Quotable boys

~Can't remember if I shared this one yet or not: A stole something from the store yesterday... so I get to go with him to return it later today. When I told him he was in trouble, he asked, "You're not going to call the police are you??" And before I could say anything, E looks forlornly at him and says, "Yeah, she is."

~October 29th, 2013
Our littlest boy hasn't been on here yet. And he's pretty cute. So he get's a spot. A.M is still drinking out of a bottle. He's 13-months-old and still attached to the things. I went into the kitchen to give him some milk since he was all sorts of annoyed at me. When I gave him his bottle, he grabbed it, and walked out the the kitchen, laughing triumphantly like some evil little elf that had just pulled one over on someone. :)

~October 2013
E rubbed toothpaste all over my just cleaned bathroom counter tonight. We'll forget right now that this means most of his teeth did not get cleaned, because all of the toothpaste was on my counter. I was pretty ticked and feeling fairly justified in my anger since he does this ALL the time. I snapped at him to clean it up and to not rub toothpaste all over my house! (yes I have found it rubbed on my walls before.) He yells back at me: This is not your house! Everything belongs to Jesus!

~August 2013
Papa K and my cute oldest boy, A and cute middle son E went shopping while he was watching them for us. Each got to push their own little shopping cart. A was the only one with something in his cart, milk. Both boys, being my kids of course, were running all over the grocery story. So Papa asked them to slow down. A says to Papa, "I know, if I go too fast, I'll turn the milk to butter."

Help Us Out!

We Love the Help!

As most of you are aware, we are trying to maintain at least some of our privacy on this blog, so if you know our actual names, please don't put them in your comments! ~Thanks!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Good Things Come in Small Packages

I need to be better about writing on here. I'm thinking that maybe I'll try to do a post every Sunday. We'll see how this works. I make no promises. Since it HAS been a while since I've shared anything about us on here, we'll start there.

Biggest boy of ours is loving 2nd grade! He is a pretty talented little bugger, but with that comes this oober desire of his to best all of his peers. Honestly, this is fine by me. Competition is what drives our world. He just doesn't quite know how to be competitive and kind just yet, but some adults have yet to figure that one out yet, so we're working on it. He's made a new friend here where we live now and it feels like a walk down my own childhood memories when I watch the two of them play together. I'm really glad he's found some friends here that are good kids. We had some incidences with the not so good kids too, but it was exciting to see A realize that the behavior of these kids was not ok and that he didn't want to surround himself with that kind of behavior. Proud Mamma over here!

My little E man started Kindergarten this year and he has done really well! He's such a great listener with his teacher. He's engaged in learning and he's is always so happy about school and learning. He's learning how to read right now and it's exciting to see his eyes light up when he gets words right. He still has a bit of a lisp, words like CORN come out sounding like Keeww-rrn. Hoping he'll grow out of it really soon. I just really don't want kids to bug him about it. E has also made a new friend up here. I mean, each of my older kids have made tons of friends up here. But they have at least one that they call their 'best friend'. These two little rugrats together like to play dress up. I have their old Halloween costumes out to play with, so there's lots of days when Spiderman/Ironman comes out. Or Hulk/batman makes and appearance. Pretty cute. He lost first two teeth about a month ago and let me tell you, it must be really hard for the tooth fairy to sneakily get a minuscule tooth out from underneath a pillow and put money under in it's place without waking the sleeper on the pillow. BUT, the tooth fairy is awesome and her job and has yet to wake a child in this house.

Littlest Brother boy loves his brothers so much. He wishes so much that he was bigger so he could be like them. If they are sitting at the table doing their homework, littlest man is doing his "homework" too. If one of his big bros is laying on his tummy watching a show. Little man is laying next to them, doing the same thing. He is learning right now that he can't just eat candy and have a fulfilling life. He disagrees with this statement vehemently though. I gave him 3 baby carrots with his dinner a few days ago and he refused to eat them for dinner. Then he refused to eat them for breakfast and I swear it was the worst day in the world for both of us. He was a nasty terror because he was hungry and I was just sick of listening to him whine. He is really starting to catch up on saying new words and stringing them together to make sentences. So I am hoping this means that he is understanding me a lot better if he is able to get full sentences out. Regardless, however, of this new-found ability to talk to me, he is still determined to do things his way and his way only. You'd think I would remember what an awful little two-year-old is like, BUT I didn't and now everything little awful thing he does surprises me. ....Well, no so much anymore, because he's been acting like this for several months now. But my mind still likes to say to me, "Did he just really do that. I can't believe this is happening. He's crying over what??? " and so on.... His birthday was fun though! Look at how great his scar looks! If you're not looking for it, you don't see it. I love this little guy so much and I'm so glad he's in our family.

