Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

McDonald's is not your mom

Did you happen to catch this today?

"You're a mom. You're their mom. Isn't it your job to tell them 'No?'"

Yes. When that's what's best for them, that's what you do. Once. Twice. One-hundred beyond infinity times.

You're in charge of what they eat.

You're in charge of how many McDonald's commercials they're seeing on TV.

You're in charge of teaching them "You can't have everything, because where would you put it?!"

What are you going to do, sue everybody trying to sell something that may not be in the best interest of your kid?

Woman up and just say "No" already.

Or again, as the case may be.

Monday, December 13, 2010


This from my son's college sociology class:

Time children spend with their mothers has a direct correlation to their (the children's) cognitive development...

but only if their mothers are verbally skilled.

Take a bow, ladies.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

In over my head

So the 15-year-old is stuck in AP Euro class till the end of the term. She's in way over her head. Is she smart enough to pass this class? Yes. Is she willing to put in the kind of work that would be required for her to pass this class? No.

She's been bugging us to go to the library for a book she's supposed to read for class. I think it is due by next Thursday. Every time we've gone to take her she's made other plans. Finally I told her last night we were going that minute. When we got there asked her what book it was she needed. She couldn't remember the name of any of the books on the list, but she's looking for the one with the least number of pages, so had to text a friend and ask.

"A Tale of Two Cities"

Nuh-uh. If I had a dime for every time I picked up that book and put it back down again... I only finally made myself read the whole thing about 10 years ago. And I'm an English major.

Today the following e-mail exchange took place:


Hi Mr. Smith,

Could you please provide me with the list of books to be read for your AP Euro class? I want to make sure Lindsay is reading the right book for her.

Thank you very much--


Mr. Smith:

Here's the list:

1. Candide - Voltaire

2. War and Peace - Tolstoy

3. 7 Men of Gascony - Delderfield

4. Napoleon - Schom

5. Lorna Doone – Blackmore

6. Tale of Two Cities – Dickens

7. Three Musketeers – Dumas

8. Don Quixote - Cervantes

9. Wealth of Nations - Smith


My fifteen-year-old...War and Peace? Candide? Don Quixote? By December 9?

Yeah, right.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Checking out

So... ever since I discovered there are people I can't trust in my ward, who are cyber-stalking my every move I've been in a funk about socializing with people from Church. And since no one will 'fess up to who they are...I have been emotionally checked out of my ward, my callings, anything that will put me in any kind of contact with people who would be such a bunch of ______.

I have a friend in primary who mentioned that they hadn't gotten around to celebrating my daughter's birthdays in primary. Their birthdays were the last two weeks of September. It's November now.

I don't even know if I should bother bringing it up. It's clear as day that there is a vendetta against my family because I refuse to conform to faking my way around the ward. Which is kind of useful as a whole bucket-load of people are actively avoiding me and my family because I officially have a Scarlett letter on my chest. It is also really helpful in identifying those that are loyal, worthy friends. It's clear that in my ward anyone who is willing to speak their mind will immediately be reprimanded and not only that, they'll take it out on your kids.

So... question - do I even bother with these kind of people, or just chalk it up to... the Church would be great without all the people. OR - gospel is true - it's the people who aren't.

I am only going to my ward now, because primary could be good for my girls... although, even this theory is currently up for debate.

Trust is big for me... and when it is shattered... there's no gaining it back.

ps. I'm also writing on a gloomy, rainy day...and if you know me... I am solar powered. Today is just depressing.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

waste of time

One of my daughters attends a dual-immersion program for school, English & Mandarin. Last week I attended a parent informational meeting, which meetings are held periodically to make sure that there is no confusion with the program, that teachers and parents are on the same page, etc., and which I find to be a helpful touch to assisting the kids in this new world of language.

The meeting began with the typical announcement that any questions about individual concerns should be held until the group presentation was finished. This is something I appreciate, as I am not keen on sitting in meetings where things are being discussed which don't pertain to me (snob? sure, I'll take that).

The first 45 or so minutes of the scheduled 60-minute meeting went very well and were executed efficiently. And then the questions began. "Excuse me, um, my son..." I stopped listening, except to search out an appropriate time to stand up from my front row seat and exit. That is when I heard the following:

"I have a question. Each night my child has to work on writing characters. I mean, do we have to do this? It takes such a long time, and it doesn't even make any sense. It's not like they're actually letters. It just seems like a huge waste of time to me."


