Would you like to translate this into another language?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Invisible Woman

If you don't have a blog, you probably don't know this, but when you start a post and then don't post it, it remains in the list of posts.

As you might have noticed, if you read this blog with any amount of consistency, that I've been a little slow to write these past couple of days. School being over, I'm kind of taking a bit of a reprieve. In my last day of school, I wrote four papers, so I think I kind of burned myself out a wee bit.

I thought I'd go back and repost something from way back when. I started with January 31st of years past. I found this unposted post from 2010. You've probably seen it before, but just in case you haven't....Here it is for your viewing pleasure. It really puts the job of a mom into perspective.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

The First Dilemma

I'm looking forward to tomorrow, but there's one HUGE black hole in my schedule.  The time that I used to spend studying when the kids are having quiet time is now going to be blissfully (but to be honest...frighteningly) empty.  What am I going to do with that time?

Crazy that I'm so freaked out by it, but I'm used to having that time have a purpose all it's own.  I don't want to squander that time.  What will I do that will fill that time with purpose?  The possibilities are really endless.....

Maybe it's time to start #1's book.

Part of the Weekend

#3 taped this this weekend....

video

It's #6 and #7 that crack me up as I watch it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Only Have One Thing to Share...


Yup!  As of about 1:30 this morning, all of my assignments have been submitted, and if all goes as planned, I will be officially DONE!  That will be me standing under that flying hat.


Just keep your fingers crossed that all goes as planned, okay?


Now...back to my regularly scheduled life....

 I'm a FREE WOMAN!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mom Guilt

My husband HATES standardized tests.  In a post awhile ago, I believe I mentioned that there are a few things about his profession that he is passionately against.  Standardized tests is one of them....and don't even mention "No Child Left Behind."  That'll send him off on a tirade for sure.

A friend shared this on facebook the other day, and I instantly thought of the Warden.


Well, I now understand one of the reasons my husband hates standardized tests....what it does to parents.

We received the results from one such test about one of our children yesterday, and the results were not good.  They weren't bad, they just weren't what I would have expected from this child.

I woke at 5:00 this morning and COULD NOT get back to sleep.  What happened?  Where did I fail?  Were my own studies too much in the way during those early formative years?  Did I neglect to do something I should have?  Did I feed this child too much or too little of something?  Where did I go wrong?

For some reason, it had to be me.  It HAD to.  At 5am, I couldn't get my brain to think anything else.

The Warden turned over in his sleep, and I took that opportunity to address the subject.  I shared what I was worrying about, and he scoffed.  Of course he did.  He hates those tests.  He said, "That's silly.  All that test means is that that's not the way our child learns.  It's a non-verbal test, and it's timed...."

This got me thinking....I am a verbal learner.  If I had taken this same test, would I have done better?  That would be interesting to see.

Anyway, I can't seem to get back on track and stop feeling like a failure.  No matter what the Warden says, the mother guilt won't let up.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sacrifices--Just Some Thoughts

I'm reading Exodus 29 today.  I've read this a couple times before, and each time I read it, I have to honest, it kind of grosses me out.  Eww!  Must have been a very different world back then.  I can't imagine sacrificing animals, but I understand there were symbols and purposes for these rituals.

 I contrast those things with what we are asked to sacrifice to God today--a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and it makes me EXTRA grateful to have been born in this day and age.  I look at the sacrament I take on Sundays.  What a simple rite with so much meaning.  When I take it, do I give my heart willingly and do I give it with as much sacrifice as if it were a bullock or a turtle dove?

The List...Where to Begin

Yesterday in the car, I got to talking to #2 about the things I'm going to do once school's over.  The conversation started because we were talking about school and the papers he had to write and how he needed my laptop in order to finish them.

I shared with him the fact that I've made up my little schedule and how papers continue on my to-do list until late February.  Yes, that's right, school will no longer be part of my to-do list once February is past.  YAY!!!  and at the same time PHEW!!!

So, number one on my list is a nap.  You got that right.  A big, huge, wake-when-I'm-all-done-sleeping nap.

When I was 18 and was living in the dorms at BYU, I remember a friend knocking on my dorm window at the end of fall term.  I had finished finals and had crashed on my bed.  I remember waking to that knock feeling like I was climbing out of a cave.  I was so exhausted.

So, yes, #1:  NAP.

