I started a Day Care in my home this month. It’s been kinda crazy and kinda tough, but it is worth it to me. I don’t lay awake at night worrying about how to make the money stretch. We have a plan to pay off our debt, and when that is done, I get to close the daycare!! I thought about calling my day care Laughing Babies Day Care, mostly so that I would feel happier about it. I have always hated the day care names that are lame puns along the lines of “Krayon Kampus” and “Wee Care for Your Kids” But I hate even more day cares that are named overly sweet names like “Angel Keepers” and “Precious Moments Child Care”. Now I’m thinking Laughing Babies might be a little bit too much in that overly sweet category. The children I watch really love caterpillars, and lucky for them, I have a yard full of walnut trees, and the walnut trees are full of tent worms-which are basically fuzzy caterpillars. They gather handfulls of caterpillars each day. Sadly, the capterpillars don’t usually survive. Since they are a pest caterpillar, I don’t feel too bad about it. Anyways, now I’m considering naming the day care “Caterpillar Campus” and in my mind it would always be “[Dead] Caterpillar Campus.” What do you guys think? The 3 children I am taking care of are siblings, and they are sweet kids. Actually, the first few days, they were more like wild animals. But I have seen alot of improvement over the last 4 weeks, and I think they will do even better as more time goes by. I get the satisfaction of knowing that the mother and grandmother have both noticed big improvements in the kids behavior since I began caring for them. Also, Banana Cream Pie is much happier staying home instead of running errands all over town every day, and Baby Bean hasn’t seemed to notice one way or the other. I did have to sacrifice my almost daily exercise at the YMCA, but I do get to go to hot yoga one night a week, which I love, and I run around outside with the kids every day. I have been calling them “Day Care Kids” but it seems like a slur, so I’ve decided to call them my “Extra Kids” from now on. My Extra Kids are super high energy compared to my own children. I play outside with them 2 or 3 hours every day to run off their energy and keep their minds busy with constructive things. This has been very good for Banana Cream Pie. She has always been happy to just sit on my lap all day and loves to watch movies. I tried to limit the movies before, but now she has a lot more active outside play than she ever got before. I can’t get any housework done during the day because the extra kids need CONSTANT UNWAVERING ATTENTION. Because of that, I’m not ever trying to “get something done” during the day, and Banana Cream Pie gets more of my attention than she used to. Even though I don’t get anything done during the day, the house stays as clean as it did before because I am really strict about picking up toys before we move on to a new activity. Also, I’ve been giving much opportunity to grow my capacity for patience and love. I’m learning how to not lose my temper when a child deliberately disobeys me or harms another child. I’m learning how to stay calm when the extra kids are screaming. (One of the extra kids is a screamer. She screams when she puts on her shoes and socks. She screams when she pulls up her pants in the bathroom. She screams when the tricycle she is riding won’t go fast enough. She screams when the magnetic wooden train won’t stay stuck together. She screams if one of the babies toddles within 3 feet of her (because she is sure they are there to take her toy). She screams if anyone touches her stuffed rhino. She screams if I put her in time out. But she does stay in time out until I say she can get up. I have been grateful since DAY ONE that she stays in time out until I say she can get out. If she didn’t, I don’t know what I would do. The second week of day care was the hardest. I started feeling like I was seeing no improvement in the kids behavior and was worried they would act terrible forever. I was really worried that I didn’t have enough love in me to love them despite their bad behavior–and love is what I knew they needed in order to change their behavior. I was worried that I was too tired in the evening after 10 hours of Day Care to be a good mom for my school age kiddie pies. I told the DH that I didn’t know if my bucket was full enough to give so much. I read many scriptures about patience. These two were especially meaningful to me: Psalms 37: 7-8 “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him…Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” Alma 26:27 “Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold the Lord comforted us, and said” Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.” When I went to yoga, the teacher asked us all to choose a mantra for the evening to repeat to ourselves during our practice. She spent a long time explaining her favorite sanscrit mantra and what it means to her. I knew immediately what my mantra needed to be. So for my hour of yoga practice I repeated to myself “I have enough [love] and to spare. I actually prayed during yoga and asked Heavenly Father to fill me with his love so much that it