Monday, March 29, 2010

Internal changes vs External changes

I had some interesting experiences last week. Not really anything to go into detail about... but I'm always surprised with different situations I find myself in... and the types of things I have to go through to learn my life lessons. This week has been very theraputic, and the Lord has helped me with the goals I set for myself this week.
I've had some rough roads in the past few years. I know I will look back and realize that this place I live in has taught me more in the past three years... than I've learned in the past 12. And just when I think I've got it figured out... or at least I've learned how to handle it... I get another curve ball. The thing I'm most proud of, is that after this last week... I know I've made progress. (It's about time.)
I had to make some tough choices last week. I've never been in a situation where I can't explain myself. I tend to 'lay it all out on the table' and 'let the chips fall where they may'. I've found that putting it all out there has gotten me in trouble. Letting that guard down with has not benefited me with certain individuals.
I think I've realized that people will come to their own conclusions no matter what you tell them. Opening myself up... laying it all out... doesn't help. In fact, in some cases for me, it's done more harm than good. And while I hate admitting it... I've learned that not everyone in my life can be trusted. People are good, but someone saying they 'care' doesn't always mean they have your best interest at heart. I can say that this doesn't make me angry at these people... It makes me sad. Because that might be how they 'care'.

I've really gone back and forth on whether or not to take my blog private. I've come to the conclusion that in my situation, it wouldn't change much.
I think it would be worse for there to be rumors of what I'm going through. There would still be those people who would want to be 'invited' who spread rumors. It still baffles me that someone would be bothered by what I've written... because no one has to read it! And while going private might avoid comments from my dearest friend Nony, Nony will always be out there... sharing opinions with others... taking things out of context... and getting me in trouble. It seems really narsisitic to think about people who may or may not be reading my blog... but when it gets me in trouble, I know that someone is not only reading it, but taking it out of context.
Whether it's what I've written... something I've said... something I've done... or heaven forbid, something I've worn!... it's all the same really.
I think the lesson I've learned is... opening up my life experiences doesn't mean I need to open up my emotions. I write about my life, and what I'm learning. I do try to not be too specific because quite frankly, specifics have nothing to do with my experience. And all the speculation in the world wouldn't be changed with more details.

I posted earlier that I pray for change. I still do... but until external changes come... what I can change is how I handle certain situations.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thumper's lesson

Lately I have felt rather 'out of the loop'. I noticed that the more 'out of the loop' I am around here... the better. I got hit with some nasty neighborhood gossip and it got me thinking... Maybe I need to create my own loop! I am a bit of a control freak after all, so my own loop can be what I want it to be.
Not that long ago I was in the middle of gossip, feeling free to express my opinions about everything and everyone. When I'm on the outside of it... I see it from a different light. Hearing gossip about someone I don't know, or a new neighbor I haven't met yet, sounds really nasty! And the point that it really hit me, was when it turned from someone's own experience and opinions to "she said..." Then a nice person (who probably wouldn't have wanted their opinion spread like wildfire) was dragged into bashing someone else.
You know that movie Bambi? Thumper comments about how funny Bambi walked... then his Mom got after him and said "What did your father tell you?" and Thumper clears his throat to recite "If you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all."

Thumper's Dad was a pretty wise dude.
I'm all about expressing feelings. But what happened to someone else is not really my feelings, right? Maybe that's when it truly becomes gossip. So I have a new challenge... I'm gonna try sticking to the facts. My facts that is. And I'll try to listen to others facts. But I want to learn to just filter out anything but the facts. I believe that's called being objective.
I think that I tend to be subjective, and I get a lot of information from people who are very subjective. (Is subjective what you call a person who likes to divide people?)
When someone says they're going to be "subjective" about something, it means that they give comments or give value to something based on their feelings... it's more of a moral judgment. A subjective opinion is based on emotions, feelings, perceptions, and one's beliefs. There is not necessarily factual basis for subjective judgment, as opposed to being objective... where there is a FACTUAL basis for comments... or statement for that matter. Meaning to say, the statement can be backed up with known facts (something that is observable or concrete, and known to all) And most importantly... being objective mean you are able to view things in different perspectives.
So the next time I hear a story, (whether it's about a new neighbor, or a family member) I'm going to ask... whose version is it anyway? And maybe consider the source a bit more.
No doubt, that person may have a very good reason to back up his/her opinions... but sometimes in life, things may not be what they appear. And while I remember what Thumper's Dad says... I should also remember what I heard in my own childhood... that a person who always talks bad about someone else could easily turn around and talk bad about you too…
The other thing Bambi has taught me?
"Eating greens is a special treat, It makes long ears and great big feet. But it sure is awful stuff to eat."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

No worries

I know that I've been down in the dumps... but there is no need to fret. I just write about things to help me feel better. Unfortunately, it makes for some real depressing posts.

