While he was away...

Zane sent some pictures of what's he's been up to.  The first few are of the damage the tornado did on the base the end of December and their help with clean up.  There is a picture of Zane doing karaoke, and Flat Stanley for Princess's class.  The last couple are of him doing combatives. 


Oh Allergy

Baby Boy is having a bit of trouble with some food allergies.  It's easy and hard to try and figure out what he is allergic to while nursing.  Easy because I can control everything that goes into my body, but hard because it feels like a crap shoot.  Is it one thing, or a combination?  If I have one of something and not of another is there a reaction?  And then I just feel horrible for him while having to suffer through the experimentation.  I'm really hoping to talk to an allergist soon.  I know he is only 6 months, but each reaction just seems to be getting worse, and if I could just have a more precise point of reference...

He was SO broken out in a rash today and it flared up every time I nursed him - thankfully the Benedryl kept it under control (no wheezing or breathing issues).  In the past, I've been able to do a little bit of dairy and have it just result in him being very cramped, and I've also been able to eat peanuts, but I ate a bit of both yesterday and this morning I had peanuts and that is the only thing I can think of that would have caused such a horrible rash reaction.  Like I said, this whole experiment thing is a bit daunting.  So I'm crossing my fingers that an allergist will see him even if he is so young...

The $150 t-shirt

I am going to get a free t-shirt that only costs $150.

:)  A change in my diet (no dairy or sugar) has blessed me with weight loss, but I needed something more to get myself toned and healthy.  We don't have room for a treadmill...strike that, I don't want to make room for a treadmill, and it's hard to exercise outside with the kids in the winter.  I refuse to take the kids to the daycare at a gym because my kids get sick enough as it is, so I needed something to do at home and Zane took the P90X with him to Missouri.

Enter the infomercials.  :)  I got sucked in, and ordered "Insanity."  I know it is something that Zane will do when he comes home, and it doesn't use any weights or equipment beyond your own body (which is a plus for me).  And I liked the idea of a 60 day challenge.  Plus, here's the kicker: if you send in a before and after photo you get a free t-shirt.  hahaha.  Why do I want a free t-shirt that costs $150?  Because it means that underneath that t-shirt I have a rockin hard body.  :)  hahaha.

We'll see.  I'm excited, and the reason I am writing about it in here is to have some kind of accountability.  Because now you know I am getting it, and so it isn't something I can just tuck into the back of the shelves.  Plus I want to see if I can really do it, and what kind of results I will get if I work hard.  It's been a while since I've done something like this and stuck with it...like before 4 kids.  :)  I may even post my before and after pictures...yes, I will.  That way I'll have to work hard if I know people are going to see it in 60 days. Plus I want the t-shirt, right?  :)  So there it is.  I will be getting it soon and I will let you know when I start.


And then the rain comes

or snow...and washes it all away.

I'm back.  I'm 5 lbs heavier, but the sorrow fest is over.  Sadly due to Baby Boy's allergy I didn't even get to gain the 5 lbs with chocolate, but gain them I did. 

And I'm okay.

I'm even smiling.  :)


The good, the bad, and the ugly

In general I try to write uplifting and positive posts.  I don't think it's healthy to dwell on the negative and you should make the positive out of whatever situation you may find yourself in.  Sometimes though, in the muck of things, I think it's okay to acknowledge the presence of those negative thoughts.  We are human, and human emotions range from the very high to the very low - it is how you deal and dwell with them that makes the difference.

So I should acknowledge that today has been a hard day.  I'm acknowledging the stress of being alone.  I'm acknowledging that I have not been a very attentive mother.  I'm acknowledging that I am nearing pure exhaustion both emotionally and physically and I am also acknowledging that the majority of my feelings are stemming from that wonderful thing we term PMS.

I just want to go in my room, curl up in a ball, and have a good long cry and sleep for 48 hours straight.  I am tired of being upbeat and positive.  I am tired of treating my husband like he is on a mission and only concentrating on the positive and helpful conversations.  This whole thing stinks.  I am frustrated and over this.  I want to be angry with my husband.  I want to say tough luck dude - I don't care if it's hard on you to talk on the phone (I try not to call him too much because it makes it harder for him to be away).  I don't care if you have a monstrous test you need to study for - can you not spare me a few minutes when I am so close to breaking down??  What about me??  Can't I be selfish too?  WHY AREN'T YOU READING MY MIND and seeing through my positive facade!?!  Can't you tell that I just want to scream?!?  I am sure there are a few of you smiling at this.  Wouldn't life be so much easier if husbands could read our thoughts and not hear our words?  :) lol.

