Friday, September 30, 2011

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

We picked the kids up straight from school to head out for our trip to the cabin. Lauren and Sabrina began expressing their hunger. Annie volunteered, "I packed a big lunch and I didn't eat it all. I have some snacks leftover." I asked if she would share. Happily she got her lunch pack and began showing her sisters what she had.

Jon and I were talking and listening to music. Then Annie asked us to turn off the music. We did. She began to pray. Jon and I were happy she remembered to have us pray to start our trip. She was far in the back of the van so we didn't catch all of what she said but I did hear a bit about us driving safe.

After her prayer we complimented her on remembering and thanked her for the prayer. She said, "Well you know how I thought about it was because Jesus had to feed those 5000 people with just a little bit of food so... " She was hoping her prayer would make her fruit roll up and chips expand to fill them all up. Jon and I smiled at each other. Yeah. That was just awesome. At least we know she is listening in Sunday school and trying to apply what she learns in her everyday life.

A few minutes later we stopped to gas up before leaving the city and Jon asked the girls if they wanted to pick some snacks from the mini mart. There was much rejoicing. As Annie left the car she noted that this was an answer to her prayer. And you know what ... as far as I am concerned, it pretty much was. One way or another. The Lord provides.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

French Toast

I stopped by Bread and Butter (my friend Chris Herrin's new bakery opening this Saturday) to give him a bakery "shower" gift I made. He has a butterfly themed ladies room. So I made a butterfly mosaic out of butter cartons. It was fun to make it with my mom helping draw the butterfly form for me to follow. I think it turned out cute.

After we made the project, Mom and I sampled several of the butters I bought to make the project. Our favorite is was Straus Family Creamery butter. So creamy and slightly sweet.

When we left, Chris gave us a test loaf of bread. I went home and made french toast. This was pure heaven. Fresh cage free brown eggs and milk, mexican vanilla and a bit of freshly grated nutmeg. I spread the French toast with some of that creamy Straus butter. Then to top it off I took some of the fresh Utah peaches my mom gave me and made a chunky syrup out of them to pour over the top. It was the best French Toast I had ever made. Chris's bread had such a nice crust to it and just the perfect amount of sour dough flavoring to be good as French Toast.

I am excited for his bakery to open but I am a little afraid that it is going to be super counter productive for my diet. Good thing it is not around the corner from my house or I would really be in trouble.

This week has been full of doing things for others. Our ward fed the homeless this week at a local food kitchen. Some ladies and I took dinner for 40 to the Bench family tonight as they gather and prepare for the funeral tomorrow. We have been coordinating for people who want to do something to help that family. It feels good to serve and give till you really feel it. It stretches you. It is like that good kind of burn when you are working out. It is the kind of hurt you want to feel because you know it is doing something. You are growing and changing and making a difference, even if the difference is mainly in your own soul.

It has been an incredibly busy week, a hard week, a tiring week, but all in a good way.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Prayers Needed

I just got a call waking me up to tell me that Lisa Bench, our former Primary president in the former version of our ward, past away last night. She was in her early forties and the mother of 7 beautiful children. Her husband is the bishop of their current ward. I found out last night she was not doing well after complications from a surgery she had the day before.

Last night before I went to bed I prayed earnestly for her and for her family. I had a sense of peace concerning the matter. At the time I thought, "I wonder if this is the kind of peace that means she will get better or the kind like we felt when Camille was in the hospital and we finally prayed to see if it was right to let her go. I guess either way it is the kind of peace that tells me she and her family are in the Lord's hands. What more can we ask for at such a time?"

I feel so heart broken for her family today. Lisa was an amazing woman and fabulous mother. She had a smile that lit up any room she entered. I looked up to her as a role model. She was one of those mothers that I can honestly say I look to in a hope to be a little more like them in one way or another.

