Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Too Many Extracurriculars

I think my fourth grader is in too many extracurriculars.
He is in cubscouts.
He has a 45 minute piano lesson weekly, which involves daily practicing but only for 30 minutes.
He is involved in early morning choir once a week at school.
And just started chess club.
(In the Fall before it got too cold, he was in three day a week cross country.)
He is in Gifted Education at school so he has more homework pilled on.

I think 5 is way way way too many.

As does my husband, we don't know how to cut any out. Cubscouts is encouraged by church, and I do think its a great program and I want him to be friends with the boys at church. He is nearly a prodigy at piano, he loves it, his teacher loves him, he desperately wants the 45 minute lesson because he gets bored during practice without that much music. I honestly don't know what the thinks about choir, but he seems to enjoy it, he begged to be in it. He and his friends have been talking about being in chess club since it finished last year. He also asked me if he could join the geocaching extracurricular class. I told him it wasn't currently happening, I would have said no if it was happening.

I think children's first job is to play. I told my daughter's first grade teacher, if she gets behind we'll work on things at home, but I don't put emphases homework, after all day in school I think children need unstructured play time, without an adult telling them what to do. She reads at home almost every night, but beyond that I don't push it. The teacher didn't push the issue, and my daughter turns homework in late all the time, with no repercussions.

So I do have a problem with how busy my son is, because I feel like he has no unstructured time. And how busy that makes the family as a byproduct. Everyday his siblings have to get in the car to go get him or drop him off for something, and I think that's pretty rotten for them. All evening long, I'm pushing him to practice the piano first, then pushing him to get his homework done, and he doesn't always have time to practice because of some other activity. He is only around his little brothers for maybe 2 hours in the evening, I feel terrible saying, stop playing with them, and do your homework. The other day I told him he had to put away his library book so he could do his homework. WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH GE? That my child doesn't have time to read his library book because he has too much homework?

I would love to complain about GE to the school, or pull him out, but he loves the actual class and a lot of his school identity is based around that class. Plus my husband always tells me not to push it. I don't really understand the elementary school gifted brain or education, my husband was in gifted programs in elementary school so he understands what they are trying to accomplish but to me it seems like 1. a waste of time 2. an imagination killer. Actually on busy days, when I think he has been assigned to much homework, I do write an x through pages and write a note telling the teacher we didn't have time to finish this page, and I told him he is not allowed to finish it. Plus I follow up with him to make sure he wasn't required to make it up during the day and miss a different activity. The gifted teacher has had A LOT of notes written from me about the amount of work.

So I could cut out a different activity but the thing that REALLY annoys me, to be in gifted he has an Advanced Learning Plan, there is a lot of questions about what extracirriulars he is in and what we do as parents to encourage his learning. If they want outside encouragement they should not assign so much homework.

P.S. As a footnote I'll add, for years I felt blessed to be in this neighborhood school. He was identified as gifted as at the end of kindergarten in both area with a 99%. Which is very rare to identify kids that young, our school has even stopped doing that. He has always maintained his original identification, and always gotten additional instruction to encourage his learning. Which has been fantastic because this child loves school and loves learning and has loved his teachers (even the dead beats). So you know there is something wrong when he tells his dad, I don't like doing this homework anymore. It stopped being fun. Even if it was fun, digging in the dirt and learning about germs would be a far better use of a gifted child's brain after 7 hours of school then looking up Latin roots in a dictionary.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

An hour with my Dental Hygienist

I went to my dental appointment yesterday, which means I spent almost an hour with my dental hygienist and one and half minutes with my dentist. I really like my dental hygienist. When we moved here we went to a closer dental office but I was never satisfied with our services, I won't get into all of it, but at one point they had to redo their redo of my filling because they messed up. Long and short of it, never had a problem until they "fixed it". Not to mention their hygienist gave me extreme anxiety it was so painful seeing her.
So when I switched offices I need some place very gentle. This hygienist fits the bill! She is so calm and motherly. She has four adult or almost adult daughters, and because she sees me every 6 months and your mouth is a window to your health, she knows ALL about all my health problems.
Yesterday she was so excited for me, she said your mouth is looking so good, you must be feeling better. I said I am, my baby turns 2 next week, so you know its about time.
She then said, so is it time to have another? I replied I don't think its ever time for that again. She said oh its going to be hard, I have four and once I decided I was at my limit, that maternal instinct pulled hard. I said oh, I know exactly what you mean.
We then proceed to talk about how challenging it is when you know you are at your limit but your biological clock won't stop. I actually really appreciated her bring it up. Its not the type of thing you can bring up with a lot of people, and so I often feel like I'm silently suffering.
My husband tries to be sympathetic but he really just doesn't understand. I don't even understand, he is right, I don't like babies. I didn't like them before I had them, I didn't like them when I had them, so why am I craving a baby?
I'm not even craving a baby, its just its hard, growing humans is one of the things my body is designed to do. As an unborn baby I was hardwired for growing babies, a female baby is born with all the eggs she will ever have. My husband said something the other day and I replied. Well actually I'm great at growing babies. I grow full term healthy big babies, I am able to breastfeed as long as I want to, I grow babies that move early and are rarely sick as long as I'm breastfeeding. My problem is my body is better at growing other humans, then it is taking care of itself. My body puts everything it has into that baby, until it literally hurts for me to move, and I can barely hold that baby.
Three appointments ago, I did not tell my dental hygienist I was having health problems, but my mouth and gums were so bad, she asked what was up. I said, well I'm postpardum, I have depression. As the visit went on I listed off half a dozen other bizarre medical problems.
So she has been on this roller coaster with me, she either has a great memory, or she writes more in her notes then just my dental history. It was such a relief to tell someone I feel like I'm in mourning that I'll never have another baby, even though I know its the right choice for my family. I guess it was so liberating I'm blogging about it...

