My Hero

Categories: Family, Happy Things

Every day at noon I face the task of getting lunch for three kids and then getting four kids down for naps. It takes a good two hours before the house is quiet. And there’s a lot of noise before that quiet starts. I get lunch for our three bigger kids and they eat at the table. Since there’s no telling how much lunch they want to eat on any given day it involves making seconds and sometimes thirds to prevent throwing away as much lunch as possible. Lunch is either leftovers, PB&J, or black beans & rice. During lunch I’m either nursing the baby or keeping him happy in some fashion. Then it’s three sets of “stickies” to clean off their hands before things start to really get busy.

Shimri goes down first. I get her a clean diaper, put her in her sleep sack, and then nurse her while singing her special song and then we do some cuddles, a big hug, and she’s in her crib. Then I get Shimei and do the same thing – diaper, sleep sack, nurse while I sing his special song, cuddles, a big hug, and he goes in his crib. And where’s baby Izri this whole time? On the floor or in his bouncy chair crying because I’m not with him right then and he’s tired too. Then I send Iddo to the bathroom and to get a book for me to read to her while I change Izri and get him swaddled and then sit down on Iddo’s bed to nurse Izri and read to Iddo and then I sing to the two of them together and tuck Iddo in before sitting on the couch to finish cuddling with Izri till he falls asleep.

Are you tired yet?

And this is where my hero steps in.

We recently found this video from Sesame Street and have been listening to it a lot.

Iddo is my everyday hero. While I’m getting Shimri and Shimei down for their naps she sits next to Izri and plays him music from the FisherPrice doll house or sings to him or helps him with his pacifier or gets him blankets to wrap around him, anything to make sure he knows he’s not alone. And for the most part it works and he doesn’t cry and isn’t sad. She’s Izri’s hero because she helps him when he’s feeling sad and she’s my hero because she helps me do something I can’t at that moment.

Yesterday she decided to dress the part with her super hero mask and cape.

My hero!

Super heroes help people. Iddo is my hero.

Wow! I’ve been productive!

Categories: Family, Quilting/Sewing/Knitting/Crafting

Between February and the end of June I was EXTREMELY productive. I made:

completed projects

  • 2 racing turtle shirts
  • 2 fleece pillow covers, assisted by Iddo
  • 3 Easter skirts and matching Easter doll dress
  • 4 tiny stuffed Easter bunnies
  • 5 toddler neckties
  • 2 birthday shirts for 2-year-olds (duck and lion)
  • 1 flannel baby blanket, 1 knitted baby hat, 1 pair knitted baby booties, 1 baby coming home outfit with dinosaur shirt and a pair of shorts, 1 tiny stuffed turtle
  • 4 swaddle babies
  • 6 IKEA bookcases built and anchored in our newly organized master bedroom
  • 1 pretty spiffy room divider
  • 1 baby quilt
  • 2 marble mazes and 1 stuffed bear made by Iddo for her siblings, assisted by me
  • 2 flamingo shirts
  • 1 flamingo skirt and matching doll dress
  • 1 pair flamingo pjs and matching doll pjs
  • 4 pairs of men’s pants mended (no photo)
  • 1 tiny human grown to completion

I’m pretty sure I haven’t had a series of months that productive in a long time. I fully expect the streak to be over now that the tiny human has arrived though. We shall see.

I got this

Categories: Family

Two years ago I took our three kids to the library. It was my first solo outing with three kids. Iddo had turned two and Shimri and Shimei were almost 12 weeks old. I loaded everyone in the car. We drove to the library. I put Shimri and Shimei in the double stroller and we went in. I sat in a corner of the kid section. Iddo went looking for books. I nursed Shimri and put her back in the stroller. I nursed Shimei and put him back in the stroller. I helped Iddo check out the books she’d found. And we went home.

I’d done it. I’d left the house with three kids all by myself. Nobody had died. Nobody thought they were dying. And from there on we just went places.

Last week I took our FOUR kids to the library. It was my first solo outing with four kids. Iddo is four. Shimri and Shimei are two. Izri was 3.5 weeks old. I loaded everyone in the car. We drove to the library. I put Shimri and Shimei in the double stroller and Izri in the Baby K’Tan carrier and we went in. I wandered around the kid section while Izri slept in the baby wrap on my chest. Iddo, Shimri, and Shimei looked at books and colored the coloring sheets on the table. I followed Shimei around because he likes to pull the things on the shelves out that indicate what letter of the alphabet is where for the authors and put them on the floor. We found 15 books we needed to bring home. I helped Iddo check them out. Shimri and Shimei got back in the double stroller. We got Izri his very own library card. And we went home.

