Friday, February 27, 2009


If you haven't see it yet, this was just posted on a few days ago. It's fantastic!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Confession Wed . . . um . . . Thursday: What do you do?

What do you do when you’re in a public place, and you see a parent maliciously berating a child?

I’m not talking about the exasperated parents who, after the 26th time, say “Put the cookies back on the shelf!” a little sharply. I’m talking about the lady I saw in Winco the other day, who bumped into a man with her cart, and laughed and smiled and apologized. Then, when she was bumped by her 10-ish daughter, she spun around and angrily told her how sick she was of her, and to go wait in the car. Then, for the next 60 seconds, everyone within two aisles heard her loudly telling her daughter that she was an $%&, over and over again.

Or the lady in Wal-Mart who, every time I passed her over a 15-minute span, was telling her daughter that, “I’ve had enough of you,” and “I’m so sick of you,” and “What’s wrong with you?”

I know we all get frustrated with our kids on a regular basis, but no mother has the right to rip a child’s emotional well-being from the one place it should be safe, and beat it to pieces like that. Every time I see it happen, it leaves me physically ill and wondering if I could talk the beast of a mother into giving me her child, whose upbringing, heaven knows, would be a major undertaking after a beginning like that, but who would never again be told she was worthless.

If I knew what to say to those mothers, I believe I could find the courage to say it. I always worry, though, that anything I say will come back on the child after I walk away, as in, “NOW look what you’ve done!”

Somebody told me recently about a mother who had a severely autistic child. If anybody gave her dirty looks while the child was acting out in public, the mother would quietly hand the stranger a business card with a message informing them of the child’s condition. I think it’s brilliant!

Maybe something like: “No, YOU’RE an $%&!”

Or not.

If you printed a card for such a situation, what would it say?

If you were to speak up, what would you say?

Or have you spoken up? And what did you say?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We Suffer From FODIP Syndrome

Yes folks it is true and I will admit, my family suffers from Fear of Dancing In Public. I came to this realization this weekend which consisted of 4 dances! We went from never going to dances to attending 2 in one night. It started with my husband and I attending the Stake Valentines Day Dance on Friday night. We had never been to an adult one. But the conversation the previous Sunday went something like this:
Me: Let's go out Friday night
Hubby: What should we do?
Me: (Thinking for a moment then spotted the sign for the said valentines day dance) We should go to that!
Hubby: Ok

I'm amazed we both actually agreed to go. And so we went and had a great time. We danced about 3 slow songs and played a fabulous game of catch phrase (Go Girl Team!). Both hubby and I were way to nervous and intimidated to fast dance. Plus I have this terrible memory of when I was a youth and went to a stake dance and tried fast dancing. I remember afterwards thinking, "What was I doing out there?"

The next night my 12 year old attended an all girls dancing birthday party. When I dropped her up I knew she was so uncomfortable knowing that the girls were going to dance all night long. Needless to say when I picked her up she hadn't danced, said she was too tired.

Meanwhile, my hubby was chaperoning the youth dance that night and said the kids were dancing great and he wanted to learn how to dance well.

So after talking to all the kids that know how to hold a conversation, I came to the conclusion that my family has a fear of dancing in public. And public also means in front of each other. So to remedy this we started dancing in our house. Last night it was to some great 80's music, including the fabulous dance from Can't Buy Me Love. Tonight it was 90's music, think Arrested Development's Tennessee. We have had great fun! What's next? For the kids we are planning on throwing our own dance party and for the hubby and I we are planning on taking lessons with Catch Phrase buddies. Maybe I should give these a try- So beware if you happen to stop by house you might find the music turned up loud and lots of dancing and laughing going on-and you might be asked to join in!

Do you have a fear of dancing in public? How did you overcome it? Do I look silly when I try to fast dance?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I have another Fear to Conquer

How far have you ever driven without your husband and just your kids? I'm embarrassed to admit the farthest I've gone is exit 71, yep 41 miles. Pathetic I know! When I lived in Provo my boyfriend lived in Salt Lake and I was driving back and forth constantly, through the snow, rain, late at night, early morning, everything! I didn't think much of it and enjoyed it. But now that I've got kids I'm fearful of driving far away with them. One time I had to follow my husband in my van all the way up to Salem, we had only three kids at the time. It was long and hard but I had him to follow so not such a big deal. But on the way back we got stuck in a snow storm and I would have freaked out if he hadn't been in front of me.

So anyway, a goal to conquer in part of my year of no fear is to take all the kids up to Eugene for a few days to play with aunts, uncles, cousins, and a grandma. We would have a blast and it's not even that far away! I'm a wimp, what can I say. But I know if I blog about my goal than Mrs. B. will make me do it. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Confession Wednesday: Board Games

My 13yo daughter and I went to a self-defense class at this fine establishment last week, along with several other women and teenaged girls from church. It was a fantastic presentation; I highly recommend it! (They do the class for free, but they accept donations made out to the Dunn House, a local shelter for abused women and children.)

