Sunday, February 28, 2016

Shepherds and Leopards

For Family Home Evening the other night, my 7 year old daughter found a felt Christmas story in the house and wanted to teach us the lesson. She was very adorable, she practiced her lesson, and even picked out a matching song. As she was practicing she asked, I always forget do the shepherds see the angels or the star? Then her three year old brother yells, the leopards.
Everytime she said shepherds both during her practices and lesson, he would yell, Nattie they are leopards not shepherds. Finally after he corrected her three or four times, and clearly exasperated by her ignorance and said, not shepherds, leopards, I know all about leopards and cheetahs.

You may wonder how he knows all about leopards and cheetahs? I don't know, maybe he watched a youtube video about them? I know TV for toddlers is frown upon but boy my kid knows a lot of everything by watching educational TV. How to count over 10, all his colors, most of his shapes, all the letters in the alphabet. Plus he knows the words to about 40 nursery rhymes which he wouldn't know otherwise, because I myself do know the words and melodies to all the songs he knows. I don't mind him singing them, but overall I hate children's music so we as a house never listen to it, my poor older children have been taught all the songs their mom didn't teach them by their younger brother. He is very educational, since he is also stronger than either of them, he often has a tendency to whomp them. (I mean that in an educational sense :/ ) He as a tendency to whomp everyone whether he was watched TV or not. He is just so freakishly strong, (or we are all that wimpy). (Considering the amount of brothers I grew up, I'm pretty sure he is just that strong, I can hold my own, but as my husband says, his strength is erratic and unrestrained.) Although I found an effective way to get energy out. I mean I already knew about running laps, and wrestling on the living room floor, and jumping on his old crib mattress in the basement, but sometimes you need to get the energy out without also building it. Yes, I said that right, I always knew these kids existed, but I never had one before. The more energy he burns the more he builds, but while he is burning it, it revs him up so he has more to burn, he is like a rat on a wheel. So. much. physical energy. We have never found a kid at the playground that can/will run as many laps as he can. He will run a mile when his older brother is training for his mile runs. Once his legs get longer there will be no stopping him.
Anyway, So the other night, I had some inspiration, he was still bursting at the seams but it was definitely bedtime, not to mention he was tired. So I had him sit in front of me on the ground and we started clapping rhymes and rhythms . You know like you use to do as a kid in elementary school when you didn't have string for cat's cradle? Right now for the life of me, I can't think of what you would call it. It really gets his brain thinking, and engaged, plus he is still moving. He loves it, I usually only pull it out near bedtime, other than that I send him to run or to jump.
And now my afterward is longer than my actual post.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

More Proof

The other night post dinner, post bedtime I was laying on the couch scrolling through my phone, when I said, I guess I should get up and clean.
My husband replied, nahh. Only if you want.
I said, I don't want to clean. So I didn't.
It was lovely.
I then proceeded to tell him, mentally my anxiety is better in check, but our house is worse for the wear. It was never so clean as last month, he said its better this way.
I'm sure he meant me, and he didn't care about the house, but that is left to interpretation.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mom won

A month ago I decided I was going to buy my 10 year old new church pants. He was flooding in his current ones. He was not happy to be shopping and he didn't think he needed new ones.
Last Sunday I was in his room after he got dressed while I was dressing the 3 year old. He said, I like these new pants so much better. The old ones were pretty tight, I would go to the bathroom before I got dressed and hope I didn't have to go during church so I didn't have to rebutton them.
It took everything I had not to say, booyah, who was right?! Instead I said oh I'm glad they fit better, that's why I wanted to buy you new ones.
He likes getting new things, but is extremely distrustful when I want to replace an item. Why would we ever replace what we know and have. Plus he hates clothes shopping. But overall he hates replacing and change.

Monday, February 22, 2016

I forgot to give this a title

I'm not sure why I'm writing this. Posterity? Get it off my chest? For therapy? Maybe Posterity...

I found my fourth baby was a boy when I was 13 weeks pregnant. I didn't even know I had an ultrasound scheduled. The ultrasound was clearly showing a boy even before the tech asked if I wanted to know. A friend of mine said ultrasounds that early can be deceiving. I already had two boys, it was pretty clear. Obviously more than two and half years later the ultrasound was right. I thought he was going to be a girl, I thought my daughter had a little sister. I was pretty upset for a few days.

