Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mothers' Day and some other stuff

So I told you how my washing machine broke. Well, after two weeks and a $240 bill, we're enjoying clean stuff again. The silver lining on this dark little cloud? I got to go to the laundromat! Man, what a cool place. I think that was the most peaceful, enjoyable thing I did all week. I went after 9 pm on Tuesday night and was there until 11. The place was all mine, except for a guy who was just finishing up his folding when I got there, and another guy who had taken a shower there (they have showers there, too) and then blow dried his hair and sat to read for a while. As there was no attendant on duty, I may have been freaked out by the possibility of being dragged under the folding counter to be taken advantage of, but I was too caught up in the serenity of the situation and I was not going to let my fears ruin it. I just made sure to look up from my This Old House magazine every few minutes. Besides, my appearance that night was totally appropriate for a laundromat, if you know what I mean. I'm totally kidding. Anyway...after that night, I had a LOT of laundry to fold. Like eight loads.

And I've come to have a love hate relationship with Mothers' Day.

When I got married and became a future mother and then a mother, I was all about taking advantage of every holiday where I could get presents and extra appreciation. I've realized that receiving gifts and extra attention on special occasions is one of my love languages, and Brian has become good at accommodating this, so I loved Mothers' Day. And when Camp was a baby, I was ridiculously naive and I felt like motherhood was a piece-0-cake. I knew my calling as a mother was the most important one a person could have and frankly, I felt like I was doing great at it. So I was totally surprised when my mom told me that she had never really liked Mothers' Day. How could someone not like a day when they are guaranteed to be recognized--even if it just means a cookie or a flower at church or breakfast in bed. It would still be a little more special than a normal day, right? Well, my mom said that all Mothers' Day did for her was remind her of all of the ways she was not a perfect mother. Given the way I feel about my mom, that seemed so ridiculous to me.
But here I am, 29 years old with three kids, and I'm not sure I want Mothers' Day to come yet. I've had this plan the last month and especially this week, that I am going to be the best wife and mother ever so that on Mothers' day, Brian and the kids will feel great about being super nice to me. Although I'm definitely still looking forward to a little extra special treatment, I'm not ready for Mothers' Day to be here because I've managed to screw up another good plan. I think I've managed to nag Brian about something every day this week, and I don't think there has been a day that I haven't yelled several times and handled things poorly with my kids. Dang it. I hate it when I do this. Next year, though, I'm going to be an amazing wife and mother, and I'm going to be excited for Mothers' Day.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Ann, how come you are always talking big about being amazing in the future but you're always failing to be amazing in the present? " Well, you know what? Just be quiet. I'm working on it, alright? These are the things I will be working on this upcoming year:
I will not nag Brian or try to control the way he manages his time. (He is a super hard worker and does well at providing for our family, so I am very rarely justified in nagging him.)
I will not call Brian a jerk or call my kids brats--even under my breath.
I will use greater physical restraint when handling my kids
I will not give guilt trips.
I will try very, very hard not to yell.
Maybe you guys could check up on my progress every now and then. I think that would really help me. Ok. So enough about that.

Do you want to know what I have asked for for Mothers' Day this year? Well, I have been searching for a decorating solution for my big, blank family room wall. Everything I've thought of is either too small for such a big space, or big enough but kind of generic and impersonal looking and way too expensive. So I was looking through my Better Homes and Gardens magazine several weeks ago, when I found my solution. I decided that I was going to get a collection of fern prints (ferns grow all over the place here) from (see pictures) and mat and frame them and hang them in a grid.

Because the prints are $18 and that doesn't include a mat or frame, I decided I would just get a couple at a time until I had twelve of them. Then I decided that that would take way too long, but buying all of them at once (plus the mats and frames) was definitely out of the question as well. But THEN I saw some fabric in a Ballard Designs catalog that I really like and decided that if I bought one yard of it at $21, I could cut it into six pieces and mat and frame them just like they were prints.

So my current plan is to hang a grid of white frames with six fern prints and six pieces of fabric. So starting this project will be my Mothers' Day gift. What do you think? I hope you can see the prints and fabric in these pictures. I will post pictures of the finished product when I've gotten everything and put it up on my wall.

