Friday, September 30, 2011

Kids Can Be Such a Pain

When I realized I'd left three pillows for the boys and a blanket for Spencer at home, I knew our weekend in Katowice was going to be interesting.

Then, when I realized I'd left the pacifiers at home I knew it'd be a nightmare.

Nothing like sleeping six people in a hotel room, three of them pillowless, with a baby that's up crying all night.  I was excited.

After 15 minutes of changing positions in bed he fell asleep.

I was awake all night worrying about how he was going to keep crying and nobody was going to get any sleep, making going to church the next day a royal pain.

That's how I know that Spencer whimpered for a second or two twice during the night, 'cause if I'd been asleep like everyone else in the room I wouldn't even have noticed.

How long to do I have to be a mother to learn  not to dread things like this?  Because I'm as often pleasantly surprised as I am right in my fears.

But, really, why settle in and fall asleep when you can stay up fretting over something that might happen, that surely WILL happen, that will ruin your night and your day?  In my defense, though, I was also trying to keep him covered and warm during the night by laying my Sunday skirt back over him every time he moved...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Feel the Top of Your Head to Find Out If You're Me

If you have some of the same issues as me (which you don't) or you are me (which you're most likely not) then I recommend you stay out of my attic.  Strange things have been known to happen when people like me go up there.

For example, if you do go up, the same crossbeam that you duck under to get to the toddler clothes will be right there in the SAME PLACE when you carry those clothes out, ducking not quite as low as you did on the way in.  Freaky. 

Also, if you go up again a couple of days later, the exact same crossbeam, for some indeterminable reason, will STILL BE IN THAT VERY SAME PLACE.  Only a psychic could foresee something like that.  Seriously.  Attics freak. me. out.

They also give me scabs on my scalp that don't go away for two weeks.  Which is nothing compared to the feeling of standing alone, laden with bags of clothes in a dim and dusty room, head throbbing, feeling a deep sense of embarrassment.  Is it even possible to feel embarrassed when you're the only one around?

It is if you have some of the same issues as me (which you don't) or you are me (which, lucky for you--and your head--you're most likely not).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

First I need to thank every person who commented on my last post.  I appreciate your thoughts so much.  They helped me realize how much I really want to soften the edges of this rough stone that I am.  Thanks for your (unanticipated) help.  Really good stuff for me.

This morning I gave Spence the last of the sponge cake cookies* (biszkopty):

A few minutes later this is what I found sitting on the couch:
* aka pointless cookies.  Because, really?  No fat?

Monday, September 12, 2011

"Modern", Huh?

I quite like the site Modern Mormon Men.  I've read some inspiring posts and some thought provoking posts and some funny posts.  But I have to say, I've read a number of disturbing posts, too.

I don't call it wrong.  The site is meant to have contriubtors on various levels of spirituatlity and activity in the church and with a broad array of backgrounds and opinions.  But it's hard for me to read sometimes.  I just went back to see if one contributor had responded to my late-coming comment on his post.  He hadn't but a fellow commenter had.  However, instead of clearing things up for me, it made things harder for me to understand.

The original post is entitled On Reluctant Patriarchy where "Abraham" tells of his journey from thinking he understood the scriptures and knew all the answers, to the moment of his enlightenment, which leads him down a path that makes him happy but turns his wife into a self-repressing sexist that he wishes he could liberate.  At least that's the general idea.

My original comment went like this:

"In regards to the women and the priesthood and/or more "power" within the church, I am always very curious how more liberal people view this. Is it something that God is just behind the times on, or is it something that he is anxiously pestering the prophet to change, but the prophet is too conservative to listen or does God just want us to forget revelation and take a vote a la the Nicean Council (but, again, the prophet is unwilling to relinquish his power)? How does that work, the whole, "'The church'is wrong on this major doctrinal issue" thing?"

Followed by this:

"(That's a real question, not just a sass. I do respect other's opinions, and I just want to understand the thinking behind this particular type of opinion.)" 

The response I read today goes like this:


I think the church has been wrong before. Blacks and the priesthood and polygamy are what I think of. Blacks couldn't have the priesthood until 1978 because the church was "behind on the times." As for polygamy, the church had to give it up so it could become a state. I don't think God would command women to love live a life of jealousy and lonliness in polygamous marriages. At least, not the God I know. He(or she) loves women too you know."

