January 29, 2009

ADHD and Chocolate

I am craving sweets! But I have only one egg because I made french toast this morning and I am out of margarine and butter too. So I can't bake anything and I can't find anything else sweet to eat. I don't even have chocolate chips to eat out of the bag. I think we have some kind of candy or something left over from Christmas, but if it's still around it's probably because I dont' like it!

I am a bit grouchy this evening. Blame it on my headache. I guess I should really do something about these headaches. Because of the "down time" from this headache this week, I am behind on my housework. Especially laundry. But I know that it really doesn't matter. I have done everything else I was suppose to do like school volunteering, visiting teaching, speech class, running kids to music lessons and basketball practice, reading and playing with my kids. And I even got the W-2's printed and mailed out for Scott. So I really need to not worry about the state of the house. People are fed and clean and happy, and that's all that matters.

I am feeling a little silly complaining being less than a week removed from a vacation where I had no responsibilites. However, I am having a hard time with my middle child. Andy is challenged with ADHD. I just wish I could get inside his mind so that I could better understand him. Actually, I don't think it hampers him to much--it's the rest of us (who live with him) that struggle with it. He is such a happy kid and loves life and people. This week however has been very hard for him because I left him last week. For some reason his little mind had a hard time with this. He has been clingy and can't 'handle' normal everyday things and has been whiny. And wants me to do everything for him and then has a meltdown when I won't, for example, put his shoes on for him. Tuesday night he and Scott traded beds and Andy slept with me in my bed. That seemed to help and yesterday and today have been better. A lot of times it is the little things about ADHD that bother me--like how he doesn't care one bit about modesty. He is all too happy running around the house naked after his baths, even though everyone in the house is telling at him to get some pants on. (Tonight was bath night, by the way). And when I say running, I mean running. He just doesn't walk. I guess that's all for now.

And by the way, during my interruptions writing this (because of course kids can't leave me alone when they see me on the computer) I found 4 Hershey Kisses hiding away in the pantry! Cameron and Janessa each got one, and I got two.

January 28, 2009

My Florida Vacation

Now a report about my fabulous vacation:

I had a wonderfully relaxing time. I read a book and started another. Finished a cross stitch project. Took 3 bubble baths and a few naps. Slept in a couple of mornings. Watched a few movies on TV. Scott enjoyed jogging on the beach a few times. And we hit the hot tub a couple of times. I loved walking on the beach and also finding shells and watching the ocean.

Before I left I had very different expectations of what our vacation would be. I imagined myself sunning and reading on the beach and swimming in the waves of the ocean. Also swimming in the pool at the resort. I was looking forward to canoeing down a river (something I had read about)and seeing all kinds of alligators in the wild. It wasn't quite like that, as the weather was cold. But it was still a great vacation.

It was so fun to get off of the plane in Tampa and see more than gray skies and grayish snow. There were green trees everywhere. So beautiful. After eating and driving to Sarasota, we spent the first evening checking into our condo and then buying groceries for the week--mostly snacks (because of course we want to eat out)but also a meal for Sunday. We stayed at the Suntide Island Beach Resort on Lido Beach.

On Sunday morning we found a church to attend and went to sacrament meeting and then drove a little to sight see. Then we went back and walked along the beach and then read and took naps on the beach. It was a little chili but still great! The beach is about 150 steps from our condo door. Later Scott made dinner while I napped some more on the bed.

It was very sunny, yet not really warm. They say it is the coldest here that it has been in years. But it was still lots warmer than Utah! And so colorful.

Monday we drove to the other side of the state to the Atlantic coast (Vero Beach) to meet one of Scott’s clients and have lunch with him. He is a talker for sure. Interesting business was discussed, much of I didn’t understand, but it was entertaining and the food was good. We ate the Oceanside Grille, which was right on the beach and I enjoyed watching the waves crash. After lunch and we said our goodbye’s, Scott and I hit the beach with our swim suits. What I have been waiting for! I only got a little bit wet but had a great time taking pictures and enjoying the whole of it. Scott ended up diving in head first. I wasn’t that brave. Mostly because its not that warm and we didn’t bring towels. I should have taken this opportunity to hit the waves though because that was the warmest day we had.

