Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chapter 6

I finally feel like I have all this energy back, since i was previously the tired, grumpy, pregnant lady from hell. This past month especially, it's been really fun to plunge straight back into wrestling, hiding-go-seek, stomping in the mud, treasure hunts, and all the fun things I never felt like doing with our boys, while I had a growing baby in me.

It's been very healing for me--for all of us-to have little responsibilities and distractions while we play. I feel like we are all catching up, even Micah, who is still busy, but has been gone so much the past 2 years. I really look forward to our weekends together, where our family can all be together. I am really happy with what we have right now. I feel like we've both worked really hard for these moments, and sacrificed a lot, and now here is a bit of Heaven. Being together as a family is really all I need right now.


It's been interesting, too, looking back at the chapters in my life, since Micah and I got married. If I compared them to a book, then there have been 6 chapters to this story, to be exact. (our anniversary is next month!)
Starting in Los Angeles 6 years ago, was the beginning of chapter one. In each chapter we had a baby, then moved, and started over, had a baby, then moved, and started over, had a baby, then moved, and then started over again, every 2 years.
In each 2 year chapter, Micah was working hard and trying to get through school. In each chapter we were learning, growing, and developing our parenting philosophies. In each chapter we were experiencing the highs and lows of adjusting to married life. In each chapter we were forming lasting friendships with people we will never forget. In each chapter we were watching our babies be born, and finding out how powerful love really is. In each chapter we were looking to Christ to strengthen us, and to help us be better than we are. In each chapter there were tears, frustrations, and sadness. In each chapter there was laughter, joy, and indescribable happiness.
In each chapter my character developed a little stronger, until I finally, truly understood what this book is all about: family. Starting a family, having a family, being the mother of the family--it's the most important and rewarding thing I will ever do. And each chapter has brought me closer to understanding this principle more than ever before. And I am at peace right now.

And I couldn't have said that 6 years ago,
because I didn't even know what I wanted 6 years ago. When I first married Micah, I was literally incapable of imagining this path for myself. There was this spiritual/mental/emotional block that disabled me from seeing a future. I never envisioned myself with children, or wanting to settle down with a family. But, God has poured his love over me, and opened my eyes for me, and showed me who I really am. I am a daughter of God with a divine purpose to fulfill; to be a loving wife, a nurturing mother, to raise our beautiful children, and find happiness each day in family.

So, this, being the very beginning of chapter 6, feels like the start of magical things. We are catching up, having fun, and putting together a rough draft for the next chapter of our book. It's going to be awesome. Stay tuned........

Always looking forward, Sally and Micah. xoxoxox

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jonah, 3 Whole Months!

Happy 3 month birthday to our little Pootie!

And you may laugh at this, but I really, seriously thought our baby was turning two months old today. I was kind of wondering why he was so large?
Apparently, this time that we've spent moving and unpacking, and getting the hang of things up here, has really just flown buy and thrown me for a loop!
I hadn't realized so much time had passed!
It hit me on Saturday, when a friend who's twin babies are a week younger than mine, mentioned they were turning 3 months old. I was like, "What?, your so wrong--my baby is only 2 months old and they were born at the same time...blah blah blah..." It was really funny when I realized how wrong I was!
Anyways, it was just one of those things that reminded me again to cherish these precious, fleeting baby months.

And I have been. I love this sweet baby so much. He fills my life with so much happiness. All our lives.
Looking back on the rough pregnancy, and all the traumatic moving, and all the stress I was feeling, up to his birth--well, I would do it all over again and more to have him in my arms.

He sleeps curled up in a squishy-baby-ball next to me at night. Often-times I'll wake up and pull him in a little closer, to look and feel his chubby cheeks next to mine. And there's this feeling I can't even begin describe here...this motherly emotion that is deep within my heart; a pure love and happiness for what and who I am to this baby. I feel such gratitude that I get to be this angel's mommy.
I catch myself smiling in the dark a lot.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Apple Brains

We needed some new music to jam out to around here, so I checked out the kids CD section at the public library to see if there was anything cool. And this is what we took home:

And it was exactly what we needed! The music immediately reminded me of some of my favorite ska bands from the 90's. Picture in your mind Skankin Pickle meets Sesame Street meets Weird Al, and you've got this high-energy, educational, and wildly funny mix of rhythms that we've been dancing (and jumping) around to all week! The songs are about healthy living, eating your fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, and getting exercise! However, it isn't annoying or preachy like a lot of other kids music I've heard. The lyrics are smart and the music is just plain fun.
Check out their Apple Brains website here: Apple Brains
Listen to a sample on Youtube here! This is one of my favorites from the album--
Apple x3. As we "jump around the room" playing musical chairs, we can't help but get hungry for---apples!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Lost Toy


