Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Weevils in the Jewelry Box

A friend of mine once told me that the longer you've been on a mission, the more easily amused you are. He told stories of stopping the car in jubilant amazement, because the speedometer read "54,321". It was quite a moment for the guy who had been out 22 months, while the greenie was wondering about his companion's sanity. As added proof, he told me about how he had relayed his theory to his mission zone at a restaurant. They had debated while they waited for their food as to whether or not it was true. But the elder who had been out the longest--the zone leader from Provo who was going home in just 2 weeks--did not participate. He was too busy batting around the blind cords from the window treatment like a cat.

Well, let me tell you...being a mother is kind of like being on a mission. Before motherhood, it might take a stirring discussion on the intentions of the founding father's to blow your mind. After being a mother for a couple years, with a combination of sensory deprivation and overexposure to innane children's shows, you may go into rapture over a ball of wax that came out of your baby's ear. So just keep it in mind that I have been a mother for over 8 years....
One of my most prized possesions is a bran flake that came out of my son's cereal bowl. It is true. I still have it, months later. I keep it in my jewelry box.

The reason it is so precious to me? I was just sitting there, eating cereal with m' boys, when suddenly Sam (7 at the time) gasped. He excitedly sifted through his bowl and ran up to me with this little flake, dropped it into my hand and said, "It's a heart! This is just another way to show you how much I love you, Mommy." And I have been gonzo for it ever since. I value novelty and creativity, and of course, my kid. I think it is the most unusual act of love that I have ever witnessed, and I LOVE that it came from my own firstborn.
I've considerred having that darn flake bronzed, or spraying it with polyurethane, or just letting it decompose in my jewelry box with all the earrings that I've lost one of, but still have sentimental value. Sheesh. One of these days I'm going to get weevils in there, and then how am I going to explain that to the pest control guy?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Quotable Quotes and Daily Giggles

This is my youngest son, Adam. Isn't he a doll?

He was supposed to be a girl, you know. With his 2 older brothers, I had felt like I knew they were going to be boys. But my cosmic woman's intuition (AKA wishful thinking) CLEARLY indicated that the next one would be a girl. I told everyone that I was having a girl, and commonly referred to my monstrous tummy as "Suzanne." To this day my boys still occasionally ask me where Suzanne is. There was never a woman at her 20 week ultrasound as surprised as I was. I am fallible? Oh noooooooooo! He he he.

I already had two little boys. I knew what I was in for--destruction, noise, hour long sessions of baby wrestling during sacrament meetings. All the books pulled out of the two bottom shelves...once a day...every day...for 2 years. Daily percussion performances (pots and pans). Pencils on the wall. Little action heros buried daily in my large potted plant. Sharpies on the couch, etc. etc. Did I have the energy for this? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!!

But God, in his infinite wisdom, gave me a big break. For my third son he sent me Adam. A true boy in every way, he is convinced that he is destined to become the Green Power Ranger. He loves to play in little boy ways, holding matchbook cars in the air and making spluttering sounds while he dashes around the house. He likes to "save me" from monsters and bad guys. He likes to attack the bushes with his appropriately green light saber, and make wounding sound effects. But you know what he doesn't do? He doesn't make my load heavier. He just doesn't! Everything he does seems to delight my little heart.

He...hmmm, yes, he DOES make messes (although not as many or as terrifying as his brothers made at this age) but for some reason, to me they seem to be adorable messes that make me want to run and get the camera to immortalize the cuteness. Like the time he took all the carefully folded clothes from the drawers (I had just replaced winter clothes for the spring set) AND all the piles of folded clothes I had set on the floor to pack away and threw them all in a heap. When I came back from the bathroom he was pretending to "swim" in the pile.

"Look Mommy! It's the OCEAN!" I laughed until tears came out of my eyes, although one or two tears may have been because I was really tired and had woken up an hour earlier than usual to accomplish this task. But still. How adorable.
Anyway, Adam is at the age of adorableness. He has always been a very advanced talker, and his large vocabulary offers such interesting insights into the barely-four year-old mind. I'd like to share some of them with you.

  • He dashes around the house, pretending to fly, and calls out "I'm Atonement Man!" Something from our family home evening lessons is sinking in, I guess!
  • He came up to me yesterday and said, "Mommy, I have issues." Me: "issues? [already?]" Him: "Yes, I have booger issues. I nee-a tissue."
  • Overheard while he was playing with little plastic characters, one to the other: "Accor-ing ta my research..."
  • He came in and saw me putting on my morning makeup and said "What are you doing?" Me: "Putting on makeup." Adam: "Why are you doing it?" Me: "To be pretty." Adam: "Well I think you're pretty." Darling child!
  • The other night he had a nightmare and came into my room. I was surprised that he didn't just wake up crying like some kids do. Instead he walked up to me and said: "I had a bad dream. In my dream there was the story of the missing eye-ball." I took him into the front room so Daddy could sleep and explained to him that eyeballs don't pop out by themselves and chase people. "If Sam had a missing eyeball...THEN what?" he perused. And we had to go through each member of our family and reassure that they would all still be very healthy and happy even if they did loose an eyeball (hopefully they don't!). Eventually I took him to sleep with Daddy and me, because this 31 year-old lady started to get a little bit scared of the dark after listening to the 4 year-old's nightmare. But Daddy made us feel safe. Lil' guy got to stay there for a short while--until he got passport revoked when he started kicking sleeping Daddy. (Why do all our kids do that?)
Someone with four kids once told me that her first 2 kids were nothing but work, and her second 2 were nothing but fun. I only had two kids at the time, and I thought she was full of SOMETHING. But now I believe! All the worries at unexpected difficulties have been used up in rearing the first 2. Now every challenge is expected, and every fun moment is enjoyed whole-heartedly--for now I know how fleeting each adorable stage is. These little guys don't last. They grow and they grow! Despite my urging them to not eat their vegetables and stay little (that is the only way to get them to eat broccoli) they continue to change, which is wonderful and a bit sad at the same time.
Anyway, every single day of my life these days Adam says or does something that makes me want to swing him in my arms and laugh my happiest of all happy laughs. He was sent to be my angel.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Whale Song

