Saturday, May 26, 2012

Here we go again

We started like this.
A month and a half ago we started a new job chart for the kids.  The first three weeks went well.  The Sunday planning and clear expectations (and, truthfully, novelty) helped things run smoothly.

Now it feels like this.
Now that the novelty has worn off, both the kids and I have lost the motivation to keep up.  We're back to complaining and avoidance interspersed with accomplishment.  We are doing better than we would without a new program, but not as well as my imagination had hoped for.  All in all, I'm reminded of a couple of candid photos Miss M took a couple of years ago...

I suppose I should be used to too much planning surrounded by chaos.  Apparently this is the regular state of things around here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Curly locks

Young T has the distinction of having the curliest hair in our family.  After all the exclamations the ladies at church and around town have made, I think it has become part of his identity.  He has been known to point out his hair in pictures.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided his mane needed to be tamed.  While I like it long, it was getting out of control.  After I cut it, it wasn't nearly as fun.  Thankfully, the old adage about men's hair is true for his, "The difference between a bad haircut and a good one is two weeks."  Now that it's had a couple of weeks to grow out, he looks like himself again.

Monday, May 21, 2012


A couple of weeks ago, we blessed Miss S.  (A baby blessing is kind of like a christening.)  My parents and grandparents were able to come.  The Professor gave her a name and a blessing in our Sunday church meeting.  The presence of our friends and neighbors, who have rejoiced with us over the birth (and spoiled me in the process), added another measure of joy to the day.  The Professor's sister and her husband joined us (not too hard, as they rent our basement and attend church with us.)  And my brother and his family joined us later that day.  Overall, it was a sweet day full of family and celebration of an adorable baby.  We are grateful to have her influence in our family.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Groundhog minutes

In the movie Groundhog Day, the main character relives the same day over and over.  Slowly the day changes as he changes his choices.  I've realized I have minutes that feel like that.

Having a little one again has put me back in situations I've been in before.  My response to some of these situations is not something I like or am proud of.  (For example, waking up angry after a bad night with the baby; feeling like somehow, the Professor and the children should automatically know how tired I am; and thinking that I shouldn't have to get up--someone else should do whatever needs to be done.)  The frustrating thing has been that I thought I had learned to to better.  After all, I wasn't responding that way anymore.  Then I find out that it is just that the situation wasn't that way anymore.

It is so discouraging to over and over again find myself back where I hated to be, in my relationships or my choices or my parenting or my outlook on life.  And it feels like I can't easily start over.  I pick up where I left off.  It may have taken me months or years to get into a dysfunctional pattern, but I slip back into it in mere seconds.

I've finally realized that these minutes are opportunities to keep working on my automatic responses until I slowly get it right.  It probably won't happen quickly or soon.  I will mess up over and over again as I learn what works and what doesn't.  But, eventually, maybe I can learn enough to change how these situations play out.  And in doing so, just as happens in that silly movie, I will change.  That hope makes the frustration less overwhelming and possibly worth it.  Isn't it amazing?  I can eventually change until I no longer do (or think or choose) those actions (or thoughts or choices) that I am most ashamed of (or cause the most damage to my relationships or hurt those around me.)  Once again, I am reminded of the miracle of the atonement.  We can become better than we hope to be.