Piece of cake!

On the way home I thought about how different the transition from 1 to 3 had been (the transition from 2 to 3 only took 20 minutes so we don’t count that) compared with the transition from 3 to 4.

For example, Iddo was born on a Saturday and the following Sunday, at 8 days old, we took her to Sacrament meeting at church and then came home (it seems like for some reason that’s all there was anyway that week). Shimri and Shimei were born on a Sunday and the following Sunday, at 7 days old, we took them to Sacrament meeting at church and then I came home with them. Izri was born on a Monday and the following Sunday, at 6 days old, we stayed all three hours of church and I taught half of a Gospel Doctrine lesson (Brett taught the other half).

Going from 3 to 4 isn’t that big of a deal for us it seems. We’re already out-numbered (definitely playing a zone defense now, not a man-to-man), so what’s one more? Of course it helps that our #4 is one of the most chill people around. And an awesome sleeper. And an insanely fast eater. And it helps that our other three are good listeners and not runners and not prone to nuclear meltdowns in public (they do happen at home on occasion though).

I’m knocking on wood and I may eat my words later. But for now, I got this. :)

The Love of a Mother

Categories: Family, Featured, Gospel, Infertility

This last week was Mother’s Day. It was my fourth with a child in my arms. But it was not my fourth Mother’s Day. In 2014, the first Mother’s Day I had a child in my arms, someone asked me how I was enjoying my first Mother’s Day. I wasn’t sure how to answer that because it wasn’t my first. Brett had been honoring the mother in me since our marriage, seeing in me as Adam saw in Eve while they were still in the Garden of Eden, that she was the mother of all living. And I’d been honoring my own mother in some fashion since 1979, the first Mother’s Day after I was born.

All mothers love their children. Yes, all. Some of them aren’t very good at showing it. Some of them don’t know how to show it properly or safely. But all mothers love their children. In early 2012, before I was pregnant with Iddo, so before most would even consider me a mother, another mom, doing her best to love and defend her children, told me that I would not be a good mom because I was not doing for her daughter what she thought I should. This woman loved her daughter, as she should, but didn’t know how to express that love in a way that didn’t hurt others. I keep in my inbox an email from a friend who knew the situation where she told me “You are a great mother” and then listed several reasons why she would say that.

Note the tense in that email. It was not a statement of future status. It was present tense. I had no children. Yet she told me “You are a great mother.”

I’ve been thinking about the “tense” of motherhood with Mother’s Day this past weekend as I’ve seen this quote several times.

No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child.
– Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Behold Thy Mother“, General Conference, October 2015

Elder Holland does not specify the location of that child. Is it a child in the womb? Is it a child in arms? A child who has already returned to heaven? Or a child who has not yet left heaven for earth? I would answer yes to all of those questions.

The love of a mother does not require the physical presence of a child to be selfless and devoted. I loved our children long before they came to our home. And I will love them for eternity no matter where they go from here.

Time to Talk

Categories: Family, Gospel, Health, With the Kiddos

When I have a nosebleed I make sure it’s a good one. Twenty minutes is a quick one. Thirty to forty-five minutes is average. When it starts getting close to two hours is when I start to think that maybe I should think about maybe going to a doctor. It’s been that way my whole life. And I’m not the only one in my family that is that way so nosebleeds aren’t something that we freak out about in my family.

Unfortunately Iddo got my nose. Last night was her worst one yet. At 10:30pm we heard her crying in her room and when we went to go check on her she met us half-way in the hall covered in blood and dripping more. I led her into the bathroom, sat her down in my lap, held some kleenex at her nose and started washing her off with baby wipes and singing to her to help her calm down while Brett wiped up the drips on the tile floor and checked out the damage to her bed (which wasn’t a whole lot, surprisingly).

I ended up sitting with her for over an hour as we waited for it to stop and then waited to make sure it stayed stopped. Since she eventually told me to stop singing it gave us plenty of time to talk. And talk we did.

We talked about family history and genetics. I told how her nose is like my nose and like her grandparents’ noses and how that’s because we’re all family and related.

We talked about human anatomy. Because she likes to read our copy of “The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body” she’s familiar with platelets in the blood and what they do. So we talked about how her body was sending platelets to her nose to help the bleeding stop but because of how bad it was bleeding it was going to take a lot of platelets. And then we talked about how she was going to need to take it easy today and drink lots of water today while her body worked on making more blood for her. She asked how her body tells her stuff, like how it tells the platelets where to go. So I asked her if when she needed to go potty if her body told her with words or with a feeling. She said a feeling. I asked her if when she was thirsty if her body told her with words or with a feeling. She said a feeling. I asked her if when she was tired if her body told her with words or with a feeling. She said a feeling.