If you have a moment, say a prayer for the Bench family today. Say a prayer for daughter who was married just a couple of years ago, for her son who just came home from his mission, for her son who is serving his mission in Guatemala, for her son who is preparing to serve his mission, for her two little daughters and one little son who must now be between the ages of 4 and 8. And then say a prayer for Bishop Bench. Oh how my heart hurts for them.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lose it

My neighbors have turned me on to a great tool in my effort to lose my baby weight. It is a website called Lose It at It is free. Love that. You enter your weight and height and all that and it will help you track your calories to help you lose weight.

I have been doing Weight Watchers and have doing well. I am down to my last 5 lbs. But these 5 have been stubborn and my motivation has been waning. Lose it is similar in many ways as it has you track what you eat and your exercise. But the part I love about Lose it is the network of friends.

You see with Lose it (and yes it has a mobile app) you add your friends to it and then they can see what you eat and how much you exercise. They also can see how much you gain or lose. Talk about accountability. I love it. I have been so inspired by my neighbors who have lost 22 and 34 lbs. They are doing so great. Right now they are the only friends I have on Lose it.

Are any of you on Lose it? If so I would love to add you as friend. My email is stephaniewaite at gmail dot com. So go check it out and add me as a friend if you sign up. We can help each other!

please note that I have not been compensated or contacted by lose it. i just share what i love.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

Yesterday morning Lauren came down dressed for school in some brightly multi colored striped leggings and brightly different multi colored flowered shirt. It didn't go. Usually I let my kids pick what they wear. Only when their outfit clashes so badly that it hurts me to look at it do I send them to change. This was one of those outfits.

So I told Lauren that her outfit was too busy and she needed to change either the top or bottom. Then Sabrina looked at her and said, "That is like a disco ball gone wrong." I asked her where she heard that. She made it up just then. It was a pretty accurate description.

Of course with as busy as my morning was yesterday, getting balloons to take to the hospital and getting Sabrina to school early for choir, I didn't get Lauren to change so everyone at school got to enjoy her "disco ball" outfit. Cheers to you all at our elementary school!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Walking Memory Lane

It has been incredibly busy around here lately. Life gets that way I suppose. But this month has been heavy for my husband at work. We are opening a LaptopXchange store in the Phoenix area in a couple of weeks. Jon's brother will be moving down there with his wife to run it. With that and a few other major duties to attend to at work, I have been more on my own than ever with keeping our family running.

Yesterday was particularly crazy. The kids got home from school and did their homework and one went to a friends house and a friend came over. Right after I ate my dinner Annie got dropped off from being at a friends house and I fed Harrison. He doesn't like green beans. He was gagging on them and threw them up. The phone rang as I was cleaning him up. We couldn't find a phone (like always). Finally I just went to the one phone we have that is not cordless and picked it up.

It was the mom who dropped Annie off. As she was leaving she saw a little neighbor girl friend of ours get into a collision with a car. She had been riding her bike. The long and short of it is that she is okay. I didn't know that then and if was rather unsettling news. Her dad had taken her to the ER and I went over to bring the other kids to my house.

Luckily, our little friend will heal up just fine. She did have to stay the night in the hospital for observation though. The driver of the car is another friend of mine - one of my former young women at church (now a sophomore in college with a daughter of her own.) This morning I took her over to the hospital see our little friend. They don't know each other but I know them both. We took balloons to bring a bit of cheer.

I had seen my little friend briefly the night before in the ER and she looked so good. I knew it would do my driver friend good to see how well the biker was. She was at the hospital where Camille and Noble were born. It is also the one where Camille died.

What I didn't expect as I went there this morning was to be going to the PICU to visit our little friend. Her injuries weren't life threatening. She would be leaving in a matter of hours. Stitches and a broken bone and a bump on the head. So I was taken back when walking to her room I found myself walking that same hallway I had walked so many times in June 2008.

Further down the hall we walked and I just kept praying that it would not be the same room. Luckily our little friend was about 5 doors away from that room where my baby spent her last days on this Earth. Still even three years plus later I could not stop the physical reaction my body had to walking down that hall once more.

