Thursday, March 31, 2011

High Expectations

I received some perspective today from an unexpected source. I was at my friends house and her husband came home for lunch. I got ready to leave and mentioned offhandedly about the stress my children were causing me.

My friend mentioned her struggles with her son and his attitude and in my attempt to say, "I'm right there with you!" I totally took over the situation as I tearily explained that one of my sons lacked character and conviction and I wasn't going to let him play with his friends until he developed some. Also, I wasted their entire lunch hour with my stories. Yep, I'm that kind of friend (but she loves me anyways)

My oldest son has been making poor choices lately.

The thing is, he's amazing.

And not just, I'm his mom so I have to love him amazing, but like, genius adorable everyone wants to be his friend and know him, amazing.

The kid is impressive is all I'm sayin' :)

Yet whenever he plays with any friend (at all, even the good ones) he has this need to show off. Showing off when you are 6 means bathroom words, inappropriate guestures, unsafe actions and unkind words apparently. I generally see this as a learning experience but after 3 ridiculous instances of one upmanship last week I had had enough. He was banned from friends and put on "glue" duty where he has to stick with an adult at all times (it's our version of grounding).

I ranted for hours last Thursday night (to my poor husband as he played a video game) about how I couldn't teach him character and good judgement and he should just know! I didn't want him to turn out like so and so who had so much potential but always made bad decisions! Was I raising a potential future convict?! What could I do!

So um yeah, I was a little distraught over the matter.

He handled his punishment well during the 4 day weekend and I saw glimmers of my amazing son every now and then but there's still a lot of work to do. These tearful admissions bring us back to the moment of perspective courtesy of my friends husband.

After unloading all this on my friends at a totally inappropriate time, the husband says to me, "but you have to remember that he's 6." You may be thinking, "duh!" but this was an "AHA!" moment for me. My friend and her husband went on to give me examples of kids testing boundaries, the teaching moments this gives us as parents, and how surrounding them in a healthy environment is our best way to deal with that sort of thing. They pretty much explained that what he is doing is kind of like, you know, ummm normal...and gave me permission to not have exceedingly high expectations.

Now I feel like I can calm down, grow up a little and focus more on my sons many successes. Not sure what it is that makes me overreact about these things but I the extreme.

Thank the Lord that I have friends like these to bring me back to sanity and spare my sons some of my ridiculousness. I'm still concerned about his behavior but I'm now going to adopt the mantra. "He's young. He'll learn. We can work on it together."

If that doesn't work I'll just sink to his level and copy everything he does til he gets that it's not okay (mimicking is good parenting right?).

You know, cause it's important to have a backup plan :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Puttin' my braggin' pants on

That is what I am doing right now. I spend a lot of time on this blog airing my distress, outrage, boredom, mayhem and muck that comes with daily life. I love to read sappy blogs but I generally don't want to write one.

Today is an exception to that. Today all is right in the world and I am one proud mama. Let the bragging begin.

You see my boys want beyblades. They need beyblades. ALL their friends have beyblades. We take special trips to the store just to drool over beyblades.

But at our house you can get toys in one of 3 ways:
1. You earn them (we have a mallar system and it's rare to earn toys, usually just video game time etc...)
2. You receive them as a present (only for birthdays and christmas)
3. They are a really good deal. (I am a sucker for a good deal)

Unfortunately beyblades cost approx. $10 a piece. This does not count as a good deal and we are several months away from any holiday. So everytime our sons drool my husband and I explain that we will not be purchasing this toy.

Today they begged to go view the beyblades at Walmart. We complied and they quietly discussed amongst themselves the various attributes and cool colors of the beyblades they would buy someday.

We got home and I was ready for a break. I set them loose with the detailed instruction to play....QUIETLY....without me. I heard them laughing and scheming most of the time, every once in awhile things would get quiet and I would get concerned. Not concerned enough to get off my butt and check on them, but you know, concerned.

It got close to the time when we needed to leave for an evening event and I went to check on them. They had played quietly for over 2 hours and I was beyond curious at how they had spent their time and how much work it would take to clean up. With much trepidation I set forth to discover their mayhem.

