30 May 2010

Parenthood, Disclosed

I don’t usually get into TV programs, well, not since Friends ended. That was 10 seasons of my life I will never get back. Seriously, though, I won’t turn the channel if I come across a re-run, even if I’ve seen it 10 times.

Anyway, my interests go in and out, mostly because I don’t have time to sit and watch every show I’d like to. Now, DVR has totally changed my TV viewing experience (but that’s another post). Today I want to get into WHY I was YELLING at the TV (well, more the actors) the other night.

The new series on NBC, Parenthood, piked my interest so I DVR’d the pilot after the Olympics and watched it a few days later. OMGoodness, wow. It was a whole new TV viewing experience. And that, coupled with the whole DVR…? I was rendered speechless. I had just watched a TV program about a family with every aspect of dysfunctional…there wasn’t a parental character that I couldn’t relate to. I guess the single music-producer son who’s afraid of commitment doesn’t really sing to me, but the others: the working mom and her parenting struggles, the single mom trying to get back on her feet, the wife who tries to be a peacemaker with her in-law family…I could go on. You get it. I’m addicted to this show.

So, the episode last week, the two cousins who are going to the same high school, are not talking because Amber (the older one) told Hattie (the younger one) not to be so quick to sleep with her (Hattie’s) boyfriend. So, Hattie was feeling pressure from her boyfriend to be intimate so she broke up with him. Amber was totally supportive. But, Amber gets a new job…at the country club…where said boyfriend’s family frequents…they inadvertently have a “connection,” one thing leads to another. Yeah. Amber feels terrible and decides to tells Hattie and is crying, repulsed with herself, trying to apologize to her. Hattie wants none of the apology and walks off. Later, Hattie’s friends are teasing Amber, making fun of her, calling her nice names I’m sure you can think of, please don’t make me type them :) Amber has had enough, tells Hattie that Steve had a connection with her (Amber) that he never had with Hattie. They start fighting, like girls, but they are on the ground and both get taken into the principal’s office and parents are called. Amber’s mom is the single one, trying to start over. Amber’s had her share of trouble. Hattie is considered the “good one.” Hattie tells their parents “Amber told me to break up with Steve, and then she slept with him” and runs off.

What REALLY gets me is that HATTIE BROKE UP WITH STEVE!! I know there is an unwritten law that friends (probably including cousins) don’t date/sleep with ex-boyfriends of friends/family. But Hattie’s mom is almost more upset about the situation than Hattie. AND, Hattie’s parents are blaming Amber’s mom! Well, Amber, too, but they told Susan that she needs to “deal” with it! Excuse me, but what ever happened to, “That really sucks, honey, but maybe you and Steve weren’t a great match.” What would be wrong with that?? Instead of causing a family rift over a 15 year old NOT SLEEPING WITH HER BOYFRIEND, they get mad at the other family…

Sigh…I was yelling at Adam and Christine (Hattie’s parents) what I would have said if I were in Susan’s shoes. That, and Grow Up! It would take too long to type, but you get the idea.

Wow. I was so worked up I had a hard time going to sleep. It’s just so frustrating how sometimes not everyone is willing to look at the other side of the situation. Yeah, it looks really bad, but really? Really? Can we get over ourselves and move on please? Your life isn’t the only thing that’s important. Maybe that’s why I was so upset. Hattie’s parents weren’t willing to see, even ask the other side of the story, or even acknowledge the fact that Hattie BROKE UP WITH HIM! Good heavens. :) Can't wait for next season!! And yes, I will totally DVR it!

28 May 2010

"The phrase 'working mother' is redundant" ~Jane Sellman

When I read that comment, I didn't even know who Jane Sellman was, but I knew I would like her :) Read about her here.

This very topic beggs to be left alone :) Maybe I want to talk about it today because...I haven't talked about it in a while :) I read something about it here and also read all the comments after. Everyone had their two cents to bring. So, I figured, instead of talking to some random person about her decision to be a mother and to work outside the home, I'd just talk about my own thoughts and feeling on my own blog. Why, you ask? Because I can :)

My girls are almost 8 and almost 4. In the last 8 years, I have been a full stay-at-home Mom(SAHM) for a total of 5 months. Wow. Is that all? Really? Yup, I guess that's right. When E was 2 months old, I went back to school to finish my nursing degree (she was a baby; I could be done before she turned 2). Shortly after that, her father and I separated and divorced (that's a whole other story...). Full-time student, working on the weekends, E spent more time with my mother (Nannie) than I did. Before I graduated college, I met a great man with a desire to continue a family. My hopes to be able to stay home with our children were growing brighter.

