Monday, January 26, 2015

Clean

Today, my up was that I did my dishes, cleaned off the kitchen counters and vacuumed the entire upstairs...

and...

drum roll please...

cleaned the hall bathroom!

Ta da!

Yep, it gets pretty exciting for me as a work at home mom to be able to do motherly things like clean house.

I bet there are some of you out there who wouldn't have chosen cleaning the bathroom as your UP for the day!

Here's a thought for today if my little UP isn't UPlifting enough for you:

"Let all things be done in cleanliness before me." —Doctrine and Covenants 42:41

I know He (God) is not talking about a clean house, but more our attitudes and actions.

But, I have to say that when we live in a clean house it seems much easier to feel at peace with other things going on in Our Life.

We have chaos enough without adding the disorderly household.

So be happy if you cleaned your house today.

You did more than you realize...


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Poke-a-homa

Did anyone notice I missed a day of blogging?

I did.

It's tough to have a goal of doing something specifically every day.

But I guess in 25 days only missing 2 days is really pretty good for me. That means by the time I have made it to 365 days I should have only missed about 17 days.

Hmm. Not bad.

But I've noticed that if I give myself any leeway that I sort of take advantage of it, so if I say I can miss 17 days this year I might take 15 of them all in two weeks and then I stress myself out trying to not miss anymore days at all from February to December. Then I stress about whether it is still meeting my goal if I miss 30 of the 365 days of UP. Then...

Wew! OK, getting worked up here, people. I've only missed 2 days so far...

let's leave it at that.

Yesterday was really busy.

Kind of a whirlwind of projects, chores and caregiving.

My UP though was totally unexpected...

Remember way back when I took Baby to my play rehearsal on choreography day and I decided that day I would take her to the dance class I had heard they have for special needs kids at The Dance Club here in Orem?

Well... yesterday I finally took them.

All three.

I was doing it, really for Baby, but hoping that Brother and Sister would be interested.

I had brought it up the week before and Sister screamed at me and Brother started to whine, so I new it was going to be one of those things that would go down in Our Life history as a "weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth" day.

It was.

Oh my goodness was it!

I tried to keep the day really low key for the kids most of the day by just letting them hang out and play and non-challantly throwing out how fun it would be to dance today. Of course each time that was met with a solid no, or a quiet whimper, which wasn't, actually, too bad of a reaction so I thought this might go fairly smoothly.

I have been doing this for about 15 years now so I have finally learned better than to just trust my hopes, but to rely on my instincts.

I brought Lindsey along.

Good thing too.

Lindsey walked a smiling Baby and a whining Brother out to the car while I carried my tall, lanky, squirming, kicking, screaming, head banging, name calling 9-year-old and pushed/folded/stuffed her in to the Suburban like I was trying to fit a giant octopus into a mini cooper.

Lindsey and I endured Sister's screams, insults, back seat kicking, and complete and utter derailment while also enduring the hyper-sensory endured melt-downs of Baby and Brother.

Oh.

My.

Goodness.

Sake!

I kept thinking, in my head, I can't believe how crazy I am that even during all this I am staying fairly calm and letting Sister know that we were just going to give it a try and if she didn't like it, we could leave all while trying to sooth Brother and Baby with the consoling I was offering to Sister.

That 5 minute ride seemed like 45 minutes.

Then we got to the parking lot.

I still had to carry Sister into the building so that she wouldn't run off in her complete and total meltdown.

As we entered the doors, which were glass windows so I am sure that our entrance wasn't quite as surprising to those who had been watching us approach them, Sister's screams got louder and echoed in the vaulted ceiling foyer.

Everyone was looking to see how had lost and arm and seemed to be confused to see there was no blood as we entered.

I couldn't find anyone in the office so I had to take my wailing 9-year-old and my whimpering 5 and 15-year olds through the maze of doors that looked like I might find someone of authority in there.

