Monday, April 30, 2012

I Think a Few Changes Are Only Fair

     There are a few things that are unjust in the world and I would like to point them out and propose some changes. The first is what happens to women's bodies when they have a baby. It's bad enough what we go through during pregnancy and childbirth itself, but we should not be left with stretch marks and saggy breasts. I propose that with every child a woman has her skin becomes more supple and free from stretch marks or scars. This includes c-section scars. They should heal in a week or two and be gone forever. I also propose that with every child you breast feed your breasts become slightly larger, firmer and perkier for all the wear and tear.
     Now, to address all those sleepless nights that we have as moms. How many times have you stumbled through your day because you were up all night holding a fussy baby. When you look in the mirror the next morning someone who resembles the Incredible Hulk is staring back at you, complete with the greenish tone to your skin. To remedy this I propose that with every child we have, we need, lets say, two hours less of sleep each night to feel refreshed and looking our best. By the time a woman has three or four babies she won't need hardly any sleep at all and could conquer the world. Can you imagine all that you could do if you only needed two hours of sleep each night?
     How about the sickness part? It's bad enough that we have to clean up the vomit and diarrhea for our beloved children for years, a mother shouldn't have to go through this herself, ever! After having the worst case of the flu this weekend that I have ever had, I propose that after giving birth a mother should be totally immune to any and all illnesses that beset her family. It's only fair that if we have to take care of them that we should be able to do so without fear of contracting such disgusting bugs.
     Who's with me here?  Who do I contact to see this becomes a reality?  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Batten Down the Hatches, Here They Come!

     Did you miss me yesterday? I had to be at the dentist with the hubby at a horribly early hour yesterday and by the time we got home from that and running errands it was time to pick up kids from school. Now, I don't know how it is for all of you, but once the kids get home it's all down hill from there. And this time of year seems to be busier than any other. Both our boys have both soccer and baseball practice and starting next week we will have baseball games in addition to it all. Then there is scouts and school stuff.
     It makes my head spin trying to remember who has to be where at what time. It is moments like this when I wish we had reached the point where we could clone ourselves. It's really bad on Tuesday when the hubster is out of town on business and I am on my own. I spend the afternoon and evening in my car.  I'm so glad I have a Kindle I can take with me and catch up on my reading, while I wait at the four different practices I attend.
     I wondered if other mothers felt like this and yesterday my good friend Jamie posted on Facebook and said, "I can't believe it's time to pick up the kids from school already. I need another hour..or two... or three." It was then I knew, I am but one of many mom's who always need just a little bit more time to get the things done we need to do before we have to batten down the hatches and face the rest of an already exhausting day.
     Here it is Friday already and for us here in Utah, it's early out. Which means the kids get home even earlier. Whose idea was that? If the schools really cared about us moms they would keep the kids until five on Fridays. After all, we have them all weekend. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Lucky Seven


  I was tagged by another writer/blogger to be one of "The Lucky Seven". It's a fun way of posting seven lines of a work in progress from either the seventh or seventy-seventh page, where you go seven lines down and post seven lines of your story. I had to read this a couple of times to get it, but I'm challenged that way.
     This is supposed to be very random and for fun, to see what is happening in a few lines from the middle of no where is your book. So here goes.
     These few lines are from my first book. The hero, a post Civil War Texas Ranger, has been shot and almost died and he's remembering the murder of a good friend and his family. The book is called, "In the Shadow of the Mountains."

It was a part of the risk of living in a wild and untamed land, but that had changed six months ago when his friend Nate Moreland and his family were slaughtered. 
            Memories of what had happened to the Moreland's haunted him.  He tried to chase away the images but they wouldn’t leave him.  Tom closed his eyes and saw it all.
            Nate in his night shirt, lying dead on the floor of his own parlor.  Eliza, Nate’s wife, was behind him on the stairs. She had been shot in the throat and her blood had run down the wall like bright red ribbons.
     Usually you post the first few pages or a certain kind of scene. To pick a random passage feels very strange to me, but here it is.

     Now I have to go and tag seven more writers. Have a good day all. I have Tiffinie Helmer to thank for this. Her second book Moosed-up is out today on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I enjoyed her first book IMPACT so I am looking forward to the second. She writes about Alaska where she grew up and still spends the summer doing commercial fishing. What a life, you should hear her talk about it. Here's a link to her blog check it out if you are interested.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Is Self-examination Good for the Soul? I wonder?

