Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Well. This has been quite an interesting week.

Boeing has become obsessed with the toilet. Every 5 seconds he says, "Wan pee pee!"

He NEVER pees. He just enjoys running around commando and getting lifted ON to potty. OFF the potty. ON the potty. OFF the potty. As fun as this was for ME, I decided it could NOT go on. I went to my shed and drug out the little tot pot and, after convincing Brighton that he is TOO big to pee on the tiny potty, told Boeing to "wan pee pee" on THAT!

So NOW, instead of going TOOO the tot pot when he wants to play "go potty," he drags the toilet to ME and wants me to take his diaper off.

Its horrendous. That potty chair crossing over a tiled floor sounds like a scene out of Saving Private Ryan. Especially when I'm sleeping cozy in my bed at 6 a.m. and Boeing decides to take the pot on a test drive, racing it back and forth across my bathroom floor.

Luckily the morning this happened, after I realized we weren't under some missile attack, I was relieved. It was just Boeing running his potty through the pee he'd squeaked out OVER his diaper, his little fire hose still kinked between his diaper and pot-belly. It was a proud day. First tee-tee in the bathroom. Never mind that it didn't occur anywhere near the toilet.

Today, he decided he HAD to have his diaper and ALL clothing off. And he was going to rip his diaper off or die trying. I finally gave in, despite the fact I had COMPANY, and put him in his birthday suite. He scampered off to the bathroom. I excused myself, as politely as one can with a barking, nude one year old making war sounds in the bathroom.

He told me, very insistently that he wanted a bath.

"Why?" It was rhetorical. One year olds never have reasons why. They just have auto- repeat. "I wan bath. I wan bath. I wan bath."

Finally, frustrated with me, he pointed to his foot and said, "Gots ew. Yuck."

And it certainly did. On closer examination of my bathroom I saw that he'd terded right in front of his potty. 

I was met with a mental dilemma. 'Do I PRAISE him for pooping on the FLOOR?? He did go to the general area... I mean I wouldn't praise a DOG for pooping in FRONT of the door... But he's ONE and he pooped somewhere besides his diaper. After all it wasn't on the CARPET or anything...'

I finally gave up on thinking because I couldn't decide which one of my selves I agreed with.

AND moving on to other news:
I took my kids to the pound to play with the animals. I told them that we could NOT get any animals because they cost too much money. Plus, I was over animals. And we are moving in November.

THEN I let my six children loose in the Cat Asylum. It was therapeutic. All that purring and faint scent of flower flavored cat litter mixed with terd. I highly recommend it. My babies each sat calmly (except Boeing... he's only calm when he sleeps and then only mildly) petting the cats and kittens. And they were SOOO in love with the cats and so GOOOD with the cats AND there was a sign on the door that said ADOPTION FEE WAIVED for the cats...

And then, the firecracker, "Oh, Kitty... I just love you so much. I really wish I could bring you to my house and take such good care of you... I know you really wish that you could get adopted and you're so sad that you don't have a home..."

Brooklyn started. And then they were all telling their kitties all the things they would do with them IF ONLY they belonged to them.

It was a total lapse in judgment. A decision made completely on emotions.

"Okay babies. You can play with all the kitties and work together to find the two sweetest, CALMEST, kitties and we will adopt them."

Amazingly, there was no fighting or arguing over which two. They'd have taken any and all of them. 

Naturally, they picked the UGLIEST, scrawniest, long legged kitten in the whole pound. AND tried to pick ANOTHER hideous one. "No, no... let's get THAT one! He's so FUZZY and CUTE..." No... they wanted the one that looked like it'd been inbred one too many times.. 

Soooo I said, "Well ya'll picked that one so mommy gets to pick the other one."

No arguments. They were just in HEaVEN that they got TWO kitties.

Of course, we couldn't take them home that day.
 INSTANT panic on my end.

' Starling is going to murder me DEAD when he finds out I'm getting TWO CATS!!!'

'OMG- I'm going to go home and come to my senses and I won't want them by tomorrow!'

