Manic Motherhood at it's FINEST!!

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
click the volcano for the due explanation
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just a few quick start-of-the-month things. No April Fools crap either.

1-For those of you looking for March's Book Review, scroll down to the next post.
2. It's a new month, and a new chance to try and keep a high spot on Top Mommy Blogs- please vote for me by clicking on the Top Mommy Blogs button on the top left sidebar.
3. Please visit to learn about my beautiful miracle daughter and help my family help the children of Primary Children's Hospital!!!
(sorry- had to get in all of my beginning-of-the-month plugs. Thought I'd make it rainbow colored so that it was a little more fun. How 'bout that, huh?!)
OH!!! One more thing- I'm going to be creating a new MEME!!!!! (Like, one you can actually link up with me! I promise to give everyone who participates lots of comments, so get ready for that. It will be announced as soon as I can find 3 minutes by myself so that I can make a button. ~wink~)

March's book review.


Okay. I admit it. I dropped the ball.

I did not read our March book, which was The Witch Of Blackbird Pond.

The fact that I don't own the book and had to get it from the library was only part of the problem. Yes, I am a procrastinator, but I'm usually good for my promises. However, considering the things I survived last month (children, a broken down car, children, a miscarriage, children, mean comments on my blog, children, a failed attempt to organize an excellent fairy party, children...well, you get my drift.) I think I can hardly be held accountable.

Luckily, I HAVE read the Witch of Blackbird Pond back in the day (4th grade, actually.) and though I do not remember enough about it to actually give you a good, in depth A.P. English kind of review, I do have to say that what I remember about the book is that I thought that if I lived then, all the forbidden things, and all the talk of witchcraft wouldn't make me scared for my life, it would only make me more interested in the possibility of witches, and want to know how i could be one too.

Now, I don't think that in my life today I'd actually want to be a witch- you know, I'm a really devout christian and all- however, I have never been the kind of person who can stand cruelty to other people, even witches or those who I feel are morally wrong. (I'm talking things like abortion and gay rights here, not things like pedophiles or murderers.) One might argue that if a person was raised in that kind of community, then witches would be a scary thing, and because of the type of religious upbringing, I would react differently, but I don't buy that. I am who I am, raised that way or not. If everyone grew up to be exactly the same as his mother and father, and everyone grew up to have the exact same beliefs, then there would never be any change.

Not to mention, i have kind of an obsession with fairies and magic and all things fantasy. As awesome and supportive as my family is, that's kind of my own thing, and no one taught me THAT.
Anyway, if you DID read the Witch Of Blackbird Pond, please feel free to leave your comments about it here anyway! We can still talk about it, even though i didn't read it.
Moving on.

This month, we will be reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, which is an exceptional book about a demon who is coaching his nephew, Wormwood, through letters, to guide his 'patient' to certain doom. A masterpiece of satire, this book will really have you thinking deeply.
(oh! And I already have this one so half my procrastination problem is solved!)


by James M. Barrie
(For the record, it MUST be said that Peter Pan is my FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME. I read it at least once a year. I'll never tire of it.)

J M. Barrie's Peter Pan is a poignant tale about the magic of childhood. The main character, Peter Pan, is a magical boy who wishes never to fall into the banality of adulthood, but to have an adventure every moment and remain forever young. The play details Peter's relationship with a young girl, Wendy, who is on the cusp of young adulthood. Peter's gang, the Lost Boys, wish for a mother to read them stories. Peter goes and retrieves Wendy to be their new mother. Their adventures reveal much about the nature of childhood and Barrie's thoughts on the bittersweet necessity of growing up.
(synopsis found here:

by Jenna Blum

For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy's sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald.

Driven by the guilt of her heritage, Trudy, now a professor of German history, begins investigating the past and finally unearths the dramatic and heartbreaking truth of her mother's life.

Combining a passionate, doomed love story, a vivid evocation of life during the war, and a poignant mother/daughter drama, Those Who Save Us is a profound exploration of what we endure to survive and the legacy of shame.


by Lorna Landvik
The women of Freesia Court are convinced that there is nothing good coffee, delectable desserts, and a strong shoulder can’t fix. Laughter is the glue that holds them together—the foundation of a book group they call AHEB (Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons), an unofficial “club” that becomes much more. It becomes a lifeline. Holding on through forty eventful years, there’s Faith, a lonely mother of twins who harbors a terrible secret that has condemned her to living a lie; big, beautiful Audrey, the resident sex queen who knows that with good posture and an attitude you can get away with anything; Merit, the shy doctor’s wife with the face of an angel and the private hell of an abusive husband; Kari, a wise woman with a wonderful laugh who knows the greatest gifts appear after life’s fiercest storms; and finally, Slip, a tiny spitfire of a woman who isn’t afraid to look trouble straight in the eye.

