Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Be Careful What You Say

Jake is SUCH a smart little boy.
Over the weekend, I may have said some not so nice things. Here's what happened, we were driving to visit Grandma and Grandpa, and I ended up following my brother-in-law, no big deal, except he wasn't going QUITE as fast as I was. I had the cruise control set, and went to the left lane to pass him, but he was acting immature, and sped up so I couldn't pass. The first few times it was just annoying, but when he pulled into the left lane to pass a slower car, and actually STOMPED on his brakes, I got VERY annoyed. He refused to let me pass him, period. I was yelling at him from my vehicle, "ANDREW!! YOU ARE A JERK!"
From the back seat I hear in a high pitched voice, "Jerk!"
I am SO glad I wasn't swearing....

Monday, March 29, 2010

Making Memories

We made a semi-emergency trip this last weekend to visit Steve's grandparents and aunts and uncles. The main concern was his grandpa, who has been active and full of life for YEARS, has recently decided that he wants to be done. Once we heard that, we made plans to visit him before he really WAS done.
We took Steve's dad with us, caravaned with his brother's family and we were off. The first day we were in town, Grandpa had just gotten out of surgery. He hasn't been able to eat much, so they installed a feeding tube. He was very weak from the surgery, so we decided to visit on Saturday. And after many wrong turns we eventually found our way to cousin David's house (a BEAUTIFUL, new, HUGE home.) We found out that Grandma wanted to get together with everyone for dinner, so we hurriedly unpacked and we were off. We had a VERY enjoyable evening with the family, just laughing and catching up. (I fell in love with Steve's family all over again, they're all SO wonderful and fun!) After dinner, we made simple plans for the next day to at LEAST visit Uncle Mike and Aunt Linda's house so that the boys could see their horses, then we went back to David's house to put the boys to bed and to talk with cousins.
That night we slept above David's garage, in his "bonus room." It was a VERY large room, but part-way through the night it got VERY cold. I wouldn't have worried about it if Jake hadn't been trying to get comfortable by wandering the room and sleeping in the middle of the floor. I kept finding him in a different place, so I grabbed the boy and had him sleep with me. It was fine for him, but I didn't sleep very well. Because of the wandering sleep, I've learned that the boy will most DEFINITELY need to be in a crib for a LONG time.
The next morning we woke up to the smell of pancakes. Steve's cousin, who is a newlywed, and a busy guy to boot, had made us breakfast. After eating, we made our way to the hospital. It was a very new facility, and we learned that they have pretty strict security. Visitors are required to sign in and wear a badge. After finding out where Grandpa was and signing in, we went upstairs to visit. He was happy to see us, but pretty groggy. We wanted to get some pictures with him, but he started getting agitated because his hair wasn't combed. I went in search of a comb for him, but couldn't find one. Luckily, Steve's dad had one and I combed his hair, but he also continued to get agitated and anxious. He had a panic attack because we had overwhelmed him.
We were asked to leave (by Grandma and Uncle Dick) and we went to the waiting room. While waiting for news from Uncle Dick about what was going on, a friend of mine came in. I was surprised to see her, because we live in the SAME town, and for her to be in the same hospital was QUITE a little miracle. Her mom wasn't doing very well, so I just gave her lots of hugs and tried to tell her of my sadness for her. We talked for a little while, until Uncle Dick came back. He invited us to have dinner at his house that night, and said he'd meet us back at the hospital that evening to lead us there. I said good-bye to my friend, and then we went in search of lunch. Once outside, we learned how wonderful the weather was. We all stripped off our jackets and just enjoyed the nice, WARM weather.
We decided to try a restaurant that we don't have in our town, and I've heard how wonderful the Cheesecake Factory was for a very long time, so we went there. Once we were seated, we had sticker-shock. But we figured we might as well give it a try. We learned that even though the prices are big, the food is just as big, and JUST as yummy. After filling our faces, we then went to visit the horses.
