Friday, May 29, 2009

Am Mom, Doing Fine

Don't worry. Things are fine. In fact, they are super fine. I am a realist, with a mix of cynicism. I know what I am doing it hard, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I think some people are uncomfortable listening to a rant. I know we should all make lemonade, but sometimes I want to throw the lemons against the wall before I add some sugar. Oddly, when I had written that last post I was past frustration and was actually calm and reflective at that point. Ahh. Enough about that.

School is almost out. We have some fun things lined up but we have some serious needs. Eli has taken swimming lessons since he was 2. He is still not water safe. It is the one sport that doesn't click perfectly. We must get this over with. And Caroline needs it to.

I'm to the point now that school has been in too long. I am ready to have Eli home more, even if it means we butt heads. Caroline can't wait to have him around. She told me the other day that she loves Eli the best. Don't worry, I'm not bitter. I just wish she would spread some more constant love to her little brother. My kids are actually quite good to each other. They rarely purposely hurt each other. They really look out for each other, are the first to defend each other and right now I am on the phone with the parent of where Eli is playing and Eli and friend are in the background wondering if Caroline can come over and play. Today at E's school I took pre-birthday treats and when we walked in the class all yelled "Joe Joe" and Caroline went and sat next to E's best friend. Life is good. They love each other. Even better, they like each other.

Eli's teacher wrote us a Thank You note thanking us for sharing our most precious commodity with her. She went on to tell us about how she has enjoyed watching him when he learns about science, how she is in awe of his athletic ability and so on. I know she wrote a note like this to every parent, but the specifics were so thoughtful. I know next year I will love E's teacher but truly this teacher has been spectacular. She is fresh, new, kind and observant. She doesn't let the kids leave without a high-five or a hug (I think the option is given but they all choose a billion hugs).

So this summer, I will try to play more, be patient, encourage exploration even if it means it is messy, be an example of kindness and use more sunscreen.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Am Mom, Need Help

Seriously, if anyone told you how hard it was, you wouldn't believe them. If you did believe them, and actually comprehended just how hard it was, the population would be severely depleted.
I can do the little things. I can pick out clothes, I can give great buzz haircuts, I can roll some mean sponge curlers but the rest? I feel like I am in one of those goofy high school movies where the clumsy girl trips, stumbles, stutters and flounders. That is my life. Give me the hard stuff like teaching right from wrong and how to interpret the gray area and I am grasping at straws. Disciplining - probably just making it worse.

I am quite positive I am messing up, continually. When E comes to me with some emotional drama of Pokemon proportions, I lose my patience. When he falls to the floor when I refuse a Wendy's trip (which, let's face it, would be easier than actually preparing a meal - but that isn't the point, is it?) and wails, "YOU MEAN NEVER, EVER, EVER AGAIN? WE WON'T EAT NUGGETS EVER, EVER AGAIN?" or when I tell him that we don't always get to have play dates and he falls to the ground and say, "YOU MEAN I'LL NEVER PLAY WITH FRIENDS EVER, EVER, EVER AGAIN?" or "YOU MEAN I CAN NEVER, EVER, EVER HAVE FRIENDS? I SHOULD JUST NOT MAKE ANY MORE BECAUSE I WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER PLAY WITH THEM?" and I reply, "No, Eli, never, ever, ever will we eat at Wendy's or her farm cousin up the road. " or "Yes, Eli, stop making friends. You have no need for them because you will never have another playdate." You think I jest? I have made these replies. I have scarred him for life I am sure.

Or when I am tired and it is tv time (I truly believe in this, for my sake and theirs'. Of course, they are only watching the Science or History channel, I'm not completely negligent) and Caroline comes to me with a question about why Cinderella's sisters are so (historically) mean to her or why the Wicked Queen would ever poison Snow White and I look her in the eye and say, "Caroline, what is the rule? We don't ask questions, we just watch for entertainment remember?" True. We don't encourage questions in our house. It is what it is. Just do what you are told. Or go ask a teacher, but for Heaven's sake, leave Mama alone!

I am mildly joking. But truly, this task is all consuming. It is day in and day out. There is no stop to the parenting. This is what we signed up for, knowing the importance or extent or not. We, I, am molding this generation. And believe me, my kids know when I mess up.

