Saturday, September 29, 2007


This weekend I am holding a women's retreat for the women in my family. Last night we gave each other warrior names and painted each others faces.

This morning we did yoga and will be doing crafts. Then we'll go see a movie and go out to eat . Then, LDS Women's Conference tonight, which is something I look forward to all year.

It's been wonderful to be among some of my favorite people and feel the estrogen flowing.

I'll see you all later.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

His First Professional Soccer Match


It's 2:30am and I am wide awake.

My dreams have tangled up inside themselves again. I am swimming in images of newborn babies and school children marching in circles, dogs who can't go inside and driving to England in the back of a big brown van.

I awoke suddenly, my pulse racing, sweat beading in the crooks of my elbows when I was faced with an image of my sweet Mashuga boy falling for what seemed like miles out of a window.

Or was it my baby brother when he was four and adorable?

Whoever it was, this darling boy launched out the window and I scrambled to look out and see him barely holding to the edge. I grabbed his hand, held it to the side of the building. Reached for him. I tried. I tried so hard to hold him up, to help him. But his hand refused to sustain my grip and he slipped -- silently -- his mouth forming a surprised, yet serene O as he descended to the ground.

And I woke up. I looked around. My feet couldn't hit the floor fast enough to go running down stairs to find out whether my sweet boy was alive.

Then the dream began to fade and fizzle. My head stopped spinning and I realized it was just a dream.

Still, as mothers do, I had to tiptoe into each of my children's rooms and kiss them silently -- willing my love to hold them safe and spin its way into their dreams.

And now I am here, wondering, grasping at the amorphous language of dreams. My heart aches with questions I have asked since my mother called yesterday morning to give me bad news.

Will there never be true peace, be healing? Will it always be temporary?

Where does justice end and mercy begin?

And how far must a sweet soul bend with forgiveness and second chances before she breaks?

And what exactly is the dance between love and being loved, between deserving and need?

Will addiction ever let go its grip on one of the people I love more than life itself? Will there never be a day when he can hold his head high, face trials and disappointments without seeking for numbness?

Will life hold peace for such a soul? Will it come soon enough?

And most of all, I wish I knew what more I could do.

I see him falling, falling and reach for him and hold my heart out for him, praying, hoping, searching for answers as I always have done. But why can I not save him?

Why can't I be stronger, better, able somehow to hold him up?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

And the Winners Are...

As I said, Mashuga and I had a good time last week drawing names to see which of you, my wonderful readers, will receive prizes. See how excited he is at the prospect?
The first name and receiver of an iTunes Gift Card...
Frog Thinks!
Drawing the second name to see who will get a wonderful book, chosen by me...
It's the Duchess!
And last of all, the really lucky winner...
Someone who will be lucky enough to receive something (or things) random from my home, probably chosen by my random husband...
Kim from Chef Messy! I'll send you something fun.

So, this was fun. I think I'll do it again sometime soon.

If you're one of the lucky winners, simply email me with your mailing address and I'll get your prizes sent to you. Duchess, let me know what genre you'd like and I'll find something really yummy.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I have no response to that.

I stumbled across this article at yahoo news. Click to read the whole article.

Surfing the net has become an obsession for many Americans with the majority of U.S. adults feeling they cannot go for a week without going online and one in three giving up friends and sex for the Web.

I'm feeling a bit, um, pegged. And disturbed. And mostly speechless.

How about you? What do you think?

Friday, September 21, 2007

So Little Time...

So much to blog about.

I feel terribly behind right now. There's so much I'm dying to tell you!

It's been a busy week.

Here are the posts I owe you and will be getting up very soon:

