"But Mom": Two of the most dreadful words in the English language

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"You're Off To Great Places..."

(Conversation I had today with my Sweet Boy:)

Sweet Boy: "Mommy, I want to be 3. Will I ever be 3 again?"

ME: "No sweetie.  You can only be 3 once.  Now you are my big 4-year old."

Sweet Boy: "But Mommy, I promise to still go poo-poo in the potty.  If I still wear underwear then can I be 3 again?"

ME: "I'm afraid it doesn't work that way.  You only get to be 3 once.  But now you are 4 and there are so many wonderful things that happen when you are 4!"

I remember growing up and wanting to be older.  Now that I am grown up, there are times I wonder what it would be like to be younger.  With every wrinkle, every body ache, every sag and bag, every age-related malady, I remember back to when I had none of these things.  And then I smile.

There is something remarkable about growing older.  I like the person that I have turned out to be.  I like me.  (Okay, I really could do without the wrinkles, but I digress.)  With age has come confidence and wisdom.  With age has come happiness and love.  Age has been good to me.  Sure, my body isn't what it used to be, but my mind is so much more.

Life is full of wonderful moments and opportunities.  Each age has so many things to offer.  Great experiences, great friendships, great teaching moments.  I try to embrace each one.  Some of them aren't my favorites...like having newborns who don't sleep...but I still find the good in them.  They will be gone in the blink of an eye and I don't want to miss a moment.

I try to always remember that there is a time and a season for everything.  Enjoy the time and season that you are in.  Look forward to times and seasons to come.

 So, Sweet Boy, enjoy being 4!

"You're off to Great Places! 
Today is your day! 
Your mountain is waiting, 
So... get on your way!"
           -Dr. Seuss

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hello. I'm Shy. And You Are?...

If you know me now you may be surprised to learn that I am shy.  Oh sure, I talk a lot.  I love to speak in public.  I love to teach the children and adults in church.  But it has taken me YEARS to get to this point.  Underneath it all, I am shy at heart.

(Flash back 25-years to my elementary school days:)

I was the girl who absolutely, under no circumstances could say hi to another child without my face turning beat red and bile threatening to come strait up and out.  I remember walking through ZCMI in Cottonwood Mall, when a classmate of mine walked by with her mother.  She said hi to me, but I just kind of hid behind my mom.  My mom got really mad at me for not saying hi.  What she didn't know was that I tried to speak...I really did.  I WANTED to speak, I just couldn't.  I was even holding my mom's hand for crying out loud and still couldn't find it within myself to open my mouth!

It was so frustrating and humiliating.  It was also confusing.  I wasn't that way at home.  At home I was myself.  I had no problems telling my sisters what to do...I mean, "talking" to my sisters.  I remember waking up in the morning and thinking that THAT was going to be the day that I broke out of my shell.

It never was.

The children at school took advantage of my timidity and teased me mercilessly.  They knew that I wouldn't do anything about it.  They would chase me home from school, pull my chair out from under me while I was sitting down, call me names.  Kids can be cruel, cruel creatures.

As much as I was teased however, there was one girl, only one, who was teased more than I.  I at least had one friend.  This poor girl had no one.

Her name was Bethany.  The only thing I remember about her is her face.  It was round and framed by stringy orange hair.

The worst thing I have ever done in my life was when I was in the fourth grade.  It was recess and I was kicking a ball against a wall...by myself.  I was approached by Bethany.  She asked me if she could play with me.  I don't know why I did it, but I told her no.  Then I gave her a mean look, grabbed my ball, and walked away.   Even at the time I knew that I was being cruel for no reason.  I immediately felt bad and have felt terrible ever since.

This moment has haunted me for years and I have learned a lot from it.  From that moment on, I tried to be kind to everybody that I came across.  I'm not perfect and know that I have offended many people along the way, but I really try.  Everyone deserves a friend and a smile.  Everyone.

If I ever come across Bethany again in this life, I would give her a big hug and tell her how sorry I am about that day at the wall.  In all honesty, she probably doesn't remember that incident...but she might.  Whether she remembers or not, I remember.  I remember.

I once heard that there are three things that are important in this life here on earth:

1. To be kind
2. To be kind
3. To be kind.

If I teach my children anything at all, I hope that it is this:  Nothing is more important than this, to be kind.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Home...or Pennsylvania, Take Your Pick

There are three things you should know about me:

1. I do not live by my family
2. I have not lived by my family for 8-years
3. I miss my family

I am a Utah girl, born and raised.  My husband is a California boy.  We met while he was living in Utah going to school.  When we graduated from BYU, The Artist got two job offers: one in Jacksonville, Fl and the other in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Hardly any of The Artist's graduating class received job offers, so we were grateful for whatever we got.  We ended up choosing Wilkes-Barre.

