The musings of ME:
SAH mother of 3 kids, spouse of a doctor-in-residency, caretaker and teacher of random children.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

These are the Days of my Life...

Celebrating Birthdays at Bright Idea Learning Center

Today has just been such a great day. The kids I have in care are so smart, obedient, and eager to learn. Plus, Jackson loves them. He watches them all the time, and they love him, too.

Today I was at my round table with all 4 kids, doing file folder games, and Jackson was on the floor playing with a tiara he got out of the dress up bin. As I watched him, I realized he was trying to put it on his head! I laughed inwardly as I saw him try to lift it up to his head over and over. He kept missing his head and ended up with it behind his head on his shoulders, but he kept trying anyway. When did he learn that a tiara is headwear?? Ben would die if he saw that, but it was so funny! I wished I had taken a picture, but it would have disrupted the learning going on at my table.

Ben was home, but upstairs studying for most of the morning today, but he came outside to visit for a few minutes while we were outside. The kdis were chasing him, and Jackson was toddling along behind, never quite catching up to them, but he was so excited to be part of the game. Finally, Ben saw Jackson getting frustrated and ran in his direction and scooped him up, still running and being pursued. Jackson's frustration instantly turned to elation as he bounced around in his Daddy's arms.

I'm so lucky! I just don't know why more people don't run day cares or preschools out of their homes. I get to be with my baby, work with kids (who have such a refreshing outlook on life) make money, and my house is always clean (well, clean by my standards)! I love it! What a good life!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Birthday & dinner reflection

Tonight we went to a Japanese Steakhouse for my birthday dinner (the one in Lake Worth next to Albertson's - recommended by Katy). Not quite as good as Shogun's, but very comparable. Most importantly, well worth not having to spend the time and gas money to drive to Hurst.

Yesterday was my actual birthday, but Ben had a volleyball game. Being a second-year medical student, he gets so little time to play and do things for himself, I was not about to begrudge him this. Besides, when my last child in care was picked up, I was so tired yesterday afternoon, and I wasn't quite up to going out. Ben and I had stayed up Sunday night talking in bed until the wee hours of the morning (how often do we do that?) so it was a multi-Dr. Pepper day on Monday.

As we were nearing the end of our meal, a Japanese family was seated at the Hibachi grill-table next to ours (we were alone at ours). They had several children with them, including a young boy a few months older than Jackson. Jackson and this boy struck up an instant friendship with a side-by-side call-and-answer table-slapping game. Jackson would slap the table 2 or 3 times and look over at the little Asian boy, and the boy would mimic Jackson. They were both smiling from ear to ear and giggling. I was inspired by the children's quick friendship, especially considering that neither could even technically verbally communicate with each other.

Later (the children lost interest after a few minutes), the boy became impatient for his meal and began to be fussy. Evident that the family had come unprepared, we offered the last of Jackson's animal cookies and an apple juice pack we had stored for just such an emergency. The family accepted and seemed grateful. They thanked us several times as we were leaving.

In the car on the way home, Ben mentioned how isn't it interesting that 65 years ago (a few less) that Jackson and his cute little friend would have been sworn mortal enemies? I was quiet for a moment, contemplating that comment, secretly feeling it impossible for my happy-go-lucky little cherub to conspire to hate anyone, ever, in his whole life, but it made me think. Maybe Ben was right. It makes me sad though that the world was/is like that during war - that 2 families couldn't just share a cute bond between their children and would have to hate each other without even knowing each other. Would I have still felt empathy for this mother and felt inspired to share what food we had with her? I would like to think so.

Anyway, I had a wonderful birthday and thank you to everyone who made me feel special with a comment, card, phonecall or gift. It was a wonderful day yesterday. AND I have 2 new kids with me this week and they are awesome! They are so motivated to learn. This week we are learning about the letter B and our weekly theme is birthdays. Today in group time I had a birthday bag, and my "friends" had to help me decide which items could go in my bag. Only things that started with /b/ could go inside the birthday bag.

At the beginning of group time, we "Shake Our Sillies Out" with the song on CD so that we can sit still, with our hands in our lap, and learn. Today during the "jump our jiggles out" verse, Jackson got so excited while the kids were jumping around. He was chasing them all and giggling, wiggling all the while. I think he was trying to jump, too, but couldn't figure it out. He is going to learn so much from these big kids!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I am thankful for...(not in any order)

1. the smell of the air after it rains.

2. the touching generosity of little girls.

3. that a child's laugh can change your mood. (Jackson's yogurt lipstick)

4. My sweet husband who helps and supports me in my new job, and is so patient and understanding when I fail to balance it all and he is the one who gets neglected.

