Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Time to change the channel

I've got a mental block here and don't think that I will ever get done what I want here, so, to change things up a bit, I am moving to a different bat time, different bat channel. To tune in next time, come see me here.

I will slowly be adding new stuff, posting the old stuff and this will slowly, but surely, disappear. Much like the aforementioned channels.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blue skies and butterflies

It is officially spring and as per the normal standards of Utah, it rained and snowed until today. Today was a beautiful warm sunny day. My kids spent a good amount of time out I the yard. I spent my fair share being the good dog mommy I promised Jack I'd be when we adopted him as he decided to be very much the male dog who was neutered too late. He ran around the neighborhood waiting till I got right up to him and he'd bolt. Thankfully a very nice woman walking her dog was very good about Jack trying to chew her dog's face off, all the while managing to stay light on his feet and dance around me. She was Amazing trying to get Jack to focus on the "nice to meet you's" that come with dog introduction territory.
Got the guy back home safe, backyard play commenced, and life was well.
Beautiful day is coming to an end and I'm wrangling everyone inside and can't help smelling my kids' head and skin. Even covered in mud and worms for their worm farm, I just keep smelling them. They smell so good.
Sunshine and dirt.
My Matt got home and I'm hugging him and he smells amazing... It's not cologne I'm smelling... It's sunshine and sweat.
Later he tells me I smell really good and just sits and sniffs my neck and hair. I realize it's sunshine and sweat.

You guys, we've been missing that vitamin D growing from our skin for so long... It's the best smell I've ever sniffed. The rich dark earth, newly shooting plants, smell of new greens and old leaves, the smell the sun leaves on your skin and clothes. That's right... I am in olfactory heaven.
Even to yucky flying ants smell like an amazing floral nectar bouquet when you squish them because big, flying ants on my face isn't in the top 1000 things I like to have in my house. So there is even olfactory goodness in their expired lives.
Go out side! Get out of here and go! Smell the richness in the air of new things.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Comfort words

Linus, due to his name, has many Peanuts paraphernalia around the house. For some reason he calls all things Snoopy and Smurf "smookie poo". I likes to watch Smookie Poo on TV and loves to carry his Smookie Poo around and sleep with it.

Bea's blankets today are..."sneaky poo".

Sounds about right.

And we are struggling through a mouth full of teeth. Charlie waited until nearly a year old to start cutting them, now she has her cute bottom two and two off set snaggles on the top. Her left front and her left eye tooth. Now she's not so cute spending her time with her tongue hanging out and drooling everywhere. I can only imagine how uncomfortable it must be to grow 5 teeth in a week.

Will make for some funny, hopefully cute, pictures.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Just call me Milly.

I got my first bill from a doctor I started going to a few months ago. To my surprise, a different name was on the bill along with  my name. I was confused until I took just a second to think about what kind of doctor he is, where he's located, and one of the first questions they asked me. "Would you like to be registered under a pseudonym?".

All of my life, I think I've dealt with the blues a little bit more than most. Having a baby put those blues into a tailspin. Then I got pregnant with our second baby. I remember getting a few disapproving looks and halting congratulations from some who knew of my struggles with postpartum depression with Linus. And then having our third daughter, I can only imagine what some were thinking when there were the occasional "Isn't two enough?" or "Oh, wow, I thought you had your hands full with 2."

So, despite the risk of postpartum depression, the risk of possibly making my depression worse, I chose to have 2 more kids. My husband and I chose to have our family grow. I realized that things are bigger than me. What ultimately is best for my family and myself, may sound ludicrous or crazy, it may cause trials and difficult days and a few meltdowns. But sometimes, just sometimes, there is a method to the madness and there is the voice that starts out small and then turns into a scream that can not be ignored that something needs to happen. I can't explain it any more than I can explain coincidence or intuition. I can't explain my need to have this last baby to complete our family any more than I can explain the random occasions that I've thought about someone and reached out or did something for them at just the moment they needed it most.There is something bigger than me out there.Something that kept Matt and I single for so many years and kept running us into each other. Something that kept his desire to be with me strong for nearly 15 years. Something that kept my interest in him piqued even after dating him in High School. There is something that always said in the back of my mind that I'd marry him, that he'd be the one I shared my life with.

