Rawlins Family

Rawlins Family

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Pursuit

This summer I've spent a good deal of time thinking about my parenting style. Having a bunch of small, love-sucking, time-eating, attention-grabbing offspring will do that to you. I adore their sticky faces with all my heart and just want to make their life a happy one.

Which is why THIS article stood out to me and sent me reeling.

*Warning - the author drops the frickle bomb.*

The idea, essentially (though I think you should read the article), is that parents can actually MAKE their children unhappy as adults by making them too happy as children.

You follow?

Right. So by trying to be too tapped in, or "attuned" to our children's needs, by trying to keep them from experiencing pain or punishments we're actually warping our children's ability to handle later disappointments. (a.k.a. LIFE)

What I'm trying to get at is that this article has actually made me feel BETTER about my job as a mother up to this point. I really, really thought that I was possibly screwing my kids up by making them work out fights on their own. And I worried that the punishments I affixed to their continuous child-crime sprees were going to leave them alienated from me one day, rather than calling my name blessed.

Like today, for instance. During the sacrament portion of church my children insisted on using the pew as a WWF ring. I was beginning to think that perhaps the floor had been enhanced with some sort of trampoline-like surface and that's why my kids couldn't stop jumping like wild hyenas drunk on moonshine. So I did what I do. When we got home the two worst perpetrators (Miles and Sophia - my MIDDLE children. Talk about guilt! Perhaps they were just crying out for my attention because they are so neglected! Oh the horror!) were placed on the couch and had to sit (upright with arms folded) in complete silence for 20 minutes. And when they started talking the timer was reset and we started over. And we did that for close to 40 minutes. And that wasn't our first time at the rodeo, folks. These kids know all about the post-church couch treatment.

Afterwards we had a nice little talk about how their inattentive behavior makes it hard to me to feel the Spirit and think about Jesus. And more importantly it makes it hard for THEM to feel the Spirit and think about Jesus. And next week we're all going to try a little harder because, by golly, "I just know you can do it."

But then I got to thinking, "Maybe I'm scarring them. Maybe they're going to grow up and rebel and hate me and hate church and hate life and hate everything but hate."

OR maybe they're just feeling the consequence of their actions. Maybe, in order for them to grow into useful, productive adults (dare I say, HAPPY adults?) they have to have some really painful, difficult experiences in the loving environment of our home, dished out by the loving enforcers of our home (that's me - and I think maybe I'm going to put that title on a badge).

I don't know. Maybe they'll still grow up to hate me one day. But maybe not.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Since I get this question 146 times a day (Why?) I thought I'd ask a few of my own whys.

Why are new shoes the best toys in the world?

Why, when I asked Sophia if she was REALLY going to leave me and go off to preschool, did she get the smiliest face and say, "YES!"?

Why are toys so difficult to see when it's time for children to pick them up?

Why does five pounds make me go from in shape, to whale-esque?

Why do I feel no need to correct the way Sophia pronounces freckle (frickle)?

Why do manufacturers continue to make children's clothing in white, and why do I continue to buy them?

Why do able-bodied eight year-olds find infant walking toys so much more satisfying than, say, the closet-full of their own toys?

Why did Chase task me with acquiring protective athletic supporters for our sons?

Why did I feel so incredibly uncomfortable with this task?

Why are athletic supporters packaged with large pictures of mens groins on them?

Why was I so traumatized that I spent last night giddily thinking of sending Chase to buy Sophia's first training bra?

Why is revenge always an appealing idea?

Now that I think about it, maybe some questions are better left unanswered...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

By the numbers

I really like when Miles counts things...especially when he gets to number "eleben."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Summer days

There is nothing like a couple days together with just us to make me realize how much I l.o.v.e. my family. This summer has really been a great time for us and I am so sad to see it slipping away already!