I just remembered that there was this service auction being held at our church tonight and I wanted to go! I got the reminder in my inbox yesterday morning telling me it was my last chance to donate a service before the deadline was up that evening.  The notice said they'd be having a big dinner, then auctioning off the services people have donated. I've actually known about it for over a month and I was excited to participate and even fantasized about doing something awesome, like donating fresh loaves of my honey-whole-wheat bread or one of my seashell angel ornaments. But now that it's actually happening, I'm feeling guilty pangs of remorse realizing that I haven't done a darn thing!

It's instances like this service auction where I really want to be a part of something special but I can't. I want to give generously of my time and talents and feel a big self-satisfying boost of  appreciation for who I am as a person, but in reality, I just can't do it. It's hard to feel like myself right now when I have a 3 month old baby who is taking up every bit of energy I have!  I am up several times a night feeding him and then carrying him close to me throughout the day. I love his cute squishiness to pieces and spend much of my energy planting big kisses all over his chubby cheeks! Then, I seem to have just enough energy leftover to also feed, entertain, and love-on my other two wonderful children, but sometimes not. I realized that I am more busy and overwhelmed than I thought I would be with three children and wasn't expecting it to be so tiring! 
This afternoon I tried to feel more optimistic about  participating in the auction, and reasoned that  I could try really, really hard to squeeze in some time to bake bread, then realized I was out of flour. And well, I just didn't feel like I could squeeze in lugging all 3 kids to the grocery store with the snow falling, the baby hungry, and the ongoing possibility of someone having at least one shoe missing before we went! It was too much for me to consider!

So instead, I took my kids swimming! My favorite thing to do with my older two boys right now is go swimming at our new apartment pool. We try to go almost every other day while the baby takes his big, morning nap in the stroller. I park him carefully by the poolside lounge chairs while we  play games and kick around for hours in the shallow end. I forgot how much I love swimming! I grew up in Hawaii where I could swim every single day if I wanted! Swimming became a way to relax and rejuvenate my soul. After a hard day at work or school I could always count on jumping in the ocean, moving my limbs freely, and gliding blissfully through the water while removing any last lingering bits of stress from my mind. Swimming was always a healthy, happy escape for me when life seemed to ask for too much. But now that I live in the snowy mountains,  raising a family with my mountian-man husband, I have to settle for wading in the shallow end of the pool while my five year old jumps onto my back yelling,"Ride em' dolphin, ride! Go, mommy, go! Now go faster!"

I decided not to attend the service auction at my church tonight, and instead cooked a spaghetti dinner at  home for my family.  I  pictured all the delicious food, chattering friends, and fun services being auctioned off and felt left out for not going and even a little guilty for not trying harder to do something about it. I looked around at my husband and kids and saw a boring meal, a messy house, piles of dirty dishes, and a woman who needed some time for herself, but didn't know how.
At that moment I also remembered that we had left my sons favorite toy at the pool. Since my husband was holding the baby, and the kids were busily playing a game on the carpet, I slipped out by myself to go grab the toy. I glanced up to see that the stars were out, and the apartments were all dark and quiet. It seemed everyone was either turned in for the evening or out on the town. Either way, It was a nice, peaceful, 3 minute stroll to the pool alone. When I got there I looked for the toy but it wasn't there. I was turning to leave and walk back home when suddenly the shiny glimmer of the stars on the pool's surface caught my eye. It looked so lovely and inviting. I thought how nice it would be to swim right now in that warm, heated pool, all by myself, under the starlight.

But, I quickly pushed that thought away. I thought instead that I needed to get back to my messy house, and the piles of dishes, and of course be back to help put our children into bed. Everyone would need my help before too long-- It was only a matter of minutes before someone noticed I was missing!
As I headed onto  the dark pathway back home, feelings of negative resentment for my family crept into my heart. I started feeling like I never have time for myself and they couldn't care less how exhausted I was. Then the reality of having 3 children to constantly care for was hitting me as fast as that warm, inviting pool started to disappear into the distance behind me. I felt tears well up in my eyes, feeling part pity for myself, and part guilt for feeling pity for myself. It was a mess of emotions! I couldn't stop thinking about how I wished I could feel like myself somehow, and not some overworked, worn out mom, who had to miss out on fun service auctions.

