Friday, January 24, 2014

Moments with my little man...

Super sappy post. You've been warned.

Do you ever have moments in your life when it feels like the carousel just slows to a standstill, like you're in a bubble and everything beyond it is blurry? Your senses are heightened and your focus is made so clear that it feels like you're in a dream? I had that sensation tonight, three times.
My son challenges me in so many ways. My patience, my sanity, my kindness, my resolve... my worthiness in being his mother. But tonight he shared so much with me that I felt so extremely grateful to be a part of this young man's life that my heart felt like it couldn't contain the emotions I felt.
It started at dinner, a very casual dinner. We ate pizza and drank Capri Suns while Klint played the acoustic guitar at the table. As Klint strummed a dreamy tune Jaakson says, "That sound like a date song...." We ask what he means and he explains that it's the type of song you would listen to while on a date with a girl. Then he offers, " I like Lou Lou and Bella at school... maybe I will decide to take them on a date when I'm older.... And I don't care who knows it." After giving him a surprised look he adds, "I'm not embarassed anymore to say who I like." and then struts back to his chair with his chest puffed out. I acted agreeable and casual but inside I'm truly impressed with this unabashed, mature attitude.
A couple of hours later Jaakson and I are sitting in my bedroom, finishing up his homework before bedtime and we hear Klint playing some more slow songs in the other room. This time Jaakson stops his homework and says, "...Mom, Daddy's songs make me feel like crying." I think he's joking but when he looks up at me there are huge, fat tears in his eyes and they start rolling down his cheeks. I want to laugh but then my heart swells and I smile at this sweet, young man. He doesn't seem embarassed, but rather puzzled as to why music is making him cry. I take the opportunity to explain to him that it's a gift to have such a tender heart that music can touch it and make him feel such powerful emotions. We hug and he continues to sniffle for the next five minutes while he works on his homework. I can't take how sweet my son is, at this point.
Then a little later, when I am walking him to his room to say goodnight he stops me in the hallway and says, "Mom, I feel bad that back in Martin Luther King's time black people were treated badly and couldn't sit where they wanted to or have the same opportunities we do. I feel bad because I'm white, too." I explained that what happened back then has nothing to do with him and that he didn't live back then or take part in that thinking/behavior. I reminded him of his good heart and the teachings he believes in- that we are all God's children on this earth, no matter the color of our skin. He feels better, hugs me, and goes to bed.
I feel humbled. I will be honest and say that sometimes I felt pressured from other people about Jaakson; his grades, his behavior, his work ethic, his manners, etc. The list goes on and on. Over the years, no matter how hard I wanted to resist, this pressure started to affect how I viewed and treated my son. I became demanding, relentless, and unyielding.
When Jaakson was a toddler, I wasn't a hover mother. I wanted him to explore and learn thru trial and error (safely, of course). I encouraged him to be independent and speak his mind. I never spanked. I felt that if he didn't want to give someone a hug or kiss, he shouldn't have to. I let him wander ahead of me at the park or mall, always within close eye-sight. I felt I was raising a well-balanced, able little boy. I felt like we were doing everything right, as parents. Then came the school years. Preschool and kindergarten were fun times and Jaakson enjoyed school immensely. But after first grade and especially after we moved to Arizona in third grade, Jaakson started to loathe going to school. It's been a common theme from Jaakson's teachers that he is a bright child but he needs to have more self-discipline and buckle down with schoolwork. Be more responsible. I was faced with the fact that we needed to run a tighter ship at home and to expect more from Jaakson. I felt like I'd already failed as a parent from the start and had a lot of making up to do. Without going into specifics, this scholastic year has been a little hellish for all of us but especially for Jaakson.  But in most ways, it was necessary and Jaakson has worked REALLY hard to overcome SO many obstacles. I am so proud of his endurance and his faith in himself and his Heavenly Father. Jaakson rose to the occasion and has exceeded our expectations.
Tonight I just felt like I kept getting smacked in the face with how amazing my son is! He truly is a tender-hearted individual and feels emotions on a very deep level. I haven't valued this attribute enough. I should not worry about his grades, popularity with teachers, or ranking in school so much that I forget that he is an individual with complex feelings and a mind of his own that needs nurturing, not judgement.
When he was little, everyone always told me how cute and funny he was. I was always proud of what a handsome little boy he was. Since he has gotten older, when authority figures began to share their concern about his behavior or performance at times, I felt like I needed to hurry and "fix" him so they wouldn't be bothered or irritated by him anymore. I didn't want to have a "problem child" teachers wouldn't like. This school year, I have chosen to embrace and nurture Jaakson's struggles and work thru them with him instead of being embarassed or annoyed by him. And it's made all the difference, for both of us. Jaakson is my son and it is my honor to help him find his way thru the tests and trials of his childhood.  I feel Jaakson truly knows now that I am his biggest supporter, not just his disciplinarian. Getting to teach him about life has enriched my own life more than I could have ever imagined. I will sometimes think, 'I hope I don't screw him up too bad! I hope he won't be too traumatized by my mistakes as a parent." But times like tonight, I feel so blessed to be raising such a truly sensitive, bright, funny, and energetic individual. This little man blesses me 100 times over and I wouldn't change anything about him.
I'm grateful for the moments I had with him tonight.  I will better remember to nurture his sensitivity and encourage voicing his opinions. I can't wait to see what else life has in store for him in the coming years.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Settling in.....

