My Little Kingdom

A day in the life of me and my kingdom. Thoughts of a mother of four amazing little boys, a wife of an incredible husband and a woman trying not to forget about herself.

August 21, 2008

A Heart Filled with Stone

Sitting in the cool grass under a splendidly blue sky listening to the water trickle over the pebbles in the brook nearby, the boys laughing and exploring the grassy banks for water snakes and snails. I couldn’t soak it in fast enough as I was studying high up on the bank. Anxiously wanting to join them as they kept calling out, “Mom are you done yet? When can you come play?” My surroundings and their pleas got the better of me. Kicking off my sandals I climbed over the wood railing and tiptoed through the wildflowers down the slopping bank. Through the brook, across the smooth pebbles they waded in search of fantastic finds. Ah, to have children is to be young and alive.

Just a few moments earlier Isaac ran across the wood plank bridge gently tossing a rust orange colored stone at me. Tumbling across the sun filtered grass perfectly halting as it reaches my side he yells out while turning and running back across the wooden bridge, “ this will make you feel good inside!” It most certainly did. He brought a smile to my heart and laughter to my lips.

The rusty orange colored stone now proudly rests lovingly upon my kitchen window seal with the others. Yes, there are others, many others. In fact my window seal is beginning to look a lot like a sea wall or the foundation of a castle being built with tender love in each perfectly picked stone.

I adore my kitchen window as odd as that may seem. My kitchen window is the only window in the entire house that I can open and still have privacy. It frames a beautiful mature shade tree that provides a sea of green leaves that sway soothingly in the breeze. In the winter it provides shelter for a variety of little feathered friends, which brighten my soul to watch on a cold dreary winter’s day. I am fond of the tree as it brings me something with every season. As I am fond of the window as it shares things with me.

But, most of all, the window in my kitchen is a very personal very special very meaningful place for me as a mother. For this is were I stand day in and day out as my boys run in and out and all around me. This is where I stand with aching feet and tired back and dinner roasting by my side. This is where they burst in through the door racing to throw their arms around me beaming from ear to ear with a flower picked from the neighbors yard, a uniquely shaped piece of wood or stone. And so very often lined upon my window seal and along my sink are little cups of flowers, twigs and stones. More permanently are the stones up on the window’s ledge. One in the shape of a surfboard another as a heart, some even sparkle. Each and every one possesses some characteristic or quality the boys found worthy as a gift for me. Visitors might scoff and think of me as a little peculiar with all those rocks piled in my window. Little do they know those are treasures rare. If they knew how my heart valued these little tokens of love they’d surely want some of their own. For these little treasures represent my children’s love and adoration for me, their mother. These little tokens touch my heart and tell me that I’m in their thoughts even when I’m not in their presence. These little random acts of kindness spread a smile inside out and I know I am loved and someone is thinking of me. Yes, Isaac it certainly does make me feel good inside.

August 15, 2008

Backyard Olympics

I love the Olympics, who doesn’t? I think everyone at some point has imagined or dreamed of being an Olympic star. Whether it’s for the awe inspiring self-discipline, the optimal physical form or even if it’s the pure desire to win, to feel what that’s like at that level is what we long for. It’s in each of us, that kind of personal drive and potential. Tapping into it is another story. At any rate, I’ve always enjoyed the Olympics, when the winter Olympics were held in SLC Cameron and I were able to get in on the action and what excitement it was. I only wish they’d hold them here again so that our boys could be apart of it. Not wanting to wait for them to come back this way, I decided to do something about it.

Even though the Olympics are on the other side of the world with modern technology not only are they in our living room they’re in our car, on the subway, in the elevator, at work, well you get the point. However, I have something even better than all of this splendid technology has to offer. I have them in my very own back yard, no really. The Olympics are literally in my back yard and it doesn’t stop there! We were so lucky as to have had the opening ceremony held there too! Seriously, it was an incredible affair to behold.