would overflow out of me and onto everyone around me, especially my extra kids and my family. Though I had been tired and aching and stressed when I went to class, when I returned home I was happy, energized, and at peace. I realized that my bucket will be full enough if I decide it is. I realized that patience is just another word for love. As I love my kids, I can be patient with them. It is when I become focused on myself that I become impatient. Most of all, I am grateful for Jesus Christ who is eternally patient with me as I struggle to overcome my sins and weaknesses. Our hymn book has a hymn, “Scatter Sunshine” written by Lanta Wilson Smith. I’ve never liked it much because it is often played too slowly by the organist at church and it is just murderous to try to sing a lively song at funeral dirge pace. I have recently revisited that song and been learning the words to all the verses. It is now my go to song when I’m feeling grouchy or discouraged. I have a good friend who is a counselor and life coach. He recommends that when unwanted thoughts or emotions plague us, that we should copy the Savior and first say (out loud) “Get the behind me, Satan” and then sing our chosen hymn through several times, all the verses. I am finding this a much more effective way of using the hymns to raise my spirits than just listening to them or even than just singing through the ones I know. I had never learned any of the words of “Scatter Sunshine” by heart except the chorus. That is actually pretty unusual for me–when I sing stuff, I learn it quickly. But learning the words to the verses has been a great blessing to me this past couple of weeks. Verse 2 is my favorite: Slightest actions often meet the sorest needs, For the world wants daily, little kindly deeds. Oh, what care and sorrow You may help remove, With your songs and courage, Sympathy and love. Scatter sunshine all along your way Cheer and bless and brighten Every passing day.
Personally, I think I have the most beautiful children ever. I really like all the pictures so much. THANK YOU, CEGAN!!
Yesterday was one of my anxiety days. One of the days where I wake up with my chest hurting and spend the entire day feeling like I’m being strangled. On anxiety day, every time I breathe in, I feel a wave of dizziness. It’s a pretty regular occurrence,anxiety day, but that doesn’t keep it from catching me by surprise and kicking my butt when it comes.
I’ve never told anyone about anxiety day, except DH and my sister. Because it’s me at my worst. Because I like to focus on the good. But on anxiety day it is hard to find anything good that does not seem poisoned with fear.
On anxiety day, everything seems wrong and horrible and hopeless. I know that even if my life was problem free, I’d probably still come up with something to be worried about on anxiety day. Since I actually do have problems,it can be pretty bad. I tell myself my viewpoint is skewed, but it doesn’t make the strangling pain go away. I’ve tried singing hymns during the day to cheer myself up. I do calm down while I’m singing, but as soon as the song is over, anxiety smacks me in the face again, and I feel like I’m fighting a great battle just to not drown. Sometimes anxiety day lasts for two or three days.
If there was a way that I could just leave until it was over, my family wouldn’t suffer as much.
Because when I’m freaking out, I don’t always speak in the kindest tone to the kiddie pies.
The DH can tell I’m not happy. He wants me to be happy, so he asks what is wrong. I say “it’s nothing.” What I mean is, there is nothing he can do. The DH can be pretty persistent. When I’m asked for the 4th time what’s wrong, I forget that I’m suppressing my emotions for the day. I stop answering, “It’s nothing” and let the DH know his top ten failings and why no woman should be expected to put up with him. Also I let him know that every little thing he does is irritating to me and why can’t he just go breathe in a different room. Fairness does not enter in here on anxiety day.
I’ve been learning about quantum mechanics (thank you, youtube) because I’ve always wanted to learn about it, and because I want to learn about it before the movie about Steven Hawking comes out in November. So far what I’ve learned is that matter moves like a wave, but when we try to measure or observe it, it changes. I’ve learned that a particle in the universe spins, but it doesn’t know which way it is spinning until we measure it. When we measure it, it spins the way we set up the equipment to measure the spin. If we change the equipment, we change the spin.
So our expectations affect the universe and how it behaves. I’m not saying I understand it very well yet, but it sure lends a lot of credibility to the whole positive affirmations idea. I know that I’d rather be happy than sad, and I might as well choose to believe in happiness. Most of the time, I’m pretty good at happy. But I haven’t managed to do happy on anxiety day. (although hanging out at a friend’s house can distract me from it for a few hours-that’s as close as I’ve gotten). It’s like on anxiety day, my brain is broken. Happy and hopeful aren’t settings that my equipment is capable of on anxiety day.
