This is a shout-out to my son:
Happy 8th Birthday, Bud!!!!!
This morning I woke him up tickeling his back and singing the birthday song. He just laughed and said: Mom, I'm so glad I have you and daddy as my parents!
My heart melted!
He put on his new "Lucky and Charming" t-shirt, and said: "Wow. I look really good!"
If I only ever have one child, I am glad it is you, Bud. You make me laugh, smile, and remember how fun life can be!
That staph infection after the c-section 8 years ago was totally worth it!!!!! hee hee hee
Friday, February 27, 2009
Posted by Erin at 9:33 AM
Thursday, February 26, 2009
What better way to spend an evening?
Last night my husband and I went out to dinner. It was such a nice evening- my son was swimming with friends so we took the opportunity to sneak in a quick date. As we sat down to eat, a cute little mariachi band began playing. We sipped virgin margaritas and ate yummy mexican food and enjoyed a rare moment together.
When we got home, my poor dog was clearly in discomfort. He was walking with his tail between his legs and hanging his head down. I immediately figured out he was severely constipated.
So, how did I spend the rest of my evening?
Well..... trying to help clear out the dog, of course.
What a lovely ending to a lovely night!
*incidentally, I was unsuccessful. He's still very uncomfortable this morning. Any ideas, anyone?
Posted by Erin at 9:04 AM
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Every once in a while, as a parent, you are blindsided with a situation in which you have to make a decision for the good of your child, and you have NO FREAKING IDEA what to do.
Yesterday was that day.
My son was up during the night complaining of a tummy ache. I finally got him back to sleep (albeit on the couch with me beside him at his insistance) around 2:00 AM. I went in to wake him up for school the next morning and to assess his situation.
I knew he was feeling a little better, so I told him to go get dressed, and he had a total melt down, but got dressed. Then, when I told him to get his shoes on he fell apart again. I realized he was probably feeling very sleep-deprived, and was hessitant to send him to school, but I also didn't want him to think he could just stay home whenever he felt tired.
Finally, I said: "Ok. You have a choice: Either you can go to school and try your best, or you can stay home and be sick. HOWEVER: if you stay home, you don't get to play video games OR play with friends, and you have to stay in bed all day because you're sick. You don't just get to play. Understand?"
He thought for a minute, then finally decided he was sick enough to stay home.
Around 10:30 AM, he was bouncing off the walls and wanted to play video games. He was whining about how he gets to play video games when he's sick on other days, but why not today? I asked how he was feeling and he said fine. Just as I thought.
Now it was time to teach a lesson. "No. you can't play video games, you chose to have a sick day today, so you spend it in bed."
He begged me to send him back to school so he could play with friends later, but I stood firm. I said he knew the choice he was making that morning. The consequence is that he doesn't get to play with friends when he stays home sick from school- whether he's really sick or not. I wanted him to learn that he can't just sleep in when he's tired, claim he's sick, and then go to school whenever he gets up.
The day was torture for him... it was even more torture for me! But I think the lesson was learned. He will think twice before staying home again when he's not really sick.
I'm glad that hurdle is crossed- what next?!
Posted by Erin at 9:28 AM
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Yesterday I confronted one of my biggest deamons in a very long time.
I can't believe I'm actually posting about this---- it's incredibly personal.
Yet, here I am facing up to it- head on.
It was huge. It was ginormous.
It was a road I haven't been down for probably 25 years, at least!
I was trembling when I did it. My first reaction was to run screaming in the other direction, but with a 7 year old and a 5 year old standing by, and my husband looking on, I didn't think it would be a good example.
When my husband said, "Hey- let's play kickball," my heart immediately stopped. "Kicksoccer" as I have always called it, is my one biggest shame from my childhood. It was my greatest fear when I was young, and I still have nightmares about it. Yet, when faced with the decision to face my fear once again and play kicksoccer, or smash it deep down into the nether-regions of my psyche only to be tormented forever more, and with shaking legs and dry mouth notwithstanding, I face my fear.