     Why is it that we doubt ourselves so much? We can be over-achievers and lead a near perfect life(I'm not referring to me here) and still we doubt what we are doing. I have written two books, which are over 100,000 words, and still I wonder if I can to it. I have started about 27 others and I wonder.
     Is it the nature of women and people in general to doubt what they can do? Is it a positive form of self-examination, or a way of bringing ourselves down. Maybe, it depends on how you use those doubts to change what needs to be changed and make improvements.
     I know I am a good mother, at least I try to be the best mother I can be, but I still question myself and wonder if I could have done, or do better. Could I keep my house cleaner? Definitely. Could I be kinder to my family, of course. I could, and should, be more careful with money, but I don't go to the mall and buy summer wardrobes either. I gave up coke, but still eat my share of unhealthy foods. I could go on and on about all the things I could improve on, but is it empowering or demeaning? For me mostly demeaning. It makes me feel like a failure. I need to see the books that I have finished and not the 27 that I haven't, yet. I need to see the good in my kids and not the mistakes. I need to see all the things I have accomplished and not the things I still need to work on. Or am I wrong? What do you think?

Monday, April 23, 2012

I Can Do Hard Things

     One of the hardest things about being a parent is when your children make choices that aren't good for them. You know them and can see how wrong decisions are going to affect their lives, but they don't listen. They have to learn for themselves and some of them have to learn the hard way.
     One of my favorite quotes lately is, "A wise man learns from his mistakes. A wiser man learns from others mistakes." Such wisdom in so few words.
     Parenthood is a never ending job. When your kids are young you think as soon as they are out of high school, I'll be done, or as soon as they are married, I can relax. Not so. The problems just get more serious and with spouses and grandkids you have more people to worry about. It never gets easier.
     Once you have a child, it's not about you any more. Your whole life is about helping those you love be the people you know they can be.
     I have a much larger family than most so the challenges are multiplied. Rarely do we get any down time when there isn't some kind of crisis happening. Would I go back and change things if I could? No. My children have taught me as much as I have taught them. They have made me a better person. They have made me a stronger person and they have taught me that you can survive the most excruciating pain imaginable and become stronger for it. Like the refiners fire, we are tempered by our trials to be the best we can be.
     My faith is strong and so I say, I accept this challenge and I will do my best to meet it and grow from it.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Few Thoughts On Marriage

     I have been thinking about marriage lately, it seems no one in the public eye stays married anymore. Why is that? Have our attention spans become so short that we can't stay focused on anything for more than a few years? Or is our lifestyle of instant gratification making us bored in our marriages, to the point were we can't stick it out? I wonder.
     Marriage is hard sometimes. Ask anyone who's been married for more than a few years. It's hard, boring and sometimes your beloved can really drive you crazy. Not my husband, of course, he never drives me crazy.
     I remember when my hubby and I were first dating and some of our friends would break up and then get back together and then break up again in typical teenage fashion. When we started dating we talked about it and decided that if we ever broke up that would be it. It wouldn't be a back and forth thing. That made our relationship more stable from the beginning.
     Maybe we have made divorce so easy that no one takes their marriage vows seriously anymore. They seem to think, we can just get divorced like everyone else.
     I'm grateful that our church puts so much emphasis on marriage and family. Strong families truly are the backbone of society. I love sitting in church on Sunday's and seeing so many husbands with their arms around their wives and wives tenderly resting their hands on their husbands necks and other tasteful displays of affection. What wonderful examples they are being for their children.
     I wish more couples would take divorce off the table and work out the problems in their relationships rather than walking out at the first sign of discontent.
     Divorce should be the last recourse, not the first.
     These are just a few of my thoughts today.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Important Issues

     I have been thinking about the presidential election coming up and I have one question for all of you today. What is the most important issue you think our country is facing? I really want to know your thoughts,so please leave them here or on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Do I Have to Take This Abuse?

     It's raining! Yippy! I love rain and I love snow. I love weather! I said that out loud in front of my kids when we first moved here, meaning I was loving the changing of the seasons, only they started laughing at me like the funny looking kid in second grade and I have never heard the end of it since. When ever someone in the family says something about the weather, I hear, "I love weather." They always say it weird to poke fun at me.
    Of course, this isn't the only thing they make fun of me over. I give them lots of good material to work with. For instance, back in Cali. my daughter, her friend and I went to a store where they had just finished fixing up the parking lot, which included adding new wood chips to the planting beds. The smell of the fresh wood chips was so strong. I said, "I love the smell of fresh wood chips." You'd think I had come up with the joke of the century. My daughter and her friend laughed like crazy. Now when I say something that they consider funny or weird, they mimic me and say, "I love the smell of fresh wood chips." Only they say it with an English accent.
     Where is it written that a mom has to put up with this kind of stuff from people she has devoted her life to?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Enough Stress Already

     How is it that when you think you just can't handle any more stress, something happens that brings a whole new layer of stress?
     Our whole lives have been like this, from one crisis to another with hardly any time to breathe in between. Does everyone live like this? I hope not, for your sakes.
     I know they say the Lord won't send you anything you can't handle, but I would like to say for the record that my plate is full. For now I have enough crisis to deal with and I would really appreciate some time off from all the drama.
     Thank you. That is all.

