Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Through a child's eyes

Sometimes we parents get a rare candid look at how our children see this life we are sharing with them. I have been letting each girl have a night with mom since Jon has been out of town. They sleep with me and get to stay up an extra half hour with me.

Tonight is Annie's night. I needed to clean downstairs and she wanted to write on her blog so that is how we spent our half hour up late together. At the end of out time she let me read what she wrote. It melted my tired bones. Read it HERE.

I have high hopes for her post tomorrow because when Annie sets her mind to doing something she usually does it 150%.

Bone Tired

I am skipping my morning workout. I have been going to the gym every morning for a couple of weeks as a way to let the kids play and maybe get some exercise myself. But Harrison just cries the whole time and then after 30 minutes they page me to come get him. And yesterday I had such a busy day that by 8:30 I was in bed to tired to go on. :)  So I am giving myself a day off from my workout.

I have discovered that having a new middle schooler is for me about as much work as having a toddler. We are having to check homework and study (which means I have to relearn math and english and science) and work on extra curricular activities. I feel I have to help be the organizational training wheels to help Sabrina learn to juggle all her classes and her extra curricular things.

It is hard to help her when I have little ones demanding my attention. So this morning instead of getting up to exercise, we got up and studied together. I figure she can work out while the kids are demanding my attention. I guess we will try this out and see how it works studying in the morning.

It isn't easy being the guinea pig kid where your mom is having to learn the best way to do things. But then you do get all new clothes. :)

I am ready for my hubby to come home. Now I have to go sweep my floors and take out my trash (those things Jon normally does.) Is it Friday yet?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gathering courage

Jon is out of town all week. So some how I am trying to gather my strength and courage to go it alone. Really it shouldn't be a big deal. I mean I do most of the work of running our home on my own everyday. He doesn't usually get home till the kids are in bed or getting in bed. It shouldn't be that different.

But somehow coming off a weekend away with him I feel his absence more keenly. I am grateful everyday for the support he is to me and for how wonderful he is as a dad.

Looking forward to Friday already.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lingering Grief - Lasting Support

Sometimes waves of grief come unexpectedly even years down the road. I have been feeling my loss weigh on my heart more than normal lately. It hasn't felt like the crashing waves of fresh grief. It is more of a huge swell in the tide ... gentler but just as deeply felt.

The nice thing about fresh grief is that it is expected ... by everyone. People expect you are hurting. They don't need to be told. They treat you gently. There is no or at least little embarrassment in fresh grief. It is more ... understood.

Lingering grief on the other hand is more of a mystery both to those who feel it and the outside world looking at it. There is no telling when it will hit and how long it will last or why it has come again. It is unpredictable and there is much more of a stigma felt in grieving over a loss years later.

So we lingering grievers don't always open up and admit when we are hurting. Sometimes we are quieter than we used to be or maybe more withdrawn. We don't want to pull others around us back into our grief with us. We bare it more on our own and remember the kindnesses of the past to remind us of the love and support we felt and let the memory of that support shore us up now.

Then last week, out of the blue, I got an email from a couple of readers of this blog. Brooke and Annette from I Declare Charms wrote to tell me they had made a necklace for me. They did it as a thank you for this blog and what they feel they have gotten from my posts. They asked for my address to mail it to me.

I really can't put into words how humbled and grateful I am to receive such a gift. It tells me that even now 4 years and 3 months later people still care and remember and understand. It shows me that the Lord remembers me and my heart ache and is still taking care of me even years down this road.

The necklace is beautiful. I absolutely love it. I love that Camille's charm is a little different from my other children's. I love that Ann Marie's charm has AM on it. And I most of all love the feeling I get of support and strength from people I have never met when I wear it. Thank you so much Brooke and Annette and all the team at I Declare Charms.

Last night I wore my new necklace on my date with my husband to see Wicked for the first time. I sat in my chair enjoying the performance through the first half. At intermission, I was thinking to myself about how I have changed since Camille's death. My in laws were at the performance and I notice that I act more withdrawn and distant than I used to sometimes. I don't mean to. I don't love any less. I just ... am changed.

