Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cleaning the Pipes

QS: I need to have s-- tonight. I'm going to be loopy over the weekend. It has to be tonight. We also need to watch LOST...and I have to go to bed at a reasonable hour for tomorrow.

R: Ok, we'll watch LOST and then have s-- and then I'm going to watch the Sharks and you can go to bed.

QS: Perfect.

R: I'm going to have s-- tonight. I'm going to have s-- tonight. And if you're lucky, you will too.

Extracting my wisdom

... Teeth.

Three of them.


I'm terrified.

The only stories I hear are about pain, lot's of pain. Sockets... and pain...giant chipmunk cheeks. OH... AND PAIN. And... I hate medications...drugs... going under. Yeah... so... does anyone have any good stories? If you have horror ones... feel free to share those too... (my brother before his mission had his out... he threw up blood after he got wonder why I'm terrified?) because... at least I've been forewarned.

Does it help that my wisdom teeth erupted after I got pregnant with K...back in 2004? Will it be easier... or does the fact that I'm older... you know... everything goes down hill after you're 30...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Peace in Holy Places

Sacramento, California Temple (where K my daughter has a little pebble with her name on it in the foundation)

This morning was my turn to head to the Temple. It's been a while since I've been. I don't know why I hadn't thought of the idea sooner. One Sunday during Relief Society I turned to my friend C, and asked if she wanted to swap babysitting so we could take turns going to the temple during the day. She said yes, and this month was our first go of it.

It ends up being about 3-4 hours of babysitting...and the temple is close to us. When I had her kids the week before it was actually really peaceful and fun...and entertaining... you remember this post.

There's something about the temple that just feels like home to me. I'm a pretty high-energy gal...except when I am sleep-deprived... so to walk into the temple, or for that matter, just driving into the parking lot calms me. I feel like a nicer, more relaxed version of myself... a better version.

Provo, Utah Temple

I was able to work in the Provo Temple as a temple worker my last year at BYU. I've never felt odd going to the temple, I've always felt at peace. I wish I had the time to work consistently in the temple, but I'm grateful that anytime I do go, it reminds me of the time I spent working with the sweetest Grandmas and Grandpas at the Provo Temple. The Provo one might look like an electric carrot, or a birthday cake... but that temple will always be special to me... because I walked it's halls early in the morning.

I sometimes wish we could, just leave the world all behind and walk the temple halls, or sit pondering with our own little families. I want to live at the temple.

Oakland, California Temple - where we were married

Today I felt incredibly strengthened, humbled and grateful. There's something about being allowed in the Lord's house that makes me weep. I was thinking on patience today. I need to practice more patience when it comes to my overly intelligent four-year old. As I sat thinking about this, I realized that my Heavenly Father has infinite patience with me. If he can have that amount of patience for me... I can do better with my own stewardship. They are His children, after all... I will be held accountable if I am not more patient with these precious souls. He will help me.

I was also thinking about the way Hollywood (the world/great and spacious building) looks at us. Those of us that stand on the Lord's side and make a very public stand for family. At the temple I was reminded that fame, the world's wealth, and silver tongues will all be used against the eternal plan. Reflecting on this, I once again was reminded that it matters not if the world, it's courts, etc agree with us. What matters is that the Lord knows where we stand. That when it comes down to it, we let those around us know exactly where we stand when it comes to what is worth protecting. For that, I am grateful that I made a definite mark in the sand and took, and will continue to take a stand. The world is a fickle place. I'm so grateful that when we follow the Lord there is order, there is peace, amidst the trials and sacrifices.

Laie, Hawaii Temple - where my hubby R, proposed

At the temple I was reminded that children are given to us to bring us joy. So much of the day-to-day can be mundane and seem like a tiny grain of sand ... but it is that diligent work to improve and to be better parents, to focus on our children that will endure. I know my husband and I often talk about the challenges of parenting two daughters who are both smarter than both of us, combined. We are constantly worried how our actions affect them. We want to raise them to be strong, faithful, happy and secure women. We often wish that there was a step-by-step book to tell us what to do in every situation.

What we have settled on... until someone publishes that desperately needed book ... is to remember the big picture. Will silly annoyances really affect their eternal welfare... or do we just need to chill out? (yes, we often need to chill out)

I also sat in the temple thinking about Trust. I realized that I am starting to understand the extent of the trust I place in my Heavenly Father. That I trust in his love, patience and blessings. I realize that as imperfect beings, we often can corrupt the trust placed in us, by our own children. I hope I remember to work hard each day to earn my girls' trust. I realized that each day, it is my job to earn their respect, earn their love and demonstrate to them that they matter more to me than praise from people outside my home. For some reason, putting the burden of responsibility back on myself... makes things clearer for me.