Baby girl is almost 8 months old. This makes me SO sad!!! I love my little baby. I just wish they'd stay in a state of baby-ness forever. She is just SOOO dang CUTE and I want to freeze every moment I have with her. She has been a masterful crawler since she was about 5 months old and now we're waiting to see if she'll figure out walking early as well. Baby girl is so petite that if she started walking any time soon, it would look sooo weird. I also have to say, it is pretty fun to have a baby girl in this house. All of her brothers love her to death. They sing and dance with her, give her treats she shouldn't have (Mostly her 2-year-old brother), talk to her when she is sad, and do almost anything I ask them to do, if it's for her benefit. Baby girl gets layed on by her 2-year-old brother a lot. She will be crawling across the floor, stop for a toy and he will see this as a moment to lie down with his head on her back, his arms stretched out above his head and just chill there. She's actually pretty cool with it. Silly girl. She is also the biggest lover of water in this family. I stick her in the bath and her feet and arms start kicking like crazy, then she'll look up at me and squeal in delight. I can't get enough of it. I'll bathe her just so I can get this reaction out of her.

Here's a few more pictures of my littlest cuties. I apologize for the unorganized post, hopefully more will be coming each week!
These two are pals. She sat there for a good 2 minutes until she got bored.

Look at that face! How can you not smile seeing those baby blues! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Let Me Tell You About My Day

My days are always nuts. Lets just get that out of the way straight away. But today. Today was like my day on crack. Ecstasy. LSD? That's a drug right? Haha.

We started out normal enough. Baby girl was up at 6:30 to eat. Then my E man gets up at 7:15 and sings for about 10 minutes straight while hanging out in the bathroom. It mostly sounds a little something like this in a high-pitched screech, "dah!! Woooop!! Oouuup!!"

His music wakes everyone else up. Baby A cries. Big brother A yells at E to, "Be quiet!!" And I'm mostly interested in just staying in bed, so I hide for about 5 more minutes.

Breakfast is only interesting because of baby A. I pour his cereal. He screams at me because.... I had the nerve to pour his cereal for him. Put some milk in. More screaming. So, I take his food away, which quickly turns his protests into screams of, "No! No! No!" as he's decided to eat his cereal now that he can't have it. And then we settled in happily for breakfast.

And then of course after we all managed to get dressed and out the door, the real fun began.

We went to a few stores to get some stuff for our new house. By the end I had my two oldest boys lying on the floor of the last store, stretched out like starfish right where people were walking their carts. A store employee came over and told them to get out of the way. Annoying; but I was a little busy dealing with my other two kids.

Baby girl was crying and baby boy was trying to climb out of the cart whenever I turned my back from him. I swiped my card and tried to leave. The cashier let me get about three feet, before she told me I had to approve the amount and sign. If you've ever been in my place, its at about this moment that you just want to leave the store as fast as you can.

Next, we went to a doctors appointment for Mr. E. I had snacks. So I was hoping we were good. Nope. No. Nada. Baby girl was fine, but I had to hold her the whole time. So of course baby A boy took advantage. He was climbing all over the place. Up on the back of their chairs. All over the sofas. Opening drawers. Rummaging through my purse. Throwing whatever he finds in my purse all over the floor. Then E sees what he throws, this time goldfish crackers, and runs over to stomp on them, and then join his brother in climbing all over everything,

... so how the heck am I supposed to control- heck- corral them!? Let me answer this quickly for you. I don't. I can't. That's wishful thinking. So I leave, spouting off a million, "I'm sorry's" as I shuffle everyone out the door.

It was time to take my kids somewhere to run off their energy. We went to meet daddy and eat lunch at this cute little pond\man-made waterfall at BYU. Seemed like a good idea. We settled down in the grass. I got ready to feed baby girl who was starving and watched my 3 other kids run off in 3 different directions. Baby A decided to take his drink and wade into the pond. Just as daddy sat down to eat his lunch and I've pulled half a breastie out to feed little girl, baby A takes a dive in the water. Full on dunked himself into this pond. Stands up screeching in shock and takes another dive. Daddy was trying to coax him out of the water since he had shoes on and couldn't get to him. The water was really shallow, so baby A wasn't sinking, but he was dripping wet and freaking out. My first instinct was to stand up. Make sure booby was covered by the hooter-hider I had on, hold said hooters-hider over exposed booby, so as not to scare any EFY or young college students and run into the pond to get my sopping wet little boy out of the water.