Gratefully, working as a nurse allows some scheduling flexibility around a family. D wanted to finish his education and I wanted to support him. I knew that, after it was done, we'd be more financially stable for me to be home completely. What was a few more years working? Shortly after we were married, we received the best 'blessing in disguise' we will have ever received. I was pregnant, and my focus completely changed.
I knew what I wanted. I wanted to enjoy my children. I wanted a garden. I wanted...lots of things. Still do :) But I knew that staying home with my children and being home for my husband was more important than having an extra income. So, D got a full-time job with his drafting degree, we bought a house and settled in...
For what, I don't know, nor will I ever know. Eight months later, L was born. That started my 5 short months being home with two children. I was part of a Co-Op preschool with other moms in the neighborhood. I had a cleaning schedule and grocery shopping schedule. I took care of the yard. I didn't have time to start a garden. Five short months later, D was given the news that he might have a tumor. One surgery later, our fears were confirmed. Cancer.
His pain and illness and treatment schedule made his work virtually imposable. I won't even get into the insurance woes. So, there was Life, dropped into my lap. "I don't even know what I would do if I were in your situation." Yes, you do. You'd pick yourself up by the bootstraps and keep going. You wake up, every day, and do what you have to do. Me? I just had to leave my children with D, sometimes friends or family, and go back to work. Luckily, it was a job I loved and co-workers who were supportive of me and our situation. And now, because of my job, we have the best insurance and situation for D and his treatments and doctors. Another blessing, even if I do have to be away from home.
Every situation is different. And mine is something I couldn't control. Because of this, though, I've been put into situations and positions of responsibility and have grown from those opportunities. I can teach my girls to be strong, not because of, but in spite of, other experiences in a working environment. I'm just trying to gain from that which life has dealt me. If it were another situation, I'd learn from that, too. Life is Relative.
Nothing eases the pain, though, when they're crying because they don't want me to go...
Someday, Girls. Someday.
Pictures found here and here

27 May 2010

Little Slice of Heaven

So, my first trip to Moab...ever... was last weekend! It was short but, oh, was it sweet!! I am officially in love with those red cliffs. As my husband and I were driving down Friday evening, I was planning out loud where we would take the kids "next time we come down." Yes, there will most-definitely be a next time, but not soon enough.
It was dark as we drove into town, but the Main Street was bustling with tourists and shops and ice cream and Pizza. We drove the length of the street, found the main grocery store where we would pick up something for breakfast in the morning, then found an empty parking lot and made ourselves comfortable in the back of our Durango on a wonderfully large air mattress. I haven't slept that well in a long time. I think it was the combination of knowing the children were safe and happy at Grandma's and Grandpa's (and wouldn't be waking me up at the crack of dawn), and with the windows rolled down, there was a pleasant spring breeze slipping lightly over my face. I sighed and fell quickly into sleep.

Sleeping in until 7:30 really did feel like Heaven :)

Saturday was hard work, and even though the wind was blowing dried grass and dirt over our sweaty faces and necks, that same breeze helped cool off the heat of the day. We were all glad it wasn't full summer and that it wasn't raining! By evening, we were all hot, tired, dirty, hungry and thirsty, but there was also a huge sense of accomplishment. The last ties were secured around the "Money Load." We got as much square inch used out of that trailer that possible. And it felt great. As Tawna handed over the check for the items purchased, it was high-fives all around!

D and I ate a late dinner at a very busy local place, Zax, and were seated on the covered patio. It was a beautiful warm evening; I enjoyed it all very much. The food and company were great also :) I wanted to just sleep in the car one more night, but D wanted to get back home (sigh). I think I just wanted to wake up to that beautiful warm sky one more time. Until October...

This was an excerpt of what I wrote for E's school blog, We purchased
some used school furniture and loaded it to be transported back to Pleasant Grove. Re-using gently used items (and I mean gently!) is a great feeling. This was like a "Yard Sale of the Year" load!

With budget cuts, the Board of Directors decided instead of cutting teachers or curriculum, they would scale back on furniture (ie: buying new desks, tables, chairs, bookshelves, etc) and try to get what they can through second-hand purchasing. You would not believe what other schools are willing to sell for pennies on the dollar, just because they want something "new"! With the hauls we made last weekend and another time last week, and a few other stops along the way, the school was able to save almost $250,000! Wow. Wow!
I cannot wait for E to start this school in the fall. Heck, I wish I was going there in the fall! I am so impressed with the Administration and their determination to the children's education, and also to the school itself. I can't wait 'till it's finished being built so I can take pictures and show you all, so you all can be excited with me :)

I really took both of those pictures :) yeah, me!

