Monday, March 2, 2015

125 in New York City.

Life as we know it has its ups and downs. There are days that are perfect, and days where some of us feel as if we can't deal with it anymore. Days when we fall on our knees pleading with God to pull us out of this trial that we are in. We are constantly faced with challenges on a daily basis, and even though some of these challenges are minute to others they seem huge! I have encountered many trials throughout my life to the point where I just wanted to give up, but I changed my whole perspective on that a long time ago. Maturity at its best especially when you reach your 40's! Knowing that I have a loving Heavenly Father to pray to gives me more hope, and increases my faith knowing that He will always be there to listen no matter what. In times of stress, and despair I just imagine myself being comforted by the savior. He wants all of us to be happy, and I want all of my friends, and family to be happy as well. Like I mentioned, we are all faced with challenges, and pain whether it's physical or emotional. It is up to us to do something about that instead of feeling sorry for ourselves to the point where we are lost again both in spirit, and testimony. The temples in this world are a place where I can go to calm my nerves, and feel the spirit even stronger. It is a place of peace where we can take our issues, and heartache to the Lord and pray. 
After having a week of frustration dealing with a broken down car, and just life in general, because let's face it...nobody has the perfect life, my girlfriend and I decided to attend the temple. She can see that even though our problems are different that we all have it hard. No matter how petty, or how big our issues are we realize that we are all in this thing "called life" together, and that we always should find the time to attend the temple. There are times when we go because we just love the temple, and times when we go when we are faced with challenges where we need answers to our prayers. Whether I go with my husband, or my girlfriend attending the temple builds me up, makes me whole, and when I walk out of that building I feel like super woman all over again. Rejuvenated, happier, peaceful, and conquerable. Knowing that I laid out all my concerns to God in faith that everything will work out in His time gives me hope that all is going to be well. Answers come to us in His time, and luckily for me it's almost instantaneously, and for that I'm eternally grateful for a Father in Heaven who truly listens, and is always there for me.  

So when you feel like your burdens are too heavy to bear, and are a member of the church with that important piece of paper called a temple recommend, I implore you to attend the temple. No matter the distance, time (find it), or even money (somehow the Lord will provide)...find the time to go. Whether your problems are minimal, or huge, whether you're happy or sad...find the time to go. I hadn't gone since December, and man was I going through major withdrawal. 
125 Columbus Ave. in New York City is one place to go where we can escape all the hustle and bustle in this world, and leave all our burdens to the man upstairs. 

Definitely a great ending to the month of February! 

Happy Monday, and have a great week! 

Friday, February 27, 2015

20 Things To Let Your Children Know That You "Like Them."

The other day as we were tucking Chelsea into bed she asked Jon and I this question, 

"Ummm, mom, dad...do you like me, because it looks like you like Sierra, Lexie, and Noah more."

You can imagine the look on my face when she asked me that question. The look was called guilt, and I was not surprised. I wasn't surprise because I feel as if I have been somewhat focusing my attention more on the oldest, and the youngest. I looked at Jon with a sad look because we both know we haven't been doing enough for Chelsea lately. 

We've been putting our energy and focus more on our oldest daughter who is out west trying to figure out her goals in life. As parents we can't help but to worry, and so we both know that we can't coddle our almost 20 year old too much because she makes her own decisions now. We realize that we can only give her advice. That still doesn't mean she's going to listen, but we have a voice, and can still give it. And the attention that I always give to Noah is because he's the only boy, and because time is fleeting I tend to focus more on him during the day...well into the evening! And as far as Lexie goes she seems to have her life under control. She's a 15 year old with a good head on her shoulders, and so we don't meddle too much in her life. We meddle just enough to let her know we love her, asking about her day, and constantly reminding her to make wise choices in all that she does. 

But enough about those three. 

My focus right now is on Chelsea. 

She has definitely become the middle child, and don't middle children get the least attention? I would never know because I wasn't the middle child. After talking to my mom yesterday for what seemed like forever (and we could have been on the phone all day long) really got the two of us thinking. She was telling me all about the mistakes she made with me, and how ignorant she was when she found out about my molestation because she didn't do anything to stop it. Till this day she keeps apologizing to me that it happened. She didn't know how to handle it. Like she said she was ignorant and clueless as to how she could have handled that situation so it made me think that she didn't love, or care for me. Especially since she stayed with the man until the day he died. All has been forgiven, and I keep telling her that, and I'm sure there will come a point where she will stop apologizing for it. 

There's nothing like that going on in our home, but there has been a lot of stress lately. And when I focus more on that stress than our children there's an issue...especially when a child asks you if you still like them. 

