Sunday, September 4, 2011

You'd Better Write That One Down

said everyone I told this story to.

Jenny's room is a disaster. She doesn't know where to put her plethora of toys and they always end up strewn all over the floor. So I hauled out some boxes and gave her a specific place for each type of toy.

Big box for dress-ups. Little box for dress-up accessories. Big drawer for tea party toys. Big drawer for barbies. Little drawer for Pollys. Etc.

It took both of us nearly two full hours of working constantly to get her room clean and organized. And the whole time it was a delight. Primarily because of her attitude.

Thrilled with the novelty of organization and pleased to have some one-on-one time with her mommy, Jenny sang the whole time.

(To the tune of Row, Row, Row You Boat)

I love Mommy. She is so very fun.
And she loves me to.
I love my mommy.

She sang it over and over, with minor improvised variations.

She'd sing a verse, then pause to pick up a toy. "Oh! Polly stuff! So cute!" Then she'd sing a verse as she put the polly stuff away.

I love Mommy. I love her very much.
Because she is so fun
And she teaches me stuff.

I pulled her bed away from the wall and underneath she discovered two rag dolls I had made her that she has named Jenny and Jasmine.

"Jenny! Jasmine!" She clutched them to her bosom. "I missed you so much!" Then she cradled them and looked into their little painted faces. "I will take such good care of you."

Then off she'd trot to put them away.

My mommy is so fun and she is so great.
I love her very much
And she loves me too.

Since then we've turned the song into a call and response.

Me: I love Jenny. She is my pretty girl.
Jenny: And I love you too, you are the best mommy.

Try it with your little one. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Birthday Boy

Peek . . .

a boo!

James is two today. Which seems odd to me because I have thought of him as two for a few months now. But now it's official.

Today he sang to himself "Birday to you, birday to you, birday to you." And you know what? He's just about the most beautiful child I've ever seen. With his shaggy blond hair and his blue blue eyes, his cute grin, his precocious ways, his primitive sentence structures, and the way he always calls me Dad and then corrects himself, he never fails to make me smile.

Except for when he makes me want to scream.

James won't let Daddy out of his sight.

Blowing out his candles

The look on his face when we revealed his new tricycle

Opening a Toy Story dvd. LOVE his face as he recognizes Buzz and Woody and Jesse.

I love that boy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Holiday Weekend

What did I do this weekend? Well, thank you for asking.

I cried when I FaceTimed with my beloved nieces and nephew. I stood on a snow bank. I went to a yurt. I baked a red, white, and blue velvet cake. I watched fire works. I judged my neighbors who must have spent thousands on their fireworks while I simultaneously enjoyed the results of their show. I played Temple Jeopardy. I performed America the Beautiful poorly. I ate pancakes and smoked pork (not at the same time). I got a migraine. I saw a rainbow.


And for your viewing pleasure, here's Jenny singing "You're A Grand Old Flag"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Monday, June 6, 2011


Jenny was spotlighted in Primary yesterday.

The kids love the spotlight. We turn out all the lights and a hush settles over the room. Then someone with a flashlight waves it around the children's faces, much like a search light. Meanwhile, someone else is reading (by flashlight) the spotlight paper. The clues are read, and the children try to guess who it is.

"This person's favorite food is spaghetti."

All the kids think it's them.

"This person's favorite scripture hero is Jesus."

Again, all the kids think it's them.

"This person's talents are baking, dancing, singing, and twirling."

The boys slide down a few inches in their chairs and the girls all still think it's them.

"This person has one brother."

All this time Jenny is listening, sitting on the lap of her teacher, with quiet attention.

"This person's favorite place to go is Disneyland and to get churros and the Tulip Festival."

All the children are stumped. Except for Jenny. She perks up and says "I think it must be me."

"This person's favorite blessing from Heavenly Father is animals because they are fun to take care of and to feed. This person is . . . Jenny!"

She said "I knowed it was me", with a self-satisfied smile.