Here are some of the other things I'm hoping to undertake:
  • Create a photo book for #1.  I want to do this for each of my kids before they head off to college.
  • Figure out Disneyland.  I would REALLY LOVE for this to happen.  I'm just not sure how it's going to.  Getting nine people there and finding a place to stay, not to mention entrance to the park, is going to be an amazing trick.  We'll see.  I've been asked a number of times if I plan on walking in the graduation ceremony at the "Y."  At first, I thought I might, but then I realized that I'd much rather make some lasting memories with my family who's sacrificed so much to help get me to this point.  With #1 leaving for college, this might be our last hoorah with all of our crew.  I want to make good memories before the dominoes start to fall.
  • Clean out my house and get things in order.
  • Learn some interior design skills and decorate my home. 

I'm still trying to figure it all out.  These are the ideas that pop into my head right now, but I'm sure there'll be more--many more.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

This Week's Clean Outs

Here are the areas that the child I mentioned in the last post chose for me.  Actually, the first photo was taken a week ago.  Yes, I've been a slacker. 
I told said child to only choose five places because of this one that's been hanging over my head, but when I downloaded the photos, there were six instead of five, so I planned that one day this week I'd do an extra area, but when I got to work, yesterday, I kind of got carried away and cleaned out six drawers instead because thanks to this little discovery, I  decided I wanted my bowls and things closer to that cupboard.
At this point, I have cleaned out four of the areas in the photos below plus two others for which there were no "before" pictures.  Oops.
Before - middle drawer
After - now in the bottom drawer
Wednesday's job

Thursday's job

I cleaned out the drawer that housed the coloring books and crayons--things to keep little ones busy while I'm making dinner--and put all of the usable items in a box to pull out when needed.  This particular drawer is below the magical cupboard with the outlet, so I have put the griddle and waffle iron, as well as the batter dispenser in this drawer, so now, all we have to do is bend down, get one of them out, open the cupboard above, plug the griddle or waffle iron in, and we're off.  Easy!  I love it when things make logical sense.


Before - this drawer now houses the potatoes and the open dry pack cans of rice, onions and bag of potato pearls.  I neglected to take an after photo of it.  I will later today.
After - new location - kind of a large drawer for its new contents, but things are always subject to change, right?

Before - one location
After - new location right below the magic cupboard.

Friday's job - this will probably become the drawer with the lunch bags in it.
After these, I think there are only two more kitchen drawers to redo until the kitchen's done, so maybe I'll tackle those too before the week is through.  It would be SO nice to have it all done, so I can move onto some other lovely place.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pockets in Our Hearts

I remember when I was in my teens having a hard time not comparing myself to everyone else.  That seems to be part of the problem with one of my children.  Tonight it became apparent that this couldn't go on any longer.  Enter Mom, the motivational speaker.....

We discussed that each person who comes to earth comes with their own package and their own path.  We talked about the paths intersecting at times when we meet and interact with others.

We talked about how it's not fair to compare yourself to anyone else because you're just you and that person's just that person.  Peas don't become carrots--a carrot's always a carrot and a pea is always a pea.  You're really nothing like each other except for the fact that you're both children of God, so in that respect, you need to be kind and respectful to each other.  So, comparing's kind of dumb and pointless.

I talked about a lesson I learned while in Japan.  Brother Asano told us that we needed to say three things to everyone we met each day.  We were to say, "Konnichi wa" (Hello); "Otsukaresama desu" (difficult to translate, but something like you're a tireless worker, or something like that); and "Arigatou" (Thank you).  These are polite, encouraging words used to recognize others' existence.

On the final day, Brother Asano shared why we were supposed to say these things.  He said, "You never know when you're going to need the other person."  I think he knew very much what he was talking about considering the changes his life had been through and all the people he'd needed.  In other words, Brother Asano was telling us "don't burn bridges."

The child didn't quite get what that meant, so we talked about getting from one place to another in this life and sometimes you have to take a bridge to get to the next place, and sometimes you can't get there alone; you have to rely on the help of others to get there, but if you're jealous of or hating on everybody around you, you will have no one to help you in life.

This child's really been struggling to be nice to other people, so I knew from this conversation that we couldn't just walk away saying, "Aw.  Now wasn't that a nice little talk."  Something had to change. 

