Sunday, January 27, 2013

When You Have Kids

When you have kids, nothing is allowed to be normal.

You can't just get in the car and drive somewhere.  You have to search for your keys for 10 minutes, pray for guidance, feel prompted to go back and check in the car again, and then hear your 3-year-old say with a smirk, "Maybe da keys are hiding under da couch!"

When you have kids, you can't just listen to music on the radio. You have to deal with logical arguments against your favorite music, such as: "Girl songs are boring," or "Change it! This is not a boy song!"

When you have kids, you cannot "just" dress them for church.  You have to coax, persuade, and eventually compromise to get that collared shirt buttoned up and on with a tie.  Eventually you don't care anymore that when you walk into church people will probably see that your son's favorite t-shirt is actually on UNDERNEATH his dress shirt, and hanging out the bottom a little, because that was the compromise.

When you have kids, you don't just leave church as a happy family and peacefully load up in the car to go home.  You have to stop to teach your 5-year-old that even though he's outside the church building, it's still not appropriate to be goofing off in the grass as cars go by with his shoes off, holding his Sunday shoe by the shoe-string, and twirling it around his head like the slingshot in David & Goliath.

You know that can of Pringles in the pantry?  Can't have it!  Your kids downed it in 0.5 seconds!

That final, most crucial hour of sleep that you desperately need?  You're joking, right?!  There's no end to the ways your sleep patterns might get interrupted by your kids.

All of these events listed above really happened (today or in the last couple of days) to me and my kids.  And just when I was tempted to wish the day away and want peace and quiet, I had a flashback.  One day when I was pregnant with Miles, ALL I WANTED WAS A BREAK.  All I wanted was some peace and quiet, and Mitch was gone somewhere and so were the kids.  I don't remember any other details, but I do remember that I sat down at the table and ate my dinner all by myself, and I cried the whole time because I didn't want to be alone.  This is a true story.  "Isn't it ironic?  Don't ya think?" 

Last night I saw my friend Lori, who happens to be raising SEVEN BOYS--more than double my crazy life with THREE.  And I asked her how it is.  She said, "Oh it's crazy, but it's better than being like, "huh?" [with nothing to do]."

You know, I have to agree with her.  She's right.

I'm glad I have kids.  And I just have to laugh, because everything I do that used to be easy or "normal" isn't normal anymore.  Not by a long shot.  That's what I love about having kids.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Solution

The movie Cast Away is one that has left an impression on my family for a long time.  There's this part in the movie when Chuck Noland and Kelly Frears are in a work room and his work schedule has been so hectic and she's working on her thesis, and they can't even enjoy the holidays together like they want to because their time keeps getting interrupted by their on-the-go, stressful schedules.  And when they're together in the work room, he holds her in his arms and starts swaying back and forth as they dance to the sound of the copy machine. 

I remember watching this movie with my father one time, he seemed to get almost choked up and slightly teary eyed as he said, "Aw, that's sweet--they're dancing to the tune of the copier."  At that time I thought it was interesting that particular scene would stand out to him.

Well, I am there.  I have reached a part in my life where the idea of that work room scene makes me cry.  I get it.  This last month, I have felt pushed to the brim--the very max of what I can handle--and Mitch is doing ALL he can to take care of his responsibilities to the best of his ability.  We have been blessed with a hectic, on-the-go, crazy schedule.  And every once in a while, amid the chaos, you might find him, holding me in his arms as we sway back and forth to the tune of the washer and dryer, or to the sound of distant traffic as he hugs me on the driveway.  Sometimes he sings songs to me that made him think of me as he was driving around for work, and I just tear up right away, as he transforms the most unromantic of places into a cherished memory.  I love him so much--I would follow him to the ends of the earth.  I thank my Father in Heaven above that I have him in my life.