  • My haircut, including pictures and the whole detailed story. Aaargh! Will I never find a stylist that I trust who lives close to me????? And how old will I be before my mom stops making hair appointments for me? (Thanks Mom!)
  • Drawing from my roll call post. I know who the lucky three winners are, but I'm not telling now because I have darling pictures of Mashuga making the picks. You can wait for that, right?
  • All about my date with 6, no 8!, handsome men to see the Real Salt Lake vs. L.A. Galaxy game and how they acted like gorillas and ninjas on the train ride home. Yes, I have pictures.
  • Why I go to bed with two men every night and generally wake up with three or four. Hint: one of them is short, mostly bald and on the chubby side.
  • The joy of our school's fall festival -- tonight! Of course I'll take the camera.
  • Also, it's been a while since I did a Soap Opera Sunday and I think I have just the story to start this weekend. It involves one of the only two grudges I've held for over a decade. (The other one is when Breannon pinched me on St. Patrick's Day at preschool and said I wasn't wearing green when, in fact, my rainbow striped shirt had several green stripes! I hated her for this until I was about fifteen and came to my senses. *grin*)
Have a marvelous weekend. Truly, I'll try to catch up. I feel like I've been too busy to blog. When I really think about it, though, I've mainly just been walking around in a haze this week and eating lots of potato chips. I'm praying that this is not an early sign of impending SAD.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pachelbel Family Routine

You may have already seen this. But, my BIL emailed it to me and I absolutely had to share it here.

Oh How We Love Aunt Valerie!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

So, Apparently...

I'm a pretty good girl.

I wandered over to Brillig's place today and found out that she, my fellow-Mormon-bloggy-friend is 72% evil. Wow! I chuckled because, um, of course that's silly.

So, I thought I'd give the evil-ness quiz a try.

I'm almost embarrassed to admit how angelic I am.

You Are 18% Evil

You are good. So good, that you make evil people squirm.
Just remember, you may need to turn to the dark side to get what you want!

Friday, September 14, 2007

It's Been a While

So, thought I'd better post something.

I tend to wait for something really phenomenal or inspiring or funny or heartbreaking to write about. But sometimes, real life is just phenomenal in all its mundane normal-ness. Don't you think?

So, this week I got to hang out with a bunch of friends while we canned peaches. LOTS of peaches. And peach pie filling and peach raspberry jam. I'm salivating just thinking of the peach raspberry jam. Yum.

These ladies are some of the most amazing, wonderful people I know. So, it was great to be with them.

Then, we've had dance and soccer and football.

Mashuga was the VIP in his preschool yesterday, which was a lot of fun.

Today we're driving to my hometown after school. I miss my parents and wanted to see them. Also, my wonderful dad is going to fix my car for me. And I may get a haircut. And I mean a haircut with a capital H. It's all got to go. This long hair is just too high maintenance for me right now.

Things are improving on the school-front, though I still feel like I need to talk to Scud's teacher about finding ways to challenge him more. And I need to meet with the school's curriculum director to see if she still has need of my services. But better, definitely. Sometimes time is just all it takes.

Also, my dear friend Kristin gave me the most comforting and helpful advice of all. Remember that there is no perfect solution, she said. I felt immediately better after that, suddenly relieved and off the hook. I don't need to find the perfect school situation for my children. That there are problems does not signal that I am making a wrong choice, or that I am a bad parent or that Scud has a bad teacher or any other of the multitudinous stories I'd been bombarding myself with. It simply means that there are challenges -- obstacles that we can and will overcome.

Also, JDub's work situation (and I realize that I haven't said a lot about it lately, just trust me, it's a mess) is improving somewhat. I'm not holding out hope that he can stay at this job for much longer (nor do I want him to), but there have been a few minor and hopeful improvements. For one, he and his boss negotiated a significant (and long overdue) pay raise. They also readjusted his base vs. commission ratio, which I've been saying for a long time was a needed change. But, I don't want to be negative about this. I am grateful that JDub has a job and is a good provider and has learned and grown so much through this opportunity. No matter what the difficulties, we are not coming out on the losing end and I am terribly grateful for what we have. Just ready for things to be a bit more sane for him.

Moving on...

You know how it feels when you're jumping on a trampoline with someone bigger than you and they jump so hard that it sends you flying into the air? You didn't jump of your own volition, so you're not entirely prepared to be in the air. And you're not sure exactly how and where you're going to land.

That's how I've felt for weeks. My life is a buzz of transformation lately. I am no longer the person I was, but I've no idea who I will be, who and where our family will be in the near future.

So, I've been overwhelmed by that panic, that feeling of insecurity and nothingness, nowhereness that comes in the moment between leaping and finding a place to land. I'm eager to move along, but also trying to trust and enjoy the here and now. I'm trying to savor the deliciousness of a future pregnant with possibility.

So, I'll leave you there. I'll probably do a drawing this weekend for this post. Be sure to comment on it if you'd like to be included.

