The Kitty Life

Since Gertie was born, the cat's been peeing on the couch. As you can imagine, I'm not too happy. I cleaned the couch and have had to keep plastic covering on it, which is annoying. I tried several things, everything really, to keep him from peeing. Finally, a friend suggested taking him to the vet. Just to ensure it wasn't a bladder infection (of course I think he'd be peeing EVERYWHERE if that was the case) and to possibly put him on Prozac. I didn't want to do it for a few reasons – one was expense (because I'm a terrible person) and also I wasn't sure we couldn't stop the behavior with everything else. But one failure after the next and I was on the phone making an appointment. I took him at the end of last week. Grandma watched the kids while we were there. The car ride home was intense. A cat who hates traveling in the cat carrier, a tired baby, and a toddler who hates when his sister cries. I took a video to prove it. I was losing my mind but it was also funny. Diagnosis: kitty to be put on Prozac for 1.5 months to try to correct the problem. Will update soon.


(Sorry it's sideways) By the end of the trip I needed Prozac…

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‘Tis the Season

….of high school graduations. This year has stood out to me a bit more than any other year since my own high school graduation. Apparently there are a lot of 17/18 year olds who mean a lot to me. Oh and I’m a sappy mom now (when did that happen?) 
So I’ve been thinking about these graduates, excited for them and desperately sad for their parents. These kids are getting ready to head out to college or the work force. Some have already left (I’m looking at my nephew), some leave in a few weeks and others will at least live up the summer at home. I remember when I first moved out to Utah, two weeks after high school graduation. I couldn’t wait to leave, I’ve always been independent and was excited at the idea of “adulthood”. What I didn’t realize as I loaded up my 1993 Hyundai Excel, was that we never return, not the same at least. It’s like that saying, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” I first heard that when I was young and relatively unchanged so it hadn’t hit with the same impact as it does today – looking back.

Life changes you, for better or worse and when you come home it just doesn’t feel the same anymore. A college student is in a strange transitional period, kind of floating, not fully belonging anywhere. Growing up, we were always in a hurry.  Can’t wait until I’m a teenager, until I can drive, until I graduate high school, until college is finally over and I can be done with school forever. I’ve spent most of my life waiting for the next big milestone or accomplishment and not always enjoying the moment. I wish I had been more involved in high school and college, I wish I had taken advantage of more opportunities, rather than waiting for these times in my life to end. 

I thought about writing a post with advice to my recent graduates but first off, none of them read this blog. Secondly, advice is almost always wasted because until we understand why it was given we don’t appreciate it and by then we’ve already found our own way. (Kind of like when people warn you about credit cards at 18 and you realize all of it was right…as you still pay off your debt at 25 – and for the next decade). Not that any of this stops me from giving advice. It’s like I see that the generation before me was right and maybe, just maybe the next generation will listen. 

Bu instead, I’m going to be selfish. It’s only a short 16 years until my first baby will be graduating high school and I don’t want to find myself back here, wishing I had more fully enjoyed those 16 years. 

Dear Future Me,
Enjoy the sleep deprivation, that’s not sarcastic by the way.  I already miss the early morning hours with Stormy, just the two of us, both crying and nodding off to sleep. Keep that in mind as you jump out of bed at 2 am to a screaming Gertie. They won’t always want or allow you to cuddle them in the wee hours (and especially not the daylight hours).  And holding the baby may bring you close to complete muscle failure, but they’ll never be this small again or want to be near you quite this much. 

Don’t give up. You can tell them, ask them, show them, a million times to do something and sometimes it feels like a waste of time-but one day they’re going to do it and that makes it all worth it. Like the first time Stormy folded his arms for a prayer or when he finally started saying the words I’d been repeating for a year. 

Enjoy the mess! You’ll forget how tired you were each night as you picked up Matchbox cars and crayons or find Cheerios…in every place imaginable. One day your house will be immaculate…but it will also be empty. 

Don’t stop having fun! Right now you’re Stormy’s best friend.  You have dance parties together, wrestling matches, you let him help you in the kitchen.  Things are going to change as the kids get older, but don’t forget to still have fun with them. 