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Common Goal

If you haven't noticed I've been obsessed with marriage articles lately. My poor husband. Ever since we went to the marriage seminar last year I've been obsessed. I realized my unhappiness was more than just depression, and I've become obsessed with rooting out the problems.
First off I have to say, it is not my husband.
Second off, its not my marriage.
It is me, and solely me. The strong relationship house, we have that built, but when there is something wrong with yourself, its tricky. I completely lost who I was over the past couple of years.

I will add, I think we have a great marriage, I love spending time with my husband, but I'm not sure I love spending time with myself.

But I've really digressed, the purpose of this post is to tell our common goal. When I first read about this idea last fall it was presented as a common enemy. When I brought the idea up to my husband he immediately said kids. Which is actually a very common common enemy. I will agree with him, our kids are at stages that make us miserable right now. But I wanted something positive, its not that I'm afraid of a common enemy but I NEED positive vibes in my life. Plus I don't want to grow up and realized I hated being a parent.

I eventually remember our former common goal back before children sucked the lives out of us. We have always talked and dreamed about different LDS missions we want to serve once we are empty nesters. So I made something to frame and hang in our master bath

I figured this was a great goal because it has so many mini goals.
1. Be on the same page financially.
2. Be deliberate with our retirement savings
3. Travel the world
4. Be fearless
5. Live without regret (you may wonder about this one. We always try to live without regrets, grandparents who are afraid of missing anything while they are gone aren't really living without regrets.)
6. Build our testimonies together, support each other in our callings.
7. Be happy together
8. Enjoy each others company
9. Raise children who are independent and fully functional adults

Needing to move on

The other day someone asked me about social outings for stay at home mothers. I said you know, I really don't know, I've been so busy with these little guys, and I've had postpartum depression on and off for the last year and half.
Her response, but isn't it important to get out of the house and talk with other people when you are depressed?
I honestly have no idea what my response was, but what I wanted to say was, yes, please tell me more. What else should I be doing?
Have a better diet, thanks, I've never heard that before.
Exercise more, thanks, another sage tip
Get more sleep, or are you going to say make sure I never sleep more than 8 hours.
We could go on and on and on if you would like.

Yes, this conversation has been so enlightening, I'm so glad we had it.

I didn't say any of those things, but I was caught off guard of the audacity of her to tell me what I should be doing to manage my depression. I don't mind, people saying, oh, I tried this, but I felt like her response was different.

That being said, I need to move on, I'm sure she meant no offense.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Not quite two

Ikey turns 2 at the end of the month, and I'd say he right on schedule. He doesn't look as babish.
He started running by bending his knees.
He finally enjoys Nursery.
He's learned how to sing the "clean up, clean up," over and over. He can also sing "ashes, ashes, ashes," over and over.
Its adorable.
He loves babies, both real and fake. Although his interest is much more like a fun uncle than a little nuturer.
He is obsessed with Nemo and all things with wheels on it. For Christmas Turbo gave him a Lightning McQueen car because they were having problems sharing. For his birthday I think Turbo is going to give him a Mater. Same problem.
I guess I'm in the stage I need two of every toy.

