Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Sweet papa

Dave is the best papa in the whole world. So B breaks his arm. Completely deformed. Dave takes charge of the situation in the most kind and calming way possible. Explaining that broken arms are just a part of life and guiding B through breathing exercises to calm down. While listening to Indiana Jones of course. Apparently Dave broke his right arm 4 times when he was a kid. So sweet. So B was in a lot of pain waiting for the doctor. Dave says, "Wanna hear about the first time I broke my arm?". They must have had a 20 min conversation about all of Dave's broken arm stories. B was so delighted to have a "comrade in arms" so to speak, that he almost forgot about his mangled little arm. I think it was reassuring that his arm really would soon heal (just like papas) and that Papa really did know what he was experiencing. Sweetest thing Ever!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


So April. What'd you do today?
Well, I taught a guy who can't talk or write to email. Taught a guy who can't interpret visual information to read and write. Helped a guy who can't move to access his lights, tv, radio, etc. And helped a language impaired woman to write professionally again. Seriously, no wonder I have a big ole headache. Time to go to Young Womens.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Heavenly Father

We were talking about eternal progression in Sunday School last week. It got me to thinking.... I wonder if Heavenly Father gets frustrated with us. Seriously, he's got a BIG job to do.... Far more difficult than any of us can possibly imagine. But many of us have experienced, in life, the further you progress, the more criticism you will recieve. You can choose the absolute best choice possible and will still recieve criticism. Think about how much criticism our Presidents recieve. It comes with the job.

I think about how much criticism Heavenly Father recieves from his children. I wonder if he ever gets frustrated. "I'm working my hiney off here, can't anybody just say Thanks! Seriously, Come on. That place is amazing. I worked for a long time on that place. By the way guys... Treat each other well and keep a Few simple commandments, that's all it takes. You're little world down there would be a lot happier place. But look, if you want to learn everything the hard way (shakes his head). And, hello, it's a huge world down there. Find a place where you will be happy and stop whining. Now, somethings will be tough, I'll help you figure it out, you'll need my help. Remember, I'm here. And I love you. But it's certainly easier to meet your needs and give you guidance when you talk to me. "

Monday, November 23, 2009

Just chillin

We are back at our facility in Galveston. It's nice to be back. I'm not loving the drive, but definetly appreciating the relative peace that comes from having my own office with room to spread out and think.

It's lunchtime now and the sun in the sky couldn't possibly be more perfect outside here. Nice warm breeze and not a lot going on that I care to manage at the moment. What could be better? A few min of calm in this crazy, crazy world.

Monday, November 16, 2009

School Pictures 2009

Clickie for biggie!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


B: C3P0 has a girl inside and that makes it talk a lot!

Friday, October 09, 2009


Last week we went to Disneyland to celebrate Ian's fourth birthday. There we were joined by (in chronological order) the Denisons (Deborah & the jakes), the Gallups (Mark & Mary), the Marinis (Tim, Rachel, & Wyatt), & the Thompsons (Kyle, Adria, Sam, Sarah, Griffin, & Kaleb). We all had a great time. Ian's favorites were Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin & The Haunted Mansion.

Monday, September 28, 2009


B: Tonight I will dream about Indiana Jones eating an Air Head!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Indiana Jones

B playing Indiana Jones. This was all him. Clickie for biggie.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


B: I'm going to take off all my clothes and put on my swimming suit!
Me: Why would you do that?
B: So I can go swimming!
Me: Where are you going to go swimming?
B: In the back yard!

After he got his suit on I followed him out there. He had the hose in the lid of his sandbox and asked me to turn it on for him. He filled it up and hopped in.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Day of Preschool

Monday was Ian's first day of preschool. He was super excited. When I dropped him off and told him I was leaving he said, "OK, go now, please".

Thursday, August 06, 2009


B. is going through a scratching phase. We have a behavior plan in place which is helping, but sometimes he's still testing the waters. So yesterday, B. scratched Dave on his face. Today, Dave made a comment about the scratch. B. says, "Copper scratched you." (copper= his stuffed animal puppy). I said, "Ian, you need to take responsibility for your own actions. ". B: "ok. Papa, I'm sorry I scratched you.". I was so proud of him. I was really surprised that he understood and knew the appropriate way to respond. Nice job kid!

