Sunday, June 26, 2011

Good Healthy Breakfasts... Or Not.

I am all for giving your kids a great start to the day. Having a healthy breakfast can do so much for a person. Yes, I know.  My kids are in better moods when they have a big breakfast full of variety, sure.  But in all honesty, that just doesn't happen here as often as the experts think it should.

The family is full of late sleepers. Eating right away after we roll out of bed is not something any of us do well. I've spent my whole life fighting this same issue myself, so encouraging the kids is not my best skill.  I do try to avoid the cereals that are all high sugar or just plain junk. But this isn't a sign of me trying to feed better, eat better or anything better for THEM. It's simply because I eat the crap too.

Fruit Loops, Corn Pops, Honeycombs... Sugar Crisp (have I told you I can't get enough?)  There was a time my brother was hooked on Pop Tarts. I felt his pain. What fixed it? He got a monstrous box of them as a gift for Christmas once.  But I bet he ate the whole thing. And I bet he still has them now and then, just not like it was before.  And now there's Chocolate Cheerios. Seriously. I wonder how much the nutritional values vary on this compared to other cereals. I heard this woman at the store one day talking about them...
"Oh My God. Really?  Look at this? Yeah, sure, let me buy THAT for my kid. Like he's not crazy enough already."  I'm thinking "Lady?  You look like you might almost be 18. You have four colors in your hair. Peircings and tattoos all over. YES. Cereal IS your child's only issue."  Let's just not mention the cartfull of chips and pepsi and pre-packaged dinners you have there.  It's all about the cereal.
(no offense intended to those friends of mine who have multi-color hair, piercings or tattoos... It was the whole picture of this girl that was JUST WRONG.)

I miss the days of pregnancy when I didn't have to explain my crappy breakfasts to anyone. Not that I have to explain myself anyway, but I didn't get that quick shot of guilt when I read some random article about kids test scores and the relation to breakfast.  There was about a month during my second pregnancy where I lived on Rice Krispies. Several times a day. Every day.  Truthfully, there was more sugar dumped on the bowl than there was cereal. I NEEDED the milky sugar goo taste. Ahhhh... pregnancy.. how I miss you. (well, except for the labour part. And the kids after part... I've got enough now.)

Bah, I have smart kids. Lucky Charms or not. You know what has an equal effect on my kids moods? 
MY moods. MY choice of menu. MY commitment to their bedtime. 
Seriously, my kids are just as crabby on Monday if they have junk cereal or homemade low fat ... anything... with a side of serious fruit and a big old glass of milk.  Mornings suck. Having kids that are late risers is a blessing and a curse. Three days to go and I get to shut the stupid alarm clock off for most of the summer. 
My breakfast? Coffee. There's milk in it so it counts. That's two food groups right there. Beans and dairy.

Macboy mentioned this the other day, and it's had my head spinning since, that he loves weekends cuz there's only really 2 meals a day. "Something like lunch or breakfast or both, and supper."  He's right. I don't have a structured game plan. My kids eat when they are hungry. And if left to graze through out the day they do make healthy choices. They will eat broccoli over chocolate, they will pick the candy of the candy apple and eat the apple. (Seriously, it almost hurt the first time I saw that. We PAID for that candy crap!  I could have bought a bag of plain apples for the same price.)

Back to spinning heads. I do have a habit of beating myself up over silly things like this.  I was pounded with bad mommy guilt when he said that. Really? I only feed you twice a day? But look at my kids. They are perfectly FINE. I am letting myself off the hook on this one too.  My kids eat well. And I know that they are not junkfood junkies, because I see them make good choices.

I can try to force them to learn good eating habits but they likely won't follow those same rules when they leave home. I didn't. Most of us say "I can't wait til I live on my own and can eat what I want when I want." Right?

So my confession here is pretty simple. My kids eat junk breakfast cereals. But only in moderation. Because I eat the rest before they get back to it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Random Rambling Wendy-ness

 I must be more left brain today, I can't find my write-brain anywhere.

Once I was in my brother's car, we were going through a traffic circle and someone nearly hit us. He laughed and asked me if he should do it again... "What would happen if you were scared half to death twice?"

He also asked me once if it were more important to be priceless or to feel like a million bucks.

Why is it that you only see a super cute guy looking at you in the grocery store on the day you're wearing your ugly sweats and a stained T-shirt?  I suspect it's because you are looking around you more thinking that someone might see you in this unsexy outfit and not that they are NOT there when you look good, you just don't notice.

