Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pinewood Derby

Two weekends ago I was deathly ill, like could barely move ill. It was my son's second pinewood derby. I missed it. I felt terrible. He won a lot of his races but still only came in 9th overall, ce la vie. 
 The day before the pinewood derby, we got lots of snow. School was canceled which was convenient because I was sick as was my daughter.  And I really have no interest in getting people places when all I want to do is not ever move.
 Seven and half inches in one night in April?!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"they did not know they could be happy"

Back in March I attended the temple. I was thinking about why I had to endure this stupid depression. Here is my real problem with it. I get that crappy stuff happens, I really do. What truly bothered me about it was, it was affecting my kids, and I didn't think that was a fair. It worried me most people have memories of their parents by the time they are 8 or 9. I didn't want my oldest son to look back and remember how his mother never got off the couch unless she was yelling and screaming. It wasn't fair to him. It didn't seem fair to my other kids but I assumed the toddler wouldn't remember his mom didn't know how to smile on his second birthday. Although I also worry about my daughter, I have crazy mad remembering skills, and I worried she would remember the summer she was 5.
Anyway, so that has been a struggle for me. So back in March I was trying to figure out how I had to be so dang miserable. While in the temple I thought ok. I get it. Out of the temple, I didn't. But that night while driving home, I listened to Elder Richard G. Scott's talk Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority, from Fall 2014. In it he says, 

Because they had never experienced hard times, they did not know they could be happy. They had never felt turmoil, so they could not feel peace.
I do not declare that your life will cease to have challenges. Remember when Adam and Eve were in the garden, they were free from challenges, yet they were unable to experience happiness, joy, and peace.7 Challenges are an important part of mortality. Through daily, consistent scripture study, you will find peace in the turmoil around you and strength to resist temptations. You will develop strong faith in the grace of God and know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all will be made right according to God’s timing.
I am not suggesting that all of life’s struggles will disappear as you do these things. We came to mortal life precisely to grow from trials and testing. Challenges help us become more like our Father in Heaven, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ makes it possible to endure those challenges.10 I testify that as we actively come unto Him, we can endure every temptation, every heartache, every challenge we face, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Hearing that was immensely comforting. It was as if the Lord was telling me directly, I am aware of all your feelings. It was the first time I had felt that in a long time. After that I slowly started to accept that its alright for children to see their mom on the ultimate breaking point if she has no where else to be. 
A few days later I was packing for a trip. I mentally prepare myself to see people I haven't seen in a long time when we visit family because you never know when you'll run into an old friend or acquaintance when you visit family in places you use to live. (The same trait that makes me never look back, never have regrets, makes it sometimes mentally hard for me to revisit past me/past living areas.) So I thought what if I ran into someone I use to know. We would exchange pleasantries, we would say hey how are you doing? I wondered what I would think, what I would say if someone asked me how I was doing. I'm so very blunt/honest/transparent, I usually tell people exactly how I feel. After a second or two of thought, I knew I would say, "I am doing so very good". I would hope I would keep the rest to myself but I would think, I didn't know how well I could be doing. But after knowing how bad I could be doing, I know how amazingly awesome I'm doing. When I finished that thought I thought oh my goodness! Elder Scott was right. "Because they had never experienced hard times, they did not know they could be happy."

As a footnote, Elder Scott in that same talk said, "Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures." I need to remember that quote and post another post about it. That and railroad tracks. 

More of the Same

Today while eating lunch I was listening to conference. The Lord Is My Light by Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Saturday afternoon session was up in my queue. In the end of his talk he said,
If the grim realities you are facing at this time seem dark and heavy and almost unbearable, remember that in the soul-wrenching darkness of Gethsemane and the incomprehensible torture and pain of Calvary, the Savior accomplished the Atonement, which resolves the most terrible burdens that can occur in this life. He did it for you, and He did it for me. He did it because He loves us and because He obeys and loves His Father. We will be rescued from death—even from the depths of the sea.
It was a good reminder. Especially since I'm trying to understand my trials. 