Visions of me swinging my leg to kick the ball only to find it missing it entirely and finding myself suddenly airborn and landing flat on my tush came flooding into my mind as my husband reared his arm back to pitch me the ball. I closed my eyes inadvertantly as I watched the ball roll toward me. Time slowed as horrible memories raced through my mind of my short legs running as quickly as they could while the fast boys raced to get me out- succeeding every time- then seeing the dissappointed looks on my team's faces as I hung my head and returned to the back of the line.
Sweat beaded on my brow as I swung my leg back to try just one more time to kick the ball- hoping that in my adulthood I have acquired some semblence of coordination I didn't have when I was 10. My pulse quickened. Thump. Thump. Thump. Th......
My heart stopped. I brought my foot forward and kicked as hard as I could. Everything went silent. I opened my eyes to see if the world had completely stopped. Instead, I saw a red orb flying through the air and my husband running as fast as he could to catch the ball. I stood there in awe. I had actually hit it! It took me a minute to realize I needed to run to the base. I ran as fast as my short legs would go, all the while watching that red ball roll further and further away.
My feet touched first and kept going to second, then to third. I saw the ball flying toward me, but playing against a 5 and a 7 year old gave me an advantage I'd never had before. I was actually better at this game than they were! I raised my hands triumphantly in the air as I made it to home base. My first ever home run in kicksoccer!
I've decided I will always play with little kids, from now on. It makes me feel better about myself! I have crossed a new milestone. I have kicked the ball and succeeded! No more bad dreams of falling on my rear end. It's a new day, and I'm a new woman!
Anyone have any little kids they want to lend me for a game of kicksoccer?
Posted by Erin at 8:49 PM
Friday, February 20, 2009
I never thought I'd be one to say this, but I am glad for the company of women in my life. Not just my mom and sister, who are my best friends in the world, and whom I know I could never do without. I am talking about women in my church, or my neighborhood who edify my life and give me other things to think about, new ways of looking at things, and who lift me up.
Last Sunday I was able to listen to 4 women in my church talk about their lives and their testimonies of the gospel, and how it has brought them strength in their lives. It was fascinating to me to hear the many different stories of their trials and struggles. It helped me to see that there is so much more to a person that we don't see beneath the surface, and though it may be easy for us to judge someone, there is so much more to the story.
I was strengthened in my own life by listening to these women. One talked about how she had never wanted to have children, but finally came to the realization that it was the most important thing she could do in her life- more than career, or money, or prestige- anything. I really admire her choice,and adore her little boy! I, too, struggled with having a career. I wanted to be an opera singer and travel all over performing. I got married and had a kid, instead. I know that leaving my family to persue my dreams of singing isn't what is the best thing- that I need to be here for my family and teach the gospel and good values in my home. I can't do that if I'm singing in some grand opera house across the country, or spending all my time at rehearsals. It helped to remind me that, while my job as a mom and housewife isn't glamourous or financially profitable, I am making the right choice, and my son will be better for it.
Today I was able to eat breakfast with another good friend. She is several years older than me, but I feel a connection to her, and we always have so much to talk about when we get together. I am fascinated with her passion for life and all things beautiful. Her maturity teaches me and helps me with things I may be struggling with. I am glad I have allowed myself to open up to her and let her into my life.
I am one to close off and not let people inside. I don't want to be misjudged, or misunderstood by people, as so often has been the case, so it is just easier to keep people at a distance. However, I am learning that I can miss out on a lot of growth if I do this. I've already missed out on many friendships I should have nurtured through the years for fear of being hurt. I will try harder to get to know these women in my life better. They may only be in my life for a short time, or maybe a friendship can last for years, but I won't know if I don't try.
Posted by Erin at 11:26 AM
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
What I loved this weekend:
My husband brought me my favorite treat in the world, (an eclaire!) and a very sweet card for Valentine's Day! And there wasn't an eye-roll in sight! Wooo Hoooooo!!!!!
My son made me the cutest note with a picture. It said "Valentine's Day is the perfect time to go camping." with a picture of us around a campfire in red glitter. It is sooo cute.