Once we got to Uncle Mike and Aunt Linda's house we relaxed a bit, took a tour of their remodel (due to a flooded house) and visited the horses. The boys were ENTHRALLED by the horses, which are ponies, and Jake loved them....UNTIL they made BIG horse noises. He was afraid to go near them. After visiting the horses, we played in the backyard until we needed to go to the store to stock up on a few things. We hugged them and promised to see them later (Uncle Dick had invited EVERYONE to his house) and we went to the store.
After the store, it was time to meet back at the hospital. We signed in and went to visit Grandpa, but Grandma waved us back. Apparently, they'd tried to feed him through the tube for the first time, and then he took a walk...that was just too much for him. He was very sick and wasn't up for visitors. We understood, peeked our heads in, told him that we loved him, then headed back to the waiting room. It was then that I noticed Jake was walking funny. His legs were FAR apart and he was slightly squatting. OH MY GOSH! I had forgotten to change the kid's diaper ALL day long! I noticed wet spots on the sides of his legs by the diaper, and told Steve that I was going to the car to change Jake, but I'd be back.
I took the boy outside, changed him, and then his pants, then we were back inside, checking BACK in. As soon as I filled out the sheet, I heard familiar voices, the family was coming back down the hallway. The family was coming out. I signed back out. (In and out at 5:00....kinda funny!) Then we left to eat dinner.
Uncle Dick REALLY outdid himself. He had h'ordeuvres, lasagna, salad, ham, hot dogs (for the boys), cheese sticks, onion rings, and ice cream and cookies for dessert. His little house (I DO mean little) was filled to capacity (there were 17 of us) and we all laughed again and talked some more. I got to talk more with Grandma, who is SUCH a cute and sweet woman, then I tried to keep the boys entertained while Steve played pinochle with his family. I noticed that Steve's dad was ASLEEP on the couch, and asked him if he was ready for bed, and he said he was. So I told Steve that we needed to go put the boys to bed, all three of them. He wanted to stay and play, so he talked to his cousin and they said they could give him a ride home, and I took the guys and we left. That car ride was something I don't think I'll EVER forget. Steve's dad has never really said much to me, ever. He doesn't say much to Steve either, so I just figured he was a quiet guy. That night, I turned off the radio, because I didn't think he'd appreciate my country music, and that man just opened up. He told me all sorts of stories: about how he decided to give up drinking, how he had worked as a janitor for over 40 years, his youth....anything and everything. I wished I could have taken notes. After a quick stop at the store, we went back to the house. I got the boys ready for bed, then went down the stairs to read a book and wait for the others to get home.
Once the did, I asked to use the Internet REALLY quickly, I left a note for someone on FaceBook, and then found that my friends who lived where I was visiting had been looking for me. I made a call, and set up an impromptu Girls' Night In. I went to visit them and stayed up laughing and talking until 2 am.
After almost getting lost again, I found my way back, and went to sleep. Sunday morning, we got cleaned up and went to a local Sacrament Meeting, enjoying the Easter message, then we went to visit Grandpa. After signing in, we wet up to visit him. (I had seen my friend's name on the sign in, and knew she was there, I had hoped to find out exactly what was going on with her mom and maybe give her another squeeze.) Grandpa was FAST asleep. We didn't want to bother him, so we wrote him a note, and as we were finishing, my friend's family came out of the waiting room. I hugged her again and talked with her for a few minutes. I let her know that her family was in my prayers (they still are). Then Grandpa's nurse told us that he wasn't sleeping a lot, it was mostly off and on napping, and that we should say good-bye to him. We went back, woke the poor guy up, and said our farewells. He was even MORE out of it and kept asking us where the Indians fought the white men. We snapped a few more pictures, gave him hugs and said good bye. He was so frail, and I don't know if he will ever fully recover.
It was quite the trip. I had fun, but I was also a little sad about Grandpa, and his condition. I'm just glad we made the time to see him and make more memories with him. He had insisted that we give him some pictures of the boys, and we made sure we got a cute one for him. After looking at the cute pictures he had in his room I asked him how he got such CUTE grandkids. He responded, "I have a formula." It was so sweet, and I just love him for his sense of humor.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Few of My New Favorite Quotes

I've been collecting quotes lately. Here are a few that make me happy and remind me to be a better me.

