Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Kyle is the most wonderful little boy. I'm sure I've mentioned this. I think the two of us have a special little bond. We need each other to exist. He's my Pup. He's always following me around and give me random hugs and kisses. I like him. He likes me.

I was released from being Primary Secretary on Sunday. (The president moved.) But I still had one obligation to follow in doing music time in nursery. I'd never done it before, so I didn't know how Kyle would react. He was excited to see me, and I even convinced him to stay in his little chair. I had little boxes that had names of songs into them. I chose children to pick a box, and then we'd sing the designated song.

Ater four songs I happened to glance at Kyle. He was sitting there in his chair with huge tears in his eyes and running down his cheeks. I could just hear him thinking, "I KNOW Mom loves me, but why won't she pick me to pick a box?" His little heart was just breaking. So I asked him if he'd like to pick a box. With a little relief, and a voice that gave way to a little sob he ran up to the front, "Yeessss!" And then he stood next to me for the rest of the time: This is my mom. She loves me. She asked me to pick a box.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy (late) Pioneer Day!

I've already admitted to being a strong patriot, a true lover of the United States, but have I said how much I love Utah? I love Utah. I like the gathering of the Saints. I like the seasons. I like the scenery. I feel at home surrounded by mountains. I love the beauty of the red rocks almost as much as I like to see the jagged mountain tops of the Rockies. Best of all, I love that the 24th is a repeat of the 4th of July celebrations with fireworks and all.

We wanted to see the fireworks last night. Kyle was ornery so he went to sleep and Taylor graciously offered to stay home with him. I think I'm more of a celebrator anyways... Claire and I arrived at our chosen destination just before 9pm. We had some treats and generally hung out for an hour. We loved it. I love just being alone with Claire with nothing else to do. She has great stories and an even better imagination. We picked the PERFECT spot. The fireworks were huge and right above us. We made it to our car in about 3 minutes and waited less than five to travel at a normal rate of speed. We arrived home at around 10:40, so it was a great night.

We spent Thursday and Friday at Bear Lake (my first trip ever) with my family. We went 4-wheeling, our first time since we got married. We loved it. Even more we love that my father and siblings all love 4-wheeling, so we hope to continue to tag along in future years with their toys. We went to the lake Friday afternoon. It was super windy and cold. Not fun. But it looks like it would be fun if the weather was optimal. One of these days we'll head back.

We spent this morning wondering what was wrong with Taylor's car and why it wouldn't start. We just replaced the engine Wednesday, so naturally we're thrilled that it won't start. This afternoon we loaded up the kids and headed down to the Ogden area to check out some neighborhoods for possible home searching.

Kyle is turning out to be like me in the sleeping department (8pm-10am) and like Taylor in the playing department. Apparently this was a childhood favorite for Taylor:
Claire, on the other hand, has her father's sleeping habits (down anytime between 8pm and 2am and then up around 7:30am no matter what) and my playing habits (books, books, books, and babies).

Monday, July 20, 2009

More on motherhood and contentment

The moment I became a mother to Kyle, Claire also became a mother. I think the instinct is that strong. Something weak and helpless was placed before her, and even though she was just a little less weak and a little less helpless than he, she felt bound to nurture him as best she could.

I've been thinking about this part of the book Contentment by Maria Covey Cole. I wanted to share it:

"I sometimes wonder if my children know from my example and expressions that it is such a joy to be a mother. Or, rather, do they view motherhood as difficult and mundane? What attitudes about motherhood am I creating in my home? If my children observe my selfless actions and attitude, it is likely that they too will become selfless. Conversely, if they observe selfishness, then they too may become selfish. What will be the legacy that I bequeath to my children?

"In a recent conversation I had with Lynn, a mother of eleven grown children, she expressed regret that while raising her children she ahd not articulated her feelings about motherhood often enough. She told me that she had loved being a mother and had always felt happy and fulfilled in her role, yet she was so busy keeping up with life and getting through the years that she had never really taken the time to make a point of it. She now feels distressed that her daughters, who have recently become mothers themselves, seem unhappy and discontent. She wishes that when her girls were younger she had been more verbal in expressing to them the significance of motherhood and the joy she experienced in being a mother.

"We...find comfort in a statement made by Dag Hammarskjold, an international diplomat who served for eight years as the secretary-general of the United Nations. At the conclusion of a lifetime of service to his fellow men, he shared this profound insight: "It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses."

