May 28, 2010

Until the Sun Comes Out

It seems our theme song this week has been
"Rain, rain, go away.
Come again another day,
Little Kyler, Kacin, and mommy want to play.
Rain, rain, go away."
It's just gray skies and lots of rain here.

My friend and I recently had a conversation
about depression, sadness, challenges of being stay-at-home moms.
It got me thinking about what I do,
or need to do more often,
to get me through moments of gloom.
I'm mostly a happy person,
but don't we all tend to feel a little sorry for ourselves,
overwhelmed, or just sad every once in a while?
As the chinese proverb says,
"You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow
 from flying over your head,
but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair."

What I need each day is
fresh air,
scripture study,
a purpose or a to do list,
good music,
a few minutes of quiet, and
to write in my journal or on this here blog.

What also helps me is
good conversation,
a celebration,
general conference talks,
involvement at the school or at church,
thoughtfully serving someone, or
doing something different.

And now, even though I have a strange desire to,
I will refrain
from linking to the Brady Bunch singing "Sunshine Day"
on youtube.
You can search it for yourself.
And laugh.
And wish you had moves and style like that.

May 27, 2010


A few days ago,
Kyler came to me with a problem.
He said,
"Mom, it's so boring,
everyone always wants to sit by me at school.
They all like me and want to sit next to me.
And I'm bored of it."
(I think he means annoyed or bothered)

Sometimes he makes comments like,
"Everyone likes us so much! They always wave to us."
"I am the best soccer player."
"So many people love me!"

And it didn't even phase him when
he asked two diiferent boys at school,
on two different occasions,
if they'd like to come over and play with him,
and they both told him "No."
When he told me what they said,
he just looked at me
and assured me they didn't actually mean what they said.

Part of me is happy that he knows who he is and he's satisfied, no matter what, part of me worries about his social skills, and part of me just wishes that some of that self-confidence would rub off onto me.

May 23, 2010

A Writer

Have I ever mentioned how much he loves to write?
Like his favorite game being "notebooks",
carrying his journal around the house,
making his friend go home and get a notebook
so they could each write in their own
instead of playing ninjas like Jack wanted to,
bringing his notebook to the park,
and his favorite thing to do in school?
Here are two of Kyler's writings produced just today:
#1-At church, during sacrament meeting
It reads (spelling modernized):
Do Things (title)
1. Make my bed
2.empty the dishwasher
3. prayers
4. fold the clothes
5. clean your room
6. smile
7. obey your parents
8. help your mom cook
9. do something without getting asked
10. help somebody

The picture at the bottom he describes as 3 clouds. The top is for all "good" people, the middle for "almost" good, and the bottom for "all" bad people. He says he's at the top.

#2-At home, while Eric and I played Killer Bunnies
(for the 6th time this week because I had been undefeated
and E couldn't handle that)
It reads (spelling modernized):
My parents are playing my daddy's favorite game. My dad is winning. My mom is feeling ashamed that my dad is winning. Usually my mom wins. Before that we gave dad a card shuffler.

And I'd like to announce that he's downstairs working on his first chapter book right now!

May 22, 2010

I Can Ride

We all have bikes now.
How cool is that.
We go on family bike rides
around and around and all through the neighborhood.
Kyler sings to himself
"I can ride my bike with no handlebars,
no handlebars,
no handlebars."
*To be noted, Kacin is out of a cast and into a brace. Because his arm is still in a somewhat fragile state, we put the training wheels on. Even though he can ride a two-wheeler just fine, it makes us more comfortable.

May 17, 2010

Rocking Chair

Eric calls him a little old man when he rocks in it,
but Kacin loves this thrift store find. 

Love Jar

At the beginning of the year, Eric and I chose a family theme to focus and try to do better on:
"Love should be our walk and our talk."
So we've spent each FHE lesson and numerous conversations on the various aspects of loving ourselves, loving God, loving others, and loving eachother. Conversations have been great, but they haven't always led to action. We needed a little motivation to focus us in the right direction. And stop yelling, fighting, arguing, teasing, whining, complaining.

I've read and studied plenty of Alfie Kohn, books like Punished by Rewards and No Contest, and so I tend to be very careful when it comes to rewards and tokens. I've seen that rewards can interfere more than help in some situations. But, at the same time, everyone needs a little praise and encouragement to know that they're on the right track and help them along until it becomes habit.