Although it may seem that I do give enough attention to her through photos life isn't "all that" with me. Truth is I really haven't, and there is no excuse. And I think that is why she has been lashing out to get our attention. Constantly fighting with her brother, and picking on Lexie when she comes home from school. I am grateful that she leaves her sassiness, and drama at home and that she doesn't take it to school or church. Her teachers both at school, and church constantly praise at how well behaved she is, and how helpful she is to everyone. Sometimes those are the kids you have to watch out for. I would have never known what was bothering her had she not told us, and for that I am extremely grateful to have a daughter who is not vague. Who is bold enough to tell us to our face with respect how she feels, and what's bothering her. She loves to talk, and now I know why. She is her own personality, and because she's so bold it makes me pretty pleased. Knowing that she won't keep anything inside like I did when I was little gives me hope that she will always make the right choices in this life. Just as she did the day she was bullied at school for defending one of her friends. That's the kind of child I'm proud to be raising. But not too proud when a child tells me, and her father (out of all people) if we like her because we aren't being too attentive to her. 

Well...that is all going to change. Time is fleeting with all of our kids, and you would think because they are all five years apart that it would be easier. Well...surprise it's not. It doesn't matter how far or close apart we have kids in age. Everyone has it hard. Motherhood is hard period. It doesn't matter whether you're 20 or 40 having a child. We just have our own different way of showing it, and handling it. 

So after having my daughter ask me the "do you still like me" question, and having the long talk my mother and I had about all our sad experiences that turned into wonderful memories here are some attributes that we can develop  and things to do as parents (at least for me) that will help our children give them an assurance that we do in fact like them, and I mean truly "like" them. 

In other words LOVE them. 

Go on more date nights.
Always kiss them goodnight. 
Read them a bedtime story. 
Hug them every chance you get. 
Ask them about their day when they come home from school. 
Compliment them not only on their accomplishments, but on the little things as well. 
Constantly tell them they are beautiful (or handsome!)
Splurge and take them out for ice cream (before dinner!) 
Let them know if there is something bothering them that you will always be there to LISTEN.
If they bring home a bad grade instead of reprimanding them, tell them "it's OK" & to do better.
Always believe them when they say they are being bullied, or mishandled in a way that is not appropriate.
Make them their favorite dinner & bake them their favorite dessert. 
Focus on their positive strengths more than their weaknesses. 
Help them with their weaknesses, and reassure them that they are strong.
Be a fun parent, and go outside and play with them at the park (or in the snow!)
Stop saying, "Just a minute" and tend to their needs (especially when they say PLEASE!)
Seriously listen to what they say whether it's a story they experienced at school instead of looking bored!
Give all your kids equal time so that they see no one is a favorite.
Pay attention, stop yelling, and always say I'm sorry.
Always tell them you love them. 

Yes...the past few months have been a little rough, and I am guilty of not accomplishing some of these things. Even though I feel as if I'm doing enough for my kids I know that as a parent, and mother of four I can do better. 

We can always do better. 

Giving each of my children equal time, and focusing on them at the same time can be tough, but finding balance is key. Not worrying too much is key. Yes...I believe that I am a good mother, and I know it'll all work out so that the question "do you like me" will never be uttered in our home again. 

"The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention."
~Richard Moss

Have a happy weekend! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Noah-isms.

Having children five years apart can be an advantage, but lately it has been a disadvantage when it comes to "parental discretion" or shall I say "sibling discretion" Some of the movies I watch with Chelsea, Noah shouldn't watch, and the ones I watch with Lexie (which is very rare unless it's Enders game, the Hobbit, Star Wars Complete Saga...you get the picture) Chelsea shouldn't really watch except the aforementioned ones. Well, lately Noah has been saying the word "disgusting" a little too much especially when Jon and I express affection towards each other. It's all rated G affection, but we do kiss peck each other on the mouth and give each other big hugs in front of the kids. I blame it on those love movies that we've been watching lately like Blended, and The Fault in Our Stars. The girls think it's sweet, but Noah will say, 

"Mommy...don't marry daddy. Mommy, don't kiss daddy on the mouth. That's disgusting!"

To tell you the truth I don't even think he completely understands what the word means. I had to explain it to him, and I believe he knows what it means now. When he told me to not marry daddy I said, "It's a little too late for that Noah. Like 20 years late!" He still didn't get it. When he told Jon not to kiss me, he kissed me even more, and Noah continued to say, "STOP daddy stop!" I'm sure he'll get over it. Then again...maybe he's being a little too protective of me. 