I found them all seated on the dining room floor playing beyblades. But not with store bought toys (they didn't steal!). Nope. My ingenious sons had created them out of the spout tops of water bottles and out of legos and had them spinning all over the room. They had all been named and they boys had figured out which were better at different types of battles. I have never been so happy in my life to have denied my child a toy. The creativity, hard work and genuine fun times that came out of their deprivation was outstanding.

My husband and I stood there smiling at their play and I asked who's idea it was. You guessed it, it was my oldest. He is the one who causes me the most ulcers and tears but he also constantly amazes me with his ability to create, problem solve and lead others. His strengths just shine out of him when he is having a good day. I am so proud of all of my boys, I included a picture below of a few of their creations. It doesn't do them justice, I should have taken a video of them in action, it's seriously impressive. The colorful detailed lego ones are mostly do to my middle son who has an eye and talent for that sort of thing. He creates many things of beauty and you can always see the effort he has put forth in his work.

So, long story short, my kids rock! Also, next time your kids beg for a toy, deprive them and force the creativity out of them whether they like it or not. Unless it's Legos, cause legos are awesome and may be needed to substitute for the denied toy :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The day I ran a 5K

That day was today, and boy did my training pay off :P

First off, a big thank you to the ladies that asked if I wanted to do this. I never would have even thought of such an idea but I love to follow along with others bright ideas. Also thanks to my sister who immediately signed up and paid the late registration fee when she heard I was doing it.

I know I didn't post yesterday. Somehow I got discouraged about bragging over my donut eating 12 minute run sort of training day. Go figure.

Now to the juicy part, the part you have all been waiting for, the day of the race.

I went to bed a 11:30 last night with a  4yr old in my bed. Not sure how that works for you, but for me, kids in my bed means fitful sleep for me. I woke up frantic at 3:00am thinking my alarm hadn't gone off and I was late. Once I calmed myself down I made it back to sleep but still woke up before my alarm, excited to get my day started.

I slept in my running clothes so I literally hopped out of bed, tied my shoes, found my coordinating bandana grabbed 3 spoonfuls of cottage cheese, 1 swig of orange juice and was on the road. Picked up a friend and headed to Kihei. We made it in good time and met up with our other friend and I began scanning.

I scanned the crowd looking for several things, those less fit than me so more prone to finish after me in a race, those that were doing cool stretches which I could mockingly imitate and those that were seriously into this whole running thing and that I should steer clear of. I was dismayed to see, and way to loudly announced, that I was one of the least fit people there. I guess there are not a lot of runners in the over 200lb club :)

But that early in the morning nothing can get my spirit down so I jumped in place, sang and generally got myself hyped up for the big event. The megaphone man called us to the start line and things got serious...seriously. We started on the road and I was like "woohoo, I can do this!!" then we hit the sand and it was all downhill from there. Not literally but mentally.

Running on sand sucks. Running on sand in shoes sucks more. Running on sand at a weird slope/incline when the tide is coming in sucks most. Wait I forgot soft sand, that sucks most. But you know me, ever the optimist, so I cheerily jogged along. Then I walked. Then I jogged. Then I walked. I developed a pattern that was working for me. As we got close to the halfway point I got a cramp at the top of my ribs on one side. From this point on it was all over. I turned into a 3yr old belligerent child and whined, complained and ignored all advice that could make it better. I yelled at others to be quiet and leave me alone. I am a huge baby!

I eventually began running again and as I my running friends predicted the ache had gone away. At this point I was mentally beat and convinced it would happen again so I put significantly less effort into the second half of the race. I soaked my shoes in the incoming tide and threw wet sand with my feet as  Iran. I hurdled a canoe that thought setting off during a race was a smart idea. Really I was an impressive running specimen. Towards the end I picked it up a bit and managed to finish at a slow jog with 5 people behind me.

