The Beginning

Every day, 97 things happen that I am sure someone would get a good laugh at. I may or may not be laughing at them. I had three adorable, manageable kids, then I had Brock, who is now the cutest, most loving 3 year old in the world, at select moments. Brock has a little brother named Blake, in the BTP, (Brockstar Training Program). I am 34 years old, have been married for 13 years, have 5 kids and sing now and then. I like to create, NOT COOK or CLEAN, which is turning out to be a great challenge since I am in charge of a house with 7 PEOPLE! I do love the people, though. Here for you all to laugh at me and with me, is a record of my funny life, the mistakes I make, and the lessons I learn while trying to earn, MY BIG GIRL PANTS.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Things I am Not Going to Miss -Part 2 (and some that I will)

More complaining.......spills, purposeful dumping, hitting each other, take home reading books, science fair projects, people dragging food through the house, all my furniture slimed all the time (wait, when I get my own web cast, that is going to be the title, "Slimed All the Time".  Everything is gross, the walls, the furniture, the fridge, the floor, the table, the door jams, the windows, my clothes, the light switches, the door handles, the glass panes on my hutch, the toilet seat, the side of the tub, the tv, the vcr, the carpet, the toys, the car.....Slimed All the Time.)

I am not going to miss everyone's junk in my room, or Brock dumping out the laundry soap, the chocolate milk mix, or the garlic salt. I'm not going to miss changing diapers or feeding people or kids throwing the pillows and cushions off the couch. And I am ready for the bed wetting to stop.

But I am going to miss the minute I get my 2 year old out of bed when his face is hot and he smells like lotion and baby morning breath. Oh, it's like Christmas every day for one minute. I kiss his squishy cheeks, and when I say kiss, I mean I bury my whole face in one of his cheeks and I kiss and kiss and kiss him and close my eyes while I inhale him. I know, sounds a little creepy. He does this funny thing where he pulls his jaw forward so his teeth are straight up and down and he makes this hilarious strained face, then he closes his eyes and puts one of them on my nose. I don't know why. But we both love it and melt into each other. I feel bad for everyone else in the world. Yah, I'm going to miss that. 

I'm also going to miss watching them play 
soccer, volleyball, tennis, golf, dancing, singing and playing the cello. I'm going to miss how they all climb on my lap still. I am going to miss sitting around the table talking at dinner (I won't miss cooking the dinner or the dinner fights over chairs, though). I am going to miss being the most important person in the world to 5 people. Nobody in the world is loved more than I am. I am going to miss being the first one they want to tell about all the great things in their lives and the first one they want when something bad happens. I will miss Bob making no-bake cookies and them jumping up every 2 minutes to see if they are set up yet. I'm going to miss the screams coming from my room during Sunday Night Wrestling with Dad. I'm going to miss their little voices and that innocent way they look at things they have never seen before with wonder and awe. I'm going to miss Lenny the Leprechaun, Easter baskets, Christmas Eve and having my 
very own monsters on Halloween. I am going to miss Brock climbing into my bed while it is still dark and falling back asleep while he is laying on me. I am going to miss Whitley's confident little laugh and wit and how her feet turn in and she runs so cute. I am going to miss Trevor's innocence and naive goodness and how purely beautiful he is. I am going to miss Rilee calling me every day from school to chat it up and how she puts flowers next to my bed everyday after school. I am going to miss watching them all play at the river, and Rilee figuring out how to skimboard. I'll miss their little kid giggles and how they are positive I make the best Snicker Doodles in the world. I am going to miss watching them barrel down the giant water slide and when they laugh with each other. I am going to miss round squishy faces, button noses and long eyelashes. I'm going to cry when Brock stops the "I love you more" battles, he really thinks he does! I am going to miss playing "Down By the Bank" after we have family scriptures and prayers. 

 I am going to miss them.

But I am NOT going to miss making them clean the house.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

You Can't Be a Beauty Queen Forever

Once upon a time, I was a princess. A real princess, as in the Washington City Princess. It's ok if you didn't know, I don't wear my crown anymore. And I guess I thought for that reason I was going to be something really special, and different and maybe famous. Which by most standards, I am not. I am a stay at home Mormon Mom in Utah, like every other girl (Yes, GIRL) in my neighborhood.  But alas, here I am in the sweats I went running in this morning, dishes on the counter, toast and gum wrappers on the floor, being Not Famous. Instead, I chose BABIES!

