Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Inspiration. . . Hump day Hmm May 28th

The Hump Day Hmm over at Julie's blog is on either a blogger or a blog post that inspired or inspires you. There are so many to choose from, but this time, I'm going to choose my friend Katie.

She has had several blog posts lately that have truly inspired me to be happy and grateful for what I have, but on top of that, she has also just inspired me for most of my life. I have known her since we were about 10, and she has always been the kind of girl I wanted to grow up to be like. She is beautiful, kind, and generous. She has had quite a lot of hardships in her life, but she didn't get bitter, she gained faith. And even though we're the same age, someday, when I grow up, I want to be more like Katie.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


We're going to Tallahassee today to put some extra fun into our lives. With all the Nanny 911 off of CMT that I've been watching lately, we made a chore chart. The kids, especially Jackie, have been great about earning their magnets. Ben doesn't really try for magnets, but once Jackie and I are doing something, he wants to be involved. Also, he really has enjoyed putting the magnets on the board. Since they've done such a fantastic job of doing the magnets, we're going to go to Tallahassee and either go to a movie or go bowling. Then, we're going to Costco to eat yummy samples and get some more food to go in our freezer. We're excited. :) This is just what our family needs right now. Some good, clean, solid family fun. YIPEEE!!! After that, we've been invited over to Danielle and Patrick's house. Jackie will have a great time playing with the boys, and I'm so excited to hang out with them again. :) YAY. :)

Dad probably won't need surgery for his cancer, there is a 40-50% chance that he can fully recover with just some hefty drugs. That's great news, too.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Poops in the potty

As life got more hectic and strange, I started slacking on the ECing. Diaper changes have been fights, but Ben's so busy, and he just doesn't want to be followed around everywhere. However, Ben has started taking off his diaper. However, he's also been telling me when he needs to go poop. I don't mind the wet messes, I just mind the poops, so this isn't so bad. I tell him that he can keep his diaper off as long all potties go in the potty. He's been doing pretty well. He's had four hours in a row of diaper free time. We're doing alright. I think that he's actually ready to be conventionally potty trained, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to take that on. I know that he's having a sensitive period, and I'm not sure I should wait for the next one. . . Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Just having a chance to vent and knowing I have great friends has helped me. Yesterday and today, I have found some joy in the little things. One of my good friends had a birthday while I was out of town. Today, I took her to lunch. We just went to Burger King where the kids could play, but we had a great chat. That really made my day. Also, both of my kids are taking a nap today! Jackie is pretty much done with naps, but she was SO cranky that I told her to lay down. If she was still awake after 20 minutes she could get back up. She didn't make it 5. Now that both of the kids are down for naps, I'm going to go sew! Yay! This one's for you Katie. I bought the fabric after we talked on the phone that day, and now I'm finally getting around to sewing it. Happy day for all. Smile big.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Walking out of stride: Hump Day Hmmmm

Usually, I walk around full of optimism and enthusiasm for life. The glass for me is half full, or even if it's empty, the milk is in the fridge, ready to fill the glass again. Most people who know me feel that I fill the room with energy and excitement. Lately though, it seems like life has tiptoed up from behind me, reached around, and smacked me upside the head.

Mostly, in life, when we have horrible things happen to us, those happenings are of our own making. We make choices, but we don't get to choose our consequences. Or rather, we choose our consequences by making the very first choice. However, other times, bad things just happen, and we have no control over them. These times are our refiners' fire. We only grow through hard times.

I have been teaching an Old Testament class this year, and the story of Joseph comes to mind. Joseph was a good kid. He never made bad choices, and his brothers made all sorts of stupid decisions. His brothers were jealous of him, so they sold him into slavery. Joseph's choices didn't cause it, life slapped him in the face. Joseph's life was one slap after another even though he worked hard to be honest and stay out of trouble. Even though his life was hard, he came through it with flying colors. He was able to save his family even though they had tried to kill him.

Right now, I'm out of stride. My optimism has been slipping, and problems, not of my own making, are happening to me. I can't seem to see the joy in some of the little things. The big problems are staring me in the face and blocking my view, but it's going to become a goal for the next little while for me to walk tall and keep an eye out for the small, happy things. They're there. I just need to find them again.

This post is part of the Hump Day Hmm over at Julie's blog

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Happenings

So, I have posted just a little bit about California and then my niece's funeral. However, I am just going to now post a brief synopsis of the time from when we left for California to now.