And the crazy didn't end there. We decided to go to a relatives house to rest and recover from the trauma of the day. I sent my boys downstairs to the basement and daddy and I rested upstairs with sleeping little girl. About 20 minutes later baby A comes upstairs. His hair had white fuzzier all over it. I knew something stupid was happening, but being sleepy makes you stupid. So I ignored the white fuzzies that looked a lot like goose feathers and closed my eyes to rest again. About 10 minutes later, after he'd gone back downstairs and up again to say hi to me. I see now that baby A has a lot of white fuzzies un his hair.

Uuuuuuuugh! Why did I have to be the first person to see this mess! Why?????

I went downstairs to inspect. My oldest was huddled up on the couch underneath a blanket, with his head tucked down. He was a frosty vision of white from head to toe. The red couch he was on was now mostly white. The green rug on the floor was now under a sea of goose feathers AND the culprit was lying on the other couch, looking utterly exhausted from his escapade, feathers floating all around him, settling between his legs and around his body like a fluffy little clouds. Mr. E was quickly AND carefully escorted outside so I could shake him off like a dirty rug. A followed, with little boy A behind him. All covered in various levels of feathers. Outside on the patio seemed the safest place to stick these 3.

I asked E, "When you saw the feathers flying out of the goose feather comforter, why didn't you stop making a mess?" He thought for a minute, looked at me and said, "Cause it looked like Christmas!"

Can't really argue with him there. Plus, tell me you're not jealous that he got to make it snow feathers like they do in the movies.

Soooo, I went downstairs to vacuum a vast ocean of goose down feathers from the entire basement. Which is really hard to do. Just FYI.

 I had my kids outside. They were good. Daddy was awake now and helping me. Everything was good. Until he realized we had to leave for a family dinner. We rushed upstairs to get everyone out the door and find dirt spread all over the back porch,



So, to end my night of crazy, we stripped the baby boy naked outside since he was the dirt spreader, and showered him off. Shook the other two kids off again to get the feathers off them and left for family dinner, praying that the crazy ended right there....

Saturday, April 26, 2014

If We Can Do It, So Can You

Daddy M graduated today. It didn't really feel like a big deal though, probably because we have another 4 years of schooling to go through while he gets his doctorate of Audiology. We didn't make graduation announcements. We barely told anyone. Heck, we told his grandpa the day before that if he wanted to come he could, but no big deal if he couldn't. We didn't plan a huge party. It was just another step in our lives.

But then, as I was sitting in the stands with my 4 beautiful children, ggpa, grammie and papa, and I see my awesome husband walk out with his gown and hat on, it hit me.

I realized how much we had gone through; triumphed, and suffered to get here. To this moment. This very much NOT small moment. A little overwhelmed by this realization. I cried.

I cried for joy. For relief. For the pride I felt for my husband and what he's gone through. And a little out of sadness that we will be leaving what has become our home over the past 7 years.

M and I have created a story worth hearing. A story worth sharing. Maybe some day I'll write it in depth. But for now. I'll tell you shortly why I think it's worth hearing. And why this moment of watching him receive his degree meant so much to me.

In 2006 a few very important things happened. The first of which would be that M and I graduated from high school. Then we both went to college that fall. I got pregnant. And we got married. I'm not sure how many of you know that, but it's a piece of our history, so please, keep any rude thoughts to yourself. Anyway- if you missed it in the second sentence, we were both VERY young.

This beginning to our lives made things very difficult if you can imagine. We were both barely 19. M was now no longer going to school and instead, was working 3 jobs. So that was about 16+ hours a day. I stayed home and looked for jobs.

Over the next 7 years, to today, we faced challenge after challenge. M felt like he couldn't leave work, because he had to take care of us, so school wasn't an option. Soon after we had our 2nd baby, M got sick with liver disease. And this led to depression. Probably on both our parts, but mostly on his. This put a huge strain on our marriage. And left me for a long while to be the parent by myself. He recovered. And we became stronger as a couple.

