Friday, April 27, 2012

The Flood

This week was our week of "the flood" as it shall hereafter be referred to.  One of my children made a bad choice and ended up flooding a bathroom which in turn flooded into the downstairs and caused about $2,000 in damage. Surprisingly enough I stayed extremely calm through the whole thing. I didn't scream and yell, I didn't spank his bum. I am thankful for prayer because I said a prayer that I could respond appropriately.  Later after the situation had calmed down, my husband and I did hand out various consequences that we felt were appropriate for him.  The specific consequences need not be discussed, let's just say that he will be doing extra jobs for a while.

What was interesting to me is when I told people about it their reactions ranged from  "Oh that boy should be glad he doesn't live in my house." to  "I would have come unglued." to  "How did you not beat his bum?"

Let me just say that in every situation all of us will respond differently. All children are different and respond  differently.  This blog post is not to laud my parenting choice in this situation, heaven knows it was a shining moment in many non shining moments in my 13 years of parenting, although I am certain some think I wasn't hard enough on him or harsh enough with the punishment. This post is also not intended to judge others choices as far as parenting goes.

All parents and children are unique.  Individual circumstances vary and personalities are too numerous to count.  You have to find what works for YOUR individual child and for your personality.  I know this particular child better than anyone and I know that screaming and yelling at him would only make things worse and would breed resentment and more bad choices.

I truly believe that parenting is a huge refining process.   It definitely shows us our greatest weaknesses.  If we let it, it can make us into better people.  It can help us become more like our Father in Heaven by having unconditional love and showing kindness even when we feel our child doesn't deserve it.

Recently, I have recently made a conscious decision that when it comes to situations with my children (this child in particular) that I do not want to react.  Reacting to a situation is most often a knee jerk reaction to the situation. The definition of reaction is this:"Respond with hostility, opposition, or a contrary course of action." 

This talk by Thomas S Monson   is amazing, it talks about the right, responsibility and results of our actions..  It is our choice. I want to be able to act and not feel acted upon.  For my children screaming and yelling and spanking don't produce desirable behavior.  In fact I feel a bit out of control when I am reacting like that.  I want to be in control.  I don't want my children's behavior to dictate how I act.  I want to choose for myself.I want to teach my children how to respond to a less than ideal situation.

I am so imperfect.  My first reaction most times is to punish and scream and yell and sometimes that still comes out. But for me personally I want to do better.   Yes I am raising 5 of God's most amazing spirits, but they are helping me become better and are teaching me far more about myself than I am certain I am teaching them.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Power of Moms

I was fortunate enough to attend a "Power of Moms retreat" this past Saturday. It was truly amazing. If you ever have a chance to go, I would highly recommend it. It was inspiring and uplifting and recharged me. I learned so much and want to share it with so many people! I believe strongly in their message of empowering Mother's and building families.

Some of my "aha" moments are as follows (there are a boatload of blog posts coming on these)

  • I want to not just survive Motherhood, I want to THRIVE
  • "Having enough (or being enough) is as good as a feast"...Mary Poppins
  • No is a complete sentence.
  • Thinking of what I want my family to be in 30 years and working toward that goal helps me with the drudgery of the every day stuff like laundry, wiping snotty noses and potty training.
  • Motherhood is about relationships....what do I want my relationships with my children to be like. Preserve the relationship at all costs.
  • What do I want my children to remember about me when they are grown and telling their children about their childhood. I want them to know I loved being their Mom and treasured them. Treat them accordingly.
  • Never, ever treat your child as an annoyance. If I expect respect from them, I need to give them the same respect.
  • I am painting the picture of my motherhood experience, I need to be in control and not just let it happen.
  • Enjoy motherhood NOW.
  • Working together is a chance to build relationships. It's not about the yard work or the clean house, it's about building our children and nurturing the relationship.

It was an incredible weekend, I am so glad I went. I came home to chaos at home, a messy house and tired, grouchy children, but you know what? I dealt with it differently than I would have before.

Today I rocked my 2 year old to sleep for his nap. I rocked him a little longer than I normally would have. I loved cuddling with him and watched those long eyelashes droop to sleep. I realize that I am losing my baby and I'd better enjoy him now. It doesn't seem very long ago that my nearly 13 year old was snuggling up to me and falling asleep and now he is as tall as I am and growing daily.

Motherhood is the hardest job in the world. But man it is so worth it. I love my job.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Two years.....

My baby boy turns 2 today. So many memories are going through my mind as I think about the last couple of years. It has changed me. Having baby #5 was completely my submission to God's will for our family. I was happy and feeling stretched as thin as I possibly thought I could be with 4 children, and yet here I am stronger and more filled with faith in my Father's will for me. I can't imagine our life without the experience of my pregnancy and Andrew's early birth, it has been one of the most profound experiences of my life.

You see my body did not like pregnancy the 5th time around and I developed pre-eclampsia. In spite of best efforts he came 8 weeks early and weighed in at 3 lb 14 oz. I only got to give him a quick kiss before he was whisked off to the NICU where he was ventilated so he didn't have to work so hard to breathe. I didn't get to see him for 24 hours after that due to some medication I had to be on. I remember my husband wheeling me into the NICU and I was looking around for my baby, I thought I would recognize him. I didn't. Dave wheeled me up to his isolette and the tears started to fall, he was so much smaller than I expected and he was hooked up to so many lines and wires and he was so tiny and helpless.

Then I realized I couldn't do much for him, I couldn't hold him, I could barely touch him due to his immature nervous system. Preemie babies are a whole different ballgame than full term babies. He started to cry, the tiniest little cry you have ever heard, I leaned down to him and started to sing. His tiny head turned to me and he calmed right down. He knew me.