I was trying to find someone because I was supposed to fill out paperwork so they could participate in the class and we had arrived a little early to do so.

Well, because of the tender mercies that occur in Our Life often, the lady in charge could see the struggle I was having trying to hold Sister on my hip and finagle the pen and forms so she just said, "You know what, why don't you just go try out the class and see if they even like it and you can fill this out later."

I was so relieved to know she wasn't like the checker at the grocery store that didn't seem to notice my struggle in trying to pay for my groceries and keep Baby within 5 feet of where I was...

There are people out there who "see" it, you know.

Anyway, we went down the stairs with the still wailing Sister in arm and the still whimpering Baby and Brother tailing behind with Lindsey down a long hallway that contained our family noises with quite a bit of reverb so, of course, everyone waiting in the hall watching their children dance were aghast at the site of our motley crew of raw emotions and pitiful faces.

Then, when we got to the spot where the special needs dance room was located we had time before the class would start. I was worried about this overflow of time because I wasn't sure how the kids would do in that 15-20 minutes of waiting for the thing they were not wanting to do.

But there were windows.

There were windows to watch the ballet class that was currently happening in the classroom across from ours.

All three kids were in awe of the ballerinas and couldn't take their eyes off of them. It was so peaceful as we watched this sweet young girls kick, spin, sashay and leap about the room as if it was no effort.

Then the teacher of that class, when finished, walked across the hall to the room where our special needs kids would be getting taught.

This amazing teacher who has been transforming these beautiful ballerinas was now across the way volunteering her time and talents to work with children who may never have a chance to dance like this. There were also youth volunteer dancers who came in to help.

Sister still would not go in, and made it loudly clear that she would not, but Baby and Brother were intrigued enough to at least go in and try it out.

I thought, for sure, after a few minutes, Baby would start spinning and twirling with the kids in the room but she feel apart after about 15 minutes and I needed to take her out.

Brother, however, wanted to stay and Lindsey, Baby, Sister and I really had a great time watching him learn steps and techniques and even part of a dance routine.

Brother was really excelling in there and couldn't have looked happier or more proud of himself. I have to say that he really tried hard to impress his dance teacher and I loved seeing his embarrassed pride each time his teacher praised him for work well-done.

After class was over, all 5 of us exited the dance room, walked up the stairs, went to the office and got some papers to fill out, then walked out to the car, got in, and it all went well.

Really?

Really!

I'm so excited for Brother to be in dance class!

I am still going to try to get Baby to try it out each time.

...

Today Sister was looking at her yearbooks (She does this often just to write down name and memorize people.) She was in a goofy and humorous mood and saw that the row of pictures on one of the pages was not complete with the last picture that should complete the page or pattern of the others.

So she drew one in.

Made me laugh and I haven't stopped smiling about it yet.



I, also, can't forget to tell you that Sister calls Oklahoma, "Poke-a-homa."

He he he!


                                                                                                                                           Days 24 and 25 of 365 days of UP

Friday, January 23, 2015

Between Being Busy and Being Numb

I keep thinking about how I really want to show you videos of Christmas and I record video of fun things around the house, but I have not had time to put anything together for you to watch on my YouTube Channel. I miss doing that.

Videos.

It's fun for me to show you how my life is in real action.

I love to write, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I just can't capture things in words the way I would like to.

Making movies is fun.

Nothing professional, mind you, just good ol' home movies.

In fact I noticed that the LDS Film Festival is coming up this March and they have a section for short films (like 2 - 5 minutes) that anyone can enter in and I got so excited about the idea of making a little film documentary about Fragile X in my world.

I'm too busy with things...

Well...

Sometimes I'm busy, but I just sit in a numb daze staring at the computer screen trying to focus on what I was supposed to be doing.

But, between being busy and being numb, putting together videos just hasn't fallen into my list of to-do's.

I want to though.

Maybe you'll see a little Christmas recap by Spring and maybe next year I'll get in a little Fragile X Documentary for the LDS Film Festival.

