Sunday, March 26, 2006

Angels among us

I was reading a blog post the other day, and it got me to thinking. I started thinking of all the times similar things have happened to me just when I needed them most. I am pretty sure that it goes back to the Tender Mercies of the Lord that Elder Bednar talks about. (Yes, that is probably one of my all time favorite conference talks.) Just the way that the Lord knows exactly what we need, when we need it, and he very often uses other people to give us those tender mercies.

I've been thinking about one particular incident that happened to me about a year and a half ago. Joel was out of town for his Grandpa's 90th birthday celebration, I was serving as Relief Society President and it had been a particularly hard week. I was tired, and wasn't really able to give my all to the kids--especially with Joel gone. Basically, I was feeling like I was the worst mother in the whole world.

On this particular day, I had to go grocery shopping...and, of course, I had to take the kiddos with me. I really was at the end of my rope (I'm sure all you mothers can identify how it can get with 2 small kids in the grocery store, especially when you're already worn completely out) and I was about ready to scream. By the time I was finished shopping, it was close to dinner time, and the last thing I wanted to do was go home and make dinner. So, I decided we'd go to the McDonald's that was right there in the store.

While we were eating our food, an elderly woman came up to our table. I'll never, ever forget what she said to me: "I've been watching you and your beautiful children. I can tell you are a wonderful mother. Thank-you, the world needs more mothers like you." I was really shocked. And I think I felt right away that she was like an angel for me...when I was feeling like I was such a horrible mom, she came and told me otherwise. I like to think that it was one of those Tender Mercies, that she was placed there at just the right time for me, because I needed to hear that.

So I hope that I can listen to the little promptings I get, even if it involves going up to a total stranger and complimenting them. If I have the idea that I should do something, no matter how small, and it is a good thing, I should do it. You never know when you are placed to be the angel that someone needed to hear from at just that moment.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Brain Power

Bria has always loved to learn. I mean, the girl's first word was "wassa?" (translation: What's that?). As an 8 month old she would point to everything and ask wassa? As a toddler and a preschooler her incessant questioning of why? who? when? and yes, what's that? exhausted me. So it's no surprise that now that she's in Kindergarten she loves it and when asked what her favorite part of school is she'll say "learning" (except the times she says "recess", but who can blame her for that?).

Even though she recognized the entire alphabet and could call all letters by name before she was 18 months old, reading has been somewhat elusive for her. Mostly because of another personality trait she has: Being afraid of the unknown. She has loved to ask me how to write millions of words, but for some reason she didn't feel confident enough to try her own hand at reading them, even though she was starting to read small 3 letter words before she started Kindergarten.

In the last month or so, something has finally clicked with her reading...and she is reading like a little pro. She LOVES to read everything she sees and even attempts some pretty difficult books when we read with her at night. I am so proud of her and so excited that this whole wonderful world has opened up to her...because I love to read anything I can get my hands on, and I want her to be able to find the same enjoyment in it that I do.

She has also been learning about the body in her science unit at school. She tells me lots of things about various parts of the body and what they do. She is so cute and excited about EVERYTHING that she learns that it is hard not to smile when she comes home from school and goes on and on about it. She's especially amazed at her brain and all it can do.

So, the other night I was reading with her. Actually, she was reading to me out of a Dr. Seuss book and she just blew me away how well she did. When she was finished I told her I was so proud of her that she was such a good reader!

Her answer? "No Mommy...don't tell it to me that you're proud of me...you need to tell it to my brain! My brain is what's telling me how to sound out the words...I'm not smart...my BRAIN is!"

Friday, March 17, 2006

To my unborn daughter



Today we had "the ultrasound" and it confirmed what I thought was my worst fear: we are having our third girl.

You see, Joel and I have known for a long time that there is a little boy that belongs in our family. It is something that neither of us can deny...it is such a strong feeling that each of us have been very surprised when we found out that both Bria and Chloe were girls. I always joked that I have such horrible pregnancies, that God knows I won't do it again once I get my boy. So far, my theory seems to be correct. And I have been really adamant this time that I am NOT doing this again. It is just too hard. But...I can see that there is possibly something else in the plan for our family...and hopefully it's not 8 girls before that boy comes along!!!


So, dear unborn little girl...I a writing this to let you know that I am in no way disappointed that you are a girl. I am thrilled. The last few weeks I began having a strong feeling that this was not going to be the boy we thought we were going to have. And I am fine with it. I am very excited for you to make your entrance and join the Neves girls, and they are very excited to see you too! Chloe held the pictures on the walk out of the hospital and kept saying over and over, "I love my baby sister!" and Bria, even though she was hoping for a baby brother, is quite fine with the situation. She's just thrilled to be able to help me take care of a new baby and can't wait for August to get here.

You are meant to be a part of our family, and I'm glad you were sent now...because if a boy were to come, we would never have had you. Just look at your little profile...you are such a Neves baby already! We love you so much, even before we have met you, and I hope you will always know that.

Love,
Mom

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Not ready yet.

So. Joel had his first round of comprehensive written exams today, and he turned in his rough dissertation (153 pages!) on Monday. But all that's another story for another blog. Because of his exams, though, he had to leave really early today and come back late. Essentially, he's been gone 12 hours today...he'll be home in about 5 minutes...THANK GOODNESS!

Today is the first time I have ventured back into full time motherhood since December. I am clearly not ready and have failed this day miserably. I had to get up early and actually get Bria ready for school. I had to wake up the cranky Chloe and lug them both to the car and take Bria the 25 minute round trip to Kindergarten. I didn't have a good sleep, so I was already feeling rather queasy. I came home and threw up, stuck Chloe in front of a movie and tried to sleep until Bria came back home. She only had a half day today, which I wasn't looking forward to.

Well, Bria came home and the whining, bickering and fighting immediately began. I am too tired and too sick to deal with it well. I decided we could all use getting out of the house and I took them to eat at Wendy's and then we went to Michael's to buy the craft stuff for Chloe's birthday party on Saturday. Bad idea. Not that the girls were horrible or anything...they were fairly well behaved. I just could hardly handle the smells in Wendy's, not to mention the fact that they have discontinued their broccoli/cheese baked potato, which is the only thing I felt like I could handle eating. I had to settle for the sour cream and chives, and the chives just about did me in, but luckily I was okay. By the time we were in Michael's, everything around me was driving me nuts.

We came home, I put the stinkers in front of the TV and went back to bed. Every 3.7 minutes they were in my room needing this or wanting that, tattling on each other and just generally whining and making me more and more crazy. I can deal with them when I feel good, and we all end up happy. When I feel like dying I can't deal with it. So I sent them to their room until Daddy comes home. And just so you all know, it's me that needed the time out, not them.

So, I just wanted to take this moment to say how grateful I am for my husband. He has lifted so much of the burden of this pregnancy off of me. I have been feeling better in the past couple weeks and have been able to help more, but I am definitely not back at 100% yet. And here's Joel, dealing with a very stressful time of life for him, and yet he takes Bria to school every morning after getting her ready and even doing her hair. He deals with Chloe in the mornings until I'm ready to roll out of bed and grace the world with my presence. He does a pretty darn good job of keeping things fairly clean around here. He does the laundry and the dishes. He makes breakfast, lunch and dinner. He worries about me.

I am very blessed. So while I am not ready to fully take responsibility as a mother yet, I am so thankful that I have a husband who is willing to be both mom and dad for a bit while I work on bringing yet another stinker into the world.