Saturday, December 20, 2008

The minutiae of motherhood

minutia:(n) precise details; small (and trifling) matters; normally used in the plural "minutiae"

Recently, I had two nieces become first-time mothers. That, and an experience I had the other night prompted me to write this blog all about those little details, small, and often trifling matters of being a mother that no one bothers to tell you.

About 2:00 a.m., my three year old (who broke her crib and now can get in and out all night long) climbed into bed with me. She tussled around for a few minutes, trying to find a suitable position to sleep. She finally settled on one that was quite uncomfortable for me. As I held my awkward position steady, I eventually heard her breathing slow and listened to her fall back asleep. Afraid to wake her, I stayed in that position, thinking about all those funny things we mothers do simply because we are mothers. So, the first one is this: I guarantee you will hold your baby in an awkward (for you) position sitting in a chair, or lying in bed, and keep it that way, foregoing precious sleep, just so your little one will stay that way. All mothers have done this -- many times! Often it is an elbow in the ear, feet in the face, a kick in the gut, etc. But, you will just deal with it, because you are a mother.

* As your child grows and gains head control, you will often get 'head-butted'. Think of it as a sign of love. This head-butting doesn't go away -- my older kids are still guilty of this -- but it is never done on purpose, so bite your tongue and give them a hug. (see, it never seems to hurt them).

* You will learn to like goldfish crackers. I promise -- you will. (Even if you don't actually like them, you will find yourselves eating them).

* Even though you have a perfect way of loading the dishwasher, the first time your child 'loads' it, you will resist the strong temptation to redo everything and let it run, haphazardly semi-full, just because you are a mother and your child is learning to work.

*You will hear the same piano songs over and over and over again as your child practices them. They might give you a headache, but you will just deal with it, because you are a mother. The same goes for little books. You will read them so many times (the ones your child chooses as favorites -- which are hardly ever your favorite ones to read) -- that you will have them memorized!

*You will color more as a young mother than you probably colored as a child. Seriously. Only now, (hopefully), you can stay in the lines! But, be prepared for long bouts of coloring, coloring, coloring.

* At least once, you will probably embarrass yourself by accidentally cutting up your friend's food before giving it to her. This is out of habit. Don't be too hard on yourself! You will be so used to cutting up everything -- sandwiches, apples, bananas, etc, that when your girlfriend is over for lunch, you'll cut her sandwich in fourths. We've all done it.

*Several times, you will be sleeping peacefully when you will sense that someone is near -- very near. You might hear a gentle, "mom", or maybe you'll just open your eyes, and BAM! your child will be millimeters away from your face. It will scare you the first time -- and probably several times after that. Try not to attack the child.

*You might start to look forward to taking a shower or even going to the bathroom -- for the few minutes/seconds of downtime. But, be aware, your kids do not share that opinion. Mom is fair game, even when she is 'disposed', or in the shower. You probably won't lock the door when your kids are little because you want them to be able to access you at all times, but beware, as they get older, you might want to actually lock the doors!

*Many days, your lunch will consist of nothing other than the leftovers from your kids' meals -- the crusts of PB&J sandwiches, the apple peels, etc. So, when you are cranky at 3:30 p.m., and your husband and dinner are still hours away from appearing, you might just be hungry -- eat something!

*You will learn the lyrics to several Disney, teeny-bopper songs that you really don't like. In fact, you will probably listen to them over and over and over again to the point that you hate them, but find yourself singing them to yourselves or hear them in your head as you try to fall asleep. This reminds me of a time when I was a teenager and I 'caught' my mom singing a Belinda Carlisle song (circle in the sand, round and round...) while she was cleaning the counter in the kitchen. I barged in and said, "Ha! I knew you liked our music! See, you're singing it!". For years I thought it was so funny that after all the grief we'd gotten over our 'music', she liked it after all. Now I know better. Now I realize we had played that song so much on our tape player that she had no choice -- it was ingrained into her psyche, and came out absentmindedly and without control on her part. Sorry mom!

