Learning things

I am thankful that I am able to learn and progress. I do not yell as much as when Amelia was small. I still need to improve on keeping my temper, but I am doing better. Also, I used to have trouble seeing Amelia as a different person than me, but I have learned that she is a different person. I used to be more focused on her negative qualities and now I see: a great babysitter, a very outgoing girl, a beautiful smile, a terrific speller.

Early to Bed, Early to Rise log

Friday night: 12:55

Saturday night: 12:08 (before the falling back)

Sunday night: 11:06 (and I don’t think that accounts for falling back–boy I really need to change these clocks!)

Monday: before 10 pm

Tuesday: 11 p.m.

Wednesday: 12:05 a.m. (Oh, no I see a disturbing trend!)

Thursday: 11:30 p.m. (babysteps!!?!!)

Is Anybody There?

As I continue to blog, and as I continue my obsession with Google analytics, I notice that no one reads this blog. I am talking to myself. Alas, I would like an audience. This is something I only have on Wednesdays–if I remember to feverishly refresh my screen over and over Tuesday night, waiting for the chance to post my Works-For-Me-Wednesday tip. But even if I get near the top of the list at Rocks in My Dryer , the Wednesday crowd clicks over to see my WFMW post and then clicks away. So most of my posts are rather lonesome.

The difficulty is that I want to post on what ever I want, which typically tends to be about whatever I am thinking. Whatever I am thinking (written with very little editing–I have little ones to take care of!) turns out not to be particularly magnetic to blog traffic.

So–am I okay with that? How much am I willing to craft my blog in an effort to get traffic, how effective is “crafting” my blog in that way, how would a more “crafted” blog be different than this blog, and am I so in need of an audience that it would be worth it to me?

I don’t know.

Things are seldom as bad as they seem

I am Eeyore. Have you read the real Winnie-the-Pooh? there’s nothing wrong with Disney, but I am not talking about the short, simplified Disney version of Pooh. I am talking about A. A. Milne’s work in all its original glory. It is such a clever book, and if you are only familiar with the Disney Pooh (based on Milne’s, obviously) you will be amazed at how much there is for parents’ enjoyment.

Anyway, as I was saying, my tendency is Eeyorish. That is why I need this gratitude journal. The thing I am thankful for today is that for me at least, the cloud always lifts. If I am convinced that I am a terrible mother, my children are unlikable, my husband hates me, my marriage is not good–well, the next day it passes and all my sweet ones are lovable and loving and everything is okay with the world again.

When I feel like Eeyore, I need to remember to just go to sleep! Things will be better in the morning.

Update: I  enjoyed this discussion of Eeyorish tendencies over at Mormon Mommy Wars.  Be sure to read the comments.

I heart antibiotics

Two nights ago Duncan woke up complaining that his ears hurt terribly. I was able to get him in to see the doctor and sure enough he had one badly infected ear and one starting-to-get-infected ear. The doctor prescribed amoxicillin.

At the pharmacy I ran into my sister-in-law. She asked if we would be coming to dinner on Sunday. I said yes, assuming the kids were better (Kate also has a cold). Then to clarify that we were planning on it, I waved the pharmacy bag, and said, “I just got antibiotics!” When I turned around, where before there had only been my sister-in-law there was now a crowd of people, all looking at me. I felt silly and I imagined that the onlookers were all thinking, doesn’t she know that some things aren’t treatable with antibiotics? Oh well.

Duncan was so much better this morning that it was unbelievable. Do antibiotics work that quickly? My sad sack, acting near death little boy transformed into his sweet happy smiling self over night. It was a relief. I am thankful for antibiotics.

No Snickers bars; good cake

Ugh. It’s very hard to write in my gratitude journal when I feel so low. I am down about Pdad and I parting ways on the voucher question. I guess I take it as a symbol of how different we are. I wish I could write a perky post about how I’m thankful for differences, but I really don’t feel that way. Accepting other’s differences, especially accepting the fact that Pdad and I are different people and that we are both okay–that is a battle I’m still fighting.

Anyway, I am thankful that I ate no Snickers bars today. I had a couple of Sweettarts.
Also, I got up very early, 6ish? (Although the sleep deprivation–Duncan was up repeatedly last night crying–might have something to do with my low mood).

Finally, I overdid it and made a German chocolate cake and the frosting from scratch this morning (for the bereaved family’s luncheon after the funeral)–despite no sleep and very, very needy children. Probably shouldna have. : ( But, if I were making a cake for my own family, I would not want to make one out of a mix. I would want to make the tastiest one I possibly could. I could do nothing to compensate for my friend’s family’s terrible loss, but I could put all my love and effort into a really good cake, so I did.

Later one of the church ladies dropped off my cake pan. She said she didn’t get any, but she heard from the family that it was excellent and my bereaved friend got the last piece and really liked it. (Not to be competitive or anything–but you know that’s who I am–there were lots of other cakes there). That made my day.

WFMW: Incentives for little ones?

What incentives do you use for your little ones? I don’t want to offer candy; that would teach that eating and/or food is a reward–not a direction I want to go in. I don’t want to offer television, because there is too much of that and it makes TV seem too desirable. For my 8 yr old daughter 10 minutes of reading has been a fabulous incentive. She no longer leaves her clothes on the floor and she always puts her backpack away. But what do I do for my three year old?