I want my husband home.  Friends are so helpful and I am so grateful, but that help only goes so far.  Really all that it boils down to is I am TIRED and I am missing my other half.  The one I don't feel indebted to for taking care of the kids, or doing the dishes, or listening to me talk.  The one who can simply lighten my load just by opening his arms and giving me his shoulder to rest my head on.  I posted a quote a while ago about the Lord shaping the back to bear the burden placed upon it.  It doesn't mean that the burden is any lighter, or that it doesn't feel impossible sometimes.

I am so blessed.  My husband is alive, he'll be home in 2 months. Two years ago today, a good woman lost her husband in Iraq, so who am I to whine about 5 measly months??  I have 4 beautiful kids to keep me busy.  I have a dear friend facing the probable loss of her newborn child so who am I to cry??  But I am sad, I am incredibly drained, and I am completely aware that while my situation is better than some, it is still okay for me to acknowledge my weakness and sadness and to maybe even shed a few tears.  So please forgive me for my rant - and don't worry.  I only post this to remember that while life is good, I do have a bad day now and then.  And it's okay.


Why are almost 5 yr olds so funny?

Once again, Cowboy came up with a hilarious moment tonight.  I got really frustrated and yelled at Cowboy.  I knew I was wrong, so I apologized and said that I was very sorry for losing my temper and yelling.  So tonight in his prayer he said, "Bless mommy to not have a temperature tomorrow."  hahaha.  Four year olds, I tell you - it's a frustratingly cute stage.  I love that I get to go through it 4 times over.  :)  Remember this post from Princess?


Just sell it!

Cowboy's new thing for everything he doesn't like is: we need to sell it.

Mom!  We need to sell the broccoli!  I don't like broccoli.
We need to sell my bed, I don't want to go to bed!
Mom!  You need to sell vegables - they are not good for me.
You need to sell the clock - I don't like it saying it's bedtime!


Overdue picture update

This is Brother Bear's get up EVERY DAY.

A rare picture I grabbed of Cowboy.

All 3 boys will sit and play with Legos for quite some time

The tongue, feeding himself prunes.

love the chubs

First bath with brother

silly girl eating chocolates :)  Love holiday clearances!

Seriously love the tongue!  :)

Cowboy is now camera shy and therefore practically impossible to get any decent pictures.  They're growing so fast!  And I'm so in love.


Feeling the love

It's been a good day to be "mommy."

Baby Boy has discovered his tongue and is always blowing raspberries and sticking his tongue out which is so cute and today he said, "mama" and though I know it wasn't in reference to me, he did say it!  :)

Brother Bear in his prayer last night said unprompted, "Thanks for Mommy."

Cowboy in his prayer tonight said, "Bless mommy to pretect us."

And I watched as my Princess curled up on the couch and read one of the Magic Treehouse books.  A girl after my own heart for certain.  :)  Though I may regret her being that way when she gets older and tunes everyone and everything out as she reads instead of doing chores or homework...like her mother did/does.  haha.

Love my kids.


Like my Mother

I was sitting in the mother's room at church and was listening to the other ward's sacrament meeting and heard a couple of very good talks that really touched me.

The first was a young woman.  The theme of the meeting was the 13th Article of Faith (for those who don't know what those are, click here) which is actually the mutual theme this year.  So the following is a brief synopsis of what the young woman was saying:  I was looking at what it said, "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men..." and was trying to think of someone who exemplified all of those qualities and I immediately thought of my mom.  My mom is the truest example of someone who is honest, true, chaste, benevolent, and virtuous.  She went on to say more about her mom and what kind of things she did that showed her daughter how to live and act. 

There I sat, nursing Baby Boy with tears streaming down my cheeks and the thought crossed my mind, am I living in a way that my children can say that about me?  What can I do to change?  Here in these simple words lie my foundation for our household and what I want to teach my children.  To be honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and doing good to all men...we believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things and hope to be able to endure all things...

Then a young man spoke, building upon those principles.  He spoke on what it was to be chaste - it's not just about being morally clean, it's about making our thoughts and actions pure as well. 

This made me think.  How do I speak?  Are my thoughts pure and clean?  What do I allow myself to watch and listen to?  Am I honest and benevolent?

Needless to say, I was grateful for those two young people and their insight and the opportunity I had to listen and be touched by their words. 



Where do you consider "home"? 