Friday, October 15, 2010

just something i've been thinking about

When I was a teenager, my mom bought a brand new Jeep. Having only had it for a few weeks, I was driving the jeep to a ski resort with my boyfriend when I, going down a steep hill and around a corner, hit a patch of black ice. I overcorrected, but it didn't matter (because it was ice). I am so, so grateful that there weren't any cars on that road at that time. We ended up on the opposite side of the road, facing the direction from which we'd come, and the jeep was on its side -- the passenger side. Fortunately, we landed in a thick snow bank which seemed to sort of cushion the blow. We had to climb up and out the driver's side door to get out. I was dizzy.

We walked to the nearest house and explained what happened, I asked the woman if I could use her phone. I remember her house being warm and smelling good -- she was cooking something. This sweet woman welcomed us in, and as I was talking with Eric about how mad my mom would be, this woman said, "Oh, Honey, I'm sure she'll just be glad that you're alright!"



"We haven't made it out of town yet. I hit some ice."

"Where's the jeep?"

"It's on the side of the road."


"Um...we're fine. We didn't get hurt."

I gave her the address and she hung up on me.

She arrived with the tow truck, and she didn't say a word to me with her mouth; her eyes, however, were piercing, her lips pursed into a straight line.

"Mom, I'm sorry."

"You had better pray that there isn't anything wrong with the jeep," is all she said.

The tow truck cables set, the beloved jeep was pulled from the snow bank and the result was revealed: not a scratch.

My mom didn't talk to me for a while after that. When she did, I got plenty of reminders of . . . well, frankly, of what didn't (but could have!) happen with her Brand New Jeep.

When my oldest daughter was four years old, we were at our neighbor's house for a party. Li'l ~j. was excited to have some red punch, but also loved to sit on the neighbor's Love Sac, which is an oversized bean bag used as a piece of furniture. I think that bean bag was one of my daughter's favorite places on the planet, it was so comfortable. At this party, however, I reminded her that she was not, under any circumstances, to sit on the bean bag with a drink.

Our neighbor even reminded her, "Sweetie, please listen to your mommy. You can have the drink in the kitchen and then sit on the bean bag."

You know what happened next.

Embarrassed and mentally calculating how I could afford to buy our neighbors a new bean bag, I began cleaning it up as best I could. It was a small stain, but it was still there.

It was clear that my daughter, now seeing why we had given her the direction about her drink, felt bad. She, too, was embarrassed. She apologized to my neighbor.

It was at this point that my neighbor did something I don't think I'll ever forget.

She walked up to my daughter, kneeled down in front of her so as to be at eye-level, and took both of my daughter's hands into her own. She looked into her eyes and asked, "What do you think I love more, you or that bean bag? Hm?"

Sheepishly, my daughter answered, "Me?"

"That's right," came the answer, "You are more important to me than a bean bag. I love you more than a bean bag."

And for years following, at random times my daughter would look at me and with a smile say, "Hey, Mom? La Yen loves me more than a bean bag."

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I was trying, as I often do, to put tell my daughter that her father and I will always love each other, and that she never needs to worry about us loving her.

Me to Jooj: "You never ever ever have to think about..."

Jooj (interupting): "Clowns."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

I forgot that three year olds are evil.

I haven't posted here before, but I am going to start. It is a way to start to log some of the parenting stuff that I can't really go into on my blog (because my kids read my blog but don't know about this one yet...).

Can someone remind me where the magic button is on my three year old to make her stop being so sullen, stubborn and defiant? I can't seem to find it. On the one hand I am thrilled for her to hit a developmental milestone on time after being behind for so many years, but the reality is that she is a STINKER--my hardest kid yet.

Time outs don't work. She could care less about getting vinegar on her tongue (always worked with the others), we do 1, 2, 3, etc. I feel like my tried and true things are not working. Any suggestions? What worked for you? I think I just need a refresher course before I duct tape her to her bed and not let her out until she is 9.

Hey Ladies,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Too Ridiculous to be Fiction

... okay... today I'm posting a bad father story.

It's my husband's father. I just can't help but ask... shout to the universe - who does this kind of crap?

About 2-3 years ago my husband's mother and oldest brother were killed in a car accident in Hungary. The youngest brother, who they were picking up from his mission in Hungary, was the only one in the car that escaped all injury. He also had two friends in the car with them who were both injured. The father had stayed behind in the hotel that day.

Since that point in time my husband's father - who still had six, grown children to comfort and support, as they had lost their mother and brother - checked out. He continued to act selfishly, immaturely and frankly... displayed his true character...we think.

He was not an achiever, and is a porn addict. His wife was an achiever, college degree, school board, well-known in the community, and Church. The big joke in their family was that when they were to be married in the temple she hoped he wouldn't show up... and he joked that he thought the same thing. She was always disappointed he didn't serve a mission, or even complete a college degree. He was always losing jobs. Everyone considered him weak. They blamed her for it. Turns out, without her to hide behind, his selfish, petty nature was exposed.

