Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 1188: When Things Go Wrong In A Good Way

I woke up this morning in a terrible mood.

Partly because I was being woken up an hour earlier than expected.  I don't do well with that on the best of days.  But, today I had stayed home from the gym for the sole purpose of catching up on sleep!  So, I was bugged.

And really worried.

My sweet boys have been significantly less than sweet lately.  And I'm getting a little bit crazy about it. So, mix in a tired, grumpy attitude and I just knew today had no hope for being a good day.  I knew I would wind up yelling at them both all day and that everything would be just awful.

And I felt myself slipping.  Down into the bottomless abyss.


I cried.  Which woke up HH.  Fortunately, he was a lot nicer about being woken up early (of course, by this time it was only about 5 minutes early for him) than I was.  He listened and offered support.  And then I said my morning prayer and fervently prayed for help.

And it came.

In a most unexpected way.

Baby B suddenly had a 180 turn about potty training and has been quite gung ho about it all day.  Which means that I've been checking in on him (and consequently, Little M) every 5 minutes or less.  And giving tons and tons of praise as he keeps his pants dry (this, unfortunately, did not include our outing to a local play center. :( ).  Naturally, it makes it very easy for me to praise Little M at the same time for any good behavior he is exhibiting.

They are both Attention Fiends.  So, all of the positive attention led to a really good day, thus far.  And I've been so anxious about Baby B's determination to forever stay in diapers, that the couple of accidents he has had have felt very inconsequential.

It's all about perspective.

And a whole lot of help from a loving Heavenly Father.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 1187: At Least I'm Consistent About Being Inconsistent

That's a thing, right?

Okay.  Good.

Soooooo... the past couple of weeks have been... interesting.  Ups and downs, with the downs spiraling into a serious flare up with my exercise addiction, accompanied by paranoia that none of my friends actually like me.

It was sad.  But, I tried to keep on keepin' on.  This happened.

I think she's so beautiful.  Even with a messy face.

Anyway, so I forced myself to hang out with my friends.  Twice.  And was quickly reassured by just being with them that I was, in fact, JUST being a paranoid freak person.

And then I took off a couple days from exercise.  Completely.  And nothing bad happened.  And I didn't feel guilty about it.  Possibly because I was ridiculously sore from all I did the two days before I took those two days off.  But still, this is progress.

And I'm doing well.  Yesterday was rough, but I fought it all along the way.  I did a really good job staying above water for a lot of it and I'm proud of myself for that.  And the times that I gave into the negative, I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and got back on the horse.

How's that for all kind of mixed metaphors?

It's my blog.  I can mix all the metaphors I want.

Anyway, last night a family friend came to stay overnight with his new (to me) wife.  Love them.  We had so much fun talking.  Stayed up too late.  And then they were so sweet and made my kids' morning just wonderful before getting back on the road to continue their journey.

And today was a good good day.  I even got to talk to my mom and my dad tonight.

I'm going to be okay, people.  And I'm not just talking about today.  Or tomorrow.  Or this week.  Something has happened.  It's like all of the lessons I've been learning have finally begun to be assimilated and are becoming a more natural part of my thought patterns.  Not that life will be perfect from here on out.  But, things are starting to get easier.

At least for now.  Here's hoping that there really is something permanent happening here. :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Day 1186: Fantabulous Day

You know how sometimes I say, "Today was not my favorite day"?

Well, today was not one of those days.

Good times at Boot Camp this morning.  Cleaning out the garage.  And then I got my new porcelain crown.  No more yucky stainless steel tooth!  Although, there was also some drilling removed in order to replace another, nearby filling that is apparently too old, and I might have not been numbed thoroughly, so now my mouth is not feeling super happy.

But, I have a pretty new crown and a pretty new filling.  And, hopefully, no more dental work for some time.

And then, I got to come home and teach my good friend who watched my kids for me how to make freezer jam.  Not that she wouldn't have been totally capable of reading the box directions herself.  But, it was certainly more fun together.

Plus, it was the perfect opportunity to experiment with a "new" recipe I've been coming across online.  Strawberries, chia seeds, and honey.  Mix it in a jar and I have jam.  And we love it.  So much easier, quicker, and significantly less messy!  Not to mention, a billion times healthier.

I'm pretty dang happy about it.

And great conversation with my friend all the while.

A great day.

And then, we went outside for some play time.  Kite flying, bike riding, bubble blowing.  And these sweet snuggles.

I love this season.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day 1185: Little Talks

I don't know about you, but I love baby bums.  They are just ridiculously adorable.  This photo is a little bit sad, too, though.  It represents the end of an era.  Her hair is only sticking up because it's wet.  Once it dried, it fell.  Not completely, there is small bit that still sticks up in the back.  But, it's only a half-hearted effort.  I'm a little sad.

