Friday, August 29, 2014

The Prettiest Princess.

The other morning I was in a hurry to get the kids out the door. In all honestly, I usually am in a hurry to get out the door. You would think I would have figured out how long it takes to get three kids ready by now, but I'm constantly underestimating, so we are pretty much always late. 

Anyway, as I was trying to get the kids out the door, I asked Ellie to get her shoes on while I got Nathan's shoes on. She went over to the big basket of shoes and instead pulled out a pair of my high heels and proudly came out for me to see. I impatiently told her to stop messing around, and to get her shoes on. I saw in her eyes that I had hurt her feelings, but I hurried the kids out to the car anyway. 

I felt bad for the rest of the day about our interaction that morning, so I decided that I would let her play dress up with my clothes and shoes. She was absolutely in heaven. 

Little brother had to join in the fun!

She loves that black and white striped maxi dress of mine. Every time I wear it she tells me it's my princess dress, and if I give her the opportunity to pick what I wear to church, she picks that dress every time.

Even princesses have to stick their tongues out sometimes.

The aftermath:

I'm so glad I took the afternoon to let my little girl feel beautiful. I know she won't think my clothes are cool forever!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I'm Rocking My Baby, and Babies Don't Keep.

We went to the library this morning, and since school started yesterday and story time hasn't started yet for the fall, we had the entire place pretty much to ourselves. The kids were so happy!

There are 6 computers for the kids, two of which are touch screens. Ellie hasn't quite figured out how to use a mouse, so she is much better at the touch screens, but there has always been someone using them when we have been there. Today must have been her lucky day though - she got to use it for as long as she wanted because  there was nobody else waiting. Once I showed her how to navigate through the game, she played on her own for quite awhile.

The kids were pretty excited about the new sucker fish in the fish tank.

Nathan has no idea how to use the computers, but he still insists on banging on the keyboard. Good thing they're durable.

The kids love to sit and read books on the bean bags. Nathan was pointing to the pink one saying "Ellie chair."

The past few times we have been to the library Ellie has wanted to check out Cinderella, but it has been checked out. Like I said, today must have been her lucky day. She got to check it out, and she was so excited about it!

She woke up before the boys and asked if she could watch Cinderella. Of course I couldn't say no! I took her downstairs and turned it on for her, then went back upstairs to finish cleaning the bathrooms. I was in the mode, and I was going to get lots of cleaning done! But as I was cleaning I thought of her excitement about the movie. So I decided that I should go down with her, and share in her excitement. Besides, who doesn't love a good princess movie? In true princess fashion, I brought down some nail polish, and we painted nails and watched the movie together. (Ignore the mess in the back ground. Sam and I are in the middle of cleaning out our storage room, and we only get to a little bit each night after the kids are asleep.)

She chose purple for both of us, and as I painted her nails she kept saying "I love purple! It's my favorite color!" 

She told me all about the movie and asked questions. I loved watching her eyes light up as she watched the magic of the story. I'm so glad I took the opportunity to quit cleaning and to spend the afternoon with my girl instead.

She won't be small forever.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We Love Summer.

I love Rexburg in the summer. I'm sad it's almost over.

But mostly I love these three. (Along with the little boy strapped to me, of course.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What I Want My Little Girl to Know About Femininity and Womanhood

     A few days ago I was folding laundry while the kids took a nap. When I was almost finished I heard Jonah start to fuss in his bed. Since I was almost done, I decided that I would finish folding the last few things I had left before I went in to get him. After a minute I heard Ellie head into his room. To comfort him, she started singing her favorite song from church, "The Family Is of God."

1. Our Father has a family. It’s me!
It’s you, all others too: we are His children.
He sent each one of us to earth, through birth,
To live and learn here in fam’lies.

2. A father’s place is to preside, provide,
To love and teach the gospel to his children.
A father leads in fam’ly prayer to share
Their love for Father in Heaven.

3. A mother’s purpose is to care, prepare,
To nurture and to strengthen all her children.
She teaches children to obey, to pray,
To love and serve in the fam’ly.