Tuesday we mostly stayed in. It was way windy. I was amazed at how big the waves were on the beach! I much enjoyed a very lazy day of reading and cross stitching and watching TV. Scott worked some. We went to dinner and did some shopping.

Wednesday we went to Mixon Fruit Farms and took a tour of the orange groves and also saw some animals they keep there in a animal rescue place on the orchard. And guess what! We did see an alligator, Wally. But he was in the pond too, so our tour guide, Justin, who happens to be the animal rescue guy, walked into the pond (which is enclosed by a fence) and pulled Wally out by his tail. But Wally kept going back in and wouldn't stay out to entertain us. It was quite a show watching Justin try to get the alligator out of the pond. Finally after about 10 or 15 minutes he apologized and we went on to the other animals, which included a deer, a raccoon, a possum, an owl and falcon or hawk. Most of the animals he takes home and they sleep in his house. Hmmm. He said there are usually a few other reptiles there but they are home in his living room because its too cold for them. Anyway, the orange place was pretty cool. We got samples of different citrus fruits they grow there, like tangelos and kumquats, and had orange juice and grapefruit juice as well as orange swirl ice cream.

We went to Myakka State Park on Thursday where there is a lot of wildlife, including alligators. But wouldn't you know it, it was too cold for the alligators. They were all hiding in the water where they could stay warm. We saw birds and squirrels. Cool birds though, like herons and egrets. We also got to walk along the trees on a canopy walk (photo below) and climb above the trees up a 74 ft tower. Pretty cool, as long as you didn't think about being up high. The forest of palm trees and other trees we were in is called a hammock. We rented a canoe but never got past the lake to the river--the river seemed too far and a lot of effort to get to, and we figured there weren't any alligators to see anyway. So we just canoed around in the lake for a while and enjoyed the sun.

Later that evening (or late afternoon) I spent a lot of time on the beach. I had my sweatshirt and jeans and tennis shoes on but I loved just watching the waves and the little birds and seaguls. I also picked up lots of shells.

Friday we enjoyed Sarasota Jungle Gardens. Also known as the "zoo"logical gardens. We saw all different varieties of trees and plants, as well as reptiles and birds. We got to "pet" an American Alligator and saw two crocodiles. My favorite though was the flamingos. They let you get right next to them and even jabbered at us. Photos are below.

It warmed up on Saturday and we spent an hour or so on the beach up north from where we stayed and then drove to the airport to return to winter and our kids. It was a great week, but it's always good to get home to your own bed.

January 26, 2009

So Far So Good

We are back from vacation. I will report about my fabulous time in another post.

It is good to be back and see the kids. And they all seem happy to see us too. Cameron has been so happy. Like he missed being home and really missed us. Andy is a little clingy and has had a few meltdowns but that is to be expected--I mean they say ADHD kids have a hard time with change and their schedules interrupted. He did great with Grandma and Grandpa but I think now that he is home he just needs to deal with all that went on. If that makes any sense.

Anyway, getting back into life is going fine so far. I have to admit it was nice not having a schedule for a week though! I got up early today (before 6:00) and have done pretty good to stay on task and manage my time well. I really am working hard on this goal of better time management. I was about 10 minutes late though to volunteer at the school because I wanted to fit grocery shopping in before hand. And yet by the time I and the two little ones were ready to leave the house, I knew I really didn't have time to make it to the grocery store, then drop them off at the sitters, and make it to school by 10:30. But I was bound and determined to try. It feels so good to have the grocery shopping out of the way! And I think my bigger boys will be more happy there is food in the house than the first graders disappointed that I was a little late. I also took time out this morning to do some gospel study and I made a hot breakfast for everyone. Now is my break time to do what I want to do.

