Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's not an excuse, it's a reason

There are hard things in this life.  I'm glad I don't have to deal with a lot of them.  I do have a pretty bad "act like a jerk" tendency that flares up.  And I also have a bad habit of judging people based on what I see.  Every once in a while someone gives me a glimpse inside their life and I get to understand, a little bit, what they are struggling with.  And most people are struggling with things. 

A few months ago someone was upfront with me and said that they had bi-polar, so some things were harder for them.  I was grateful that she let me know.  It's not any of my business, but it makes it easier for me to not be judgmental. 

Sometimes people, myself included, are just lame and lazy.  But sometimes they have legitimate reasons for not being up to the things we hope they would do, like clothe their children in new clothes every day, or brush their babies hair.  I was a little mortified to run into a friend, who had us over for dinner last night, at the playground this morning.  lP was wearing the same clothes.  My bad.  My friend, kindly didn't mention it.   I need to more often insist that she change her clothes.  But most often, once the clothes are off, I can't get new ones on.  So if they are not visibly soiled, I just let it go.

An excuse is a something you use to try to justify an offense.  But I think it's ok to let people know that you're struggling.   Part of that is self honesty.  Part of it is letting go of your pride in keeping anyone from knowing about your life.  Another part is to be doing your best.  When people know you're doing your best, and you let them know a little of what your going through, it will deepen your relationships and you will be able to give and receive more support aka love.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

tough love

G's adult teeth were coming in and the dentist said if he didn't get the baby teeth out in 2 weeks, they'd like to extract them.  For various motivations, I wanted to pull them out at home.  I hope this doesn't become the norm for him. 

Going through this process and waiting it out with him has been hard.  How much easier to take him to the dentist and have it done behind closed doors.  But I knew it would be a situation where he'd have to be strapped to a table and have strangers pull out both in one day.   This way he had a whole week of tooth pulling!  Fun! 

Last Sunday I got one started with some nice gross crackling feeling.  It wasn't 'til Wednesday night, with Dad at church, that I, after 2 hours of G hiding, pulled out the first one.  That left the other one not even loose.  Joy.

So we've been talking about it and encouraging M to hit him in the face... jK 

Tonight, Sunday, I told him I was calling the dentist in the morning, so this was his last chance.  In reality there is still more time because I have no idea if the dentist could even get us in for months.  But apparently I'm compulsive and wanted to get his baby teeth out so the permanent teeth could get out.  And the adult teeth were coming in fast.   So the longer we waited, the harder it would be to get a good grip on the baby teeth.

Tough love, poor boy.  I know it's generally used to describe withholding financial support for drug addicts until they are in rehab.  In this instance, I feel that we were doing something hard, because we felt it would be better for him, emotionally, in the long run.

P came in and talked to him for twenty minutes, on top of the twenty I'd already spent trying to get him to open up.  Eventually P said he had a choice,  either Mom, Dad or the Dentist was going to pull the tooth.  G wouldn't decide.  So P told him that Dad was going to make the choice.  Dad held him down and Mom who already had some kinesthetic experience pulling teeth, pulled.  

Just when I thought it wasn't going to come out, and that after all this back and forth, we would still  end up at the dentist... it came out.  We got a cotton roll on it (saved from previous dental experiences; go hoarding! JK).  He spent a little more time being mad at us.  Within 5 minutes the bleeding was all done, and he was back to enjoying the big yellow book of questions from grandma C. 

Phew.  I hope the rest of his teeth come in the normal way that makes baby teeth fall out.  Please!


We had a very nice inservice for Primary today.  Phew!  What a great bunch of teachers, counselors etc...  It's very humbling to work "over" all these great people who've been doing great service in the church longer than I've been alive.  Many of them have had my calling in the past.  They are very encouraging and I appreciate their enthusiasm and love for the children.

Friday, July 27, 2012

recent thoughts

Quick!  I had some thoughts I want to remember and I need to write down!

1.  Maybe the reason that nice parents end up with spoiled kids, and mean parents end up with kids that try to please the parent is the natural way.

If parents get all the pleasure of doing nice things for their kids, buying nice things, doing things for the child... the child learns that their job is to let the parents do things for them, that makes the parents happy.  They learn this early on.  So by the time they are 5, let alone 15, they think demanding generosity of the parents is a good thing.

On the other side of the spectrum are parents who are mean, and even abusive.   Their children learn, early on, that it is the child's job to do nice things to make the parent happy. 

Then you have the abusive parents who beat their children for things unrelated to the child's behavior.  Lovely.

It's crazy.  But that is the only explanation I can come up with for why children of abusive parents don't just hate them.

So my goal is to do something in the middle, but more toward the strict, demanding nice actions from the children.  I love to do nice things for my children.  I also love it when they do nice things for me.  I hope that works out, you know, so that my children don't end up ingrates...

