Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

A Party Rock Anthem Halloween?



Friday, October 28, 2011

My Parenting

I'm not quite sure that other people mess with their kids like I do.

Like the time Josie told me she couldn't fly--and I told her to try harder. And then laughed and laughed to myself watching her try.

This morning we dropped off my oldest at the new school. On the way there I let the youngest girl sit in the front. And #2 girl was upset by that. "It wasn't fair!" So she was crying. Not a real cry a whining fake-pushed sort of cry. THAT DRIVES ME CRAZY. It old her if she didn't whine I would let her sit in the front on the way home. She chose whining.

So when she tried to crawl in the front I reminder her of my offer and that she chose to whine therefore--she sits in the back.

So the exact cry/whine-forced emotion started on level 10. It drives me beyond bonkers.

So I asked her "Do you know how to get home from here?" "Do you have a plan for how to get home when I drop you off on the sidewalk?"

And we discussed her plan. I suggested she walk straight for miles and miles. I checked to make sure she knew our names, phone number and address. Then I said, "Ok. good". "Now what are you going to do if you don't know the way?" I suggested she walk straight until she sees the blue domino Pizza building then cross the street and walk until she sees 24th street.

She asked in a small scared whimper, "How do I know it's 24th street?" --I answer, "The big green sign will tell you"

I suggested she had the option to walk into a store and tell the store clerk that she was lost and to call the police.

"What if I go in the street and get ran over? You WANT me to get ran over" he said a little crackly voiced from her holding back tears. "No I don't. So just make sure to stay on the sidewalk." I'm not giving that kid an inch.

Little sister was concerned about stranger safety, "I have a card that says don't talk to strangers. I don't want her to talk to strangers." So I give a little speech on stranger safety and assure them that a store worker would probably be the best bet.

And her whining has stopped. It might be on account of her being curled up in a ball, slightly rocking, with her head tucked in, arms around her knees and fear written all over her face that has made her silent.

And then we pull on to our street. And then into the garage. And she darts out--with a whimpering cry and the sniffles.

I should write a parenting book. It'd be a best seller. I'm sure of it ;)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Barefoot Kid

The big Question:

So how did it go?

The Answer:


She loves it. And I love it. I never realized how much I was affected by her school--and her being at her school.

I have always been a "suck it up and deal with it" sort of person. And the older I get--the more that is softening. I put her in Franklin--which is a back to basics school--because I wanted her to get a good education and I thought I could supplement with the arts and other sort of enrichment activities at home. Besides, kids in China have to do way more school work-- 6 days a week-so what are these sissy American kids whining about?

For anyone not familiar with Franklin philosophy--it is a no nonsense sort of school. It starts with phonics (which I love) and accelerates their learning in all areas. So kids are doing school work a year ahead of their peers. You know, 4th graders are doing 5th grade work and so and so forth. They drill math skills and just stick to the basics. The kids have art once a week which is done by their teacher, so they do have it. They have music class. So it's not like they don't have anything.

They have four class parties a year--one for season. But that's about it. No dressing up for anything, no red ribbon week with pajama day. Nothing. They also have a strict dress code where the kids have to wear pants, girls can wear skirts to their knees--but absolutely no shorts or even capris. No show and tell or anything of that sort. The have a stack of homework. It's all business. And I always thought I was an all business sort of person.

Turns out I'm not.

We changed schools at the perfect time. Her first day of school she went to Art class with and art teacher and they did oil colors. Hale is having red ribbon week. And they are doing different things. Wednesday was hat day, today was pajama day, and tomorrow is crazy socks day. Annabelle is over the moon about that--and she got to wear shorts on her first day of school. She wasn't nervous at all, and when I picked her up she had a HUGE smile on her face. She loved her first day and had a new friend with her the whole time. And as I was driving her to school the next day she said "I LOVE my new school. I didn't like Franklin. It was ok--I didn't NOT like it, it's just that now I WANT to go to school."

AUUUHHHH (that was the angels singing a chorus) .

That is exactly what I wanted for her--just to love it. She gets home earlier than the other kids because she starts earlier. She doesn't have much homework, which is actually hard for me to grasp. Franklin has homework starting with Kindergarten and it increases each year. I always thought it was necessary for a good education--but apparently it isn't. The school she is at now has good scores--not as great as Franklin--but still at excelling level. So she gets home and does the homework she does have and then she just smiles and bops around the house. She helped me make dinner and was so excited to do it.

I dropped her off this morning and then I had to drop my other kids off who are still at Franklin. And it was such a dramatic difference. When Annabelle got out the lady standing there said, "Good morning sweetie". And then when I pulled up to Franklin I looked at the lady standing at parent drop off and she was scowling. It's just a different feel. As I drove away I felt so happy. So happy that she is now happy--when she didn't even know she wasn't.

Because she's a barefoot kid. She is a barefoot kid who was in a laced up boots school--and now she's at a slip on sneaker school. Still snug, just more colorful and comfortable. And she's loving it.

I'm not naive enough to think that she'll be this excited forever. But I do think she'll be happier. How do I know?

Because when I dropped her off at her new school this morning--the principal was out front at unloading--and she was in her PJ's.