I shared my challenge with my cupboards, drawers and closets in this house and the need I have to clean them out and organize them.  I shared that, for that child, a heart needs to be cleaned out at times.

I asked the child to help me out and go around and choose six places in the house that needed to be cleaned out and take photos of them for me.  I have no idea what I'll be cleaning out this week until I download those pics.  That'll be in the next post.  Could be interesting.  I'm glad that we're both helping each other out with our challenges right now.

Then we discussed that when we meet someone it's like we create a pocket in our heart for that person.  How we feel about that person is immediately placed in that pocket as either mud or a star.  I asked this child to choose three of the biggest "mud" people and three other random people and write them down.  The child is to write a note to each of the six people this week and keep rotating people into the list, so when one note is written to a "mud" person, another "mud" person must take the place on the list until there are no mud people left.

I shared that, a lot like cleaning out the spaces of my house, if I were to only spend time on the worst areas, I would soon become discouraged.  Thus the reason for choosing three non-mudders.  The purpose of the notes are to provide forgiveness for whoever it might be and to share sincere positive feelings for that person.  We also talked about the fact that when we fail to forgive, it's "like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."  I LOVE this quote; it's so true.  I'm hoping that through this exercise, this child will learn to appreciate others and be quicker to forgive.

We talked about getting the hardest one done first and that if it's particularly hard to write one, the child should pray first to know just what to say.

Tonight's note is written.   It was the hardest.  It'll be interesting to see how it is received.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

THE Dress

I have to find a dress for the American Mothers Gala in mid-February. This is what I wore last year:


I borrowed the dress from a good friend who has since moved away.  She kind of acted as my stylist, and it was super fun just being around her.

So, I'm in the market for a dress this year.  Here's what I found online today:


I LOVE this dress!  I think it would be perfect, but alas, they are all sold out online and in the store.  I found a few others but am struggling to know what to do.

Have any advice for me?  This is the only time of year when I dress up, so it's not like I want to spend a bundle, but if you know of a good place to get a dress, I'd love to hear it.

An End

Can I take you back in time for a moment?  To this day and its post.

Ahh.  What a wonderful plan, and it still works.  I love it!  I love that my laundry days have a beginning and an end.  It's not one continual loop of laundry--wash, dry, fold, put away, wash, dry, fold....You get the idea.

Today, though, it hit me why housework is so frustrating....


It NEVER ends!

Dishes are continual.  Messes are continual.  Everything is continual.  Nothing ever feels like it's done.

We have divided the chores, so sometimes it feels like the nagging and reminding is continual as well.

So, I come to you for help.  With that sweet feeling that came with reinventing the laundry routine in our home in my mind, I'm asking for new ideas.  I know there's got to be someone out there who has it ALL figured out.  Where are YOU? 

Someday....Someday, I'd like to have time for this.
Please, I'm open to any and all ideas whether you think you've got it all figured out or are just on your way there.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Equal

Equal?  What exactly does that mean?  From dictionary.com:

"A person or thing considered to be the same as another in status or quality."

I've been reading a book lately about adolescent girls and the change that takes place to their personalities in their teen years (Thank you, Margie, for the recommendation).  I'm only a few chapters in, but I think it's interesting that the author has mentioned a number of girls with problems and only one without.  The only thread that I can see that's different between the one and the many is that the one has a mom who stays home.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  I don't know.  I just thought it was an interesting point to consider.

Instead of noticing this difference, the author goes on and on about women's rights.  It's very interesting because it doesn't seem to fit the rest of the chapter yet she goes on for pages about it.

She had some very valid points--women aren't mentioned much in history books that girls read in school, women are, more often than not, made sexually desirable by the media, etc., etc.  You know, all the stuff we already know.  I have to admit that I nodded my head quite a bit during this.

It really got my brain thinking on this.

The next morning, it was still on my mind.  So much so, that it became part of my morning prayer--not on purpose because it really wasn't that big of a deal to me, but I was impressed with the impression I received....

To have "equal rights" doesn't mean that we have to be the same.  It doesn't mean I have to become a man or do what a man does to be equal with him.  Which is a really good answer to receive because I really do like being a woman.  It does however mean that I can be just as good as or as powerful as a man in what I do best.

