Friday, November 20, 2015

A list not stories

Don't you wish I was writing down all the little tender mercies in my life.
Me too, but today I don't have time. So maybe I'll make a list so I can remember to write them down.

  • Buying a bag of cookies and cream Hershey kisses a few days before Halloween that then sat in my fridge a month.
  • A wand the same a fly swatter?
  • Another one I can't remember, but I wish I could. Maybe once I write those I'll remember
Lastly, the time my friend decided to buy a second bag of egg noodles.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Canyoneering

A few months ago my husband got invited to go Canyoneering. I told him he could only go if his brother went. I didn't feel the need for him to scratch his outdoor itch, but I didn't mind him having brother bonding.

The night before he left I was close to a melt down. The last time he had gone anywhere for pleasure without me was pretty much the worst 10 days of my life. Normally I'm a fairly accommodating wife and my husband has his fair share of fun. But its been a rough while in my life lately. When I was on the verge of tears, I asked what am I going to do without you? (Physically I've felt fairly run down for the past few weeks, which isn't helping my mental health.)

He said you are going to take your medicine three times a day and be a super mom. You are always a super mom when I'm gone, but then you are going to fall to pieces when I get home and that is ok, because I'll be back by then to pick up everything.

Bizarrely enough that was enough for me.

I then asked, so you'll carve pumpkins with the kids for me when you get home and I don't have to be there if I don't want to be? I can leave or hide, if I'm not up to it?

He said of course.

I then wondered why I hate carving pumpkins so much. And we remembered he has gone on a lot of October business trips. My rule has always been he can't travel over Halloween, so he usually shows up the day of, and I'm carving pumpkins before we walk out the door for Trunk or Treat. The only thing I hate more than carving pumpkins is moldy pumpkins so we always carve less than 6 days in advance.

Yeah, I hate carving pumpkins, I'm not sure I'll ever go back to liking it.

I want this...

Overall I'm too nice of a mom. If we were only carving one I could handle that, but I hate carving multiples.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Regression

Not only has my depression come back, my carpel tunnel came back a few weeks ago. I started sleeping with my brace, and I have to do my hand weights regularly, or I would have to start wearing my brace in the day again.
Its so discouraging.
But I do think my depression is starting to lift a bit. Either that or setting the alarm on my phone is the best thing every, three times a day it goes off to remind myself to medicate.
Without the alarm on my good days I forget I need it, then the good days are followed with three bad days.

Luckily my hair has come back. Well not my hair, but my scalp was producing this weird buildup on my hair. My guess it was similar to the massive amount of plaque my teeth had acquired. Eight months ago at the dentist my hygienist asked what was going on, she couldn't believe how swollen my salivary glands were, and wondered why it seemed like I had stopped brushing my teeth. My salivary glands fixed themselves sooner than my hair. With all my nursing babies, my hair produced weird buildup, but with the babies back to back, it took over a year to get my hair to feel clean. I've finally gotten it back. Its lovely. Although weird all at the same time. I finally had body to my hair, now its back to fine and soft. Which is amazing, I won't lie. But I did kind of like being able to have almost big hair, but I'd rather have touchable hair.

Life Dreams Can Be Scary (epicly long post)

Remember how I've typed previous posts about how I'm trying to figure out what my dreams and goals are?
I've been working on this since the beginning of the year, when we attended short marriage seminar one evening, and the therapist mentioned the importance of life goal.

She talked for an hour about strong marriage techniques, and I kept thinking check check check. I've been really blessed to have an awesome marriage, but honestly my husband had no other choice. I was very clear if we got married, we were having nothing but the best. I wasn't marrying him to end up miserable together, or waste my life away while he made bad choices. That might sound harsh to some, but I had a lot of really lofty goals, and I was giving those up when I married him. (He never asked me to give them up, but I'm all in person, and I would have been a crappy wife with those goals, and it wasn't fair to ask him to be an awesome husband if I was going to be a crappy wife.) And, because of that, I was up front and honest with him. I wanted to be his best friend for life, and because of our personalities I knew we would barely even talk in 3 years if we didn't get married. True, I was madly obsessed with him, but any marriage is taking a huge chance, and I don't go into things to fail, so I was really clear about that with him. Since we had so many conversation about that, maybe he brought up himself, I think it set up for the foundation of a strong marriage. We had pretty much decided to get married when we started dating. We knew if we started dating we had two options, marriage or losing our best friend. At the same time, I think we had already built our lives so we gave each other windows in our lives, and built door and walls around everyone else, so even if we didn't start dating we still only had those two options. We still dated for three or so months, before we were engaged for three or so months. We were both apprehensive about the huge commitment we were about to embark on.

Anyway, back to present. As the therapist talked, we were slightly bored honestly. Then she got to level 6 out of 7 in The Sound Relationship House, "Make Life Dreams Come True". By the way she was trained by the Gottman Institute. (If this picture is confusing, you are not alone, I've spent 6 months researching what all that means.)

I started crying, and then try to stop myself from crying in public. I didn't want anyone to think Brent was a crappy husband, because he's the best, but I had no idea what my life dreams were.
Literally.
No Idea.

I was in a bad mood the rest of the weekend, I was so lost on my dreams I couldn't even bring it up with Brent. That happened on Friday night, I told Brent by Sunday afternoon. I tell Brent everything, so the fact that it took me almost two days to talk about proves how lost I was in my own thoughts, I couldn't even come up with a way to say it.

In Brent's defense he has been nudging me to find dreams for years, but I always told him, no I'm here and now, and I want to focus on my babies, because one day they will grow up. In fact one of the main reasons I wanted to have a third child is because I didn't want to find my own goals. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that, but its true. (My other reasoning was I thought my daughter was a big sister not a little sister.) Those might be silly reasons, but I couldn't imagine my life with out all my kids, and I would have always been waiting for the two youngest even if I wasn't afraid of my goals.

My only saving grace through all of this was the therapist saying, the more effective and organized a person they less likely they are to have life goals. Which totally makes sense to me, dreamers always seem disorganized to me.

I spent months going through multiple stages of grief about my lack of goals.
For a while I was annoyed the Lord for messing up my goals. I felt like anytime I did set goals life changed and it didn't happen.
For a while I was annoyed at Brent because I thought he monopolized goal conversations. Which is very true, but that's because I wanted him to, and let him.
For a while I wondered what was the point of goals.

Its been a really hard process, its been a really up and down process, sometimes I'm elated dreaming in a way I haven't dreamed since High School, and sometimes I was so down because how could I know what I could accomplish in life.

I think I've finally made peace with the process. For one setting specific dates does not work for me, it only sets me up for failure not success. I know dates are really helpful for some but they are more flexible than I am. Super specific goals are not helpful, but general plans are.

A few weeks ago in church, I had this epiphany. I realized the Lord did not steal any of my goals from me, he knew what my plans where, and he said be patient. Watch and see, I'll take what you want, and turn it into more than you can ever imagine. I really think a lot of women have a tendency to lose themselves in a bad way when they are serving everyone else in their lives. And although serving others make the Lord happy, losing our sense of identity does not. He loves us individually for who we are, and if we don't know who we are, I believe that makes him sad.

Things I thought I wanted to accomplish after high school:

  1. Go to college
  2. Go on a mission
  3. Get my undergraduate degree
  4. Go to Law School
  5. Live in a big city
  6. Make a difference in the world
  7. Travel a lot

Now after this past year of wrestling with the Lord about my goals. I realize my goals in high school would have pigeonholed me to a specific place, but he has taken what I thought I wanted, and given me so many more possibilities, and I've still kept what was truly important to me. I really feel like practicing Law in a city would have gotten me until I was 30 or 35 and then I would have said now what? (Law has such a high turn over rate, of people quitting.) But instead my life is super wide open I can pretty much do anything, and I feel like as the years go on I will truly have it all. I use to think that was a dumb idea, that you could have it all. You can't have it all at once, but I really feel like one day I'll have it all.