Well, we made it through the first month in Arizona with relatively little drama. Yay! A few things that happened: Jaakson's teacher gave me a couple phone calls last month about him being "mouthy" with her and straight-up refusing to do his classwork which was followed by a parent-teacher meeting last week. Shae called home a time or two saying her "tummy hurt" but once we got home she was miraculously healed. Elena's sleeping schedule took a heinous twist including fevers and many 2 a.m. pagings ("Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy..." on repeat, until I went into her room). I was a little homesick and anxious and coped by sitting on the couch most of the day some days and as a result have a little more junk in my trunk these days. Trying to find my way around a MUCH larger, more expensive city for places to shop, refuel, etc. that would work with our modest budget was an adventure. Klint worked very long hours in the beginning and most weekends and Sundays. And it was REALLY fun when I locked our only set of keys in our trunk at the ward's crazy-busy-crowded Halloween trunk-or-treat. Three hours, a tow-truck driver, and locksmith later we got a $220 duplicate key for our car. Nevermind that since the day we moved here I kept getting the nagging feeling, "don't forget to make a copy of the car key before something bad happens." Oh, the regret.
I was at the center of all these things, trying to navigate and fix it all without turning into a maniac.
I failed miserably. I have anxiety issues, as it is. Poor me, I know. But this is the life of a mom. I accept and own that, don't worry. "Poor Klint and kids" is more accurate. But hey, some days are better than others and I'm a work in progress.
After all of these things happened and a few temper tantrums (not just from the kids), something happened inside for me. I learned something I had heard and understood in theory but had not truly applied until recently.
What I've learned this past month: sometimes you just have to laugh it off. It doesn't mean you aren't taking responsibility, it just means it's not the end of the world and that things aren't always going to go according to plan. Laugh when the kids get in trouble get in trouble for licking their classmate (well, laugh on the inside), then help them figure it out and move on. Laugh when you do something stupid, like locking your keys in the trunk. Laugh when your toddler wants you to sing "Popcorn Popping" at 3 a.m. and you're cross-eyed with fatigue. Laugh when you realize you've eaten more than half of a Costco pumpkin pie all by yourself.....and then laugh again when you step on the scale the next day. Laugh it up! I've realized that for too long I have worried about "people" thinking I don't take my responsibilities as a parent/wife/employee seriously that I have started to take myself too seriously and have obstructed myself from enjoying my life and those in it to the fullest. I reflect on Sister Marjorie Pay Hinckley's wise words, “The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.” What a wonderful perspective on life and I know I will live by those words from this day forth.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Back at it!