'And the kids! Oh yeah... I should actually be worrying about the kids...'

"KIDS! Guess what? The kitties are going to the doctor to get their baby makers cut off and we get to pick them up tomorrow! AFTER we go play at Kamper Park! But LISTEN!!! This is going to be a very SPECIAL surprise for Daddy. So NOONE can tell him until we bring the kitties home, okay??"

I felt nauseous the entire way home. And every time I looked at Starling. (I may be a FANTASTIC pranker, but I am an AWFUL liar). Starling brought me a coke float. I had to eat it in a different room. He asked how my day was. I had to go shower. RIGHT THEN.

Finally, when night came, Starling started rubbing my shoulders. I cracked like Humpty Dumpty. I would have started throwing up if I'd waited any longer. I divulged ALL my secrets. He was surprisingly calm. And completely silent. For a VERY long time. I reminded him that I give cats away ALL the time on Craig's List. Ones that don't even belong to me. ALWAYS giving away stray cats I find, or maybe the neighbors' cats; I can't be sure. I assured him, we'd find a great home for them in 4 months; I am just FOSTERING them. FOR THE CHILDREN. He rolled his eyes and shook his head and did what he always does. Accepted the fact that he married a crazy.

 The next day we went to pick them up. I took TWO card board boxes. Sturdy moving boxes.

The vet informed me that they were not "safe" enough boxes and in her professional opinion, I would have to buy two card board boxes from THEM that have HANDLES. $5 a box.

I MAY have caused a scene. I didn't mean to. I just said, "I can't use my boxes but I can use your boxes. In my professional opinion, they are CATS. Just CATS. They don't have to be strapped in a car seat. A box is a box. I'm not paying TEN DOLLARS for boxes just because they have HANDLES." She called in back up. So... it became a HUGE to- do because I wanted to transport my cats ILLEGALLY in an unprecedented way! A HANDLE-LESS card board BOX! The in-humaneness of it ALL!

"So you are telling me that you would rather KEEP the kittens and return them to the pound where they will be euthanized RATHER than let me take the kittens home in MY box instead of yours?"

"WELL. If that's the way you WANT it."

Another, more level headed lady chimed in, "No, we absolutely want the kittens to go home to your house and have a home. We just want them secure for your safety."

"AGAIN. We are STILL talking about CATS. Not lions or tigers. I think I'll be safe with a kitten."

"They have been medicated. They will not be themselves. They will be horribly aggressive."

Long story short, they GAVE me THEIR boxes and told me to MAIL them a check. I had EVERY intention of walking out the door, putting the kittens in MY boxes and leaving THEIR boxes on the front stoop as to avoid paying ten dollars for BOXES.

But when I got to the car, a $10 bill was just sitting there. As I drove down the road, I had a wave of conscious. I would not pay for the boxes. I would DONATE ten dollars for the cats because what the vets do for the pound is honorable and charitable. I sighed, turned around and gave them the $10.

I got home and let the kittens out of the boxes. They purred and climbed onto my lap. I BARELY ESCAPED WITH MY LIFE.

The very NEXT day, I told Starling I needed to run to Wal Mart "real quick." I left all 6 kids with him and went NOT to Wal Mart.

I drove to my friend Stacey's house to pick up my "voo doo" oil, as Starling so lovingly refers to Dotera Oils. "Don't let your friends peer pressure into buying that voo doo oil! It's just a fad. I'm serious! I know how you get these little whims!"

Well. I got a "little whim" and ordered a couple oils that are supposed to help with mood balance and energy. Naturally, Starling did NOT need to know until after I decided it WORKS and I didn't waste $37 dollars.

I snuck over and got that, then went to the Dollar Store to see if they had that $1 bread that normally cost $3 at Wal Mart. They didn't. BUT I found ALL kinds of other goodies.

I FINALLY went to Wal Mart where I had loaded my buggy with 6 loaves of bread and a bag of cat food when a lady called me from Target to tell me she found my kitten.