Fondue Etiquette

We're eating fondue and B's bread just fell off his fork into the pot. Per tradition, I told him he had to kiss the person on his right (April) because he dropped his bread. After kissing her, he said, "I'll drop some more!" and dropped pieces of bread into the pot one at a time collecting a kiss with each.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


So I went back to our old facility today. It was like watching a death and a rebirth in the same glance. Traces of TLC---our old name tags still lying around. Our clients, offices, and the professionals we were before.

Traces of the mold that destroyed everything--- EVERYTHING from the waist (tops of our desks)down. Sometimes from the shoulder down. Recalling the mold standing off of objects- as much as a foot of outgrowth. The memory of the mold saturated air. Mold saturated EVERYTHING. Our face masks couldn't possibly hold it back and still allow breath. Mold saturated lungs. Courage, love, hope, and flat denial- keeping it out of our hearts. We must have changed gloves 10 times a day, but still felt soaked. Hauling out load after load, day after day of absolute destruction. (and we were the lucky ones- our friends/ co-workers went home to more of the same)

And now, in this same place is opportunity- a new beginning. Or at least concrete floors and partially sheetrocked walls which represent it. Something new will form in it's place. Something we are responsible for creating. Upstairs in the rubbage, I found a sign left behind from some folks who we lost in the process, "Seize the Day!" I'm not sure why it is so poignant to me. But in some small way, it feels like a beacon call. A call to do just what we are doing... Move forward... Build something new and something great. But as for now, it almost seems mundane.

Creative Bug

So this little boy cracks me up. Almost every day he wakes up with some new thing in his mind that he wants to create. It's always something new: becoming a robot, a hat with a square on it that opens up and pours raisins into his hands, a dog tickling machine, a big truck to transport apples,a cheerios transportation system, a new machine every day. Cute kid. I spend half of my life assisting him in creation development. It does make it difficult to keep the house in order--- going from one invention/ mess to the next. But it's a mess that I wouldn't stifle for anything in the world. This world needs these creative problem solving folks. But my Curious George certainly is one sloppy little monkey.

Monday, July 27, 2009


On our way back from Dallas, April went to the back seat to get some rest. B had his blanket, and April was sleeping on his pillow (we didn't bring ours). When B saw she had his pillow, he naturally wanted it.

B: Can I have my pillow, please
April: Can I please keep it. I want to lay down and this seat is too hard under my head.
B: How 'bout you give me my pillow and I'll give you my blanket to lay on.

He's always coming up with a solution.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


We have a couple of new SLPs at work. Fresh out of grad school. For the first year out of school, a therapist has to be observed for 20% of therapy time. I've been doing a lot of these observations. So I was watching one of our young therapists feed a client the other day. The client is at a point where we don't have to train him so much any more to make sure he uses his strategies so he doesn't aspirate. Instead, it's more relaxed therapy. Just watching him use the strategies he has already learned with a little cuing. Because my mind was relaxed from it's normal vigilant state, I was at leisure to just observe from this more distant vantage point.... I found myself quietly astounded at the inherent kindness in her actions- diligently feeding, observing carefully, feeling for and timing each swallow, reminding of strategies. Things we all do every day, yet our minds are usually so busy to even notice the kindness of the acts---of the profession.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Me: Who says Ho, Ho, Ho?
B: The Christmas guy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More Billy Mays

Me: How old am I?
B: 29.95!

Monday, July 06, 2009

The right thing

B: Papa, don't say the wrong thing.
Me: Ok
B: Can I have a DumDum?

B in tripple-digit weather

I need water because my engine boiled over in this hot stuff.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oxi Clean

That's the power of Doxie Clean!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Me: Are you grumpy today?
B: Because all of this not working for me :(

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

my little problem solver

B. has become quite the problem solver. It's amazing to watch him negotiate his world. We usually explain why make certain decisions- especially when it comes to B. He knows that that doesn't change our answer, but it helps him to understand and make sense of his world. It's frustrating to be a kid. Everyone's decisions often seem so subjective. If we define our logic, he can at least make some sense things.