I love babies and I am really GOOD at babies. Even my first one was easy like cake for me. Three year olds, not so much.  But those first years of motherhood and wife-ness were really hard for me for other reasons. A cute young friend of ours was over the other day with her two little boys and I spun back to that time in my life.

I remember being at a softball tournament watching Bob when my oldest daughter was just a baby. I had spent the entire day watching him play softball, and probably the night before, and probably the thursday before for league night and also that tuesday before for co-ed. We were walking behind one of the fields in between games that night and I was crying and said, "What am I doing here? My life has completely changed. I dropped out of college, left my performing group, quit as Miss SUU, gave up my scholarship, moved into YOUR condo, left my friends at college and gave up everything I had to get married!" Poor Bob. I'm sure he had no idea what to do for me.  But he didn't understand because he had the same job, the same friends, the same house, the same hobbies and the only thing that had changed in his life was I was conveniently located in his condo  and spent his money (and all his trophies had been taken out of his bedroom.) Suddenly, I wasn't special anymore, and I had no idea what I was doing!

My life had become this new blank canvas with only a baby and a husband painted on it, and I had to figure out what else to add. But most of the things that were on my old canvas couldn't be put on my new one. So I got creative in my search for paint. I tried selling Mary Kay to see if that was my calling. For 6 months I was going to be a millionaire.  I started a band. I tried sewing. I taught kids modeling classes.  I built a house. I decorated it. I had more kids. I learned how to play the piano. I built some more stuff. I jumped into a hundred church projects. I took night classes.  I had more kids. I started writing music. I taught my kids to read. I sold baby stuff at the Dicken's Festival. I taught tiny kids dance. I took guitar lessons. I volunteered with the Foster Care Citizen Review Board and Heart Gallery.  I tried working out (and hate it). I taught some girls how to walk on stage. I did the PTA. I became the "Director of Fun" at Staheli Farm. I played co-ed softball. I started getting asked to do firesides. And before long, I realized I was becoming.......Me.  Not the Me I was before I got married where everything I did was for myself, but the Me I was trying to become all along. And I would never have been able to find this Me if I had stayed where I was.

I sympathized with this cute girl who had quit her career to become the best mom ever.  She has more stress and less money than she ever has before. I'm sure she is seriously missing her old life. But what I know that she doesn't, is that motherhood and these years are the refiner's fire. And though she feels lost in a new world right now, she is becoming the person Heavenly Father meant her to be. She is being strengthened and trained and all those things she loved before gave her vital experience and will find a way to help her in her new life.

When I had my first two kids and I was figuring things out, I was asked to sing for a Young Women activity. They gave me the song they wanted. The final hook says, "Will I Want to Be the Person I've Become, When All is Said and Done." I wrote that on a paper and put in by the door so I saw it when I was doing laundry and walking out to my car. It became a part of my prayers everyday, "Make me who you want me to be."

Now there are a million more things I want to try adding to my canvas. Heavenly Father and I are not finished with the Me paining yet, but I am getting a better idea of who I am going to be. I am not sparkly or very pretty anymore, but I'm strong and solid, and that was always more important to me.

Man am I glad I decided not to try and be a Beauty Queen forever. I'd be like, the oldest, most wrinkled city princess EVER.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Fencing" by Brock