It was around this time that we decided to take the plunge, live a few pennies cheaper or several thousand pennies cheaper, and send M to school. I worked full-time, but didn't have a job that paid a whole lot. As in, some months we only spent $50 on groceries for our family of 4. That was at our leanest.

We pressed on and dealt with normal marriage issues. As in, it's not actually as easy as you think to take 1 person from one life and another person from another life and put them in the same existence together to create another entire life together. There are bound to be cultural differences from simply being raised in different families. But we learned from each other and became stronger still as a couple.

Our 3rd child was born and 6 weeks later we were in the hospital with him. That was a pretty awful, scary, emotionally traumatizing week. And then for several months after, as we waited to see if the pathologists could decide if our baby had cancer or not, we stressed, cried more, and worried for our future. But M pressed on with school. Hoping he wouldn't fail his classes with such a huge and important distraction.

We were so blessed and found out our baby boy was going to be ok, a few more scars on his body than before, but he was no worse for wear. And M finished his semester with a 4.0.

It was at this time that we needed a little more help to just live. I wasn't working still from being on maternity leave and I postponed going back longer, so I could take care of my baby at home. He had his Broviac line in still and his chance for infection was very high because of this. So I stayed where I was needed and where I wanted to be. This was during the time that we didn't know if he was going to be ok and I didn't want to be at work; I wanted to spend time with him. If he died, the last place I wanted to remember me spending my time, was at work. This led us to some unfortunate extreme levels of poverty.

We got help. It was extremely humbling. For our entire marriage, up to this point, we were self sufficient. We did it on our own, we lived on $50 worth of groceries sometimes, but we were doing it by ourselves. So this shift in our needs, as our family changed, was hard for us.

M continued school and we could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! But now with his last few semesters in sight, he decided to go back to work, so I could be at home with our family and we could begin to find our independence again. Working and going to school is hard for M, I know a ton of people do it. But for him, he wants to put 100% of himself into both things and he just can't. So he kills himself trying to. And then on top of working full-time and going to school full-time, he was applying for grad school, schmoozing for grad school, and was also raising our family with me. And we're pretty needy at home, especially me, since I was pregnant with our 4th little baby. :) But he kept on, made a few sacrifices in some places so he didn't go mental just barely before he graduated.

And we had our 4th little baby halfway through Ms last semester of school! Things were finally beginning to feel a little more normal.

We were becoming once again, more independent. We knew where M was going for grad school! (He got in where he wanted!) We were having some very special doors open for us.

It seemed like the path we decided to take; that began something akin to traversing the side of a very steep and actively spewing volcano- think Lord of the Rings; had transformed into a lovely stroll through flower-filled fields with rolling green hills and frolicking cute wildlife.

Which brings us to this place. Graduation. Here, with me standing with our 4 kids watching a pretty amazing man graduate! You'd never know he'd experienced an insurmountable amount of resistance in his young life and still managed to get where he is today. He has shown me what real strength looks like. He's shown me what a good man in a storm does. What a good man is. What strength is. It's quiet. It's ever present. It's enduring. It's finishing the race, no matter what slowed it down. It's not boastful. It's not loud. It doesn't brag. It doesn't put others down to get ahead. True strength is my husband. Through all his ups and downs, our ups and downs. He finished his race and he finished well.

So, I'm really serious when I say, if we can do it. Seriously. So can you.

Bring on the next 4 years of grad school!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Baby Girl's Birth Story

I've just gotta share the birth story of our 4th child and 1st daughter right? I just love that each birth experience is so different! But then again I actually enjoy all the excitement and energy surrounding labor and delivery.

So, we'll start a few days before.

Had a doctors' appointment on Wednesday, the 26th. I didn't really feel like this cute little baby was ready to come. Probably because out of all the pregnancies I've had, this one had been the easiest on my body. I could still turn around in bed without making a huge effort. I was still sleeping relatively well, unless my heartburn decided to hate me on some nights. I could get up and down from a sitting position with relative ease. As in, it was easier to get up and down as a 9-month pregnant lady THIS pregnancy, compared to the others. I remember being pregnant with my last child and crying a lot more that last two weeks of my pregnancy than I would have preferred. My belly felt smaller. I was sure it wasn't as big as the other bellies I had to deal with. :) This also gave me the suspicion that it could be a baby girl since I was smaller. But I wasn't about to hope too much!