I like that idea. Ever since I read it I have tried to not only tell Claire and Kyle that I love them, but that I love being their Mommy. I gauge my efforts in mothering by what Claire responds when asked what she'd like to be when she grows up. If "A Mommy!" is her first answer in her list, I feel like I'm doing my job.

I also like the last paragraph. It reminds me of an article in last month's (I think last month's) Ensign. A woman stated how she felt overwhelmed by the scripture that we should feed the hungry, comfort the sick, clothe the naked, etc. She was upset that with her busy life as a mother of young children she had no time to serve her fellowmen. Then she realized that in that day alone she had fed her hungry children, clothed her naked children, and taken care of one that was sick. She realized that what God asked of her in service to her fellowmen was in actuality the work she did every day as a mother.

I may complain a little (and sometimes a lot), but I am grateful to be a mother, and to serve my family. I still have a lot to learn, but I think we are slowly becoming what we ought to be. Claire is playing right now, mothering her babies. And my kitchen is clean, so I guess we're doing okay.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thanks...and random musings.

I've had a good amount of you offer to accept the sister position. I'm thrilled with the response. The best part is that as soon as we move a little closer to civilization, I'll be able to take you all up on it. I definitely intend to do more things with my "sisters" as soon as we move.

In a way it seems like so many of the things that I deem to be the "problems" in my life will be solved when we move. I wonder if this is really the case, or if I'm just putting a bunch of "I'll be happy whens..." to the test. But really, closer to friends and family, a full-time salary, and a home with space to store things and a place to put my sewing machine. These are all on my "when" list. And matching nightstands...but who knows when that will happen.

Really, though, Cache Valley has been a blessing. Cache literally means "hiding place," and it has really been that for me. These last two years have been unbelievably painful for me. I've been on an emotional roller coaster since we moved here. In our first few months here we lost a great salary, lost great insurance benefits, started a Master's program, had a baby, I had my eye removed, and got the devastating news that it didn't go as planned. It was all a little overwhelming for me. And to do it all with pregnancy hormones and postpartum hormones topped it all off.

It's been nice to be able to hide our here while I put myself back together. I think I'll be leaving here the "self" that most of you know me as. (And for those of you who know me only as my Cache Valley self: I'm sorry. I'm usually a lot more fun, put together, helpful, useful, happy, intelligent, etc.) My 6 months of daily migraines caused by eye inflamation only added to my weirdness. I'm just starting to finally feel life flowing through me again (and no, that's not a way of saying I'm pregnant. I won't be for a while!)

It's been a rough road. After I got my first horrible prosthetic I spent days (okay, weeks) feeling sorry for myself on the couch, pausing only to nurse and change diapers. I am so grateful to my husband who did laundry, cooked, cleaned, shopped, and took on childcare in addition to his demanding school and work schedule. The migraines have been gone for a year now, and I am grateful every day to have my life back. Although I still get them once or twice a month, they are just a reminder of how much better my life is now.

And we survived. We even made some great memories and great friends. I'll always be grateful that we were here and had the experiences we did. We have learned so much and grown immensely as a family and as individuals. We will leave here stronger,with more faith, and with more conviction to our beliefs that ever before. And we'll leave here with Kyle and with a bigger better version of Claire. Even though Kyle continues to yell all day, and Claire started spitting on the floor at Joann the other day, they are the biggest and most wonderful blessings of all. My cup overfloweth.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kyle is crazy

We took kyle to the doctor yesterday. He could find no physical reason for the food crankiness. I'm glad that Taylor's a family therapist so we could just point to that and stop the talk about "Have you tried..." and "Maybe it's a power thing..." Because it's not a lack of our trying things, and it's not him being a bum. Anyway, we thought we'd try something for acid reflux to see if that makes him happier.

And of course the second we got home he drank an entire cup of milk and ate tons of mac and cheese. It was kind of a, "Gosh, guys. If it matters to you so much that you take me to the doctor, I guess I'll eat."