"Listen earnestly to anything [your children] want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them, all of it has always been the big stuff."
~Catherine M. Wallace

"That which we persist in doing becomes easy to do; not that the nature of the thing has changed, but the power to do has increased."
~Heber J. Grant

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us."
~Helen Keller

"Don't' sweat the small stuff, what doesn't matter, doesn't matter."

"Laugh everyday; even if it is at yourself."

"It would be a nice world to live in if everyone made this pledge: 'I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody.'"
~Benjamin Franklin
"Love like there is no tomorrow."

Monday, March 22, 2010

When the Mind Wanders....'s just too hard for my body to settle down to sleep. Right now, it's 2:00 in the morning and I just cannot sleep. My mind feels like it's on over-drive and I feel wide awake and not even sleepy, at all.
I've been thinking about how truly grateful I am for my little family. I am so glad that I was blessed to be the mother of these two energetic little boys and that I was given the opportunity to not only teach them, but to learn from them.
With Cameron, I've had to learn patience and accepting things that are hard. For a while now, I've wondered how far Cam will advance in his learning and growth. For many years now he's been stuck around the same mental age. It's very disheartening. Instead of being the typical 9 year old boy, he's on the same level as a 5 year old. It's frustrating to me and I'm sure to him.
I'm frustrated that he still hasn't grasped the concept of reading. This is terribly frustrating because I SO love to read. I read a lot, and I know he and Jake have seen me read for fun. But when I sit down with Cameron to help him sound out words, he just doesn't get it. He can make the sounds that all of the letters make, but he can't figure out how to put them together to form a word.
I've been wondering if my life will be spent trying to take care of Cameron's many needs and that I will forever have a 5 year old in my life. I love him SO much and wish SO badly for him to have an independent life, but right now, I just don't know if that will ever be possible.
With Jacob, I've had to learn to enjoy the small things and to stick to what I say. For the most part, Jake is a VERY happy child. He loves making others laugh, and finds joy in the simplest things. You show that boy a basketball and he is giddy for a WEEK! He thinks making the adults around him laugh is a huge accomplishment. For example, this week, he was eating dinner at the table, it was just him and Steve. Suddenly, Jake farted. He looked up at Steve and said, completely serious, "I fahted!" We've been laughing since.
But that sweet side has a very stubborn side. I've known since before this child was born that he was going to do things HIS way. My NSTs were HUGE pains, mostly because Jake wouldn't cooperate by sitting still and letting the nurses get a good reading. I was in the hospital for HOURS on end just trying to get a decent reading. His stubborn streak is still strong.
His new love is going outside to play in his truck and with his basketball. Since our neighborhood is scary and the fact that we don't really have a yard to play in, we have to play at Grandma's house. I don't mind it too much, and neither does Grandma (in fact, she worries if we DON'T show up!!) When we get to Grandma's house, instead of going inside to say hi and let her know we're there, Jake insists on playing with his truck. I've had to literally drag the kid into the house for a few minutes, just so I can drop off my diaper bag before he can play. Then when it's time to leave, because he loves it so much, he will scream (high-pitched, bloody-murder type scream) and kick and flail until he can scamper away for more play time. He honestly thinks that he's boss and very much in charge.
I've had to take things away from him and force him to do what he's supposed to, and it's NOT been easy. I worry that I'll forever be in a battle of wills with this child.
These little boys are SUCH a blessing to me, and I'm so grateful for them and the lessons they teach me. I only hope that I can be a good mommy to them, and teach them what THEY need to learn.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Change in Perspective

I don't know who wrote this, but I am so glad that it was brought to my attention.
Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes;
We have plenty of food to eat.

Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry;
We have plenty of nice clothes to wear.

And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds;
They were so warm and comfortable last night.
I know that many have no bed.

