Monday, October 11, 2010

Scout Camp, Clear Creek, Sleepovers, OH MY!!

Ethan went to Clear Creek today. For those of you living outside of Utah Valley, it's like Teton Science School in Jackson or something similar to that. He went over night and was so excited and I was excited for him. We packed last night, talked about the things he was looking forward too, I made him two sandwiches for his lunch, and we argued about putting a clean pillow case on his pillow. I was fine. He is happy and so am I. Then I watched him walk into the school with his overnight stuff and I completely broke down.

We absolutely do not do sleep overs. I can't stand it. I'm more than happy to have hundreds of kiddos at my house, but I don't want my babies going somewhere else. They get to have sleep overs at their aunt and uncle's house, but that's about my limit. I've mentioned before that we do late overs, but again, that's my limit!!

When the kids first started staying over night with their dad after we separated, I had such a hard time. I didn't know what to do with myself. When Doug and I were married and we'd go on any overnighters without kids, I'd drive him up the wall. I really don't know how to function with out being a mommy 24/7. I've learned to mellow out and try to look at the kids' overnighters with their daddy as a break for me. Those overnights don't bother me as much because they're with their dad and most of the time he's responsible... (he is ALL the time. ) I still hate the empty house when they're gone. The first few hours of quiet are nice but after that, the quiet gets too loud.

No one, with the exception of Eric, saw me while Ethan was at scout camp over the summer. He only went for one night as well, but I was a super mess. I hated every minute he was gone! I worried that his scout leaders would be irresponsible or neglectful or the boys would be mean. Eric kept telling me that this was what growing up was about, having these adventures without parents. He reassured me that scout camp was part of his favorite memories so I calmed down a little. (not a lot) When Ethan got home, I saw how happy he was. I listened to all his stories. How could I have denied him of that. So I swore to be more mellow about these things.


I'm trying to go to sleep and I miss him so much! His bed is empty, we had a lot of dinner left over tonight, and we didn't get to talk to each other. I HATE IT!

He'll be back tomorrow. Doug and Eric keep making fun of me. If I hear "He'll be fine" one more time, I'm going to chase someone down with a wooden spoon.

Ethan is only 11. He may be taller than me, but he's only 11. To what degree do I let go?

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I usually do ok on my own. I'm not one to need people around me. I've never really needed a lot of validation from others. Don't get me wrong, sometimes it's nice to hear that I'm a good mother or that my kids are amazing or that I'm pretty, but for the most part I have a pretty good self esteem. I've always been partial to being left alone. My parents always threw big parties and I would retreat into my room and hang out by myself. I enjoy company but I also enjoy solitude. I've never measured myself by how many friends I had or how many parties I could throw.

Lately I've been having a hard time with my solitude. I had some issues last night and today I just wanted to call someone for comfort and the only person I could think of was my mom but she is in England so I sat in my solitude and cried.

I realize that I'm difficult to get along with. I keep others at arm's length because it's easier than letting them in. I have friends whom I adore and I have a lot of acquaintances but no one whom I'd call to just sit with me. That's really all I wanted today was someone to just sit here while I cried it out. While I cried out all the physical pain, the worry, the guilt, the frustration, the fear, the overwhelming fear and did I mention the guilt?

I know I'm outspoken and people feel uncomfortable around me. I know I've created my own circumstances. It just doesn't feel very good right now.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sleeping Arrangements and Fit Throwing

I'm having a struggle and I'm not sure how to handle it. Ever since Doug left for Boston, Carter has been having nightmares and has been coming to sleep in my bed every night. I tuck him into his own bed and he falls asleep in his own room, but he often wakes up crying, comes into my room and snuggles up next to me until he falls back to sleep. I've let him sleep with me because when I asked him why he was sleeping with me he said it was because he was afraid to wake up and find everyone had disappeared.

The big problem with this is that I can't sleep at all when he sleeps with me. He travels in his sleep and snores and takes up the entire bed. I've done some reading on the subject and everything I've read says to send him back to his bed when he comes into my room. However, I feel so guilty doing this, especially when he's crying. So, when he's crying, I let him lay down with me and I rub his back and let him calm down and then I send him back to bed. But I still feel so bad, like I'm doing something harmful. He's 7 years old and I know he's too big to be sleeping with me, but he's my baby and he's obviously hurting and afraid.

We're also dealing with some major fits. It doesn't seem to matter what I say to him, if it's contrary to what he wants to hear, he has a complete melt down. And this isn't just once a day, it happens several times a day. It happens over anything from telling him that he can't have a fruit snack for breakfast to telling him he has to wear socks with his shoes. He screams and runs to his room and slams his door. The fit only lasts a few seconds and then he'll do what he's told. I have tried everything from ignoring the fits to making threats. Nothing works. He's always had a stubborn personality, it's just gotten really difficult lately. He's such a precious little thing. I'm trying to be patient with what he's going through. I'm just not sure we're both going to make it to his 8th birthday....

Friday, September 24, 2010

Corrections, Apologies, Exciting News, and Sweet Anecdotes

So, I made a comment in my last post about a policy my Relief Society presidency had regarding unwed mothers. I have since had a very sweet conversation with my RS president and I feel I should apologize for assuming that what I had heard was true. I should have gone to the source instead of passive-aggressively continuing a chain of gossip. I believe that the comment had been made by someone in my ward, and this person is a consistent source of gossip, but it is not a RS policy. My RS president is my neighbor and her children are friends with my children and I would hate for bad blood to exist between us. She and her husband have done a lot for me. Therefore, I publicly and sincerely apologize.

