Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Five

1. Computer
My laptop reached the point where its screen illuminated only if I held it upside down, ran my fingers across the rewq keys three times, then carefully righted it without jostling anything. Turns out, I am completely dependent on my computer. Especially since, you know, I run a business from it.

Long story short: still under warranty, sent in for repairs, daily hour-long hold to check on its progress, part back-ordered, promise of a replacement. Almost two months later, I have a new computer. It's big and beautiful, but it's amazing how many things you do without even thinking--and how frustrating it is to have to think about them when navigating a new machine.

2. Foot
Mark's foot is basically unchanged. He sits in a wheelchair all day at work, then goes almost straight to bed when he gets home. Our second-opinion surgeon's appointment is on Monday. I think at this point our best case scenario is fast-track surgery. Possibly for both feet. *grimace*

3. Work
Business is good. Especially awesome given the impending medical bills but especially challenging since my husband is out of commission. I'm strategizing how to get me some backup.

4. Inspiration
I cannot get over how much I love this photo.

It's Noelle Pikus Pace, who not only won the silver medal in a bad-ass sport, but demonstrated for all the world her love for her little family, her commitment to Sabbath church attendance, and her devotion to the Young Women's program. See her necklace? I showed this picture to our young women on Tuesday night. It's really all I want for them. A beautiful, healthy, happy woman who is achieving her fullest potential by living the gospel.

5. Batman
Poor Mark is feeling pretty low. His self-identity as a manly mountain conqueror is being mightily challenged. But his sense of manliness got a teensy bump from this blog article in which he is referred to as the Batman of the Joseph Smith Papers.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Accomplished, powerful, and beautiful

Is it bad to admit that I get parenting wisdom from The Biggest Loser? Well, I do.

Recently, Dolvett--my top choice for a trainer if I ever find myself morbidly obese and on national TV--told one of the contestants that he wanted her to see herself as "accomplished, powerful, and beautiful." Those are the perfect words for how I want Haley to see herself. I posted them on a little sticky note on a kitchen cupboard as a reminder for myself to find ways to show her that I see her that way.

Poor Haley's soft voice is often drowned out in this family. Simple roadblocks often seem impossible to her. And I think she often feels overpowered rather than powerful. We worry about all this, especially as Haley approaches young womanhood, when girls who feel powerless can be overly swayed by the false power of attracting the wrong kind of attention.

I am delighted to report that we've made some great progress lately with this young lady. This year, Haley is playing flute in the school band and taking private piano lessons. I'm thrilled with this because a child practicing music in the afternoon feels like heaven on earth to me. (Except when they play the same wrong chord one hundred times in a row; then it...doesn't.) Also because music works on exactly the cognitive areas Haley needs help with. And because it helps her to feel accomplished. Each week, she sits down to pieces that she cannot play. And by the end of the week, she can!

Recently, I set three goals for Haley each day. They are--

1. Do all your responsibilities (homework, chores, take a shower, etc.),
2. Be honest,
3. Be respectful to your parents, especially when they are giving you a reminder or instruction.

She gets a point for each goal she meets each day. And when she has nine points, she gets a reward. She came up with either french fries for her after-school snack or an extra half-hour of reading time at night. Haley is best motivated by positive reinforcement, so this little system has worked wonders for her. It gives her a chance each night to report on her progress.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Mists of Avalon

We just had a luxuriously slothful Sabbath evening wherein the TV was tuned to the Olympics for hours straight, we had nachos and cookies for dinner, and the kids played happily. Mark even came downstairs (more later on why this is a treat) and spent some time leafing through the blurb book of my first year of blogging. Those unimportant days now seem so precious. And long-gone. Shrouded in nostalgia like the mists of Avalon. One reason blogging has become harder is that the main content of my life is harder to write about. Potty training resistance is horrible, but still somehow kinda cute. Teenagers veering toward the deep end? Not so much. It sort of feels like our family's heyday has passed. Gone of the days where I was trailed by a row of cute children. Now Roscoe is missing, and our row is more motley. Nevertheless! One day the mists of nostalgia will descend on these days, too, and already I'm kicking myself for everything this blog has missed.

So! Random updates:

- Mark has been hobbling around in those big orthopedic boots. Actually, mostly he's been lying in bed with his two feet on the cute little ottomans I made for the playroom. It's a long, long, ongoing saga. Short version: twisted his ankle while running six months ago; seemed like no big deal for quite a while; started rapidly declining at Christmas; descended through using a cane, crutches, one boot, now two; MRI confirms tendon tear; spent about two weeks completely bedridden; now usually goes to work but gets dropped at the building door, immediately gets into a wheelchair, and comes home to head right back up to bed. One surgeon suggests a major skeletal reconstruction of foot; we're getting a second opinion in a couple more weeks. This could go on for a long time.

- Roscoe has been out on his mission for four months. He is in Esquel, Argentina, and seems to be doing great. His sendoff was wonderful. Apparently I had done most of my grieving in private and in advance and he and I both faced the day with excitement. Really, I think we were both just done with the endless buildup.

 We said our goodbyes on the lawn of the Provo Temple before dropping him at the MTC.
 Watching Logan and Roscoe say goodbye was...intense. They've been "Roscoe-and-Logan" forever!

Little Betsy can't really fathom any of this and really mourned him for a long time. Only a few weeks ago, she told me, "I'm not sad about Roscoe anymore." But she mentions him nearly every day and asks when he'll come home. She's expecting him to walk through the door any day. Twist the knife!

- Resume business, band, piano lessons, basketball practice, homework, choretime, church callings, Target runs, trying to keep the house clean, managing Jesse's tantrums--all still happening.