Sunday, February 28, 2010

i don't want to miss a thing

"...before falling into sleep, remember the ordinary moments of the day, the moments with your children that meant something to you. this simple exercise is like a spiritual corrective lens. in your vision of your kids, it helps restore the prominence of "who they are" over "what they need to do" or "what they need to work on". review the images; revisit the funny yet strangely insightful thing your child said. relive those moments, and give them their due. let the images rise to the surface of your day. let them fill the emotional waters that will lull you, in waves of appreciation and wonder, into sleep." (Simplicity Parenting, Kim John Payne)

i treasure these words, and i have been trying to heed them. it has made a difference. i have re-fallen in love with my children and have deepened my appreciation for both of them. there were so many moments this week that i soaked in; they calmed me and made me smile. i hope to never forget them.

sam: you always have a schedule/routine. i love the morning routine you have created. you get yourself dressed immediately after breakfast. you choose your own clothes and dress in your room with the door shut. then you brush your teeth, wash your hands, and comb your hair- all on your own of course. you are getting so big.

will: any time you want candy, juice, or any other thing we tell you that you can't have you always say "i just hold it". we have learned that you don't get to hold any of the things we don't want you to have because you sneak it until it's all gone, and you are sneaky about it. if we won't give it to you always say "i save it". that just rarely happens.

sam & will: you have been best friends so much this week, and it is pleasant. today sam wanted will to be in his school. sam set up the preschool stuff and had will be the student. it was fun to listen to him go through the opening exercises with him exactly how we do it at his preschool. he was a very encouraging teacher as opposed to being frustrated.

sam & will: the 2 of you have been racing around the house all day. sam is constantly asking will to hold his hand to race. i love the happy squeals and seeing the two of them running around hand in hand. i especially loved seeing sam pick will up and spin him around, both laughing. then they kissed. it was a precious moment. i know they won't be kissing and hugging too much longer, so i'm fortunate to see it now.

sam & will: will loves going into the bathroom with sam when sam is sitting on the toilet. sam loves it, too. he always takes will's diaper off so he can sit on his potty chair. sam is always so encouraging about using the potty. every time they are finished he always puts underwear on will and gets him a piece of gum for a reward. sam will whisper to me that he just went for pretend. however, tonight was different. same routine but this time will actually peed in the toilet. sam was so excited and screaming for me to come quick. we were all proud, especially sam. i loved will's shy smile; he was proud and wanted underwear on right away. sam took him into the other room and told him that his treat was going to be to get to sleep with him in his bed. will was thrilled. they are now sleeping soundly with each other in sam's bed. what a reward for 2 brothers.

sam & will: you both spent the night with aunt dawn dawn and had a great time. will was so brave to not even cry and stay asleep the whole night. sam reassured me before i left them there that he would help will if he got scared. when they got home this morning sam told me that in the night will was asking for mommy but he told him that he was there for him and that it would be ok. will agreed; he said "sam help me". i'm always relieved to know that they are there for each other.

sam: i discovered tonight that you keep a notebook and pencil under your pillow and draw at night after we put you in bed. tonight you asked me if i could leave the light on because he needed to draw me something really special and he needed more light to do it right. i was touched; he is always writing me "special" notes and leaving them under my pillow. they are very special. i love that he chooses a notepad to entertain himself over other things.

will: you love pretending. whenever we ask you to stop doing something that is naughty, like trying to hit someone with a stick, you always say "i not do it, i just pretending". then you really stop doing what we ask and actually just pretend to do it. i guess that's better than doing it. i love that you are always pretending something; you've got quite the imagination.

sam: you played soccer outside tonight until it was dark. you were all over the ball, falling, kicking, and everything. you reminded us every time that sometimes in soccer people get taken down and that's just how you play. we are grateful for warmer evenings to start our outdoor evenings.

will: i love that you are our singing child. you sing all the time, mostly songs you make up or your stand by "jingle bells". all day today in the car you were singing about your cousin amber being in your bed, in sam's bed, and in mom & dad's bed. kinda weird to sing about, but you really like amber even though she never really plays with you.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

lesson learned, again

i know many of you have been following the stakerz blog, you know the family whose little boy almost died due to a drowning. last night i read these words on her blog.