The past two days Chase has taken off work so we could do some fun family stuff - kind of a mini-staycation. Our own vacation to Colorado was canceled when we realized our house was going to need some work done. At first we were all heartbroken (me more than anyone....I was looking forward to the cool mountain air and ZERO cell access). But then I realized I could say YES to stuff I normally have to say no to. I could say, "YES! We will spend the entire day at the pool and I will leave Haley with Nana all day so daddy and I can race down the slides with you and play endless games of 'simon says'" and "yes. we CAN go out to eat two nights in a row for no good reason" and "yes, we CAN go to that indoor play place that gets so full in the summer I want to hose you in purel before letting you back in the car," and "yes, you can go ahead and have slushies with your dinner!"

We're only on day two (tomorrow is the last day, then it's back to the normal swing of things), but it's been two glorious days so far.

So glorious, in fact, that I won't even mention how I had to take Sophia home in the middle of dinner tonight because she was losing it, so mommy had to eat cold quesadillas. You won't hear a word about that from me. As with the Go-Go's, my lips are sealed.

I will tell you how Cameron and Miles are great swimmers these days. Miles, who was pretty trepidatious in the water last year, has become an all-out swimmer despite skipping out on swim lessons this year. He spent the last hour at the pool yesterday throwing himself off the diving board.

Cameron is still working on some of the more adventurous components of swimming, like diving boards and water slides. He's always done things on his own timetable and I just don't see any point in rushing him along. Once he's ready to do something he just does it and he's always GREAT at it. Swimming was that way - he hated the water for the first 3.5 years of his life! - and I know one day he'll conquer the slides that Miles and Sophie breeze down. The ONLY sad thing for me is to watch him try, get scared and back out, and then be so heartbroken because he couldn't make himself do it. Yesterday he didn't even want to be around Miles because he felt a little jealous of Miles' fish-like tendencies. It did turn into a good opportunity to talk about how everyone has their own talents. Cameron has his  - he's kind and thoughtful, great at making friends, a great student and artist and doing really well in karate - and Miles has different talents. I even got to tell him how hard it was for me to see MY little sisters be good at stuff that I wish I was better at. That really made him feel better:)

Anyway, it's been such a great two days I had to get it down here. I just love these little people who share my home, and I love their dad. It's such a joy to know them.

pictures to come!

Friday, July 15, 2011

In Medias Res

I'm going to start right here in the middle of the summer. I've been dragging my feet all week (SUMMER) because once you get behind on your blog you feel like you really have to go back and do this whole THING. This whole tell-everyone-every-single-thing-they've-missed THING. And that's daunting.

So I'm going to give you the low-down on where we're at, what we're doing and then plan to actually keep up this blog in all of it's former glory. Remember when I used to be good at keeping up my blog? I must have had a fourth kid or something.

Cameron is almost eight years-old. How this is possible is beyond me. Because I'm pretty sure he just started kindergarten five minutes ago and that was traumatizing enough. But eight?? I firmly believe there should be laws preventing children from turning into teenagers. And if my kid is eight that is a sure sign that he will be 13 one day. And I ain't havin' that. (Although Cameron will be really happy to finally see all of those PG-13 superhero movies...)

A normal day for Cameron will start around 7 am with some sneaky kitchen action. That kid loves to get into the cupboards, my purse, the pantry and snoop out the candy. I suppose one way to halt this behavior would be to only have asparagus on hand at any given moment. But why punish myself? I mean, asparagus is great and all but momma needs some chocolate.

After finding my stash and imbibing (which I only find out about after the fact when I find wrappers stealthily hidden under the couch) it's onto Legos or, more recently, Pokemon. Can I just tell you how much I H-A-T-E Pokemon right now (see how I spelled it out so the kids don't hear? Such a considerate mom, right?)? Because the kids in this age group don't PLAY Pokemon, they COLLECT Pokemon cards. It's all about having the most cards. And those suckers are expensive. So even though the kids all have their own deck (*cough* and maybe Chase has a deck, too, *cough*) it's never enough. We had some serious discussion today about being content with what you have. Ahhh, Pokemon life lessons.