5. Endorphins you get when you work out. They can change your mood, too.
6. New friends

7. Old friends who are also understanding and supportive.

8. Family who never forgets you.

9. birthdays! (Pic to be posted after our birthdays - 8/25 and 8/31)

10. the fact that families can be together forever.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Did you ever have a night that was going so well, and you had great plans for the evening only to be ruined by one stupid conversation?

I just want to say this: I am happy with who I am, I know I am not perfect and certainly wasn't 7-10 years ago, but I make a conscious effort to be better every day. I don't care anymore how I got to be this person or what I had to go through to be this person. I'm me; everything I have experienced has made me me, I have arrived and I'm HAPPY! If anyone still has issues with anything about me, that is their own problem, because I have faced my demons and they are not mine anymore. If a person can leave their past in the past and accept the fact that they are not perfect, but trying, why can't other people?

What a Beautiful Mess!

I looked around my house this evening at around 9 pm, and this is what I saw.

But you know what? I don't even care, we had a great week, and all messes can be picked some point, but not now. I'm going to bed!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Understanding my BOM Book Club side post

Sorry my list is backwards, but I typed it in as I had thoughts, so if you want to read along with me chronologically and understand my comments, you'll have to start from the bottom of my list and go up. Let me know if you have any suggestions for how I can make this less confusing or more easily understood.

Also, PLEASE understand where I am coming from on this. This blog is to help me. I do not claim to have a great understanding of the scriptures. Actually, I grew up in a part-member, mother-was-a-convert family, I was inactive for 6 years of my adulthood, and never graduated seminary, so don't consider me an expert, PLEASE. What I blogged are just my thoughts and questions as I was reading. If you want to help me, please feel free. If not, please don't think I'm an idiot, that is just so discouraging to me...;)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Book of Mormon Book Club

Lately, I have not been satisfied with how often I have been reading my scriptures. I never do it at night because I never go to bed until I am about to fall asleep where I stand. Plus, it seems there is always some great book I'm into, and I can hardly put it down and pick up my scriptures.

So I'd love it if you'd help me with my new goal. I'm going to create a new page element over to the side of my page called Book of Mormon Book Club (since I have decided to start where I left off in the Book of Mormon). During naptime, I am going to read a section of the BOM every day and blog any questions or comments I have about what I have read. As I am hardly a scriptorian, I would love it if anyone decides to answer my questions or post a comment. You'll have to post it to my most recent blog or email me at because the page element won't have comment capabilities (unless someone has a better idea how to do that...Kathy?)

We'll see if this helps me be better at reading AND studying my scriptures!

Wonderful Weekend of Work

There is so much satisfaction in getting things checked off your to do list. Yesterday I worked my tail off (wishful thinking)!

First, I woke up with Jackson, fed him breakfast, played with him for about an hour, then put him back to bed (He takes a 2-hour nap after breakfast - don't ask me why, but I'm not complaining because it enables me to have group time uninterrupted every day.) Then I got back into bed, too. (Yes, I started off my day lazy, but am I not entitled to sleep in at least one day of the week? Jackson wakes me up at 6:30 every morning and I can't go back to bed because the preschool opens at 7:15, then I am with kids until 5:30 pm and then doing my own household duties after that, so I don't usually go to bed until 11:00 or midnight! I deserved a nap yesterday...ANYWAY...)

When we woke up from our nap at 9:30 am, I fed Jack then jumped in the shower to get ready for the Primary activity. Normally, I do some quick baby proofing of the bathroom (i.e. pull the trashcans up on the counter, close the toilet lid, etc.) and put his toys on the bathroom floor and he is content to sit and play while I shower, but not yesterday. After about 5 minutes, he started throwing a fit! He NEVER does that, and I couldn't figure out what was wrong except that he wanted me. When he realized all he had to do to find me was pull back the shower curtain, I was really in for it! He kept peeking in, all the while continuing with the fit-throwing, while I was frantically trying to rinse conditioner out of my hair. Needless to say, he got himself and the bathroom floor soaked! When I got out of the shower, I found he has also destroyed the bathroom while I was in the shower. He had pulled the toilet paper off the roll and shredded it (a task he has not done since the white-goateed devil baby blog), turned the scale upside down, grabbed brushes and bottles off the counter (he never does that either while I am in the shower), etc. The bathroom was a disaster!

