"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Christ-Like Parenting

This month has been the month of epiphanies for me. New realizations keep coming my way; little things that aren't rocket science but seem to take me forever to figure out. I've been doing a lot of soul searching and praying lately that I can be a better parent. My children are so unique from one another and it often feels so overwhelming trying to parent each one to their specific needs. Heavenly Father knows them better than anyone and He knows how best to do the job.

So I've been trying to find guidance in this eternal quest. What I've come to see is that these precious people are brand new citizens of this world and they are only trying to figure things out. I've decided to take on a new approach in dealing with them that is more the way that Heavenly Father and the Savior deal with each of us. Patience, love, compassion, understanding, and most of all, respect. Ever since Ethan became a toddler he has been somewhat diificult for me because I don't get him. He is shy and submissive and easily prevoked and embarrassed. As I've struggled with trying to better understand him, I've come to realize that I don't have to understand him. I only have to love him.

Today had been a long day as usual and at dinner I was feeling pretty beat. Not two seconds after we sat down Ethan spilled his milk and splattered it all over the floor, the wall, and the curtains. My initial instinct was to scream and yell. He imediately said "Oh Mom, I'm so sorry. That was all my fault." Then his face turned beat red. I sat there for a second then calmly said "That's okay Buddy, but can you please help me clean it up?" Ethan just sat there. He starred at the floor and wouldn't look at me. He came across as just being angry and defiant, but I knew better. He was mortified. I continued to ask him to help me clean it up but he still wouldn't budge. I got down on his level and lifted his chin so I could look him in the eye. I told him that accidents happen and he didn't have to feel embarrassed. I wasn't mad, but I would get pretty mad if he didn't do his part to clean it up. After I had him convinced that I wasn't mad, his demenor changed and he was happy again.

I felt like screaming from the roof tops how beautifully I handled that situation. I could ahve lost my temper and blown a fuse but I tried to see things from my little boy's perspective. This is something I'm really trying to overcome; my instinctive attitude that I'm the parent, I'm in charge, and it's my way or the highway. These kids are only trying to survive and learn as they go. I'm trying to take these little events and turn them into teaching tools, not only so I can teach my children, but so they can teach me.

I heard someone say "When we adults think of children there is a simple truth that we ignore: childhood is not preparation for life; childhood is life. A child isn't getting ready to live; a child is living. No child will miss the zest and joy of living unless these are denied by adults who have convinced themselves that childhood is a period of preparation and only that. How much heartache we would save ourselves if we would recognize children as partners with adults in the process of living, rather than always viewing them as apprentices. How much we could teach each other; we have the experience and they have the freshness. How full both our lives could be."

I am trying to live by this. When I get angry and impatient with the Lord because He is doing something that I don't understand, He doesn't just shut me out and say "Because I'm God, that's why." He teaches me through expericne and often times through other people so that I can see the greater plan through my narrow eyes. He gives us chances to grow and branch out so we can gain wisdom.

This morning while I was doing my hair Ethan came in and said "Mom, Hailey wants some strawberry milk." I told him I'd come out there and make it when I was done. A little while later I went into the kitchen to see Ethan and Hailey at the table...and Ethan was making the milk himself!!! I was blown away. He had gotten a glass from the cupboard, gotten the milk off the top shelf of the fridge, and poured it himself with out spilling a drop.

When I walked in and saw this I was mad at first because he'd "disobeyed" me. But then I stopped and just watched him continue the process and I grabbed my camera. He was beaming with pride! I told him I was so proud of him, but then explained that he should ask me first before he pours a glass of milk. He said okay and smiled. For the most part I've done well at behaving myself today and I proud. I'm not letting my children walk on me, but I'm striving to see things through their eyes so I can better help them understand the world, the laws that govern it, and merely how to survive. This is my goal from here on out.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ethan's Swim Lesson

Today was a busy day. My visiting teachers came in the morning, then Ethan had preschool and right after that he had his first swim lessons of the season. Then it was off to the store to grab a few things and we didn't get home until 6:30 tonight. The kids were pretty wiped out. Ethan did so well at his lessons which surprised me. He only had a minute of apprehension in the beginning. His teacher's name is Ryan, which is also his gymnastics teacher's name. Kind of confusing. On the way out after his lesson he yelled "Bye swim Ryan!"

Hailey of course loved the pool but she is too brave in the water. She is braver than her swim ability anyway. Ethan is also getting a little too fearless and my nerves were a tad shot after we swam. Juggling three small children who can't swim is hard so we picked up some life jackets and floats at the store afterward. I was shocked that Lauren loved the water so much. I thought she'd think it was too cold or noisy, but I was wrong. She laughed and splashed and had a great time. What a fun day!

Ethan fell asleep on the way home and stayed like this all evening. We just took his shoes off of him and threw him in bed. Tired Buddy!

Monday, April 28, 2008

What's Up With The Weather?