P.S. Lest you worry for the welfare of my children and husband, I do do a few things well as a mother and wife. I tell them each I love them at least 10 times a day, I am very affectionate with them, I praise them every chance I get, and I fix dinner for them a few times a week.


campblondie said...

The fact that you are aware you nag and are working on it makes you better then you think! Good work on the resolutions. If never have a goal you never get better right? Right.

Rachel McEwen said...

Oh Ann wouldn't it be nice if motherhood just came easily and we were all perfect. Then we would be gaurenteed perfect kids. The best part about kids that are young is that they already think that we are perfect. Now when they are teenagers....well that's a different story!! Happy mother's day! I LOVE the pix for the wall. I think that it is a perfect idea for such a huge wall and I can't wait to see the final project.

Heather said...

Whenever I need a laugh, I just read this blog. It is too funny. You are so real. At least you have a goal and you want to be better. PS. Love the pillows on your couch. I need help with my house. I will try to put a picture on my blog and you give me some ideas if you have any!

nikki said...

I think you are a better mother than you give yourself credit for...

Lisa said...

Ann - I love the way your mind works! I too had a mixed emotion mothers day. I found myself getting totally annoyed at my hubby for things he had and hadn't done for no reason - I don't know why! But then Maisey started blowing bubbles and boogers came out of her nose and life was grand again! I like the wall idea.

Danalin said...

I think that every other day of the year is the day where we feel guilty and like we need to I say live it up on Mother's Day! There are SO many things that you do right. Focus on those for a day! Love the fern pictures, by the way. And hooray for your washer being fixed!

ksdavis6 said...

you are so funny- my friend feels the same way about mothers day (the one with 9 kids). she says she has come to expect nothing on that day, I just tell Kris that I am not doing anything on that day, it is my day off, so if anything needs to get done he needs to do it. which he does a good job. a man in our ward along with his wife spoke in sacrament meeting, well he was so funny one of his comments was, well today is mother's day and so does that make tomorrow kick your mom in the butt day. His point that mother's should be taken care of all year long, another thing he said was to the husbands he goes, don't come home from work plop yourself down on the couch and turn the tv on, he said that he did that for many years and now wishes he was a better husband those many years ago. It was quit the funny mother's day talk, but he made a lot of good points. I kept on giving my husband "the look" after he made an "amen" comment. anyway we will see you in a couple of weeks. I am glad you enjoyed your stay at the laundromat, sounds like something i would have enjoyed, also i am learning that something that would be super scary in las vegas isn't as scary here

Nicole Cave said... are way too funny...I think this post is how we all feel at times. I can almost be brought to tears if I think about all the things that I do wrong in a day or how many times I yell and act like Satan!! But, parents aren't perfect... so I guess as long as we are constantly trying to be and do better, then we are ok.
I love the fern and fabric. Come do my house. Actually I just had some pictures of my kids blown up onto canvas and I am still waiting for them to arrive so I can put them up...that was my mother's day. (Oh and some make-up that I reluctantly agreed to:) I really didn't want to spend the money on it, but Ashton insisted...I think he thinks I am ugly lately!! Seriously though...I love it. Have you tried Bare Minerals?)

Asia said...

That’s it! Your mom’s in trouble for ruining your holiday! he he

No, but seriously: the times that I try to be the perfect wife and/or mother is when I’m the most impatient of all. When I mess up the most. I’m not saying that we shouldn't set goals. Goals are wise and very essential to our progress. But goals require tinsy, tiny baby steps. Sometimes we think they're about reaching deep inside to muster up all your self-control and deciding once and for all to be SUPER MOM. That doesn't work. That’s what I’m learning about in therapy anyway and it’s helping me out so much!!!

That reminds me, I think everyone in your ward would bennefit from attending that therapist’s Sunday school class. Sure he may come across a little eccentric at times and his wording isn’t familiar but his basic concepts are gospel truths (like line upon line thinking, when he says “monkey-brained” he means fearing man more than God, opening our hearts to the spirit’s promptings, having a personal relationship with Christ that you set goals to become closer, taking control of/responsibility for one's thoughts/emotions/actions, learning from trials and mistakes, fearing not). He has helped me so much to be closer to Christ and to understand the gospel on a personal basis. I just think that going to his Sunday school class would be like attending free therapy.

