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July 26, 2012

Sometimes Parenting is Hard.

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Probably about a week ago we had gone to lunch as a family (special treat) and when we were walking upstairs afterwards Ryder and I were in disagreement about whether it was time to play outside or take a nap. As I plead my case to my sweet but very stubborn two year old I said something very stupid, "I said you better come upstairs or I will have to get a new boy." I know this sound terrible but I said it before I thought and all I really wanted was for him to come up stairs without me having to fireman carry him with him kicking and screaming.
Since that day every time he wants to stay outside when we need to go inside, he says, "Mom, you go get a new boy. I will play outside." (him looking as a new boy as a positive)
He has had a hard time going to bed or nap time because he is afraid that he will be replaced by a new boy, he usually says something like, "Mom hold me....I don't want you to get a new boy." Or when we are both frustrated with the sleep situation, he says, "I go to the store and get a new mommy."
I realized the moment I said it that it was the wrong thing to say but now I think he is dealing with abandonment issues. YIKES!
Ryder with a panty liner on his head. He said he, "had a big owee."

As I was pondering how to undo this and I came up with some ideas:
Maybe Ryder needs to spend time in his room with me that doesn't involve falling asleep.
I might need to put him to bed a lot sooner or at least be winding down in his room a lot sooner than no.
He might enjoy classical music.
Do you have any suggestions to get through this latest parenting slump?
July 25, 2012

Sickness and Comfort Soup Recipe

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Sickness+Motherhood= Rough Day.
Luckily Slim Jim was only scheduled to work for 5 hours today so I had a lot of help this morning. But still I have had several hours where I have had to keep an almost 3 year old from driving me nuts and a recently crawling 6 month old from getting into something she shouldn't. When Slim Jim left for work I told him I didn't know what we would be having for dinner. And I honestly had no good ideas (which is very rare, I usually have more ideas than is useful). At 6:30, I looked in my pantry and saw two cans, and I suddenly was brought back to my childhood. Most Sundays after church in the winter we would have.....

Creamy Vegetable Beef Stew
Equal parts Campbell's Cream of  Mushroom soup: Milk : Canned Beef Stew
Pour ingredients into stockpot and heat until warm.
Notes: I think that Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup is better than off brands especially if you are using it in a soup application such as this. As far as Canned Beef Stews I like Dinty Moore, or Western Family, or you can use Campbell's Beef Vegetable/Beef Barley....Nelly's makes good chilli but terrible stew.
Enjoy with wheat toast, and get feeling better!

I love cooking/eating so many different recipes but when I am sick or exhausted all I want is the simple basics I grew up on.

July 25, 2012


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I didn't realize I didn't until lately that when I posted the Butter burner that the link wasn't working. Now it is fixed.

July 20, 2012

Tips for the Hermit that Has to Go.

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Dear Al, 
Your post broke my heart, because I know that I have been there on numerous occasions and felt the exact same way.
And My Dear Jo,
Your post gave me hope that it won't always be intimidating to go out without back up.

After I had Boston I felt so over whelmed every time we (the kids and I) went out on our own. I remember telling mom, "I wish they (the hospital) would have told me how two kids safely in the car by yourself, instead of making sure my baby was perfectly strapped in (something that I had been doing for almost 2 1/2 years when she came)."
Well guess what, I figured out my own systems.
When Boston was little I figured out that by leaving Boston in her infant seat and keeping her in the shopping cart. I could with one foot hold onto the cart and with the other one I could anchor myself while I put Ryder in the car. This was an act of mommy acrobatics but it allowed me to get both of the kids in the car without sacrificing one of them to traffic.
Other day Ryder told me, "I am going to drive my mom's car."
Now that Ryder is a little older and Boston is no longer in her infant seat, I have now reversed the order. I have given Ryder strict instructions to put his hand on the gas tank door (this gives him a target to focus on so he doesn't go running in traffic). As I put her in her seat and then secure the buckle, then I grab his other hand and we walk to his side of the car where I strap him in then I start the car (get the ac/heater going), load the groceries and put the cart away.
I think one of the most important things us hermits (aka mommies) can if the shell doesn't fit change it. What failed today if you prepare enough might be a success the next. I like to think over my failures by saying to myself what could I have done/packed/prepared to make this experience easier on my kids and myself? I then make a mental note of those items and the next time we are in a similar situation I try to test out my hypotheses. If it goes significantly better I pattern the future after those preparations if the experience has no change or gets worse, I go back to the mothering drawing board.
Hermits have to have a tough shell. Anything embarrassing your kids actions are more painful to your pride than it is physically painful or annoying to the strangers you are around. People might give you annoyed looks, they might snicker at you and they might not help you at all.
Last weekend when I took the two kids out on my own to get some much needed groceries while Slim Jim was working an 11 hour shift. Ryder kept telling me that we needed this or that (coffee creamer he said, "I need this for my hot chocolate" and the brownie mix he threw into the cart without even asking) and I was pushing the cart in the wrong direction. And as I told Ryder that we weren't getting the brownie mix and we went further down the isle to grab some vanilla pudding an elderly lady chuckled and gave me the sweetest smile. It was like her eyes were communicating, "Good job! I know that this is hard for you but doing okay, just keep up the good work."
At that moment I realized that maybe we don't always need to be a shining example of how kids should behave maybe instead we can be a real example to how no matter how tough we will mill through it. The best thing that we can do for our children is pattern for them how they should behave and sooner or later they will pick it up. Until then don't be too tough on your little ones and especially don't be too tough on yourself. 
Boston's now crawling which means she is always getting into things she shouldn't.
On occasions you might ask your fellow hermits to lend a claw. This last Sunday Slim Jim had to work (after the 11 hour day he had to work a 10.5 hour day, we love our hard working Daddy). I put the kids down for a nap before church but it didn't go according to plan so I had to wake the kids up, run them down to the car and run into church. Before the meeting started I needed to take Ryder to the bathroom so I turned to one of my friends and ask her to hold Boston while we visited the bathroom. Through out the span of the 3 hour church block I had to get the assistance of two other friends (Ryder was sure that he needed to go potty so I was taken out of meetings to only have him dribble a few times).
July 17, 2012