Well, that is all for now, because, eventually I did move my daughter and went back to sleep. But, I'd love to hear your comments, moms -- what other minutiae of motherhood do we deal with and need to pass on to the next generation?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Song now works!

Okay, thanks to Justin (Wendy's husband), the song now works in my post about "Where are you". Go have a listen!

And, here's something cute Teya said. The other day we were going to work a bit in Eden's class at school. Teya was saying how much she liked that school. I said, "When you grow up, you are going to go here!" And, she looked at me and sighed, "But, I just don't know how to grow up!" After another sigh, she added, "I don't have any special powers". LOL!

Monday, December 15, 2008

mmmmmmmbbbbbbbbbbbbbbv cxxz

apparently Teya figured out how to post on my blog! (thus the title)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Where are you?

In college, I was in a band. We were a one-hit wonder (as in I WONDER why no one has ever heard of us). Our band name was called “Or Something”. The thought behind it was that we could say “Have you heard of the band or something?” and really confuse people. (It seemed like a good idea at the time).

Well, having given up all hope of VHI or MTV (or even BYUtv) ever knocking at my door wanting to do the ‘behind the music’ story of our one hit, I decided to plague you, my blog audience, with the saga.

This might be a long post, but hopefully entertaining enough to make it worth your while.

Go back with me to the late winter of 1997. Gwen Stefani was known as the lead singer of “No Doubt”, the White House was full of scandal thanks to Monika Lewinsky, and another school year was coming to a close in the Rocky Mountains of Utah.

For me, it wasn’t just any school year; it was my senior year of college. Most of my roommates and friends were engaged. Love was in the air (it hits earlier than spring in Provo). But, somehow, I had missed the boat completely. Not only was I not engaged, I wasn’t even dating anyone. And, I was about to graduate from BYU – SINGLE!

I was returning with several friends from a road trip to Idaho (to attend a friend’s wedding, of course) when I penned the song. In fact, the original name of it was called “Idaho Road Trip”. But, it wasn’t that catchy of a title, and since it had NOTHING to do with rest of the lyrics, I later changed it to “Where are You?” Here it is. While you're listening, keep reading.

Here are the lyrics in full, (along with my asides and insights in parentheses and italics). (Think of it like watching a DVD with the director’s commentary ON). Since it is basically about dating at BYU, there are several inside jokes that only those that attended BYU would understand, so I have explained them.

When I was only 17 (I really was 17 when I started college)
And barely 5 foot 2, (I’m 5’6”)
I knew I’d meet the man of my dreams
In the Land of BYU. (It truly is its own anomaly of a city)


You weren’t in my Y-group, (During Freshman orientation, all freshies are divided up into Y-groups that you do all your bonding activities and classes with)
Or in ward boundary lines.
I took a social dance class, (The ultimate ‘dating’ class (beginning ballroom) – I refused to ever take this class on moral grounds)
But still I could not find

You so I

Changed my major to El Ed, (Elementary Education – the major that let the boys know you just wanted to get married and raise kids – no offense my El Ed friends – you’re the ones laughing now – I have no idea what I’m doing with my kids!)
So I’d be a good wife.
And with the hopes of getting wed,
I studied in the Clyde (The Clyde building was mainly for engineering students, which were mainly men… its all about ratios of men/women at BYU)


Where? Where are You?
Did you not make it into BYU? (Even back then, it was hard to get into BYU, so maybe my man was going to UVSC instead?)
Why? Why am I
All alone, and ready to cry? (just for rhyming purposes – I’m not much of a crier)
I thought that we’d
Fall in love,
And be married.
Now, where are you?
I hope I didn’t miss my cue.

