Wednesday, October 24, 2012

If I Have to Tell You One More Time...

So I checked this book out at the library because I figured hey, who doesn't nag, remind, and yell at their kids constantly? If you don't, please don't tell me. That will make me feel bad.

Anyway, I got a hundred pages into the book and decided to try to put into practice some of the things I had learned before reading more so I wouldn't be too overwhelmed. Here are two practical, take-home suggestions I've been working on. They are supposed to address a child's need for belonging and significance, so you don't have to worry about the kid throwing a tantrum in the first place instead of trying to figure out how to get the kid to stop.

1. Twice a day, set aside 10 minutes of individual time with each child. But I spend time with my kids all day long! Tell the child you're going to have JoshyMommyTime or whatever you want to call it, set the timer for 10 minutes, then give your undivided attention to just that child and do whatever the heck they want to do.

I've only done it once a day so far, but I've been doing it for maybe a month now. The kids know that at least once a day they will have my full attention all to themselves, so they don't act out to try to get that attention as much. And it is really so sweet when Bennett comes up to me and says, "Can we do MommyBennettTime now?"

Bennett has been happy building with Legos or Trios together every time. Joshy is a bit more ambitious; we've made videos, picture frames, a cardboard house, a target with darts, a puzzle, a book. Yeah, his ideas tend to be pretty cool. And I only have to invest 10 minutes into his elaborate projects so he can't get too crazy.

2. Teach your child a new skill, one that you know they will succeed at without much work. I have been letting Joshy help me with dinner, feed the baby, vacuum. Oh, you want to vacuum the van after our road trip? Well, I guess I'll let you, if you're really good... This gives him a sense of importance and responsibility. It's always easier to feel like you belong if you are contributing in a helpful way.

So far, I really have seen results. There have been less tantrums. I am less frustrated at the end of the day. There is less yelling. Okay, not always. Nobody's perfect.

And sometimes I feel like I can actually do this whole mommy thing! I'm hoping the next hundred pages of the book are just as good. And now I need to go pay some attention to my kids.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Is it chocolate?

No, it's not. But they could make anything look tasty, right?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sneak peek

hard at work on their Halloween costumes.
(shhh no telling if you know)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

how I often feel on Sundays.

how I often feel on Sundays.

Sometimes I feel like church asks too much of me. Sometimes I am so frustrated and my husband is off at a meeting and I have to get the kids ready for church and loaded up and out the door on time all by myself. Sometimes my church callings seem overwhelming and unfair. Some Sundays I spend just surviving, minute by minute, and wondering if I'm going to keep myself together in one piece or if I'm going to suddenly explode into a million tiny fragments.

There was today, for example. It's a long story, but it ended up that the baby hadn't eaten or slept for three hours by the time church was just starting, and I needed to go sit on the stand to conduct the hymns and then do the ward choir between the talks so I wasn't going to be able to feed him. Josh had to make a quick exit right before the meeting began as our oldest, once again, had had an accident.

I asked a friend in the row behind us if she could hold the baby until Josh got back. A friend in the row in front of us was there to keep an eye on the two-year old. I reluctantly made my way up to sit on the stand.

This seems like a good time to tell you about my heretofore secretly rebellious feelings concerning conducting music in church meetings. Everyone singing has their eyes glued to the hymn books and they can hear the organ loud and clear, so who ever watches the conductor? It's not an orchestra with people needing cues; it's not a choir with intermittent fancy interludes. I am waving my arm around and smiling at no one in particular and I would much rather be seated somewhere, out of sight. I have wondered many times if having a music conductor in church meetings is just a holdover from an earlier time, an outdated way of doing things, an obsolete practice. And I have grumbled.

So I was sitting up there, wishing I wasn't, feeling guilty that someone else was going to be holding my squirming, hungry, tired, poor, sweet baby while I sat there watching helplessly. It was years until the meeting finally began.

But as I lifted my arm for the pickup beat to start Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, my heart suddenly leaped with joy. As my voice combined with many voices, I had a moment of clarity of thought, of perspective, of purpose.

Praise to the Lord.

That is why I am here. That is why I am up here waving my arm, looking down at my sweet husband and children and friends and fellow lovers of Jesus Christ. That is why I do hard things that are asked of me and why I try not to complain when my husband has to be at meetings and why we struggle through church with three little children.