It was a little out of my comfort zone when they had us line up and practice kicking targets held up by the instructors. I also felt just a little strange when I had to grab Mrs. V by the neck so she could practice getting away. (It's a slick move, but please warn me if you're about to throttle me so I can have a moment to remember exactly how it goes.)

They ended the class by having each of us kick a pine board in half, 3 kickers at a time, in front of the whole group. The proper stance requires you to stick your hip out at the kneeling male instructor (who may or may not be somebody you see on a regular basis because he's the father of your daughter's school friend).

The public call for grace, balance, and depth perception automatically activated my OhboyIthinkIhearmymothercalling reflex, but of course the Year of No Fear (as well as a few women in the group who know me too well) dictated that I not weasel out of it. So I didn't. I got it on Kick #2, after shaving my calf (it's ok, it needs shaving) on the edge of the board on Kick #1.

The board actually broke so easily that I suspect I was given a go-easy-on-her-and-give-her-the-pansy-board board. Good call.

In other news, I ate a portion-cupful of Jelly Bellies while driving a few nights ago. See how I'm living on the edge? See?

(Because ambiguously-colored candies are a risky move even in daylight. It's like Buddy and the Jack-in-the-Boxes on Elf, except with flavors.)

FYI: Among other flavors, there were 2 licorice, 3 coffee, and 2 tastes-like-what-electrical-fire-smells-like in one tiny cupful. GROSS! Thank goodness they don't make cilantro ones yet.

When is the last time you were out of your comfort zone, and what did you do about it?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Confession Wednesday: 10 minutes until Thursday!

I quit my job. That’s my most recent leap of courage.

I don’t know if it’s exactly a real job; photography has been my hobby since I was 16, and friends have been kind enough with their referrals that it had become supplementary income for our family. I couldn’t actually have supported a household of any size on my income alone, but when cars broke down, or when we paid visits to the emergency room, it was almighty helpful income.

But I’m a miserable multi-tasker. I’m all too easily overwhelmed, and I was spending a LOT of time overwhelmed. I won’t go into details (I already tried and deleted three times), but my children were pretty much raising themselves. As a mother, I was feeling like a total, utter failure.

So I’ve cut my business back to just standing trades only (so don’t worry if I owe you pictures!). Turning business away is the hardest part . . . I’m horrible at saying no . . . and it’s usually people I know and love that are asking.

Also, quite frankly, aside from the income that will clearly be missed, I’m going to miss seeing my work on other people’s walls, blogs, and facebook profiles. Call me an egomaniac if you will, but it gives me a little thrill every time.

However, since things have lightened up, it’s just as I suspected: My kitchen is cleaner, I’m sleeping more, and I’m remembering to pick up my kindergartener on time (on the days I can find my keys . . . thanks again for bailing me out Jill!). I can even do math in my head again, which means that I can figure out (and also that I care) whether it’s cheaper to brush the bread dough with egg whites or with butter (here’s my Wednesday Confession: It’s really margarine, and it’s cheaper than the egg.) before I bake it. Did I mention I’m baking bread? Right now?

But you know what else? My little kids are cuter than usual. And the big ones are funnier lately. And my husband is handsome-er, too. I can’t stop watching their faces, and laughing at the sweet things they do. I find myself thinking: What if I had missed this?

And then wincing as I wonder: How much have I already missed?

And then being grateful that we're on a make-your-own-bread-with-margarine-and-nobody-break-any-bones-this-month kind of budget, because not making extra money is paying big dividends.

Seeing my work on someone else’s wall is a little thrill, but being a wife and mother is pure joy.

What's bringing you joy this week?

Monday, February 2, 2009

For Adventures in Mommyland

This is for you! We didn't think we would be missed! So, I love getting out of town, whether it is for the day or even a few weeks. I love it! This weekend we packed everyone up, sent the dog off to my parents and headed up to Springfield for a nephew's blessing. Blessings are so great. Especially this one, the parents have been waiting for 7 years to have a baby to bless. The baby's mommy is really one of my favorite people. However, we have had our differences in the past few years. She didn't like the way I am raising my kids. I would try to remember that since she doesn't have kids she really doesn't understand that when they are disobeying and break something that is both expensive and full of sentimental value, the typical mother reaction is to be angry. So we have had our differences. She wouldn't be rude to me but we just were close. But instead of not remaining close to her and not putting out an effort when she had her new baby, I decided to hit this head on and kill her with kindness. After the baby was born we went up for the day to meet him. Then I made him a blanket and booties. Then we decided to head up for the weekend. And I'm proud to report it worked! I felt the closeness returning this weekend. She asked my advice on her baby, she shared things with me that were personal, and we had a lot of really good talks. So lesson learned this weekend, when it is easier and non fearful to ignore someone and give into a relationship falling apart, step up and fight to save a relationship that is definitely worth saving! So Confession Wednesday (on Monday-just a few days late), have you ever worked on saving a relationship instead of just letting it slip on by and disappearing? Adventures in Mommyland, I'll be anxiously awaiting your comment!