2.  My job as a parent to model appropriate attitudes is more important than being polite.  I read this Ask Laskas (Sp?) in the good old Readers Digest.  The parent felt that the father of another family had bullying behaviors, but didn't want to cause problems with the friendship.  The advice columnist put it plainly, that their relationship was secondary to their responsibility as a parent.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

the dark side

Darth Vader is struggling.  So P is spending a lot of time trying to get it back to functional. 

In other news, tonight we had a great Pioneer Party.  We didn't have to do tons of planning.  It worked out as well as I'd hoped and we didn't run out of food!  Hurray!

The kids want to do it again tomorrow.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lucky Us

 Thank you Sam's Club for being the tipping point to get me up to Jax to visit my friends today.  Thank you friends for letting us come and have such a treat!
  In other news.  I noticed someone with the email address nephitegirl today.  I thought it was sort of funny because it reminded me of a sad situation when I was young.  I grew up in a ward that had not 1 family with 10 kids, but 5 families with 10 kids.  Can you imagine?  I was part of one of those families.  The father of one family was sort of a bore and on one occasion he said, in the presence of 2 mothers of 10 who had lost children, "We've still got all 10"...  He also said once that his children were going to grow up to be Nephites.  So this idea of being a Nephite, spoken as a prideful thing by someone that is sort of thoughtless, is part of my formative thinking.  To be like Nephi, good.  To be a Nephite, the group that became wicked and got wiped out in the end, bad.

Friday, July 20, 2012

good times

 My mom and brother came to visit this week and we had fun.  Without the competition of many cousins, G got a chance to play games with uncle R. 
 M and G got to ride in the truck, a highlight of their childhood.  : )  "Hey Grandma, nice Truck!" - G
We went to the beach twice.  The first time at 11AM in the blazing sun, we left because it was so intense.  The last time at 7:30pm after the thunderstorm and after dinner.  It was really pleasant, so pleasant that we had to leave before we wanted to because lP was shivering. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One of those days

No, not one of these days.  I'm just using this picture to remind myself that I am doing things to give my children a great childhood.  Today was the kids of day where strangers felt the need to point out that I wasn't supervising my children 3 times.  Harsh.  2 of the times it wasn't actually a problem and I am annoyed in retrospect that I felt judged. 

At the fruit stand (as we like to call the little yellow house where we buy fruits and veggies), the kids were looking at a poster and the cashier thought they were going into the store room.  She told them not to go back there and I freaked out at them, in sign language... 

At speech therapy M went around the corner to put away her book and then decided to open the door for the lady with the tripod cane (think as large as a walker, but on one side of the body).  Another patient said "Whose children these?" 

At home, while I was trying frantically to get dinner cooked for a new mom, on top of my own mom and brother visiting...  The kids were in the garage playing basketball.  The kids were in the garage playing basketball.  The kids were in the garage playing basketball. lP was on top of the car, M was getting out of the car and our neighbor who is a pediatrician was coming across the driveway to let me know she was concerned.

New rules will be implemented.

Monday, July 16, 2012

hash brown win

Yesterday I made a big hash brown and it got a little burned on one side.  Later that day my mom was talking about how on this cooking show they made amazing grilled sandwiches.  The secret to having so many crazy toppings was to use butter and mayonnaise to toast the bread.  Hmmm.  This morning I applied the magic butter and mayo mixture to the potato skillet.  Win!  They cooked all the way through but didn't burn. 

This is how I made it:
1 tsp mayo
1 tsp butter
   spread around in the hot skillet.  The mayo doesn't melt so I just moved it around as much as I could.
3 cups of shredded potatoes
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups of shredded potatoes
dash of salt
  Cover the skillet so the potatoes can steam a little.
  After about 3 minutes flip the potatoes over
  Cook for another 3-5 minutes and then turn it out onto a plate.


Saturday, July 14, 2012


More movies.  : )  I'm so grateful for this form of scrapbooking.  It lets me feel creative without a lot of mess and expense.  Win! 

Today G whipped through 60 simple addition problems.  We never had much time to do math during the school year because by the time we finished Spelling, Social Studies, Language homework, he was DONE.  So at the end of the year assessment the school was worried because he hadn't made much progress in math... the subject I was supposed to be doing at home.  I think G was aware of this deficit and was starting to feel like he was bad at math.  So this summer has been great for taking a break from daily homework, and focusing on math.  The favorite time for math is 10pm.  When all other entertainments have been removed.

Translation of his unprompted tutorial on how to stop a robber:  My plan is what: roar really scary so the robber think you are the dragon and hiss like a snake and don't forget something else is what: hit!

Don't forget to hit.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Triple Yay!

P built us a computer, so now I can make movies again, and I got some magical footage of humming birds tonight thanks to the bird feeder GL gave M for her birthday.  Win!