Nauvoo, Illinois Temple - a temple that is simply gorgeous...and something to drive to in the middle of the night when you and your hubby can't sleep in St. Louis.

I also thought about sacrifice and equality. I often like to go on a rampage when I see women mistreated. I am so overly concerned about gender equality sometimes that I try to make things equal between me and my hunny. When... there is no need to. He's happy to see me do whatever I want. As I sat there in the temple I realized... sacrifice is not about equality (by now you know I'm a slow learner...). Sacrifice is about putting the other person first. I am guilty of not doing more, when I know I should. I have been too worried about a 50/50 split of responsibilities that I've forgotten what it means to serve the one I love. Sitting there I realized I need to redouble my efforts for my hubby. My sweet man who slays dragons for me.

As I walked out of the temple I thought again about patience. I have always loved how in the temple, we are all so quiet. I thought about how I was never in a hurry. I thought about how it didn't bother me when we had to wait for one more person to join us in the room. How it didn't bother me that I had to wait my turn. If I can have that kind of patience in the Lord's home - maybe I ought to make it so in my own. I suppose that's why they tell us to return often to the temple. So we can be reminded of what our heaven on earth ought to look like, and feel like.

Doors of the Sacramento Temple

There's nothing I love more than the spirit of the temple. To think an imperfect soul such as I, am allowed entrance to feel such joyful peace. It just proves once again, in so many ways, that God loves me as I am. I am so grateful to His eternal plan. I am grateful that with the atonement we can and we should always look to improve... grow, change. I am so grateful to have my own little family. I am so grateful to be a wife, companion and helpmeet. I am so pleased to have the chance to learn motherhood from two brilliant little amazing daughters.

ps. Sorry for the topic jumping... needed to get all the thoughts out of my head before they fell out and I forgot all that I felt and leaned, remembered... sorry for editing mishaps...meaning I haven't the energy to edit.

Abuse and Stress

Ever wonder why you handle stress so poorly... click here.

Another study on how childhood abuse affects our brains, here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Or... how adorable is Hugh Jackman??!!

I would've have skipped the kiss-a, love-fest that is the Oscars. BUT... my guy Hugh Jackman was on... you know... Wolverine.

For those of you that did watch - when Tilda Swinton said "The five of us represent...." Didn't you want her to say "...the final five cylons"?

I'm a sucker for song and dance - so Hugh... *sigh*... but what was up with Beyonce lip-sinking...and being off with the music track?

That's all... and I don't like smug, self-important actors like Penn... he bugs...and I want to iron out his wrinkles...and I hate ironing.

....and I forgot... I loved the short animated film acceptance... "Domo Arrigato Mr. Roboto...." awesome.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Two things

If you're interested - check out the Gimme Gimme post here.

And... I'm looking for nicknames for my girls.

K is 4... our resident drama queen, boss, fashion guru, never stops talking, music/dance,theater gal and sensitive heart.

M is little Momma's girl, mischievous comic, tough girl, singer, dancer and the quiet one.

Please leave your suggestions in the comments below. ;-) THANKS!

My Four-Year-Old's First Kiss...

...That I know of.

Today my friend C, and I started our first go at trading babysitting so we can go to the temple during the day. We are hoping to be able to go once each month.

She has four kids. Her youngest are exactly the same age as mine are. S, her son, is a few months older than K, and her baby E is a few months older than M. (I need to come up with real nicknames for my girls)

E, M, K, S

We had breakfast, played outside, danced outside, had a snack outside, played upstairs, had lunch and dressed up and ended with popcorn and Wall-E.

While were upstairs M felt sad because K was so busy dancing with S. So I took her out of K's room (doors all open) into her own, to talk with her. Soon E joined us, and I realized that the other two were suspiciously quiet.

I walked back into K's room, and found K laying in bed, with S over her kissing her, just like in all those Disney Princess movies. (Blast you Disney)

I wanted to laugh, and throw him off her in the same instant. Instead, I kept my head. I calmly asked them what they were playing. K was so nonchalant, it was like nothing even registered on a significant scale. Meanwhile, little S gave me these mischievous, "I know you caught me doing something I probably shouldn't" eyes.