Little less than a year or so he met a woman online. She is a woman who'd lived on welfare her entire life. And said that her quadriplegic husband left her and her kids. Can someone explain that one to me? Due to the death of his wife - my husband's father used the insurance money and went on a spending spree with his new girlfriend. Lavish, excursions... etc... despite the fact that the kids all knew, based on emails and other discovery... their father decided to marry this woman in the LDS temple in Hawaii. The kids were not at that ceremony.

Then my husband's father and his new wife started to unceremoniously discard anything, and everything of my husband's mother. They were insensitive to the feelings and emotions the six kids were going through.

And now... their father just emailed the kids in his family to tell them that his life insurance is set to be renewed soon - and he has opted, due to his squandering all his death money - can't afford his life insurance, and is throwing it over to the kids to decide whether they want to pay for it or not. Side note... he does have life insurance for his current wife...and he just recently leased a brand new car...and is unemployed.


Who does that?

The kids are trying to decide what to do...with legal backing etc... but my opinion? Wash our hands of it. Who cares about the life insurance... forget the pathetic loser.

I can't imagine... how my husband's mother had to suffer being married to someone who is a complete, and utter disappointment. Can you imagine her watching her husband completely mistreating her children right now? She's rolling over in her grave... to say that I loathe this person... who is not in any way a man... is merely an understatement. He's like a disease. I don't think it's any mistake that his first wife who was skinny when she married him... became extremely overweight. And now... his new welfare wife... started off skinny - and in the last 1-2 years has ballooned to twice her original size, leaning towards obese. He is a disgusting infection.

I am stunned that I know someone like this. It's utterly mental.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

in other news...

sorry: i know i'm hogging the blog. ya'll should post something here. soon. please. (but in the meantime this is the last word from me for awhile.)

ahem. in other news...

this week i am a good mommy and I WILL pat myself on the back for not completely freaking out (in fact, for not freaking out even incompletely, except maybe a little little down deep inside my belly) when adult child/boy #2 asked me if i would be mad if he dropped out of school and became a mechanic. (because he is disinterested in ALL the majors in college.)

my audible reply: as long as you mean two years from now and not in the middle of this (already but barely paid-for) semester, no.

my silent reply: great. i only have two short years during which to pray my guts out he will discover some new passion while abroad and will come home and declare a major.

let us all pray.

Monday, March 8, 2010


1 : to make fit, suitable, or congruous
2 : to bring into agreement or concord : reconcile
3 : to provide with something desired, needed, or suited (as a helpful service, a loan, or lodgings)
4 a : to make room for b : to hold without crowding or inconvenience
5 : to give consideration to : allow for
definition courtesy of merriam-webster


there is a brief moment between falling out of sunday and jumping in to yet another busy week during which i actually breathe. then monday morning rushes at me and i don't feel like the world stops spinning again until that quiet moment sunday morning (or afternoon, as the case may be) after i slide across the back-row bench at church and breathe again.

during that moment just last night that now somehow seems like ages ago, i stopped to contemplate how i was going to

get to the gym (6:00)

come home (7:30)

shower and get ready for work

help k~ get ready

(will there be time for breakfast somewhere in there?)

run zack up to a drumline event at byu (8:30)

go to work early (9:00)

leave work on time (2:30) because i will only have one hour to get to the grocery store and pick up ingredients for chili, run home and defrost the sausage, wash out the crockpot still soaking from yesterday's knock-off cafe rio, brown the meat and toss in all the rest of the ingredients (which are no longer written down, so they may vary from time to time) and then

pick up k~ from school (3:30)

before leaving for suzie's softball game (4:00)


they started the game early, which meant i missed her first hit (a double) as member of the phs softball team.


but i sat on the cold hard ground (didn't realize there was a shocking lack of bleacher space at the high school ball field) and cheered.

because that's what moms do.

i ran home in between games intending to change out of my work clothes and into something warmer and to drop off some chili to my friend jane who just had foot surgery, as i had promised to bring her some dinner.

got a call from suze, who is required to stay until all the games are played. she was not, after all, going to be playing in the next game (which meant i didn't have to go back). but she was hungry. i told her i'd send over a cup of chili. she didn't want chili. she wanted take-out. (can you hear the echo of the minced-fish girl in your head as i write this?)

and this is where all the accommodating came screeching to a halt.

she wanted take-out?

and after all i had packed into that day, in part, in a deliberate effort to avoid fast food.

not to mention my having created an awesome batch of homemade that' chili.

