Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Music in My Life

            Time to blog again.  I'm gonna find a way to fit blogging (even sort of regularly) into my already cramped schedule. I'll figure it out.  I'm writing this at 6:30am when only one of my little guys are awake and although he keeps trying to break and ruin dvds and I may lose my train of though 10 times before I least I'm writing!

            So what inspired this post happened yesterday, for the first time in about 8-9 years I pulled out some of my favorite music from high school.  As I sat their uploading the music to my computer I thought to myself, "why haven't I pulled this music out in 9 years?  Not even once?"  And so I kind of paused and pondered for a few moments...and then I came up with some reasons.

            One big part is some of my most favorite music was from my Osmond records I got for Christmas one year when I was about fifteen.  I started to be really into the Osmonds before than and loved their music (which says a lot because I hate 70s music in general hah!) and so my parents got my scores of records and my mom already had a few and I bought a few more off ebay (which was newish and sooooo cool back then haha!) Anyhow, I listened and sang and imagined in my room pretty much all day when I wasn't at school and I just loved all those songs so much.  But then a few months before I graduated from high school my family left Washington state and moved to Colorado and I stayed behind at another family's house to finish I no longer had my cherished records.  And then once I finally joined them...everything was in transition while they lived in a small townhouse and looked for a house and I prepped for college there wasn't time to find and unload my record player. 

            So then I hopped off to college and didn't have my music for like 9 months.  Once I got back to my parents new house for the summer, I pulled it out (I think) and listened to it again.  And then my dad bought my mom this cool record digitalizing machine and we digitized all the records so I had them on CDs!  So I think I probably brought those back to college with me, but then I had some really mean, cruel roommates and started dating "Charming" so I didn't really spend a lot of time at my apartment and so I couldn't listen to my music again.

            Then we got married and were pretty much transient every few months with college and summer jobs until April 2009 when we moved to Denver. Well, then my record play was in storage, I was prego and tired and never put my CDs on the computer knowing it was old and would probably die soon anyway, which it did.

            By this point I had pretty much forgotten the music I loved back in high school.  I had a baby and life just got busy.  Plus I was always a little distrustful of the computers and the idea of doing all that work only to lose it when the computer crashed kind of seemed like a lot of effort.  Now we use external harddrives and move our stuff off so that's not the hugest deal anymore (thank heavens for a computer savvy husband!)

            Another reason for the lack of music I think is because I really don't have time these days to just sit and listen and sing and even when I do I'm so exhausted and it sounds like a lot of work. But I've learned something which I will touch on in a bit that has to do with this.

            The last, and possibly (however subconscious), biggest reason is that music really moves me.  It really touches me and I think sometimes I invest much too much emotion into the music and attach a lot of feelings to it.  So I haven't pulled it out in that long partly because I was afraid it would make me melancholy and make me miss my teenage years and family etc. And it's probably a bit true.  But it helps now that I live only a mile away from my parents. So that is a big help.

            But I starting thinking about that music the other day and told myself that I really needed to pull it out and start listening to it again.  And I'm so glad I did. And for about 1-2 hours I uploaded, sang, and just let the music fill me and move me and while I was signing a favorite song I thought to myself, "this is soooo ME!  Why do I not take even 15 minutes to listen to three songs and just get fully into my musical love for even just 15 minutes??"  It's such a huge part of me I always knew was missing but was too tired to focus on.

            I think my whole round-about point here is that...I've felt lost for a while and don't feel like myself sometimes.  I think mostly because I'm a mom and tired and worn out all the time.  but I think it's also because life and time made me leave big pieces of myself behind.  So at least I've discovered how amazing I feel listening to much loved music and just totally singing and immersing myself in music even for a short little period every day. Apparently it's more important than I ever realized.  I wish I wasn't too tired to sing all day like I used to...maybe that can be my next goal, but for now, I'm so glad that this big piece of me is back!