It seems he is always proposing an alternative solution. "How about..." For example, he asks for milk. "Well son, we have a little, but I think we should save it for later. We won't make it to the store until tomorrow." B: "Hmmm. How about Lemonade (pronounced Momma Maid")?

He asks for a cookie at 8am. "Well son, we don't eat sweets in the morning. Too much sweets makes us sick." B: How about Yogurt?

So Sunday at church, he was up on the stand with me during choir. Choir was over so we went down to our pew. Ian saw Uncle Kyle plugging in the microphone and asked if he could go back up on the stand to watch him. Dave told him, "Sorry son, Uncle Kyle has some long cords for the microphone and I don't want you to trip over them." B: "How about I jump over them?" Dave: "Sorry, if you jump over them you could trip too." A few minutes later, we looked over, B had gone all the way around to the other side of the chapel to go up on the stand without bothering Kyle or the cord. A win-win solution. He knew Dave didn't mind if B. went on the stand (he's up there all the time), he just didn't want B. in the cord. Good idea cute kid.

Now, had Dave said, "No son, Church is about to start, I want you to stay down here." Ian would have complied with the request. He's obedient. But he knew from Dave's explanation that the only obstical was the cord, something he could easily avoid.

It's just kind of funny. Dave and I both are problem solvers... Dave's a programmer/ entrepreneur. I'm an SLP. I find solutions for folks with the most severe of impairments. It's just funny to see the same characteristic being developed so early in life in our son.

He's got my sense of determination. He's gonna do what he can to achieve his goal(s). But he's obedient and kind. He wants to do what's right, so he just proposes solutions which will allow him to accomplish his goals and still be obedient to his parents logic/ requests.

It's not too uncommon for him to propose a solution that I hadn't even thought of. I think, "Oh. Ya. That could work." What a good idea little boy!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Super heroes

Most of you know that I work at a Brain Injury Rehab. It's a funny thing. It's a lot like working in a world full of super heroes. Everyone is amazing. Especially now that the hurricane washed away any residuals--- we are left with a core of some of the most amazing people you'd ever know. They're all a little quirky, but their hearts are absolutely in the right place- fighting every day to help H.A. or P.B. or R.T. to learn this skill or that. To make a difference.

What's funny about doing such a work- Is the relative lack of Thank yous. People just expect you to perform miracles. Even after a miracle or two is accomplished, there is often much work left to be done. And some folks level out lower than we'd wish.

Most of the time, the Thanks come in the form of a memory. We remember how the client came in. We remember how the client left us. And we know the specific skills we fought hard and the client fought hard to develop. Their story becomes part of my soul.

Every once in a while- I actually get a Thank you. This week was a two thanks week. A rare occurrence. My absolutely kind,blind, deaf, aphasic client sobbed for like 30 min straight when I told him it was our second to last session. I fought hard. Made a difference. I wish I would have been able to keep him longer. No one on earth would put in the kind of energy I did to help him. He's still got a long way to go. I'm sad that he left so soon. I trained his wife well. I pray that they will send an amazing home health SLP to him.

My crazy/ fun-loving, brittle diabetic, apraxic/ aphasic client just left this week too. Wow. He came in speaking nothing but jargon, completely and totally unaware that he had a problem. He couldn't understand that he was being asked yes/no questions, much less answer them. He couldn't produce the simplest of consonant-vowel syllables. Couldn't focus on a therapy task to save his life and was pretty frustrated that we thought he should. He left speaking fluent sentences and paragraphs. The thoughts were still re-arranged a bit, but familiar people rarely had problems understanding what he was trying to communicate. He was reading aloud sentences, and paragraphs with assistance. He must have Thanked me every time I saw him for the last couple of months. Crazy guy. I think he drove a lot of people crazy. But I sure enjoyed him. I work hard for all of my clients everyday. But the rare person who says thank you out loud sure is nice.

I hear stay-at-home moms say the same thing... work hard every day and never hear thank you. It's the same way in the work world- rare, almost unheard of. Our society as a whole really needs to work on this. 'Cause every once in a while, it sure is nice.