So far so good!

January 24, 2009

Vball in Florida

I got to play volleyball on the beaches of Florida! Well, okay, it was only one beach and I didn't exactly play. I served the ball over the net twice and then set to myself and spiked it over. But it was still way cool. There were three nets up on this beach, called Manatee Beach in the town of Holmes Beach, and the people that were playing on the middle net left for a water break or something. I walked over and borrowed the three balls that were sitting there for just a minute. On the next net it was a great doubles game going on. Wished I could have joined in! Just have to wait until summer when the snow melts here in Utah to get out on the grass doubles scene.

January 23, 2009

Teaching Your Kids About Prayer

From the time your little ones can fold their arms and babble you begin teaching them to pray. (At least if you are religious). They learn to pray at dinner, at bedtime, at church, with the family. They learn that God loves them and wants to help them. He is only a prayer away if you are scared or sick. God knows your name and wants to help you if you but ask.

I didn't quite know what to say the other day when I heard Andy pray. In fact, I didn't say anything. I just told Scott about it later and we shared a laugh together.

Andy was playing his gameboy. He set the gameboy down on the couch next to him and folded his arms and said "Dear Heavenly Father. Please help me get to the next level. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

I am not saying that it's okay to pray over video games, but I suppose I can't doubt the faith of a child.

Sea Shells

I am amazed by how many and how many different kinds of sea shells there are on Lido beach. Now I haven't been to very many beaches in my life, but the ones I have been to I don't remember seeing all that many shells. They are everywhere. And just down the beach in front of our resort is a group of big rocks jutting out into the water from the beach. (Very fun to walk on and watch the waves). Anyway, on the other side of the rocks, there is a huge pile of shells. The water washes up on the north side of those rocks and then deposits the shells there on the beach. (I took a picture so I will have to post it soon.). You are walking along and the sand just sort of turns into a pile of shells. This afternoon Scott and I dug through them looking for "cool" ones. Other days we have collected shells on our walks. There are big shells, little shells, tiny shells, broken shells, perfect shells, white shells, colored shells, smooth shells, spiky shells, shells stuck to shells (are you tired of the word 'shells' yet?). Shell hunting has been a very fun and unanticipated activity on this vacation. When we were out being tourists today I even found a post card that labeled the different kinds of shells. So I bought it. I am looking forward to showing all the shells to the kids.

On another subject, I have to admit I am missing my kids! It has been a wonderful needed rest for me. I will enjoy seeing them tomorrow night and getting and giving hugs! And seeing their beautiful smiles. (one of these days I am going to get all their pictures up on this blog).

January 20, 2009

Depression--Quite a Ride

Yesterday, Human Right's Day, marks the day two years ago when I emotionally and mentally crumbled. Since then I began learning to live with the illness of depression. I had dealt with depression and anxiety off and on for about 7 years before then, but never understood or experienced the whole of it until this day. And I have learned much more about the illness then I really cared too. It has been quite a ride. As I have been through the challenges of the past two years I have grown closer to the Lord and my husband, and I believe I have also grown as a person as I have gotten to know and love myself better. Probably the biggest thing I learned is that I had to let go of the ideal of "perfection" (which I didn't really know I was holding on to) and I can't do it all. I also know that these experiences will teach me much more as time goes by.

At the time, I had a six month old baby, two preschoolers age 3 and 4, and a 9 and 12 year old to take care of. But my mind and body sort of quit functioning. It is a very hard thing to describe. The only thing I could think was that "I can't do this anymore. Everything is too hard. I can't, I can't, I can't." And somehow, I really couldn't. I called my sister, Lacey. She called my other sister, Holly, who came and stayed and ran my household for a week. Then Lacey came for about a week after Holly left. It is hard to remember and realize that I needed help like that. Harder than involving my family, though was involving the ward family. The Relief Society president came over and continued to be a great support. The Bishop got involved and I started counseling through LDS Family Services.

