Monday, November 28, 2011

Open Letter: Dear Costco

Dear Costco:
May I make a suggestion? When someone orders a toy from you to be shipped between Thanksgiving and Christmas can you please ship it in a brown, plain box? Especially if you are going to deliver it after naptime and the cover of the box shows a picture of what is inside?

I would like to avoid having to concoct a story why the castle my daughter has requested from Santa showed up on our doorstep a month before Christmas eve. Luckily she believed it was delivered to the wrong house. Also, lucky for me our Jewish neighbor does have a little girl AND they celebrate Hanukkah so my story was plausible.

My sincere thanks,

Xanax, anyone?

Who would have ever guessed sitting alone with my kids at church would create so much anxiety. I guess when one has a 3 1/2 year old who is a spitfire and a 13 month old who has just realized he has not only places to go but a voice he wants to exercise quite loudly, sitting for an hour and 1/2 by myself, trying to keep these kids semi-quiet is nerve wracking to say the least.

I half jokingly and half seriously say to Lance every Sunday "Got any Xanax?" - like I would ask for a piece of gum. When people ask how my day was Sunday night my reply has been "Well, we survived."

For my LDS friends out there who have had their significant others sit on the stand during sacrament meeting (our worship service), how did you survive? How did you keep going every Sunday to that hour and a half knowing you would leave either in tears or ready to have a nervous breakdown?

What kills me is I am a strong woman. I have done many hard and amazing things in life (with the help of the Lord, of course.). I joined my church without support from my family. Went to a college in another state not knowing a single soul. Worked to pay for a 18 month mission for my church. Lived in Finland for 18 months and spoke one of the hardest languages there is. Went through six years of infertility treatments and losses. Managed to graduate from grad school while doing three infertility treatments, having one baby, miscarrying another and being pregnant with my second without any family around to help.

So tell me why something as simple as taking care of my kids every week in sacrament meeting is about to be the end of me?

*Sigh.* At least I know I can some day add this to my list of "amazing and hard things" I did in life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Location, location, location

We have finally decided that it is time for us to buy a house. Can we hear a WHOO HOO?!? I can't even begin to express my excitement. This mama needs to plant some serious roots. Come on now - I am 32 years old. About time to establish ourselves, right?

I spend at least an hour on and each day scoping out our possibilities. We probably won't take the plunge until this spring but that doesn't stop me from seeing what is available and getting a good idea of prices. And location.

Which brings me to the next question. Where should we buy? As a geographer, I know location is everything.

I have my heart set on the community we live in now. I refuse to move further away from where my husband works. I will happily have a smaller house that is a little more expensive if that means we see him more.

I want to live in a community with amenities and without Mello-roos. I want to be within walking distance to a pool and a park. I want to live in a good school district.

I want to stay in our ward. I have grown to love our ward and though I know other wards will be just as nice, I feel like this is where we belong. Unfortunately, that limits our options. Basically, it leaves us with one large gated community or half of the neighborhood we live in now. There are a few other neighborhoods but I already know they aren't what we are looking for.

So, do we just look at any available real estate in our city? Or do I stick to the ward boundaries? Do we even consider moving further away to get a bigger house? I just keep hearing my BYU geography professor's voice resounding in my head "Location, location, location."

Seriously thrilled to embark upon this new adventure! Right now, the only real location I care about is one that is completely and utterly ours. . . Well, ours and the bank that will provide us a mortgage.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


How can you not LOVE this kid???? Geez. I keep thinking maybe we should stop with him because I am not sure how any child after him could be as sweet or cute or funny or as lovable as this love bug.

Just over the past month this boy has been learning to speak. Below are the following words he says daily:
  • Book
  • Ball
  • Done done
  • Mama
  • Beh (for Beth or Elisabeth.)
  • Dada
  • Nana (for banana)
  • Mo (for more)
  • Meh (for milk)
He doesn't always pronounce the end of the words but there is no mistaking what he is saying.

He is not walking yet but can crawl faster than any baby I have ever seen. I am secretly happy. I want him to be my baby as long as possible. Church is getting increasingly hard and I spend most of sacrament meeting chasing after him down the aisles or out in the foyer. During sacrament meeting I am almost in tears but on Monday, I can retrospectively laugh.

Life has been really tough lately with my hubby's work/church schedule. I often find myself stressed out and overwhelmed as I do things solo. Which is why taking time to write posts like this help me realize that I want to cherish and enjoy every minute of my babies before they are grown and out of my house. You can never get that time back.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Parenting Tips from the Horse Whisperer

If you haven't seen Buck, the Sundance documentary on Buck Brannaman, a bonafide horse whisperer, you should.

Now, I wouldn't call myself a horse person. Nothing against them - just haven't had much exposure over my life. In fact, the only reason I went to see the movie is because it came highly recommended by a good friend. In the end, I was mesmerized and inspired.

Synopsis: Buck Brannaman - a man whose abuse as a child will bring you to tears - overcame the abuse and is now one of the most well-known horse trainers in the business. He can take any almost any challenging horse and within a matter of a day, have them obeying orders without any force whatsoever. As interesting as his work was with the horses, what sold me on this film was his wisdom and insight into parenting and human beings.

Thanks to good ol' Netflix, I have watched it two more times since the theater and actually took copious notes. See, I have a little wild stallion of my own under my roof and I am always searching for better ways to cultivate my beautiful yet stubborn little creature as opposed to breaking her spirit. I have inserted in "children" below wherever Buck referred to "horses" in the film.

Parenting Tips & Life Lessons I learned from Buck
  1. Kids don't need you to be their best friend. They need you to be a parent first.
  2. Everybody has a burden to bear of some sort.
  3. There is a difference between being firm and hard. Firm requires obedience with a soft hand - hardness requires obedience with harshness and instills fear.
  4. You should always treat your children with humanity and a gentleness of spirit.
  5. Children just need a job to do.
  6. Children need to know what is expected of them.
  7. Bribery doesn't work - it will create contemptuous children.
  8. Parents need to control their emotions when disciplining their children.
  9. Children learn from mistakes. They shouldn't dread making mistakes so they fear what happens if they do.
  10. You need to discipline and encourage. Not discipline and discourage.
  11. Build your children up. Make them feel good about themselves.
  12. Live in the moment.
  13. Children are a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you may not like what you see. . . Sometimes you will!
Talk about an eye-opener for me. Lots to think about and work on.

Inspired yet to watch this film? You will thank me.