But before I got to that point, it was a lot more discouraging, when I first started thinking about goals again, I thought I've failed. I didn't go to Law School, I have no interest in going anymore.
I can not stress enough this is completely a me problem, not a marriage problem. Brent has been super helpful with me to accomplish my goals.
Some of my goals he pushed me towards:

  1. Years ago before we owned a house, before we had ever taken on any debt, he encouraged me to apply for internship with a politician, he told me he would take an extend family leave of absence from work and take care of the kids. I ended up not doing it, because I had an nursing infant at that time and I decided it wasn't actually the goal I wanted to purse. I know my husband is the working individual and I stay at home, but I actually put a lot of emotional effort into buoying him up and encouraging him to extremely successful in his career. He rocks at job interviews and as far as I can remember has never had a boss that doesn't like him. I decided I cared more about his career than my political experience that would cause us to go broke. The following year he instead went and did his MBA, something I fully supported and pushed him to do.
  2. When we bought this house, he wanted to move to a different town, after the realtor spent two days showing us houses, she asked what we thought, he said, lets go back to the one in _____ ____, that's the house my wife wants. I looked at him with the hugest confused smile. I was trying to not be emotionally attached to a financial decision. I had not told him what house I liked because I knew it wouldn't be what he liked, so I was surprised that he knew without me saying. Now years later, I think of course he knew. He knew me. We had been looking at houses together since before we got married, of course he knew what neighborhood I liked. (His favorite house wasn't the best financial decision. Considering we are planning to sell in the next year or so, this was actually the best financial decision because a house this size in this neighborhood sell fast and the price has gone up quite a bit. Sure the house he liked was bigger so we could have stayed longer but even with a bigger house he would have been restless by now.)
  3. All the he time encourages me to figure out what I need to do to go to Law School. I've told him for years, I truly have no desire to do that anymore so please stop encouraging me. Then he replies what do you want to do?
  4. This fall I figured out. President Benson suggested it, and I realized YES! "First, take time to always be at the crossroads when your children are either coming or going--when they leave and return from school--when they leave and return from dates--when they bring friends home. Be there at the crossroads whether your children are six or sixteen. In Proverbs we read: "A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame" (Proverbs 29:15)." I knew I wanted to be at home when my kids were under four, but I didn't realize I'd still wanted to be home when they were 14. I always thought one day they will be in school and I'll have 7 hours a day to figure out what I want. Except that's wrong, when Ike is in 1st grade, J will be in 9th! That's high school?! Say, what? I knew I wanted my kids spaced a bit, but I didn't full comprehend that.
  5. I felt good for awhile, then I started flipping again because what happens when I'm 47 and Ike moves out? That's only half my life. Its weird to think I'll only have kids at home for 26 years. A couple of Sundays ago I realized the dreams I had forgotten about. I was thinking the only goal I've accomplished was getting my BS in Political Science. But there are other ones. Like travel. I liked Brent because he was interested in traveling. We've seen lots of the US, and other countries too. Going to Mount Rushmore was a life long dream of mine. Brent encouraged me to plan that trip, I tried to cancel the trip and he didn't let me. I had also been planning Ft. Lauderdale for 7 years. The reason I hadn't been on these before is because of my youngest babies. I started planning Mt. Rushmore four years ago, plus a whole lot of other places it was going to be a 2 week car trip, and my husband said you are miserable in the car when you are pregnant, you have to decide if you want a baby or this trip. It was a tricky question, I considering putting off the baby for another year, but I eventually picked baby. And we did plenty of traveling in those four years, like Costa Rica and El Salvador. El Salvador was my pick not his.
  6. I haven't yet lived in a big city. Unless you count Salt Lake City. Which to me is a little big city, you get a lot of the amenities of the city, but its still small and you can live in a house. I loved all the urban aspects of downtown and taking my kids to museums there, all 20 minutes away not an hour plus. I enjoyed taking the train into town with my husband and kids. Sometimes without the kids. I actually love Salt Lake, and we've talked about moving back. But I'm not sure that will happen. Which is fine. (Salt Lake is not Brent's favorite location but if he had a job he was excited about we would consider taking it.) We tried to move to Madrid. We tried to move to London. We tried to move to Medellin, Colombia. All big cities, all would be a dream come true, but each time work said no for one reason or another. (London, someone was better qualified.) Sometimes the dream is the important part. People thought I was just supporting Brent with Medellin, but I was actually super excited to live in a big city with my family. It is cheap enough that we could have afforded a Nanny, so we could have experienced so much of the big city life and not been worried about our kids. She could have helped me in public with four little kids in a country I don't speak the language. Its one of the up and coming travel destinations now that its not so dangerous. People don't always believe us, but to us its like going to Chicago, which we have both visited. Sure there are neighbors where a white couple with their four kids don't belong, but there is some great tourism in mostly safe neighborhoods. If you don't count Salt Lake, I've never lived in a big city, but I don't think my opportunities are up. Brent and I have more dreams up our sleeves even if it takes 30 years to accomplish.
  7. Make a difference in the world. Hopefully I am doing that. Years ago I didn't think stay at home moms made a difference, now I completely disagree with that thought. The mom that helps out in the classroom with the kid who needs more help then the teacher can provide with a class of 20 (that is not me), she is making a HUGE difference in the world, I could go on with countless examples. Right now I'm pretty focused on making a difference to my husband and four kids, because I do honestly think being an awesome wife and a good mom are the most beneficial things I can ever do. There have been jobs a headhunter have asked Brent to apply for, and even though I try to encourage him to have a great career, I've discouraged him from, because I think his family relationships would suffer. Not to mention there are so many way to make a difference as a SAHM beyond your own kids. No matter how you spend your days, your circle of influences is so much bigger than I realized as a teenager. There are so many ways Brent has encouraged me to make a difference, too much to list.
  8. Go on a mission, I've struggled with this since they lowered the age. We have had a lot of sisters in our house talk about what a blessing it was for them to serve now they are younger. Its been tricky for me. I'm happy for them, but its still hard when that is the dream you had longer than any other dream. I've realized even if the age was 19, when I was 19, I probably still wouldn't have gone. That's when I was busy falling in love with Brent, and like I said, I don't think we would have been friends in 3 years if we didn't get married. I know me, and I know him. But Brent is perfect and always dreams with me about our future missions. During the World Report in between conference he looked at me, and said lets serve a mission in Africa. Deal, I was just thinking that.
Sometimes I wonder do I need more goals?
But I think four is good.

  1. Be around for the crossroads of my kids, which do not go away when they are 18, I do understand that. Both my mom's and my mother in law's house are pretty busy terminals, and my grandma's house has seen plenty of action over the years.
  2. Travel
  3. Make a Difference
  4. Serve a mission or more
  5. (A goal I set for Brent when we were dating was to make lots of money so your wife can travel. We spent a lot of energy planning for retirement, so I think that should be added to my list. The piece of paper is still in his scriptures.)
Other things I've thought over the months:

  1. I don't want to volunteer in the classrooms when my babies grow up. I don't like elementary school kids, I don't like noisy environments. (Funny about the big city huh? Different kind of chaos.) I don't like feeling like I'm a babysitter, and I don't like hugs. A friend of mine said she likes to volunteer in the school libraries they always need help. Awesome I could do that.
  2. For a while I thought maybe I wanted to teach secondary school history. I actually think I would really love that, but that conflicts with the crossroads goal. So unless something happens so Brent can't work full time, I crossed this goal off my list. This is my back up plan. But as my kids get older I would love to volunteer or work somewhere that is a historical museum or something like that. That is actually what I really want to do at this point. Or political in nature.
  3. I've had the plan to learn Spanish for years. I'm terrible at working at it, over the summer I took mini Spanish lessons on my phone everyday. Since school started I haven't been able to find the time.
  4. Once all my babies are in school, I also have been heavily thinking about volunteering in food bank. That thought actually terrifies me, I'm not sure I've ever even been in a food bank. But isn't that the point of dreams? Every time I hear about food and poverty I think I want to help. So many of these include the phrase volunteer, is it easier to make a difference if you aren't trying to make money? 
My last thought, looking to others is a bad way to find dreams. I looked at so many other moms who mean a lot to me and thought about what they love to do. And I couldn't find a single person who was doing what I wanted to do in life. But I guess it was helpful because I could cross off all their careers and goals off my list, and as I narrowed my list it was easier to remember who I was.