From what I've been reading, depression is a treatable condition, but it takes more than medication. Successful treatment usually involves some combination of medication, therapy, and even making some lifestyle changes.

I've decided to make it a little easier on my primary care physician and go to someone who specializes in brain chemistry medication, hence my new pseudonym. It kind of makes me feel famous and that I need one to protect my identity. hahaha. Anyway, I've also worked on therapy a little bit, but most places don't want your kids there and I'm not in a place right now that I want to find a babysitter once a week or once a month to do that. So that will have to wait, or I can write, or I can talk to Matt. He's pretty great at listening. The next thing I've done is making some changes in my lifestyle, or more exactly, changes in my spiritual life. My instinct is to apologize to all of my friends and family that are Christian and may be offended by the recent choices I've made with my spiritual practice, but the amazing-ness that I've found won't let me. I can't apologize for a lifestyle that has completely changed my life and is therefore changing those around me for the better.

I'd like to first thank my good friend Darren for introducing me to the idea of Buddhism. He has always been there for anyone to do anything. He is the most amazing friend and has always gone above and beyond for everyone. He is the one that married Matt and I. Then I met the wife of one of Matt's co-workers and she introduced me to a type of Buddhism that is focused more on the layman so we can each change our own karma. We are responsible for our actions, our wishes, our desires, and for the outcome. It is Nichiren Buddhism and I chant twice a day. Not only does it help me center and focus my energies on positive thinking, it reminds me that my problems are small in the scheme of things and to keep them small. It has been a humbling experience and has helped make me a better mom.

What else has helped me be a better mom? Watching my friends from India interact with my kids and other kids. They are amazing and seeing the cultural difference in their roles in family as compared to what we are used to here, it is such a blessing to see. As a stay at home mom and still learning my maternal side, it is a breath of fresh air and an pleasant reminder that children are such an important part of our lives. How we treat them and others is how they learn to interact with others. I want them to be more loving, accepting, and patient with those around them and to always think in the manner that they aren't walking in your shoes so they don't know what you are going through. I want them to always remember that someone needs something even if it's just a smile and there is always room for a kind word, that there is never a place for belittlement, disrespect, and harsh or mean words, and to live life knowing that to we are all made of the same elements, if you disrespect someone, you are disrespecting yourself. I want them to literally live by the golden rule, but to expand it that they do unto themselves as they would want done. I don't want them to think or treat themselves poorly.

All in all, I am healthy, happy, and things are really good. THAT is what is important.

Daily Encouragement by Daisaku Ikeda
Thursday, October 11, 2012:
It is important to have a sufficiently elevated life-condition so that you will be able to calmly accept whatever happens in life, striving to put problems into proper perspective and solving them with a positive attitude. Happiness blossoms forth from such a strong and all-encompassing life-condition.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Complimentary, my dear

Every day everyone goes through some sort of personal trial. Some are more strenuous than others. Some, I think I would gladly take on for size just to see how I would deal with it , like the curse of having too much money maybe and having to teach my children how to spell opulence, and other things that I know I could do if I had to because you do what you have to do to get by every day but I wouldn't want to, like having to battle cancer or being a single mother.

Linus goes to school with a pretty great group of kids and I really enjoy the parents. I've gotten to know one mom that I knew from her little boy being in school with Linus last year. I had that little still, small voice inside me give her my phone number and let her know if she needed anything to let me know. Most people smile, take my number, and say thank you and that is all, so when I got a phone call from her asking if I could watch her little guy, I was truly pleased and surprised. Her nanny who usually watches this kid has a tumor in his neck and went to get it removed and so obviously would be out of commision for a little bit and being a single mom, she needed some help. Easy peasy one two threesy.

He fit right in with my kids, cuddled, played, and was fantastic. It was easy to tell her to bring him back when ever she needed. She was very concerned about his behaviour because he's so very concerned about his buddy and best friend, Nanny. The last day this last week I watched him, he acted out a little for his mom and he was a typical 4 year old but did things that were a little different than the last few times he was over. I figured that not only was he worrying, but he was getting a little more comfortable in my home since kids seem to act worse around their parents, and from what I've read, people they feel safe and comfortable around.