So here I go...
Goal #1: I will exercise 3 days next week
Goal #2: Starting one room at a time, I will begin 'spring cleaning'(I do remember a time when cleaning my house wasn't overwhelming... so I have hope... a light at the end of the tunnel. It's a damn good thing I blogged about it... or I wouldn't believe it myself!)
Goal#3: I will attend the temple sometime this next week. Alone or with Mike, either way... as long as I get there.

I'm thinking that I will try and record my Spring Cleaning efforts. It will give me something to reference for the future... and it will force me to post about something other than how I feel. The funny thing is, I realize that some of what I consider "spring cleaning" is probably what other people do weekly... maybe daily. Oh well! I'm secure with my own messes.
I was talking to a neighbor about cleaning. She was embarrassed at the condition her house was in, and I kept reassuring her that I would be the last person to judge! (believe me!)However... the truth is... I'm totally guilty of wanting things super clean before opening my front door. I'm a bit obsessed with making sure other people think my house is always clean. (When that couldn't be farther from the truth.) I am guilty of spending hours and hours trying to get things perfect for other people. My family hates me! Because I turn into some crazy lunatic, yelling and snapping at everyone.
I whine about the entry of my house, because I can't really invite people in without inviting them into my entire house! I wish I had a 'living room' right off the front door. Then I could just worry about keeping that one room clean, and invite people in without all the pressure of a 5 hour clean-fest. Without even realizing it... I stopped inviting people into my house. I doesn't occur to me until they leave, or until I've been visiting with them for an hour in the doorway!
But back to my conversation with my neighbor...
I can't leave a conversation without somehow getting myself in trouble or embarrassing myself... so I said "Yeah... but you work! I don't have a good excuse." She looked at me and said "Um... I don't work." CRAP! I could swear I heard she did, but that wasn't even the point! I sound like I'm trying to give her an excuse, and it's not like she needs one! GEEEEZ Louise!
So of all these goals... it's obvious which one I'm dreading the most.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

fake it 'till you make it!

So I really push myself to make it through the January and February months of depression. However, I feel like this year I've pushed it only to be slammed in March. I'm just in a place where I can't quite pick myself up move forward.
I live in a beautiful place, yet I lay in bed... lights off... blinds closed... blankets to my chin. Even when I finally get out of my bed (I'll never admit the time I finally do that these days) I look out my windows at the beautiful mountains and think how badly I wish I were somewhere else. Anywhere else.

We've had a sickness spread though our family. It's now been 10 days since I first felt symptoms and I can't kick it. I think my body can't kick it because my mind is in the wrong place. Mike has been so good to take care of me... let me sleep. I'm averaging 10-12 hours of sleep a day and it doesn't feel like near enough.I've had a bad attitude about some of the changes in my life since this year started. Every time I think I'm past it, something happens to remind me of how hurt I still am. I've always hated the saying "Fake it till you make it", but at this point I think it's the only way to move forward. I don't want to distance people... friends... but it's just too hard heal. The walls I told myself I wouldn't build just showed up one day. Like I didn't know I was pushing everyone away until I woke up and nobody was there. My fear of rejection is so overwhelming I can't let people in. Or if I do... at the first sign of doubt I bail. 'Fool me once... shame on you. Fool me twice... oh wait... there no chance to fool me twice.'
I still have questions. Questions I know will never be answered. People have been nice to try and comfort me with comments about 'bigger and better' things must be in my future. But it's just not true, and I'm afraid my bad attitude about things won't help my situation any.
I'm trying to prepare myself for quite possibly the hardest summer in my adult life. Maybe that's why March is harder than January or February.