For months I prayed to the Lord to not tell me if I was suppose to have more kids, I also prayed to not know if I wasn't suppose to have more kids. I was still breastfeeding my third baby, and I was pregnant and tired all the time! I just didn't want to know, I wanted to be here and now. Or nowhere near. As the months went I, I started to feel better, I weaned my baby, I wasn't sick anymore, just in pain everytime I walked, I forgot to pray to not know anything. When I was 7 months pregnant we went to see family for Thanksgiving, I was talking to a relative who is also a mom about our babies, families, birth order, size etc. She said something that kept playing on repeat my head.

The next day as we were driving nine hours home I had a very strong impression, your family is good, enjoy who you have. This did not help me enjoy my pregnancy in the slightest, I had a small toddler, with separation anxiety, who sat on my lap everyday all day long, my body hurt all the time, and every time I had to walk my body hurt. I would only use the stairs 4 times a day, when I woke up, I would carry everything I needed all day downstairs. Then I would go up when my one year old needed a nap, I would get him again when he was awake and then when it was bedtime. My husband was still traveling for work in those days and when we would go up for bed sometimes my 1 year old would run away and slide down the stairs, backwards like early walkers do. I would just wait at the top of the stairs laying down on the carpet waiting for him to come back, I knew he would sooner or later come back because he couldn't bare being away from me, but it hurt to much to chase him, so I would just wait.

When my son came everything seemed perfect. It was a positive birth experience, I was happy to have him in the family. His siblings seemed genuinely excited to have him in the family. Before he was a week old, his not quite 18 month old brother was sick. It would be a constant theme for the next few months. Remember his RSV breathing treatments? The only thing I can say, what thank heavens the 1 year old was never ever hospitalized.

Then during the summer my postpardum depression came with vengeance. After Christmas I mentally felt better, but I had a fair amount of physical health problems. When I weaned my last baby, I was so excited. And my mental stability plummeted. I felt like a shell of a creature, like I was always under water. I got that mostly under control. But I had good weeks and bad weeks, I was on a roller coaster of health problems.

So under all extensive reasoning, I should have been happy when my little boys turned 3 and 18 months a week apart of each other. But instead the depression came back with full vengeance. I was so sad, they weren't babies anymore. People really didn't understand. "But you didn't like them as babies" I know...

I don't really know why I felt the way I did. Maybe it was an end of an era. Maybe I felt like I wasted away my days with babies. I truly don't know, it doesn't make sense. But I've been on and off sad for 6 months and I'm finally excepting it for what it is.
I'm covered in grief.
For a long time I didn't feel like it was ok for me to be in morning:

  1. I had four healthy kids, I shouldn't be sad I wasn't having more babies
  2. I didn't actually like being pregnant or having new babies, so I shouldn't be sad
  3. Other people have less babies than me, or none, and they are sad, so I shouldn't be sad
  4. If I was tougher I could have had more, so I shouldn't be sad
  5. My husband felt more than content with our children, and didn't want anymore
  6. So many days I just count the minutes until bedtime, why would I be sad not to have anymore babies?
  7. I still have chronic pain from pregnancy, or postpartum 
It took me awhile to accept all those facts. The beginning of all those points are facts. But often times emotions don't care about facts. So I realized I had to accept all those. They are what they are, and I can't change any of them good, bad or indifferent. All those statements are truth, but that doesn't change the fact that I was sad all the time, that I was never going to have another baby. So I started to think about some feelings I was having that I needed to accept.