Who knows.

Anyway, today was one of those days where it was decent, no awful things happened, no out of the ordinary occurrences and nothing that would really cause me to be down.

But, I just felt numb for whatever reason.

Depression can do that to you.

It's weird that way.

Your life is great but it tries to remind you of your struggles and pain just, well, because.

Really, I have nothing to complain about.

I mean Brother did miss the bus this morning. I had to change both the girls' bed sheets. I couldn't get the diaper box open after I had realized there were not more diapers on the shelf and Baby had already run off to the living room and decided that, instead of going into the bathroom to pee, why not just stand next to the couch in the living room and pee there.

I guess I could complain about that.

I am behind on my work and tired so I can't seem to keep my eyes open long enough to get the work done without dozing into short naps consisting of my typing stuff likeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee this because I fall asleep with my fingers on the keys.

Maybe I could complain about that.

I had to load all 3 kids in the car to run to a doctor's office to pick up some vitamins for my restless leg...

I will not complain about it, but I will tell you kind of how it went:

Mom - "OK kids let's all hop in the car, I need to run a quick errand."

Kids - "Can Ranger come with us? Can I sit in the middle? Can we go to the toy store? Can Ranger sit by me? Where are we going? I don't wanna go! I wanna stay home! This is stupid! You're a dumb mom! Turn around right now."

Mom - "Sister get back in the car! Baby sit in your seat! Stop pulling her hair! Just let her hold him (Ranger). Stop crying! Stop screaming. Stop hitting me! Don't throw that at me!"

Kids - "K, Mom, you can turn around now. I don't want to go here! You missed it. Let go home now. Too bad, you missed it."

Then there was fighting over the middle spot and crying and wailing ensued.

Luckily there was a Wendy's on the way home.

The kids LOVE Wendy's! They'll eat it every time.

So it all ended well in the end.

Then Lindsey can to watched the kids while Marc and I went to an activity at the church to play games with other couples and adults.

That was my UP for the day.

It was just fun.

And I let myself just have fun.

Fun is up and up is fun.

It makes a great day for everyone.

Day 23 of 365 days of UP

Thursday, January 22, 2015

You're better than you think.

I got to flit around the stage today like a beautiful butterfly!

This must be said with the thought of that chubby caterpillar from "A Bug's Life" in your mind's eye... it just makes it kinda funny:

Anyway, but really I did! My wings were a LOT bigger though! That's what made it so fun. Oh my goodness it was fun! I couldn't stop smiling as I leaped and danced about the stage learning the choreography.

That was a good UP for me today, not to mention the play is all starting to come together and it is just getting more fun.

But there was a small moment today that has stuck with me all day.

As I was practicing with the group one of our numbers, I was encouraging fellow players in saying that if I can do something like this, then anyone can.

I'm really hard on myself. I'm sure that is part of what adds to my depression issues.

I've never been confident.

When I say that it surprises people because I am outgoing and loud.

It would seem that self confidence struggles wouldn't go hand in hand with being outgoing and friendly.

I think it's just my defense mechanism... if I'm fun, funny, or entertaining then no one has to focus on ... me... or so I seem to think.

Well, today my friend, who is also the music director said, "Rachael, you're better than you think you are."

I don't exactly now why but that just sat with me today.

It was a compliment, really.

At least I took it as one.

But, it was also a good reminder that I just put myself down too often.

My sister said the same thing to me yesterday. She actually kinda got ofter me for it (in a loving way of course).

I need to learn to build others up without putting myself down.

So I guess that was an UP/down moment.

It was a good learning moment for me.

Other UPs of the day:

Brother tied his shoes this morning! Both shoes, all by himself, with no whining!

Yay!


Another up for the day was that I took and made the time to make dinner and it was all healthy with a home made, made up on the fly, spinach pesto cream sauce

And last, but, certainly not least, was that we remembered to read scriptures as a family tonight.

It was an UP kind of day!