Friday, April 13, 2012

What Would You Do If?

     I didn't post yesterday. Did you notice? My computer wouldn't connect to the internet. I don't know if it was a computer problem or an internet problem. Either way, it's a pain in the neck and it makes me go crazy. If you ask my hubby and kids they will tell you that you have never seen me so freaked out as when my computer isn't doing what I want it to do.
     Does this mean I'm addicted to my computer and the world of cyber-space. Maybe, I'm addicted to all of you and the instant access I have to my friends via the internet. I do check Facebook about a thousand times a day just to see if I'm missing anything.
     Is there a self-help group like compulsive internet users anonymous? Maybe I should start one, if there's not.
We can all sit around and talk about why we love to be on our computers and how we feel when we can't get on. Of course, we'd have to ban iphones and smartphones so those people can't be online as we are working through our addictions. Do I really want to work through this addiction? Probably not.
     Do you all freak out as much as I do? What would you do if you couldn't get online for an extended period of time? Would you be relieved? Or would you view it as a vacation? What would you do instead?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Time to Stock Up

     This week I'm going to be adding to my food storage. For those of you who aren't LDS, we try to have on hand extra food in case of an emergency. And I have to admit my freezer is embarrassingly empty right now, except for the three-year-old banana walnut muffins(I should probably throw those out) and a bucket of vanilla ice cream. It's a far cry from when boneless/skinless chicken breasts were on sale a year ago and I cleaned the Syracuse and Layton Walmart out of their entire supply. I thought I would have enough for a year, not, we went through 39 bags of chicken in about four months.
     We also can't keep enough cheese on hand. We've been getting that at CostCo and I like to have six 5 pounders on hand. We're down to none. Cereal is another thing we go through like water. I had over fifty boxes in our cold storage and now we have about six and that's only because my boys are sick of Pops.
     I have plenty of wheat and rice though, so if you need to borrow some I have about seven hundred pounds of wheat and four hundred pounds of rice.
     There are certain things you just don't want to run out of. I really panic when we run low on Best Foods Mayonnaise. I'm a mayo snob. I won't use the store brands of mayo and I breathe a sigh of relief when summer comes and it goes on sale and I stock up. I try to buy twenty-four of them, but it would take about 48 to really supply us for a year. That sounds really bad doesn't it? You have to realize that we feed up to twenty people several nights a week, so if I am making potato salad or macaroni salad it takes one whole jar of mayo for the amount we go through. And, of course, there's tuna salad, chicken salad and egg salad during the summer.Tell me I'm not alone in my slothfulness. :)
     What are the things you like to keep on hand? What do you panic over when you use the last one?     

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Cleaning?

     Spring cleaning!.......Do I even believe in spring cleaning? I've been pondering this question for a while now and I still can't decide. I gave my kitchen a good scrub down yesterday, but I don't know if I would call it a spring cleaning. It's my obsessive, compulsive, perfectionist nature that makes it seem like if I was really going to spring clean then I should empty every cupboard and wash them inside and out and while I'm at it why not give the kitchen a quick paint job to cover all the finger prints that will no longer wash away.
     And the register vents, they should all be taken off and cleaned and all the walls vacuumed inside and out. I can't even imagine how dirty the inside of the walls are after almost five years of living here.
     You can see the problem, can't you. I find it impossible to just clean something without taking it about ten steps too far and I'm too tired and busy to take it ten steps too far. Lucky for me, the hubster is the voice of reason. He has always been the just do enough to get by kind of person I need to balance out the craziness that goes on inside of my head. If he sees a few dirty fingerprints on the door he take a wash cloth and wipes them away, he doesn't even consider painting the whole inside of the house and buying a new couch to match the new paint color. It's taken me a while to appreciate his "get er done attitude," but I'm starting to see how much simpler life can be when you think like that.  
     Are any of you like this? What are your thoughts on spring cleaning? Is it a do or die at your house, or just another day?

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm Computer Handicapped!

     I have a new blog design today. It's for spring and I like it. And the only reason I have it is because my daughter did it for me. I ask her as she was going crazy on the keys of my laptop how she learned all this stuff and she said just watch me and you'll learn to do it too.
     Well, I watched, but for the life of me, I couldn't do it again it I tried. I don't know how many times I have asked my kids to help me with something and I mean help me, as in help me learn to do these things so I don't have to depend on all of you, but they start going way too fast and leave my brain in the dust.
     I know how to do a few things on my computer, but not nearly enough to satisfy me. I want to know how to change the background on my blog myself. I want to know how to download all my stuff onto an external hard drive because we need a new computer really bad and I don't want to lose our itunes library. I want to learn how to pin things to pinterest from outside sources by myself. It this too much to ask?
     By the way, how do you all like the spring design? Cute huh?