  1. I thought I would be sad when the youngest turned 2, instead I love him more. 
  2. My body grows big healthy babies, and it will probably never do that again.
  3. As my body grows big healthy babies, I grow weaker and frailer
  4. Sure I have a few years to decided this, but after a few years, I'll never be able to go back and have babies, once my body is too old its too old. Once my family grows up, they have grown up and will never be little again.
  5. Even if my kids exhausted me every day, doesn't mean I don't love them.
  6. The amount of children a person has, says nothing about them other then the amount of children they have.
  7. Just became my husband doesn't want more kids doesn't mean he is heartless.
  8. Women that have more babies then me aren't "better" 
  9. Sure my children may ask if we are having another baby, but that doesn't mean not having another baby makes me pathetic.
  10. My kids have always been so obsessed with their little brothers it makes me sad that they will never have that experience again. But that's ok, they did have it.
  11. I think I always thought I would have 5 kids, I knew 6 or 7 was too much for me, but 5 seemed good. Apparently 4 is good.
  12. I played house and played with baby dolls until I was at least 11 years old. As a teenager I didn't want any children.
  13. Just became my teenagers won't have baby siblings doesn't mean they will be pathetic young adults who look at children like they might be diseased because they are acting like stereotypical kids. Then again maybe they will, and that isn't my body's fault.
  14. Its ok to be sad, that I'm done growing babies, even if I don't like babies.
  15. Its ok to be sad and relieved at the same time.
  16. Its ok to be sad.
  17. If I wasn't sad, then maybe I wouldn't be obsessed with everything my 2 year old does, maybe I'd be exhausted and annoyed all the time thinking I would do they YET another time.
  18. Its ok if my daughter doesn't have a sister. Right now I'm not quite sure how, but I'm sure it will be.
  19. Its ok if my daughter is sad she won't have a sister.
  20. Its ok for me to be sad.
  21. When I think about baby girls I'm swallowed up in grief. We were pretty broke (paying MBA tuition in cash) when she was little, and I always thought it will be fine I'll have another baby girl I can spurge on. I rarely rarely bought clothes for her, she wore so many handme downs. Everytime I ran out of handme downs someone out of the blue would give me bag. I never had spurged on a baby girl. I never surged on any baby. My little boys live in handme downs. My daughter had sensory issues and hated things on her head, and stopped letting me dress her when she was only 1. 
  22. She never liked bows on her head, I have no one to buy bows for.
  23. The Lord is infinitely aware of my grief. He accepts me for who I am.
  24. I'm often quite relieved I only have one daughter. I love boys, I grew up with lots of brothers, and still as adult find females confusing. I adore my daughter and thank my lucky stars she is mine, but I'm so relieved I only have one.
  25. Sometimes when I see people with a tail end baby, a baby at least 5 years younger then the rest. I think that could be us. Maybe in a few years my husband will say to me, we make cute babies, lets have one more. But then I think logically. That would be the more terrifying thing. I can't handle more babies.
  26. Every so often my husband tells me we make cute babies. For a split second I think, he wants another! Then before the second is over, I pray, please do not tell me you want another.
  27. Every time I hear someone say, if I could do it all over again I would have had more, I want to cry. I know, I know, I agree.
  28. Its ok to be sad.
  29. The Lord is aware of my sorrow.
  30. I won't always be sad, I keep hear four years after your youngest is a good time.

Friday, February 19, 2016

His Faith

I've said it before and I'll say it again. My husband is a peach.
During past three or four months, we have been fasting and praying to make a decision. Its been a great opportunity, lately I've felt very blessed by his faith. More than three or four days do not go by that I'm so appreciative of his faith.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Now Anxiety

In December I spent the whole month sick with bacterial, viral and parasite infections. Once I finally got all that cleared out of my system, I started to really feel better. I felt like my depression was completely at bay.
Then in January I started to get extreme anxiety. I'm not sure I ever had anxiety like this before. I've felt sympathetic to people struggling with anxiety because mental illness is a nightmare, but I didn't get it. Now I get it.

I had panic attack symptoms, felt like my heart was going to make me pass out it was palpitating so much. Honestly I'm not sure I would have know what was happening if I didn't spend so long researching depression. My husband is very sympathetic about depression, but my anxiety made me so nutty my husband didn't know what to think. This was definitely a new thing for us, I think he thought I was crazy. 

I was, I would come home from church thinking about all the terrible things that could happen to us. Why we should never leave our house. Worrying about my children drove me off the deep end. So many things that could happen every where. Plus were they happy? Am I fulfilling their needs? Or, I often wondered why my children hated me, based on the lack of cleanliness in the house they must hate me.  It was really quite nutty. I wasn't like that every day, but boy some days, I could barely fall sleep, then once I did I couldn't get out of bed.

Very quickly, I realized something was off. It might have only been the look in my husband's eyes, when I would open up all my fears, or when he found me yelling that everyone must hate me for how messy the house is. I don't write this to be mean to Brent, more just to tell my story, but he would look at me like who is this person in front of me, and what did she do with my wife? I could tell something was wrong, by the expression in his eyes. 

But my depression essential oils did nothing, I was a walking potpourri, and so nutty. Finally one night, Brent looked at me and said what is going on? I didn't know...
He went to bed, because clearly this was not a problem he could solve, and we don't agree with old adage never go to bed angry. We find most problems are solved with a good night sleep. I started researching essential oils for anxiety though. I order a few, and within a few days I felt normal again. Its actually been nice, its like oh, Hello there, my old self, I've missed you over the past few years. Every so often I find myself again, and its so such a relief, then something new pops up. 

