Guest Post from Amy
31 Mar 2006 11:23 am
By The Wiz
I am pregnant with my first child. My husband Matthew and I are super excited and scared out of our minds at the same time (OK, I can’t speak for him - I am scared out of my mind).
I have plenty of people/resources from which to draw knowledge (my sister has 3 girls, Matt’s sister is going to have her 3rd any minute/day now) but somehow this knowledge doesn’t quell my fears. What if I can’t figure out how to get the kid dressed without ripping his head off? What if he comes out looking like that many eyed fish from The Simpsons??? What about the whole peeing while trying to change the diaper fiasco (I know I will freeze the first time this happens…)??
I am also the breadwinner for the family at this point in time (Matt is going to school. He took 1 1/2 years off so I could follow my career - what a sweetheart!!). I work full-time at a good job, but I work rotating shift (meaning my schedule is never the same week to week). How will we find a sitter for those weird times when Matt is working nights and so am I?? I am weary of daycares. Having worked at one for 3 years when I was in school, I know the pains/problems/episodes kids can have there (some are just fine too). I don’t want to risk making him go through that…what to do???!!!
We have 2 dogs who are currently very spoiled. Is there a way to keep them from doing harm to the little guy?? I have some ideas for getting them used to him, but should I be concerned about this more??
So, I come to the MMW for some advice from people I don’t know (sometimes this seems better than from people you do know, has anyone else noticed this??) Books, classes -anything you could tell me would be appreciated. Especially about the epidoral. I am
thinking of not getting one, due to the whole hose in my spine thing freaking me out.
Jonah and Nemo
30 Mar 2006 11:08 am
By The Wiz
Guest post from Bek.
A few Sunday’s ago I was trying to teach my Sunbeam class the story of Jonah and the whale. This is a great story that kids usually like. It has action, intrigue and a nice message at the end. I used to KILL with this lesson when I taught it a few years ago. The movie FINDING NEMO has changed all this.
Now when I try and teach the lesson I end up with an abridged version the movie. One particularly cute little boy in my class even gave us a demonstration of how Dorie talks to the whale; about 300 times. There was great discussion of the turtles, the scary part with the net, the funny fish in the tank and other great parts of the film. No matter how much I tried, there was no going back to boring old Jonah who had the misfortune to be swallowed by a whale that he didn’t even know how to talk to!! After a few minutes I just went with it.
This is the best part about 3 year olds. You NEVER know what they are going to say, but it is usually very funny. I also know the hold that Disney has on children. We have been firmly in the clutches of the Disney Princesses at my house for years. You may think that your kids are not going to fall into this because you don’t let them watch TV. WRONG!! Their friends watch TV. Even the little girl in my class who has NEVER watched TV (her mom even makes it clear to the people who invite the child to play that TV is not allowed) knows who the princesses are, the entire story line of Nemo and other bits of TV related info that her mom would pass out if she heard.
I have to admit that a fair amount of my child’s knowledge of the Bible comes from the Veggie Tales videos. If you haven’t seen these, you MUST. They are full of funny things that parents like too. The music won’t make you want to rip your skin off and the writing is very clever. True, Lulu did tell a teacher that the reason the lions didn’t eat Daniel in the lion’s den is because they ordered pizza (from the movie) and that when Joshua led the children of Israel around the walls of the city of Jericho, the people who lived in the city threw slushies at them to make them go away (also from the movie). All in all, I am proud of her knowledge (as muddled as it may be) that she even knows or cares about these stories. I remember that I learned how many pounds were in a ton from the movie Pete’s Dragon so TV can’t be all bad, right?
There is no point to this ramble. I don’t care if your kids watch TV or not. Clearly I am not one of those parents who never lets their kid watch TV. I admit that there have been days in our home when the TV was turned on to the Disney Channel first thing in the morning and didn’t get turned off until evening. These days usually corresponded with me being sick, or being tied up on the phone w/ work all day. I don’t think that my child will be less intelligent or less adjusted because of it. Most of the time now she doesn’t even want to watch TV. I just thought that it was funny that all the three year olds knew EVERY SINGLE detail of the movie. One of them can even speak “whale” but I doubt he could tell me his address or phone number. I imagine that like my kid, they forget to pick up their toys or follow household rules and offer “I forgot” as an answer when challenged. I find it so hard to believe that a child who has memorized the entire movie “Annie” can’t remember to not leave her shoes in the hallway. Maybe Veggie Tales or Disney can make a movie called “Obey your household rules” or “Math with the Princesses”. I actually think this would work. I KNOW it would work in our house.
Note on Guest Posts
29 Mar 2006 11:17 am
By The Wiz
Hey, everyone, just a quick note on these guest posts. First of all, THANK YOU for sending them. It has been so fun to read your thoughts and share all these different voices. (Plus, I don’t have to think of something to say.) I received more than I thought I would, so if I haven’t responded to your email, or posted your post, please be patient. I will get to it. Also, since I did receive so many, for those of you that sent multiple submissions, I will only post one, so as to get as many voices heard as possible.
Thanks again. Please to enjoy.
By The Wiz
Guest Post from Naddin J
“You need to get more exercise!”
“You’re looking chubby lately.”
“I like your hair cut short. When it’s long it makes your face look fat.”