P.S. Law School is more a symbol than what I really wanted. I can't remember not always wanting a second degree, and a career. But the specifics changed over the years. In Middle School I really wanted to be Psychologist. Not a therapist, but like Dr. of Psychology. In High School I decided I'd struggle with depression if I was always hearing people's problems, so at some point I switched to wanting to be a lawyer. I'm awful about internalizing people's lives in my heart. Its one of the reasons I'm prone to depression. So you may wonder why I picked Law next, because I never wanted corporate law, that never interested me. I considered Family Law, that seemed like an obvious transition from psychology, but I thought instead criminal law was better suited for me. Why? I don't know I was a teenager. I liked the idea of being a District Attorney, fighting to make sure people's rights were upheld. Even if they broke the law, everyone has rights. Which is the same interest as Political Science, when my first two kids were babies I wanted to grow up and be a lobbyist. I think I scared people when they asked but only for issues you care about right? And I said, no, who ever wants to hire me. In my mind its very similar to being a DA. I think I've out grown lobbying. I'm not sure what career I'd want if any...
I want to teach kids about history. I love history, or politics, I love teaching/talking political philosophy. (But not arguing politics, I hate that. Arguing and discussing are so different to me.) I've now realized if you want to make a difference in the world children are where its at. I don't like too much news, but I do like history and political theory/philosophy. My favorite professor was not most polsci students favorite, but I loved his course so much.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Clarification

I honestly can't remember if I've specified this in my blog.
So many blog posts are just written in my head.

I'm not sure when I started feeling depressed after this last baby, but I struggle with mood once I put them on baby food. I never had baby blues with any of them, but once they don't use me as their sole food source my hormones get wonky. Some might suggest well don't feed them baby food as soon, they don't need it. My babies need it. They get so hungry. I have plenty of milk, but I guess when a baby starts moving, I just don't produce enough calories, they can't be nursed enough.  My babies have all crawled at 5 months, are all starving by that age. Some started baby food at 4.

But I've digressed, so I got terrible food poising right before I started my last baby on cereal. (Another digression, I got food poisoning with both of my last babies and it amazes me I can nurse them, and they are fine, while I wonder if I might die. There is a reason they call it poisoning.) So I got terrible food poising, which screwed up my digestion for months, and my hormones are heavily depend on healthy bacteria in my body. So the food poising I think started me on the brink of depression, then using baby food made it worse, and since it wasn't my first rodeo, I went from thinking maybe something isn't right, to over being in the depths of the darkest deepest depression I've ever known. Thinking I hate everyone and everything I know.

So that was somewhere in June or July 2014. I felt terrible most of the summer, then once I got my two older kids back in school I started to find my feet again. Like I believe I said in an earlier post, I did an acupuncture treatment a few days before Christmas. I walked out of that office feeling like I finally woke up after months of drowning.

Other than 6 weeks after I weaned my baby I felt fine most of the spring and summer. Thankfully I popped back really quick after my mental dip in March from weaning. I was mindful of my mental health wanting to keep it good but my physical health was so awful, I didn't worry too much about falling down the depression hole again. I couldn't, I was too absorbed with my physical problems. Then July hit again, the end of July this time. Two weeks before my third child turned 3, I just started feeling shaky. I was so discouraged by my physical health, and it just really threw me for a loop when my babies were 18 months and 3 years instead of 0 months and 18 months. Knowing 18 months had past, and I was in worse shape now then I had been then. I'm not good with reverse progress I'm much to stubborn and willful to put up with that. I have no idea why, but it really rocked me. I mentioned it to my mom on my 3 year old's birthday and she said, do you wish they where those ages? I said of course not, which is true I'm not a baby person, but still something broke in my brain synapses that month. I've never been able to bounce back.

Ironically enough I was so excited about my three year old's birthday I had been so sick for his first two birthdays I could barely buy him a present or bake him a cake. So for his third where I wasn't sick I was so excited, but the summer hoopla threw me hard. So I wasn't sick for his, but it make me sick? Where's the justice in that? It wasn't just that. His baby brother going to nursery, his sister who had been in half day school longer than his whole life was going to full day school, and for whatever reason all that passage of time broke my brain. Plus my oldest son was going into 4th and at the last minute I got anxiety over that because 4th grade was such an awful year for me.

It breaks my heart though, my husband has been so awesome over the last couple of years of all this crazy baby growing. He has endured everything I have, but sometimes I wonder if his position is more helpless than mine. I was so happy the first 9 weeks of summer, I had the house running like a well oiled machine, as school got close he confided he was excited for the kids to go back to school. He said you are happy now, but you always do better once they are in school, so I can't wait to see how happy you'll be then. Unfortunately then something happened around week 11 of summer, and its been a rough fall. That is not a pun, I'm referring to the season as in Autumn. He has endured plenty of panic attacks from me.

Have I mentioned I scare people. Not on purpose, I just can't lie about myself. I've never been good at sugar coating. People will ask me so you feel better now, right? I am capable of not telling people I'm depressed, in fact most didn't know until after I got better last time. So I can withhold truth, but I can't lie. So I won't bring it up, but if you ask, I can't lie. (my blog is different its my brain not a conversation.) So when people ask if I'm better, I tell them the truth. I said, actually I don't think I am. I was for a long while, but I don't know what happened, I'm bad right now. And they look at me, like I dropped a bomb. I guess I did. I guess don't ask if you can't handle all the possible answers. I'm truly ok with someone not asking, not bringing it up. It doesn't bother me. Now I can imagine some people I know, saying, Lesli you can't respond like that. But what they don't understand is its the only way my brain is capable of replying right now. Its either that or staring at them blankly, which I've been know to do. My attention span, my social skills they are just off currently, I do what I can.

Occasionally family asks what they can do to help. Since we don't live by family I say, nothing, I'm good, I mean I'm not but I will be eventually. And we are enduring, so we'll be fine. This is now a test of time, not a test of the unknown. Even if we did live by family I don't think they could help. I've never been good a receiving help, and I'm always been fiercely independent. Actually that's not true, I wouldn't mind someone providing a little bit of free babysitting, but it is what it is. Plus I'm incapable of reciprocation. That is the worst part of all of this, when someone service me I can't reciprocate.

I will not ask people for babysitting, and I don't hire a babysitter very often because I'm cheap. My husband is quite helpful at getting me out of the house, but its tricky. I recently learned a sign of postpartum depression is fear of being alone. That would explain why even though on bad days, when I hate my family. I don't actually want to leave the house. When I'm depressed I get fearful of leaving the little ones. That is actually a main reason I don't usually pay babysitters I can't handle the thought of leaving my little ones. I can barely take care of them, so how could someone else? I've recently had to realize when I'm paying a babysitter all I'm paying them to do is keep them from getting injured or if they do get injured getting them help. When I'm at home, I'm in charge of 6 millions balls all juggled at once. Still I don't leave my kids with just anyone. When I'm not struggling with depression I can understand the benefit of leaving them, but honestly I can't leave them with most people when I'm sick. When I'm really sick I can barely leave them with Brent, which is terribly pathetic, because I'm also not capable of taking care of them without him when I'm really really bad. I mean I can take care of them, but I can't do everything around the house and take care of them. I went months without doing dishes last year because I just couldn't. I could only bathe them (once or twice a week, its was that bad), sort of feed them, and do laundry. I'm not sure why I never gave up on laundry.