4. I’ll love and serve my family and be
A good example to each fam’ly member.
And when I am a mom or dad, so glad,
I’ll help my fam’ly remember:

God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—
This is how He shares His love, for the fam’ly is of God.

     As paraphrased in this song, "ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose ... Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children." (excerpt from The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

     Throughout the world womanhood and femininity are undermined and mocked. Many of the women that society follows and those portrayed in popular media are selfish and unkind, and they teach women that our worth is in our sexuality. This could not be further from the truth. "Femininity 'is the divine adornment of humanity. It finds expression in your … capacity to love, your spirituality, delicacy, radiance, sensitivity, creativity, charm, graciousness, gentleness, dignity, and quiet strength. It is manifest differently in each girl or woman, but each … possesses it. Femininity is part of your inner beauty.'" (from The Joy of Womanhood) 

     No matter what the world tells us, women are natural nurturers. We are innately sensitive and tender. This does not mean that all women are the same - not at all. Some are outspoken, some are quiet. Some love music. Some love sports. Some love animals. Some love dresses, and others don't. Femininity isn't about what we like. It's about who we are. 

     Many women have been taught to suppress their caring, tender natures because it isn't popular to be sensitive or delicate. It is popular to be crude, cruel, and careless. But that isn't us. "Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity." (from The Joy of Womanhood)

     Ellie comforting her brother the other day was not some life-altering event, but it was a small part of her divine nature as a woman shining through – even thought she is only three. Despite what my daughter will learn from the women of the world, I hope she will remember that in a world where women are generally rough and rude, being a gentle, kind, dignified woman is not something to be ashamed of. It is something of which she should be quite proud.

The Joy of Womanhood is very powerful. Read it here >>> The Joy of Womanhood
To read more of The Family: A Proclamation to the World, go here >>> The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Day in the Life of Nathan

Our little Nathan is all boy. He loves to explore and climb all of a sudden, and it is sure giving me a run for my money!

I decided to take pictures of some of his antics yesterday to show Sam when he got home from work. I got most of them, but before I started taking pictures he had already successfully climbed up on the bathroom counter, turned on the water, and washed his hands and feet (and head, and tummy, etc).

I stripped him down so I could get him dressed for the day, and before I could catch him he had climbed into the bath, plugged it, and turned on the water. He didn't mind that it was freezing. Apparently I'm going to have to be lots more vigilant about helping Ellie remember to shut the door after she uses the bathroom.

He was quite pleased with himself.

I got him dressed and he decided to climb on the table and finish off Ellie's toast. She was not so happy about that. (Funny side note about his shirt: he's convinced it's Jonah's because it's a onesie. Every time I put it on him he points to the front and says "Jonah.")

He loves to climb in the drawer that has the plastic dishes in it. I try to remember that it's not that big of a deal because that's why those dishes are down there in the first place, so they are constantly strewn across the floor.

And I guess he can't hurt the spoons either.

While I was feeding Jonah he found the suckers we keep on the top of the shelf next to the window he's sitting on: he ate quite a few, but he was nice enough to save one for Ellie...

And then while I was putting Jonah down for a nap, Ellie got the oatmeal out for him, because apparently I don't feed him enough. :)

Tornado? Nope, just my Nathan! :)

I started cleaning up the oatmeal while he looked out the window, and I noticed this:

The whole reason I put him in the onesie is because he has learned to take his pants and diapers off, but he can't get to the snaps on the onesie. I guess it doesn't matter though because he figured out how to undo his diapers without undoing the snaps on his shirt.
So I changed his clothes since taking his diaper cover off had made him soak through his clothes, I gave the kids stuff to color with, and I went back to cleaning up the oatmeal.

Not very long after that Ellie came to tell me that he was eating chalk.

And they decided it would be a good idea to color on the window, so they got to clean that up.

I am pretty dang tired after cleaning up after this little boy all day long, but I sure love him. 

And it's a good thing he's so darn cute when he gets into trouble!

So today, Instead of staying home, we started the day out with a trip to the park so he could get some of his energy out, which was nice because he could climb on anything he wanted! 