One day it's snowing, the next day it's hot. The weather is so out of control! Today it was very warm, so much that I had to sit under the slide at the park to get out of the heat to feed the baby. It is supposed to be cold and rainy and possibly snow on Wednesday!! Today we spent a lot of time at the park and Hailey showed off her mad skills. Ethan rode his bike all the way there, but with a LOT of help from me. Let me just say that pushing a double stroller full of two kids, soccer balls, sand toys, and a diaper bag...all while holding onto the back of a 4 year old on a bike is not an easy task. But we made it home in one piece.

Gina invited us over for steak tonight and we had so much fun visiting with them. I wish I'd taken my camera because our babies were playing together on the floor and it was precious! Jackson was ready for Ethan to go home at the end of the night because he said "Ethan, go get in your car!!" Kids are too funny.

New Fat Blog

Check out my new blog at http://veronicasweightsaga.blogspot.com/ Sorry my craft blog has been so empty. It will likely stay that way for a while until my new health plan is far underway. This will be taking up so much if my "extra" time. BTW that blog will never be set to private.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bike Riding

Ethan is slowly but surely learning to ride his bike. Today we took him for a real ride when we went to the park. Cody's patience is really being tried as he's teaching him to do it. Merely getting Ethan to sit on the thing, let alone pedal, has been a huge accomplishment. I'm so proud of both of them for sticking with it!

Optimus Prime

Ethan has become infatuated with all things robots, especially all things Transformers. He has been dying for the Optimus Prime toy he sees every time we're at the store. Granana got to be the hero this past week when she took him to the store to buy it. The kid has not let it out of his sight since then. He has become quite the Transformers expert and now wants all of them. Granana, care to be the hero again?? Ha ha.

Make Ups

Hailey is obsessed with make up. I've mentioned before how she loves my lip stick and has repeatedly gotten into it. Whenever she sees me putting on make up she says "Mom, you playing with make ups?" Today she had a hay day with eye shadow just for fun. This child loves all things girl. She is so much like me it's scary!

Here she is getting mad at the eye shadow because the end of the applicator broke off.

A Week With Granana and The Gov

Mom, Dad, and Leighann left very early on Saturday morning to begin their two day trek back to Texas. Leighann's long time boyfriend (Skylar) just got back from his mission to Poland and she couldn't wait to get back home to see him. I haven't seen her that motivated in a long time. I was soooooo sad to see them go. This is the end of an era for us here. Leighann is gone for the next two years and she won't be back up here until summer 2010. And even then things won't be like they have been for the last three years. I am going to miss her a ton. It was such a great week and here's a re-cap.

Sunday- Mom and Dad got in that evening and we had a yummy dinner of roast and potatoes waiting to be eaten. Cody cooked, BTW. Thanks Babe!

Monday- Mom, me, and the kids went to gymnastics and then off to Wal Mart for odds and ends. Dad stayed home and started working on the shelves he'd brought from his shop at home.

Tuesday- Dad went with me to re-do pictures for one of the classes at Ethan's school. Dad is a great photographer and I needed his help. They turned out very well. That afternoon I sneaked out for several hours to hit the day spa. Cody got me a gift certificate weeks ago and I needed to use it. Thanks Mom for babysitting. Lauren did great but refused a bottle. She is such a toot! She just waited for me to come home to eat. Dad took Ethan to and from school and they spent the afternoon at the park flying the kite. Great bonding time. The spa was sooooo incredible. I had a massage, facial, pedicure, and hair cut. What a great day!

Wednesday- We did a lot of lazying around today. Mom and Dad headed down to see Leighann and help her pack. Dad drove her car back late that night while Mom stayed over night at her apartment.

Thursday- Mom and Leighann were gone all day. They packed up her apartment and shopped for missionary clothes. Dad and I spent a lot of time hanging out and talking. I sure love my dad.

Friday- Dad made his super yummy omelets for breakfast. He tends to be a perfectionist in most things he does and omelets may be his best thing. That omelet was the best I'd ever tasted!! I went to the temple in the afternoon, then we hit the mall to exchange some things and then picked up BBQ for dinner. Famous Dave's is the best in the world!! That night Mom, Leighann and I saw "Emma Smith- My Story". Such a wonderful film. You must see it. Before the movie we did some picture taking and Mom, Dad and Leighann said their goodbyes because the kids were off to bed. It was a very sad time for us.

Saturday- Mom, Dad and Leighann left very early. When the kids woke up I was worried they would start asking for Granana and Gov. I knew I would lose it if that happened. Luckily they were too distracted by Saturday morning cartoons.

Lauren is her happiest when she has her diapered changed. Mom is always so quick to volunteer because she wants to be Lauren's favorite!

The Temple

I have been saying for the longest time that I want Lauren to take a bottle (at least for one feeding) so I can go to the temple. I haven't been since Hailey was two weeks old!! That is horrible. On Friday my sweet mom told me I needed to go. We didn't have much going on that day so she "kicked me out". I had such a great time at the temple. It's funny...it's kind of like riding a bike. You don't forget how the session works. It was like no time had passed since I'd been there. I love all the cute elderly ladies that work there. So sweet and kind and full of love.