We did have a milestone! Last week Brent and I went to the temple together. That means we were gone for four hours and unreachable for two. It's the first time we've been to the temple together without family watching our kids since we had more than two kids. I can't attend much when I'm pregnant, I have a bad habit of passing out. Although it turns out I still have that habit even when I'm not pregnant. Low blood pressure. Eating salt is beyond helpful, but you know you don't always have Ritz crackers around. I also don't go much with a nursing baby, I hate pumping, and most of my babies didn't like bottles anyway. Some may think of these as excuses, but they are all very valid mortal experiences.

Anyway, this post was suppose to be short. I was sick 6 months last year. And then I was fine until I got sick in August again. Except that's not true, because I had physical health problems for a lot of that in-between time.

I don't know.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone has stuck with all these depression posts. Sometimes I wonder why I write them all. Mostly for me. But if its all for me, why are these posts public? I don't know maybe someone out there will get more understand for my bluntness, or someone will realize they aren't alone.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Update

I updated my blog title, so all the pictures fit the same color scheme.
I changed the picture of my kids.
We took family pictures this summer, and picked this picture, because when I thought about the reality of my life. This best fit it.
The only slightly unrealistic part is, my boys have polos not ugly t-shirts. (They pick their own clothes.) And my oldest is smiling not ignoring us. Actually I think he is ignoring everything. They are so much prettier when I can't hear the noise of crying. You wonder why I hid during breakfast.

This picture is also from the same photo loop. I love it, so sibling like. 
I tell her daddy all the time you better be worried about that girl, she is so beautiful and so flirty. The best way to worry about her is to make sure you have a great relationship with her, so she doesn't need attention from stupid boys. 

I also love this one, I can just hear their voices.
Ikey's guttural oh, and his older brother's high pitched baby voice response. His little brothers adore him and its because he can fake interest in their interests just like an adult.

Here's the whole family, my mom likes this one because of Turbo's laugh. I'm not sure out of 5,000 pictures (that was an exaggeration) we got any where we are all smiling and looking at the camera, and you can tell its just as much my fault.

But we did get a lot of me kissing my dream boy, that's all that matters right?

And a few with my babies.
 Thankfully my babies are currently asleep, and I'm pretty sure I can't call them babies anymore. One is almost two and the other is three?! I don't call them babies to them anymore because I potty trained the older one, and potty trained kids do not like to be called babies. But they are still my little boys.  Can I call them my mama's boys? Because they are, those boys are attached at my hip, unless they are running away.

"I keep with me all I know about you deep in my soul, because I am part of you, you are me. We love you, Mama."  Deborah Lacks quoted in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks p. 221


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Your sister

Currently on Tuesday afternoons my daughter stays after school for Ballet Enrichment Class.
Yesterday about 20 minutes after my oldest got home, Turbo turns to him and says, "Where is your sister?" (They ride bikes home, I don't pick them up.)

I had to laugh, he didn't use her name, or say our sister, it was YOUR sister?

He learned that from me. Who learned it from his grandma.

Before my second baby was born, Brent's mom told me to call her, your baby, to my toddler, not my baby.
Oh isn't your baby so pretty?
Oh its, time to feed your baby.
You are so lucky to have your baby.

So I did, it seemed to fit with my dad's logic that I was my little brother's keeper. (Different story for a different day.)

Her method served me well I never really had anyone jealous of the baby, because it was their baby not mine. Or I just got lucky who knows.
It never got me in trouble until my fourth was born, both my second and my third would fight over who's baby it was, they didn't think they could share. Luckily they weren't holding him during said fights.

Anyway, back to present time. When the kids are playing outside, I'm constantly asking where is your baby? Since the 1 year old often runs away. They quickly response where he is, unless he has wandered in which case we all go look for him. 

So I had to laugh when the three year old asked the 9 year old WHERE is YOUR sister? 
She was at school where she was suppose to be, but I'm glad they are looking out for each other. 

Also in the little one's defense, the oldest usually gets home before his sister. I always ask where he left her, he is not suppose to let her out of his range of vision, or cross a street or hiking trail without her, he can go faster than her as long as he can still see her. But once he gets to the last street he has a tendency to ditch her. Hopefully its only when he can see me in the yard. :/
The rules goes both ways,  but I'm sure I don't have to tell you who is the stronger bike rider, they are three years apart in age. 

Don't you wish I was blogging...

...I know me too. Whatever your answer was to that question my answer was the same.

I still have depression, but have a cocktail of medicines I take and so I doubt few people even notice. Although many know, because I'm not afraid to talk about it. 
I said to a friend, I guess I should stop calling it postpartum depression since he's almost 2, she said no its still postpartum. I love friends like that. 
Vitamin D is essential.

And hugs, I've never been a huggy person. But my baby gives the most wonderful hugs and over the years I've been teaching myself to enjoy hugs from my husband. So I've learned the power of the oxytocin boost from long hugs from only my direct family members (my husband and children).

I'm so busy I rarely have time for a nap or exercise. Its pretty lame.

Life is moving on.

My daughter's teacher left unexpectedly on a leave of absences. The principle asked we respect her privacy and not gossip. She left last week right before parent teacher conferences. I'm really annoyed I didn't get my conference. She doesn't have a permanent sub yet. I don't like to be that parent that complains, but if it isn't fixed by the end of next week, the principle will be hearing from me as I would guess many other parents.

I don't like to be that type of parent, but I find myself writing more and more notes to my son's homework to his gifted teacher saying, we don't have time to do this homework, we already spent too much time tonight on homework. Or we don't know how to do this homework, could you teach them in class or send home an explanation. The teacher doesn't seem to mind, he is never sent it back home and she didn't complain when we talked parent teacher conferences. She just kept going on and on about how great a mom I was. I have no idea what to think? Is it a test? 

I recently took a FB quiz thing, that said I'm a soccer mom. We aren't really a soccer family, I get overwhelmed with too many activities, but they were right, I like my family in tip top shape when it comes to schedule. Each night dinner time is based on when activities are, and every night we sit down as a family. It is beyond overwhelming, I'm so tired every night, and I hate cooking dinner. But I can't give it up. If I do what will my baby eat he isn't much of a cold cereal kid, plus I hate eating cold cereal. Every morning before I drop my kids off at school they repeat how they are getting home and where they are meeting. My whole life revolves around the time. I've taught my older two children the fine art of writing lists. They write lists of what needs to get done on days off from school. If this sounds exhausting you now know why I hide in my room while they eat breakfast until its time to make lunches. Recently I started cooking oatmeal on the stove for them some mornings. Its terrible, its another meal to eat as a family, because I don't trust my children in the brown sugar without supervision. They, including my husband all seem happy as clams at this new/returning development.

Lastly, here are my babies' halloween costumes. I didn't make them this year. SHOCKING I know. I couldn't do it, you have to accept your stage of life, your health, and your family needs. Sewing multiple costumes, wouldn't have been possible. Plus I didn't want to, my oldest's costumes exhaust me. This year he is going as the number π.
It might have been my fault. I told him he didn't have to wear a costume for school. He didn't have to dress up at all, but if he was going trick or treating he had to wear a costume and a 9 year old boy doesn't count. I also told him he could wear a repeat from the costume box and if he did he would be his mama's favorite kid. Instead he scowled at me and picked greek symbols.
If you happen to stop by this month, good chance this baby is wearing this fish costume. He loves it. Its the most adorable thing over, the fins wiggle as he walks. Plus he is almost 2, 1 and three quarters but yet he looks like a giant baby. We love it, where he is the youngest. He wear 2T clothes but looks like a baby, and squishes like a baby! I got nemo for $7 at the used store.