The picture above is the first time I was able to hold this little one, he was 3 days old, it was one of the happiest days of my life. It was only for 10 minutes and I had tears the whole time I was holding him. He was so little, his thigh was as big around as my thumb, his head was the size of a medium orange. It's hard for me to even remember how tiny he was. He ended up being in the hospital for 6 weeks, it was so hard. I was torn wherever I was. If I was home I wanted to be with my baby boy at the hospital, when I was at the hospital I was thinking about my 4 kids at home, hoping they were doing okay without me.

But look at him now! He reminds me everyday that miracles happen. He is the cutest, happiest, smartest, funniest little munchkin ever! Happy Birthday to my miracle boy, thank you for changing my life!

Friday, April 13, 2012

War on women?

I assume you have heard about the Hillary Rosen comments about Ann Romney. I loved this response that Ann Romney gave the morning after.

I didn't take her comments personally as I think her intent wasn't to criticize stay at home moms, her intent was to criticize Ann Romney as being out of touch with Americans. I think Ann Romney was very articulate and handled this with dignity and grace. I think she is Mitt's secret weapon and would make a classy first lady.

Here's my opinion. Ann Romney didn't struggle financially like the majority of Americans. That is not to say she hasn't struggled. She has battled breast cancer and she has MS which is a chronic, serious illness. To say Ann Romney hasn't struggled simply because she is wealthy is ludicrous. Wealth doesn't equal a perfect life.

Ann raised 5 boys who are now good men, and contributing to society. I am raising 4 boys and I think she deserves a medal. Raising children is hard work and kudos to her for staying home. To those critics who say, "But I am sure she had help in the form of nannies, housekeepers etc...." I am sure she probably did and man oh man she deserved it! I think every Mom deserves help, maybe the Democrats should legislate for nanny's and housekeepers for Moms...just kidding!

Here is my rant and then I will climb down off the soapbox. So many are critical of Mitt Romney's wealth. That he can't relate to "regular" Americans because he is rich. The Romney's haven't worried about money, but I am fairly sure they have had their hard times in other ways. Raising 5 children is not an easy task no matter how much help you have. And honestly it really irritates me when President Obama criticizes Mitt for his wealth because it isn't as if the Obama's are in the poorhouse. They cashed in million dollar treasury bonds (that's plural by the way) last year. So it's the pot calling the kettle black (no I am not using a racial slur for all you who are PC freaks).

So PLEASE let's stop focusing on the Romney's wealth and start focusing on the issues of the day. Like inflation and my gas tank that is super expensive to fill up. Like my Costco trip that cost me $400 yesterday and a year ago it would have cost me $250. Like my home that is so upside down I can't even foresee how we will ever be able to get out of it and into a bigger home (we are so bursting at the seams it isn't funny!). Let's focus on issues like that instead of Ann Romney staying home with her children and tell me what you are going to do about them so that I can continue to stay home with my children!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

He can do anything..cuz my Dad's the greatest guy around.

Today is my amazing Dad's 80th birthday! This is the year that he and my Mom turn 80. To celebrate they took all 7 of their children and spouses on a Mexican cruise last month.

It was fabulous! Seriously everything about it was so fun. But the very very best part was being with my family. I am the youngest of 7 children, there is a 16 year age gap between me and my oldest sister. You might think we wouldn't have much in common or be very good friends. However, my siblings are amazing, they are some of my favorite people to be with and are some of my closest friends. We are very different in personalities, we all have strong opinions, it might be easy to disagree and have squabbles and hold grudges, but we don't have any of that.

The longer I am a parent, the more I realize that didn't happen by chance. My parents created an atmosphere where we developed friendships and did things together. We worked together, we played together, we did LONG road trips together, we prayed together, we worshiped together. Yes we bickered and fought like all siblings do, but we were taught that our family mattered more than anyone else and we were taught to have forgiving hearts toward one another.

When I was young, I had a deep love for BYU football. I knew all the stats and I probably knew more about football than many boys my age.(I also had big time crushes on several players...Steve Young, Mark and Matt Bellini to name a few) My goal was to become a sportscaster when I grew up (that obviously changed, but I still do love sports). My Dad and I loved to watch together, I begged to be the one taken to the BYU football games. So in 1986 my Dad and I took a trip to Colorado Springs, CO to watch BYU play the Air Force Academy. We flew to Colorado and took the train home. I don't remember who won the game, but I do remember spending time with my Dad and am so grateful he and I have that memory and both had the love of BYU sports to share together.

My Dad is a man of great integrity. He taught me that sacrifice means giving up something good for something better. He taught me that being obedient to God's commandments brings happiness and serving in the church brings blessings. He taught me through his example that my Father in Heaven is loving and kind but has high expectations and knows my potential. He didn't put up with laziness or second best. He is such a good example of taking good care of his physical body through diet and exercise. He taught me to work hard but he also taught me that playing hard is good too. We used to go to Lake Powell every year where we had a houseboat and ski boat. We then bought a cabin at Brighton ski resort in Utah. We spent lots of time in the mountains hiking and skiing. In fact both of my parents STILL hike and they STILL ski! They are amazing.

I am so blessed to have such a Father, he is such a blessing in my life and because of him and my Mom I had such a great foundation for a happy, healthy life. I love you Dad!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I can run 100 miles....

I just saw this challenge on another blog. I am doing it! It is to run/walk/exercise 100 miles in 3 months. It started April 1st so I am a bit behind.

It means going on average 8 miles a week. If you don't run/walk, every 15 minutes of exercise counts as a mile.

I need some motivation as my exercise has waned a bit recently. I am excited to do this and am wondering if anyone wants to join me?