Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Salt of the Earth

Today I had Rayne help me put some things together for our "not School." She did a great job and even had fun doing it. Then she started to play in it. It was just salt in pencil boxes to use for writing practice and maybe some calming activities. Pretty soon she was throwing it around the kitchen. She's been so bored and having such a hard time lately, I let her go. It was just salt, the cheapest kind at that. Then, she threw it at me. I told her not to. She played for a while, concentrating a lot on pushing it into piles and making designs on the kitchen floor. Ah, good... oops, don't breathe yet because she's throwing it again! Then she came up and put a big handful right down my shirt.
Yes, salt filled my bra and stuck to my sweaty skin. UGH!!!!!! And the more I told her to stop, the more she kept it going and took it to the next level. In trying to not "let her win" I pulled out the broom and started sweeping. She started screaming and hitting me so I let her take the broom and I got the vacuum. So she screamed louder and hit harder and I had to really get after her to stop. Eventually we came to terms a bit and I tried to explain that I needed some privacy to change my shirt and calm down. I had to push her out of the bathroom, lock the door, and she stood there screaming like she was being beaten.
I was so frustrated!

This is my Rayne.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Motherhood manifesto, draft 1

I am your mother.
By the nature of our relationship, I have authority in your life. You and I both know this, can sense this. But we struggle.
I love you more than anyone else in the world is even capable of. You will always be safe with me. I will always do what is best for you.

I want to be your friend. I want to share secrets and talk about things and cheer you on. But I am not a child and I cannot overlook some behaviors. I have to tell you what to do at times because it's my job to see that you are safe and learning and growing.
I want to play with you but it is not my job to entertain you.
It's my job to take care of you but not to do it all for you.

My job is to teach you. To provide for you. To hug and love and snuggle you and be a safe place for you to fall. It's also my job to give you the skills you need to learn to fly, so that you are best equipped not to fall.
I won't put your shoes on when you are old enough to do it yourself.
I will not wipe your bum when you need to learn how.
I will not feed you candy and junk food because you think you don't like anything else.
I will make you brush your teeth and hair and take a bath once in a while.
I will make you go to school and I hope to teach you great and wonderful things and instill in you a love of learning.
I make you get your shots and go to the doctor when you need to.
I will pray with you and read scriptures to and with you. I will take you to church and teach you what I believe in because it's important and I want you to have a chance to learn and understand it and have that security in your life like I did.

Most of all, I will love you no matter what. You are my child. You grew inside of me and I literally have a part of you as a part of me. That will never change and I will never let go of you. I will always be here. You will always be safe with me.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mission Statements

Last night I went to bed trying to think what I would do if we just had enough money to take care of ourselves and I didn't have to worry about it. I also asked what if I lived in the cabin by the lake I imagine in my head and never, or rarely, saw anyone else? If I truly didn't have to worry about what anyone else thought, how would I live?

Instead of giving me clarity, it's just made me ask more questions. Why do I do what I do if I don't think I would if no one else was ever around? Simple things like what clothes I wear and bigger things like what I try to teach my children.

Yesterday I also tried to write a bit of a mission statement for why we are homeschooling Rayne. This also was answered with more questions and I had to dig in to figure out my purpose.

Jeff and I have been toying with the idea of me getting part time work, if only for the summer. For the first time since before we had kids, I feel like it could be possible. I don't feel like I would be neglecting them or not doing my job as far as being a mom.

At the beginning of the year, I made a resolution to take better care of myself and do some things for me. This is good and much needed, especially I think when it comes to my physical health. But in some ways, I think it's distracted me from what I really want to be doing with my life right now.

Caius went to sleep around 6:00 last night and Jeff was at work. It gave me time to play with Rayne, do some school stuff, watch some shows and just be with her. I've been worrying a lot about her lately and feeling really stressed about how to take care of her. I realized last night that if I'd quit thinking about all this other stuff and just remember why I'm here, we'd all be better off. 

