Never have high expectations on Mother's Day. It is a plan of impending doom. Last year I was sicker than a dog and Ty took the kids to visit our moms. This year I was selfish and said "we are staying home". Namely because 1. We have 1pm church, which means Rodney and phoebe are rotten messes and 2. I just didn't want to do all the work that entails visits.
Never have high expectations on Mother's Day. It is a plan of impending doom. Last year I was sicker than a dog and Ty took the kids to visit our moms. This year I was selfish and said "we are staying home". Namely because 1. We have 1pm church, which means Rodney and phoebe are rotten messes and 2. I just didn't want to do all the work that entails visits.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 8:05 PM
We had a stray show up a few months ago on our back porch. I shooed it away. We already had a cat, and a guinea pig and a fish and we've now added 18 rescued quail eggs into the picture that should hatch any minute. So yeah, if you walk in my house and can't figure out the smell, neither can I. Grab a bucket and some gloves.
Well, the cat kept coming back (insert song). No matter how much I yelled at it and scared it away, she kept coming back, and then coming back rounder. And I'm sorry, but if you don't have a heart for a poor stray cat with a sordid past, well you just don't have one at all. As she got larger we started letting her into the house. My husband, the tough macho, cold hearted, hunter is a total softy for pets, (hello, we are a zoo) and when she looked to pop every day would call to see if she had yet. No, she just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. We really couldn't believe how she could keep staying this big and this pregnant. She looked miserable, and depressed and we would exchange glances as she lapped up her whole milk and I would whisper as I scratched her ears, "Oh, I know sister...I know. Hang in there".
And then, it happened. I was sweeping off the back porch and in she sauntered, large...but different. I know new mommy belly a mile away. I dropped the broom and patted her sides, large, swollen, squishy...not hard. I immediately called Ty, "She popped". But where were the kittens? We searched everywhere outside and inside...no kittens. The weird part is the mom kept coming to me all day long. "Why are you not with your kittens?" I thought. Well, what teenage mom does know what they are doing, I ask you?
And then Phoebe came out after nap time, "MOMMY!" "what?" I asked. "Black and white kitty is in my room!" She squealed jumping up and down. I ran in there, and I asked, "Did you see where she was?" "YES! In the CLOSET!" Ugh...I was anticipating the worst. But no, she must have carried them inside after having them because there, all clean and small were 5 kittens all mumbo jumboed atop tutus and tinkerbell wings in the dress up corner. This poor mom, she really had no clue what she was doing. I grabbed clean towels, made a bed in the spare bathroom shower and carried them in there and put in the mom. She look so relieved and immediately lay down and started to nurse them. Phoebe was ready to suffocate all of them with their love but I gave everyone a 24 hr rule, "NO GOING IN THERE and whatever you do DO NOT SHOW RODNEY THE KITTENS".
We lasted 16 hours. Somehow Rodney followed Phoebe in there and for the last 4 weeks I have had a heart attack every minute I can't hear Rodney. Because it means he is in there all "Of Mice and Men" style. Let's just say there are some tough kittens in there.
What does this all have to do with motherhood? Let me explain, the mommy cat still looked pregnant for a week. The girls kept asking, "Why does she still look like there are babies in there?" And I explained that it takes moms a long time to grow big for a baby and it takes a long time to go back to normal. "Remember when you hit your knee?" "Yes," abby replied. "Well, did it get big and swollen for a few days?" "yes" she replied again, not getting it at all. "Well, having babies is kind of like that, it takes mommies awhile to heal and get better just like your knee" (Probably a bad analogy but it seemed to appease them, I mean, it wasn't like I said, "having a baby is like having a jack hammer beating the inside of your tummy for 12 hrs)
And the nursing, oh! She nurses and nurses and nursees and nurses and those greedy little buggers are always after her. And her food? She is eating probably 4x as much food everyday now. Hello! Milk supply for 5 babies? The second day she kept going outside and ty would pick her up and put her back in with her babies. "Ty!" I said, "let her take a break ok?" He was worried she would get eaten by coyotes, I could see the post partum depression leaking in. She would just walk outside, and sit in the sun for an hour in some peace and quiet. No one tells her to do that, her body just knows it needs to be away from the babies a few times a day and groom herself. She still does this, every day, sometimes several times. Basking outside, cleaning her fur, closing her eyes and sitting in silence.
And then I realized something, no one pays attention to her anymore. And yes, this happens when you have a baby. Everything is about the kittens kittens kittens. I hadn't seen anyone pet her or talk to her in weeks. Since then I've been brushing her and giving her a little extra tlc, because I get it momma. Oh do I understand.
Her body is getting closer to normal, but it's still squishy and soft and malleable. And her milk sacs are large and droopy and full of milk. The practically scrape the ground when she walks. Her nipples are ten times the normal size. Her eyes are tired, and she moves more slowly and intently. Now that the kittens are walking she's teaching them how to follow her and clean them and stop their little kitty fights. She harps at them to come and harps when the room isn't clean enough (And guess who gets to do that duty?)
She is different, she will never be the same, but she's also a better cat now. When the kitties leave we've decided to fix her and keep her as our own. I'm glad she's had a litter, I think it makes them more compassionate and lovable. I also like someone around the house who understands what it's like when your nipples expand beyond anything you could ever comprehend. tmi.
So listen moms, it's ok that your body gets big. It's ok that it gets so big you don't know if you will ever survive. It's normal that you feel like you will be pregnant for forever. It's ok to get so desperate you want the baby out right.this.very.second. Be patient, it's normal, just wait. I promise you will always look back and wished that you would have been more patient.
It's ok to be really tired after delivering a baby. You just birthed a human being. It's ok to LISTEN TO SOMEONE WHO HAS HAD A BABY. I know you think you know it all, but Oh! what I wouldn't' give to go back and listen to my mom and other moms and actually heed their advice.
It's ok to move slower and have less energy. You just made a human being. It's ok your breasts are large and saggy, and your tummy is round and large and looks like twice risen dinner roll dough. It's ok if you are really hungry and want to eat twice as much food. You just made a human being, and are now feeding it. (After I had my first baby I ran into a mom of one of my ballet students, I told her I had just had my baby! She looked at my tummy and said, "No you did not!" Ouch)
It's ok you are tired and depressed and confused. You just made a human being and have to give it 99% of your attention. Go outside every day a few times a day, alone and just sit in the sun. Brush your hair, put on some make up and just soak in the silence, even just for a minute or two. Someday the babies will get bigger, and need you less, and your nipples will go back to normal (ha) and you can have enough energy to cook a meal and work out, in the same day. Sometimes that takes 2 years, sometimes 2 months. But remember our mommy kitty, and that it is all normal. Anything you see on the internet, tv or pinterest? NOT NORMAL, at all.