I met an LDS girl through that lives in another state. We got to talking and she said that she noticed that I read Dr. Ellsworth’s book. She said it was quite the coincidence because she has wanted to get therapy over the phone from him but her insurance doesn’t cover it. She said she was so interested in that because her companion in the MTC who was an incredible woman had learned from Dr. Ellsworth through therapy off and on for 10 years.

Well, anyway, most importantly you should understand that you are a great mom! Your kids are so lucky to have you and Brian for parents! You love and respect each other and want what’s best for the kids and MOST OF ALL: YOU BOTH TURN TO THE LORD. Good job. You are a great example of goodness. We are all learning to accomplish the “best” things in life with power from on high, a little at a time.

Asia said...

Oh yeah, I had so much to comment on that I failed to mention how great that design idea with the fearns is. I love it! You are so incredibly talented with design and decorating (interior design). Thank you for helping me with mine time to time.

When are we going to get together and shop? at first when I suggested it I was just trying to be nice and think of something you'd like to do even though I don't enjoy it. But I think any time away from the kids (except I'll have the baby) with you would be a blast and besides I need some new clothes and need someone to help me pick them out. And you are the best!! What more can I say.

Jordan & Jodi said...

great way to decorate! Don't forget to post a finished product for all of us!

Lila said...

Ann, I have been absolutely horrible at blogging lately but then tonight I thought to myself, "i wonder what Ann has been doing lately?". I am always so refreshed when I read your post because they are just so real and sincere.
My problem with mothe's day is that I totally want to take it off and just say okay your turn to do what I do all day but then I really feel guilty because then I should really do the same for Travis when Father's day is here and I really don't want to because I have the kids all of the time and I just can't help that when he is around I need and want help from him. I guess I am just going to have to send him away on father's day. I am so selfish...
Anyway, if you are not too far on your wall hanging project, I have and idea for you. Well, I think it would be beautiful to actually pick different ferns, plants, or flowers from your yard or area and frame them the same way you are doing but in a shadow box. I would even suggest a wood shadow box. The dried plants would really pop against a white background in a wood shadowbox.
Then I would take that fabric that you love and make some throw pillows to put on your sofa or love seat. Just and idea. I can't wait to see you post about the finished project.

emily said...

I came specifically to your blog because I just knew I would find an entry precisely like this one. And I needed a real mom to relate to. Yesterday I was so good to my kids and I prayed for patience, and then I was really rude to Riley when he got home, and was so discouraged. Other days I do yell at the kids, and or do other regretable things-- and then I am rude to Riley too. Being a mom of young children is tough! This lady I met at the park had three kids within the space that I had them, and she said at one point, she was about to go into an insane assylum, and do you know what? Instead she put all three of her kids into a preschool from 9-1:00. She said it was her Prozac. And did you know what I realized? Right then and there I realized three very young children is the most insane thing to do there is on this planet. Another point and case. A lady I ran into at BYU, older, saw my three kids. She literally seemed disturbed. She told me her kids were all that same age, when, she would get them all for a nap, and read, it literally kept her from being crazy. This is no pic nic and I would venture to say, its the toughest thing for the most kindest people on this planet, (aka you) we find our every fault and weakness flung into our face, and then feel like we're not making it up to snuff! PPPPOOOOEEEY on that, pooey! I DOWN RIGHT LOVE Mother's day, and I say down with not liking it anymore. It's a day of appreciation WELL earned! I would venture to say that you have so much heart about the whole thing, you love your kids so dern much and your husband, and so we make mistakes, so we make BIG mistakes here and there, we care more try more make goals more, repent more, love Jesus more, and I believe we are incremently improving and Heavenly Father is so proud of us. The fact that you nag and yell is only so, as you told me once, and I think it fits you perfectly, you won't float like a balloon right to heaven and leave us all lonely. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, you DESERVE it!!

Love Emily