I responded:


I am absolutely sure that the god that you know (espcially if it's a woman!) did NOT command women to live the law of polygamy. Also, the God
I know did not command women to live a life of jealousy and lonliness. Because, WHOA.

So it sounds like your answer to my question is that "the church" is wrong on this one, yet again. I guess my question in WHERE IS GOD in all this? And if your god is a woman, and you believe she is the god of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints then she must be very, very disappointed in the direction things have been going. And also, sorely disappointed that Joseph Smith saw her and then told everyone she was a man and made everyone call her Father for all these years.

I'm sorry, this is just so sad to me. YOUR FATHER LOVES YOU. Find out whether this is His church and whether or not He leads it. And stop calling him a woman until you see him yourself. False doctrine of the most damaging kind.

Reading over that again, I can see that it isn't as loving as I think I meant it.  I'm just sad for that modern "Mormon" man.

I kind of feel like the term "Modern"these days is too often synonymous with "dysfunctional" or "confused".

I don't know.  I guess the obvious answer for me is that this is a person sliding down the chute of apostacy, and there is no way that I can understand where he is coming from.  But I just wish he could have helped me to understand some of the people I know who also hold what I would call "modern" views on some church doctrines or policy.  I really want to understand those things better, even if I don't agree with the views.

I am a conservative and I believe that the church is actually lead by a real-life prophet who actually knows what God wants.  But I still wish I could better understand the thinking behind those who don't exactly agree with me.  Chances are, though, that I will never feel like I get a satisfactory answer.  I hope it's not just because I am too proud or self-righteous.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Letting Us Know

During my second semester at Ricks there was a new guy in my FHE group. He was a surfer from California and we had the instant Californian-in-Rexburg connection. He went out with a few girls, but he and I became good friends and started dating. We got along really well and had a ton of fun together.

He was majoring in Marine Biology. No, not at Ricks College. He'd left his other school to come to Ricks for one semester. Just one. You know, the Semester In Idaho all aspiring marine biologists take time out for.

He said he just knew he had to come. He knew that it was important for him. I didn't know exactly what it all meant. I'm sure at some point I hoped it had something (or everything) to do with me. I was, after all, an 18 year old girl in her first romantic relationship.

He had left a girlfriend at home, presumably with the understanding that their relationship was on hold for a few months. This, of course, was a little awkward for me, but it was his deal.

We only dated for a couple of months but started to get kind of serious. Just at the deciding point things suddenly started tapering off. By the time the school year ended, we said our goodbyes without ever having talked about what kind of goodbye it was to be.

Maybe a month later, during summer vacation in California, my very supportive friends drove with me down to his neck of the woods to attend a huge singles dance. I met him there. We hugged and had a dance. It was the closure I needed. I also met the girl he'd been dating and we exchanged sincere smiles anytime we caught each other's eye.

He and I never kept in touch after that. Just the other night, though, I found him on facebook*. I looked through his public photos and got a vague idea of what his life is like now. He's just as I remember him. In his family pictures I see him, his two sons and the girl I'd met at the dance.

This made me so happy. Like, totally-brightened-my-day happy. Not having found him, but having found out that he married her.

I thought back on that semester. It was an adventurous one. We had a lot of experiences that I can't forget, like the time he left to go home in the middle of Sacrament meeting because he wasn't feeling well, only to pass out in the hallway and end up in the ER for the 4th time in his few months there. And like the discussion we had late one night on a trip with a bunch of friends to a cabin in the mountains. I remember that when I wanted , and probably meant, to say something along the lines of "I'm madly in love with you!" I said something completely different.

The reason I'm writing this all out is because looking back, all the events of that semester make so much sense to me. Besides all the things I learned and the ways I grew, I was kind of witnessing, or even being part of one of the most important decisions of his life. That cold, winter semester really was important for that California kid, and seeing the picture of his family just confirmed for me that our Father does and will help us know what is right for us, so we don't have to wonder in the future, if we will just remember.

I love these confirmations. I've had loads of them come to me through the scriptures, through something someone says or the words to the song that's on the radio just when I start the car**. Most recently a confirmation came in the form of a rainbow. Literally. (which, of course makes a very important experience sound a little silly, but whatev.)