"Well I came home,
Like a stone,
And I fell heavy into your arms,
These days of dust
Which we have known
Will blow away
With this new sun...
...I will wait for you."
--Mumford & Sons
One more thought--we have been sucked into the Once Upon a Time TV series.  We watched all of Season 1 together.  One of my favorite episodes is with the Mad Hatter, and his most poignant line is something like: "You know what the issue is with this world? Everyone wants some magical solution to their problems, but everyone refuses to believe in magic."
I have realized lately (thru all of the chaos we've had) that LOVE really is MAGIC, and that love is the magical solution to our problems.  LOVE can break the curse--any curse that you might be experiencing.  We need to seek for it, harbor it, and express it often to others, or they might forget that the magic really exists.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Checking In

The holidays were wonderful.
          I have tons of pictures that I need to post.
                   We made awesome memories, but most of all,
                           I'm just glad we survived  "THE PLAGUE OF 2012" - you heard me!

105 fevers, strep throat, ear infections, throwing up, diarrhea, pink eye, sore throats, coughing, hacking, sneezing, runny noses...and a teething baby on top of it. We truly had a miserable 9 days, and apparently so did the rest of the United States in the worst flu season I've ever heard of in my life...I personally speculate that it affected so many more people than the H1N1 virus that scared us all just a few years ago.  I truly understand now, how children can die from the flu.  Other than that everything has been perfect since my last post.

Each day I look at my kids, or listen to them, and I feel wonder. I wonder who these children really are, and how I got so lucky to be their mom. I wonder where they come up with their hilarious ideas. I wonder what it was like for them in Heaven before they came to me, and I wonder who they'll be when they grow up and leave my home. Several months ago I was sitting in the parking lot of Chick-fil-a, feeding my newborn and older boys. It was kind of a new experience for me to be a nursing mom on the go, but with 3 kids it became a necessity. Venturing out to lunch really was an adventure for us, an EVENT to look forward to, and an experience to rest from when it was done. An employee from the store left her shift and she saw me & my baby and said, "I remember those days."  I replied, "Yeah, they're wonderful and time consuming." And she simply responded, "BEST days."  I've thought a lot about that over these last few months with this new baby, and I'm so grateful for her reminder.  She is so right, I have to remind myself to forget the stressful part of it and to forget the time consuming part of it and just remember that these days are the best days of all.  Truly these days go by too quickly.

Here are some of my favorite moments:

Miles can say "Bababa", and "Dada".
His new pastime is trying to reach for choking hazards and old hardened food particles that no one else knew existed under the fridge. YUCK!

Emmett likes to yell, "I'M THE FIRST ONE TO SEE THE GILBERT TEMPLE" any time we drive past it.  This last week I took him to the temple sight to watch the tractors, cranes, & cement trucks:
Me: Do you know what happens at the temple?
Emmett:  Uh-huh
Me:  You do?  What happens there?
That was good enough for me.

Tonight I was telling the boys the story of David & Goliath for scripture study and we were reflecting on the lessons we could learn from the story.
Me: Do you know how God helps you?  When you pray to him like David, He helps you with your problems.
Emmett: Like being safe from bad guys.
Me: Yeah, and when we need help, he will tell us what to do by helping us feel good in our hearts and giving us good ideas in our minds of what we should do.
Emmett:  Like a spear.

Before Christmas I couldn't keep up with normal life and all my Christmas projects, so I hired a neighborhood girl to help me pick up & clean my house.  She happened to come over on a day that I was teaching piano students and I told one of my students while she was waiting for her lesson that I would pay her, too, if she helped the other.  Well, these 2 girls were friends and were enjoying each others company as they were working and Tyson didn't think they should be talking so much and he came in and said to me.  "MOM!  They were just talking in there and I told them, 'A little less chit-chatting, and a lot more cleaning!' "  I about died, it was so funny.  I tried to also make sure he realized that this is his house and he's responsible for his messes and that he needed to get in there and help them, but I thought it was so hilarious that he used the expression "chit-chatting."