"If you've ever thought you were alone, think again.
If you've ever thought you were an island and your choices were yours alone, think harder.
If you've ever had the audacity to feel lonely... Well, Ha! I have, too!
But we were both wrong, you & I.
No one is ever alone.

i thought a lot about those words last night, feeling like there are choices that i make that don't really affect anyone, feeling like i am alone when there is not someone climbing all over me. if there's no one around, then i must be alone right? and that decision to be alone must not be affecting anyone but me having some down time. with that thought still in my mind today, i experienced a tiny glimpse of what she was talking about. i thought my choice to sit down at the computer today and be alone for a few minutes were not going to affect anyone but me. i learned quickly that my choice was still tied to someone.
while i was sitting, i could hear sam and will playing in my little salon room. i knew i should have checked on them, but i just wanted another minute of down time. i failed to consider that down time for me meant free, unsupervised time for two little ones around here. i still knew i should've checked, but i didn't. i didn't check until the loud crash forced me up. there was will laying face down on the floor under the sink. i picked him up. he had a bloody mouth, a bloody nose, a cut across the bridge of his nose, and an instantly swollen nose that made me fear it was broken. while i was having my down time, they were spinning each other in the chair. i bet you can guess how long that lasted.
he was ok eventually. i am grateful for the constant reminders that our actions do always matter. that we as mothers are always tied to someone, and all of our choices have the potential to always affect our little ones.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

a whole new world

i love days that i clean the kitchen floor. it turns into a whole new world around here. sam reassembles the kitchen furniture and takes a joy ride. on this day he constructed a rather large train to accommodate all of his animal friends to take them on a journey to the farm. he was the conductor of course. the only passenger he was missing was will; he felt it more important to nap through the excitement.

Monday, February 22, 2010

has it really come to this???

should i really be this excited that we now own this minivan???

Sunday, February 21, 2010

i don't want to miss a thing

i feel like sam and will have grown up a ton during these last few months. i am sad that i feel like i missed so much because i didn't write anything down. i'm committed to starting these posts again, and i hope to be able to remember random things that have happened over the last few months.

sam: today we were trying to design a valentine card for his friends. he didn't like any of my ideas, so he came up with one of his own. this was it...
glue a quarter on a card and write "it's a money world. from the Vanderlindens". i'm not sure quite where he is coming from, but in a weird kind of way it makes sense, just not for 4 year olds on valentine's day!

will: he is talking SO much lately! he doesn't drop the 1st letter off of words anymore. that was so cute, and i can't believe how old he sounds without talking like that. your favorite word is "dude". you call everyone dude and use it in context; i don't know where you learned that, but you say it all the time.

sam: going to church has been a major battle the last few weeks. we have made it clear that when you are a dad you can choose whether you go or not. you have tapered off on the melt downs and now just ask if you are almost a dad. you don't mind church itself, you just hate having to wear church clothes. or at least you hate the church clothes i choose. i decided this week to take you shopping for you to pick out church clothes that you like, and that has made all the difference. you were up at 7:30 this morning fully dressed in your new clothes and there was no issue. you have always had an opinion about your clothes.

will: you love the kitchen we have put together in your room. you always pretend you are the mom and you cook dinner all the time. your favorite things to make are noodles and eggs. i love how you make everyone call you mom while you are cooking.

sam: you are growing even more opinionated about your projects and plans. you are always dreaming of inventions and writing the plan down in your notebook. last week you designed a slide that went off your bed and around the whole earth. you had a separate slide for people to go on when they were having a cardiac arrest. a lot of your games and ideas somehow involve a cardiac arrest. i asked you what a cardiac arrest was and you said it is when something in your body gets hurt and then you can't move your arm. anyways, about your projects... you always want me there to help, but if i try to help in anyway you freak out and saying i am messing up your plans and acting just like a baby. alrighty then....

will: you are very excited for me to have a baby sister. you are always talking about baby maggie. you are always telling me that you want to cut her out of mommy's tummy with scissors. i guess that would seem like a good solution to someone who loves to have scissors all the time.

