What Pablo Picasso and I have in common

What the heck makes someone “special”?

YAY! Wiley, after jumping into Grandbo's lap!
YAY! Wiley, after jumping into Grandbo’s lap!

Several years ago, while living in Utah, I was ordering a sandwich at Subway, along with my older sister Kelsey. I recall using the name of the female employee (well, the name shown on her employee name tag) while giving my order and after I thanked her for my sandwich, I bid her ‘goodnight.’

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On the way to my sister’s car I said, “I like to use people’s names, because it makes them feel special.”

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I will never forget what my sister told me…

Wiley loves seeing Grandparents!
Wiley loves seeing Grandparents!

Kelsey said, “she is special Kate, you were just reminding her she was.”

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Dang, I should have known better! Of course she is special!

Something Pablo Picasso quoted his mother saying to him made me think about the sons I’m raising,

“When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll be the pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”

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—It struck me that, although my mother didn’t say the same thing to me, it was how my mother raised me that lead me to feel special.

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Sure, when I was a little girl I wanted to be Miss America – she got a crown, a dozen roses and a strut down the runway with falling confetti.

Nona said baby looked like Dom Deluise...I can see it.
Nona said baby looked like Dom Deluise…I can see it.

What child didn’t want to go to the Olympics and represent their country for a chance to win a medal? Well, I wanted to do that too…but,

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I didn’t need those things in my life to feel special.

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I was raised by a mother and a father who loved me – they gave me their time, they listened to me, they counseled me (even when I didn’t want to receive it), and when I came home late, my father was always waiting.

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It’s my hope, that my children will grow to know they are special – with an Olympic medal around their neck or not.

He said he didn't want a nap...
He said he didn’t want a nap…

We are special because we are children of God!

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Which means more than we know.

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Motherhood: resisting the urge to feel like a failure

Yesterday my two year old tested my love for him…

WHO? Me?!
WHO? Me?!

He didn’t sit in time out for stealing gum from my purse and eating half the pack.

He didn’t sit in time out for accidentally knocking over a cup of water next to the library books.

He didn’t sit in time out for taking my phone out of my purse and getting on Youtube without my knowing.

He didn’t get time out for tearing up my fancy bar of soap during bath time.

Beautiful Boy!
Beautiful Boy!

Hey, sometimes things happen…

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He screamed in my ears, tried multiple times to hit me, bit me, threw things, hit his new little brother…

Don't hit me, I'm cute!
Don’t hit me, I’m cute!

I can’t keep him out of the fridge while I nurse his baby brother…

Wise man?
Looks to me to be a future philosopher!

He sat in his Time Out chair more times than I can remember.

Although he did get his ear flicked a number of times, I resisted the urge to spank “the tar” (as we say in the south) out of him.

Somehow I managed to do the dishes, get the oil changed in the truck, get some laundry washed and a little organizing done – all while battling the two year old.

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It was after he went to bed (early) that I did a second round of dishes, tired and trying not to cry, I resisted the urge to feel like a failure.

Failure is not an option.
Failure is not an option.

After all, the two year old still said, “I love you” today and gave me hugs and stroked my face while I sang him songs before bed.

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It was doing something mundane, like dishes, that allowed me to reflect on several talks given at the General Women’s Meeting this past Saturday evening.

The work of mothers, child caregivers, is not for the faint of heart. It is work and it is the best work we can do as a society – raise up the next generation. Those children will learn life’s coping skills from us!

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My children will know they are loved, regardless of the choices they make.

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My children will know what is right and wrong, because I taught them myself and tried to show them in my actions.

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They will learn weaknesses too, because I am weak, but they will also learn to be forgiving; because we are all weak and in need of forgiveness.

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Don’t give up the fight, because we are doing a great work!

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photos were taken by my friend Jewly Ann, who takes newborn and maternity photos!

Why Are You Taking A Picture Of This?

This weekend was great – I enjoyed my typical pregnancy yuckies, with two full days of General Conference! You take the bitter with the sweet….

I pull out the camera and Danny says, "why are you taking a picture of this?"
I pull out the camera and Danny says, “why are you taking a picture of this?”

Two achieve peaceful conference viewing, we opened a box of toys Wiley had received for Christmas, but had remained on a shelf until Sunday, so our son played happily all afternoon.

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I don’t mind the extra work of cleaning up after his messes, if it means I get a happy child.

Sometimes I just love watching him play – watching his imagination grow.

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After conference ended on Sunday, we took a family walk around the neighborhood to stretch our legs.

The fresh air helped me feel much better.

Cheeky booger, just like his Daddy...wont look at the camera!
Cheeky booger, just like his Daddy…wont look at the camera!

My poor husband, I rarely cook and when I do it so generic, like spaghetti.

that is if I cook!