A few months ago I realized he wasn't really talking except for guteral baby gibberish. (we joke he's our German baby, considering our last name.) He only said Momma, and baby. So I figured I've watched enough speech therapy with my daughter. I can either get him talking or know he needs an actual therapist. My daughter's pediatrician said she needs 5 words. I figured I want Ike to have 10 consistent words or I'd bring it up at his 24 month well child check. After working with him, he is completely capable he just doesn't worry about it.
He will now say Dada if prompted.
He can say all his siblings names.
He sings two songs.
He can say vroom vroom.
Two days after I got concerned in the middle of a conversation with his older siblings Ike added, "and -osh."
Last night he said everybody.
He can say his own name, although he doesn't like to, and prefers be-be-be-be.
He says more and milk although they sound very very similar.
Josh taught him digger two days ago.
He woofs and can sort of say dog.
About 3 months ago he became particular about his clothes and looks at what I put on him.
He also likes playing with little plastic animals. In the words of his grandma he has his ducks in a row-- He can make a line of cars back to back. He also loves playing with rubber ducks.
He is also obsessed with the toilet and wonders why nothing happens when he stands in front of it. I could probably potty train him, but I'd rather wait for his gross motor skills to develop a bit. I'm thinking late this summer.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Getting it Out There

A month ago in church, the Baptism coordinator came up to me and said, you have a baptism coming up soon huh?
I almost passed out. Literally, immediately my heart raced and my body tensed up.

She was still SIX!

I responded, you mean in 13 months? She hasn't even turned 8 yet.

And she giggled, oh yeah she's a December birthday, her baptism will probably be in January but she turns 8 next year.

I know her baptism is coming up, I think about it probably weekly. I hug her bony body

and wonder what happened to my baby?
Sure she was never a fat baby, but at least I couldn't feel every bone.

Do you know how long she's been counting down to her baptism? Since she turned 6.

Do you know how long I mourned that I would never buy her another dress in the toddler section? I stopped wanting to cry in the toddler section about 6 months ago.

Her cousins that she plays with are starting to get baptized, her friends are starting to get baptized, I know its coming, but I'm not ready to pass off the next 12 months.

She still has 12 months where the Light of Christ will save her. There is something happens once they turn 8, they are capable of concrete thinking. I don't know how to explain it, but its different. I was so excited for my oldest to turn 8, for this new milestone. With her I just want to hold on to her baby years a little bit longer. And I have that bit long, I have 11 months left.

When we moved here she was 2 and half. She wasn't in primary yet. She was in Nursery. I was primary teacher the second Sunday we lived here I taught the kids who were turning 8 that year. They were the first people I met in the ward. Do you know what they are doing now, they are passing the Sacrament. I look at them and I think what happened to my CTR 8 year olds? When did they grow up. I knew them when they still were practically babies. I have a freakish sense of time, its extremely overwhelming, I can see seeds of it in two of my boys, and I have only sympathy for them, when they tell me their concerns with time passing. I feel it, extremely deeply. Its rough, she is so excited about her baptism. She talks about it weekly, I'm not excited, but I can't tell her that. So I hug her bony body cradled in my arms like she is a baby, as she giggles because she loves to be held like a baby. Which is ironic, since she never liked to be held like a baby as a baby. Either fully upright, or screaming. If I could go back and do it again, would I? No, it was a lot of work, but I earned that work, and so now I don't have to wish she would grow up faster. Sure I wish she wouldn't cry when I ask her to brush her hair, but that doesn't mean I wish she was done with first grader. Second grade is far too old for me.
Kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd are my favorite age by far. Younger then that and they are so exasperating. Older than that and they get too close to the tween stage. We have a full on tween in the house and I dread the teenage years already.

Eleventh Anniversary

Wouldn't it be lovely to have a long relaxed anniversary?

Yeah, I wouldn't know.

I got married December 30th. The majority of our anniversaries are spent at packed relatives houses. Don't get me wrong, I love our families but I'm sure no one is going to write a Rom-Com movie about an 11th anniversary spent in grandma's sewing room with three kids on the floor. 

Usually we sneak in a quick movie or dinner. I know my husband enjoys spending down time with me but I'm not sure likes "dates". So our anniversaries are low key.

People have suggest celebrating it a different time of year, but that doesn't work for us. I can't just celebrate it a random day it has to have significance. So I thought about important dates. When Brent and I were officially a couple... July 3rd. Fourth of July weekend doesn't really work, too busy with another holiday.
When we got engaged, my birthday, maybe September 25 or 27, I'm not really sure. Yeah, my birthday would be a bad time to celebrate us.

Our half anniversary is June 30th, once again pretty close to 4th of July. I can not think of anything significant to celebrate in the spring...

Anyway, back to my anniversary. But first, lets say, I thought about different days that would have been better. I actually couldn't come up with any, some people get married before christmas, some after, I picked after, and considering I'm normally very busy before Christmas and our daughter is born on the 12th, the 30th is much better than the 20th. So this year I accepted the date as what it is.

The 30th this year was actually a lovely morning. Cold and cloudy but lovely. I really wanted a picture of Brent and I at the Mount Timpanogos temple because its been YEARS since we've been there together. So we *randomly* woke up about 30 minutes early. Probably a blessing from the Lord, not random, Brent and I don't wake up early. I said to him, perfect lets go to the temple. He asked, is that what you really want to do? I jumped up of course!