Back on track to the doc appointment. Daddy M wanted me to strip my membranes- if your body is ready and the doctor does this- you'll likely have the baby in the next two days. The downside to getting your membranes stripped, is it feels awful! I can only compare it to a weed-wacker being stuck up your hooo-haw and turned on. The doctor, who's never had to feel this pain, said it felt like a roto-rooter being shoved up there. Either way- it's not pleasant. (If you've never had kids and want this done, ask them to go slow. They don't need to go crazy fast.) AND I promised Daddy M that I'd do it at this appointment.

Bring it on.

We left without me feeling any real contractions. So I was kinda bummed. And angry. And emotional. And hormonal. Basically I was a basket case. We got home and I started to walk around all over to help induce contractions. The only response my body gave me for this was my usual braxton hicks contractions that hurt a little more now. A few hours of this and I hated my body for not doing what it was supposed to do. HELLO-- I got my membranes stripped. It hurt like hell, now go into labor like I've told you too.

It didn't listen. So I went to bed and cried.

Next day. Daddy M was at school all day. Then he came home and went to work for the rest of the day. My body continued to have it's usual contractions throughout the day. They hurt more. So I figured they were real contractions now. They were just ALL over the place. Super inconsistent. I would have one, then five minutes later, have another. Then ten minutes later, have another. Wait a good half hour and have another one and then jump back down to five minutes. I couldn't trust my body for crap. I ended up going to bed that night around nine, and while lying in bed, I would still have these super inconsistent and super strong contractions. I called Daddy M around 11pm and told him what was going on. He came home from work. We called a relative and asked them to come babysit our 3 boys and headed to the hospital. I was in denial that I was in labor. The only indicator I had that may have convinced me I was in labor was the fact that the contractions were extremely strong. I couldn't walk through them-- or at least not well. I had to focus on breathing through them. And it felt oh so wonderful to squeeze out a tear here and there while trying to breath through them.

*Let this be a note to you that have no had babies yet-- the rule of wait for them to last longer than 60-90 seconds and they should be 3-5 minutes apart, might not apply to your body. It sure as heck didn't apply to mine*

We got to the hospital. A 15 minute drive. And I had only 1 contraction during the whole drive. I was pretty convinced I was going to get sent home with my 4th pregnancy. (How embarrassing would THAT be.) We made it upstairs, got put in a room and the nurse's began the monitoring. I didn't have very many contractions at first, they were just extremely strong and lasted about 2 minutes. So about 20 minutes in, a nurse checked me, then asked Daddy M and I how far dilated we thought I was. He said a 6. I said a 4. She said a 5 and told us we were staying and having a baby soon!

It was about 12:30am by this time. Poor hubby had been up since 7am yesterday and now had to be up until this little baby was born.

I settled in for the party and got my epidural. I think I was to a 6 by the time the anesthesiologist came in. He was awesome. I had almost full function of my legs and numbness right where you want to be numb. :) Not gonna lie, I was pretty tired. I tried to rest, not successfully.

Around 4am, my nurse came in to check on me, we turned my body since little baby's heart-rate wasn't doing so well on the side I was on. Turning me, for whatever reason, sent my body into high gear. During transition phase I shake like mad. My legs were going crazy, my arms and teeth were on berserk mode and the nurse decided maybe she should check me again. I was a 10!

We got the doctor in and prepped for me to have this baby. She broke my water and my contractions only intensified. I am so thankful for epidurals people. Just saying. I would watch my contractions on the monitor and some of them didn't go away for at least 3-4 minutes.

I pushed for a few minutes, but this baby wasn't descending, and the heart-rate kept dropping. So they slapped some oxygen on me. Doc had me rotate my body a bit to help baby rotate it's head the right way. After a few more minutes of pushing the doctor went and sat down at a computer. Not sure why. So, my awesome nurse kept helping me push while fulfilling her other duties in the room. The doctor continued to just sit at the computer. I'm not sure why she thought she wasn't needed in the pushing process of the delivery, but her level of involvement was a joke. At one point she stood up, halfheartedly checked me and then said something like, "Well, if I walk out of the room, you'll probably progress to where I want you to." And then she left. Leaving the nurse there to do the doctor's job. About 1 minute later the baby was crowning. No doctor in the room. The nurse runs for the door and tells me to stop pushing. As the WIDEST part of the head is working it's way through me. She just wants me to stop and wait for the doctor to get back-- not the nurse's fault. I know she could get in trouble if she delivers the baby and the doctor was outside the room the whole time. I would just like to know why the doctor felt like she had to leave. Seriously. I think I said something stupid like, "You seriously want me to wait?? Right now! At this point!"