"no," i said.

i refuse.

i. will. not...spend good money (even off the dollar menu--it's still good money) for bad take-out that is, at least for tonight, so completely unnecessary.

i handed the phone to my husband and walked out the front door. i walked to jane's, cradling a piping hot quart jar of chili in my pocket with one hand and carrying fresh french bread and lindt chocolate in the other, because i'd lent my car (which happens to be the only one of our four vehicles that is running properly at the moment) to zack, who was trying to find someone who could pull off the mouthpiece from k~'s trumpet because it needs to be fixed before his concert on thursday.

later, after the game was over, and suze had devoured a nice hot bowl of homemade chili, i went back out into the cold to big 5 because there is another game tomorrow (and the next day, and the next, and a tournament this weekend) and the coach says they have to have a second pair of sliders. this one black. because while the white ones are fine under their white pants, they must have black ones for under their black shorts.

oh, and she needed new cleats.

she paid for half of her new cleats (which were not name brand and which were on sale) with her own money. she did this willingly. and said "thank you."

and i bought myself a swim cap.

because i needed one.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I can be normal again, well relatively speaking


just so you know miracles DO happen (and also, life goes back to normal)

Guess who's napping right now?  And only cried for a minute when I put him down.

Guess who else is going to go take a nap?

This is an easy quiz.

Monday, January 25, 2010


So my oldest who is five is a bright, fun and thoughtful girl. She's also extremely melodramatic, and can't seem to let things go... everything that doesn't go her way is literally the end of the world in her mind.

Lately this behavior is disruptive in her class. I am at a loss as to how to deal and manage her behavior...and help her change it.

This morning as we walked to her class, she was running around with her friends and her umbrella when her ponytail came loose and her clip holding her bangs fell out...and she had a sobbing breakdown, halfway to her classroom. I explained that standing there and crying would not fix her hair, the best choice was to walk over to her classroom and then I could fix it for her. She was incredibly worried about what people would think of her.

Eventually she calmed down and we were able to get in line and do her hair, give her a hug and a kiss. I talked to her about how when she was crying and freaking out it didn't help solve the problem. I explained that being calm and having me help her solved the problem. I could tell she was still holding onto those frantic emotions she had. I watched her walk into the classroom with her classmates and then watched as she broke down into tears again.

That's when I went over and she did her routine, "I'm scared!" and "everyone's looking at me" (when no one cares or is even looking at her) talk and starts to really freak herself out... she knows how to make herself more and more the point where once she has her freak out she's fine. Every kid in the 24 kid classroom walked in, deposited their coats, backpacks, lunch boxes and then picked their work box up from their cubbies and sat down to work. My daughter was cowering next to me, refusing to let it go. The teacher eventually had to come over and work her magic. She is magic to me. I told her how sorry I was and her teacher told me to go take a breath, she'd take care of it.

This is frustrating because... intellectually - my 5 year old is at the top of her class... socially... incredibly immature when it comes to anything that doesn't go her way.

What do I do??? I've started to give her specific, consistent chores... ever since she was 18 months she's been into her appearance... she's so overly aware of details and what people think... or what she thinks people think ... I worry that if we don't get things taken care of now...she's going to have a hard go of it as a teen with peer pressure.

I don't know what to do. My 3 year old could not give a rat's bum what anyone else thinks. Rewards, timeouts... don't work on her. With my 5 year old... anytime she's told to go to timeout for talking back, poking her sister in the eye, etc... it's instant tears and manipulation "you don't love me, you hate me... you don' t think I'm cute."


Thursday, January 21, 2010

I win no parenting awards today

I am having a crisis.

One you probably have all experienced so I'm not sure if I just need to vent it out, or if anyone might actually have a viable solution OR IF THERE'S EVEN A SOLUTION AT ALL.

Here's the deal,

S. was a terrible sleeper at first, you know, the newborn stage and whatnot.  Then one night I swaddled him tight and he slept like 5 hours.  Miracle.  Then the swaddling continued and more sleep at night but still no napping during the day.  This continued for about 5 months, night sleeping but no napping unless he was napping on me.  It near sent me over the edge.  Then one day I just put him in his crib and walked away throwing my hands in the air.  He cried for 25 minutes and then slept for 2.5 hours.  Then the heavens opened and poured out good fortune upon me and from that point on he was a 2 nap a day for 2 hours and 11-12 hours a night kind of kid.  I never had to rock him all the way to sleep, just put him in his crib and he'd do the rest and if he did fall asleep while we were rocking than I could just put him in his crib and he'd continue on napping or whatever.

Teething a mouth full of fangs all at the same time didn't even phase the kid, barring the occasional random episode he still napped and slept like a champion.  I had hit the jackpot.