25 May 2010

Moving To Mexico

Dear President Obama:

I'm planning to move my family and extended family into Mexico for my health, and I would like to ask you to assist me. We're planning to simply walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico, and we'll need your help to make a few arrangements.

We plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws. I'm sure they handle those things the same way you do here. So, would you mind telling your buddy, President Calderon, that I'm on my way over?

Please let him know that I will be expecting the following:
1. Free medical care for my entire family
2. English-speaking government bureaucrats for all services I might need, whether I use them or not
3. Please print all Mexican government forms in English
4. I want my children to be taught Spanish by English-speaking (bi-lingual) teachers
5. Tell their schools they need to include classes on American culture and history
6. I want my children to see the American flag on one of the flag poles at their school
7. Please plan to feed my children at school for both breakfast and lunch
8. I will need a local Mexican driver's license so I can get easy access to government services
9. I plan to fly the U.S. Flag from my house top, put U S. Flag decals on my car, and have a gigantic celebration on July 4th. I do not want any complaints or negative comments from the locals
10. I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, or have any labor or tax laws enforced on any business I may start
11. Please have the president tell all the Mexican people to be extremely nice and never say critical things about me or my family, or about the strain we might place on their economy
12. I want to receive free food stamps
13. I'll expect free rent subsidies
14. I'll need Income tax credits so although I don't pay Mexican Taxes, I'll receive money from the government
15. Oh yes, I almost forgot, please enroll me free into the Mexican Social Security program so that I'll get a monthly income in retirement.

I know this is an easy request because you already do all these things for all his people who walk over to the U.S. From Mexico . I am sure that President Calderon won't mind returning the favor if you ask him nicely.

Thank you so much for your kind help

You're the man!!!

23 May 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

32 things you probably don't know about me:

1*I'm starting to not like the color blue
2*I carry L almost everywhere, partly because she's small and light, and the other part because I don't want her to grow up so fast
3*E asks to stay home from school almost every day, and sometimes I let her (but we got a note from the principal saying she actually had to physically be in school...geeze!)
4*My kitchen window looks out to a shed that is the coolest color of blue, almost turquoise
5*I took a picture of it once
6*My apartment doesn't have enough storage, and I NEED storage
7*I dvr Glenn Beck
8*I listen to Dave Ramsey on the radio when I drive home from work
9*I dip my grilled cheese sandwiches in ketchup (there could be worse things, quit gagging)
10*I make my children do chores for tickets; they can use the tickets for activities/prizes
11*I am OCD with organization
12*I love to delegate
13*I really trip over my own feet more often when I am chewing gum, no joke
14*I have struggled with my weight since I was young
15*My sister and I fought like cats when we were young. My Grandma even spanked me once for it :) Yup, Grandma, I still remember, but I don't blame you one bit!! I think I was just subconsciously upset that my parents were in Hawaii and didn't take us, even though I was, like, 7 :)
16*My sister is my best friend
17*My husband and I were born in the same hospital, 3 years apart, with the same doctor!
18*I want to go back to school but am terrified
19*I love my job
20*I miss being at home
21*I hate scrap booking, but will be trying the digital stuff...soon...eventually
22*I horde office supplies (seriously, I cannot throw a pen away if it still writes, and don't get me started on post-its and note pads...)
23*I would feel more comfortable if my savings account was just putting the money under my mattress...I might just do it anyway...
24*D and I both have been married before
25*I love camping, anytime, anywhere
26*I need to rotate the food and clothes in our 72hr kits
27*I don't have enough food storage yet
28*I love that the children are old enough to do the dishes w/o supervision
29*I'm obsessive about First-Aid (and the supplies) :)
30*I love dancing
31*I enjoy making jewelry
32*I prefer dark chocolate (oh, common, you were looking for it) :)

16 May 2010

Time is Relative

The lesson in YW today was about keeping a journal. So I figured I should follow my own council :) I've always enjoyed journaling and keeping records of my life. It's been so fun to look through old journals, esp from high school and college. I found my journal I started after I returned from my mission :) I could read through them for hours.

After I had E, time went so fast I would regularly forget to write things down! For all the journals I kept while I was younger, I was a crappy recorder as a new Mom! I tried to keep her baby book up to date and figured, for now, that would have to do. And it did.

When she was about 3, I figured (since I was expecting L) I needed to start writing things down. I bought a cute, girly bound notebook and started writing to her every few weeks, writing about her accomplishments or just goings-on at the time. She's since taken it over as her "fashion album." She loves drawing dresses. For someone who won't let me curl her hair, she's quite the fashionista.