(pronunciation guide: wilkes-bear, wilkes-bar or wilkes-berry...take your pick...the natives sure did!)

Pennsylvania...2,066 miles away from everything and everyone that I knew and loved.  Not only was I moving so far away, but I was moving to the EAST COAST.  I may as well have been moving to a whole new planet!

The people spoke differently than I. I heard things like, "What's doin'?",  "What can I get for youse?", "Hena?".  Let's just say that I did many double takes when I first arrived.  I spoke differently too.  I ordered a "pop" one time and the lady just looked at me and said, "you're not from around here are you?"  They don't say "pop", they are much more sophisticated and say "soda".  I actually like "soda" better, so I adapted to that one pretty quick.  But I am happy to say that after 4-years of living there, I never, not ever stooped to saying "youse"!  I have standards you know.

I grew up in a predominantly Mormon community.  The thought of moving to a predominantly Catholic community totally freaked me out!  Not because I have anything against Catholicism, but because I was going to be the minority. ME!  I had never been in the minority in my entire life!  It was daunting.

I arrived in PA on a Sunday.  The next day, Monday, I went to the adorable little library in West Pittston to type up my resume.  I fell in love with the library from the moment I walked in...but that is a whole other post. Anyway, back to the excitement that was my resume.  I sat down to start typing when this guy, about my age, dark hair, dark eyes, totally Italian looking, but with a thick East Coast accent, looks over my shoulder and says,

"BYU?  You went to BYU?"

(Oh crap, he's going to know I'm a Mormon) "Yes"

"Are you a Mormon?"


"Let me ask you something....(and he asked this with complete sincerity) How many wives does your husband have?"

(What the heck?!?!?!?)  "Uh, one."

"No, no.  I mean, how many is he ALLOWED to have?"

(Is this guy serious?) "One."

"Oh, okay"

Yes folks.  That is the very first conversation I had with anybody, save my husband, when we moved to Pennsylvania.  I still shake my head over it.

(side note: this guy and I ended up working together for the same company and became friends.)

I realized something about East Coasters that day...at least the ones in NEPA (that stands for Northeastern Pennsylvania in case you didn't know...it is a "word" they use ALL the time!)  I realized that they are very blunt about pretty much everything.  They will ask you anything and say anything to you, but they do it with an open heart and an open mind.  I have never in my life met so many wonderful people.  We lived in this little town where you knew everyone and everyone knew you.  Your neighbors were your family.  There are no substitutions for my real mom and dad, but I had plenty of volunteers for the position of my PA mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, aunt, uncle, cousins...you name it.  It was a wonderful experience that I will always treasure.  And though I no longer live in PA, I miss the relationships and the friendships that I had there.

I grew a lot as a person because of my experiences in PA.  I am now happy to say that I love being the minority.  No more fears about what people are going to think about me because of their misconceptions of Mormonism.  No more fears about being so far from familiarity.  Just excitement in the journey and optimism for the future.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Television: Top Chef

The Artist and I do not watch much television...too much to do and too little time in my opinion.  However, every Wednesday evening The Artist and I get the kids to bed extra early and snuggle up to watch "our show".  We love the show "Top Chef" on Bravo.  We can't get enough of it.  We have watched it for years and have loved every minute of it.  We would love to be a fly on the wall during one of their quick fire challenges or during their time spent in the "stew room".  And we would LOVE to taste the dishes that the contestants prepare.  Mmmm.....

Our two favorite quotes from all the seasons are from Fabio and Richard. (This is purely for memories' sake because I know that NO ONE is going to give a flying hoot what our two favorite quotes of Top Chef are.)

Fabio: "This is Top Chef, not Top Scallop!"  (There were a TON of scallop dishes on that particular season)

Richard: "What do you want me to say? 'Congratulations! You came in third'? Yay!"

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Good Housewife...Or Not

I think that I have been blessed with a lot of talents.  I would not want to give a single one of them up!  This post however will not be dedicated to singing my praises of all that I can do.  No, this post is all about something I am terrible at.  Something I desperately want to be better at.  Something I WISH was a talent of mine.

I wish I was a better housewife...or homemaker, domestic goddess, CEO of "home"land security...you get the idea.