I am so grateful my little friend is happy and well. While we visited with her a clown came to "inspect her smile." It was such a nice thing. There were no clowns around when we were there. There were no smiles to inspect I guess.

But as I walked the hallway on our way out, I looked down to the end of the hall to that room where I transitioned into a bereaved mother. I remembered the cold of the room and the hallways. I could almost taste the salt on my face from all the tears I cried in those three days we spent there. And it felt almost like hallowed ground. Those three days were the hardest of my life. But they were sacred in a way too. Still, I hope I never have to walk those halls again.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Mark your calendars my fellow Las Vegans. 10.1.11 is the opening date for drum roll please...

Bread & Butter 
the Restaurant.

What is that? I am glad you asked. Remember my friend Chris Herrin? 

I introduced him in THIS POST just a couple of weeks after Camille's passing. He is the pastry chef friend you have all heard me talk about or seen me write about. He used to be the head pastry chef at Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bistro in the Venetian Hotel here. Well, a little over a year ago Chris left Bouchon to pursue his dream of opening his own place.

For the past year or so he has been running the Famous Lulu's on the Move Food truck for Metro Pizza while he has been making preparations to open his own breakfast, lunch and bakery place. And the time is drawing so close. I just had to tell you all to get your tummies ready for it.

His plan is to open on 10.1.11. That is two weeks from Saturday people! Wahoo! I am getting a little sugar rush just thinking about it! Bread and Butter is located on South Eastern at Sunridge Heights in Henderson. It is on the Northeast corner of that intersection behind Osaka Japanese restaurant. My pediatrician's office (St. Rose Pediatrics) is right across the street.

Go see the Bread and Butter Facebook page to get the exact address and see how things are shaping up over there! Chris is trying to get to 300 people who "like" his page before he opens. I KNOW my readers can help him get there. Go check it out and like it while you are there. I know if any of you go have a taste when he gets open you will "like" it for sure. 

Geez I wish I could give you all a taste of his chocolate pudding, or homemade pretzels with mustard butter, or his macaroons, or quiche, or steak and egg sandwich, or chocolate cake or ... well I think you get the point. But the interactive tasting internet hasn't been invented yet, so you will just have to go to B&B yourself and TRY it! 

10+1=11 people. Keep it in mind!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Watching Miracles

I have not been sleeping well. Partly because I am just a crazy insomniac. But also because my little Harrison is getting some new teeth. His top two teeth are just about to burst out of his swollen and sore gums. 

It seems we are entering a new phase of babyhood once again. Only a few more gummy smiles are left.

He is rolling and rotating on the ground these days. Jonathan keeps trying to put his knees up under him to encourage crawling. I keep telling Jonathan to stop doing that and let him be little already! He is only 5.5 months after all.

He is enjoying the baby food we are giving him. He eats a big bowl of that twice a day. I clean him or bath him about as many times. :)

And Harrison is loving being with his family.

It has been interesting as the girls have gone back to school to watch how that has affected Noble and Harrison. Noble missed his sisters so much that first week they were gone. He kept asking and crying for "Ina" (Sabrina.) He just LOVES her. He often cries for her instead of me. Probably has something to do with the fact that she is such a softy that she can't handle him crying so she will give him whatever she can to keep him happy.
After the rain the other day, our backyard turned into a mini pond, or a really big puddle. Noble had so much fun splashing and playing in it.

Mama is a different story. So Noble has had to adjust to not being able to go to a sister when Mama tells him "no." And Harrison is adjusting to getting lots more attention from Noble. Mama is adjusting to spending lots of time redirecting. ;)

But the other day I had a moment that took my breath away. I had both boys sitting on my lap in the rocking chair. Noble was being silly and telling Harrison "SHHHHH" only he can't make that noise yet so it sounded more like "SSSSSSS" with his finger raised up to his lips. And Harrison was full out laughing every time Noble did it. Then Noble would laugh too and Harrison would laugh more ... you get the idea.