Then suddenly, I just stopped thinking, and started running back towards the pool.
I reached the edge within seconds and with one, big, cannonball leap, I was instantly jumping feet first into the pool, with all my clothes on.
"Woooohooooooooo!," I yelled at the top of my lungs! My smile felt as big as the Universe!
I swam around for several minutes, moving my limbs freely, and gliding blissfully through the water while removing any last lingering bits of stress from my mind. I found myself floating on the surface, looking up at those shiny glimmering stars that had called to me. It was so refreshing, so relaxing, so rejuvenating and so......me! All those feelings of resentment, guilt, and longing seemed to sink away to the bottom of the pool. I didn't care anymore about my messy house, my dirty dishes, or my obvious inability to bake bread for some silly auction! I only felt happy to be alive, happy to be a mommy, and happy to get home to my amazing kids!

When I got home I was still soaking wet. I quietly opened the front door and snuck back into the bedroom to change while my family was still happily engaged with their game in the living room. (I didn't feel like explaining to my 5 and 3 year old why mommy was drenched in pool water.) I heard my husband yell down the hall, "So, did you find the toy?" "Nope. It was gone", I replied, having completely forgotten why I went to the pool in the first place!  However, I decided that my son would be okay without his toy, for more importnatly, his mommy found a little piece of herself tonight.  It was definitely something we all needed. In fact, I plan on making more trips to the pool, not as "mommy the ride-able dolphin," but as me, the woman who loves to swim.
I

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jonah Baby, Blessed

Baby Jonah was blessed last Sunday, a special Priesthood blessing from his father. It was a very beautiful blessing. No fancy clothes, no big luncheon, no family from out of town--just a few close friends and a congregation we don't really know. But the main focus was the blessing, and sweet baby Jonah.
Micah and I have made a point to record each of our boy's blessings. I then take it home, and listen to it, and type it out on paper for them to read when they grow up.
Here's baby Jonah after we got home. He has that same expression most of the time.

Some of our good friends were visiting in town and came to the blessing, then came over for chow afterwards. It was nice to have them here! Thanks for coming friendsies!
(we timed this picture, can you tell??)

Mama and Micah, by Zadok

Every once in a while our 4 yr old gets excited about drawing something on paper. It doesn't happen very often, so, of course I save it and treasure it forever. (he's pure kinesthetic learner, this one) About 7 months ago he sat down and drew "Mama and Micah". That was the first and last time time he drew people.... I love it! Can you guess who is who?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Grocery Shopping with Kids...sucks

I hate it. Last night before bed I could feel myself starting to panic, as I envisioned the following mornings trip to the grocery market. I tried to time it perfectly so the baby would be sleeping, the boys would have energy, and everyone would have a happy experience. But, the universe was against me today. Can you relate?

Immediately as we walk in, 2 yr old wants to get out of the cart and help push the cart. Sounds okay to me, but then 4 yr old wants to help push the cart. Then fighting breaks out because pushing the cart together is not okay with them, so I say no one can push the cart. More whining, and complaining. Then 4 yr old wants to help put groceries in the cart, then 2 yr old wants to help put groceries in the cart--only they want to put the same groceries in the cart-more fighting, and more whining. Then 2 yr old wants to hold onto the side of the cart. Then the cart nearly tips over, and 2 yr old is crying, unhurt, thank goodness. Then I put 2 yr old back into the cart. Then baby wakes up and isn't happy in his Mei-tei, so I curse myself for not bringing a front-facing wrap. Then I wonder why I don't own a car seat for shopping trips such as this one. Although I know he wouldn't be happy in there, either. Now I am holding baby under one arm meanwhile trying to find everything on our list. Then 2 yr old wants back out of the cart. Then older boys decide to run and scream up and down the aisles, which comes with a disgruntled head-shake from the old lady in the wheel chair. Then 2 yr old suddenly has to go pee, so we rush to the bathroom, which is all the way in the back of the store. It's filthy, the toilet seat is covered in urine. So,with baby under one arm and 2 yr old under the other, I lift 2 yr old over the toilet to pee so he won't touch anything. Pee goes everywhere, thus contributing to the mess. We get out of there as fast as possible and continue with our list, only now 4 yr old is upset because he says I didn't feed him enough breakfast and he's starving. "Like really starving," he says. So I tell him he has to wait, but 10 minutes pass and he's still upset because he's starving. So I open a pack of unpaid granola bars, which I hate doing, and makes me feel so white trashy.
Now we can keep going, stomachs fuller, back to finishing our list. Except my arm hurts because baby is 15 lbs and I am still holding him under my arm, except now he starts to get hungry so he's fussing, too, which gives me anxiety. And I'd like to stop and feed him, but hanging out in the store for 20 mins, with two wild boys on the loose doesn't sound like a good idea. We finally get all our items and make it to the line. The boys are now spinning the plastic bag holder around in circles while I frantically throw groceries onto the conveyer belt. We're almost out of there when I hear the cashier say, "Didn't you know this is no longer a WIC item?" which means we have to wait while the bagger goes back into the aisles to find my correct tortillas. Meanwhile there is a long line forming, with disgruntled shoppers glancing impatiently at their watches.We finally drive home as fast as possible, so I can get into the house and feed our fussy, hungry baby. I can't carry all the groceries into the house because our apartment is a 2 minute walk from the parking lot, and up one flight of stairs. So, I carry a few bags and promise to come back when I can. I finally get in the house, feed the baby, change his diaper, put a movie on for the boys and start lunch. Then an hour 1/2 later I realize I still have to retrieve the other half of the groceries in the car--my milk, frozen juice, and hot dogs have just been sitting out there, hopefully not rotting. So, I run out there as quickly as possible, leaving all 3 kids in the house--hoping that 2 yr old doesn't accidentally hurt the baby, for the 4 minutes I'm outside. I get back inside, put away groceries, take an advil for my new migraine, sit down, and take a breather. Then I remember I forgot to buy the pumpkin puree for the pumpkin cookies I promised we'd make today. ugh!