I have a body that makes other human beings.  It does that.  It's pretty cool.  A man can't do that.  No matter how much I wish the Warden would get that opportunity, so he could understand better, we all know that will never happen.  DARN!  But because I have that power, I also have the ability to nurture that life.  Therein lies my power.  I can be compassionate and understanding and fair.  I can advocate for myself, my children, my family and all other mom's, children, and families.  I can do these things equal in strength to how my husband does what he does.  In strengthening myself in these areas, I strengthen our family as individuals and as a group.

All of this raises a question, though.  I've heard the argument that women who choose to stay at home and raise their kids aren't "contributing" to their families.  Do people really believe this?

As I read this book and see the author go to bat for more women's rights, it makes me wonder....Might she be heading in the wrong direction?  Is she advocating for the wrong thing for these girls?  Does a teenage girl need more rights (yes, I think so), but maybe what she really needs is the nurturing only her mother can give her?  I know I did during those years.

Maybe it's time we fought against society and helped our daughters see the importance of our real role as women.  They need to see the power that lies within them to nurture and bless the lives of others.  Why did society start telling us that this was bad?  What greater contribution could there be?  It's time to stop trying to be the same and just work at being equal in strength and enthusiasm for our role as women.

**Climbs off of soapbox**

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Most Elusive Recipe

In the cookbook, I put in a recipe that's called something like "Almost Like Mom's Rice Pudding."  I had to use an "almost" recipe because I couldn't, for the life of me, find the real thing.  Ugh!  Funny thing is, I know I've asked my sister for it more than once.

I made the almost recipe just the other day, and it was yummy, but it just wasn't mom's.  I like my rice pudding fluffy, not sticky.

Well, on a fluke, I decided to do an email search just now to see, if by chance, my sister had ever emailed the recipe to me, and guess what!  She DID!!!  YAY!!!

I love this stuff, but I'm leaving out the raisins.

So, since it wasn't in the cookbook and so I don't EVER lose it again and have to ask my sister, here it is....



Mom's Creamy Rice Pudding

1/2 C. rice, uncooked
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. raisins (opt.)

Combine all of the ingredients in top of a double boiler.  Cooked covered over boiling water until the rice is tender and milk is almost absorbed (about 1 hour), stirring frequently.  Serve with milk or whipped cream.


YAY!!!  Love this stuff!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Envelope System: Month 4


This has been our hardest month by far.  Do I say that every month?  If you were to ask my children about it, they'd tell you they ABSOLUTELY HATE it, but on the other hand, they don't fight it, and it seems like each month they get so they understand just what's going on a little more.

This past month was Christmas.  I had saved as much as I thought was needed, and we did just fine in that regard.  We did our usual gift exchange between the siblings, and that was a BLAST!  I just want to share one sweet experience with that this year....

We went around the circle by giver.  In other words, we started with one person and he/she shared whose name he/she'd chosen and then gave the gift to that person then that person gave to his/her person and so on.  Well, #2 was sick that night and didn't join us.  #4's face fell when it got to his turn and his person to give to wasn't there.  I was so pleased that he was so excited to give to his brother when frequently it's the recipient that's sad about not getting.  Just so pleased that they were so thoughtful in their gifts and took it so seriously that they wanted to make each other happy.

There was one particularly good thing this month and one particularly bad thing.

First, the bad thing....
I learned the value of budgeting EVERY penny.  I had read this before but didn't understand the value of it, so the rebel in me, the I-don't-get-it-so-I'm-not-going-to-do-it part of me, took over.  When I got the budget all made up, I found myself with more than $200 that was just sitting there.  I decided that I wouldn't budget it at all, but I'd pretend it wasn't there.  HaHa!  Yah right.  Who was I fooling?  Pretend it's not there...that's rich!

Well, from day one, I was thinking, oh, that's okay, I have that extra money, I can throw a little of it at this, or I can use it for that extra thing I want.  But, because it wasn't budgeted, I didn't keep that good of track of it.  Ugh!  Stupid!  I will NEVER do that again.

One thing we did buy was a new table, and I have to tell you, it wasn't budgeted, but it was much needed--we'd outgrown our last one, and we were able to sit comfortably on Christmas Eve and eat all together.  We had plenty of room.  We bought it at the Salvation Army at half price.  It didn't have chairs, but we have enough of those.  I'm not picky, I just want to eat together with my family.  So, if you're picky about things matching and looking nice, you probably don't want to eat at my house.