 So we went without kids, walked around the temple in below freezing weather. Took a bunch of selfies, reminisced about being engaged and getting married. Made one loop around the temple and jumped back in the car. 
You'll never believe what happened, Brent willingly took me to a donuts shop I've wanted to try for YEARS! (I should say, I never once asked to go there before that day)

It was 45 minutes and truly a blessing from the Lord.
Because he knew what he had in store for me. 

My oldest son after two days at cousins houses came back. He wouldn't look at me, or talk to me, I wondered what happened. When he fell asleep playing legos. I thought oh it all makes sense, he was sick. (All his aunts said he had a blast up there, and after 20 hours on antibiotics he had plenty of fun to tell me about.)
So at 5 o'clock on my anniversary I took my 3 year old, my 9 year old and me to instacare. (My three year old also spent the whole day sleeping.) I wanted to throw myself a pity party but there was no time for that. We all had strep. I'm pretty sure I've had strep since before Thanksgiving. I did take a z-pac in the middle of December, but I never felt better.

After we left instacare, my pity plans were getting really close to the surface, when he hit the crest of the hill in Lindon on State Street.  I could see the Temple, the Temple I got married in, 11 years, and 6 hours ago. It was all lit up, and everything else was dark and cloudy.

My only thoughts were, the Lord is mindful. If he cares about the lilies of the field, and the birds of the field he knows what is going on with me.

I am a girl who is always looking for a miracle, who literally believes I can get a priesthood blessing, and take up my bed and walk. I've seen it happen, I've felt it happen. But that is not what the Lord was giving me on my 11th anniversary. But he did tell me, he is mindful of me.

Now, I have to finish my story. 
I dropped my sick boys back off at their grandma's with their dad, and went to get our prescriptions filled. With this new sense of hope. 
An hour later when I got back, I had 5 people (the other two had been to the Doctor the 23rd, and 26th) to give antibiotics to, and by this time it was past bedtime, I still had not eaten dinner, and I just spent an hour in the walmart. (I'm not a walmart hater, but I do hate the Lindon walmart.) 
I yelled at my husband in front of his sister, sister in law, parents, children, nieces and nephews. Because you know me, I like to keep it real. His father offered to take me to dinner. Instead I medicated my children, feed my three year old dinner (because he was magically hungry the minute he saw me), while we put everyone else to bed. Then we went to Iceberg for a late dinner. Yes, I really am that simple of a wife I just want protein, french fries and a milkshake for my anniversary. We then had an enjoyable time eating fries and ice cream, until we decided the employees wanted to lock up. Considering it was the first time we had spent any amount of quality time together since we left the airport after our trip to Spain, it really was an enjoyable hour talking. (I know I had to add that part, because Brent always likes to tease me for my whining. Oh poor, Lesli, she didn't get a date for 4 weeks after she got home from Europe.)

Two days later when we left town, I also yelled at my husband, I blame it on trying to open 5 child proof caps again, just like on our anniversary. Ok, I should take responsibility for myself. But overall I'm very tired, and I'm not that good a delegating work to my husband when it comes to packing. I don't know how to get him to help when he doesn't know who's shoes, socks, toothbrush, coat, etc is whos. That isn't a complaint its just a statement. He is super helpful at bedtime but it's hard for him remember who's tooth brush is who's. 
If he would have been given the task to give out the antibiotics, he would have asked, how much do I give each kid? And I would probably have yelled the response, I don't know, I read the package just like everyone else. (Between the four kids they were on three different types of liquid antibiotics, and they all had different doses because they weigh different amounts. Plus trying to remember to take my antibiotic too, has made me wonder if I'm losing my mind. I have to keep counting my antibiotic pills to see if I've taken my dose.) Overall its sweet that Brent thinks I can keep track of things that I can't keep track of. (My list keeping is my saving grace. I probably  have 3-4+ lists going at all times in the kitchen, I just have too much to keep in my head.)  I should also add, I never gave a child an antibiotics until my oldest was 5, so I don't have 10 years of experience only 5. That's not enough practice for 5 sick people at once.

Overall you add some more embellishments like someone puking during the strep test (thankfully that didn't happen) and this actually might be quite a humorous movie. I'm thinking the same genre as Date Night. Considering my freakishly strong redheaded three year old is terrified of scales and a doctor can't give you a prescription without weighing a kid, we do have some gold in this story. Yes, I hold him to get his weight, yes, he is still terrified kicking and thrashing about. 

We should start the movie with the drive out to Utah. When my daughter threw up in the car. Who knows if was carsickness or strep, probably both. But it was -2 degrees out, and the wipes kept freezing on me as I was trying to clean it up. 
It was beautiful. 
Motherhood is swell. 
Its a good thing I'm madly in love with Brent. I'd gladly spend an anniversary like that as long as I spent the beginning and the end with Brent.