Our super exciting news for the week is that my very shy Ethan ran for Student Council Vice-President and won!! We are so excited for him that we can hardly stand it. We celebrated by taking him, his friend Skyler (who won Student Council President) and Brayden (who also ran) to Pizza Pie Cafe in Provo. Then we went to Eric's to play night games. I am so proud of Ethan and his friends for being brave enough to run. They are an awesome group of boys.

Tonight as we were taking Brayden home (again, I apologize to his parents for making him late....) my kids noticed that someone had toilet papered our neighbor's house. Ethan got really mad about it because he thinks my neighbor has enough to worry about and didn't need to clean up a mess in the morning. So my kids grabbed garbage bags and headed over there to clean up the toilet paper. Mckenzie then comes inside when they're done and declares that she will find out WHO did that to our neighbors and WHY they did it and she will report it as soon as she finds out. I know I brag a ton about my kids, but how sweet are they? I have to beg and threaten to get them to do anything at home, but they see a beloved neighbor who needs help and they're there!! Gotta love it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Baby Seth!

We found out last week that we're having a baby boy! I could not be more excited to meet my baby boy in January. It was so fun to see him on screen. He moves so much and the ultrasound tech had trouble getting good angles. You can also see that our Baby Seth has his daddy's Navajo lips. Even the ultrasound tech commented several times about how cute the baby's lips are.

I think I'm past the really crappy part of this pregnancy and despite finding out things like my ward Relief Society doesn't support unwed mothers, I'm starting to really enjoy being pregnant with this baby. Like I said, he moves ALL the time. It's starting to be full on kicks and nudges, not just flutters. And Baby likes to swim from one side of my tummy to the other.

I'm starting to show and Mckenzie LOVES to hug my tummy and feel the baby kick. Carter talks non-stop about Baby Seth. Everyone is excited to prepare for him.

This experience has been full of a lot of crazy emotions. People who think they know more than me tend to think they need to remind me that I'm not married and this isn't the best situation to bring a baby into or to expose my children to. Well, DUH!! To those people, mind your own damn business. Let my kids and Eric and I enjoy this baby. We are fully aware that the circumstances are not the best, but what's done is done and we're having a precious baby boy.

We've decided to name him Seth William McCabe. William is after my grandpa whom I miss like crazy.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Big Sigh

It's been a long summer. We've had our fun moments of swimming, hiking, BBQ's, picnics, family, movies, and other activities. But for the most part, having a sick mommy has totally dampened my kids' summer fun.

We're all happy school has started. The kids totally love their teachers. Carter is having a hard time being away from mommy. With his daddy in Boston, he's been having a hard time sleeping on his own and being alone for any period of time. Not having his siblings/guardians around to help him feel safe, he's been little scared of school. Luckily, his teacher is Ms. Burke who was Mckenzie's 3rd grade teacher last year. That makes things a little easier since Ms. Burke already knows him and loves him.

Ethan has started his final year at Windsor! He is in 6th grade and so far he loves his teacher. He even admitted it on Facebook! He has Mrs. Seedall whom I've heard is wonderful. I hope so. Ethan has been blessed with having great teachers.

Garrett, Chase and Mckenzie are in 4th grade this year. They are so cute and so excited. Despite Garrett's awful year last year, we decided to keep him in the Spanish Immersion program. He really likes Spanish and wanted to continue. He has Mrs. Ramos (formally Ms. Clayson.) We've heard good things about her and are looking forward to a much better year!

Chase has Mrs. Maughn whom Ethan also had in 4th grade. This woman is a total saint and I love her dearly. I know she'll adore Chase and he already loves her. Chase, like Ethan, has also been blessed with awesome teachers.

Mckenzie has Mrs. Erickson. I don't know her, but so far Mckenzie loves her and Mckenzie is tough to please, so that's a good sign! Mckenzie has had good teachers as well, but she needs someone to challenge her to move out of her comfort zone. I hope Mrs. Erickson can do that for us.

I also started school the same day the kidlets did. I'm so in love with all my professors! It's going to be a challenging but interesting semester. I'm really excited. I had a rocky summer and went from a 3.5 GPA to way under that but I'm determined to bring that back up to where it needs to be. My doctor, bless his heart, has been so helpful in trying to make me more comfortable and relieve a lot of my worries and stress. I've started to move past the nauseous stage but I'm still exhausted. Hopefully that will change.

For now, things seem to be ok for us. It would be nice to have Doug home from Boston, but he needed to seize the opportunity he was given. It's good for his career so we're doing our best to support him. He comes back next week to visit the kids and they are very excited.

My wedding plans with Eric have been put on hold, but he and I are still trying to forge some kind of relationship. My kids adore him and frankly, so do I. I think the stress of the situation and the impending responsibility of NINE children got to both of us. We're trying to see what the future holds for us. I have my desires, we'll just have to see what happens.

In the meantime, I bought the cutest little denim jacket for my baby yesterday! I promised myself not to buy anything until we know what we're having, but I couldn't help myself. I figure if it's a girl, I'll sew on little flowers or something to make the jacket more feminine. But it was so cute and so tiny... it was just calling my name. Plus, my little redhead convinced me that we had to buy it. She also tried to talk me into buying more baby clothes, but I told her we needed to find out if we're having a boy or girl and she reluctantly agreed.

I'm now 18 weeks, almost 19. We find out the sex of the baby on September 8th. We've had some complications but hopefully we solved most of it. I had to get an early Rhogam shot because my doctor is concerned my body might be trying to attack or reject the baby because I have A- blood and they baby may be positive. I've been bleeding, spotting and cramping a ton and since I received the shot yesterday I haven't bleed at all. Of course, it's only been like 24 hours, but I think it's a good sign. Right?

