To my children

(Written Tuesday March 28) 

I have been meaning to write in the kids’ journals this week and I’m just not getting there. The house work is so busy with a big family. I can’t complete one task without starting another. I am very thankful for a healthy strong body and for my multitasking abilities. This week I am trying to get the house ready for guests, so I started the morning by deep-cleaning the powder bathroom, which led to cleaning the bathroom blinds for over 30 minutes, then cleaning everything from top to bottom, which led to painting the trim because it looked unfinished and a little scuffed up. All while taking care of the baby and Finn and getting snacks and making Finn go potty on the toilet and also not touch the paint! I also did about 6 loads of laundry, folded it all, pulled some weeds, swept and hosed off the back patio, got out paint supplies for the kids, made more snacks, texted and emailed, cleaned up messes, made homemade tomato soup and rolls, and made some visits for Relief Society. 

All that aside, there’s this

My long girl. I still take her potty at night before I go to bed. She is always so sleepy and cozy, and unaware of what’s happening. She is so beautiful and sweet. Rose really has a kind heart. I get frustrated with her too easily. Her Sunday school teachers, the Collings, absolutely love her. I can’t get past him in the hall without him stopping me to tell me how they love having her in their class. All her teachers have been that way, and nursery workers too. I know all parents probably feel this way about their child, but I think she really is well-behaved and sweet for them while some of the other kids are not. Raimo spied on her when she walked in to primary last Sunday and a little girl came up and told her, “That’s my chair you’re sitting in.” Rose said no it’s not. The girl kept bothering her so she got up and moved. For some reason, it just made me so proud to be her mom. Raimo had just been worrying about how she was doing (sometimes she misses her old ward). That same day, I had been asking her if the kids in her class were her friends and she said yes. We have been worried about her making friends and feeling included in her new ward. Whether the girls are nice or not, Rose knows who she is and she’s strong- not defined by the little girl who’s mean. She is helpful at home and has been doing a good job of being respectful to mom and dad (we had a really bad couple of weeks where Rose and Finn were getting in trouble constantly for saying unkind things to mom and not listening.) I can tell she genuinely wants to be a good girl. She sticks to her guns when she’s being stubborn about something, but I’m proud of how she is so good and kind naturally. She often helps me keep the baby happy when I’m trying to get something done (or dealing with Finn). She gets Finn a cup of water, clears her dishes, she’s also enthusiastic about things, like the way her watercolor painting looked today when held up against a window so the light shone through. She wanted me to see it. She wants me to wear the bracelet she made me a while back. She has taped notes ALL over the house – a series of Kloos for dad when he returned from a trip (leading to an enticing half-drunk bottle of Gatorade… Dad’s favorite!) The other surprise she considered for him was a Tumi backpack– so dear that she knew and came up with it all on her own (Raimo is a huge fan of Tumi luggage and thought she has no idea what it is, she knows he wants it).

I also picked up Finn tonight from his bed and held him. He was sound asleep. I looked over his little toes- they are the cutest. I am feeling blessed to be able to still love and appreciate him even though he has been HARD lately. He stopped taking naps last month and the lack of sleep has really caught up to him and he is grouchy a lot and quick to melt-down and scream. He seriously cries so much. But I’ve been noticing how he’s grown so much and his eyes are big and wide, like he is innocent and new here. He is so smart. Today he said he wanted something “badly” — kid even used the adverb. His vocabulary is really great-  though our family might be the only ones who know it. He gets shy around other people. He has such a raspy voice, both naturally and also from the bouts of screaming and tantrums. 

(Saturday April 1) Update:

Today we listened to conference. Our internet want good enough for us to watch it on tv so we had to use the iPad. That frustrates me. In between sessions Raimo washed the cars and I started painting trim and doors again and the kids played outside with neighbors. My project ended up taking much longer than planned, and we kept working while listening to the afternoon session. It’s really challenging to do things like that with a baby- he cried a lot! But anyway, later I was changing his clothes and rubbing his feet against my nose, and he was just giggling. It was so cute. He smiles with so much joy, and often. One of his favorite places is the bathtub. He can sit up on his own in the water and bats his arms up and down and splashes with excitement! He thinks it’s so great. Tonight he was in the tub with Finn and Rose and it was just tops. He was SO excited and happy. The kids were laughing and playing with him. We had extra time at bedtime, which we rarely do, so we played spa and put lotion all over and  then read some extra stories. Finn has a special little love for Berrett. This love is sometimes a little strong and comes in the form of a lick on the ear or a poke in the face or a smothering hug. Finn has still been overly tired the last few days and so emotional. I started a marble jar for the kids to fill for a prize. I think they are still excited by it and they were both quite well-behaved the last few days. Rose made her bed today and helped clean up. While Raimo was at priesthood I turned on Moana music, and the kids were both really calm (unusual for 5 o’clock.) They picked some lemons and we made lemonade together. We ate some dinner together– apparently Tose wasn’t really feeling it even though it involved pasta and chicken with Alfredo sauce, which she likes. And after she ate it, she told me she did it to make me happy, which made me equal parts happy and guilty for some reason. I just want you to be healthy! I hope she knows I am happy and proud of her always, even if she doesn’t eat her dinner. 

I also love that at 5 years old she will wear bunny ears all day long like it’s totally normal–even to school all day. So unencumbered and sweet!

Rose talked all week about the upcoming open house at school. She was so excited to show us her work and classroom. 

This page melted my heart. I am glad she loves her home. I especially needed this affirmation the following day when I had a horrible experience in a restaraunt where a woman accused me of abusing my child and threatened to call the police. It really knocked the wind out of me and I spent the rest of the day crying. I honestly don’t feel like hashing out all the details becaus e I’m still fragile over here. It made me recall every bad thing I’ve ever done as a parent. It made me mad, it was unfair, it ruined our lunch date and we walked out. But grateful my kids forgive me and still love me and love our family. 

Her wonderful Mrs. Berning

I love this picture

Berrett modeling one of Raimo’s baby outfits

Some pictures of ordinary days that were really beautiful

Date night a few weeks ago

Firehouse Subs with Grandma and David

Gorgeous spring

Berrett always curls the right foot like this and turns out the left for balance 

Rose, I love you. Finn, I love you. Berrett, I love you.

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