This stalwart group of friends depicts a special slice of American life, of stay-at-home days and new careers, of children and grandchildren, of bold beginnings and second chances, in which the power of forgiveness, understanding, and the perfectly timed giggle fit is the CPR that mends broken hearts and shattered dreams.
(Synopsis from

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Wordless Wednesday"

Scarlet Serafina Estelle (7 weeks old)
Mahone Raphael (7 weeks old)

Lily Saber (7 weeks old)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Touchy Topic Tuesday: Shiloh Jolie Pitt, Suri Cruise, my son, and gender roles.

Touchy Topic Tuesday:
Shiloh Jolie Pitt, Suri Cruies, My Son, and Gender Roles.

When my son was just 17 months old, he asked for a kitchen for Christmas- complete with food and a phone to talk on while he whipped us all up delicious things to pretend to eat.

He was also known to carry a doll around and tell random strangers that he wanted to marry Elmo.

Once, while Lilly- then 2 years old- played dress up, he slipped on her Tinkerbell wings and flew around the room. This, coupled with the kitchen, the dolls, the headbands he wore in his hair and his constant requests for me to paint his finger nails, I had to wonder.

My thought process remained brief and unfinished for the time being when my son flew up to me, and said "Mom! Look! I a bug!" He later told his dad that he was an airplane.

While Mahone still occasionally says that he wants to marry Elmo, or his best friend Connor, insists that he get to use the pink plate at dinner, and sometimes still dresses up like Tinkerbell and asks for glitter, I have decided not to be worried.

The child is only 3 years old. His dad cooks, carries around a baby, and I think that all he knows about getting married is that you marry a person you love. He loves Elmo. And he loves his best friend Connor. In fact, he says, just as often, that he's going to marry Lilly or Scarlet, or even myself. So he certainly hasn't attached it only to boys.

Now, I have to make it clear that I am not a celebrity stalker. I don't care who left who or who is too thin. I don't care who is doing drugs, or who has gone broke. As far as I am concerned, people like this don't really exist. They only live on my television and on the big screen, and only normal, sane, and otherwise unassuming people live on the planet known as Earth.

However, I have a weak spot for kids, and when I saw this article I totally identified.

So Shiloh is a tomboy.

I grew up with 5 uncles. On a regular basis, I caught lizards and snakes, pitched tents, wore board shorts to swim, pretended I was Indiana Jones while digging in a pile of dirt to find crystals one of my uncles had hidden. A common activity was for my uncles to make authentic looking treasure maps for me, and bury treasure.

I also pretended to have a penis, and tried, more than once, to make out with my life sized cricket doll when I was 6. (Okay- not my proudest moment, and a rather embarrassing confession that I haven't even told my husband until now...but hey, all is fair in love and blog land.)

Oh, and for the record, I had a short hair style, just like Shiloh. My mom was supportive. And I was a little girl. But I'm all grown up, heterosexual, in fact, I'm really kind of girly, and though I honestly wouldn't miss an opportunity to make out with Kira Knightly, I really don't exhibit any bisexual or homosexual tendencies.

And the reality of it is, if she DOES grow up to be bisexual, or gay, or heterosexual, whose business is it anyway? Limelight or not, Shiloh is going to grow up and she's not a puppet. She'll make her own choices.

What really gets to me is that no one can mention Shiloh- boy clothes or not- without sizing her up next to Suri Cruise.

Just because Suri is miss priss with a two million dollar wardrobe doesn't really mean that Shiloh should be that way. The Jolie-Pitt kids wear hand me downs...just like any NORMAL kid in the U.S. who doesn't have famous parents.

For the record, I don't even care about her heels. I, for one, think they are adorable, and if they didn't cost an arm and a leg, I'd probably buy some for Lilly to wear to church. SO CUTE!!!!

What bothers me about this princess is that her clothes look a little grown up. Like miniature reproductions of something a can-can dancer, a lawyer or a French call girl would wear... it kind of reminds me of Claudia from "Interview With The Vampire"- a woman trapped in a child's body.

In the meantime, my son has graduated to wearing an Indiana Jones hat, a Superman Cape, and throwing worms at his sisters.

Personally, that sounds like 'all boy' to me.
So, what do you think????
Is Shiloh gay?
Is Angelina forcing her bisexuality onto her daughter, choosing a 'favorite' and living vicariously?
What about Suri? Should she loose the heels?
What about your children? Do you encourage gender roles?
Let us know!!!!

**All photos (except the ones of my child) are courtesy of

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A rose by any other name....

My name is Brae. I know. It's different. Many people tell me it's beautiful, and usually ask me to repeat it several times.

It's not hard. Not if you understand the English language. You've heard the preschool poem "When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking. It makes a sound just like it's name, the second one goes to sleep."

