Sunday, March 24, 2013

As this is my journal and all, I want to remember the following...

It wasn't very big...

but it was huge to him!

Princess Fire Fighter

It was a long day.

Loving her cheesecake

Aleq, Matthew and Tommy--Cousins/best friends

Super cool swim goggles. As cool as you CAN be in your sisters playroom.

We mostly don't play around with friends on Sunday, but I guess meeting at the border of our yards is okay??? Leave it to Sam and Aleq to figure that! They are writing in their journals so it's hard to say no.

She Was Scared

After I got out of the hospital, my mom and I drove there (over an hour) every few days for my out-patient therapy. Although I sure didn't see it, my therapists thought I had made significant progress.  So one day when I went down, they asked me to talk with another young mom who had suffered a stroke. Apparently strokes are not that uncommon in  new moms.
Now at the time I was still in a wheelchair, had my feeding tube, my face was totally disfigured (still is but not like it was then) and still carried cloths around because I could not even swallow my own saliva. This girl was walking to and from therapy, eating and drinking the yummy hospital food (try not being able to eat and even that...mmm), and she looked totally normal. And they wanted me to encourage her.
But after watching her for a few minutes I realized that she could not speak and was using made up signs to get her point across, her walk was very unsteady and someone had to be with her, and she seemed scared. I knew that feeling well. I still do. She was just starting a looong and difficult journey, one that I was only slightly further along.
What Could I possibly say that would help? I wasn't even doing well physically or emotionally myself, but my therapists seemed to see that she was in a very dark place and that I had started, already, to come out of that dark place.
So they introduced us and I offered what encouragement I could. I told her that it really does get better and to keep fighting. I knew she was scared, I was too, but if I could make progress she could too. Short and sweet.
She just started to cry. I could tell by her expression that what I had said was what she needed to hear right then.
Her family and the therapists thanked me but it wasn't really my thanks to receive.  The Lord knew what she needed to hear.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Salad Days

The first days after my stroke were very scary for all involved. We didn't know from one minute to the next if I would live. After the initial days, I was still so fragile and as the days turned into weeks, my medical status went up and down. Even when I got discarged from the hospital I was far from stable all the time. I required numerous trips to my Doc, the ER, etc. Needless to say, I needed every prayer that people could offer.
Every prayer is important. Listening to my children talk to their Heavenly Father is proof of that. I feel the Spirit so strongly when they open up their little hearts to The Lord.
Yes, every prayer is important, heard and answered. But I want to remember one certain prayer.
Our Bishop's father was the personal secretary to President Gordon B. Hinckley and, very kindly, asked him to pray for me. When President Hinckley met with the 12 Apostles, they offered a prayer in my behalf. My Bishop's father didn't need to do that and certainly President Hinckley had things that were very important to many people. But the time was taken, I was thought of, and I know I was blessed by this prayer.
Weeks later, my mother-in-law was in her ward in St. George and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland was visiting. Geraldine recounted this story to him and thanked him. He told her that he was sorry that we needed them to pray for us. He said that when President Hinckley prayed, it was very powerful and that he knew everything would be all right.
And everything is all right. Maybe not the way I had panned but we have been so blessed!
Our friend used to remark that the early days of marriage, before the responsibility of parenthood and real life, were the salad days. Happy days. Robert and I think that these are our salad days. We are genuinely happy. Most days.
Our life isn't perfect, but it is wonderful.

Friday, March 8, 2013


This morning I dropped Jain off at school. She gave me a kiss, got out on her own, and I watched her walk in. As she walked in, she passed two moms who had just walked their kids all the way in. The moms were laughing and talking, not concentrating on whether their weight needs to be in their toes or heels to get down the driveway, crossed the road without fear of falling, and did it all in just a few seconds.
A profound sadness/anger/jealousy hit me. I had to wait a moment before I could even drive away because of the tears blurring my vision. Pardon my language, but this really sucks!
Then, just a few minutes ago my mom and uncle came by. I have not seen Mike in a few years and last he saw I was in a bed shortly after my stroke. He was amazed at my progress and just hugged me and cried a little.
I have to remember that I have made miraculous progress. True, I am very limited with my body but that is only temporary. The things my family and I have been forced to learn will stay with me for eternity.
I have to remember that. I have to remember that. I have to remember that.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mother of the Year

I'll admit it, I'm not winning mother of the year. My kids are used to getting their clothes out of the clean clothes basket in the laundry room, my daughter says I rest too much, and I L-O-V-E when the kids are all in school and I am all alone. And there are many, many, many other reasons that I don't dare share here. You never know when social services might decide to read a random blog. Okay, I'm not that bad...I hope.

It's just at times I feel very inadequate as a mom, especially for Aleq right now. I feel very lucky and blessed that my kids are safe and healthy for today. But every day is a struggle for Aleq right now.

We thought we had found the right mixture of meds to help with his mood disorder and ADHD. He was doing really well.  But every few weeks we have to mess with the dosage just to get it right. We are now at the very highest dose that we dare go and it seems to be on the down slope. He and his teacher report that he is having a very hard time at school with talking, wiggling, walking around,  not finishing work, etc. That might be managed. But he is beginning to get very angry. Just in the evenings at home, thank goodness.

For instance, if his siblings won't do exactly as he wants, he bugs and teases them mercilessly. When I step in he yells at me with an excuse and then starts to sob and walks away and won't talk. When I do try to talk to him, he just shakes his head and turns away from me. This can last for an hour or longer.

True, he isn't hurting people, he isn't violent, it is even calm in our house if he is sulking. But it's soooo not Aleq and it breaks my heart to see him like this. He is miserable, and we are walking on egg shells and the Spirit of The Lord can't be in our home at these times.

The other night he had another melt down and I let him be alone for a few and then got the lotion and offered to rub his feet. Truth be told I forced him to let me. It was unbelievable. Within 15-20 seconds it was like the anger drained out of him. His whole body relaxed and his eye lids got heavy. I kept massaging for another few minutes and then our evening went well after that.

Good mothering moment.

Yesterday was a repeat performance. He was teasing his sister and then when I told him to stop, he started to yell at me and I could see the anger coming. I told him that it is never okay to yell at me and took away his touch pad. I then ignored him as he came up with every excuse he could for why he HAD to yell. This was all happening as I was putting together my steamer and cleaning the bathroom so I admit I was not in the best mood.

After ignoring his constant badgering for a while (I cleaned the toilet, sink, floor and walls so it was a while) I totally lost control. Luckily my voice was effected by the stroke so yelling is impossible, but he got the idea. I told him that he had to learn to control his anger and show respect for people and that not everybody would stand for his behavior. As I was "yelling" this, the irony of the situation was not lost on me. It's like spanking a child for hitting their friend. It's all true but the delivery was terrible.

Bad mothering moment.

Last night I was thinking of what a terrible world we live in.  Kids are not always happy or safe. Both external and internal influences are constantly threatening them. Their home should be a haven of peace.  They should feel happy, safe, and loved there. Not criticized or ashamed.

Like I said, bad mothering moment.

So I called him to me and apologized.  I told him that I was wrong for not respecting him and that I not only loved him but I liked him. I said that we would never stop trying to figure out his pills but that we loved him no matter what-pill or no pill. He was our sweet boy. Forever.

Not mother of the year but my boy hugged me and that's much better.