So three years of this game I played, (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior year)
Then I was called to serve. (True)
So to my friends and family bade
Farewell and got the nerve

To ask my

Mom if I should look for you
While serving in the field.
A good Zone leader who’d be true (Zone leaders are elders who’ve been given extra responsibility in the field)
To whom I could be sealed. (I had a strictly professional relationship w/ the elders in my mission)

So in the

MTC I tried to find
My true love everywhere.
But sadly I was reassigned
To serve on Temple Square! (In case you didn’t know, Temple Square is the only mission made up entirely of sister missionaries)

Oh dear me!


So now I’ve come for one last chance
Back here in Zoobieland. (A nickname for BYU)
I’ll look for you at every dance, (They had dances every weekend)
So you can hold my hand. (Interdigitation – this was like first or second base at BYU)

But then you’d

Say, like other guys I meet
I’m nice and everything.
But if my spirit is so sweet, (The ultimate ‘rejection’ – “you have a sweet spirit”)
Why don’t I have a ring? (an engagement ring – the ultimate prize for a girl at BYU)

And now I

Graduate this afternoon,
And you are all I lack.
And if I don’t meet you real soon,
I WANT MY MONEY BACK! (tuition money – why else attend BYU? Joking)

So tell me..


Well now I’m almost thirty-two
Just got my master’s degree.
But I just can’t leave BYU
So I’ll get my PhD. (I actually did go back to BYU and got my master's degree, but by then I'd met Dave. We got married during my first year of MBA school. Good thing, because I never wanted to write a dissertation!)

Okay, so there it is! I manipulated one of our FHE brothers who worked at the BYU recording studios to smuggle us in after hours and we recorded it. I then got the demo and we mass produced it on cassete single (by mass produce I mean we got the minimum quantity, 100). We actually played at a few BYUSA functions around campus. We even sold 6 tapes to the BYU bookstore! (Later, I saw 5 of them on the clearance table). I think I sold most of the tapes to my dad. Ahh! What a supporter! We even opened up for Peter Breinholt at the Senior Party for all graduating seniors, but alas, our mikes didn't work and so no one could hear the amazing song that would have been a one-hit wonder.

But, now you have. Consider yourselves one of the few, the proud.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Eden's first piano recital

A few days ago, Eden played in her very first piano recital. She did great. Since this was her first, her piece was shorter than I imagine any future piano recital pieces will be, I recorded it in its entirety for your viewing and listening pleasure. Enjoy. (it's all of 26 seconds!)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jennie vs. the woodpecker

Ah, the holidays -- the candy I 'take' from my kids' Halloween stash, the smell of pumpkin pie baking in the oven, the lights all aglow at nights, and the annoying rapping of the neighborhood woodpecker.

We have this woodpecker that has chosen our house as its place of preferred pecking for the last three winters. It is SO annoying. That doesn't even begin to adequately describe it. Imagine someone knocking at your door - loudly, consistently, with a repeating pattern about every 10 seconds. Now, transfer that noise to right outside your chimney on the eaves of your house, and the sound reverberates throughout the house.

I've looked up on the Internet how to rid oneself of such a pest, and I have to find a 2 story-ladder and climb up and hang mylar baloons or something reflective. And then... maybe... it will work. No guarantees. So, until I get said mylar balloons and a ladder and someone willing to climb up to our roof, I have to resort to other methods.

My method of choice is Dave's airsoft gun. Pretty much every day -- several times a day -- you will find me stealthily cocking the gun and tip-toeing outside, around our palm tree, ducking behind the pillars, aiming, and firing with all my might at this tiny, LOUD, bird. I have yet to actually do any damage to the thing. But, it is not for lack of trying. Once I actually got a feather or two, but it is pretty fast and flies away, only to return an hour or so later and the whole charade starts anew.

I know I sound sadistic and mean -- I mean this is a bird we are talking about -- but spend two days with it and I guarantee you'd be on my side. So, imagine how I feel about the thing after 3 years. It is seasonal (comes in late October and leaves by the end of March). So far, the score is Woodpecker: 347, Jennie: 1/2 (I'm counting the hit with the feathers). But I will win. I will.
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