The thing is, I get tired.  Really tired.  MS has seen to that.  I also get really dizzy...thank you again MS.  I can't even unload or load the dishwasher without becoming nauseas from getting dizzy.  And sweeping the floor, forget about it.

I want so badly to have a clean house for The Artist to come home to every day after work.  I want my home to be in order when friends come over.  I don't want my children to think it is normal to have dirty dishes in the sink and crumbs on the floor.  I don't want to be the lady that gets the show "Hoarders" called on to rescue her family.

I do my best, but I must admit that my house typically gets the better of me.  Laundry is my nemesis.  The bathrooms refuse to clean themselves (the nerve!).  And no matter how many toys I get rid of, there always seems to be an army ready to take their place.  It gets very overwhelming.

I'm writing this down not to get sympathy...I DETEST sympathy.  I'm writing this so when my children are older, they will know that I tried.  That I did the best that I could.  I gave 110% to my duties as a housewife.  Mr. Smarty Pants, Sweet Boy, and Cute Girl, I'm sorry that your clean clothes can only be found folded up in a laundry hamper on my floor.  I'm sorry that our van is typically littered with "stuff".  I'm so sorry that I could not "do it all" for you.  I love you!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lemon Blossoms

I have this thing with cake.  I love it.  Not all cakes however, just certain cakes.  I also have this thing with lemons.  I L-O-V-E lemon!  I could eat lemon-y food all the time.  So, when I came across this recipe a few years ago, I thought I had finally made it to paradise.  It is lemony perfection at its best.  Thank you Paula Dean for this fabulous recipe.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you "Lemon Blossoms"

***Disclaimer: You cannot eat just one teeny little cupcake.  Oh no!  Take caution.  If you eat one, then you will inevitably eat another...and another...and another...and another.  Consider yourself warned!

Lemon Blossoms


  • 18 1/2-ounce package yellow cake mix
  • 3 1/2-ounce package instant lemon  pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil


  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons water


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray miniature muffin tins with vegetable oil cooking spray . Combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil and blend well with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour a small amount of batter , filling each muffin tin half way. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn out onto a tea towel
To make the glaze, sift the sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest, oil, and 3 tablespoons water. Mix with a spoon until smooth.
With fingers, dip the cupcakes into the glaze while they're still warm, covering as much of the cake as possible, or spoon the glaze over the warm cupcakes, turning them to completely coat. Place on wire racks with waxed paper underneath to catch any drips. Let the glaze set thoroughly, about 1 hour, before storing in containers with tight-fitting lids.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quirky Quirks: Crumbles

I have another quirky quirk that I didn't even know I had until The Artist pointed it out.  Apparently, when I eat salty or crumbly finger foods, I brush my fingers off after each bite.  Huh...who knew?  Well, technically The Artist knew, but I sure didn't.  After 10-years of marriage though, I'm proud to say that there are now TWO finger-brusher-offers in my home.  It's funny how your quirky quirks can get passed to your significant other.  Hmmm, I wonder what other quirky quirks I've passed on?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Guilty Pleasure: Books

I love to read...a lot.  I am always reading a book.  In fact, I would almost always pick a book over the television or a movie.  For me, reading is a way to escape into another world and become someone else for a short time.  I just love it.  In fact, I think it is safe to say that I need it too.

Now, though I do enjoy most genres of reading, my favorite, and hence the genre I read most, is Adolescent Fiction.  I do not want to read bad language, graphic violence, explicit sex...I just don't want all that crap running amok in my mind.  I have a great imagination and when I read, books come to life.  This can be good and bad.  For better or worse, what I read tends to stay with me for a long time.

So, back to Adolescent Fiction.  The reason I like this genre so much is that it typically doesn't have garbage in it.  No bad language, no sex, no graphic anything.  What is does tend to have are themes of good versus evil where the good guys triumph over the bad, an uplifting flavor, courage, honor, decency, learning moments, humility...all things that I want to escape to.

I am lucky to have married someone who likes to read as much as I do.  It is something we have tried really hard to teach to our children as well.  I really think that the love of books is something that is learned.  Our children all love books.  We have had many tender moments reading to Mr. Smarty Pants, Sweet Boy, and Cute Girl.  I love that they love books.

I am so thankful to have grown up in a home where books were important.  Books bring me great joy and happiness, and I am so thankful to be literate.  I do not take that blessing for granted.  .

