200th Post: Happiness

Let me hurry and catch you up on the past month:

 

Get up, shuffle kids, get to work late, go home, shuffle/feed kids, start two hours of bedtime routine, chores, veg, crash.  Repeat 5 times. 

Saturday, get up and make a long list of things to do while managing kids and cleaning house, look up and realize it’s 4 p.m., do maybe one thing on the list, veg.

Sunday, try not to sleep during church (because it’s hard to play the piano that way), get things ready to start over.

 

So, aren’t you glad I haven’t been blogging about that boring liturgy?

 

There was one exciting thing a few weeks ago, where Noah smuggled a quarter in his pocket to primary (I was in there playing piano).  He popped it in his mouth around 10:30 a.m. during sharing time and got it lodged in his trachea just above his windpipe, triggering his gag reflex almost nonstop and causing slight bleeding for about 6 hours as we went from community hospital, then by ambulance to Primary Childrens hospital, had x-rays, had a radiologist try to push it into his stomach while he was awake and on x-ray (nightmare) and then had him scheduled for surgery to put him out and pull it back out.  Right before he was to go into surgery, he started talking again (he couldn’t most of the day) and they decided to x-ray him again (because it looked like his liver was in the wrong place—holy cow) and that x-ray showed the quarter in his stomach (and the liver “probably” ok).  We were promptly discharged at 6 p.m., and little Noah had little red spots in and around his eyes from little blood vessels broken from all the heaving and vomiting.  Next day he was warning all his little friends not to put money in their mouths.  We never saw the thing pass (poop filtering is not a daycare responsibility). 

 

Now go, scare your children with this story and hopefully spare yourself the drama.  Did I mention this happened on Mother’s Day?

 

David did his first felony trial a few weeks ago and it was exhilarating and exhausting for him—the pre-trial week, the trial week, and then this week while he’s traveling for his “real” job, I’ve been pretty much on my own in life, but it has been ok—he’s not that fun to be around when he’s stressed out anyway.  I mentioned he has some irons in the fire and we find out about them soon.  We are praying hard and ask you to join this, this Fast Sunday especially.

 

Here’s some good news—all the kids will be out of daycare after today.  I will still work 8-3, David will work at the FD 1-5 and work his “real” job around that, and we will have the kids with friends/family/sitters from 12:30 – 3:30 each day.  Since the kids are out of school, out of preschool, and out of daycare, we will save $800 a month this summer.  This will be so much better for them, and for our budget.

 

Ben is really growing up and it makes me nervous, because I feel like I’ve been just coasting as a parent too much with him and I can see he really needs active, attentive parenting complete with respect, validation and listening right now.  I also notice I tend to parent all my kids as if they were all the average age of my children—so Noah/Sophie get the most appropriate parenting, Ben is too often dismissed and overly restricted and Lucy runs wild.  This is just a generalization, but I see it happening.

 

Ben loves Tae Kwon Do, biking, scouts and wants to have his summer really start (he’s been out for two weeks).  I dream of taking them camping and fishing and doing summery things.  I pray that somehow that this life will be possible for us.  He is taking on more independence and we have nice talks at night sometimes.  Because he now goes to bed at 10, all that quiet, self/couple time we used to have after the kids go to bed is officially gone.  Kim warned me this would happen and I dismissed it.  That was about 3 months ago, but in two years I will begin my fifteen year stint of life with teenagers, so I guess that’s just where I am now—no self time anymore, or no sleep, I just need to pick between them.  Ben needs time with me to download in the evenings at least a few times a week and I need to just put him first on that.

 

Sophie is enjoying gymnastics and is excited about her last day of school today.  She’s had a good year, very much due to her wonderful grandmother/teacher, not so much due to her neglectful mom.  She really needs more from me too, and gets less than anyone.  I do end up sleeping with her many hours a night, so I’d like to get credit on that front, but alas, real parenting apparently happens when we’re awake.  I’m struggling with the idea that Sophie still has a very hard time doing the right thing and being honest when it isn’t easy and no one is watching, but I guess many adults have the same problem.  She seems to pick up the negative behaviors of others very quickly and want to fit in almost above all else.  I want to have time to help her feel more secure about who she is and help her look inside to find it, rather than outside.  Granted, she’s not even 8, but I can see red flags all over if that persists into her teenage years.  I’m trying to really tuck her in at night and chat.

