Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Last week started like a race, the gun went off and BAM I was off.

Monday: I made Ben an appt @ 4pm after his cough went from "that's not good" to "that is not a human sound" so worked even faster to finish a TON of work so I could get back to mom's, quickly grab some more awesome music visuals for Primary while she told me what I missed in the first 45 minutes of the season finale of Downton (I was cutting Tom's hair and couldn't hear a thing!) and then get on the road by 2:45pm to get back up to Pdx. I did, we made it and THANK GOODNESS I made the appt. it turned out Ben had both bronchitis and pneumonia. I was shocked and felt so bad for my baby. We then we drove across town (in Portland that's asking a lot during 5 o'clock traffic, I know you bigger city folk understand) and even though it had been a good 2 hours since the doctor faxed in his Rx's we had to wait in the grocery stores' waiting room with a very tired, very sick, very fussy and destructive toddler for a good 30 minutes. I had to hold him like a football by the time his stuff was finally ready and I was signing and paying for it while Ben's steady stream of snot and screams waterfall-ed all over everything! I felt stares and it didn't help I looked like white trash; so disheveled and gross from sweating all day at work. oh well haha

When I got home I did a double-take and saw Tom pulling up. He skipped class to come home to help out. =) I tried to do my reporting for work but our internet was the lowest grade and it took ~3 min to upload a single picture and on average I need to upload 96+ per store visit so we decided to spend an extra 15 a month to get the better internet I needed for the what really is only 5 days a month...kinda annoying but then again driving to the library or impossing on Ash to let me use her interest whist Ben destroys her house is MORE frustrating; I'll pay the extra $15. Done.

Tuesday: Same work, different store. I don't know what it is, maybe the location, the snotty Lake Oswego (ie Portland suburbs crowd) but the staff is difficult, it was like PULLING teeth to get the shoe's department lead to do a few tasks which if he had been trained properly he would understand the seriousness each vendor stresses on quickness on getting new launches out. A good year and a half ago one of the supervisors tried blaming me for a box of product being left in the warehouse. Its like accidentally leaving your kids in a freezer. Ah Noooo that was NOT me!

Wednesday: I worked in Eugene and started at 7:45AM- about 2 hours away. I took Tom's car. His car is a Saab and has a lot more getty-up than mine. AND it has a stereo, mine has a tape player =D lol So I got to rock out and listen to song after song, adjusting the sunroof and what not. I got home in the early evening and was pretty tired.

Thursday: No more work, feeling more and more sore in my shoulders and back. I have Tom put his elbow into my back and shoulders and press in as hard as he can b/c my knots are so tight. It hurts like a mother.

Friday: I felt my wave beginning to reach maximum threshold and knew it was a matter of time before the flood gates opened and the wrath therein would storm out and nothing would survive in its wake. LOL Which brings me to my pet-peeve like #1 of allllll time! Long story short I had been completely mislead into attending a MLM presentation. I showed up with Ben who was less sick but still sick at 7pm (almost bed time) planning to do a quick in and out congratulating this person on something that I found out did not exist at all and instead of, greeted with, "Yeah you came, you're the only person coming tonight!" I wanted to scream and throw something. I made it known immediately I was under the impression the event was NOT what I thought it was and how I was confused. Then I just threw it out there that I worked for the top mlm attorney world-wide (not exaggerating) then had to explain to them what a mlm attorney does. I don't know why I didn't just say this doesn't work for me, bye. So I sat down but before I let them just start I stressed that it was Ben's bed time and he had pneumonia- that didn't seem to phase anyone. That tweaked me most of all. I stressed that my dietetic needs would not allow their drinks and supplements. They responded with "Actually, (blank- the company) LOVES Diabetics!" I said, "That's a sentence I haven't heard before." lol

I sat there and just tried to act interested all the while wishing a stray bullet would enter the place and hit  me. Not killing, just grazing my arm or something- give me a reason to leave quick. "Oh sorry I have to leave I really wanted to know what that paid doctor has to say about the products!"