The doctor heard the commotion. And casually walks back into the room. Lazily puts her sterile gloves on. Then asks me, "So, do you want an episiotomy or a tear?" My first thoughts, were something like, 'how about we try to get this baby out first and if it doesn't fit, we talk about a little snip or a tear down there.'

I told her to wait on the cutting. Honestly, I was just irritated at this point that I wasn't pushing this head out of me. And then she says, "I think this is a pretty big head here." At this point I was done listening to Ms. Doctor and wanted to just have my baby.

Few more pushes and I hear excited voices tell me, "The heads out!" I had a nurse with me when I was first admitted that was super excited that I had 3 boys and didn't know what the gender of this baby was. She was convinced it was a girl. She was switched to some other patients and I have to admit I was pretty sad she was moved. It was fun to feed off her bubbly energy. I told her if she's still on shift when I have this baby that she should come back and see if she was right.

So here was the big moment, the big reveal! The doctor lifted up my little baby and said, "Do you see what you have?" with a massive grin on her face. I looked and saw my beautiful little girl. Exhausted, and full of emotion I covered my eyes and cried.

I have a daughter.

I looked up to see where she was. They were wiping her off a bit and I had to ask, through tears and laughter, "Could I check again? Maybe I missed something." She was born at 4:30 in the morning and I honestly wasn't sure if I was exhausted from the full day I had just had. Or the hours of labor. OR the pushing I had just gone through, but I wanted to make sure my eyes weren't tricking me and I missed a vital body part that belongs to a boy the first time around.

They showed me her again and still in shock they handed me my baby daughter.

I held her close.

Doc was still cleaning me up and told me I didn't tear at all. Thank goodness I didn't give her the go ahead to snip me. Geez. At this moment though, I didn't really care at all about anyone else in the room but my little girl and my wonderful husband. I held her for a few more minutes and then they took her to her warm little crib to clean her up. It was around this time that my first nurse came in, thrilled out of her mind that I had a girl and had to celebrate a little with me. :)
 (looking like a fabulous messy little angry alien.)

So from start to finish-- this was my shortest labor--4 hours. 4 hours in the hospital at least, I did spend most of the day not sure if I was actually having real contractions. And she's my smallest baby. She weighed in at 6lb 2oz. And a dainty 18 inches long. Now Daddy M and I just had to think of a name for her. I won't say it on here, but I will say, that the first name that came to my mind was what we named her. It just felt like that was who she was. Daddy liked it and I obviously did too. So it was perfect. We were now officially a family of 6!

Couple of extra pictures of cute baby girl!! Daddy M was holding here in these next two photos. She's only minutes old here. And I'm so in love with this little picture! She's still messy, but those cute little eyes looking at her dad-- or at least trying to-- is perfect!

The last section of pictures here is me being bored and hanging out with baby girl. And of course getting a wonderful visit from Great Grandpa!

Baby girl is 3 weeks old now. And still pretty teeny. She now weighs 7lb 6oz. Still smaller than some newborns. I'm hoping, and maybe this is bad, but I'm hoping that she'll stay small. It would be a nice change to have a petite little baby instead of my fat boys. NOT that they were not wonderful and cute and perfect with their fat little cheeks, legs and pot bellies. It just gets tiring to carry little chunkers. haha

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I've been thinking about something a lot these last few weeks. I'm going to call it a pregnancy craving that won't go away, except it's not a food craving, it's a thought craving.

I was talking to one of my single friends. (Yes, I have some of those still. It happens rarely.) This person was telling me about how they are going to parent. Stating something like, "I watch how you and your husband raise your kids and how some of my other friends and relatives raise their kids and I just know what I am going to do and what I'm not going to do as a parent. I've seen stuff I like and stuff I don't like and by watching all you guys, I know what I'm going to do."

I simmered on this statement for a while. I have a feeling that a lot of individuals without kids, married and single, think like this. Whether or not on purpose, it still happens- even people with kids see things they don't like and think, "shoot, I'd never do that with my kid."

This bugs me a little. Or maybe a lot since I've been thinking about it for weeks now. My initial response in my mind to my single friend is, "You have no idea what you're talking about. You have no idea what kind of parent you'll be until you're faced with actually being a parent and even then, you'll do things you wish you hadn't. You'll do things you said you'd 'never' do. So, please, for the love-- don't try and tell me in a round about way, you're going to be a better parent than me because you've watched how I've parented and have already learned from my mistakes."