So, with that in mind, one should know it's pronounced "Bray" Long A, silent E.

All three of my years in junior high school, I had the same teacher for 4 different classes. He was my science teacher for 3 years, and my last year there, he was also my home room teacher. Every single day for 3 years and 4 classes, Mr. Sherratt would call roll and over the chatter of students, he would say "Brea?" (which he pronounced Bree-uh)

I would answer with "It's Br-ay"

Once, somewhere in 8th grade, I stopped answering his call for "Bree-uh", and simply ignored him, thinking I'd teach him a lesson.

Instead, my parents got a phone call stating that I hadn't been in class for over a week, and I was the one who learned the lesson.

From that point on, i just answered "Here."


This Saturday, which was too long and awful to go into much detail about, we were walking around Wal-mart while our car was serviced, and Mahone, dressed, as usual, in his superman cape, was flying much too far ahead of us for my comfort. He also has this knack for being under people's feet and on top of everything else at the most inopportune times.

So, I broke out the middle name.

"Mahone Raphael!" my son did a loop, one hand at his waist, the other in a fist out in front of him. But he behaved.

Brandon mentioned, with a smirk, that he could always tell how long he was grounded by how many names his mom called him by.

"Brandon!" meant "Be right back, guys."

"Brandon Craig!" meant "See ya in an hour guys."

"Brandon Johnson Craig!" meant "See ya tomorrow guys."

"Brandon David Johnson Craig!" meant "see ya next week."

"Brandon David DAMN-IT Johnson Craig!" meant "See ya in AT LEAST a month, guys- and that's if I live through it."

My dad usually called me "Miss Lee" (Lee being my middle name) when he had something to talk to me about, but it wasn't that serious, but I don't think my parents ever used my name at all when they were angry at me.

Now a days, I have a nickname for my husband. He hates it. He always has, but it's just always been what I call him. He teases that he knows when I'm angry, because it's the only time I call him something affectionate, like "honey." Otherwise, i just call him "Punk."

In retaliation, he has developed a nickname for me, and calls me "Brat." If he calls me "Brae" then I know he is serious.

So, the question posed is- would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Yes. But how many names do you think Romeo's mom called him by when she found out he had murdered Tybalt, married a girl who was supposed to be his enemy, and then killed himself on her death bed? Hm. I wonder.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sunday Sonnets- T.S. Elliot- The Hollow Men

The Hollow Men
T. S. Eliot
Mistah Kurtz—he dead.

A penny for the Old Guy


We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

This poem scares me. I end it with a sob stuck in my throat, and tears behind my eyes. It is not in sentiment that I choke, but terror. (And I think that my friend Mr. Elliot would be happy with my reaction. I believe this was his intention.)

Man builds civilization to keep from going mad, to make himself rise above and to feel as though he can conqour what God calls 'the natural man'- but is civilization really different? Are we really less of a 'natural man' just because we are civilized?


From every corner, and every side, chaos and savagery close in, stifle, stangle, and suffocate.

"This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper."

In A.P. Enligsh in high school, we read this poem in reference to the book "Heart Of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad, and for more insight and terror that makes your stomach empty and your throat dry, I recommend the read. I have not seen a movie yet that has terrified me so. (Except for Alien movies like Fire in the Sky and Thing and The Fourth kind- which I haven't seen, but I cried after the preview....those were pretty dang scary...but I digress...)

Friday, March 26, 2010

He that is not jealous is not in love. ~St. Augustine

And I am SO infinitely in love.

Not romantically, this time- but I am no less in love.

I know that there are a lot of close families out there- that there are brothers and sisters who consider theirs the best, and the best of friends.

But I have to stand and say: "My family is better than yours!" ~Raspberry~

Well, it's the truth. I have never made better friends than the ones who I was born to (or who were born to me, as I'm the oldest.) and I would choose a day with my family over most things.

I have to admit, in my childhood, I wasn't as close to them as I am now. My closest brother is 3 years younger than I am. So when I was in junior high and high school, he went to a totally different school. We were never even close to having the same interests or the same friends.

My sister is 9 years younger than I am, and my youngest brother is 11 years younger than I am. It's like we were two different sets of kids. Almost a different generation. Often, it was my responsibility to babysit the two of them, and I have since learned that my sister was terrified of me, which actually breaks my heart. I never knew that she thought i was mean, or that I scared her. I probably did scream a lot, but that was mostly at my brother Biege, the older one, who would tie Boz, the younger one, to chairs, and steal Bergan's dolls. I went to college when Bergan was just 8 and Bozton was 6.

It actually wasn't even until I moved home to Utah from Alabama almost 2 years ago that I got really close to them. I was always close to Biege.