“Yeah, what a great kid,” as I try to pacify my screaming six-month-old. “Why don’t you have 12 more just like her?”
I kid you not – these are real-life examples of the rudeness of my relatives. I have long tried to figure out the reason why family members feel the need to make unwanted observations about us, our bodies, our children, our homes, our lives. What exactly are they thinking? Is it a personality flaw? Are we hypersensitive? More important, how do some people simply let it roll off their backs while others hold on to every word forever?
This weekend I was on the phone with my well-meaning but tactless grandmother and she said she wished I would start going to a gym. Completely from out of nowhere. This is not the first comment she’s made about my size. I’m overweight, and yes, I should be doing more about it. I like to eat, and I don’t like to exercise. I hate pictures of myself and I feel ugly. It’s not a happy situation, and I’d like to get out of it, but hearing a remark that mean almost makes me want to go on a spiteful Twinkie-eating rampage.
I hated the way I reacted to her comment. I first made sure she was talking about what I THOUGHT she was talking about - yes, she meant a gym, with the treadmills and the weight-lifting. She did not mean (as I hoped) a spa with facials and massages. Once I was sure I understood, I totally caved. I said something about how expensive gyms were and that instead, I ought to go outside and go walking - we have a nice park next door with lovely paved paths, but the bad winter weather has kept me indoors. I AGREED with her (I wish I could go back in time and slap myself silly).
In my defense, rude comments always shock me, and I never know how to respond. I can always think of 100 things to say once I get my wits about me again - “Have you looked in the mirror lately, Grandma?” or “You wish I would join a gym? I wish you would buy a muzzle!”
Later, my sister called and when I related this not-so-amusing anecdote, lo and behold, she had similar stories about our father saying the same things to HER. Again, this is a pot-calling-the-kettle-black situation. Dad was just diagnosed with diabetes and has been dealing with high blood pressure for years at the ripe old age of 63. The guy lives on Diet Rite soda and jalapeno poppers. He had me pegged as “hypersensitive” a long time ago, so that’s probably why I’ve escaped his nasty remarks.
Amazingly, family members will say things ruder than any stranger on the street could possibly think of. It’s a sick, twisted comfort level - they think they can say anything, whether it’s rude or not. It’s a line some never cross that others not only march through, but seem blissfully unaware of. In some families, the lack of tact becomes a long-standing joke – “She came, she criticized, she left.”
Try an experiment. Pick a name, any name, and casually mention to the nearest fellow bus rider or couple in the pew next to you in Sacrament meeting that you (or your wife, your daughter, your sister) are expecting a baby and trying to get ideas for names… how does Chlotilde sound? Most people will smile and congratulate you and say something polite like, “That’s pretty,” even though they loathe the name Chlotilde and think it should be abolished. Some less poker-faced folks might wince a little and say, “Wow, that’s different,” but most people will rein in their negativity. Strangers do that because most people want you to like them.
Not so with family - they think you already love them (ha) and are therefore free game. When we told my husband’s parents and sister we were naming our unborn daughter Isabella, they went off. “That’s an old lady name!” “She’ll get teased!” And my personal favorite - “You can name her that, but I’ll NEVER call her that.” After that, no matter how much they asked, we never again divulged our unborn baby’s name until he/she was actually out of the womb and branded.
How do we fix this? As the old saying goes, “You can’t change anyone but yourself.” We cannot, sadly, wave a magic wand and make these people into caring, sensitive, or at least polite individuals who think before they speak. No, we cannot tame them. We can only put them in their place. We must be brave and stand up for ourselves. If I’d said, “Why exactly do I need to join a gym, Grandma?” and let her continue to shove that foot farther inside her mouth, I’d probably have made her think twice about making rude comments in the future.
Some will disagree with me and say I need to forget it. They’re right. But my soul cries out for justice and some good old-fashioned Golden Rule. I can’t say how I’ll react to the next negative observation that comes – probably the same way. Take it, be polite, hurt, rant. But I hope that someday, I will be brave enough to say, in the words of Twisted Sister, “We’re not gonna take it… anymoooooooore….”
Food for Thought
28 Mar 2006 11:13 am
By The Wiz
Guest post from our favorite Mommy-lawyer, jamisue.
Recently I’ve been doing a lot of historical research due to a pending legal case I have which involves the history of roads in my jurisdiction. I know, it sounds as exciting as watching paint dry. In reality, not only has it been an interesting foray into Mormon pioneer history and settlement in the area, but in reading the mounds of historical documents, I’ve discovered a lot about my own ancestors, both good and bad. Who knew?
In doing the reading, however, I found myself saying quite frequently “thank you dear Lord for not making me be a pioneer!” I don’t have the constitutional fortitude to have been a pioneer. Not that I’m completely prissy (far from it) I just don’t think I could have handled the day-to-day trials given to those dear women. For that reason, I made my own top ten list of reasons why I’m grateful I wasn’t sent to this earth 150 years ago. I’m sure you all have your own reasons, or maybe you think you would have been better off 150 years ago, but as for me, this list says it all.
1. Indoor plumbing (need I say more?)
3. Drugs. Not the street variety, but the plethora of really good stuff that makes life so much better, like epidurals, antibiotics and Motrin.
