On Saturday, my sister, my mother and I took my Grandmother and met an aunt and my cousins in Midway for a tea party at Pandora's Tea Parlour.
I arranged for one of my cousin's husbands to watch Lemur so he could play with his boy cousins. When we went to drop him off, though, he seemed a little nervous. My mother gave him a ten dollar bill to help him feel like he had something of hers to keep him connected though we were leaving.
I forgot about this ten dollars.
This morning he must have put it in his pants pocket, because while we were out shopping for Halloween costumes at D.I. he picked up a toy and said he wanted it. I said it was too expensive. He held out this ten and said, "But Mom, I have ten blue dollars!" I remembered where it came from and that it truly was his. So I gave a short shpeil to the effect of, "Be sure this is what you really want . . ." He was so sure and so ready to have me get off his back that he offered to buy Rivulet a doll. She had picked out a stuffed baby doll that looked brand new, and was hugging it close. Lemur wanted to buy it for her. But before we made it to the register, we passed by the books (which I can't pass up at least browsing) and he saw a hard back Book of Mormon. Now:
I have an old pocket size BoM that I found in Seminary that is pretty beat up and Liam has taken to calling it his "blue book" and taking it to church or sleeping with it. Last Sunday, a page ripped out of 2nd Nephi. He was pretty upset and handled it with much care after that. So:
He picked up the HB BoM and said, "Mom, it's just like my blue book. But new. I buy this too. It's my favorite book forever." He then carried it around all day, commenting on the pictures of Jesus and Samuel the Lamanite. He is currently sleeping with it. He had me read from it before bedtime prayers.
1. Get's $10, which he could spend on anything . . .
2. Offers to buy his sister a dollie.
3. Decides to buy a Book of Mormon.
I'm guessing this is one of those moments where I sit back for a second and realize that I'm not screwing up all that much, because- so far - I have a pretty great son.
I won a game of Catan on Hard A.I.! And without longest road or largest army! How cool is that?! It's a good thing Rivulet was sleeping, or I would have been screaming my triumph at the top of my lungs.
I learned how to use my sewing maching (which has been in the closet since my mother gave it to me on my birthday.) First thing I've sewn? a Jedi cape for the Lemur. And a little cape for Rivulet from the scraps. Pretty happy with that, too.
Mundane to some, highlights to another. Yay! I won!
* Made my husband lunch at four in the morning. * Slept in until 9. * Went to a business lunch with a "warm contact" and my father. I was SO an asset to that situation. * Painted half of my parents garage door yellow. *Ate three candy bars without even thinking about it. *Read the paper for a few minutes and can't remember anything it said. * Came home with Muad'Dib and the spawnlings. *Cleaned a floor covered with filth that wasn't mine. * Won a "moderate" game of Catan on X-box. Shaka wasn't even close! * Showed the free apartment to some people * Bought pizza. * Cooked pizza to perfection. * Read half a book * Put my children to bed. *Scratched Muad'Dib's head. * Fought an inner battle while not trying to actually fight it for fear that I would only make it worse. *Tried incredibly hard to maintain focus on something, anything for more than a few seconds. * Failed at focus. * Got ready for bed. * Wrote a blog that will make almost no sense to anyone but me, my Coach, my husband and my demons.
But writing makes me feel better. I may not sound better, or even coherent, but i feel just a little bit better.
"A knowledge of truth is of little value unless we apply it in making correct decisions. Consider for a moment a man, heavily overweight, approaching a bakery display. In his mind are these thoughts: The doctor told you not to eat any more of that. It’s not good for you. It just gives momentary gratification of appetite. You’ll feel uncomfortable the rest of the day after it. You’ve decided not to have any more. But then he hears himself say, “I’ll have two of those almond twists and a couple of those chocolate doughnuts. One more time won’t hurt. I’ll do it just once more, and this will be the last time.”