Our solution:
Love Jars.
We covered them in Floam. And compared them to filling our hearts up with love. Anybody can notice something kind or thoughtful that you say or do and then add a linking cube into your jar. However, you can lose cubes for losing control and not showing love. And you can't tell someone you did something nice or ask them to put one in your jar. When the jar, and thus our heart, is filled to the top with love, we go on a special, fun mommy-daddy-son date.

*boys going out of their way to do and say kind things
*boys recognize, in a tangible way, that they do lots of kind things (focus on positive not negative)
*chance to talk about how our actions help us and others feel
*boys get individual time with mom and dad (which they probably would have had anyways, but now we are more accountable to follow through)
*taking out a cube means no threats, just an immediate consequence and an immediate stopping of not-so-good choice
*noticing the nice things others do for you and those around you

*comparing jars with eachother
*very extrinsic motivation (will it really help them develop intrinisic motivation?)

It took about 2 weeks to fill our Love Jars, and I've definitely noticed a difference. It's been a good experience. Everyone's been more motivated to show a little more love, and hopefully now we will keep that up.

May 11, 2010

End of Indoor Soccer

Doesn't Kacin's face say it all?

May 10, 2010

My Mother's Day

I was well taken care of for Mother's Day.
It far exceeded my expectations.
And, even better, it was stretched out over the whole week.

We bought a piano off of craigslist.
Which technically wasn't part of mothers day,
but I'm still very happy about it.
Kacin invited me to his Mother's Day Tea.
We sipped our apple cider and
munched on sandwiches and cheesecake that he prepared for us with his class.
He gave me earrings.
He told his teacher when he made them that I don't have pierced ears.
I don't.
So at home we made a slight modification
and the earrings are now a cherished necklace.
Mothers' Day song in both Arabic and English:

Kyler took me to Moms and Muffins at his school.
My boys gave me a cake stand
which we put to good use today.
Cake decorating courtesy of the boys.
And yesterday they made me this happy little breakfast.
To top it all off, it was gorgeous and sunny ALL weekend!
Absolutely perfect for us on Saturday to do a little hiking, get some color on our skin,
and eat dinner outside.

May 9, 2010

From Mom To Me

My mother. creative. full of life. caring. patient.

She has given me many things over the years.
In no particular order,
these are some life lessons that will forever stand out:

1. Don't be afraid to get messy. she led us in playing "Double Dare" outside and squirting ketchup and other condiments on each others heads. she gave us ample time to play in the mud. she put dishsoap on the kitchen floor so we could slip and slide around and under the kitchen table. she let us vigorously shake a soda bottle and take off the lid just to see what would happen (and it did explode all over the kitchen ceiling).

2. Furniture is for climbing and flipping and jumping on. Because we were gymnasts and dancers and the reclining chair made a perfect vault and the event "couch" was my favorite.

3. Be yourself. wear what you'd like. fashion your hair how you feel. rearrange your room and rearrange again. recognize your talents and strengths and grow them. choose for yourself.

4. Talk about it. 4 girls. Lots of drama. And somehow, someway mom always had patience and time to talk and work out any ridiculous "problem".

5. Live and enjoy. walk barefooted. dance in the rain. roll the windows down as you drive down a dirt road. celebrate.

6. Serve. eachother. rub someone's back. get up even when you feel tired and help someone with what they're doing. cookies and treats are for sharing with your neighbors. give what you have. 

7. Make the best of it. even if you live in a teeny-tiny house in a dodgy neighborhood and your bedroom is actually the living room so each night you drag your pile of blankets out of the closet, unroll them and sleep on the floor. no complaints. keep positive. she did.

8. Go on fieldtrips. museums. parks. libraries. just go. and talk and sing in the car.

9. Support. attend gymnastic meets, concerts, swim meets, t-ball games. encourage your kids to make their own movies and plays and dances and kitchen concoctions.

10. Love. cuddle. hold. hug. kiss. take time. sing lullabies. smile. be patient.

The mom in me is way more frustrated, impatient, controlling,
and an avoider of messes
(was it really me who just got rid of all the playdoh in the house?!).
As I've reflected on my mom
and my happy childhood and my fond memories,
I am committing myself today
to take these lessons a little more to heart
and try a little harder to be a little more like
the wonderful mom I was blessed with.

Thanks, mom, for teaching these things
to me.

May 7, 2010

Pictures Again

I accidently put the USB port temporarily out of service.
But Eric has now fixed it
so here comes the pictures . . .

Pictures with trains . . .
Pictures of modeling on the train tracks . . .
(he totally asked me to take this picture while he posed)
Pictures with friends . . .
Pictures of a photographer . . .
Pictures of being worn out . . .
Pictures of crusty cast skin . . .
Pictures of cast #3 . . .
He has elbow movement again!