Depression is a crazy illness. For months I just kept expecting that I would wake up one day and I would be "normal"again. But it hasn't been like that. I have been in counseling and learned so much about taking care of myself to stay healthy and how to change my thought patterns. I am on meds. But still, the depression doesn't ever totally go away. I fight it most everyday. Though most days are good days, or "normal" days, there are still the bad days, like everyone else, yet not like everyone else.

One time in a counseling session, I answered a question and my counselor asked "Is that how you feel, or is that just the right answer." I have since decided that is a defining question about depression. You know all the 'right' answers. You know how you 'should' feel and what you 'should' do. But there is a missing connection between knowing, and actions and feelings.

I was talking to my husband about my two year 'anniversary', so to say. We happened to be on the beach in Florida. How cool is that? Anyway, he asked, "Well, how are you now?" I can definitely answer "I'm great!" I have come along way since that day two years ago.

January 15, 2009

Thank Goodness for Pasta-Roni

Basketball is in full swing at our house. Brennen is playing Junior Jazz for the first time, Dustin is playing ward Young Men's, and I was just called as the Young Women's coach. Tonight Dustin had a game, I had a game (to coach) and Brennen had practice.

I had to leave by 5:25 for the girls' game. However, as I was busy all day getting ready for my vacation, running errands, and also doing some work ("professional" Melissa) for Scott, dinner hour snuck up on me. At 4:45 I had no idea what I was making for dinner. But rummaging through my cupboards and freezer, I came up with a great meal. I had cooked chicken in the freezer, so I cooked up some Pasta-Roni--chicken flavor fettuccine--added the chicken and some broccoli to it and I had a complete meal. We drank milk and had sliced oranges and bread and butter to go with it. It beats ordering pizza! (at least on the budget)

At 7:00 Brennen had practice and Dustin had his game. So it was drop off Dustin, drop off Brennen, go back and watch Dustin, pick up Brennen. It all worked out pretty nicely. I say that because we are down to one vehicle. I hope next time works out just as nicely. We decided against fixing our car and are going to try to be a one mini-van family. Which should work out fine because Scott doesn't need to commute to work. But it will be tricky when our activites have us going different directions. Soccer in the spring will be interesting as we will have 3 kids playing!

January 13, 2009

Andy Andy

I am very excited about going on vacation. However, right now that excitement is buried by my anxiety and the stress of actually getting gone. Because the grandparents cannot tend until the second day, we farmed our kids out to ward members for about 24 hours. I am so greatful to those families who have agreed to take our kids.

I am not worried about most of them, except Andy. Not that I am worried about Andy's safety or anything like that. Just that he is Andy. Everyone adores Andy. He is so friendly and loving. Yet this high spirited charming child is so very difficult for me to parent. So I am worried about the family that has to parent him for 24 hours. Playdates are one thing. They don't usually involve meals and bedtime and that many bathroom trips. Overnighters are a whole different ballgame! But really, Andy is a good kid.

note: I realize I should be more worried about the sanity of my in-laws after having Andy and the rest of my children for 6 days. But I guess they already know Andy pretty well so I am not too worried. They will bounce back pretty quick! Thank you George and Kathy!

January 9, 2009

Some Days

Cameron was never dressed today. He stayed in his diaper and pajama top until he got it wet playing in the water at the kitchen sink just before dinner. Then he was just in a diaper until he got his pajamas on again. I did try to dress him several times but he didn’t cooperate and I didn’t push. I didn’t care. Janessa wore the same clothes today as she did yesterday because she slept in them. And I didn’t comb her hair. I didn’t care.

It was just one of those days. Not a bad day, or sad day. Just a low energy day. I got up and got myself showered and going and got kids to school. Then I just sort of stopped there. I chatted on the phone to some friends, made chocolate chip pumpkin bread with Cameron and Janessa (not an easy task with two helpers), did some laundry, a few other things, and read. The kids watched way too much TV today and I can’t even remember feeding them lunch. (they probably ate pumpkin bread). I did make dinner, however.

