Sunday, September 28, 2008

the ugly side of primary


What do you do with a child who resists going to church? Actually resist is a mild way of putting it. This morning I was greeted with:

"I don't want to go to church!"
"I hate church."
"Church is a waste of time."
"I'm not going to church."

Seriously, it's a MAJOR feat to get out the door. It's not just a matter of getting dressed, eating, and leaving, it's a matter of overcoming all the anger and negative energy, then getting dressed, overcoming more anger and negative energy and getting shoes on, overcoming more anger and negative energy and getting into the car.

While at church we survive sacrament meeting, usually...

Then we head to Primary for another round. Sometimes it goes okay. But usually it's another major feat to keep him in primary and to keep him from distracting other children. Active participation is the least of my worries, although he knows most of the answers and some of the songs. I just want him to sit quietly with his class.

It's so tricky. In trying to look at the grand scheme of things, I don't want him to lose a testimony or never gain one due to his negative feelings towards Primary and Church. On the other hand, I can't expect him to get special treatment or have exceptions made.

We're tried rewards... it worked for a while... We've tried taking away privileges... same thing, it worked for a while... We've tried ignoring the behavior... no improvement...

I'm emotionally spent.

I nearly broke down into tears twice during Primary, once when I had been looking unsuccessfully for a tearful and angry boy who had left running. And again when talking to his teaching about the incident that caused the great escape.

While on a bike ride this afternoon, someone chewed me out for Porter not wearing a helmet. It's so rare that he not have it on, but we'd managed to regain some peace and harmony in our home and I just couldn't fight another battle. I didn't think I could feel like a worse parent then I already did, but the conversation that ensued was like pouring salt in an open wound.

I know it's easy to judge other people and how they chose to raise their children. But there are many factors that aren't always obvious. Even still, I can't help but wondering, if I were a better parent (or had done x,y or z differently) then this wouldn't be happening.

Sometimes when I feel like someone is being judgemental, I just think to myself (and I know I shouldn't think this but I think), I hope someday you get a child just like Porter, and I don't mean his good qualities, ( he does have them-he's a leader, he's incredibly smart, he's a go getter and a go doer.) I mean his negative, heel digging, defiant, angry characteristics. Then we'll see how well you handle it, and if you can still judge me so harshly. The hard thing about feeling so vulnerable, is I think every one's judging me, probably because I'm judging myself.

I've read up on anger management, the number one suggestion is to model good anger management skills, I've really tried to work on that. It's a herculean feat when I've been pushed to my absolute limits, and he doesn't deserve any kindness of sympathy.

I wonder if Porter will always be my hardest child. I feel like every stage he goes through brings with it new and difficult challenges. It never ends.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

DATES

Sweet Sophia. I took her with me to the Women's Broadcast tonight, she colored, she sat on my lap, she gave me kisses, she ate pretzils, she whispered secrets in my ear. So cute.

This afternoon while Sophia was at a birthday party Porter and I went on a little lunch date. It's been a while since we'd been on a date, but he was sweet and loving during our one on one time, reminding me of how much our kids need one on one time.

Side note: I loved Elder Ukdorf's talk. I felt like he was talking to me. I can't wait to reread it. He talked about creating and compassion as a means to rise above doubt and discouragement. Definite food for thought.

Letting go

Doug went out to California this weekend for the blessing of his sister's baby.

I encouraged him to go and support his family.

Then he told me he wanted to take our baby...

Ummm, I really had a hard time with it... Even though it will make it more peaceful for me, it's really hard to let go.

Busy Day

We had an unbelievably busy day... With Doug being gone I had to do it all...


8:30 -depart for baseball (delayed by last minute phone call necitating immediate action)

9:00 -10:30 baseball

11:00- body flow

12:00 -Sophia goes to b-day party, Porter and I go on a date to Burger King and library

1:30- Toys R Us was having a sale on Halloween Costumes, force kids to select one

2:30-4:30- Second baseball game of day

4:45-6:30 -kids go to date night trade while I run a few errands

6:45- stop at home to throw a skirt on, head over to church for Women's Broadcast

9:00- return movies to Red Box on way home,

9:15 - home sweet home

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hurricane Footage

I wish I'd taken the camera out immediately after the storm, to document first hand the damage we observed. These photos were taken four days after the storm.

As I listened the storm pass through the night, I wasn't that scared. I just kept waking up and pulling the kids closer. Doug thinks the eye of the storm passed over us, or very close, just based on the lack of noise he heard in the middle of the storm. The storm was lengthy, it lasted until almost noon the next day. As we drove around afterwards I realized, perhaps I should have been scared.