Good thing there is still a cute bum to cheer me up.

Actually, I'm feeling pretty cheery.

Today was another day like the last several.  Except that I was kind of thwarted in most of my efforts towards all the various projects.  But, at least we know what won't work now.

HH and I have kind of been tag-teaming it all week and not spending a lot of time actually together.  So, when he finally got home from the gym, after a Scout Court of Honor, we just kind of started chatting.  And somehow kept on chatting for the next hour and a half.

So, getting up at 5 AM tomorrow is going to be rough.

But, shooting the breeze with HH and laughing together was worth every minute of it.  He is so very much my best friend.

I love my HH.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 1184: Small Bites

Today was another good day.  Pretty similar schedule to the last several.  But, we did have soccer practice tonight for Little M.  It was fun to be outside with the family and enjoy some (finally!) nice weather.  I still just get a kick out of watching Darling A in the grass.  Too funny.

After we came home and got the kids in bed, HH pulled out the list he made for us of all the things we need to work on around the house and yard.  Well, not all of them, but some of the more important projects.

At first, I got pretty  overwhelmed.  I mean, I am bone tired from all the tasks I've been working on every day.  But, at the same time it feels good to be taking care of things.

Then again, looking at the list of all of the many things that still need doing--it started to feel like I will need to spend 2-6 hours of every day for the rest of forever working on projects around here.  Ugh.  I'm tired.

But, then I reminded myself of how doable it has been so far and how great and satisfied I feel at the end of the day for all I've been accomplishing.  Sure, I'm getting behind on my blogs.  And watching a little less on Hulu.  But, it's really not that bad.  And our house and yard are looking a lot better.

I just need to take it one day at a time.  One project at a time.  One bite at a time until I've finished the whole pie.  Or enchilada.  Or, whatever it is.

Hooray for productivity!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 1183: Restraint

I'm discovering that being signed up for a couple of races not only makes my training more fun and purposeful, but it also gives me more motivation to take care of myself and not push it too hard when something is hurting.

I guess that means I'll just have to keep signing up for races... (:

I had a really nice run this morning and even got to see some fuzzy little ducklings in a nearby pond.  So stinkin' cute.

Are you tired of me mentioning the never-ending work to be done around the yard and house?  Because I did some more of that this morning.

And then a friend's daughter came over to play.  She is darling and sweet.  And it was a nice change of pace for us.  Baby B was especially thrilled to have a friend to play.  And play they did.  It was fun.

I went to dinner with some friends after violin lessons.  It was so fun to get out and laugh with them.  I love my friends.

Meanwhile, HH switched around the bike pedals, so the two bikes I need have the pedals I like on them.  And cleaned the kitchen.  And put the kids to bed.  He is awesome.  I love him.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 1182: Chagrined

I realized this morning that I completely failed to mention anything about my own mother in my elaborate post yesterday.

I am so very grateful and beyond blessed by the mother I have.  She's an amazing example to me in both motherhood and life and she is one of my very best friends.  Daily I am strengthened by her example and teachings.  I love you, Mom!

Today was a very full day.  I was busy from 5 AM on to about 11 PM.  But, I am healthier, our yard looks better, everyone is fed, the house is cleaner, and we even managed to make time for Family Home Evening with a nice lesson on modesty from Sweet P.

I love watching my kids grow and become more capable.  It is awesome.

But, I still wish my baby would stay a baby just a bit longer.  She is completely mobile now and pulling up on everything.  Earning her a couple bruises today.  I'm sure they are the first of many to come.  She is the least cautious of all of my babies and just takes off for wherever she wants to go, regardless of what is in the way.  We are going to have our hands full keeping her safe.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Day 1181: A First

Today was definitely my best Mother's Day, yet.

It helped that I had no trace of the usual guilt I feel on Mother's Day, when everyone is talking about how perfect moms are.  Thanks to how I've been feeling lately, I've been much more patient and kind and fun with the kids.  And I've been working overtime with all of the projects and everything else to do around the house and yard.  So, I've been feeling like a good mom.

Which made it so nice to just appreciate everything they did for me today.  Including, and not limited to:  Delicious quiche and juice for breakfast, made while I got some time on my own; some amazing gifts and cards--

I failed to take pictures of the two "wild flower" bouquets they gave me earlier.

And the running belt with water bottles to go along with these new sweet thangs:

I couldn't wait, so I got these a little early.

And all of the above had me already feeling totally and completely spoiled.