Normally I live a life of no regret. Brent and I both agree years ago there was no reason to live with doubt and regret. We make a decision and never look back. I often hear moms talking about how they could have done such and such better or they failed at such and such. I don't do that. I don't know why, I simply don't. I have always done the best I can, I have I failed often. Do I make mistakes all the time, but I don't fill myself up with dread about the past. Sure I've yelled at my kids, but when I calm down I apologize, we discuss it and move on. I refuse to allow people to take control over my emotions. If someone offends me, I think about the situation, come to peace with it as soon as I can and move on. I often worry I put my foot it my mouth all the time, I often feel bad at how something came out. I apologize if needs be, and move on.
 So last Sunday I was talking to Brent about my inability to let go of this last bout of postpartum depression. Normally I accept things for what they are and move on. But for whatever reason I can't this time. I told Brent every time I bring it up you are probably thinking can we move on? (I sensed a head nod that he was smart enough not to do.) But I can't move on until I have understanding. Until I understand it, it was just mindless suffering, and I don't believe the Lord gives us mindless pain. I think all our trials can be for our good, they can lead us in a direction for our benefit if we but understand the Lord's will. I'm not there yet but I'm getting there. This quote from Elder Cook helps. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Two Things

  1. Something reminded me of something I learned a few months ago. Without the experiences I had last year, I would never have known how strong I could be. I would rather have not know. Surviving postpartum depression, beyond strong. Surviving the hardest 10 days in my life-- Turbo on a nebulizer  in and out of the doctor every other day. They knew me by name. *insert crying* Slipped disk problems at the exact same time, had pain every single minute of every day. Could not sleep the pain was so intense. Let's not forget my nursing infant, and my husband being in a third world country off the grid. Yeah, I survived that, I'm not sure would again.
  2. Brent and I were talking yesterday about something unrelated to marriage and I made an analogy to marriage. Made us both remember that we are blessed to both have parents that are rooting for our marriage. Not everyone has that. So grateful our parents aren't undermining us as a couple.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Depression wrestling

For months I've been questioning why I had to go through postpartum depression. I'm not sure why I can't just accept it. But I'm not. Yesterday I had the opportunity to listen to Sheri Dew speak in person her message was questions are good. Referencing Enos it can cause us the wrestle with the spirit. While in the meeting, I thought I understood my trial. When I'm in a setting where I am feeling the spirit strong I start to understand, when I go back to the mundane life I don't. It's because when I was in the depths of depression I knew the spirit in a more intimate level than more normal life. My brain was too sick for any logical thought and so it was so easy to recognize the spirit. Moments when something said feed your children cereal. That was the Holy Ghost, taking care of my family. Because honestly there were times I was completely unable to. At the time I was confused where those thoughts where coming from because I KNEW they were not mine. Coming out on the other side, I could look back and recognize who it was. This is all going to take more of a wrestle, I need more understanding, and eventually the Lord will give it to me. It may take awhile and it will apparently be a lot of work.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Boyfriend and Haircuts

A few weeks ago my husband desperately needed a hair cut, and this went on for a few weeks. My health really hasn't been too stellar lately. I told my husband I feel like I'm dating my boyfriend again  instead hanging out with my husband.

We have a long standing disagreement on whether he use to keep his hair longer (my opinion) or whether he just didn't cut it as often (his).
Once he cut his hair, I said, oh hey there is my husband.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Follow Up

Today, compared to yesterday when I was catching up on conference, I came across Elder Bednar's talk from Saturday Afternoon, "Therefore They Hushed Their Fears"
It was a good follow up to yesterday's post.
In the somewhat beginning of his talk, Elder Bednar says,
“But Alma went forth and stood among them, and exhorted them that they should not be frightened, but … should remember the Lord their God and he would deliver them.
“Therefore they hushed their fears” (Mosiah 23:27–28).
Notice Alma did not hush the people’s fears. Rather, Alma counseled the believers to remember the Lord and the deliverance only He could bestow (see 2 Nephi 2:8). And knowledge of the Savior’s protecting watchcare enabled the people to hush their own fears.
Correct knowledge of and faith in the Lord empower us to hush our fears because Jesus Christ is the only source of enduring peace...
Later on in the talk he says,
Different from but related to the fears we often experience is what the scriptures describe as “godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28) or “the fear of the Lord” (Job 28:28; Proverbs 16:6; Isaiah 11:2–3). Unlike worldly fear that creates alarm and anxiety, godly fear is a source of peace, assurance, and confidence.
So I will admit when I think logically about retirement, I think we are doing our best, life is going to work out. I used to always have this take on money, my husband is usually the one concerned with investing money, while typically I'm the day to day budget-er. But this past year or two has tipped the scales both ways, I was too busy/tired to pay attention to the budget so my husband picked up the slack. Then I realized I will not have babies forever and I will not be a young mom forever. It has really made me realize my own aging. I always knew one day I could die, but I never fully comprehended that one day I could die from old age! which means one day we'll be old and need retirement. So usually when I think of retirement, I'm thinking we are saving what we can, we're good, but lately when I look at my stained carpet or my peeling wood paint, or think about swim lessons I get a tad overwhelmed, thinking we might never get ahead.