But the long walk helped me feel so good I made….

Making faces!
Making faces!

Quesadillas, stuffed with beans and cheese.

My cousin Mariana first showed me how to improve quesadillas – you butter both sides of the tortillas! brilliant. Like, the inside and the outside of both tortillas.

My dad taught me that you put salt and garlic powder (fresh ground) on the outside and the inside…along with your beans, cheese and onions.

So, they may be JUST quesadillas, but they were dang good. Danny asked for seconds.

Conference was amazing, family time was great, dinner was good.

So here is to becoming a better me, now that today is Monday.

Once Upon A Tantrum….

Generally my son looks like this

Happier times...
Happier times…

He will coax anyone who will listen to take him outside and he will stay there all day. I’m fine with that, usually I’m that person who takes him outside all day….

Melt Down
Melt Down

Until nap-time. That’s when the sirens start wailing.

P1000493In an effort to be a good mom, I used to let him stay up until he crashed mid-day, because I didn’t like to hear him scream.

I was afraid of being a bad parent.

P100049517 months is how it took for me to realize I don’t really care what he wants.. I know what he needs.

“cry me a river…cry me a river…” You said it JT

I got a college education to stay home and listen to this?
I got a college education to stay home and listen to this?

Before I had children I was afraid of a few things.

Afraid of being pregnant

Afraid of being a bad mom

Afraid of not having time for the things I like to do

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I was right about the pregnancy thing, it was ugly..I was ugly.

I don’t have as much time for the things that I want to do now, but I do get some time to myself.

I was totally wrong about being a bad mom.  My mother told me I was an excellent mom and she should know, being a mother of eight, she’s an expert.

It’s Monday, let’s find our party hats, we have reason to celebrate another day.

Visitors From Washington And Our Trip To A Chocolate Shop

My oldest sister and her family came to for a short visit last week. They only had a week to see family from north Texas to southern Missouri.

So family came up from Texas to see them while they stayed in Oklahoma and they hopped from Oklahoma City, to Tulsa and finally Rural Missouri and the Wanch.

my son and his cousin Baby T.
my son and his cousin Baby T.

It was really great to see my sister and her family again – since they live in Washington State – we don’t get to see them very often, which is why I flew out to see them in late May this year.

We only had three days with Kelsey and her blondie bunch – which worked out perfectly with me, because I had a nasty cold – so, this was going to be the best visit ever!

Grampa Joe's Chocolate
Grandpa Joe’s Chocolate

As it turns out, my brother-in-law Mike was feeling sick too so it only made since that we went to Grandpa Joe’s for some comfort food.

Grandpa Joe’s is a cute chocolate shop/boutique 7.6 miles north of Hartville, MO.

This wittle gurl is 2 1/2 years old
This wittle gurl is 2 1/2 years old

Now I don’t question why there is a large gourmet chocolate shop in the middle of rural Missouri, because I’m just glad it is here.

Kelsey's oldest child 'S'
Kelsey’s oldest child ‘S’

Back in the 70’s, my mom came home from work and found my father feeding Kelsey (my oldest sister) chocolate pudding…which would follow seven more times as the rest of us siblings were born.

Her first taste of chocolate around 10 months old and here she is as [insert age old enough for seven younger siblings, with the youngest being 14 years old] looking fabulous as ever.
Her first taste of chocolate around 10 months old and here she is as [insert age old enough for seven younger siblings, with the youngest being 14 years old] looking fabulous as ever. Holding her youngest son, eight months.
I have had to put my personal love for sweets on the shelf, because I have to keep my immune system safe….I still miss you PopTarts…and you too Braum’s Ice Cream…

4 1/2 years old
4 1/2 years old

I can put away baked goods and frozen sweets for life…

Mike getting some sweet hugs from his baby girl.
Mike getting some sweet hugs from his baby girl.

But, I will never, no never, put away chocolate.

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and I only eat dark chocolate that has coconut and nuts inside, so it is kinda healthy.

right?

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After some time in the chocolate shop, we let the kids run around outside, where there is a lovely park filled with flowers and butterflies.

Such a nice place to enjoy the afternoon.

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and good way to tire the kiddies out too.

After buying chocolates as a family, the next thing on Kelsey’s agenda was taking a family photo.

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testing, testing, one two three

Which proved to be more difficult than taking children to a candy shop.

Family photo shoot post of Kelsey’s family tomorrow.

Playa Biesanz, a hidden gem in Manuel Antonio

Tarzan boy
Tarzan boy

A trail hidden off the road between the Shana hotel and the hotel Parador in Manuel Antonio leads to Playa Biesanz.

Dan rented some snorkel gear.
Dan rented some snorkel gear.