I still have days of extreme anxiety, but they are usually days where I forget to put on my anxiety oils. Like last Saturday, I ended up with three kids in the city on a Saturday morning running errands. After 2 hours of busyness, we stopped at a fast food restaurant at lunch time to use Valentine coupons. There were several restaurants all along a busy road, and every parking lot was full, along with each drive thru. I really lost it when my 7 year old started climbing out of the car before I told she could. Really? she hasn't had to hold my hand in a parking lot since she was 4. At first I was positive they would ALL get run over if they weren't holding my hand. In hindsight not a single car was moving except on the road across the curb. I only have a basic knowledge but I've researched brain and mental illness enough in the past few years, that I think my hippocampus was stressed by a long morning and mixed with exhaustion my brain's frontal lobe didn't have control over my reason. My flight or flight reacted faster than my cerebral cortex could reign it in.

Overall its definitely the anxiety, its make me a perfectionist, when I make the slightest error, I'm convinced the world hates me and I shouldn't be allowed out. Literally. One day I almost started crying because I accidentally cut someone off in a roundabout. Another day the only spots open in a parking lot were for compact cars, except one covered in a snowbank, and one that the Suburban next to had parked over the line. In an effort to be a good person I didn't park in the compact car spots, but then I spent the whole time in the store so stressed at how the driver of the Suburban would react to not being able to me being so close. It also paralyzed me in fear, I could barely find the items I went into the store for. This is extremely uncharacteristic of me. In the words of my parents the other day, since when have you ever cared what people think about your choices? Its true, most of my life, I make a choice and I don't worry about anyone's opinion. I do what I do, and don't look back, but now lately...

Listening to the radio is definitely helping though. I have my car set up to play pandora off my phone, so I hear music I that I actually enjoying most of the time I'm out. The radio helps me not panic on the road. (Don't worry we don't go out much lately.) Usually I only panic when the radio is not on yet. Plus the oils. 

The essential oils are helping me, but maybe not my house, my house was spotless last month, I cleaned cleaned cleaned. Its all I did, unless I was yelling at people for not keeping it clean. Thankfully my children are forgiving. Even after I yelled at my daughter for trying to get run over (yes my exact phrase) she still told me it was the best day ever.
P.S. When did she get so stinking old!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The rest of a be continued

To finish a post I wrote almost  a year and half ago, here are my baby nicknames.
My first baby is- the reason I get up in the morning
My daughter is- my miracle baby
My third was- our happy baby (Our joyous baby, we didn't know having a baby in the house could be so fun, we finally understood why people loved having babies around.)
My last baby, I kept wondering who he was, what he emotionally meant to me as a baby. Then a few months ago I figured it out. But I thought it was embarrassing.
Now I don't, I've accepted it for what is, when he came and who is he.

He is my last-born- born in the wilderness of mine afflictions.

You might recognize that I borrowed that phrase from Lehi. It speaks truth to me. I don't think Lehi loved his children who were born in the wilderness any less than his other children. Jacob went on to be a prophet, so being born during a great trial doesn't make you any less of a person. Lehi said, of Joseph, " the days of my greatest sorrow did thy mother bear thee... may the Lord bless thee forever (2 Nephi 3)." Sure my last baby was not literally born in the wilderness but he was a baby at an extremely hard time in my life, probably the hardest. He was definitely born in the wilderness of my afflictions. As you know, you've read all about my struggles th2 past two years.

But as time goes on, I think I love and appreciate him more, knowing he came right before such a hard time. Maybe that is the reason he was born giving the best hugs in the world.
And now he is two. (These picture are all old, all before his first birthday.)

This morning at breakfast his two oldest siblings were on the verge of tears thinking about him turning 3 next year. They don't want him to grow up, they want a baby to love forever, to love them forever. I listened sympathetically to their words, hugging their 2 year old brother, he was visibly upset as they were talking, but I guess I should have said, enjoy him while he is 2, you have a whole YEAR with him at that age. I don't think he was upset that he is growing up, I think their sadness they were directing at him was upsetting him.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Knocking a tooth

This is what my husband wrote on fb last week.