In December of 2008, Biege married a lovely girl named Shalynn, and I adore her immensely. She is such a perfect addition to our family! And let me tell you, I am so glad he married her. As Biege is one of my best friends, and i felt privileged that he would often call me for advice on just about anything, I worried that when he got married, it might be to a girl who didn't like me, or tried to push me or the rest of our family away. And in my heart, I always promised that I would never ever do anything or say anything if he married a girl i didn't like, because i would rather swallow bloody band aids than let anything come between my brother and i.

So I'm going to be incredibly selfish and make it all about me when I say that i feel both blessed and lucky to an immeasurable degree that he married the girl of my dreams.

The thing is, I am SO jealous of all of them! I mean, not so much in a self deprecating way as in a really proud way. I happen to be the older sister of three very talented and intelligent individuals.

My Brother Biege has got to be the most hilarious person on this planet. He always has a story about boy scouts, or some joke about 'yo mama'. Just ASK him about Bergan, and 'the walk'. Or ask him how to avoid getting mugged on your way to your car. (Biege, I need a video to insert here.)

My brother is my go-to tech guy. He is just so amazing, that even after I deleted my ENTIRE blog- followers, buttons, posts, pictures and ALL, he still managed to get it back. When my computer bit the dust, crashed and burned, and kicked the bucket, all in the same day, he still brought it back to life and saved all the pictures from my children's entire lifetimes.

Of course, he made my home page his blog (which would be okay if he updated it once in awhile- HINT HINT) and puts passwords like "Set up us the bomb" on everything. I'm not a game junkie, so he always has to explain such jokes to me, and then they're not funny anymore, but oh well.

Brilliant, I tell you. And clever, and sarcastic as all get out. I snort when I laugh when I'm around him. His blog is amazing, and funny, even to me, and I don't understand anything about computers, or his beloved x-box and it's terrible "Red Ring of Death".

As for my sister, Bergan, well, I pretty much wish i was her. First of all, she's effing gorgeous. I mean, check out those giant blue eyes, and long lashes, puffy, pouty lips, and, well, the list could just keep going.

On top of that, my sister is genuinely good. I know, everyone has their problems, but Bergan seems to just have it all under control. I have very little ability to control my emotions and passions, let alone my sass-mouth (wonder where Lilly gets it?). Bergan always has seemed like this statue of inherent strength.

She's headed out to France in the fall for a semester abroad, and I am insanely proud and insanely jealous. I never had that kind of guts.

Furthermore, Bergan is brilliantly smart. And she's a better writer than I am- which makes me, again, insanely jealous and insanely proud. Writing was always my 'thing'- but she has surpassed me.

My brother, Bozton, is the youngest. And he does things like this:

I don't think Boz has a blog, but he honestly should. Another writer in the family. (Maybe we get it from our mom???) Like Bergan and I, he is on the literary magazine crew- though he started out in it.

Boz is the goofiest person I know (aside from Biege) he definitely marches to the beat of his own drum, and is my kids' favorite uncle. My little Scarlet- well, uncle or not, I think she has a little crush on him. (And she's afraid of Biege as of late- because he grew a beard...something about his blog...but who knows, 'cause he never updates it. ~HINT HINT!~)

I was totally flattered when Boz asked me to dye his hair blue. ~Wink~ I honestly don't think there's anyone more loyal than Boz is.
So, as cheesy as this might be, and as mediocre as the writing might be, well, that's that. My family surpasses them all.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Okay, well, I had SO many things to write about until I abandoned the Memes...then all I had to write about was writers block and how badly it sucks. Besides, I really like Letters of Intent.


Dear Mr Ford Truck-
I know you're all big and manly in your sparklingly clean, raised, big tired, lots o' lights compensating phallic symbol, but we are not animals. You are not a bull, and my little green mini van with the Celtic and butterfly tramp stamp decals is not a cow for you to mount.
Back off my bumper!

For the record, I was already going 75 in a 60 MPH zone, and I would have gotten into the slower right hand lane if I wasn't consistently passing cars. Not to mention, there was a car in front of me (note the car and a half length distance between the two of us) that wasn't going any faster than I was, so your riding my tail like I was some kind of Saloon girl wasn't going to make me speed up any. You can't go faster than the car in front of you. Most of us have learned that- however, it is obvious that you have not.

Furthermore, when I DID have a chance to move into the right lane, why in the world did you follow me there, continuing to follow close enough to hold a pencil between us? When I was a kid, at dances, some chaperon would come and stuff a text book between me and the boy I was dancing with, and that was a slow dance, not a high speed chase as this was turning out to be. Why not pass me?

Again, we are not animals, we are not dogs, and you did not have to sniff my butt. No pheromones involved here.
Really. I'm not interested. Move ON.


If it happens again, I'm slamming on the brakes.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I hate it when I'm wrong

But obviously I'm human. So I'm wrong a lot. Especially lately.