It's ok if you feel different and everything isn't about "you" anymore. The cold hard truth, is that you are and it isn't. It's better this way, trust me. I promise you will live a richer, fuller life when you realize this is a gift.
Motherhood is enlarging (get it) and fulfilling and depressing and ever-changing and challenging and exciting and draining and captivating and it is all normal. Embrace it, and love it, and the days that you don't love, just call me and I'll make you feel like you are doing one awesome bang up job of it.
So Happy Mother's day...and enjoy this movie. I cried, (total sap)
thoughts by annie leavitt at 1:52 PM
I have a few seconds to share our new favorite soup recipe. Even Rodney likes this soup. It is great for springtime when it's too hot to turn on the oven. Yes, our spring is already over and HOT. I think some other families will enjoy it as much as we have.
Tuscan Bean and Sausage Soup via Saving Dinner
3/4 lb italian sausage links, removed from casings and cut into 1/2" pieces (i'm lazy and keep them in the casings. i know)
1 onion chipped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 yellow squash, sliced (I use green if it's on hand)
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained (we use great northern)
1 can Italian tomatoes, undrained (I've used regular tomatoes and just doubled the italian seasoning)
2 cans chicken broth
1/3 cup red wine ( i use cooking wine)
2 cups spinach, shredded
1 teaspon Italian seasoning
3 T Romano cheese, grated (I never have this on hand, and it's fine without)
Over medium-high heat brown sausage and fully cook in soup pot. Drain grease. Add onion and garlic and cook till transulcent. Add squash and saute about one minute.
Add remaining ingredients except cheese, and simmer till heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve with cheese on top.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 5:24 PM
The house is a little bit messier, the meals even more lame lately. Why? Because I'm getting ready to do my first fundraiser. I'm hoping it's a success. Our little town gets more than its fair share of heartbreak around here and it would be nice to help out once a year. This year we are supporting our friends The Frederick family, you can read about it here.
The blog is going to suffer a little bit, (and who said blogs are dying? i don't really care!) but in the meantime you can know that a bird flew into the house friday morning. A snake was let loose friday night and not caught until Monday morning. We thought Phoebe had pink eye, she doesn't. Rodney has a low fever and runny nose, I think it's his two year molars.
The other day I was doing Phoebe's hair and she asked, "Mom, can you brush it superly duperly soft?", "ha, well, i'll try ok?". "Ok, because Grandma brushes it superly, duperly soft!"
Once again, Grandma beats me at all things parenting.
If you've been dying to come see what Zumba is about and see me shake my hips, then I'll see you soon!
thoughts by annie leavitt at 11:35 AM
Being back in the real world has been more difficult than I thought it would be. I am starting to doubt my maternal and home keeping abilities and want to run away with Ty and travel the rest of our lives.
It has been a lovely day today though. I just need to get used to having small drops of happiness now instead of a flood like our trip.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 1:48 PM
I'm not going to elaborate on our anniversary trip, because although it was absolutely wonderful, It's something I'd like to keep between Ty and myself. But there are so many thoughts that I want to share, that I think, and hope, will help some other frazzled parents.
Leaving your kids at home and going off alone as a couple overnight for the first time is kind of like riding your first roller coaster. It looks and sounds really scary, and almost irresponsible. What if something happens? What if it breaks? I think I'll just stay safe on the ground. But you eventually get on it, and ride it and oh! It is really scary and different, but then the ride is over and you look at each other and say, "let's go again!".
I can attest that if it hadn't been for Uncle Troy, we probably wouldn't leave the kids very much at all, maybe even ever. But he bought us a room at a B&B before we had Abby, and we had to "go" because it was a gift. And oh, it was awesome, just one night away was perfect for us. And since then we've gotten away before every baby, except rodney. but youre always pregnant! that doesnt count i think. But being alone for 3 days and not pregnant? Was really, the best thing for our marriage right now.
Ty and I hadn't been childless for 24hrs since 2008. I know there are some that have never left their kids at home, but for us, well, that was just way too darn long of a time. Since bed rest with Phoebe in 2009, I have been home 24/7 pretty much with a napping baby. And 4 years is a really long time to be pregnant/nursing/home all day with napping babies. I didn't realize how tired and frazzled I had become until I left them.
How do I wrap this up nicely so you understand where I'm coming from? Parenting is HARD. I once heard it compared to the trenches in WWI, and I think it's pretty spot on. When you have your first child, together you both dig the trench, prepare for battle, stock up on ammunition and try your hardest to survive. "We can do this!" You both cry out. You are excited and nervous and you know that you are going to win. And then something unexpected and challenging happens. Maybe because of your choices, but most of the time it's just something you have to go through. And when that hard thing happens, you start battling it, but sometimes it can beat you down, and how.
Because, in parenthood I have realized that no matter how much you prepare, sometimes you just aren't prepared for what's coming next. And even when you are prepared, the battle keeps going for days and nights and days and months and years! And you get exhausted. I can see why many marriages don't make it these days, because I think it's even more difficult to be there for your spouse when things get hard. Some trials are so difficult and unexpected you want to know "What about me?!" And you lose that perspective you had at your wedding day, to always take care of the other person first. Heaven forbid on one of those bad days, or weeks you read a blog post of some seemingly perfect marriage. I do NOT recommend doing that. It's pure death to my mental state.
Because Ty and I hadn't been alone enough, and on enough dates (because let's face it, communications is not his cup of tea), over the years we eventually ended up in different trenches. I am not a "present" person, buying things for myself or getting gifts from Ty doesn't make me feel loved. In fact, it just gives me buyer's remorse and guilt that can last for months. But spending time alone with him or my family and friends? Fills my cup. I was always jealous of his time "alone" that he gets hunting, hiking and four-wheeling with his family and friends. He, on the other hand, has to work long hours outside all.day.long, in the wet, cold, dry, HOT climate here. He doesn't get nap times or trips to the park or play dates with girlfriends where the kids' trash the host house and the mom's talk andtalkandtalkandatalk. He has a hard job, and he has a time consuming and difficult (at times) calling in church. He comes home with bleeding and cracked hands from pulling 2 miles of wire for the day, and his legs and back are sore. He's so tired most days he doesn't sit down until after dinner because he will fall asleep. No joke, that man can fall asleep in 1/2 second. So shovel full by shovel full, the trenches were dug, and it was me against him, with the kids suffering on the side.