Since I have had a while to simmer on this generalized statement, I've had the time to define-- in my own way-- what parenting is really like. And since I'm inclined toward the artistic. This is what I found:

It's art.

It's a beautiful Monet, a Picasso, a Van Gogh, a Warhol, a Banksy, an Ansel Adams and so on.

When I see art, there are some pictures that move me to the core, they're beautiful and inspiring to me. I see them and think to myself, "That is what I want to do. That's what I want to make!" And then there are some pieces of art that make me cringe and wonder why someone would call that art. I'm sure you can think of pieces of art that have the same or similar effect on you.

So.... parenting. It's art. I see some parents with their kids and I think, "That's what I want to do! That's the kind of Mom I want to be." And then there's some parents that I see or listen to and think, "Yeah, I'm not sure what they're thinking. Why would anyone do that as a parent?"

The thing is, my style of parenting (like art) might look like a beautiful thing to some and like junk to another. But if you step back, really look at the piece of work you're looking at, you have to see that just because someone parents a different way than you would (or if you're single,think you would) , doesn't make it any less beautiful.

A parent who uses cloth diapers. A mother who goes to work full-time. A parent who spanks. Who doesn't allow sleep overs. Who dresses their kids in baby gap. A mother who buys the nicest things. A mother who never gives their child candy. A mother who feeds their kids only organic. All of this-- and I have to clarify this-- all of this makes for a beautiful different style of parenting, so long as the child is loved and cared for.

But this isn't where the parallels ended for me. Some people are not artists. Let's face it. Their stick figures look sad. You get embarrassed for them each time it's their turn in the game pictionary. Some people, also, are not born parents. They put diapers on backwards, give babies food they're not ready to eat, and make disciplinary calls that are embarrassing out in public. These people have to work at being a parent and for the rest of us, it can be messy and painful to watch. Comparatively, they're not good artists-- yet.

But they're trying. It is their greatest desire to be a good parent and they make an effort each and every day. Sometimes every minute of every day. I'm this kind of parent. I have to work at it. Parenting does not come naturally to me. But I want to be a good parent. I want to create a beautiful Seurat. But it's going to take me a long time. I'm no natural.

So let's look at someone who is trying to learn how to draw, someone who wants to create something really and truly beautiful. At first, their pictures are rough. They're stiff. The lines are terrible, the ratio of the items in the picture are way off and you wonder what the heck they're doing. But after many many mistakes and constant practice, things start to look better. The house they're trying to draw starts to look like an actual house OR maybe it doesn't (it happens, haha), so they change their medium (watercolors to charcoal) and then things start to improve. With practice. They start to find their groove and find what works-- this process may take months or years-- and soon the picture that looked like a toddler drew it, begins to look more like something you could call art.

That's me. As a parent. I started out not knowing what I was doing at all and I wasn't getting the hang of it easily. I took my oldest son to the doctor when he was about 15 months old and carried him into the doctor's office still in his car seat because no one told me I shouldn't because he was too big. I cried when he would poop more than twice in one day. I let him lay on the edge of our very low guest bed, left to get a diaper and when I came back he had rolled off the bed and gotten himself stuck between the bed and the dresser. I expected too much from my second child too soon, assuming that he was just like his older sibling. I yell more than I ever wanted to. Making dinner is the biggest chore in the world for me. Cleaning my kids' pee off the toilets, it would seem like-- ALL the time-- makes me want to put the toilet outside so they can pee out there. Putting Blue's Clue's on the TV annoys me, because I don't want to watch it. I have tons of other shortcomings as a parent, but I'm always trying. I want to be a good mom. I want to do right by my kids. I have had to change the way I parent often, and I still don't get it sometimes. But the great thing is, I know I'm going in the right direction. My sad little stick figures and sad little house drawing are becoming something beautiful. It's been 7 years in the works and I'm finally able to be proud of the art I have created.