Because I'm praising the Lord. The Lord who gave me everything. Nothing He could ever ask would be "too much."

I sat down, renewed, after the opening hymn. I had a constant, fervent prayer in my heart that the baby would somehow not be too hungry and that he would be quiet and peaceful throughout the meeting. Then I watched as he played happily with my friend who insisted on holding him the whole time so that Josh could deal with our other two. And then, amazingly, I watched him fall asleep contentedly in her arms and stay asleep for much of the rest of the hour-long meeting. He never falls asleep in my arms during church.

This may seem like something small to you, but to me, it was a miracle. I stood up there and enjoyed conducting the music. I enjoyed it in a way I never get to with kids crawling all over my lap; I felt the Spirit in a way I hope I get to every Sunday from now on for a long time.

And I praised the Lord.

how I should feel on Sundays, 
the days I get to celebrate my love for the Savior all day long.

P.S. No babies were harmed in the making of this story. Lincoln woke up at the end of the meeting and even played and laughed with his daddy for a little while before realizing that he was hungry.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Working the System

 look-ee look-ee.

 that's right . . .

i'm wearing undies for the first time!

and yes, I did #2 in the toilet five separate times during "Quiet Time" 
and got marshmallows every single time!

i know how to work the system.

 haha, that's funny. 
no, of course Mommy doesn't get a marshmallow every time I do.

 wait . . .

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Giant

Watch out, it's scary.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2 months, 10 pounds

I guess I don't do well with other people telling me what to eat, so I make up my own diets. Out of all the silly ones I've done, this one might be working the best.


Breakfast: A FAGE Greek yogurt.

Snack(s): Whatevs I want whenevs I want it. It's a free country.

Lunch: A big salad.

Snack(s): Something tasty.

Dinner: Whatever everyone else is having.

Dessert: Yes! How is life worth living without dessert?


FAQ's which no one has frequently asked me:

Q. Is Greek yogurt really that great? I thought only girls like Tamn ate that stuff.
A. Well, you can decide for yourself. But the FAGEs I get at Costco only have 120 calories, no fat, and 13 grams of protein! I only eat about half of the mix-in fruit stuff because it's plenty sweet. And the texture of the yogurt is almost like cheesecake. Tasty.

Q. Do you put anything on your salad to sweeten the deal or are you just eating a giant plateful of leaves? 
A. I usually add some combination of cheese, craisins, crackers, or even chow mein noodles and some dressing to my Romaine. Every once in a while I'll do chicken or egg on top. I don't want to waste too many calories on something like salad, but I'm not Superwoman. I've got to get it down somehow.

Q. What do you drink with your meals?
A. I try to drink water so I can save my calories for more fun things. I do like Odwalla because they are 100% juice, so sometimes I drink them with breakfast or have them in between meals to keep me going.

Q. Do you eat as much as you want?
A. Naw, even though I don't actually count calories, I do try to limit my portion size for meals and snacks. I don't, however, skimp on my dessert. Ahem.

Q. Is this like that Twinkie diet where that guy only ate Twinkies and lost a buncha weight because it's all about the number of calories and not the type of calories?
A. Come on, I'm doing my best to be healthy... I just really like dessert more than anything else.

Q. You've secretly been exercising, right?
A. Nope. Unless you count running around after the craziest little squirrels ever and constantly cleaning up all their poop and messes while they get into everything and never listen to a word I say being a mom.

Q. You're just losing weight because "it effortlessly melts off after you have a baby if you are nursing," right? Come on, I'm sure it's like a piece of cake for you.
A. Lincoln was born in March and from April through July-- four months-- I didn't lose one pound. Not a one. I started this silly little homemade diet on August 1st and have lost about 10 pounds since then.

Q. Are you tooting your own horn because you're looking so good?
A. I was hoping this could help someone else. Not this specific diet, necessarily, but the mathematical concept that if you eat less calories, you will lose weight, no matter what kind of food the calories are coming from. I know it sounds obvious, but sometimes it's hard to execute. I eliminate a lot of variables-- and temptations-- by having the same two low-calorie meals every day, while saving the bulk of my calories for the things I enjoy most. This routine turns many of my day-to-day food choices into no-brainers and is easy to sustain. And about looking good... well, that little baby belly just doesn't want to go away. That's where exercise has to come in, I guess.

Q. Is your baby wasting away to nothing because you're not supposed to diet while you're nursing?