We drove to Atlanta Wednesday, April 30, so we could get on the plane bright and early May 1st. We flew nonstop (definately the way to go) from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Then, we got settled into a hotel right by Disneyland. If you ever want a nice, clean hotel chain, I highly recommend Staybridge Suites. The next morning we went to Disneyland, and we stood in line right at the beginning, so Jackie could see the princesses. While we were there, she saw Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine, and Princess Minnie. She also got to see Goofy and Max. She loved seeing the characters. Then we went on a couple rides and left at noon, so Rob could go to his tux fitting. The tux shoes didn't fit him, but that's really no surprise. That night was the rehearsal dinner. It was lovely. The kids were really good, and the couple really seemed happy.

The next day was the wedding. We needed to have Rob at the church in time for pictures, so I dropped him off and went to target for some new shoes for Jackie and Ben. Then I took the kids back to the church lawn. The kids got a picture with the groom and then we had a pizza picnic on the church lawn during the wedding. At Target, we also bought the kids some bubbles, so they could blow bubbles when the bride and groom came out of the church. The kids loved that, and the groom thought it was a little fun.

Then, Rob rode to the reception in the limo, and I drove the kids to a park. The children fell asleep, so I read a book while the kids slept in the stroller. Then the kids played on the slide until almost the end of the reception. At the very end of the reception, I realized that Rob had left the wedding present in the back of the van, so I braved the wrath of the bride's mother and took the kids to the reception. My children were angels. They were perfectly well behaved, and the reception was lovely.

We went to church on Sunday, and then we checked into a resort in Oceanside, CA. The beach was right there, and the view was spectacular. We went to dinner then put the kids to bed. Monday we went back to Disneyland and had a ball. Then Tuesday, we went to an owner's class at the resort and then went to the beach. The kids loved the beach. It was great. Tuesday night, we got a call that my niece was dying. Wednesday morning, we found out that she had died, so we packed our bags and booked the first flight to Salt Lake City.

I've already posted about the funeral, which was lovely, and I got to see so much of my family. That was great actually. Sunday night we flew home and then we drove back from Atlanta. Jackie ran a fever on Monday, and I contracted strep throat while we were out there, so all last week was spent getting over illnesses. Then, we stayed home from church on Sunday, so we'd be sure not to get anyone sick, and we got a call from my brother. My dad has been diagnosed with cancer. He is now in the VA hospital in Salt Lake City.

Now, you know all of the happenings from this neck of the woods. I hope to have some more optimism back in a few days. Good luck to everyone with the end of school. Jackie finishes Friday, and Thursday is my last day of Seminary for this year. I have been asked to each early morning seminary next year, so we'll see how things go. Good luck to all.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I guess it's about time that I actually posted about the last month and a half (or so) of my life. While this blog is about parenting and elimination communication, it's also sort of my journal, so this is a journaling post, and it's also a parenting post because, as parents, we still have live our lives even while trying to raise our children.

So, on April 1st, I found out that I was, indeed pregnant. I had been having some pregnancy symptoms, but the tests were showing up negative, so I went in to find out what else could have been causing my symptoms. Then, I scheduled an appointment with my OB and decided that would be great. However, I started bleeding. I called my OB, and they told me to go down for a blood test. I went, and the pregnancy hormone was higher than it was the day I went in to my family practice Dr., so I was encouraged. I stopped bleeding for a few days, and I was really excited. Then, I started bleeding again and went in for another blood test. I found out the day before I was supposed to leave for Boston that I was definately miscarrying the baby. The midwife told me to go anyway because I couldn't do any more for it here than I could there, and if I started to hemmorage, I should just go to the nearest emergency room. I'd been through all of that once before, so I figured that I could watch for the signs, and Ben and I left for Boston as planned. Thursday, the day we flew to Boston and rented the car was the worst of all the days. Cramps were bad, and I passed a few decent sized clots. I went to pick up my sister from the airport at midnight that night, and we all had a lot of fun while we were there. I think I posted at least once about Boston, so I'm going to leave that. I might put up a few pictures of this brief time in our lives on a Wordless Wednesday sometime.

However, Boston was great fun, and I'm so glad I went, but things didn't slow down once I got home. We left for the temple in Orlando the weekend I got home and then we all worked really hard to get ready for California. California to now is a whole different post, so I may post about it tomorrow. Good luck to all. Smile big.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sometimes life isn't fair

My brother, a fourth grade teacher, starts off his year every year with a story about our mean sister.