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cake, or "I Think I've Died And Gone To Heaven" Cake

There are times when we sit down to eat and Todd takes one bite and asks me if that particular recipe is written down and where he can find it.  I always joke that he is just asking so that one day when I'm long gone, he can give it to his new wife to make.  (He doesn't deny it!)  Well, THIS is one of THOSE recipes.  This cake is TO-DIE-FOR!!!  I'm not even joking.  Try it.  Right now.  Seriously...start pre-heating your oven so it will be ready for you when you're done reading this post.

Pre-heat your oven to 325.

Chocolate Chip Cake

1 bar (4 oz) German chocolate
1 pkg plain yellow cake mix
1 pkg vanilla pudding (I use cook and serve, but instant works great too)
1 cup whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat oven to 325.  Lightly grease and flour a bundt pan.  Set aside.

2. Break the German chocolate into 4 pieces.  Grate bar until it is finely grated.  Set aside.

3. Place cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Blend on low for 1-minute.  Stop machine and fold in grated chocolate.  Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2-minutes more, scraping sides down again if needed.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  The batter should look well blended and the chocolate chips should be evenly distributed.  Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing it out with the spatula.  Place in oven.

4. Bake the cake until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 58-60 minutes.  I like to keep my cake with the side exposed to the oven up...it gets a little bit crispy and you know how I like me some crunch!

Quirky Quirks: Food

We all have quirks.  It's part of what makes us who we are.  My Grandmother has an eye twitch.  My sister (The Gorgeous One) cracks her wrists.  My other sister (The Tall One...who is also totally gorgeous, but I can't call her that or you wouldn't know who the heck I am talking about) wiggles when she is trying to fall asleep.  My dad mixes up his words (you know you do dad!)  My Grandfather always whistled "Sweet Betsy From Pike".

I too have quirks...a lot of them.  Here is my quirk of the day:  I like my food to crunch.  I love croutons or chips in my soups.  I have to have croutons in my salads.  I like nuts in my bread.  I love chips.  I love chocolate crackle with my ice cream.  I like crushed up corn flakes on my cheesey potatoes.

I just love crunch!

(crunch, crunch, crunch!)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Girl and Her Musings: Marriage and "The Plan"

Marriage is a funny thing. At times so wonderful and at others so frustrating...but if both partners are willing to work, it is always worth it. I remember growing up and fantasizing about my perfect wedding. I would go through countless magazines and cut out beautiful bridal gowns, bridesmaids dresses, flowers, even place settings. I thought about what food I wanted to have served, what things I would register for and who I would invite. I thought about how many children I wanted to have...SIX!!!...and I thought about what names I wanted to give them. I for sure knew that I would have 3 boys and 3 girls and I had the BEST names picked out: straight from my journal, they were Mercedes, Abbigail, Maggie, Zack, Anson, and Milton. Oh yeah, I was on top of it all. As I look back on my youth, I wonder if I ever spent any time contemplating WHO I was going to marry. I'm sure I occasionally gave it a spare thought, but mostly I focused my attentions on the frivolities of it all. And it was fun!

A few years ago, I came across a random slip of paper in my scriptures that dated back to my years as a Mia Maid. Our leader had prepared this great lesson about temple marriage. She handed out beautiful pieces of paper and had us write a list of things we wanted in our future companions. Here is my list: Black hair, blue eyes, at least 6-feet tall...emphasis on the at least...olive skin, totally gorgeous, and for good measure I threw in a "has to be nice to me". Aww, how cute. He has to be "nice". Well, needless to say, my list was a bit lacking.

Recently, I came across another list that I wrote while in Laurels. This list is a bit more deep: Loves the Lord, loves me a lot!, knows the gospel, strong testimony, strong spirit, loves kids, supports me, sense of humor, honors the priesthood, hard worker, motivated, returned missionary, understanding, beautiful, be a friend, some of the same interests, aware of my needs, worthy, spontaneous, romantic, encouraging, a good example, respectful.

The Artist and I laugh that I got everything I wanted from my two lists. Well, technically I laugh, The Artist rolls his eyes but hey, you can't have everything. So I got my wish lists filled, but the great thing about Heavenly Father's plan, is that I got so much more! The other thing about Heavenly father's plan, is that it never quite works out the way you think it is going to.