The kids were antsy and hinting at something all morning long, and finally HH gave up trying to keep it a secret and handed me a pretty little gold bag.  Inside I found this:

The very necklace I'd been wanting to wear to church this morning.  It was my grandma's.  I love it, but I haven't really been able to wear it because it was actually a broken locket, with a broken chain, and very tarnished.  I didn't even realize those pretty little balls on the trim were actually pearls.  The jewelers who fixed it up told HH.  And they confirmed that it's an old piece because it's so well made.

So, when I opened up the box and saw it so beautifully polished and on a brand new chain, tears sprang into my eyes.  I've never cried over a gift before.

But, this time I couldn't help it.

Even now, just remembering it, I could cry.

My HH is amazing.

And the goodness kept on coming.

The kids were extra crazy at church.

And then we came home and HH took care of the kids and made me a delicious and thoughtful dinner. Grilled chicken, green salad full of fruit (my fave), bread, chocolate milk (my FAVE), and strawberry and cream popovers.

Yes, he is awesome.

Then we went to a graduation recital for the kids, so I got to hear them perform.

Fabulous fabulous day!

I am so so so thankful for my four beautiful children.  For their sweet, smiling faces.  For their willingness to forgive my many mistakes.  And their continual praise and appreciation for me.  They are my biggest fans and I love them.

And it goes without saying, I'm beyond grateful for my HH.  I could never be the mom, or person, I am without him and his never ending support.

I love you, HH.  Thank you for making today and every day so beautiful.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day 1180: Xeriscaping Is Sounding Better And Better

I grew up in a desert, during drought conditions.  Xeriscaping was the type of landscaping highly encouraged.  It involved a lot of rocks and therefore, very little need for water.

By nature, it also requires much less maintenance.

I could go for a low-maintenance yard right now.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.  Sweet P and I (and Darling A in the stroller) started the day off with a two-mile run.  Well, it was more like a really slow jog.  It was Sweet P's first 2-miler and I'm so proud of her for doing it!  I hope this is just  the beginning and that we will one day be running partners.

The boys came home while we were whipping up a tasty breakfast.  So, we swapped stories about our fun evenings apart.

And then the work began.

And continued pretty much all day.

But, hopefully, are lawn will start looking better after all I've done the past couple of weeks and yesterday and today especially.  And our garden is finally fully planted.  We're trying a few new things this year, so fingers crossed!

A hard day physically.  I'm sore in many places.  But, I wouldn't trade positions with anyone in the world right now.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 1179: And The Girls

I ended up doing some more yard work this morning.  Not the type that I'm usually in charge of.  Knowing that I'm serving HH is the only thing that makes it bearable.  And it makes me appreciate him all the more as well.

It was another good day.

I started to get frustrated at one point this afternoon with an exasperating Baby B and then I thought, "It's not worth it."  And I was able to just let the negativity go and find peace again.

I'm sure I won't always be able to do that, but today I did and it was nice.

Tonight, the boys went on a Father and Sons camp out, while we girls had a little crafting and ice cream fun at the church with friends.

And then, we wrapped up the evening with dinner and a movie.  I let Sweet P choose where we picked up dinner and Arby's was her immediate choice.  We have exotic taste around here.  They are both sporting clips made by Sweet P and I.  And if you look really closely, you can see the ring on Sweet P's finger.  I have a matching one.  That is pretty darn girly and cutsie for my Sweet P.

It was a fun evening.  Darling A didn't last through much of the movie (Matilda--I'm working on introducing Sweet P to one of my all time favorite books) before heading to bed.

I love my girls!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Day 1178: Da Boys

Another good day.  I had a nice run this morning, followed by a good swim.  I always forget how much I love a good swim.  But, I'm training for a triathlon next month, so I'll be in the pool regularly for the next little bit.

And I super cleaned my house today to prep for our carpets getting spot cleaned (in all the places where the toilet water flooded).  It's nice.  Everything is so clean.  I love it.

And I closed out the day playing Uno and working on another puzzle with my boys, while HH and Sweet P were gone.  I love that my kiddos are getting old enough to just play together like that (versus playing cars and trains--I'm not good at that!).

Loving life.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 1177: A Little Bit O' Sunshine

It was a mostly cloudy, sometimes rainy kind of day.  But, every now and then, the sun would peek through for a bit.

It was kind of the best of all worlds, really.  At least, as far as I'm concerned.  I love the rain.  Especially, when it's warm (which it was today).  But, I'm realizing more and more all the time, my mood has a serious dependency on sun.  There go my dreams of ever living in Seattle...

Today was just an all around good day.

I was productive and happy.  I handled Baby B's tantrums (not nearly as frequent as they used to be) in a calm and loving way.  I loved and appreciated my children.  I loved and appreciated HH.  I even had a very candid chat with him about somethings that are difficult for me to talk about.  Easier with him than the therapist, though.