In between laughing fits, there were a few quiet, fleeting moments. In these Harrison would look up at Noble expectantly, and there in Harrison's eyes I caught a glimpse of the look that speaks a thousand words to the heart.

Just after Camille died, I was given the gift of "seeing" through her eyes one afternoon while potty training Lauren. I wrote about it in THIS POST. Lauren was so small then-- not yet 3 years old. And potty training her had been difficult. It often took all my patience and I often felt frustrated with her. But this day, in the middle of yet another frustrating attempt, I just looked at her and saw her the way Camille saw her. And I realized that it was the same way the Savior saw her. I saw her as this amazingly wonderful, beautiful miracle of life and love.

It was the same way I saw Harrison looking at Noble. He had that look -- like he was looking at the most amazing thing ever, something more entertaining and special than anything else. And it was a look of utter love, simple, unconditional, pure, deep love. It was a look of awe and admiration.

It was the look of watching a miracle happen right in front of you.
And it reminded me that everyday I am doing just that.

Monday, September 12, 2011


There is NOTHING like a good electrical storm to light up the night sky and there is a beauty going on right now. It is one of my favorite things to watch. I am going to go upstairs and open all my bedroom blinds and sit in bed and watch the light show.

New Calling

This week I start my new calling as ....

Webelos Cub Scout Leader.

I know. That was out of left field huh? That is what I thought when the Bishop asked me to do it. I told him I would accept whatever calling he wanted to give me, but that to be honest I was not sure exactly what I was accepting with this one. Still it is working with the little boys Sabrina's age and I know most of them and they are really great kids.

A week after I accepted the call, as I sat up late at night training on the scouting website, I realized a bit more what I had agreed to do. It is going to be a lot of work. I particularly had a good laugh at the part in the online training when it said "your den leader will be able to teach you how to safely start a fire, tie knots, pitch a tent, and many other useful skills." I think I laughed out loud.

I don't know any of that. I am not handy or even crafty. I have never camped other than girls camp as a teenager and even then we slept in cabins and had bathrooms. It is going to be ... educational for us all I guess. While I may know next to nothing about all the things I am supposed to help the boys learn this year, I do know how to do one crucial thing ... delegate. And that is what I plan on doing.

This week is my first den meeting with the boys. I need to go make a plan and figure out how I am going to run these den meetings. And I need to get a parent to come to it to help since I don't have a partner yet.

At least they didn't release me from my calling of teaching Relief Society. That is my favorite calling. I taught yesterday on the Law of Chastity. Can you believe in a room of about 20 women only about 5 had been given "the talk" by their parents before they hit puberty. Amazing. I hope our generation will up that percentage and be better about talking to our kids about their bodies and sex before they hit an age where they have already heard it from friends and are embarrassed about it. But I suppose that is another subject for another post right?

Now I gotta switch my brain to working with the 10 year old boys and figuring out how to tie some tricky knots. Wish me luck! :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Clean Rooms

Robyn asked about how I get my kids to clean their rooms. I had a few thoughts to share on this topic so here they are.

First, while I really life a clean house, I am not a super clean person. So I just don't want you all to have the impression that my house is always in order. Anyone who has just "dropped by" my house knows better. That being said, a clean house does put me more at peace and so I do try to have certain parts of my house clean at least at one point everyday.

I also have cleaning ladies who come and do a deep clean on my house once a week. I just would never get to all the floors and base boards and dusting etc. without them. This is a real treat for me because I love a clean house and it makes me much less grumpy when a kid spills juice on the floor because it wasn't like I just mopped.

I kept my cleaning ladies a secret from my kids for almost 2 years. I have had cleaning ladies come on and off over the last 7 years. When the kids knew about it they got all entitled and wouldn't pick stuff up. So this last time I kept it a secret. I told the kids they had to clean up the night before and then when they came home from school and complimented how the nice the house looked, I said, "Thank you. I worked really hard today." That was technically true since I work with the cleaning ladies to get the house clean. If they ever saw the cleaning ladies I told them they were my friends that were coming to help me clean. Also technically true.