Turbo got a bloody black eye the other night when the missionaries were over for dinner. I'm not sure why I invite them over, we always have a catastrophe when they are over. His fireman coat was also $7 at a different used store. He always wears his free fireman helmets from the firemen backwards. But he is a better feminist then me, he tells everyone he is a firefighter. Which is funny since thanks to technology firefighters rarely fight fires anymore.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Prepping for Conference

I wish I had spent the whole month of September prepping for General Conference, but instead I spent it depressed. Instead I had a week to get ready. (By the way, the supplement I'm taking for depression this time around. Mind blowing. I don't have a postive thought in my little head, unless I take it 3 times a day. As long as I do, I'm as happy as a clam. I can't believe its so effective.)

I made a list of four things to get ready.
  1. Print out General Conference packets for my kids (here and here) and other coloring pages.
  2. Get treats for conference bingo
  3. Listen to some of the talks
  4. Clean all four bathrooms in my house.
I figured there is no better way to prepare for conference then cleaning your house while listening to conference talks, because no one wants to spend the entire weekend in a dirty house. How could I fully feel the spirit if I only had dirty toilets?

Yesterday while cleaning I was listening to Elder Holland, and President Utchdorf

Here are some of my favorite quotes from their talks.

Holland: In our increasingly secular society, it is as uncommon as it is unfashionable to speak of Adam and Eve or the Garden of Eden or of a “fortunate fall” into mortality. [...]
I do not know the details of what happened on this planet before that, but I do know these two were created under the divine hand of God, that for a time they lived alone in a paradisiacal setting where there was neither human death nor future family, and that through a sequence of choices they transgressed a commandment of God which required that they leave their garden setting but which allowed them to have children before facing physical death...

Utchdorf: I marvel to think that the Son of God would condescend to save us, as imperfect, impure, mistake-prone, and ungrateful as we often are. I have tried to understand the Savior’s Atonement with my finite mind, and the only explanation I can come up with is this: God loves us deeply, perfectly, and everlastingly. I cannot even begin to estimate “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height … [of] the love of Christ.” [...]
Trying to understand God’s gift of grace with all our heart and mind gives us all the more reasons to love and obey our Heavenly Father with meekness and gratitude. As we walk the path of discipleship, it refines us, it improves us, it helps us to become more like Him, and it leads us back to His presence. [...]
Many people feel discouraged because they constantly fall short. They know firsthand that “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” They raise their voices with Nephi in proclaiming, “My soul grieveth because of mine iniquities."

I loved that they both admitted that we don't know everything. Elder Holland's talk especially reminded me of Nephi, in chapter 11:17. "And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." Don't we all feel that way?


As a post script, I'll also add, I found yet another blessing in depression in section two of President Utchdorf's talk. 
You literally are "completely and hopelessly lost" in spite of sin. When stricken with mental illness you never "replay the greatest hits of [your] own righteousness" All that ever happens is "confess[ing] our faults, plead for God’s mercy" From his talk, here is section two.

Who Can Qualify?
In the Bible we read of Christ’s visit to the home of Simon the Pharisee.
Outwardly, Simon seemed to be a good and upright man. He regularly checked off his to-do list of religious obligations: he kept the law, paid his tithing, observed the Sabbath, prayed daily, and went to the synagogue.
But while Jesus was with Simon, a woman approached, washed the Savior’s feet with her tears, and anointed His feet with fine oil.
Simon was not pleased with this display of worship, for he knew that this woman was a sinner. Simon thought that if Jesus didn’t know this, He must not be a prophet or He would not have let the woman touch him.
Perceiving his thoughts, Jesus turned to Simon and asked a question. “There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: … one owed five hundred pence, … the other fifty.
“And when they [both] had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?”
Simon answered that it was the one who was forgiven the most.
Then Jesus taught a profound lesson: “Seest thou this woman? … Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”
Which of these two people are we most like?
Are we like Simon? Are we confident and comfortable in our good deeds, trusting in our own righteousness? Are we perhaps a little impatient with those who are not living up to our standards? Are we on autopilot, going through the motions, attending our meetings, yawning through Gospel Doctrine class, and perhaps checking our cell phones during sacrament service?
Or are we like this woman, who thought she was completely and hopelessly lost because of sin?
Do we love much?
Do we understand our indebtedness to Heavenly Father and plead with all our souls for the grace of God?
When we kneel to pray, is it to replay the greatest hits of our own righteousness, or is it to confess our faults, plead for God’s mercy, and shed tears of gratitude for the amazing plan of redemption?
Salvation cannot be bought with the currency of obedience; it is purchased by the blood of the Son of God. Thinking that we can trade our good works for salvation is like buying a plane ticket and then supposing we own the airline. Or thinking that after paying rent for our home, we now hold title to the entire planet earth.

Holy Ghost

Since I'm getting my health back and going to bed at a decent hour, and have no children waking me up at night, I have a tendency to wake up before my alarm. As I laid in bed awake I started going through the times I had no doubt the Holy Ghost talked to me. So I decided to write it out.

To start it off, here is Alma 5:26
And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?
Can ye feel so now? I think its important to remember when the Holy Ghost talks.


  1. As a teenager someone instructed me to pray about the Book of Mormon, about Moroni's promise in the end. I'd already finished reading the Book of Mormon myself, and I had read it most nights as a child with my family. My answer was undeniable,  "You don't need to ask, you've always known. You've always known those are stories of real people who walked on earth."
  2.  When I was about 17 or 18 I read The Family: A Proclamation to the World hanging on the wall above our staircase in my house. I strong feeling said, if you have the opportunity to get married and you turn your back on it you will not stay active in the church.
  3. Holding my BYU acceptance letter, the thing I had prayed for for a year, and asked my parents to pray for, I knew BYU was not for me, and I should apply to Utah State. I begrudgingly did it the next day.
  4. The summer after my freshman year of college at Utah State, I knew I needed to go back home. I knew I should not look into summer jobs anywhere else. I knew I should not look into camp counselor or anything else. Things I really wanted to do. I did not want to go back home.
  5. When I was engaged I was studying and praying to understand why the law of chastity was so important, my answer was either I believe in the priesthood power performed in the temple or I do not. (That was all the answer I needed.)
  6. I knew once Brent and I were married as soon as my schooling would allow I needed to have a baby, because a little brown haired, browned eyed boy was waiting. And that was exactly what came 14 months after we were married. I graduated in four years.
  7. While visiting my parents 1200 miles away I told Brent to sign a lease on an apartment I had never seen that he assured me I would not like. When the Bishop of that ward told me he prayed us into the ward. I simply told him I know. 
  8. While driving home after dropping my husband off at work since we only had one car, I knew without a shadow of doubt, it was like a bolt of lightening that he needed to do an MBA.
  9. Years later while looking at an apartment that I thought was too small and too ugly, While I looked at the bathroom, I glanced in the mirror and had the feeling that it would all be ok, when we moved there.
  10. As long as I kept going to the temple regularly and reminded of my promises from the first set of covenants made there, I knew I'd be healed of the postpartum depression and other hormonal health problems I was having 14 months after my 2nd child was born.
  11. When we came out to look at house I knew. I mean KNEW. Another bolt of lightening that we needed to attend church in the Monument building. I felt the spirit so strong, I wondered if our realtor could feel it. (Completely coincidentally she was LDS, which is why she pointed out the building to us.)
  12. July 2014 after taking the sacrament in church I felt very strongly to let my doctor induce me two weeks early. I then gave birth to a 9 lb 2 oz baby who had the cord wrapped around his neck who needed to be resuscitated. When Brent saw how big the baby was he said you made the right choice.
  13. I have an undeniable memory of something other than my own consciousnesses telling me your children are hungry feed them cold cereal. During my postpartum depression things like this happened many times, but I clearly remember the first time it happened. 
  14. Then last October, I believe I've already blogged about knowing I should support our husband in living abroad. In December we went to the temple, it was very clear we needed to pursue this path. In May Brent suggested Colombia instead of Spain. My answer in church, was if it was right in December with Spain why would it be any different in Colombia. It was the right answer at the time, but at this point we aren't 100% sure why we went down that path if the eventual answer was no.
As a family, maybe only a couple we've been wandering directionless since August, I'm excited for some new direction this weekend.


