I could sit here and make a whole bunch of excuses about why I haven't posted in almost a year, but I'm not going to.
What I am going to do is tell you exactly what I believe and feel about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and my God. Because I don't want there to be any question about that. To badly paraphrase Jeffrey R. Holland, when I get to the other side, I don't want there to be any confusion about where I stood.
I know, not through empirical proof, but through the witness that I have felt through the Holy Ghost, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true and living church of God on the earth. That His church that He established in the New Testament was lost, but has been restored to us. I know, because of miracles that I have personally witnessed, that His priesthood was restored, is on the earth, and that those keys are held and used by the members of the Church today. I know that the president of the Church, Thomas S. Monson, is the prophet of the Lord, holds all the keys of His priesthood, and actually talks to God. Yes, that's what I said: there is a man on earth who TALKS TO GOD, face to face. Think about that for just a moment.
I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior, not only of me, and of members of the Church, but of the whole world. And of the whole universe, for that matter. He knows how I feel, He knows how I hurt, He knows my weaknesses, and He still loves me. Because of His atonement I can repent of my sins. Because of His grace I am saved. Because of His atonement and grace I can be better (a tiny, tiny bit) every day, and fill my life with His love. I can become who I am truly supposed to be.
I know, because of the answers that I have gotten as I have asked God, that Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw, did what he said he did, and was who he said he was. I know, because I have prayed, I have asked, and I have seen the light and answers that it has brought to my life, that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. Period.
I know that the "Brethren", meaning the Quorum of the 12 Apostles and the First Presidency (President Monson and his two counselors) are prophets, seers and revelators, and are called by God. Because of that we have continuing revelation, and we know that we are not alone in this vast universe. I also know that the best way to be truly happy today, tomorrow, and forever, is through following the prophet and apostles.
I know that we have temples that are literally the houses of the Lord. I know that when I am inside that I feel a peace that I can feel almost no where else. I know that because of temples and the covenants that I made, and do my best to keep, that I will be with my Heavenly Father, my Savior, and my family forever.
There are more details I could share, more things that I could tell you that I "know", but for right now, this is enough. As long as you know that I believe all of this is true, it is enough. Even if you think I am wrong, that's ok. Because I know.
So, I’m in Target (‘cause it seems like I’m always in Target), doing major grocery shopping. I have Ben and Alyssa with me, per usual, and things have gone fairly well, on the whole. I have made my usual bribes to get Ben to cooperate: a cheese stick from the refrigerated section, a free cookie from the bakery section, and a cheapo bag of mini-marshmallows that he can toss in the air to himself and catch while we’re going up and down the aisles, which he will then have for dessert over the next week; so it’s both entertainment and junk food. Best of both worlds.
I have filled my cart to the absolute maximum by using my not inconsiderable spacial reasoning abilities, stacking everything like it’s a Tetris game, so that by the time I have gotten my apples, clementines, and lettuce from produce (my last stop), there is not one inch left of usable real estate, including on either side of Alyssa in the front seat.
Check out goes ok, although it always takes longer than you think, by about twice as much—especially since I have the audacity to use coupons and group my purchases into category groups (Groceries, Toiletries, Home, Medical, etc.). The checker doesn’t give me the evil eye too much, because I do, at least, have the coupons separated into the same categories as my stuff.
However, I have to drag Ben off the floor more than once, tell him “No, I’m not going to buy X, or Y, or Z,” at least three times, and threaten him with bodily harm if he goes behind the checkout station “one more time,” twice. Alyssa is doing ok, because I fed her just before we left, but she’s getting to the end of her window of happy, and the longer check out takes, the more desperate she’s starting to get.
I also have to go get another cart, because once the groceries are in bags it is impossible to fit them into one cart again. But I’ve done that before, so no worries. At the end of it all, when both the checker and I are exhausted, I apologize profusely, thanking her for her patience with me and my child, which she is gracious enough to recognize with a half-smile. I’m trying not to be embarrassed about the whole thing, but I still feel like a total loser because of the people behind me who have been waiting forever. Although, they could see the veritable mountain of stuff that I had, I didn’t try to hide it or anything, so why did they get in line behind me then?!?! (Can you tell that I’m feeling just a tad defensive?)
As I start toward the door, pushing one cart with one hand, and pulling the other with my other hand, I’m feeling ok about things on the whole. I’m definitely not super-mom (I’m still in my exercise clothes, and it’s almost 2:00 in the afternoon), but I’m also not the worst mom in the world either. I didn’t even scream at Ben (this time) when he threw a fit about…whatever it was he threw a fit about.
Yeah, that’s not gonna last.