Monday, October 24, 2011

All butterflies

I did it! I pulled my 4th grader from Franklin. She's going to Hale.


That's fast, and I feel a bit uneasy about it.

But it's not because of where she's going, it's because I have to run kids at two schools. That's going to be crazy.

And I only know one person at the new school. But one is better than none, and it's a good start.

When I told her she was switching schools she said, REally!?? When!?? Not, NOOO or, :(

She even asked if she could start today. So I'm not so worried about how she'll do. She's a confident kid. (And also she has a cool lunch box.)

So if you know anyone with a 4th grader at Hale--tell them to be nice to the new girl.

And the thing she's most excited about .. . . wearing shorts!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hale Elementary

I am interrupting your regular scheduled programming for this important announcement:

I am back to the drawing board with schools.

I visited Hale today and LOVED it.

So I was wondering what do any of you know about Hale?

Anyone have a friend who goes there?? I need some feedback.

It seems to be realistically what I want in a school and it's not too far away!:)

I have heard that some people have pulled their kids from Franklin and put them at Hale--do any of you know any of them?

or ANY parents?

Give me anything you have! Please. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Why

Part 1

I was standing at the gas station, putting gas in my car, and I was crying. Just crying. Nothing happened, nothing set me off. I was just standing at QT last Tuesday, crying. My friends who know me well enough know that it's not typical. I am pretty steady emotionally. Maybe an occasional weep at that time of the month. So I ran through the checklist in my head . .. pregnant? nope. period? nope. And I got in the car and headed to Home Depot and the tears were still flowing, and increasing to a mild sob. I kept my sunglasses on and went in to buy my Lantana and a new pot for the front porch. I got back in the car and they were gone. But my curiosity as to why they began wasn't. I hadn't felt sad or angry--so why was I crying? That was a week and a half ago. So my day went on as normal and then a light bulb. It's not one thing, it's everything. On my trip I came up with an analogy to explain it. A pitcher can overflow if you leave the faucet on. Or you can keep putting a half a cup of water in at different times and eventually it will overflow. THAT was why. I had a half a cup of responsibility here and half a cup of worry there and a half a cup of tasks to do. And so it goes. My pitcher was spilling over and it wasn't that last half cup it was the culmination of all of them. So I was breaking.

This is the point in which one person reaches for a glass of wine, or another has a good hard sob, or another takes a Xanex. I drive. But not just a little drive. It has to be somewhere I've never been before so my mind becomes at rest--busy with the new and not with the familiar. Problem was--I had responsibilities-- a class I had agreed to teach, a Primary responsibility I was supposed to help with. But I was there overflowing. And at that point I am good to no one. And really at that point--I didn't care. I didn't give one frick as far as giving a frick goes. I have a friend in Spokane who always jokes about me getting away and coming to her house. So I shot her an email--she thought I was joking, or just crazy. I convinced her that I was absolutely serious. I needed to get away--like now. "Come on up". So by this time it's Wednesday and the guilt of dropping responsibility it diggin in my brain sharp like. You see I don't do that well. I've always done what I was supposed to do. I am a rule follower. A plan maker. So as much as I want to pick up and leave--I have the need to set things in order and fulfill commitments. But I knew. If I didn't do this--I would find myself crying for the next weeks and who knows how that might build up. If I am I going to fix this--it must be now--because the kids have the next week of school off. So underneath the sharpness of guilt is actually my balanced self saying--if you don't go and get your version of medication--then it won't go away and QT will stop letting you get gas there because you are freaking out the other customers.

And my husband? He's all for it. He's the spontaneous one. He's the one who comes up with these trips and then I give him a long list of why we can't go. 1) money 2) responsibility 3)1994 Suburban 5) money . . . and it goes on. And he gets it. That is where I'm lucky. Also something that I was reminded of during my 3,000 miles. He is truly my best friend. And he knows that I'm not right. Crying at the gas station--not very me. So Wednesday night he calls and asks for the final word--because he has to let work know he's not showing up next week. He can do that at his work--just tell them that the next week he'll be out of town--that is just how it works there. And there I am faced with my crazy and my need to be responsible. What do I do? What do I do? And I know. I know what needs to happen. "We're doing it". And I cry a little. Because now I have to face the responsibilities. I have to shirk commitments. I don't do that well.

So I open up my email. I send an email to the lady in the Stake--something has come up, I have to go out of town, I can't teach the Photography course. Sorry. I'd love to do it another time if you have need. That wasn't so hard. But I don't know her. Then the second email--to the Primary Presidency that I am in. And I am sobbing. I keep pulling my fingers from the keyboard because I don't know where to start. I feel horrible. I just can't do it--but I have to. I begin. I had a breakdown today. I need to get out of town so I can't help with the activity. I'm SO sorry. I just can't. I'll will set everything up and make sure it's set before I leave. Again--SO sorry. That was hard. And I cry more until I feel better.