*****
Noah's hair grows like a weed, and I love it. I love it! I love his hair. He looks so cute with it short, or long. However, there comes a point when it just has to be cut or trimmed especially when it starts hanging over his face, and gets called a "cute little girl" in public places. I've begun to let it slide, and I really don't care anymore if anyone calls him a girl. I'll just simply correct them, and move on. 

It wasn't until the other day at church he said, "I need a haircut daddy, my hair is poking me in my eye." 
Yep...I think it's time for a trim. 

*****
So we found this really cool booster chair for Noah at IKEA last week, and because the color green doesn't coincide with our dining chairs I had put it against the wall. I guess it could blend in, but our table only has four chairs, and in my opinion looked a bit awkward. After we ate dinner Noah didn't move it back against the wall, he put it right next to one of the chairs, and said, 

"Moooooommmmm, I'm part of the family, please don't put my chair against the wall, leave it here." 
Having him saying that made me happy, and now I just leave it tucked under our table, and never move it...unless he says so. 

He is part of our family. A huge part, and the greatest blessing! 

Happy Wednesday! 

***You can read more Noah-isms here, here, and here.




Monday, February 23, 2015

Winter Finally Occurred This Year With A Blizzard!

Although we were expecting snow this past weekend I certainly was not anticipating a blizzard! It wasn't the biggest, but it certainly brought us more snow than what Juno did! As crazy as it sounds I have been anxiously awaiting for a good snowfall, and this one didn't disappoint. I am reminded of the very first time I experienced the snow while living in Utah. I was 21 when I first met "her", and immediately fell in love with it. I am so grateful that my kids have experienced it at such a young age, and that they actually love it too! 

The snow began to fall pretty quickly early Saturday afternoon, and before we knew it there was a couple of inches on the ground. Just enough for the kids to do snow angels (which you could watch me here), and throw snowballs at each other. We stayed close to home this time, and the kids enjoyed playing in the backyard. Chelsea took out the sled, and dragged it around the snow with Noah in tow. I captured a few moments of their childhood in the snow. 

One of my favorites is Noah eating fresh snow (don't worry...it was untouched & very clean!) 
After a while I felt like going for a walk. I know it sounds crazy to go for a walk when it snows, but it wasn't coming down as much, and I was really craving that desire. There is something about the snow that just calms me down. I wasn't raised with it so I really appreciate this part of Mother Nature in the winter time. So while Lexie was finishing up her project Noah and Chelsea decided to tag along with me. We walked on part of the bike trail, and for a moment we stopped, stood, and listened. 
Listened to how peaceful it was when it was coming down. I began to tell them how quiet the world seems when it snows. I really wanted them to listen, and they thought it was pretty cool and "weird" at the same time that everything seemed so quiet. There were hardly any cars on the road so there's no humming of motors running. No sounds of dogs barking or any animal noises. It was nothing but peace and quiet for a few minutes until these two began running around. I decided to take in the moment of having fun with them because I don't know if we'll have another snowfall anytime soon. 

Then again we're still in February so who knows! 

Happy Monday! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Gray's Papaya & The Doughnut Plant.

There are two things we love in this family... hot dogs, and donuts. Well...I don't necessarily love hot dogs, but put a Nathan's or a hebrew national frank on my bun and I'm sold! Ever since we moved to the east we have grown to really enjoy hot dogs...especially when we go to New York. Noah is the king of hot dogs. He can eat those every day if he could. There are only two conditions. The bun has to be soft, and they have to be a good tasting frank. Lately he hasn't been eating too many of them, and in a way I don't blame him. Unless I buy the Nathan's or Hebrew National brand. Noah knows good food, and every time we plan a trip to the city he has to have a hot dog from the cart in the corner. It wasn't until we all had Gray's Papaya. Now those are delicious!! I'm no huge fan of the dog, but take me to Gray's or Nathan's in coney island, and I'm one happy camper!
When I was pregnant with Sierra there was a donut shop in Salt Lake City called Banbury cross. I swear I ate like 6 donuts on every visit, and we probably went there three times a week throughout my entire pregnancy!! I am really picky when it comes to donuts, or any kind of carbs. Then again as I grow older I trrrrryyyyyyy to stay away from sweets. Not to hard because I really don't have much of a sweet tooth, but then again when I moved to the east I discovered quite a few bakeries in my area that are pretty good. McMillans bakery has got to be my favorite in South Jersey, but when we finally tried the Doughnut plant in New York city forget it. They blow them away! They're delish! The doughnut plant is unique, and they have all kinds of  different flavored doughnuts! 
^^^ I love the donut pillows on the wall. Very artsy. ^^^
^^^ This kind man whose name is Dean didn't mind me taking his picture. He was all smiles, and in spite of the hustle, and bustle (there was a long line) everyone behind the counter was super friendly! ^^^ 
^^^ We got all kinds of flavors to try. Tres leche, banana and peanut butter donut, chocolate glaze, carrot cake, coconut creme (my personal favorite), and creme brule. They were all scrumptious! ^^^ 
^^^ Chelsea giving a thumbs up to her favorite...chocolate! ^^^

