Wednesday, August 17, 2016

THREE!

This blog post is a little late, but.... THREE! My baby boy is THREE!! How did this happen? Time really does go so quickly when you have kids. You blink and all of a sudden they are little people walking and talking with their own personalities. And boy, does my kiddo have quite the personality! Be prepared for a super long post because when it comes to Leland, I can talk and talk all day long!

Leland Justin Palmer at age three:
-Like most boys his age, he loves anything with wheels, and makes noises to match every vehicle in his extensive collection of toys. He once told me to make the sound of his motorcycle, then looked at me exasperated, explaining that that was the noise of a monster truck, and not a motorcycle. Geez, Mom!

-Leland loves books. We read books twice a day, before his nap time and before bedtime. I always have to cut him off and he always asks for more. I am curious to see how many books he would let me read to him before getting bored though.. I may need to test this theory. My hypothesis is that he would eventually just fall asleep instead of getting bored.

-My son is O.C.D. Really. I have come across his toys on several occasions lined up perfectly, and sometimes even according to their size. When he lines up his monster trucks the wheels are exactly matching. I moved one back just a hair to see if he would notice once, and he did. He also has to have "B" (his blanket) a certain way on his pillow. B has to be covering his pillow and the animals have to be facing a certain direction- if I do it wrong he will fix it.

-Leland's favorite foods are the normal things, but his obsessions are cherry tomatoes out of the garden, Grandma Palmer's mini banana muffins, raspberries, and pickles.

-He has a very extensive vocabulary. Add that to his height, and no one can guess his age correctly. In fact, I have noticed other mothers at the park judging me for having my "four year old" in diapers still... and this was back when he was two. Someone in our ward came up to us a few weeks ago and asked if he was starting kindergarten this year.

-Leland is smart. Not only does he use big words, but he knows his colors, shapes (including shapes like pentagon and octagon), numbers, counting, alphabet, and has dozens upon dozens of songs memorized and can sing them perfectly. Maybe I am biased on that one though. I don't know what is normal for three year olds seeing as he is my first one haha.

- He is one of the most polite kids I know. He says, please, thank you, and excuse me frequently. I have been complimented on this on several occasions and am thrilled that I am raising such a kind and polite boy. He will even say excuse me when he farts or burps.. which is often!

-He is not potty-trained. I tried going diaper-less and it was the worst three days of both of our lives. He was emotional, ornery, and irritable and I knew that was his signal to me that he was not ready. I will not force him in this.

-Leland likes to be methodical. He thinks things through before acting. He studies out situations.

-He is thoughtful and emotional. Leland gets really sad when other people cry and will always try and comfort them. He has seen me cry on a handful of occasions and always gives me a big hug and tells me its going to be okay. He is kind and has a tender heart. He has very big emotions for such a little body and doesn't always know how to process them. He makes friends easily and loves his friends fiercely.

-His favorite places include both grandparent's homes, Jessica and Joeys apartment, Bear Lake and the cabin (obviously), parks, and the Bounce and Slide in Logan.

-His favorite shows right now are Bob the Builder, Daniel Tiger, Peppa Pig, Thomas, Diego, Winnie the Pooh, Paw Patrol, Little Einsteins, and of course, Blaze and the Monster Machines. (We don't have cable in our house so he has a basket full of DVD's that he can watch, and also, thank you Netflix!)

-And lastly, whenever you ask him what he wants to eat, his answer is almost always chocolate cake!








Friday, July 8, 2016

Topsy Turvy World


I live in a strange world.

A world that celebrates life on Mars,
but destroys life in the womb.

A world that values a gorillas life
over a small boys.

I live in a world where we give money
to the lazy
but ignore our vets, refugees, 
and poor.

If I believe officer's lives matter,
then black peoples don't.

Instead of creating a third bathroom,
we open the doors for all to enter.

I live in a world where celebrities,
and felons,
can run for office.

If you don't do parenting my way,
you are doing it wrong!

A world where "medical use"
is undervalued to "prescription use".
Though both can help and hurt equally.

I live in a world where "Christian"
means bigot.
And don't even get me started on
"those damn Mormons".

When it comes to sex
everything goes:
Pornography
Trafficking
Affairs
Child Molestation
One night stands
Rape
It's there, but lets not talk of uncomfortable things.
Instead, let's portray sex in our media
as fun, meaningless, and carefree.

While we are at it
lets put violence in our video games
and then wonder why in the hell
people kill people.

Let's worry about things like
bathrooms, gorillas, and parent shaming
while there our shootings, hunger,
and terrorists.

Common sense, kindness, human decency
are things of the past.