As I walk, I start hearing this funny noise. Kind of like…a…gagging…noise…I look down, and realize that while I was paying I had absentmindedly put my grocery list down on Alyssa—and she had grabbed it, stuffed it in her mouth, and was choking on about half of it. I quickly stop the cart, do a finger sweep, get part of it, do another one, and get the rest. But in my panic I was none too gentle, and Alyssa just looks at me, as if to say, “Mommy, how could you do that to me!” And then she starts to sob. Loudly.
I try to comfort her as best as I can, but I still have to catch up to Ben, who, meanwhile, was pretending to be a bat, holding out his coat behind him like wings, and running as fast as he could to the exit. I’m about halfway to the door when I hear someone say, “Sweetie, I think you had better wait for your mom before you leave.” I hurry even more, whispering to Alyssa, who is still wailing, and find that a very nice family was playing “goalie” with Ben in an attempt to try to keep him from rushing out to the parking lot all by himself. However, Ben does not like their game, and is growling at them, with his brow furrowed, and his eyes narrowed, like he is some kind of feral dog.
He does that a lot.
I try to grab him, but since I have two carts it’s not going too well. I end up just half-yelling at Ben to “Stay right by me!!” but I can’t go too much with the volume, because the helpful family is still looking at us, giving me the, “What kind of mother are you?” look. I settle for hissing, “I mean it!!!” which can be given at full volume.
So here I am, crazy mom, not dressed or showered, who can’t keep track of her kids, pushing two carts, patting one sobbing baby, and attempting to corral one feral 4-year old, all the while trying to get to the car so I can have a breakdown in private. The only minutely saving grace at that point was that I didn’t have the rest of my kids with me so that all the people who look at me and shake their heads, wondering why I would have so many kids if I can’t take care of them, would not be right.
Yup. Just one more check-mark in my “Best Mommy Ever” book. :o)
But General Conference was wonderful though, wasn’t it? My two favorite talks were Sister Wixom’s about speaking softly and with mildness to our children (can you guess why?) and Elder Cardon’s about the Lord asking us to forgive "70 x 7", but that He is also willing to forgive us the same way; over and over, as long as we don’t give up, and keep trying to be better.
That gave me so much hope, since I am truly imperfect, and feel like I struggle with the same imperfections again and again. In the Savior’s atonement, there is always hope.
When Mitt Romney first started running, I wasn't too sure about it. Just because someone is LDS, that doesn't give them an automatic "gimmie" in my book. It actually makes them have to work that much harder to get my vote, because I am now not only evaluating them as a person with decent values, etc., but how well they are living up to the gospel, and all that that entails.
However, the more that I am learning about Romney, his wife Ann, and his running mate (who I think was fantastic choice, by the way), the more impressed I am, and I'm not on the fence anymore.
That said, there was a terrific article by the Eyres in the Deseret News entitled, "The "Mormon Speech" we wish Romney would give," that I absolutely loved. It made me want to stand up and shout, "AMEN!", or at the very least, send it to my entire email contact list. Since that isn't very practical, I decided to post it here, and then maybe you guys could send it to who you thought would enjoy it.
Because I am so tired of uninformed, prejudiced people, hiding behind their "sophistication" as they make comments that would cause outrage and accusations of bigotry if those statements were directed at any other religious group or minority.
So, I was induced on my due date, which was fantabulous--not having to wait another week to be induced, that is. We delivered at Wake Med, which I was a little nervous about, I have to admit, it being the county hospital and all. But I shouldn't have worried, because it was fine. Better than fine, actually.
The delivery went very smoothly, and the nurses were fantastic--both the delivery and recovery nurses. The rooms were nice and the food was actually pretty good. Unfortunately, they have this dumb rooming-in policy, so you can't have the baby stay in the nursery overnight. But, on the whole, I had a good experience.
Of course, the best part was that at the end of it all, we had Alyssa. She was born on July 24th, at 4:40 pm. I think it is so cool that her birthday is Pioneer Day. She will have so much fun whenever we are out visiting my parents for July 24th. I mean, who wouldn't love parades and fireworks on their birthday?
Really, the most overwhelming feeling that we've had is just how glad we are that she's finally here. As I held her I just kept thinking, "You're here! You're here! Oh, I'm so glad you're here!!!!" It's the most amazing feeling: now that she's here, we're not waiting for anyone else to come. Our family is complete. There are no empty chairs.
She's such a good baby too. She nurses really well, has naps at generally convenient times, and even just gets up once during the night. I am just holding my breath, praying that she doesn't switch at 3 weeks to this other thing that I can't help, and I can't understand.