There is a lot of coral around this beach and some rocks, but the waves are gentle – good for some easy long boarding – and swimming with a baby.

P1000222There is one man sitting on the beach renting out equipment and no people wandering the beach selling things, so if you want a beautiful, peaceful place to lay out – this beach is the place.

P1000243Even though this is a semi-uninhabited beach, nudity is still frowned upon…unless you are an infant, than no one cares.

P1000246This was my second favorite beach on the south pacific side of Costa Rica.

First selling point: quiet/not crowded

Second selling point:  safe surf/fun for small children

Third selling point: IT’S FREE, whereas Manuel Antonio is not free.

Look at this kid? just over a year ago, he was so tiny!
Look at this kid? just over a year ago, he was so tiny!

I did hear a young girl tell her mom she didn’t like this beach because of the coral particulates that lined the surf, as the waves pushed the water onto the beach and dragged them back again. So if you had children who are old enough to body board, they may not enjoy this beach as well as Espadilla; where there is nothing rough hampering your walk into the water.

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check out these guys.

I preferred Biesanz over Espadilla

P1000284Playa Biesanz, where there are more ants than people.

Just the way I like it.

Homeschool Isn’t Always Done In The Home

The majority of my three years (3rd – 5th grade) in homeschool were spent in and around the home. My mother introduced me to David Copperfield and Atticus Finch. It was my mother who taught me the joys of reading. Before being brought home to be schooled, reading felt like work to me. Until my mother read aloud books that resonated with me, I could never understand why anyone would enjoy reading.

Field trip to Washington D.C.
Field trip to Washington D.C., one of many – because there is so much to see. Also (sadly) full of homeless men and women….trees strung with sleeping bags.

Then my mother, with her education in nursing, helped me appreciate the human body – it’s function, intricate design and purpose. I drew the outline of my tiny ten year old frame and proceeded to draw the entire nervous system.

Museum Of National History, Washington D.C.
Museum Of National History, Washington D.C.

My mom wanted to learn as much as she wanted her children to learn – so it only worked out too well, that she brought us to some of the most interesting places within a days drive to our home.

Baltimore Aquarium, Baltimore, Maryland.
Baltimore Aquarium, Baltimore, Maryland.

We lived in Pennsylvania at the time, so visits to Lancaster to see and mingle with the Amish, Philadelphia to see the historic place where our Nation’s government was framed, Washington, D.C. our Nation’s capital full of museums and other historical sites, Baltimore, Maryland and it’s aquarium (love, love), and nearby Harrisburg to see our state capital. We even made the trip to New York to visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Touching pool
Touching pool at the Baltimore Aquarium

The summer before sixth grade, my mom asked me if I wanted to continue home school or return to public school. I love adventure and new things, so of course I jumped at the chance to start something new.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Capital Building.Circa 1992, love the clothes? I didn't design jeans with pleats, I just had to wear them!
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Capital Building.
Circa 1992, love the clothes? I didn’t design jeans with pleats, I just had to wear them!

I had to ride the bus – the only time in my life I had to ride a bus – the longest semester of my life. I saw vulgar things on the bus, things I know any good parent would die knowing existed and the few children on the bus who had been taught manners – seemed to congregate with one another. Gratefully, my brother’s friend Lisbon, always made me feel safe on the ride to and from school.

Meeting the State Representative from our district.
Meeting the State Representative from our district. I think we’re all thrilled to be up so early in the morning….NOT. Isn’t my mom a cutie?

I ended up staying in public school the rest of my education, until I attended university and graduated from a private school.

With all of my education and experience in life, I may homeschool my children too.

Memories Raw And Photoshopped.

Last year I was pregnant on Valentines Day and my husband spent the majority of the day getting crapped on by ornery cows.

This photo was untouched
This is an authentic and untouched photo.

Did I mention it was our first Valentines Day as a married couple?

He came home from the dairy covered in cow poop and handed me a single red rose. I got a kiss and he got a shower.

The year before last, we had a lovely day together. I wasn’t grumpy and he wasn’t poopy.

again, untouched.
again, untouched.

He and I have many lovely days together, so it’s to be expected that somedays wont live up to others.

Another in the raw....
Another in the raw….

This time last year, I had my teenaged brother’s friend, a teenager himself, take my maternity photos….on a very cold February day.

I didn’t feel well most days and I was annoyed constantly with everyone around me while I battled migraines, which I never had prior to pregnancy. Even with me barking orders at people, everyone was real nice to my cranky-pants.

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This photoshopped photo captures the chill of the early evening and the blue of my eyes... what isn't real are those dazzling white teeth. Those are more of a light cream color.
This photoshopped photo captures the chill of the early evening and the blue of my eyes… what isn’t real are those dazzling white teeth. Those are more of a light cream color.