And, lest you think he is always crazy, here is this picture (that I can't figure out how to rotate):

He's pretty dang sweet too.

Oh, wait.... I just discovered this:

You can guess where he is now:

If only he realized that cleaning it up is a punishment.....

Monday, August 18, 2014

While I Was Nursing... Continued

First, I have to start off this post by mentioning an important detail to this story:

We got cats. A momma and a baby. If you know me, you know this is something I swore I would never do - I am just not an animal person. But do you know what? We live next to a field. And there are mice in fields. And I HATE mice.

We got the cats from a lady in Blackfoot. She said the mom caught mice and birds all the time - yay. We got a litter box, some cat food, and we set up a little bed for them in the garage. We were ready.

Every time I went out to see the cats, I expected a dead mouse. But for a couple of weeks - nothing. So I stopped mentally preparing myself for a mouse each time I went outside. 

Then on Friday morning I let the cats out into the yard, and when I came out the back door with their food, the cat dropped a dead mouse at my feet. Oh my goodness. SO GROSS! I jumped back and ran into the house to tell Sam he had to take care of it.

Fast forward to today, and Ellie and Nathan are outside playing while I nurse Jonah inside. Every once in awhile Ellie comes in to bring me a rock or a weed. After I had a pretty good pile of rocks on the couch next to me, she comes running in and says, "Mom! There's a mouse under the steps outside!" I asked her if it was alive or dead, and luckily the answer was dead. She was quite enthusiastic about it and told me how it couldn't run because the cat killed it, and that the cat was carrying it in its mouth, and how it was "just a little mouse." So I went out to survey the situation. 

The cat was standing over the mouse, so I tried to shoo her away, but she wasn't interested in leaving her catch. So I grabbed a shovel and tried to psych myself into picking the mouse up with it... And here is where I wish I had a video of what went on. Every time I tried to pick up the mouse, the cat would try to pick it up, and I would freak out and try to get it away (let's be honest, I really didn't want to watch the mouse get eaten). So I would frantically yell to the cat, "Get away! No, cat, stop! Go over there! Ellie, call the cat!" Ellie would call the cat, it would start to go over to her, and when I tried to pick up the mouse again, it would dart back over to me, which would startle me and make me drop the mouse again. I would scream, jump back, and say "Ew!" Then Ellie would do the same. This happened about 5 times before I finally got the stinking mouse onto the shovel. Then I dumped it into a disposable cup and carried it into the house at arm's length saying "Ew, ew, ew!" with my little shadow doing exactly as I did. 

Of course I had to document it for posterity's sake. 

We put another cup on top and taped it together (I didn't want to be able to see it, or worse squish it later...) before throwing it in the trash outside. You betcha we washed our hands thoroughly after that little rendezvous! 

Yuck! But as I told my mom today, better dead on my porch outside than alive in my laundry basket inside...

Now after that repulsive story, enjoy a cute picture of Nathan:

Ahh, much better.

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Path to Motherhood: Jonah

    *** We went to breakfast while we were in California, just as our little family. 

     The first thing the waiter said when he saw us was, "Wow, you guys haven't wasted any time!" Then, pointing to each kid, "Bam, bam, bam!"

     Because of comments from some people and stares from others, I thought it would be fun to take the time to share the story of how we decided to have each of our kids, starting with our first little blessing, Ellie. In sharing each of these stories, I hope to share my belief that when to have children and how many to have is a personal decision between a husband, wife, and the Lord. I have a very real testimony that the Lord does have a unique plan for each of His children, and often the Lord's plan for us is not what we may have imagined. And, most likely, His plan for you is not the same as His plan for me. And that's ok. ***


     I wanted to start out this final post by saying that I hope that I haven't portrayed in any way that everyone needs to have children soon after getting married, that they need to have them close together, or that there is any one "right" way to get them here.

     I also wanted to acknowledge that I know that getting pregnant and having children can be a painful or sensitive topic for people who want more than anything to be parents and haven't yet had the opportunity, or have lost a child or children to pregnancy complications. I want you to know that I have not been oblivious to your feelings as I have posted these stories; rather I have been very aware of how sharing these details may affect you. I hope that those of my friends in these situations know that I think about you each often, and that I love you.