Sometimes I find that the dark seems darker when I have my glasses on. Seriously. When I head downstairs at night we have only a small night light on the far end of the living room. I can see okay without my glasses through the darkness, but with them on it seems harder to distinguish things.

If I lie to my kids about what's actually in their dinner, trying to make it something they will like, they will find proof and I'll have to tell them. So I just quit lying about it.

All three of my kids magically turned vegetarian or something just before they turned 3. my 11 year old is just now able to eat everything and my 7 year old only eats a bit more meat now.

Turns out, if you really want someone to open up and tell you something... you have to shut up long enough to let them.

There is too much truth in "you have to hit the bottom to before you go back up."  And just like falling on my a$$... the bottom hurts.

The best way to ruin dinner is to say "no, I have some of that at home" while you are looking at it in the grocery store.  You can bet you will have none, or if you do it will be rotten.

Thanks for hanging out everyone!  I love this. It's so much more fun than talking to myself... which I still do anyway.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WWE - Something A Bit Different

June 15 was not a great success for Turning It Off.  It was not an entire failure, but we could have done better.  I didn't realize the kids were watching TV in their room after school. I wasn't watching the Angel Baby playing her games. I just didn't feel it. But then I was on vacation and didn't feel well, either. Yes, technology is a great babysitter sometimes.  But I tried not to spend much time on the computer, the kids tried not to keep watching show after show and even the trucker didn't really watch anything either.  

We discussed a change to Thursday or Friday.  But after a while, I released everyone from the guilt of using gadgets by reminding them we have just started this adventure, we are bound to make mistakes. You know, life happens. I don't want this to be about being perfect. And I sure don't want it to turn into punishment either. I'm not going to ground my kids (don't tell them this) for blowing off media free day. I'm just trying to provide a better example for them while encouraging them to disconnect too.
In order to keep you in the loop for media free days, I will share something else. I have to share one of my biggest inspirations of late, particularly in having this time OFF and paying attention to my life as it is now.  Hands Free Mama has written so many beautiful posts about living life. She encourages us and ourselves to just live the moments. Not stress for perfection but embrace the little moments. We all have Somedays that are not so great, where we feel like we have messed up or we are just not good enough.  But she reminds us all, by reminding herself and sharing with us along her journey.
hands_free_mama_logo

So when you finish reading my updates.. (yes, me first....hehehe) Head over there and see if you can make it through a post without tears. Can you read any of her stuff that doesn't hit home in one way or another?  She is not running around telling everyone to turn off gadgets, this is something I have chosen, but she does advocate taking at least 20 minutes everyday to be present with your family.  I always feel so good after reading her writing. I'm sure you will too.

In an effort to be happy, you need to share the happiness. Last night I sent a personal email to Rachel, and told her exactly what I feel when I read her blog. I thanked her for sharing these moments in her life and encouraged her to keep doing what she's doing.  She deserves to know what a great thing she is doing and I wanted to make sure she did!

So, take some time today, whether you read there, or stay here, or don't read anything else at all... 

...take a few minutes to tell someone how special they are to you. 
...take a few minutes to really ask your kids how their day was and LISTEN to the answer. 
...take a few minutes to find pride in yourself for an accomplishment today, no matter how big or small.
...take a few minutes to actually say I love you to your loved ones.

When I think of the great small moments I've been a part of for my family, I can't imagine what life would be like without them.  What I might have missed when I was busy that could not have been replaced. I'm glad to be here. 

Right in the middle of my life.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Feel Smarter Already. SMRT At Least

I've moved up in the world. If you can call this up anyway.  I've finally traded in my simple little phone.  Mainly swayed by the awesome promotion and the plan is roughly the same cost as I already paid out. New PS3 with the deal. Yay us, one more thing to shut off on Wednesdays.  Anyway... the current theme in our house has now shifted to
"Hey, did you know you could do this?"  
Or "Check this out, it's hilarious!"  
I've streamlined my calendars, I've updated my checklists and put them in evernote for ease of access every where.  I've copied over some of my favorite songs. I've uploaded my Robert Munsch stories for the kids. These are great when Angel Baby and I are waiting for the boys after school.

I've spent way too much time on this. My kids have figured out that if Dad and I have this racing game they can play against each other in our wi-fi range. Really. And they kicked my ass at it too. Both of them. 

I also learned that if you are playing a racing game like that on a motion sensitive device like this, IN A MOVING VEHICLE, you are a million times more likely to suffer motion sickness. The lines on your screen do not match the lines on the road.  Try focusing on that!
It's much like the 3D effect on my placemats at home. Seriously, they look cool but when you are trying to focus on something small on a surface like that, your eyes will glaze over and you will not be able to focus on anything for a while!