Love to all. I hope you have a fantabulous weekend.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


"Today my soul is a prayer
for thousands of souls lost
and millions more grieving.

Tonight the stars will be weeping."

I wrote those words six years ago today. The stars were not the only ones weeping. Even this morning, as I found my way to the computer and looked at the date, salt tears spilled heavy over my face with the remembering.

I still pray for those souls, for their loved ones. I still pray for my country, its leaders. I still pray for those who are so lost that they would accept the lie that there is honor in causing harm to others; I pray for those consumed by the flames of hatred.

I do not know much. I don't claim to understand the creeds and doctrines and ideologies that are clashing with such ferocity in our world right now. I haven't mastery over armies or nations or histories or world religions.

I do know this. I love people. I love my country. I love my world and I wish it were a more peaceful place. I hope and wait for the day when we can all understand one another the way we understand ourselves. I must believe that there will be a day when we can look into the stories playing in each other's eyes and whether we are old or young, light or dark, Christian or Islamic we can love one another, cherish each person for exactly who they are.

I wish that day were now.

Ghandi said that we must be the change we wish to see in the world. I cannot change the forces that combined six years ago to make me weep. I cannot fix the problems of the world. Nor should I try if I cannot love my children, if I cannot forgive my neighbor and serve my friends.

So, I will continue to pray. I will love those around me a little more fiercely. I may not be able to put an end to the darkness that often threatens to overwhelm all of humanity.

But, I can make my tiny soul a flickering and persistent light that the darkness can never quite put out.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Roll Call and Random Rewards

Okay, so I'm dying to know.

Who are the 15.57 average people who visit my blog each day? Do I know them? Do they know me? Exactly how many lurkers do I have? And are they really average or are they of the extraordinary type?

There are many reasons that I want to know this:

1. Mere Curiosity. (And now I'm really curious as to why one must drop the "u" when changing curious to curiosity. Are there any other similar words? Oh, I suppose there's viscous. It becomes viscosity. So, why must the u go away? Hmm? And now I must wonder about the viscosity of my curiosity. Is it sticky, glutinous? Or will it flow away as soon as I finish this blog entry?)

2. Vanity. Of course there's vanity. Blogging is, by nature, a somewhat vain thing. Even when I try to convince myself otherwise, I always come back to the fact that it really does matter to me that someone is reading this thing, and hopefully liking it. So, yes, I sort of wonder who thinks the things I write are interesting enough to read.

3. Content Control. Now, this is the biggest reason. I did something somewhat, um, foolish perhaps. Last year I sent out our yearly Christmas letter to many, many people. And do you know what I decided would be a really good piece of information to include? Yep, you guessed it. The address to this blog. So anyone could be reading this. Aunts, uncles, cousins, ex-boyfriends... Really, who knows?

Oh, yeah, not me.

And sometimes I'm dying to dish. Not knowing who my readers/lurkers are has especially been a hindrance where Soap Opera Sunday is concerned. Like, what if I want to tell you all stories about my clueless junior year when I managed to alienate some of my very best friends? Or my senior year when I was so out-of-my-mind depressed that I could barely function but managed to keep a smiling face so none of my friends or family realized it, but still did enough self-destructive things that it was probably more obvious than I thought.

Now, don't get me wrong. As much as I know that sometimes it can make interesting reading, it's just not in my nature to say anything unkind or untrue. I've tried sometimes, in the interest of "juicing it up a bit". It never comes out right. I am naturally candid and generally kind.

And, I probably will still write the same stuff even if I know that certain people who were involved are reading. I think I'll just feel better about making the choice to write certain things with a consciousness that those who were there to witness it are reading along.

Does that make any sense? Anyone? Anyone?

So, here goes, the reason for this post that was intended to be short and sweet but has actually grown quite lengthy:

I'd love to have a roll call. If you read my blog this week, please leave me a little note saying "Hi! I'm here." And if I know you personally, just clue me in to that. Like if you're a Jared and you read my blog and you're not just some random Jared from Poughkeepsie then say so. "Hi, it's Jared. Yeah, THE Jared. You know, the one you once (innocently and ignorantly!) poured a bottle of urine on while he was in the bathtub?" You see what I mean?

If I don't know you outside of blogland, then just leave a link to your blog or use your blogger account to comment. You know how it works.