Back to Elder Bednar near the end he says,
The righteous fear I am attempting to describe encompasses a deep feeling of reverence, respect, and awe for the Lord Jesus Christ (see Psalm 33:8; 96:4), obedience to His commandments (see Deuteronomy 5:29; 8:6; 10:12; 13:4; Psalm 112:1)....
As the scriptures certify, godly fear “is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7), “the instruction of wisdom” (Proverbs 15:33), a “strong confidence” (Proverbs 14:26), and “a fountain of life” (Proverbs 14:27).

So maybe I need this healthy dose of fear so I do make sure I'll be set in life. 
He closes with,

My beloved brothers and sisters, godly fear dispels mortal fears. It even subdues the haunting concern that we never can be good enough spiritually and never will measure up to the Lord’s requirements and expectations. In truth, we cannot be good enough or measure up relying solely upon our own capacity and performance. Our works and desires alone do not and cannot save us. “After all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23), we are made whole only through the mercy and grace available through the Savior’s infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice (see Alma 34:10, 14). Certainly, “we believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel” (Articles of Faith 1:3).
I do agree with what he says, which is where the previous talk comes in, when "we are overcome by the “cares … of this life” ... we are paralyzed by fear of the future, which hinders our going forward in faith, trusting in God and His promises." My stain carpet may look awful but doesn't it really matter. Its as clean as 15 year old carpet can be, the stains are clean.. they are just stained sort of like a white shirt after laundry day following spaghetti night. (I'm a pretty lazy mom when it comes to bibs, if they pull them off, then the shirt gets stained.) This also goes back to the Alffluenza post I wrote a few months ago. (Posting that on my blog was so liberating for me.) Apparently all I needed to do was admit to 92 random people that I buy things to impress other people. Once I did that, I realized how stupid and immature that was. Now I go to the store and I honestly can't find things to buy because personally for my own-self, I do not want any of that stuff. (I have a serious weakness when it comes to buying photobooks.)
Now this might seem off topic but its the cares of this world that make me spend money wastefully. When I have my eyes set on MY goals I'm totally capable of saving for retirement. I have godly fear not worldly fear.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cares of the World

Today I'm home sick from church so I'm catching up on some conference I missed.
Elder Oaks in the Parable of Sower said,

"We are overcome by the “cares … of this life” when we are paralyzed by fear of the future, which hinders our going forward in faith, trusting in God and His promises."

I struggle with this one, sure I get caught up in the cares of the world, our carpet is so awful. But not all is superficial. I worry about saving for my children's missions, for our missions, will we have any money to help them with college, are we saving enough for retirement, what about a family vacations (my kids can't remember anything from 2013 except our trip to Costa Rica), retirement we'll never have enough for retirement, what about a rainy day, let's not forget that both of our car windshields have huge cracks in them and need replacing, oh and swim lessons, and piano lessons, and food storage and photo albums. Oh my I could go on and on. Point being I desperately needed Elder Oaks quote.

Retirement! Are you on the right path to retirement? Are you saving enough?
Part of my problem with retirement is I feel like at a certain point in life my church service depends on how well I saved for retirement. This is not exactly true, but we'll leave my fears and personal issues aside for another day, because now we are getting too personal.