I moved 7 times before graduating from high school.  While I was in college, I came home every summer to a different city in an entirely different state from where I graduated.  While in college, I myself moved every other semester (with the exception of one apt that I stayed 3 semesters).

Zane and I have moved...well let's see...from the beginning we:
1-met in Rexburg, I moved back to my parents in Illinois, then back to Rexburg to be with Zane
2-moved to California to get married and lived there for a while
3-moved back to Rexburg
4-moved to OR and lived with family, then managed 2 different apartment complexes
5-moved back to Rexburg (lived in 2 different apartments)
6-moved to Maryland while Zane entered the army
7-back to Rexburg (2 different apartments again)
8-moved to Utah
9-moved to Twin, will move again at some point possibly later this year.

With all of this, you wouldn't really think I could consider any place home, right?  That's true to a degree, but I have to say, every time I hear a country song or southern accent - I yearn for the South.  Not just a twinge of homesickness, I mean - I miss it something fierce.  I miss my accent that I had to drop while majoring in broadcasting.  I miss every little thing about it (except the gnats, and those really horrid humid summer days).  But sometimes I wonder if I would belong there anymore.  I've changed - more than I care to admit.  The food of the south is wonderful and amazing, and I don't think I would like it one bit anymore (So sad!).  I've been gone so long I fear I've adopted these Western ideas of behavior.  I was a flirt.  I'll admit it.  But sometimes people who aren't from the South can misconstrue just being friendly with being flirty and so over the years, I've become much more reserved.  That's just one of the things that has changed.  I've also grown accustomed to the mountains, and dry desert air, and altitude, and lack of bugs (except those stupid flies that never die).  I like being able to tell which direction is north or south just by the road I'm driving on (not so meandering).  But oh, when there is a thunderstorm I so miss those afternoon showers and the torrential downpours that grace the South so frequently.  I miss chatting with the lady in front of me in the grocery line like she was my best friend.  I really miss my accent (I already said that, but I really do) and it always makes my husband laugh when I talk to someone and it slips right back in like it was never gone.  I tell him it's like I'm speaking a foreign language all the time (Idahoan) and I have been doing it so long that I don't feel like I can slip back permanently into the Southern drawl without being fake, but those few moments I relax my mouth feel like coming home.

I guess you just have to have lived there to understand why I consider the South my home, even though it was only my home for 6 years and I've been gone for 11 now.  I don't know if I'll ever get back there.  But for now, I guess I'll just turn up those country tunes, smile and sing along, watch me some Paula Dean ya'll, and every once in a while allow myself the pleasure and say "Toe-let" instead of Toilet.  :)


It's a choice

I've been thinking a lot about life and how easy it is to get discouraged and caught up in the drudgery.  For example, it would be easy to be sad and feel lonely and irritated that I am by myself with 4 kids, never really getting a break, in constant demand by someone or something.  I would be easy to be annoyed going to the store having to lug all the kids in.  It would be easy to think that motherhood is a very thankless and unrewarding job.  It would be easy to wish these early years away until all the kids are in school and out of my hair, or until they are out of the house.

It would be easy... 

Who said life is supposed to be easy?  Life is about choices.  And this is what I chose.  I chose to become a wife and mother.  I chose to support my husband's decision to join the Army.  I chose to do whatever I could to be a stay-at-home mom.  And I choose to rejoice.

I rejoice in my children.  I rejoice in my role in their lives.  Motherhood is in no way a thankless job.  I get thanked every time I see my children laughing.  I am thanked when they are hurt and my arms and kisses are the only thing they want for comfort.  I am thanked when a grubby little hand hangs onto my finger and pulls me over to show me something they made waiting for my praise.  I am rewarded with tender kisses and "I love you Mommy." I am rewarded when a little person climbs into my bed and says, "Mommy, I'm scared can you hold me?" and I am the one they want to chase away those bad things.  Being a mother is not just something, it is everything.

My husband's family has a theme of "Get over it."  It took me a long time to figure that out and I think I've turned it into my own - "Deal with it."  Life can be hard, so work through it, deal with it, and move on to the next challenge.  And in the meantime, make a choice to live, rejoicing daily.


I'm officially ruined

I am.  And it's all Zane's fault.

He has ruined my imagination.

I just realized that a vast majority of the time, no matter how descriptive an author is on what a main male character looks like - it never fails: I picture a handsome not-too-tall, not-too-small, medium build man with dark hair and light eyes...amazingly similar to this:

But not exactly, because I don't picture myself as the female character, and that would be weird.  :)

What can I say?  I'm in love.