I enjoyed a very romantic candle light dinner complete with steak and sauteed mushrooms, butterflied shrimp, asparagus with lemon, tossed italian salad, and chocolate dipped strawberries with sparkeling pear juice, and Nat King Cole singing in the background- Valentine's dinner with my husband and son. It's our new Valentine's tradition.
I learned some wonderful things about some amazing women in my ward (church) that I didn't know before. I wish life was such that we could have deep discussions with people more frequently. I love learning from others' lives and experiences!
I got to go to my mom's Sunday night, and visited my in-laws, too. It was a very nice visit.
I played Hide and Seek with my son and my neices. I haven't played that in years and years! My little neice was so brave, we hid in a pitch black closet with the dog- whom she is deathly afraid of- for about 20 minutes while the kids looked for us. She didn't make a peep, and ended up becoming best friends with the dog! (the dog was perfectly silent, too. Well, except for the panting and drooling on my bare feet!)
I get to have one more day with my son before he has to go back to school tomorrow. I think maybe we'll go to the movies!
Posted by Erin at 10:19 AM
Friday, February 13, 2009
Here it comes... the time of year I love and hate all at the same time.
Yes- Valentine's Day.
As a child growing up, I adored this holiday. (If you can call it that. Some think true holidays are those you actually get off of school and work, and my husband swears that it isn't a holiday just because the greeting card companies say it is, but that's an argument for later. But I say it's a holiday because people do special things on this particular day, which makes it a holiday.) I loved making my giant envelopes or mail boxes in school and decorating them. (Mine was always the prettiest! hee hee) I loved carefully writing notes on each valentine, being sure to word them just right so the boys I really liked would have some hint that I liked them, and the boys I absolutely couldn't stand would know I wasn't interested in them in any way, but also didn't get their feelings hurt with a mean valentine. These things were very difficult to do!
I loved the buzz in the air on Valentine's Day. We'd come home from school and start getting our valentines ready to take around to our friends. (After getting my own son all excited a few years ago at secretly leaving them on people's doorsteps, knocking, and running away, and explaining how people do it to him, and he has to be sure to try and catch them, and having no one come to our house that night at ALL, I realized this practice was extinct when questioning other parents after the fact, and seeing their raised eyebrows and their "what the heck are you talking about" expressions. Ok, so I'm a little out-dated!) We loved it when it snowed just enough that day to be able to place the valentines on the porch, then wad up a snow ball and throw it at the door so we could have a head start to get away quickly. I always got caught, though. I was never what you would call athletic!
I remember as I got older, especially in High School seminary, we would still carry on the valentine giving tradition. One year, the entire seminary made large heart envelopes and hung them up in the halls of the seminary building. Then, on Valentines day after school we could go and take our hopefully- packed envelopes down and read through all the notes- some anonymous. I remember the excitement I felt when I'd read some like: I think you're very pretty, or You have gorgeous hair, and once I even got one that said "I wish I was brave enough to ask you out". Ya, it made my whole week! (However, sometimes you would wonder who had given you those notes and think, is this someone I WANT liking me? I guess it was good I never really knew who wrote the notes! Better to imagine it was the hot football player in your seminary class with a secret crush on y9u!)
And of course, there's the deciphering of the generic valentine as well. You know, Billy- who you think is sooooo cute, gives you a valentine that says "You're Tops! Be my Valentine!" and you wonder, does he really think I'm tops, like the best? And is he really saying he wants me to be his valentine, or did he just randomly sign his name and plop it into my envelope with no thought as to what it meant? I hated to think someone could be that cavalier with their valentine sentiments when I would spend hours picking the right valentines for each student, but some people have no respect for the holiday.
Having a son of my own, I can see now how little thought was put into valentines given to classmates by boys. I pick up valentines for my son at the store, and he is not usually present when I do this- nor does he care. I bring home Spider Man valentines this year that change the picture as they move, and he says "Cool." Last year I got weird distorted animals with funny eyes and his reaction: "Cool." I think if I'd gotten Hannah Montana valentines his reaction would be the same: "Cool". Last night he scribbled his name on the bottom of each valentine, then addressed them to the students without even bothering to notice if he was sending them to a boy or a girl. I was shocked! "Don't you want to give certain ones to certain girls?" I asked, stunned. "Nah.... it doesn't matter, mom." Is this really how the boys were when I was growing up? It doesn't matter???? All those hours I spent with my girl friends deciphering and decoding what each valentine could possibly mean? Big wake up call for me!