My seizures and headaches have been another issue. Holy crap.... they've been an issue. I've been off my seizure meds until recently because I didn't want to add chemical stress to my developing baby.The withdrawals were super fun and I did ok for awhile. However, situations necessitated that I get back on the meds. The result has been ugly. But I think I'm adjusting again and the side effects are diminishing.

Anyway... things seem to have started to even out. I'm breathing a BIG sigh of relief. I just hope things continue to run smoothly.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Band Aids, Eggs, and Empty Boxes

As a mother, I tend to over stock when it comes to items like band-aids, neosporin, and sun screen. However, I've noticed that when I actually NEED those items, at times when say Ethan runs over Carter with his bike and Carter's leg is covered in deep slashes filled with gravel, I can't find a single band aid. In fact, we had to get band aids from a neighbor.

And of course, NO ONE is ever responsible for using the band aids unnecessarily. We run out magically. It could have nothing to do with the fact that a child in my home may get a scratch and need to use 15 to 20 band aids to cover the scratch, no matter how large or deep the scratch may be.

I've hid the first aid kit, which is not always a good idea because if I'm not here and someone needs a bandage, how would they get one? So I've hidden a stash of first aid products and put band aids out for general use. Still, the stash is always found and used. Empty bandage boxes are left in the hiding place so I assume we have bandages because I see the box. This same tactic has been used in the treat cupboard. My kids will inform me we're out of treats and I'll be shocked because I just checked the treat cupboard and there were boxes there. I've learned to check boxes to see if they are empty.

I've had long discussions with my children regarding these things. They know they have access to bandages in the kitchen cabinet and the bandages in the first aid stash are not to be played with because they are for emergencies. They all look at me with their precious little faces and nod understanding and make sweet promises to never touch the stash. I then move the stash to a new hiding place.

Then, after my darling neighbor carries my screaming six year old home, with blood streaming down his leg, I quickly look for the stash so I can clean and bandage his wounds and lo and behold.... EMPTY BOXES!!! No wipies, no neosporin, no band aids. What is wrong here?

I again lecture my kids, hoping that this new example of a bleeding leg and having to have kids run all over the neighborhood searching for bandages will have some kind of impact on them. We have yet to see if it applies to bandages.....

However, I was trying to make some brownies and went into the fridge to get some eggs from the carton that was in there. What do you think I found? Eggs? No.... an empty egg carton. Where were the eggs? An unknown suspect, no one would fess up, decided it would be fun to break the eggs outside. Everyone saw the eggs being broken but no one actually saw the egg breaker. Interesting.

I'm losing my mind and counting down the days until summer is over.....

I do love my children. I said that, right?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My News

Well, as you've no doubt heard from my children, I am pregnant. I'm about 10 weeks along and Eric and I will be expecting the baby in late January.
Obviously, this wasn't planned. And obviously, it's not an ideal situation. But as my friend pointed out to me, what is so bad about a cute, pudgy baby?
Members of my family and some of my friends are no longer speaking to me and we don't have a lot of support. Eric's family isn't thrilled but they are being very sweet to me. And a few of my close friends are being supportive.
So, here we are. If you've heard the news and wondered if it was true, yes it is. My kids are somewhat confused, but excited. But I'm somewhat confused as well.
We'll see what happens.....

Monday, June 7, 2010

Garrett had his EEG done at Primary Children's Medical Center last Friday. He was quite the trooper. As you can see from the pictures, he thought the whole thing was a barrel of laughs. He kept cracking jokes and he would not sit still! During the strobe light portion of the EEG, he was like, "Remember from Bugs Life.... Don't go towards the light! But it's so pretty!!!" We completely cracked up. He also begged his dad to take pictures and post them on Facebook. Crazy kid.

The good news is that his neurologist did not see anything abnormal in her preliminary scan of the EEG. WHAT A RELIEF!!! She says we probably can chalk it up to the trauma he suffered at birth. He was breech and stuck in the birth canal. He was bruised up and it was touch and go couple days with him. Plus, he was a preemie. The neurologist also told us that she hopes it's just a one time thing and will never happen again. That's what I've been hoping all along. Garrett was under some stress, his teacher was not the calmest person in the world, so maybe this summer he'll relax and all will be well.

Anyway, it's hard to keep the kid down! I had the kids move the trampoline away from the deck and our big tree because all the kids kept climbing the tree and jumping onto the tramp! Including Garrett who knew better!! Argh!!! So if you see him around and he's acting crazy, advise him to take a breather.... and remind him his mother will kick his little butt.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Garrett's Big Scare