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Dreaded Tickle in Your Throat Cough

     I have a cold and I'm not very happy about it. The worst part of having a cold for me is the cough. I get that tickle in your throat kind of cough and I cough until I almost gag, or I do gag. My husband and kids hate it. "Stop coughing!" is all I hear. Like I am doing it on purpose or something.
     The last two nights I have gotten out of my nice warm bed to sleep on the couch, so I don't wake the hubby while I cough. I have tried taking Nighttime NyQuil and it works for about two to three hours and then the coughing starts up again.
     Does anyone out there in internet land have a sure fire cure for the tickle in the throat cough that is taking over my life? Over the years I have tried almost every cough medicine on the market, none of them work like I think they should. I have gotten prescription cough medicine with codeine and that stuff is the bomb. It is the only thing that works. We hoard it like greedy little trolls when we get it. It's too bad they won't give it out for the common cold. You have to have bronchitis or something like that to get it.
     The only plus to I can find to all of this is that even after ten kids, when I cough I don't wet my pants. And you moms out there know exactly what I'm talking about. :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The List

     When most people go to California they plan a list of sights they want to take in and people they want to see, but not my family. We plan our trip around food. What that says about us, I don't really want to know, but that's how we roll.
     On our latest trip, because we were going for the birth of a baby, I didn't really think about the eating part until we were half way there and my daughter asked me what was on the list.  Like a dummy I said, "Huh? What list?" She rolled her eyes and said, "The places we want to eat list."
     "Ohhh! That list." I have to admit once I started letting my mind wander to our favorite eateries, my mouth started to water big time.
     My first thought was fried zucchini from Archibald's(you may have seen that on our facebook page.) Salad and cheese bread from Northwood's Inn (Yummm) A chicken salad from Galaxy burgers. Chips and salsa from Casa Sanchez and the all you can eat special from Casa Jimenez and that's just the tip of the ice burg we had to bring back ten Jack in the Box tacos for my son-in-law. Usually, when someone goes down to So. Cal. they have to bring back Baker's bean and cheese burritos(like twenty of them) for my daughter and her family, with lots of packets of sauce. I almost forgot Graziano's pepperoni sandwiches and their hot wings with ranch. And just so were not biased against our Utah favs, we put Coldstone on the list. We managed that one twice.
     Is it any wonder we have to diet before and after we go on our trips? We may not see all the sights, but we eat really well. Don't be like us.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Baby Liam and Our Road Trip

     I am back in Utah after five days and two eleven hour drives with a one year old and his mom. We went to see the only daughter I have left in So Cal. She called early Friday morning to say her water broke, so Kristin and I got up and got on the road as soon as we could. We left at one p.m. I don't know why it's so hard for mom's to pack and go. Could it be the hundreds of things we do every day that no one else can do but us?  We had banking and shopping and laundry and packing and cooking to get done before we could leave.
     We drove like crazy, well into the night. It began to look as if we could make it for the birth and we couldn't believe it. She was at a nine for hours. I ran into the hospital thinking, I would be there just in time to see the little guy into the world, boy was I wrong. It took another four hours. Finally, little Liam joined us at 4:15 am and we couldn't be happier. The only down side, we didn't get to bed until 6:30am. and we haven't recovered yet.
    It was a great trip all around. I got to see my dad, who just had knee replacement surgery and is in a rehab center. I got to have lunch with several members of my family including my sister whose birthday it was. I didn't get to see as many people as I wanted to, the list could take weeks, but we got to see Liam and that was the main thing.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Baby Liam is Here

     After driving for ten hours on Friday to make it to So. Cal. I was able to be with my daughter when she had her first baby. Liam Stefan Johnson arrived at 4:15 am on Saturday morning, hours after I got here. He is adorable and I want to spend hours kissing his little face. Liam weighed in at 7lbs 3.5oz. and I think he was 20 inches long.
     Seeing your baby have her baby is one of the miracles that makes you step back and realize what is important in this life. Family, it all starts and ends there, with the people you love so much it hurts.
     I keep hoping that Katie and her hubby move up to Utah so they can be closer to all of us and I think a plan is in the works, but now that Liam is here, it cant' be soon enough.
     I want to be able to kiss his perfect little face whenever I see him. I want to see him start crawling around our house with all of his cousins all around him. I want to see him take his first few steps. I need to be around to help his mom with all the tough decisions you face while raising a child. I want to be a part of his life.
     I wrote a blog a few weeks ago called The Kind Of Monna I Want To Be and it still fits.
     I need to be a part of my grandkids lives. If I never do anything else important in my life that will suffice, being a mom and a grandmother.