Wednesday, April 5, 2017

My life

Henry had spring break a few weeks ago.  MT is saving up time off for the big holidays so I decided to take the kids to Arizona to visit family on my own.

It was great!  The drive there went relatively smooth for having 3 monkeys and 1 semi-adult in the car.  When we got there the kids played with their cousins all day long and it was magical.  Then we drove home.  It was a bit more of a struggle on the way back.  Sam screamed for an hour because he was hungry (even though we had just eaten).  At our second stop Sam ran away from me so I had to hold him which meant he was screaming again... in public.  Third stop went well because ice cream was involved.  It was getting late so we put pj's on and I was ready to finish the 2 hour drive and be home.  20 minutes later Sam throws up all over himself.  I stop, get him cleaned up, and keep driving in the barf scented car while they all sleep.

We get home at 10:30 and unload the kids/ luggage.  At 11pm I'm on my hands and knees in the car wiping kid puke off the seats.  I hear a door open behind me and a woman, probably around my age or possible slightly older, walks past in a tiny black cocktail dress, high stiletto shoes, and a small handbag that just rounds out the look perfectly.  She was clearly going out.

It was a bit of an epiphany moment for me.  What different lives me an this woman have.  I'm cleaning a 2 year olds vomit out of my van and she was about to have a night on the town in her Prius.

The interesting part of this is that I should have probably felt jealous, or thought about the days when I could go out whenever I wanted.  But I didn't.  I just felt wonder and amazement for my life.  I spent a lot of that week packing snack bags, wiping butts, making lunches, washing faces, and wiping boogers.  It was such a good week and it filled me with strength to be around family.  Sometimes being a mom is hard and thankless and unfulfilling.  But at the moment, after a great week with my kids and finally home to my husband, I was so glad to be where I was at.

I sure hope that woman had a good night out with friends.  Because I sure was happy to be home and wiping bodily fluids from the car.  I am proud of who I am.  I may not have a career, or crazy nights out but that's ok.  I've got a family.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Heaven Help Me

Took the kids to the dentist today.  The dentist/office was WONDERFUL. 
Sam's teeth- great (attitude, not so much)
Kate's teeth- awesome
Henry's teeth- loose filling, needs a tooth extracted, and 6 other cavities

How did this happen???  We brush teeth at night.  That's about it.  So... I guess that's how it happened.  But why does one kid have a mouth of doom and the other is perfectly fine?  If anything, Kate eats more sweets and brushes less effectively.  uuuuuuugggggghhhhhh.

Another important point, is that I've heard of 4 year olds getting teeth pulled and I'm like, really?  Do you never brush their teeth?  Are you giving them soda for breakfast???  Come on, get it together, parent.  Take care of your kid. 

And here I am, on the other side of the fence feeling like crap.  Why do I never learn my lesson?  As soon as I have a judgy thought about someone (usually involving parenting) I am put in the same circumstance very soon after.  I've come up with a sequence of what to do in future situations:

1. It's important to evaluate yours/others situations to learn lessons
2. Those evaluations should not include thoughts of scorn or superiority
3. Instead they should be open minded and with the intention to help
4. If thoughts of scorn or superiority do persist, try number 3

It's easy for me to be kind outwardly.  I'm not going to tell an adult how to parent their child.  Now it's time for my mind and heart to change as well... because that matters too, if not more.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

You know those questions that ask, "Would you rather have a few best friends or 100 normal friends?"  Or "Are you the type of person to have many acquaintances or a few confidants?" 

Are there people out there that pick the big group of sort-of friends over the few real friends?  Because 100% of the time I'd rather be with a few people I enjoy instead of the opposite.  I've realized the truth of this since moving in August.  We've been here almost 7 months.  Through church I've met a lot of people.  Then there are the people at school and karate and dance class and the ymca...

I find getting to know people very difficult.  You have the same conversation over and over.  What's your name? How long have you been here? Where are you from? What's your name again?  Do you like it?  You have how many kids?  How old are you?  One more time, what's your name?  etc. etc. etc...

I understand this phase is important to get to the point where you can have meaningful conversations and relationships but it's SO PAINFUL.  And, I already like the friends/family I have.  Why do I have to make an effort to get to know people locally?  It's too hard!

This is my current mood.  I was just in Utah with my in-laws in Utah and I got to talk to adults about real things.  Like hardships, learning experiences, the church, and childhood memories.  I love real conversations... and I get them with MT a lot but I pretty much know everything about him already ;) 

Here's to getting to know people.  May it be quick and painless!