At first I was hot and sweaty and my head was pounding and I was ready to curse the world. By the time I had cooled down I was puffed up, proud and ready to run again. My ego had returned and I was preening as best I could at my accomplishment.

That's how the 5K went. I did it. Next time I may do better. We'll see. I still hate running.

sidenote: When I say run you should picture someone jogging in slow motion. So slow a two year old could walk faster. That's my pace, my stride, my moves :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

18 is super close to 40

At least that's what I'm telling myself.


Because 6.5 minutes into my first 21 minute Hulu episode my calves were screaming, crying and loudly shouting at me to stop running in place.

I obeyed.

Then I remembered that working through the pain can help it go away so during the second 21 minute episode I began to jog again. I made it 12 minutes before I came to the realization that running in place sucks and then I just gave up.

Eh, what can you do?

So as promised I am filling you in on my 5K training. Now to let you know the finer details of those glorious 18.5 minutes of mind numbing running in place.

I started at 10pm. I had just gotten home from a long day and was like, "oh crap, I still need to run!" So I foolishly slipped into old habits and started exercising in my work clothes. A couple good bounces in I realized I HAD to change NOW. But I had promised to run for 40 minutes. ....

Oh what a mental tussle this gave me!!

I settled on running in place while changing. Turns out it's not as easy as it sounds. Finally completed this task and looked ridiculous as I had grabbed the first things I could find in my closet and then the next brilliant thought occurred.

When you exercise you should drink water. So, I jogged my way out to the kitchen to fill up my water bottle and jogged in place at the water dispenser as it filled and I tried to catch fly away ice cubes. My sisters fiance just looked over and said, "you look really funny." Then I felt the need to explain my sillliness but it didn't really help and I jogged off shouting that I would blog what he said later!

All this and I had only reached 6.5 minutes and crying calves. During my second set, all twelve minutes of it, I ran back and forth across the room randomly dancing and singing to 80's songs that popped up during commercials. Pretty sure there were a lot of Kodak moments in there.

So, don't do the math, just reassure me that 18 minutes is almost 40 minutes and tell me tomorrow I'll do better. Thanks in advance for the unfounded support :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

12 step program

I am officially in training. This is serious and if I am going to make it out alive I have to focus. Here's my guaranteed 12 step program to mediocrity or less in racing.

1. Signed up for a 5K 3 days before the race. (screw planning and forethought, procrastination reigns in this hizzzouse!)

2. Planned intensive training schedule to prepare for 5K race. (involving actually exercising 3 days in a row, a feat rarely accomplished)

3. Began planned exercise. (ran in place in my pajamas for 21 minutes - this is the length of one episode of "Traffic" on Hulu)

4. Completed food diary and realized I must run in place 30 more minutes or gain weight due to poor eating habits. (rethought training plan and considered adding healthy food options)

5. Searched for 30 minute shows on Hulu (these do not exist and anything else just won't work for me.)

6. Realization hit that I may not make it through this alive.

7. Completed 13 pushups (because arm strength is the most essential training component in a 5K race)

8. Went to bed and promised to make changes for the better tomorrow.

9. Began composing blog post in my head regarding how cool I look when I train. (it's pretty amazing)

10. Out of bed for cookies. Crap, this put me even more over my daily eating goals.

11. Reassured myself that this weak willpowered moment would never happen again.

12. Finally fell asleep to "Futurama" which brought about a whole host of bizarre dreams that I thankfully couldn't remember completely.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Come to the Dark Side, we have Cookies.

Have you ever seen that T-shirt? It's funny and my sons adore it. They adore anything even remotely Star Wars related.

Today I was reading the Star Wars related blog where a dad blogger who usually posts about precious moments with his son instead exposed the struggles he has in parenting. It got me thinking that a large part of why I find it hard to make time for myself is due to the "Dark Side" of parenting and that maybe I should blog about it too. As I mentioned on his site, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Hope he takes it as the compliment I mean it to be.

Of course you never know how these things will work out in cyberworld.