Who got more naps on the weekend? Who gets to get a "break". Who works more on the house? Who helps out the kids? Who went out with their friends? Who has been happier? Who has been sick? At least in my mind, I felt like I was doing all the work by myself. And he felt like he was doing all the heavy lifting and I was sitting around eating bon bons all day waiting for his paycheck. And let's face it, taking care of little kids is a lot of work. I am exhausted most days by 7pm, but I just didn't see it. I thought for sure I was doing something wrong. Why am I always tired? Why am I depressed? Why can't I be happy around the kids all the time? And then....we left those beautiful little buggers.
Oh happy, heavenly, wonderful day. Ty literally could see my shoulders stop drooping. I was happy, and smiling and laughing and had energy! Of course I missed them like crazy and tried really hard not to think about them too much or I'd get sad. But most of the time? It was just wonderful to be alone with my husband. I realized two things on the trip:
1. My mind works a million miles a minute now. I seriously would love if they could do studies on women in college and how much their mind works and then years later as a stay at home mom of 4 kids. Because to me, it is light years apart. Every day, all day is about 8900 different things that have to be taken care of for other people. (and my kids aren't even involved in a ton of stuff!) Being alone I found myself absolutely bored silly. I wasn't holding anyone, changing anyone, listening to 3 different people at once, talking on the phone, checking email, choreographing songs, paying bills and facebook all at the same time. We really just spent a lot of time just sitting and looking at beautiful views. We would find a quiet spot, sit down and just be.
2. It was a nice surprise to realize that I still do really like Ty, I know you're thinking that sounds terrible. But honestly, most days I can get really irritated about stupid little things that don't even matter. Alone, together, we had such a wonderful time talking and laughing and being ourselves. I could see all the little things that he does for me during the day. And it was nice to find out that "ourselves" still enjoy each other's company. And I got a teensy bit excited for when the last rascal leaves for college and we will have more "alone" time then ever. I know, I probably just jinxed myself and we'll be the duggars with 83 kids. But seriously, it's nice to still love your husband and know that the feeling is mutual. I mean, he even let me eat the last onion ring. Twu wove.
Our trench is still dug, but today Ty is sitting in it right next to me. And we are ready for whatever parenthood is going to throw at us next. But let me tell you what, even just being with the kids a few hours once we got home I was so tired of them! I know, again, it sounds horrible. But even Ty could see how draining they are on my mind and body. He and I realized I need to take better care of myself and we need more alone time together so that we can stay in this together. Because that's the only way, together. I don't know how we'd win the battle alone, and it can easily become very isolating when things are tough. I think angels must constantly reside in single parent homes, it is just too hard. And as horribly tiring and difficult parenting is? Best thing that has ever happened to us. Our children bring us more happiness and joy than we have ever experienced or will experience. But don't think that that doesn't come with a price!
thoughts by annie leavitt at 12:54 PM
We are off celebrating our 10th anniversary. It has been strange/restful/boring at times not taking care of little souls and bodies 24/7. It's been bittersweet watching the news at night and praying for our friends in Watertown. We're grateful everyone was safe. And we are grateful to have a rejuvenating weekend alone. My in-laws are saints.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 7:49 AM
I've been hesitant keeping up our "story" posts, because Ty said guys at work were asking him about it. Embarrassing much? One of the many perks of living in a small town. ha. But I started it, and by golly, I will finish it. Whether or not the content is quality or not doesn't matter at this point right? Right.
According to this book, every relationship has a "lust" phase that lasts approximately 2 years. This is a normal, biological reaction to love that gets you to get married and propagate a species. Experiencing this phase during high school is not something that I would recommend. Basically? It stunk.
I thought everything Ty did, said, thought, bought, laughed at, was absolutely the most fabulous thing I had ever seen or heard. That...is the lust phase. It doesn't last my little friends. I still love Ty, but I do not think everything he does and says is fantastic. And vice versa. He drives too slow to church, he won't tell me who he's talking to on the phone, he leaves his socks 2" from the laundry basket. The man is FLAWED I'm telling you! But do I still love him? Yes, yes and yes.
Looking back I see why I am resistant to tell people we were high school "sweethearts" etc. Because 99% of the time? It just doesn't work out. You change so much from age 16 to 23 and even after, that ending up with someone that you are still compatible with that young is very rare. Maybe I should just embrace the fact that it was meant to be for us. Yes, from the very beginning.
The next 2 years were spent having a lot of fun, and making books full of memories. One of the reasons I think Ty and I lasted was our dating rules. Friday night? Camping night for the boys. Ty and his crew would go out and get out all their manly bonding and burning tendencies for the week. My girlfriends and I would go out to eat, watch chick flicks and sing primary hymns driving home from Bunkerville. True story. Saturday nights: Date night. We'd hook up with our friends and usually go out into the hills together or to a movie or dinner. Sundays were family days and weeknights were forboden.
One of my favorite dates was when Shawn and Chandra drove us all in to Mesquite to watch a movie. There were all R rated movies, one PG-13 we had all seen, and a G movie called Bug's Life. We thought, "oh, what the heck, we'll watch a kid movie". Little did we know we would laugh the entire time and leave with our eyes wet from crying of laughter. I loved that movie the first time I saw it, I still love it. Classic.
Prom? It is really nice when you have a boyfriend, no worrying about being asked/going with a weirdo. Our Junior year I wore a sleeveless dress with lace inlay on the back that was gorgeous. The next year I decided to be "modest" and wear a dress with sleeves. Well, the sleeved dress also had a neckline, that between the months of January and April I sort, of well, filled out a little. Let's just say my cups overflowethed. And Ty tried to hide it, but he smiled a lot that night. Cheeky little devil.
Junior year I had a tonsillectomy and broken clavicle, so Track and Field was out to me. Thus began my love life with baseball. Chandra and I followed the team for almost every game. Sitting by Ty's dad I learned the stats and calls and workings of baseball. I liked baseball pants, baseball players and baseball games. I still do, and in that order thank you very much. Most of our "fun" trips have been to baseball games since marriage.
Sports kept us insanely busy (which is good) and hanging out with our friends also. We were rarely alone, which I think accounts for the fact that our oldest 8 and not 13. Just saying. Also I highly plan to implement my mom's advice that was her mom's advice dating in high school: "Make out in our driveway, things won't go too far when you know I'm only 10 feet away". It's totally true. Although our children have already been warned, "NO dating in high school...EVER."
And so, high school ended, we graduated. I knew I was going to BYU at the end of August. And Ty knew he'd be leaving on a mission for our church around this time. Next up? The mission years, or as my family would say, "2 years of a whiny Annie".
thoughts by annie leavitt at 8:28 PM
It's the "fair!" The county fair comes to our little slice of valley every year and I never cease to enjoy it. Something about it is just so hometown and cozy and full of novel material. So hasta luego, I'm going to be MIA for a few days.