Anyway, I thought it was GREAT!  We had to dip into savings for it, but man, it was so worth it!

The good thing this month was that I was able to to tell the kids why there wasn't the money for that extra stuff at the end of the month, and when I told them what it had been spent on--my last college class and the table, they just nodded and understood.  They're starting to get that money doesn't grow on trees and that there are certain priorities that we have to have when we spend.

So, would I go back to how we were before this knowing what I know now?  NOT ON YOUR LIFE!

I will definitely budget differently next month.  I think I may even present it to the entire family before I go get the cash, so we can be in agreement and each have a voice in what we feel needs to be budgeted for.

For now, though, the biggest complaint is grocery money.  I've GOT to get back into couponing, but the time just isn't there right now.  The kids are continually asking when I'm going grocery shopping again.  They always say there isn't stuff for lunches, but that's SO not true. I mean, we're not at this point yet....






Close, but not yet. Reminds me, gotta get more sardines.  And DARN, #5 sure looks a lot like Macaulay Culkin.  I never noticed that before. 

Anyway, there's got to be a way to do this, so that the grocery budget doesn't suffer every month.  I dove into savings to buy stuff for lunches just the other day, and I really don't want to do that this next month.  A friend shared that she takes just the money she needs for any particular day on that day and leaves the rest hidden away at home in another container.  Maybe if I don't dip into it so easily for other things....I know, genius idea, huh?  So much of it is just a matter of self control....DARN self control!

Those Holes in My Face

Who knew?!  I mean really.  Who knew how much influence the two holes that sit in the enter of my face and the caverns that are connected to them play in my life?  I'm staggering with surprise here.

A few weeks ago I was knocked on my rear end by a cold.  I mean, it was a cold.  Not a biggie, right?  Well, I had heard of others who'd been put out of commission by this season's cold, and I kind of poo-pooed it.  A few of the kids started winter break with it, and I was sitting there all smug thinking about how I had dodged the bullet.

Well...as you can probably guess, I paid for that smugness later.  I got hit with it a day or two before New Years.  It hung on and hung on, and of all the members of the family, I was the one down and out for a number of days.  It was a COLD!  Not the plague.  Not typhoid fever.  A COLD!

Well, after six days, I decided I'd had it.  It was time for the kids to go back to school in the next couple days, and I HAD to be up and moving.  So, I went to the doctor.

He told me it was probably just a virus but because it had been so long, he would prescribe something.  I said, "Okay," and happily went on my way.  Because I'm allergic to sulfa and penicillin, they prescribed something else.  I didn't ask what, but he told me it was a powerful one that would kill both the good and bad bacteria, so I needed to eat a yogurt a day.

When I picked up the prescription, I was told that I needed to time things with it.  I couldn't eat any of the 42 (exaggerating here, but you get the idea) things they listed at the same time as the medicine as it would tamper its ability to absorb into my system.  No iron, no calcium, no.....   You get the idea.

The pharmacist shared with me that it was doxycycline a derivative of tetracycline.  Woah!  Wait....  When I was pregnant with #3, a nurse, who was way more liberal-thinking about pregnancy and medicine than I was, shared with me the fact that there are really only two medicines that pregnant women should NEVER take.  By the way, I'm not sharing this because I'm pregnant, because I'm NOT, but she said those two drugs were chemotherapy drugs and tetracycline.  So, when I find out that the doctor has prescribed this drug that causes birth defects, even though I'm not pregnant, I KNOW I have something powerful here.  YIKES!

Well, I started taking it and within three doses, my stomach was KILLING me--yogurt or no yogurt, so I stopped taking it.  Plus, he'd told me it was probably just a virus, so what good was it doing me anyway to take these terrible things?  The sinus symptoms started coming back.  Hmm.  Virus?  Maybe not.  A couple days later, I started taking the meds again.  Again, the stomach and then the stomach flu-like symptoms.  I stopped.  I'm done.  I decided that I'd rather have the sinus problems than the stomach problems.

Anyway, what this incredibly long story leads to is that I'm starting to figure out other ways to deal with this sinus stuff.  In the meantime, I'm learning that it may be the sinuses that have been causing all kinds of trouble with all kinds of things.  I mean, they're just these holes in my head, right?  I'm even thinking now that it may have caused this.  Here's why....