Parenting is a beautiful, amazing, eye opening, thrilling, (insert any soppy adjective you'd like here) time in my life. I really truly love being a mom. Of course being a mom is what made me need this blog because being a parent does indeed have a very dark side, and I visit it way too often. It sucks the time, energy, focus and creativity right out of me (luckily it feeds directly into them). It's a dark place, but it does usually have cookies (today they are fresh baked chocolate chip.)

So without further ado, here is my current list of struggles.

All caps plus bold means yelling right?

Just want to make sure that you understand what I am saying here.

My kids have zero volume control. We start at a 9 and go way past 11 (This is Spinal Tap!). I wake up angry when my day starts at this volume. I whisper yell SSSSSHHHHHH!!!!! on a way to regular basis and my children are young and encouragable (but not in a cute way like that Von Trapp kid) so there is no end in sight.

You think I am exaggerating, but no, I have had my hearing tested twice in the past year because I truly feel they are causing me to go deaf. Every time the ear Dr. lady (that's as official of a title as I can come up with, what are they actually called?) tests me she patiently tells me my hearing is fine and that maybe I have trouble focusing and paying attention. Apparantly I have self taught myself to tune out everything.

If you see my kids, tell them to be quiet, ok?

Apparently my kids are exhausted, ALL THE TIME.

Apparently exhaustion leads to emotional outbursts, EVERYDAY.

As I am typing this my 4 yr old is standing in my doorway yelling at his dad, "That makes me so mad! AAAAAHHHHHH! I won't stop screaming til I stop crying! AAAAAAHHHHHH! That hurted my feelings daddy. Sorry daddy for screaming can I have a hug?"

Our house is an emotional rollercoaster. The noted outburst is because they are going to bed 30 minutes late and he was getting his pajamas and his brother put them in the dogs water so now they are too wet to wear to bed. But it really wouldn't matter what had happened, he was tired and he needed to yell, cry and then calm down. It's what he does.

And the 4 yr old isn't the worst one. My oldest takes some strong allergy and asthma meds that keep him tired all the time. This means he lives on the emotional rollercoaster and we are all forced to ride it all day every day along with him.

I understand all of this and I even sympathize.

Here's where I struggle.

My kids go to bed at 7pm. They get up at 6am. We have a rest period every day and the 4 yr old still takes 2hr naps. Exactly when else can I give them time to rest? I went crying to the dr. and changed their vitamins but mostly I am just praying that I can ride this emotional storm out before it wipes me out.

This has come up countless times in the past week as I met up with some of my favorite mom friends over Spring Break.

Apparently when you're about to turn 7 it gives you license to say whatever you want in whatever tone you want.

This causes me to turn into every parent stereotype you can think of as I yell, "Don't take that tone with me!" "Watch your tone young man!" heck I've even done the coneheads reference, "Maintain low tones, maintain low tones."

I follow the parenting bibles and model for them, patiently explain, role play and generally perform as any perfect parent would, but the reality is they test me.

Over and over and over.

This one is solely for my 4yr old.

He either thinks he's 10 or 2, but never ever 4.

In the past few weeks he continuously travels through time as he insists he can swim alone or be outside without an adult and then can't dress himself or tell us what food he would like to eat.

He lives in a world of "I can do it, leave me alone" and "I don't know how" at the same time and its exhausting and futile to try to deal with him in either age group.

I continue to treat him as a 4yr old and hope someday he'll get the hint that this is in fact the age he should act.

That's it, those are my current struggles.

I say this because I assume you all understand and acknowledge that I have the worlds greatest kids who can do no wrong. They are genius angels sent from God to make the world a better place.

This is how I feel about them 90% of the time.

The other 10% I live in a dark dark place where the above concerns haunt me and taunt me as I pray for the time when the Dark side will lose its battle.

But not before I eat the cookies.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Me Time update

Wow! It has been two weeks filled with oodles of me time. I had more time to focus on myself in the past 2 weeks then I normally have in 2 months. I know you're dying to know how I spend my time (I don't mind that you're nosy, I am too) so I will share a few highlights.