And yesterday I sold our changing table. I know. The changing table that we picked out a month before Lucy was born. We looked and looked and found a "sturdy" one and paid $$$ for it. We were so young and stupid back then. But today, we do not need it anymore, I don't have storage, and it was time to let it go. It wasn't so very painful as a friend bought it, but still. No changing table? Although Rodney's changing table is on a desk in the man cave, and it looks awesome that way. changing tables are kind of old fashioned now. It's much more chic to change turds on an antique dresser. Right? Right.
So, I sold my first baby item, which means for sure I"ll be having another baby.
Because that is just how my life rolls.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 1:54 PM
After feeling behind for the past month, this weekend was exactly what I needed. Due to scheduling conflicts I haven't been home for all of conference for the last two times. I would say, "oh I can catch up", and I would, but it just isn't the same. In two days we watched 8 hours of talks from the Prophet and leaders of our church. And for two days our house was filled with peace and direction. (And a typhoon of crayons and toys and food wrappers keeping the kidlets entertained)
I've had a lot of worries and questions lately, if you hadn't noticed. And all of them were answered multiple times throughout the talks. This is when I feel so close to my Heavenly Father and see his hand in my life. And as always, I wish Elder Holland could speak every Sunday to me. Love that man.
In other news... Our stray kitten had babies. We visited with the Millers. I rearranged some furniture and gave away a bag of stuff to DI. I can't wait to purge more. And my first rose bloomed, which can only mean one thing...FAIR WEEK!
thoughts by annie leavitt at 8:25 PM
I am starting to realize my limits as a mother and it makes me sad. Yes, I realize we all have our limits, but I've found that mine are much (but I really mean extremely) smaller than what I would like.
Would I like to be prepared to go camping, have everything organized and ready and come home ready for a holiday on top of it all? Yes. Is this something I can do right now after two weeks of pink eye laundry and me getting horribly sick? No. The just normal, every day demands of our house and kids right now feel like more than when Rodney was a baby, and boy was the first 18 months of his life hard. I have the pictures to prove it, but I have withheld them from the blog because I try and put my best foot forward. Maybe some day I'll cave and show you my real life.
Back to limits, they are small. And I keep trying to push them. And when I do push them, insisting that I can, in fact, be just like that other blogger mom or the one down the street, or my mom, or blah blah blah insert the blank... bad things happen. For example: screaming. I wasn't a screamer until the end of Rodneys' pregnancy. What's a screamer? A mom that screams. And trust me, it's not something a mom feels good about...ever. I had never, nor even thought about, finding myself screaming.
It was the end of the pregnancy, a hot Sunday morning, getting ready to head out the door to church (we were still consistently late back then) and Lucy sits down on the laundry room floor and starts to take off her tights. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" I screamed. "There is something itchy in these tights!" She complained. "YOU CANNOT TAKE THOSE OFF! GET IN THE CAR RIGHT NOW!" I screamed even louder. Dear readers, this was my lowest of low points of motherhood. I could, not, stop. The screams just kept coming and coming, and I didn't even know what I was saying. Literally, it was almost like an out of body experience. I sat there watching this horrible mom, screaming at her kid, the one kid, by the way, who cannot handle being screamed out (this is something i now know).
And this black crud of a muck washed all over my brain and I felt like dying right there and then. I am never doing that ever again. I declared. HOw many times have I said that? I am never letting the fridge get this disgusting,get this behind in laundry, let the car get so filthy, be this late to church etc etc etc.
Well, insert new baby, broken a/c on SUV and a nice whopping dose of post partum-depression and the screaming was a constant. I couldn't control it, the medication definitely helped ease it up, a TON, but it was still there in dire circumstances.
Now, with the help of prayer and simplifying my life, a little more organization and mt.everest amount of more cleanliness, the screaming has abated. But boy, catch me on a whopper of a day, and someone does something stupid, it just pops out. OH! I hate it.
So my limits get smaller and smaller. As of today I cannot handle:
...staying out later than 7pm at special events with the kids.
... traveling on holiday weekends.
...doing more than one small project a week.
... not getting quiet time every day to read/nap.
...not having the kids ready and in bed by 7
...getting behind on the cleaning
...not having my meal schedule done
...not dancing every other day at least
...not reading my scriptures every day
...not sincerely praying
...entertaining people more than once a month
...making intricate meals
...phoebe not napping two days in a row
What are your limits? Last week I looked out my bedroom window at the beautiful cottonwood leaves rustling and cried (and I NEVER cry) because I've always wanted 6 kids, and I said out loud. "I've reached my limit". Everyone keeps saying, "Oh, things will change in a few years!" And I know they mean well, but I don't want things to change. Heaven help me, a mormon mom that doesn't want more kids. As my mother would say, I'm going to Hell in a handbasket for sure.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 8:54 PM
Before Christmas we agreed to meet up with the Erkillas (Ty's MTC companion) for a camping trip.
This weekend was it, we went we saw we hiked. The kids had a blast, I slept about 6 hrs between the last two nights. Beautiful views though. Goblin valley Utah was a kids dream. They all ran, and ran and ran around free as little birdies. Very family friendly and they could climb everywhere. We also hiked little Wildhorse Canyon right afterwards. Event though we were tired, Ty and I and the kids loved the slot canyons we went through.
We really had a great time, and we are glad we went, even though we got home at midnight last night! (ugh-horrible Easter sunday because of that) It was fun to visit with friends and get away from the chores, but I'm still sticking by my mantra, anywhere you go with kids is not a vacation: it's a trip.
Anywhere you go without the kids? Vacation! And we might have one brewing for our anniversary this month!
Which reminds me, time to finish our "story" on this thingy.
In the meantime, don't come over to my house for 3 days. It's a disaster zone.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 10:21 PM
|Goofing off in college|
I have writers block. I've written post after post and can't push publish. I'm eating gluten and sugar and feel miserable. One minute I'm blissfully happy and can't believe how blessed my life is, and the next I want to hide under the covers and can't even imagine having any more children....ever.
Tell me you have weeks/months/years(?) like this too?
In other news I read some good books lately, and have been on a roll. Unbroken and The Hiding Place, just fed my hunger for WWII history even more. They were amazing, and harrowing and made me feel like even more of a loser, but in a good way. I love historical non-fiction, my sister Sarah would hate those books. If your looking for a quick, fun read, I enjoyed Icefall for my book club I'm in. I read My Name is Asher Lev again, and loved it even more the second time around. I'm fascinated with the lives of religious artists, where the lines are between the two and where you end up. Do the lines blur? Or dissapear altogether? I often see people either giving up their art, or giving up their religion, either a little, or altogether.