you both love watching tom and jerry. you both laugh your heads off. i'm still having to monitor your tv watching time, but i think we are getting better. you actually turn it off when i ask you to and you know we won't watch it until the morning jobs are done. i'm ok with tom and jerry; i love it when we spread out blankets on the floor, have a snack, and watch it together. we all laugh.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

run ragged

it has been an extremely draining week. the adjustment to going back to doing most of the work around here on mine own is starting to catch up to me. my kids must be able to tell that i'm a little ragged, and they are running wild with it. they have been a bit out of control... fighting, tattling, not listening, climbing the walls, and having melt downs of all melt downs. i wish i could say that i've stepped up to the plate and handled it all well with a loving and creative attitude; i'm ashamed to admit i've had a few meltdowns of my own. i guess it's no surprise where my children learn that??? the plain truth is that i'm just too tired to know what to do, to stay as calm as i should. the part that has been the hardest is the whole new level of guilt that comes when you know personally how temporary this life can be; i just don't want to find myself wasting these moments with my children.

i'm recommitted to doing better tomorrow. i know i won't be perfect like i always hope, but i will settle for better.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

my valentine

valentine's day has never been a favorite of mine, and it still isn't; i think it's all a little forced and cheesy. however, i have spent a lot more time this weekend thinking about love, what it means, and how it feels. the love i have with pete has been on a whole different level since his incident, and that's more of what i was thinking about. i know our love didn't begin with his incident, and i know it won't end here either.

the first night pete was in the hospital was by far the most critical; i think most of us believed he would not live. that night we had a General Authority from our church come to administer a blessing to him. i was hoping for a blessing that would promise he would be healed; that's what i thought i needed and wanted the very most. that was not the blessing he got, and i ended up getting something much more far lasting than that. before the blessing was administered the General Authority spoke with me about the feeling he got by being in that room, and he said that he could sense an overwhelming love affair between me and pete. he offered the most tender insight about what was happening between me and pete at that time. he reassured me that he was certain that the only pain pete was feeling was pain for me and for my heartache at the thought of not having him anymore; he believed that pain for me far outweighed any physical pain that he was feeling. as i looked at my lifeless husband hooked up to every form of life support, i was certain he was right. it was more of a sense, something i could just feel. all 8 1/2 years of our marriage filled my mind, and i was very aware of how pete has spent our marriage loving me and being concerned about me before himself. i was convinced in those moments that pete was fighting a fight for me, not for himself.

since pete has been awake from the first time, i have felt his love and sense of victory that he did this for me. there are no words to express my gratitude for him fighting that fight for me, for us. nor are there words that i know to explain the depth of our "new" relationship. even in our new trials with each other, i am reassured that our concern is about each other, and that will sustain us. i am relieved to know that this love affair won't end with death; i will cherish every lifetime that i get to spend with him.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

it wasn't funny at the time

will decided to put a bucket on his head today. it wasn't funny at the time because it was really stuck. of course pete wasn't home. it was a job i couldn't do on my own because he was fighting me so hard. i had to call my neighbor. thankfully she pulled while i held, and we managed to get it off. the instant it was off the tears stopped. will smiled/laughed and said "SCARY!", and perhaps he was a little correct.

Monday, February 8, 2010

a pretty typical day

you can tell that things are about as great as they used to be when you are still in your jammies at 10:00, disassembling all the couches in the house to build the best play land ever.

don't lose the perspective

pete's first week back to work was successful. i am grateful for that. while he was back at work and i home with the boys trying to get on a new routine i realized that this is my chance to create whatever kind of new habits i want in our family. i can put back exactly what i want back into our lives and leave behind the old ways that weren't working so well. i have spent time pondering what kind of life is most important to us now and how to execute that life on a daily basis. then i got a reminder of what is most important for us to remember.

i got an email from a friend with a link to someone's blog who is currently going through a horrible tragedy with many similar events, treatments, and feelings that we experienced 2 months ago. check out their story here.

i haven't been able to stop thinking about their experience. it has been such a painful reminder that this earth life is full of tragedy and heartache; it is happening all around us and sometimes in the lives of those we know, but mostly it happens all around us without us even knowing. we can get so caught up in our lives, our petty trials or our own happiness that it's so easy to forget that others are hurting and suffering. i know we can't do something for everyone who feels pain or who suffers, but it seems important to not forget others and to do whatever we can.

so, as i've thought about how to rebuild our new lives, habits, and routines i want to be sure that as many of our routines as possible somehow include a way to help others lift their burdens or ease their pains. i am reminded that the only thing we all have is our humanness, and i believe we must all use the gift of our humanness to do something, find a way to help someone. it's what we're all here for, right???

