Monday, August 27, 2012

5:30 is magical

Well, as magical as that particular ungodly hour of the morning can possibly be.

I know this will probably jinx it but waking up the household at 5:30am worked shockingly well.

For frame of reference please note that our mornings had been starting at 6:00am and most often included, crying, yelling, dog poo, misplaced urine, physically placing half dressed children in the car and in one instance one of my sons bringing a pound of plain spaghetti noodles for lunch.

So we made a pact to get up earlier. Of course I forgot to reset the boys alarms and they have no clue that an alarm needs to be set so I had to make the rounds and wake everyone up.

My alarm went off at 5am and I ignored it til 5:30 and then remembered the whole wake up earlier plan, leapt out of bed, fell over a box and then went to wake up the household.

I woke up Moe who cried, ignored me and curled up in a very naked ball in the corner (i'm sure I sent him to bed in pajamas). Went downstairs and woke up Larry who screamed in terror ( I swear I just popped my head in the room with a cheery, "time to get up") and discovered that the puppy who had been unattended for approx 3 minutes the night before had managed to poo on Larrys floor during that 3 minutes. The sad part of this was that Larry must have noticed and just gone to bed leaving it on the floor for me to find in the morning. Finally I popped in on Curly and did my best to refrain from pointing and laughing at him as he lay sleeping in his satin sleep mask on his satin blanket in his satin robe. (to be fair I only purchased the blanket. The robe was from a halloween costume and the mask was found laying around our house and given to him to stop bad dreams etc...)

Next up was teaching Curly how to let the puppy out of his kennel so that he wouldnt pee all over the house. My dear son was baffled and insistent that he always opened the door to outside first and didnt understand why it was happening (he took over the job three pee filled days ago.) So I watched him open the door, stand in front of the door to open the kennel and completely block the dog from going outside. I yanked him out of the way, got the dog outside and then held a brief kennel opening class until we were on the same page for how it should be done.

It was now 5:40am and I had criers, screamers, whiners, poop and pee. Devastated I stomped back upstairs to get myself ready and let whatever was bound to happen, happen. By 6am I was ready to go and sat down to a leisurely breakfast and time to check my email and facebook. At 6:20am Larry came inside from waiting in the car(I thought he was feeding the cat) wanting to know if we were ever planning to leave? Turns out he had gotten himself ready in record time. At this point Moe ambled up the stairs in his boxers mumbling about getting distracted and how he knew he was almost out of time.

At 6:30am all three were ready, wearing shoes and even had brushed teeth and hair, and by 6:40am we left for school. I'm not sure we can expect this level of awesomeness everyday but oh dear Lord I thank you for the fact that there was no yelling and very minimal poo, urine, crying and zero half dressed children or bizarre  lunch choices. All that from 30 extra minutes in the morning. Don't worry, I'll keep you posted on whether we maintain the magic or if I have children falling asleep in their soup. Do you have a magic morning routine tip for me?

Friday, August 24, 2012

The day that changed my life

That's the theme for this years Ladies Home Journal Essay Contest. My friend sent me the info and encouraged me to participate.

First of all, color me flattered. Well done my friend, well done.

Second of all, color me flummoxed.

I went to my trusted advisors to figure out what story to write. Larry, Curly & Moe all voted for when I met their dad.

Of course this might be because its the most recent story that I told them. Or, r it could be because I tell an awesome story and any story that involves someone falling flat on their face and eating grass is a sure fire winner.

Just in case it's not the most awesome thing I can come up with I made everyone sit down for a brainstorming session.

We came up with:

When I had kids
When I met my husband
When Moe drowned
When I moved to Hawaii
When my son chose his future wife

Here's the conundrum. Do I make them laugh or cry? Pretty sure I don't want to do both simultaneously but other than that I could use your advice. Are you up for a few heartfelt tears or hearty guffaws?

The essay is judged equally on originality, theme, use of language and creativity. I know I can handle sticking to the theme. I don't understand the use of language, does that mean keep it clean, use big words or that I need to retake grammar class?

The original and creative parts have me a little stumped. The ideas above are not very original. Should I go classic and add a twist or should I pull out a random and tie it in? I'm leaning toward pulling a random but I want to make sure that I dont lie about it being the day that changed my life. A lot of days have changed my life.

To get my creative juices flowing can I cheat off of you?

What are some of your top life changing moments? Better yet, If you know me, what do you think mine are?

Thanks for reading through my whinges and whines on the contest, I know its the most intriguing post I've ever written.

Oooooo, the whinges and whines have given me an idea!

What about an explosive poop story. A baby did it, not me, so that could be funny not gross right? And it was a life lesson that I will always deal with the nasty stuff, my husband will never save the day if it smells or looks weird.