Some might see the picture I've created and disagree and think they have all the answers about how to do it right. And from my perspective-- especially if they're single-- they have no idea. They haven't even started their drawing yet. And when they do start, maybe their artwork will look beautiful right away, they might have a natural talent for it, or more likely, it won't, and they'll have to work at it, even if just a little bit.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The things that I'd miss

Things I miss because I'm a parent of young children:

*Sleeping when I want to.
*Going out on dates with my hubby whenever we please.
*Going out late to play, because no matter how late you go to bed, your kids will still wake up at 6:30am
*No snowboarding.
*No time for soccer or teams sports on a regular basis.
*Can't wear cute clothes. Forget buying them, your kids will ruin them. Not on purpose of course. But... crap happens often. Almost literally.
*Can't watch the TV shows or movies you want to. Gotta wait until the kids go to bed and then pray you're not too tired.
*Can't forget to make dinner. It's ok when you and your spouse have to fend for yourself, but the baby and the toddler can't really do this. Food has to be made.
*Can't go hang out with my friends...or for that matter.... what friends? hah. (this means WITHOUT kids in tow)

I'm sure there's more. I'm going to count it as a good thing that I don't have a slew of these festering in my mind.

Things I'd miss if I weren't a parent of young children:

*Elaborate stories told by the 4-year-old who is convinced they very well could happen and therefore can make a decent lie to tell.
*Hugs by little bodies that barely make it past your knees or waist.
*Little hands that fit inside your hands that like to poke your nose because they are just learning what a nose is.
*A toddler lisp that makes everything they say seem like you're translating a different language.
*Sentences like, "Mom, only having 5 minutes to eat dinner is mean. I'm not saying you're mean... I'm just saying that 5 minutes is mean." (Consequence of earlier actions.)
*Sweet little souls that turn to you for love after you're the one that caused their sadness, due to having to punish them.
*Little legs that try enthusiastically to climb over a bathtub wall into the water, fully dressed, no matter who is bathing in there.
*Drawings made for me that sit on my nightstand.
*Prayers asking, "Help me not to have bad dreams. Thank you for my house and my home." every single night, verbatim.
*Fridge art.
*Little helpers that help too much and you find an entire box of ritz crackers unopened and thrown away in your trash.
*Bedtime stories.
*Sneaking in after everyone is asleep and seeing how cozy they all look. So tiny in their big beds, covered in fluffy comforters, books they were reading and a flashlight that's still on and tucked in their little hands.
*A sleepy little baby who found a spot right next to you and fell asleep with their bum in the air, legs tucked up underneath themselves, perfectly content, because you are right there.
*Being asked, "Mom, is there anything I can do for you?" Without being prodded by anyone. Usually.
*Giggly cheeks when babies and kids run around the house excited .We see the Northern and Southern Hemisphere cheek giggle often.
*Never knowing where my toothbrush is because the baby loves it so much he could sniff it out anywhere.
*Little toddler bringing me a book to read that he has to hold, and sit on my lap, AND we will be reading it upside-down. But I only get to choose 1 word from each page before he eagerly flips past a few upside-down pages.
*Crazy kid eyes when they're excited, worked up, or angry. Hard not to laugh when you're trying to be serious.
*Telling your 5-year-old at his soccer game, "You have to go for the ball, not the other kids." And his response being, "I am mom, they just get in my way."
*Seeing their perfect faith and innocence as you teach them about the gospel. No questions asked, they believe. They do no doubt. This doesn't mean they don't ask questions- their questions just aren't filled with doubt, they just want to understand better.
*Watching that baby grow up to be a little kid and feeling very proud with who they are becoming as a person.
*Getting stabbed in the back with a miniature fork because for whatever reason this is thrilling to a toddler.
*Snuggles on the couch when you don't feel well and your kids can't stay away from you, so they sit on you and watch your shows with you.
*Taking a bite of their food and humming the entire time they're chewing.

I needed this tonight. I needed to remind myself that there is so much that I love about being a Mom. And yes- there are thousands of other examples I could come up with! But for now, this will have to do-- I'll add more as I come up with them because I like this list.

It can be easy to dwell on all the things you can't do when you become a parent, but I hope, that you find an entire world of happiness that you never knew you were missing out on when you become a parent. Because being a mom is a great thing. It's hard, it's really hard. But it's worth it. It really is.

With everything in life though, you're only going to get as much out of it as you put in. And maybe some days that's why I feel like being a mom is a chore and MOST days I feel like I am in the best place in the world. Yeah, so you give up a lot, but you're getting SO much more in return! And then, the best thing-- you get old and instead of being lonely as the people your same age begin to pass away-- you have your kids to visit you! Who, hopefully still love you because you were an invested parent that didn't dwell on the things they couldn't do anymore and instead found happiness in the new things they got to do.