            So if you are a tired, worn-out, exhausted mom and feel like you've lost touch with yourself...think about when you felt the most you of your life and stand back and see what you are missing and make a little time every day to be that person again.  I think it's important...and we mom's can get so selfless and put so much into our kiddos that I think we forget that we need a little TLC sometimes too!  So that's my little challenge to you!  Go find a missing piece of yourself--however tiny--and remember.  Or if you still feel like yourself just go immerse yourself in something you haven't had time to do for a long time...even if you're occasionally interrupted by the kiddos.  Find a way.  It's worth it. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Extraordinary Parents

"I want us to be extraordinary parents."

That's the statement from "Charming" that kind if brought us back on track to being the parents we used to be and the parents we want to be.

Granted in essence that is what I have been saying for months but it finally dawned on him in those clear and precise words making it easier for both of us to achieve because it started accountability-- someone else reminding us of our goal, helping us to step back when tempers are short, frustration prevalent, and fatigue winning.  We even told each other to help remind us...even if maybe there is some backfire from it.  (There hasn't been since just by stating the desire to have accountability made it possible to calm down when reminded.)

See back when our first son Ralphie was born we were extraordinary parents. Not perfect of course--because no parent is perfect. But you know, we were at our best possible, I'm sure you know what I mean.  In fact we lasted that way for probably the first two and a half years...then stress became our common visitor.

"Charming" had no job for a few months in 2013, we used the little savings we had to survive, then we had to start growing debt on credit cards just to barely get by.  Finally he started a new job, but with a deep investment, a monthly loan payment that took about 75% of his monthly earnings, and a half/sort of graveyard shift.  Soon after that I got pregnant with Randy and I was to always exhausted and some where in there Ralphie hit his terrible "twos" (which I believe are actually the terrible "threes", but who's keeping track, right?) So suddenly we became these lame, tired, impatient parents I didn't recognize.  Granted we were still better than a lot of parents, but we were too tough on little Ralphie.  He was only 3 after all, but for some reason we expected so much of him that we started being tough.  Suddenly we felt like we were constantly on him about one thing or another.  Something I swore as a young person I would never, ever do.  Then we got emotionally drained from Randy's frightening birth (from which we still aren't fully recovered) and then Ralphie was too rough with Randy and crazy around him all the time and it scared us.  So we had more reasons to be "on him" constantly. Then I started working way too much and we became parents with little patience who raise they're voices.

Not cool.  In fact, it pretty much leaves me full of deep regret.

But since December we have been improving and for the past month or so we are 95% back to those parents we used to be. The ones I was proud of us being.  The ones that had no regrets, felt confident, and totted around happy kids.  We still have tough days where the boys are up all night so we are tired, or we are sick so we have no energy, or stress comes but for the most part life is better and we are better parents again.  This blog post is to help other parents, but more importantly, I think, to help me.  To remind me of what I don't want to let happen again.  No matter the stress, no matter the fatigue.

How did we do an immediate turn around in less than a month?  Well, this is how:

And we are focusing on - -- those things we should do to make us the extraordinary parents we should be.

1- Less work, more play.
I pulled back with the working-- or at least I am still trying to.  That may mean we are tighter financially.  That may mean we have less money to spend on anything besides food (which is crazy because we already had nothing).  That may mean that I often have to tell people no when they need pictures done.  But it gives me more time to spend with my family and taking care of them.  I don't have that constant nagging stress that I have an upcoming photo shoot or pictures to edit.  Seriously. It was consuming my brain so badly with stress and anticipatory anxiety that even while rocking Lance to sleep I couldn't focus on my baby.  I couldn't focus on the greatest things in my life.  Oh my life goal to be a mother--the best mother I can be.  I don't want to ever have regrets again of not spending time with my kids because I had to work when I didn't desperately need to.