Alone :)

Somehow magically the sanity gods have smiled upon me this morning. B spent the night at his Auntie's house last night. And Dave left bright and early to help with some scouts stuff. So it's just me... well, me and the dog. I find myself paralyzed here for a minute. What? I get to choose what I want to do??? Without all my family members hanging off of each arm. The relative silence is tantalizing. What shall I do? I could take this opportunity to get something done, but somehow the idea of basking in the silence seems so much more appealing. I know what Dave would do... He'd strip down, lay on the couch and watch some sci-fi show. (I know- "Thanks for the visual apes".) But me... hmmmm. It's just so rare.


It's amazing to me how in life... as long as you keep working on it.. problems usually eventually work themselves out. You may have to nurse them for 2,3,5,7 years and sometimes even start from scratch but it usually turns out ok.

So we bought our house 5 years ago. About 2 months later, I looked closely enough to realize that the siding on our house was falling apart. I talked to my father to hopefully determine a reasonably easy solution to the problem. Apparently there was none to be had. So since then I've just been watching the siding fall off our house. It went into the category of things you worry about and even feel bad about.... "It's my home, I should take care of it"...But can't do anything about. It just kept rotting away. We had someone look at it 1.5 years ago. Estimate- $9000. Aaaaaahhhhhhhg! We decided to focus on our debt plan and trust that it would all work out.

So Ike hits, several months later we realize it killed our roof and our ceilings (a little) so the insurance pays. We fix the roof, but there is still a huge leak into our garage. They ripped away more siding in the process of fixing the roof. Turns out it was the siding that was causing that leak. Hallelujah.... not happy about the leak, but I am happy that the $ to repair the ceilings (not such a big problem) could be redirected to the siding. That and $3K from our recovered debt plan funds.

So the guys come to fix the siding. I found myself sitting staring for 30-45 min at a time. I must have thanked them 8 or 10 times. I certainly brought them lots of lemonade, pizza, and cookies. It was like watching a miracle occur before my very eyes. That problem weighing you down that you couldn't do anything about- besides ignore- suddenly dissipating into thin air. Whew. And WOW. It's beautiful!!!!! Far better than I could have imagine.

I've always believed that if you just keep doing the right things- Life just works out. That's not to say that crappy things don't happen, but it all works out- eventually- somehow. It's just nice to know that's still true as a grown up. Just trying to build a safe and happy life for my baby. Be still my soul. The Lord really is still on thy side.

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Siding Before & After

Our new siding was finished this week. Here's the before and after.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mama

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Young Women

I absolutely adore the Young Women I work with. I am so grateful for them. I love being with them and learning from them. You see, they are building the spiritual foundations for their lives. It's amazing to watch them build, without even knowing it, important pieces of the person they will be in 10, 15, 20 years. They have my respect and love. They are courageous, they are learning, and they love the gospel. They seek diligently to be close to their Heavenly Father.

It's been along time since I built my spiritual foundation. An amazingly strong foundation, forged in adversity (like steel pounded carefully in a fire). But since then, I have been quite busy... learning how to survive as a young single adult, building a happy productive spiritual young single adult life, building myself as professional, building myself as a wife, a home owner, building myself as a mother, as a Young Womens leader. Wow. My little pyramid has gotten quite tall. It think it's easy for all of these roles and responsibilities to get a little top heavy on the pyramid if you work so hard that you forget about the foundation. I am grateful for them. For their reminders to focus on the foundation and let that foundation strengthen everything else, from the ground up.


Ok. It sucks being 32. I know it's taboo to be so honest, but for me, it sucks being 32. I smile and I'm happy, but in a very real way, I find myself in mourning. Mourning the loss of my mother. In shock that she really was this young (my age) when she died. (I still think I'm 20.) Mourning all the years of my childhood- or what was supposed to have been my childhood-- alone. I just read this story about this young girl who was orphaned when her dad died her freshman year of high school. It told of her joy, her sucesses, and her determination. It was like I was reading my own story- only extend the thing all the way back to 3rd grade. Add a LOT more home turn overs, schools, living inches from the streets, poverty.