May 5, 2010

Infertility and Me

I've written of it before.
Yet I write of it again
because this is what I'm experiencing.
I write to release.
There are so many emotions,
not everyone can understand,
just like I don't fully understand what it's like to
be abused, lose my dad, or battle cancer.
It comes in waves.
I am happy, I am satisfied, I am hopeful.
I am sad, I am frustrated, I am hopeless.

Each month when it doesn't happen,
I grieve a loss.
I cry. I sob.
No one usually knows.
I have to keep going.
I am still a mom to two fantastic little boys
whom I love, care for, and am ever so grateful for.
But my heart yearns for more.

I know it's not true, but the thoughts race through my mind,
am I not a good enough mother?
can I not be trusted with more?
am I forgotten?
I push the thoughts aside because
deep down I know it's not so.

And then the advice comes:
just relax.
stop worrying about it and then it will just happen.
I knew a girl who . . .
Even once, I heard, "Eric, just get her drunk!"

I wonder why I even want to bear a child so much.
It will cause more physical pain than I care to think about.
It will mean a trip to the hospital and IV's.
I will get puffy and large and tired.
Or the child may end up some strange
and unpleasant combination of my chubby cheeks and E's big neck.
Still, I ache for it.
I know the love and the joy only a mother feels.
And I want that.

I tend to think about infertility as my trial.
The trial that is for me at this time
because that is how my Heavenly Father knew I would learn best.
Maybe some people would experience infertility
and be able to "just relax",
maybe some would go get drunk to get through,
but with my sadness and strugglings
the way I have found
is to recognize that it's ok for me to feel sad.
It wouldn't exactly be called one of my trials if I wasn't upset about it.
Now I take that sadness and I find strength
in a caring, supportive husband
in a family who loves me no matter what
in connecting with friends who share similar stories
in a son who prays daily "bless mommy to have a baby, if it be Thy will"
and most importantly
in my Savior, Jesus Christ,
who has felt all that I feel,
who I can trust,
who will not leave me alone.

This adventure of infertility will not end for me tomorrow.
I have hope that it won't be too much longer,
but it may not ever end on this earth.
But I am grateful because
I've been stretched.
I have stronger relationship with E.
I am learning about patience and service.
I seek daily for greater faith
and a closer relationship with my Heavenly Father.
I am grateful for what infertility is teaching me.

May 3, 2010


Doing what though?
Sometimes I feel like we've been running a mile a minute,
but at the end of the day I'm not always sure what we've done.
We're just busy.

Kacin is busy helping me bake treats and cook dinner, spinning in circles, counting down the days until he gets his cast off, going to Montessori preschool 3 mornings a week, playing cars, racing on Mario Kart, "homeschool"-ing with me, enjoying cuddles and hugs, trying to be silly just to make everyone laugh, jumping on the trampoline, and bugging his brother.

Kyler is busy going to kindergarten, doing homework, practicing the glockenspiel and waiting anxiously until he can be practicing the piano, reading Henry and Mudge books, playing with friends, watching Smurfs episodes, quoting Smurfs episodes, building with legos, rolling his eyes at me, playing soccer, writing in his journal, and making plans.

I am busy volunteering in classrooms 3 mornings a week, cooking meals, cleaning house, but avoiding the bathrooms, dealing with infertility doctors and treatments again, teaching YW lessons and attending week night activities, nagging Eric to help me buy a piano and a rocking chair, reading, trying to exercise more often, and playing with two little boys at the park.

Eric is busy exercising each morning (the dedication!), spending long hours at work, getting a raise because he's so awesome at his work, watching the Suns games, dealing with the man who has been fixing our toilet, reading and playing with the boys, reading with me, teaching sunday school lessons, working on our garden and in the yard, and making yummy rolls.

Busy living.


The Atonement is that essential ingredient of our Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness without which that plan could not have been activated. Your understanding of the Atonement and the insight it provides for your life will greatly enhance your productive use of all of the knowledge, experience, and skills you acquire in mortal life. . . . There is an imperative need for each of us to strengthen our understanding of the significance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ so that it will become an unshakable foundation upon which to build our lives. As the world becomes more devoid of foundational standards and as honor, virtue, and purity are increasingly cast aside in the pursuit of appetite, our understanding of and faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ will provide strength and capacity needed for a successful life. It will also bring confidence in times of trial and peace in moments of turmoil. ~ Richard G. Scott (April 2010)