Monday, March 27, 2017

Separation and anxiety

This Millie-girl goes where I go.  Even on dinner dates with her daddy.

That binkie on the table is just for show. She chews on it.

In the mornings she is glued to JB's side. When I am home, she likes me within view, or holding her. It's the separation anxiety phase babies all go through.

(This is at the school for arts night)

Anxiety in babies - normal. Anxiety in kids and adults - let's talk about that.

I have some level of worry already that I think comes with motherhood (like this post from when Max was 3 and Ben nearly 1 year old). Worry can protect us and our kids.

But on the other end of the spectrum are things like anxiety attacks (which I went through for a period of time in 2015). I didn't realize what was happening until it was spelled out for me in therapy. And I remember talking with my sister-in-law last April briefly about anxiety after her last baby. Giving it a name has really helped me recognize when it happens to me, and how to work through it. It also has been great to teach my children skills to handle the times when it seems "the worry-monster" is taking over their thoughts about something.

I highly recommend this article in the Ensign this month about it. I find I can talk more easily to myself about a fear versus reality, about truth versus deception, etc. Our ward theme this year is "Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not."  JB gave a wonderful talk on this for ward conference that people have told me they loved. God is so great and we can trust Him that the future will work out.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring soccer better beat swimming lessons

I would like to say soccer should go better for James than swimming lessons did, but then again, he liked swimming on the first day. He also really liked soccer on his first day, last Saturday.

They got their own ball this year, and my big boys were bleating: "Not fair, a free ball!" No, not free, this year the program costs more than when they were in soccer. (By the way, one of my favorite posts of all time is when Max was 3 and I was his co-player)

James was pretty excited about getting his turn to be on a team, after seeing older brothers be on sports teams for years.  He secretly drank all the Powerade beforehand that I had brought for him as his own special drink for after his game. Every time I turned around he was sneaking another sip.

This year's program has 3 weeks of clinics and short scrimmages before real games. I mean, is there anything cuter than little kids warming up? 

An hour after James's time slot was Andrew's time slot, and he got his uniform and ball. This is his third spring season.

I think this year promises to have less nose-picking and more running and kicking. Hope springs eternal.

Our jungle kitty baby wanted to crawl around, but that artificial turf in the field house is nasty. It makes our hands and clothes all black.  Max and Ben are such sweet big brothers -- they each wanted to carry her around the field and show her things and show her off.

My big boys also ran alongside the little boys. Seeing this, I settled down on my side-line blanket to have a nice chat/gossip sesh with the other moms. But then I got chastised by my big boys for not paying enough attention to the littles.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Eight months

JB: "I tried to do an 8 month photo shoot with Millie, and it was a spectacular failure. She kept rolling, eating grass, crawling away..."

Me: "Bahahahahaha"

Right after her 7 month mark, Millie started crawling like a little jungle kitty stalking her prey and carefully placing her paws through the underbrush.  Very deliberately placing each hand one after the other on the floor. Now she is getting faster, and starts to leave her spot in the living room to come find me if I have left the room. And she wants to get down and crawl everywhere, like church or the basketball gyms where she spends a lot of time.

Two teeth on bottom are all the way in; four are almost all in on top within some rather rough days for her. OUCH

She says almost all of her consonants, though JB keeps trying to teach her "P" so she can say "Papa" and hopefully make him delighted by the trick.  Lobbying for favorite grandbaby has begun over here. She also gurgles and growls.

I think everybody should have a baby like this one. Make your fifth baby your first -- you get the experience behind you,  but you also have the joy of all the milestones for the last time. We are enjoying this baby and all her sweetness, but also look forward to not worrying about her choking on small Legos!

People ask how she is sleeping at night. She sleeps by me until I have to leave for work in the wee hours. On the weekends, when I can stay up later, she has gone down in her crib around 10 or 11pm and slept for 8 hours. But when I have to go to bed so early, I just stick her in bed so she can nurse when she needs to.

It's basically what I have done with all of our babies, and we just sleep-train them when they wean.  I read a book (The Nursing Mother's Companion) before my first baby about how to keep up your milk supply when you work full-time, and it suggested nursing on-demand when you are together and at night, so, that's what I have always done.  I figure I have years ahead of me to have a smaller chest size and a child that sleeps in their own bed.

More pictures here at the end:

St Patrick's day headband and grapes snack (she eats in her diaper then gets a sink bath)

Millicent Mae and Millie Grace getting into the boys' games one Sunday

Eating her toes

Getting into trouble

Being rescued by a brother

And finally,

"How you doin?"

Monday, March 13, 2017

Some bragging-updated

The story I mention is here on this link where you can read it or listen to my radio version at the bottom.

And USA Today picked it up!


I had some highs in my journalism/radio reporting life this past week.

I haven't been caught in action on camera for a while, but there I am on the air with our main talk show host, during the radiothon for Primary Children's Hospital.  

I really enjoyed the opportunity. The volunteers were so great, and I have a fondness for the hospital and how it has helped me (2-day old baby Maxwell spent a night there) and neighbors and friends. Live radio is always exciting, but I feel like I finally hit my stride right at the end of my on-air shift!

I also feel like I made a difference with a story I worked hard on last week. It was on new locker rooms being built for homeless teenagers who go to a local high school.  

I produced an indepth radio report first (2 minutes instead of 30 seconds), and then the folks at ksl-dot-com asked me to write it up for them, so I did with added length and pictures. It has remained one of the most popular stories on the website for a week. On Saturday, I saw that it made the front page of our newspaper.