I did not however, make myself look slimmer…they were, after all, Maternity photos.

This photo captures the fun I'm really having before I turn back into a raging hormone pumpkin.
This photo captures the fun I’m really having before I turn back into a raging hormone pumpkin.
I wore a lot of black....with splashes of color near the end of pregnancy.
I wore a lot of black….with splashes of color near the end of pregnancy.

I am thankful I have this good day to remind me pregnancy isn’t all awful, Danny and I plan on more children. I am determined to be a better pregnant woman next time around.

I really, really dislike being sick.

I'm glad to know I'm not in the pregnancy alone.
I’m glad to know I’m not in the pregnancy alone.
and somehow he doesn't care what I'm like when I'm pregneato....
and somehow he doesn’t care what I’m like when I’m pregneato….

Dan and I really love our first son, it was worth all the inconveniences to us both, plus some.

I got to type this entire post and upload photos one handed, as I’m cradling my sweet, sleeping babe with the opposite arm.

Many Happy Thoughts To You This Weekend – and as my Senior High School English Teacher said every Friday, “make good choices.”

The Hazards of Attachment Parenting

Lack of Style – No hipster here, I dress for comfort, “hello stretchy pants”

Lack of Nutrition – I usually eat, because I have too. I miss food, we used to be better friends.

Lack of Exercise – I used to exercise everyday, now I’m happy if I get some once a week.

Lack of time to check my spelling and grammar on the blog before I post – sorry guys, but the baby calls.

Lack of Sleep…..

When I think of The Sound of Music’s song, “A Few of My Favorite Things” I think of sleep.  My favorite part of being an adult after college was sleeping whenever I wanted; now I have a baby and I have decided to make him a priority over sleeping, even at night.

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The other day, my brothers, husband and I sat around laughing about Chuck Norris jokes, then I mentioned something to the affect of “when I haven’t slept in three days, Chuck Norris checks under his bed for me…” and this is funny to those who live with this sleep deprived mother of one – I know, it’s pathetic, I only have one baby/one child and I am “soo sleep deprived” – but I am a short tempered, bossy madam when I haven’t slept and I don’t have the patience for annoying sounds or habits or messes.  My sweet brother who doesn’t say mean things about anyone was asked by a friend who was scarier, “your mom or your dad?” at the time I was nine months pregnant and his answer to her was, “My sister Katie.” When he told me that story, I belly laughed, because I knew it was true.

fishing

My son had been sleeping through the night the last few weeks, but this last week he began cutting two teeth. So I’ll stay up with him and play until he gets sleepy. I put him in his bed and he wakes three or four times a night. If I can sleep late in the morning it’s not bad….if I have to get up early Chuck Norris hides.

reflectionMy guess is, I was thirty when I had my first child, so I’m attached…. I adore him.

Last night, I must have been really tired, because I woke up startled by my husband’s shadowy figure standing over me, holding a little shadowy figure and I asked, “was he crying?” The hubs handed me the baby and climbed back into his side of the bed.

Being a mom is the coolest job in the world. I never would have guessed this is what my life would become, but I’m so happy for the sleepless nights. Holding that baby as he coos and smiles is a great pay day.

smileI’m hoping someday my son will sleep through the night every night so  I will have my full nights sleep back every night. That will be a great pay day for everyone around me.

A Break in the Routine

the hat

My infant son brings a lot of joy to my life. The last few days I’ve put him in his bed with toys to entertain himself while I finish wrapping and sewing Christmas gifts. Sometimes I stop just to listen to him coo and play. The last few days I have wondered how I got to be so blessed. I can tell you the first 9 or 10 months of this year were some of the most difficult for me and yet, here I exist in December and think, how did life get so good? What was the change? Did I just stop worrying and start doing?

I’ve started some projects recently, one being some sewing, Saturday’s project:

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 My mother-in-law, Nona, made these adorable bow-ties and all I had to do was sew it on a onesie.

Sunday before church, I had a morning meeting, so my husband was responsible for dressing the baby.

My son arrived wearing this onesie pictured on the left, with corduroy pants and the bomber hat pictured at the top….no coat, no blanket, just the bomber hat.

Baby Boy got complements all day on the hat.

I think he looked like a little smarty pants with the bowtie.

Yesterday, we had a visit with friends, Baby Boy had a friend – just one month younger – and I had a friend. Perfect combo. Those two perfect little boys played on the floor for a while chewing on carabiners, while the moms chatted and crafted.

It’s kinda perfect all around, two women who grew up in the city, moved to the ozarks at the same time, with babies the same age and spending time with them is a nice break from our regular routine.

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DSC_0751Such a cutie, I have a feeling those boys will be the best of friends.

And I’m glad I have a new friend too.

Have a Happy Wednesday, be kind today.DSC_0752