Monday, November 30, 2009

Who Does She Look Like?

The photo to the left is Q at about nine months. The one to the right is L at almost five months. People have asked who L looks like, so here's what I think.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wow! What a miracle a baby is!

Today, L is five months old. She's amazing, and it's astounding what she's done to our home.

Here's a quick recap....


  • L ate every two hours.
  • Slept when she wasn't eating.
  • Took daily trips to the lab to have her foot poked to check her jaundice level--I learned this is due to me having O+ blood type and hers being different.
  • While being held, L would put her feet right up against you; it would end up with her toes meeting her shins; circulation would be cut off, and they'd turn blue. Eeeek.
  • Lots of passing the sleeping baby around.


  • L, most of the time, will pass up the binky ("aya") for her thumb.
  • She sleeps eight or nine hours at as stretch each night.
  • She eats every four hours.
  • L is quick to smile and giggle.
  • She gurgles and coos a lot.
  • L is learning to manipulate her world by grabbing for things.

L's affect on our family was instantaneous. Z and I, at times during these past five months, have turned to one another and asked how we were ever happy before she came into our lives. It's not that we weren't happy, it's just that we didn't know our happiness was incomplete. She has brought everything into balance. God definitely knew better than we did just what we needed. I'm so grateful for this!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm So......


As we gathered for family scriptures this morning, Q did something she thought was really great and followed it up by exclaiming, "I'm so amazing!" Now, you might think this is a teenage girl being narcissistic, but to me, this was wonderful to hear.

As a child, I had a terrible tendency to put myself down. It became almost second nature. Someday I might explain why, but for now, just know that it was an awful habit. I did it well into my twenties. When I met my husband, for some reason, it decreased to almost nothing, and I started feeling good about myself.

I have often thought about what a waste that was. I learned that putting oneself down isn't's pride. In denying what is good in ourselves, we deny God the good we could do with the gifts He's given us. Humility is to accept what we can do, and using it for good while we try to build it and improve on it.

I find, as a mother, that one thing I want for my children, is that they be nothing like me, or at least the bad part of me, so when Q said this this morning, I quickly grabbed onto it. I realized that I rarely, if ever, say, "I'm so amazing." I usually do the opposite. I've been pondering on this this morning, and I'm realizing that I AM so amazing.

I can:
  • Taxi around seven children everyday.
  • Walk my two boys to school daily.
  • Calm my baby's cries.
  • Make my house smell amazing with good food--everybody who walked in the door yesterday exclaimed how wonderful it smelled (crockpot applesauce).
  • Take college classes and regulate my own time in doing so.
  • Take the time to read to my children.
  • Help my kids with their homework.
  • Meet the needs of kids when they're sick--even cleaning up the grossest things.
  • Keep my household happy and laughing.
  • Do better at something everyday.

Yes, there are things I'm not very good at, but I'm not even going to mention them here. For some reason to me, even talking about them justifies their existence, and I refuse to do that because someday, I'm going to be amazing at those things too.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Help me!!! I'm Drowning!!!

So, some advice would be great right about now. I hope someone has some for me....

As you are probably aware, laundry is an ongoing process here. It just never ends. I live for days when I'm all caught up. This really does happen sometimes.

Last week, I got all caught up. Well, kind of. I had washed and dried everything, but I had a huge pile of laundry to fold. It sat there until the last load was dried then I started the folding process; I dragged all the kids, all but the baby that is, to help me out. We got it all done. It felt so good. Even the three-year-old was in on the gig.

After Z got home from work, we went out for a date and left the kids to get the clothes put away. Can you feel this story going in a bad direction?

When we came back, the piles were all taken care of, or so we thought. Oh that false security thing....

Sunday morning came, and I went in to help T get his church clothes. Lo and behold, clothing ALL OVER THE FLOOR!!! UGH! It was just a really bad nightmare! It had to be!

Oh no it wasn't. Both boys that share that room simply laid their clothes on the floor and let them get kicked around. I stood there with my jaw open.

Didn't they help fold those clothes? Didn't they see the time it took to wash, dry, and fold them?! Obviously they didn't. I took this very personally. To look at it rationally, I knew that these boys are six and three; they have no value in their mother's time, but dang it, I do. Clearly, (to use an educator's catch phrase) I need to raise their level of concern. They need to improve their understanding of just what the whole laundry thing takes.

In the meantime, my laundry room continues to pile up with dirty clothes and towels. I don't want to touch them until I have it figured out how to do it right so this won't happen again. Such a silly thing, but I felt such a huge disrespect from this. Call me a hormonal nursing mother--that's got to be it, right? Sometimes I worry so much about doing and saying just the right thing, so my children end up well-adjusted and unscarred emotionally, but what about my emotional scars, who's worrying about those? I just walk past the laundry room, and my heart grows heavy.

Okay, so just tell me how dumb I am, shake your head and continue folding your nice, clean, freshly dried clothes. I'll get there, just not today.

Friday's Favorites

There is one blog above all that inspires me. When I can't think of a thing to write or really don't feel like blogging, I go here, and the ideas just start to flow. I found it on a friend's blog's sidebar, clicked and there I was. The photography is beautiful, bright and vivid--must be some camera! This is my FAVORITE BLOG (<--click here to go there)!