This summer my technicalities were exposed. It was too hard to keep my little secret. Luckily in the last 2 years my kids have gotten conditioned to clean up well prior to the cleaning ladies coming that they no longer have that entitlement issue.

The point of all that is to say that our house gets really well cleaned once a week. And the night before the cleaning ladies come, my kids pick up the whole house. Sometimes I help. Sometimes I am too busy with boys to help. Sometimes they do it with cheer. Most times they do it to get it over with. And there are still times when it is a fight and there are tears.

In the earlier days there were MUCH more tears and MUCH more yelling and threatening. Now I think the kids just know that I will make them do it so they just do it. I also try to compliment them lots on being good cleaners and give them incentives and make games. Those things work really well for some of my kids. Or I give them a section of the house to make clean or a time limit of what has to be done in a certain amount of time or a certain number of things they have to get picked up.

I think it is always more pleasant to work in anticipation of some reward after. Also, because we have the whole place cleaned weekly, it never gets THAT dirty so the chores are not as big a deal. We also clean bedrooms every morning and the kitchen and family room every night so those rooms stay pretty clean. It is way easier to get a kid to pick up 5 things off the floor than a whole room covered in junk.

I also don't keep their toys in their rooms. They have a play room where all the toys (except the baby toys) go. This is usually the messiest room in the house. I don't even go in this room or require it to be clean until the night before the cleaning ladies come. My kids have gotten pretty quick at cleaning it up. Even when it is really messy they can get it clean in under 10 minutes. (not that everything is in the "right" place but...)

Once in while (maybe once a year) I go in and sort everything out in that room and organize the toys. There are several "junky" areas on my house that I include in this yearly organizing.

I guess the thing I wanted to stress the most is that you just have to keep at it. It is a "hard thing" and it takes a lot of patience on our part, but if we just stick to it and train our kids even through the tears, eventually it gets easier. At least that has been my experience. Granted I don't have teenagers yet. That may be a whole new ball of wax.

What has worked for any of you out there? Got any new cleaning games to share? I am always looking for new ones.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Motherhood: Chapter 22 -- Building Endurance : Building Character

On my first evening "walk" with Sabrina, I wanted to get some exercise. I wanted to feel like I got a work out. So I challenged her endurance during our walk. I tried to keep her to a brisk pace and we walked a total of about 3 miles in about 45 minutes. It was not such a touch "work out" for me. But for her ... it was rough.

The first 20 minutes was mostly downhill and filled with fun things to see. The second half was uphill along a busy familiar street. The second half was filled with complaints and cramps and desires for taxis to come pick us up. At one point she even broke down in tears and said she couldn't go any further.

This is when I picked her up on my back and ran up the steep hill with her. Okay, so I only made it about 100 yards up the steep hill with her on my back but it got me a work out and changed her attitude. She was so concerned that I not die. "Don't run Mama! I don't want you do die of a heart attack." I assured her I was just fine and that this walk wasn't even that hard for me so I had more than enough energy to carry her.

The next time we went walking, I let her pick the pace and the direction to make sure she would enjoy it more. We went about a mile in about 30 minutes. There were no complaints. The third time we went walking it was my turn to pick the direction and distance. We walked almost 4 miles in about an hour. We challenged each other with stints of running periodically. There were cramps and complaints but they were fewer than the first time and there was no need to carry anyone up a hill. Instead we ran the 100 yards I carried her before just to show that hill who was boss.

Yesterday Sabrina had PE at school. She came home and told me she ran the 400 meter lap faster than she ever had before. She was proud of herself and she knew it was her walking with me that had improved her stamina and speed.

Building endurance is hard work. Sometimes the results are slower to come than a week of walking with mom. But whether we want to get physically stronger, better able to mentally focus, or just heal from some trauma, endurance is the key.

