Double Divorcée

I signed papers on Friday, which means at most I’ve got 90 days left of my very short-lived marriage.

I’ve tried thinking of a 5/7/5 answer to give when people ask where Clay is, to keep myself from strong tendencies to ramble or cry or overshare or gossip. Yes all of this hurts. Yes, I loved him and I thought he loved me. Yes, fools rush in, and I definitely played the fool.

But suffice it to say, I had a good life before all this. Things got sketchy pretty darn quickly, but I’ve got peace knowing I tried everything I could to make it work.

People have their ideas about a double divorcée, and a story won’t change that. And my friends don’t have to hear it all to know I did my best. They know me. Meanwhile, when I do catch myself venting it all out, I just feel worse. How can I be dwelling in Sadlandia when I’ve got that good life to put back together? My kids are doing better than ever; soon I will be too.

So I’m thinking I’ve got my haiku now:

Telling this story
Does not alter its ending.
Back to better books.

Posted in Etcetera

Growing Tomatoes & Remembering Tips

This tip for growing tomatoes seems like it might work well for our dry climate… basically make a watering bucket and plant them around that. I’m not ready to plant tomatoes yet. Saving the link for later.

By the way, sharing an item on your FB wall doesn’t really help you save it for later, because you can’t come back to find it. My blog, on the other hand, is searchable and tagable, making articles like this easy to find when I need them. :)

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Spare the Rod? Challenging Spanking

Please said it aint so: More than 90% of American parents spank their toddlers three times a week.

I think this calls for a little bit of a brainstorm. When is spanking the best way to teach a child how to behave?

Personally, my answer is never. But if you’ve got a situation where spanking seems like the best idea, perhaps we can come up with some awesome alternatives. No one really enjoys spanking their kids, right? I hope?

Over the past few days I’ve seen several articles about a proposed Kansas law that allows parents, caregivers, and teachers to not only hit a child, but to also bruise them. (It failed, thank goodness.)

This isn’t the only mind-bogglingly bad idea I’ve heard of from Kansas recently. So what floored me is how many people actually support this idea, saying that parents can’t raise good children without smacking them around some.

What does a spanking teach that other disciplinary measures cannot? Seriously, come up with a situation that warrants a spanking (something your child has actually done, so not “murdering all the neighbors” or anything like that), and let’s see if we can come up with another alternative. If you want to send anonymously, drop a comment through the form and I’ll post for you (assuming you’re not trolling) using just one initial or the identifier of your choice.

As for me, people who know my kids often ooh and ahh about how good they are.* And I always tell them it’s just their factory presets. I really do believe kids want to be good by default. I have never spanked either of mine. Not even once.

But I did once intentionally hurt Ethan. He was just beginning to get some teeth, and somehow he got it in his noggin that it was funny to bite me while breastfeeding. He’d bite, I’d yelp in pain, and he would laugh. So I took my problem to a group of friends, and several recommended “one weird old trick” … just flick him on the cheek if he bites.

So I did. One time. And that little baby just stared right into my soul with the saddest look of confusion and broken trust I have ever seen, then broke into inconsolable sobs. At that moment, I promised myself and him that I would never do anything like that again.

I found a great book on Positive Discipline, and I prayed for help. I decided that anytime he bit me, I’d simply close up shop and that would be the end of that breastfeeding session. I could pump, and while I took care of that he could have a bottle of cold breastmilk from the fridge. It didn’t even took him three times to catch the idea and stop biting me. And mind you, I stopped breastfeeding him when I found I was pregnant with Mary, so he was definitely younger than 5 months old.

Jane Nelson, author of “Positive Discipline,” teaches a handful of important concepts (you can find many listed here.) One of these concepts is that discipline is not synonymous with punishment. It’s about teaching your child. In a sense you’re teaching them to follow your example, or to become your disciple, if you will. So — how will you lead them?

I think I’ve said enough here for now, so I’ll just leave you with this to chew on:

*Disclaimer: I can think of three friends who have only seen the more emotional side of Mary. She’s emotional about many things, though, including how much she loves her family. And she generally chooses the right in the end. So I’m not going to stifle her feelings. :)

Posted in Etcetera

Quote from a friend

A friend gave me this quote at a party, and I’d been meaning to share it here. It was originally given in a talk to men, but it applies to everyone.

“Serving God and our fellow men will challenge us and transform us into something greater than we ever thought possible.

Perhaps you might think that you are not needed, that you are overlooked or unwanted, that you are nobody.

I am sincerely sorry if [anybody] feels this way. Certainly you are not overlooked or unwanted by your Heavenly Father. He loves you and I tell you with certainty that you are needed by your church.

Do you not know that “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to [put to shame] the wise and God hath chosen the weak things of the world [to put to shame] the things which are mighty” ? Perhaps it is true that we are weak. Perhaps we are not wise or mighty. But when God works through us, no one and nothing can stand against us.

This is why you are needed. You have your own special contribution to make, and God can magnify that contribution in a mighty way. Your ability to contribute is not dependent upon your calling in the church. Your opportunities for service are endless if you are waiting on the sidelines, I encourage you to get in the game.

Don’t wait for a particular calling before you become fully engaged in building the kingdom of God. As [Child of God], you are already called to the work. Study the word of God daily, pray to Heavenly Father every day, internalize the principles of the restored Gospel, give thanks to God, and ask for His guidance. Then live what you learn, first in your family, but also in all situations of your life.”

– Four Titles by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Posted in Etcetera

Links for my favorite foodies:

- An interactive map of compatible flavor compounds
– A link to the local Food Users’ Group, Utah Gastronomes
– A baker’s notebook by my friend Joseph

And a video to go with it:

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Weeping Angel Kitties & Printable WhoValentines

Testing Facebook Open Graph video embeds again, this time with a plugin that’s to take care of everything for me, and a video by Fozz. I figured I’d share a few cool Dr. Who printable Valentines with you, too.

Posted in Etcetera

Abide with me…

This is one of my favorite hymns — maybe my fifth or sixth favorite even.

Sorry I haven’t been posting the six times a week I committed to! I’m actually well over that if you include my other blogs, but most of those are private. I’ve just been super busy with homeschooling and working and trying to put together a very special Pi Day celebration. And I *will* post about that very soon.

Right now, though, I’m working, and trying to fix a video embed / Facebook OG issue for one of my customers. I’m checking to see whether this works and had to find a video to post. But even though I haven’t time to say much here, one of my favorite concepts in this song is that we need the Lord to abide with us through the good times as well as the bad. It seems my life since this time last year has just become more ridiculous — and I do mean ridiculously happy — as each day passes. Sure, there were some rough moments, but for the most part I can’t even begin to fathom why I could be so lucky. I have great kids, a super kind sweetheart, a job I love, a home, awesome friends, gorgeous surroundings … but the best part of all is that I feel God’s love for me (and you!) and the same Spirit that pulled me through the hard years I’d had before.

“Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.” I’m praying the same for you, too. It makes all the difference.

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Just your atypical geeky single mormon mommy, blogging about faith, family, life, and love.

Velda - SingleMormonMommy

I'm Velda, by the way. Nice meeting you.

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