The best part of these smart phones so far, is that my mom went from an OLD Nokia phone to this Samsung Captivate.  She is not a techy type at all. Even with this old phone she could do little more than make a call. She carries a paper phone book in her purse because navigating the directory in her cell was a nightmare. She was able to read a text message, once. And then she could never find it again.
This phone was older than the kid selling me the new ones, I swear. The look on his face when I showed it to him was absolutely priceless. And it was perfectly followed by him showing his coworker in true kid fashion:

"Oh my god, Dude, LOOK at this!"

I was so proud...teeheehee

The phone she was using was my first 'upgrade', so my second cell phone EVER. Like 15 years ago. But it still works pretty damn good. The battery is just now starting to lose power. Can you imagine?  I could only dream my new phone lasted half as long.  But it is fun NOW no matter what happens to it down the road.

I could go into a long speech about why I chose Android over iPhone, but I'm not. I don't really have a great reason. Maybe I just like to be different.  haha. The absolute greatest part of this purchase is teaching my mom something new. She shakes a bit when she uses it, like she's afraid of it. She can barely turn a computer on and I've put this in her hands. But, God love her, she's trying hard. She can read a text, and find it again. She can work her voicemail. And she's loving showing off to all of her friends and acquaintances who have teased her in the past.  "Look what my kids gave ME for Fathers Day," she jokes.
Yesterday, in the early afternoon, my cell rang. It was mom.

"Hello?" I say.

"Holy Sh**! I did it! It worked!" She squeals.

I don't know if I care how long this phone lasts, or how it works with everything I like to use.... 
It's paid for itself in giggles already.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Like A Candy Wrapper In An Updraft

I'm Sooaaarrriing!!!

Well, okay. Not so much. And yes, I am slightly sad that I can quote Homer as much as I do. 

But I'm feeling good. I've reduced my hours for work for awhile. Some days I can do everything, some days I can't do much at all.  I'm balancing....

I covered the wall in the bedroom with paper... NO MORE MARKER MESS. At least for a little while.  

I got my brain back into work mode. I made it through my whole list of to-do's today.  I have clean clothes to wear tomorrow and my boys have full dressers for a change.

It feels great to be useful again. I've transferred my calendar details to a calendar that I can sync on my phone. I've added my daily and weekly routines to my evernote account. I like that you can use little checkboxes to mark what you have done.  I can use this on my my laptop, the phone and the iPad. So it's everywhere I go, and the family has easy access to these lists too (in case they ever get sick and decide to help out).

Well, mostly feels great. I'm pretty darn lonely.

Congratulations! You are the winner 
of a whole evening BY YOURSELF! 
**You have to do the dishes, switch the laundry, sweep the floors, 
scrub the marker off the wall, check the backpacks,and deal with your kids 
when they aren't listening and sitting still watching their movie...but 
you WIN.

Am I bitter?  Nooooo.............

The Trucker tried to help, I know he meant well.  But, he tried to distract a 7 year old and a soon-to-be 3 year old with a movie. Poor misinformed man.... This little girl doesn't sit for 5 minutes unless she's sick.  I get left at the messy table with the dishes.   And the million questions and interruptions I got were not from him, but from Art who is trying to be helpful. (I think). Just mostly about him, and probably things he said out of frustration. Like "Why isn't your mother distracting Angel Baby?" which leads to Art running upstairs to say "Mom, Dad wants you to come downstairs and try to distract Angel Baby."  I may have been faster and been able to watch part of the movie with them if not for so many stops & starts, but.... I've seen that movie anyway. 

My poor trucker. He didn't know that Art was running up and down the stairs harassing me. The look of pure confusion on his face when I flipped my lid didn't register with me until I had already started the lecture.  He's been known to send Art to do his dirty work before.  And Art went very quickly into hiding, realizing that he was busted for blaming dad.

I've now calmly asked Art not to watch movies on that TV on school nights anymore. It's too low, so Angel Baby is in the way. A Lot. And I am not going to spend my time distracting her for them. Unfortunately, the Trucker didn't get the apology he deserves. He told me right where to take my opinions and has gone to sleep. He's up and out at 4:30 most mornings.

