Sunday, March 18, 2012

People are basically good

When we were growing up, my mom used to always say "People are basically good" if we had issues with someone or something they did.  And I agree, people are good, especially children.

I have never called myself a "kid person."  Wasn't super fond of babysitting as a teen, and was terrified when I was asked to teach the four year olds on Sundays 7 years ago.  I of course said I'd do it, and I am still with the kids on Sundays.  I love it.  It gets crazy, but they're great.  Especially today.

There is a 7 year old girl with some cognitive disabilities.  I'm not sure exactly what they are.  She doesn't say much, and most people would probably just tag her as shy since she's so quiet.  She looks like everyone else and acts pretty much like everyone else, but she's behind, and she probably doesn't speak much because she can't really talk intelligibly.

Two minute talks were assigned and somehow she was assigned to speak today.  We usually skip her since she can't speak and give her simpler tasks, but whoever made the assignments didn't know.  But she accepted and her family prepared something for her.  Her 9 year old brother went up to the microphone with her and whispered the first words of her talk into her ear for her to repeat.  She garbled a few words out, and then he put his arm around her and read the rest of the talk for her with her standing safely next to him.  When he was done he helped her close it out, then gave her a few reassuring pats on her shoulder before they sat down.

It turns out the girl's birthday was today, too. So although we usually reserve singing for the first Sunday and just include everyone for the month, we decided to sing again just for her.  On her way back to her seat after the singing was over, enthusiastic "Happy birthdays" rang out from probably every child in the room.  I really don't think the kids were making a big deal of anything or thinking about her differences at all.  I think they were just celebrating the birthday of one of their friends.

It was all so sweet.  The kids are all so great.  The girl's brother is such a good brother.

The brother reminded me of another brother, a big brother who looks out for his little sister.  He's only four, but he swears he will always protect her.  His dreams are even filled with him fighting monsters, making sure they don't get to her, even if he gets hurt in the process.  I'm certain if the need ever arose, he, too would be there with an arm around her shoulder, helping her with whatever she needed.

So, I agree with my mom.  People are good.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Hmm I really don't know what I'm talking about. It's late, I'm tired, and I've had 50 million thoughts and emotions running through my head this week.  Earlier in the week I was so blah and sick of everything.  I wanted to just rant and complain on here.  I usually only post positive posts. 
I think people look at the things I do post and think everything looks so wonderful.  And it is, and I should be grateful.  But sometimes I am not.  Everytime I write a complainy post, I read it over and delete it because I sure sound like an ungrateful brat.  I've already deleted a bunch of stuff on this one because I realize I have no room to complain when I have:

An incredible husband. There was a time I worried I would never get married. I had set some pretty high standards for myself on who I wanted to be with, and no one came close. 
But who else would go to the store completely exhausted and be the first to say "I'm sorry" with flowers and chocolate for someone who was probably more wrong than he was? How can I complain about someone who adores his children, and loves other children enough to teach even the most difficult ones, and not be compensated nearly enough for it?

How can I complain about the Bay Area when I wanted more than anything to move away from snow?  Yes it rains alot and the people are weird, but could yesterday at the Children's museum by the Golden Gate Bridge  have been any more perfect?  The weather was amazing and the kids were angels.  We stayed for hours and  hours.  They had a great time.

Benny and his cousin Mayumi
Cousins again

How can I complain about the distance between my childrens' ages, or the efforts it took to have them join our family, when they are perfect for us?  They are sweet.  They are mellow.  There is minimal drama. 
I whined and I cried that neither of my kids would do what I wanted and nurse.   Our road to parenthood wasn't "normal," so I wanted just one thing to go MY way, and I wanted to feed them like a normal mother should.  They wouldn't do it. But, guess who sleeps?  All of us.  This sweet little chub goes to bed by 8pm and sleeps until 8am.   No 3am feedings here.   She may not sleep during the day, and she may scream bloody murder while having dinner at the neighbors', but then she is an angel all night long. Last night she was out by 7:30.  And tonight 7:15.  What baby does that?

So while I may want to get out of this tiny apartment and get back into a real house, we wait.  While I want to work part-time to help us get the new things we want (like a replacement for my 17 year old car), I learn to be a full-time mom and work on getting the things we need (and some things we want too).  While I miss living near a lot of family, we have my "twin" here and keep in touch with the rest with visits, phone calls, and mail.  While I miss the social aspect of work and living around more people my age, we reach out more and form relationships with our fellow church members.  And while we aren't sure what is in store for us or why we are here (because I would never in a million years have picked to live here), we have faith that Someone knows the answer to those questions and is leading us somewhere good.  And life is good.  Sometimes it's just hard to remember how good.