He says, "I have a sister who is really mean. She has one girl and three younger boys. She treats this girl like a princess. My sister dresses her little girl in the nicest clothes, like a princess. The boys all have chores, but the girl just lays around all day. She doesn't have to do any chores. If the boys want to whistle in the room she's in, and she doesn't like it, they always have to stop. If the boys are watching a TV show, and the girl doesn't like it, the boys have to turn off the TV."

At this point in the story, the boys are all saying, "Your sister is really mean. How can she be that unfair?" Then, my brother proceeds with the rest of the story.

"I told you my sister was mean, but let me tell you a little bit about my niece. My niece has been really sick her whole life. She can't run or play. When her brothers and parents went to Disneyland, my niece couldn't go. She had to stay home because she wouldn't have any fun at Disneyland. She has to eat Pediasure all the time. She's never tasted good food. She can't swallow, so she has to eat through a tube in her stomach."

At this point, none of the boys are angry with my sister any more, and a few of the girls are even crying for how sad they are for my little niece.

Then, my brother puts things in perspective. "Sometimes, things don't seem fair. I might not talk to someone about something I talked to you about. That's because I know things about people that you don't know. Some of those things are none of your business. Sometimes, things won't seem fair, but in the end, I'm trying to help everyone do as well as every person can do. Please be patient with me and don't complain to me about fairness."

He said that once he's started telling this story at the first of the year, he doesn't hear complaints from the kids about fairness anymore. These are fourth graders, and this is one age where their sense of justice is strong. However, in the end, sometimes, punishing every child with the same punishment wouldn't be fair because of other ways that life has made people unequal from the beginning.

I have been thinking about that since my brother gave this talk at this niece's funeral on Saturday. She had some wonderful talents that no one else ever had. But at the same time, she really struggled and fought for every cry she made and all the time she lived in her body. God is a merciful and just God. At the same time, he wants us to fulfull our potential, so he gave each of us our own set of problems. Sometimes, we think things aren't fair. Someone else gets something that we don't have. At the same time, that person has other problems that we don't want to have. We don't know the whole package.

If everyone got to throw their whole lives into a package and throw them into a pile, then each person got to sift through the pile and take the one they wanted, we'd all pick our own packages back because our problems would seem small to each other package out there. Although my niece had one of the most amazing spirits I've ever seen and the very best talent for calming people and helping people feel loved that I've ever felt, I wouldn't have traded places with her in life, and I probably wouldn't trade with her in death either.

So Princess, from a line from a song in your funeral, "Good-night, Princess. I'll see you in the morning when the Son is shining bright."

Song: See You in the Morning by Susan Ames.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

This week

Again, I'm starting my blog with an apology to my readers. This is becoming a habit which I am going to stop sometime after getting home; I hope. As stated in some previous post somewhere (that I don't want to take the time to find) one of my goals on this blog is to post at least once a week. My family has a tradition of sending out letters or emails to each other weekly, and my blog is sort of my update to my family. If anyone wants to know what's going on in my life, this is the best way. However, lately, life has been so crazy that I haven't been on the internet nearly as often as I generally am, and I am extremely tired at the end of each day. Therefore, at the times when I am the busiest, and my blog should be the most interesting, I am not getting anything posted.

This week, my family and I are in Sunny California. Rob's best friend got married on Saturday, and Rob was the best man, so we needed to be in the Los Angeles area. Since we were coming out anyway, we decided that we should make an entire vacation out of it. After all, how often does someone who lives in the southeast actually make it to California.

We left Wednesday night because we were flying out of Atlanta at 6:30 in the morning, so we spent the night in a motel and then got on our plane on Thursday. The kids were great on the plane and we landed around 9 am local time. We had enough time to get checked into our hotel, eat some great food, and research the local deals.

Friday, we spent the morning at Disneyland where Jackie got to have her picture taken with the Disney Princesses, and then we had lunch and went the the rehearsal and dinner that night. It was all lovely. The bride is lovely, and the groom is very kind. The wedding and reception were Saturday and all very high class and lovely. Sunday, they had a brunch at the The Huntington Library. This library houses the paintings Blue Boy and Pink Girl. Also there are some gorgeous gardens there with a wonderful Children's Garden where the kids are not only allowed but highly encouraged to play in the fountains, water, and dirt. It was great. We had our suitcases in the back of our van because we checked out of the Pasadena hotel that day, and the kids each changed their clothes after they were wet and dirty.

Sunday afternoon, we drove to Oceanside, California and we're staying in one of our Worldmark Resorts. It's lovely and we are settling in for a week at the beach, Sea World, and Legoland. See you next week, probably.