My son knocked in his tooth tonight so I called Dr Michael Bull for advice. I did my best to pop it back into place. We looked through a bunch of family pictures to try and see what his teeth looked like but couldn't find a single one that showed his teeth clear. So we ran him over to the Dr's house to make sure everything was good. Amazingly, Dr Bull took pictures for primary on Sunday and had the perfect shot showing my son's teeth. It's the little blessings that make the big differences. Tender mercies I think they're called nowadays.
What he doesn't tell you, its 10 minutes before it happened, I said, ok everyone is getting too crazy we need to go to bed. Well no one listened to me and guess what happened. I loved this experience though. I totally knew someone was going to get seriously hurt, if they continued to play, but no one was listening to me. I loved that the Spirit told me something bad was going to happen, but the Lord still set up a plan for it all to work out in the end and set us at ease.
I've thought a lot about this concept for years, and I'm grateful for this experience.
I was also grateful our friend was a Dentist who was able to set our mind at ease. Our three year's tooth was very sore for the next few days, but I didn't worry about it, because I knew everything that could help it was already done, so now only time would tell if it worked or not. 

A different boys journey in the snow.

My three year old is one of the most active kids I've met, and he loved shoveling for a week straight. Actually the day he didn't get out and shovel is the day he knocked his tooth out, his dad pushed it back where it belongs. (Story for another day, maybe.)
We had J's birthday party that Friday. He really wanted his friends to walk home from school with him, so I told him I'd meet him near the end, I thought we'd never get home because Turbo needed to shovel all the walks. Turbo and I took an extra 10 minutes or more to get home than the other kids.

His Busy Schedule Snowed Out

Last week we got a lot of snow. Like a lot of snow, like 20 inches a lot of snow. School was cancelled for three days, then the kids had a late start on Thursday, and then on Friday because we got two more inches and another late start.

My oldest was relieved school was cancelled, at that point we really knew he had too much on his schedule. This child has never been excited about school being cancelled. Two days into it we realized why he had a research paper due on Monday that he was STILL working on. He finally finished it Wednesday. At this point Brent completely agreed, something has got to change. So we decided we would finally talk to the Gifted Education Teacher.

We also discussed with our 4th grader that he had just too much on his plate and in the future it would not continue that way. We talked about how we all have to pick and choose what we have time for and we don't always have time to do the things we love to do. He cried quite a bit, I think my husband wanted him to pick an activity to drop, but I told the 4th grader he didn't have to drop anything but in the future we wouldn't be signed up for so much. (Chess club will be over in two weeks so that will help.)

To be continued....

Monday, February 8, 2016

Another Blog?!

You might have noticed I started another blog.
Here is the link
 I felt drawn to it. I've been trying to up my religious studies, and it seemed like a logical progression. I go into more depth on why here.

Clearly I'm not taking all religion out of Hapilly Ever After, but I needed a place to go more indepth.
I don't expect anyone to read it, I'd just rather type than use a paper journal.

Mondays Suck

I've decided Mondays suck, and I don't think its because its the start of the week. I think its because I'm exhausted.

I really quite enjoy going to church. When we have a sick we practically draw straws to see who HAS to stay home with the sick kid.

I like church. I go to church, and I think ok, I can handle another week. I can do this for 7 more days. The Lord loves me, I'm a child of God. I have value and worth, and the Lord is pleased with my effort even if I fall short everyday. Hooray I can do this!

Then Monday happens, Satan hates me hearing that stuff. I swear everything goes wrong Monday mornings, I come home from church with such optimism and hope, and by Monday at naptime, I feel like I've been through hell. All day the world seems to tell me I'm not good enough, I'll never measure up, and overall you suck. I'm now finally getting smart enough to realize those two messages are complete opposites, and that message is not coming from the Lord, and so all I can figure is that Satan doesn't want me to remember what I was taught on Sunday.

Can I go back to Sunday please? My calendar is overbooked for this week maybe month and I'm overwhelmed.

P.S. Today is class picture day. I forgot, I drove to the school to turn in the money. Yeah, my daughter went to school today without her hair combed. She bonked her head last night and ended up with a nasty goose egg, this morning she said she didn't want to comb her hair because it would hurt. I thought whatever. She cries on good days when she combs her hair, who cares. And now for all time, we can remember 1st grade class picture day was the day after the Broncos won the Super Bowl and she got a goose egg at a party. Ah, memories.

Potty Training in August

I realized I never wrote my obligatory potty training post back in August.
Last week my sister called for potty training tips. Funny, since she has potty trained two kids. But I get it, I hate potty training. Plus I did it more recently then her.
Then I remembered I never wrote this post, and I really did want to.