Well of course I loaded up my bread and cat food and went and retrieved my kitten. THEN I had to call Starling to make sure the CUTE kitten was still at home. (The cute kitten turned out to be VERY whiney and attached to the absolutely PERFECT not so cute kitten and I was terrified they were together when they hitched a ride to Target). SURE enough. NO kitten at home.

I put Waggers (yes. THAT is the name the children agreed on) in the car where he sprawled out like a man after dinner, and retraced EVERY single place I'd been. No dead cat in the road. But I didn't FIND the cat alive, either. I had to go back to Stacey's to see if he'd jumped out there. AND of course I saw ALL my neighbors. COVER. BLOWN.

So I went home in complete depression that I'd lost the cute obnoxious kitten after only ONE day and the vet had taken the time to neuter him and give him his shots. But since he wasn't dead in the road I decided someone would find him and CALL me. My name and number is on his collar. But no one ever did.

And of course, when I showed up at home after GROCERY shopping without even getting MILK, Starling wanted to know WHAT took me so long. BUS-TED.

But I QUICKLY redirected the conversation to important matters.

'HOW will the poor children take it??'

Like kids that LOVED their cat.

"Oh well. I'll just have to play with this one, then. Can we PLEAAAASE play the Wii??"

I just keep thinking of the irony of the situation...
If vet lady sprung a hernia over me taking the cats home in unorthodox card board boxes what on EARTH would she think of me taking my cats through town UNDER my CAR??

Don't worry. I didn't ask her. I don't want to be responsible for a heart attack. 

And are mini pot belly pigs good house dogs? 

Monday, July 7, 2014

I keep being told "opinions" about certain "types" of children.

"Well, Wendi. Some kids are just BeYOND help."

"Some kids are just bad. They just come into the world that way and there ain't a dang thang you can do to change them."


Let me tell you about a little girl.

She was born to good decent middle class parents. She had a two parent home where there was lots of love. She had loving grandparents and cousins and a very supportive church family.

Despite all of these lovely things, that little girl was a TYRANT for her parents. She threw food at people in restaurants.  She threw tantrums in public; LOOOONG tantrums. Tantrums that lasted for HOURS. In fact, she was so disruptive and ornery that her parents stopped taking her into public. When she would throw tantrums at night, for any given reason for not getting her way, her parents would literally take "shifts" with her to keep from physically abusing her. They tried time-outs, groundings, beatings, etc. The child was just born a very opinionated and intense female. She was stubborn, obstinate, and down right HARD HEADED.

Whew. Sounds like a kid you would DEFINITELY NOT want to raise, right? (Or you might be saying, "Crap. She's calling out my kid on her stupid blog"). You would especially want to steer clear of this insane child if she wasn't even your biological kid!

If I talked to some of these WISE and ALL KNOWING self-educated psychiatrists (not that I'm knocking self-education... I'm all about getting EDUCATED), so maybe just self-affirmed psychiatrists; they would tell you with NO hesitation that all that girl needed was a butt whooping and an exorcism.

Well, she definitely got some butt whoopings; I don't think her parents tried the exorcism...

Where is that kid today? Oh surely she is in jail or prostituting in some drug ring. Just an absolute menace to society. Probably growing pot plants under her neighbors porch and stealing from the church collection plate. Can't fix kids like that.

WARNING: The Mama Bear is about to come out in me.

Well, you blessedly intelligent people, THAT girl is actually doing JUST PEACHY, thanks very much.
Because that child is ME.


I am in constant search of how I can improve my parenting, namely for the learning of my children. I've decided that there are (many but I'll focus on) three important, even imperative lessons a child must learn for there to be any success or happiness in a child's future..

Those three things are #1: a loving relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  #2: Good Work Ethic. #3: Agency

How did I derive at such an odd list? Well, through nights of contemplation, innumerable prayers, and trial and error. (AND just to prove wrong the people that daily PISS me off telling me MY business).