We talked about personal revelation. After talking about how her body talks to her with feelings and not words I explained that that is often how Heavenly Father talks to us too. When He wants us to know that He loves us He will often tell us with a feeling instead of words. When He wants us to know what to do he will most often tell us with feelings and not words. When He wants us to know He is proud of us, that He is happy for us, he most often will tell us with feelings instead of words.

I am grateful Heavenly Father gives me feelings and impressions so I can take advantage of these moments to talk with our kids whenever they happen to come up. Even if it’s after 11pm while we’re sitting on the bathroom floor.

Setting the tone

Categories: Family, Happy Things

Last Friday I took our kids to the library for our regular every-third-Friday trip to the library. As they were wandering around, sitting in every chair to read their books, checking themselves out with the laser scanner, etc (all in the kids area), I saw an older gentleman watching and I could tell he was getting ready to say something about me having my hands full or something like that.

Checking myself out Have you seen this book yet?

Before he got the chance though I started the conversation with a big smile and said “We have a lot of fun.” Because we do. And that’s what I want my kids to hear adults talking about with regards to them. That they are a joy. That I have fun. That our life is a great adventure. I will not bash my husband in public and I will not do the same to my children. Enjoying our kids is a choice, and it’s a moment to moment choice I have to make, not even a day to day choice. And some times it’s a real hard choice and some times I choose differently. But I try real hard to enjoy them when we’re out in public because I never want them to hear me talking to others about them not being good or fun. Iddo asked me once what “hands full” meant and that’s when I knew we’d been hearing it too often.

As I talked with that proud grandpa that afternoon I realized that I’ve been taking that route, cutting in before strangers can say something stupid, a lot lately. And it’s made me enjoy going out a whole lot more. Besides, it allows me to set the tone for the conversation. When I start it I get to hear about their fun kids or grandkids. Instead of passing on misery we get to pass along joy.

Sharing

Categories: Gospel, Infertility

A question was posed in church this morning about why people dealing with certain trials needed to come out and tell everyone what their trials are. Shouldn’t they just keep that to themselves since it’s really nobody’s business to begin with? It was a very specific trial being discussed and not one I personally struggle with, but it made me think about my own trials, how much of them I share, who I share them with, and more importantly, why I share what I do about them.

One of my major mortal trials is my infertility. I will never get pregnant without the extreme efforts of medical specialists. Technically, the only people who really need to know about this are my husband and my doctor. It’s really nobody else’s business. And yet I often feel driven to share this trial with others, and for a variety of reasons.

I share so that others will know they are not alone. In a church with a strong emphasis on families and children, where people make off-handed comments about God sending so many children to the righteous women today, it can feel very isolating to not be able to have children or not be able to have as many as you would like. Knowing that others have been where you are, and kept moving forward, can really help you to move forward as well.

I share so that others will understand why I react the way I do in certain situations. Some baby showers I can go to. Other days it’s just too hard. Some days I can laugh off your question of if I’m pregnant or not. Other days I’m going to go home and sob some ugly tears. And before I was ever married and making actual plans for kids I was never one to play “pass the baby” with the babies of others (I wait for the mom to offer to let me hold the baby, I never ask), so after going through all we did to get them here, I’m rather possessive of our kids and I’ll-just-hold-them-the-whole-time-thank-you-for-the-offer-but-I’ve-got-this. At one point I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to hold my own babies in this world so I’m going to hold them as much as I possibly can now that I have the chance.

But the big reason I share my struggles is because of how my struggles, my weaknesses, my trials, have affected my relationship with my Heavenly Father. If I share my testimony of prayer it will include all the prayers we offered while undergoing treatment. If I share my testimony of family it will include all that I learned about the eternal nature of family while we experienced the loss of children we never got a chance to meet. If I share my testimony of Heavenly Father’s love for me it will include the peace He gave me when I was at my uttermost bottom. If I share my testimony of service it will include the strength I was given when I prayed not for myself, but for my husband who was suffering in his own way right along side me. If I share my testimony of fasting it will include the strength we felt from the fasts our families and friends did on our behalf.

I cannot explain to you who I am without explaining this part of me to you.

So no, you might not need to know the details of my mortal struggles. But if you don’t know my struggles you can’t know me.