K Folks. We're gonna have a quick "How To" session here on Fencing: While Your Mom is Home.  In just three easy steps, you can be flinging swords at another child in no time.
Step 1 - Choose the Right Time: The first and most important step is to find the right opportunity when  the Mom is distracted and there is another child around to impale. Laundry and cleaning are good options, but the best time for sword fighting is when mom is really wrapped up in a project, like painting a room or writing music. A good fencer will study his or her mom's habits to find what she loves to do, and will therefore be the most distracted.
Step 2 - Obtaining Swords: This step has to be done quickly and quietly. If you are able to potty on the big boy, you are too big to fight with plastic swords, butter knives or sticks which are easy to get and for 1 year olds. This lesson is for the serious Fencer, who is ready for serrated metal blades. To begin, place a chair next to where your mom thinks she has hid her knife block. Placing the chair must be done earlier in the day so she doesn't hear the chair slide across the floor when you are ready to fight. You MUST avoid the temptation to climb on it right then. She will see you, take you off, and return the chair to the table. When a golden opportunity arises, climb quickly, open the cupboard and pull all the knives out. Set them on the counter, pick out FOUR of the biggest, most dangerous knives. I prefer CUTCO brand. They are guaranteed to be sharp enough to cut an aluminum can. Climb back down, leave the noisy chair where it is. Hand two knives to your little brother, or whomever you intend to play with, and take two for yourself.
Step 3 - Fighting Quietly: If your little brother is a big baby, this is difficult. Try to find a playmate that doesn't cry every time he gets stabbed, but take whoever you can get, because anyone is better than no one. With a "sword" in each hand, begin swinging blades. The longer you hit blades instead of each other, the longer you can get away with this game. If your  opponent gets hit and starts to cry, you have to hurry and put your arm around him and talk to him in a baby voice so he will stop. I say "Bwakey, it'th ok. Thee? It tho funny, BONK!" Then I bonk my head with my fist and waddle it side to side until he laughs, then we start back fighting. 

Well, there you have it friends. Good luck and don't forget to have fun! Join me next time when I share the Secrets of My Escape, a comprehensive "How To" guide for anyone wanting to get in a locked door, out a locked door, out a locked window or through a door with a child safety handle on it. Until then, this is Brock the Rock saying, Don't Fence Me In.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fighting Back

I read an article on Yahoo that caught my eye because it said something like, "Parents Who Hate Being Parents: The New Trend".  It incorporated stats about how people with children always talk about the joy of parenting, but they aren't really happier, according to the "statics", (which we must not ever argue with).  But I'm going to.

Are they really trying to compare the joy you get from spoiling yourself with vacations, cars or fine art to the joy you get from a child? Did they put electrodes on the peoples' brains to measure the difference in the joy of a nice apartment with glass nick knacks on the coffee table vs. the joy a mother has when her baby is laid in her arms? Are we comparing a week in Hawaii with watching our kids on the soccer or football field?  What about when a child crawls on your lap and snuggles into your chest to calm down?  How can you even compare the two worlds? I can say without reservation, that there is no career, fame, vacation or house that would give me more joy than my children have. Compared to a 34 year old without children, I am sure I have more frustration. I think I have more stress. I probably cry more. This is hard stuff! And I am sure the "statics" recorded that part, because We Are At War. 

Satan doesn't like the power of families.
Families = Power
Families = Security
Families = Love

He is attacking families. Have you noticed the amount of mothers around us giving up their husbands and sometimes children, because they want "more"?  Most of the time, I see them on the outside of what they left, wishing they could get back in. Most of the time it is too late, and Satan is laughing at them for believing him. (Yes, we do need to get away from men that are dangerous.)

Every once in a while, I get in a rut. Like, I'm really ornery for a few weeks, and my kids are terrible (a reflection of me, for sure).  I remember being in this place when my oldest daughter was about 6.  I had my third baby and Trevor was 3, the hardest age for me. I must have been pretty terrible, because one day, while I was doing Rilee's hair she said to me, "When I grow up I'm not going to have kids." Shocked, I asked her why. She said something like, "I don't want to be a mom. It makes you mad." I cried for two days, but it changed my whole perspective. I had gotten so swallowed up in a pity party about me not getting to do what I wanted, that forgot that THIS was what I wanted. I chose to have each child. THEY were exactly what I wanted.

Satan is so crafty. He is really good at getting us to focus on what we don't have. He is really good at getting us to focus a what is wrong with our husbands. This is how he destroys families. And we contribute to one side or the other. We help those around us see the good, or we help them see the junk, like the author of that article. How many people read it and decided to agree that having children was a curse?  What would it be like to be the child that was treated like she ruined her parents' lives? The great destroyer wants us to do his work. He wants us to convince each other that families are too much unnecessary work.

Well girls, let's fight back.
Let's get the good stuff out there.
Let's support each other in making our marriages stronger.
Let's help each other with great ideas about making our families tight, and let's NOT judge each other when we are not perfect.
Post your ideas here and on your blogs. On FB and in emails.
Build your sisters up while you walk.
When you see a young struggling mom, notice what she is doing right, and tell her.
Let's Fight Back.