Let's take a selfie.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Precious Moments

One thing about me that you will learn quickly is that I don't really have secrets. I am an open book and I like it that way. I have been accused of over-sharing and airing out my dirty laundry for the entire internet world to see, but guess what? I don't care. Ask me a question and I will answer. I prefer honesty and real life. I like the behind the scenes more than the portrayal of perfection. So, that being said, I have recently been changing up my prescriptions a bit. This means that for the last two weeks I have entered beast mode. As most of you know I have depression, and if you didn't know, you do now. Changing medications is such a terrifying thing for me. I have had meds that have made me so suicidal that it scared the living daylights out of me! I have never been that close to death and I hope to never be so again. These last two weeks as I adjusted with the new, I have not been myself... or scary thought... maybe I was myself... ugh... I hope that's not who I am haha. I was so impatient. Angry. Irritable. I was having the worst anxiety attacks. One morning at breakfast Leland was rubbing his foot up and down my leg and I thought I was going to jump out of the window. Bottom line: It has not been a fun couple of weeks for anyone in my house.

Then this weekend happened. The clouds parted and the sun came out and glory hallelujah I feel like myself again! Today as we were driving to my in-laws, a mere five blocks away from our house, Leland passed out in the back seat. He had had a busy weekend and the poor little stink was tuckered out. I sat in the car so that he could take a little snooze because I didn't want to wake him up trying to get him out of his car seat. When he woke up though, he woke up grumpy. He was pretty upset and crying for me. I got "B" and held him in my arms, stroked his hair, kissed his cheeks, and was overcome with the love that I have for my little person. He snuggled right in to me and let me hold him longer then he has done in a long time. I soaked up every single second of that snuggle, completely cherishing this precious moment I had with my baby. I was so grateful that I felt like myself again to appreciate it fully. Beast me would have been irritated at the crying and fussiness. It was such a blessing.

Then tonight I told Leland that he could watch ten minutes of monster trucks on youtube before bedtime. I went and laid in my bed to rest my back and play on my phone. In a few moments however, Leland climbed into my bed, snuggled up against me, and started singing me his songs and telling me his made up stories. Then it was my turn to tell him some stories so I told him Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, and Jack and the Beanstalk. He started telling me stories again mixing up all three of those stories into one grand adventure. I thought the line, "And then Jack showed his mom jelly beans and she got mad and threw them out the window and yelled 'We can't have more candy! We need real food!" was especially funny.  I laughed and I laughed at this wonderful boy's imagination and intellect. His bedtime came and went and still we laughed, told stories, sang songs, and cuddled. It was the perfect moment.

As I lay my perfect boy in his bed tonight our conversation went like this:
Me: I love you so much, Leland.
Leland: I love you so much too, Mommy.
Me: You're my best friend.
Leland: You're my best friend too mommy. And best friends should be together forever and ever.

This kid of mine. He fills my heart with joy. I am so grateful for modern day medicine that gives me the opportunity to feast upon these moments, to really dig into them and treasure them. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am going to miss this age. I am trying to soak it all in. While I love watching him grow and learn new things, I am also shouting for time to slow down and for him to stay my baby forever. It's all a whirlwind that is going too fast.

In this moment, right now, I love being "Mommy". The beast is going to rear its ugly head again, you can count on it. I will fight it again and again and again. I will be victorious. I will fight for my son because he deserves to have the kind of mommy I was today. Today was a good mommy day. Tomorrow may be an entirely different story. Life is funny like that.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

M-I-C-K-E-Y MOUSE

Justin and I have the same conversation every year during tax season. Do we do something responsible with our tax return or do we throw the whole adulting thing out of the window and have some fun? We usually decide to be irresponsible and go on a family vacation. During that yearly conversation I always have to remind him that Leland is going to remember the vacation over if the bills are all paid... it's how I win. After all, I have no idea whatsoever if my parents were out of debt when I was growing up. But you can bet your bonnet that I remember every single vacation we went on. Life is about choices after all, and sometimes, you just gotta choose family!

This year we decided to do Disney Land. It was the perfect timing for three reasons 1) Leland is still two which means he is still free for everything. 2) This year if you went in May adults were kid prices and 3) This **MAY** be the last summer-ish (we are hoping) that it's just going to be the three of us. (I don't necessarily like the idea of packing a baby around Disney and didn't want to have to wait another 3+ years to go.) (NO, NO! NOT pregnant.... just thinking... just thinking)

Anywho....