It went a little something like this. The excitement building as the countdown grew shorter, schedules left open, Olympic embellishments began to garnish the halls and the Olympic spirit was alive and thriving. We gathered together downstairs. Olympic rings hanging above and with great anticipation we held our opening ceremony. A description and background of the Olympics was given. The Olympic motto being “Citius, Altius, Fortius” Latin for ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ (1894 De Coubertin) and later he added “The Most important thing is not to win but to take part”.( I love that. Some of the greatest Olympic stories don’t always come from those who place but from those individuals and those countries that rise against all odds to be a part of the Olympian experience. And it sure fosters good sportsmanship.) Then the boys each picked out their favorite of the Chinese mascots.

We held our Olympic torch high and set it on the mantle as we all marched out the back door into the cool of the evening for the grand events. The weather was perfect a glorious blue sky, golden rays of sunlight setting the mood. Lining up were the highly favored Olympians Everest, Edison, Isaac and Hudson. Everest known for his fierce competitiveness, Edison for his agility, Isaac for his vivacious energy and Hudson, don’t let his size fool you.

Now what we’ve all been waiting for…

“First event to kick off 2008 backyard Olympics is the relay race. Mom sounds off and the race begins, Everest is off like a rocket. Amazing, look at that kid run. He makes it around the house in lightening speed time. Edison in position, bent over one leg in front of the other, head down and hand stretched behind him for the passing of the paper towel baton. Everest slides the baton into his hand flawlessly and Edison snatches the baton up while taking off, rounding the first corner effortlessly and with legs of phenomenal speed. Isaac now waiting for the baton to be placed in his hand you can see the excitement in his face. He is in his element. Edison comes tearing around the final corner of the house and lands the baton square in Isaac’s hand as Isaac tears out of there and off he goes. Little Hudson takes a deep breath steps up to the mark with confidence and waits. Isaac is flying, he’s got sparks under his heels as he comes in behind Hudson and passes the baton dead center in Hudson’s hand. Hudson wraps his fingers tightly around the baton and just as he accelerates slips! Oh my, landing smack on his belly. But, wait he’s up! With no hesitation this kid is up and back in the race. Wow! This kid’s amazing. Look at him go, he just might have a chance at a medal. Oh, wait… he’s taking the lead. Look at those legs go! He’s going for gold….and he takes it! What determination! The Moll team wins the gold! What a team effort, purely unbelievable.”

"With little time to cool down they are in place for the next race, it is a tough line up of events for the evening. However, the Moll boys are up for the challenge, if anyone can pull it off it’s these four young men right here. Next is the 40' sprint to the slide and the 80' sprint to the slide and back followed by the 200' marathon. Then moving into the standing long jump followed by the running long jump (or hop for some). The rest of the night’s lineup proves to deliver excitement and entertainment. What thrills, chills and spills. It doesn’t get any better than that folks. This is athletics at it’s best."

There was a hush among the dandelions as they stepped up to the podium to be awarded their gold medals that night. They stood tall and proud, after all they earned this gold.

World records were broken as each Moll boy took home a dozen or so gold medals. Never before in history has anything remotely come close to what was experienced.

Atferwards, we went inside for a treat only worthy of an Olympian and to relax while watching the ‘other’ Olympic Ceremony kick off. Absolutely stunning in it’s own right but not nearly as exciting or entertaining as was what we just witnessed here in our own backyard.

The Olympic rings still hangs high on our wall. As for the Olympic torch it disappeared somewhere but the Olympic spirit is still burning strong. It’s a race to see who can stay up the latest watching the Olympics every night.

August 02, 2008


I did it! I did it! I did it!
I am diaper free! Well not me, literally. But, our household, our bank account, our boys! It just happened out of nowhere unexpectedly. I’ve been dreaming of it for what seems like forever and even bought little undies in anticipation months ago.