Taking a trip down memory lane was nice, but the nicest was being reminded of how much our Father loves his children and how willing he is to guide us in our lives. I'm so glad he guided me to where I am today and for all the little confirmations he's given me on my way down the road to this place. Not just Poland, but where I am in my life, the things I've achieved, the people who surround me and the experiences I am having. When things are hard, it only takes looking back and remembering, and His peace fills in the gaps of imperfection in circumstance or character that might otherwise allow doubts or fear to creep in. I'm so thankful for the happiness that fills my life because of it.
* I sent him a quick hello and hope that he doesn't think it was creepy and stalkerish. It wasn't. Especially since I've been on facebook for 4 years and only just now looked him up. I'm okay, right?
* Greg doesn't subscribe to the songs in the car thing, but I think it's only because he doesn't pay attention to words and therefore has never had the experience hearing the very sentence he needs to hear from a song.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

So They All Rolled Over And One Fell Out

The first day of school was approaching and we had done precious little to make summer vacation fun for the boys (Evie's was the best of her life, of course) so I decided to pitch the tent in the backyard.

We have two 4-man tents that connect with a little tunnel. Perfect. A tent for me, Greg and Spencer, and one for David, Aaron and Ev. The kids "helped" me set them up and after spending only about one hour and 45 trips in and out of the house, we each had a place set up to sleep (which is the only thing I wanted to do after that ordeal).

We had a party, laughed hysterically and ate candy. We joked about where the starburst that got lost among the bedding would wind up in the morning. With stomachs aching from giggling and sugar overdose, we settled in for the night.

I knew from the beginning that it might be tricky with Spencer. At 20 months old he really just needs a crib. But he was excited about sleeping in the tent and drifted to sleep after only crawling away (usually to the kids' tent) 2 or 3 times.

Before bed I told the kids to make sure they were comfortable and to please, please wake me up if they got cold during the night. (remember, I'm a sleep nazi, meaning I fight for quality sleep for everyone. :)

At about 2:30 am Evie crawls into our tent and says she needs another blanket. I get up and spread one over her. I crawl further in and make sure the boys are warm, feeling in the dark under their blankets to make sure their legs feel toasty. They're cuddled close together and I check one leg, Aaron's, I think. It's warm but there is another leg outside of the blankets. It's a little cold, but not too bad, and I can tell I can't get the leg out from under the blanket and tucked away without a lot of effort and possibly waking kids up, so I leave David to cover himself up when he needs to and go back to my bed, revelling in the thought of spending another 10 minutes finding a position that doesn't KILL my hips.

But first I peek over at Spence. I can make out that there's no head on his pillow and his blanket is pushed down. I don't see him. He must have gotten turned around. I pat around. I don't feel him. Huh. I lift his blanket, and feel around the corner of the tent. He's not there. What on Earth?

I check all around my "bed". Oh! He must have ended up with Greg. Maybe he was fussing and Greg took him? (fussing that wakes Greg and not me? Yeah, right). He's not there. He's nowhere. Greg wakes up from me feeling around him and I tell him the deal and crawl into the other tent to search there. I do a thorough search. He's not there.

A tiny bit of panic starts up as I keep searching, but then I laugh. A tent is a place you can lose a Starburst, but not a child. Still, flashes of scenes from news coverage of children taken from under their parent's noses in the night flash through my mind.

But no way. I'm shocked that Spence could even have moved in the night without me waking to make sure he stayed covered, so the thought of someone unzipping the tent without waking me? Impossible.

The ONLY other possibility is if he was atomized and taken through the wall of the tent. While this could certainly have happened, I feel that we are (almost, but) not quite white trash interesting enough to be singled out by alien life forms for investigation.

Just as I'm assuring myself that it couldn't have been an intergalactic kidnapping Evie whispers, "Here he is!" I go rushing into her tent and she's pointing to the boys. But I already checked there.

I get closer and feel around a little and then I can just make out that Spencer is lying there in between and on top of David and Aaron. He's lying out straight, flat on his stomach (and on Dave and Aaron's arms and legs) with his face under Aaron's pillow. He is fast asleep, just like his brothers.

What a relief. And I couldn't have hoped to find him in a better place. I tucked Spence back in his own bed and made sure everyone was covered one last time before turning to my own bed, where it took 45 minutes, not 10, to get comfortable, but I had plenty to think of after that mini adventure and its happy ending.

Like, for example, that the not-warm leg I'd felt belonged to Spencer, not David, and I couldn't tell the difference. And also, that occasionally a mom's idea of quality sleep: in your own bed with proper covering and a parent nearby to keep an eye on you, might differ greatly from a baby's idea: to sleep squeezed on top of two brothers with no covering at all. Quality. It's so relative.