Monday, October 26, 2015


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


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.
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


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


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.