And it helps to know that in most cases, there is someone there to "pick you up" when you just can't go any further. Whether it is a family member, a friend, or the Savior himself, God usually provides aid when we need it most.

It is pushing through and continuing through the pain that builds our endurance and our character. It gives us a sense of accomplishment, and self confidence. It lets us know that we really can do hard things, especially when the Savior is on our team.

Sometimes it is hard to push our kids to and through these "hard things." Our mother hearts want to keep them safe and happy. Kids (or people in general) are not usually happy about having to do hard things. But it is good for them. It is good for them to reach a point where they thing they can not go further, only to help them see that they can. Sometimes with just the littlest incentive or aid they can regain their strength and keep going. And that is the key to life sometimes, especially when doing hard things. Sometimes you just have to keep going.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Evening Walks

Many, MANY years ago (I am talking in the 80s people), my family took our annual trip to  my dad's family farm. A few things were abundant at the farm: manure, Fat Boys ice cream sandwiches, homemade bread, bread and milk with cheese, marbles, treasures, and copies of the Reader's Digest.

I could write a whole post about the memories of visiting the farm that are now flooding my memory just writing that list. But for all your sake I will stick to my current story. It all comes back to an article I read in a copy of Reader's Digest on a visit to the farm when I was just a little girl.

I remember the article well, even all these 25 or so years later. It was written by a single mom who had to work all day and then come home and take care of her kids. She wrote about how difficult this was. She explained how exhausted she would be at the end of the day and how guilty she felt that her kids got so little of her "awake and happy" time.

She told about one night in particular when she came home from work and got her kids together. She was spent that night, just like most nights. She made the kids some spaghetti for dinner and went to bed leaving them alone to finish it and put themselves to bed. After she went to her room and laid down she heard a commotion coming from the kitchen/dining area. It got bad enough that she couldn't sleep for the noise so she got up to go lay down the law with her kids. (I know we have all been there.)

As she walked into the dining area she saw spaghetti ... everywhere. The kids had gotten into a huge food fight. She was on the verge. Sanity slipping through her fingers. Anger seething fueled by fatigue. Tears were brimming.

What she did next changed her family. She didn't say a word. She walked over to her two kids. She grabbed each one by the hand. They put shoes on and together they walked out the door. They walked and walked for what seemed like hours. Eventually her fatigue lifted and so did her spirits.

She found herself able to laugh about the food fight and with enough energy to help the kids clean it up. She said that from that night on she and her kids began walking together. As her kids grew and she got remarried, she told how sometimes who went on the walks varied. If one kids was having a rough day she would walk with them alone and it would give them a good amount of time to talk. When both kids were busy with school stuff she would walk with her husband.

This story had a real impression on me. I have remembered it all these years and wanted to adopt that practice into my own life. But you know how life and babies seem to get in the way of our plans...

Until now... this weekend I decided to make Sabrina my new walking partner. At ten years old she is changing in new ways and needing a bit more of my time and attention. I really want to keep a close relationship through these tween and teen years. I am thinking walking will be just the thing to help me do this.

As we walk I have shared stories with her, asked her questions about her life, and we discuss books. I like to read the books she reads so I can know what she is reading and I just like most of those books too. Tonight I was impressed with some of the questions she was asking me like who my favorite character was in a certain book and why I liked that character.

I can imagine a day where I will be walking regularly with all my girls and doing some alone walks on hard days just like the woman from that article. I don't remember the name of the woman who wrote that article, but I think I owe her a thank you for sharing. And I hope that somehow something I write can help someone else similarly.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In Pieces

Once in a while, some everyday life event can stir up some deep seeded sorrow in my soul. And it is hard to settle things back down for a little while. This week as all the kids went back to school I was left with the two little boys at home.

I am sure, from the outside, this may seem like no big deal. But for me, this week has left me really missing Camille.