I'm in need of a new good book, but Middle March looks very daunting and slow sitting on my counter, so I haven't touched it.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 8:52 AM
I watched the Terril girls and it helped phoebe and Rodney a lot. They played all afternoon together, but it was hot outside! Almost 90* already? What?
When Rodney napped they asked for a movie and I let them watch a scholastic book movie, because hey, it's just like books right? Right? It was all for 45 minutes and then over. I got some good cleaning done in the meantime.
We visited both grandmas and had the ballet class drive which is always fun to get in and out of the car 8 times in 2 hrs with 2 car seats just so fun fun fun.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 8:28 AM
It was a good day, phoebe didn't even ask about the tv. We spent the morning organizing my parents garage and then went home to collapse.
Someone tell me how they do things away from home and still cook and clean? Because I think it's impossible. I love staying home and need to be here to manage everything. and I have enough to do here I never wander around bored if you know what I mean. Ha, as if.
I'm other news we want to teacher night at mcds via drive through and saw both our teachers. Success! I am really sore this week from Zumba, the stress of some stuff is gone and I'm having a blast. We have la few friends having babies right now and it's fun! But I'm happy it's not me, is that bad to share?
Ps...this picture solidifies my suspicion that my kids inherited the Curtis goof gene:
thoughts by annie leavitt at 7:33 AM
Holy cow, how did I survive the day? I really didn't think it would be hard, beautiful sunny day! We went for a walk, played outside, jumped on the trampoline, play dough, read books, painted rocks and I still wanted to claw my eyes out.
How did this happen? How did my kids lose all ability of entertaining themselves? The house is a wreck, I can't get anything done, is this the part where it gets worse before it gets better?
Please tell me it is.
At least I rearranged my painting wall.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 10:15 PM
The older girls were fine with no tv or computer. It took phoebe 2 hours to stop crying about it. after our walk and after playing outside, I offered some choices. " phoebe, we can play play dough? Or do dress ups?" She looked at me and screamed "I DON'T WANT TO DO ANYTHING!!"
so, we have some issues with tv addiction here. They got so bored they ate apples lying down on the porch. And dressed up rhino in hair clippies.
Once daddy was home it was smooth sailing, 4 wheeler rides, dinner, visiting the Terrill's and bed.
Ty and me? We caved and watched an episode of arrested development. I know!
thoughts by annie leavitt at 9:34 PM
it's turn off the tv week again.
and i don't know if we'll suvive.
since i started cleaning my house, the kids watch about an hour of tv every morning. and in the afternoon when I make dinner and help with homework, and now....well. We'll just to adapt and survive right?
thoughts by annie leavitt at 8:25 AM
Well, that last post was a downer. But thanks for all the kind words.
I'm going to share something personal, but it's good I promise. I've been praying more to feel God's love. I've always known he loves everyone, but sometimes it's hard to imagine that He loves me. For who I am, and all my thoughts, and all my mistakes and all that I am. That He knows me personally, and still could love me.
In the beginning I was frustrated. I wasn't feeling anything special, no grand manifestations or an outpouring of love.
When I did stop to open my eyes, I saw a steady stream of things I'm grateful for that show His love.
My children, my husband, my family, my friends, my beautiful home and trees and leaves that I listen to rustling at night. Most importantly the people that care about me. Within a week Grandma Joyce brought me a beautiful table runner for St. Patrick's day and the most perfect bib for Rodney in the world.
And then I would talk to a friend, or they would let me stay at their house and whine and not clean my house for an hour. Or let me call and vent for 45 minutes. Talk about manifestations of love!
I started my reading that I planned and wouldn't you know? Every talk was exactly what I needed to hear. Almost down to the tiniest detail, it was almost scary. He does know me. little ol', insignificant and flawed me.
We had close friends over Sunday night and my house overflowed with love. How lucky we are to have old friends to laugh with and grow old with. It means the world to me. I wish I could see all my friends all the time, but I'm grateful for modern day technology that we stay in touch in so many different ways. But ahem, all you that read this and feel "close" to me, but don't have a blog? Text me and say hi! I want to hear about your lives also, dur.
Rachelle stopped by and gave Phoebe the cutest dress my heart almost burst. And Phoebe even took off her swimming suit to wear it. Miracle of miracles.
And so many other things, and texts, and phone calls and hugs, that I think right now, that is how Heavenly Father is talking to me. That he truly does know me, and knows my needs and if I just ask, He is there. Maybe not how I want, but exactly how I need.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 7:13 AM
I have neglected writing a lot lately, about, well, life. Have you noticed? I didn't really, until I read this post from Joshlyn. I'm always delighted with her writing and remember why she is my friend. Witty, pretty, smart and loyal. Her voice is wonderful in her writing.
Do I even have a voice any more in my writing?
I haven't written a lot because lately I've been dissapointed a lot, and mad a lot, and frustrated a lot, and sad a lot and everything that I don't want people to read about a lot.
For example, my depression that always rears up around Jan/Feb didn't come in Janurary! Huzzah! And then it face palmed me in February. Boo. I went to a nutritionist to get some advice on what I was eating that might be affecting it? Other than my sugar that i've been cheating on off and on (I know, I know, don't lecture me). Besides the sugar? She suggested GLUTEN. You have got to be kidding me! I exclaimed. It sent me into a spiral, not only dairy, and sugar but now gluten are forbidden . Did you know? Gluten is in absolutely everything. It made me so upset that that night I had chinese food with ty and ate everything on the menu with sugar AND gluten in it.
Take that nutritionist lady. Pshaw.
Anyways, I bought some holy batman expensive almond flour (thanks keshia) and it's ok. We've had pancakes and I'm hoping to make banana bread when my stomach bug settles down (I know, again!). Costco sold some vegan gluten free cookie dough and it's not too bad. But I forgot that me+cookie dough=ravenous eating spree. The two of us cannot be trusted together. It's not you cookie dough, it's me. Or maybe it's you? I just don't know anymore.
I teach the 6 year old primary class now, and they are the cutest little bunch of kids. Great families, great class, but I'm exhausted. It's hard at the end of the week to muster up 2 hours of happiness and glee and teaching out of a well that's empty. Which means I need to up my personal upkeep with spiritual matters. I've been slacking, but we have an amazing sunday school teacher and relief society, and those 2 hours would give me the boost I needed to get through the week. So no more lazy pants for me, I'm following Mel and reading the November 2012 ensign before General Conference next month.
