Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gun Control

I have definite feelings about guns in my house. Not only the real ones, but the little kid play kind. I have never liked guns (although I do have an isolated happy memory of shooting a rifle with my grandpa). The Columbine High School shootings canvased the news while I was pregnant with Djeryd. I remember sitting in my living room watching the horror unfold while holding my little belly wondering what kind of world I was bringing this child into. On top of that, when I was a teenager a friend of mine experienced a tragic accident involving a gun kept in the home.

I vowed then and there to never let a gun, or anything like unto it, into my home. We did really good until last week. Water pistols have reared their bright orange plastic heads around here from time to time, but I throw them away as soon as I can. Last week my kids brought home toy guns from Grandma's house (I'm not mad at you Mom, don't worry). I was stunned. And shocked. My kids chose to buy little toy guns?? Even when they knew they would probably be confiscated the moment I saw them? Sure they make guns out of Legos (and cardboard, and sticks, and scraps of wood, and . . .) from time to time, but this was different. Anyway, it made me stop and think.

Have I been just a little overboard with this whole gun thing? I mean I remember playing cops and robbers when I was a kid. I think we always used our fingers for guns, but still. When I see my kids playing cop games shivers run down my spine as I imagine them thinking a life of crime (or crime fighting) is somehow glamorous. My imagination runs wild and I get scared that they will develop a fascination with weapons, with violence.

But when I pause for a moment I realize, because we don't have a TV and we are extremely selective about what films our children watch, that my children are not even exposed to violence, much less inundated with it. They show no more propensity towards shoot 'em up stuff than kids who played cowboys and Indians in the 50's. I believe the play is innocent, and kids being kids (yes, my sweet little Annabelle even wields a Lego gun from time to time - sigh) will play good vs. evil games - especially boys. My mom is always telling me that boys are born to protect. It is simply (and beautifully) part of their nature. They play at it as boys to learn how to use that instinct wisely as men.

So, for the time being, I have decided to let the guns stay. I have absolutely NO intention of ever buying one, but I'm choosing to ride this one out and see what happens. After all, I can't control everything, and I'm learning I really don't want to.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alyxandria Brynn

Alyxandria Brynn arrived nearly a full week early - thank goodness. She is healthy and happy and absolutely beautiful. And I am quite smitten with her. Admittedly, I spent the first two days in shock (I think it had something to do with having the worst delivery of my life, but really, two out of three is not bad for great delivery experiences). Once my head and body stopped reeling, I found myself completely in love with this new little life. I do not know how anyone can observe the wonder of a new human life being created and coming into this world and not know, absolutely, that there is a God in Heaven. It is a miracle.

The wonderful man you see in the picture above was able to help deliver his daughter. He got scrubs, gloves, the whole nine yards. It was a remarkable experience for him. The nurses and midwives were very impressed with his "professionalism" and referred to him as "Dr. Sean" for the rest of our stay. He was ridiculously proud of himself (so was I).

We are all adjusting to life with a new baby at home. Of course sleep schedules have been altered (though not much for me considering I spent the three weeks prior to Alyx being born rarely sleeping more than two hours at a time - nature's preparation). I am relishing this week of doing nothing but recovering and staring at my new baby for hours on end. I want to rewind the clock and go back to those first couple of days when I simply could not comprehend what was going on. I feel like I missed so much of just enjoying her while I was in my haze. Now, everyday I wake up and she is a day older, and part of me wants to soak in today as completley as possible, and part of me wants to go back and get just a little bit more in from yesterday - more kisses, more snuggles, more wiggles, more newborn-baby-smell, more gazing. Perhaps that should make me more thankful for today - that each day I get a brand new twenty-four hours to be Alyxandria's mother.

Love is a powerful thing.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Things I'm Loving

:: cooking, crafting, and cleaning hip-to-hip with my sweet Annabelle

:: pancakes for breakfast (instead of for dinner, for a change)

:: every single one of these people

:: my amazing, wonderful, gorgeous husband - you have no idea how good he is to me

:: daffodils blooming, and primroses, and camillias, and hyacinth, and . . .

:: the comfort of knowing there will be plenty of projects to work on once we adjust to our new life

:: the marvelous, glorious prospect of this little person finally coming into being

:: and most importantly - redemption - through my Savior, Jesus Christ

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

In All Honesty

In an effort to maintain honesty and realism in my blog I am feeling the need to account for some of the untold moments of my life lately. My blog is usually pretty happy and crafty and ideal sounding. Which is not an honest snapshot of my life (by any stretch of the imagination). The honest truth is I am crazy - pregnant crazy. I hate the fact that no matter what I put on, no matter how much time I spend on my hair, no matter how much make-up I am wearing, I look huge, pregnant, uncomfortable and unattractive. I don't like people right now. I have very little patience with both big and small things. I cry a lot. I mean a lot, a lot. I am scared to death to have another baby, another child to parent when I feel I am failing so miserably with the three I already have. I battle with over-anxiousness as I contemplate the looming changes in our lives. I doubt my ability to love.