 

Noah is also starting to talk and act in a way that makes me realize he’s turning into a boy, not just my little, cuddly preschooler.  Still cuddly, though.  He loved his preschool with Kona Dee, a woman around the corner who has done this for a long time, it was wonderful for him.  He is looking forward to not going to daycare anymore and being home more.  He also loves gymnastics class and is amazingly coordinated and strong.  We are still in the process of running some tests on him to make sure his metabolism/digestion is ok, because he has stomach aches a lot.

 

Lucy also is growing up on me!  Not physically, mind you, but in every other way.  She has a wonderful, sweet, strong spirit that seems intuitive, in a way, like she understands a lot about what is going on around her.  When she talks, it is as clear as a bell, even the Ls and Ss are perfect.  But, she generally chooses not to talk, except for occasional streams of gab that all of a sudden won’t stop.  She is three next week, can you believe it?  It will be a bit sad for her to leave day care, as she’s spent a third of her life there and has had a great experience and lots of friends.  There’s a good chance she’ll be there every now and then as a drop off, so that’s how I help myself feel better about it. 

 

We have been so blessed to have all the kids in wonderful situations throughout this year of me working, I really see the hand of the Lord taking care of us.

 

As for me, I’m continuing the training, have one week before the Tour de Cure and got enough donations (thanks!) to ride.  Even scarier, I start riding my bike to work on Monday.  That will be interesting.  I know you’re asking, have you lost weight with all this exercise?  Sorry, no.  Fat as ever (although I bet I can beat you skinny chicks in the pool or on a bike!).  But I have been sporadic the past two weeks with stuff at work going on and having to use my lunches to do family things.  I can’t miss one more swim class or I won’t make the Channel challenge.  Spudman is 6 or so weeks away, and I still need to find an Athena (big girl) wetsuit (new they are $300).  I’m depressed and conflicted about my garden, but can’t talk about that now.  Animals are doing great.  The Great Chicken Massacre of 2009 is on for tomorrow.  So, I guess those 21 fryers aren’t really doing great, but they don’t know it yet.  They’ll be tasting great, though.

 

I meant to write about happiness, and this fascinating Talk of the Nation show about this 60-year study on happiness, but I guess I kind of did talk about happiness.  If you aren’t going to listen to the show, I’ll give you a hint: All the things we spend all out time seeking out in our quest for happiness—rest, relaxation, a break, peace, less stress, more financial ease—of course aren’t the things that actually get us there.  It’s just like Lehi said, opposition is what creates this experience we call life.  Happy people are made happy by overcoming, working, adapting to stress, coping with challenges.  Resilience is the key, apparently, the ability to adapt to make the best of any situation, no matter how ugly.  Listen to the show or read the article it was based on: "What Makes Us Happy?"

 

This blog post is sponsored by Megan, who generously supported my campaign in memory of her sweet departed mom.  She tactfully pointed out that she wanted more blog posts because now she’s paid for it.

 

I’ll try to keep it at least weekly, if not more.  Love to all—

Valerie

 

5 replies
  1. dietcokegrrl says:

    YAY for a new post! So fun to read about how everyone is doing. And what a nightmare Noah story–so sorry. I guess we really don’t talk anymore since I didn’t hear about it. Sorry you had such DRAMA!!

    Post some pictures of the kids when you can–I’m sure they are so grown up!

    Miss you lots! XOXO

    Reply
  2. Megan says:

    Happy to be your sponsor if it means I get more updates like this!

    Noah–always exciting! It’s like the posts on my blog that I categorize “You know you’re a Mom when…” All that on Mother’s Day. Yep, you qualify. Didn’t you know he just wanted to take you for a fancy drive? 🙂

    Reply
  3. KathKarol says:

    It was so great to see Dave the last couple days and get the updates from him. I wished you would have been here too making your chocolate chip cookies in my oven. Much love!

    Reply
  4. douglas hunter says:

    Thank you for the update! Life – all drama all the time. Where do I sign up for the romantic comedy with the wacky escapades?

    Hey, we will be coming to visit at the end of June. We would love to stop by and see you. If your crazy schedule can accommodate us that is.:)

    Reply
  5. douglas hunter says:

    Oh and its Michele, not Douglas. Our computer died a few weeks ago. I am only “allowed” to use his laptop when he’s not working on it. Sigh.

    Word verification: fieduca

    Reply

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