I've always wanted to be a stay at home mom because I want to focus on my children. I want their needs to come first. I thought yesterday that I need to just remember this and that my goal is to just be with them and be there for them instead of thinking of getting all these things done. If we lived in a secluded cabin by a lake in the mountains, I could do school however I wanted to. I could teach them what I think is important. If we had enough money, I could quit thinking all the time that I need to make money and that what I do isn't as important as making money. If I did work, it could be for self fulfillment and to be an example to my children. All I've ever wanted is to give my children peace and comfort and stability. I want to be their safe and soft place. I want to build them up. That is what I want to be doing right now. And that's the vision that I should make decisions by. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Food again

What I will feed Rayne everyday:

Breakfast 9a.m.
French toast or PB&Honey sandwich (ease into wheat bread, she used to like it!)
Make smoothies out of low sugar, high protein yogurt and juice

Dinner 2p.m.
Whole wheat spaghetti, cheese, fruit
Pepperoni, lunch meat once in a while
Offer veggies- she likes carrots

Supper 6p.m.
Cereal, fruit

Bedtime snack
Graham crackers (maybe oatmeal or healthy cookies) and chocolate milk (carnation instant breakfast or Ovaltine).

Jeff is on his own for breakfast and after work.

We will have our big meal of the day at 2. Always have an orange and green veggie, protein, some grain and fruit.
Supper around 6 will be cereal or something easy. Tuna sandwiches, deli sandwiches with lots of veggies, egg sand, salads. Caius likes chicken nuggets and fish sticks- give him some protein.

Food rules:
No sugary and colorful cereals. We can eat Wheat Chex, Rice Krispies, etc. It's still processed but way less sugar and none of the dyes etc. Plus they spray on some vitamins.
No more Ramen, Kraft dinner, canned or boxed dinners. Replace w/homemade recipes. This may take some time and adjustment.

Is there such thing as "healthy" lunch meat? Chicken nuggets or fish sticks?
Kids will eat whole wheat pasta- serve that with cheese rather than Kraft dinner, ramen etc. Perhaps try boullion or other flavoring?

I've about given up on getting myself to Costco and Trader Joe's. Be okay with this or go to Trader Joe's once a week!

Basic dinner menu:
Monday- Mac and Cheeseburger
Tuesday- Tacos
Wednesday- Chicken and veggies
Thursday- Chili dogs or pizza for Jeff, Salad nicoise or sweet potatoes for me
Friday- Fish, rice, Veggies
Saturday- Pasta and salad
Sunday- Meat and potatoes/Sunday dinner - don't work too hard. I'm the only one that likes this type of dinner. Pot roast, chicken in the crockpot, shepherds pie...

Saturday, March 7, 2015


I am having a really rough few days. I wanted to blog to get some of my thoughts down where I could see them. Instead I started reading an old blog and came across THIS! post from when Rayne was a baby. It's exactly the same stuff going on almost six years later!

I'm really kinda down about it. This week I've had to physically hang onto her and stop her from attacking Caius. She is getting very physical and reacting to everything!

She is not eating. If I'm lucky she'll eat some cereal or whole wheat spaghetti. I also bought some Carnation Instant Breakfast drinks that promise a lot of nutrition.

Last week, she got really good with bathroom issues. I was so proud. She was feeling so good about herself. But this week? It's been back to the same old stuff.

She does really mean or gross things and when I get mad at her, she yells at me for always taking away her fun. I'm trying to see it from her point of view and I try to explain that it's not fun to hurt someone else or that some "jokes" are inappropriate. Today she told me she was going to put me and Caius in the trash. I got really upset and said fine, I'll just take Caius and leave her and Daddy on their own. Well, of course this made her burst into tears.

She's so sensitive and I think she is trying to be "strong" in defense of herself. Perhaps she feels overwhelmed and vulnerable and weak so she tries to be unafraid and aggressive to compensate? That feels true when I say it.
I also feel sure it's inspiration so many times when I REALLY worry about what she eats or doesn't eat and feel so determined to straighten things out with our eating. But every attempt I make gets defeated.

Anyway, the post I linked above was between 2 and 4 months old. I was worried perhaps she had some kind of reflux due the crying and horrible sleeping and bad eating. How she would cry so hard and had such trouble pooping.
And nothing has changed.

I feel defeated. I feel like a failure.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Slow and steady is my pace

I've been busy the last few days taking care of sick kids. This mostly consists of sitting on the couch with them and being ready with a snuggle or a tissue. In other words, I've been busy doing not much and not able to do much else. I might be bored being this busy.
In a way, this has been good for me. I've thought that perhaps this is not the time of life to get much done. One intention I had for the new year was to take time for me each day to exercise, study, get dressed and ready for the day. This has been good because I've actually been doing a bit of these things. But it's also been frustrating at times because I can't actually DO any of it. I can't seem to get on a schedule or routine with any of it.
What I'm saying this week is maybe that's okay.
I've always thought of myself as a productive, get things done, successful person. I know some moms are able and even wanting to do more. But maybe my talents lie elsewhere. I am good at wiping noses and giving hugs and just being here, comforting them as best I can. I don't need to run any faster.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

More food for thought

Inspiration struck this morning. The kind where you go from "I knew that" to "I KNOW it!"