And if you don't know how it works, just look below this post. There is something that says "0 have something good to say". Click that. Type your comment in the box and follow the instructions. Voila!

Now we've gotten that out of the way, here's the random reward part.

After about 7-15 days, I'll have one of my cute children pull three names out of a hat and then I'll send each of those three people something.

The first name will receive an iTunes gift card.

The second name will receive, um, a book. I'm not sure which book, but I promise it will be good. Maybe I'll even let you choose the genre.

The third name will receive something random from my home. Again, I'm not sure what. Maybe it will be one of the kids toys that I'm dying to send away. Maybe a mix CD. Maybe a picture of my Aunt Margie. Won't that be fun?

So, please, comment. Let me know you're here and maybe you will be one of the lucky winners.

Were Kid's Shows This Weird When We Were Little?

We don't watch much TV around here.

So, when The Incomparable Nello mentioned something about Yo Gabba Gabba on her blog, I was entirely clueless.

But, then she said two words that made my heart flutter. Elijah. Wood. Yes, my Elijah. Saying "Dancy Dance". I had to check this out.

I wasn't disappointed.

And for the record, Kelly, Elijah saying "dancy dance" was definitely funny. But how could that possibly compare to him doing the puppet master? I'll be laughing all day.

Oh, and in case you were wondering (and of course you were), yes I still love you my hobbity friend Elijah.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Luckiest

Here's a quote from Mashuga yesterday.

He came into my room and gave me that look. The one I adore. The one that so obviously means he loves me.

So, I hugged him and said, "I love you Mashuga. I'm so lucky to be your mom."

"Mmm hmm," he replied. "And I'm so lucky to be so smart and fun and handsome."

And Humble, Too!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What would you do?

This motherhood business is the hardest job imaginable.

This morning was the third time in a week that Kaitybean has glared at me from outside the van door and yelled "I hate you!" in response to my cheery "Make good choices! Have a great day! I love you!"

Scud has begged to stay home from school at least four times since school started (just over two weeks ago). And twice he has called me from school complaining of a vague stomach ache, saying he just wanted to come home.

This morning he woke up and said that his stomach hurt "Just a little, I think." and that he didn't want to go to school.

I made him go anyway. And I made him stay when he called about his stomach hurting.

Then, there's this nagging feeling that maybe there really is something wrong with his stomach and I should get him to the doctor to get it figured out. But, strangely, his stomach ache (and all memories of it) disappear magically when I pick him up from school. He feels perfectly fine enough to play.

So, this morning was particularly hellish. Scud didn't want to go to school, so refused to get dressed until about 8:15. We have to leave our home at 8:15 at the LATEST in order to make it to school on time.

Kaitybean got right up and did her math homework, got dressed and ate breakfast. Then, when we got to school, she refused to get out of the car. I cajoled and pleaded and threatened. She wouldn't budge. I asked her why she didn't want to go.

"I'm too tired," she said one minute and then, the next, "I just want to be home."

As we talked, she insisted that she LOVES school, especially her school and that she does NOT want to do homeschool again. And yet...

She sat there.

Morning meeting got over and a gaggle of fifth graders and their teachers passed by our car, all staring. Questioning. Kaitybean's best friend walked by and waved and said hello.

Still, she sat there.

Finally, after much begging (and, I'm ashamed to say, guilt-tripping), she got out of the car. I could see her eyes welling up with tears, I knew she was unhappy. I tried to reach out and hug her, caress her cheek. She jerked backward, glaring. That's one funny thing about this age. The times she most obviously needs a hug are the times she most adamantly refuses to be touched.

"Well, I love you, honey," I told her. "Try to make it a great day."

"Hmph!" she grunted. As she rounded the corner, she shouted, "I hate you!"

"Kaitybean," I responded, "if there's something real that you want to talk to me about, come back here. If not, just go to school."

At this point, I realized that not only was she 30 minutes late for school, but we were right outside the principal's office. His blinds were open. I'm not sure how much of this struggle he may have witnessed.

After waiting a few seconds, I turned back to the van, tears in my eyes. No matter how much I try to stay cheerful and loving and patient, it hurts to have my daughter tell me repeatedly how much she hates me. I made sure that Mashuga was safely restrained, then stepped back out, surprised to see Kaitybean standing right by me, tears streaming down her face.