And then we had a moment of hilarity involving a bare-bottomed Baby B casually chatting away about peeing in his diaper, a potential rash in private places--all because of poops, the need for a new diaper, the possibility of potty training tomorrow (don't hold your breath), and how difficult it can be to get a new diaper out of the package when it's a new one and they are all wedged in there so tightly.  HH maintained his respect and dignity and helped him out.

I laughed hysterically the entire time.

Today was a good day.

And now, I'm being responsible and going to bed early.  Good night.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 1176: Assert Yourself

I am capable of being assertive, but it is not something that comes naturally to me.  I typically have to kind of psych myself up and then rehearse everything inside my head two, or three, or fifty times to gather up my nerve.

But today, I was assertive in therapy.  It went like this--"I'm going to be open about this, but can you just hold back on all the pushy questions?"

BAM.  That was powerful, I know.  But, it worked.  He totally held back--something I did not think he would actually do.

And then it launched this whole discussion about how maybe we need to re-vamp my therapy.  Because maybe all of the anxiety I experience leading up to each appointment is contributing to the crashes I've been having.  Because lately, they all seem to happen right before an appointment.

So, I've been doing a lot of processing and journaling about the matter all day.  I will spare you all of that.  I just want to say that this has been a surprisingly freeing shift.  I feel a lot better about my future therapy and my therapist, too.  Which is not to say I thought ill of him--clearly he has been quite helpful.  But, I hadn't realized before that I felt so much stress about being "forced" to discuss things that are really dark and difficult to talk about.  But, I also thought that was necessary.  So, the possibility that it isn't, combined with a new feeling of control is great.

I had a good afternoon getting caught up on several tasks that I've been putting off.  So, tonight I'm just feeling good.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 1175: Crawling

Today was a little rough.  Kind of a lot rough some of the time.  But, I took out a lot of my frustration on the dandelions in the front yard.

And tried to spend some quality time with the kids.

And spent a lot of time enjoying my sweet Darling A, especially.  She's becoming quite the crawler.  My favorite is when she crawls up to me and reaches her chubby little hands up to me to be lifted up.  She's so much fun to hold and snuggle.  And she still just giggles all the time and about everything.  That sounds like I'm exaggerating.  But, I'm really not.  She really does giggle all. the. time.

And it's good for me.

Then we made dinner for some friends.  I've decided it's a good idea to schedule some regular service every few days.  It definitely helps.

And then we had a pretty good Family Home Evening, discussing this talk.  I think the kids kind of listened.  A little bit.  Enough that I considered it a success.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day 1174: Powerful

We had an amazing opportunity this morning.  We got to listen to an Apostle of Jesus Christ, Elder L. Tom Perry.  And we got to listen to Elder Kevin Hamilton, a member of the Quorum of the Seventy.  And our local Stake President, as well.

It was great.  And inspiring.  And I'm grateful my children had the opportunity to be in the same room as these great men.

And then we had some fun putting together puzzles.

And then I got a phone call and realized I had sort of dropped the ball on something, and the batteries in the smoke alarm started beeping, and Darling A woke up, and Baby B said he was starving.  And I kind of fell apart.

Kind of totally.

I feel like a ball of yarn.  With therapy, I've been unwinding and unwinding, in the hopes of someday getting re-wound in a nice, workable ball again.  Sometimes, I feel like things are going well in that direction.  The problem is, occasionally, I hit a really bad knot and I don't know how to de-tangle it.  And it kind of feels worse.  I don't know if that makes sense.

It stinks.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 1173: May The 4th Be With You

I told the kids that this morning (remember, they are HUGE Star Wars freaks fans).  They seriously thought I was the coolest person ever.  Even after I told them I did not think of that on my own.

Please, don't ever grow up and decide I'm actually not cool at all.

Anyway, this week has flown by.  It's jam-packed.  And I'm learning that being busy is okay.  I just need to keep happily plodding along, rather than feeling put-upon.

And, while I used to hesitate to offer to help anyone for fear that I would be feeling depressed when the time came to follow through, I'm learning that keeping service regularly scheduled throughout my week actually does more for boosting my mood.  Not that all service can be scheduled in.  But, I'm also learning to be flexible with my schedule, so I can be available for that kind too.  And it all really helps my mood and attitude.

And rhyming skills.

Highlights from the past few days include getting new linoleum in the kids bathroom and the toilet re-attached--no more sharing a bathroom!, the carpets re-stretched and nailed down, a fun dinner date with HH last night,

Making this strawberry shortbread with the kids early in the week, when it was beautiful weather and we ate outside.  We had snow Wednesday and Thursday--not a highlight.  But, running in my new shoes definitely was!  And doing another 1-mile fun run with the kids this morning, even though it was freezing cold!  And lastly, a fantastic recital from the above dynamic duo.  Love those kids.