I know deep down in my guts that everything will be fine, and that life really is good, and really will be good. But it is hard to bring all that to my consciousness at the moment. I am swallowed up in my own "problems" (which are mostly blessings) so much that I can't see the forest for the trees. I think that is why I have tried to do this service project thing each month. I like spending the time thinking about how I can help someone else - to get outside of myself.

The crazy part is I love being a mother. Love it, love it. I just get so frustrated with myself that I don't do the job justice. I feel like I am missing out on so many parent-child-relationship-building-things simply because I don't know what they are. I know I am doing the best job I can, but I don't know what I should or could be doing to make it a richer experience for all of us. I just keep having to tell myself that the important thing is that I am trying. I just wish my efforts did not feel like they fall so very short.

Sorry this is kind of a downer post, but it's real. All that said, I do have to say that on Sunday my two boys sat together and actually sang both the opening and Sacrament hymns with a book between them - of their own volition. A landmark first. It made me feel ridiculously happy.

Monday, March 8, 2010

HELP - Pass It On: Project Linus

For our Family Home Evening service project this month we made two baby blankets to donate to Project Linus. It was really easy and went much faster than I expected (after I did all the cutting prep work).

We had so much fun working all together and singing songs (or should I say song? It was the same one over and over and over again). I talked to the kids a little bit about where the blankets would go. It was nice to hear Erik explain to Grandma a few hours later that the blankets were not for "our" baby, but for babies who don't have their own blankets.

P.S. I would love to hear some ideas for future service projects. Know any? Pass them on. ;>
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Activity Days: Proclamation

For Activity Days last week my girls made their own framed copy of the Proclamation on the Family. It was a really fun activity. I shrunk the text to 5"x7" and laminated them. Then Sean and I cut 8"x10" mats from cereal boxes. At AD the girls chose scrapbook paper to cover the mats and then decorated them with beads, flowers and ribbons. They turned out really cute and so unique. I wish I would have remembered my camera to get pictures of them all. This is the one I made for my Annabelle.

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Saturday, March 6, 2010


This is what the quilt looked like from the back on Thursday night. The thought of that grid framing the face of my newborn child was more than I could bear (or is it bare?). After crying into Sean's shoulder when he got home from work, I trekked out to Jo-Ann's for backing that I loved. When I got home, Sean and I spent two hours ripping off the old binding and pinning the new backing.

With the spritely green binding I knew I needed to add a few spots of green into the quilt to "tie" it all together anyway. This provided a perfect solution to replacing the backing on the already quilted quilt - simply tie on the new one and re-bind it all. It took me about half of the day to tie and re-bind the quilt, but it was all so worth it!

Please note how that luscious new backing (very last photograph) compliments the quilt so perfectly. Now, no matter how the quilt is flopped over or wrapped around, it frames smiles beautifully. (The original backing material I purchased a month ago did not compliment the quilt once it was finished - it just didn't look right. Because I was stressed and in a hurry, I decided to just use the white backing and call it good. Well, it was not good, and only went to prove that doing things right the first time saves a lot of time. Moral of the story: you can never have enough beautiful fabric on hand - must buy more.) ;>

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's Done

Well, it's done. That's pretty much all there is to say. I am not crazy about it. It did not turn out the way I wanted, but I am coming to grips with it. I can't even take or crop a decent picture of it. I think I am out of my groove. The thing I hate the most about the quilt (and I mean hate) is I used a plain white muslin backing. It looks terrible and like it is only fit for hanging on the wall. I did all of the stitching with purple thread and so the back of the quilt is a grid. It looks terrible. I am too tired and annoyed to rip it all apart and start over with a different backing. I just keep having terrible visions of swaddling up my new baby girl in a quilt that has taken me months, and is so very lovely on the surface, and that nasty backing being what is curled up around her face. Let this be a lesson to me - always choose a fabric I like for the back - and one that works well with the quilting thread. Grrrrrrrr. Maybe in a month or two I will make a new one and just put this one on the wall over the crib. Until then I will deal with it, doing my best to hide the backing (especially when the camera is around), and move on to all those Easter presents.
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Monday, March 1, 2010

General Conference Packets

My friend just posted this link on her website and I checked it out. These are great activity packets for General Conference for kids. They have a Jr. and Sr. Primary version. Thanks for the info, Annie.
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