Adventures in Motherhood

Adventures in Motherhood

Today was an interesting day and I just thought I needed to share it with you all.  Don’t think that there’s something profound to be had from this post – there isn’t.  Just a crazy day that needed to be documented.

So, my parents are in town because my mom woke up on Tuesday and decided that they should come to Utah from California that day.  That’s when most people plan their vacations right?  So, my mom was here when we woke up this morning.  After feeding the kids breakfast we started tackling some cleaning projects in my kitchen.  I finally removed some sticky tape from one of our cabinets, my mom cleaned out the bottom of our pantry and swept and mopped, my boys “helped” clean the windows (there was a lot more spraying of Windex than wiping it back off again) and Maeli happily rolled around the family room.  While we were engaged in these cleaning activities someone knocked on our front door.  I assumed it was one of my boys’ friends coming over to play, but instead I was pleasantly surprised to see a friend from Thousand Oaks!  We had been trying to arrange a time to get together for over a year, particularly as she had some clothes to pass along to Maeli, and every time we’d make a plan something would come up and we’d end up having to postpone.  This morning she finally decided to throw her two girls in the van and just bring the clothes up.  So nice of her!  And smart too, the best way to outsmart getting sick before a playdate is to go up unplanned so that the sickness doesn’t know to come 🙂  So of course we invited her and her girls in and let the kids play for awhile.  It was so fun to see her again, catch up a little bit and the kids had a blast.

When she left I decided it was probably time to get my kids dressed.  Yaknow, since it was 12:30pm (we have high standards in this household).  So I got the kids dressed, and fed them some lunch.  Then we headed out for the adventure we had planned for the afternoon – the new children’s museum!  Some of our best friends from our newly married/college days were in town and had found some time that we could get together!  They had suggested meeting up at the new children’s museum, which was great for us since we have a pass there anyways and so could get them in for half price and ourselves in for free (well, not really free, but a prepaid sunk cost 😉 ).  When we got there it was INSANE.  The line for admission was literallly out the door.  I knew that the museum has been packed since it opened but I think this was extra packed because of the holiday.  Our outing was really fun.  The boys loved all the cool exhibits and hopped from one to the next quite happily.  But, it was super crazy trying to keep track of four energetic boys in a loud, packed museum.

After the museum we hopped over to Adobe to give our friends a tour of the campus.  After the general loudness of the museum it was SO nice to have some time with them where we could hear ourselves think.  It was fun to show them the campus and give them a glimpse into Eric’s world there.  We enjoyed visiting with them some more and catching up on events of the past few years.  Hopefully we can coerce kindly convince them to move back to Utah to be near us again someday!

When the tour was finished our family headed over to the new food complex that has recently opened across the freeway from Adobe.  We were excited as we’d seen that a new Smashburger had been built and that’s one of our family’s favorite places to eat.  We have long waited for one to be nearby and we were thrilled to finally have one so close!  When we got there however we realized that we had a bit of a snag in our plans – Smashburger’s new location doesn’t open until much later this month!  So we decided instead to try out Cubby’s, just one door down.  We’d heard good things about it and thought we’d give it a shot.

While we were getting ready to order Eric noticed Sam wiggling uncomfortably.  He asked Sam if he needed to go potty, and of course the answer was yes.  We decided that I would take Sam to the bathroom while Eric waited in line.  When Danny saw that someone was going somewhere he immediately had to come too.  So off I went with two little boys and Maeli in the BabyBjorn to the bathroom.  When we got into the bathroom I found out that Sam really did need to go to the bathroom as he relieved himself of a decent volume of liquid.  Naturally, since we were in the bathroom, Danny decided he too needed to use the facilities.  I was hoping he just wanted to pee as well, but I had no such luck.  Now, my boys for some reason aren’t good at sitting on the toilet seat when they have solid waste to get rid of, and instead they have to squat on top of the toilet seat.  Which means that they have to remove their shoes and pants entirely.  In a public restroom.  Awesome.  Danny’s only just getting the hang of being potty trained so I couldn’t very well refuse to let him go… so off came his pants and boots, but luckily I was able to convince him to keep his socks on – at least a little layer between him and public bathroom germs, right?  As I took off his diaper (that he’d been wearing all day) it was totally dry!  That was a first for him to go that long so I was very proud of him.

Danny started by peeing… but without great aim.  About half of the urine ended up in the toilet, and half went straight out in front of it onto the floor.  Great.  So while he continued his business I got some paper towels and tried to mop up the floor with my feet without disturbing Maeli.  He continued to produce some solid excrement as promised and I praised him and wiped his bum.  As I went to pull him off the toilet he slipped and his foot fell.  Into the toilet.  With his poop.  *shudder*  I pull him off and he is (understandably) extremely upset about this and starts crying loudly.  I remove his wet sock and his other sock (so much for that layer of protection), and dry off his foot with a paper towel.  I then re-clothe him and convince him to put his boots back on without his socks (don’t forget – all of this with Maeli in the BabyBjorn, and Sam giggling in the background).  We wash his hands and leave the bathroom – with Danny still upset about the ordeal.

We re-enter the restaurant and can’t find Eric anywhere inside. Just when I’m about ready to wonder if he heard Danny’s fit and thought he wanted nothing to do with us and left – I find him outside.  Our food comes and the wind starts blowing.  Dinner is a game of trying to eat our food and keeping the packages from flying away.  Eric eats his food quickly, helps me clean up as much as possible and then has to leave for a boy scout meeting that had started 15 minutes ago about 15 minutes away.  As he starts to leave Danny is upset that his dad is leaving to go anywhere without him.  He throws a huge fit, hides under the table, bonks his head on the table, tries to run into the parking lot and sits down to cry.  Oh, and he hasn’t eaten hardly any of his food yet.  Finally I promise him that if he will finish all of his food we will all go to scout roundtable with dad – yay.  So, slowly, I get him to finish off start eating his grilled cheese sandwich.  By the time he finishes, it’s 7:55pm.  And now Sam needs to go #2 too.  Ugh.