Doug spent the weekend and well into the next week helping people recover. He finally got to replacing our shingles on Tuesday.

It was such an interesting experience to wait out the storm, see the sun come up and think it's over, only to realize the infrastructure surrounding us had completely unraveled.

I feel like the Lord really watched over us, not only in keeping us safe during the storm, but also in keeping us comfortable after the power went out. We had unseasonably beautiful fall weather. We kept the windows open to cool down our home, the kids played outside all day. It reminded me of fall weather with crisp air in Utah. Truly heaven sent!






The Must Have Emergency Item: Headlamps!




Sophia 4 year old stats



weight- 31 pounds 2 ounces (25th percentile)
height- 37 inches (5th percentile)

Preston 15 Month Stats


weight- 22 pounds 11 ounces (25th percentile)
height- 30 inches (25th percentile)
head circ- 18 3/4 inches

Friday, September 19, 2008

Let there be Light!


The power just came back on. I am so excited I can't sleep!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Updates...

One long storm...
A few missing shingles...
Lots of fallen trees around town...
Four days and counting... and still no power...
They're saying three weeks...

We have a gas stove...
Our refridgerator is plugged into our neighbor's generator...
But gas is very, very sparce ...
The weather has cooled down...
School is cancelled until further notice...
Doug hasn't had to go in yet...
And our water was only out for a few hours...

But three weeks without power?!?!
I just don't know if I can be strong for that long.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike


The skies are starting to get cloudy, and we are watching... and waiting...

Doug was able to come home at noon yesterday to start preparing. No work or school for Doug or Porter today.

The kids are excited for the slumber party we're having tonight, although we're not sure where the safest place in our home is to sleep. The powder room is the only room without windows, and that just won't work.

Luckily I already had a full tank of gas, so I didn't have to wait in the lengthy lines at the gas station.

We have water and food.

I got my long run in this morning

We took the kids to the park to run out their energy

Church is cancelled for Sunday.

We're not boarding up our windows ( I hope we don't regret that decision!)

The yard is secured, we even fit Doug's car in the garage.

I just need to charge the leapster batteries and the DVD player.

Doug is excited for the adventure.

I'm plotting our escape if the power doesn't return quickly. Apparently during Hurricane Rita, K* lost power for 3 days... For the hurricane of '83 they lost power for 7 days... I guess we'll just have to eat all that ice cream in our freezer in one sitting!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Primary Program

I've been in charge of coordinating the Primary Program this year...
Less than two weeks to go, and counting...
I hope it all turns out okay...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Joovy


Okay, so this is kind of a funny story. And I assure you, Doug gave me permission to tell it. I didn't even ask for permission. I believe his exact works were, "well, this will make a good blog entry." Even he's starting to think in terms of blog entries, and he doesn't even blog

As he was pushing our brand new, less than 24 hour old Joovy Caboose out of the Children's Museum he thought to himself, I wonder if anyone ever just drives off and forgets to load their stroller. He loads up the kids, jumps in the driver's seat and drives away.

Hours later, as he goes to get the stroller out of the back of the van so he can wheel the kiddos down to the neighborhood pool, he realizes he left the stroller on the sidewalk! A friend who lives near to the museum drove over to see if it was still there, of course, it wasn't. I called the museum, of course, no one turned it in.

We only hope that whoever benefited from this oversight needed a double stroller more than we did.

At least he didn't forget a kid!

en fin... an end to my probation!



It felt like a long four months... but at last,

I can breathe a little easier each time I pass a policeman.

I can stop risking an almost certain rear end collision from exiting the freeway at the posted speed. (Doug finally told me he'd rather me get another ticket then get in an accident)

People will stop gesturing at me for going the speed limit on the feeder road.

I can hit the gas to get through the yellow light instead of slamming on the brakes.

I think it's still going to take me a while to get over my hate of school buses, busy judges and rude policemen.

But actually I think I've got the grandma driving thing down, I'll probably maintain my new driving conscientiousness.

While I hated to hand over so much money to the state of Texas last week, I am oh so glad to have this finally taken care of. It was a beautiful sound to hear the words... case dismissed.

new job

Doug switched jobs at the beginning of July. He now works for an oil and gas company in their legal department. What a blessing this opportunity has been for our family! The opportunity to interview was to me, a testament that the Lord loves us, he cares what we're doing, and he is involved in our lives. 

After serving in the Bishopric for 8 months, the Bishop announced that he would be moving. Bishop and Doug were directing traffic at a youth activity, and because Doug had gotten to know him well, and because he was moving, Doug felt comfortable saying, "If you ever hear of an opening in your company's legal department, let me know." 

