!"

I'm not sure I mentioned, but Heidi (the little girl in the Alps) is her favorite story and show. There was a very cheaply cgi show on Netflix that she absolutely adored, but they took it off and it made her so sad. But she loves the mountains, and goats now. Those are both things I love dearly, so I am not complaining, although my love for them came from a means not Heidi (by Johanna Spyri) centered.

We got some strawberry milk, too, because why not? I love how such little things make such a big deal to her. And every time the cheese squeaked as she chewed it, she would squeal with joy and tell me that it was squeaking in her ears, or in her head. Vince just sat in his rear-facing seat, throwing his hand up and grunting every few minutes, his lazy way of indicating he wanted more. That kid just makes me laugh so much! Both of them, really. And then, since we were already so far north, we figured we may as well make a real trip out of it, and we went to the cookie factory, aka Pepperidge Farms outlet. I decided having lots of easily accesible snacks on hand for after the baby was born would be a good idea. And this would most likely be the last time I go on an excursion like that before little man is born, so I may as well make the most of it!
Those two are so happy, and obedient, and such a joy to be around, and I loved every minute of being with them. I wish Keith and Faye didn't fight so much, because it was such a lovely afternoon, and I found myself thinking with longing of the day when school starts for them and I can spend so much time with the quiet happy ones. After we got some goldfish and cookies, we went outside and Vince and Beth played in some rocks in the shade. I changed a diaper, and then let them run around for a bit. We had been sitting in the car for a very long time!
Beth found a rock with a divet in it. She told me it was the Fairy Queen's throne. We found a storm drain in the grass and Vince tried to throw rocks down in, but the rocks were too big. Beth told us that it is a portal to another world. You have to go through there to get to the fairy world. Don't be afraid of the water that we see through the grate, it isn't really water, it is just pretend water to scare people away so they will leave fairy land alone, and only the true believers can enter.

She's 3.

That girl has an imagination that is so often overshadowed by her older siblings I sometimes forget how vivid and sweet it is. We drove back through town, and Beth got excited when she saw the temple. She asked if we could go look at it. I wanted to say no. I wanted to say we had to get home, so we could beat Daddy home so he wouldn't worry about us. I wanted to list all of the reasons why we just didn't have time. I decided we would drive up to it, pass it on our way home. As we got close, it looked really crowded. There were cars lining the street. I said in my mind, "if we can find a parking spot, we will get out and go walk around."

We found a parking spot. In the shade. Up close. Obviously, it was meant to be!

Excursion We talked about how we have to be reverent when we are at the temple. We have to be reverent like at church. We can't run, or yell, and we have to talk so softly. They were champs! We sat in front of the fountain for a little while, and then in the shade.
Excursion I got some great pictures of the two. Beth decided to give Vinny a kiss on his cheek while I was shooting photos, and she posed herself with her arm around her neck, and my heart may have melted right then and there. The 100* heat couldn't do it, but the love a little girl has for her little brother just made a big puddle of my heart we had to be careful to not step in. We walked all the way around, talking about the day I married Jeffrey and how cold it was, and how we didn't get any pictures because who wants to suffer in -6* cold just for a lousy picture? We talked about how the temple always makes you feel warm inside your heart even if it is cold outside because it is Heavenly Father's house. It even says it on the outside of the temple. House of the Lord. We talked about one day when she would get to go inside and how I will go with her, and it will be such an exciting day! She told me she is going to marry Vince there, and I told her she can marry anyone she wants, but not her brother. He will come to her wedding, but she can't marry him.
And then we were back. And we were all dripping. But we got into the van, and we drove home. Jeffrey was going to go visit his sister and pick up the big kids after work, so we just went straight home. It was such a sweet day, the kind you want to freeze forever in a snow globe. Except without the snow. As I was helping Beth get ready for bed tonight, I told her how much I loved spending time with her today. She wrapped those sweet little arms of hers around my neck and told me she loved it too. And then she closed her eyes and fell asleep.

I say! I wish every day could be as picture perfect as today was. It is so much easier to cherish and love the moments when they aren't filled with bickering and pestering. I found a daily schedule that Keith had made for himself. #3 on his list, right after eating breakfast, he had scheduled in an hour of "bug Beth." What?! Sometimes that boy is so naughty, I just don't know what to do with him. He really seems to delight in making her scream. I am really going to miss the help and the fun conversations I have with Keith and Faye once school starts, but I am really going to enjoy the peace while they are at school!