So, back to the bathroom we go.  Me, Sam, Danny & Maeli in the BabyBjorn – who’s starting to get a bit fussy because she’s hungry and tired.  Going back to the bathroom wouldn’t be so bad, except Sam is the slowest pooper of all time.  I spend the next 20 minutes in the bathroom, bouncing Maeli, and trying to distract Danny.  I have to tell him repeatedly not to turn of the one dim lightbulb in the bathroom, or turn off the water to the sink, or take paper towels out of the trash can, or touch the drain on the floor.  We sing “Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree”, and play “where is your [fill in body part here]”, and count his fingers, and jump up and down.  Finally, Sam finishes his business.  As we walk out of the bathroom with our whole troop a lady waiting in line for the restroom says, “Wow, you’ve got your hands full.”  Lady, you don’t know the half of it. We leave the restaurant to go to roundtable.  Roundtable of course ended at 8pm and it’s now 8:15pm and Eric is now in a meeting with the Stake Young Men’s president that Danny definitely couldn’t attend, but a deal is a deal so I start driving towards the stake center.

Fortunately, before I get too far down the road Danny is fast asleep in the backseat and I am able to just go home.  (Confession: This is exactly what I was hoping would happen when I promised him that we would go to his dad’s meeting, but if he was awake I knew it was important that I followed through anyways.  Even if it meant that I needed to take a tired, cranky almost-6-month old to a church building while we waited outside a classroom for Eric to come out).  We get home and Danny doesn’t even flinch when I take off his pants and boots and tuck him in bed.  Sam goes through his bedtime routine quickly and is soon sleeping as well.  Shortly after Sam is out Maeli follows suit and goes to bed as well.

What. a. day.  It was a fun one and I’m so glad that I got the chance to catch up with some good friends and do some good things with my family.  But it was definitely a rough day there at the end.  That’s sorta the epitome of motherhood though I think.  It all comes together, the good, the bad and the ugly – but it’s all worth it.  Even though I certainly had some moments today where I was thinking, “What?!  WHY IS THIS HAPPENING!?!?” it’s all worth it, and we got through it.  I’m just grateful for the opportunity I have to be a mother and to have these wonderful, crazy adventures with these cute kids of mine.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Still, sometimes this is the very best view of all –

Sleeping Kids

My Thoughts on SOPA/PIPA

Since I blacked out my site today in protest of the SOPA/PIPA bills in congress right now, and spent a good amount of time today linking to related pages on the subject, I figured I ought to write my own thoughts as well.  Also to give a bit of an explanation of *what* it is about these bills that is so terrible as to cause as much upheaval as it has.

First of all I feel that the most important thing for me to note is that I am VERY anti-piracy.  It is my opinion that if you wouldn’t take it off the shelf at Best Buy and hide it in your backpack, you shouldn’t be pirating your friend’s copy or bit-torrenting non-free software/videos/games/music etc.  I know that is an unpopular stance among my peers, but just because something is in a digital format and it is easy to steal doesn’t make it any more right to steal it.

However, even while I believe that intellectual property rights do need to be protected and that piracy needs to be addressed, the SOPA and PIPA bills that are in Congress right now are totally the wrong way to address these problems.  I hope you’ll indulge me while I illustrate my oppositions with two major scenarios that this bill would make possible that should not be a reality in a free country.

Scenario 1

Suppose on an international-domain website I were to be selling t-shirts and I had a competitor t-shirt seller that had decided I was taking away too much of their business and wanted to get some of that business back.  Under the laws that are being considered, all my competitor would have to do is file for an injunction that I had copyrighted material on my website that did not belong to me.  Whether or not that claim was true, or even if the material in question was put up there by me (as opposed to a commenter on my website or some other 3rd party) the granted injunction would go to all US-based search engines and payment processors who would immediately be forced to sever all connections to my website completely.  No chance to clear up the misunderstanding or warning to me.  Now my website is down until I can go through the process of disputing that claim.  This means no one can easily access my site or buy my t-shirts and my competitor is stealing all of my business.  My credibility would be ruined among my customer base and my whole business is sunk.  For a claim that wasn’t difficult to place, and might not even have any veracity.

Scenario 2

Sometimes I like to use Google Talk to have a video call with my parents.  It’s a nice way to show off the kids and enjoy feeling close to family even though they’re 704 miles away (yes, I did just check 🙂 ).  If I were to have some music playing in the background while on this call and someone were to report me for it I could face felony charges and a 5-year prison sentence. Not a misdemeanor or a speeding ticket-esque fine, felony charges.  You know, like they hand out for rape, murder, grand theft auto?  Somehow forgetting to turn of your stereo just doesn’t seem worthy of those consequences (even if my mom didn’t like the music I was listening to 😛 ).

Now, the writers of these bills would say “that’s not the intention of these bills” or “nothing like that would ever happen”.  Which is a nice thought, but if that’s not their intention then they need to write better legislation.  The whole point of laws is that they’re a contract between citizens and government that outlines the expected behavior and the consequences of not living up to that behavior.  If the contract doesn’t include internet censorship, or felony charges for minor infractions, then the contract needs to be written up differently.  Like I said, I’m all for intellectual property protection, but they need to do it correctly, and not by putting people in harm’s way who don’t deserve the harm.

If you agree with these sentiments and haven’t already taken action please go to http://americancensorship.org/ and contact your congress people and let them know that you do NOT support SOPA/PIPA legislation.  I’d also recommend reading Eric’s post on the subject.