After those big moments, the stories I pitched this morning were all about how we should do away with the daylight saving time changes every spring and fall.  Am I right? JUST PICK A TIME.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Terror Twins

These two. They are such best buds/worst enemies!

On Saturday morning, they came with me to Ben's basketball game while JB and Max were at their game in another location.

I kid you not, I caught them wrestling each other and screeching over something James had clutched in his fist.  IT WAS USED CHEWING GUM HE PLUCKED FROM UNDERNEATH THE BLEACHERS.  They each wanted to pop it in their mouths and I stopped them just in time.  Stink-eyes from other parents, horrified face from me, but now, I totally keep giggling about it.

Later that day I had to stop James from pulling so hard on Andrew's shirt that it almost ripped. He was after a Lego creation Andrew made that he liked better than his own.

Saturday night, I reminded them that Andrew would give the scripture in primary the next day, and James would have his first turn to give a prayer. Ensue panic from James, but then I heard:

"Jamsey, you can sit by me. It will be fun!"
"No, I wanna sit by my teachers. Dey wuv me."
"I will help you, J."
"Ok, thanks buddy."

That picture above is from Friday, around 11 AM while I was finishing up work. There was no school for a teacher development day.  JB took the kids to get corndogs, not realizing they would be the size of Millie. They loved them. Andrew ate the whole thing. Max gladly helped James finish his.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Sunday Snaps

A little drama and some normalcy on our Sunday and for some reason I have more pictures of it, so I am always one to (over)share.

Before church, Andrew found this bowtie and wanted me to send a picture to daddy at his meetings. Backlit. I am not good at this.

Since I had paused the Primary Songs playlist on my phone for that pic, I thought I may as well document what was happening right then in the living room.  My best Sunday helper, Ben, puts James's shoes on almost every Sunday (Max also helps with him or Drewber).

During church, I almost took a picture of my two littles sitting by each other in the front of primary. They were sooo cute, singing together, waiting for their turn to give the scripture and prayer. It was James's first turn, and he was gung ho -- until he froze in the microphone and turned and buried his face in me.

My friend JoLynn did sneak a picture in Sunday School of the back of my head because she said she was impressed by my curls.

Confession: I curled my hair because I just watched the pilot of "Designated Survivor" the day before, and the wife's hair was amazing. Confession #2: I kept the little boys in the tub a little longer than they wanted so I could finish these curls.

Not pictured in that picture: Millie crawling underneath the teacher's table, and James curled up beside me. After the opening prayer and having mom and dad there in the primary room with him again, he did not want to stay there. It became dramatic.  BUT, he went back down with me for the older sharing time to watch Ben give a talk, and his teachers scooped him up into their line of 3 year olds and he hustled off to class, phew.

NOW, to the bigger drama of the day.  While wolfing down some lunch (Fast Sunday=hangry Richards), Max suddenly gasped and pulled half of his Herpst appliance out of his mouth. This is the system screwed to his back teeth to help correct his jaw.  He had half the metal in his hand and the other dangling out of his mouth. Thankfully no pain. But we couldn't find a screw anywhere and assume he swallowed it.

I called the after-hours number and the Orthodontist called back and said he would meet us at the office. JB was still in meetings (and I refrained from sending him a series of frantic texts, like I had done to him on Friday night about our leaking bathtub while he was at the Jazz game).  The doctor unlocked the doors, and 8 minutes later had Max in the chair and fixed up in no time.

We were back home and watching a movie again, lickety split.

Sunday family dinner snap from JB and Millie. She is becoming a ham!

Then more drama -- while handing her to Papa, I scratched her head with my wedding ring. And later, I bonked her head on the pantry door.  I felt so bad. She is such a good baby and forgave me with lots of cuddles.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Basketball is life

Max and Ben's Superleague team has been playing in a league on Thursday nights, and on Saturdays. There's a break in the games for now, and they are going to start Jr Jazz/County Rec teams on Saturdays soon,  

Hats off to JB who goes to almost every game and practice, one, because sometimes the games are too late for me and the little kids, and two, he helps coach. He's in the back on the right behind Max, and Ben is holding the ball in the front.

I am so happy to hear the reports of their progress. This has been tough, playing at this level, but JB says our boys are really improving in their confidence level and skills.

I just think it's crazy how GOOD some of their fellow 9-12 year olds are. It's like they play all day every day, and to me they are still just kids. Fierce competition has trickled down to this level, and I see it in other sports, too.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Always learning

Our neighbors have had their 6 year old daughter in the hospital for asthma, pneumonia and every lung/breathing problem imaginable this month.  She is in Andrew's class at church and at school, so we have been keeping him updated about how she is doing.

I showed the boys a picture her mom sent of Eva opening a nail salon from her hospital bed, and painting the nurses' nails.

All but Max were so confused.

Ben: "So...what are they doing? Clipping the nails?"
Me: "No, painting them. Like at a salon or spa."
Blank stares.
Me: "They take turns, and pay for it at the real thing."
Andrew: "OH! Like a restaurant but for nails."
Me: "Exactly!"
Max: rolls eyes

The younger boys must have forgotten the last time I painted my nails. I have been lazy this winter.

I also know they haven't had a sister around who is interested in these things.  So I jumped at the chance for more femininity around here, and agreed to watch Eva's 3 year old sister Grace for an afternoon, to help their parents during all of this. 

I think I was expecting her to ask for dolls (I have some now for Millie!) and I thought I could even braid her hair if she wanted.


She immediately went straight for the train tracks, Magformers and indoor basketball hoop, and had a great time playing tug of war with Andrew and James.

I felt foolish for the assumptions I keep making (see here and see here for example) about what boys and girls are like and what they should be like.