K told how they were playing princesses and the stuffed animal monsters killed her and S had to revive her with a kiss.

I think one day soon I need to explain that "true love's kiss" doesn't bring us back from the dead.

I then suggested we all go downstairs to draw or dance. K was eager to go draw. She is my little artiste. S, put his arm around K and pleaded with her to stay and play more princesses.

So I quickly came up with a better idea. A movie! And popcorn! I don't know if the suggestion, or my enthusiasm did the trick. They were off scampering downstairs.

Once there S immediately put both his arms around K. I was begging the microwave to pop faster, so his hands would be preoccupied.

Heavens, they are only 4.

They were watching the movie and eating popcorn when I finally had a moment to call R, my hubby.

"Honey, um, I think your daughter just had her first kiss."
"Who do I have to kill?"

Thank heavens they're only 4...if they were 10 I'd be even crazier Mommy.

When my friend C got back from the temple, I told her how her little guy has the moves. She laughed and blamed her husband for that.

Of course, one day, we will all tease them about this. Let's hope tomorrow doesn't come soon. I'm not ready for the raging hormones.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Sunday night, before dinner my hubby R was checking work email. The girls decided to attack the Huns.

K as Mulan: We're going to put arrows into you!

R as a Hun: You're going to put arrows into me? That's not very nice.

M as Shang (because K always makes M be the boy): But we're going to put nice arrows into you.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I often scoff at superstition.

Chinese people don't like the number 4 or the color white. Both of which symbolize death. As a child I was never allowed to wear a white hair band, clip, etc.

Chinese also believe that if you don't clean your bowl at mealtimes, as a child, you'll marry a pock-faced spouse.

In the middle ages, anything unexplained would be considered witchcraft.

Friday the 13th seems to always illicit another stupid horror movie. (I hate commercials for them... they freak me out)

Beware of black cats that cross your path.

Don't walk under ladders.

I was sitting in the family room today and realized, I have my own... superstitions.

When my hubby used to go on business trips, I'd be extra jumpy. At night, after the girls were in bed I'd shower and then jump into my garments as soon as possible... because I believed that if I wore them - no harm would come to us.

We're supposed to keep the Sabbath Day holy. So even when I have to take my daughter into urgent care and buy her medicine on Sunday - I feel as though I'm tempting bolts of lightening.

I know I have more like this...but the exhaustion of this entire week is... weakening my ability to form coherent thought. So... what about you? What superstitions do you have? Help me jog my short-circuiting brain.

First Five Gimme Gimme

From my friend the Greek Goddess...

the first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me!
(QS: be afraid...)
my choice. for you. this offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1. i make no guarantees that you will like what i make! (QS: if you don't...please don't tell me...nah, tell me - I like honesty)
2. what i create will be just for you.
3. it’ll be done this year. {translation: you may be waiting a little while}
4. you have no clue what it’s going to be ... it may be cards, a poem, a bookmark, something yummy or a complete surprise to you (and me!) ... who knows? not you, that’s for sure!
5. i reserve the right to do something extremely strange. (QS: you are forewarned...)
6. most importantly, you must offer the same deal on your blog - the first 5 people to comment on your blog (or if you do not have a blog, facebook) get something made by YOU! the first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me ...

Those were the rules as copied exactly from the Greek Goddess' blog. She added an idea. If you're not the kind of person that wants to make something tangible for others, how about some kind of service for them, any type, any size.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Saving Face

I have never, ever in my entire life liked the Asian thing of "saving face". I know other cultures have their version of it - in any form, I find it rank and useless.

Recently I was sitting (maybe a week or so ago - losing count of things with the lack of sleep) in Relief Society and listening to a lesson. My favorite teacher Allison, no longer teaches us, she was recruited by the early morning seminary students. She is the type of teacher we all need. She's real, down-to-earth and doesn't do any of the holier-than-thou stuff that drives me crazy.

It just so happened that this lesson started to border on the "we are Mormon and we are so much better than the world". Which drives me bonkers because we aren't better. We have knowledge, but that doesn't matter if we don't do anything about it. We are just as flawed as anyone else. Being a Mormon doesn't come with it a "perfection" card. When people start giving lessons like that, I start feeling as though the whole room starts to feel smug about itself and begins to sneer down it's long pointed nose. It makes me want to scratch my skin off.

