Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Making more work for myself

It seems like when things get a little out of sorts around here I lose my mind a little. I was settled into the structure of getting up, getting out the door to get everyone to school & picked up and getting things done in between. With everyone home I struggle to focus on much of anything, and tend to do things that make even more work for myself.

For EXAMPLE: In my quest to be an awesome mom and keep everyone entertained -- also we had books & a movie due -- we went to the library yesterday. I had gathered all of my stuff, including a movie that needed to be returned to the Blockbuster Express Kiosk at the grocery store. Do you see where this is going?

Somehow, the non library movie got in the library bag and I totally turned it in.

Thankfully, I realized my mistake. Unfortunately, not until AFTER stopping by Publix to turn in the movie, that I couldn't find. See, having all the kids home makes me do crazy things.

So, today, I got to drag all the kids back to the library just to retrieve said movie and then drag all the kids into Publix to return the movie.

When's school start again?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Kids are Out of School

Yesterday was kind of a rough one as far as first day of school breaks go. I forgot an important lesson I've learned which is PLAN PLAN PLAN. Get together with friends, go out to lunch, go to a playground. Do SOMETHING, anything to keep them busy, active and not fighting. Pretty simple. Only, I forgot that and instead planned to clean in the morning and then take them outside to play in the afternoon.

It didn't take long for me to realize the cleaning in the morning thing to happen. Shortly after I woke up I got this weird vision thing that happens sometimes. I've heard it called a "silent migraine" where you get the aura that sometimes comes with a migraine, but not the headache. I did have a headache to be honest, but not that kind of headache.

Anyway, I tried to take it easy but with four kids running crazy that is an impossibility.

Like the first day of break last year, we had an injury. Fortunately, no ER visit or stitches were necessary this time. Just some neosporin and a giant bandage. I'm all for tradition, but we can put this one to a stop right now!

Like the summer time, Ben didn't nap because there was too much going on and he didn't want to miss it.

Once I felt a little better I did manage to get some cleaning done, and even remembered to lighten up a little and let the boys have some fun.

Overall, not a horrible day once I convinced them to be NICE to one another. Santa is coming after all, you guys!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'll Be Back Soon

It's just right now I seem to be swamped with holiday stuff. I got most of my Christmas cards out on time. (I'm sorry if yours arrives late.) I've baked goodies for neighbors and teachers. I have still not wrapped a single solitary present.

Today at Deep South Moms I'm talking about a few things that are aggravating around the holidays. (But I still can't wait until Christmas morning!)

Hopefully the New Year will bring with it more time for me to blog here... Or maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I didn't give up on keeping a joyful spirit through the daily trials that I encounter in life. I might have had a small backslide this weekend, but I am happy to say it didn't last long.

However, I am kind of thinking it is redundant to post about it every day. The objective was accomplished. My attitude is turned around.

So, for today there are a few unrelated things I'd like to share.

1. Zack is learning so much. He went into preK knowing his colors and shapes and that was about it. He was the kid who any time I tried to teach him anything would purposely tell me the wrong answer. Not sure why, I think he thought it was funny. NOW he's the kid who bounds into the classroom bouncing up and down with excitement to see what the NEW letter is this week!! Last week it was Z and that created enthusiasm on a whole new level because, as he told me "Z starts with MY name Mommy!!" He is obsessed with letters and asking me to spell words and he'll quiz me. "What letter says 'Wuh' Mom." "W says wuh Zack." He smiles and nods his head at my wisdom. Then adds "What other letter says wuh." "Only W buddy." "No Mom, L says Wuh too. Wuh wook, wadder.

So, yeah, he has a wittle more to wearn. ;)

2. I met a mom today that is pregnant with her fourth child. She has 3 girls ages 4, 3, and 15 months and is due in March. I did some major reminiscing as I remembered being pregnant with Ben and having kids those same ages. She asked me "So I can do this?" I told her yes! I did add that it isn't always pretty, but definitely possible!

3. Ben's new phrase when he's angry are "I'm not DOING this any.more!" Which I suspect I might have said a time or two. I guess that's better than the shrieking tantrum. Also, it is just funny hearing it come out of his little mouth so I can just laugh and say "Yes, Ben, you are going to be sitting in your carseat."

4. I have a new post up at Deep South Moms about one of the ways I contradict myself in the way I parent.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day 5 & 6

Yesterday got away from me! Joy (which I've realized looking on the bright side of things drastically improves my outlook) was brought through...

1. Christmas shopping in an outdoor mall wearing capris, short sleeves and flip flops.
2. Getting tasks accomplished that I had been procrastinating.
3. 4 cute little boys.
4. My husband coming home from work early.
5. Actually feeling the desire to exercise, not just because I *should.*

Some days are a little harder to find the joy. Waking up to a feverish, headachey, very sad little boy would once have been a road block. Today I have felt happiness and joy because of...

1. Good (well ok) behavior from the kids at the doctor's office.
2. That Eric didn't get mad at me for being late to school (due to above dr. visit.)
3. That Mark doesn't have the flu, but simply strep.
4. For a doctor that paid attention to more than the obvious.
5. For a phlebotomist that drew the blood on the first try even though the patient was screaming bloody murder and had tears flying out of his eyes.

Feeling peace on days like today is pretty awesome.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Joy Day 4

What has brought me joy today?

1. An actual author posting a comment on my blog! (Thank you Silicon Valley Moms Blog book club!)
2. Extra time with my biggest boy!
3. Getting through most of the day with no feeling the need to pull my hair out!
4. Smooth Sailing at bedtime!
5. Taking a nap!