Shiny side? Silver lining?  
"Wha-arr Yoooo?" Angel Baby would say..."Ahhh... There Diz"  I see it. 
  1. Trucker did learn a valuable lesson about why it is hard for me to work during the day sometimes. If she is that distracting watching a movie, imagine when you are trying to focus and finish something!
  2. I did have some time without kids. No Helpful toddler in the kitchen with me.
  3. I stepped back and ignored as much as I could and finished my tidying up for the evening. It's done. When I wake up I will have a clean kitchen to look at. And I'll have clean clothes to put on.
  4. I didn't try to control everything, I let the trucker deal with the kids until I was finished my stuff.
  5. When I crawl in bed shortly, I know that I can snuggle up to the trucker and he'll just let me. He'll roll over and I can tell him I love him and we will sort the rest out later.
For every success, there are some fails first right? I have got to get a handle on my moods though. I hold on for so long but when I blow, watch out. I don't like that side of me. At All.

Now. Cup of tea and a book for me. Start over tomorrow.

Good night! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Back To The Real World

I've spent my entire weekend on my family, I did not take time to write anything.  I did not do laundry, I didn't clean the house.
I have spent my time well.

I've laughed hard the last few days. From the discovery of yet another dose of marker and pencil on Art's walls (pink this time) to playing Wii games with my inlaws. (yes, just the adults playing...) and so, so much more in between. 

I have cried harder than I have in a while too. I delved in to some heavy duty issues that have been long avoided. I tackled some critical hurdles emotionally, physically, and financially. I've noticed some great milestones with my children. And within myself.

I've been aware, attentive, awake to the life that I'm living. I've let go of some things I thought were important and grabbed tight to somethings I had been forgetting.  This, right now, is my life. I don't want to ever wonder where it all went.

I've been unplugged. I've been mostly missing from Facebook, email, etc.  An occasional peek now and then, but not hours with it open.  I've spent time with the phone off (and finally upgraded to the smart phone world.) I've spent time away from home that was not just grocery shopping. 

I played in the rain with my kids.

I battled my cigarette addictions. AGAIN But I'm coming out strong.

I've assessed my schedule. I've reviewed my daily/weekly tasks. I've delegated some more and eliminated a few things. I've also added some specific Busy Mama and Trucker Only time. We've been skipping that a bit too much.

I can not sincerely remember a time that I have physically done so little. Even my mother earlier tonight commented on how I accomplished less this week than I normally would even with working.  And you know what I said?

"I KNOW. Isn't that AWESOME?"

I feel fabulous. I feel strong. 
I feel reconnected to my trucker (I was missing him lately). 
I feel supported. I feel fresh. I feel energized.

I've got my sense of "I CAN" back.

So come on world, let's get moving.  
I can take what you have to throw at me.  
I'm ready. 
Monday Morning, I'm jumping in with both feet and eyes WIDE OPEN.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WWE - Unplugged and Unstoppable

June 8 edition
Tonight, was a bit mixed up. Macboy had invited a friend over and they begged for an exception.  This friend doesn't get over here much and they like to play the old games, like the Sega Genesis and Gamecube (if anyone knows where I can get my hands on Super Smash Bros Melee for Gamecube SUPER cheap... email me!! or facebook or tweet) but I really didn't want to be weak and undermine MYSELF.  

I'm weak. What can I say?

I finally caved in at 4:10 and allowed them until 5 pm to play their game.  You will never guess their reaction!! They played for less than 15 minutes and went outside. Things are not as fun when they are allowed. It was pretty cloudy, I totally expected rain, but it wasn't too cold and the rain stayed away.  Quiet play in the yard quickly turned into a water fight and I had 3 soaked boys in the backyard. One of which wasn't mine so had no dry clothes to change into.  I gave them towels and a 10 minute warning before their friend had to go.  They ran, they dried, they said goodbyes.

Then in the true style of my children, they dropped the wet clothes on the carpet next to the hamper (I reminded them to pick them up) and they ran for the rest of the night in their underwear.  Seriously, the best time to be at home is when you know you don't have to go anywhere at all.  We had tacos for dinner, without Dad who was out running an errand after work.  

Don't tell anyone but I actually got in on the game under the table at supper instead of my usual freaking out.  They have this big oversized ball that I can't make disappear because Art bought it with his own money.  It drives me nuts.  At least a couple times in the last week they have snuck it under one of their chairs and then half way through dinner I discover that they are kicking it between them. The big clue is when the Angel Baby gets that full belly laugh going because it's hit her toes or she's had a good kick back.  Last night, I confiscated the ball and tucked it under my chair. Then I slowly rolled it out (it makes an awesome foot rest) and waited for prime opportunity. The first kick was caught by Macboy sitting at my right. Then he tried to prevent me from kicking it farther and starting something. "The rules apply to you too, MOM."  Smart little bugger.  I finally succeeded in convincing him through sign language to move his stinky feet so I could do something else.  

