Saturday, 26 February 2011

A Spiritual Push - the story of three little things

I wrote this about a month ago.  Not sure why I didn't publish it straight away.  But now it feels right.


ok.  It's been a crappy two weeks.  To be honest, it's been a crappy month.  At least two out of the three members in this family have been sick at the same time for the better part of the month.  My patience has run thin with LQ on many occasions.  And you always know that when life gets crappy, you are bound to get PMS to help you look at every situation in a rational, non-emotional way.

I got to Saturday just gone and and after screaming at LQ for the sixth time over two days, I broke down.  LQ sat in my bed sobbing and I sat in my sewing room with tears streaming down my face.  I was emotionally spent, and as a result was physically and spiritually exhausted as well.  I stared into the dark window that sat in front of me and whispered "I lose".

"If we are to endure to the end, then I've lost the game.   I don't have it in me to keep choosing the right".

I love my religion.  I personally know that it is the correct church for me.  But boy howdy, it's not an easy religion to have!

I listlessly went through the motions the following day.  I got ready for church.  I finished up the flyers and posters for the upcoming Relief Society meeting, I put the finishing touches on my lesson for the Sunbeams (a group of energetic 3 year olds) and tried to stretch out my favourite dress that I accidentally shrank.

I walked into the chapel with Dal and LQ just hoping to get through the 3 hours that lay ahead of me.  And then the first little thing happened.  A talk - seemingly just for me.  And not one of those "God loves you" talks.  A talk about obedience that struck a chord with my heart.  But as many young mother knows, talks only come in bits and pieces in between the dinosaur stickers and the fish crackers and the card playing.   So the first little push didn't take me very far at all.

After sitting for 30 minutes with my little group of Sunbeams (including LQ) and getting quite frustrated with the one who wouldn't keep his hands to himself, the second little thing took me by surprise.  Singing Time in Primary is a fun time for me.  I can't tell you how much pleasure is derived from watching LQ belt out songs she doesn't know at all.  She is one of the loudest singers when loud singing is called for... but it's all without a syllable in there.  It makes me giggle.  So having my heart softened with her usual display, we all finished our singing time with "I am a Child of God" and I cried.  Something I had forgotten the previous night when I had given up.

The third little thing came as I tried to teach those poor rambunctious Sunbeams.  Teaching 3 year olds in the third hour of a three hour church block is on a par with any kind of medieval torture.  They've just been sitting for two whole hours and they "want to go home".  Yes it's said to me often and I feel like one of the many wicked characters in any fairy tale by keeping them there.  This Sunday was particularly rough because I had two boys that had not attended my class up until that Sunday.  They climbed on the chairs, they tried to shimmy the curtains, they dug through my bag of goodies.  They pretty much did everything but sit and listen to my lesson.  And as I observed, wrestled and bargained the third push came.  A clear thought came to my mind.  "Look at your daughter.  You worry so much about how delayed she is that you never see the progress she makes."  The LQ worry drained from me as I realised that my darling daughter was indeed like any other normal 3 year old that struggles with a few words.

Years ago when I was an adolescent, my dad took us on an overnight hike (craziness,  I know).  There were times that it felt like I couldn't go any further up the steep incline.  My backpack, filled with a girl's necessities (toilet paper, yummy food, plenty of changes of clothing, etc), weighed me down and I knew that I couldn't take another step.  I would stand on that incline frozen, knowing that it wasn't possible to go back but it also wasn't possible to go forward.  My dad would come up behind me and lift my backpack with his hand and push.  With that little lift and push my dad was able to get my momentum going again.

That is what happened on this particular Sunday.  The heaviness of my problems and the seemingly too steep incline to a better me were alleviated by those three little pushes.  I got my momentum back.

Friday, 25 February 2011

LQ was vomiting BEFORE we made the Princesses

It started with these two lovelies.


LQ chose the blue colour for the cow that she now calls a horse.  Yeah... I don't know either.

Then LQ decided she wanted to make a duck.  But she chose the colours - for everything.


I think it turned out to be a really nice looking owl.

Last night, LQ asked to make some more finger puppets.  She happened to be drinking apple juice from a "princess" cup and so princess finger puppets it was.  We were waiting for daddy to come home from Mutual.


Princesses without mouths... the way things should be.  Although I do enjoy Cinderella's song.  Guess what two princesses these two are.

While we are photographing everything on the kitchen table... have a look at this little lovely.



The most boring board game ever to grace this earth.  And I get to play it ten times a day.

Here's how you play.  See the die on the board... it has different coloured hearts on it AND the wicked Queen.  You roll it to see what colour heart to land on on the board.  If you get the Wicked Queen then you don't move - she really IS evil.  Along the way you pick up one of those stupid little "treasure" cards as you pass each princess on the board.  I just can't see how a yellow silhouette of an apple is really going to be something treasured by Snow White - I can hear her in her high pitched voice saying how much she treasures the most the thing that practically killed her.  Stupid.  Then you go back to the part of the board that has your princess on it.  And you win.

