Saturday, June 23, 2012


OK, first of all,  Spoiler Alert... I'm going to discuss the movie "Brave" at length.

We took the family to see the movie Brave today.  While I was expecting kind of a "chick flick," what I was NOT expecting was to leave the movie barely able to stifle sobbing. 

It wasn't a sad movie, no it had a very happy ending.  However, the premise of the movie hit so close to home, and touched on so many aspects of a mother daughter relationship that I recognize I cried like  a "little girl" (Bella's words) throughout the movie.

So, Brave was all about a mother who was trying to make her daughter, Merida be the "perfect" princess.  Mom's intentions are good and she only wants what is best for Merida but she spends so much time trying to convince and force her to be something she just isn't she never really knows her daughter.

It comes to the point where Merida runs away, and finds a witch to cast a spell to "change" her mother to change her fate.  The spell ends up turning her mother into a large bear and bears happen to be her father's nemesis in life.  (Unecessary tangent here, so I'll just leave it at that.) The rest of the movie shows how Merida and her mother's relationship grows and changes while her mother is in the shape of a bear.  How they learn to appreciate each other and love each other for who they are.

So all of my family knows that Jules and I are completely different in so many ways.  I spent years trying to get her to wear pink sparklies, do mani/pedis with me, curl her hair and make it fancy.  Basically I tried for a very long time to make her me.  I finally came to peace with our differences while I was pregnant with Bella.  One last "Cotton Blossom Pageant" disaster was the final straw.  I decided once and for all I'd just leave her be and let her have her own style and stop putting so much pressure on her.

Well, I thought that we were doing pretty good at our relationship.  I was leaving her alone to be who she wanted to be, and I found some solace in the fact that Bella got enough "princess" genes for the entire family (me included).   Until one daylast year, I had a little epiphany that I hadn't asked Jules how she was doing for days.  (And who knows how many.)  I called her into my room and just started asking her questions about her life.  In the course of this conversation she says to me, "you know mom, sometimes I feel like I'm just raising myself." 

OUCH.  Like, knife in heart.  I think that I was so busy trying to just leave her be, and not try to make her into something she wasn't, I took it too far by not engaging her enough to find out who she WAS and get to know her on her terms.

I was very grateful that she verbalized herself so well.  I would've hated it if she felt that way her entire youth and never gave me a chance to correct it.

All this was going through my mind today as I was watching "Brave."  We were leaving and I put my arm around Julianna and I asked her if some of the movie looked familiar.  She smiled and said, "kind of."   I replied look, I will try really hard not to ask you to use a straight iron on your hair, just don't turn me into a bear.

"Hmmm mom, I can't make any promises."  :) 

Well I'm going to keep trying to make it hard for her to even consider it.  Love that Jules, she is "Brave" too. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Failed Experiment

First of all, I've been busy.  Very busy.  If at some point I can catch up my blog, I will but meanwhile I was inspired tonight so I will start with today.

Here is my cautionary tale.

So, I know that many (all) of you, especially my sisters suffer from the same malady.  WE HATE LAUNDRY.  I dislike everything about it; sorting it, loading it, folding it and putting it away.  Well the busier my family seems to get, the sloppier our children get with their clothes.

Add to this that my children wear a uniform to school.  On any given day my children go through a mininum of three sets of clothes.  THREE!!  Uniform, "Play clothes" and PJ's.  Times that by five and add in a little girlie that changes clothes more than three times a day and two adults.  You are talking literally mountains of laundry.

Well, I was beginning to feel an anyerism coming on by the end of the school year.  It seemed like no matter how much organizing I did in the laundry room, the clothes seemed to seep further and further down the hallway and into the rest of the house.  The piles in the laundry room were larger and larger, the kids stopped using their baskets and piles dirty clothes by their door.  So I finally had it, and went on strike.

I've done bare minimum of laundry for the past two and half weeks.  I've washed my sheets, cleaned any clothing that was mandatory.  (Sunday, undies, sheets, anything that got wet - just basics...) 

Don't get me wrong.  There have been grumblings.  Derek insists I'm punishing him.  (I'm not!  I keep telling him I will wash anything he sets aside for me...)  Tyler has different sports camps every day.  I finally had some sympathy for him (and his team mates) last week when I accidentally smelled his socks.  GROSS!!!  So I've made sure his things were clean but everyone else seemed to have enough clothing to get by.  Especially when they spend most of their time in swim suits.

Until today.

I am up against a deadline here.  I have to get two boys ready for EFY and a trip to Utah.  Guess what!?  I have LOADS of laundry to do!!!  And there is only one washer, and one dryer, and only so many hours in the day.  So now, my laundry strike is over and what I've discovered is the only person that has major consequences from this strike, is me.  I will be doing laundry from yesterday, until the time I walk out the door in two days.

Not only that, many of the things that I've discovered during laundry room excavation are truly disturbing. (And we will leave it at that.)

The moral of the story is (I think), better to suffer an anyerism, than strike.  AND this summer, my kids are going to learn to do laundry.  :)