So... last Thursday, my birthday, I was in the middle of getting a pedicure when I get a phone call from the kids' school. Garrett is having a seizure. I was in total shock and I kept repeating what Heather, the secretary was saying. I grabbed my shoes and ran to the car. Eric drove like a crazy person to get us to the school. When we got there, we were greeted by an ambulance, fire truck, two police cars, a horde of paramedics and all kinds of people from the school. I tried to run inside, but one of the EMT's grabbed me by the shoulders and tried to tell me what was going on. His biggest concern was that I was calm when I went in to see Garrett.
I tried my best, walked into his classroom and saw my baby laying on the floor hooked up to monitors. He was alert but lethargic. I knelt next to him and listened to what everyone was trying to tell me. Garrett's teacher told me that Garrett was unresponsive for 10 minutes and then once she thought she got his attention, he stood up and melted onto the floor. I'm still not clear on whether or not he was shaking, I've heard different versions. All Garrett remembers was his class getting really loud and he said he had a bad headache. And then he woke up with tons of people standing over him.
The paramedics said Garrett was stable enough for Eric and I to take him to the hospital. We took him to UVR and waited for tests to be run. His blood sugars and electrolytes were all normal. He had a CT scan that was abnormal so they did an MRI. It was inconclusive so we have to take him to a pediatric neurologist at Primary Children's Hospital. He'll have to have an EEG done and probably some tests on his heart.
By the time we got to the hospital, Garrett was alert and being his funny little self. He was cracking jokes with Eric and I and even the nurses and doctors. He was a total champ with all his tests. The only thing he really hated was having the IV tube in his arm. But other than that, he was amazing.
When Doug finally arrived, he had brought hamburgers with him and Garrett all but inhaled the food and wanted more. So we know his appetite is just fine!
He's a little irritated with me because his activities are restricted but he's being a good boy and trying to do what he's told. He seems to be doing so much better. He's complained of some headaches, but he hasn't had another episode. I'm hoping it was just a one time thing. He's kind of a dramatic child... well, he's a REALLY dramatic child so it's hard to know what's really going on with him when he says he has a headache. Is he trying to get out chores? Trying to get out of family activities? Trying to get his brothers into trouble? Or is he really suffering?
All we know is that what happened was real and we'll try to work it out the best we can. It scared his mother and sister to death. Poor Mckenzie was hysterical when she heard it was Garrett who needed the EMT's at the school. She loves her brother.
I'll try to keep everything updated. People keep asking and this is the best way to answer questions.
Thank you, everyone, for your prayers and phone calls and texts and posts on my Facebook. Garrett is such a special kid and everyone loves him. We definitely felt everyone's prayers!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I had two very excited boys come home today with awards from their teachers. Chase, of course, received the Best Kid award (obviously!) from his teacher and Garrett received the Most Improved (which I think is crap... it's his teacher that needed improving....but that's a rant for another day.) The awards are now proudly displayed on the fridge! They got to get up in front of everyone at Pack Meeting tonight and announce what award they received. I am a beaming mommy, let me tell you. I love it when my boys accomplish things!

Ethan finally completed his Webelos! He received his badge today AND his Arrow of Light. We had to literally do some very last minute things so he could get his awards tonight, but he did it and I am so, so, so proud!! He's ready for 11-year-old scouts. (He's ready, I'm not)

We're counting down the last 3 days of school! We're so excited for summer. If the snow would stay away and the weather would warm up, we'd be even more excited! Mckenzie, Chase and Carter are gearing up for baseball. Garrett has a basketball camp coming up as well. Ethan has yet to choose his summer activity. He needs to hurry or Mommy will pick it for him.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ethan is 11!!!!

11 years ago, I was trying to get someone's attention in Labor & Delivery at Logan Regional Hospital because I felt so much pressure in my nether regions and knew I was ready to push. But everyone was watching the Jazz game because they were in the finals. I could hear the nurses out at the nurse's station cheering as the Jazz scored a basket... I looked at Doug who was panic stricken but also somewhat absorbed in the game. I told him I was ready to push. He got a nurse who saw the baby had crowned. She grabbed the doctor who was covered in llama blood from delivering a baby llama moments before coming to the hospital. They told me to push, out came the head... they told me to push again... out came my beautiful baby boy! Ethan Douglas Montrose was born at around 9:00 pm on May 16th, 1999 after 13 hours of labor. He weighed 8 lbs 9 oz and was 21 inches long. And I cannot emphasize enough how beautiful he was. All purple and gooey, he was a gorgeous baby with big beautiful eyes and the sweetest spirit. He screamed until they put him in my arms. He settled down and was quite content from then on out. He was the best baby, a wonderful toddler and an awesome big brother.

We were so worried about him when we had the triplets. I took him to see them when they were still in the hospital. I was so worried he wouldn't want to hold them or that he would be jealous, but he insisted on holding all three, ALL THE TIME. And anytime anyone would come over, he would assert himself by saying, "My babies. Those are MY babies."

And when Carter was born, well, Ethan was just another parent to Carter. He was constantly holding Carter and kissing him, feeding him and loving him. Even now, I'll catch Ethan stroking Carter's hair while Carter is asleep.

And now, Ethan is 11. He's as tall as I am. His feet are bigger... his hands are bigger.... and his heart is probably bigger too. His humor is just as sarcastic as mine and his temper is probably as quick as mine too. (we're both working on the temper thing...) You may not see it at first glance, but he has a huge reverence for his Savior and for the church. I admire that in him. He is bright and articulate, but shy and reserved. He observes people before he interacts. He doesn't really come alive in front of people unless he knows he can trust them. He's had a rough time lately, but things are getting so much better and his walls are slowly coming down. A good sign is that we went shopping for summer clothes and he did not buy one single black item of clothing. He bought a gray shirt and a navy blue shirt, but not one single black thing!!! He even bought a turquoise shirt!! And he had fun shopping with me! He talked so much and was animated and funny. It was a big step for both of us.

For his birthday he wanted an air soft gun war. For those of you who know my boys, they are ALL BOY. Ethan is very into army stuff and this war thing was right up his alley. Doug rented some air soft guns and we took Ethan and his friends up Rock Canyon to have a mock war. Ethan's aunts and uncles joined us. The boys (and aunt and sister) split up into teams and tried to take each others bases. It was pretty funny. They played one game, then we had lunch and they went back up to play a couple more. Then we opened gifts and had cake. The boys had so much fun and are still talking about it today. I had dog tags made for each boy at Uncle Sam's in Orem and each boy had their face painted in real army camo paint. We were exhausted when we got home, but it was worth it.