2- Don't sweat the small stuff.
We don't sweat the small stuff.  Potty training has not been an easy 3.5 we really thought it shouldn't still be an issue.  But it was and still is at times.  But we've stopped getting frustrated and started rewarding for the good and just being calm for the bad.  We don't get on to him for every little thing.  Instead we talk to him when he makes bad decision and we discipline for dangerous things (like hurting little brother, or anything that is damaging or potentially hazardous in any way).  He is four.  That's all.  Four.  There is no need to expect too much of him.  He is just a baby still.  He is still young.  He should be able to be an innocent, happy child as long as possible  It's funny how when you have that second kid you realize that at 9 months it's totally ok if they are biting or gently hitting.  There is time to teach them, it doesn't need to be this big, dramatic, horrible thing.

3- Put your kids first.
We put then first again.  Let the house get messy, let my photography wait, let dinner be late.  What matters are the boys.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the perfect parents would be selfless.  There would be absolutely no selfishness about anything they did.  So we are working on becoming selfless.  Listening to them when they want to talk or are asking for something.  Cuddling time is essential for us and them!  Playing with them, helping them learn skills.  Teaching them.  Family home evening.  Scriptures studies.  All these things are the most important things.  We get 18 years with our kids and then they are (most likely) out of our home and onto their own lives.  I'm not going to have regrets ever again about not spending what little time I do have with them.  It's taken me weeks to write this post...and that is OKAY because I paused when they needed me for whatever it was.  I didn't get mad when I lost my entire train of thought.  It's OK.  People make too big of deals about themselves and not enough about their kids.  America would be a different place if at least 80% of a parent's life was about make their kids lives better and less about the parents wasting life away online, or just being lazy or selfish.  It's true.  But none of us are perfect at that.  None of us ever will be. It's an impossible balance...I think some days you choose one way and some the other.  And some parents are just better and balancing then others.  But like I said, no one is perfect.  But you find your perfect balance and I think you can be your most potentially extraordinary parent.

But those are the things that have helped us.  I am so happy to say we are doing so well.  Our kids are so happy.  Just purely happy and what better feeling can a parent have then knowing their kids are happy because they are trying their darndest to be "extraordinary parents".

On one last note...someone on pinterest posted a quote from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland from a talk he gave in General Conference in 1997.  I read it and it was very comforting and inspiring to me.  So I'd like to share it here.  Whether or not you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I think it will inspire you.

"Because She is a Mother"!

Friday, April 4, 2014

A New "As Told By Mommy"

     So for a few months now I've wanted a change with my blog...I couldn't quite decide what that change was...but I knew it needed something.  I've missed writing in a blog and need an outlet...more than my journal--somewhere to share ideas, thoughts, opinions, stories, pictures etc.

     So after some months of thought I've realize what I want out of this blog.  I wanted a place to share about being a mother and wife.  A place where I can share parenting skills or ideas or views.  I wanted a place to share the funny things my boys do and say. I want a place to share recipes.  I want a place to share my love of photography and the improvement I gain in that area.  I wanted a place to post random things--FHE lessons, random things about my hobbies and interests.  I'm tired of constantly worrying about any backlash I may get for my posts and opinions.  So I want a place I can write whatever I want--somewhere where people can read it and possibly learn, find help or inspiration from it.  A place where I can share my views and express myself that isn't just in a secret journal in a word document on my computer.   I don't care if anyone reads this blog, but I want the option there in case anyone wants to read it.  I don't care if anyone doesn't agree with me--my opinions are solidified--we can still be friends but don't bother trying to change my mind please.  It really just frustrates me and makes me take a step back from our relationship.  I've kind of even made a pact to not even read posts or opinions that might cause frustration or even anger to rise within me--I do have a bit of a temper and can easily have my day turned into a bad day by people people being rude, "stupid", or just all around confrontational.

     So I took all my old posts off because they felt stagnant and not what this new blog will be like--not quite anyway.  And I still wanted the "As Told By Mommy" name and the cute design I paid for. So...welcome to the new "As Told By Mommy".  A place for me to do all those things I talked about above--ultimately express myself and opinions and experiences.
My blog email is
 I'm also planning on trying to use twitter more often now that I have both a smart phone and tablet (finally!).  So follow away at .
I'm turning back on my blog facebook page so you can follow that here:

Just a little recap of what you can expect from the new and improved As Told By Mommy:

Experiences as a latter day saint wife, mother, women of the 21st century with a love for all things retro, vintage and antique!
Funny stories
FHE Lessons
Glimpses into my hobbies, likes and interestes.
My views/opinions on parenthood, family life, world events, maybe even politics etc.