I potty trained my other kids in the summer of being 2. Since they were winter birthdays, it worked. My son was about 2 and quarter and my daughter was full on two and half or more. I was in my first trimester with my son and it was mostly a nightmare. My daughter had an older brother that was potty trained and all her friends were 6 months or more older than her and all potty trained so it went as well as could hoped.

My third child, he was not potty trained at 2, he is a summer birthday, had a baby brother when he was two and a mom with depression. That was never going to happen. He had no idea what was going on with his bladder and bowels forever, it was a huge blessing. He never knew if his diaper was wet, dirty or dry. Literally he would come to be screaming he was messy and his diaper would be bone dry. I thanked my lucky stars every time he had no idea what was going on because that meant I didn't have to feel guilty I wasn't potty training him. I definitely had no plans of potty training while I was breastfeeding his baby brother.

Then at 2 and 3/4ers something magical happened, he just seemed to over night know what was happening in his diaper. He soon turned 3. I decided I did want him potty trained before his siblings went to school it just seemed easier if I didn't have to go to pick up or make lunches at 8 am. We canceled our pool pass before the summer was over, so we would have no where to be. My husband actually went on a High Low Lame Adventure and took the 9 year old brother with him.

I was all prepped. I bought 100% juice and soda.
(With my first kid I bought juice blends and it never made him have to pee, a week or two into it, I found out only 100% juice got things moving for him.)

Also salty snacks, can make them thirsty.

I made a list of activities we could do in the kitchen.
I can't remember the list, but I made a list and had everything prepped where I could get it quickly.
The tablet so we could watch tv

I pulled out towels

I obviously had a mini toilet (a red car one!), lots of underwear. Flushable wipes

I didn't leave the kitchen for two days, I sat on a folded towel for two days as we played an potty trained. I make crock pot dinners while he was taking a nap.

As I was prepping, I think I fast the weekend I started. I had an epiphany. No doubt a true epiphany. Before I potty trained my first child, I read a book about potty training in a day. It was written by someone who said this method can work on anyone, we know it can, because we have potty trained many older handicapped individuals using this method. Since it worked for us it can clearly work for your toddler. Because of the way the book was written I got it my mind, using a diaper is a problem is and we will cure it out of your child.
The whole time I was trying to  "fix" my child, which is utter crap, and completely wrong. There is nothing wrong with a 2 year old that uses a diaper.

With my second I gave away the book, and listened to my sister in law, who said, just explain what you are doing, and set the timer for them to sit on the potty.

With my third, I fasted and received my epiphany. This is my chance to do nothing but love this child for week. Nothing is on my list of to do, but love this child. It is my opportunity to not fix him, but help him on the next step on his mortal progression.

I told my older children, this is Turbo's week to be my center of attention, I know you don't remember when you were potty trained but you got that chance too. (We did look up pictures of them potty training.) There are only two things you can do this week. Drink juice and play with Turbo, or play in your rooms quietly. (During his nap I gave them attention instead of ignoring them during nap time.) You don't get to decided what we do, Turbo does. This week is all about him no one else, this is his chance.

I don't know if I got lucky, if he was older, or if my change in perspective made all the change.
So. Much. Easier than any time before. I still set the timer and tried every time it went off.

I guess we'll get to see this coming August when I potty train the next. He'll be 2 and half, I like to potty train in the summer, when my house isn't cold. I think my youngest will be ready. He pretty much knows whats happening in his pants, but I'm putting it off. He's funny, he'll stand in front of the potty with his pants on yelling because he can't pee like this brother.

Its actually helped parenting perspective, I stopped trying to fix my children's annoying habits and inabilities to helping them in their mortal progression.