I tried to distract him/calm him down, but he continued to be cranky as I got us both ready for the Primary activity. Anyway, we went up to the church and socialized a little, then came home. I fed Jack lunch, then put him down for his mid-day nap. Ben and I played a little Nintendo (we got an original when we were in Tulsa and we have had so much fun reminiscing while we play), then Ben went out to do yard work, and I got to cleaning. I cleaned both upstairs bathrooms (it has been an embarrassingly long time since the upstairs bathrooms got cleaned), did the dishes, vaccuumed upstairs and downstairs, washed and put away every scrap of clothes, cleaned up the playroom, etc. etc. etc. The house was spotless when Jackson woke up and we went to run errands. After we ran errands we went to the ward picnic and swim party, then Bill and Amy (our house guests) offered to watch Jackson so we could go on a date. Of couse, we had to take them up on that. I mean, how often do you have free adult babysitters?? Besides, we came home from the ward activity and put him to bed first, so their job was fairly easy.

We went to IHOP for a quick, but yummy late dinner, then went to see The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE. I was so excited to have a date alone with Ben, but this wasn't a good movie at all. The plot was weak, the acting was terrible, I give it 1* MAYBE! I was so disappointed because I have really enjoyed the other Mummy movies.

Anyway, what a great Saturday! I was able to get everything done I needed to do (well, most things) AND hang with friends at the pool AND date my mate! I was so ready to keep the Sabbath Day Holy today! You know, I could tell a difference today, too! Even though Jackson is sick AGAIN (What is the deal with this kid? He has hardly been sick at all the first year of his life and now every time he gets a new tooth, there are all these complications and it has to be this whole big thing! I hate teething! Jackson will have 8 teeth by the time he is one, he is working on 2 right now.), and Ben had to stay home with him, I was able to leave church today feeling SO spiritually recharged for the week. When I got home and everyone was napping, I wrote reminder notes to the sisters on my Visiting Teaching Supervisor's list, and sent "Hey, we missed you" notes to several kids who were missing from my Primary class today! So at the close of the weekend, I feel great satisfaction in what I have accomplished AND that I was able to do it all AND keep the Sabbath Day holy AND magnify my callings! Bring on the new week!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fabulous Friday

The first 2 weeks at Bright Idea Learning Center have gone so much smoother than expected! Last week we learned about different feelings in group time and how to handle our feelings. We learned funny songs, and read some great books. In table time, we learned about colors. We did lots of fun arts and crafts, and played with several colors of Play-Doh.

This week we have been learning about Health & Handwashing. One day we put lotion all over our hands and then rubbed germs (glitter) on them. We tried to get the germs off by rubbing them off with a paper towel and by rinsing our hands with cold water, but the only thing that would clean the germs off was washing our hands with warm, soapy water. We also learned that we need to scrub our hands with soap for at least 30 seconds, (about as long as it takes to sing the Happy Birthday Song) and it makes me smile now to hear the kids in the bathroom singing Happy Birthday to themselves when they wash their hands! One day this week we woke up from naptime to find that squares attacked us while we were sleeping! They weer all over the playroom! We had to go on a square hunt to find as many different colors and sizes of squares as we could. S. found the most - she found 30 squares! We sorted the squares by size and color. It was so exciting!

Today was rainy and wet when it was time to play outside, so we turned off all the lights downstairs, pulled out the bean bag chairs, and played "movie theatre" in the living room. We popped popcorn, had party size bags of M&M's and watched Toy Story 2snuggled under blankets. It was an adventure!

Next week A. will be joining us. S. is so excited to have another 4-year-old girl to play with. She really likes playing with L., especially because he adores her and wants to do anything she is doing, but he is a 3-year-old boy, so it's just not the same.

If I get parental approval, I'll post some pics soon. I have some really cute pics of S. singing "5 Little Monkeys" and pics of S. and L. putting on a "concert" on stage (my fireplace).

I really miss not being able to sleep in anymore and hang out with my friends everyday, but for even longer, I have missed working with kids. It is so fun to hear the giggles of children every day again. I've said it before, but show me another job where the people you work with stop what they are doing to hug you every day! Plus, Jackson is learning so much and is having a blast with his new big-kid friends!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Picture Montage In Honor of Jackson's First Year

Jackson will be 1 on August 31, so I thought it would be fun to post some of my favorite pics of him to look back on from every stage of growth so far!
So young and already has Mama wrapped around his finger.
Jackson Garit Blake, 1 month

Smilin' at age 2 mos

Hello ladies...
Jack at 3 mos

My first cracker
I liked it! Jack at 4 mos

Daddy's feet taste good!
Jackson at 5 mos

Jackson at 8 mos

Bathtime Mohawk
Jackson, 9 mos

Jack's First Haricut
10 mos

Playing with New Friends
Jackson and L./Bright Idea Learning Center
11 mos
(Sorry about the holes in the progression. My hard drive crashed last month, and I lost what I hadn't backed up. If you have any pics of Jackson, send them to me! I lost a lot, and I am so distraught about it!)