When I was in my dating years, Valentine's day became a little more complicated. If I had a boyfriend at the time, I loved it. Sadly, it seemed that I'd always manage to break up with my boyfriends shortly before the day and would not get anything from a significant other. I spent a lot of valentine's days with my fall-back boyfriends, Ben and Jerry. I looked forward to the day when I would get married and have a permanant valentine. I knew when that happened I could count on special valentines days for the rest of my life! Again, I was very misguided.
My husband is of the opinion that Valentine's day is a day thought up by the greeting card companies to make you spend money. (The greeting card companies capitalize on EVERY holiday- I don't think that means you boycott the day! Make a homemade card, for Heaven's sake!) So, he has made it very clear he dislikes anything and everything to do with Valentine's Day. He says, "I give you flowers at other times of the year, why do I have to do it particularly on Valentine's Day?" or "I don't need the greeting card companies to tell me when so say I love you." Yes, you are technically right there. However, when practically every other woman is getting valentine's on this day from their loved ones, why do you make a point- on this ONE DAY- to NOT do something special????
So, you see why this day is bitter sweet? I still get giddy around this time of year. I love picking out my son's valentines for his clasmates, even if he doesn't give a hoot about it. I love picking out a special toy for my son and making him a great card and having it sitting on the couch when he gets home from school on Valentine's day. I love making a special card and a very fancy dinner for my two guys, and eating by candlelight, with fancy china, on Valentine's night. (Yes, I make dinner for my husband and son. Well, I'm not going to get taken out anywhere, so I might as well let them know how special they are to me- right?) I am never quite sure if I'm going to get flowers, or a card, or chocolates, or anything, although my husband has gotten a bit better. The past few years he has brought me home something, and tried very hard not to roll his eyes while giving it to me. Thank you, honey!
So, my hopes and dreams of sickenly romantic Valentine's days are not to be. I will, however, forever love this holiday, and do all I can for the ones I love to let them know that, on this particular day, I am thinking extra hard about them. Though my views have changed a bit, harsh realities brought to light, the sentiment is still the same.
Happy Valetine's Day!!!!!
Posted by Erin at 9:27 AM
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
There's a reason I did not go into nursing. I SUCK at the bedside!!!! I hate being around sick people. I can't bare to listen to vomiting. I hate the smell of sickness, the sounds, the feel- everything!!!!!
So, here I sit in my house with a sick kid and a sick husband.
I'm loving life!
Posted by Erin at 10:37 AM
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Ok. I have decided that being a funeral director or mortician is definitely not the life for me.
I am SICK of funerals- 2 this week and I am plumb tuckered out of being around people in mourning.
I'm very glad and honored I was asked to sing at them- don't get me wrong! I love to help bring peace to those in grief in the best way that I know how.
It's just, sitting there for 2 hours at a time- and TWICE in a WEEK.....
Just, nobody else that I know die for a while, k?
That'd be great. Thanks.
Posted by Erin at 3:52 PM
Friday, February 6, 2009
I spent my childhood getting "looks". You know, the looks from your parents- you study them, you learn them out of necessity to save yourself a lot of grief and time in your room. I think I got a lot more of those looks from my mom than the average kid.
Look #1: The "You'd better stop that now or I'm going to come down there in front of all these people and spank your bare bottom!" look.
This look was given on Sundays while my mom was up at the organ. We kids had to sit on the 2nd row so she could see us and give us looks if we were being naughty. I don't think she ever actually had to even turn her head to give the look, we just felt it in our bones as she was playing. Her mouth would tense up and her eyes would narrow, and we would know we were in trouble. It usually came with a snap and a pointed finger. Sometimes we'd just get the snap and finger and we'd know the look was coming. I'm pretty sure I was usually the cause of this look.
Look #2: the "you're about one sassy remark away from spending the rest of your life in time out" look.
