Friday, August 31, 2007


August with my Adopt-A-Family

Okay…I know I haven’t blogged for quite some time. I have a good reason…so let me tell you a little about it…

Normally, I have a nice, controlled (but happy) single life, where I have my own 2-bedroom apt and I work full-time at the hospital, which involves three 12-hour shifts a week. So I have some free time.

I had the opportunity to “host” my friend, Tiffany, and her 3 girls for part of the month of August, first on vacation at Bear Lake (UT), and then in my home. I am amazed at the things I learned, of the realizations I gained, and of the understanding that I was able to glimpse, into the world of Motherhood. I was once a perfect mother before I actually tried to play one in real life, and I was surprised to learn of the amount of patience, tolerance, endurance, energy, creativity, organization, laughter and LOVE, in addition to the amounts of shopping, laundry, cooking, dishes, garbage removal, and cleaning that it takes on a daily basis, and all under a moderate amount of stress in a sleep-deprived state!

Here are some highlights, and some things that I learned:

• Swimming makes children very tired, and they sleep well afterwards. We swam a LOT! For the first summer that I can remember, I actually have tan lines from two different bathing suits! (My cute one, and my kid-friendly one)

• If I ever have children of my own, I must also have a dog to clean up the kitchen and dining room floors on a more regular basis.

• "Photo-shoots" at the mall are an effective way to keep children entertained while waiting for mom to shop!

• “Palm tree lights” help children sleep. (I have a palm tree set up in my guest bedroom, and have some Christmas lights strung onto it…they work fabulously as a night-light, and it was actually proven that they help children sleep, even in the afternoon!)

• Late night debriefings help parents sleep.

• I apparently did not have good “design” sense with my magnet collection on my fridge, because it was re-arranged on an hourly basis, sometimes more frequently when needed. Then after a while, I had pictures that were appearing on my fridge under the magnets. Shortly after that, the collection was expanded to the stove, due to lack of space on the fridge.

• Tiff and I became “sisters” as we went to fairly revealing doctors visits together (hers and mine), and she was actually frightened when she saw my “creative” nurse side come out one night… let’s just say that when you don’t have the good medical tape, duct tape can run a close second in a pinch!

• I look like a soccer mom when I drive a mini-van!

• Even my car took a “hit”, with clear marker scribbles on the insides of the back windows, and plastic rings and bracelets on the seats and floor!

• One night at dinner, I looked up and Morgan (the oldest at 6-1/2 yrs old), had my miniature china plate magnet (from the Winchester Mystery Mansion in California) set up in front of her beanie baby at the dinner table, with a small scoop of eggs, hash browns, and a grape filling the plate, with a crust of her toast next to it, all for her baby. It was so funny! I laughed and got the camera.

• Another night at dinner, I had eaten and was getting ready to run out the door to work, while the kids and Tiff were still finishing. Tiff got my attention and I looked down at the table to see Starley (4 yrs old) with baby carrots coming out of her nose! Again, I laughed and got the camera! As I left for work that night, I found it surprising that I could give kisses and hugs to a child with a small piece of carrot still stuck on her lip, without even thinking twice first.

• Livvy (3 yrs old) was funny about her “happy faces”. We found it somewhat effective much of the time to pull her out of a grumpy mood by asking her where her happy face was. One day in the bathroom, we were doing hair, and she says to me with a very long face, “I only have one more happy face left today.” Of course I had to laugh and tell her that she better not use it yet, but should save it for later when it was really important. After a few seconds, we were all laughing hard!

• I always thought it might come in handy someday, and now I have finally “broken in” my collection of Disney movies!

I was completely immersed in all the laughing, crying, and living that goes into family life. I have gained the most respect and admiration for all the mothers out there that do this on a daily basis, sometimes with seemingly “no end in sight”. I have had a good look at just what an imperfect mother I am. And I will forever look at this opportunity I had as a magical time in my life, to help care for my sister and friend, and her family at a time when they needed it the most. It took an amazing amount of energy, patience, endurance, and love, and I feel that I have been blessed the most by this experience. Towards the very end, Tiff and I affectionately started calling it “Mommy-Boot-Camp”.

I LOVE this family!