Whew. That was a rough day last year apparently! (see post below) Thank you for the support, ladies! (Just realized I had comments to moderate when I logged on today).
Anywhoo, I'm back at it! Blogging seems like a fun thing to do again since I suck at journaling and don't have the patience to scrapbook. Plus, this is the first time I am not working outside of the home and I actually have the desire and a little extra time now and then to write. Don't get me wrong, staying-at-home is so much harder than cutting men's hair but it does allow me to hop on my laptop much more frequently.
I now reside in the land of....*drumroll*....Arizona! Anti-climactic? Even though it feels like I'm in the movie "Rango" at times, I am really enjoying the change in scenery. Utah is in another dimension. I don't say that with a negative connotation either. We knew this when we moved but it still has been a little bit of a culture shock for us.  Not in a bad way though! I just have to throw this out there; Arizona REALLY likes it's alcohol! Wine racks in practically every aisle at the grocery store! "We're not in Kansas anymore..."
I can't say enough how grateful I am for the internet! I am grateful for Facebook, email, blogging, YouTube, and all the other social media outlets. It will take time to meet some super-cool Arizona neighborhood friends to play with from time to time so it's nice to know I can still stay connected to my friends and family in Utah and elsewhere.
My kids haven't haven't started school yet due to a 16 day fall-break. Unpacking and setting up a new home with 3 rambunctious kids running amok= utter chaos. It's ok. That's how we roll. I've accepted that. Jaakson is the most reluctant to meet new people and start at a new school but already has a few good neighborhood friends he plays with every day so I'm not TOO worried for now.  Plus, he's a good-looking kid and very friendly. Now if I could figure out how to deal with his brooding nature and attitude..... Shae is a social butterfly and Elena is just happy anytime she's not stuck in her carseat! I think they'll all do great.
Klint loves his new job but is also finding just how different people are outside of Utah. He works with great people and is excited for the new friendships and associations he's building. Aside from the colorful language that flies around his new workplace, he is adjusting well and enjoying going to work everyday to do what he loves.
This has been an.....interesting transition so far. More random thoughts to come.............

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Random/vent-y rant coming've been warned.

So, just to offset the verbal vomit I'm about to spew, here are some cute things that happened today:

Shae stepped on a bee while running thru the sprinklers with friends and she ran inside wailing like an ambulance to show me. Since she was practically doing the alligator-death-roll to get away from me, Klint and I both needed to hold her while I got the bee stinger out of her foot with tweezers. There is a cute part; it's when I put Neosporin and a band-aid on it and put her in bed to watch a movie and rest her foot.  To cheer her up, I told her I was her age the first time I could remember being stung by a bee. And I sat on it. True story. (I was a smart kid). Shae thought this was hilarious, stopped crying and giggled delightfully! Especially when I did an impression of what I must've looked like. I knew this was the type of humor a 4-year old could appreciate.
 Also cute, I was hanging out with Klint after I got home from work and he told me how brave Jaakson was today when he crashed his bike. I guess he biffed it pretty bad and has some good gashes on both of his knees. Six months ago this kid would've reacted the way Shae did. Apparently he just sucked it up and said, "Uh Dad, could you help me out here?" He didn't even fuss when Klint cleaned it up and put a band-aid on.  I'm so proud of our lil' guy and the strong boy he's turning out to be!

Those were the highlights of my day.