Retirement-- save it now

5 minutes later, on further reflection. I've decided there is a difference between being anxiously engaged in a good cause and panic from the "fear of future". Being concerned for your future retirement so you are actively working towards independence so you can follow the Lord's path for your life is a good thing. Being filled will fear so nothing happens and money is paralyzing is not so much a good thing since we've been taught faith and fear can not coexist.

10 minutes later, I'm not saying I'm anxiously engaged in a good cause when it comes to retirement. I spend half my life paralyzed with fear. Our will needs to updated. Oh my husband got a raise let's put it into retirement, oh wait we need to put the oldest in piano. The outside of our house needed to painted about 5 years ago (yes we are those people). Wait retirement! Yeah I am just hoping one day the Lord will sanctify me enough to turn me into the anxiously engaged in a good cause woman instead of the basket-case I am.

If you ever wonder what attracted my husband and I to each other, after discussing political theory, we would discuss the best way to budget personal finances. Have no fear that was 8 months before we started dating.
That's a nephew with us.
I don't believe in soul mates, but if we both discussed personal finance with each other for FUN, then maybe we were as close as it comes.

The real moral of this post is maybe I have adult adhd.
just kidding.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Four Kids

On FB I recently read this article, Did You Mean to Have All These Kids.
I loved the article after a conversation I recently had. I wasn't so thrilled with the conversation, I did not bring up the topic, and I won't go into detail, but the moral of the story the other person implied a lot of things about my four children that weren't exactly true.
So spoiler alert, I'm going to spoil that article and post the conclusion.
So I suggest we stop saying these things to the woman whose arms are full of children for the sake of the woman whose arms are not. Because the answer to “Don’t you know what causes that?” is not a what, but a Who. I don’t know why God gave me children effortlessly and withholds them from others who would make fantastic parents. But I know this: fertility is not a curse, it is a gift. It is a scandalous miracle.
I will also state that the conversation was not, "don't you know how to stop this?" But the conversation did imply that my children were so easy for me, and how lucky I was for that.

Turbo sensory defensive?

I'm writing this on my blog because I don't know where else to write it to remember it, and if I don't write it down I won't remember. I think my third child is sensory defensive-- easily overwhelmed.
Sometimes we wonder if nicknaming him Turbo as an infant was a grave error on our part.
We've known something was up for a while, the boy can be as happy as a clam one minute the next minute no second he is running around in circles screaming. His switch is so quickly you almost don't realize its happened until he half way through his second lap. Our sweetest happiest baby developed anxiety a little over a year old, it peaked at 15 months settled around 18 months then sky-rocked around 20 months when he went on the nebulizer.

Whenever I come across an article on children and sensory processing disorder I read it because sometimes they give helpful hints for my daughter. Like this one, holy smokes having her chew gum in church night and day difference. Game Changer.  The other day I read one titled Creating Sensory Diets at Home. Finally I knew what was going on with Turbo.
 Easily Overwhelmed (Sensory Defensive)Sensory defensiveness refers to a tendency to overreact to routine sensory (tactile, auditory, visual, movement) stimuli. We have two ways of responding to sensory input. The higher, more mature response is discrimination, which allows us to immediately interpret what the stimuli is and whether or not we need to respond to it. The more basic, survival-oriented response is a protective fight, flight, fright, or freeze reaction. Children with sensory defensiveness tend to be operating more in a survival mode, with stimuli being interpreted as threatening or annoying. Consult with an occupational therapist (OT) about implementing a deep pressure protocol program.Read more at
All of a sudden I knew what he was doing, he spends half of his life in flight or fight reaction. Something doesn't go the way he planned. Someone touches a toy he thinks is his, he doesn't like the noise something is making, he gets unwanted attention, someone is singing a song he doesn't like, I turn on the radio, he didn't expect that youtube video, we start driving on the on ramp of the interstate, he is either complete jello screaming or running around screaming literally in circles. If you try to contain him then he is kick and screaming with all his might. Let me assure you after holding him for breathing treatments, diaper changes, and shots, if he doesn't want to be held it takes every ounce of my body to contain that child. I've never had such a strong child under stress. Actually I've spend time around a wide variety of children and I can only think of one child that was harder to contain that my Turbo, but this child was 4 not two.