Last week, I was sick. I hadn't felt well in days, my head pounded and I swear my kids never stopped talking. And why should they? They should chatter and interact all day with me. But sometimes, sometimes I just want quiet. Contented quiet. Caroline was being a pill (gasp! Caroline wasn't perfect and picture worthy? I hear you, unbelievable.). She refused to let me brush her hair. She refused to get dressed. She refused to brush her teeth and she was treating Joey horribly. But I had to brush her hair. We had errands to run! I had no time for such antics. So, I stood her between my knees and I brushed. I brushed sloft (Caroline's request and word - slow and soft). She whined and cried. So, I threw caution to the wind and brushed with intent. More dramatic crying and then came the fight with Joey. He tried to take a plastic recorder (the instrument) from her and instead she swung it back and hit me HARD! Of course, it was by accident but I let out a scream that is still cringe-worthy when thought of. And I gave her hair one serious brush and then threw down the brush and threw my head in my hands and sobbed because I wanted to be invisible. I wanted to be alone. I didn't want to break up anymore squabbles, I didn't want to make any more lunches. I didn't want to make any more dinners that children refused to eat. I didn't to be the bigger person or have patience. I wanted to throw things at the wall and see them shatter - and I didn't want to have to clean up after my tirade.

Dave saw the wild look in my eye. I had already sent Caroline to her room - more for her safety than for me. I sat with my head in my hands for a good 5 minutes. Then I went into her room and laid next to her on the bed and held her. She was tired too. She was tired of being patient with her 2 year old brother and her grumpy, sick mom. She was tired of a mom that doesn't like to play dolls or get all the paint out because it is messy.

I know I complain about being needed all the time. Of course not every day is me ruining lives, one neglected teaching moment at a time. I'm doing my best. Some days I am magnificent, most days I am mediocre to pretty ok, a few days should be magically erased from their beautiful little noggins. I say I am molding them, but really they are molding me. I wake up each morning with the resolve that today I will be a better mommy. I will be kind, gentle, patient. I will be a great example of industry and domestic bliss. I will know exactly what to say, to answer each question and to guide them merrily on their way and then by 10 am I am once again falling, stuttering, rolling my eyes and gasping for air. But hopefully, to them it looks like I am dancing, singing, batting my eyes lovingly at them and good posture.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Me, the wind throught my hair, a kid or two in tow

That is why I want this bike. It's beautiful. And you can win it (and by that I mean I). Have a look, click on the Madsen button below and read all about it. And if you won because of me telling you about it I want shared custody.

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Thursday, May 14, 2009


projects. I had some orders due and an apron to give.

Hope she likes it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Motherhood is hard. We've all heard the cliches - we've all used them. But isn't it all true? It is hard, it is exhausting, it is discouraging. But the rewards? The smiles, the spontaneous hugs, kisses, artwork, sweaty brows, sweet sleeping babies, those overheard conversations between your 6 year old and 4 year old that make your heart swell and let you know you aren't completely screwing up.

Motherhood encompasses so many things and yet sometimes seems underwhelming and straightforward, if you were to put it on paper. But truly mothers, and those with a mothering heart, have the most difficult job, overwhelmingly so. What we do in our homes may just make the biggest difference and create the most change in this world.

My friend just sent me some quotes about motherhood.

“As you create a home, don’t get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for you or your family. Don’t dwell on your failures, but think about your successes. Have joy in your children. Have joy in your husband. Be grateful for the journey.” Marjorie Pay Hinckley

“When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling that what happened in congresses?” (Neal A. Maxwell)

Happy Mother's Day Mom - thank you for loving me.

image found here

Check it out!

My friend Katie is having a spot on SportsBeat Sunday tonight at 10:30pm. KSL is doing a segment on mothers who show strength and courage. Do you know Katie? She is a gal that does all sorts of amazing things and doesn't let some pretty big things slow her down. I can't wait to see her interview.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

At One With the Flowers

Ok, I'm finishing up a bit of projects so I will be catching up. First morsel?

This is what Caroline wore to school yesterday. I am quite certain that she wore this same dress on Wednesday, but does it matter? And who doesn't want a star on their forehead?And while we are talking about Miss Caroline, last week as I was washing the outside of our windows Caroline really wanted to help. I told her that it would really help if she would go around to each grouping of flowers and encourage them. I told her that they loved to be spoken to, involved in conversation. After she took a couple of strokes at the window she walked around our front yard and this is what I heard:

Tulips, you look wonderful today.
Flowers, great job growing.
Plants and flowers, thanks for being in our garden - we love you.
Oh tulip, that is a beautiful shade of purple.
We'd like to thank you for all you do to make our house look pretty.
Keep up the great work.
Plants, your green looks wonderful.....

It was really quite mesmerizing.

Save the cheerleader, save the world.

Friday, May 1, 2009


My dad and I saw this song performed (by a different musician) the other night. It sounded like 2 people were playing and maybe a piano. It is call Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tarrega. The video of this guy playing can't be embedded, but you can go here to see it.