"Kaitybean, what's wrong? What can I do to help you?" I asked her.

"I like going to school," she said. "I just miss you SO MUCH all day long. I hate being away from you. I just wish you could be my teacher. That would be perfect."

You can imagine how puzzled I am at this point. She hates me (okay I know she's probably just trying to distance herself), yet she misses me terribly all day and THAT is why she doesn't want to go to school. Also, um, we used to do homeschool which consisted of spending all day with mom, who was her teacher. Yet, she insists that she DOES NOT want to do homeschool.

I held her and comforted her. I told her I loved her and that I'd try to come up with some solutions and I wanted her to do the same. Then, I walked her into the school and got her checked in.

Then, I drove home crying.

Can I tell you how much I HATE THIS?!?

I hate driving an hour a day to take my children to a wonderful charter school that I put a lot of work into getting started, only to have them tell me that they don't want to go to school. I HATE forcing my children to go to school, or stay at school when they don't want to be there. I HATE in an inexpressible way (or at least in a way that is impossible to express politely) the politics and the stupidity of compulsory public schooling. Either I completely take my children out of school and homeschool them, or I am required by law to send them to school, whether they like it or not, whether I feel it is best for them or not. Some days (a lot of days, actually) I really feel like my children would be best served by staying home, reading, playing math games, learning at their own pace. Some days I feel like school is the best possible thing for them. It kills me that I can't just choose on a day to day basis what I feel will be best for them in the long run.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Why shouldn't I, as a parent, have that control and authority? I understand the difficulties of planning for a school and that they just couldn't survive if they never knew, from one day to the next, which students would and would not show up. I understand that, if my children weren't in school every day, they might miss out on some of the things learned in school. I understand. I accept that. But, I also know that my children learned just as much, if not more, with much less effort when we were homeschooling than they have in school.

And then there's also that part of me that LOVES having two in school all day and the freedom it gives me to go and do the things I need to do with just my little guys. I hate to give that up.

Oh, and I'm just not sure what to do about Scud's class. He is BORED SILLY. He's in first grade in a school with a fairly advanced curriculum. Yet, if the "homework" his teacher is sending home is any indication, his teacher is not following that curriculum. The math curriculum is what I am particularly concerned about. Part of the reason I signed on to this school is that I LOVE the math curriculum that they have chosen for the early grades. It is logical, smart. It promotes a visual, kinesthetic and deep understanding of the principles of math and the laws that govern it. There is an early understanding of place value, of equations as parts and whole. In short, it is fantastic. Perfectly what I want my children to be learning in their early exposure to math. And yet, Scud's teacher is sending home stupid, cutesy math. Count how many butterflies there are and such. Blech! Not what I signed on for, and not at all in line with the chosen curriculum. Counterproductive to what he's already learned, actually.

I'm not sure whether or not to confront her. Or whether or not to talk to the assistant director in charge of the curriculum. Or maybe, since I have been so closely involved in the curriculum of the school and its implementation, I should volunteer my time as to help the teachers find resources and learn how to better implement the curriculum.


I intended this to be a thoughtful post about the difficulties of parenting, of choosing what's best for these sweet souls entrusted to my care, of constantly feeling inadequate and often feeling thwarted in trying to do my best for them. It has turned into a rambling complaint session, I'm afraid.

I wish I just knew what was best to do. I'm trying. Oh, how I'm trying.

And oh, how I love these sweet kids. They try my patience one minute and the next minute they are so beautiful, so wonderful that I could cry.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Today I Changed My Signature

My signature in my email used to look something like this:

Heather ******** CD(DONA)
Birthing From Within Mentor

But, now I've decided for certain. I need and want to do other things right now. Other areas of my life are calling, so I am putting my career in birth work aside for now.

As you know, this is a bittersweet decision for me. So, seeing my signature looking like this was just sad for me.:

Heather ********

Really, though, this decision has been so freeing for me. Each time I decide again that I won't be taking doula clients (BTW, since deciding not to do doula work I've gotten about 8 requests for interviews, about twice the number I've received in the last two years. Figures.) I feel a weight come off my shoulders. I am free to explore the world, find the missing parts of me, concentrate on centering myself and building my home and family. Truly, it is wonderful.

I think I've come up with a happy alternative. What do you think?

Heather *******
Renaissance Woman
Mother to 4 spirited children