I do hope some of you are interested in following, but if not, I'm still going to be posting!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Just some thoughts I needed to share

Some days or weeks or even months I have so much to say, but I fear backlash and rudeness from other people and causing I hold my tongue and don't say anything...but some days I just want to vent on MY blog which is for ME and always has been ... to share and express what I feel so I have no regrets or bottled up frustration , but I feel like I can't write what I want without people being mad at me.  Today, I'm saying, screw that...I want to write what I'm feeling.  If you start reading and don't like what you are reading...just don't need to stir the pot or get angry, I just wanted to express myself somewhere where friends might read, but people who disagree are less likely too.  Ok?

I saw the movie "Frozen" yesterday.  I loved it.  Seriously, I did, don't get me wrong.  It was above and beyond better than "Brave" (I hated that one).  And the music and art was just stunning!  But I have one complaint...why does everyone want to get rid of the old, girl and guy fall in love, girl gets in a bind and guy heroically rescues her?  There is a reason that story line has lasted so long.  But for some reason hollywood and especially Disney is deciding to cater to only the other side.  Women who want not just equal writes, but like to be men or something. I'm all for mixing up plots but if we turn completely away from the story line I mentioned above I'm done with Disney movies.  At least in this one the hero almost saved the girl--in the end she saved the day, but at least he was close to being the one.

From the beginning of time men have a drive to save, to be heroes, to champion, to fight wars to protect their family.  And women have been blessed with the ability to nurture, to have great love and compassion, to serve, etc.  Why do we have to take away what is so naturally and deeply set inside of us?  I know we are individuals, but I know that those things are and should be inherent in most of us.  I'm sad that because there are women out there so hell bent on being treated as equals that the men are looked down upon for being heroic, for wanting to champion women. In my opinion a man like that-- one who tries to champion the girl he loves-- should move on when a woman doesn't appreciate it.  That's a waste of a man.  It's one of the things that I feel is so wrong with society today and why we are headed for an even worse place.

I think women should be able to vote, of course!  I think women should be treated equal in the workplace, and I'm sorry in some cases they still aren't. But there is a reason men and many women don't like those women who are too extreme and therefore emasculate men.  You don't have to be a total biotch to get your point across to the average, modern man or woman.  Be that way to men who doubt you, not to nice men who have no problem with the fact that you are a woman and their co-worker or boss...I'm pretty sure most men these days could care less one way or the other.  I don't believe that's necessary to emasculate men to over compensate for that woman's insecurities, and in fact I think it's wrong.

I wish I lived in an error where women's clothes celebrated the womanly figure (in all it's forms).  I wish it wasn't all about making us look more like men---right now it's all about being too skinny and having no chest.  They tried that in the 1920s...did we learn nothing from that?  I want to wear pretty clothes I want to wear clothes that show I am a woman.  I have hated styles for so long and I'm getting tired.  Why in the world should people at school ask my why I am all dressed up when I'm wearing jeans and a sweater?  Like what the crap?  There is something very wrong with that in my opinion.

And why are women losing one of their most important traits? -- that of nurturing.  So few mothers are nurturers anymore.  Facebook made me sick yesterday with all the horrible things mom's were posting on their about motherhood or their children.  Things on the verge of cruelty.  I would hate to actually be in their homes and see how they treat their children in person.  It's like suddenly it's too hard and too much work to be kind, loving and nurturing and instead so many (not all, but enough) of moms today turn to lies, cruel punishments, lies, and impatience when it comes to their children.  If children are so inconvenient to these moms why are they having so many??  I can guarantee that most kids would benefit much from parenting with truths, explanations, love and patience.  You would see a world of better people, I can guarantee that.  I'm sick of the excuses of "well, I have so many children" (again I ask, then why did you have them in the first place?) or "but they are too young to understand"...there is research out there that says kids understand much more than we give them credit for before they even learn to speak.  And sets the stage for future teaching moments. Seriously.  It's not that just takes time and patience...and the mother might have to focus completely on someone other than herself for a while (possibly years).  Oh no!  Having children means you are making someone else a's no longer about the mother. It's another thing that is wrong with society and it's going to make the next generation worse.

