This afternoon we were taking a little family stroll across BYU campus. The weather is perfectly Fall; late afternoon sun, no clouds, air crisp but not cold, really pleasant stuff. My almost 4 year-old runs ahead of all of us with her arms open wide and says loudly "I look sooo beautiful today!" Then she skips around some more, her blond ponytail bouncing up and down, the yellow ruffles on her skirt doing the same. She is completely happy and completely oblivious to the amused and charmed glances of those passing by.
There are days when I feel like I'm climbing up a mountain made out of sand. Have you even experienced that? When I was little we had this huge mountain of dirt in our back yard for awhile while it was being landscaped. It was a blast to play in. We got filthy. But getting to the top was a challenge. You'd take a few steps up only to hit some loosely packed dirt and slide right back. That's how I feel right now. I'm trying to climb my own little metaphorical mountain of motherhood and my progress is a little bit halting, to say the least. I'm a little sleep deprived, and having a hard time getting things done. I sweep and sweep but as far as I can tell, my tile grows crumbs and small bits of paper. My books are constantly jumping off their assigned bookshelves. The dishes seem to be multiplying faster than rabbits, although my dishwasher is actually doing a pretty decent job keeping up with them. And funny thing this, my kids actually expect me to be available for them during all of this stuff! I have a pile of clean laundry waiting to be folded in the hallway. Would you say I'm over-optimistic if I told you the good part of that pile is that it's getting bigger? I mean, at least I'm still getting the dirty piles of clothes clean, right? Right.
My current philosophy is this: You do what you can. You pray. And then you can do a little more. And then you try and go to bed early so that you aren't as inclined to yell at your kids when they drop their shoes and coats on the floor and leave them there as they come inside your house. Also, maybe then you remember that sitting down to read some Edward Lear limericks with your kids is, in the long run, more important than getting the laundry folded. And a heck of a lot more entertaining.
Somedays it's not easy. But I'm telling you, by the time my kids are grown and gone, I'm gonna have some really nice looking legs from climbing this thing. Metaphorically speaking.
When we got to Utah, my daughter was awed at the idea of doing our laundry in our very own house! And last week when we turned on the "heater" she asked where the thing was with the "pipes" and was confused, because how do you heat up a house without a radiator? or two, or three? Well, you can do it, but it certainly is heat without character, that's for sure. No hissing, no clicking, no clacking. No loud random bangings in the middle of the night. Yes, middle America, we may have lost a burn hazard and gained some extra floor space wih central heating, but it came at a cost.
( I won't say the same about the in-home laundromat.)
It's time to start the sleep training. It's been time for a little while, but I'm having a hard time getting up for it. I know that after a few nights of letting my little girl cry it out, she'll be fine, and I'll get more sleep. But.
I think I'm going soft in my old(er) age.
Still. She's just 4.5 months. And sometimes she'll sleep through the night on her own.
Also, she's really talented at hysterical crying. Fantastic at it, actually. Which, you know, hinders my desire to attempt the whole rigamarolle. (That's probably spelled wrong. Feel free to correct.) I think she knows this. She knows I'm weak.
But I just read through my know-it-all pediatrics book and I've been induldging my baby in all the things I shouldn't. Picking her up. Feeding her even if maybe she's not hungry. Letting her come to bed with me. I mean, of course she'd rather snuggle up with mom for a little while than sleep in her own bed. But it's all about forming habits now.
I'm just having a hard time giving up the sleep required in order to get her to sleep more. I know, I know. In the long run... for now I guess I just have enough stamina for the short run.
So. At least I'm thinking about it. That's a start.
The dreaded grass stain appeared yesterday. Actually, not so dreaded for me, a mother living in the era of Shout and Spray n' Wash and other happy titled stain removers. But for my daughter, oh my, those grass stains appeared on her new pink school jeans and her life was ruined, RUINED, I tell you. She sobbed and sobbed. She's headed for Broadway, that one. And then she choked out something I think we all metaphorically wish for from time to time. " I wish these pants were green (sob, sniff) because then it wouldn't matter if I got grass stains."
So, once upon a time our family went to Wendy's and along with the kid's meals we got a Junie B. Jones CD. And that thing is hilarious. And that was a good deal, I think, cause my daughter listens to it all the time (that's me attempting junie-speak). So we picked up a few other books for reading time and they have been a hit. But Junie B. does have a tendency to call kids some funny and creative names. Also, she likes the word stupid. Which is fine. Because sometimes I like the word stupid. And sometimes you just need to call someone a name. Or, maybe not? It's one of those parent conundrums- I really do like the books, but I know, I KNOW, that my girls are going to pick-up on the name calling, etc. fast than you can say "hey, you, poopy-head" and I don't really like that.
When reading with the girls Ben and I both point out the "nice thing to do and say" vs the "not-so-nice thing to do and say" and that's what we do with some of the Junie B. stuff and it seems to work out just fine.
So it is with these vampire love stories; there are things I admire about Stephenie Meyer's writing. Also, I'm jealous of her success (though I am very happy for her, of course). I am also a very fast reader, especially when it comes to lighter reading, which this is. That means that on reviewing the books I realized how much of the physical relationship I sped-read through, though even on the first time through the story I wasn't entirely comfortable with that aspect of the book.
As a writer and as someone whose religion and values about virtue and chastity are clear and strict, I often wonder where the line is when writing about characters who do not have those same values, etc. And each writer has to deal with that on their own, with each character they create and decide what is and what is not necessary to the plot line, and if it should be written. Bella and Edward have a "chaste" but fairly physical relationship that I wouldn't want my daughter to mimic. But I see how it ties into the whole 'noble vampire' thing: he can kiss her neck and not kill her. And Stephenie Meyer does have her characters make a case for virtue, although not the case I would make, perhaps, but who knows?
So. I did enjoy the books. But there were things that gave me pause. I just wanted to let you know that, as some of you go off to read them.
Sort of. Also, I find I don't really mind werewolves.
Have you heard about Stephenie Meyer? She is currently living my dream; aka a thirty-something mormon mother wakes up from a dream one morning and writes a book about it that becomes a New York Times best seller. And then another one. And another one. Well, okay. Part of my dream. I have a hard time seeing myself writing about vampires and the like, but my sisters had read her books, so I figured, why not? In the midst of my surrounding chaos, I could use some light reading.
And I'm telling you, the girl knows how to move a story. It's a teen romance, definitely. And while that's not my prefered genre, she does a really good job with the suspense and the plot line. Also, it's a teen romance I'd let my mother read and not be embarrassed. Except that the idea of vampires and werewolves seems totally bizarre to my mom in a romance. But you know, it works. It's not rocket-science or Media Theory (the not-so-light reading I've recently delved into), but it's enjoyable.
Enough so that those t-shirts that say "bite me / The Edward Cullen fan club" make me chuckle.
My bro is getting married tomorrow! And I'm soooo excited for him. While it's not a surprise, his finacee - soon to be wife, is amazing and incredible and I'm so excited to have her in the family. Lincoln is a lucky boy. And Alena is a lucky girl. I'd post a picture here if I had one...I'll try and get one up.