One of my best friends/college roommates happens to call for something. And I tell her about the gas station. "Oh yeah, that's weird" she knows. She's me. Another thing that I have been blessed with is a few really good friends that are me. And I tell her about how I feel horrible about dissing responsibilities etc. etc. "You HAVE to go. I did that once too. And I tell you--it will fix everything, you will feel so much better". She gets it. And she's responsible. She's me. She's not a crier. She's me. She is a road tripper. She's me. And she is telling me to go. That is what I needed to hear. That it's not a big deal. Bailing on stuff is not a big deal. Everything will be fine. She's right. You see--I am not that person who wants a hug. I don't want a look of pity--those looks of pity make me want to scratch eyes out. I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT. I want to leave. I want to go away. I want to be left alone. And then I deal. And then I'm good. I get that from my mom. When my mother's mother died, she had us packed and in the car within 30 minutes so that no one would find out and call her. She wanted to be left alone. I get that. I am that.

Some of the Primary Presidency show up at my door step. They don't know me well enough to know to leave me alone. They are concerned. And that is nice of them to care. I can see it on their faces that when I said, "I had a mental breakdown" they thought I meant it in the literal depression commercial on TV kind. I sob and I apologize and they don't understand why a trip to Washington with my kids will fix anything. Because for them it wouldn't. That is not their drug. But for me it is. I try to emphasize to them that I will be fine. They express concern that when I come home I might not be fixed and they hope I face that and get help. "I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy. I know mental health. Hyrum worked in it for years. I'm fine. Don't worry". But I can see it in their eyes. They don't believe me. And they hug me and leave. That was hard. And awkward. But it's over.

Frenzy. Washing clothes, getting out suitcases, a trip to Trader Joes for basic snacks. I have to say one of the funnest things about this is that I didn't have time to plan. Not time for lists no time for overthinking. I make some haphazard piles as I'm folding--but nothing definite. I sit on the floor in my girl's room and start placing things in the suitcases. And the phone ring. It's my sister--"Hey do you still have your sewing machine and do you have multiple colors of thread?" My sister lives 3 hours away--this is a weird question. "Um yeah, why do you ask?" "Because I'll need it for the remodel I'm doing this weekend down at my condo--you are still up for helping right?" . . . . . . . . . . . . It hits me with the force of Thor's Hammer "Oh crap, I forgot--I'm packing to go to Washington" "What are you serious? I told you about this months ago and you said you put it on your calendar" and she did--and I forgot. I feel horrible. BEYOND horrible. I can't go. I just can't. My sister and her husband do EVERYTHING for us. They drive hours just to fix our air conditioning unit, they helped us remodel our house, I'm not kidding--I owe more than I can ever repay. I just can't go. "I forgot! Ok, I'm not going I can't". I give her a small narrative of my breakdown and why I'm going to Washington. "Go, I'll be fine". This is uncharacteristic of my sister. I expected her to be pissed and rightly so. I would have been. And her voice is kind and soft. Exactly what I needed. But I am resolved. "I'm not going. If I go, then I'm a jerk". And she reiterates that it's fine. And we hang up.

So Hyrum wakes up super excited and I break--I am sobbing. I tell him I can't go. I just can't. And I relay my conversation with my sister. And he understands, but he also knows I need to go. Hysterically sobbing and curled up on my bed I tell him to go get the kids from the bus. And I sob, hiccup sob. Because now I'm not going--and I need to go. But I also need to stay--I need to help her. And he gets home and shuts the door to the bedroom and curls up behind me. "I called your sister". WHAT??? "You called her?" He tells me that he called her to explain how horrible I felt and how I wanted to stay and help her. And she insisted that I should go. And that if I tried to stay she would push me out the door and not let me. She tells him that it took her 44 years to have her breakdown and that she is glad I reached mine earlier. And that she understands how I need to go. So I sob more. I love her more than ever.

I jump in the shower. He walks out of the room and I hear him tell the kids about our trip--and they are squealing with excitement. And I tell him that I didn't have time to pack them so he needs to. THATS RIGHT MOMS I left it to the husband. And I didn't care. Because I have no plans. If we make it somewhere and we don't have it--we'll go buy it. I don't care. By now my guilt has washed and I am ready.

Ready for my medication.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Get out the Map


There is an Indigo Girls song that lyrics just fit--

Get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down, we'll leave the figuring to those we pass on the way out of town . . . . I'm gonna clear my head . . .

And that is just what I did.

Off the grid.

Way off

Like over 3,000 miles worth of Road Trip off.

In just over a week.

I'll explain later.

It was Fantastic.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Just like that

I have decided to go off the grid for a while.

So if I don't answer and email or a phone call or if I seem like I'm missing.

It's because I am.

And I'm pretty stoked about it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Do you ever just want to disappear? Start anew? Reinvent yourself somewhere else?

I'm feeling it. I'm a little ho hum with things. I'm just trudging along doing the same ol' same ol'. Which is what everyone does. But every once in a while I want new or different.

I want to take a year of photography, take classes, buy new gear--do new things.

I want to live somewhere else--maybe somewhere that HAS a Fall.

I want to travel. Get lost.

I want to stop thinking about things--like the news.

I want to stop worrying about what my kids may turn out to be.

I want new music.

I want new foods.

I want a new perspective.

I want change.