In other news, I've had a lot of frustration with teaching Zumba lately. My class is awesome, we are getting a great turnout and my regulars feel like life long friends. I enjoy seeing them every week and keeping in touch. The professional side of it? Not fun. I wish it wasn't a business. I wish I could just teach the class the way I want to and not try and follow my trainings. But I DO follow my trainings, I try to stick to 100% of what they suggest you do to become a great teacher. And you know what? It's not fun! My brain has to work on overtime and superspeed the entire class. It would be so easy to face away from the class, explain the steps before hand, use whatever music selection I want, but those are all "no no's" for Zumba. And thanks to my mom, when I do something, I do it right.
Sometimes I wish I could just cancel a week if I feel like I need to spend more time with Ty. I wish I could make politics go away. Sometimes it just gets hard being the teacher, it's stressful and taxing and I need some more relaxation time I guess is what I'm saying. Is that what I'm saying? I don't know. I do know I wish that we had a great place to work out in our valley that doesn't have some old man meeting next door that comes in and yells at me. Yes, over the last year 3 old men have yelled at me in the middle of a class. It's the best thing ever, you should try it.
Do you know anyone filthy rich in our valley? If you do, send this to him:
Dear Very Wealthy Man,
Please buy the vacant old Catholic Church and turn into a gym for group fitness classes and weight lifting.
Tired Zumba teacher
And last but not least, I hate that I got my iphone. It takes away so much of my time from my kids and Ty. I've settled down a lot with it, but I hate that i've become so lazy with it. I don't look up directions or addresses or numbers anymore. I don't write things down and I hardly EVER take pictures with a real camera either. Bah. I need a good phone that can text easily and make phone calls. Why did I switch?
And to top it all of with a nice cherry on top, I found a new lump in my chest and had to get it checked out. If that wasn't stressful I don't know what is. Luckily, just another new lump to add to the others. I guess they wanted another friend.
Phew. I'm done.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 12:19 PM
thoughts by annie leavitt at 8:22 PM
In honor of our tenth anniversary, i'm writing down "our story":
There are three words every girl wants to hear, and then when it happens it freaks you out. Right? It did me. Ty told me he loved me first (I know!). A few weeks, a month after Junior year started? I don't know, remember it was 15 years ago? Tyson drove me home one night and I said, "You know? I think I like you a lot". And that handsome stud of a boy who never talks said, "I think I love you a lot."
Just like that, the L word. I was aghast. I couldn't say anything, I just kissed him goodnight and went inside. That quiet boy said he loved me! I think I was definitely in the liking phase by then. But love? I didn't think I was quite there yet.
I knew I really liked him, and enjoyed dating him. But love? This wasn't in my master plan. Yes, I had a master plan. Before 15 it was to become a principal dancer at ABT. After 16 it was to go to BYU, meet my husband, get married and live in a city (preferably Chicago, thank you very much). He would wear a suit and be an accountant or doctor, and I would be the quintessential suburbia soccer mom.
But loving and marrying a small town boy? No ma'am.
And then something happened, we kept dating. I kept liking him more and more, and more and more. Heaven help me, is this love? I couldn't decide, until that spring. I had a horrible tonsillectomy and recovery. I'm talking horrible people, like couldn't eat solids for weeks, or talk, and when I did I sounded like Chewbacca and my breath could kill a large mammal. I've never smelt anything as defiled as that, ever. I couldn't' go to school, I hadn't showered, things were not pretty. My mom came in one night and as she helped me eat I lamented that after that first day home, no one had come to see me. She looked at me quizzically and said, "Didn't you know Tyson was here today?". "He was?" I asked. I didn't remember it at all (Stupid Codein). "Honey, he's been here every day at lunch time. He doesn't eat anything, he just comes and sits here and then goes back to school".
That's when I knew. Any 17 year old boy that would come every day and watch my slovenly state sleep in sickness was a boy I could love. And I did, I fell madly in love with him.
So now we were both in love. And 17 year old practicing Mormons. Which meant there was nothing to do about it. If that isn't a trial I don't know what is. We both knew we would marry in the temple, so getting jiggy with it wasn't in the cards. Oh, those were difficult years, and I would never wish that upon anyone. Knowing you were in love, and that you want to marry that person (but not dare saying it out loud) and also knowing that there was 5 years at least until you could marry and actually "love" each other. Oi vey. That might be a special place in hell, right next to the "perpetually pregnant and moving houses" section.
Anyways, long story short, we survived. We beat the odds, and went through a lot of suffering so that Lucy isn't 13 years old. And THAT is why I don't ever want my kids to fall in love in high school. Romantic in theory, practically impossible in practice.
Sometimes I'm glad we entered love so early, just because our friendship grew so strong early on. Because the hand holding and kissing took forever we were friends first. He has, and still is my best friend for 15 years. But we have a lot in common, and I thought and still think his life was fascinating. And vice versa.
He was the country boy, I was the city girl. He introduced me to Crusty Demons of Dirt, NOFX and offroading. I exposed him to Led Zeppelin, Steve Miller Band and Shakespeare.
A match made in heaven.
Oh my, how on earth did we actually turn out?
thoughts by annie leavitt at 12:55 PM
I was looking at old photos and came across this one of baby Wodney, and my heart melted.
If I had told my former self, how much I would love my children and husband.
I don't think I would have believed it.
Even though it's far from perfect, it's more than I ever imagined.
"To love another person is to see the face of God." Les Miserables
thoughts by annie leavitt at 2:08 PM
Like a pebble gaining speed as it tumbles down a hill, so went the momentum of my feelings for that shy kid. He was kind and funny in a quiet way and the more and more we hung out the more he would talk. I was obsessed with him, and all my other cares and worries went out the window.
There was a problem with this boy though, besides the excess of stickers in his truck. 3 weeks after our first date he still had NOT HELD MY HAND. I know, I know, what was he thinking? Seriously though, I really liked this guy and he was not making any moves whatsoever. Completely against any romantic comedy/drama I had ever watched. Years later I look back and think it shows some of his greatest strengths, patience and self restraint. Either that or he was scared out of his mind like I was. I wasn't ready or willing to make the first move, so I waited and waited and waited.
So finally, a bunch of us, were driving up to Ginny Lewis' house in Moapa to go swimming. Ty drove his parents green and silver (gold?) suburban and I sat up front right next to him. This was it! The moment. I carefully, placed my hang on my thigh and waited. And sure enough, by the time we were coming off the off ramp to Glendale I felt his hand brush up against mine. Even now, telling this story on line, for the entire world to read, I can't put into words that feeling.