What I did say was this:
"I am probably the WORSE person in the world you could have invited." -They laughed when I said it.
"MLM's are extremely dangerous creatures. You, as a vendor, have to absolutely believe in the product sooooooooooooooo much, to the degree of having a testimony in it that you are willing to risk losing your relationships with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc., for it!" I know I said a few other bold thing and not timidly either folks. I hope I didn't come off mean though I can see if it felt like that, I did throw in some jokes now and then to even out the rage oozing out here and there. I left at 8pm, now 30 past Ben's bed time, fighting getting him in the carseat, and just livid. Poor little Ben =( I called Ash and was like, "Hey can I just vent like crazy!?" (side note: Ashley, you're the BEST! XO)

Here's why I detest MLM's SO VERY MUCH:
#1. MLM's pray on the poor. They sale the dream of getting rich, and getting rich FAST. Once you have so many ppl under you you'll get that car, that vacation, that watch, whatever. The truth is once you've made a sale you're unemployed all over again. I loath how mlm's suck on the desperate and almost always by digging into ppl's fears, ie. debt, or bad health, or getting sued, all the companies market that first way before the actual product is presented. It's so manipulative. The whole thing is absolutely irresponsible and I wish people would realize how truly disrespectful it is to their intelligence.

#2. They are NEVER about the product. It's all about the business. If the product is SO good, it would be sold in stores; high-end and low end it doesn't matter. If the product has to be sold via pyramid, its NOT a good product!!!!

#3. They hurt relationships. PERIOD. The second its brought up it brings a stigma with it. Case in point. When Tom had been laid-off and I was sicker than a dog pregnant not on the right combination of meds yet, we were soooo broke, we were denied gov't assistance, and didn't know how we were going to get through the next month we got a call from someone who knew Tom had been laid-off saying they wanted to help out. Tom and I didn't know what that meant, we hoped for some miracle of sorts while in my gut, I knew better. It was devastating. To feel so vulnerable (and sick) only to hear how we could sign up for blablabla to virtually help them make money. It took a long time for me to forgive that person, they probably honestly felt they were trying to help but it was so the opposite. Second case in point; my doctor the person I trust with my life next to Tom asked me if Tom or I would be interested in going in on a mlm that was beginning to get popular (and it only costing $500 to get started) I sat there thinking, why on earth are YOU getting into a mlm? Do you need money? Why is my doctor broke? See what I'm saying, ppl?

#4. Upon meeting my boss and the big-wig at the law firm I made it known right away I was Mormon in which he let me know Mormon's are the biggest sellers of MLM's. He contributed it to missionaries learning how to network during their missions. He also added that Provo, UT is the MLM capital of the world. Frankly, its embarrassing to me. I do NOT make fun of my ppl. When I hear ppl make fun of "Utah Mormons" even if I completely agree, I hate any talk that puts our ppl down. I simple don't like the disloyalty. Thus, when one mlm after another is circulating and the ppl are perverting the gospel and their testimonies to sell it, it makes me sick and embarrassed.

Saturday: I woke feeling like it wasn't going to be much longer until I was totally unraveled. I decided last minute to attend a big-to-do music workshop my mom even drove up to attend and my Primary president encouraged me to attended as well. I got there a little late. Ben sat on my lap for about 7 mins intrigued and then he was like okay I'm gonna go explore, bye mom! I let him move around. At first he didn't go more than a couple feet, then it was several feet and then across the room and then he stood in front of the instructor who sounded like she was going to teach us how to teach primary kids harmony and descant but instead just had the group of women sing renditions to primary songs she wrote herself and had the group of women there sing them. I sat there thinking:
"What the crap? This is fun singing, but no where am I learning how I'm suppose to take a chunk of time to just teach the older girls how to sing notes I can't possible get close to while all the other children are bored? And why does the lady next to me keep commenting to me as if I know her or can hear half of what she's saying, why is she telling me she left her water bottle in her car? Is that the next line of this song I've never heard?! Oh crap, where's Ben!?"

Ben had found his way to the very front and just getting comfortable with the presenters stuff. I grabbed him. I tried walking around the back of the room but he was not having it. There was a woman holding a pretty new baby right next to me who said, "I have 3 and it DOES get easier." That's all it took and it was all over. The water works had been activated. The class ended moments later and my mom found me a total mess. I took Ben home knowing there was ZERO way he was going to let me get through another hour long class and he went down for a nap without a fight, bless his heart. My mom came over afterwards and I bawled even more about the 2 elephants that are always on my back. I don't ignore them, I am always aware of them I just don't know what to do about them. The most upsetting elephant: Do I love Ben. Completely!!!! Am I SO happy he's mine AND he's no one else's? ABSOLUTELY. Am I so proud of how sweet and loving and healthy and smart and a good-minder he is? You bet! Do I like being a mom? no.

