Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I know I love you...but do I LIKE you?

As a stay-at-home Mom, showing love to my kids on a daily basis can be difficult. And my emotions and short-temper are only exacerbated by my pregnancy hormones. What to do, what to do? I try to remember to pray daily to be filled with love for my children and husband and read my scriptures, but I'm not sure it's working...and it worries me because my kids are only getting older and their memories are only getting keener.

So, I decided I'm going to focus more on liking my children. I know I love them. I know they love me. The love will always be there. You almost can't help it. But the liking...Oi!

Let's say you meet someone you like and you're trying to become their friend. Hey, I like that person, I'd like to get to know them better. Maybe you drop off a thoughtful gift. Call them on the phone. Shoot them a witty email. Plan a playdate (that's more for moms than kids anyway.) We do lots of things to try to get the message out that we like them, and we try our best to do things that will make them like us in return.

So, I ask myself, "Do I like my children?" Would I do all the above to try to win my children's affections? (While maintaining appropriate mother-child boundaries instead of becoming friends, of course!) Hmmm...No, I would not choose you as my shopping companion, but most of the time I have no choice, so I might as well act as though you are my chosen companion. I choose you, Little Friend. Let's have some fun together! I want you with me.

It's working today. Although, it is difficult to maintain when Charly is crying in my face because she's not getting what she wants. Most of my chosen friends don't throw least not in front of me. But most of my friends aren't four years old, either.

I'm just hoping this mindset helps me enjoy our time together. Because that's the abundant yet unavoidable commodity I have right now -- TIME with my children. That won't always be the case.

Just trying to make the best of it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mother Thoughts

I've had a lot of random "mother thoughts" lately. Thoughts that I would never ever have if I didn't have small children mucking about. And they're not deep or profound or life-changing, they're just taking up valuable real estate in my pregnant brain and I need that space for other things -- like remembering my children's names.

1. It is far more advantageous for me to park near a shopping cart receptacle than close to the doors of the store.

2. I am no longer surprised to find my children completely naked at random times during the day. I just wish they didn't choose to change their entire outfit right before we had to run out the door.

3. I'm having an inner debate as to how worried I should be when my son dresses up in pink sparkly dress-ups and announces, "I feel beautiful." The answer is: not very.

4. If you don't rinse or wipe off oatmeal or shredded wheat from your counters and dishes before they dry...your day will be ruined.

4. It doesn't matter how clean your house is at the end of the day, it will be trashed again tomorrow...even if your children do have their own chores.

5. Being apart from each other for portions of the day can make for a happier family, especially sibling rivalries.

6. My kids are very good, I just forget it sometimes.

7. My house is never perfect, or even acceptable...but if I completely threw in the towel, it would be even worse. That's why I keep plugging along.

8. My kids can help more than I realize.

9. I never thought I'd live in a place where we all needed rain boots. But we do.

10. If you fight for good routines for your kids, they'll help fight for them later on when you're burned reading scriptures and brushing teeth.

11. I might have to start doing more than five loads of laundry each week, but I'll fight this as long as possible. It seems wrong to have more than one of the following categories: whites, lights, brights, mediums, and darks. (This does not include my other linens; sheets and towels are another day.)

12. I will never again get a dark kitchen floor. Crumbs shine like bright stars in the night sky.

13. I have no patience for ugly clothes anymore and I'm embarrassed as to what maternity clothes I used to wear. I'm getting rid of at least half of them.

14. Sometimes the practicality of a house is more important than the beauty of it.

15. I want my kids to love and like me, (not at the expense of discipline) but sometimes I feel like a big mother bear growling through life.

16. This is hard.

17. Why does dust exist?

18. I hope I still have time to can some peaches this year.

19. Sometimes a walk to the mailbox is my exercise for the day.

20. I'm glad my kids still give me a hug and kiss goodnight even though I just finished yelling at them.

21. I'm glad I say "sorry" to my kids if I'm wrong.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


You know, it's really great when your kids learn how to read and write. Then they can write you notes like, "I hate you" and "You ruined my birthday."

It's awesome.

I also receive numerous "I love you" pictures, but for some reason, those aren't as memorable as they should be.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Thursday night I had to run to the store to get some last-minute goodies for Sam's birthday party. Not too long after I got home, there was a knock at the door. This was odd. Mostly because (A.) Nobody ever comes to my door, and (B.) It was 9:30 at night. I was even more surprised when two policemen were waiting to question me about the hysterical little girl my neighbor saw wandering up and down the street from what looked like an unoccupied home.

Wow. Charly heard me leave, started bawling her eyes out (not unusual), got up, went outside, walked up and down the streets looking for me (very unusual), all why Jon and others snoozed in the house (totally normal).

"Let me go check and see if she's here." Yes. Charly was asleep in her bed.
"My husband has been here the whole time." Translate: No, I don't leave my kids unattended EVER, however tempting that may be. Also Translate: I will go yell at my husband immediately.