Lastly, I have learned how to poop train, after all these years. #tmi
I have found most books gloss over poop training. Which became a huge problem for most of my children. The book says, the child will learn how to poop in the toilet just like they pee. Yeah, right, it never worked like that for me.
This is what a doctor taught me:
At lunch you feed the child prunes, raisins, some sort of dried fruit. If your child isn't constipated I wouldn't recommend prunes, but if they are, and they are willing to eat "big raisins" its a great place to start. As is unfiltered apple juice. So you fiber them up, then while you are cooking dinner EVERYDAY you say, oh, its time to try and go poop. You sit them on the toilet and have them stay for 10 minutes (unless they go faster). Within less then a week, they should be regular and have a bowel movement everyday before dinner.
I have used this method multiple times, it works like a charm. (Pretty much anytime something big changes in the family, whether a new baby or something else, I loose track of life and someone stops going regularly.) As far as I can tell a young child will never be able to stay dry during naps and bed if they are constipated. We still have wet sheets once and a while, but anytime a child has reverted and started regularly wetting the bed, it turns out they are constipated. Also I will say, even if I child goes daily they could still be constipated. Make sure they are actually able to empty their bowels (ie the need for more fiber). Constipation puts pressure on a bladder and makes it weak. If this has become a chronic problem then it will take a while after the child becomes regular for their bladder to regain bladder strength. The bladder is muscle and if it has been weaken for an extended period of time, it will be take time to regain strength.
Lastly, if you and your child are struggling with this, I would take a look at their diet. My almost 2 year old was painfully constipated. We were doing apple juice and dried fruit, and still he would only go every couple of days, and when he would try to fill his diaper he would be in tears. I told my husband I don't know what to do, beyond a trying a laxative. He replied, you don't? I said no, do you have any ideas? He said, yeah, take away all the crackers. He was right, we moved all the crackers where the baby couldn't reach, then when while I was in the shower, when his siblings where eating breakfast in the morning, instead of filling up on crackers he started eating cereal. Overnight our problem was gone. Now he is regular as his older brother, which means multiple times a day, which may or may not be improvement as the mom. But I'm relieved he isn't crying anymore.
Speaking of breakfast if this is a struggle, I would cut out sugary cereals. My children now rarely get anything but "healthy" fibrous cereals. In the beginning they complain, but they get use to it after a week. Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Shredded Wheat, Honey Bunches of Oats, there are plenty of "healthy" fibrous cereals that still have a sweet taste. The best part of our family is they get fuller quicker with the healthier cereals. Also feed them more produce for snacks less processed food that comes from a box, even if the box claims its healthy.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Ready for 8

Remember how I mentioned I wasn't so thrilled about my child reaching the age of accountability?
I got an answer to my questions today in Sunday school.

First, I found Sunday school quite boring.
I fidgeted and my chair was uncomfortable, I was worried it was going to flare up my back pain.
When I changed positions so my back wouldn't hurt, I became acutely aware that I was fasting and that my stomach was empty.
Now that we have church at 11 am, I realized its been more than 4 years since I've fasted past noon. It was past noon.

Then I thought about how I tried to teach my almost 10 year old, fasting is about telling your body my spirit is control not my physical body.

Then I remember the lesson, talk, or urban legend that says, my father taught me he never sat in a boring sacrament meeting. When asked how he never heard a boring talk, he said I'd write my own in my head if I ever found one lacking.

So I thought ok get it together, what are you doing do help your learning?

But then I got really sleepy and I wanted to lay down.
Sometimes it takes a few times of our spirit telling our physical body to pull itself together.

Our lesson was on 2 Nephi 2.
We talked about the Fall of Adam. People shared some good comments, some people shared some fallacies according to me. I truly believe Eve knew what she was doing before she partook of the fruit. (She didn't know the end result, or what it would really mean to give it up, but I don't think she was clueless.) The serpent did beguile her, but she also knew there was no other way. Joseph Fielding Smith, I also think agrees with me.
Joseph Fielding Smith
" Adam and Eve therefore did the very thing that the Lord intended them to do...The Lord said to Adam that if he wished to remain in the garden, then he was not to eat the fruit, but if he desired to eat it and partake of death he was at liberty to do so. So really it was not in the true sense a transgression of a divine commandment....It was the divine plan from the very beginning that man should be placed on the earth and be subject to mortal conditions and pass through a probationary state as explained in the Book of Mormon." (Answers to Gospel Questions, vol. 4, pp. 79-82 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p.92)
Someone mentioned how they did have choices before they partook of the fruit. They choose to eat other fruit. They choose how to spend their time, they just hadn't choose to transgress, they hadn't chosen to be cast out of the Lord's presence.

Some mentioned they were perfect and innocent before they partook. All of a sudden it dawned on me. My three younger children are perfect and innocent, and I understand why the Lord during his earthly ministry often said, "suffer the children to come to me" but if they don't grow past seven years old they would be missing their opportunity to grow, learn and reason.
I look into my younger children's eyes and they are beyond perfect, I don't even know how to explain it, even when they are sad or ornery, their eyes show complete innocent, because they live a sheltered life they don't understand anything but innocence. But as the months past after my daughter gets baptized her brain will grow and develop in away that was not possible as a little child, and she will begin to reason. She will begin to understand the choices she makes.