I let his mom know how I tried to explain surgery and healing as to make him not as worried. Children don't need to worry about things like this and I know the imagination I had, I can only imagine what was going on in his head. I explained how Linus's Grandpa had back surgery. He didn't feel very good for a little while. He couldn't pick up Linus for a long time. When someone has surgery, it's a lot like when you fall and scratch your knee only a little bit bigger so it takes a little bit longer to feel better. Linus's Grandpa feels really good now. He can carry Linus and even though he is still healing, he feels much better. He can play with Linus much better now that he's had his surgery and has healed. Little boy just looked at me and said "He'll be able to pick  me up again? I can play with him again?" I told him yes, that he'd heal from the surgery. He gave me a big smile and jumped up and ran away to play.

I received one of the best compliments that day from his mom and Linus's teacher. Getting the compliment that someone likes your clothes or shoes or thinks you are pretty... well... it's kind of fleeting and doesn't really seem to hit the soft spot in my heart. They both told me I was really amazing with kids and how I explained things was just awesome. That hit my soft spot. I feel as though I struggle sometimes. I feel as though I'm at school again at the whim of the bullies. If the kids don't like me one day, it can really be a horrible struggle to keep my composure. This year I feel as though I've been reborn and able to see through the eyes of a child much clearer than anytime in the past. I think my Mom, Matt's brother Mike, and Matt's parents are very much an influence. I think that as a parent, we have the eternal turmoil of "am I doing the best for my child?", "am I doing this right?" , " am I totally screwing this kid up?". To have someone acknowledge that I might just be doing an alright job... it's a priceless feeling.

We are all going through this for the first time. I, however, have been doing this thing called life a little longer. I have to remember that kids are much more smart than we give them credit for and that they are just new at this. I try to explain things like the alphabet, colors, numbers, and other things they are curious about just like  I'd like to be taught something like chemistry or algebra. And to someone like a TA in chemistry getting their PhD, who finds it simple and easy, needs to remember that once upon a time, they had no idea what an atom or electron or proton was. In fact, at one time, they had no idea what a letter was.

The greatest lesson I've seen for kids to learn... Cause and Effect. It's so neat to explain that if they do something, this is what happens, and this is how someone might feel. To see the light bulb go off and have them put themselves in the position of the receiving end of something like hitting or taking a toy, such an amazing thing to watch them get it and not want to do it again. Or to even try to show other kids what they've learned.

Kids are so amazing. Even though it took some time to get here, I am so glad I get to be on this journey and that others let my kids and I join in with them.

Grandpa teaches the kids about physics and rockets and this is what he calls Rocket Training. The kids love it... mostly... until they start touching the roof of the house. ;)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Everybody Poops.

There is a book titled "Everyone Poops" by Taro Gomi. There is also a book titled "The Gas we Pass" by Shinta Cho and then the one I am the owner of "Contemplating Your Bellybutton" by Jun Nanao. This last one always makes me think of the first title. Mostly because of the last 4 years of my life have been surrounded by mass amounts of it, between 3 kids and two Great Danes, it's a lot.

Having kids though has been not just poop, but many, many kinds of messes and they usually involve Bea. I need to write these down not only to preserve them for later stories, but to make sure I'm not the only one who deals with these kinds of messes. 

Prefacing this first story I have to say, "Yes, Mom, I know I deserve this for pooping in the silo when I was a little girl."  Bea has decided to become potty trained this last couple of weeks and it's been amazing and easy. We have a door lock on her bedroom door for safety because she likes to get up in the middle of the night and wander around by herself and get into things. Linus can open the door and does for her, but this last weekend, he was gone with Dad and Papa to go deer hunting. When I heard her knocking on the door, I opened it, and she handed me a reusable grocery bag proclaiming "I pooped mommy". Yup, instead of taking her diaper off and going pee like she usually does when Linus opens the door, she made less mess for the both of us by pooping into a grocery bag and handing it to me proudly. 