When I was a sophomore at Texas Tech, we watched a video about kids living on the streets. Everyone else in the class was shocked because of their conditions. I was shocked because their situation looked so familiar- and I had never realized that we were living "on the streets" or close to it all those years. Digging in dumpsters for cans, "camping" for months on end, nomads. My father finally got desperate enough that he drove us up to my aunt's house (I was 13- 7th grade). My father left, supposedly for the weekend, but he never came back. And when he left, We were alone! Left to be taken advantage of. Vulnerable. Without a father, our only protection was the gospel. I clung to it for dear life. My brother wasn't so lucky. I escaped Sodom and Gomorrah when I was 15. But only to experience another 3 sets of parents before I went to college. Either they couldn't provide a safe environment- or they really didn't want me- It was always one or the other.

My pain, my loss, my fears. They are real. And sometimes, I guess, the soul inside of me just needs to me to acknowledge the inflamed old wounds, change the bandaging, and try to let it alone again for a while to let it heal some more.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I keep hearing this word lately. I think it's kind of a funny concept. I get it, but certainly don't see the world that way... Full of people with more or less imperfections.

I guess I think of the world and the people in it more fluidly. I think my favorite thing about people is their quirks. Most people's greatest strengths ARE their greatest weakness. They aren't flaws- just characteristics. Texture. My friend at work is very opinionated & determined. You certainly wouldn't want her mad at you, but Man- this girl will go to bat for you when you need help. Same characteristic is both a strength and a weakness Me- I'm very flexible- also less organized. Sensitive & sensing the emotions of others- also insecure. Dave is loving & reassuring- also sensitive.

Now, there are skills that folks have/ have not developed. My occupation has trained me well at identifying these. Heck- I can list off several of these skills I am working on at any one time. I can also usually tell you what behavior plans we are working on with B at any given time. But these strengths & weaknesses are separate from personality- even if they deal with pragmatics (social skills).

Now skill development/ or the lack thereof affects what opportunities we have available to us in life. They form the staircases and roadblocks along our path...our sucess in relationships and ecomically in life. There is wisedom in tackeling them early before they snowball.

Of course, occasionally life throws a huge honkin' bolder on our path. You can be doing all the right things in life and then some huge boulder lands in your way, or on you. Usually these are caused by death, disability, natural disaster, or the stupid choices of others. I'm sure there are other reasons too. Those are just the ones that come to mind. These total life rebuilds are not a lot of fun. My childhood was marked LOTS of these. I've faced a couple of nasty roadblock re-routes as an adult (as many as 7-8 in one year... Whew... What an aweful year), but luckily not any huge honkin' boulders. I think everyone faces a couple of these in life. Might as well plan for 'em. Good news is, it's a grand opportunity to build a shiney new life. Bad news is it takes years of serious, courageous, and dilligent effort. Funny thing is- not always, but usually, it's the personality and the skills you bring into it- or develop in order to survive the experience- that affect your ability to conquer and find joy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I sometimes wonder why every good thing I do outside if my immediate family feels like I am banging my head against a brick wall. I know it makes a difference, but why does it have to be so frustrating/ painful?

My little bird

It's interesting the almost physiological response I feel to my son's voice. It's like my ears are sensitively tuned to the slightest peep from my little bird. He's not even tiny anymore, but the response is still the same. I'm sure it's nature's way of ensuring that mothers stay close.... Some kind of biochemical change that makes it practically impossible not to respond. And being near him is like sitting next to 3 year old/can't sit still to save his life ROYALTY. I find myself simply smiling. Not some big huge smile (unless I'm making goofy faces at the kid), but a simple quiet smile. Peace and joy diffusing from everywhere inside- where the soul and essential biochemistry meet. A familiar face. I remember that smile. "You're my pride and joy" she said. And inside my pixy-like 6,7,8 year old body...I knew. I was nothing less than adored.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Caught up in a mess

I hate it when you get caught up in someone else's mess. Here I am, minding my own business when our secretary's 20 year old son walks in and unabashedly calls our Department head a B----. Wow. To be honest, the comment provided no new information re: Anette's feelings, but it certainly made them clear. So- I could ignore it altogether, but no matter what She Will have a panic attack by the end of the week. (There's a history here.) The only thing I can do is make clear my ever so neutral position and encourage communication between the battling parties. In the meantime, it's hard not to laugh, Seriously, could her son possibly have said a stupider thing. ( yes... Stupider is the correct word for the circumstance. )