Before a child can have a healthy relationship with anyone regarding the feelings of love towards another, a child must first be loved. While it may be controversial amongst the impeding secular societal views becoming the accepted school of thought, I say without apology and with deep conviction that to truly know love for oneself, one must discover the unconditional love offered by a Father in Heaven and a Savior, Jesus Christ. No parent or guardian's love can replace that love. A parent's love, though most honorably given is often wavering or conditional, at least seemingly so from the viewpoint of a child.  Parental mistakes will be made as parents are human. But to truly understand the love offered by a Father that knows you better than you (or your parents) know you, is inspirational. Knowing that no matter where you find yourself physically or emotionally, you can hit your knees in prayer, is essential for emotional security. Especially those children that haven't always had the most dependable adults in their lives. No matter what humans have failed them in the past, children need to know that there is a constant, unchanging, forgiving, loving, and encouraging Father in Heaven that is constantly watchful. A Father that LISTENS, that ANSWERS prayers, that actually DOES know the ENTIRE story. (Even though he/she has turned into a teenager and that seems impossible).

 I attribute all behavioral and emotional improvements of my children and MYSELF on nightly scripture study centered around this very basic, infinite truth. "I am a Child of God." It is evident in the very essence that surrounds our family as we discuss our daily struggles and improvements. While change is most noticeable in my foster children, because such a drastic change can be seen, it is empowering to all of us. We never, no matter how old or content we become, lose the need to feel our Father and Savior's love for us, nor do we lose the need for Christ's atonement in our lives. The sooner kids experience the feelings of the Holy Ghost, the better for ALL involved.  (I can attest to that from a child's standpoint and second that notion from a parent's standpoint).

Secondly, children of all ages need to be taught good work ethic. They need and desire high expectations to be set upon them. Without expectations, what level of success will they ever reach? None. They will always stay well within their own comfort zone. If they are required and encouraged to do tasks taxing to their natural ability, they  will likely grow and find great joy and inner confidence in their achievements.
At what age do you start giving children expectations? IMMEDIATELY. My one year old is expected to help clean up toys. Can I send him to his room to clean it? Of course not. But I can go to his room and say, "Okay. Time to put all of our cars back into the basket!" And I clap and give high fives. My one year old now knows the drill and he can do it. Now that "I know he can do it" it is an EXPECTATION. Saying please and thank you. Expectations.

When I envision my household in a perfect state, I imagine it neat and tidy. And that's the only place my perfectly clean house exists. In my imagination. I have 6 kids under age 7. (To be exact a 7,6,5,4,3,and 1 year old). How neat and tidy do you think my house is? Well, it has the possibility and likelihood of being a revolting  disaster  100% of the time.  But thanks to my dedication of teaching my children about their Savior and providing them opportunities to develop good work ethic, my house gets completely cleaned at least once a day. (Except Sundays. Which is why no one is EVER invited to my house on Monday morning. It looks, feels, and smells like a high school boys' gym locker). And even though the clean house is a fleeting accomplishment, it is an accomplishment for which I take great pride. Mostly because I see the success and self esteem emanating from my children when they are given a difficult task, persevere to the end, and accomplish it. No matter the agony and drudgery of the task, when my children complete the job  and get Mom's seal of approval, there are beaming eyes and high held heads. 

 Young children appreciate consistent variety. Confused?

I have created a chore chart. This chore chart holds ten jobs for which five children are to accomplish daily. (My 1 year old hasn't quite made the chart). The children know that after breakfast they will be assigned two chores. But, to keep away the monotony and to give them opportunities to learn various aspects of cleaning, chores are rotated daily.

After breakfast I announce the chores. All children from age 3 yrs to 7 yrs set off to complete their missions.
When we first implemented this regiment of daily chores, you can imagine the balk of dismay from all 5 of my precious darlings. Each task was outrageously too difficult and each child was certain he could never accomplish the Mount Everest I'd asked him to climb.

Evoking feelings of dread and insecurity are never helpful in raising a responsible child. In fact, throwing a child into a task where expectations are unclear does far more harm than good.