Maybe one of these days, maybe I’ll manage to be civil and cheerful on anxiety day. Maybe I’ll figure out how to use physics to fix it. Maybe anxiety day won’t come back next month.
For now, I’m just glad that yesterday is over and my kiddie pies are so quick to forgive and forget. I’m glad the DH is pretty resilient and that making up after a fight is really fun. I’ve go hold of hope again.
Baby Bean is 8 months old.
She is 30 inches long and weighs 21 pounds. Most of my other babies were not that big even at a year old.
She has grown so fast, it’s like watching someone’s life on fast forward, it kind of takes my breath away. Pardon me the Twilight reference, but it’s like I have a vampire-human hybrid baby. She is crawling and pulling up to stand. When she crawls, she stomps her hands and knees down like “HERE COMES THE BABY!” When she starts walking, I’m pretty sure the house will shake. This week she climbed up our stairs all the way to the top.
She says “mama” when she is crying and wants out of her crib, and when she sees a dog, she says “gog!” She is my first baby to say mama before dada.
I feel like she is a super good baby because when I hold her she doesn’t cry. (I had a little brother who cried all the time no matter what, so I know it can be worse.) My sister says I should have a higher standard and that good babies are happy to lie in their swing or play on the floor for hours while mom gets housework done.
…yeah, I’ve never had a baby who would do that. Baby Bean does play happily if she has just been fed and I stay in relatively one spot. If I try to walk away, she starts crawling after me and howling.
She puts everything she can grab in her mouth. She finds every bit of candy wrapper/trash/dead bug and eats it as fast as possible. We haven’t had candy in the house since Easters, but she finds foil wrappers almost daily it seems.
Getting her to sleep through the night has been kind of hard. She did very well for awhile and then suddenly had to be touching my skin to stay asleep. Finally, I thought I had it figured out. I was so tired and desperate for sleep that I left her in her crib to cry and before 5 minutes passed, she was asleep and slept through the night. 3 days in a row, she slept through the night. Victory! I thought. I told my friend that I had figured it out. Then she got her immunizations. (Which I totally believe everyone should get.) But she was miserable for 2-3 days, and she needed me. Back to sleeping with me she was.
I tried the letting her cry thing again, but 5 minutes is the maximum amount of time I can stand to hear her cry without getting her, and either she’s figured that out, or she just still needs me.
I have figured out some things though:
#1 if she falls asleep nursing, 9 times out of 10 she will wake up as soon as I put her down in her crib. So I feed her, but try to make sure she doesn’t fall asleep until after she is done eating.
#2 if she is still wide awake at 10:30 and I’m desperate (I have to get up at 4:45 a.m.), I can put her in her crib. She will cry until I come get her again, but 5 minutes of crying wears her out enough that she will go to sleep by 11. Is that terrible of me? I’d be delirious with happiness if I could get her to sleep by 9 p.m. but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen any time soon. 11 p.m. is my max
#3 Sometimes she will sleep through the night after all that, and sometimes I wake up in the morning and wonder how she ended up in bed with me, but that 1-2 hours of sleep that happen before midnight make all the difference for me.
I sure love her a lot. I try to restrain myself from covering her fat cheeks with kisses and blowing raspberries on her neck when I’m in public places. But lots of times I forget.
Many times while I was growing up, I heard people say things like, “Life is a test.” and “God tests us,” and things along those lines. Though the word “test” is not in the scriptures, there are verses which use words of similar meaning, so I guess that’s where people get the idea:
Exodus 16:4 Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
Abraham 3:25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
Ether 12:6 … I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
1Corinthians 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
Now in school, I was an “A” student. I mostly made “A” grades. If I ever received a lower grade, even a “B,” I felt that I had failed. Though I knew there were other kids who would be happy to have a “B” to me, 80% was failing because it was not 100%. I liked to get 100% on everything I turned in. Many times I would get back a test or an assignment and my score would be marked 98% or 95% and the 1 or 2 questions I had answered incorrectly would be marked. Those mistakes bothered me. I did not like to get even 1 question wrong and those red marks on my papers were like a physical pain to me. I would obsess about them and go over and over my wrong answers in my mind.