And he's back to the screaming today. It's so fun. The medicine takes a week to work; I'm counting the days.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

On the verge of losing it

Kyle has been ornery since April. Before April he was 95% happy. Now every time we sit down to eat a meal he screams. For an hour. No Mommy! No Mommy! This is breakfast:

Me (as pleasantly as possible): "Kyle, should we go have some food?"
Kyle: Yeah!
Then I carry him to his chair and it starts. "No Mommy! No Mommy!"
I strap him and show him a banana. He says "Yeah!"
I start to cut the banana on his tray. "No Mommy! No Mommy!"
He throws it off the tray. I pick it up.
I show him a box of cereal. "Want this buddy?"
I walk toward him, box in hand.
"No Mommy! No Mommy!"
Repeat with three boxes.
Dump whatever the last box was despite protests.
Kyle: "Ba ba!"
I show him a number of sippy cups before he settles on one.
I get the milk out, he shouts, "Yeah!"
I bring him the cup.
"No Mommy! No Mommy!"
He throws it on the floor.
I get frustrated. "What do you want bud?"
"I need a cracker!"

So this happens at every meal for once. We don't always give in to the graham cracker asking, but we do before bed because we don't want to send him to bed hungry. Kyle has always been a perfect eater. He even tries all new things, just refuses them after the first bite.

I called the doctor to complain about this only eating graham cracker stuff. The nurse told me to try withholding graham crackers. Um, gee, she obviously went to school to come up with that answer. I think he has acid reflux. He did as an infant terribly. He freaks out about eating lately, and that used to be his favorite thing. So he has an appointment tomorrow, because if we don't figure this out I will lose my sanity. After three months of yelling at every meal (and withholding graham crackers), I hope we get some answers tomorrow.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Real World

Before I start the Real World story, here's Claire doing sparklers for the first time ever. Ghostly picture of her; cool picture of the sparklers.

And now for why I sat down to blog:
We just had a really nice evening with our neighbors to the south watching fireworks and chatting while the kids played on the swingset (We always make friends just as we're going to move; we need to make more of an effort next time). Anyway, it was a fun night (except for the mosquitoes), but when we got in and were getting Claire ready for bed she was insistent on changing her underwear (she's a morning changer). When we asked why she said it was because the 7-year-old neighbor boy "said I smelled bad and pooped my pants." Poor girl! She started crying, and the poor thing was checking her pants! She has never had anyone say anything mean to her, and try as we could we couldn't convince her that he was teasing or that her panties were fine. She believed what he said over her own knowledge that it hadn't happened. To make matters worse, Claire has NEVER ONCE pooped her pants. She's a perfect potty trained girl and has had no more than ten accidents ever, maybe 13 at the most. And she smells fine. Nice even. Her hair has a way of keeping the scent of conditioner for days. She smells great. Stupid boys.

And so we enter parenthood where we cannot protect our children from the cruel, cruel world. I don't like that. Claire has such a sensitive heart. I hope that she can stay that way in spite of boys who claim poopy pants.

Oh, and the thing that makes it worst of all was that she was wearing new Dora Princess panties today! He claimed that about her Princess Panties! In fact, this morning Taylor took Claire to the resthome for Sacrament Services, and one of the old ladies asked her how she was and her response was, "Great! I'm wearing new princess panties!" Stupid boys.

On a related note, and cause for repentance for us, the reason we haven't been as friendly as we should have to our neighbors is as follows: We moved here on August 25, 2007. We parked our moving truck in their parking lot. There was nowhere else to put it. About an hour into our move, the dad came out in a wife-beater and jeans and kind of rudely announced that the owners called and wanted the truck moved. We were offended at his "welcome" to the neighborhood and totally didn't believe that the owners even knew our truck was there. Come to find out (last month), the owners of his building live across the street. Oops. They probably did call. Our HUGE bad. We were upset for almost 2 years because of that. Lesson learned. Hopefully. On a side note, they had their Christmas tree up and lit on Easter. Is that weird? I totally took pictures. One with the normal setting, and one with a night setting. Christmas tree. On Easter. Oh, and all you who probably can figure out who I'm talking about---you better not rat me out. I'm sharing because I want to confess: to the hard feelings and the sneaky picture taking.That's all for now.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, America! (And Whitney)

I'm a patriot. I love America. If you know me, you know this. Here is a little lovely number that expresses how I feel:

This is the last number I played on the stage of Miss Utah. Ironically when I searched for it on YouTube the first one that showed up was in Dr. Hatch's studio (my teacher at the time), and then I noticed that the two girls on the far piano are the girls who learned it to play with me. How about that? I played the part that the boy nearest the camera is playing. It brought back fun memories to see the studio, Dr. Hatch in the front row, and my two friends from class. One day I'll get the video of me playing. I'll have to learn how to do that someday.

And it's Whitney's birthday lest we forget. Happy birthday, Whitney!