Our tax return ended up being almost double what we thought it would be, so we did end up compromising and split it in half. Which meant we went pretty cheap- but still so much fun! The first thing I found a great deal on was flights! Obviously the weekends were way too expensive so we ended up finding super cheap flights if we went from Sunday to Thursday. I found our flights on cheapflights.com and they ended up being about $160 per person for round trip. I also saved us $100 by not taking any check in luggage, but packed us all up in carry-ons. Next, we booked our hotel through getawaytoday.com and found a package deal that included hotel and park hopper tickets. Score! And lastly, we discovered Uber- the cheapest way to get around California by far! It was also really nice because our hotel had a shuttle to the parks that ran every 20 minutes. So there you have it- money saving tips from yours truly! The rest of the trip we only spent money on food and some souvenirs for little man. 

So like I said before, we left super early Sunday morning. (Flights are also more expensive if you want flights in normal waking hours, especially mid-morning.) When we got to Cali it was still too early to check into our hotel so we dropped off our luggage at the front desk and then headed to Huntington Beach. Since we didn't rent a car we had to haul Leland's car seat around with us when we used Uber. Fortunately there was a super sweet lady at the information booth at the beach that offered to hang on to his car seat while we explored the beach. It was awesome of her. That thing would have been such a pain to lug around! We bought Leland a cheap shovel and bucket and then just sat our bums in the sand and watched the waves, surfers, people, and built sand castles. I mentioned to Justin that I truly believe that it is a spiritual experience watching the ocean, and just plain good for your soul. I love the ocean. I love the beach. I was in pure heaven. We also got some lunch on the beach and it was so fun to people watch and listen to the live bands that were playing there. I think I could spend an entire week just at the beaches of California. 

The next three days we did Disneyland and California Adventure every day. I was really worried that Leland wouldn't have any fun and it would be just one big trip of melt-downs. Lately he has started this fear thing where he is scared, or pretends to be, of everything. But the kid did awesome! I was especially nervous in line for the roller coaster that he insisted going on. It's the one in Toon Town, so not exactly big, but still, he is only 2. I didn't need to worry though- he was belly laughing the entire time and insisted we go on it again. The first day we did have some melt-downs when it was time to get off the ride. I had to literally drag him off kicking and screaming. Eventually he got the idea of it all and realized that after this ride would come another and another, and it eventually got easier and easier to get him off. (Well, except for the race cars that is... hahaha I was laughing so hard at the fit he was throwing on that one!) The only time he ever got scared was during the Bug's Life 3D movie. It totally freaked him out when the air and water shot out at him- we had to exit the theater real quick in that one. He kind of got nervous in the Tiki Room when the storm started too, but he sat on my lap and continued to eat his Dole Whip and all was well. 

Can I just say, going to Disney with a kid is like a bazillion times more fun then going by yourself?! I LOVE Disney through the eyes of my boy! It is the absolute best I tell you! Cars Land was of course the biggest hit, and we ended up back there on the last day. I have never done Disney so lazy before. Usually we get there when it opens and stay until it closes so that we can get our moneys worth. But this time we would sleep in, go back to the hotel in the middle of the day to get lunch and a nap in, and then go back at night. It was actually kind of perfect. We were not burned out by the third day and it was kind of fun to just sit back and relax and enjoy the moments. In three days we didn't even get to see everything though... but it was okay with me. Eventually your toddler is done with long lines and so you sit and eat a churro and life is grand. Everything was perfect. I could have probably stayed longer, and definitely could have had another beach day, but all in all, it was perfect. Cheers to good times and 'makin' memories!'































Sunday, February 28, 2016

Monster Trucks!

This last Friday my in-laws took us to see the monster truck show at the Maverick Center in SLC. Before the show we got to walk around the pit and look at the trucks. I bought Leland a checkered flag (which he thought was awesome) and we had some of the drivers sign it. Leland was in boy heaven!

Justin and I were looking forward to this all week. But... you know how you build things up in your head and then life with kids happens? Ha ha yup! We thought Leland would be over the moon to watch these trucks- he is constantly begging to watch monster trucks on youtube and almost always has a monster truck toy in his hand. So this was the perfect outing right? Wrong. The trucks must have been too loud, even though we did bring ear protection, because once the trucks started revving their engines Leland started bawling! Poor kid was scared to death.

So. I spent a good twenty minutes in the women's bathroom trying to console my screaming toddler. Luckily he loved the motorcycle jumpers and the smaller truck races- but we definitely will not be doing that again until he is older. We are still a little perplexed by it all because he has been to demolition derby's and the motor race way, which are both extremely loud, but something about that scared the pants off the poor little guy. Oh well. Live and learn I guess, right?

Lucky for us we got some great photos from the night. It was a family adventure, so worth it in the end. The really funny part was how he kept yelling, "That was so much fun!" on the way to the car! haha thank heavens kids are resilient and don't scar for life easily.