4. Voting. While Wyoming gave women the right to vote in 1864 and other Western states, including Utah granted suffrage a few years later, women’s suffrage didn’t really take hold until the 19th amendment in 1920. This was definitely an improvement and one for which I am very grateful.
5. The DVD player in my Mormon Assault Vehicle. Yep, one of the greatest inventions known to any mom who has to travel. Oh yeah, and the four-wheel-drive at 80 mph is good too.
6. Conference in my jammies. Thanks to television, radio, satellite dishes and the Internet (all great candidates by themselves), having the ability to watch or listen to General Conference from the comfort of my own home, in my jammies, is a beautiful thing. Now if only I could do Stake Conference the same way . . . . .
7. Pediatricians and medical help on demand. I’m fortunate enough to have a good friend who is also a pediatrician and is willing to take my weirded-out-mommy calls at 2:00 a.m. Of course in exchange I have to take her I-need-a lawyer-now calls sometimes at the same hour. But even without her, I have 800 numbers, poison control hot lines, emergency rooms and 911. All of which make me a much happier mommy.
8. Lycra and Nikes. Either or both make me a better woman any way you look at it.
9. Microwaves & Mac-n-Cheese. Ahhhhh, instant gratification.
10. Disneyland. It’s my happy place.
By The Wiz
Guest Post from the Scoutmaster
I’ve been waiting forever for someone I know to be on a Reality TV show. There were several near misses; Zora from Joe Millionaire was from Boulder, my friend Brooke knew someone on The Biggest Loser… but until this season of American Idol, there was no one I knew personally.
Then came Ace Young.
I’ve known Ace since he was a wee child. We’re not close friends, but I like to think he’d be able to pick me out of a crowd. His older brother Mark certainly could. We were in the same cooking class in high school, and he often entertained me while my cream puffs burned across the classroom. But Ace—about 6 years younger than I am—was always around at ward functions. His specialty was singing hip hop renditions of carols at the ward Christmas party with his mom and brothers.
My mother was the one to break the news; you’d have thought Ace was her son, she was so proud. I’ve never been a religious watcher of the program (I mean come on, it’s no Bachelor), but I could definitely identify Fantasia and Rueben for you, and I might even be able to hum a Clay Aiken song if tortured. Suddenly though, Idol has taken over my nights… with a vengeance.
I had no clue what a time commitment this show would be. They spent the first 5 weeks just showing the try outs. It was amusing at first, but after three nights at an hour per show, the whole mocking bad singers vs. the occasional jubilant success story was getting oooooooooooooooooold. So I skipped a few weeks but lucked out to see Ace’s try out. I could tell by the look on Paula’s face that he was “going to Hollywood!” She probably even owns several of these.
After tryouts came another few weeks of whittling down the massive group into 24 finalists. I tried watching some of these episodes; but frankly, it was just too much. How many sets of singing twins are there in the world? Finally the top 24 were announced; I was happy to hear that Ace had made it that far. I began watching in earnest again, but didn’t realize how often this freaking show is on. Again, three nights a week for hours and hours with about 20 million commercials packed in. They’ve ALMOST convinced me to buy a Ford.
Months after the premiere, they announced the top 12. This was a huge relief, as now the show would be condensed into two nights a week, but each Tuesday night show was a whopping two hours. What up Fox? How much time do you think we have to kill? We watched the first week of this and were almost as shocked as Ace when he appeared in the bottom three on results night. Mr. Supportive (my husband) softly muttered that he hoped Ace got kicked off the show, just so we could get our weeknights back. I half agreed with him.
So here I am now, sitting at my computer 45 minutes after the show has ended, frantically dialing so I can vote for Ace. The first few times my call failed and now I just get a busy signal. I should REALLY be loading the dishwasher and making lunches for tomorrow; it’s unbelieveable how manipulated I’ve been by a TV show. Although I really can’t put all the blame on them; my mom has also pressured me to vote since Ace’s mom is her visiting teacher. My 5 year old daughter is pulling for Ace too, and has even picked out the song she wants to sing when she’s on American Idol… Puff the Magic Dragon.
All this, and I just found out the show goes until MAY. What’s a girl to do?
By The Wiz
Guest post from cheryl.
That is my question to everyone out there that has experienced divorce, have had parents divorce, siblings divorce, or children divorce. (oh, throw in any other relationship, too if you want).
Why am I curious? Because I have yet to find someone that has LOVED their experience with divorce.
My in-laws divorced about 2 1/2 years before I came into the picture. DH was serving a mission at the time, and as any child “of divorce” can attest, it was very, very hard for him –and his younger siblings. But he has endured it well. As well as you can in the wake of your eternal family being broken apart.
Now, I wouldn’t say that things are ALL bad. His mother is re-married and very, very happy. We have a wonderful relationship with her, all-be-it a hard one at times since she is no longer a member of the Church. But there is love and there is hope and there is respect on all sides. This is a good, good thing.
His father, working on wife #4 is VERY active in the Church. Yet our relationship is extremely strained. Not just because of past wrongs, or that he lives near us, or that he is manipulative/hypocritical/selfish (I’m sure everyone knows someone like this), but also because we’re not sure if Wife #4 will be around in 5 years. It’s hard to get close to her –will she be like the rest?