I struggle a lot with it and talk with Tom constantly. I feel shame and envy how others WANT to be playful and creative and are okay reading the same books 500X. What are my other options? Go back to work full time? No. I don't want Ben in that environment. I pray/plead Heavenly Father will help me want it and that it won't come after a tragedy, you know? I want this a lot. It's way more important to me than getting my body back. I want advice. I want to know how someone like me got through it. Someone opposite of every Ensign article about women who so desperately want kids of there own but can't. Do I not want kids? No. I do. I wouldn't give up Ben for the world nor do I think I'm done having kids but that my desire TO HAVE them is not there. It seems everyone I know wanted kids before they had them, even the surprise first borns were still from friends who were excited to be moms. Is there a "Idiots Guide: To getting over yourself, and be HAPPY (dang it)"? I know it comes down to me not liking to sacrifice AND I know I am Ben's only parent 95% of the time. I know I'm simply exhausted by the end of the week. But nonetheless I KNOW if I got the desire and excitement to get down on the floor and play everyday it would change, at least I think it would.

Okay I've written enough and way more than what I was expecting to write about. It's bedtime.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Down(ton) Ice Cream

I know I'm pms-ing, well at least I HOPE I am so I can blame my psycho-ness on girl issues and not mental/emotional unstablenesses-es which is probably the real cause but for the moment I'm playing the "pms card". ;)

Where shall I start? Well to spare myself from typing for a hour and a half I'll simply say after (oct, nov, dec, jan) 4 months of "We'd like to extend a calling to you, Sister Clark...blablabla...Oh that might be a problem, I'll talk to the bishop and then get back to you." (A month goes by) "Hey, I heard you're on my ward activities committee!?" "I am?!! No one's called me?" "Oh um..." "Well what would you like me to do, I can help without having been asked yet." "Oh, cool okay, that would be really helpful!" (Two months goes by) I get a call from the Relief Society President, "Hi, um has anyone called you about being asked to serve in a calling?" "Nope, but I'm still waiting to be put into the one I'm already serving in." "Oh okay yes, I think you're name fell thru the cracks so I'll resubmit your name and you should get a call soon!" (A month goes by) I get a call from the same bishopric member from 4 months prior, "We'd like to extend you a calling," (I'm thinking ya ya ya I know I know ward activities member) "to serve as primary chorister blablabla"(wait what???) PAUSE.

When I got this call I was working on our taxes. UGH. Long story short, since then it IS way better than I thought, but in that moment I was on edge. It was like 9PM and I was trying to stretch every deduction as possible, freaking out we were going to owing $$$ even with trillions given in student loan interest paid, charitable stuff, and of course on top of what the government already took out throughout the year. Also, Tom had been in an overloaded-funk for a few days. What does that look and sound like? Half opened, glazed-over eyes not blinking, no steady breath heard only a random 4 minute long sigh every half hour. He gets like this 2? 3? 4 times tops a year. It doesn't last more than a week but when he's extra worn out it makes me even more stressed trying to figure out how I can lighten his load more but the reality is I can't really do anything. It all has to do with him having no "free time" and what time he does have needs to be devoted to homework. And there's no way I can help him with his insane physics, calculus to the twelfth power hardness. When I look at the complex equations with no recognizable numbers I end up telling him, "Well if the teacher assigns you to write how you FEEL about the equations on their visually graphic level- I could help you but until then GOOD NIGHT NURSE!" But anyway- that was all on my back-burner stress/worry when I got this call from the bishopric.