Today was a good day! For that I am thankful. Whether it is the fact that I am making a conscious effort to focus on the positive and have an attitude of joy, or just a total coincidence doesn't really matter. I'll never know. I just know that a day absent of frustration, anxiety and anger feels amazing!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Tribute toTeachers

I never knew until my kids went to school what amazing people elementary school teachers are. The really great ones understand kids, they love them, and while elementary school students can drive the most patient person to pull their hair out at times (or is it just mine?) they keep on teaching.

Last school year, my two big boys, then in first grade and kindergarten had the best teachers ever. I knew there was no topping them this year, and I had a great deal of nervousness regarding whether or not this year's teachers would measure up. So much so, that I let it all out in a post on Deep South Moms. So far, the teachers this year haven't disappointed me. I imagine at the end of the year, I will be sad to see the boys move on and worried that the next batch of teachers won't be as wonderful.

It's not a job just anyone can do. I'm sure, as much as I love my own kids I could not manage 20 or so at a time with differing personalities, abilities, and behavioral quirks. A love of kids is necessary, but it takes more than that.

Phillip Done (rhymes with phone - as he tells his third grade classes) writes of his experiences as an elementary school teacher in "Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind." He is the kind of teacher you hope your child will get in school. The one who really understands. As I read, I couldn't help but laugh and see my own boys in the kids he described.

Mr. Done's book served as a reminder to me to thank those who are with my children for 6 hours a day. Those who serve them by teaching them reading and math. I am thankful that there are teachers who go the extra mile, as the author did when one of his students was going to test to see if the tooth fairy was real by not mentioning that he had lost a tooth and putting it under his pillow. Mr. Done called the mom of that boy to make sure the Tooth Fairy would show up that night. I will thank them for letting teaching not be just a job, but something they love.

*Disclosure: I recieved the book "Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind" for free from the publisher, in exchange for participating in the Silicon Valley Moms Group book club.

Joy Day 3

A picture speaks a thousand words.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Joy part 2

Growing up I was taught that joy is not the same as circumstantial happiness, that it was something deeper. Something that allows us to feel peace in times of turmoil. Happy regardless of circumstances. Because no matter how frustrated we feel, how many things there are to do, or what is going wrong, there are amazing things in our lives that if we choose to concentrate on instead of all the other things,we can have joy.

I woke up in a great mood this morning. It didn't take long for me to get grumpy with a lot of high maintenance, crabby kids swarming around me. As I fried bacon I had requests to spell words, burned a panful of pancakes, two kids had a skirmish and I felt that familiar anxiety boiling up, trying to pull me down.

On my new mission to stop being grumpy I repeated to myself my new mantra of sorts (mantra sounds better than I am resorting to talking to myself to stay sane) of Breathe... Relax... Look for the good.

So today, the things that bring me joy are...

1. Making up after an argument.
2. Seeing the tree we decorated as a family all lit up.
3. Getting woken up by a kiss on the nose from one of my favorite boys.
4. Being asked to make a chain of paper dolls, doing it, and having that make me the best and the greatest!
5. My home, my family & friends.

What brings you joy today?

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Things have been a little bit crazy lately. It's the holidays and there are things to do. Lots and lots of them. Amid the extra stuff, much of which has to be done sneakily, I still have four little boys, myself, Kevin, and the house to take care of. (Kevin pretty much takes care of himself, but I wouldn't want to leave him out.)

Anyway, long story short lots to do, the house is driving me crazy (per my last two posts) and I am trying to keep my head above water.

Yet yesterday, I kept thinking this is supposed to be such a joyful season. What have I been doing? Whining. Letting little piddly crap get to me, and basically being grouchy.

So, I am trying to focus on the things that bring me joy instead. It's actually not hard to see if I look for it.

Things that come to mind.

1. When Ben sneaks a sip of my Diet Coke and says "ahhhhh, dat's good."
2. When my boys bound into the van each day telling me what a great day they had.
3. When Zack says, "It's raining mom. Is school cancelled?"
4. My many, very wonderful friends who are supportive even when I'm being whiny and annoying.
5. That Christmas is coming and all the excitement and wonder that brings to my boys. Okay, and me too.

From now until the end of the year, I am going to try to post daily on the topic of joy. I need to turn this grumpy heart of mine around.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Because I know you really want to know more about my frustration with housekeeping.

Walls are insane around here. We painted with super duper washable & strong paint shortly after moving in. And, to it's credit. It is super duper washable, scrubbable, even holds up to Magic Eraser cleaning. Alas, my children are grimy, apparently, and even when I try to keep their grubby little hands clean and repeatedly remind them to NOT.touch.the.walls.fortheloveofPete. they persist in dirtying them right up. I do wash them regularly (the walls and the kids) and yet I found them disgusting again. Oh also, besides just being dirty... some creative artist had drawn circles in random spots over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Teach me to get distracted making a delicious meal for my family! Anyway suddenly, scrubbing wasn't doing the trick, and even my bullet proof awesome paint was not looking clean after being given a good wipe down.

Enter paint. Fortunately, when we painted we had extra. Today, I did touch up painting. By touch up, I obviously mean paint the entire wall from about 3 feet high down. It is a beauty to be hold. Creamy white cleanliness! I'm not going to think about how soon they will be dirty again. I am going to give the hand washing and not touching the walls speech again and it's going to work this time. Ben's artistic phase will be limited to drawing on paper now. (What? I'm not in denial! Shhh I'm in my happy place, let me reject reality for just tonight!)

Next up in my series (oh yeah, I've got more!)of dirty house woes... my patio. I am forcing myself to DO something about these problems before I blog come here complaining about it, so at least there is that.

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