Electricity shot up my fingers and hands and kept going all the way up my arms. It was the most amazing feeling I had ever experienced. I had never felt someones hands that were so rough before either, or humongous. His dry cracked skin didn't bother me though, as he held my hand and rubbed it with his thumb. Oh kill me now! I would die a happy woman! It was amazing.
Once we were out of the car around other people though? No hand holding, he still doesn't like to hold my hand in public. I guess he just likes to keep me all to himself right? Riiiggght. We puttered around at the party and I remember meeting Ginny's little twin sisters (Cate! Candi! Do you remember this?) But I was itching to just drive home already! Finally it was time to go home, and needless to say, we held hands the entire car ride home also.
That summer was busy one full of work for both of us. Soccer camp, football camp, track n' field camp, girls camp and scout camp was coming up at the beginning of August.
And guess what? No first kiss yet. Again, I patiently, patiently and patiently waited for this boy to kiss me. Funny, this patience with him runs out over the years (insert engagement story here).
But the hand holding continued to be fantasmic so I wasn't too worried.
Scratch that, I was going bat crap crazy. I remember driving down to visit Grandma Gold with my mom and just bawling in the car because I was worried that when he finally did kiss me it would stink. And then what would I do with this amazing catch of a guy? Toss him back in?
Considering my previous kissing experiences were as a dare and one behind a bush by the movie theater, which were both slobbery and awful, I was getting really nervous. My mom assured me that if you really do care for someone, it doesn't matter if they aren't a good kisser, you won't notice. That calmed me down a bit. And lo and behold, as soon as I came back from Phoenix we went and hung out with friends, he drove me home in the truck (Which from hereon will be called "the ghost"). He was leaving for Scout camp for a week so we were a little sad. I sighed a little and said, "well, good night" and all of a sudden something smacked my face. I flinched, of course, and when I opened my eyes I realized he had just kissed me, and... it was awful. I know you think I'm horrible for admitting this, but it was! I had braces and when you smack someone like that it's going to cause some damage people. I laughed a little and said, "what was that?" OH! I was and still am a horrible human being. That poor innocent boy, I ruined him forever. I think that was the last spontaneous romantic thing he has ever done. Cut him down to the quick I did. Of course he didn't say anything back, and I said, "We'll try that again when you get home."
I went in the house feeling miserable. Not only was it an awful kiss but I had hurt his feelings on top of it all. I think I barely slept that night.
Years later I found out from Ty that he was happier than when he got his first four wheeler that night and entire week. He had kissed a girl! I'm glad I didn't scare him away that night.
A week later, the Saturday before the first day of school our Junior year a group of us went to St. Thomas to have a bonfire and swim. Back then, the lake was high enough that St. Thomas was just a ledge of land surrounded by the lake. It was a hot august night and the moon was full and round and bright. Ty and I snuck away from the crowd and went for a swim. Even though it was a hot day, it was a little chilly in the water. I started shivering a little, and ty pulled me close to him. What happened next is between the two of us, and... Ben Flynn. I'm pretty sure he watched the entire time. ha. But it was the best first kiss a girl could ask for (when i delete the scout camp one of course). There in the moonlit water, held in his big strong arms, I was kissed (very well, I might add) by that boy. I couldn't have imagined anything more perfect for us. The summer was ending, school was beginning, we both almost 17 and completely infatuated with each other.
That year was full of Homecomings and sports, Prom and four wheeler riding and cliff jumping and swimming and off roading. It was also entirely full of too much kissing now that I'm a mother.
|Chandra thought she was so funny writing that.|
thoughts by annie leavitt at 12:48 PM
After that infamous swim suit meeting, the next week at school was very different. I started looking for that tall shy kid. In History class I moved a few rows over and sat behind him (bold I know!). In PE he would look over, and smile when I saw him. One time he even sat down in the weight room and said "hi". Swoon. He was a regular Casanova.
After school we started seeing each other a ton. A bunch of us, were all of a sudden, always hanging out. He had an entire posse of friends who always followed Ty's doings. We went fishing in the river, we would hike over to their "fort" that they built during basketball season. Four-wheeler rides, off roading in either his truck or my suburban. He would tell me to call him when I got home from school, so I would, and just writing this down I'm remembering why I don't often tell our "story". We were BABIES. If I find anything embarrassing, it's admitting that we were "high school sweethearts". I don't know why, it just does.
If I could find a magic lamp with a genie inside I would give just one wish, "my kids will not date until college". And in a few posts you will understand why, and no, not in some kind of sordid risqué way. Sheesh, your minds.
So, hanging out every day after school, yada yada yada. My memories of those times are becoming hazy. I thought he was cute, and he was always kind. His friends were fun to hang out with and he always had great stories to tell. Anywhere we would go in our Valley he would say, "this one time...". Or "my grandpa...." or "we crashed/camped/shot something here..." It was fascinating. All of a sudden this small, strange town felt like a wonderful Mayberry and I had Opie to hang out with. He knew everyone and everything and if he didn't someone in his family did.
On May 25th, the phone rang later in the afternoon. I was in my mom's bathroom and my sister brought in the phone, "It's him!" she whispered while covering the receiver with her hand. I got all excited and flustered and answered the phone. "Hey, a bunch of us are going to the movie tonight, do you want to go?" he asked.
"Oh man, I wish I could, but it's my sisters birthday party" I answered. No big deal, I thought. We could hang out later.
"oh, um, ok." he stammered back. See you tomorrow.
"ok, see you tomorrow" I answered.
I put the receiver down on the bathroom counter and it instantly rings. "Hello?" I answered.
"Annie!", it was Shawn. Seems like he was always shouting that at me.
"What?!" I asked.
"He's asking you out on a date!" he shouted over the phone. See?
"What? Oh! I didn't know, oh, um, it's my sisters birthday party though. Hold on,"- I motioned to Sarah and whispered "He's asking me out on a "date" tonight!". Her face lit up, "Go go! I'll have tons more birthdays!"
"Shawn?" I asked, "I didn't know it was a date. I can go."
"Ok, he'll pick up you up at ..." I can't remember the time.
You'll have to excuse me if the details are fuzzy, it was almost 15 years ago. And I just realized that next year I will have been dating my husband for half of my life. Insert Twilight Zone music.
After I had primped and lotioned and make-up'd and preened, I heard a deep rumbling outside of my house. A very loud and deep rumbling. A grey and bondoed up 1970 Ford short bed pick up truck was in my driveway. Pay close attention my friends, this truck plays a vital role in "our" story. It's actually sitting in my driveway as I type. Sometimes I refer to it as "the other woman" in our relationship, but only when I'm really tired and cranky.