Summary: I realize there are many preventable measures I could've taken, and good-parenting tools I should have practiced today--but sometimes It seems like no matter what I do, grocery shopping is a challenge.
I guess I just feel like saying,
Life was a lot easier when I could grab a sandwich at Subway and call it good.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Littlest brother


Really excited about these days:
sleeping next to Mom
cooing, cooing, more cooing
when biggest brother makes him smile
when middle brother gives him (gentle)kisses
when Papa holds him and practices him standing up
milkies
being blessed at church last Sunday

also likes:

being carried and worn while sleeping
taking baths with Mom
silly songs and faces
being cute
cloth diapers

dislikes:

having a stuffed up nose
when Mom eats dairy foods
waiting while Mom is tending to older brothers
forceful milk ejection

for Halloween:
unsure

Middle brother


Really excited about these days:
cutting up construction paper and making "crafties"
feeding ducks and geese
kissing his baby brother
checking out DVD's from the library
opening the mail with the mail key
playing on the steps in the pool
going to the zoo

also likes:

noodles in any form
chewing gum
high 5's
jumping off of high things
picking out his own noodles at the store
swinging at the park
the color orange
balloons

dislikes:

when his blanket comes off his feet at night
twisted car seat straps
getting his feet stuck in one side of his pants
when no one is listening to him

for Halloween:

Wants to be a bad guy! from Star "Wears"!!

Biggest brother


Really excited about these days:
feeding ducks and geese
chasing Pigeons
Learning to swim
computer and video games (mainly Bugdom)
bike rides with Micah
going to the Zoo
exploring Salt lake Valley
sleeping in his own bed, in his own room

also Likes:

waffles covered in syrup and yoghurt
ice-cream--mainly Vanilla
playing rough
teaching Odin how to play rough
Star Wars and Spiderman--mainly acting out the characters.
being my pet Monkey who escaped from the zoo
one-on-one play-time with either parent

dislikes:

vegetables
grocery shopping with Mom
being away from his parents
when no one is playing with him.

for Halloween:

Wants to be a Dalmatian puppy that wears a spy mask.

riding the train downtown.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blend

It would be so easy to just blend in, to be anonymous, to fade into the world without a care.

Sometimes I wonder what life would be like to just happily bounce around. You could wake up each day and say,"Eat drink, and be merry, what happens...happens."

But, you can't be anonymous in this life. When you believe in things, things that you know are truth, then life is a constant effort.

You have to wake up each day and stay focused, teach your children, be consistent, find solutions, defend yourself, look further, search more, study more, pray more, and continue on a path of belief that seems bigger than you are.

But, I wouldn't have it any other way.
At the end of each day there is purpose, and peace.

You can't have that if you just blend in.