Ethan got a leopard gecko from Mommy and an air soft gun from his dad. The original gecko actually died and we had to have a small, intimate funeral for it in the back yard on Saturday. Petco wasn't going to replace the gecko without the body, but after hearing it was Ethan's birthday AND upon hearing of the funeral and seeing how sad Ethan was, they replaced the gecko and gave us a generous discount off some reptile accessories for the cage.

Ethan also got a ton of presents from friends and family. Eric and I also took the kids to the zoo yesterday for Ethan's birthday as well, and Eric's son's birthday which is on the 18th. It's been a jam packed weekend!!! Good thing I get to recover for a couple months before Carter's birthday and the triplet's birthdays in July!

Happy Birthday to my huge baby boy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thoughts on Joy

A friend of mine raised the question of whether or not there is a difference between happiness and joy. I readily told her there is. I've always believed that happiness is a temporal state, brought on by things, situations or events where joy is a state of being. I looked up both words in the dictionary and they had similar definitions, but pretty much reinforced my beliefs...

Joy is the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.

A happy person is favored by luck or fortune or a person who is notably fitting, effective, or well adapted.

But I've been thinking more and more about the difference and how they apply to me. I have never really believed in coincidences. I think this question was brought to me for a purpose, as was the entire conversation we had the evening it was raised.

In the scriptures we're told that men are that we might have joy. But we are also taught that we must experience pain to experience joy. Attaining joy is a process, a learning process, where happiness isn't really so much something we learn. I think it's something that is more accumulated.

Happiness doesn't usually exist in times of grief or loss. It doesn't for me, anyway. When things or people are taken from me, I can't be happy. But I always have joy. Especially now that I'm a mother. I always find joy in my surroundings, my home, nature, and my family. And now I find exquisite joy in my children. All of these bring me more than happiness, it goes deeper than that. It's something that's rooted in my being. Even in my darkest moments, dimpled cheeks, bright blue eyes, sweet freckles, chubby little toes, sticky kisses, precious giggles, and warm snuggles soothe my soul and can always bring a content smile to my face. On the same token, a blue sky against snow capped mountains, sweet smelling rain, colorful blossoms, clear running streams, blankets of green grass, and red cliffs bring the same response. No matter where I am or what my circumstances, all these things offer more than happiness. They anchor the roots of joy.

I've been struggling hard with my desire to be part of the church. I've experienced a lot of anger and resentment these last several months. I've realized that the majority of my anger is directed towards a very small handful of people. These people acted in the name of Christ in some private matters and claimed to have had the spirit of discernment, however that doesn't mean I should have allowed them to alter my relationship with my Savior. I've learned from my parents that no matter what has happened, I should rely on what I know and what I feel. Those people may have represented the Savior, but they don't now. And people are wrong all the time. And these people did what they thought was right. Hopefully they sleep well at night.

I have struggled with the church for so long. Probably the majority of my life. The logical part of me has trouble with a lot of things. However, the spiritual side of me found such joy in the gospel. And I separate the church from the gospel, because yes, the church is full of imperfect people who can drain our happiness. But the gospel is perfect. No one can alter it or change it. It is full of joy. That is what I need to focus on.

Another of my dear friends bore her testimony on Sunday. She told a story about the trek the youth took awhile ago. When they got to their camp site, it was full of grasshoppers. Laying tarps and things didn't help at all and the kids were really distracted by the bugs. It was not a conducive environment for a testimony meeting or anything of the kind where the spirit could be present. Soon, a little bit of rain started to fall, to the disappointment of the leaders. However, they soon discovered that the rain made the grasshoppers go away and they were able to have their meeting where the spirit was strong. The rain wasn't an ideal situation but it helped solve the bigger problem of the grasshoppers.

I think I've had a lot of grasshoppers over the years. And I've needed a break this past few months to gain some perspective. The break was my rain storm that has kind of washed away the dust and bugs and even though the grasshoppers are still there, they are not as distracting. Somehow the spirit touched my precious children and encouraged them to go back to church. And in that environment we rediscovered the joy of the gospel.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

First Semester Down... Whole Rest of My Life Coming Up!!!

Today I took my last final. It went so smoothly and I feel very good about it. I also received my Sociology term paper grade. A perfect score! Yay for me! My first semester back at UVU ends on a very, very good note.

So, Eric took me out to lunch to celebrate and of course, ended up buying me shoes. He knows his way to my heart. SHOES! They're cute!

I feel like I just climbed a mountain and I'm looking over the valley and it's good. It's sooooo good. I did it! I'm doing it! The kids and I have our whole lives ahead of us and it'll be good.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Little Miss Sass

Oh my goodness. Little Miss Sassy-pants and I have been having a bit of a power struggle lately. I'm not sure what to do with her. She is usually such a good little thing, does what she's told, and is pretty responsible with her things and her time. That hasn't really changed, but we're experiencing a lot of back talk. And I mean A LOT. I'll ask her to do something and she'll immediately say no. It doesn't matter what it is I'm asking, she says no. It could totally be something that benefits her, she just says no. Getting her to get dressed, brush her teeth, allow me to fix her hair, eat her meals, clean her room, do her homework, ANYTHING is a huge power struggle. She'll do it, but she will whine and complain and stomp around.

The newest thing is completely bewildering to me. Every night I have the kids select an outfit for the following day. It has to meet my approval. We do this to prevent fighting and arguing the following morning. The kids feel they have control over what they are wearing because they are choosing their clothes and I have veto power if it's too scary. Well, Mckenzie does this every night, as per routine, but every morning she changes her outfit. It's usually something that is more appropriate to wear to bed (it has holes in it or it's too small.) I ask her to change it, she says no, I say yes, she stomps into her room and slams the door. It's been happening EVERY MORNING. Why? I ask her every night if she's happy with what she's selected for the next day. She says yes, and then the next morning there's a struggle. I don't argue with my children because I just don't. I'm the final word. However, that doesn't prevent them from throwing huge tantrums.