Breaking Dawn

I just finished Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer yesterday, and it was SO good! I have so much to comment on, but I know some of my friends are still reading it, so I won't. My thought is: Does anyone think she left it open for another book? I know she is going to write Twilight from Edward's perspective, but I felt that the focus on a new character at the end of the story (won't ruin it for those still reading) was odd. I think there is going to be more there.

Girls from my ward: We need to have a book club on that book just because so many people in our ward are reading it/have read it/want to read it and we can all get together and talk about it.

Also, this may seem pathetic, but my 29th birthday is the 25th and I would really like to get together with the girls and go see a movie and/or have dinner. Anyone up for another girls night out? (I haven't seen a new movie in SOOOO long!)

P.S. Does anyone have a copy of The Host that I can borrow? I really want to read that now that I have all this time during nap time to read!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Please excuse me being vague, this is another one of my journal-style blogs. I don't want to offend anyone. I just need to vent for a minute...

What is it with people who think they can judge your life or your relationship with your spouse and make little comments when they do not live in your house and see your day-to-day life?! How are they qualified to judge or make snide comments? It is one of my biggest pet peeves!

Sometimes people have a nasty habit of giving unsolicited advice. It is so annoying. Please don't misunderstand me. Advice is great! I love going to a girlfriend and sharing my concerns and talking it out, but that is when I ASKED for advice or the problem came up in the context of the conversation!!

Why can't people just accept the fact that maybe the way you live your life is what works for YOU and your family!? What makes people think they are an expert in YOUR life and are qualified to comment on your ability to raise children or the quality of your relationship with your husband or your teaching abilities!

I just feel that there are so many "right" ways to do things in life, and so many "right" ways to live, but it seems that people deem the way they do things as THE way to do things, and presume to tell everyone else to follow their lead. What makes us so prideful to consider ourselves experts!! Why can't people just accept and LOVE the fact that people are different and do things in different ways!!?? I do!

Sorry that I needed to vent for a minute, but this same situation has happened to me multiple times over the last month in various forms, and I am just so annoyed with it. Please don't think I am just this stubborn person who won't take anyone's advice, but I am sick of people starting a sentence directed at me with the words, "Well, you just need to..." (and I won't get into specifics, because I don't want to offend, and I know these people mean well, and are instantly forgiven, I'M JUST VENTING!)

Monday, August 4, 2008

First Day "On the Job"

Today was the official first day of school at Bright Idea Learning Center, and I think it went fairly well. I have 5 kids enrolled right now plus my 11-month-old, but only 2 started today. The rest will start on August 18th or 25th, when EMS-ISD starts back to school. I feel blessed that it worked out this way because that way I can train 2 children (who have never been in a structured child care program) what our routines are and the procedures are for centers, lunchtime, naptime, etc. and then they can help me train the 3 others when they start.

The challenge for me today was that the 3-year-old isn't potty trained. I haven't ever potty trained a child before, but I got him to use the potty 2 times on his own today, so I was impressed with myself. One time he needed a little coaching from me, but the second time I helped him up on the potty, and he just started going on his own, yeah! Since his mom had already started the process, I'm hoping I will have him mostly trained in the 2 weeks. We are going to work hard on it, anyway. If you have any tips for potty training boys, let me know. The thing is that if I don't have him trained by the time the other kids start, then I will have 3 kids in diapers - that could be rough!

For children who haven't ever been in structured child care before, they were really good! They were fairly obedient, one more than the other, but she is older than he is, so that is to be expected. Plus, she is a natural leader, so she really motivated him to follow the rules, and listen to "my words." She is part of the reason we were slightly successful with using the potty today. He wanted to use the potty like big kids do, not wear a diaper like Jackson does.

One hitch in the day is that he didn't take a nap. He is used to napping in a closed room with a fan in his comfortable bed, not on a nap mat in an open room with all kinds of fun toys around him tempting him, with me doing household duties in the living room. I was worried that Jackson's schedule would conflict with BILC daily schedule, but it didn't. Evrything worked out smoothly.

Anyway, I have things to do to ready myself for tomorrow...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Which Disney Princess Are YOU?

Free-spirited and wise. You have a strong passionate spirit that touches and changes all who know you. The wisdom and common sense that you have is really what guides you through life. Even so, you also have a very playful side that loves adventure and excitement.
Which Disney Princess Are You?