Monday, March 5, 2012

A 4 year old boy

I have one of those as of January 2nd.  He is fun, energetic, sweet, mellow, loving, smart, and funny.  He loves his little sister sooo much it's unbelievable.  He was so excited for her to be born and would always kiss my belly and say how he would share with her and protect her, and I kept waiting for the excitement to leave and reality to settle in.  But the reality is he is still excited and loving.  There have been no adjustment issues or behavioral problems.  He has not been jealous of gifts coming in or time we've had to spend with her.  I was so sad they had to be a whole 4 years apart, but people were right, it really is a great span.  Another testament God really knows what he is doing.

This social butterfly had been talking about having a friend birthday party all year, so we let him decide what he wanted to do and who to invite. He chose to take about 10 friends to Chuck E Cheese's. We just provided tokens and cake and ice cream, and the kids all seemed to have a great time and Benny loved his party.

This four year old makes me laugh constantly.  I write a few things down by posting them on Facebook, but I need to keep better track.  He is ALWAYS talking and I usually can't wait until Ben gets home so I can tell him what silly thing Benny said or did.

He is still very easygoing and pretty obedient.  He of course doesn't listen to his mom like I think he should, but drama and tantrums are minimal.  He loves to make new friends and will play with anyone he sees anywhere, whether they want him to or not.  He likes playing at the park, playing with his best friends, and is starting to get into iphone and video games.  He still loves the tub and will stay in there forever playing with his guys or angry birds.  This is the ONLY time of day he will play with his toys by himself, but he will play and play and use his imagination.

He is the only kid I know who does not like to draw or color.  Letter writing could go a little more quickly because of this, but oh well.  He also is adamant about not liking "Sesame Street."  No idea why. Doesn't really seem to like playing soccer, either, so we'll have to find something for him to do, possibly martial arts or baseball.

He's a goofball and we love having him as part of our family.  Happy birthday, Benny boy

Ellie's special day

We were able to bless Ellie in our church on New Year's Day when she was almost 4 weeks old.  What a great way to bring in the New Year!  It was such a nice day with my parents, Ben's mom and brother, and Kimiko's family.  Much smaller gathering than when we blessed Benny and took up half the chapel, but very sweet of people to make the effort to come, and others who were thinking of us although unable to make it.

Her acne showed up just in time to be blessed, and went away shortly after.  She still looked adorable though.

We kind of left getting her a dress to the last minute. One reason we had procrastinated was we couldn't decide if she should have her own dress to keep forever, or be sentimental and use the family one that I was blessed in, as well as my dad and his siblings.  We decided to get her own, and when we looked online I couldn't believe what I found.  It looked like a little miniature of my wedding dress.  I knew she had to have it.  And it was perfect.

Holiday catch up

Because Ellie came right before the major holidays, it seems we just had people for weeks and weeks.  It was really nice to have company, and Benny just loved all the attention.

First my parents came.  As stated, my dad drove up the day of the birth, dropped off my mom, and left.  He returned the next weekend for her.

The next weekend Ben's dad and stepmom came up.  It was so nice to have them visit and of course, Benny was super excited.

The next weekend was Christmas, and I don't know where those pictures are. I think on Ben's phone. The above is the ward Christmas party a couple weeks prior.
We played it pretty low key this year since we had a brand new baby and were tired, and we kind of get stuff all throughout the year when we need it or see sales.  So Ben and I got a new TV for our bedroom the month before. Benny got all sorts of firetruck stuff, Angry Birds, and superhero guys. Then when all the grandparents came he got tons more stuff.  He is spoiled and we need to work on that.  We had a nice Christmas though and enjoyed just being together and spending the day relaxing. In the evening I let Ben nap and I took the kids over to Kimiko's for a bit to visit.
Then a few days later Ben's mom and brother came to visit.  I didn't get any pictures she would approve of, but I thought this one of Uncle Jon and Ellie napping was so sweet. 

For New Year's, my family usually has a huge dinner and plays bingo.  We were able to carry on part of the tradition by having a big dinner at Kimiko's and let the kids play wii games.  It was fun to have my parents and Ben's mom all together.  Our moms are two peas in a pod and it's scary to get them together because they are CRAZY! :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Eleana Naomi Middleton was born Dec 4, 2011 weighing 8lbs 4 oz and 20 inches long. My water broke at 39 weeks after several weeks of strenuous packing, unpacking, and cleaning.  I have a more detailed and boring birth story for my records but it is LONG.
 My coworkers said I should be too embarassed to show the above to anyone.  So what do I do?  Post it on my blog, of course!  It is a bit misleading as the mirror is angled a little, and I am in the middle of labor so the baby is in a weird position, but yes, I look "large," as church members are so kind to point out.


Benny got sick of doing Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred. He moved on to Level II without me.