Also we should not forget all the times I've sat in Primary and you realize how much the Lord loves little children.

Also I'll add why I've had so many bolt of lightenings I don't know. Sometimes people say they never have their experiences, but I'm not sure why I do. Although I'm sure there are more, and some I don't feel like sharing.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My Mexico

When we were camping and I woke up with no anxiety or depression. I thought "this is my mexico"
To understand that quote you have to watch the Fast and Furious Saga way too often.

In Tokyo Drift, which was the third to come out, Han talks about his Mexico. In case you get confused in the order, Tokyo Drift actually takes place after 4-7 in the Fast and the Furious universe.

Shawn Boswell: So, how did you end up over here, anyway? 
Han: Well, you know those old Westerns where the cowboys make a run for the border? This is my Mexico. 


 I never wanted to leave. But we were out of food... ha

In the movie their conversation continues and it ends like this.
Han: Look at all those people down there. They follow the rules, for what? They're letting fear lead them. 
Shawn Boswell: What happens if they don't? 
Han: Life's simple. You make choices and you don't look back. 

I follow a lot of rules in life, but only only only when I want to. I'm a snot like that. My sister in law once said to my brother and I, you two think you are above the rules. We laughed because its true we are above the rules.
But the point I wanted to reiterate, I whole hardly agree, "Life's simple. You make choices and you don't look back."

Monday, September 14, 2015

Cat's out of the Bag

In case you didn't use deductive reasoning, depression reared its ugly head. Again.

I spilled the beans to my friend the other day. A few of my friends planned an crafternoon and eventually it got moved to my house. Then the next thing I know everyone canceled but one person. Which is funny because I didn't even organize this one! Anyway, while me and one friend were talking we covered a whole range of topics. Side effects of mothering infants came up which of course lead to postpartum depression, she said but you feel better this year, right? I said, I'm not sure I do. I've been a mess since the beginning of August. She quietly said oh. She had no idea what to say. I don't blame her. Nothing is ever the right response whether its mental health or a more physical malady. But its the first time I've said anything in person to someone other than Brent. So it slightly surprised me.

After the time my third turned three, I started to feel some anxiety, I wasn't ready for him to be that old. Things just pilled up, and between a half birthday (18 mons), a birthday, potty training, back to school, back to school finances, some unexpected medical bills, extracurriculars, a new scout calling, that takes up an exorbitant amount of my time. I became extremely overwhelmed, and was barely functioning.
One day during naptime I saw on the couch in a comatose state of panic. I thought I need to just lay in my bed, who cares if I ever come out. But I couldn't, I had to get my son to Piano lessons. I thought once I do that I will go to bed for the rest of the day, who cares if I come out later. Then since I was waiting for piano lessons, I figured might as well cook the dinner on the schedule, so I did. Then I was ready to go to bed, but oh before that could happen my daughter had to finish her homework, before I could get in bed. I can't remember what all I had come up on my plate but I was very disappointed to not get in bed before it was time to go to sleep.
I just wanted to quit the world.

I was barely holding on to life when we went to Mount Rushmore on vacation. It probably would have never happened if Brent didn't make it possible. I did plan the sights we saw but he made it happened. Funny thing we were camping, but neither of us packed food.  Other than four boxes of instant oatmeal, I pulled those out of storage and so they thankfully made it some how. We take more food on the car trip to Grammy's house then we did on a four day camping trip. I'm a big believer of don't worry you can just buy it when you get there, except there was no there. The closest real grocery store to Mount Rushmore is 30 minutes away not an easy idea when you are camping with two toddlers. After Cheyenne, WY there was a total of three fast food restaurants, that in a span of 4 hours. There was one fast restaurant 10 minutes of the park. Who would have cared if it wasn't for the fact we forgot to pack food. Ha ha.

When we woke up the first morning, sitting out side the tent I felt calm. I couldn't remember the last time I felt calm. It was amazing. (This is actually the second morning, the third morning we were in Nebraska and covered in mosquito bites.)


I'm now taking a hormonal supplement, I started right before we left on vacation. The second week I took it, I took it 5 times a day, I yelled at my children if I didn't take it that much. I'm now down to 2-3 times a day, and today my husband surprisingly said, you're happy. Hopefully I remember to continue using it for a while, so we don't see anymore depressed Lesli posts. That would be lovely wouldn't it?

Finally

When life became unbearable, our kitchen counters became covered in papers. Utility bills, school forms, school flyers, school fundraisers, cub scouts, ropes to practice knots, medical bills, class pictures. No wonder I'm feeling overwhelmed. Anyway, today my goal was to clean it off. It took me 30 minutes but I did it!
It hasn't been clean since August. I'm realizing its a good thing I figured it out, because Brent can't figure out school stuff without my help and so if he would have tried while I was still depressed I probably would have yelled at him very angrily.

December Birthday Party

A week ago told my daughter my usual reply, we won't discuss her birthday until after Halloween. But then on Saturday she was so sad, I decided to give her a bone. We discussed her party.
Actually I have no problem discussing party details because the imagining the party is the only fun part of the process in my opinion. I refuse to come up with a guest list until after Halloween because children's friendships move as fast as the tides.
Me: I thought you'd like a Maleficent Party because you told (next door neighbor) Maleficent was your favorite movie.
Nat: No I want Skylanders
Me: I thought you'd like Maleficent because you told Grammy you wanted another princess castle cake?
Nat: No I want Skylanders.  And you can make a tomato cake and put Food Fight on top because he's my favorite.

Me: ok
Nat: But only R-boy likes Skylanders who else will I invite?
Me: What his name doesn't he like it?
Nat: L-girl? Oh yeah she plays with her brother's too
Me: B-boy he plays doesn't he?
Nat: Oh yeah.
I then added maybe A-girl, S-girl, D-girl would also be good. She said yeah.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Maiden Name

My husband wearing my maiden name once a week is almost as good as a feminist shirt. 
I didn't realized he was closing his eyes until I posted the picture.

A feminist right here

Remember how I said my husband and I have the goofiest conversations when we were going to bed.
A few weeks ago, we were talking about something... (too long to go into it).
After a while I said, if you want I can buy you a shirt like that.
It would make a great FB profile pic. If you were wearing a shirt that says, "This is what a Feminist looks like"
He said alright.
I said and while we are at it, I imagine how good your name would look with Hammond in the middle. (My maiden name.)
I told my husband, I will never be offended if you decide to take my last name too, especially on FB.

We giggled, in all reality, my husband is pretty feminist, mostly because it is very libertarian. He always supported me getting educated. He in fact brings up my future master's degree more than I do. He always told me if I decided to work he would support me. After reading an article about how men often don't support their wives getting raises because it makes them feel inferior if their wife makes more. He told me, you should go to Law School like you wanted to, I will always support you making more money than me. That would be awesome, whats wrong with all those men. They are losers.

But I keep laughing about this idea that he puts my last name in his profile, and gets that shirt. I told him how awesome it will be. But now it will never happen because he put this as his profile picture, and with a picture like this it will take him years to replace it.
I mostly laugh about it, because seriously why shouldn't he add my last name to his? 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Half a Day

I use to take some of my kids to a nurse practitioner at our local pediatrics office.
(We only have one local pediatrics office in town, and not all my kids saw the same doctor because I didn't really like any of the doctors. I don't know where the nurse practitioner went but she left the office. They cycle through doctors fairly fast for my four years living here.)

So this nurse practitioner, she was the one who saw my daughter a WEEK after she broke her arm. Yes it took us that long to figure it out, she was using it fine until day 6.
There were plenty of visits I felt embarrassed about the visit as a mother, like I should have done something better. She was always super sympathetic and never judged me.