Until Tuesday.  

Tuesday entailed an early wake up call (about 5:50 am), he usually sleeps until somewhere around 7 at least.  So we get up, we eat, we play, watch some toons.  Then the eye rubbing, the yawning, the tell tale signs of exhaustion and nap readiness.  So we go to his room, rock in the chair and he falls asleep pronto.  I go to lay him down and he wakes as soon as I stand up, terrified, screaming and clinging to me like a spider monkey.  Back down I sit, more rocking, back to sleep, go to get up and the whole episode repeats itself.  So I just lay him down thinking he'll cry for a few minutes and go down.  WRONG.  Screaming, lots of screaming.  No sleeping.

Repeat for the last 3 days.  

Here's the kicker, at night, for the most part he's going down with absolutely no difficulty whatsoever.  How do you explain that?

Teething?  Perhaps.  Tylenol doesn't seem to be helping much and then how would you explain why he's going to bed at night with no problem?

Giving up naps?  Then why is he falling asleep instantly when I rock him and acting so sleepy?

Growth spurt?

Ear infection?  Again, why would he be sleeping at night so well (except he is waking up super early, especially today.  Hello 4:30 am!).

If he were simply giving up naps that would be fine, but I think I've demonstrated that's not the case.  Crying it out hasn't worked so far (though he's finally quiet for the time being).  I've made an appointment with the pediatrician to have his ears checked.

The worst part of it all is how I'm handling this situation.  I find myself without any patience, on the verge of screaming and yelling back at him.  I know how wrong that reaction is, he's 17.5 months old for pity's sake.  Why am I not more motherly and loving?  Where has my nurturing spirit gone?  It's like the first time he tries to really test my patience and motherly skills I go berserk and selfish and only think about me and how I'm losing it and how I can't take this anymore.


What else doesn't help is that we live in my in-laws basement and every move I make I feel like I'm being watched.  It's seriously the fishbowl effect.  As if I didn't feel awful enough about how poorly I'm handling stress, I snap at everyone and generally am acting as ugly and dramatic as I possibly can.

I hate that they're seeing this side of me.

I hate that we don't have our own space.

I hate their damn dog and his clicky toenails on the hardwood floor or the way he barks and goes bananas when the doorbell rings.

I hate the advice they try to give me.

I hate the weather.

I hate not being home alone to deal with this.

I am acting like a petulant child.  Sullen, defensive, and quick to anger.  

I am a train wreck.

I am a bad mommy today.


Friday, January 1, 2010

fwiw: reconciliation

here's a little follow up to the mean girl post:

time has healed some wounds. suzie did apologize--more than once--and then she waited. it was kind of sweet, really. i could tell when we talked about it that her regret and her desire to make things right was sincere. there were numerous times she would ask us or another friend if she should call katy or try to chat with her when she was on facebook, but it never seemed to be the right time. at school, katy wouldn't even look at her.

then a couple of days ago she must have called katy or something, because suze came jumping into the living room all excited (and a little too proud of herself) that she was going to go over to katy's (she lives just around the corner). they reconciled and katy even came over to our house. i know things may still be a bit awkward--they can both get on each other's nerves--but they're both trying.

the reason i wanted to bring this up again (in addition to the fact that i like resolution) is that i learned a valuable lesson from katy's mom. she works with my husband and i was afraid that would be a little awkward (because we all know how easy it is to get all mother bear when it comes to our kids). i had an opportunity to speak with her at the school's christmas party and i was so grateful and impressed.

katy's mother was great. i apologized to her and told her how badly we felt and how much we loved and missed katy. she had the right to be very angry, but instead she was awesome. she took the "girls will be girls" approach, telling me that katy has been guilty of doing the very same thing. while she was obviously sad that her daughter's feelings had been hurt, she also made it clear she wanted the two to reconcile. she expressed her hopes that suzie would be patient while katy worked through it and that they would be friends again. she also told me how much they loved and missed suze and was so very understanding. that was super generous of her, especially as, in this case, it was completely my child's fault.

what i have observed as a mother with older kids--particularly as a mother of a daughter--is that we have two options when our girls mix it up with or are hurt by other girls. we can go all mother bear and want to hurt somebody (this is my instinctual response) and try to fix it. or we can love and support our own child, while remaining open to the possibility that there are two sides to every story; get the facts and look at them with some degree of perspective; and give our kids the space to work things out and learn what they can and need to from the experience.

with the girls in my hood, i have seen the effects of both types of parental responses. my observation is that the results are generally better--resolution is more likely and my child learns so much more--when i take the high road.

i guess what i am saying is, when i grow up i want to be like katy's mom.

that's all.