That week, Doug heard from the company.  Turns out their legal department had an opening in contracts. Doug didn't have any experience, however, but as his new boss put it, when a VP tells you to look at someone, you look at them.  After meeting Doug, they were impressed with him, and wanted him for the position.  They hadn't been able to find anyone with experience, and so were willing to train. With this new job has come a nice raise, company provided insurance, a 401 K, a stock savings plan, a pension plan, 2 weeks vacation plus holidays off, an 8-5 schedule, no weekends, paid attorney fees and continuing education, plus a start in a field he wouldn't mind building a career in (litigation was not where he wanted to be for a whole career).

What a blessing!

remembering some summer fun










Friday Park Morning





While I wouldn't classify this mornings weather as cool, it was a tad bit less humid than our normal weather. We took advantage of it by spending a little time at the neighborhood park. Sophia kept asking me to take pictures of her. Preston enjoys being photographed as well. When he sees me pointing the camera at him, he stops what he's doing and flashes me a big beautiful grin.

The Birthday that never Ends



Sophia was able to celebrate her birthday at school this week. She wanted to take donuts. Chocolate glazed and regular glazed were her preferences. She was so pleased to be able to sit in the special seat and wear the birthday crown. She promptly ate every bite of her chocolate donut!



Pre-School





Ever since Sophia watched Porter go to pre-school she's been waiting for her turn. It's here, and she's loving it! I wish I could have captured her expression on film when I picked her up the first day. She was so, so, so proud of herself, but trying not to smile too big.

Regardless of my reluctance to let go, Sophia has had no qualms. She LOVES preschool. And her teachers love her. When I picked her up the other day her teacher told me "Sophia's a hoot, we're really enjoying having her in class. It's hard to believe she just turned four." I'm jealous! I would love to be able to be a fly on the wall and watch and observe the funny things she says to her teachers.

It's so nice to feel like we found the perfect place for her. It's such a great school, the people who work there are so kind and open, and there's such a good feeling every time I walk in the door. It's interesting how Porter's pre-school was the perfect place for him, but didn't feel right for Sophia. I really feel like I was led here, and am so grateful for that guidance!

Monday, September 01, 2008

upgrades


After over 14 years of faithfulness, our 20 inch television bit the dust. Doug's parents gave it to him as a gift in high school. In a day and age where so many things are upgraded just because one wants something new and different, it felt good and wholesome to use something until it wore out beyond repair.

Ode to Sophia


Sophia walks around the house saying, "I can't believe I'm four..." It is a big deal, and
turning four entitles one to a birthday tribute, so here you go darlin'

Sophia is...

* so sweet and so helpful, when she wants to be!
* a true fashion diva, she loves to match outfits (and she's gotten very good at it too!) After
dressing, she will stand up on her bed so she can see in her mirror and admire herself. She'll look at the front, and the the back with a very pleased smile on her face. She also changes her outfits a minimum of four times a day... minimum... it can be many more than that. She will ask me, "Mom, do I look great?"
* a fun loving, spunky girl. She loves to laugh!
* a go-doer. She will be successful in what ever she tries. This season she was trying to decide between playing soccer or playing ballet. After a long internal debate spanning several days, ballet finally won out.
* a good worker (again, when she wants to be). She will stay until the job is done. She likes her clothes to be put in their correct drawers. She loves to wash mirrors, and often gets more chore tokens than her brother.
* still a snuggler. She's a mama's girl through and through. She loves being read to at night. She always wants me to tell her a buzz light year story too, and she's started telling me her own.
* a little bit bossy (okay, sometimes very bossy).
* one tough cookie. She can hold her own. I guess you have to with a brother like Porter.
* a french fry girl. I don't know why I even bother with a hamburger.
* a pink loving girl... all things pink... all things girly... all things dress up... all things polly pocket.. but she also loves to go to the park and run around
* a big helper with her baby brother, when she's not squeezing too tight!
* a girl who knows what she wants. From how to spend her birthday money (flippers, a dress up outfit, and the exact little mermaid polly pocket she remembers seeing months ago and some store that mom can not identify) to what she's going to wear from head to toe
* very patient with her mom

I love being Sophia's mom. I love hanging out with her. As long as she is well rested and fed, she is such a nice, pleasant person to be with. I feel so blessed to have her in my life. Today she chose coming to the grocery store with me over going to Chuckee Cheeses with her dad and big brother. I thought that was sweet she wanted to spend time together. She was such a good girl at the store. It's funny, she sticks so close to me, sometimes I've thought that I've lost her, only to realize she's directly behind me, practically touching me. I love her laugh, I love her stories, I love her smile and her eye brow wiggle. I love my Sophia!