 Here it comes... I don't think I'm ever going to be good long as I'm employed somewhere and I have children to raise.  I'm blessed to have a part-time job at a salon. I'm moreso blessed to have the opportunity to stay-at-home 90% of my week with my children. I usually only have to work 3/4 to5 hour shifts in the evenings per week.  There are moms out there who hardly get to see their children at all because of their work schedules.  I "only" have to work part-time, I know.  My dilemma: I don't know that it's possible to have a perfect time record. How does everyone else seem to be able to juggle it ALL and not have problems being on-time? Am I missing some Supermom gene that every working mother has? Are all Supermoms also psychics?! They can tell the future and plan accordingly?
No matter what, SOME drama or disaster occurs JUST as I'm leaving for work that requires my intervention: Klint isn't going to be home on-time because his work or school has decided to keep him longer than initially planned. I have to rush to find a sitter to cover the time gap.  Shae gets stung on the foot by a bee and wants her Mom.  The neighborhood kids are knocking down the front door.  Jaakson got into an argument with a neighborhood kid.  Someone turned on the outdoor hose and it's spraying everyones cars.  Elena is just waking up from her nap and crying for Mom.  A neighborhood kid just called Shae a "bitch." The list TRULY never ends. And it always happens as I'm trying to get ready for work or walking out the door for work. I'm pretty sure my co-workers think I'm a pathological liar (well, maybe not the ONE other working mother). I don't say anything anymore if I'm a couple minutes late to work.
I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible for me to have a perfect record, in terms of being on-time for work.  I won't bore you with details or anymore reasons/excuses but when it comes down to it; I'm multi-tasked OUT. I feel like my kids come first and my job second. Yet financially, I MUST work right now. Fortunately, I married for love. I obviously didn't marry for money. Alas, money makes the world go round.

It doesn't appear to matter that when I get to work, I am a hard worker. I'm efficient. I'm professional. I'm good at what I do. I'm reliable and loyal to my employer. Apparently, none of those things matter.  My efforts never matter. One of the assistant managers told me that it doesn't matter that I'm on-time most of the time because I "only" work about 3 times a week so when I'm occasionally late it doesn't average out so well...... For me, the fact that I'm on-time MOST of the time, with all the craziness of that comes with kids every week., is quite an accomplishment in MY book. I guess I'm easily pleased? I have a small yardstick? Who knows. I'm genuinely and desperately doing my best to meet the "on-time" standards and I feel like saying, "Talk to me if/when you've had a few children, if you're still working by then." As for now ZERO tolerance, it is. My co-workers are late all the time whom aren't even married, going to school, have kids, etc. *Sidenote: I also find it extremely aggravating when managers and assistant managers are allowed to be tardy numerous times/days and they don't write each other up, while the rest of us grunts are expected to be 100%, "or else!"

Bluh. I don't necessarily need/want anyone to agree with me on this. I know, I know "it's important to be on-time and it's part of being professional," etc. I WANT to be a good employee! I'm truly trying my utmost, my very best. I'm also trying to be a good mother, a good wife, a good neighbor, a good housekeeper, a good disciple of Christ, a good daughter/sister/grandaughter, a good citizen.

I guess I just feel the need to put my words out into the universe.....via blogger. I haven't posted anything in a long time so I'm banking on the fact that nobody will actually read this.  And hoping if you do read this, you won't judge me. There's something about writing it all out that is therapeutic. 

I just feel like I'm running out of steam and the finish line is still so far away......*sigh*

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Picture fun!

Instead of writing too much, I'm just going to post my favorite pictures from my favorite moments this summer!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Introducing Baby Elena!

Born July 31st @ 12:25 pm, weighing in at 7 lbs 5 oz and 19 1/2 inches long! The kids and us just can't stop staring at her! More deets to come as this story progresses.....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jaakson's Kindergarten Graduation....

Jaakson's last day of school isn't until June 3rd but they already had the kindergarten graduation. Here are some of the pix and videos we took. My baby boy is getting so big!!! I'm so proud of all the hard work he has put in with his teachers this year! Jaakson knows how to read, write, spell, and do basic math! Jaakson's teacher is a very patient and dedicated teacher. We are so grateful for Mrs. Williams! As I watched the graduation ceremony, I was so proud of the little man Klint and I have raised. Jaakson is a special boy and we love him so much!They sang several songs but these 2 were our favorites!