So the first full week of chore implementation, I gave cleaning training to all the children. We learned the proper way to tidy a bedroom and make a bed. As the children became confident in those tasks we added new lessons. We learned how to clean a toilet, (Yes. EVEN my 3 year old), how to clean a bath tub, how to sweep, and how to mop. I taught them how to rinse dishes, how to wipe counters, and how to dust. So basically, my job as a mother, is to teach my children everything I know, and MORE. (When in doubt I Google about).

There is zero excuse for ignorance in today's society. If you don't know how to do something, it is one YouTube video away. (Seriously. I've awarded my husband a Doctorate in YouTube education and am speedily working to get mine). ..

( Yes, Starling. I know you are wondering why I cook like crap if recipes and YouTube videos are a "click away." I plead the - I HATE cooking so much IT is even PAINFUL to WATCH- card. BUT do not excuse myself, merely choose cooking as my one acceptable FAIL).

Do the children do each job perfectly? Not at first. Do they clean fast? No. Absolutely not. (It takes ten times as long as it would take me.

BUT. With gentle prompting from a cheer leading mom, by the time I say, "Yay! You did a fantastic job and you are DONE!" the job is pretty dang near perfect. And I ALWAYS have them examine their work and relish in their accomplishment.

You want to talk about a child's entire demeanor changing? Help them discover work ethic. My boys especially, have AMAZED me with how much pride they now take in their tasks. When they first came to my house it was, "I can't." "I don't know how." "That's too hard." "That'll take too long."

Now they are empowered. And the great thing about accomplishments are they are permanent reminders of success. When one of my babies say, "Oh, I can't do that." I gently and enthusiastically remind them, "REMEMBER when you said you could NOT clean your ENTIRE room by yourself? You thought it was WAAAY too hard? What happened when you tried?"

A grin crawls across the face of my little one and he'll say, "I did it! And I got it REEEEAL clean!!"

The third thing kids must be given is agency to choose. That's right. Let your children know from a young age that they ALWAYS have a choice to do or not to do. AND let them know that a consequence will ALWAYS be associated with choice.

"You can choose to give the toy back nicely and say you are sorry OR you can choose to sit in time out for 5 minutes. I want you to think about what choice you want to make. I'm going to count to three and I'll know what decision you have made. One... two..."

And sometimes they make the WRONG choice at which time kids get to experience the BAD consequence. It's good for them.

Children NEED to know that they are responsible for their actions. They are not ACTED upon.

"But he MADE me MAD!"


"Okay. Someone made a poor choice. He will have to suffer the BAD consequence. But he can't MAKE you hit them, or MAKE you scream in his face. That is YOUR choice."

I honestly, and whole heartedly believe that when implemented consistently and lovingly THESE things will CHANGE a child. It is not a parent's job to FORCE and bark at children to behave and BE a certain way. It is a parent's responsibility to TEACH a child correct principles and mirror Christ-like attributes so that a child will CHOOSE to behave and BE the Child of God he or she is meant to be (EVEN when Mom or Dad isn't around). That is the ONLY way a child will reach his or her full potential.

People don't change people. Christ changes people.

So crazy judgmental people, do me a favor and PRAY for me instead of discouraging me.

And all the good hearted parents and foster parents out there, GIVE yourself a BREAK! If your child is acting berserk-o... STICK to the basics and let GOD do the rest. Your child has to CHOOSE to change and all you can do is mirror correct behaviors and LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I've yet to have a child not improve.

Maybe I relate to foster kids, kids with maladaptive behaviors, etc. so well because I know how I WAS, and I know how far God brought me when I ASKED Him to. Am I CURED of all my struggles and trials. HECK NO! If my mood swings were physically visible, I could make some dang good money on the ROLLIN-IST coaster in the big USA.  I will always battle with my physical and mental ailments. Yeah? Don't we all?

So do I think any kid is BEYOND hope? Nope. A child (and that goes for the 1 to 99 year olds) can change if he CHOOSES to do so. And I believe with a solid foundation of Christ's love, good work ethic, and agency WE will be well on our way.