Now amongst all this, our children are blessed. They have 3 sets of grandparents that love them very much. They weren’t around for the first 6 years of the “adjustment” period. But, as little #1 asks us questions like, “Who is daddy’s mom?” we know that all the ugliness will one day be explained. Hopefully not for a long, long, long time.
Anyways, that is a glimpse into the life we deal with — some of the “blessings” of divorce. Now I’m not saying they shouldn’t have divorced. They have their reasons and they may be good ones to them –and some of you may have great reasons as to why divorce is in your life. ABUSE for one! But I know that amongst the tiniest good that has come from this particular divorce, mountains and mountains of pain have been raised very high.
So, how has divorce blessed your life?
An “eye” for Nephi
25 Mar 2006 12:19 pm
By The Wiz
This is a guest post from Keryn Ross. It has been previously published here.
As I look back at the Family Home Evening of my childhood, I distinctly remember two kinds: the ones I hated and the ones I loved. (I’m sure that there were a ton of just regular ones, but why would I remember them?) The ones I hated, of course, usually had to do with my father and mother solemnly discussing our chores (and the lack of doing them) or family relations (stop picking on your brother) in a disappointed tone. The ones I loved–besides going to the library or playing kickball in the street outside–usually had to do with the scriptures: putting the pictures of scripture stories in chronological order, memorizing scriptures by erasing one word at a time, etc. My favorite was the scripture chase–being the first to find the scripture announced by Daddy. And he wouldn’t give you the actual
reference, oh no. He’d say something like “I will go and do…” and you’d be racing to turn your pages to 1 Ne 3:7. “A witness and a warning” would send you off to the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants. We’d have little symbols drawn on the top of the page to help us remember where the scriptures were–an eye for “I will go and do”, a traffic sign for “a warning”, etc. I loved those evenings because they were crazy and loud, with much cheering and boo-ing. And we got to know (and love) the scriptures pretty well.
Fast forward several (many) years, and now I have a family of my own. Of course, my oldest is only two and a half, so FHE is short and filled with songs about sunbeams and apricot trees. Our lesson this week was on cleaning up your toys when Mommy asks. But in every FHE for the last month, we’ve read 1 Ne 3:7–at least the “I will go and do” part of it–and had my toddler repeat it. I figure if my son can quote dialogue from his favorite movies after seeing them twenty times, he can memorize a few scriptures, too–right? And as soon as he’s old enough, I’ll have him draw a little eye at the top of that page.
By The Wiz
This is a guest post from Hannah. Enjoy!
I have a seven-year-old son. In my experience with motherhood, seven-year-old sons are the low point. And please don’t tell me to just wait until he’s fifteen, because I’m barely making it as it is.
A few weeks ago in church Dad was home with sick babies, and I was in sacrament meeting with four older kids alone. Our stake has sacrament meeting last, so everyone is tired and hungry and ready to go home before it starts. My seven-year old was on a roll. He decided to see how far he could push it in public, in church.
First he started talking loudly. I shushed him, and he smirked and went louder. I told him he wouldn’t get his treat at home for being good if he wasn’t quiet. He went louder. I threatened to take him out. He punched me. Hard.(Of course, we were on the fourth row, not having gotten to sacrament meeting quickly enough, so none of this was discreet.) I grabbed his hand. He kicked me. I told him
he was going out. He told me that if I tried, he would kick everybody in our row on the way—in the face.
He had me there. We were in the middle of the row, with nice elderly couples on either end. He’s a big seven-year-old, and I wasn’t even sure I could get him out, let alone keep him from kicking the neighboring families in the face. There were still fifteen minutes left in sacrament meeting, and I was stumped.
I sat there trying to think while simultaneously holding his hands and feet as he kicked and punched me. The lady behind me said, audibly, “That boy needs a spanking!” I was close to tears. This went on for several minutes.
Then I had a revelation (I’m not sure from what source). I looked a couple of rows in front of me and saw a new family in the ward. The father was an officer in the army, (very impressive to seven-year-olds, in my experience). I leaned over to my son.
“If you don’t stop punching and kicking, I will ask Brother Anderson to take you out.”
And here’s the low point.
“He’s in the army,” I answered. “He could probably kill you with
his bare hands.”
(“He wouldn’t, of course,” I added, a bit shocked that I had just
threatened murder in church, “but he could.”)
My seven-year-old’s eyes got wide. He quit punching and kicking.
And he went home quietly.
I had succeeded. I increased reverence in church by convincing my son I knew how to hire a hit man.
I wonder how low I’ll sink when he’s eight.
By The Wiz
I need help!
Last night I got a call from a woman in the YW presidency. She asked me to attend a panel for a combined Young Women activity. The topic is about family, improving family relations, that sort of thing. I have to be prepared to answer all kinds of questions b/c it will be an open forum. But, I do have to have a prepared statement/talk about what is the most important piece of advice I could give my daughters? I’m totally overwhelmed. I think it’s sort of hard/strange–I mean, really what could a person say in five minutes that wouldn’t be something they’ve heard their entire lives?