You know what I'm supposed to be doing? I'm supposed to be guest writing a post for my awesome friend Lyndsay. She has been doing a series on "Supermoms." She wants me to write about "the Spiritually Prepared Mom." But the problem is, I'm not feeling like a spiritually prepared mom. I really feel and behave differently from the way I was 5 months ago, as a super enthusiastic ward missionary--testimony ablaze and eyes alight. What do I feel like now? Hmmm. A beluga possibly.

Actually, I don't want to insult belugas. They are a beautiful animal. I just, I just, I'm so much less functional (nevermind exemplary) when I'm pregnant. I'm not qualified to advise anyone on anything other than possibly just hanging in there when you feel like crap. Consider the facts.

Not Pregnant
  1. Run several miles on most days
  2. Thoughtful Prayer and meditation each morning and night
  3. Enthusiastically pursue many fun hobbies/interests
  4. Can't wait to go preach the gospel every Tuesday
  5. Keep a house of relative order
  6. Eat a diet nearly free from white flour, sugar, and red meat


  1. Lumber around the house only as needed, and get breathless in the process
  2. Pray in bed (for SHAME!) and often fall asleep before I get to "amen"
  3. Enthusiastically pursue cookie dough when it is available
  4. Can't wait until my kids go to bed so I can lay around an do nothing for the rest of the evening
  5. Get by with "the minimum" including fishing clean but rumpled clothes out of laundry baskets every day
  6. Eat either "whatever will stay down" or "whatever is most fattening," depending on the stage of pregnancy

So anyway, if you have any ideas on how to be an amazing and spiritually prepared mother, please leave them in the comments. I'll be happy to pretend I thought of them and send them on to Lindsay.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Burnt" and Super Powers--My Very First Tuesday Tribute

Have you ever wanted to do something cool? I mean, have you ever wanted to do something REALLY amazing, and so you sit around thinking about this amazing thing you are going to do and practically frothing at the mouth to get started. Buuuuuuuuut by the time you get around to finally doing it, you feel a little too daunted by the fabulousness in your head to...actually...get...started? Well, this post is all about avoiding that situation. I've wanted to have a family blog for a really long time now. I've had a post in my head every day for the last several months. So many ideas! So little time. I am going to have the ultimate blog! MWAHAHAHAHAHA! That has been the tenor of my interal dialogue for the last several months, so, as you can imagine, I've been running away from the actual writing of the first post.

So to take the pressure off, I decided that the first post doesn't count. It's a dry run! It's kind of like when you make crepes. You know the first one will either be burnt or end up on the ceiling (spatula-free flipping!). I like to think of it as an offering to the disposal gods. First crepe never turns out. It's a law of nature. Same here.

So this is my burnt post. And just like the other burnt stuff in our family, Daddy usually ends up getting stuck with it. So my very first Tuesday Tribute is to....***drumroll*** my beloved husband James, or Jimbo for short.

Now I know that you probably all know that James is a wonderful athlete--marathon runner (and I do mean runner, not jogger). You probably know that he is a computer genius and security software guru. You know that he gets sunburned if any fraction of his skin is left exposed to the sun for longer than 15 minutes. You probably have guessed that he is extremely patient and forgiving just because you know he is married to me. If you know him at all, you know that he is reliable and loyal. You know he loves technology, blueberry pie, reading books over and over, playing golf with members of his family that have no skill in the area *ahem,* and watching "Dirty Jobs" on TV. BUT did you also know that he is a superhero?
It is true. I thought he was a normal guy at first too. I mean, of course he was a hunk, and a sweetie, and quite solicitous, but it took me a few weeks to discover his secret power. Well, actually he has 2 powers that I have discovered so far. One is defensive and one is offensive...darn offensive, actually. His defensive power is to be able to calm people (me) with the slightest touch. I could be mad as heck over a small misunderstanding, and I swear (yes, I swear) that all he has to do is come over and poke me in the head with his finger...and immediately I am transported to another realm of complete peace and understanding. I melt, I quiver (not really), I agree that whatever large-ticket item of technology he wants to buy is a good idea....

I first noticed this ability of his when we were dating and he held my hand at church. Ahhh. Isn't church relaxing? Doesn't it just make you want to go around flinging flowers in the air and singing wordless songs of joy? Sure it does.
Even more amazing, though, is all the times that I've been convinced that every single thing in the world is going all wrong (this happens on a monthly basis or so) only to have every single problem fade into the category of a slight inconvenience, or even a blessing in disguise, when he creeps up behind and wraps his super arms around me. (I try to avoid his gift when I am feeling really dramatic, so sometimes he has to be sneaky.) Inevitably we end up snuggling and laughing about said problems. I just looooooove problems, for the awesome opportunity they provide for snuggling. Bring on the expensive dental procedures! How 'bout a nice little recession! Where's the flood and/or famine? We are ready. Because, thanks to James' super power, whatever challenge we face, even if we have different viewpoints, we are still on the same team.

P.S. James' secret offensive power is sweating an awful lot of extremely repellent fluid when he runs. There is no predator alive that would be able to tell him from a water processing plant based on smell alone. So I don't worry about him when he runs off into the desert. He'll be back, and he'll need a shower. Pronto.