"The process of identifying truth sometimes necessitates enormous effort coupled with profound faith in our Father and His glorified Son. God intended that it be so to forge your character. Worthy character will strengthen your capacity to respond obediently to the direction of the Spirit as you make vital decisions. Righteous character is what you are becoming. It is more important than what you own, what you have learned, or what goals you have accomplished.It allows you to be trusted.Righteous character provides the foundation of spiritual strength. It enables you in times of trial and testing to make difficult, extremely important decisions correctly even when they seem overpowering. "I testify that neither Satan nor any other power can weaken or destroy your growing character. Only you can do that through disobedience. "Understand and apply this vital principle to your life: Your exercise of faith builds character. Fortified character expands your capacity to exercise greater faith. Thus, your confidence in making correct decisions is enhanced. And the strengthening cycle continues. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to exercise the power of faith for yet stronger character." -Richard G. Scott
"Anger ruins joy, steals the goodness of my mind; forces my mouth to say terrible things. Overcoming anger brings peace of mind, a mind without regrets. If I overcome anger I will be delightful and loved by everyone." -Detective Crews on the new NBC series "LIFE."
Last night we were up at Mountain Road Ranch to visit Wildbound and Wildman. NAM, Lemur and Pocketmouse were outside while the adults were "talking" inside. Lemur came in to show me what they were up to. Handing me an unshelled walnut, Wildbound explained that the kids were outside cracking them open and eating the nuts. I asked Lemur to go open one for me. He did and I ate it. He then held up three others and said, "These are for daddy."
"Sure, sure," said I, trying to keep up with the Voucher conversation and the debate whether we were all created "good" or created "equal."
Lemur then spotted a bag of dried apples and decided he'd rather fill his hands with those. "Excuse me?" he asked politely.
"Yes, Lemur weemur?"
He held out his full hands to me,"Will you hold daddy's nuts?"
Last night I was at my cousin's house helping prepare dinner for her husband, when in he comes, a good twenty minutes before we expected him. All excited he says, "Amber, come look! There's a snake outside!"
Immediately my brain goes back to the science classroom in Junior High when a snake tried to bite my ear off. I don't even try to repress the shudder that jolts up and down my spine.
Amber dries her hands and makes an excited bee-line for the door. Stopping she turns to me and says, "Wanna come?"
Before I even have time to shake my head, my son - the Mighty Lemur - yelps, "Yeah, Yeah!" and hopps down from the stool where he had been perched eating Cheerios.
Well, I'm not about to be outdone by my four year old, so I also followed her out the door, telling the Rivulet that I'd be back in a minute. She looked content with her grape juice and bowl of dry cereal.
Down the stairs and outside the garage, there it was: a small green and black garden snake. It was perhaps the length of Lemur's arm from wrist to shoulder, and skinny enough warrant the first words out of Lemur's mouth: "Oh, he's so cute!"
Now, cute's not the first word i would have used. Especially as it began to slither toward the asphalt in the most disturbing fashion; back and forth, back and forth quick and slickery until it reached the street and found the gravel uncomfortable on his belly. As he darted back to the cement sidewalk, I stole a look at my son and saw his intense desire to hold this new creature in his two little hands. Well, I'd cure him of that right quick.
I reached down and picked it up. It immediatly curled up in my palm and stuck it's pinky-black tongue out to smell my thumb. Luckily I had no more mental flashes of death and hissing. I was cool as a cucumber. Though considering what happened next, we may have to change the saying to "Cool as a Lemur."
His big blue eyes took in this "neat" reptile, watching in wonder as it curled around my hands. Then breathily he said, "Can I hold it?"
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"Yeah, Yeah. Can I hold it?"
"Be careful and don't squish him. His bones are little, okay."
"Okay." He held out his eager little hands and let the snake slither into them.
I could feel each little bone as it wriggled out of my hands into the hands of my son who remained entirely calm. He brought the snake up and looked directly into it's dark little eyes and then looked to me, beaming, "He likes me! He likes me so much!"
The next ten minutes were spent trying to keep the snake in his hands. It tried to writhe away several times, even attempting possible death, though he was caught each time by the hands of my boy. Lemur never jumped, never squealed, never dropped the creature in surprise. Even when it tried to climb up his arm under his sleeve. He didn't even laugh. He was engrossed in the wonder of this reptile.
