Saturday, January 31, 2009

Life without a husband and daddy

As a military wife (meaning husband gone for extended periods of time), I often get comments along the lines of "how do you do it?" or "I don't know how you do it" or "I could never do that". My gut reaction is to think "that's so silly, of course you could do it if you had to, just like I'm doing it". But, I know they mean well, and I take it as a compliment. I definitely still have bad days and feel overwhelmed at times, but here are some things that help me cope:

Knowing that Heavenly Father loves me and knows my trials and will give me what I need to endure and even grow from this experience.

Moving furniture, or at least thinking about how I'd like to re-arrange or even re-furnish a room. I think its just a project to distract me.

Self-medicate with chocolate.

Staying up too late watching TV or movies or blog-surfing. This isn't good, and I've done better so far during this TDY- I've only stayed up past midnight once (I finally started on the Twilight series!), and most nights I've been in bed by 10:30.

Knowing that others have done it before me and are doing it now. I look up to all my friends more than they could ever know. Can you imagine living during the Revolution when men went away to war or to England's Parliament and you didn't have any idea when they might return?

Believing in what Scott is doing as part of the military.

Exercise, especially running.

Fake it 'till you make it. Sometimes you just have to decide that you are happy and everything is fine.

(Since the kids can't tell time yet) Sending the kids to bed early because I am ready for bed.

(Since the older ones don't take naps anymore) Putting on a movie or tv show for the kids and taking a nap or at least having a quiet rest.

Playing with Jake, I'm not sure what it is about babies that just makes everything OK. I think it has to do with how innocent and forgiving they are. Unlike the older kids, Jacob doesn't stay mad at me (once I figure out what he wants) and he never talks back at me like Eden & Andrew (who sometimes tell me I'm "the meanest mom in Rapid City").

Copying others for ideas for having fun. (This can be a hard thing for me to remember, especially when Scott is gone.) I had a friend in Hawaii that had girls night at her house after the kids were in bed. I haven't tried that yet, but I plan to once Jake is more predictable on sleeping and I figure out how to keep my house decent by the end of the day. Just this week I decided to give the kids pancakes and waffles for dinner on Friday (thanks for the idea Tera!) I also got our pizza and movie night idea from someone else.

Letting people help me! This can be hard to do, but I really do believe that not only does Mom need a break once in a while, other people need you to let them help. We all need to serve each other.

Find things to be grateful for, it can be hard to get started, but I truly do have so many blessings and counting them helps me be happy. Just making this list helped me to realize just how much I can do even with Scott away. Sometimes I forget and get feeling sorry for myself.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What's new for 2009?

I really just haven't felt like updating the blog lately. But, here's a little update anyway. I actually started this post a week ago. The upside to my procrastination is that you get some pictures to go along with my rather long and dull monologue:

- We went on a sort of spur of the moment trip to Seattle the day after Christmas. We also got to stop and see Scott's sister and family in Montana.

- Scott is still an awesome guy! He drove the whole way there and back (2 days each way!). We were going to see my family, but I was the hesitant one. I'm so glad we went, we had an awesome time and we got to see almost all of my brothers and sisters.

- My sisters and I won the lottery for the half marathon in Moab this coming March (except for the 2 who will be about 8 months pregnant on race day). Maybe that sounds like one sick-and-twisted lottery to some of you, but there are enough crazy runners out there that they have a lottery system to see who will get in to some of the more popular races. I've been diligently training, and hope to finish around the 2-hour mark with my youngest sister Michelle.

- I slipped on ice a week ago Friday when I was picking up Kindergarteners, so of course lots of people were there to witness it. When it happened I was mostly mortified, when I got home the pain hit me enough to call Scott and he came home. I think I just bruised my lower back real good. It feels much better than a week ago, but sitting for long periods gets uncomfortable. Fortunately, I've been able to get my miles in (mostly with the help of ibuprofen). One thing I DON'T like about having a "real" winter. UPDATE: my back feels almost completely fine now, but I think I was using one leg too much in compensation and now that knee is out of whack. Just a few days ago I was telling a friend how I didn't think the "big 3-0" would bother me too much (I'm not quite 29), but I'm beginning to reconsider since my body seems to be falling apart right already!

- The Young Women finally got to present their Young Women in Excellence Program in Sacrament Meeting two weeks ago (it was postponed due to weather last month). It turned out very well, the girls did a great job singing and in their presentations, and I really enjoyed the other leader's talks. I love having this calling right now!

- I am giving FlyLady a try. I actually started shining my kitchen sink (the first BabyStep) two days before Christmas, which sounds crazy, but I really love having my sink so clean (especially when its THE ONLY spot in the house that stays clean)! Then took about 10 days off because of our fun trip. I need to create some system/routines for keeping the house in order. Not perfectly clean all the time (I do live here with a husband and 3 small kids!). But, I really want to have the housework running on "autopilot" by the time Scott deploys in July, so I don't have to think about it, thus reducing my stress and increasing overall happiness in our home. That's what I hope FlyLady will help me do. I committed to completing the 31 BabySteps before I decide whether to keep with it or not. It's going pretty well (far from perfect, but I think we're making progress), definitely A LOT of e-mails, but I delete most of them without even opening them.

- THE WORST baby blowout we have experienced with Jake happened to Scott at church last week. Jake was lucky he had a back-up sleeper in the diaper bag, Scott was not so lucky and he even had to stay after church with the baby poop across the front of his shirt. Luckily everyone who saw him was sympathetic enough to get a good chuckle out of the situation instead of plugging their noses and running away!

- The kids are still fun and cute a lot of the time and keeping me busy almost all of the time!
The downside to having a cool new camera is that it still doesn't get itself out to take pictures or videos. That part is still up to the owner, which unfortunately is me. I've never been a huge picture-taker anyway, and having more kids than hands certainly doesn't help. Something cute or funny will happen and two seconds later I think, "I wish I had thought to get the camera!" Anyway here is one occasion where I did think to get the camera before the moment passed me by completely.

Eden was getting impatient waiting for me to clean up lunch before she read her school book to me, so I told her to practice on Andrew and Jake. She is doing so well with her reading, we are so proud of her! This actually isn't the best clip for her, but Jake was making some fun sounds, so this is the one I'm posting. I just love that she wants to read to them and they (usually) want to listen!

I just noticed the background music, we were listening to a new CD from Deseret Book that has songs for the new mutual theme from
1 Timothy 4:12.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Our Merry Little Christmas

We each open one present Christmas Eve, and it is always pajamas. This year we decided to draw names for the pajamas: Eden picked me, I picked Jake, Andrew picked Scott, Scott picked Andrew, and Jake picked Eden. I think everyone did a great job, I know I love mine! We still need to work on keeping the name you draw a secret, but at least noone saw their pjs before they unwrapped them!
The only thing Jacob was interested in: wrapping paper. And I being the good mom that I am, made sure to get some pics before digging it out of his fists and mouth.
One of Eden's favorites: Wooden dolls to decorate from Grandma and Grandpa Olson- thanks! According to Eden, these are "fashion" dolls (I was fine with this appraisal, since the girls were actually modestly dressed).
One of Andrew's favorites: a Batman suit from Santa and a Batman boppo? bag (not pictured, due to water being poured from the bottom- Eden wanted to "see" the water, didn't those things used to have sand or something like that?

We spent the rest of the day playing with games and toys with the kids. Sorry there aren't more pics, we are still figuring out how to get more of those while juggling 3 kids. Merry Christmas!
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