2 weeks ago

1. I read 2 entire books. They were both really good and one introduced me to a new author that I really like. I love love love to read but I am usually super cautious about starting a new book. Once I start I need to read it all and I ignore everyone and everything to make that happen. I am a bit of a speed reader (partly cause I skip the lengthy descriptions of places and things, or in the bibles case the who begot who sections) so I can usually finish in a day or two, if I ignore my life. My husband was super nice about helping with the boys so I could ignore him and them and read :) I loved it and I loved them more after my brief break from them. Did I mention that I love to read?

2. My staycation day. I promised in a previous post to share about this and as you can see I didn't forget :) It was a Tuesday and all I had to do was a few loads of laundry (I mean I have a 20 or 30 item to do list, buts whats another day of delays on that?). So I took the twins to school and then grabbed the little one and my sister and set out on an adventure. We dropped my husband off at work in Kihei and then I didn't want to have driven there for just that, so I insisted we find something to do. We checked out the bike shop (saw the sweet attachment I got for my little one in the window display for 4x what I had paid so I got a little hopped up patting myself on the shoulder for a job well done. Oh yeah!!) but it didn't open til 10 so we had to waste some time. We found an awesome vegetarian cafe around the corner that had lots of gross sounding items that excited my sister and yummy smelling and looking items that made me suspicious (I know they snuck the healthy into all of them somehow, somewhere!). Then I realized that all this healthy was good and all but it was Fat Tuesday so we had to be unhealthy (it's like the law guys.) We debated pancakes, I mentally debated malasadas, but what we decided on was cinnamon rolls. Not just any cinnamon rolls but some of the Worlds Finest. (I have them like once a year and dream about them the other 364 days) Oh sweet deliciousness!!!! I was in heaven. Now what to do next? Go to Paia of course! So off we drove to another part of the island. We parked and walked and walked and walked in search of a one piece stretchy yoga suit thing that my sister claims she desperately needs (in may be true but the shopkeepers we inquired with looked at us like we were crazy). After peeking in to a completely random array of granola goodness in one of my favorite granola towns it was finally late enough that Flatbread Pizza was open. We drooled our way in and ate more yummy deliciousness. My heart and tummy were full and so we headed home. Sister went off to work and I had just enough time to fit in a blissful bike ride with the little one before I needed to pick up the twins from school. All in all it was under 5 hours but my staycation was just the breath of fresh air I needed that week. I am sighing and batting my eyelashes just thinking of the peacefulness and joy that day brought me.

This past week

1. I read at least 3 magazines cover to cover without interruption while my sons quietly and compatibly played trains. Not sure if I've mentioned this but I LOVE LOVE LOVE train weeks!! They are restful, entertaining, exciting, enriching and I get to see everyone that I ignore (and I know I shouldn't but I'm a crappy friend) most of the year. My 3 boys never tire of the trains and my husband loves this reason to show off his OCD tendencies. My house stays clean the whole time because the threat of "do your chores or no trains" is serious y'all, it's sooo serious. My sons joy, the joy of others, the way I can kind of do whatever I want while still sort of paying attention to them, man it's a beautiful thing.

2. Took a bath in a bathroom that didn't stink of urine. For now just enjoy that sentence. Maybe in another blog soon I will explain why this is not an everyday occurrence or even a  possibility in my house on most days.

3. I tiled my entry way. My husband took out the tile that I hated and I just got the time to sit and do the job from start to finish. In only 2 days I completed a project that sometimes takes me 2 weeks due to the constant distractions that I allow into my daily schedule. You might think this was work but I love doing projects when I have time to do the whole thing, I just love it.

