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?"