I am not sure if it’s because I didn’t have anything pressing to get done or because I was coming off a four-day headache, but I didn't have motivation to do much of anything today. And I don’t even feel guilty about it. At least not much.

“My mom says some days are like that. Even in Australia.” (from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day)

January 8, 2009

Florida, Here I Come

I get to go on vacation with my husband for a whole week! Eight days to be exact. We are headed to Sarasota, Florida on the 17th of January. To the beach and the sunshine! To say I am very excited is an understatement. Having time away from being a mom and getting my husband all to myself is going to be heaven!

I have to admit I am sometimes jealous of this business we have. I actually told Scott that the other day. Don't get me wrong--I love that he cares about our family enough to work hard for us to get the bills paid and not have us go bankrupt by defaulting on the loan (the very big loan) we took out to buy the business. I love that he puts forth the best effort in everything he does. I just get jealous of the focus that the business takes. And even though I know logically that I don't need to be jealous and that he loves me and shows me that everyday by working hard, emotions just aren't logical.

But I get him to myself for a whole week and he will just have to trust his sister that she is taking good care of the business! (I will allow him to call her and check in every few days...) And Thank You Thank You Alison for stepping in and helping.

January 7, 2009

Too Many Questions

My daughter has a hearing problem. She likes to her herself talk. Not a problem for her, but for the rest of us. Our conversations go something like this:

"Please pick up your shoes."
"What shoes?"
"Your shoes that are in the middle of the floor."
"My white ones?"
"You mean the white ones with the new shoe laces in them?"
"They aren't in the middle of the floor. They are by the couch."


"Are we going to go to Grandma's today?"
"Yes, we are."
"I mean are we going to her house?"
"Yes, we are going to Grandma's house."
"I mean are we going to go to her house today?"
"When are we going?"
"After lunch."
"I mean is it in a little bit of time or a long time?"

Nothing is ever simple with her!


My husband started working at home a little over 7 months ago. Though there were some adjustments, there are many positives about this for our family. The biggest bonus for me is that he gets Andy, my first grader, ready for school and gets him to school. Andy is a high energy, high maintenance child. Having Scott do this for me helps my day more than he can know. When I have get Andy to school, my energy for the day is gone by the time he is at school. Until Andy came along, I never knew getting a 4, 5, or 6 year old to get dressed could be such a chore. Every year I think it will get easier. Maybe when he's 7, which is next month.

If Scott ever starts working outside the home again, I am not going to allow him to go to work until he gets Andy to school.

January 6, 2009

Slow Start

After doing fairly well on my time management the last two days, I am sitting here at the computer with my pajamas on at 9:00 (a.m.). However, the kids and husband are fed--and me too--and the kitchen is clean with the dishwasher running. I slept in today not wanting to get up. I turned off the alarm and even fell back asleep after my husband woke me up with a kiss and gentle nudge. I finally woke up with a start at 7:05 and jumped out of bed. The older boys leave for school about 7:25. And had the younger two not woken up as Andy was leaving for school at 8:20 I probably would have gone back to bed. Not good I know. I am just tired. Which can be a state of mind I agree. But my excuse is the headache I have had since Sunday and last night Andy and Janessa both ended up in my room at different times. The snowplow woke up and scared Janessa, but for Andy, his night-time appearances in my bedroom are pretty common.

My husband just reminded me that I should be getting dressed and exercising or something instead of blogging. I know that. It's just that Cameron, who doesn't talk, has been crying a lot this morning and I just really needed to sit and take a moment to pull myself together. After Cameron woke up, I was holding him in the kitchen and he pointed to the chocolate milk container on the counter. I asked if he wanted chocolate milk and thought I got a positive response. But as soon as I started making it he threw himself on the floor and started crying. Where he stayed for about 10 minutes. Then another tantrum later when I got him dressed. He just has not been happy these last few mornings. Hmmm.