Okay, I'll keep brainstorming.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The power of words ...and glitter

Its been an interesting week. I've had a lot of examples thrust in my face regarding the power of words. Because I'm a sharer and I wouldn't want you to miss out on a lecture, I will now thrust all of my examples in your face so that you can learn along with me. You can thank me later :)

Example #1 - I had a friend who was going through some stuff. She emailed me about it and I immediately added her to my prayer list and her stuff was regularly on my mind. However, I somehow decided that it was ok to not tell her that I was praying for her and thinking about her. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things and I am not a total ignoramous but... it's amazing how powerful words are. While my thoughts and prayers were appreciated, if I had taken the extra 2.5 seconds to even just send a text that said "thinking of you and praying" it could have made all the difference. Amazing how I can get so busy/preoccupied/lazy that I cant even take the 2 seconds. The more time I've had to mull it over the more I realize how much I appreciate the responses people give and how I need to try harder at that with others.

Example #2 - I had to teach a class yesterday. I AM NOT a teacher. It was a safety class for 3rd graders. I bet you are all having a sad moment that you missed out on that gem now aren't you? I knew it wasn't going to be a great class. I am a great speaker (also super humble right?), I LOVE to speak, but I am not a great teacher. For us to get along you need to be a very good listener. Top off my middling teachery skills with the fact that I had to cram 120 minutes worth of information into 60 minutes and that it was on topics that I don't really know anything about (so why was I the teacher you ask? I ask myself the same thing) and this class was solid gold baby, solid gold. Afterwards my son Larry (who attended) told me just how boring it was. Curly also attended and he didn't seem to disagree. But then, today, one of the students came up to me before school to tell me how much fun she had in my class yesterday (and she was the student I had to scold the most!) and another asked if we could have more safety classes, and a third talked about it so much that her mom called me to tell me the positive feedback. I still don't know what they enjoyed or how that's humanly possible but boy did those words help my poor bruised ego.  Thank God!!! Because I have to teach at least 3 more of these classes to the younger grades. Add me to your prayer list now (and be sure to text me and tell me that you did :P)

Example #3 -  I have a love/hate relationship with our public pools on Maui. (sidenote: I think I have a love/hate relationship with everything except dr. pepper. That relationship is all love) It's amazing that they are free, open year round and reasonably well maintained. However they have super strict rules and the lifeguards either ignore you completely or are whistle happy control freaks that only know how to yell. I am on edge every time I go. I have well behaved kids that read and follow rules generally and we still get scolded for something or other every single time!! Yesterday I was at the YMCA pool and two kids were misbehaving (please note: not my kids), The lifeguard calmly walked over and very kindly explained the rules to them, waited for them to show him proper behavior and thanked them for listening. I was in awe!! He took a discipline moment and turned it into a learning moment where everyone left feeling empowered and encouraged to do what is right. I waxed poetic to my sister as we power walked in the pool (don't judge me, I'm very fat) about his amazing behavior and how much better that was than at the public pool. She encouraged, then pushed and finally attempted guilting me into thanking him. She even gave me the, "doesn't it feel great when people say nice things to you?" speech. Truth was, I wanted to thank him but I couldn't mentally handle having a conversation with the kind young man after he watched me haul my heavy old dripping wet self in the stretched out one piece out of the pool just to go tell him that. Maybe I can write him a comment card?  I think it would cause less nightmares.

Example #4 - This one is the reason for the picture at the top. That is in fact my hand and those are my nails. No photoshop programs were hurt in the making of this blog. Since our great family plan went underway on Aug. 1st I have also been endeavoring in a side project that I like to call, "trash to treasure." I am attempting to take care of myself. You'd think at the age of 30 that I would be an expert but you'd be wrong.  The only thing I have become expert at is ignoring and excusing my trashy habits and routines. Part of this project entails me painting my nails every weekend for the upcoming week. I have managed it for 4 weeks in a row which means that I have also managed to stop biting my nails for 4 weeks in a row. ** cue tickertape parade** But, no one has noticed. The fanfare has been nil. Probably because caring for your nails is something most normal people can handle by age 8. I was ready to go back to eating my nails for lunch. Until Tuesday. On Tuesday I was in the health room at the school when this sweet boy that lives near me came in. He immediately grabbed my hand and started commenting on my great nails. The next day he found my sister to make sure she knew how great my nails were. His enthusiasm, sweetness and the randomness of it all really puffed up my ego and made me smile. The glitter nails have actually been getting me compliments all week. I always reply "you should never do it! 2.5 hrs and 14 coats for nails that are barely covered!" But now that I've learned the true power of glitter (and become used to daily compliments on my/my nails fantasticness) I'm reconsidering. I'll definitely be doing a pinterest search this weekend to see if there's an easier way or better brand.