The last time I had only 2 little ones at home with me all day I was pregnant with Lauren. I remember looking into sending Sabrina to preschool the year before she started kindergarten. I looked into different programs and eventually decided not to send her. One of the main reasons was because she was so helpful. At that time it was Ann Marie (the 2 year old) that was hard to deal with. But when Sabrina was there, she and Annie would play and they would just leave me to focus on the baby.

This week I have been working to keep Noble occupied with something other than Harrison. I have trying to entertain him while Harrison is sleeping. I have been juggling nap times between them. It has left me missing the 4 year old that was supposed to be my big helper this year.

This was not the plan I laid out for my family. Life hacked that plan up. Now I have to make a new plan with the pieces. I am uncertain about how to place all the pieces and whether I should try to add to or remove pieces. I want to make the end result even more beautiful than my original plan. I want something better to come out of this. I want our family to be better for this experience in some tangible way.

But sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed as I sit amidst the pieces of the plan I had for my family, uncertain of how to fit things back together.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

For Every Monday..

For every perfect Monday, there are a few Thursdays. Monday night Harrison slept from 7 pm till 4 am and then went back down till 9 am. This contributed greatly to my perfect day. When Mama is well rested, everything runs better.

Then there was last night... Harrison was up 3 times at 11 pm (just as I was falling asleep) and again at 2 am and again at 4 am and around 5:30. Meanwhile Noble (who normally sleeps from 7 pm till 6 am) was up at around midnight and again around 3 am.

Taking into account that it takes me about 30 minutes to fall asleep when I have been woken up... that was a crazy night. Luckily Jon actually gets up to tend to Noble when he cries. He just needs a drink of water and he goes back to bed. But it still wakes me up. By Harrison's 5:30 waking, Jon was just got up for the day. He put Harrison back to bed since I had just fed him and I got to sleep till about 6:20 when Noble woke up. :)

When Mama is not well rested... today has been a challenge. I have yelled too much. My kids are tired too from the change of getting used to a school day schedule and so they are grouchy and I was grouchy with them.

Jon and I have a new "code" to remind each other to chill out in our parenting. When one of us hears the other losing it, and we don't want to correct them in front of the kids (we feel this shows us divided to the kids and we want to present a united front) we have a new saying. Tonight I heard Jonathan yell it up the stairs, "Stephanie do you think maybe she needs a minute to think about it?" That is code for "take a deep breath and give yourself a time out."

I yelled back down, "Yes I definitely think she needs a BIG time out but unfortunately she doesn't have time for that because it is bedtime and there is no one else who can do this. (Jonathan couldn't help as he hadn't finished his work for the day.) The code call out did have the intended effect however. It chilled me out and helped me check my tired cranky self back into line.

I wish I didn't ever have nights like that where I get frustrated and explode after telling a child to do something for the 5th time. I wish I never had to tell my kids to do something more than once. Ha! Geez wouldn't that make parenting easy. But parenting is not easy. It is difficult even when you feel good and are well rested. And more often than not, you have to do these hard things when you are sleep deprived or hungry or hurting from working out on the pilates reformer too much. (Abs Elizabeth!) Then it is the true test of your self mastery. That is one test I am still working on.

I just thought after my last couple of posts it might seem like my house runs smoothly. I needed to record a bit of today to give a dose of reality. The reason days like Monday get a blog post is because they are so rare. Usually there are some high points (like dancing with the kids in carpool this morning or shopping with Annie at Walmart or watching Noble play outside this evening) and some low points (like trying to keep Noble still for the hair cut I gave him today, or dealing with Annie's sour mood after a frustrating violin lesson, or trying to get everyone in bed at a decent time and getting the house picked up tonight.)

Doing laundry with the girls tonight we had a little chat about how hard it is to be "mom." Sabrina told Annie that having to deal with crying babies and little sleep and all the work that it probably wasn't worth it. Then I told them both that of course it is worth it. Because I get to be the mom of such wonderful people like them. Even on hard days like today it is TOTALLY worth it.