You Marry Who You Date
Lengthen Your Stride
Remember who you are and what you stand for
If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear
(Add your own favorite slogan/scripture here)
I couldn’t sleep last night fretting about it. Some things I’ve been thinking about are: that it doesn’t matter what your parents do or say,or don’t do or say, you have to figure out for yourself what is true, what is right, and figure out how to make your will align with God’s will; that life is a test, we signed up for mortality with all its ugliness, and we need to get comfortable with imperfection of self and others both on micro/macro levels; slow and steady wins the race; and the idea from a statement by Elder Eyring-he said “So, the great test of this life is tosee whether we will hearken to and obey God’s commandments in the midst of the storms of life. [and this is the part i like] It is not to endure storms, but to choose the right while they rage.” So any ideas on what you think you might say, or would want your adolescent daughter to hear from someone besides you, I would love some input.
Share the Love!
22 Mar 2006 02:16 pm
By The Wiz
Well, since Heather is taking a brief hiatus due to the fact that moving sucks royally, and team snarkernacle totally disregards all efforts to keep this commandment all in the name of “can’t you take a joke?”, we are down a major contributor here at MMW. (Trust me, folks, I’ve talked to her. It’s mostly the moving. Snarker doesn’t have THAT much power.)
I can only speak for myself, but the fact is I’m fairly lazy, and don’t have that many interesting thoughts to share, so I am once again sending out the call for guest posts. Please email them to me firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep in mind that I will edit them if necessary, so please don’t make it necessary. Please give me the beautiful option of simply cutting and pasting. I LOVE cutting and pasting.
Thanks everyone, and hope you are enjoying the official beginning of spring!
By Tracy M
Please see Heather O.’s post from yesterday.
Why do we come here? This isn’t even a “place”- it’s an electronic bulletin board, where people we usually do not know in real life, write words about their thoughts and problems and things that are going on in their lives. So why do we check in each day? Why do we care what a stranger has to say?
It’s because we aren’t strangers. Not really. We are mostly all in the same boat, having similar struggles, pain, happiness, trials and heartache in the trenches of mommy-dom. And when there are things that happen to us that we might not be comfortable talking about to a face-to-face friend, this forum is a blessing. The anonymity allows you to approach topics and feelings with whatever distance or intimacy you need- you can be an open book, or you can just lurk if that is what helps you.
We come here to rant. To share happiness, to shed the copious tears that come with motherhood, to laugh, share humor and to vent our anger in a safe place. The anonymity can be a real blessing. But there is a danger in it, too. That danger lies in the possibility of others forgetting that there are real, honest to goodness people behind the screen monikers. Behind the veil this kind of writing affords, is the sharp edge of forgetting civility, and writing things one would never say to another person face to face. There is also the constant riding of the line between the tone and subtle communication possible when you are looking someone in the eye, and the stark, black and white, unsubtleness of the printed word. Things don’t always translate well.
We have a responsibility to remember the flesh-and-blood behind the black and white we read on the screen. Perhaps in other web-worlds, people are fantasy and take great liberties with how they present themselves, but in the Blogernacle, almost all of us are who we present ourselves to be. We share an ideology, a love of the Gospel we believe, we sustain the same leaders, listen to the same words, we share callings, duties and responsibilities, even if we are a continent or ocean away. We all have a similar rhythm to our lives- between FHE, scouts, VT and HT routes, children, primary, Relief Society, seminary, bishoprics, high councils, the Ensign, Friend and New Era… Everyone one of us has these things contributing to the cadence of our lives, in some way, shape or form. We are a peculiar people.
Someone I consider a friend is hurting- and hurting enough to need to withdraw from a forum she created. Let’s remember, more carefully and tenderly, the spirits of our sisters and brothers who are behind the words we check in to read each day. That doesn’t mean we cannot be honest, rib one another and laugh at ourselves- but let us not forget our civility and love for one another. And let us tread just a little more lightly.
Taking a break
21 Mar 2006 10:53 pm
By Heather O.
I’m busy. I’m stressed. I’m tired. And sadly, blogging is, at the moment, no longer therapeutic. The Snarker has said some extremely unkind, harsh, and untrue things about me and about my husband, and has closed comments on that particular post. Frankly, the whole thing makes me not want to blog, especially now at this particularly stressful time. So, I’m taking a break. I’ll see you in about 2 weeks. Gotta go sell my house now.
Does this count?
21 Mar 2006 03:59 pm
By The Wiz
I am a huge procrastinator. I am sitting here typing, staring at a box of TurboTax, which is mocking me almost verbally (April 15 is coming up….just because you want to ignore me, doesn’t mean I will go away….putting it off is only making it worse….). I do realize that boxes of software can’t talk, I’m not completely insane.
I might also mention that it’s two o’clock, and my two youngest children are sitting here watching ‘Dora’ and eating lunch. I would feel guilty about such a late meal, except breakfast was at 11:00, so feeding them at noon would have been fairly pointless. Also, they are still in their jammies. I, however, am fully dressed, so that’s got to count for something, doesn’t it?
There’s that phrase….’got to count for something.’ My question is - who’s counting? Us? Them? God? Where’s the scoreboard? In what column do I get credit for having showered today? (I’ll take ‘hygiene’ for 200, Alex.) And even though it’s only Tuesday, it’s already been a crazy week, and it’s only going to get crazier, so this is pretty much the only down time we have, and it’s ending in an hour. So do I get ‘credit’ for letting my kids relax? Does that count?