Similarly, through my life, I have kept in my mind a sort of spiritual report card. And sometimes I would think back to all the times I imagined I had failed the tests of life. I would count up my “F” grades and feel like a terrible failure as a daughter and a friend and wife and mother and as a child of God.
Then there was a time when I needed a specific answer from God about a thing related to my calling (the children I was teaching at church). I was really concerned that I get the right answer, and often when I prayed, I would worry that I would misunderstand what He was trying to tell me through the Holy Spirit. So I had kind of put off praying about this thing that I really needed an answer about, because I didn’t want to get it wrong.
Finally the time came that I really could not procrastinate any more. As I knelt down to pray, I had gotten myself so worked up in fear that I was actually trembling. As I began my prayer, suddenly to my mind came the kindest words:
IT’S NOT A TEST
I stopped in surprise and pondered over those words, and the strongest feeling of peace and love flooded over me. I realized some things. I realized that God loves His children even more than I do, and that He wanted them to be successful. I realized that He would speak to me in a way that I could understand so that His children could learn what they needed to learn in church and be successful. I realized that He wants me to be successful too.
Life is not a test the way I used to think. All those “F’s” I was collecting, those are washed away, erased by the Atonement of Jesus Christ when I repent. They are no more. I think that our life report card looks a lot more like the report card my kindergartener brings home. It says stuff like “Beginning,” “Progressing,” and “Haven’t worked on that Yet.”
If life is a test, then it is an open book test. It is like when I help my kiddie pies with their homework. I sit down with them and we read through the problem together. I don’t tell them the answer, but I say things like “have you thought about it this way?” or “did you try this?” I never suggest to my kids to try something that won’t work, and I stay with them as long as they are willing to keep trying.
If we will go to Him in prayer, God will go over our problems and fears with us. Through His Holy Spirit, He will inspire us to think about our problems in a different way. He will prompt us to try something we hadn’t thought of yet, or encourage us to try something we knew we should do, but were too afraid to try. He will stay with us as long as we keep coming back to Him.
If there is a test, it is not to see if you will be perfect and never make a mistake. There is no test to see if you can do life all by yourself.
The test is, Will you ask God for help?
Will you try to follow the answer He gives you?
Do you have faith to do what the scriptures tell you to do, even if it’s hard or doesn’t seem like it will work?
Will you turn to Jesus Christ for help? Will you let his Grace work in your life?
The peace that this realization has brought to my life has been so wonderful.
Matthew 7:12 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
I know I’m not the only one to have lost my blogging mojo for awhile this year, but it feels like it.
I have plenty of stuffs to write about, but just not the energy to fight off 6 kids from the computer so I can have a turn.
Now school has begun and I might have time to write, if I ever get caught up with cleaning and food. Seems like there’s been nothing to eat for weeks around here.
Lots of days I feel like complaining, but generally my day isn’t half as bad as 2 or 3 other peoples I know, and that sort of makes me feel like an ungrateful wretch for whining.
And lots of stuff in my life is awesome, but when I sit down to write about it, the writing comes out sarcastic and gloomy. bleh
maybe I’ll try later
Maybe a lot later
I don’t know why I’m posting this.
I have posted about my dad before, and this Fathers Day, I want to post about the father of my children.
One reason I said, “Yes” 16 years ago was because I felt he would be a wonderful father for my future children. The other reason was that I was totally in love with this handsome and very kempt man.
He is a great dad. Not only do some of his natural talents make him so, but he has also changed and made efforts to become better in some things that did not come naturally to him. He’s awesome, and I love him!
This year, he isn’t home for Father’s Day. He is gone for 2 weeks Annual Training with his Missouri National Guard Unit. The kids and I love him and are very proud of him for his love for his country. We feel like he loves us more because he loves his country as well. Also, the kids did not mind eating his Father’s Day chocolate kisses since he couldn’t be here to eat them himself.
We love you, Daddy!