Monday, November 7, 2016

The 2016 Election

Dear Henry, Kate, and Sam,

Tomorrow is voting day to see who will be President of the United States of America for the next 4 years.  It's down to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  I want to tell you my thoughts.  A lot of America may have different thoughts but I want you to know what your mother decided for herself.

Background: I don't align with a political party.  I choose on each issue what I believe is right.  So, sometimes I align with conservatives (usually fiscal and governmental related issues) and sometimes I align with liberals (usually social issues).  I can go into details another time but for now, this is all you need to know.

Because of this, it is hard to find a candidate that fits my perfect mold of values, limitations of government, rights of minorities, foreign policy, etc.  So when I vote, I try to balance the character of the nominee and issues most important to me.

There has been an incredible amount of scandals going on with both candidates.  Maybe you can look it up somewhere.  It's bad.  Maybe in 10 years they'll have all the facts and all the lies worked out so you will actually know what's true. But it's so disheartening.  Thus, if there were other candidates with higher character... I would probably have voted for them.  But there is not (at least who have a chance of being president).

So, I went with who I felt would do the best for our country.  And that, I believe, is Hillary Clinton.  When she speaks, she knows about the issues and makes informed decisions.  She is highly qualified with over 30 years of work in the political arena.  With Hillary, I don't have to worry that her comments might spark international war.  With Hillary, I can look in my children's eyes and say, "We have a President that respects women, immigrants, and refugees".  With Hillary I honestly believe she wants to feed the hungry and clothe the naked.  With Hillary we have a President that is firm, collected, professional, and patriotic.

All of those things, I could never be able to say with Donald Trump.  Even though I technically agree with him on many political issues.

So kids, that is why I chose to vote for Hillary.  I sincerely hope she does good for this country.  And only time will tell.  Democracy is a great thing and I'm grateful that I got the opportunity to participate.

I love you kids and I want you to vote when you are older.  Vote for someone honest, strong, compassionate, and helpful.  Man or woman.  And if there isn't that option, vote for who you think will be best for the country.

Love,

Mom

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Watching your kids grow up is real, y'all.

 Watching your kids grow up is real, y'all. 

Henry had karate yesterday.  During warm-up they were supposed to be circling their legs in, but Henry was circling them out (not realizing he was doing it wrong).  The teacher went to Henry and showed him the right way... it took him a while to figure it out.  Eventually he did.  Yay.  But then it was time to circle your legs out and the teacher asked Henry to demonstrate because he had just been doing it that way.  Well, he was stuck on circling his legs in because he had just been corrected and couldn't get himself to switch back to what he was doing originally.  I saw his face.  I knew he was getting frustrated because he had a strained smile and was getting red in the face.  He was then sent back in line and someone else showed how to do it.

My heart ached watching him when he got back in line.  He was taking deep breaths and holding back tears.  He kept wiping his eyes and even whimpering a little.  The teacher didn't notice (which is fine, I think it was better that way) but he looked at me.  I wanted to call him over and hold him and give him a hug.  I wanted to tell him that it was all right.  That I knew he could do it and that it was confusing and he shouldn't feel bad about it.

Instead I just gave him a thumbs up and the most confident "you are alright" face I could.  He did the rest of the class like a rock star.  I'm so proud of that boy.  He was embarrassed, confused, and flustered in front of his class.  But he kept going.  He did great.  He didn't even need me.  It's like he's already left for college and I'm never going to see him again.  My heart is so proud of him and sad that he's growing up.  

Saturday, October 22, 2016

DCA

Did California Adventure today.  I wasn't sure because it's almost Halloween and on a Saturday it was gonna be packed.  Morgan convinced me though and we got out the door at 7:30am.  It was so great.  The Animation Studio in Hollywoodland is becoming one of my favorite places in the park.  There are huge screens on the wall that are playing classic and new Disney clips.  There is an art class every 30 minutes and they teach you how to draw Disney characters (today we did Mickey and Goofy).  There's Turtle Talk with Crush and it's pretty impressive how they make the turtle interact with kids.  It's just a hidden gem and I love it.

Thoughts from today.
-Never wait in line longer than 20 minutes (unless it's the Midway Mania ride).  It's not worth it.  Get fast passes and play it smart.
-Take it easy.  We're here for 2 years!  Don't miss the little things.  Let the kids run around a bit (something you can't easily do a Disneyland because of lack of space).
-No matter how much food you bring to the park... you're always going to want that churro.  It's just something that's going to happen.

Grateful for a husband that makes me get out of the house and make memories.  I loved today.