A couple years ago, a friend brought us a Netipot.  He said he'd seen it on Oprah and he and his wife had been using them and how wonderful they were.

The next time I had a cold, I tried it, and it was great.  Weird, but great.

It has been sitting in my cupboard since then.  Since I'd only used it a couple times with that cold, I kind of forgot it existed.

I got it out yesterday morning and decided to give it a try again.  I used it again last night.  The amazing thing is that the dizziness I've had on and off for the past number of years is gone.  Fluke?  Coincidence?  When I went to bed last night, I realized that there were parts of my face where I could feel a clearness that I hadn't had for a really long time.

I'm hoping to get on top of the sinus infection, but better than that, I'm hoping to clear up a bunch of problems.  Wow!  Who knew?!

Oh, and the Warden was reading online the other night and found out the doxycycline is also used to battle anthrax, so I told him I was just going to tuck those pills away until the day that I contract that one.  Well, now I feel really prepared.  :oP

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Subject that Must be Faced

The other morning, I wrote a status on facebook that led to a wonderful discussion.  Here's what it said....

"K, so I need to say this. I just hope it doesn't come out wrong....
So many, including me, were happy to see an African-American in the white house. It said so much about where we, as U.S. citizens, have come with the discrimination thing; though, I have to honestly admit, I wasn't too thrilled with who that African-American was. Does it seem strange--a whole lot of steps backward--that so many are freaking out and would rather have ANYONE in the white house but a MORMON?"

Thank you to all who commented.  It's been great!

One friend commented, and I asked for more input from her.  She wrote more and then posed this question....

"Okay, so we're all being very highminded & appalled by bigotry based on the way someone is born & the lifestyle choices they make... What would everyone's reaction be to a homosexual candidate (because it follows logically in the discussion)?"

I have to say, I was happy to see this question come up because it's not something that we, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are asked about very often.  We are judged for it, but very rarely does someone come forward and ask for clarification, and it's definitely not one of those that I, as a member of the Church, am going to climb up on my soapbox, uninvited, and start spouting off about, so thank you, Stephanie, for bringing this question up.  I'm happy to explain at least my take on the subject of homosexuality.  I will also, though, assert that these are my personal feelings and don't necessarily mirror those of my entire religious community.

Not all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are the same.  It is unfair to lump us all into one group and say, "Mormons are this way."  We are all at different places in our growth and learning; we all have different experiences in our lives that lead us to where we are.  The great desire for all members, though, I believe, is to grow to be more like Jesus Christ in charity and love of others.  We all want to do what's right, but in many cases that definition of "what is right" is cloudy.  From what I understand, if a member of the church is truly living his/her beliefs, the motivation behind every action will be "to do what the Savior would do" and bless the lives of others.  That is the bottom line.

I believe many of the LDS faith are not so much bigoted against those of same-gender attraction as we are ignorant and maybe even apathetic because we don't know how we  feel; we don't have the experience to know just how to judge the situations we sometimes find ourselves in.  My hope is that over time, we will all have opportunities to have experiences that will help us come to some solid decisions about all people.  It is clear that we are all human beings--all children of God, and as such, we should be kind and respectful to all people.

I was raised in Portland, Oregon.  Portland is a very liberal city, and it's not always been easy to live a conservative religion amongst so much liberalism.  I believe that through this experience, I have learned to accept others as individuals and learn to love them but not always like what they do--a lot how I feel about my own children at times.  I'm sure there are many who feel the same about me, and I'm perfectly okay with that.  To be honest, growing up, I had very few LDS friends, but enjoyed the chance of getting to know many of different backgrounds.  My children now experience a similar situation. 

First, I have to explain that as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I take the ten commandments very seriously.  I try to live them everyday of my life.  They are the backbone of my beliefs.  Am I perfect at them?  No, but I try my darnedest.

One of the biggest is the one about chastity--the adultery one.  Yes, I live that.  Yes, I always have.  In other words, when I got married at 23, I was a virgin.  I have only ever had one partner and if he outlives me, I only ever will.  This, to the rest of the world, probably seems freakish and weird, but it goes along with God's top ten, so I live it.  Did I have opportunities to go against it?  Yes, many times, but my answer was "no" in my attempt to fear God and obey Him with the faith that the blessings would be great, and they have been.