On a brighter note, I'm ready to go back to work. I need a big change. That's how I cope... throw myself into something else that can consume my thoughts and time.
I'm moving full force into building a salon. There are tons of decisions to make. I want to work as much as I can, for as long as I can. If we stay here until our kids are grown... that gives me 14 years or so. So I have to think ahead enough to build something I will still be happy with in 14 years.
I feel like I've paid my dues and after 10 years of working the most difficult job in the world... I can fill my cup with the passion that gives me the creative outlet I need. Sophie will go to K-garten in the fall... and I will have roughly 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. I will also have some Saturday's and one night a week. I want to build up a steady clientele, then when Sophie goes into first grade... hopefully I can work a heavier schedule and still have time to go into the school and volunteer.
I'm ready to move into a different stage in life. I can't pray for strength anymore... so I pray for change.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I can't let her break

sidenote... I'm working on my back posts. While there's no need to complain, I realize that it's the luxuries in my life that make me too ungrateful. With that said... I'm currently living in a technology nightmare! My computer crashed and I have been subjected to an ancient... I mean a dinosaur of a laptop. What feels like my entire life over the past eight years or so, is currently being held in a little white box called an external hard drive. It's strange to look at it and think something that I can put in my back pocket holds every picture, paper, and documentation of my life. My fossil computer doesn't have the juice to try and pull all my pics off the memory cards, so I have to just hook up my camera and transfer images directly to my blog. I have a bit of a neurotic tendency to crop and edit pictures before I put them "down in history". So... enough whining. Like I said, I should not have been given such luxuries, then I wouldn't know what I've been missing.

Sophie. (sigh.)
Sophie has had a tough week... therefore... I have had a tough week. Sophie has got some issues with anger. Bless her heart... her needs combined with my lacking parenting skills is a recipe for disaster.
I can't help but wonder why, of all the parents in the world, she was stuck with me. My greatest fear is that's I'm not only unable to help her, but I'm making her issues worse.
She has stopped pulling her hair out (fingers-crossed) and I think it was only a phase. But her new display of anger is... leaving. Yes, she just takes off.
Luckily, some neighbors caught her behind our neighborhood in a retention pond. She was only a few feet from the busy road. She was barefoot. No coat. Apparently she road her bike to the end of the street, then took off on foot.
Lexi came running inside... where I was visiting with my friend "Mom! Mom! Sophie's running away!" What?! So I look from the porch and realize... if I took off running, even with legs three times longer then hers, I would never catch her. I grabbed my keys and jumped in the car. Leaving my friend mid-conversation, and passing another friend on the way who stopped her car and rolled down her window to talk... "Sorry! Can't chat, I'm chasing my daughter who decided to run away."
As I'm driving, smoke shooting out from my ears, I'm racing with what I will say to her. One thing I learned from my class... if I'm too angry to have a calm and logical talk?... wait. So I walked out to the field in a straight line, right towards her. There were four older girls from the neighborhood, all doing their best to restrain a different limb... despite the screaming, kicking, and flailing of her body. There were no words... I just grabbed her upper arm, and dragged her to the car. I put her in and shut the door. Silence.
I dragged her from the car to her room, and locked her in. (Yes, there is a lock on the outside of her door... sounds harsh, but sadly necessary.)
I waited until Mike came home, by that time I knew we could go to her together, and I could unclentch my jaw long enough to speak actual words. After talking, hugging, and feeling we made progress, I chalked it up to a "one time" thing.
The next day I'm driving kids home from school and stop the car to visit with another Mom. Sophie asks "Mom? Can I get out and play?" to which I respond "No sweetie, we have to go home... your sisters are waiting for us." Next thing I know she's shutting the car door behind her. I throw the car in park and jump out... and I knew she was off to a head start. She knew it too, and took off. I caught her arm and got her back to the car.
Wednesday... Cori had a friend over, and they asked to go play with other friends on the street. Sure. Three to four minutes go by and I realize... no Sophie.
I throw on my shoes and walk down the street to find my 4 year-old playing games in the street with the neighborhood kids... ranging from 15 to 9 years-old.
This time we have a conversation about the fact that I'm more than willing to let her go and play... BUT... she needs to ask me, and I need to know where she is.
It's not like she's mad. There's no yelling, fighting... there's NO display of anger... she just leaves. When Mike asked her why she ran away the first time? She calmly answered "I just wanted to leave" No reason why. Just because.
For some reason, I think it would make me feel better if she yelled at me first. At least I would have a warning, and I could keep my eye on all the doors. When I ran away from home... I packed a bag, I yelled, there was the "I hate you!" and then I left.
I think the first time I ran away I was in Kindergarten. I remember it clearly, and my Mom laughed when I mentioned it to her. She said she knew that I'd be back home. I remember that I told her I "hated living here, I'm going to live with Annie! Her Dad isn't mean! Her parents love her!" I was waiting for my Mom to beg me to stay. I wanted her to promise that things would be better. Instead, she just let me go. I think I got two steps out the door and screamed "FINE!!!!" and marched back inside to my room.
Unfortunately, that was the first part of a destructive path I formed of running away. I refuse to let Sophie go down that path. I don't know if my Mom begging me to stay would have fixed me, or changed that path. I think about how a 6 year-old can be that broken inside, from the outside it seemed pretty harmless... but I know it wasn't harmless. Even in Kindergarten, I was already broken.
I see a lot of myself in Sophie, but what I see in her is more of what I have now... as an adult. So it's like trying to raise the adult version of me. As a kid, I was very responsible. And truly, I wasn't defiant very often. It was at 12 when 'all hell broke loose'. I look at Sophie and it's too painful to imagine she might suffer things that I did. If I give her everything I didn't have, why can't that fix it? All I keep saying to myself, over and over again... unconditional love. She has to know she's unconditionally loved. No matter what. If there was one thing I believe could have helped me, it was that.