Without going into detail about how my life has sucked lately, in every sense of the word- financially, emotionally, physically, etc- I have to admit that I have been completely blind.

I happen to be a very religious person, I'm LDS, and I don't believe in coincidences. I believe that God has everything in His control, and that our lives are like stories. He knows how it will end, He knows what choices we will make, and while he cannot interfere with our Free Agency, He has his hand in it all. It's a plot. Things are set up so far in advance so that the climax and denouement come together in sync and rhythm and meaning. And I, in no way, am implying that we are God's playthings.

(For a really excellent essay on this, please visit I am pretty sure that this post is about me, as she was the first person that I called to unload my massive amounts of anger-at-God on. She always has the perfect thing to say, and always puts my life into perspective.)

I have never been very in control of my emotions. I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut, especially if I'm able to put it into written word (or type it, as it were.) and I know how I am supposed to behave, both socially and religiously.

You know how you always hear these great stories about men and women in the scriptures who obeyed God and didn't even complain when they were faced with trials and tribulation a thousand times worse than my own. The stories of Sarah, who waited 90 years to have a child, and Rachael, whose husband loved her best, and yet her sister was the one who gave him son after son after son. I have little right to feel sorry for myself. (Though, my bitterness is only in small part connected to my desire for a child. There are other things that just make the stress of it so much more intense.)

And yet, I have zero idea how to change the way I feel. I don't know how to not be jealous. I don't know how to feel peace, to calm my nerves. I can keep my mouth shut, and not complain about things. I'm sure I can do that. (It's very possible that my head might physically explode, but I'm sure i could do it.) I do not know, though, how to change the way I feel. How can I change my behavior, the way that I approach things, if I cannot change the way i feel? And I have wondered, sometimes out loud, lately, what exactly IS wrong with complaining? I feel crappy. Why can't i just throw it out there and say it like it is?

Today, I ranted on the phone to my husband, soooo infinitely more patient with me and my hopeless shortcomings than I am with his. And I really finally heard myself talking. I heard how i sounded. I heard how ungrateful I was being, and how I was overlooking every miracle, every tender mercy, and every answered prayer (and there has been no shortage in the last year and a half.) I was seeing all our problems and wondering why we weren't being blessed with the things we are promised because of our faith and obedience, so overwhelmed with what I WANTED that I didn't stop to notice that we WERE being blessed, more abundantly than we deserved, because we were always given what we needed to survive, and to thrive.

And I had to take a step back, and change my thoughts. I have to be calm, and I have to TRUST. Because everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.

So, I'm asking Him- "Help thou my unbelief."

So many things i have in my life. My beautiful, brilliant children. My home, my family. Every time we get some kind of financial windfall, something falls apart. And we spend the money on the broken thing instead of what I sometimes feel would be a much needed vacation, or to pay off debt. This is NOT supposed to be annoying, it is a tender mercy. It is protection. It's God's hand in my life, to make things fair. To set things up. To take care of me, and my children.

The part that still sucks, and will always suck, because I hate not knowing what is going on, is that I will never know what's coming. I will try to have faith and I will try to be fearless. But I don't know how my story ends. And that freaks me the heck out.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ready to Face it.

So this is my third month blogging here.

I think I've done pretty well. I have regular readers, and I have found some blogs I love to read. I've even made some pretty lasting friends. Furthermore, I have almost 200 followers, and have consistently held a place in the top 12 Stay-at-home blogs on Top Mommy Blogs (vote for me by clicking the button on my top left sidebar.) I have also won several great awards!

So, I have been thinking. Every day, since I began blogging, and got into this bloggy world, and started promoting my blog on all kinds of blogging communities, I have found the wonderful connection that Memes can be.

And I have had a Meme for every single day of the week almost.

Well, I'm done with those. Well, not really- because I like them. I think some of them are fun, and provoke my creativity. Others are hilarious and i love being able to read other people's versions. I also like the publicity they bring my blog.

However, I am ready to stand on my own two feet. I started this blog so that I could be blatant and up front with my feelings, my life my children, my everything. Tabula Rasa- blank page, ready to be scrawled upon, clean and crisp and cool with it's emptiness, ready to be filled full of fire and emotion. So far, I've done nothing but hide behind the Memes. Well, I'm standing here, ready to face it all.

First things first: Honesty.
A week and a half ago, my mom gave me some very sound advice. "Just don't say anything."

On the 10th of March, I announced my fourth pregnancy in a series of pictures for my Meme "wordless Wednesday"

On Friday, I started my period, and the day ended in sobs as I believed I had miscarried my child. Further research was done, and I learned that what I was experiencing was called a Chemical Pregnancy- where the egg is fertilized, but it fails to implant. It isn't a miscarriage at all, technically. It didn't make it any easier, and I mourned bitterly.