That being said, if someone is living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as we know it, no matter what gender one is attracted to, one wouldn't act on his/her sexuality until marriage.  The fact of the attraction is not a bad thing, it's the act of breaking that commandment that is. So, whether I'm attracted to men or women doesn't matter, it's the act of sex before marriage wherein God's law is broken.

Another basic belief, one of an eternal nature, is the understanding that God has given EVERYONE his/her ability to choose.  We, in the church, often refer to it as "agency."  Each of us has the ability to choose for ourselves the route we will take in this life.  We are not to choose for others or coerce them to do what we choose for them.  We, as individuals, will only be judged for our own choices.  We will stand before God alone, so what any other person chooses to do has little or no bearing on how I'm judged by God unless I somehow coerced or influenced him/her to do that thing.  Coersion is not part of God's plan in any way, shape or form.  Therefore, it is not my place to take anyone's right to choose away.  That would also be against God's law.  It seems that this is where we, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are thought to be bigots. 

One thing I've learned as a mother, though, is that if my children are doing something that only effects him/her, I need to leave that problem as his/her responsibility.  He/she must deal with it and its consequences, but if whatever they're doing is effecting someone else and causing a problem for someone else, it's in all of our best interest to address the problem head on.

As far as the topic of marriage goes, we believe that the purpose of marriage is to create families.  As one of our basic tenets, family is of utmost importance and one of its purposes is to create life and provide bodies for spirits so they can have experiences here on earth and learn and grow, but that, again, is a choice.  Another misconception about members of the LDS church is that we have a ton of kids. Okay, my husband and I do, but that was a personal choice.  Some choose not to have children and some choose to have one or two; others, choose to have seven.  It's not something that's dictated by Church leadership.  It's all part of our choosing.  

As we view marriage, we understand that two men cannot create a body together; neither can two women.  It doesn't fit with God's plan as we know it to be. 

Because of our belief of the nature of family, it follows that we would try to protect that.  It is our fear of God that makes us want to defend His plan.

Most women will understand and agree with me when I say that men are hard to live with.  No question.  Men, I'm sure would say the same thing about women.  We're so different in nature, but that's how it's supposed to be.  Living with a woman, for most women, would be easy.  We think similarly.  Men are continually trying to figure women out and women, men.  There's a reason for that.  It's all part of a plan.  It gives balance to a family.

I know there are many who won't understand what I'm sharing here.  It's like I'm from a foreign world because, in a way, I am.  I live by a different code than most of the world, but it works for me.  No, more than "works for me," it makes me happy and satisfied with life.

I guess what I would hope is that, even if you don't like what I do, you'd learn to treat me with the same courtesy as you would any human being and know that I will do the same for you.  I may not agree with what you choose to do, and I may live differently, but my hope is that we, who reside on this ever-turning planet, would learn to just look deeper at the fact that we are all human beings trying to do our best with what we've been given and what we know to be right and best for ourselves and our families.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Instructions for My Kids: How to Treat a Sick Child

Whatever's going around, we have now each partaken of it....all but one of us who ended up playing nurse most of the day yesterday.  The big guy ended up coming to bed just as it was hitting last night, so it seemed to be a miserable evening for him.

When the nurse-child brought #7 up to put her to bed, I caught a glimpse of a very gray-faced toddler that was being carried past my bedroom.  #7 got it MUCH worse than any of us.  I was trying very hard to not have her near those of us who were so sick knowing how little ones are about knowing when and where to throw up.  We, the sickies, stayed quarantined in my bedroom, but clearly, she'd already been exposed because by mid-afternoon, she had joined our ranks.

As they walked past, I asked the nurse-child if #7 had been given any ice chips.  Nurse-child said, "I was told not to give her anything."

Okay, step #1:  The most important thing is getting the fluids going.  Dehydration can lead to further vomiting and becomes a vicious downward spiral.  It also increases achiness.

As soon as a child throws up, make sure he/she is getting fluids back in.  It's best to start with something very small--ice chips is first on the list.  Get them from an ice dispenser or put whole pieces of ice in a bag and whack it with a hammer or rolling pin.  Spoon one or two small chips into the child's mouth and let him/her chew them up.  Wait about 2 minutes between chips.

If the child won't take the ice (at first #7 wouldn't last night), give him/her something clear (uncolored) that he/she will drink--water, Sprite, etc.  We did water last night.  She was allowed three sips and we'd wait a few minutes between each drink. 