Monday, May 9, 2011

If I Were In Charge: Mothers' Day Edition

If I were in charge of Mothers' Day I would change it to a Saturday. That way Dad would be home instead of at work or at church meetings and he could take the kids all. day. long. One whole day away from my motherhood would make me appreciate my motherhood more. I could spend the day shopping and getting a pedicure or reading or whatever. Alone. Or with my sisters. And when I got home the children would be playing happily in the backyard and the kitchen would be clean.

If I were in charge of Mothers' Day and couldn't change it to Saturday, I would cancel all church meetings other than worship services. The token parting gift would either be chocolate, or in lieu of gifts the money for said gifts would be donated to a local women's shelter.

If I could speak in Sacrament Meeting on Mothers' Day, I would not speak about how to be a better mother.

I wouldn't talk about sacrificing all things for my family or being more present in mind rather than just present in body.

I wouldn't talk about paying more attention to my children or turning the audio/visual babysitters off or ensuring we have family dinners together or planning fun activities.

I wouldn't rub salt in the sounds of the unwillingly unmarried or infertile.

And I most definitely would NOT perpetuate the nonsense about how women are more righteous and celestial minded than men (hence why all those carnal and weak men need the priesthood to elevate themselves to female levels of perfection) and that's why women are more nurturing and called to be mothers.

I wouldn't reinforce stereotypical gender roles that alienate those who don't fit the mold.

Instead, I would talk about love. Love for ourselves. Mothers give and give and give and mostly it's hard and mostly it goes unnoticed and unappreciated. But the hardest part of motherhood is how hard we are on ourselves.

I would talk about being good enough. Being a perfect mother, always patient, always kind, is impossible. No person is perfect and therefore no parent is perfect. We're all going to screw up. It's expected. It's supposed to be hard. You're supposed to fail in little and maybe big ways every day. But that doesn't discount the many successes that are to be had each day.

I'd give credit to all the times I want to yell at my kids, and don't. I'd give credit for the three nights of the week that I prepared a decent dinner, and forget about the ones I didn't.

On Mothers' Day, of all days, mothers should be made to feel like they are okay just the way they are, instead of being lectured to about idealized mothers and instructed on how to be a better mother.

We know what we need to do to be better mothers. We're doing the best we can.

I may not be able to be a perfect mother. But I can be me. And that, I believe, is what my children need most. Just me.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Of A Certain Age

Youth and maturity are all relative. I've heard that "old" is whatever age you are plus ten years. I seem to think of myself in a state of perpetual 26-years-oldedness. I'm sometimes surprised when I look in the mirror and see how six years and two children have changed me. And I'm sure that feeling will only intensify as more years and more children come to pass.

A while ago my doorbell rang on a Saturday night and for some crazy reason I decided to open it. Usually I ignore people at the door, but this is becoming increasingly difficult as my four-year-old delights in visitors and screams in joy every time she hears the doorbell. I'm trying to teach her to hide when the doorbell rings, but she isn't in full agreement on the necessity for that.

When I answered the door it was two or three 15 year old (ish) boys from my husband's sunday school class. They were collecting donations for an Eagle project. (Side note: why are there no Eagle projects anymore that require any actual work or leadership or original ideas of how to serve and contribute?) We chatted for approximately 45 seconds during which one of them said "Your daughter is so pretty. Can I date her when she turns 16?" To which I emphatically said "Not a chance." He laughed and then they were on their way.

The next afternoon my husband told me that those boys thought I was hot. During his lesson the boys were laughing and sharing some sort of private joke. Brent asked what they were talking about, hoping to draw them back into the lesson, no doubt. One of them said "Well, let's just say that for her age, your wife is quite attractive."

While I appreciate the compliment, I'm a bit mystified at the qualifier. Who knew I was of a certain age? Maybe I'll have to rethink my life career as homemaker and redefine it as a cougar. Ah, the possibilities.