This look was usually given when I was being particularly sassy. Again, the lips would tense up and the eyes would narrow, but this look was markedly different. It wouldn't be obvious to the average person- you'd have to be my mom's child to know what was coming. She had this amazing ability to fill you with a sense of complete terror and dread through this look. Some kind of subliminal text messaging that said: You'd better tuck your tail between your legs and start running. It didn't require any physical actions whatsoever- just giving the look said it all.
Look #2: the "you've hurt my feelings so bad I'm not sure you are even my real child. No real flesh and blood of mine would ever even think of doing such a heartless thing" look.
Yes, this look was all about the guilt. No pursed lips- no narrowed eyes- not even a finger snap. This look was a shocked, unbelieving look. I usually got this look when I said something really rude, or was super sassy. (yes, I got it often!) It made my spleen shrivel up inside of me from humiliation. It struck you to the core with the realization that you had wounded your own mother in such an unforgivable way that you were sure that this time she might actually sell you to the gypsies she had threatened would take you so often in your childhood.
I think this look was the greatest look of them all- it invoked sorrow, regret, humiliation, fear, and guilt all at once! This was the mother of all looks, and I have practiced it over and over and over again. I just can't do it. I thought this look would naturally come with being a mother, but it doesn't. I've tried to get my mom to teach it to me, but she feigns innocence, claiming she never gave me a "look". (I know deep down she KNOWS what she did and is punishing me for all the grief I gave her.)
I guess I'll have to figure the "look" out for myself. So far, I've only been successful at making my son ask me if I'm feeling ok. Obviously not the "look" I'm going for!
I dreamed last night that I had mastered the "look". It was glorious. Masses would fall at my feet and fear and tremble when I gave it. My son wouldn't dare to even open his mouth unless it was to say "What can I do for you, dear mother?" I was a pro!
And I looked just like my mom!
Posted by Erin at 9:12 AM
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
"You'd better hurry, you've been playing for a half hour when you should have been getting dressed! You're going to be late-"
(my kid, sitting on his floor- stark naked- playing with Star Wars action figures.)
"Well, Mom, It's not my fault. I got side-tracted."
"No, it IS your fault, you allowed yourself to be sidetracked."
"No, Mom. When a kid gets side-tracted it means they didn't choose to play with their toys, it just happens."
(he always talks to me like I'm a kid and I don't understand these things!)
"Look, Bud... you are going to be 8 in a few weeks. This means you are old enough to be accountable for your actions. This means that you are able to choose whether you play with your toys before you get dressed and make yourself late, or whether you hurry and get dressed so you can play with your toys after."
"Well then, see? It wasn't my fault I got side-tracted because I'm not 8 yet!"
Posted by Erin at 9:33 AM
Monday, February 2, 2009
Here are some things that are running through my mind today. It helps to put it in writing to remind myself just how psychotic I really am- that it isn't just in my head!
Why can't the clothes make it into the basket? They lay there 1 foot away from the basket, but no one but me can see that all would be better if they were actually IN the basket.
The dog just stands there and stares and stares and stares at me. WHat do you want, dog? I've given you a treat, put food in your bowl, let you outside- WHAT NOW??!!!
What sick, twisted mind would desire to go out into this horrid cold weather and run- from nothing... just run????
A dishwasher would solve all my problems. All of them. Every single one!
I love the idea of eating fruit, just not the practice. I buy oranges and they sit on my counter, uneaten. I love their smell, their color- I just can't bring myself to eat them.
Why on EARTH did I buy a California King bed??? I can NEVER find sheets on sale for it, and a discounted comforter is just out of the question!
I dreamed I was going to Disneyland last night. I woke up in my Cal-King bed with the harsh reality that I wasn't at a Disney resort, and I was going to have to do dishes today.
I woke up this morning with great hair, though. It's seldom I wake up and hardly have to do a thing to my hair! At least I will look fabulous while I do dishes without a dishwasher while being stared down by my freaky dog, while not going to Disney Land, while picking up stray laundry before getting on the treadmill to run away from nothing!
Posted by Erin at 10:13 AM