And by the way, I have asked my husband to help me stay on track and get up and going in the morning. That is why he cares that I am on the computer instead of in the shower. He loves Me!

January 5, 2009

Prelude Music, What's That?

We were early to church yesterday! All of us were there and seated listening to prelude music. Amazing. It did help that our sacrament meeting started at 1:00 in the afternoon. However, for me, morning or afternoon or evening doesn't matter--I am typically late or barely on time for most things. But yesterday I had it together. I was ready with my teeth brushed and shoes on by 12:15 which meant I could worry about last minute details for everyone else instead of me. And with my husband's help we even got chicken and potatoes cooking in the crockpot. I also took time to have my scriptures and prelude music book (for Relief Society) to take. However, the two books didn't make it to the van. They were left on the counter. So close!

January 4, 2009


I am a time waster. I don't mean to be. I just get distracted easily am basically slow. I am what people call a laid back person so I am not in a hurry I guess. (Except when I am trying to get out the door to leave somewhere because then I am late). For example, yesterday I was cleaning the kitchen. But the newspaper was on the counter so I started reading it. Then I found the lid to the empty ice cream bucket on the counter which reminded me that I needed to put it with the bucket because I was going to use it for Cameron's big wooden string beads. So then I left the kitchen to find the bucket, which I knew was downstairs. I then sorted the beads from the other toys and put them in the bucket and with the lid on, proudly put it on the shelf. I don't know how long it took me to clean the kitchen, but it did get done eventually. I am not sure how many other distrations I had along the way. Cleaning the kitchen should only take like 10 minutes, 15 tops.

I really do try. I have been trying for years. But trying, according to my husband, isn't doing.

I suppose this "time wasting" wouldn't be a problem except that there are so many things I would like to do. As a mother of a busy household there are so many things that I have to do that it leaves little time for the things I want to do. If I would just stick to tasks and hurry myself along and focus, then I would have oodles of time. (maybe not oodles...) So I pledge to work on being more effecient with my time. I am not going to try, but do. Which means I better get off the computer!

January 2, 2009

How Much is Too Much?

It continues to amaze me how different my children are from each other. And I how I am still figuring out after all these years how best to teach, love, discipline and live in harmony with each one.

As a rule, mothers let their emotions and nurturing get in the way of parenting objectively. “He’s just a little boy. He can’t do that by himself.” “He is so sweet. I don’t want to hurt his feelings.” “But it will make him so happy!” etc, etc. I fall into this category often. Especially wanting to help and do to much for my kids. Right now my son Dustin wants to earn his Eagle Scout award. His dad told him that he could have a cell phone if he gets straight A’s and his Eagle. The problem? Dustin isn’t very self motivated. He talks about and thinks about what he wants, but doesn’t always follow through with what needs to be done. He needs to pick an Eagle project. But he doesn’t have any ideas. He is not searching for ideas. My problem? I want to jump in and pick a project for him and help him get started. I don’t know how much to encourage and help him, or when encouraging turns into pushing or me taking over. I had this problem when he took piano lessons. I wanted to encourage but not push him too much that he would resent it. I didn’t ‘encourage’ enough and he didn’t do too well. I learned from piano lessons though so my next kids will do better. (Actually, Brennen is doing quite well in piano, but that is mostly his doing, not mine). But back to the Eagle scout dilemma -- I am not in a hurry for him to get a cell phone anyway so I guess I don’t need to worry about it. When he’s 17 and still hasn’t got a project in mind I can jump in with both feet, if he wants me to, right?

In contrast, Brennen, who is 11, was born driven, independent, and responsible. He is very organized (unlike me) and a doer. For example, he can get up, make himself a hot breakfast (he’s been making pancakes since he was about 5) and get to the bus stop on time with everything he needs for the day in his backpack without me even getting out of bed. If he was an only child I could sleep in until 10:00.