After the guy gave the low-down on what the calling required (me half listening as I was waiting for a pause so I could ask about the OTHER calling I was already doing). When I did ask he said he didn't know anything about it but would ask the Bishop then he paused and me being me got nervous and started rambling and ended up saying "Well between the two callings I think maybe primary chorister would be better." WHAT WAS I THINKING? (I wasn't). Then what's his name suggested I might be asked to do both callings and then asked how I felt about that. I said, "Um well if that's what the Lord needs then I'll do it." Then he asked me how Tom was doing.  Ugh. It was like him asking "tell me about every time you were made fun of GROWING UP!" Inside I was like keep calm, keep calm, don't cry, don't cry. He asked, "He works quite a bit, right? And I think you mentioned before Sundays are your days-offs?" I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time! Days off? HA. I started crying and apologized that he caught me at a tired, overwhelmed moment. He proceeded to ask(?) suggest if I were too overwhelmed its alright if I didn't accept the calling(s). I said, "I AM very overwhelmed and Sundays aren't my days off, they're my days to see my husband and get some kid relief but I understand if they needed my help with the callings and I'd do whatever needs to be done." He kinda spoke out both sides of his mouth saying he needed me for both callings but how it was okay for me to decline but I can't blame him because I was saying one thing and reacting another.  I was raised you don't decline a calling but I don't know how to tell if this was me needing to decline or not? For me, I see SO many people putting in great effort for their callings and I appreciate that a lot- you can always feel the difference when time and care has been put into things. I have guilt over it actually! I admittedly am very passive-aggressive about serving, it all has to do with me not wanting to give away MY TIME unless its my idea to give away MY TIME.

The call ended with "him" saying he would check in with the Bishop and tell him the concerns along with asking about the other calling and would call back later. He did the next night (at 9:45PM?!) extending both callings. I accepted. For the record, I'm fine with the specific callings. I've already had primary chorister websites links sent to me for teaching ideas which I'm funny about too. It's my artist-ego coming out, I don't want ideas unless I ask for them! Its kinda like.....hmmm...if you were having a baby and someone is all like, oh hey- you should go to this and that website for nursery ideas and name your kid "blank " oh and these are the do's and don't of raising kids! Um back up, I've got this. I'll ask when I need help! Okay, I'm coming down from my ego-enraged high-horse. =)

I woke up Sunday feeling a little funky, that's normal. I was sustained into both callings. A few people congratulated me as if it were my idea or I had accomplished something, its like thank me after if I succeeded! lol I feel bad- I'm usually in such a weird funk Sundays and I know I must come across sharp, unattached, uncaring and depressed. I'm POSITIVE the R.S president thinks I hate her when I absolutely don't! Imagine the worse version of you is the only version some people see. I WISH I could fake or hide my feelings, believe me I DO my DARNEDEST to wait till I get to the car but I can't. I needed to get set-apart after church but I fell apart right before the closing hymn in relief society (sorry Em) and knew I was too emotional for a blessing even though I KNOW its exactly what I need!!! Side note: at least I got to listen to 15 min of relief society! =) You're probably thinking why don't I try getting out my tears before church or Saturday night? Way ahead of you! That's usually when it starts- Saturday night, Sunday morning uneasiness and then I try holding it in during church.

On a good note. Last week was a great week, probably my best week as a mom yet! I was determined to keep my anxiety in-check throughout the week ESPECIALLY around Ben. I was more patient than ever and it wasn't fake, it was nice. I played on the floor with Ben a lot more and read a lot more and when I put him in his car seat I REALLY tried using positive, non-frustrated tones- I don't think it made a difference but I'll still continue to try and the rest I could tell he was so happy for it. =) And for the record, I think Ben is the best! We were at a couples home last Sunday and there were two older couples there making a fuss over how bright Ben is and how quickly he was getting stuff, along with his super friendly and sweet personality, it makes me so proud!

Last night I def left pms coming on! While Tom worked on homework I made popcorn (burnt ;) and watched Downton Abbey. Yep, I'm hooked. I'm on the waiting list at the library for the previous seasons- I think I have 154 ppl in front of me so not too much longer now! I REALLY want to watch everything before I watch what's going on but I can't help it- its so over-the-top-dramatic, I love it. After I ate the popcorn I grabbed the rest of the mint chocolate chip ice cream (I rarely buy ice cream) and sprinkled generously choc. chips into the carton (dirtying a bowl isn't worth it).