My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom,
Complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory;
They are so convenient.

Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly;
It has served us faithfully for many years.
It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.

Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today.
It has baked so many things over the years.

The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that needs mowing,
The lawn that needs raking;
We all enjoy the yard.

Thank you, Lord, even for that slamming screen door.
My kids are healthy and able to run and play.

Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says
You have richly blessed my family.
I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully

Thursday, March 18, 2010

When You Don't Have, Make Do

I may have mentioned Jacob's new favorite TV show before, but every day he BEGS to watch the Fresh Beat Band. He loves the singing and tries to sing along, but he's picked up something else from that show, something I never thought he would....the love of the drums. He REALLY loves the drums. Did I say "REALLY!?" Because he REALLY does!
For Christmas he and Cameron got a can of tinker toys. They love building things with them, but Jake has found a way to include his LOVE with those toys. He takes the long blue sticks and uses them as drumsticks. He beats on the lid of the tinker toys or on anything that even SLIGHTLY resembles something flat and drum-like, he beats it to death.
Today he had two blue tinker toy sticks and the lid to a bucket and was carrying them around. I asked him what he had and he put the lid on the floor, held up the sticks and said, "Dum-stick, Mama!"
Heaven help me! If it's noisy now, what's it going to be like when he's older and has more strength? And I'm going to HAVE to encourage his natural interest and buy him some drums....
Anyone have any earplugs?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Jelly Bean Eater

(Okay, not TOTALLY wordless....Since the warmer weather Jake's been playing outside a LOT. He's also been falling down and getting scraped up, a LOT. He's got scratches on his nose, chin and on the back of his head. But he's still happy to eat some jelly beans!)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thankful Tuesday

It has been a while since I've written things that I'm thankful for.
  • I am grateful for warmer weather. It's so nice to be able to take my boys outside, let them play and have fun and not worry about piles of snow, or bright red noses and ears. It just makes me SO happy to have spring on the way.
  • I'm grateful for my own personal hair dresser. This morning, after his bath and usual cuddles, Jake grabbed my hair brush and brushed my hair for a good 10 minutes. It was so sweet and unexpected.
  • I'm grateful for a son who likes to help out. Cameron has been trying EXTRA hard lately to help me out, either by sharing with Jake or doing little things that he knows I like done.
  • I LOVE happy music. (Even if it is considered *kids* music.)
  • I love that my home is on its way to being what I want it to be. I've been slowly, but surely working on my FlyLady techniques and even though I still struggle with decluttering, I'm doing SO much better and I love how my house looks and feels. (Now, not only is my sink shiny, but my toilet is starting to sparkle too!) It's a happy place to be.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daylight Savings Love

Although the time change really throws me and my family off for a while, I truly love daylight savings time. I love how it's brighter outside for longer and that we get to take advantage of it with the time change.
Losing that hour of sleep didn't even bother me THAT much. The thing that bothered me most was that Jake decided to wake up for an hour in the middle of the night. (Something about a nightmare and losing Cameron....I didn't quite catch it, but I understand that he was upset.)
And the fact that it happens on a Sunday helps get us ready for the rest of the week.
I know that this all sounds crazy, but I'm excited for the time change, because it lets me know that winter isn't as endless as it feels and that warmth is on it's way. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I just asked Jacob to throw away the apple he's been snacking on all morning. (It was brown and gross...) He quickly said, "D'okay!" Ran over to the garbage and threw it away.
Obedience without a fight? Oh, to have the obedience whenever I ask for something to be done.
And just for fun, Jake has been doing this cheesy smile whenever we ask him to "smile." I love it, it totally makes me laugh EVERY single time. (As I was taking the picture he even called out "cheese.....POOP!" *giggle)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Family Home Evening Confessions