She speaks to me as if we're on the same level. Like we're not mother and daughter, more like we're peers. It makes me crazy when she says "I'm going to my friend's house." Umm, no. That doesn't fly with me. Children need to ask permission. They don't inform parents of their plans. Especially when they are EIGHT YEARS OLD! What is that about???

Then there's the bossiness. Ordering people around... I will say something to the kids and here's my little red-headed parrot at my side repeating the orders I've just given. I have to turn to her and remind her that whatever I've just assigned applies to her too.

Tonight at the dinner table she got so mad at me because I had to remind her once again that I was the mom. She ate quietly for a few moments and then announced that she was going up to her room, packing her bags and calling her Nanna to come pick her up. She was moving to Nevada to live with her grandparents.

How can something so bossy come in such a cute, small package?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Moving Up

I am pretty pleased with myself at the moment! I haven't taken all of my finals yet, but I have found out that I have an A in my psychology class which has made me exempt from taking that final. I also found out my score in my Student Success class has also made me exempt from taking that final. So, that leaves me with my Sociology and History finals. I do have to take those finals next week, however my Sociology professor sent me an email yesterday informing me that I received 102 points out of 100 on my last test because of my scores on my essays! I am so excited that I can't stand it.

When I got pregnant with Ethan, I put my plans for school on hold. I tried to take classes on and off throughout the years, but being the mommy of so many little kids made it a little difficult to do that. So I had made the goal to try to return when Carter went into first grade. Well, Carter is in first grade and we all know the obstacles I've faced this year. I had decided to once again put my plans for school on hold. But last fall I went out to lunch with my grandmother who basically told me to buck up and just do it. So, I enrolled and did it.

I didn't have high expectations for myself. I was always a good student in high school but hey, let's face it... my mind isn't exactly a sponge anymore. However, to handle the kind of stress I've been under and to be able to still pull off A's, I feel really good about what I've accomplished! Let's hope I can keep the momentum going this summer and through the fall! Yay school!

BUT all this success in school means nothing if I fail as a mommy, so I'm taking a lot of credits this summer but most of my classes will be online. We ALL need to be moving up!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


There is something about rain that I love. I adore thunder storms. When I was little, I used to be afraid of them. I was really close to my grandpa when I was a little girl. We all lived on the same property, so I grew up right next door to him. I remember crawling into his lap and burying my face in his flannel shirt. He would hold me and just say, "I'm right here." Later, when I was older and would be in the mountains with him and it would thunder and rain, his blue eyes would twinkle and he'd say, "It's beautiful, isn't it?" So, I love the rain.

The best thing about the rain is that everything is clean and colors are more vibrant. I was cleaning my kitchen today and looked out my window as I was doing dishes and noticed that my fence turned amazing shades of brown. The colors were so beautiful. And as I was driving around town today, blossoms were more pink, tulips were more red, daffodils were more yellow, grass was more green... everything was better.

This probably sounds all silly, but at this point in my life I needed rain today. It was soothing and healing. I told my friend today that it's time for me to start facing the world a little more. I'm not going to let the mistakes I've made dictate who I am. I've done what I need to do to take care of them and now it's time for me to move forward and start to forgive myself. I can't control when others forgive me, but I can control when I start to forgive.

I also can't control outside perceptions and gossip. I've known that all along, but to prevent it, I've been trying to fly under the radar. But frankly, I don't care. People would rather talk and speculate and accuse than ask real questions and I can't do anything about that. I feel good about where I am and where I'm headed. I have the support of people I love and that's all that matters. I've shut myself down quite a bit so it'll take some time to open back up (not that I was all that open to begin with...but hey, I can try!)

My priority are my children. Doug and I screwed up but we can still try to function as a unit and we're definitely trying. There are bumps in the road because there are obviously still a lot of hurt feelings. It's a process. There will always be people who will criticize me for my mistakes and him for his, but in reality those mistakes have been made and neither of us can take them back. Both of us are taking steps to do what we can to make it right. And now we're trying to make sure our kids don't suffer any more consequences.

I guess I just feel like the rain washed away the lingering fears and resentments and insecurities. I feel different tonight. I'm actually looking forward to my tomorrows.

30 Aspen Shoots and an Axe

Yesterday was a beautiful day... a day for yard work!! Eric and I totally tackled my yard. I had this dirty little secret on the side of my house... junk covered in vines. We got rid of all the junk and all the vines and mowed that sucker down! It was very therapeutic.

I know this sounds crazy, but one of our favorite places is the dump. Garrett, Carter and I love it! It's so awesome to take stuff off the truck and throw it on the mountain of garbage. It's cleansing for me, in a way. Just to get rid of all the junk!! LOVE IT!

In the middle of all the yard work, I was trying to get laundry done. Yay. And Eric had his kids to get settled after school. He came back over with his lawn mower to help me tackle the mowing. It was fun to get the lawn looking decent again. Both sides of the house were totally overgrown with aspen shoots, so while Eric was at his house I got my little hatchet and started chopping down the bigger ones and pulling out the roots. Let me tell you, it was awesome!! If you ever have any pent up aggression, get an axe and start cutting up some wood. It's a great work out (I'm sore as heck!) and you'll feel like a million bucks in the morning.

After we got all the work done, we burned the wood in my little outdoor fireplace. The boys love burning stuff and I like to indulge their pyromania in a controlled environment. Who am I kidding? Eric likes to burn stuff too! Ok, ok... so do I!