So now you know (because I'm sure you had no clue before). Positive words, thank yous, gentle reminders and glitter can all be powerful things to add into your daily repertoire. Mull that over this weekend and hit me up with some powerful words and/or glitter via comments or the next time you see me. I won't remember to do the same, but I'll be trying to remember. It's all about the baby steps.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Its been 6 weeks since my last posting

My name is B and I am a bad blogger.

Thank yous go out to my dad and my sweet friend that commented on my lack of postings. You gave me the push I needed to get back on my blogging bandwagon.

So now I'm back and I have so much to share there's not really any way to make it fit. Settle in with your blanket and cocoa, it's going to be a long read.

1. I recovered from the great fall of 2012. I can now sit comfortably again and have almost stop groaning like a 90 year old every time I move. I haven't braved the roller rink since the accident but I plan to soon.

2. My sweet niece left. Mekana was a lot of fun to have around this summer. 6 weeks with the trifecta of 8 year olds was filled with adventure and learning. Lots and lots of learning. Larry and Mekana butted heads a bit but I think they will forget all of that by the next time they see each other. Moe misses Mekana a lot. She shared his room over the summer and read to him every night. He wants her back asap.

3. We started a new school year. I went back to work July 23rd and we've been in full go mode ever since. I love having summers off with my boys and hated going back to school this year. Many contemplations of homeschooling were whirling around in my brain. Larry had an asthma attack 3 days into the new school year, only I didnt know it was an asthma attack at first and thought he had gone off his rocker as he had hourly meltdowns screaming and shouting and wailing and stomping. I spent the first 3 days of school crying and dealing with conversations about dropping out of school and hating the world. I was seriously scared. When he couldnt breathe on the 3rd day I wanted to jump for joy. I can deal with asthma. a sullen depressed teenager attitude at the tender age of 8, not so much. The bummer is there was no identifiable trigger so now I get to have the worry that he may have a new trigger and that it may be stress and how in the *!*@#* am i supposed to deal with that?

4. My youngest son Moe is officially in Kindergarten. I may have mentioned last year that he was in PreKindergarten at our public school. Its practically the same thing but somehow it all feels drastically different and Im pretty sure I lost my baby forever. He loves school. Kindergarten is huge this year so they had to add a 7th teacher at the last moment. Moe got assigned to the 7th teacher. He loves her and I am becoming cautiously confident that she will be good for him. Its taken me a while to get to this place and I've practiced a lot of "if you cant say anything nice dont say anything at all."

5. Ive made a commitment to pull myself together. That means a range of things from showering daily all the way to not working so much. Two weeks in and I'm not failing. I'm not succeeding yet either but sometimes its about the baby steps.

6. We quit the Boy Scouts. I submitted our letter of resignation today. They probably didnt need one but I needed to write one. Turns out their membership policy explicitly prohibits homosexuals. Im not a gay pride sort of gal and I was really torn on how I wanted to react to this information. My husband felt pretty strongly that its discrimination. I wondered if our local Pack could just ignore the national rule and we could still participate. We explained homosexuality to our sons and asked them what they thought of the rule. My twins have been giddy over scouts since they started in May and I thought there was no way they would ever want to quit. Curly said, "If everyone cant do it, then I dont want to do it. Its not fair." There's no arguing with that. So $400 later we are no longer Boy Scout members and we've taken a stand against discrimination.

7. We are on a new family plan. I read an outstanding book "Cleaning House - a mom's 12-month experiment to rid her house of youth entitlement" by Kay Wills Wyma. I didnt agree with everything but she finally helped me to make sense of why kids need chores and what they should gain from having them. I took a few parts of her system and sat the family down to discuss some big family changes. We started Aug. 1st and its not a total winner so far but we're getting there, after all it takes awhile to turn entitlement into empowerment. Along with the whole chores thing we're also on a get healthy and save money thing. Like I said, its a whole family plan. I'll tell you more after we've made it through the first month, I'm sure you'll be tired of hearing about the great "family plan" by then time we reach next summer.

8. I watched a lot of TV this summer and cant stop thinking about how it all affects me. The whole family watched all of the seasons of "Monk" together and we turned into ridiculous detectives. Then I watched "My Boys" and became fascinated with Chicago and pretty sure that I need new friends (I'll write a post on this later too). Of course we tuned in to the Olympics. Larry cheered for anyone wearing orange (so like 1 person in one cycling race, orange is not a popular country color) and all the boys began plotting their road to olympic stardom. Now I'm watching "White Collar" and "Burn Notice" and I've been treating my days like I'm planning an op and walking around like I have some new personality.

That's all that I can think of for now but I'm back baby so expect more riotous fun coming your way soon!