Sometimes, it feels overwhelming, keeping up with everything. L makes me smile every day. She has so much love for everyone around her. Today she showed me what she learned in Primary, the sign language for "I love you Mother"and "I love you Father." What a big smile she had on! There is so much that I want to record and keep. And I know there is so much I miss and don't capture.

But I really love Elder HB Eyring's talk in conference in 2007 about his journal. He would write every day, no exception, where he could see the hand of the Lord in his or his family's life. That talk really opened my eyes and helped me realize there is a purpose for our record-keeping. Among other reasons, it is to help us see the growth of our testimony and the hand of the Lord in our lives. We, and our posterity, can learn from those experiences. That's the whole purpose of the Book of Mormon, to "bring people to Christ," the most important journal compilation in the history of the world.

I know mine won't ever be read by tens of millions of people, but if it brings more understanding to my family after me, then I guess it will be a blessing. I only need to be more diligent. Day by day... :) Thanks for listening. Now, go and writing some thing down for yourself!

14 May 2010

What's Wrong With US

You pass the North Korean border illegally you get 12 yrs hard labor. You pass the Afghan border illegally, you get shot or arrested.

You pass the American border illegally, you get a job, a driver’s license, allowance for a place to live, health care, education...

We carry passports into other countries or face jail time. What's wrong with this picture?
Just a thought...

09 May 2010

Mother's Day

Mother, Daughters, Grandmothers, Aunts, Mother-in-Law, even Cousins, Sister, Sisters-in-Law. I am so blessed and gratefull for all of you! All my love to all of you!

07 May 2010

Free Education?

I was directed to a website which lists news articles and other information on education in Utah. Interesting stuff. One link stuck out: "Lawmaker wants parents to pony up for school supplies."

Whoa. I must be pretty slow. I grew up in Idaho and have only lived in Utah for the last 5 years. When my oldest started school 3 years ago, I was floored that I didn't have to go "school shopping." Well, disappointed was more like it. I have an office supply fetish and was really looking forward to shopping for her school supplies :) But that's another story.

Anyway, I was intrigued so I went to the KSL article, you can read it here, to see how people were commenting. Um, yeah. Pretty much what I thought, and one commenter summarized it pretty well, "Education is Free; Supplies are not." Makes sense to me.

As a parent, I have no problem providing school supplies for my children, so long as there is an affordable option (did anyone else have the "3-ring binder vs Trapper Keeper" debate with Mom or Dad?). I can provide for my children's school supplies and the school can use the money for more important things, whatever that may be. In my po-dunk city in Idaho, the teachers would put together the supply list for their class and Wal-Mart, Office Max, Staples and any other office supply store in the city would have the lists. We'd go into Wal-Mart, look for our school and teacher, grab the appropriate list and go shopping! There were also lists for donation items, if you felt so inclined. It was a great system and seemed to work for us.

But, I know I'm relatively new to the Utah Public Education experience. Am I way off base to think it's a fine idea for parents to be responsible for the school supplies? I know there will always be children who need assistance, but for the most part, it's a conceivable idea. A few other clarification points might be to have the schools district cut back on Administration cost...? Just a thought :)

Let's hear your thoughts!"Education is free; Supplies are not"

05 May 2010

Wikipedia Is My Friend

I am almost certain, Wikipedia has anything and everything you need to know. Seriously, from medical treatments and diagnosis information, pop culture and history to the 2010 Icelandic Volcano Eruption! I guess it's easier to update the Internet than to re-publish the Britannica.

Since Mr. Eyjafjallajökull is deciding to send forth more ash clouds and send Europe into disarray every few weeks, I wanted to do some research and see what this would mean for us, over on the other side of the world, just Food for Thought.

Basically, unless you're flying to Europe, don't expect much of our daily routines to be interrupted. Some meteorologists from NASA (read toward the bottom of the article) are saying that, because of the large and continuous ash plume that followed the initial eruption, it's possible that we may experience a mild summer. Also, there have been 3 other volcanic eruptions coinciding with Eyjafjallajökull's debut (refer back to the article). Fascinating that some volcanic ash that is half a world away can have an effect on us, here in our own little world. Just shows how inter-connected everything can be.

A Great Lesson: One small effort can have huge effects. Pass it on!

03 May 2010

Muchas Gracias Monday

Today I'm grateful for Sunshine. It's cold and windy outside, but if I just look out the window, I can see a beautiful Spring morning. I'll just stay inside and enjoy the day and view from the window :)

I'm also grateful my Mom was able to be with us the last few days while D has been in the hospital for chemo. She's leaving to go back to ID today :( but it was fun while it lasted! Plus, having her stay with us allowed me to stay overnight with D a few times. He hates being alone. Who wouldn't?

Thanks, Mom!!