I’ve heard people say that they served in the military, so they don’t want to serve a mission, their military service ‘counts’. I would never discount the value of dedicated service, missionary or military. But it ‘counts?’ Is there a rule that says we can do a certain amount of service, and then pretty much give up? Do we really think the Lord is up there saying, “You’ve earned 5 million service points, counting that military time, so here’s your kingdom”? or “Oh, bummer, you missed out on that service project, that would have earned you 300 more points, and you’re short 250 to get into heaven. Sorry….my hands are tied…you just didn’t do enough stuff that really counts.”
We will never do enough that counts. Ever. No matter how hard we try. That’s what the atonement is for. It counts for everything.
By Tracy M
Ladies, I come before you a desperate Mama in need of advice, suggestions, or anything that may help. My oldest child is 4 1/2. We also have a 2 1/2 year-old and one due to make an appearance within the month. For those of you that might not know me, my pregnancies are brutal, and this one has been horrid. I’m about a month from delivery, and I have lost almost 5 pounds for my total “weight-gain” for this pregnancy- I don’t recommend the morning-sickness diet to anyone. I also began dilating at 27 weeks, and was told to “stay off my feet”. Uh, sure, and my other kids will do what? Needless to say, things in our house have not been “normal” in months. My mothering has been less than stellar, and my kids now “play-barf” in their pretend kitchen. Lovely!
There are so many things not going ideally at home, picking out the worst one is kind of like shooting ducks in a barrel. But the one that is breaking my heart is what brings me to you. My 4 1/2 year-old son is really showing the ragged edges from having mama sick for so long. He is acting out in all sorts of ways, including aggression towards his brother, his dad, and me. He is angry and frustrated often, and gets so mad he begins to shake and scream, and I feel completely unable to help him through this. I don’t even know what to do. He is willful and purposefully disobedient- even in the face of a direct request from his dad. And the situation goes downhill from there.
We have tried to be consistent in our rules and discipline, but the truth is, things are so chaotic and difficult that we have often failed. Now he doesn’t seem to care what the consequences are of an action, he ignores us and does what he pleases. What do you do when a child so young looks you in the eye and tells you “NO”? He knows I am physically unable to move or restrain him, and dad is gone all day. We are sliding down a slippery slope…
So we have a very sick mom, a dad working full time (at a new job) and taking care of much of the home stuff, because I cannot, and a little boy who is about to explode with all of his emotions. I feel like we are in a pressure cooker, and someone closed the steam valve.
To be clear, he is a sweet, wonderful boy most of the time, and this behavior is recent and due (I think) to my constant sickness and inability to do anything physical (ie: bedrest) When this baby is born and I can return to normal life (if sleep deprived- which sounds wonderful compared to how it is now), things will get better, but I can’t just leave him hanging in the wind until then. Has anyone been in my shoes? Does anyone know any good books or have any sage advice? It is seriously breaking my heart to see my child so angry and hurting, not knowing how to help him.
So, I ask you, my fellow mommy-friends, to please share any pearls you might have. I’m worried the thread we are hanging from is beginning to ravel…
Are you a Queen Bee?
16 Mar 2006 12:01 am
By Heather O.
I was reading Parenting Magazine the other day (one of my many highly tuned avoidance strategies I utilize these days as we prepare for a move. Have I mentioned I hate moving?). There was an interesting article from the book “Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads” about what kinds of mothers there are, written by the woman who wrote the book that the movie “Mean Girls” is based on.
I’d find the link to the article if I wasn’t so tired right now, but basically the gist was that all moms fall into certain categories. And, sadly, none of them sounded particularly appealing. Also, I don’t think it really described the moms I know.
First, there’s the “Queen Bee” moms, moms who run everything, who are the neighborhood gossips, and who only let other moms be in charge of stuff when she gives her permission to do so. Also, her neighborhood gossip isn’t really gossip in her mind, because she is only telling people about other moms to say, “Poor thing”, or “How can we help such a hopeless cause?” Ok, so I actually DO know a mom like this in our neighborhood, but truly, she is the only person I know who fits such a nasty description.
There’s the “Sidekick” moms, women who suck up to the Queen Bees, “Starbucks and Sympathy” moms, women who will sympathize with you, give you comfort, and then turn on you, spreading malicious gossip that they can use to their own advantage.
Then there were the “Wannabes”, and the “Desperate Wannabees”, women who follow the Queen Bee around like drones, and gossip as well. They are the ones who get permission from the Queen Bee to plan the Boy Scout box car derby, and try to do it to perfection, just so they can outshine other moms, and even, possibly (dare to dream!) the Queen Bee herself. They are social climbers who climb the ladders by using their children’s activities. Again, what a nasty description of a mother.
There are the “Invisible” and “Outcast” moms, moms who do nothing for their child and rarely stick up for them, just because they don’t want to rock the boat or face confrontation. They’ll let their child bear the brunt of all kinds of injustices because they are too busy shrinking into the background, or they don’t fit in because their kids don’t go to the “right” school, the “right” church, etc.
“Floater” moms are the ones that are genuinely nice, can flow between groups, and are popular because they are genuinely likable. Wow, they actually exist?
And finally, there are the “Reformed Moms”, who are mostly made up of former Wannabes and Queen Bees, who realize that this kind of social grouping and cliquishness should’ve been over in high school. These and the Floater moms are the kinds of moms you want to get to know.