Well, I belong to a December birth club, all of us trying to conceive a child that would be due in December. By accident, I found out today, through a few of the women who seem like experts on conceiving children (one is a nurse at a fertility clinic and is trying to conceive her 5th child), that the blue dye tests give regular false positives- that even the occasional male can gain a positive test from using a blue dye test.

Of course I was shocked. They told me that since I started my period on the expected date, I was likely never pregnant at all, which includes the exclusion of a Chemical pregnancy.

So of course, I'm really relieved. No miscarriage. But still, I am discouraged. No baby.

A week and a half ago, my mom's advice was sound, and correct. I was not yet ready to tell anyone that i was not pregnant. I was not ready to talk about it because when I even THOUGHT about it, I bawled. I was not ready for the forced sympathy or the comments, particularly comments like "Well, you have three children already, just be happy with that." which, yes, I have received.

So i have only told the occasional person, who noticed my mood, who knew me well enough to know that i was not okay, that something was wrong.

Yesterday, when we came home from a day with my mom, I went to bed at 7 while Brandon put the kids to bed, because I was so exhausted i couldn't see straight. I slept until 7:30 in the morning before I woke to my children. I didn't hear my children going to bed or waking in the night. (I hope to high heaven that if they DID wake, Brandon heard them, because usually I am the one who hears them and gets up- unless i wake HIM up and kick him out of bed.) I didn't hear Brandon get into bed, and only stirred a little when he got OUT of bed at 5:30. When I woke up at 7:30, I still could have used 5 more hours.

I'm so absent minded sometimes. I thought nothing of it, because I have mourned my lost or false pregnancy, and I'm on to trying again. This morning, I posted on my face book about sleeping so long, and got over 15 responses about how I'm pregnant, it's to be expected.

Well, I'm not. i was just tired. So there it is, I'm not knocked up. But crossing my fingers for a December baby.

I have to say, though, that i do enjoy my current birth board. Hopefully I can stay instead of moving on to January. But i have to say that I find it pretty interesting how forward women can be on those boards.

I mean, I've been talking to my girlfriends about sex since, well, like the seventh grade, but even now it's joking and giggly when we get all giddy about our husbands or boyfriends. I'm very thankful, though, a little stunned that I can be so forward with women i don't know about such things as sperm, vaginas, ovulation, cervical mucus and sex. It's not a giggly girly thing. It's biology. We're all connected in a pretty intimate way. we're all trying to have a baby.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Not me.

I am NOT abandoning my blog today.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nothing Gold Can Stay- Robert Frost

In honor of my tax return-

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Feel good friday

One more time, I want to ask all my wonderful, loyal readers to please check out and to grab my Spoons For Scarlet button so that we can spread the word and raise money for Scarlet's tree for the Festival of Trees, which brings in THOUSANDS of doallars, 100% of which proceeds go directly to Primary Children's Hospital in order to support, protect, and create more miraculous success stories, like Scarlets! Thank you!

Things that are making me feel good today:

1. Tomorrow is a weekend, and Brandon actually has it off.

2. Chocolate. Specifically Cadburry Creme Eggs.

3. Tax return came...and went. Straight to the credit cards.

4. The Princess and the Frog is out on DVD now- we're renting it for our weekly 'special night' tonight!!!

5. I'm still reveling in the leftover memories and movies of the St. Patricks day festivities. Namely, kilts.

Sorry. No letters today. My life has been sucky lately. I'm a little discouraged. I'll be okay. But for now, this is all I've got.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thursday Writer's Prompt

Before I get right into things, I have a few reminders:

1. PLEASE do me a favor and check out and read my daughter's story, then peruse the many beautiful, hand decorated spoon ornaments and help me donate THOUSANDS to Primary Children's Hospital!

2. Notice the poll on the right sidebar and VOTE for next month's book!

3. Speaking of the book club, we're reading The Witch Of Blackbird Pond this month, and I promise you'll love it! It's not too late to join in!

4. Please vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs by clicking on the button on the left sidebar- that's all you have to do! One click! Thanks!

Mama's Losin' It

So, as an avid writer with pretty clear cut memories who thinks in complete sentences, when I look at Mama Kat's list of prompts each Wednesday, I usually know exactly what I want to write about. This time, though, it was harder to decide. I'm going to have to make comments about more than one today.

1. If you had to relive a day in your life, what day would it be?

Assuming this day would be a day that I could change, I'd go back to September 21, 2009 and move the television off of the dresser, as I had intended to that very morning. Then my little Scarlet would never have been in that situation.

As far as reliving a certain DAY without being able to change it? Well, that's really hard, because I don't really remember a specific day that was the best day of my life. I remember some really spectacular summers, some excellent trips and some stellar school years. I remember classes that I was consistently excited to go to throughout the entire school year. I remember some wonderful intimate moments that happened at the end of some really rotten days, and days that started out the best ever, but ended in tears. I just don't think that I can narrow my life down that way.