I love sitting in the session looking around at the people there because it's like the whole world melts away. No one knows how much money you make, what personal problems you have, or what your strengths or weaknesses are. We are all the same. Everyone there are brothers and sisters in the truest sense. As I was sitting in the chapel waiting for the session to start, I loved listening to the organist play. I decided one day I would LOVE to work in the temple as an old lady and play the organ. That would be such a cool calling.

I did an endowment for a woman named Margaret Matthews who was born in 1778 in England. From the second I took the paper with her information on it I felt something intense. I looked at her name and examined the paper through much of the session. Sometimes I have a "feeling" about the person, other times I don't really feel anything. But I felt something that day. I think she had been waiting a mighty long time to have her work done. I think she had accepted the gospel a very long time ago. I think that Friday was a day of rejoicing for Maggie. I can't wait to meet her on the other side. What an awesome experience.

That night Mom, Leighann and I sneaked out to see the 9:00 showing of "Emma Smith- My Story". It was in an actual theater...right next to a rated R movie. Yikes! Wow, what a tear jerker. I can't believe all that she went through. I hate it how many people criticize her for not joining the saints in their trek to Utah. Some people say she was weak and selfish and unfaithful. I say the poor woman had probably endured all she could endure. It was an amazing story and gave me a new appreciation for that wonderful woman. I HIGHLY recommend it!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Gov

Since the beginning of time my dad has said he wanted his grandchildren to call him "Govna'" (imagine a little British kid saying this). I guess he thinks he is a very dignified person and deserves such classy respect. Sorry Dad, but I don't think you fit this mold. Anyway, it has been shortened to "The Gov". Ethan has called him this since he could talk. It is so funny.

Mom and Dad came into town on Sunday and will be staying until this Saturday. They came up to help Leighann pack up her apartment so she can move back home before her mission. Dad has had some quality time with the kids. I am shocked and amazed at how taken Hailey is with him. She is usually pretty stand-offish around him. The other day she [completely unprompted] said "I love you Gov!" It was amazing. They have gone to the park to fly a kite, put together puzzles, played with the race track, read books, and cuddled. I kind of think Dad likes his grandbabies! Oh yeah, and he spent the first two days putting together some really heavy duty shelves in the garage for us. He is the best!

Lauren 7 Months

This post is coming a few days late because we have been super duper busy this week, but I've finally found a minute to blog this. Lauren turned 7 months on the 21st. Time is whizzing by! She changes by leaps and bounds every day. She is getting to be such a funny baby as we see her personality emerge more. Everyone comments on what a sweet and good natured baby she is. She never cries unless she is very tired or not feeling well, both of which are rare occasions.

She has started getting interested in food as long as she can hold it and put it in her mouth on HER terms (see post about the bread). Last night I put some peas on her high chair and she managed to get a few in her mouth. She rolls all over the place but is not ready to crawl. I can tell she's getting frustrated about not being more mobile because if a toy is out of her reach she gets pretty mad. Maybe that will motivate her to get on her hands and knees. She also doesn't want to sit up yet. As soon as I sit her up and let go she falls right over. What a lazy munchkin! Gosh I fall more in love with this kid every day. She is such a bright spot in our lives. Cody and I often say to each other "And to think we were so close to not having her join our family." Perish the thought!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Last Night was...interesting. Lance and Courtnee (Cody's brother and his wife) went away for the anniversary so we watched Carson. He is only seven weeks younger than Ethan and they are best buddies. However Carson doesn't do too well with us at night and last night I got about three hours of sleep.

The first part of the evening was great because we played with playdough, dug in the dirt outside, then we came in and ate a gourmet dinner of chicken nuggets and mac 'n cheese, took a bath in the big tub, then watched "Robinhood" and ate popcorn. The kids loved it. Hailey about worships Carson and would probably marry him one day if she could. During the last half of the movie Ethan started saying he didn't feel well. He was running a low grade fever. When it was time to go to bed, he was feeling pretty bad so he wanted to fall asleep in our bed. Hailey and Carson were being too wild for him to relax. We FINALLY got Hailey and Carson to go to bed.

I am such an insomniac and night owl so when I finally wound down around 12:30 on the couch I heard a loud barking coming from our room. Ethan had full blown croup. I was afraid he was going to throw up because he was coughing so hard. Well his coughing woke up Lauren who was in our room, and then Carson woke up crying and saying he wanted to go home. This is a trend with him when he has stayed over. He always wakes up several times saying he wants to go home. UUUUGGGHHH!!! Every time Ethan coughed Carson would start to cry. Luckily Hailey was never bothered. So between Ethan, Carson, and Lauren, I barely got a lick of sleep. Oh what a night. I think it will be a veeeeeeery long time before we do another sleepover.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Breaking Bread

During breakfast today Lauren was getting fussy in her high chair. Even though she doesn't want baby food, she still sits in her chair during our meals. I was eating toast and to keep her quiet I let her play with a piece of bread. This is what happened.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Class Pictures

The task is about done. Despite my back that is killing me, I have photographed all three classes at Ethan's school. I am very pleased with how Ethan's class turned out. This was the one I did today. I love these kids and I am going to miss seeing them all at year's end.

This is Demi. Such a little diva. Ethan has a crush on her but she informed me today that she does NOT like him because he is a boy and he gets into trouble.