Give me a break. What about just plain old nice moms who are trying to do what’s best for their kids? What about just plain old involved parents who want to be a part of the community? It was a ridiculous analysis of motherhood, and it makes me want to write Parenting a letter and tell them I think they missed the boat.
I think some mothers can be cliquish, of course, but I find that for the most part, when we find some common interest with our children, or we have kids the same age, it’s easy to be friends with other moms. Ok, sometimes I think other moms are a little psycho, or I don’t like what they feed their kids, or I think they don’t discipline their child when he hits or pulls my little angel’s hair, but on the whole, I think moms mostly try to get along with other moms. This article suggested that we haven’t left behind some of those high school social tendencies that tortured us as teenagers. I disagree. I would hope that most women who are raising children are beyond that. Other thoughts about social interaction with neighborhood moms?
Maybe the mom who wrote teh article just still can’t get over losing the votes for Prom Queen.
By Heather O.
Ok, now this is a pity post. I’ll just say it right up front. I need lots of pity comments.
And, just so you know, it’s not really about motherhood. Ok, it kinda is, but really, it’s about my dog.
My dog, the dog we so righteously adopted from an animal shelter and brought into our home, the canine who vomited copious amounts of gingerbread all over our carpet and gleefully licked my child’s poopy bum, bit a child at our neighborhood playground this week.
Yep, it was a bite. A real bite. No blood, but only just barely. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen, and I’ve already woken up once screaming, “Get away from the dog!” in the middle of the night. It definitely rates up there with one of the worst days of my life.
And really, there is nothing more fun than to go to the playground the next day and have your friend say to you, “Hey, did you hear that so and so got bit by a dog, in this playground?”, and to overhear other similar conversations.
I feel like putting up a neon sign on the entrance to our development saying, “YES, IT WAS MY DOG!”
We hired a professional “canine counselor” to come and take a look at our dog, and she also took a look at the child’s bite mark. Her opinion? Crate the dog immediately, keep him away from your child, and ship him back to the shelter post haste.
My neighbor’s opinions? Well, the ones with small chidren clearly want the dog out of the community. The ones without children, the ones with 2 dogs in their home?
“Well, I’m such an animal rights advocate, I just can’t imagine just giving up on an animal like that. After all, you don’t know what the dog’s history is. You don’t know what he’s gone through.”
Great. So I’m ‘giving up’ on an animal. Me, the ulitmate dog lover, giving up on an animal.
But the Mommy in me is telling me that hey, sorry, nature’s cruel, but I’m lookin’ out for my own. You want to be in our world? You can’t bite. You blew it, dog. And Mommy’s instincts always win.
So, just saying that we are feeling sad over here these days, because it’s always hard to get rid of a pet. I think I’m doing the right thing, taking the dog back to the shelter, and I think the entire community would breathe easier knowing that the dog is gone. Still, it’s a hard thing to do. Anybody else have similar experiences? Any thoughts, comments, advice, places you know where to get the perfect dog?
And, let me say, once again….
Snakes make great pets.
By The Wiz
As mothers, I know we all get our fair share of Teletubbies, Blue’s Clues, Clifford, etc. In fact, Toddler-Man is currently obsessed with Diego. “Watch Diego!” “No eat dinner, want watch Diego!”
I thought he liked Teletubbies before, but it is nothing compared to his obsession with Diego. It ends, and he cries. “No! More Diego!” Fortunately, he thinks Dora and Diego are pretty much the same thing, so I at least have two shows that are acceptable to him. Blue’s Clues will do in a pinch, and I’m waiting for that obsession to begin, but for now, Diego is the clear winner. Anyway…..
I am not as righteous as Heather, and TV has not been banned from our house. I like TV. I like reading more, but I still like TV. I like zoning out, I like really good writing and good acting, and I pretty much hate reality TV. (Although I do have to admit, I have been known to watch “The Apprentice” on occasion, but I’m not overly excited about it). Why don’t people just admit that it’s for entertainment and ratings, and people desperate for their fifteen minutes of fame are cheaper than actors?
So, these are the shows that I currently watch, and enjoy. I would like to know what television shows you feel are worthy of taking up your precious time, because we all know that time when the children are asleep is precious, and if I’m using it to watch TV, then it better be good. I used the word precious too many times there. Sorry.
Monday - Medium - I totally love this show. I’m not into crime shows, but this psychic mother of three fascinates me.
Tuesday - Gilmore Girls! Love this show, just recently got into it, so I also currently tape the re-runs that come on at 3 p.m. on cable. So I’m playing catch up on this one, but the witty banter on this show, and the people in that town just crack me up. I recently saw a rerun where the band rewrote lyrics to “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” in order to update it, and I laughed so hard I cried.
Tuesday cont’d. - Scrubs. I typically don’t like medical shows either, but this show is pretty funny.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday - nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. So sad, (well, maybe sad isn’t the right word) but there’s just not a lot there. Oh, if I find a “Deal or No Deal” then we watch that, but it doesn’t really count because my kids watch it with us, and shout “Deal!” at the TV, and it’s more of a family activity than Mommy escapism.