I pray all the time that I'll be able to continue to enjoy her so much, that colic won't interfere with her well being--or mine, for that matter. Because I feel like myself, surprisingly. Admittedly, I burst into tears at the drop of a hat, or if there's a sad commercial, etc., but in general, I feel emotionally ok. Compared to the nightmare that I experienced after Ben was born, this is a dream come true.
I actually don't mind when she wakes up from a nap, or if she's fussy, because I know I can sooth her. I get so happy when I see her little eyes open, and I know that I get to hold her. I'm so glad she's here!
To be specific, four weeks from today I should be in the hospital giving birth. I finally found an OB-gyn that I really like, who is willing to induce me on my due date if Alyssa decides to hang out like Kelcey and Ben did.
It is such a wonderful feeling, to know that, yes, my feet and veins are swollen to truly gargantuan proportions, and I'm lumbering around like a water buffalo trying to do the tango, but, really, there's a definite end date to it all. I don't just have to wait, and hope, and then wait some more, with no results.
If Alyssa does decide to come before her due date, fine (I am NOT holding my breath), but if she follows the trend, then I know that July 24th is the big day. Because it is definitely gonna be time to move out and stop paying rent!
I thought for a while about what to call this post: Poop-tastrophe, Rise of the Planet of the Poop, Poop-stravaganza...you get the idea.
Any one of them would have been sufficient to let my loyal readers know, I am having a problem with poop!
Well, not with my poop, with Ben's poop. Or to be more specific, the fact that even though it's been almost a month since we started potty training, he has only gone poop in the toilet ONCE.
Yes you read that right. For the last 3 1/2 weeks, almost every time he has had to go poop he has gone in his pants.
His older brother, Jarom, didn't like going poop in the toilet either, but he would save it up until I put his pull-up on him at night, and then go. It was annoying, but it wasn't as completely disgusting as going in underwear and pants, which I have to swish out in the toilet, and then wash in hot water. I have a perpetual load of laundry in the washing machine, just from Ben's accidents. And for those of you who know how much I hate doing laundry, that's a big deal.
I figured that Ben would get a clue after his first poop accident, just like he did when he wet his pants. He didn't like how it felt, and decided that he would much rather go in the toilet. And, really, he's almost an expert about going pee in the toilet.
He will usually tell me when he has to go, even if he has to stop playing, or come in from outside, or whatever, take care of business, and then go back to whatever he was doing. Lots of times he'll go completely on his own, without even telling me first--the only sign being that he's naked from the waist down, and I need to help him put his shorts back on.
Of course, he will have occasional accidents, but what kid doesn't? But he got the peeing thing so quickly, like within a week, that I really thought that this was going to be so much easier than it was with Jarom. So close, and yet sooooooo far away.
Yesterday was the last straw though. I was in my room, when he came in, sans underwear or shorts, with a guilty look on his face, and poop on his hands. He had taken off his underwear and shorts, and actually peed in the toilet, and then gone in the playroom and pooped on the floor!!!!!
I cleaned him up, cleaned up the floor (I swear, we should have stock in Resolve pet stain carper cleaner), and then put him in time out. I didn't scream, and I didn't spank him, but he was in time out the whole time it took me to clean everything up.
Usually, whenever he has an accident he is no longer allowed to go out and play, or ride bikes (his favorite thing to do) because I want him realize that it's a big deal, but also because its a natural consequence of his behavior. If he pees or poops in his clothes, then he has used up his clean pants for that day, so he just gets new underwear. And he can't go outside in just underwear. (OK, he would go outside in just his underwear, and be perfectly fine with it, but then the neighbors look at me weird.)
I thought that would get through to him eventually, but, so far, it seems like it's brand new info every single time he has an "incident". He gets upset that he can't go outside, and tells me that he's sorry that he had an accident, and that he will tell me the next time he has to go poop, but then nothing actually changes, and I'm stuck swishing underwear out in the toilet.
The one time he did go poop in the toilet it wasn't because he told me, but because I spotted him hiding in the corner, looking very intent, and I knew that he was about ready, so I whisked him onto the toilet and didn't let him get off until he had produced.
We still gave him the truck we had as a reward, and the Hershey Kisses, and made a big deal about it, and I really thought (again) that maybe that's all he needed, to see how it worked one time--get over his mental block, or something. But then he went poop in his pull-up that very night. So, nada.
After yesterday's incident I took the reward truck back, and told him that he had to go poop in the toilet to get it back, but I don't know if that will have any effect. Or maybe I am being too harsh. But this has got to stop.
Anyone out there have anything that worked with their boys? Cause I am seriously out of ideas.
Boy, this is probably more thinking about poop than you've done in a while, huh? Aren't you glad you read this post? :o)