For more great Works-For-Me-Wednesday questions (and their accompanying tips!) visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer. This week is especially good because it is the backwards edition. Rather than posting tips, we all ask for tips. This makes for the best advice of all, because it showcases the collective mommy wisdom of the internet.

My other Works-For-Me-Wednesday posts:

Labeling and Containerizing
Vacationing with Young Children
Great Pasta
Fine Hair Hair Care
Teaching Independence
Cook’s Illustrated
Rx Info
Sleep Baby Sleep
Grocery Sack–Alternative Use

So many questions, so few answers

I am excited for Shannon’s Works-For-Me Wednesday tomorrow (you actually have to post Tuesday for good page position). She is doing another backwards Works-For-Me Wednesday where you get to ask a question and have everyone respond. I have so many questions! I feel sure that the answers are at the tips of everyone else’s fingers. However, I know that I can’t hope for a lot of answers unless I narrow it down to something specific. So, tomorrow I will do that. Meanwhile, I’m just going to list all my current questions. If you happen to read this, tell me which question you would be most likely to respond to.

1) What have you done to become a person (especially a mom) who yells less? Practical suggestions?

2) What are good incentives for little ones?
I don’t want to use candy, it teaches that eating is a reward which leads in a bad direction. I don’t want to use television, because there is too much of that and it makes TV seem super cool. For my daughter 10 minutes of reading works great! But what do I do for a three year old?

3) Everyone seems to say that the key to laundry success is to do one or two loads daily. Can you describe in detail how you do this? Do you sort everything every day? Do you only sort very generally (just lights vs. darks)? How are your children and spouse involved (or not)? How old are your children? Where is your laundryroom? Where are the bedrooms? Do you use baskets, hampers? What

4) Everyone seems to love Mr. Clean magic eraser. I have never figured out what all the hype is about. Could you explain? What is it good for? What might I be doing wrong?

5) Our current disciplinary system seems punishment based rather than consequence based. How can I move to a natural consequences system?

6) How can I get my 8 month old baby to eat more solid food? She is nursing so much it drives me crazy!


I am thankful that I have energy! It is strange to think how I felt at this time last year. I was expecting Kate, and I was so tired. Obviously, early infancy wasn’t much easier. Now that she is past 8 months old, I feel like my old self again. I don’t have to sleep forever anymore. I don’t wish I could get more sleep anymore. I have energy! It is wonderful. Energy is like health; it is easy to take it for granted until you lose it. Today I’m not going to do that; I’m going to spend a few moments being fully mindful of this blessing.

Today I

  • I slept in (till about 8:30–thanks Pdad!) because I stayed up very late last night, as is becoming my habit. (I did lay in bed for a long time thinking about my neighbors, being pained to realize that their tragedy is reality).
  • I took a shower, I put makeup on, I wore nice clothes. (Thank you Pdad, I needed that!)
  • Nursed, nursed, nursed. Kate is still not doing very well at all with solid food. This is increasingly frustrating, since I need to take some medicine but don’t dare to when so much of her diet depends on me. Also, I’d like to be able to leave her for longer than an hour. The upside is I am now at my lowest weight in over a year and that is after living on Snickers & Raisinets for days.
  • Did a big shopping trip at Costco–without kids! (Thanks again, Pdad! No more subsisting on Raisinets) In my unencumbered state I found that my ambition was way up. I came home with a fifty lb. bag of rice, sacks of russet and red potatoes, printer paper, milk, etc.
  • Did another grocery shopping trip for the non-Costco items.
  • Lugged all the laundry downstairs after everyone went to bed and sorted it.

I have energy yes, I do, I have energy how about you?

Time to get things right

Today a tragic accident took the life of a 5 year old boy who lived up the street. We are still in shock. This is a little boy who had eaten dinner at our house, played in our backyard, and shared games of tag with my kids at the park. This was a little boy we saw at church every Sunday. Last Friday, I took pictures of him at the Reflections Ice Cream Social, and this Friday he is dead. I am not sad for him. He was innocent and he has gone to live with his Father in Heaven. I believe he will be able to live with his family again some day. But oh, I weep for his family, because it will be a long time to wait. His sisters, his parents, his grandparents–oh, the aching void. We all want to protect our children, but there is only so much we can do to keep them safe. For the rest, we must simply trust them to God. And his ways are not are ways. Inscrutable heavens. I pray that his family will be allowed to feel the love and prayers sent to them this evening, and that they will feel the stronger, infinite love of our Father.

The thing I am thankful for today is that I have more time to get things right. I had a good day with my kids today. Pleasant interactions, nothing I would need to regret. If I ever had to give up one of my beautiful children, I would want to know that I had hugged them that morning. I would want to know that I had remembered to tell them how much I loved them, and I hope that I would have mentioned something that pleased me about them. So often I am the hypercritical mama. Save me from myself, father. Bless me to be the loving, yes even fun, Mommy that my children need. Help me to prioritize what’s really important. Let my children know.