Finally, we decided to let it go in a sandbox. While walking there, the snake curled around both Lemur's thumbs, holding them fast together. Lemur leaned down and the snake slowly unwound itself and chose another place on the sand, under a truck. As we were walking back to the house, Lemur's big blue eyes filled with tears and he seriously asked if we could take the snake home. This wasn't a fit. Wasn't a tantrum. He was completely impassioned and controlled. He REALLY wanted this. I said, "Okay. Let's get a bowl or something to take him home in." I turned round and walked back.
The snake was gone.
The rest of the evening, and even into today, Lemur asks if we can go find a new snake. But this time, he wants a purple one.
As hinted in Muad'Dib's blog: we are home from our FIRST vacation. We went to Midway Utah, where "Swiss" is not just a theme, it's manditory! The first day there, we braved a very (very) rocky road to Cascade Springs. Thanks to Tristano and Nicoletta for taking us. It was chilly . . . but we muddled through somehow. Little Fists was sure cute with her mother . . .
And Tristano improved the scenery in his own way though it was nothing compared to how my Muad'Dib did! ;) Lemur wasn't too excited to be there at first, but as I let him "choose which path" he 'warmed up" to the expedition and soon was enjoying himself. Though you can't tell from the picture . . .
Cascade Springs is made from water deep below the earth's surface that just bubbles up. Oh, it was beautiful. Yes, so beautiful I cried. The rich colors and heavy scent of rain was healing the wounds gathered from spending too much time indoors. *Sigh in rememberance*
Then there was an excursion to the Outlet Stores in Park City. They should just call it "Highway Robbery." I mean, $32 for a pair of 12mo old JEANS?! Especially when Rivulet is just as cute in a $2 Dora hat and glasses. Am I right?
Sunday, Trailblazer and Dreampacker stayed with us, relaxing and enjoying my mashed potatoes and newly aquired grilling skills (yay Fluffy, the grill who only loves!). Late in the day, The parentals set off toward MRR and called back to tell us to check out the Zermott resort just down the street. Here is what we found.
"I'm like a kid in a candy store!" I exclaimed. Wait . . .
Then there was the "life size" chess set.
A Queen and her pawn.
The Next day we just relaxed and went for a drive in the colorful hills. But it rained most of the day, so we stayed indoors watching movies and playing. The day after that, however, we went to Thanksgiving Point where we encountered-
Ravenous Dinosaurs A Lemur and a Sayyadina who couldn't leave the Erosion table alone. "Welcome to the Nelson Dam . . ." Muad'Dib and I actually tried to re-route all the water to one lake. I could have stayed and played there all day.
See, Even Rivulet was having fun! We also saw a 3D movie, which was AWESOME, before going back to the condo for games and rest. The kids were tuckered, and the canyon was beautiful.
Ahhh, the Historic Heber Valley Railroad.
Lemur kept saying, "I like Harry Potter? I ride a train to school?" How cute. My favorite parts were riding in the cupola, seeing my children's faces alight with wonder as we rode in the open boxes and in particular this:
If you click, you can see the foundation of a pioneer home that was revealed by the reservoir being drained. It was very interesting for me. Muad'Dib was a picture taking maniac on board, but the above is his favorite: "Doesn't it just say 'I'm on a train?'" And this is how Rivulet reacted to the train horn. Poor little monkey.
Ahh. the ride back. Rivulet enjoying the fresh breeze through her hair while looking out the caboose window . . . And this last pic really sums up the trip. Weary. Fun. A thousand more words I dare not take time to type or even think.
As Muad'Dib pointed out, this was the most time we have spent together since . . . ever that we didn't have a distraction like new baby or work or a play. It was . . . wonderful. I would say "interesting" but that just isn't right.
Yes, the kids were loud. Yes, things were expensive. Yes, I personally got little in way of REST. But my soul was still fed. I made meals for as many as 8 people (and it was good), I cooked, I cleaned, I made the bed and all that. And I realized that what I have always thought is actually true: I would rather spend time with Muad'Dib than anyone else. I made a good choice. I have great kids and a family. That's a weird thing to understand when I still feel 17 inside.
Shoot. I'm so happy it should be illegal. Luckily, my "pursuit of happyness" is in the Constitution, in God's plan, and in my sights.