Sunday, April 05, 2009


So I have this client, who I think is awesome. Amazing person with lots of potential. Unfortnately, every once in a while (increasing in frequency), the client just gets beligerent, refusing to participate in activities which are specifically designed to help the client and the others in the group to develop important skills. The client is sweet, kind, & even helpful as long as you don't expect her to complete something. Then she gets defiant. The behavior itself is minutely frustrating, but somewhat manageable. What is Really frustrating is that the client's family tells the client, "I don't care if you do it or not. It's not important". Way to go! I always think it's a great idea to encourage rude and non- cooperative behavior. If it's not important, then why are you even sending the client? These days the client will approach me with the specific purpose of making rude comments. To be honest, I've started to avoid interacting with her. If I can let one of the other therapists do the interacting, I do. It's not worth it to me to put up with the abuse the client dishes out when the family is supporting it.
I genuinely care about the client, but what's the point?!?! I'm starting to wonder why I even bother. It's becoming way too painful to care. If this behavior continues, this client will miss out on an enourmous amount of important and valuable experiences in life. In the meantime, I'm getting tired of this crap!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Behavior management

There is hardly a day when I don't remember how grateful I am for my training as an SLP. The field has provided me with the skills to make a difference in the lives of disabilities, provided me with a flexible and well paid occupation, and taught me a large number of useful skills.
But probably most of all, I am grateful for the behavior modification training. I know others do it successfully, but I can't imagine being a mom without this knowledge.
For example,the past week or so our cute boy keeps pelting me with random objects. Of course this has earned him lots of trips to time out. So yesterday morning I woke up--- duh April. What is the function of the behavior? Why is he doing this? What is he getting out of it? What is he trying to communicate?...... Well, hello. The kid is Just learning to throw. He has no idea that he could hurt people or objects or animals. He's just developing a new skill. I can continue to try to punish the behavior and wind up with a kid with my fine motor skills- or worse- Dave's. OR I can teach the cute kid how, when, where, & what to throw.


So- I'm in Austin for TxSHA conference. I would Much rather be at home with my husbie and my baby. But we had a productive day, so it's good. So I'm sitting with my feet up on the window sill in my hotel room watching the cars drive back and forth across towne lake bridge. Tranquility in motion. Much like those 1960s lava lamps- an apt comparison for the place. I always loved Austin. I had more fun here in college than any human possibly could on $600 a month. Smiles all around on those simple, adventurous days.

Monday, March 30, 2009


It's hard to explain what a fundamental principle being safe is to my emotional network. Erikson explained that during the first 2 years of a person's life, they develop a sense of trust/ safety. I lived in one positive and one really negative foster situation during that period of my life, taken from my parents. Locked in a closet for a time. Thank goodness I had a nurturing situation for the most part, they loved me immensely. But, I wonder sometimes if that is why I struggle with just being fundamentally insecure. Like a fissure in the foundation. You'd never guess it, I seem like the most confident person in the world. And the truth is I'm a happy little gal. But when my sense of safety is threatened, it's hard for me to move past it. I'm always scared of being physically harmed, a fear constantly in the back of my mind.

When something happens that makes me feel unsafe emotionally- unsafe to be myself-I find myself avoiding at all costs the roadblock that makes me feel so fundamentally scared to act comfortably and be the person I am. I try to move on, but find that I'm just scared... frozen almost.. so scared of and susceptible to the pounding that caused the pain in the first place. I try to come out of hiding, but even the tiniest stone makes me retreat. I generally just avoid the person all together until I know the coast is clear. It just sucks when I can't. It's not the right thing to do. So I come out, scared and terrified of what lies ahead... hoping that my fears are in vain.... hoping that I am safe after all.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Ian got this book from Bucka & BooBoo for Christmas. It plays music. Every time he turns it on, he also dances.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Pattrick's Day

We're starting some new traditions. Starting with green hair, it seems.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Delayed Gratification

Today Auntie gave B a cookie. He wanted it warm and asked me if I would heat it up when we got home. He held that cookie in his little hand the whole way home and waited to eat it until it was warmed up.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Village

I've come to understand that Dave & I view parenting differently than some of our friends. We believe "it takes a village to raise a child." Some of our close friends are in the other end of that polarity. More like "the village will corrupt/ harm my child". While I respect & appreciate that perspective, mine is somewhat different. You see, I was raised by the village. After my mom died, the village was all I could reley on. I survived & thrived by staying connected to my LDS village. There was always someone there to care for me, look after me, love me, & even provide for my support. My village was filled with flawed, but righteous people. I will forever be grateful for the range of wonderful and quirky people who taught me so much about humanity and life. Now, I was no dummy, I knew there were many potential dangers out there. But it was my integration with the village that kept me aware & safe from those dangers time and time again.