4. Today was the best moment of me time of all! My husband took the youngest to Kihei to work on my poor broke car and I was left with the twins. My dear friend called me up and invited them over for a playdate with her sons. I of course said yes, thinking an hour to myself would be kind of cool. But no, I got there and they insisted on keeping them for 4 hours!!!! I have seriously awesome friends in case you were wondering :) I drove home thinking giddy thoughts of ways to spend my time. I contemplated taking a nap, reading or watching tv. But I felt the need to be productive. So then I contemplated tearing out more carpet downstairs, continuing my quest to clean and organize the garage for the bazillionth time, exercising, even folding laundry was weighed in as an option. Still undecided I reached home and decided to eat cookies and milk and finish a magazine. 10 minutes later I was done with that task and laying on my bed. I looked around my seriously filthy scary bedroom and got upset for the umpteenth time that I never have time to finish one task and then it stockpiles and turns into ten unfinished tasks and my room always looks and feels like a pile! :( But have no fear I turned these troubled thoughts into action and made the decision that I would spend the time making my room beautiful again. I cleaned, I sorted, I moved furniture, I removed a giant garbage bag of items for our upcoming garage sale, I swept, I mopped, I even put a picture in a picture frame (It's a collage frame that needs like 10 pictures but 1 is a start right?) When I finished I sent my friend a picture message showing off my clean room and thanking her for the time I had been gifted. I still had time remaining so I swept and mopped my floor for the 2nd time in a week! (this is usually an every 3 month occurrence :( it's sad, very sad. also gross) Chores finished, my sons and husband all arrived within minutes of each other full of smiles. They went into my room and I expected big pats on the back for my hard work and what did they have to say?

"Nice Picture!"

Seriously, all of them,

at seperate times,

that's what they noticed,

the one color picture I had added to the collage frame of 10 black and white stock photos.

Oh well, it was still some seriously sweet me time :)

Now I must say thanks for reading my braggart thoughts through to the end.

I understand if you're jealous, my life is seriously sweet.

Alas, it's back to the real world in two days,

I hope I can handle it with a bit more grace now that we've taken a break from each other for awhile.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, cause if this "me time" stuff doesn't work, I'm out of ideas and out of my mind!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Diets take planning,

and planning is something that I strive for and never accomplish.

You recall a previous post, or 7, where I commented that showering is as much scheduling as I can take in a day? Yeah, it's a problem.

So tonight the boys and I went to a movie. I "planned" to take them to a "healthy" dinner at Pretzelmaker first (there is one thing I can eat there and still stay within my version of healthy not cheating on my diet food). My "plan" didn't work out and we got to the mall with 10 minutes to eat dinner.

So I dutifully informed my sons that we were having popcorn for dinner and set off to buy our tickets in the midst of all the cheering. Still I had a plan, I would just eat some plain popcorn and have dinner when I got home. I neglected to include a few important factors in my eating equation.

Factor #1 - Don't buy your kids candy that you like. Red Vines and Reeses Pieces can overpower even the steeliest of my willpower. Also my willpower is not so much steely as bendable crushable aluminum.

Factor #2 - All I ate that day (excuse side note: the train day mayhem left me too excited to sit down, yes this happens to adults too, it's not just a kid excuse) was one measly delicious bad for you grilled cheese sandwich. My stomach growling reached massive proportions shortly into the movie and I owed it to fellow movie goers to quiet myself ( you see how I sacrifice for others? I'm a saint!)

All this information leads me to shamefully hang my head and mumble quietly while shuffling my feet and tell you that because I didn't plan, I stole my kids food.

I know what you're thinking, hey I've done that! But no, it's much worse than what you did.

You see I ate a little of the oldests popcorn and reeses pieces mix (a soul suckingly delicious combination) specifically targeting the reeses pieces. When it got to the point where I thought he would notice, I switched over to the youngests yummy snack mix. It reached the point where I had eaten at least half his goodies so I took a break, willing myself to stop .

My willpower didn't last 10 minutes. Then I whispered loudly and accusingly to the middle child, "Are you eating your food?" He responded, "No, I'm watching the movie." I said, "Give it to me!" He handed it over and I proceeded to eat all of his reeses pieces, which he hadn't touched because he was so into the movie. When I realized what I had done, I handed the popcorn box back trying to hide the picked through areas.

In the last five minutes of the movie he realized that he hadn't eaten his snacks yet and when he went to grab a handful he loudly announced, "Hey! Mom, you ate all my reeses!" To which I replied, "Sssshhhh! No I didn't, they're at the bottom."

