Friday, August 26, 2011

Old People Rock

Here's the thing about this heat.

Heat.  As in 114 degrees (and I realize this isn't even the hottest it gets here.)

It makes me tired.

It makes me angry.

It gives me migraines and dehydrates me.

It melts my flip-flops.

But it also draws all the old people of the world to it like me to Oreo cookies.  And those sweet old people think my grumpy young people are soooo cute.

I get all sorts of funny comments.  At the store, it's, "Ooooh, how much are they?  What aisle did you find them on?  Can I take them home with me?  Oh my, look t those eyes!"

At restaurants, it's, "We were watching you, and you're such a cute little family.  I remember when our kids were that little, enjoy it!  What sweet kids you have.  You have a beautiful family."

It's as if Heavenly Father knew this heat would drive young mothers into murderous insanity, and has given us the old people like a shot of ice cold perspective.

Still, I'd appreciate some rain.  Just sayin' =)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Genius Savant, It's a Real Thing

Recently, I became "That Parent".  (My cousin Abbie, hilarious.)

Anyway, Cohen, my genius savant, tested for the gifted and talented program back in good ol' Utah.  Transferring here, I thought it would be no problem to get him into a similar program.

We're in our third week of school, and yet he's still in the same old "sound-out-your-words-what-letter-is-this-what-is-two-plus-two" class.  He's bored to tears, and I don't blame him.  We have to monitor homework time, not to help him, but to make sure he doesn't finish the whole packet in one night.

So I took a page out of my cousin Abbies book, and high tailed it to his school, letter in hand, to get him into the Accelerated Learning Program.

This is what I got.

"We don't really have that program for first graders.  But he'll be in an advanced reading group in a few weeks!"

Seriously?  Advanced reading group?  That's great and all...I mean, it's better than nothing, but what about everything else?  When are those needs going to be met?  My baby boy has needs.  Nerdy, know-it-all, smarty pants needs that I can't keep fulfilling at home.


His teacher kindly scheduled and appointment for me with the ALP coordinator.

Dear Abbie,

Any advice?


Monday, August 22, 2011

This Moms Struggle

I love Kembry.

I do.  And I'm not just reminding myself of this fact.

However, she has put me through the course.  And off and on for a long time, I've oscillated between, "Why is she so horrible," to "Why am I such a bad mother?"

Finally, I decided it's all my fault.

That's right Kembry.  Take that to your therapist in 20 years!

So I went to Dr. Google to figure out how to better myself.  I read and read for hours, then days, taking notes and praying about what I read.  I felt so good as I was reading, and felt the notes I took were inspired.  I had a plan.  And it was going to work.  No matter who I had to kill in the process.

One of the things I learned about my little 4-almost-5 year old is that she is not necessarily A.D.D. ( I was to the point of trying to get her diagnosed) but that she was simply over stimulated by lack of guidance.  There was a room full of toys, and she still managed to find nail polish and commit the "Terrible Awful".  We had a fabulous backyard with child wonders scattered everywhere, and she still put sand on the trampoline.

Why couldn't she just play with the toys?  Why couldn't she just swing or jump or dig?  Why oh why oh why was she so naughty?

Kembry is my second child, and I think I was putting a lot of 5/6 year old expectations on her.  Not only the age, but the child.  Cohen was such a good kid.  He always played with the toys, he never got into things he wasn't supposed to.  He never ate 1lb of chocolates.  He never played with knives.  And so I thought Kembry should be just like him.

My new attitude about Kembry has helped tremendously.

I encourage and praise her good behavior.  At first it was hard.  I would say very general things, like, "You're such a good girl," and I think even she could hear the deception in my voice.  Then, because I was really looking for it, I noticed the little, wonderful things she did.

"I love how you shared with your brother.  I really appreciate you cleaning up your dress up toys.  Thank you for helping Chloe play with that book.  You're such a good girl."  And now I really meant it.  At first they were few and far between, we had a lot of bad behaviors to weed out of her, but now she's consistent.  And so am I.

We do regular snacks.  We keep the TV off until 10.  It's off at snack time and lunch.  We have quiet time.  We have play time.  We have get-all-noisy-and-crazy time, because little ones need it.

We're still learning.  I still lose my patience and she still sneaks off to the bathroom to make a mess, but we're doing much better.

I'm so grateful that my Father in Heaven has answered my prayers and blessed me with guidance and patience.  I want to be a good mother.  I want Kembry to be happy.

One of the lessons I read advised me to write a list of who I wanted Kembry to be in 20 years.  I cried as I listed all the things I hoped for her.  A testimony of her Father in Heaven.  A love for books.  Happiness.  Self-esteem.  It made every action I make today seem so much more powerful.  Telling her she's good and meaning it, loving her without exception, like her Heavenly Father, hugging her, laughing with her.