I guess that's how I feel about B. I think a vital part of my job as a parent is to surround my child with people who love him and have a vested interest in him, his progress, his happiness, & his sucess. I realize there are risks inherent in this. So we carefully select righteous LDS and non-LDS friends and family to hold close. But, I have come to believe that the real risk is in leaving him alone to battle the world alone with only the support of his parents. We are dilligent, loving, guiding, & available parents. But learning from us alone can't possibly give him the variety of learning he needs, nor the depth & breadth of the support network that he needs. I am eternally grateful for those who care enough to love my baby, support his progress, and teach both me and him along the way.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Just Chillin'

So things have bern a little crazy lately. Between work, young womens, visiting teaching (which has recently become quite a responsibility), Dave's business, trying to take care of our home recovery from Ike, taking care of 3-4 other folks who I love, & recovering from the poundings life gives you along the way, it's been busy. Today, I've decided to do as little as possible. And let me tell ya... It's Beautiful outside!!!!

Silly kid

B. is becoming a lot more independent with toilet training. We still need to send him, but he is able to go mostly by himself. So earlier today, I sent B. to the restroom. He was wearing on of those zip up footsie pj things. He comes out unzipped, opens his flap, and flashes me saying, "I showed you my penis mom ". I tried not to respond too much to the obvious-to-me-but-not-to him exhibitionist quality of the maneuver. Don't want to reinforce it. Instead, I just smiled as usual, "Uh. Son, you might not want to go around showing your penis to people. It's not a good idea. "

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


You know, the longer I am around, the more I understand that life is about risks. Not stupid, random risks--- like those idiots I see riding motorcycles without helmets. Those guys have a different name "Organ donors". But calculated and planned risks. Those who dare to create a feasible dream and go chase it. Or several, chase 'em down and make 'em reality one by one. My hat is off to those guys!

It's the difference between living a dull, boring, mediocre life and living the life that you intentionally created for yourself. Life still won't be perfect, but at least it's something you believe in and enjoy!

The real truth is most people I know take almost no risks at all. They let their hormones convince them to take a risk on a marriage. Half of the time, they never even took a risk on who they would date. Just dated whoever appeared, rather than suffering through the pain/ loneliness of fighting for/ waiting for someone amazing. Then after the one huge risk predicated on the natural drive for survival of the species, they just stop taking risks again.

The young kid who stares blankly at college. Too scared to take the risk of fighting their way through the maze that will build them into a professional. If they only knew how much joy and fun facing those challenges would be. Or they go, but never do what it takes to be sucessful. Life requires 100% of who we are. It requires us not to give up the first time a school says, "You're not going any further this way." Finding another route is terrifying and painful, but it's a whole lot better than the mediocre life you could choose.

I see it all the time, the accountant (bright guy) who has stuck with the same low paying (half of market rate) and praiseless job for 20 years because he didn't have the guts to look for another. He's miserable and complains all the time, but doesn't have the guts to take a well planned out and calculated risk.

I've come to appreciate the risks that have come my way in life. The $30,000 risk I took on Penn State and LOST. I'm still paying the $30,000, but every day I reap the benefits of being able to do what I want to do- what I love- and knowing that I am AMAZingly good at it. I've come to understand that even when I loose on well planned, well thought out risks... I win!