Here's a question though- does it make me a bad wife that my wedding day was not the greatest day of my life? Honestly, I don't remember much of it. It was a haze. I was stressed out, I was nervous. I didn't really like my dress, I really hated my botched hair cut, my new husband's old car ran out of gas and wanted me to help him push it 5 blocks to the gas station- IN MY WEDDING DRESS. My photographer was kind of a flop, and they were short on corsages for my party. My reception was positively lovely, and that made up for a lot. But really, the whole day was just a nightmare.

2. When do you first imagine yourself wishing you were older or bigger?

Well, honestly, I thoroughly enjoyed my youth. I was born in July and that meant that when I went to school, I was the youngest in my class for most cases. I was also the smallest. Really, I'm pretty much STILL the smallest, standing a whole 5 feet 3 inches tall (beats the crap out of my mom who's 4'11") and I weigh about 112. Still, I reveled in my youth, and was proud of being petite. I actually cried when i turned 25 and I've cried every year since. I'm 27 now. I feel like an old fogey. Really, though, I was boy crazy, which brings to mind the ever classic song "Wouldn't it be Nice" by the Beach Boys, I never really wanted time to just 'hurry up'. I DO, however, remember two incidents where I wished I were older or bigger.

The first time, I was in second grade, and i had brought my little friend, Patty, home for a play date. We were playing dress up, and she already had budding breasts. I was only 7. She was 9 (as I was on the younger end of the second grade spectrum, she was on the older end.) I stuffed toilet paper into my dress and made myself some 'girls'. Little did i know the irritation they'd be when I suddenly grew them 7 years later.

The second time, I was lying in bed at 9:00 pm- very abnormal for me- on prom night when I was a sophomore in High School. Being young, I was only 15 until late summer that year, and on top of that, being Mormon, I was unable to date until I turned 16 years old, so even if I had been asked (which I wasn't) I couldn't have gone. I am a still a little bitter about that whole incident.
I was going to write about my routine as well, but it's late, my husband's wearing a kilt, and we're watching Far and Away (one of our many traditional St. Patrick's Day movies.) So, I have some makin' out to do.
Night, folks!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday. Except I don't have ENOUGH words to describe how lovely St.Patricks day is.

Okay, so I LOVE St. Patrick's day.

No, I'm not Catholic.

No, I'm not Irish. Heck, I'm not even MARRIED into Irish. My last name is Craig, but it's the Scottish Craigs that my husband's family comes from- and HE'S adopted. LOL.

However, I'm 99% Scandinavian and 1% Native American (just enough to make me dark instead of fair), and I'm sure I have plenty of Viking ancestors in there who raped and pillaged the Irish, thus leaving my mark on Ireland herself.

Honestly, I brought this all on myself. I'm the odd one out in my family. My parents and my siblings kind of roll their eyes when I get giddy about this. Until I was married, I had never had corned beef or cabbage.

However, from second grade on, my dream was to live in Ireland. I loved it. I still do. Everything about it. I studied it, it's history, it's lore, and I am still as in love as the day I discovered it.
In high school, I joined an Irish dance group Rinceoiri Don Spraoi (Rin cory don spree- It means "dancing for fun" in Irish-Gaelic) and brought my friends with me- my sister in law too, though I didn't know we'd be related then. It didn't take long before we were on the performing team, and we made our way to our first Scottish Festival.
Okay- Scottish Festivals are AWESOME. They always have excellent brewed root-beer, lots of booths about how to find your lineage and family crests, places to buy awesome things like fairy and dragon charms, sometimes Pagan booths and of course, there are Scottish games, like the caber toss.
But NOTHING beats the mass bands. Bagpipes, drummers, all marching, pleats swaying, drumsticks and mallets flipping and gives me the chills. It's so haunting. And completely drool-worthy. Mmmmm. Boys in kilts.
Brandon has a canvas utility kilt, and he wore it there, but I didn't take any pictures. I was too busy taking pictures of the pipers. He needs a REAL kilt (traditional 8 yards. GOOOOOOOO PLEATS!!!!!!!!!) in the Craig tartan. I am SO starting a fund right now.

This is my cute sister in law- dressed like a gypsy. Her troupe is in the float above- though they didn't dance. Hard shoes on wet cement don't mix very well.

Yes...bagpipes....and boys in kilts. I have no idea what their faces look like, if they're hot or not...I'm just in a trance while staring at the pleats.

Hm. Apparently I didn't get any pictures of drummers. DANG IT!

These guys are my Sister in Law's rival team. But aren't their dresses BEAUTIFUL!!! I WANT!!!! They're dancing because it hadn't started raining yet.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Touchy Topic Tuesday- Kind of a rant, actually: Confessions of a Mommy

Touchy Topic Tuesday:

Mommy Confessions.