After asking me my full name, date of birth, driver's license number, fingerprinting me, and getting a DNA sample, they left. Translate: They just asked me my name and birthdate, but still. Child welfare police on my door? Charly, you're makin' me look bad!

But, my conversation with Jonny really went like this: "So...two police came over because Charly was wandering around outside. Did you hear her leave the house?"

" But she was hysterical when you left...and I think I heard her come back in." Translation: I wasn't curious enough to find out what she'd been doing OUTSIDE at 9:00 at night.

Luckily, Pullman's a safe town. And I love my husband.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Choosing Your Battles

Every child has "their thing." And every child invites you onto a new battlefield with new weapons and rules you haven't yet learned. As a parent, you can choose to fight the really important ones that involve safety and damage to property.

Sometimes we find ourselves fighting battles that we realize later aren't that important. Do we keep fighting or pull back?

For example: when your two year old boy morphs into an unrecognizable heap of flailing flesh, tears, screams, and super-human strength because he'd rather sit in his sister's old pink booster seat instead of the cool new black and orange one you bought him for fight him on it, then realize that you don't really care. Now we're both happy, and Felix thinks he's getting away with something sneaky every time he climbs into Sammy's old seat. Now we both have something to grin about.

Then, when his favorite hobby becomes changing his clothes, you're just glad when he learns to take off his own shirts, making your help unnecessary and obselete. Again, we're both happy.

It's 7:44 in the morning and already we're on shirt #5 and pants #3.

It's gonna be a great day.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Bless this mess."

I loved this quote today.
“Clean enough to be healthy, messy enough to be happy."

Read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What's that smell?

There are few things more disheartening than walking into your house after a morning of errands and realizing it smells like dirty diapers. And you think, "How long has my house smelled like this? And, have we had company since then?"

**Added later**
I take that back...putting on pants after they've been washed and struggling to pull, zip, button, snap is definitely a close second.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

That Explains It

This is perhaps a much better and genteel way to describe, what I call, Baby PMS.

Hopefully this will make "those moments" more endurable.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I forgot about this

Oh my. I forgot about this stage. My sweet little obedient boy's body has been taken over by an independent and defiant alien spirit. It showed up much earlier in the girls, so it caught me by surprise in Felix.

Whenever I ask him to please do something, it's now ", Mom." In a very matter-of-fact voice. He also yells, "NO!" and once in a while busts out with a, "No, never!"

So, to circumvent this brick wall, I try to remember to just ask him to do things instead of request. "Can you close the fridge?" is readily accepted whereas a "Close the fridge, please." is a definite no.

If anyone knows how to get rid of independent alien spirits, I will try it!

Monday, January 24, 2011


A few weeks ago I had a day filled with bodily fluids.

Charly has been a little hard of hearing lately. When I took her to the doctor, he said there was so much wax in there, he couldn't even see her ear drum. Well, that would explain it, then. The nurse tried to flush it out with water, but it wasn't working, so we stopped. I tried a variety of drops at home with no luck.

So, I took her to another doctor to try again. The doctor was going to scoop it out, but Charly would have none of that and actually chose to try the warm water flush again.

My friends, you would not believe what came out of that child's ear. She hated it. She was screaming bloody murder and I'm sure scared all the kids in the waiting room to death. We had to bring in another person just to hold her down to do the other ear. There was no way I was leaving that office without both ears gleaming with cleanliness.

Later that day, I went in to get Felix from his nap. He has had a fascination with taking his diaper off lately. I think you know where this is going. Yes, his diaper was messy, yes he took it off, and yes, there was definitely some shmear to clean up.

Felix was heartbroken when I got upset. I didn't yell, but I did start moaning, "Felix, no, no, no!" His little lip quivered, "Okay, Mommy. Sorry, Mommy." Since cleaning him up was the priority, I took him to the bathroom and plopped him in the tub. He thought a cold shower was coming and started screaming and clawing tooth and nail to get the heck outta there. Secretly glad that my cold shower tactics work so well, but sad that he thought that was what was happening, I put him on the toilet, drew the warm bath, turned the water off, then put him back in the tub. Without my intending to, he learned that taking his messy diaper off = cold shower.

I kept expecting Sammy to come home all bloodied up to complete the trifecta of fluids, but luckily she came home clean as a whistle.

These stories aren't anything out of the ordinary, most moms have similar battle scars. What did fascinate me, however, was that dealing with these things didn't bother me, they didn't gross me out. It's not that I woke up that morning really hoping that I could wash Felix's sheets on the sanitary cycle. But when they're your kids, you skip past the gag reflex and go straight for the heart strings. Charly's ear flush didn't gross me out, I just thought, "Poor girl."

With Felix Picasso Fisher's masterpiece, I was more concerned with his little lip quivering than the "other stuff." How does that work?

And that, my friends, is motherhood.