Yep...we will definitely be coming back for more, and if you ever come out to the big apple these places are a must to eat! 

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Our Snow Day.

There are a few things I may take for granted when it comes to family such as not calling, or visiting enough (it's expensive when you fly three kids plus two adults!), but when it comes to my little family one thing I have always done as a mom especially in the winter is take advantage of the snow (when it snows!) Ever since the girls were little I've always ventured out into the snowy weather whether it was for a walk, a drive up the canyons, or sledding. This year has been the coldest we have ever felt since moving here in 2008. The coldest, and luckily we weren't majorly affected by it with loss of work, or power outages. One thing for sure, and even though the kids wouldn't have minded having a two hour delay for school the other day, they took it back after a day of sledding! 

We started off the morning with some snow shoveling. Ever since we got Noah this shovel he always wants to put it to use. He was so excited when he saw the snow on the ground that morning. He immediately got dressed, and put himself to work. 
We ventured out to a high school across town where they have a pretty good hill, and we all took turns on the sled. On his own motive Noah decided to stop, drop, and do a snow angel. He's so sweet, and had a much funner time on this day than the last time we went sledding. 
Probably because we finally found him some decent gloves! 
 
This video proves all too well that we had soooooooo much fun! 

Yep...this day off from school was totally worth spending it with my kids! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

First Baby Tooth...Gone!

For the past few days every time we would eat Noah would always say, mommy my teeth hurts, or my mouth hurts,  I can't eat anymore, or my tummy not feeling me well. I wondered why because he loves food and it was beginning to freak me out a bit because my girls never went through anything like this! Then it got me thinking...he does drink a lot of chocolate milk, and chews quite a bit of gum. He's like a prince with his chocolate milk meaning there are days when I will cater to him in the morning, and at night by giving him a cup of chocolate milk before bed. I try to ration it whenever I buy it, but when you have sisters it doesn't last very long. I have spoiled him with chocolate milk, and at this point I was thinking his teeth are hurting because he's developed a cavity, and has a toothache. 

Wrong diagnosis. 

When we woke up the next morning he came up to me and said, "mommy my tooth still hurts" and he was hanging on to one of his bottom teeth. That's when I noticed it was loose!! Oh my heart broke for just a second! I was in denial that my little boy was about to lose a tooth!! It never occurred to me that he'd have a loose tooth and that's what was bothering him every time he'd eat. His tooth was still in tact all throughout the day, and he did manage to eat some. 
Then the next morning he woke up, ran down the stairs, jumped on our bed, and showed off his tooth in his little hand! You'd think this rite of passage would have made him scared, but he was fearless, and a pretty good sport about it. I still couldn't believe it fell out that fast! There was no long term whining, pulling of the tooth by tying some thread to a doorknob, and no twisting it to get it to come out. It literally fell out overnight. After he showed it to us he seemed just as sad as I did. He was trying to put it back in his mouth. He kept saying (with a frown), "I can't put it back together mommy, i can't put it back in my mouth." I didn't know whether to laugh or cry because he's growing up!! I kept telling Jon "No, no, no I don't want my baby boy to grow up!!" And all Jon kept saying to me was, "It's  inevitable babe, he's going to grow older whether we want him to or not!"
^^^ This was taken the day before he lost his tooth, and had to include it on this post. Still can't believe how quickly it fell off! ^^^ 

But look how cute he looks without his tooth! It amazes me that the other tooth is already growing in!! You can't really see it, but it's there. I think telling him about the tooth fairy eased his mind especially when Chelsea told him about the money she gets. He got excited about it when she mentioned money! Not sure if that's a good thing, or a bad thing, but he is looking forward to "him" coming for a visit while he's asleep. He is calling his tooth fairy a "he"...not a "she."
^^^ Grateful that he has a beautiful smile and that he can hide the missing link! ^^^
I think he's accepted the fact that he's in the beginning stage of losing his teeth, and growing up...and so am I (tears!)