Her teacher has talked with me about some of her struggles with learning, getting upset if she's corrected. It makes it near impossible to help her read. Pretty much, you have to either sit there while she makes up a random story and flips the pages... or risk asking "what sound does that letter make?" and hope she doesn't get up and walk away!
I know that she does better for other people than she does for me. But why? Maybe it's because I'm the one who puts her in 'quiet time' during the day?... but I'm also the one who feeds her lunch! and give her rewards when she's earned them. I'm not just the bad guy!
I want to have a healthy relationship with her, like all my kids. Mixing that balance of fun and discipline.

So I can't help but lay in bed at night and think...what do I do when summer comes? I have a 'hotel' type lock on the inside of my front door. (Which we put on when she first learned how to open the door) I can hear the garage door open... if it's not already open.
I really want to give her freedom, but I'm afraid to. My parenting class leaves me thinking I'm being too controlling. But letting her suffer a natural consequence would not only be unsafe, but it would lead my neighbors calling the cops. (and after this past week, I wouldn't be surprised if one neighbor already has!)
Is it illegal to do an electric fence, and put a collar on her? Enough zaps and I think she'll get the message.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A peek inside Addi's head

Addi lost her tooth on St. Patty's Day ... the tooth fairy didn't come. That dang tooth fairy's memory is really going. Addi decided that since it was St. Patty's Day, the leprechauns had depleted the gold supply. She said "The tooth fairy probably couldn't find any gold!" Whew! I'm so glad she's so in touch with the world of make-believe... because I certainly am not!

Another interesting conversation we had this week...

Addi: Mom... look! That lady is smoking in her car.

Me: Yep, she is.

Addi: Well, you know that's her choice. We all have a choice.

(At this point I start to feel impressed with her ability to recognize the free agency we all have here in this earth)

Addi: You know... if Daddy gave me a cigarette for my birthday... I would just

Me: (Interrupting her) Addi! Daddy wouldn't ever give you a cigarette for your birthday!

Addi: But if he did... I would just throw it away!

Me: But I hope you know he wouldn't.

Addi: But if he did... I would just throw it away!

(about 30 seconds goes by... and I decide to try and spin this into a jr. high situation she can prepare herself for)

Me: Well... I guess that's good. You know, someone will someday offer you one, and you can just say "no thanks".

Addi: But I don't want to make Daddy feel bad. I'll just throw it away later.

Me: (deep breath) Okay.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So Sorry!

Whoa Nelly!
I apologize for any explicit lyrics coming from my playlist. Apparently, the website I use for my songs has pirated links from time-to-time, and they get replaced with "not-so-nice" messages... or the song gets replaced with another one. Sorry!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sweet P

It's been a whirlwind of events. In an effort to record the most accurate information, I'm going to cut and paste most of what Jess and Kyle wrote...

As some of you have heard our most precious little angel returned to her heavenly fathers arms today around 10:30 AM.