     As I mentioned in Nathan's story, he was born via emergency c-section. At my 6-week postpartum visit after Nathan, I asked about future pregnancies and the possibility of a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). My doctor was very positive and reassured me that I was a great candidate for a VBAC with future deliveries. He also said that it would take 18 months for the scar on my uterus to completely heal, so if I wanted to be at the lowest risk for uterine rupture, he would suggest that my next baby be born after that 18-month mark (since I saw the effects of a uterine rupture while I was doing my Mother/Baby clinical rotations, the thought terrified me).

     Because of my doctor's suggestion, I thought we would wait awhile to have another baby. Besides, if I'm being completely honest, recovering from a c-section and getting used to having two kids was giving me a run for my money!

     I took a semester off of school from January-April, and during that time I took the NCLEX - and passed! I had fulfilled my long-time goal of becoming a Registered Nurse. In April I went back to school to get my Bachelors of Science in Nursing.

     In May I had that familiar feeling again - we needed to bring another baby to our family. Sam and I were a little hesitant because of the doctor's advice, but we acted on faith, and were very excited when we found out I was pregnant again in July - baby due at the beginning of April.

     Around the same time we learned I was pregnant, a friend of mine told me that the home health agency she worked for was hiring nurses for pediatric patients. I enjoyed learning about and taking care of peds in the hospital, and the hours were unbeatable (2 8-hour days a week), so I took the job.

     I went to school and worked two days a week, which meant I was away from my kids more than I wanted to be, but I learned a ton between the two.

     After a few months I started to dread going to work each time - not because the job was unpleasant, I actually quite liked it - but because I hated spending more time than necessary away from my kids. The job I was working was not necessary for us financially, it wasn't giving me any significant nursing experience, and my kids just needed their mom home as much as possible. Sam and I talked about these thoughts for a month until finally one day in December as I was dropping Sam off on my way to work, I broke down. (Coming home to find the babysitter asleep on the couch with Ellie glued to PBS and Nathan playing on the floor in a dirty diaper  a few days earlier may or may not have sent me over the edge...) His response was, "You need to give your two weeks. Today." I was surprised. I didn't want to be a quitter. I didn't give my notice that day, but after Sam and I prayerfully discussed it some more, we decided that it was better for me to be home with the kids when I wasn't at school, rather than working. So a few days later I gave my two week's notice, and I haven't regretted that choice even once since.

     My final semester of school started in January of 2014. For the clinical hours in one of my classes, I was blessed to work with the very instructor that gave me pointers on applying to the Nursing program after Ellie was born. She pushed me to work hard, but she was also very understanding of my situation. It turns out that she, too, went through nursing school at BYU-Idaho with kids. I enjoyed working with her and listening to her experiences as a nurse, a mother and a grandmother as my due date got closer.

     On March 30 my little VBAC baby, Jonah, was born. Needless to say, I missed my final clinical rotation the next day. :)

     Jonah is such a calm, content little boy - he only really gets upset when he's tired or hungry. He loves when his siblings interact with him, even if it is a little rougher than I would prefer. I echo the testimony I shared on the Lord's perfect timing of the births my other two kids: He knows what He's doing, and I am so grateful He sent Jonah to our family when He did.

     Our life is crazy with three tiny kids. The house is almost never clean or quiet. It involves almost as much planning to get kids out the door and keep them occupied at the grocery store as it takes to plan meals. I haven't heard more than a 2-minute snippet of a church lesson in over a year. My clean clothes don't stay clean for long, and neither do the kids'. My days consist of wiping bums and noses. We sing the same songs, read the same books, and have the same conversations over and over and over again. I mitigate fights, kiss "owies," and enforce rules. As a lady said to me when she learned the ages of my kids, "Wow, you sure are becoming immersed in motherhood quickly, aren't you?!" I am. And like I said to her, "I wouldn't have it any other way."

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