This morning, I found her wandering around after having gotten into my lipstick, all over her face and stomach. This is after finding her last week all covered in eye shadow, mascara, lip gloss, and powder and exclaiming, "I'm not mad, Mommy!". This girl sure loves the makeup and I sure do go through a lot of mascara these days.

I'm pretty sure she knows that I am single mom right now as a deer widow while Matt goes out and fulfills his desire to kill things (yeah, I am ok with it, I like it when he cooks venison for dinner). She tests my patience like... well... I guess like I did to my mom.

I found her with a pail full of toilet water and putting fish crackers in it, that I had gotten out for Linus, making fish cracker soup. Then she decided the sticky orange goo needed to go onto the table and all over the floor.  Then she decided that her green beans needed a good smashing by her hands and then rubbed all over the rug. As much as I love green beans, I hate their smell, and hate feeling them squish between my toes. 

She has managed to lessen the amount of eggs that she drops and when she does collect her "baby eggs" and sings to them all the way to the fridge and then drops them, she will finally pick the broken egg up and put it in the sink. But first thing this morning, she and Linus went out to play and there is a sprinkler that has a small leak and so there is a small mud puddle that the decided to have a mud fight in, in the cold morning about 7am. Get a door lock for the kids you say? Yeah, there is one there. Linus has just gotten really good at opening them at the ripe, old age of 4. 

My favorite though, she has a brother that can get a little rough and a couple of neighbor friends that get a little rough. Whenever she gets hurt, she comes to me for cuddles, but beware the Mommy Mandy who tries to discipline her brother or let her friends know it's not ok to hurt others. She had a bloody lip yesterday and she told me to leave her friend alone! I love it. I don't even raise my voice, if I sound firm at all or make my "mommy" face, she feels so compelled to protect the underdog. Woe to anyone who tries to pick on her brother or sister. I just hope Linus doesn't get embarrassed his little sister is sticking up for him... or to him. 

I got a really cute series of pictures I like to show people to show them what it's like to live with Bea... here you go.

This is the face I get when she's screaming at me when I'm trying to discipline Linus.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Brain fart.

I have a hard time sleeping at night. I lay in bed and toss and turn, finally turn my phone on and read a book on my Nook app or I turn on hulu or Netflix and watch something until I finally feel sleepy. When I wake up at midnight or 3am I rinse and repeat. 

I also think of things to blog about.

One day I'll figure out that I just need to maybe sit outside and write so I not only do NOT wake up the other 4 members of my family, who are very fun and great and beautiful until one of us doesn't sleep well, but so I don't forget what I want to write about. 

I am having such a hard time getting around this writing block and documenting things going on in my head and with my family because something happened in my life and with my family that I really need to get off my chest and share. But I don't want to share. It's not my story, it's mostly not my pain, but it is. It involves everyone in my family up into the extended and I am still having a hard time processing, grieving, and getting past it. I'm not even the one really affected by the whole stupid event and yet I am. Because I love my family, no matter how disconnected and dysfunctional we all may be. 

So. Let's just leave it at this. My Uncle died. I didn't know him well as an adult but I have so many fond memories of us when I was a little girl. My Grandpa misses him. My Mom misses him. My Aunt misses him. His kids miss him. And I think we're all still a little mad at him. 

I'm working on some things regarding my spiritual life. It isn't what most of you know or practice and I will get into it. Let's just say that it is really working and helping me let go and realize that without hell we don't know heaven. Without sorrow we don't know joy. Without tears we don't know laughter. The lessons I am learning from him and my family in the last year, it's helped me grow in leaps and bounds. The lessons I am learning are being pointed out to me during this spiritual journey.

It is my karma to be happy. I can make those around me happy by being responsible for my own happiness. Once I accept my responsibility for myself, I can then become a compassionate by-product of that and help others realize their happiness. 

Sounds simple. It is. Yet it's hard work and study and faith. 

Already Matt asks me "Why have you been so good lately?"

I am using my pain, weaknesses, and shortcomings and learning from them and learning how to change them into the opposite. 

And maybe tonight I'll actually write something fun about the kids. Or some silly thing that is going on in my head. And maybe tonight I have managed to write enough about my block to get over it without really getting into it. It's nobody's story but his. I think I'll leave it with him for now.