In addition to his Pokemon obsession Cameron is taking a craft class and karate to keep him busy. We're trying to keep him on top of reading, writing and math, too. I need to get on that! It's easy to slip out of your schedule during the summer months.

P1060130 P1060090 P1060058

Miles has left his happy little preschool and is about to enter kindergarten. We're not sure yet if his transfer application was accepted, so we are waiting around to find out if he'll be at Cameron's super radical school. We surely hope so because Miles has spent a great deal of time learning how to say the name of his hoped-for kindergarten teacher (it's a doozy). And wouldn't that be a waste if he couldn't at least wave hi to her in the hall?

This summer Miles is finishing up the last of his gymnastics classes. I use the term loosely because they're more "run around and get your energy out" classes. But he's really loved them and if he wasn't starting school he would stay in them. But shortly after school starts it will be basketball season and he's fully committed to being as much like cousin Brandon as humanly possible. So basketball it is. Karate on Friday nights will continue forever, I think.

Miles and Cameron spend most of their days attached at the hip. I love that they play so well together. Sure, most of it involves bodily harm, but what great boyhood friendship doesn't require some blood bonds? And hey, maybe the timer on my microwave is being worked into the ground with all the time outs it's tracking. I think it's great to see them never leaving each other alone for even a single solitary minute. When their screams reach the heavens I think, "Ahhh...the music of angels." And then my head explodes and everyone goes to bed early without finishing their dinner.

 P1060125 P1060106 P1060095 (Who can sleep like this????)


I hesitate to type this, but I think we're reaching (not there yet, but getting close?) the other side of the terrible threes with Sophia. She's still incredibly divalicious. I have a suspicion that maybe she watches Beyonce videos on youtube while I'm in the shower to get lessons. Because I KNOW I've seen her use these moves on me.

And since she rarely wears pants it's like I'm watching the video all day long.

But really, she's getting there. I think last month she was logging an average of 40 hours/week in the time out corner. This month she's creeping down to about 39.5 hours/week. So, you know, progress.

I'm not sure if it's going to help, but I just signed her up for BALLET at the rec center. And you know I had me a good time picking out her leotards and little gauzy skirt and jazz pants. Oh yes I did. Ever since cousin Natalie showed her some sweet dance moves Sophia has been twirling and spinning her days away.

I'll admit, Soph is turning into a super girly girl. It's been fun to watch this whole nature vs. nurture thing play out right here in my own home. We have never pushed the pink stuff on her. When she picks out super hero costumes for Halloween (EVERY YEAR. I haven't gotten a single Princess costume on her for that holiday! I vow this will be the year!), we just get them. When she wears Miles' old Thomas the Train undies we could care less. When she wants to go on the boys' camp out we pack her up and go. But lately she's been gravitating to the girly stuff all on her own. And I love it. Not gonna lie.

P1060087 (checking out the digs for her new ballet class)

P1060053 No June day would be complete without mismatched clothes and a fur coat. Good choice, Soph.

P1060047 She always reminds me of the coppertone baby when she runs around like this. Hey Soph! Get some inhibitions!

Hales is turning ONE in like two weeks and I'm having mini heart attacks every day. I never felt like this with my other kids! I was always happy to see them growing up and getting bigger, reaching milestones and all that. But this time around I just want to stop time and soak it all in.

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Haley isn't afraid to keep us busy. She's crawling all over the place to check out whatever the big kids are up to. She pulls herself up on everything, too, and cruises around to get a better view. If she sees me or Chase coming she reaches her hand out and says mamamamamamamama or dadadadadadadadadadada.

She's the happiest baby I've ever seen. She's been through a lot this year but she's handled it like a champ. She's a cuddler and an easy smiler. She adores her siblings and they adore her right back. The perfect last baby. Unless you ask Chase. Then she's the perfect next-to-last baby.