Basically, you go around in a circle, pick up four cards and you're done.  If I'm lucky, LQ will mix it up by insisting halfway through that game that we need to swap princesses.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Dates and Deals

Dal and I went on a date on Tuesday evening.  The second date in less than a week.


Our first date was to the Mesa Temple on Friday evening.  It was long overdue.

Our Tuesday night date didn't really start off as a planned date.  We had planned to spend the time together, but we weren't really expecting the time to be as enjoyable or pleasant as it turned out to be.

You see for the past two weeks Dal and I have been participating in an ASU (Arizona State University) Research project on Healthy Couples.  Before you spit your morning drink out with laughter at that one.... we aren't the "healthiest" of couples, I know.... it needs to be explained that the research is on the link between affectionate touch and the fact that generally happily married couples live longer.

For two weeks preceding our Tuesday evening "date" we have been completing short surveys morning and evening about our day and how we have felt, whether we had any positive and negative experiences with family, friends, and work colleagues.  That was the crappy part.  It wasn't all that fun to wake up and have to remember to say whether you've felt angry or motivated or loving throughout the night.  It was bothersome.  So our feelings toward an estimated three hours lab study weren't exactly "giddy".

But those three hours ended up being quite enjoyable, plus the drive back home (about 40 minutes) was fun too.  I can't say much about the actual three hours because they need more couples and if you are going to be a part of the lab study then it's important you don't know what goes on.  Believe me.... it's good blog fodder, I wish I could write about it.  At one point Dal had me in tears I was laughing so much.  He really pulled out his A-game with this one.  Charming all the researchers, etc.  If you've experienced Dal at his best, then you'll know what I'm talking about.

The best part about it:  We got paid to go on a date.  Yep.  Cash and gift cards all round.  I was already planning what little treats I was going to buy as we walked out the door.  Then LQ vomited when we got home and we've been housebound ever since.  Those gift cards are burning holes in my bag!!!

So here's my appeal to the Arizonian blogging pals, go do it.  They have only had about 60 couples so far and they need over 200.  If you are Latino/Latina they will love you even more.  It's a pain doing the morning and evening diaries, but it's fun and interesting being included in some research.  Oh, and you get some pocket money at the end of it.

Go to the Healthy Couples website for more information.

Sunday, 20 February 2011


Like any normal child, LQ likes her Oreos,.. without the cookie part.

Not realising I had left an open packet of Oreos in the living room the few mornings ago, I told LQ I was going to have a quick shower and left her to watch some "Max & Ruby".

I came back to find this:


Pick yourself up...

LQ took a tumble down the staircase at Dal's parent's place this evening.  Thank goodness I didn't have to witness it (I'm certain I would have vomited and peed my pants all at the same time), but Dal described it as a somersault down the stairs.

The only injury was a small carpet burn on the bridge of her nose.  She wailed of course.... mostly because Dal picked her up and carried her the rest of the way down the stairs.  Apparently she wanted to go back to the top of the stairs and do it again "not falling 'dis time".

p.s.  Just wanted to make it clear that I have NO problem tipping waitresses and those people whose wages depend on tips.  What was unclear to me was, why was I tipping a girl who earns the same amount of money as one in Australia who doesn't ask me to tip her.  But I can see that (as was put in one of the comments) "when in Rome".  I'll suck it up... or find me a cheaper hairdresser.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Advice about tipping

Alright... here's my big dilemma.

When I lived in Australia, I would pay $60 for a haircut... actually my last couple of haircuts were only $35, but I'm a realist.... I know a good haircut in a major city usually goes for $60.

Now that I live in the States, I pay - drumroll - $60.

It is NOT customary to tip at all in Australia (unless you are so, so, so impressed with the job that the person did that you feel like they will be beamed up immediately to the highest glory).

When I pay for my haircut in my new hair salon (that is a worldwide chain and I have used in Sydney as well - same pricing), they ask me if I want to leave a tip.   I am completely confused and conflicted about this.  I like my haircut and have just told the hairstylist how wonderful she is, but I feel like after I've paid a good amount of money for it that I shouldn't be asked if I want to leave a tip.

Am I just being chinzy?  Please help me out my dear American friends... Is my hairstylist going to use spit in my conditioning treatment next time I go in?

p.s.  The first time I went, I did leave a $10 tip.  So we are kind of at a $5 tip a visit so far.  The average may get lower if I don't get some help soon!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Toilet Humour

Dal clogged the toilet in our bathroom tonight.  In his defense... the drains are old and they get blocked easily.

I walked past LQ in her bed on my way to her bathroom this evening.  She called out to me, "what are doing mummy?"

"I'm just going to the toilet, LQ"


"LQ I can't hear you, just wait until I've finished?"


"LQ just wait!  I'm almost finished"


"Yes LQ, wee wees"


"Yes LQ, just wee wees"


"LQ, leave me alone.  I'm all done!"

And once again I am reminded that it is LQ's duty to know every detail of what's happening in my life.