Thursday, January 24, 2013

Guess What's in the Scripture Case!

And now it's time to play, "Guess What's In The Scripture Case"!!!

Today's scripture case is royal blue with black handles. It sports 1 exterior pocket, allowing an ideal spot to collect all sorts of treasures for a boy. 

If the scripture case's handles broke and a mother had to empty the contents of this pocket to fix them, what would she find?

If you guessed:
  • Sunday socks that have been missing for weeks
  • A golf tee
  • A part for the Primary Program
  • A bag of congealed Big League Chew bubble gum
  • Artwork from Sunday school including- a somber group of children, a doubting Thomas?, and what appears to be an alien
...then you are a winner!

Perhaps I will someday treat you to a peek at the collection inside the pockets of MY scripture case. I am confident that some things date back to my college years. I suppose I could consider it a spiritual time capsule...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Battle Wounds

A couple of months ago, I was shopping in my local big box store. As I perused the frames and home decor, I overhead a young adult employee talking with her friend about whether or not she was going to have children. Paraphrasing her response, "No. I just don't want my body to go through those changes." And then, perhaps noticing me (and my not so svelte body) with my stroller  across the aisle, added "I have friends who have had babies, whose bodies look even better than before they had kids, but it scares me. ... I mean, it's my body." I smiled inwardly, but I pitied her at the same time.

It's not that I haven't been there. I remember the anxiety I felt when I was pregnant with my first baby and wondering what my body would look like during and after pregnancy. I remember looking in the mirror before I was showing and thinking in a sort of mournful way, "This is the last time I will see my body this way. From now on, it will be forever altered- completely different from how I have ever known it". Kind of melodramatic, yes, but true nonetheless.

Those are real and sincere anxieties that I assume most woman feel. Pregnancy is an experience like none other, and one in which you have little control. It is the unknown and it is not easy. And coming to terms with the changes your body undergoes is... an education to say the least.

But, two kids later I've tried to start viewing my altered body in a new way. Perhaps it's Stockholm Syndrome, but I have pride in knowing that my squidgy midsection and shapeless belly button are battle wounds that come from creating and bringing life into the world. They are evidence of sacrificing my body for another. A pretty noble act, if you ask me.

Yes, I still strive to fit into a certain dress size, appreciate control top panty hose, and worry about future incontinence. And it's great to want to maintain a healthy and fit body. But, if you are avoiding having children in order to avoid those changes, then you are truly missing out on something greater than yourself. The changes my body has gone through have brought me two of the greatest joys in my life. Something far more significant than flat abs. And let's face it, if childbearing doesn't get you, there's no escaping aging.

I hope that my big box friend will wise up. I hope she will realize the beauty and honor in motherhood. I hope that she will realize that bearing children is a beautiful thing (more figuratively than literally...). I hope she will realize that the things in life that bring us the greatest joy always require sacrifice. And, most importantly, I hope she will consider that if she is choosing one over the other, that her abs won't be able to visit her or take care of her in her old age.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Life's a Potty

Here are enough potty stories to last a lifetime. This is my life...

  • My daughter is currently potty training, so I am especially hypersensitive to the word 'potty'. A delayed reaction to that word is life or death. I was especially jumpy one weekend afternoon when my daughter kept talking about her brother being at a "birthday potty". It was like living with the Wiggles singing "it's a dinosaur birthday potty!" in their Australian accents (which truly did have my son confused when he was a toddler, until I explained what they were really singing). As fortune would have it, later that day my son created a song whose only lyrics were, "Disco party!" My daughters enthusiastic version of the song put a smile on my face (yes, I know I need to grow up).
  • My daughter has just recently been introduced to "Despicable Me", and thanks to the dedicated tutorship of her uncle she has been taught to yell, "Oh yeah!"-- Vector style. This is normally cute, unless it is while I am carrying her to the bathroom after she has had an accident. 
  • The other night, my son moved my daughter's step stool into the bathroom for her, a job that she was already undertaking. This resulted in my highly independent daughter crying and yelling at my son in protest and anger. My son claimed innocent intentions (which is questionable), but I advised him to just leave her alone and let her do it. My son was miffed by her ingratitude. In an effort to help him empathize with his sister I asked, "You like to do the things that you can do, right?" To which my son honestly responded, "Not always". Touche.
  • And lastly, I think my daughter may be employing defense techniques of pythons when in distress. Twice now, she has had an accident while crying. Once on me.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Party of the Century

At school, my son's class was practicing writing invitations. When he handed me the guest list, I knew we weren't talking about a birthday party at Burger King.

Note that the time runs from 1:00 am-12:00 pm, and that it appears our activities will include a baseball game and football Super Bowl. Not sure how our neighbors will like this... and we will need a bigger house.

Albert Pujols is honored with his top choice at #1. Looks like the list is heavy on athletes with several baseball and football teams invited. I was relieved to see I came in at #6, Dad came in at #14, sister is #26.

Personal favorites include: 
25. Author of Boxcar Children books
34. Crispey Cream people
35. Vance Law (former BYU baseball coach)
36. Andrew Law (played for BYU baseball)
37. Adam Law (played for BYU baseball)
38. Their other brother (played for BYU baseball)
43. Pizza place
44. Other pizza place
46. Duncan Donuts

And what I can only suppose is a bipartisan effort:
47. Obama
48. His wife
49. the children
51. their dog

Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas 2012 Recap

Christmas break ended last week and we are officially back into the routine of "real" life. Now that my daughter is older, I was happy to find the break much more relaxing. It was so fun to reintroduce our Christmas traditions to her more mature self. She loved the music, was curiously disturbed by hanging ornaments on the tree, loved all the lights ("ites!") on the houses, and she was especially fun to watch Christmas morning as she learned all about opening presents. My son eminated Christmas joy all month long. He just soaks it all up. He especially enjoyed his annual visit from Joey (Santa's elf), who brought a friend for my daughter this year.

I found myself busier than I had hoped during the first week of my son's break. As I stood in line in a store one day with my kids (who were wearied by errand running) I made a mental note to myself to have my preparations done before my son's school break- and hey, here's a novel idea, maybe even start preparing for Christmas during November! If I can do that, I am hoping it will leave more time to just relax and enjoy the season together.

One night, at the end of my son's first week of break, I began to feel some real mommy guilt for having not even broken out a single craft or treat to do with my kids yet. It was truly unbearable, so I hurried and scoured Pinterest for ideas, then emptied my craft bin onto the table. With a few official projects in mind, the next morning we crafted. I was happy to give my kids some time with "fun mom", and my son cutely declared how much he loves crafts. A smile and a pat-on-the back for me, with a tinge of guilt that we had not done crafts earlier. Here are is a sampling of their work:

Our new Christmas presents have slowly been absorbed from our family room into our home, and Friday night we officially un-Christmased our house. The tree is on the curb (which sight always makes me feel like a thief who has stripped it of it's rainment, wounded it, and departed leaving it half dead) and the decorations are back in the garage. It's been sad to see the season come to an end. 

But, not to worry! That void in my life has been filled with something equally as magical and anxiety laden. Potty training! To be continued...