I saw her a lot during the year I had a big baby and a newborn baby. She was the big baby's (my one year old's) primary physician, but not the newborn. I don't even know why, I don't even know if I made these decisions or the office did or if no one did and it just happened. Anyway when I had a one year old and a newborn, my one year old was sick A LOT. Her children were now teenagers or older, and her family spacing looked eerily like mine. She often reminded me what she would say when she had two small children, "what you can do in a half a day I can do in a half a week".

I think of her all the time, saying that phrase to me, because its true.

I often feel like people are shocked at how little I accomplish. 
Or maybe I'm shocked at how little I get done each day.
I guess people aren't shocked they just wonder why I'm so slow.

But don't you wish I had that hair style last year?
Minus the cornfield in the back this is truly my life every second of the day. Until I charge my older children to entertain their siblings while I cook. If I didn't have my older kids I'm not sure I would cook. My two little guys are entirely incapable of entertaining themselves. My older children as toddlers and even know did their thing and I do mine. Turns out I didn't really understand the plight of motherhood until recently.
I don't really cook for my children I cook for me. I cook so I have the energy to not accomplish anything. I cook protein a lot so I'm not dizzy, not tired, not lightheaded. I can't function without a lot of animal protein, anything you have read about nutrition warning you of the dangers of animal protein never studied my body type.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Curls

We went on vacation this weekend. To South Dakota-- Mount Rushmore and other nearby places. My husband took this picture of our youngest. His curls are amazing to his momma.
Oh. My.
I can just hear his little toddler squawks when I see this picture.
He's 19 months.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Awkward...

The other day a friend of mine asked, do you ever look at your kids and think you have the cutest kids in the world?

I emphatically answered yes! thinking she was saying, she looks at her kids and think that, so as a fellow mom do I also do that?

Turns out she meant she thinks I have the cutest kids in the world.

It was a little awkward to not modestly say yes, I think they are adorable, but doesn't every mom?
But to yell yes!
But come on, I can't blame her. Look at that face.

Its so funny, he gets complemented so much. That when another adult says the word cute whether its in reference to him or not, he looks up and smiles at them.

I think he might think "so cute" is a nickname, like his dad calls him peacock.

The Spouse Of

Sometimes I feel really awful for Brent.
Sometimes I wonder if he will ever be married to a long term happy wife.

Sure I'm not in the depths of depression like I was last year, but this year is turning out to be harder than I expected. I thought a few months after I weaned my baby my life would just pop back to where it was three years ago. Well here we are and now its been almost four years since I got pregnant with Mr. A and my health isn't where I want it to be. (I mean everything with my health not just my mental health.) Every time I get something crossed off the list something new shows up. Its getting old, its getting to the point that I've stopped saying, ok once such and such happens we'll be good.

It use to be maybe I should wean the baby maybe I'll feel better.
Once I wean the baby I'll be better.
Once its been two months so once my body is free of milk I'll be better.
Once its been three months, I'll be better.
The doctor says its going its going to take six months for the hormones to flush out. Ok, only two more left until he is 18 months old.
Once the kids go back to school, I'll feel better.
Here we are in September. I got pregnant in November of 2011.

I don't know if I'm accepting my new normal, or if I'm giving up. Hopefully the first.

Back to the first sentence, I sometimes I feel bad for Brent. Brent is the rock and I'm like a crazy piece of lint floating around. Maybe if we are going with nature, he is a rock and I'm a dandelion seed.

At the point I'm overwhelmed, so I feel like I've been depressed most of our marriage. (He does not feel like than thankfully!) But I had bad anxiety when we were in engaged, I dropped about 20 pounds in the six months before we got married, and if you know me I don't normally have 20 pounds to lose. When I was pregnant with our first I had pre-natal depression. I was on bed rest with our second baby, I had postpartum depression with our second baby. I had seasonal affective disorder for many winters on and off. In fact that was one of the reasons we choose to move to Colorado, because they have a sunny winter. The first winter we were here, my husband looked at me one day smiling, saying I've never seen you happy in the winter.

So lately I was feeling bad for him, that he married this trial. Then I remembered when we were engaged. About a month before we got married in a particularly trying bit of anxiety. I said, I'm so sorry you have to put up with this. I'm not always like this, normally I don't cry every day. Hopefully soon I'll bounce back. He looked at me and asked, you won't cry every day? He was genuinely surprised. He was willing going to marry a woman he thought was going to cry everyday for the rest of his life. That is devotion. That is love.

I brought this up with him the other day. Its true, he is the best. He would rather have sad Lesli than no Lesli. That's both good and bad. Good that he feel likes that, but bad that we even have to talk about that. About two months ago, he thought he saw our divorced neighbor go on a double date. He said to me, no matter what happens, never leave, we'll always work through it. What he though he saw was totally wrong, it wasn't a double date at all, it was family friends, stopping by. But I appreciated the sentiment, more than you can express in a blog post.

I recently read an article written to the spouse of someone with mental illness. The author ended the piece saying its now been years since I've had problems with depression. I wondered will it ever be years?

Hopefully.



P.S. If you are wondering if this means I'm sick again. My answer would be like anyone could ever know that. If my returning hot flashes are any indicator, then yes, maybe. What I'm more hoping is the returning hot-flashes are one more hick up on my return to normal. Its been a bumpy winding road, I missed the exit for the smooth interstate.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sabbath

As I'm sure all you tens of readers know I'm LDS, or Mormon or in the words of the children's song, I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

If you have been to the same church lately, get LDS emails/tweets/FB posts/pinterest pins, or are even just friends with a practicing Mormon you probably know the Church headquarters is putting greater emphasis on keeping the Sabbath day Holy.


So I've been thinking about it lately, the last few weeks. What can we do in our home to keep the Sabbath day more holy? I've been thinking about it more than a few weeks, now that I'm over postpartum depression I can actually interact with my children on Sunday. So I keep wondering what am I doing to improve their Sabbaths?

Then today in our third hour of church we had a big meeting for everyone 12 years and up about keeping the Sabbath day holy. A lot of good things were shared. 
Like Elder Nelson talking about once he read Exodus 31:13 
Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.
All the lists of everything you should and shouldn't go out the window because its all about what sign you are giving to your Father in Heaven.

Ezekiel 20:20 was also shared.
Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.
I'm an obsessive note taker, I think that's the reason I blog for all 38 of you. So I took some brief notes on how to spiritual improve my family's Sabbath in very non-measurable terms. But as humans we are for whatever reason obsessed with lists, so I decided we shouldn't watch movies anymore on Sunday.

I'll tell you about my Sabbath, after church.
We ate lunch, I put the little ones down for naps.
My husband went home teaching.
Both my older kids wanted to watch a movie. I said can't we come up with a better way to keep the Sabbath day holy? They both said I guess. We read The Friend, my daughter colored a picture, my son read, and then I was so tired I wanted scream. When I wouldn't help my daughter play The Friend games online, I made her cry.

So I went to take a nap. It seemed like the best way to handle the situation. A few minutes later when my husband came home, they asked if they could watch a movie and he said yes. Which was 100% the right answer. I've been thinking about the days events.


  1. When I have a spiritually uplifting Church attendance its almost mandatory I take a nap. I get too overwhelmed otherwise. In fact some Sundays when I come up with too many ideas how to improve our lives my husband tells me to take a nap, and I crash in about 5 seconds. I feel like the Doctrine and Covenants teaches this concept.
  2. I'm a mom of small children I always need a nap.
  3. I don't want my children to hate the Sabbath, and saying no movies, might not be the best way to teach a love of the Sabbath if their little brothers and their mom is napping.
  4. I still don't allow any video games other then The Friend activities and xbox kinnect sports if their dad wants to play with them.
  5. Bizarrely enough I do not allow children's tv shows even though I allow a family friendly movie or documentary. But I don't allow annoying movies on Sunday
  6. I should take my own advice:
In the meeting lots of people shared a lot of great things, but it all just seemed like one more thing on the to do list. So I raised my hand and said After everything that has been shared, I think they are great ideas to do with our families, but sometimes all the feels like one more thing on a mom's to do list of her never ending to do list that lasts all week. I think its ok for a mom to do what my mom did. My father was usually gone for meetings on Sunday and she had a lot of children. Her goal was not to entertain her kids, but to make the Sabbath a delight for her. (The media screen said, "Sabbath- a delight" at the time). She did Sabbath activities with us but not the entire Sunday. Every sunday for part of the time she would read her scriptures in her room. We were allow to be in her room with her, but not make noise or talk to her. What I didn't say but I could have, and you know its ok if that scripture study includes "resting your eyes". Two women thanked me for my comment. Yes, its ok to always be tired Sisters.