Sunday - Here I will admit to my guilty pleasure - Desperate Housewives. I think the plotlines are great, it’s campy, funny, intriguing, and soap oper-y all at the same time, and at times it’s so very sweet, while other times it’s so very un-sweet. The combination works for me.
So there you go, my big time wasters. Not a lot of them, but a few hours a week, I am zoning. I know a lot of people have tried to get me into “24″, but I watched DH obsess horribly over the first season, and then he had to quit ‘cold turkey’ because of the addiction factor, and I decided I couldn’t go there.
So, if you’ll excuse me, I have to set my DVR, because “Gilmore Girls” isn’t set to record yet.
By The Wiz
Let me start out by saying that I am not a doctor. I am not a nurse. I don’t even play one on T.V. But there are a few cures that I have come across as a mother, that have worked wonders in our household. And so, I would like to share them, in the hopes that possibly they could work for you.
As has been mentioned previously, my little girl suffers from some of the worst excema I have ever seen. We are talking all over - trunk, legs, arms, elbows, etc. We have tried it all, steroid creams, (work temporarily), oatmeal lotion, baby oil, expensive lotion only available at professional stores, all to no avail. But then someone mentioned this anti-bacterial foam, (her husband sells it to dermatologists) and let me tell you, the stuff is magic. Not only does it kill germs for hours, but either the antibacterial element or the moisturizers in it, (it is alcohol-free), or the combination really helps the excema go away, and helps it stay away. Plus, you can put it on as many times a day as you want, and not have to worry about the steroid cream entering her bloodstream through her skin.
So, my cure for excema -
Pureworks Antibacterial Foam
Also, and this is crucial, whenever she gets remotely dehydrated, the skin issues appear. So we give her water a lot, and her skin glows. This combination has brought so much peace into our house, I can’t even tell you. Her excema is either gone completely, or else really minor. (Also, keeping her in 100% cotton seems to help, but I am not really diligent about that. However, she does sleep in cotton sheets and quilts.)
This product does not claim to cure excema. It claims to kill germs and moisturize the skin. The person who sold it to me just mentioned that some of the doctors he sold it to were having patients report to them that it was helping their excema, and I was willing to try anything, although Sweetpea was so tired of different lotions on her skin, she was apprehensive, until she saw that it was “bubbles” instead of lotion.
I have some in my 72 hour kit, it makes such a difference to us. And I don’t think I even have a flashlight in that kit yet. But I am not living without this foam ever again.
Toothpaste removes permanent marker from walls. Really.
I have suffered from canker sores for as long as I can remember. I have had nickel sized sores in my mouth. I have been unable to talk. I have had multiple sores. Tongue, cheek, throat, uvula, you name it, I’ve had a canker sore there. (we are talking inside the mouth, not cold sores outside the mouth) Again, I have tried it all - aspirin, salt (whoever came up with that one should be shot on principle), vitamin e, switching toothpastes, otc painkillers for the mouth, all to no avail.
Until again, someone mentioned to me what her doctor had told her seemed to help some of his patients, and it had worked for her.
My cure for canker sores:
acidopholus - the bacteria in yogurt. Eat yogurt every day, or you can buy acidopholus in capsule form, and your canker sore days are behind you forever. Something about the bacteria counteracts the bacteria that causes canker sores, and voila! Your mouth is pain-free.
If you already have a canker sore, acidopholus will help it heal faster, but it will not make it go away initially, or help with the pain. (keep in mind this is my experience only!) A prescription for Kenalog in Orabase from your doctor or dentist is the only topical treatment that actually helps. So get a prescription for that, and start eating yogurt.
Nothing takes permanent marker out of carpet. Sorry.
I get sick every time I get on an airplane. Long car rides do me in. I am a motion sickness baby. And then - an anesthesiologist gave me this stuff before a minor surgery, and told me to take it an hour before plain rides. It so helped when I was nauseous later. Kicked the nausea immediately. So I am now a fan of Meclizine I do not know how, or if, it would help with pregnancy nausea. Probably not, but it’s great for motion sickness, and it’s non-drowsy.
I am also a huge fan of drinking tons of water. It helps with just about everything.
So, there you have it: Meclizine, pureworks foam, and acidopholus. Three things that have changed my life. Oh, and butt paste really is the best for diaper rash.
08 Mar 2006 06:20 pm
By Heather O.
Yes, Happy Bloggaversary to us! We here at MMW have been doing this whole blogging thing for almost exactly 1 year. Or, at least it was 1 year on Sunday, but we were so busy blogging, we’re a little late acknowledging it. We did have a goal that we were actually going to have a real website by Christmas, done by website builder extraordinaire, J. Stapley, but, um, that didn’t happen. We meant to come up with a design, we really did, but then, you know, the holidays happened and stuff, and then New Year’s, and then I swear all hell broke loose with every MMW permablogger having every kind of medical issue you could possibly imagine, so, well, here we are, still at Blogger. Oh well. Maybe once life calms down we’ll get a real site (right–calm, that’s us!)
But we want to thank everybody for continuing to come here and listen to us blabber on and on. I guess I should even thank the Snarker, too. He drove up our traffic immensely with his nasty looks, so even he has some hand in our success. Sad, but true.
I don’t know what our future is, but we’ll let you know if any drastic changes are in the works. And, again, thanks for coming! Read on….
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