Yep, I lied. And he let me get away with it. My kids are awesome and I need to stop stealing their food. Bottom line folks, bottom line.

SIDENOTE: The movie we saw was Mars vs Moms and it is a must see. We all adored it. If you go, stay for the end because the extras are cool.

**Spoiler Alert**: A mom dies in the movie and as we watched that happen I thought I heard my youngest choking. I leaned over to whisper ask if he was okay and realized he was holding back tears. He wanted to know why martians were going to kill me. He was so upset it was heart breaking :( I scooped him into my lap and discussed that martians aren't real and that I would be fine but he remained traumatized for a few minutes. The action in the movie picked back up and he got over it but oh what a bittersweet moment.

I'm not going to lie, although it was sad that he was so upset, it made my heart swell to hear how terrible he would feel if martians killed me.

I say all this to note that you should warn your kid that the movie isn't real if they are the sensitive type.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The train elf

We have a giant train set and our sons love it.

You know that show, "Destroy, Build, Destroy"?

That sums up a large part of the fun of this particular toy.

It's only been this past year that the twins have been old enough to accomplish the engineering feat that is building a train set.

Well I consider it an accomplishment, the train elf seems to find it a little lacking.

You see every time the twins fill a room with train joy and wonder I let them leave it out so the play can continue til I can handle the mess no longer. They eventually take a break from train mayhem and they also eventually sleep.

As soon as this happens the train elf appears.

He is very large for an elf (almost 6ft) and while he is visiting, the child built train set takes on all sorts of exciting twists and tuns. Forced together pieces become beautiful stretches of winding track. Everything is sorted in a masterful display. Colors get sorted out and every switch and stop is tested.

The next morning when my boys wake up they are obliviously proud of what great builders they are and don't ever seem to notice that the train elf did a lot of work. **(point of interest: I just heard the train elf say, "does this look like what they built?")** Apparently he is actively trying to deceive them. Or give them confidence, depends on how you look at it.

I for one find the train elf ritual amusing and endearing, hope my boys will too when they someday discover it :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Point of Clarification

So I am not going to retract my previous post regarding time management, but I am going to clarify.

#1 (these are my excuses) It was the middle of the night (I use this term loosely) when I wrote that blog and I didn't proof it (which I usually do by reading it aloud to the dog). I had just heard a very funny story about a "busy lady", I felt guilty for getting nothing done all weekend including blogging and I was a little loopy from the vast amounts of cookies I snuck at the BBQ.

#2 Now that you can see where I am coming from please don't take it personally. I just meant that we all have those moments occasionally and I was addressing the fact that I believe I may have a problem in this area. Take today for example: I practically bragged to my neighbor about my "busy day" and then I did minimal work, ate too much bread and watched teeny bopper shows on hulu while my sons built their train set. Productivity was next to nil.

#3 I have very few close friends (I don't know if it's BO or what, but people keep their distance) :) All of those friends are truly busy people (I've seen their calendars!) and I admire them for it. I feel overwhelmed if I have one thing each day that I have to do. Having to pee at an inopportune time or the need to shower daily are sometimes all I can handle by way of a schedule. Yet these ladies do 10 things a day and look good doing it (they have their flaws and crosses to bear as well). So I end up feeling like I need to make excuses because I don't live up to their standards. But I am not them and they are not me, my post was me self reflecting on that for a moment.

#4 Friend that prompted this post, don't feel bad, I'm glad I got a chance to think it over a little more and perhaps slightly alter my judgey tone. Too all friends out there, it wasn't about you, I promise. :)

Let me end this by saying that I really have to go because I have soooo much to do. Why? Because I didn't do it all day :) This is my cross to bear.

I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo busy...

That's the phrase that rattles around in my head most mornings.

I don't say it out loud almost ever (it occasionally squeaks past my locked lips and then I am shamed.)

I get so frustrated with the people that are always soooo busy. Tonight, at a bbq, a bunch of people were making fun of a lady who is always soooo busy saying she's busy that she can't get any actual work done.