Sometimes the child will refuse anything (particularly if he/she's well on the way to dehydration)--FORCE it.  One way to do this is put it in a fun water bottle or something that looks appealing to the child, or if necessary, put it in a small medicine dropper and squirt a little bit of the clear liquid into the area between the child's cheek and gum.  If he/she spits it out, do it again.  Be persistent.  It's SUPER important, but try to do it in a way that's not going to upset the child too much.

Step #2:  You're going to want to have three other things--a bowl for the child to throw up in, towels to place around the child and a change of clothes--preferably something you don't have to pull over his/her head--snaps, zippers or buttons down the front are best.

Step #3:  Listen and watch for signs of vomiting.  There are few things as nasty as having to clean up after a child has thrown up.  You will hear the stomach gurgle or a burping sound.  You will see an increase of activity as the child tries to get comfortable.  The child may moan, and you may see increased saliva.  If you see any of these signs, get the child to the bathroom as you hold the bowl under his/her chin.  He/she WILL hate this--guaranteed, but you know more than he/she does, so be persistent.  It's important to teach a child from a very young age where to throw up.  It will pay off in the long run.  Don't get lazy and just hold the bowl under his/her chin--RUN!

Step #4:  If the child's been able to hold down the ice for a couple hours, go for another clear drink--steer clear from bright colors (red, green, purple).  From what I understand, Pedialyte is over-rated and relatively expensive.  7-Up/Sprite or Gatorade are good choices and serve pretty much the same purpose.  Chicken broth is another good option.  You can also do popsicles, but again, watch the color rule.  A nice light yellow or white-ish color are probably your best bets.  If the child throws up, you don't want to have to clean red or orange out of the carpet.

Step #5:  If a fever is over 100, give children's Tylenol, but first, try a bath--not too hot and definitely not too cold.  I, as a rule, only do Tylenol at bedtime, so the child can sleep better, unless the fever is particularly high during the day.  I am of the mind that a fever serves a purpose, and you should just kind of let it ride.  Follow your gut.  In the past, I've called doctor's offices when a fever has been at 104 or 105 and the person on the phone has been of absolutely no help at all.  They've just told me to do all that I've just said here, but that was my case.  So, I would say, if a fever gets that high, call your doctor, he/she may know more about the child's situation that might need more or different attention than you can give.

Step #6:  After 24-hours of a liquid diet--popsicles, Gatorade, or whatever. and no more vomiting, you can start to feed solid foods.  Go lightly--nothing greasy or fatty (no milk products).  They say rice, applesauce, white bread toast (with nothing on it), bananas (what they call the B.R.A.T. diet) and oatmeal are good for a recovering digestive system.  Things change over time, but this works well enough.  I know in Japan they make rice with extra water and eat that to settle a sick stomach, so you might want to give that a go too.  Continue with the clear fluids as well.

There are certain symptoms that are extremely worrisome and may mean more than just the stomach flu.  If there's a high fever, be aware of any stiffness in a child's neck or any unusual spots or rashes anywhere on his/her body.  Also, if  my child was extremely lethargic (floppy), I'd call the doctor right away.

I am just a mom, but I've been through this a few times.  These are the things that have worked for us.  Sick kids are no fun--little ones particularly.  Hope this helps.

So, back to the story about last night.  #7 came and hung out with me on my bed.  We watched Shirley Temple in Heidi, and I let her drink from the coveted pink water bottle.  She threw up two more times.  It was tricky to pull my achy body out of bed and drag her and her throw up bowl to the bathroom, but we were successful and had no more clean ups.  PHEW!  She slept well through the night--her mattress was placed on our bedroom floor with towels over it, just in case.  She woke twice asking for drinks of water, and I got up and gave them to her--the water bottle and bowl were right next to her bed.  Other than that, the night went without incident and today she's pretty close to being back to her old self.

So glad this doesn't happen very often around here.  **knocking on wood**

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Secret Family Stomachache Remedy

When I was a child and had a stomachache, this is what we did to cure it....



1/2 C. water
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. +/= lemon juice

You put the baking soda into the water and poured the lemon juice in as you stirred.  You actually added as much lemon juice as was needed in order to make fizz up a bit.  Once it fizzed, you were to drink it immediately.  It tastes rather nasty, but I've tasted worse, and it really worked.

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