Sunday, February 7, 2010

blanket winner

thanks to you who left links and memories with me; i know there were many more that left posts that didn't comment, but please email me if you are willing to share the link with me.

the random generator selected roxey as the winner of the quilt. thanks, rox, for all you did during that time and for all you continue to do. i love you!

i look forward to be back to normal posting this week. :) it truly feels like a door is closed and time to open another one.

Monday, February 1, 2010

one chapter ends, another begins

today was pete's first day back to work. i was excited for him and overwhelmed that we were getting this chance again. however, i must admit that i was really sad while he was gone; he has been such a pleasant addition to our days around here. it dawned on me that all my wishing in the world wasn't going to re-create the life we have had the last 1 1/2 months of being together non-stop nor was that how it should be. i have realized that a chapter of our lives closed today and another one is beginning. it has certainly felt like an emotional goodbye; because our outcome was so positive i can say with certainty that this experience has been one of the best of my life. nothing has ever changed me so quickly and deeply. i'm certain our new chapter will be full of new joys, disappointments, and trials, and in many ways i'm eager to start this new phase. however, i am not the best with transitions, so i would like a goodbye that feels worthy of closure. i invite you all to be a part of this closure, and here is how i would like to have you do that...

over the next few months i plan on compiling a book for our family documenting this whole event; it will include all the details of pete's incident, posts and comments from this blog, and thoughts and experiences that others have felt and shared. i want it all in one place so that we can recall with exactness for many years to come how this event felt. many of you have made heartwarming posts on your own blogs about pete's incident or about your feelings; i have read many, and i hope to be able to gather all the links so they are easy to access. i would like permission to include these posts in the book. i would also like to include any experience, feeling, or memory that you may have had even if you didn't post it on your blog.

if you would like to participate and are willing to share such thoughts, this is what i would like you to do. please leave a comment; if you are new to blogging and don't know how to do that, it's really simple. click on the 'comments' link at the bottom at this post, and comment box will open. if you don't have an account to sign in with, then just click the 'anonymous' box and post that way. type your comment in the box, enter the word verification, and click the 'publish comment' button. this is what i would like for you to include in your comment:

1. your name
2. how you know us or how you found out about pete's incident
3. the link to your blog post that was about pete; please leave the direct link to the post and not just the link to your blog. if you are unsure how to do this, then go to your blog archives and find the post you are wanting to link to. click on it to open and then copy the url and paste it into the comment.
4. any thought, emotion, insight, etc. that you would not mind sharing and including in our family book.

here's an example:
my name is jennifer. i know pete because i am his lucky wife. i posted about this event on my blog. the link is or here. i have many kinds of memories about this event, but one of the funniest memories i have is of pete watching the movie Born Identity in the hospital and being certain it was the british version. i've laughed a lot about that.

as a way of saying thank you for your support during the incident and as a bribe to gather as much information as possible i am offering a gift to one lucky supporter. i have been working on a quilt (the one posted here) since pete has been home, kind of like a therapy quilt. i have decided to give that away to a random commenter on this post. i will use a random generator to select that person and post the winner on sunday. if you really love the quilt and would like more chances to win it, then i will enter your name twice if you are willing to do one more thing for me. if you make a post on your blog or facebook linking to this post, then i will enter you a second time. the reason this would be helpful is because many who read our blog initially through your blog may not be reading ours anymore but may have thoughts to share. if you decide to do this, then leave a second comment with the link to this post that you make.

please help me with this undertaking; i want our story to be as complete as possible. if you have more you would like to share with me, then you can email me at just as a reminder you have until sunday night at 9:00 mst to make your comment to be entered for the prize, but you can comment on this post for the next 6 months if you want to and that would be fine with me; you just won't have a chance to win the quilt.

thank you all for being a part of this.
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