Please Lord never let me turn into that person (and yes I am aware that I already am sometimes. Give me credit, the first step is admitting I have a problem.)

When "those people" start complaining I generally just sit quietly, tune them out and go over in my head all the things they could do to be less busy. But I'm not heartless, I understand that things get hectic at times. I'm also crazy enough to believe that they don't need to be that way ALL the time.

Of course, then when I need to make excuses for why I am a bad friend, human being etc... I always find myself saying something like, "well it's soooooo hard, you know, they're sooooo busy." This is code for I was too lazy, scared, oblivious or rude to even invite them to hang out, call them or acknowledge their existence. Pretty lame right?

Funny how we use these excuses of crazy busy schedules as badges of honor. Like it gives us merit because we don't sit on our butts all day. My reality is that I get "sooooooooo busy" because I spent too much time sitting on my butt all day. But when my husband calls to ask if I made some phone call I promised to make I am quick to say, "oops, I'm doing it now, I was just sooooo swamped this morning."  Swamped because Spider Solitaire can really eat up my time.

And another thing, since I'm ranting anyways, how many times a day do you get the, "Wow, you're a busy lady aren't you?" 

No more so than any other person in my situation, but thanks for asking. 

I get this an average of 2x a day from strangers in stores (only when I have all 3 boys with me, I also get looks of pity during these moments...) and from friends who are checking in on me. I'm not that busy people, just living life, which yes takes time, but believe me I waste as much time as I spend.

What this boils down too is, if you want to hang out with me, call me and suggest a time and place, if I like you I'll make it work. Also, stop telling people they are so busy and when someone says they are sit them down and get them time management counselling. If someone wants to do that for me I'm all for it! 

Okay, that may be overstepping a bit, do what feels right.

p.s. I was tempted to put my daily or weekly schedule on here just to help rub in some of the points of my ramblings. But then I remembered that people judge and that it's the internet and maybe I shouldn't just give my schedule out to the world (my stalker from when I was 17 could find it...) 

p.p.s.Do they have time journals? (Because a daily food journal really did help me lose weight. Maybe a time journal would help me lose some of the hectic.)

p.p.p.s. This entry started due to guilt over not posting for a week. When I tried to think of my excuse for not writing I discovered that I had plenty of time, I just didn't do it. My guilt turned into this post and that means I'll have to save my staycation moment post for another day. Stay tuned :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Conversations in my car

I have a minivan and my 3 boys sit in the far back seat. It gives them this false sense of privacy and they abandon all secrecy and say the craziest things to each other.

We don't allow toys or radio in the car so what's left is kidz bop or conversation. I can only handle so much kidz bop.

Tonight we were coming home from the most inappropriate "kids" movie we've probably ever seen and my sons had one of these candid conversations. I sat quietly and tried to memorize every word as I soaked it all in. Listening to these conversations is often the highlight of my day, I might make it a regular blog topic to share with all 11 of my followers, but no promises. It's hard to remember the sheer randomness of these moments.

Oldest: When I grow up I am going to repair new houses and give the money to poor people.

Middle: Poor means they have no money right?

Youngest: No, poor means they are sad.

Oldest: Guys, poor means they have nothing and they are sad, you're both right.

Oldest: But I'm only going to repair houses part-time, like Mondays, Fridays and Thursdays. The other days I'm going to kill robbers cause somebody has to make robbers extinct.

Middle: What does exinct mean?

Youngest: Extinct means all dead. Like mammals. Mammals are going to be extinct.

Middle: What's a mammal?

Youngest: Like you silly! We are mammals and we are going to be extinct.

Oldest: So we're all going to be dead? Oh. Probably someday plants will be extinct too.

Middle: Well when that happens I am going to repair rocket cars. Mom how much do rocket cars cost? Can we get one?

I'll stop here as I entered the conversation. I suck the funny and random right out of those b oys every time.

Now I can hear them all in their room getting ready for bed, and planning what their superpowers will be :)