My son is the happiest and most kind-hearted little boy.  I hate that he will have to be sent out in a world with children raised to be cruel and bitter and rebellious.  It nearly broke me as a person and it kills me to think it will happen to my son who just loves people and only wants to give and make them happy.  Something happened yesterday and it just reminded me of why I avoid play dates, why I don't believe in preschool, and why I wish I could homeschool and he didn't need social interaction.  I know it's necessary and I know he needs to learn to deal with creeps like those horrible kids out there, but it's frustrating knowing those kids would be very different if they had different parents or parents who raised their kids differently.

I would just like to add that I am not perfect. I am far from perfect--like SOOOOO far and this post was not to make people think I was saying that.  It's not to point fingers at anyone, it's just to make people think and reconsider and refocus and just think for a minute.  If someone truly, deep down disagrees than that's fine, whatever.  My mind won't be changed so I understand.  But I would like for anyone reading this too really look and listen deep and their soul and consider if any of my points and views are valid.

If anyone happens to read this and disagrees, then I would suggest you keep your comments to yourself, however.  I don't want to hear more crap on things that already hurt my heart and soul...I was really down yesterday after reading some status posts from other moms and I just needed a place to share without backlash.  And usually the commenters are only people who think I'm targeting them...and I don't think anyone I'm talking about reads this blog or is even invited, so every body cool's very very likely not even you I'm talking about.

Friday, November 15, 2013

14 things you may not know about me...

1- I'm terrified of the roots that potatoes grow--like seriously terrified.

2- I was allergic to beets as a child...yes, beets...I'm not sure who experimented with those on me.

3- I think Bing Crosby and Donny Osmond have the best singing voice ever.
4- I’d much rather look at a beautiful New Mexican mesa than a mossy, completely green forest in Washington state.
5- I've written a murder mystery novel...but I've only allowed about 5 people to read it.
6- "Charming" says I could be a hand model, and so does every person who has ever given me a manicure.
7- I once had a pet horny toad...that is until he peed on my bed...then I was soooo over him.
8- I used to be the biggest social butterfly in high school and college and could talk your head I actually have a bit of a social phobia and am shy. I'm doing better and can handle up to 2 people in a group, but big groups literally freak me out and my head spins and I start mixing up who's who even if I know everyone well.
9- But true self is this in a nutshell. No seriously. Ask my family and close close friends or people who knew me when I was younger--it just takes me a little longer than it used to be myself in front of people.
10- I miss high school choir. I haven't sang in that kind of choir since and I don't think I'll ever be singing in one again. In fact I hardly get to sing anymore at all. I miss singing.
11- I LOVE REALLY love food. Dinner is my favorite meal and it must be large. I could never diet seriously. I can't give up food. And I love baked goods. If I ever wanted to lose weight I'd have to exercise like a mad woman instead so I could continue to enjoy my food.
12- In college random people that I had never met knew me as the "pumpkin cookie girl". Apparently I made them frequently and strangers would show up for a taste-- didn't matter the semester/season.
13- When I love shows and get really into them I always dream about them. But not just about them. I dream I'm a part of the character ensemble. I've had some awesome "Psych", "X-Files", "The Mentalist" and other show dreams.
14- Tall people (especially good-looking ones) freak me out. Seriously. I just realized this a few weeks ago, and it's been a life-long issue...doesn't matter if they are friend or stranger...if they are more than 2 or 3 inches taller than me I just feel short, frumpy, and intimidated. But realizing that is the first step to recovery, right?  Now all you tall people know why I stutter like a weirdo around you. 
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