We saw both Morgan and Paetyn last night from 8-10 PM and they were both doing very well. Kyle got to hold Morgan for an hour and a half. Paetyn was doing excellent on her feedings so they raised her meal amount. This is why we were very surprised to get the phone call at 9:30 AM this morning about our "sweet P" Paetyn. The Nurse Practitioner said that she was very sick and in critical condition. They said last night at 1 AM they started noticing a difference in her. So they stopped the feedings and ran some test. She kept on getting worse and worse. I called Kyle right away and told him he needed to leave work and go give his little girl a blessing. When we got to the hospital there were about 10 people working on our little angel. Not a fun sight to see. We didn't realize how sick she really was. By the time we got there she was starting to go into a steep decline. Her face was purple and she was on 100% oxygen and still not getting enough. They were giving her extra breaths manually with a hand compressor. The Neonatologist then decided to do chest compressions. While he was doing the compressions he kept on saying "Common sweet P... common". They had us right next to her bed and I got to hold her hand. She was completely sedated but did give us a wave. The neonatologist then said "she is not going to make it you guys... I am so sorry. We are doing more damage now than anything". She felt no pain. We know she was waiting for her mommy and daddy to see her off. We are so glad we were there and she didn't have to be alone. The Neonatologist said he knows she felt our love and heard us say our goodbyes. Kyle started to give her a blessing while they were doing the chest compressions. The blessing was short. He blessed her that she would feel no pain and that the Lords will would be done and that she would be happy and feel joy. About a minute into the blessing everyone stopped working on her and unhooked her from the ventilator and feeding tube. I got to hold her right before she passed. He said her heart was still beating but she was not breathing. While I held her Kyle gave her another blessing and sent her home to her Heavenly Father and told her how much we love her. We both held her at that moment with many tears. All the nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapist where crying as well. The whole time we wanted to wake up from this nightmare and go back to the way things were yesterday.

The Neonatogolist said that she got an infection that spread throughout her body instantly. They drew blood cultures and the labs said that there was already stuff growing after an hour which is unheard of. They said since she is so small her body could not fight the infection and it was too late. He also said that something like this (a sudden death) only happens about once or twice in the NICU. They will let us know exactly what bacteria it was but we decided to not do an autopsy.

We know, being the circumstances, that this was her time to go. We are so proud of her for making it as long as she did. 16 days old. She was our little warrior! She was actually doing better than Morgan in someways. Her last weighing she weighed 1 pound 5 oz. She is still the cutest tiniest little thing but we know it took all she had to gain those 4 oz. We are so glad that we got to see our girl healthy for her whole life. We are so glad she opened her eyes a few days ago and looked right at us. We felt a real connection with her and got to meet our little Paetyn that day! We got to see her feisty personality and strong spirit. We are so proud to be her parents and know that someday we will get to finish raising her. We held her for about 4 hours before the mortuary came and got her. I got to help bathe her and put 2 white bows in her hair. They also found a dress for a 2 pound baby that she will be buried in. She looked so beautiful all dressed in white and wrapped in a white blanket. They also gave her a tiny little bracelet and did hand and feet molds. We got to put her by Morgan and get a few pictures of them together. We even got a couple of our entire family (the 4 of us).

There was a strong spirit in the NICU today. It was the spirit of our Paetyn and all the helping angels around her. Our love for her grew so much today and our love for our family, each other, and our savior. We know that before Paetyn left she said goodbye to her sister. We know she will be Morgan's guardian angel throughout her life. Morgan is so lucky to have her on the other side looking out for her and watching over her. There will always be a big place in our hearts for Paetyn Lynn. Kyle picked out her name :) He always loved the name Paetyn and wanted to name her after her mommy (my middle name) and his Grandpa (his moms dad Lynn Orr). We can not wait to see Paetyn again.

With love,
Kyle, Jess, and Morgan

We had her viewing and burial yesterday. During the planning of all this... Jay and Kyle wanted her in East Lawn cemetery. Mike's siblings were generous enough to allow her to be buried with Carol, Mike's mom. Carol was a labor and delivery nurse for 25 years. She was the sweetest, kindest woman with the biggest heart. I felt her spirit so strong during the burial.
It was heartbreaking to watch them kiss their baby and close that tiny casket. Kyle carried it out to the hearse.
Even having the knowledge of God's plan... and knowing it is a short time until we'll see our loved ones again... that void is so huge. This is the first death in my family, and to see Jay go through this has changed my life. I know that this little one was so special, and Jay is a such an amazing Mom.
At the viewing, I hugged Jay and she whispered in my ear that she has missed me. All I could say was "I'm sorry". I'm sorry...
I'm sorry for not being a better big sister. I'm sorry I let trivial differences get in the way of our relationship. I'm sorry I didn't try harder to understand her. I'm sorry for missing the moments we could have shared over the last couple years.
Then she said that she knew Paetyn brought us together. And she did bring us together. She will be so loved and missed, always.