And lastly, it’s okay to be sad when they turn 18 and head out into the real world, because they’ve been your world. Aaaaaand it’s also okay to hope they cry too when they leave. 

Double Trouble

I never thought anything would top Poocalypse but I was wrong. 

About two weeks ago I was giving Stormy a bath.  He was pretty docile which isn’t like him. Then I heard Chewy from the kitchen, “oh gosh!” Which usually means a child has made some sort of mess, mostly produced from their body. I asked what was wrong and he said Gertie had spit up on him. A few minutes later he came into the bathroom saying he was wrong, the wetness he had felt on his arm wasn’t spit up-rather it was a diaper blowout. Which I had kind of guessed from the large brown stain on the back of her pajamas. I took Gertie, Chewy got Stormy and I plunked Gertie in the bathtub. I washed her down then got her out of the tub and wrapped into a towel. As I was coming out of the bathroom, Stormy ran up to me crying…he had vomit on his hand. Before I could react he started projectile vomiting not once but twice. I wrapped up Gertie tighter in the towel, put her in a bouncy seat and took Stormy back into the bathroom for a second bath while Chewy cleaned up the mess in the living room. While all that was happening, Gertie started crying. I picked her up just to have her hang out with Stormy and I when I realized that the towel was wetter than it should be. I opened it up to find that she had pooped. I cleaned her up, put on a diaper and pjs, put her in her bouncy seat and went back to Stormy. Got him out of the tub and in new pjs, brushed his teeth and gave him water to drink. By this time it was thirty minutes past his bedtime. We had family prayer and put him down. I came into our bedroom where Chewy had Gertie and she filled another diaper. 

To recap:

Gave Stormy a bath

Gertie had a blow out

Gave Gertie a bath

Stormy vomited all over himself and the living room

Gave Stormy a second bath

Gertie pooped in a towel

Cleaned Gertie

Put Stormy to bed

Gertie filled another diaper

Change that diaper

Mom and dad pass out in bed…

Stop It

A few recent events have got me thinking about how we treat each other, most especially the strangers we come near to, but don’t interact with and the internet we use to show our ugly side.

Last week my sister was in her car, at a stop light, when she looked over to find the passenger of the other car taking a picture of her with their phone. The passenger quickly retreated back in the seat when they made eye contact with my sister. This upset her. Why had that person taken a picture of a stranger? What would they do with it? You have to wonder that nowadays, will that picture now be a meme, meant as funny and possibly could be but at the expense of someone else? Or could it have been innocent enough – the individual taking the picture liked my sister’s haircut and wanted to do the same with their hair? Who knows – we never will.

The other incident was a post on Facebook. A friend had recorded, what I presumed was a stranger, dancing at a church event he was attending. If you know me, you know I appreciate those who can dance as though no one is watching, even though they are in the middle of a crowded room. I commented on the post to show my appreciation. The comments that followed however did not seem to be as positive, but not mean. Then a particularly mean spirited comment was posted, one that went on to attack the boy dancing, despite him being a stranger to the person who posted. The comment after that was from a friend of the boy dancing, who then tagged him in the video.  I noticed not long afterwards that the mean spirited comment had been deleted and more of the boy’s friends were positively commenting on the video. I checked back before posting this entry and there are so many positive comments and my friend explained that he had shown the video to the guy before posting it, and that they got along really well.  But the thing I am focused on is that one ugly, deleted comment.  

Because my point here folks, is that who we are and how we treat each other is, “never checked at the door” as Elder Holland would say.  I’m not here to preach how perfect I am and how imperfect the rest of the world is – I am just as guilty. I’ve been to thepeopleofwalmart.com; laughed at awkwardfamilyphotos; I make judgments on people who don’t follow the rules of common decency and walk on the correct side of the aisle at the store; I’ve poked fun at the pictures or videos of strangers doing strange things. But that’s beside the point, I shouldn’t do those things, none of us should. And with the internet it seems all too easy to put someone down.