For many MANY years our little family has had our Family Home Evening each week with my parents and other extended family members. Our usual lesson has almost always been a story plucked from the pages of the Church magazines, most often from the Ensign. When it was just us, it was fine, but then we started bringing kids into the mix, and the stories, while nice and uplifting, were WAY over our kids' heads. Family Home Evening to them was a night they dreaded. It was a constant FIGHT for us to get them to sit still and listen the the adults babble on about things that they just didn't understand.
A few weeks ago, I decided to change things up. A friend had posted a website that boasted A Year of FHE. I went to the website thinking that it wouldn't hurt to just look for ideas. I fell in love with the lessons. They were right on the kids' levels and a good review for the adults as well. We started with a lesson about showing love through our words. My sweet Cameron, who most of you know has developmental delays, was VERY involved. In fact, he followed along well and answered my questions. It was a HUGE success.
The discussion after the lesson usually drones on and on, but that week it was very good, and it was decided that giving the lesson at the kids' level was what is really needed. Since then, I've been the unofficial designated lesson giver. The lessons have varied, but we've all learned lessons.
The important thing about it all?? My kids are paying attention better (instead of running a marathon around grandma's living room) and they're starting to *get it.*
I'm SO grateful for this website, and I can say that my boys are happy too.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

When Plans Don't Go as They Should

I have been a planner, well, in the general sense, my whole life. I've always had the dream of what I wanted my life to be like. I knew I wanted to be married to a wonderful man in the Temple. I knew that I always wanted to have kids, no more than 3 years apart in age. And I KNEW that I would always be deliriously happy if I followed my basic plan.
As the years have passed, things have NOT always gone as I planned, but there are a few things that I now know.
I KNOW that I am happily married to my sweet husband, in the Temple. We don't always get along or see eye to eye, but we DO eventually work through things and we're happy...most of the time.
I know that having my two sweet boys eight years apart was NOT part of my plan, but it was the right timing for me. (Heavenly Father KNEW what he was doing, not that I understand completely now, but one day I will know.)
I wish that I could have all the things I wanted and had planned for, but for now, I'm trying to find solace in the knowledge that I'm doing what my Heavenly Father wants me to be doing. HE knows all. Even when I whine and complain, He knows what's best FOR ME. And my downer feelings (which I'm feeling now) are just for a short time, and hopefully one day I will see and feel the reasons why things are happening the way they are.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Last Play Date

Yesterday Cameron had his best friend over for their final play date. (Although, there may be goofing off on Monday, but we're not totally sure about that yet...) I grabbed my camera and caught the two of them being their goofy selves. We're going to miss this family, and Cam will REALLY miss his friend.
Good luck on the move guys, we love you lots!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Talents Hidden, Even BURIED Can and WILL Surface

Long ago, in a land FAR away....
Okay, so when I was younger (MUCH younger) I had a few talents. I am not saying that I was a genius or anything, but I had some talents: singing, dancing, reading...
I can play the piano.
There, I've said it....are you happy!?
The reason I don't share this "talent" is because it's been a VERY long time since I've played, and even when I DO play, I have to practice and practice to get it to sound nice. I didn't really enjoy piano lessons. Mostly because I *had* to play the piano and my aunt, who I love, and who taught me lessons, would get angry because I didn't practice. I took lessons from the time I was 7ish until I was 12. At 12, I was done, and I think my mother was done fighting me on that issue.
Once I quit taking lessons, I LOVED to play the piano. (Isn't that funny?) I never got REALLY good, but I managed.
I was asked to play for church functions, but whenever I did, I'd mess up. Like the time I played "I am a Child of God" for a young women's activity. I thought it was a fairly easy song to play, so I didn't practice it like I should have, and messed up when the time came to play it for the activity. My friend, who LOVES to tease me, laughed really hard at me, and even harder when I tripped over someone sitting on the floor. It gave me a mental block on playing for church things.
Anyway, for years I played and thoroughly LOVED to play in the private of my home. (It relieved a LOT of stress for me.)
Then I got too busy to play, and life kept going at it's QUICK pace....
In college, one of my friends took a singing class, and had to sing a solo. She asked me to play for her. I agreed, and never found the time to practice. Her time came to sing and she sounded FABULOUS, but I botched the song. The teacher's critiques at the end were all for ME. (I was humiliated!)
I got older, and eventually married. I have no piano in my home (although I'd LOVE to have one) and so I rarely play. I've gotten pretty rusty, and don't like to let other people even KNOW that I can play the piano.
Fast forward a few last summer. I was at a women's retreat. At the end of the weekend, we were having a special "closing ceremonies" and the person in charge went around the WHOLE room (a large group of about 50 or 60 women) and asked for a volunteer to play a song. No one knew how.....except me. I practiced a little bit before we were to sing, and managed to stumble my way through the song, but I was embarrassed that I hadn't kept my talent going.
Fast forward yet again to this week. I was asked to substitute in Primary in a few weeks ON THE PIANO. (And I tried SO hard to NOT let people know I can play...) I am a SUCKER for people in need of a substitute, and generally say that I will do it. This one was difficult for me, but I said yes. Thankfully, she's giving me LOTS of time to practice, now I just need to actually DO it.
The lesson here, my friends: Talents WILL come be prepared!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Lessons in Mothering