Day 22 of 365 Days of UP

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Plays, Shots, Service and Shoes

I'm so blessed!

I really am!

I feel like this whole looking for the UPs thing is really keeping me moving forward.

I'm not saying my life is perfect or anything, I just am excited to see that it isn't terrible either.

I'm not going to take much time today.

I'll just be brief.

My UPs for the day:

I had a fantastic play practice complete with choreography, singing, laughing and just being a kid again. (I play a little girl in this play, Allison, Pinkalicious' friend.)

I had an awesome talk with a great friend who then decided to be amazing and brought my family dinner... just because. Just because people! She brought spaghetti, salad, bread and butter and donuts! Woot!

Which turned out to be so awesome because then I had another great friend who offered to do my headshots! Yay! I have to give a little side not here: I was contemplating canceling the appointment because I don't feel my best, I've gained weight recently and my stress, I think, has taken it's toll on me. Then I remembered the council I give to all my clients who don't want to get get pictures taken and decided to just embrace me how I am now and jump in and do it. So I did.

Stephen with Miner Details Photography did a great job. He even got a couple up for me already so I can post it for you to see!





Also, while getting my photo done, I was able to reunite with friends I haven't see in a long while and it was so fun to laugh and talk with them again! That might be part of the reason for my true smile in the picture...

Then I was able to participate in a great service with the Young Women at church and I was just in such a good mood by then that I was randomly grabbing girls to do-si-do with and just be goofy while we worked hard on our big project.

But my BIGGEST UP was actually clear back this morning at 7:15 am when Brother tied his own shoe!!! I hesitate a little to share that because I don't want him to be made fun of for not having done it till now, but I hope that the people who read this and know him, will just be kind and sweet. This is a HUGE thing for him.

Yes, you know it was a good day when your 15 year-old son ties his own shoe for the first time...

or maybe that's just here in Our Life!

One of his recent selfies to leave you with a smile.


Day 21 of 365 Days of UP

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

She went left and I went right...

or was it that she went right and I went left?

I don't totally remember.

I do know I was reminded why I don't take Baby with me to the store by myself.

I guess I have been having so many UPs that I felt invincible today... don't ask me.

You would think that I would learn after she ran and hid from me twice at the first store, which thank goodness, was no bigger than the top floor of my house.

I got cocky, I guess, because after that I took her to the big grocery store.

It started of well. She was holding my hand and everything. I was thinking this last errand would go off without a hitch.

Then we hit the checkout stand. It was all down hill from there.

I can't load stuff on the belt, pay, talk to the cashier and hold onto Baby at the same time.

Of course she's going to take advantage of this opportunity and run, run as fast as she can!

I'm going to keep the long story short and just say that after 15 minutes of not knowing where Baby was in the store 2 other mom's who had seen my panic came to the rescue when they spotted her hiding behind a display, crouched down in the isle I had checked many times.

I nervously laughed it off with the other moms who understood where I was coming from for the most part and I thanked my lucky stars that Baby hadn't gone out the open doors to the parking lot.

Looking for her made me late for Brother's bus drop off from school, and he was home, outside waiting for me to get there. At least he knew enough to just wait for me and not wander off. I had 2 "minor" panic attacks within 20 minutes, but it all worked out and both my kids were now home safe.

When I was done feeling panicked, I was able to sit back and laugh and just think what a great sitcom my life really would make!

At around 5:00 a lady showed up at my door selling spring rolls.

I remember last year Marc came in and told me that he had bought some spring rolls from a lady that was going door to door. I was so bugged at him that he didn't tell her, "no." I mean, I don't know if she has a clean house she cooks in, I don't know if the ingredients are any good or if they even taste good. Why couldn't he just say, "no."

Now I knew why. It's like she has this look on her face that if I don't buy her spring rolls her children will starve today. OK, maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but whatever tactic it was that she used, I fell for it.

12 spring rolls for $10 from a lady I didn't even know...