I got done with school and took a job at the school district (a stipulation of my grant from grad school). I hated it, but stuck it out for the two years required. Ironically, it would have been 2 years longer if I my grant had gone through the second year. Thank goodness for things that don't go my way! I was 3 months pregnant when I interviewed for my current job at TLC. I planned a calculated risk...I did my interview and was offered the job. Before I accepted the job, I scheduled an appointment with my future supervisor. I told her I was pregnant (waited about 3-4 min for that bombshell to settle) and added a second bombshell, that I was going to want to work part time after I had the baby. She had to think about that one! I told her I had plenty of part-time options (the truth), but I really wanted to work for TLC. After the weekend's deliberations, she called me back and said that it shouldn't be a problem. You and I both know that it was still QUITE risky to change jobs while I was pregnant, but I have never regretted it! My family is what is important to me. My job is how I serve my community, but needs to be kept in it's place. I turned down a $250 an hour gig the other day (PRN- 3 x a year). No amount of $ is worth taking more time from my family. Treasuring every day I have with them is worth everything in the world!

Every year I live in the life that I created 5 years before. I'm grateful for the risks we are faced with now, to create a life with even more freedom and joy. There's no guarantees in life. (Heck, a semi could fall on me tomarrow). But if anything, that's all the more reason to live life!!! Live it while you got it! And don't forget to enjoy the journey!!!


Family is a weird sorta touchy subject for me. There is a tremendous amount of loss there for me as I spent so much of my childhood and growing up years without one. I spend a lot of energy building resources for my child, in the hopes that if anything should ever happen to me, my child won't be left alone as I was. In fact, I find myself giving Dave specific and clear instructions-- what to do and not to do if anything should ever happen to me.

I know it sounds creepy and wierd, but not so much when you realize that my mother was my age when she died. And Dave's father followed my father's same stupid and ridiculous path when Dave's mother died (a month after we got married.)... Get remarried as fast as possible, loose it psychologically, become financially incompetent, and dump your children for a period of time. (or for the rest of their lives). My grandfather also did the same thing when my grandmother died. Quite a little history here. I get it, but it's caused me too much pain to not address it with Dave.

Here's my specific instructions to Dave in the event that I happen to croak over:
a) You are not to get remarried right away. Don't even think about dating for a year. You've got a lot of work to do to put life back together for yourself and our children. Don't screw up my baby's life in your desperate attempt to make life "normal" again. Build your own normal.

b) You Are to get a Maid. That's right- Get a maid, not a wife. There's a lot of responsibilities that I manage that Dave would need help with. Get the help that you need so you don't feel overwhelmed, lonely, frustrated, and lost.

c) Build a financially safe and happy life for yourself and our children. Build a life of joy. Build an independent and happy life.

d) After you have learned to enjoy life and be independent, you may/ should eventually get remarried. You can't be interdependent until you are independent first. Take the time to find someone who fits and will accept and love your/ my children. Most women really struggle to love someone else's children--- good luck with this one. This is why they force a relationship- to cover up the obvious discrepancy. It's better that they let it come naturally. This takes time. I don't know the answer except to take the time to make sure. Don't you dare dump your children in the process! Your presence is vital to their safety. If you disappear, their safety will be compromised. It's a tough balance I know. If the children are small, absolute love is crutial. Just remember- Her children will always take priority to her- even when she tries not too. It's not cruelty, just nature (although it can get cruel.) You will need to mirror this so ensure a balance. Take care of your own children and love hers as well. Abandoning your own children to prove your love to your new spouse will only result in just that- abandonment.

P.S.- If you have criticisms of this post, keep it to yourself. These are my thoughts and experiences. Painful as they are, they reflect the truth as I see it. If you don't want my honesty, read someone else's blog. The emotions on this issue are far to honest, close to my heart, my fears, and the root of my experiences to handle criticism.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It was me

As we were driving home yesterday I smelled something a little on the foul side. I asked, "What's that smell?" Ian took a little bit of a sniff and, with a wry smile on his face, said, "It was me." I'm not really sure he knows what he was admitting to, but it was pretty funny.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

First Things First

I don't know where he learned this one, but we're almost done with Sacrament Meeting and Ian told me he's ready for primary. I told him we had to have a closing song and prayer first. He said, "OK first things first."

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Ian's Contacts

Ian found this big magnifying lens. He picked it up and said, "It's my contacts!"

Thursday, February 05, 2009

My Truck is Allergic

Today we were driving and Ian let out a screech (as he is prone to do at times). We have a standing rule against screeching in the car, so I reminded him of this. He asks, "Because your truck is too allergic?"