So naturally, I couldn't keep my mouth shut. I made a comment about how important it is for us as parents to let our kids know that we are not perfect. That we make mistakes and ...even more important than that, that we will apologize to our children and make amends to them when we hurt them. Because, let's face it... parents do hurt their children. The best intentions in the world, don't erase that, don't excuse it.

Example of this in my own home. During Christmas our oldest K (who is four and a half...she likes to remind us of this half every day) watched the old clay animation movie The Little Drummer Boy. In the movie the little drummer boy says "I hate all people". K caught on to the word 'hate' like it was the best tasting word around. So we told her that if she said that word she'd have to have a drop of hot sauce (tabasco) placed on her tongue.

What do you think happened after that?

She became even, more attentive to what my hubby and I said. And... we had no idea we used the word 'hate' for things we didn't like as much as we did. So... we were dosing our own tongues with hot sauce, and acting like it was awful, for her. She discovered that Mommys and Daddys make mistakes and that we are also held accountable to the same rules as she is. She didn't say 'hate' after that.

It has always bothered me when parents insist on pretending, saving face, or creating a facade that as a parent you automatically become perfect, or that you are blemish free. And how dare anyone even bring up the possiblity that you have ever, in your life, made a mistake. This type of behavior is misleading, dishonest and lends itself to an actual false belief that you are perfect, in this self-created world.

Why is it that as parents, the pride is so much more important than the unconditional love and empathy of a child, no matter what age? Why? Is the association with your children less valued than the lonely, souless pride?

I think that if we want our children to come to us in their times of joy, trouble, need of comfort ...and especially when they make mistakes, we need to admit, and atone for any we make towards them. I honestly believe that as parents, if we sincerely care more about what our kids think of us, than what our friends at Church, work, neighborhood...strangers...etc think of us - we'll not only be able to be better parents, we'll help our children trust us, and want to be with us.

In the end, as parents, we will all be held accountable to how we treat our little ones (entrusted to us by God)... no matter what age.

ps. Yeah, I have to apologize a lot to my babies... but I have learned, that a child is unconditionally forgiving to their parents.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Goodbye Ear Infection, Hello Strep Throat

My girls have been on antibiotics for 10 days (ended Friday) for ear infections. Then in the middle of night (technically 5-6am this Sunday morning) my youngest, M woke up with a fever and complaints of her mouth hurting. She said "I have a canker sore". I looked in her mouth and her throat looked read and swollen. So we went off to the Urgent Care center to check it out.

The swab test came out positive. Also husband has been complaining of a sore throat for a couple weeks (but, like a typical guy doesn't go to the doctor - drives me crazy). So this is all his fault. He is our resident petri dish. Never known anyone who catches every bug than him.

So...looks like we are back on the antibiotic train. Choo choo.

At least they'll stop being contagious after what... three days? That's when I need to throw away the toothbrushes so they don't reinfect themselves.

I think a bunch of you out there in blog-land have Strep too...right? Or am I hallucinating?

Friday, February 6, 2009

He's my Valentine

I think K or M took this picture. How they see their Daddy.

Our marriage isn't perfect. We disagree on things. I don't cave to him, he doesn't cave to me. He doesn't think his word is law. If anything, he let's my word become law. We have blissful moments. We also have doldrums. He knows how to make me weak at the knees, and I can still turn him on. We both make each other laugh. There are things I do that are baffling to my hubby...and things he does that baffle me. He's my sounding board, and he tells me when I'm out of line. He's also willing to change to improve our family. I will say, my honey knows how to be a man.

Last Saturday I was busy working on our Relief Society newsletter. It was late, and I still had the kitchen to clean up. While I was working on the computer, he was in the kitchen cleaning it up. He even detailed the counters.

On Sunday when the girls were feeling sick still, and he woke up feeling hoarse, I went to Church and taught his Sunday School class. I came home to a spic and span bedroom. He'd spent the morning making it lovely again.

When he came home from work on Monday, he started vacuuming the stairs. He did it because he knows I have a hard time doing it. Why don't they make reasonable vacuums that can do stairs? Dyson should do this. We have a Dyson...but it's too bulky for stairs.

My hubby overlooks my shortcomings and the baggage I come with, from my childhood. He loves me just as I am...even though I am a high-maintenance woman. I feel grateful that he forgives easily, and is quick to apologize. That he is tender, sweet and patient with our daughters, and with me. They know that their father will apologize when he is wrong. They know that their father will always love them just as they are, and will not be harsh with them. I love how he'll turn on music in the family room, specifically to get us all dancing together.