Cover it up!

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I have struggled for several years to keep bed clothes on my boys bed.  The top sheets make good capes, the pillow cases are great for carrying loot, and the bottom sheets are "Scratchy, Slidey, and Slippy".
So over the last week I re-evaluated the situation.  I decided that the boys needed a little more knowledge and investment.  You know that old statement, " Teach by example"  I don't believe it for a second!  I have never used my blanket to go bouncing down the stairs.  I believe in firm instructive teaching and also instilling ownership.

So, having said all of that, this week we bought fabric that the boys picked out, and made each boy a pillow case.  Except for #1 because he was happy with his pillow and its case.
Big Man #2 opted for brown, because it would never look dirty.  He also wanted me to make it from a baby blanket that was his when he was a baby.  This is what we ended up with.
 This is left overs from a baby blanket I made for him when he was little.  It is super soft fleece.  He is happy with it.  He also decided to go with a memory foam pillow.
 Little man #3 wanted a bright fleece pillow case, that he could make all by himself.  He did a softness check with his cheek on all of the fabrics.  This one won out. we just cut and tied the edges.
 Little man #4 wanted transformers.  He was so excited when he found this fabric.  I folded the fabric over twice, to make sure there was no raw edges.
 I also used the selvage edge.
I love how their personalities came out in the choices they made.
 #1 wanted the store bought case that he already had- because it looked "cool".
#2 chose something familiar, personal, and practical.
#3 chose something fun, comfortable, and independent.
#4 chose transformers- which he has loved for at least 2 years.
Any way, this was just a fun little project, to help us keep those pillows covered up, and it worked.
July 17, 2012

Even hermit crabs grow out of their shells

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My Dear Al,
In response to your post, I know what you are going through.  I have been there.  Believe me, I have been there.  Whenever I see mothers with younger kids at the store, climbing out of their shopping carts, or wrestling them in to the car, or looking half crazed at church, I smile, rub their shoulder and say, "Don't worry it really does get better."
I say the same to you.  This moment is fleeting and sweet.  You may not get to do all the things that you want to.  You may have to do less of the things that you think you should.  But focus on loving and training those little ones, because as they grow up, they become your best friends.  And eventually your little hermit crab shell gets a little bigger.  Soon enough you will be expanding.  Soon enough you will be sharing your love of serving others.  Soon enough.  So now, become a hermit for a while and do what you CAN do.

Recently, we have done a few things that a couple of years ago I thought we would never be able to do.  We went to the lake, with everyone.  No one drowned and no one ran away.  We had 3 hours of peaceful fun.

I also took the kids in to Minneapolis, for a field trip.  We went to the sculpture gardens.  The art work was amazing and the kids were terrific.  I realized that my little hermit crab shell has expanded!  Here are a few pictures from our excursion.  

I am in a new phase of life.  It is the leave-the-stroller-at-home-and-go-exploring phase.  It is amazing to me that I no longer have to worry that my kids may destroy someone's house.  I can count on them to do their chores, get dressed, feed themselves, make their beds, bathe, brush their teeth, stay with me at the store, be safe at the lake, and cross the street without causing me a heart attack.  I still serve as the reminderer, but it gets done.  My life with 5 is so much easier than my life with 3 was.  Age really did make all the difference.
July 10, 2012

Maybe I Should Be A Hermit

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So most of the time life is completely crazy, insane, and busy, but a lot of fun and I love it. Today was an exception to the love for the insane. Now that I have 2 kids, there are some days that I wonder why I even bother trying.