Sleep is far from my mind. My brain is swirling with the things I've learned at church. It was a truly great day for me. I felt the Spirit SO much, and I felt prompted in the things I've been struggling with.
First off, the sacrament meeting speakers touched on things I'm not doing, but should be. The first one spoke of consistency in the little things (prayer and scripture study). I do pray, constantly, but my personal scripture study has fallen by the wayside since I finished my goal last year to read the Book of Mormon. I need to do better.
Then in Sunday School we talked about the parallels between the story of Abraham and Isaac and Christ. The one thing that hit me was that when Abraham was commanded to sacrifice Isaac he didn't complain, he did it obediently with no other words. What a great example of obedience.
And finally, in Relief Society we discussed Dallin H. Oaks' talk about Love and Law, how Heavenly Father is bound by laws, but that doesn't change his love. I tried to apply this to my parenting style. I've felt like SUCH a failure as a mother at the end of a trying day. I've felt discouraged when my sweet son gets SO angry with me that he storms upstairs, slams his bedroom door, and screams, "I HATE YOU!" (This was NOT what I had expected my life as a mother to be.)
The teacher, who is someone I've looked up to for a VERY long time, was talking about how Heavenly Father can't make everything in life "fair." He can't give EVERYONE the exact same things, because THAT wouldn't be fair. Then she drew a parallel between my Cameron and her son. Cameron has some pretty severe delays, he still has problems with his speech, and he can't read. Her son, on the other hand, is a typical child, and has no problems with his speech or reading in the same way that Cameron does. She was saying that we can't ask them both to do the exact same tasks, because it wouldn't be fair to either one. (Of course, as she was talking, I had already been thinking about this and completely agreed. But I felt the Spirit SO strongly, that I was bawling....) I wasn't offended, in fact, I learned SO much in that one thought that I feel like I should have learned YEARS ago.
Lesson 1: My Cameron is different. He cannot be held to the same standards as *typical* children. He can't compete, and that is okay.
Lesson 2: His delays make him more compassionate and loving. He is FAR closer to being like Jesus and Heavenly Father than I am.
Lesson 3: Even if he never "catches up" to his peers, he needs to be loved and treated well.
(See, these things are "duh" things, but things I've never really taken the time to THINK about.)
On the flip-side, I also learned some things about parenting Jake.
Lesson 1: Just as Cameron is special, so is Jake. They may not be special in the same way, but they both have great talents and abilities that are theirs alone.
Lesson 2: It wouldn't be fair to Jake OR Cameron to hold both boys to the same standards. They're different and learn differently.
Lesson 3: Both of my boys, even WITH their differences, have a great ability to love without boundaries or limits. They're a great example to ME of how to love unconditionally.
Lesson 4: I need to love both boys and parent them individually, because they are individuals.
My eyes were opened, and I am SO grateful for the Spirit that taught me SO much about me and my family. I just need to remember these lessons....always!