Their health is MY responsibility. I take them to the doctor when they need to go. I pin them down for vaccinations I believe are for their good. I even put them to bed last night after Jeff and I both had to hold them down to brush their teeth.
These things are important.

So why don't I think that way when it comes to the everyday feeding them??? The thought I actually had this morning was "when it comes to their health, it doesn't matter." It doesn't matter what they want or what they'd rather have or if they like it. I, their mother, am responsible to give them what is good for them. This might even include Jeff.

Breakfast yesterday was interuppted by the maintanence man. He came to fix the light above the kitchen table. I had just sat the kids down with their "curly noodles" and was going to make some eggs for me. I woke up hungry that morning and my sugar has been so up and down I thought I'd better have the protein.
Getting to the point, I ended up feeding the kids Cap'n Crunch on the couch while the light was being fixed and by the time he left, I was so hungry I needed something right away so I ate Honey Nut Cheerios. I felt crappy all day.
This week, we are just getting through until payday. I'm trying to use what I have to feed us and we've also decided to try to be more on a schedule. So, by the time lunch came around, I was starving and off balance etc. I'm sure it sounds dumb to some but I realized just how important food is. Again, I knew it, but yesterday I KNEW it. Not just overall, but each meal. Even breakfast needs to be nourishing and worth something.
I am so programmed to think there is one big, real meal a day and the rest you do just so you don't totally starve. So I think I shouldn't need to eat more than Cheerios for breakfast, we had a decent lunch, and then dinner... well, I shouldn't really need to eat again. Not much anyway. My poor kids get caught in this way of doing things and then they only want to eat noodles or cereal anyway and I'm probably not feeding them anything worth eating!

So, for the millionth time I say, "it's time to change!" I also acknowledge that I'm doing the best I can with what I have and what I know. As I know more, I do better.
Here's the plan...

Breakfast, I think, should be fun. I often think of the free continental breakfasts at hotels my dad would take us to. Or the even better Marriot Courtyard breakfast bar. Really, it wasn't fancy, but I LOVED IT. I think breakfast foods are my favorite. So, I would like to have a bit of a breakfast bar here. Muffins, breads, cereals, yogurt, lots of fruits, juice and maybe some eggs or some kind of protein.

Because of Jeff's work schedule, we are trying to make lunch our big meal of the day. I'd like to think of it as our meat and potatoes, formal meal. Now, meat and potatoes doesn't have to mean a hunk of meat and potatoes and gravy. But, this is our meal to get protein and starch. Things like tacos and spaghetti with meat sauce are great. My goal is to make sure to have salad and fruit with it. To make the veggie "side dish" a bigger side and the "main" meal we are used to as a big bowl of spaghetti not such the focus.

Lunch is later in the afternoon and then Jeff goes to work. The kids definitely need dinner a few hours later and I'm finding even I need to eat again (back to the way I'm programmed or habit or whatever). Yesterday I was remembering these amazingly good sandwiches I used to get at the Union when I was in college. Good bread, lots of veggies on top. Would this be a good dinner? Again, focus on the veggies and round it out with the bread and meat. It would be easy for Jeff to get when he comes home without cooking yet another dinner and I think the kids could choose things they like. I suppose I will always have peanut butter and honey available. And some fruit. They might not eat their veggies but they do eat fruit and that's good!

Given this later eating schedule, we shouldn't need a bedtime snack. But this is something I believe in. Perhaps all the fitness gurus will tell me that's why I'm fat, but I believe in the comfort of it. And honestly I think the kids need it and I want it. So maybe when Jeff gets home, we can have a bit of milk and something with him. He can have his big sandwich and we can have a bit of something. I don't think it's bad for the kids and it's long enough before I go to bed that it's not eating right before bed. Especially if I keep light and healthy.

And my big goal? Quit buying things like Ramen noodles and packaged cookies and candy. I feel I've done much better this month. Keep going!

The last question is, does this really include Jeff too? He wants his frozen pizzas and corn dogs. In some ways, he needs things available he can just get given he's on such a different schedule than we are. BUT... he needs to be healthy too. My job is the home and food etc. So does this imply that his health is a bit my responsibility too???