So then we started into the second half. I felt the challenge to defy the emotional gravity I have been feeling and lift myself up and out into the world. And then the two leads began the song "For Good."

I sat with tears streaming down my face thinking of my little girl and how she has changed me for good. I can only hope that the ways I have been changed for the better outweigh the ways I have been changed for the worse. This much I know for sure, I have been changed for good.

The live music and performance affected me. I felt it deeply and could hardly talk after the show. I still feel remnants of it now. I could barely tell Jon why I was so quiet as we drove home. At home I listened to the music once more on my phone and then I got ready for bed. I kept my necklace on. I just wasn't ready to take it off yet. Then I  snuggled up under my "magic blanket" that my friend LaRae gave us after Camille died. It feels like a hug and reminds me of the love and support I have from both sides of the veil. And I felt loved and supported regardless of how I have been changed. And I slept.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I am just getting back into the swing of my daily routine after getting back from our trip to Portland. We had a great time and got to relax and enjoy being a couple again. I was reminded once again about what a gentleman my husband can be. Chivalry is not dead people. I loved that about him when we met and I love it now too. I love that he always opens doors for me and walks on the street side of the sidewalk.

We had a great time sleeping till we woke up on our own and working out together and deciding what we wanted to do each day. We ate loads of good food. (I gained 5 lbs. in 4 days and it was totally worth it.) Veritable Quandary was the highlight of the food for me. Best bacon wrapped dates I have ever had there. Jon enjoyed his pork cheeks at the Heathman best.

Cannon beach is one of the best beaches I have ever been to. I loved how find and soft the sand was and how the tide went out and left lots of little tide pools to explore. I would totally want to take kids there someday. I will have great memories from that trip.

Now I am trying to catch up on laundry and running my home. Kids are a lot of work. :0) But some moments make it all worth it. Like when Noble asked me if Harrison had blond hair like he does and when I said he did Noble asked me, "Mom, why did you paint his hair blond?" Or sitting with my two boys on my lap snuggled up watching a little television today. I just love those calm moments with the weight of their little bodies all snuggled up to me.

Now is not one of those calm moments. I hear them upstairs through our intercom system playing in the nursery and dancing like crazy boys to the classical music on Harrison's sound machine. In small doses, I like those crazy moments too that remind me they are kids and these are boys with all the energy and vigor that little boys can muster. Vacations are good but I wouldn't trade the felicity and craziness of my domestic life for anything.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Thanks for all the book recommendations. I just finished the Mysterious Education of Nicholas Benedict (a prequel to the Mysterious Benedict Society books) and loved it. 

Jon and I leave for an alone trip to Portland on Wednesday and I am excited. It has been a long time since we had a real vacation (one where we didn't have to take care of children.) My wonderful mother in law is coming to take care of my children. So this will be a busy few days doing our weekly routine and getting things ready to leave town.

Sometimes I feel our lives are so "normal" that there is nothing to blog about these days. But then someday, our normal will change and I will forget what this normal is like. So today I want to blog about what our normal life is like right now. Welcome to a day in the life of the Waite family:

5:30 am - We wake up either to Sabrina's alarm or Noble coming in to climb in bed with me. Sabrina puts on her tennis shoes and gets on the treadmill for a 20 min. walk followed by her shower. This helps wake her up in the morning (otherwise a monumental task) and keeps her active since she doesn't have PE or any other extracurricular sport.
6:30 am  - I get up and get dressed and go down to make sure kids are doing their morning chores of emptying the dishwasher and eating their breakfasts and practicing their music.
6:45 ish - We read scriptures together and have morning prayers. Kids finish up their morning duties.
7:20 am - Sabrina and I go pick up 3 other kids and head to the middle school for carpool drop off.
8:00 am - the other girls are usually done with their lists by now and they play on the computer for a bit if they are.
8:20 am - Carpool comes to pick up Lauren and Annie
8:30 am - The boys and I have the day to spend as we choose. Sometimes I will try taking them to they gym so I can workout and they can play. But Harrison isn't too fond of the playroom without mom there yet. Once a week Noble has a swim lesson. Many days we play toys or read or watch some Octonaunts on TV. Some days we go grocery shopping or errand running. Once in a while we go play with friends.
Noon - Boys nap. I cook or clean or blog or sleep or read.
2:30 Sabrina gets dropped off by the carpool and the boys wake up. We get some time together before the other kids get home. We talk and she practices her piano.
3:30 Annie and Lauren are dropped off by the carpool. After snacks we either dive into homework or I get cooking for dinner club or we go to piano lessons or strings lessons or dance class depending on the day. Annie and Lauren are both in dance this year and all of them are in piano and Sabrina and Annie are in viola and violin respectively.
7:00 All homework and after school activities and dinner are done, usually the girls have had some free time in there as well to spend as they choose. We say family prayers and put the boys to bed. The girls do one household chore of my choosing (usually cleaning up the kitchen and family room), I do the dishes and help them make lunches for the next day. They get ready for bed. Annie and Lauren take their shower.
8:00 The girls get in bed and read.
8:30 Lights out and kisses goodnight.
8:35 Threats from mom if there is any more talking. :)
8:45 silence and sleeping kids, mom reads and dad, who usually has just recently gotten home, eats dinner and watches tv or reads.
10 pm mom's bed time.

They are full days but good days and I am treasuring them.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Books for Kids

I have some pretty avid readers in my home. Consequently I am always on the lookout for new books that are good for them to read. So I thought I would share some of what we have read on here with all of you and ask you to share any other books you would recommend. I'll sort the books by level.

Easy Chapter Books:
My kids have love the following series:
A-Z Mysteries
Magic Tree House
Magic School Bus
Cam Jensen Books
Some of the Junie B. Jones (I don't like the attitude of some of them.)
Pretty much anything by Roald Dahl - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, BFG, James and the Giant Peach etc...
Nacy Drew books by Keene and pamintuan
Little Apple Fairy Books
American Girl Books

A little Harder:
Beverly Cleary's Ramona books and Ralph S. Mouse books
Judy Blumes Superfudge books and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
All the Junior Classics for Young Readers
The Boxcar Children Series

Other harder Chapter Books We have loved:
Walk Two Moons
Because of Winn Dixie
Julie of the Wolves
Daddy Longlegs
The Learnin Dog
Tuck Everlasting
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
My Side of the Mountain (one of Sabrina's favorites)
The Penderwicks
Number the Stars
Gathering Blue
Rebel Hart
Percy Jackson
Kane Chronicles series
Harry Potter Series
Chronicles of Narnia
Bridge to Terabithia
Moon over Manifest
School of Fear
The Doll People
Great Brain books
Secret Garden
Anne of Green Gables
Suddenly Supernatural
Mysterious Benedict Society
Mother Daughter Book Club Series
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
A Wrinkle in Time
Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites
My Sister the Vampire

Books for middle school: This is where I am REALLY needing help. I need books appropriate for my 11 year old that are on a 7-8 grade reading level. Most of the books below are not really that reading level but are for more mature readers. Sabrina isn't quiet to the level of Jane Austin or many other classics.
MazeRunner series
Hunger Games

On our To Read List:
Betsy Tacy Books (4th grade level)
Little Women (I love this and I need to see if Sabrina can tackle it yet.)
The Lord of the Rings
The Hobbit

Okay readers. Give me some of your best suggestions for chapter books for kids (especially that middle school age!) Hope you find a book or two on here your kids haven't read yet that they might enjoy.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Look who Annie met at dance

Annie got in the car after her hip hop class tonight and told me they got to do solo free styles (her favorite thing to do) AND that Mr. Dar (Darian from So You Think You Can Dance) was there and taught them some moves.

What??? So I gave her my phone and told her to go get a photo with him. She comes back and reports that she went in and said, cool as a cucumber, to him "so my mom is like this big fan of you know ..." he says the name of the show. "Yeah that. So she told me to come get a photo with you."

Thanks for obliging Darian!