(Every Sunday at dinner I remember talking with my father about we learned about in church. We discussed the gospel every Sunday, but that doesn't mean they entertained us the whole day. I'm sure we often complained that we couldn't do anything on Sunday, but I think more often we didn't even think about it because it was a non-issue in our house. It was what it was. Point being I spent a lot of Sundays watching a family friendly movie, and I'm no worse for the wear. So I'm ok with my kids watching a movie, but not as immediate activity, more as a ok, we've talked, we've read, I'm sleepy please don't bother me, if you think that is the best use of your time you are welcome to make your own choice.)

The comment that came directly after mine, I very much appreciated. He said, you know it doesn't matter how many Monolopy games you've played as a family on Sunday, how many lovely walks you take, if you aren't testifying to your children the importance of Sabbath in word and deed it doesn't matter what else you are doing. And I think that was a great follow up. Every single Sunday my parents took the opportunity to discuss the gospel with us. But that doesn't mean that sometimes we didn't run around, and that definitely doesn't mean we sat on the sofa all day long reading our Biblical verses.

So the moral of the story is:
What am I doing to improve my Sabbath and my family's?
What sign am I making to the Lord?

My number 1 goal is to clean and vacuum the living room Saturday afternoon. (Saturday is a Special Day, its the day we get ready for Sunday.) I hate having yucky carpet on Sunday afternoon. That is my goal as a family, the whole house doesn't need to be clean, but if my carpet is clean when I play Spot it as a family then I'm more likely to feel the spirit in 20 minutes after the tears that were caused by whatever stop. Yes, a clean carpet is the sign I want to send to my Lord. Its the sign of yes, I prepared to be spiritually filled today, give me the patience I need to love your children.

My other goal is to stop shopping on Amazon on Sunday. I always say, but I'm not making anyone work. But I recently saw in article about over worked employees in Amazon shipping factories. Other than not vacuuming on Sunday we actually do a pretty good job of preparing on Saturday. These are two small changes that wouldn't cause tears every Sunday. This are two small changes that I can make that show a change of heart.
 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Five Years

I've been a ball of emotions lately.
I'm not sure if I'm enjoying my time home with only two toddlers. I'm not sure I want them to grow up. I know I don't have a choice. But other moments I think toddlers are the most exasperating creatures on earth, and I sure do love my children once they start kindergarten.
My oldest child practically cries if I try to hug him. He does not like physical affection from most of his family. I'll be honest I'm not sure I'm really loving having two toddlers at home, but I don't want them to grow up because then maybe they will never hug their mama again. They currently adore me, because they are at the age, where they come up and hug me out of the blue. The other day out of the blue, the three year old said Mama, I said yeah? He said, I love you. 
Toddlers are beyond exasperating but I'm not sure children ever love you as much as they do as a toddler.

I'm working on my photobook from 2011. I'm a little behind. I found these pictures, turns out my oldest use to willing touch me! I'm not a very touchy person so I almost get. I know as a teenager I put strict limits on my mom's affections. But I'm 100% not ready for my little boys to ditch me at 7. I'm hoping they don't. I keep seeing things from friends on FB who have 11 year olds saying one day this boy won't want to hug me good night.
Maybe there is hope.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Obedience

The other night I said to my husband, I haven't been being very obedient. 
He replied, "Oh really?"
I said yeah, in the beginning of the summer I decided to read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) in reverse order. Its lately not cutting it, and I've felt inspired I need to move on to the Book of Mormon. But I really want to finish Matthew. I'm so close.
He started laughing, he told me, I was quite the rebel.

We sometimes have the silliest conversations as we are putting off scripture study and bedtime.

I also brought this idea of a couple scripture, again.
Brent said I got it, I know what our scripture should be.
He opened up the Book of Mormon where our bookmark was, and read Alma 1:1
Now it came to pass that in the first year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, from this time forward, king Mosiah having gone the way of all the earth, having warred a good warfare, walking uprightly before God, leaving none to reign in his stead; nevertheless he had established laws, and they were acknowledged by the people; therefore they were obliged to abide by the laws which he had made.
Before he finished I was totally giggling. At 11 pm it totally fit for him as a dad, knowing the only kingdom he ever have is his family. 
He said its perfect. My response was for you as a dad yes. But not "us".

I said, give me the Book of Mormon, I'll find the one for me as a wife.
I slowly turned 1 Nephi 5, because I didn't know what chapter I was looking for. Who knew the story of Nephi moved so quickly?
8 And she spake, saying: Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected my sons, ... and given them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded them. And after this manner of language did she speak.

To get the full effect of the conversation start at beginning of the chapter.
I also like verse 9 "And it came to pass that they did rejoice exceedingly, and did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto the Lord; and they gave thanks unto the God of Israel."

You know it only took me 5 years to forgive my husband and the Lord for Brent being a perpetual scout master. Where did such humility come from you may ask? Well not from me. I'm proud, just like the majority of humans. Two years or so ago, Brent's friend, the Young Men's President at the time gave him the book Trails to Testimony to read, Brent finally convinced me to read it.
*glass shatters*
Completely changed my perspective. So now I can say what Sariah said, except my husband doesn't flee into the wilderness he camps in the wilderness. But let's no forget an important part of the conversation. In verse 4, "And it had come to pass that my father spake unto her, saying: I know that I am a visionary man;" Lehi does acknowledge Sariah's complaints. And I have changed my perspective but I'm not perfect and still complain plenty!

Many times Brent has said Lehi has the best calling. He says, it would be so awesome for the Lord to tell him take his family backpacking for 6 years. Let's be honest, I would travel to the ends of the world to with my husband to make him happy, but that is not my dream at all!

Yesterday I finished Matthew, today I turned to the Pearl of Great Price not to the Book of Mormon, but not to be a rebel. 
I forgot how great the Book of Moses is:

16 Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not; for God said unto me: Thou art after the similitude of mine Only Begotten.
17 And he also gave me commandments when he called unto me out of the burning bush, saying: Call upon God in the name of mine Only Begotten, and worship me.
18 And again Moses said: I will not cease to call upon God, I have other things to inquire of him: for his glory has been upon me, wherefore I can judge between him and thee. Depart hence, Satan.
19 And now, when Moses had said these words, Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.
20 And it came to pass that Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell. Nevertheless, calling upon God, he received strength, and he commanded, saying: Depart from me, Satan, for this one God only will I worship, which is the God of glory.
21 And now Satan began to tremble, and the earth shook; and Moses received strength, and called upon God, saying: In the name of the Only Begotten, depart hence, Satan.
Those are my emphasis I added. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

profit and learning

The topic of the talks in church was scripture study. One of the speakers quoted, 1 Nephi 19:23.
for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning
He said as a small business owner, I might think of profit differently then you do. When I hear profit I think how much money are you making at the end of the day after all the work you've put in. When you think about scripture study that way, its different.
At the end of the day, tell you spouse, if you made a profit in your study, if you broke even or lost the time you put in to it.

I thought that was such an interesting though I haven't thought about before. Sometimes scripture study is a check on a list, but nothing really is gained other than obedience, other times its not a loss but not a lot is gained for various reasons, but other times it is truly a profit. I should try better to make my gospel study more of a profit.