Monday, October 11, 2010

15 minute Pizza crust

My friend Rebekah shared this recipe with us 2 years ago, and I love it! It's quick, easy, and yummy. Good enough for me. Sometimes I panic when I think it's lost, so I decided to permanently store it on internet land. here it is, click to enlarge.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Love you

I love Micah more than he knows. Maybe he needs a reminder: I LOVE you Micah!
Thanks for being so darn intelligent. Thanks for going to work each day so I can stay home with our kids. Thanks for providing us with all the necessities of life. Thanks for being the best Father these kids could ask for. (They adore you more than anything!) Thanks for doing all the hard things that I don't know how to do. Thanks for being the strong center of our home. Thanks for making beautiful babies. Thanks for loving me back, with all my quirks and weaknesses. Thanks for being so handsome. Thanks for making me smile. Thanks for being you. I LOVE you.



Photos Courtesy of Life Illustrated Photography

(I just finally got to looking at our pregnancy photos we took this past May. They are a nice memory of carrying baby Jonah and smiling with the man I love)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hilo to Portland to who knows where.......

We've been putting a lot of consideration into where our next move will be, and Hilo, HI has been on our list. Other places of interest are Portland, OR, and moving back to good old Cedar City, UT.
If you asked me where I would want to live for the rest of my life I would hands-down vote for a beautiful, beachfront property in Mokuleia, Oahu. If you haven't stepped onto the secluded beaches of Mokuleia, then imagine the most perfect, peaceful paradise, surrounded by crystal clear water, swaying palm trees, awesome surf, laid back people. I love it there. In fact, I love so many things about where I grew up. To me, the North Shore is home. All of my wonderful memories of Hawaii exist solely on the island Of Oahu, where I found a connection and love for the ocean that will stay with me forever. But, the housing market has risen so much over the years, that living on the North Shore isn't possible for us. It's too expensive--like a million dollars too expensive.

So, we looked towards the outer islands and found that Hilo is still affordable--we could buy a house and property in Hilo, which is what we want for our family. So, why not move to Hilo? It's Hawaii, right?
But, as I've been pondering and praying over this, I came to realize--it's not my Hawaii, and It's not my home. When I think of moving back to Hawaii, I don't think I could live anywhere else besides the North Shore of Oahu. And this may seem like crazy thinking, but why settle for somewhere that your not sure you'd like, when you know you could be happy in say...Portland, OR. Or what about going back to our beloved Cedar City, UT and settling on our land?

Right now we feel like our next big move we make, well, we want it to be it. I want to buy a house and raise my kids there for the next 100 years. I want to make marks in the walls of how tall they get. I want the security and comfort of a permanent address. I want to plant little, baby trees and watch them grow to be big, adult trees. I want our kids to put their hand prints in the newly-poured cement, and see it there 30 years later. I want a dog and some chickens. I want us to start working towards the goal of buying a home that we will love.

So, although we can't live in Mokuleia, a huge part of me wants to linger on the possibility of moving to Hilo, because I'm just not ready to completely let go of Hawaii! I think of all the awesome things I love about Hawaii--the ocean, the surf, the marine life, the rain forests, the bonfires, the laid back and diverse culture, the smell of the Plumerias blooming in Spring, teaching my boys how to surf......and I want that life. But I don't want Hilo.
So we've been looking into moving to Portland, which we both know we love. It's a beautiful place and I think we could be really happy there. And we could be happy in Cedar City, but who knows when there will be a job opening there for Micah.

Sometimes I just want someone to jump out of the bushes and tell us where we'd be happiest living; where our dreams are actually lying, waiting for us.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cloth diapering system

It's really a relief when you find a cloth diapering system that works for you! With all the modern cloth diapering options, it's sometimes overwhelming to find the right match for your lifestyle. For the past two kids we used pocket diapers, until they were potty trained. We really liked how easy it was to wash the diapers, and care for them. But, after 2 kids, and loads of washing, drying, and pooping, they got old and worn out. So, this time we decided to try something new. Afterall, parenting is an adventure right?
Here's our new system, and we really like it!

So, we take our basic Chinese pre-fold diaper, and instead of the old-fashioned safety pins, we use the snappis. They are these plastic rubber thingies with teeth that grab hold of the cloth and keep it in place.


Then we put on a some Dappi vinyl pants to keep everything waterproof.


Viola--a chunky, cloth diapered baby!


We really like using these diapers! It's kind of like an art project every time, as we come up with new ways to fold the pre-fold inside the vinyl. Also, it saves so much money!
This diapering system cost us:
2 snappis $8
12 prefolds: 12.50 (need to buy more so we're not washing every day)
6 vinyl pants: $8

Not to mention, baby hasn't had that nasty, red rash around his legs or groin area, which he developed from wearing disposables the first 6 weeks. And lets not forget that Mama Earth has less non-degradable plastic and fecal waste in her landfills now.
Happy diapering!!