Once I thought about it in terms of Adam and Eve in the garden, I started to realize I'm excited for my daughter to grow to 8, I'm excited to give her the choice to be baptized, and I'm excited her reasoning in her brain will start to function in away that was never available when she was younger.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tithing Blessings

What keeps surprising me is tithing blessings.

Years ago we were broke newlywed college students and meticulous with our money. Beyond meticulous, less than 45 cents were spent without me knowing about it. We knew exactly how much housing, food, books, tuition, etc etc would all cost, and we would know how much we made over the summers and how much Brent would make each month during school (he was only allowed to work 20 hours) and we always knew we were going to have to take out a loan before summer, but yet some how there was always enough money for us to move and get to our first summer paycheck. Literally the exact amount we needed.
Brent graduated in 7 semesters and got a full time job, after that things were never as stark.

But this past year has surprised me.
We decided last spring to do a garage sale, this was sort of a big deal for us, because we had never before followed through on our plans to actually have a garage sale. Multiple times in our marriage we would plan on selling a bunch of stuff, but then run out of time during a move and just donate it.
I guess since we weren't short on time for moving and we had A LOT of big ticket items it was actually worth it to sale. I pulled out $100 in small bills before the sale, and then we made a couple hundred more. We made decent, but at the same time we still question was it worth it? We didn't make as much as I was planning on.

Come Fall, Brent's company broke off and merged with another one. The new company gave us stock options, we had stock options from a previous employer so Brent jumped on that. We made quite a bit of money a few years ago. He maxed out that benefit without really running the numbers so it was a bit of a shock for us to say the least. We had more than $1,000 less each month, sure we would get it back in 6 months two fold, but what where we going to do in the mean time?

A couple things happened:
The stock purchase came after I bought school clothes and school supplies so that money was already spent so Brent told me just don't worry about it.

There is a lot of back to school expenses that happen other than supplies and clothes. School pictures, class fees, field trips, class parties, halloween costumes, cross country fees, etc etc. I ended up using the cash that we made at the garage sale to pay for most of this stuff. After a few months of constantly dipping into this envelope. I thought huh! I'm an answer to my own tithing blessing.

I love how the Lord provided for us, even if I didn't realize what he was doing. We changed our budget and our expenses and now we don't even realize we are living on $600 less a paycheck. But it was a blessing none the less.
I guess its true, "you can always save more".
But you can't always do more activities that cost money and save more.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Decluttering and Tidying up

We've been getting rid of lots of stuff. Some of which nostalgic stuff.
Which gets me thinking about my wedding.
I wore my wedding dress four times, one of which was for bridal pictures. The photographer did not take any full length photos for me in my dress for some reason. Maybe her studio wasn't big enough? I don't know.
The last time I wore it was after we got married to take pictures in front of the temple, then some how it got left in a basement closet in my grandma's house. My mom probably left it there?
As a newlywed I lived in a mother-in-law not apartment basement of an old lady's house, where was I going to keep my wedding dress? I just sort of never picked it up.
Then a few months later my cousin was engaged and planning a wedding. I think my grandma mentioned my dress was in the basement, and so my aunt said to my cousin, just try it on.
Eventually they decided to borrow my dress. Which was fine with me.
A little over a year later, my aunt informed me they had it cleaned (which I had not) and returned it.
I can't remember if they returned it to grandma's closet or I took it back to my married college apartment, by this point we were in a real apartment, but I also had a baby.
Three years after I got married, we finished our degrees and we were living in an apartment closer to my grandma then when we were in college. By this point I did have the dress.
I decided I didn't want to save the dress, it took up a lot of space, and what was I going to do with it, any future daughter wouldn't actually want to wear it when she got married.
So I sold it. I feel so industrious that at least three girls wore it for the weddings.

A few years later, I realized I never had a full length picture of the dress, and I couldn't remember really what it looked like. Then recently I was looking a wedding pictures, and I realized I did have full length pictures of me in my dress. Sort of, not formal photos but still!

 This one is actually one of my favorite candid photos, it reminds me of everyone that goes into supporting you in life. Looking back I'm grateful my aunts were at my wedding and there to help out with things. I have teenage nieces and nephews and I wonder am I involved enough in their lives that they want me at their wedding? What more should I be doing?
I actually can't remember ever seeing this picture. 
Its a fun one, poor light quality but fun. I'm glad I found it.