I digress, the door knocks. In walks my tall, squeaky clean great gatsby date. Sometimes I wish he still had that sweet hair cut. He meets Dad, he meets Mom, we awkwardly walk out to the truck. He lets me in, and slams the door. Don't worry, you still have to slam that door to get it to stick right. The dome light was on and it was...red. Hmmm, strange I thought. I could see all the stickers on his dashboard. Fox, Edelbrock, Ford, Calvin peeing on something, LBZ, and others. Hmm, strange again. We drove the 5 minutes down the boulevard and were at our date. The Pioneer Theatre.
If you've never been to our little town, when you do come, you must watch a movie at the Pioneer. It is quaint, and old, and has red velvet seat cushions and red velvet wall covering. The sound quality is horrible and the screen is poor, but it is perfect, all the way down to the plastic rope lighting in the aisles. The wood paneling in the lobby is lovingly adorned with some of the most beautiful men in the entire world. Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, John Wayne (wait, sorry, he's not hot at all). There are others, but I always just wink at Steve when I'm there. And yes, they are STILL there. Thank goodness, I'll cry when they take them down. We ordered popcorn and a drink and sat down next to Chandra and Shawn. The lights go off, the music swells, the movie starts.
I still liked this cute boy. But those dash stickers had me a little worried.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 8:01 AM
Things have changed since we moved here.
A lot of things.
When I first walked into our home it was going to be a healthy house! Organic! Chemical free! No plastic! All glass! No non stick!
And then life happened. We broke all 12 glasses in 2 years and 5 plates AND my favorite serving dish. I hate tile by the way, in case you ever wanted to know.
I shopped and shopped for area rugs for our family room. I finally purchased an organic 10'x14' woven rug with red stripes. I loved it! It was different and bold and a statement piece! The kids? Well, it was scratchy, so very scratchy. Not big fans at all.
And then it started to fall apart, and wouldn't let go of stains. And then it really fell apart. And so with blessed tax return money we ripped out 8x10 area of tile and installed carpet.
Heavenly, plushy, chemical laden boring carpet.
And I'm in love.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 2:46 PM
In honor of our tenth anniversary this year I thought I'd share "our" story. Well, our story so far.
Every couple gets asked the age old question: "So, how did you meet?"
The first time I saw Ty was the first day of school sophomore year. I walked into Mr. Tusler's English class, and there, in the first aisle a few chairs back was a brown eyed boy with brown great gatsby hair and a big nose. He looked up at me right when I was looking at him. We both looked away after our eyes met. (How cliche!)
The first time Ty saw me was a few hours earlier in history class (I didn't see him in that class for some reason). Being a small town, he noticed the new brown haired, blue eyed girl right away. He even remembers my j.crew sweater vest I wore over my white Gap cap Sleeved tshirt. Yes, I was sweating to death as it was 100* that day. Oh the hours stressing about what to wear. Where did those years go?
The first time we actually met though?
Didnt happen until a month before school ended. ( I know right? Weird)
It was the end of track and baseball season and I had a new friend from track Chandra who was dating Shawn Sandoval. Shawn and Ty were friends and during baseball season Shawn found out that Ty thought I was cute. (Or so I've been told). I was interested in a few other guys but hadn't dated anyone that year (ok, fine, i'd never dated anyone before, happy?) And so our two matchmakers arranged for a meeting.
After a scorching school day Chandra and I drove to the reservoir to swim. Shawn was meeting us there (or went with us, I can't remember) and after a few minutes a four wheeler pulled up. I think Shawn said something along the lines of "Hey Ty! Come swim with us." At the same time Chandra asked, "you know Tyson from school?" I think I said, "yeah, isn't he that quiet kid?" Hahahaha. If I only knew then.
At that age (we were both 16 1/2) I was into funny, gregarious guys and I wasn't that in to shy guys with big shnozes. So I wasn't expecting to like this Tyson very much.
And then...well...he...um...he took off his shirt to go swim with us. How do I put this delicately for our posterity? I just can't. Heaven help me, he had a gorgeous six pack. He had been hiding underneath that XL fox shirt the entire gosh darn school year.
The four of us spent the next hour swimming and swinging off the tree swing. I went home delirious. No, he hadn't spoken more than a few sentences to me, but he took me for a fourwheeler ride and he smelled perfect. After that day I was very interested in getting to know that shy, quiet kid from my classes.
Very interested indeed.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 7:02 PM
our two oldest are in their second year of the "Let's Play Music" program, and I have have have have to write a post about this program.
We love it.
A couple friends recomended it to me when we first moved here, but I was pregnant and not willing to add something else new to the mix. So we waited, and started last year.
Here's the thing: this is not your normal music/piano class. There is a LOT of parental involvement, which at first I totally balked at. I have to go to every other class? I have to make them practice? ugh. So I went to class and (was really really really crappy at) made them practice. We endured the first year, I thought it was "ok".
Sidenote, I was in postpartum depression for the entire school year also.
Then we started this year, ok, I can do this. I only have to go to class once a month. But we practice every single school morning. I sit down with them and help them and we get it done...consistently. I am pretty impressed that this has happened in our lives.
So, we are in the second year and IT IS AMAZING. I can not write enough praise for the program, and our teacher Stephanie. I am learning just as much as the girls are and I took 6 years of piano growing up and multiple music classes in college. The coursework is flawless, they start with the basics and grow each lesson effortlessly and seamlessly and the girls have fun!
No one complains about playing the piano! Or practicing! Or doing their homework! They both love it and have fun.
This is no small miracle.
They now can play on both hands on the piano, are learning clefs and all the key letters and chords. It's awesome. And I know now why I go once a month, it's important for me to know what they are learning and working on for practice every day.
With the 3 year program, when a student finishes, they are prepared to play any instrument of their choosing. Or, if no instrument, they have a solid music background for their entire life. And for me, that is essential.
In our little town programs for the "arts" are pretty sparse, I am so pleased to have the girls learning a great art basis just 5 minutes from our house. And our teacher Stephanie is always prepared and organized and ready. She is great with the kids and keeps them motivated. She is also very professional and I respect that, professional is hard to come by in a small town. I enjoy going to class and am grateful for how much she gives to each and every class.Thank you Stephanie!
Anyways, if you are looking for giving your kids a great music foundation, I highly recommend Let's Play Music. It is a big investment of time and money, but one that I feel is entirely worth it.
There's my plug for the day. Look up Let's Play Music in your area, it's great.
thoughts by annie leavitt at 1:51 PM
thoughts by annie leavitt at 2:50 PM