When I turned the ripe old age of 21, I was still single and I felt like such an old maid! 10-years later I laugh about how I felt then. 21-seems so young. Come to think of it, 31-feels awfully young. And 41-aint much older than 31 really. Anyway, I remember being so frustrated with dating. I was dating really great guys, but none of them were "the one". To make matters worse, my younger sister was engaged...BEFORE me. It was a real blow to know that she would get married before me. That just seemed so unfair! Oh the burdens of youth. Thankfully, I met The Artist shortly after. It only took one date for me to think, Hmmm, I think I could totally marry this guy. Actually, as we were driving home from our first date, I realized that I didn't even know his last name, so I asked him. Register. Register. Mrs. Register. Sister Register. Seriously...Register?!?! Well, maybe I can't marry him after all. I mean, "Register" was not part of my plan!

So, my sister got married a few months later and I was still dating The Artist. Things were going great, but we did not talk about marriage. I wanted to, but I just couldn't bring myself to bring it up. So, an entire YEAR later, which in Mormon Standard Time is close to an eternity, The Artist finally proposed. It made me so happy...and also freaked me out more than just a little. After all those years thinking about getting married, I was finally going to do it. I was going to take the plunge, tie the knot, attach the ol' ball and chain. This was ETERNITY we were talking about after all.

We only had 6-weeks to plan our wedding. It's a long story, but it goes something like this: The Artist thought that he most likely wanted to marry me. He also knew that I wanted to get married in the Salt Lake Temple, but that temple fills up quickly. So, just to cover all his bases, he secretly called them up and set up a date and time for us to get married. When the temple patron asked him my name and telephone number and address, The Artist panicked and lied to them. Yep, you heard me, he LIED to the temple workers. Not something I would recommend, but something we all laugh about now. It took him 3-months after he made that appt to actually propose. When he finally did propose, we only had 6-weeks until the blessed day.

Well, I was in the midst of finals and The Artist was as well. All of my previous planning went down the tubes and we pretty much turned our wedding over to our mothers and my best friend. I wore my sister's dress, which I loved! Thank you Tall Sister. We had our reception in my backyard, which had been totally renovated 6-months earlier for my sister's wedding. Thank you again! My in-laws made all the food. I took a quick evening to register at Target for some things that I thought we may need, but I really wasn't expecting much from any showers or from my reception. It was low-key. It was casual. It was perfect! I could not have asked for anything more.

Almost 10-years later I can honestly say that I love The Artist more now that I did then. I thought I loved him, and I did, but I have since realized that I did not know what love really was all those years ago. I'm so glad that I loved him enough to marry him and thank my Heavenly Father every single day that he brought that handsome California guy and this little ol' Utah girl together.

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that you never know how Heavenly Father's plan is going to work out. It does no good to try to hurry it along. We just have to trust in Him and be patient.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Grocery Store Bliss

Every family has certain things they pick up at the store. I mean, we all get eggs, milk, cheese and bread. I'm not talking about those things. I'm talking about the special items that put a huge smile on your children's faces and warm your husband's heart (or tummy, but we all know that the way to a man's heart is through his tummy, so it's practically the same thing.) Well, here is our list:

Chocolate Milk has to top the list. Sometimes when I'm at the store and I walk by the chocolate milk, I get little flutters in my tummy and think, "today is the day for buying chocolate milk." I can't even wait to get home to pull the yummy goodness out of the grocery bag and show my family. It is always met with shouts of exclamations like, "Oh Mom, you're my best friend" or "Mom! I love you!".

Yoplait Yogurts is a close second. I remember as a child going to my cousin's house to spend the night. I loved going over there for many reasons, one of them being the Yoplait Yogurts they always had in their fridge. I would carefully pull that foil lid off, reverently lick the yogurt off of it, and linger at each bite so I could fully enjoy the scrumptious taste and texture. My kids are the same way...except they just dig in and chow down. There is no reverence there. Our favorite flavors are lime, vanilla and orange. Mmmmm.

Dreyer's Oreo Ice Cream: This is another special treat. We are huge ice creams fans at our house, but this ice cream tops them all. It is beyond scrumptious.

Crusty Bread...which is just our word for the yummy French Bread that is nice and warm and just sitting in those racks waiting for someone to pick them up and take them home. Yeah, we love that stuff!

Cheese Sticks are a real treat. But they can't be the white cheese sticks. Oh no. They have to be the "speckled orange and yellow" cheese sticks or the swirled cheese sticks.