Today started out as one of those crazy good days. Scary and Brooklyn, my friend Suzi and her toddler and baby, and Ty and I ate crepes together at 8:30. On top of the crepes we put homemade apple syrup that Scary, Suzi, and I had made the day before. They were absolutely delicious. This was my very first experience making them, but I was grateful to have a crepes tutorial to read last night.
Immediately after breakfast Ty, Heber, and I hopped into the car to take Ty to her 2 year old appointment (it was so exciting, I found out she doesn’t have to get any more shots until kindergarten and she didn’t get any today). She was 36 inches tall which puts her in the 95th percentile (can you believe she’s 3 feet tall?).

Right after the appointment I joined Scary as we learned about essential oils (from doTerra). They seem super cool, but also really expensive. I know they test all their oils for purity, but I think I will take my chances and buy my oils at a natural medicine store where I can get them for 1/3 of the price.  Right after I had Heber I got a few bad migraines and I was really grateful to have the peppermint oil to help get rid of them (random fact: did you know peppermint oil diminishes milk supply? I was glad to learn this today because it seems like my milk takes forever to stop coming), but it seemed that the cheap stuff met my needs just fine.

Once we left the meeting I put Ty down for a nap and whipped up 5 batches of bread sticks for the activity we had tonight. It’s a really simple recipe, but it still took a long time and I spent over an hour and a half cooking breadsticks alone (excluding mixing and rising).

Then I made 3 baby wraps (1 for me, 1 for Scary, and the 3rd wrap will be used in a give-away on the blog—details to follow) that Scary and I had planned out so that we can go to the Water Park with our toddlers, but still hold our babies and not keep them soaked by being in a normal wrap.

After that Heber and Ty woke up, we changed our clothes and went to the church.

I am part of the Activity Committee for Relief Society (my calling in my church). We tried to plan this special night for all of the girls. We had with fancy decorations (forget-me-not flowers), yummy food and desert (chicken alfredo, Caesar salad, homemade bread sticks, and cheese cake with fruit on top), a guest speaker from  BYU-Idaho, and even a nursery to take your toddlers so that you can actually enjoy the meeting instead of wondering what your kid will get into next (or trying to keep them quiet).

Maybe for most of the girls we met our goal, but it’s sad when you try so hard to make things nice and you don’t even really get to reap the benefits as well.

It’s probably no one’s fault but my own. Heber really seems to sense my stress, especially when it’s something elaborate and drawn out. In these really big moments where I can finally check off my list that I have done all the prep work and it’s time to sit back and relax, Heber is usually screaming.

There were 4 hours of constant scrambling to get stuff taken care of for this activity (while still trying to meet the needs of my kids). That means 4 hours that Heber was exposed to my tension. Most of the 2 hours of the activity he spent  screaming (the exception was when he was eating). To top it off Ty didn’t want to be in the nursery and wanted to be with me. I got nothing out of the event but exhaustion and cold, rushed food. I ended up giving up on enjoying the activity and going home early.

I really need to work harder to stay away from things that make me so crazy because the effects are so detrimental to Heber. His blessing day was a similar experience to this. He cried all through his blessing (except every time Power Shoes would say Heber’s name) and all through Sacrament meeting.

It’s probably not that the everyday insanity is too bad, it’s just when we leave home and are around people that Heber is super fussy.

If you have pointers or ideas I would love your comments because I don’t know what to do, short of becoming a Hermit and staying away from large crowds or events for the next 18 years.
July 02, 2012

Butter Burner {Free Printable} ~ Goal: Wellness

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 When I was a freshman in college I took a Personal Health and Wellness Class, where my Professor James A. Lamph, Ed. D gave us a semester assignment called the Butter Burner, which was 1/4 of the grade.

Butter Burner Assignment Requirement:
To get credit, you must exercise a minimum of 180 minutes per week, a minimum of 3 times a week for at least 30 plus continuous minutes per workout period for the entire semester 6 months. Please note; if you fail to meet the minimum requirement just one time during the week, you will receive a zero. No exceptions.

Without that assignment the best you could achieve was 75% (yikes). As Professor Lamph explained the assignment, I was really nervous I didn't want to fail the class but then I realized that the assignment wasn't really that hard it was just a matter of commitment.

As I have thought about Wellness lately I realized that I needed to implement the Butter Burner in my life. I need to commit to my wellness and fitness. I realize now that without a commitment to exercise I am only committing myself to 75% to health.

The great thing about the Butter Burner is that any type of exercise can count (horseback riding, walking, riding bike, etc.) as long as you are doing it for 30 minutes. And with lots of great exercise programs available on Pinterest you will really be able to do what you think is best for your needs.

I have created a Butter Burner Printout where you can track your exercises and set a reward (as a replacement for the grade, make it something that you would really enjoy).
If we can commit ourselves to the Butter Burner we are going to be on the road to lifetime wellness.

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