Dang Life's Lessons

There is one child in our home, whom I previously thought was a quick learner but is proving me wrong. Ugh! It also appears that said child really doesn't like being "called on the carpet" for not learning the previous lesson offered. Can't say as I blame this kid. I wouldn't like it either.

Now, here's the thing that really blows my mind. It seems that this child actually thinks that me and the dad like doing the calling and in so doing, we love making this child's life miserable. It's what we live for. It's like "Yay! Another screw up! We can make someone face the responsibility of it. Oooh. Let's do it so that child is uncomfortable. Just for fun and entertainment."

Well, I sat down with said child for a good two hours doing math--algebra is mine, geometry is Z's. This happened to be algebra, so I handed the crying baby off, neglected the house that needed to be straightened before going to bed, left the laundry sitting in the washer, let my own schoolwork fall a day behind, and worked through algebra problems with this kid, and to be honest, I enjoyed it. I think, of the choices offered, it's probably what I'd rather have been doing--not the algebra per se, but the sitting next to my child and spending one-on-one time.

This kid felt so picked first--grumbling, sighing, moaning. I tried to explain that if this child didn't want to face up to his/her mistakes, then he/she shouldn't make them any more. Hmm. Lesson learned? I sure hope so, but for now, and hopefully for awhile into the future, I have a daily date with this kid and algebra. Can't say as I'm too sad about that.

Before heading up to bed, the same child approached me. I heard the words, "Thanks for helping me, Mom." Hmm. Maybe our help is starting to be recognized for what it is. Could it

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gotta Love It

When Q was little, this was her favorite book. I read it twice daily for months. We read nothing else. I got so I could quote it verbatim--no text needed from beginning to end.
I've been taking a children's literature class. For it, there are a number of books I am required to read. This book was on the list. Since we own it, and since I hadn't read it in quite awhile. I decided to introduce it to T. It has become his favorite. I have now read it everyday for about the past week. So that I can get through more of the classes reading material, I have gone to reading him two books at a time. Zelinsky's Rumpelstiltskin is always one--the one T chooses. I choose The Very Hungry Caterpillar or Madeline, but his choice remains unchanged so far.
If you haven't read it, you should. Even if you don't have a child to read it to, go check it out. The illustrations are beautiful.
Well, I'd better go. Got some reading to do....
"Once there was a poor miller who had a beautiful daughter...."

Wordless Wednesday...a day late

I should be allowed because it was this girl's 16th birthday...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Monday, November 9, 2009

Painful to Watch!

Oh my GOSH!!! I can't believe this! The hair pulling thing especially! With soccer season just ending, I thought I'd post this one for Q. Yay BYU!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just Taking a Look Around

Do you ever have the feeling that you've had your head in a hole in the ground most of the time and every so often you lift your head up and realize that life is going on around you?

I sometimes wonder whose life this is that I'm living.

I'm facing the realization that my oldest child is turning 16 next week. Ugh! How did this happen? How did she get this old? I am grateful that she and I have always been the best of friends.

When Z and I started school together, six months after we were married, I went along with Z's idea that we wait to have children until after we graduated. Not long after moving to Monmouth, Z was given the assignment to home teach a young couple who'd just moved into the ward. I was assigned to be his companion.

We grew to love Mark and Kati so much! They became our best friends, and we chose to be with them every chance we could. Kati was pregnant with their first child. We had a lot of fun finding things for their baby and anticipating his birth.

I have a hard time accepting the idea that this wasn't in God's plan for Z and me. Why would I be assigned to be Z's home teaching companion? I have little doubt that this was all laid out. In getting excited for their baby, it became clear that we could have the same thing happen to us. This had honestly never been a thought in my mind before this.

Mark and Kati moved shortly after Levi was born, but we got to enjoy their first few weeks of parenthood before they left sometime around Christmas.

The idea that we NEEDED to have a child grew and grew. By spring break, and our first anniversary, we were going to be parents! Q was born November 11th (11/11) at 2:22pm. And, our lives have never been the same.

Q was born while Z and I were in college down at Western Oregon University. Z had been accepted into the School of Education and was doing his student teaching when she was very little. The thing we understood about the Beaverton School District is the fact that they, more often than not, hire their own, so Z wanted to do his student teaching (at least part of it) in the Beaverton area, while I stayed in Monmouth.

When she was five months old, Z was also called into the bishopric of the young single adult ward. This kept us apart on Sunday's too. Our church building was under construction to make it into a stake center, so I was going to church with Q in Dallas, Oregon, and Z was going to church in West Salem with the YSA ward.

Well, at that point in time, my life would have been extremely lonely. It was such a blessing to have Q as my little companion. She gave me someone to focus on.

So, here I am now preparing to watch my daughter turn sixteen. I remember sixteen. It was a hard time. Q doesn't seem to have the hang ups I did at that age. She is fairly level-headed and happy in her own skin. She is confident and enjoys every day.

It's just scary to think that the day is coming, sooner than I expected, that the next time I pull my head up out of the hole I seem to live in, that she'll be setting off for college, so I'm not going to think about that....I'm just going to enjoy sixteen and love every minute I have her around.

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