Next up on the list... my flower beds. Thanks to a certain little chihuahua.... lots of stuff is dead or on it's way.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I totally have to brag about Garrett. He is hilarious. He may be a little scatterbrained at times, but the kid has a sense of humor that more than makes up for it.

I've been having the kids read out loud every night, which is something most of them hate, but Garrett loves it and he is fantastic. He is totally into the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Last night he was reading one of them to me and he gets the voice inflection and the exclamation and all of that dead on. It's hilarious. He had me laughing out loud. Garrett reads at a 5th grade reading level which is awesome because he's a third grader. But he just LOVES to read. He will read for hours, laughing or getting mad at his books. He really gets into stories. He gets that from me. We can both read a book in a day or two. All my kids love books. Thank goodness!!

He also does these imitations of cartoons or TV shows that crack me up. My favorite is when he does accents, especially when he does the British one from Big Time Rush. Ask him sometime to do it for you. It's fabulous! I've got to get him into acting classes.

I love this picture that Doug's friend took. She totally captured Garrett's sense of humor. He is so dang cute!! You can't help but love him. He is always giving me hugs and cuddles. I just wanna kiss him all over, but he's 8.... a mother has to be careful with the love around here. Ha ha!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


We went to church today. It wasn't something I was necessarily ready for, but the boys asked to go and how can I say no to that request? Mckenzie was not pleased at all, but we went. The triplets were greeted warmly by Brother Oler, their favorite teacher ever. I don't really know what the kids would have done without the Oler's this past year. Kjrsten was their den leader and Brett is their primary teacher and of course, Brayden is their friend at school. The Oler's have showered us with love even when it wasn't always returned. So for them, I am truly very grateful.

Sitting through church wasn't bad. The kids were good. The talks in Sacrament meeting were fabulous. And afterward, the kids were so excited to go to their classes. They'd been nervous up to that point, but they went without skipping a beat. It's a testament to how much they feel at home. We'd had some negative experiences before we stopped going. It was hard on the kids to go because people say stupid things thinking that they are being kind or thoughtful. All my kids really want is for people to treat them normally, like nothing has happened. If they wanted to talk about their dad not living with us then they would talk about it. Ethan especially gets his back up because he thinks that church is the last place he wants to talk about stuff like that. What makes people think that kids want to draw on those emotions at the drop of a hat anyway? And what's wrong with just saying hi?

The kids reported that they had a great day. They had good lessons in primary and they are happy with their teachers. And today there's been a different spirit in our home. I'd like to attribute it to the gorgeous weather, but I know it's because we went to church. The kids are getting along and they are happy. They seem content, like a puzzle piece was missing and it's been put back into place. I can't fix everything in their lives, but I can fix this.

However, after sacrament meeting, I came home and cried. I'm trying so hard to let go of all the hurt, but it's still really tender. The scarring isn't complete so that skin isn't tough yet. I have realized through this process who my friends really are and who they most definitely are not. So something good has come from all this. I also know that people in leadership positions are not always your friends, that they're "goodwill" usually just translates into empty gestures. That when they are really needed, they are not there.

But I'd rather focus on those who have been there.And those who I LOVE. Those who are my balm.

I have to list Eric and his mom first. Others may not understand our relationship or condemn us because of the timing of it. But it is what it is. He is a very sweet man who is not only sweet to me, but he is kind and patient with my children. On those days I couldn't get out of bed, he was the one who called and coaxed me out, telling me I could do it. And he still sends me a text every morning. And his mother is the coolest woman. My kids love her. And they've needed someone like her these past few months.

I haven't been great at communication, but Teri Fronk has been great for both of us. She seems to have a 6th sense for when I'm having a rough day because I'll get a text. What's really cool about the Fronk's is that my kids know that when they go over there, they are loved. That Earl and Teri are super interested in everything they are shown and told. I love that about them. The best talk I've had with anyone in a long time, I had with Earl. He didn't ask anything personal, we just talked. It was so nice to just be me and just talk.

Of course, the Scoube's have been great to my kids. My boys love to go over there and play. They are super patient and equally as interested in what everything my kids have to say. Of course, Jared has converted my boys to being Laker's fans and he has Carter thinking that Mt. Dew cures everything. I'm not about to let Carter find out.

My wonderful neighbors, who love me even though they have seen and heard a lot of stuff. Who knows where I'd be without John and Brenda? They don't have kids my kids' ages, but my troops still love going over there to play. How cool is that?

My Alisa and Eddie and Amelia and Gordon and now Luke. Alisa just knows. She brings me flowers and visits and I get to hold the baby, which really is a therapy. I really don't know what I'd do without her. She is such an inspiration to me. My tall, thin, beautiful little hero. And Amelia who every time she sees me at school, I get a HUGE hug. I LOVE that.

And lastly, my sweet Abby. I should be there for her more. She manages to pull me out of my funk and inspire me. And I adore her for that.

I don't list these people to make anyone else feel bad, but I want them to know specifically that I appreciate them and love them for everything they do for me and for my kids. The last 8 months have been hard, but we're making it work. No one is responsible for helping us come back to church. Like I said, I'm so not ready to be there. I could have listed about 100 places I would have rather been, so it wasn't like some huge spiritual awakening. It was as simple as my kids wanting to go. And these people I listed have helped make it easier for them to want to go.


Sunday, April 11, 2010


Tests are done... papers are almost done... Spring Break is over.... I just have a few things to do tonight and then I am going to take a bubble bath and go to bed. I need a vacation.. or even a girl's night out. Anyone up for it?

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Spanish Dance, A Wax Museum, and Easter!

We've been busy little bees this past few weeks! So be prepared for lots of pictures. There's a lot more on Facebook.