So this is how it happened. One morning a couple months ago I was cleaning up breakfast dishes or sorting laundry or something of that nature when Hudson, the youngest comes in the room and announces he has to go. I paused, more like froze as I tried processing what this meant. He said it again and I promptly ushered him to the bathroom and he went! A couple hours later he said he had to do the other kind so I proudly and excitedly escorted him to the bathroom again. But, that was it. He was no longer interested in it after that and wanted his diapers. I didn’t want to turn it into a battle so I obliged. Every so often I would ask him if he wanted to wear underwear today or if he wanted to try the potty again. He’d answer with a ‘no’ and shrug of the shoulder. Bummer, I thought.

Then the other morning the boys were all out on the lawn bright and early helping their dad load up and head off for a high adventure camping trip. As I emerged through the front doorway I saw a hilarious sight before me. There was Hudson running around with his diaper so full it nearly touched his ankles and knocked against his knees as he ran. Quickly changing his diaper. I didn’t think much of it until Cameron had left and things had quieted down.

The next diaper change I asked the question again, not expecting a positive response. BUT, he shook his head yes and asked for the transformer underwear! He’s never gone back! Having the right underwear is key in pottie training. He also liked the idea of surprising daddy with his new ability as well.

Okay secret’s out I am a professional diaper changer (it’s true there is such a thing)after four boys, an estimated 14,000 diapers and 8 consequtive years I think I qualify. I know a thing or two about diapers, diaper changing and well everything else having to do the subject. I can change with the best of them and have been exposed to it all as well. I can change an explosive diaper on an airplane on my lap in the midst of high turbulence, alligator rolls – bring it on, any position – not a problem, in their sleep w/o waking them up, speed, discretion…

So here are a few of my tips for the diaper stage and the transition to the non-diaper stage as I feel a sense of duty to pass them on to all diapering parents.

1)If at all possible don’t skimp on quality diapers for obvious reasons. It’s worth the extra little bit.
2)Don’t skimp on wipes either. The higher quality ones are tough, durable and don’t rip in the middle of their job and they are the multi purpose handi do all cleaning tool for everything in the home to the car and of course in regards to the bum.
3)A+D or Butt Paste are THE best diaper rash ointments. They don’t sting, not that I’ve tried them personally on myself. However, my boys don’t scream bloody murder ‘it burns, it burns’ with these brands as they do with say, um Desitin and the like.

1) Like I said underwear is key
2) Incentive is also helpful, such as a reward, a pizza/movie night, storm trooper…
3) Praise, praise and more praise, build the confidence
4) Never turn it into a power struggle or associate going to the bathroom with negativity
5) Timing is everything. Every body is different. Talk to your pediatrician if you need. My pediatrician told me (after I had already gone through three) that white males are the last to learn. So don’t rush or push you will only be met with frustration and resistance.
6) Involvement and exposure: let them pick out their underwear, toilet seat, casually and randomly discuss the topic
7) Patience

A method I used with my first two:
‘boot camp’ which is anything but boot camp. Just something I dubbed it as. It’s more like block-out-a-week-with-no-appointments-or-dinner-dates-and-stock-up-the-pantry-we’re-ditching-the-diapers-this-week-camp. It’s low key, friendly, no stress and they can run around the house and yard in their underwear.

Whatever method you find that works for you, it’s good to prep them. Shop for underwear, toilet covers and so forth letting them choose the ones they want. If they don’t want to start when you get home, it’s something they can look forward to. Bring out the toilet seats and training potties making them visible and accessible, sparking interest. Accidents happen, never make your child feel bad for that. It takes a lot to get the hang of it. Relay that thought to them, they’ll be more relaxed and unafraid wanting to try harder and will be more confident. After all they are new to this and shouldn’t be made to feel bad about or punished for something they’re learning. So teach them and teach them tenderly.

I’m still in the clouds somewhere, NO DIAPERS! There’s more room in my shopping cart, more money in my pocket, space under the bathroom sink, no more smelly packages. We’ve officially graduated to another phase in familyhood. No more cribs, no binkies, no bottles, no cumbersome diaper bags, no stroller/infant carriers, no diapers….

WAIT, where have all my little boys gone!?