Burbank

We've been in Burbank for almost 3 months now.  I still feel like we aren't quite settled, like we haven't quite hit our groove.  Maybe that's because I've decided I want to be more clean and organized but I'm naturally not a very tidy or organized person.  My battles are constantly with how dirty my house is (we've only been here for 3 months! How is it possible that the walls are dirty already?!?).  One morning I'll make the kids brush their teeth and do their hair before we leave the house and the next 3 mornings I'm throwing them out of the door to get Henry to school on time without any mention of dental hygiene.  Some evenings I've prepped dinner at noon and I've got a masterpiece waiting on the table as the hubs comes home from work.  More evenings I throw the kids at him as he walks in the door while I try to cook a meal in 15 minutes because it's already 6:30 and everyone is starving and it's just too hard to get water boiling when you're the only adult in the house with 3 monkeys hanging off you.

I use the term "throwing" my kids not literally.  In my head I want to literally throw them.  But I don't.  Just so you know.

MT loves the job.  And for some reason that's making a big difference for me.  During school he would often have to meet deadlines and stay in late working on projects or papers that he dreaded.  It always bummed me out.  Now that he's doing something he loves, learning, and making great connections I feel less mad when he's gone late.  Maybe it's just because it's a new situation.  Maybe 6 months down the road it'll be much harder when he's gone so much.  Or maybe it's because it's Disney.  If he was working for some other company I may be less inclined to let them work my husband for so long.  Maybe... but for now, its feelin good.

JH has started kindergarten and karate and is almost 6. He's learning to read.  He loves karate and it's helping him grow mentally and physically.  It's so fun to watch him.  I don't have him all the way figured out yet.  Sometimes, he is outgoing, talkative, and excited about everything.  Other times he's quite, reserved, and nervous about those around him.  I'm sure it's just him figuring out who he is but I wish he could always be confident in who he is and his abilities.  He often gets caught up in being the best or winning and all I want is for him to know how great I think he is.

KE is her own woman.  We enrolled her in a dance class to give her something to look forward to with all the changes.  She LOVES it.  She spends most of her days dressing up as a ballerina, making beds and carriages for babies, and watching netflix.  Not really my cup of tea but she's strong, opinionated, and likes food so we've got that to bond over.  I'm hoping maybe she'll try out karate or soccer when the time comes.  She is kind, thoughtful, and so creative.  I can't wait to see what she becomes.  I've got her figured out though.  All you have to do is compliment her and she'll do what you want... I'll need to alter her thinking at some point... but I'm too tired right now.  There's too much going on.  Maybe next month.

SR is officially running for baby of the family (not that he needs to).  The first 10 months of his life I spent most of my time explaining to people that he is the BEST baby ever.  I've had two other kids so I know.  But ever since he learned how to walk... I don't know how to finish this sentence.  I think he wants to kill me.  He is always running, throwing, jumping, ripping, hitting, retaliating, breaking, falling, smashing, screaming, crying, yelling, tackling, pushing, kicking, destroying... and I feel like I could go on but you get the point.  It's exhausting.  "Bippo" for hippo. "ouse" for micky mouse. "gulp gulp" for milk.  "BeeBee" for blanket.  "Are ers" for Star Wars.  He's also in the learning words phase so he wants to be understood but how am I supposed to know that grunting means he wants to watch Zootopia.  How am I supposed to know that "meer" means come here right now or I might lose my mind!  And even as I write the longest paragraph in this post about the difficulty of raising this kid... I can still say he is the sweetest kid I've ever met.  He often tries to feed his toys food.  He's my snuggle kid (and my other kids would hardly touch me at this age).  He runs to me if he get scared.  He smiles the most genuine smile to anyone he meets.  Waves to the garbage trucks that are constantly going up our street (seriously, it's like, every day).  I just love him so much.  I just also really want him to learn English and to stop giving me an ulcer.  

I don't know how to write the paragraph about me.  I'm tired.  I'm happy.  I love our new apartment.  It's old and squeaky and small but it's where I spend my days.  I've got the walls filled with pictures of fun times.  I signed up with the YMCA because they'll watch my kids for 2 hours while I work out.  I never work out for 2 hours but the thought of being able to is nice.  I'm trying to lose 3 babies worth of weight.  Starting with drinking more water, working out 5 days a week, eating smaller portions, and not eating past 8pm.  It's been a week... and I weigh the same.  So, that's going super great.  I guess I feel better though... so that's good, right?  right?  I need to find me here in Burbank.  At Stanford I had volleyball, part time jobs, and lots of friends.  I'll find me... it just might take a minute.

We have Disneyland.  And really, it is amazing to be able to go there.  We're finding the gems.  We're learning about the real detail that goes into the Disney name.  I feel happy when we are there... so we go often.  

My thoughts turned into a report unexpectedly... but at least I got something down.