Okay, by now, you all must know how I loathe chat boards. Yes, I still belong to a few because

1. They're addicting,

2. I have unintentionally grown actual friendships with a few of them, and

3. Some of them actually promote my blog, and I'm ALL about that.

Still, I'm not avid about it. I'm not there all day every day. I set very explicit rules for myself because I just don't want the drama of it, or the time commitment.

All of that being said, I recently (okay- like several months ago- possibly back in '09) saw a topic on one of these frequented forums that kind of irritated me.

"Confessions of a Mommy"

Okay, not exactly a 'touchy topic'. What irritated me about it though, was that I expected to open it up to find things that other moms were confessing to. For real.

We all have mommy guilt. From the very first day you find out your PREGNANT, you can't escape it.

Well, you've heard the idiom "Misery loves company"? I admit it. I wanted to see what awful things the other mothers have done so that I could feel a little better- weather it was because I could relate because I'd BEEN there, or so that I could inwardly sigh with relief that I HADN'T been there.

I opened the thread, and I was severely irritated.

Not only was the thing 5 pages long, but it was actually devoid of anything I would ever consider an actual mommy-confession! Most of the fess-ups in there had to do with what they let their child/ren eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Seriously- some of the answers:

"I haven't felt too well today, so I let my daughter stay in her jammies."

"I didn't give my son a bath last night, or the night before."

"I let my kids eat the leftover birthday cake for breakfast."

"I was too lazy to go grocery shopping, so I let the kids have cereal for dinner."

Oh!! And my FAVORITE not-confession:

"I took a nap when my daughter did, instead of folding laundry."

I was so disappointed.

These aren't confessions! These are things moms DO! How many moms get their kids all dressed and their hair done when you've been puking all night and day?

How many moms don't indulge their kids on occasion and let them have something like doughnuts or brownies for breakfast?

How many moms do YOU know who have NEVER snuck in a nap while their child was sleeping? ESPECIALLY if you have been up for a night feeding, or with a sick child?

I have, on more than one occasion, been too sick of cleaning to dirty pans and dishes to make a healthy, well balanced meal, and instead let my children eat Cap'n Crunch for dinner. (I also regularly give them an extra spoon full of sugar on their raspberries at breakfast time if they promise to put their plates in the sink so that I don't have to.)

So lets be realistic. What do we feel guilty about. For real. I'm not talking funny 'not me Monday' stuff. I'm talking for real.

1. I am awful about soothing my children when they are hurt. If I saw them fall down and it was funny, I laugh. I mean, I've had more than one incident of bloody knees or scrapes that required multiple hours to stop bleeding (note the giant puncture wound on Scarlet's forehead in the picture below.) and of course, those ones are not taken lightly- but when my son has been told a hundred times to NOT stand on his tiptoes on top of the camping chair, and then the dog, whose leash he happens to be holding gets up and walks away, and my son does an involuntary flip off the chair and lands on his knees (see pic below also) it's pretty stinking funny and I have to crack up.

(Caution is RIGHT, honey- when it comes to YOU.)

2. Whenever my children find themselves in a precarious situation (or a sticky situation) as long as it has been decided with absolute satisfaction that they are just fine, I tell them to hold still and grab a camera.

3. I took this picture after I put Mahone in his room- with a baby gate to prevent him from getting out- because he had been particularly naughty (I don't' remember why) and I let him cry-it-out. I told him I'd come get him when he got under control and was ready to talk. When I came to get him, he had fallen asleep.

4. I let my son play with toy weapons. Like guns, whips, cannons, rockets and magic wands. (Yes, I know, a magic wand isn't technically a weapon. But in his hands, it is.)

5.This 'Baby Stella' as Scarlet calls her is on time-out. THIS is what my children play. Says a little about our family life, doesn't it?

6.Clearly, I am not concerned that my children eat things like markers and crayons and other disgusting things.

7. I do things like this (above picture) in front of my children. Their poor virgin eyes!!!

8. The evening ended in screaming, once again, when my daughters got out of bed for the seventh time to give me hugs goodnight. I lost my temper. I hate that. I don't like them to go to bed feeling like I am angry at them.

9. By far the absolute WORST thing that I think I do is that I occasionally let the words "shut up!" escape my mouth toward my older two. Usually during Scarlet's nap time when they won't be quiet and let her sleep. I feel the very worst for this terrible thing, and work daily on cleaning up this act. I hate myself for it sometimes.
But I AM very good at saying I'm sorry.

Now, make me feel better!!! What kind of confessions do YOU have!? (And if anyone 'confesses' that they let their child watch 2 hours of television today, I'll delete your comment! I'm kidding......but not.....)

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