But hey, I didn't have to make all of dinner, I just added rice and some veggies for the sides and voila!

And none of us died from food poisoning or choked on a hairball.

All is well.

Anyway, my UP today came from talking to a group of women tonight for the church (we call it Relief Society).

I got to talk to them about being HAPPY!

It was so much fun! I really enjoy speaking to people and making them laugh. I got to tell my whole "running errands with Baby" story with actions and sound effects and everything!

They laughed!

I'm so glad they laughed!

That's my UP.

They laughed with me and I, once again realized what a blessing it is to have a sense of humor.

This was me after I got my sweets stash and a happy balloon to go home with.

But the greatest UP was when one of the sisters, a friend of mine, shared that she reads my blog each night and is inspired to find her UP each day too.

Wow! I did that for someone!

I feel special.

And it makes my hard times and my UP times seem just that much more bearable and memorable that it can help me AND some one else too.

My great grandma used to sing a song she wrote, and if any of my family or relatives read this they will know the tune and the accent that goes along with it. If you are not related to me, have me sing it to you sometime...

"Because yer special, special! You are very special!"

I'm falling asleep with that memorable tune in my head tonight.

I hope you do too. Because you are special...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Shallow and Deep

I have decided, today, that there are some shallow happy moments and deep happy moments.

This may vary according to the kind of day that I am having or the mood I am in.

Today was a good day for the most part so I have to say that the happy moment of finding a coat at the 50% off sale at the local thrift store may have been a bit on the shallow side of my happy moments today.

May I add, though, that it was only $6...

Yep!

That is a definite UP people, definitely UP.



I also got a cool vintage-y leather bomber jacket for $5


My deep happiness came from the service of Lindsey to, not just my kids, but to me. (For those of you slightly new to the blog: Lindsey is our friend and caregiver for our kids and has been for over 2 years.)

While I was out enjoying time with Marc looking for great deals, Lindsey was with my kids at home helping them clean the entire house, encouraging and helping them to make their beds and even ventured into the laundry room and went through the clean clothes and sorted them and folded them and put them all away!

I can't explain to you how deeply happy that made me. It relieved some of the overwhelming-ness I had been feeling for the last while to have something done that I didn't have to find the time to do.

I have been wanting/trying to get my house cleaned and it just keep falling by the side as I get other priorities fixed. I even had set aside today as a cleaning day. So when I came home to a clean house I was able to do some of the little things like sorting through Baby's clothes that are too small and getting them ready to give to my sister, Kirsten, scrubbing my toilets with a pumis stone (hard water is not fun), reorganizing my kitchen and getting my stove cleaned. I even was able to get more laundry done because the clean clothes had been put away.

I didn't even tell her how much I appreciated all this because I didn't even realize it had all been done until after she had left for home.

I don't know if she was inspired to help me out today or was inspired to teach the kids more skills... either way, I know she was inspired and I'm thankful she followed her prompting to serve today.

It made for a lot better play date for Sister when her friends from her class came for the first time today. Because it was the first time to be here, their mom stayed and chatted with me and it was good to talk with her and get to know Sister's sweet little friends.

That was the other deep happiness was watching Sister's complete and total excitement when her friends came to the door... sure it was aggravating and a little annoying to listen to her for the 2 hours before they came,

"When are they coming?"

"Why aren't they here yet?"

"What time is it?"

"They're never gonna come!"

"Is the timer done yet?"

"When will the timer go off?"

"Do they know where we live?"

"Are they coming?"

"How much longer?"

"An hour!?"

"55 minutes!?"

"Mooooooooommmmmm!!!"

Yep, even with all that for a full, solid, straight two hours and sporadically since 6am this morning, I still found deep happiness in seeing her so happy to have her friends from her class come to her house. Then my happiness went even deeper as I listened to and watched her have the time of her life with her buddies. It was so sweet and memorable.

So there you have it, the deep and the shallow.

Today I was lucky to experience both.