And last but not least, Chocolate Pudding. Oh man, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Our favorite treat to eat after we have Family Home Evening (FHE) is Swiss Miss chocolate pudding cups. Mmmm...It is even better with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Guilty Pleasure: Buffy

This week has been pretty crappy. It started out freezing cold. It snowed for 24-hours straight, leaving my front yard with a mountain of snow...a MOUNTAIN I tell ya! We had a snow day on Tuesday, a snow day on Wednesday, yet another snow day today, and tomorrow is a "Professional Day", so again, no school. Mr. Smarty Pants broke his collar bone while trying to do a flip off of our couch, which, rightfully so, has resulted in a lot of whining and complaining. My car battery died because I left the light on all night. It is still freezing cold. And to top it all off, our elementary school caught on fire this morning. What the heck is that all about? I thought that was something that only happened in children's wildest dreams. Crazy!

So, this brings me to my post today: Guilty Pleasures. I have many. Today though is special. Today is a Buffy day. I like the t.v. series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There, I said it. (Whew, it feels good to get that off my chest.) I like watching Buffy. I have been watching Buffy from the beginning on Netflix instant cue, and I'm now almost through season 4. It provides a nice break from reality, and heaven knows, I am in need of a break. Sometimes reality bites.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

But Mom....

I consider myself to be a pretty patient person. I'm pretty laid back when it comes to my parenting style. However, there is one thing that I CRINGE at every time I hear it:

ME: Hey boys, time for dinner
Boys: But Mom!......

ME: Let's go get in the tub...
Boys: But Mom!.....

ME: Put the Legos away, it's time for bed...
Boys: But Mom!.....

You want to see me lose my cool...then just repeat those two dreadful little words and you may get your wish.

Ulterior Motives

I have a deep, dark secret. Okay, well it's not actually a secret, but it does run deep and it is dark. I have Multiple Sclerosis, MS for short. I was diagnosed at the tender age of 29. In my opinion, much, much too young to be diagnosed with an incurable disease. Of course, if I had been diagnosed at 59 I'm sure I would say the same thing.

I have had some experience with MS in my life. For a while I was a home health aid for Intermountain Health Care in Utah. I worked the hospice route and one of the women I visited had MS. Til my dying day I will never forget her.

She was in her early 40's. She had 3 tween-age boys. She had a loving husband. She was imprisoned in her body. Her bedroom had to be moved to the dining room on the main level. A hospital bed was placed in there, and there she lay, day after day.

She could not walk; she could not move at all save for the occasional spastic movement of her arms, legs, and neck.

She could no longer speak, yet you knew that she was in constant pain because she could still moan.

She could no longer eat or drink. She had to be fed through a feeding tube inserted directly into her stomach.

She passed away 3-months after I started seeing her. My heart broke. She lost her life to MS.

It has been 3-years since my diagnosis and I am happy to say that I am just fine...physically and emotionally. However, I know that it could be taken from me at any moment. For the past 3-years my thoughts have gone back to this woman. What if I end up like that? Well, if I do then I do, but I'll be darned if I will go without leaving the essence of who I am behind. And therein lies my ulterior motive. This blog will be my life: my thoughts, my advice for my children, my favorite moments and memories, MY recipes...things that will help my family to know me if the day ever comes when I can no longer tell them.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Diapers, Pull-Ups, and Underwear

I have been changing diapers for a long time...a REALLY long time! I have been wiping bottoms for 6 1/2 years straight, and there is currently no end in sight. However, today is a momentous day. My Sweet Boy is turning 4-years old. What does this have to do with diapers you ask? Well, I'll tell you.

This little guy is actually not so little. He is huge...like 100%+ huge. He has also refused to go potty on an actual potty. It has been a big struggle. And oh, am I tired of wiping the poop off of his big little toosh. The Artist and I have tried for 6-months to wean this child from diapers and have failed miserably. Being the great parents that we are, we finally gave up (Hey, we didn't go to college for nothing; we know when to admit defeat).

Well, about 30-days ago I felt a second wind coming on and geared up for another round of potty training battle. I told Sweet Boy that he had until his 4th birthday to wear his pull-ups and then they were going the way of the wind. We have been counting down the days so he wouldn't be surprised when the blessed day arrived. Today when he woke up, we threw the pull-ups away and he donned the treasured Thomas the Train underwear. I'm not gonna lie to ya, he looks super-cute in his undies.

I realize that it is only half-way through the day, but so far so good. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but it would be so great to have only one child in diapers instead of two. I'm crossing my fingers...and all my toes...and my eyes...and heck, I even put my hair in a braid...that THIS time potty training will stick.

Addendum: Well, I spoke too soon. No sooner had I pressed "Publish Post", then Mr. Smarty Pants told me that Sweet Boy had pooped in his Thomas underwear. When I looked at Sweet Boy, I realized that not only did he poop in his pants, but he peed also.

(My eye is twitching...can you see it...?)