Good luck fellow mothers.  Don't give up just yet.  Take a five minute break when they do those naughty little things, and then discipline them.  Don't get angry.  Show love.  And most importantly, take care of yourself.  No one likes a mommy with low blood sugar.

Look past the hardships of today.  Focus on eternity.  And who knows, "one day these children may grow up and call us blessed."  Marjorie Hinckley

(P.S.  I need to tell you how much your comments mean to me.  It is so empowering to know I'm not alone in all of this.  To know there are other women, possibly men, that struggle with the same weaknesses as me.  Thank you!)

Thursday, August 18, 2011


It took me 7 years to adjust to being a wife and mother.  

I used to wake up figuring out ways to avoid doing the everyday stuff I was supposed to do.  I got pretty go at it, too.

But at some point I woke up ready and willing and even grateful to be doing those hum drum chores.  I started realizing that they had an eternal purpose.

Laundry, have an eternal purpose?  Psht, plllease.

No, really.  I mean, not individually in and of itself.  But I started to think that I wanted my children to look back and realize they always had clean clothes hanging in their closet.  That they always had a healthy, usually warm breakfast.  That lunch at school didn't get boring, and that (most of the time) they could invite their friends over without being embarrassed.

It all adds up in the end.

It wasn't until I hit this mark, 7 years post-marriage, that I started to appreciate all that my  mother did for me.

When I moved into my own apartment at 18, I didn't know how to do my own laundry.

Did that sink in?

I was 18 and didn't know how to do my own laundry.

The house fairy didn't make me a warm breakfast.

I couldn't cook anything that didn't have directions on the back of the box.

But this still didn't help it sink in, all that my mother had done for me. 

So while I am focusing on an eternal perspective, I'm also going to go about preparing my little bambinos for their first apartment.  And mission.

*fist to teeth*

Oh that's painful to think about.

My kids will know how to cook, clean, do their laundry and comb their own hair by the time they make it to the sixth grade.  My little 4 year old helps with the laundry and other cleaning (often making me have to do it twice but holding on to that eternal perspective keeps me motivated.  Rinse and repeat.)

There are three ways to teach (the good, better, best standard here)

Show them (good).  "Here honey, let me show you how to fold that laundry."

Help them (better).  "I can help you comb your hair."

Mentor them (best).  There are no words for mentoring.  It's not a talking role, but a doing role.  It's also the hardest.

It takes a lot of practice and patience and perspective to do the best, but it pays off the greatest.  For me and them (child slavery, anyone?)

So as you go about scraping up that smooshed and grody banana off the floor (my first task for the morning), or as you unclog another toilet and painstakingly remove yet another stain, remember all these "mundane" tasks add up to an eternal purpose.

"...I want to spend my life with them for all eternity."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Aaaaaand, We're Back

I have words of advice to anyone ever contemplating moving to another state with three children and a husband.

1.  Don't do it.

2.  If you do do it, don't move from a house to an apartment.

3.  30% of your possessions are crap.  The other 70% is almost completely unnecessary.  At least, that is, if you have to haul it up three flights of stairs.

4.  Arizona is hot.  WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME?!  Just kidding.  That's about all anyone would tell me about Arizona.

What they didn't tell me:

People here are vicious about their parking spots.

There is this insect that makes a really loud buzzing noise, and it's totally cool.

You can go swimming at 9 o'clock in the evening.  Love it.

There's a really interesting smell here.  It's good, like... resinous.  I really don't know how to explain it, but I love it.

Flip flops melt on the road.  And then peel off on the tile in the apartment.  And then I have to scrub them off.

The members here, at least in our ward, are pretty freaking awesome.  I guess the odds are good where there are 600 members in one ward.  This may be a slight exaggeration, but not by much.

Cohen started first grade last Wednesday. He's gone all day.  Me no likey.  He was my rock.  My good child.  The one I could command to do anything and he would do it.  I miss him horribly during the day, but he is LOVING school.  Of course.  Little smarty pants.

Chloe turned one today.  I can't talk more about this other than I still remember the absolute joy and relief when the nurse walked back into the room, one year ago, and told me, "The doctor said we're keeping you!  We'll get you an epidural and he'll break your water."  Best day in years.

Kembry is...coming back to Utah to live with anyone who will take her.  Lizzie, I do recall you helped me pack and load a truck and your reward was, in fact, Kembry.  Please come and claim your prize.

As for everything else...I don't know.  Some days I feel totally at peace with the world I'm in now.  Other days I'm horribly lonely.  I want to hop over to Jessie's, or go to my moms.  I miss Sunday dinner.  I miss my neighborhood, my ward, my friends.  I miss Lukey and Dylan and in ground trampolines and moderate temperatures.  I miss babysitters.  I miss t.v.

I'm off to bed.  I'll have much more drivel for you these next coming days.

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