Before the boy was tagged in the video it was easy for someone to post mean things, even though it was not anonymous like most websites where people troll. But the moment the boy received an identity, those commenting with identities (and profiles to display much more about them than just their names) retreated. Why is it that when we or the person we are commenting on lacks an identity we find it so much easier to be cruel?

We should strive to be kind always, otherwise how can we consider ourselves kind? I’m not saying we don’t slip, we lose patience from time to time, someone hurts us and our instinct is to fight back, with things like that we strive to be better after each failure (or at least we should), we apologize as best we can to the person we were ugly to. But what about what we post on social media? What we say about that stranger on YouTube who posted a video or had a video posted about them?  It’s almost worse online because we type our means thoughts. We type them and then we have one more chance to take them back, to erase them from ever being written but many times we hit SEND without a second thought. We hide behind a computer or phone screen and make snap judgments on a person we know nothing about.

I work with the youth at church, so this isn’t something new I’m thinking about – it’s just that recently I’ve seen (maybe realized) adults act the same as teenagers with cyber bullying.  One quote shared with the youth more than once in the past few years is from President Dieter F. Uchdorft from a conference talk a few years ago:

This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

Stop it!

It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick. I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”

Might I suggest that we can change “sin” on that bumper sticker to anything: dance, dress, speak, look, think, etc.

I know I want to be better about how I treat people, those I know and love (and those I know and don’t love so much) but especially strangers.  I think we can learn a lot about ourselves by the way we treat those we do not know and do not have to look in the face while or after we have said things about them.  Be kind when you’re out and about (and if you see my sister, don’t take a picture.  She really didn’t like that), be kind when you’re on Facebook, snapchat, and other social media, be kind at home, work, school, even Wal-Mart.  And strive to be the kind of person people can trust when their back is turned to you.

And because I love Elder Holland so much and feel that one quote in a blog post isn’t enough – here’s one more.

HOLLAND

Googleimages – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/66498531971387763/

That Moment I Realize I’m in a Horror Flick.

I often feel like the bad guy from scary movies. You know, like Halloween. One of the normal characters is running away from Micheal and then you see him just walking like he’s on a Sunday stroll. In the end- Micheal wins. Somehow his walking is equivalent or better than their running.

Image result for michael myers running gif
Gif from here

That’s what it’s like some mornings when I’m trying to get Stormy dressed or to change his diaper. His heavy footed pitter patter echoes through the house and I walk silently behind, sure to catch up without breaking a sweat. Sometimes he gets away, but I always get my toddler in the end.

Out with the Old…

It’s that time of the year again…the time when I remember the goals I set for myself in January and then realize how badly I failed at them.  So let’s see how I did for 2016

  1. Writing – if I could write 3 hours a week I will consider myself doing well.  Also, I’d like to finish the novel I am working on.  I have not been writing for 3 hours a week, especially after I got pregnant and spent the last 4 months exhausted and vomiting…as for the novel – I don’t remember which one I was working on at that time.  If it’s the one I am currently working on, then I failed because I’m only 11 chapters in.  If it was the other one – done and burned.
  2. Church –be better about my calling and complete more personal progress.  I think I have passed this one, I mean, it’s not over til it’s over, but I completed most of my personal progress this year and I feel that I am doing alright as a leader (as opposed to failing miserably as a leader which is how I normally feel).
  3. Get more involved in Norwex – Norwex is as backburner as it can get for me.  Sometimes I think I give myself too much to do and other times I feel like I’m just lazy.
  4. Lose Weight – I made it to my pre-pregnancy weight before I got pregnant again so that’s something.  I have since gained.
  5. Stick to the budget – Close enough – I’m getting there 🙂
  6. Read 12 books (make ’em big).  I finished Wool and the Road and many, many other books but not Dune…I’ve decided that I have no interest in Dune.
  7. Develop my photography skills.  I’ve learned new things – just not one a month.
  8. Declutter and Organize my house!  I’m not going green because we didn’t de-clutter until two weeks before the new year.
  9. Family –Did pretty good, but not consistent yet.
  10. Go to the Temple – I went some – but it’s harder than I realized to get up there once a month, especially getting pregnant again.