I'm trying to keep calm as it will be a long week, mostly for Tom. Normally, between jobs/school he works 13 hour days, not including commuting which adds another 4-6 hours a week but he also has a visual over-nighter at Apple which means he'll have institute Tuesday morning (so he can park free downtown saving us $200 a month), work at RV Kuhn's, work at apple till 3am and work again the next morning followed by school till 10pm and then up early for institute, rvk, apple all over again, etc, etc.. I KNOW IT COULD BE WORSE! He could be in the army! He could be deployed for years at a time!!! So glad that's not the case, I am just way too needy to handle 5 minutes of that lifestyle; not to mention the emotional turmoil of not ever knowing if they're coming back, ahhh no thanks.

I think Ben has a bug. He barfed BIG TIME last night and again this morning and has had a slight fever, diaharria. While its sad its kinda sweet too because it makes him all cuddly, you know? =) It's so sweet.

In other news: We are doing really well! I had a great conversation with my mom a week ago about all this stuff and got some good feedback about the calling(s) and keeping calm for Ben and how all of our hard work and sacrifice will payoff and be so worth it. By the end I think I'll need to write a book but I, we feel very good about where we are as a couple as a family, etc. We were planning to go see the new Diehard movie around Valentine's but found out yesterday its rated R! I was like NOOOOOOooooooooOOOOOO!!!! Tom came over and gave me a hug and said sorry like someone had just died (no pun intended lol) I told him, "what if the next James Bond movie was rated R?!" He was like, NOOOOOOoooo! Haha He even asked, "Well do you want it to be a free-bee?" meaning we would fudge "just" this one I said nope, its not worth it. He reminded me just this point too a few hours earlier. He asked me, "What was the movie of the year 5 years ago?" I said, "I don't know." He said, "No one does. Stuff gets made, people say YOU HAVE TO SEE IT (relating to R movies) and really a few years (heck a few months) later it doesn't matter." I think what we really will do is go to the Temple, I think we both need it.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Because I'll Forget!

I have to write these things down now! Ben's baby book only goes till 12 months and Tom has voiced sadness how much he's missing Ben growing up so I've been trying to record more! Almost 17 months.

  Words he says: Mom, Dad, kisses, duck, dog, uh oh, that, keys,...I know there are more- I'll have to add them later when I remember!

Animal sounds he makes: Cock-a-doodle-do, bunny rabbit nibbling sound, a horse doing that...not neighing, not spitting but sputtering sound- ya he does that like a pro. And makes a snake's hissing sound. When I say, "What does a gorilla do?" he hits his chest with both fits. 

Commands he knows and follows (well when he wants to): No! Bring it here, Give it to (fill in blank), Come here, Go to Dad, Put it down!, Turn off the tv, Go get a story/book, Kiss, wave bye-bye.

Words he understands and goes to when used or points at when asked where they are: bedroom, books, stories, high chair, tv, diaper, medicine, teddy bear, truck, stroller, couch, blanket, soft, food, hungry (walks to his high chair) Thomas the Train, Dad, Grandma, fruit snacks, (gold) fishes, sheep, owls, cat, dog, rooster, chicken, duck, mice, chicks, vacuum, baby wash, soap, shower, (chocolate) milk, sippy-cup, time-out, by-by, stairs, french-fry, spaghetti, chocolate-chips (cough...don't know where he got that!) shoe, phone, blocks, and many more.

Things he's been doing the last few weeks: Pulling out the outlet plug covers- BOTH styles! Turning the tv on and off, when he hears a dog barking he'll say, "DOG".  When we read his favorite book he always says the last word (mom) its so cute. I recorded it but blogger isn't uploading the video. And just today he figured out all by himself how to lock himself into his highchair with all latches- I was shocked! Again, I took a video of it but can't get the gay thing to upload without getting an "error" thing. LAME. When I bring food to the table he immediately folds his arms without being told. =) 

Things he loves: Thomas & Friends, Baby Einstein. Sing-a-longs. Taking showers or bathes and he has no problem with the water running over his face =) Chocolate milk, gold fish, french fries, spaghetti, m&m's, story time, helping to vacuum, playing with the broom and mop making same motions as mommy, mom getting on the floor and playing with him!

Things he hates: Car Seat, Sitting in a grocery cart or even standing in a cart- has to be held, ouch. When mom is on the computer too much and not playing with him.