Garrett participated in his first Dual Language Festival. He's been complaining about it for weeks, so to be honest, we were kind of expecting him to get stage fright, but he completely blew us away. He is a good little dancer and did a very good job. I got it on video, but it won't download. They danced the Chihuahua, which is not just a dog. It is a state in Mexico. We did learn that Aunt Elma's mother was born there! How cool to have that connection!

Ethan has spent the month reading about an important figure in our nation's history. He initially chose Davy Crocket, but changed his mind and decided to read about our great-great-great grandfather, Elijah Nicholas Wilson, who lived with Chief Washaki of the Shoshone tribe as the chief's adopted brother. Nick Wilson also rode for the Pony Express and brought some of the first settlers into the Wyoming area. The town of Wilson, WY is named for him. It's about 15 miles from Jackson Hole, which is where I was born and raised. Ethan wrote a beautiful report and had fun learning about his ancestor.

The 5th grade also dressed up as the historical figures they chose and participated in a "wax museum." Ethan dressed as the pioneer version of Nick Wilson who always wore a hat in later years because he'd been shot in the forehead with an arrow during an attack on the Pony Express. And yes, Ethan has a Nerf gun..... he's 10 and has a mind of his own! But I did like his display!

This past Easter weekend we spent with Eric and his kids and James and Elma. We colored eggs and decorated cupcakes on Saturday. It ended up being an all day process and it was messy but so fun and the kids were very creative. We colored lots of eggs which kept disappearing. I had no idea my kids liked hard boiled eggs so much!

We made like 6 dozen cupcakes, but keep in mind we had like 15 kids at the house. The boys had friends over and we always have neighbor kids over as well. So it sounds like we had a lot but we didn't end up with very many at the end of the day.

Easter morning we woke up to snow! But by mid-afternoon most of it melted. We'd planned a BBQ at Eric's with his family so we headed over there for the Easter egg hunt. James and Elma joined us there so we had 10 kids and lots of eggs...EVERYWHERE!!! It was fun, but then for me, it's always the more kids the merrier....but not everyone shares that sentiment. I wonder why...

After the egg hunt, Eric had cooked up lots of varieties of steak, ribs and other meats and we had so much food, we all ate till we were sick. Eric's mom, Shirley had to offer up mint tea to help the guys digest all that meat. But MMMMMM, it was so good.

Now it's the kids' Spring Break!! And I have tons of tests and papers due this week. Crazy, crazy!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


You know when you're in labor and they tell you to find a focal point while you're in pain... well I'm trying that tactic while I'm attempting to survive the last month of this semester! There is sooooooooo much to do and not enough time in my day to do it! And I'm afraid if I feed my kids anything with pasta in it one more time, someone will call child services. So, I'm choosing to focus on this picture I took in the desert and see if it calms me.... or relaxes me.... or something. Or maybe I can practice Lamaze breathing... Hee Hee Hoo

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chase and Garrett get their Wolf

Garrett and Chase both earned their Wolf badges at Scout's this past Tuesday. I am very proud of them, but I do have to brag about my Chase. He has been the one who has pushed himself and Garrett to complete the goals and go to their den meetings. He is such a self motivated kid and a very hard worker. Garrett gets really excited about things, but when it comes to actually actualizing them, he gets a little overwhelmed. As you can see in the picture, he can't even keep track of his Scout shirt...hmmm. It's a good thing he has a very patient brother to help him keep track of everything. I love my boys very much and I am so proud of them. They make a good little team.

Super Fun in Mesquite

We had a fun little break in Nevada a couple weeks ago for my Spring Break at UVU. We've been home for awhile but I've been so sick that I haven't had the energy to do anything but lay in bed and whine. Ugh... I'm finally getting it together enough to do stuff like shower....

So we spent 4 days with my parents and my siblings and their families and my grandmother who spent her first winter in Nevada as well. We had a blast. The kids were able to swim in my grandma's pool, we had lots of BBQ's, we did lots of hiking and rock climbing and the kids got to go on their first ATV adventure. They all learned how to drive on their own. Ethan was in heaven. His grandpa let him drive by himself. Mommy said no, Papa overrode her....twice. And then my brother-in-law took everyone on a little 2 mile adventure let Ethan drive back by himself....alone. He was so excited. I was very proud of him. He was very responsible with the machines. Chase was also a great driver. He LOVED driving the machines. I let him steer on his own which he loved. Mckenzie and Garrett also liked to drive, but they were afraid of turning. Carter liked to give it some gas but was still a little unsure about the whole deal.

We also got to go on a hike with a good friend of my parents,David Bly, whom I later learned is a renowned author, journalist and photographer. He's an editor for the Desert Valley Times and has written a few books. He has also taken some photos for the Ensign and contributed most of the photos for the Ensign's article on Ghana a few years ago. Anyway, he took us to see some petroglyphs and pictographs back in the mountains. It was quite the adventurous hike for this mama, but the kids were in heaven. He was so patient with them, showing them everything and answering questions. We went through tunnels, walked on rock ledges, slid down rock faces, all kinds of crazy stuff. But it was worth it to see some amazing, untouched scenery.

It was nice to get away from everything and spend that time with my kids. They were so good and had so much fun. I also love the desert. It was incredible to be there and experience its beauty and be able to heal there.... a little.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kute & Krazy Kids!!! (Pics)

Doug works with a woman who is trying to get a photo business up and running. She and Doug arranged to take pics of my gorgeous kids and here are some of the results. I LOVE the pictures. She (Rachel) did a beautiful job! She caught each of their personalities and their quirkiness. I have cute, cute kids! (Ethan was not so cooperative...)