I love that my hunny looks for things that will help make my day better. I need to do a better job of remembering this in my daily comings and goings. He's a good example to me. I love my hunny bunny, secksy wexy, sweetie wootie. I confess that since having children I've felt less... alluring, bare. I've always been a bit self-conscious about my small bust, now they're bigger ...but less perky... and I wonder if I'll ever get rid of that flap above the c-section I do feel bad that I don't attack him with wild abandon when we were first married. I need to get over my own issues and actually believe him when he says I'm beautiful. And that my dear friends... makes me one lucky woman. (Yes, those were names I called him when we were dating... time to dust those names off and start using them again...maybe some flirty teddys too...maybe)

We love you!

Your girls

He took a bunch of pics of me with my new do... this was his favorite candid shot.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bringing Home the Bacon

My hubby R and my four-year old K had this conversation as he came in the door from a day of work.

R: Hi Sweetie!
K: Did you have a fun day today, Daddy?
R: It was okay, Daddy's tired though.
K: Did you make us lots of money today?
R: Um, I made a little money.
K: Well then you need to go back to work to make lots of money.
R: You want me to go back to work, and not stay with you guys?
K: (thinks for a good, solid minute) Um, it's okay, you can go back tomorrow.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Cleaning the Lord's House

I don't know how it works out in Utah... but out here the members in the temple district clean the the temple. On Monday mornings they do the deep cleaning, and then each night thereafter members go to the temple 10 min to 9pm to keep the temple looking radiant.

This past Thursday I went with my friend Cam. She' s been doing this for well over a year. I'd always wanted to do it, and when I realized it was late enough that I could sneak out while the kids were in bed, leaving my hubby on guard duty... I was in.

Walking into the temple in my cleaning attire (read, holy work out clothes) was humbling. There were people leaving sessions in Sunday dress, and I couldn't help but feel that I was missing something. It was an odd experience entering those temple doors without my Sunday dress.

Of course, upon entering I felt like I always do when I'm in the temple. I was immediately filled with peace. I'm usually a high-energy gal. I don't do the diet coke/pepsi caffeine regimen, because I don't need it (and soda/addiction isn't my thing). The temple is one place that I can feel my breathing slow, my heart relax and all the worry wrinkles in my mind get ironed out.

I was able to work with my friend at the temple. I rarely have toilet duty at home. My hubby takes care of them. At the temple I was on toilet duty. So there we were dressed in white temple scrubs over our at-home scrubs, cleaning.

As I was spraying down, and scrubbing the toilets I felt like every little movement was sacred and important. I had to get this right. This was the Lord's house, and I was going to make each spot shine. It felt reverent. The role of cleaning is already a pretty humble one.

As we cleaned the offices in the temple, I noticed how sparkling they already were. Sure there were little spots that needed cleaning, but overall, it was better than any day at my home. I realized that our lives need to be like that. That I'm too often happy to have a few spots here and there, letting them buildup (much like the dust bunnies in my home), when I should be eradicating them at every step of the way. It's so much easier to get rid of little spots right away, than after they all buildup into an intimidating mound of gunk.

At one point a beautiful sister in charge of the cleaning that night told me about some stain in the President's office. It was on the plastic that the computer chairs roll on. I was a little nervous, wondering what kind of a stain it was. When it wasn't coming out immediately I figured it was time to get my nails involved. I quickly discovered it was a white skid mark from the shoes they wear in the temple. I was determined to get it out. After using degreaser, some glass cleaner and a lot of elbow grease, it came out. In my head I was exulting and thinking "oh yeah... did you see that? Yep, I got your stain out." I wonder if the Lord laughs at me too.

There was also light mopping, wiping, emptying, dusting, vacuuming... it made me want to clean my own home with such reverence. If our homes are to be like a heaven on earth, maybe I need to start treating my own home with that kind of joy.

I left the temple with my friend about a quarter to 11pm with the same feeling I do, when I'm in there for sessions, feeling refreshed, invigorated and totally at peace. I will definitely be back to clean with the night crew. It was just cleaning, but it was a fun highlight of my week. For those that aren't terribly comfortable in the temple, this is a very good way to get acquainted with the layout, and feel the spirit that elegantly resides there.

I always feel grateful to enter the Lord's house, and I can't wait to go back.