 The other day the front door was open because it was a nice day. He was standing up playing, and something fell from his hands, the next thing I knew he had run out the door screaming and was half way around the yard before I knew what was happening, by the time he had turned in his circle he was calm enough to come in the house and complain. (Calm enough to complain, not calm.) I feel bad for him his stress has to be through the roof, I don't want to think about his cortisol levels.

I've gotten pretty good at helping my daughter relate to the world through the way she responses to her sensory processing disorder but I honestly know nothing about sensory defensive I've never read about it because its not her. So now I have to research....
Like I said I found out about it completely on accident I was reading the article for my daughter. I kept looking into anxiety for kids but it was completely useless they were all written for children over 4, not for a two year.

Lastly, most days Turbo is fine, sometimes defensive but mostly a normal kid. Other days he is angry/defensive nonstop. I've found an essential oil blend that makes a huge difference. But by this point he is so defensive, I have to chase him down, hold him down as he is screaming to rub it on his chest. Once I get it on him he quickly calms down, but I have to brace myself before we use it. I get it from Butterfly Express, its called Sego Lily,
INGREDIENTS: copaiba balsam, grapefruit, rosewood, vanilla
AFFINITY FOR: skin, heart chakra, emotional health
EMOTIONAL / SPIRITUAL / MENTAL ASPECTS: The aromatic influence of LeSego Lily is, in part, to bring a feeling of calmness during a crisis or when feeling anxious and out of sorts. LeSego Lily also promotes a feeling of being loved and appreciated. Its aroma often inspires us to show love and appreciation to others.
PHYSICAL ASPECTS: Physically, LeSego Lily is a blend for skin care and health. It promotes skin elasticity and may seem to slow the process of aging as it nourishes the skin and smooths out wrinkles. LeSego Lily is used to bring relief from the itching of hives and allergic rashes. When used for this purpose, a more emollient carrier oil containing jojoba, apricot, or rosehip oil would be beneficial.
As a plus I use whatever is left on my hands after putting it on him and lightly rub it on my face to decrease any fine lines that have started to pop up in the last year. Totally works.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy Easter

My daughter wore nicer shoes to church, but for the backyard only neon orange socks and tennis shoes would do.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

He Noticed ♥

I clean my main living space three times a day, after breakfast once the big kids are at school, during nap time, and then my children clean it after dinner before bedtime. Yesterday we went to the park for lunch and I didn't clean it during naptime because naptime came late and I didn't feel that great yesterday. 
As I was getting dinner ready my husband said I'm not complaining but why does the house feel so messy?
I started laughing, you noticed? I didn't clean it during naptime. 
I was so touch, he noticed.
 Seriously, I wonder why I clean it during naptime because its so messy by the time dinnertime rolls around. I was so touch he notice my lack of work.
(This all sound sarcastic, but I totally mean it. It is worth it to straighten up during naptime.)
I spy a baby foot.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spain to be continued...

We finally heard back from HR about Spain, we have to wait a year and resubmit. The company is merging this year, and is too busy with that. Brent, the co-worker, his wife, the boss and the boss's boss still are on board so our fingers are crossed for another year. Good news we have more time to get our life in order and downsize all our possessions before they go in storage.
In addition to downsizing everything, panicking every other week at the thought of living in a foreign country with four small children, I should study up on the Spanish Royal Family.  
American tabloid headlines in the grocery stores never tell me anything about the Spanish Royal Family. What's more important studying the language I don't speak or learning pop culture?
Being wait listed another year is a good thing, that means if we go next summer it will be J's last year of elementary school (which I would prefer), and Turbo would be 4 which means I wouldn't put him in preschool at 3. I don't want him in preschool at three, but if we go to Spain he'll be in preschool. 

Mommy Mail

We have a new game in our house. Its called mommy mail.

My kids very very rarely get to open boxes that come in the mail, most of the time its a present they can't see yet. Sometimes its just not for them. We order lots from Amazon and other companies that use UPS but my kids never get to open the boxes, so we started mommy mail. I find some candy in the cabinet and an old toy they have forgotten about then when they aren't paying attention I put it in an old box on the front porch, so then when its time to get the mail they find it. The two middle ones LOVE the game, we play it all the time now. The often ask its it time for mommy mail?