You should have seen the size of Art's eyes when I kicked the ball straight across.  He didn't know where it came from, somehow oblivious to the quiet but animated conversation between Macboy and I.  He had the look of "do I say something? is that mom?  What do I do?"  So, I jumped in 
"What are you doing!! 
Do you have that ball again?  
Who gave it back to you?!?!"
Well... I could only hold out seconds watching the thoughts flash through his mind before I cracked up. And we ended up playing pass through the rest of dinner.  Well, until Angel Baby finished her dinner and climbed down announcing "YOINK" as she stole the ball from all of us and ran off with it.

Angel Baby doesn't seem to care one way or the other about media free nights.  I think she Loves it.  She monopolizes everyone's attention with her dance moves and giggles. She chases and tickles and bugs everyone.  (it's a new word, bug, and she says it while poking your shoulder. "Bug, bug, bug.")

We even made cookies. My recipe that usually produces at least three dozen only made 2 this time. But we had fun eating the cookie dough... the boys kept 'sneaking' it. They should never turn to a life of crime or become secret agents, they are not good at being sneaky.

The only downside was that the trucker didn't really join us this time. He was on the iPad or laptop much of the evening.  But he DID leave the TV off... so that's something. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

I am feeling pretty stinkin good right now.  All lazy in my comfy rocker with the computer on my lap. Drinking my (...oops... empty) coffee. Time to refill.
Ahhh....better.

So, anyway, I'm enjoying this break. I decided that the most important thing to do is revitalize ME. Yesterday was the pamper me day.  Which was fantastic as a friend stopped by and gave me the swift kick I needed to get moving.  I have now had a fresh hair cut (first one in likely a year) and dyed it. I can deal with gray hair. I could not/should not deal with the line from the roots and the last dye job.  And my ends were FRIED. Bad.  And I didn't really care.  Well, I cared, but not enough to go do anything about it.

When you've lived your live on the edge of depression, you actually do need someone to come and take you by the hand and pull you off your ass, sometimes.  She knows what she did for me, she's done this for me before and I can't ever thank her enough for the times she was my life-line.  

It was so much more than hair.

I was able to find jeans that I like and that fit properly while I was out on Saturday. So new clothes added to the new 'do, makes my Trucker a pretty happy guy when he gets home from work.  He came home to a smiling wife who DID NOT look like she just fell out of bed.  I wonder if he feels like I don't care about him when I stop caring about me??

Now to attack this house. What a crappy way to spend the rest of my vacation. Cleaning.  But three kids and not much help for a long time, will do that to ya.  Once things are back in order, then...look out...  No more Mrs. Nice Mommy. 

 I'm gonna need a vacation to recover from this vacation. 
It's not a holiday, it's freekin Therapy.

I have been in a pretty big funk lately, (insert apology to those putting up with me here) but I am determined to get out of it.  Orderly home, orderly mind?  Well, it won't fix everything but it will help.  And the donation centers are going to LOVE me by the weekend!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Going Shopping.

I've given up.... (well no, not really.) I'm accepting that I look like a dork  in the drawstring or elastic pants I've been living in. I discussed a shopping day with the Trucker. (discussed with trucker, not shopping with trucker..)

I've found I'm in this vicious cycle right now and I want out.  I'm very proud that I quit smoking, but at the same time I hate it. I hate it when I look in the mirror and see exactly what I did to curb the cravings.  I have no decent clothes that fit. For the longest time I have resisted, buying bigger anything is just not okay.  I don't want to accept that I've gained weight, I want to LOSE it.

But you see, what really happens is this...
I get up in the morning and fall into the closest cleanest comfiest pair of pants I own and get moving.  I tell myself that after I get the kids to school, I will get 'cleaned up.'  But I don't.  I come home from the school and get Angel Baby's breakfast looked after, get some work done, make some more coffee.... then the next thing I know it's almost lunch and I'm still in this ugly outfit.
"It's okay" I say, "I'll exercise after lunch then jump in the shower to get cleaned up."  But I don't. I get lunch done, get kids back to school, tidy a bit, do some dishes maybe, work a bit, then it's 3 and I have kids to get home from school and I still haven't changed.

Get everyone home, maybe some snacks, maybe start dinner. Remind myself to get cleaned up before the trucker gets home. But... I don't.  He gets home and I look like hell and I apologize (or swear at him for complaining... he doesn't know what I do in a day!!!).
Then there is dinner, and dishes, and homework and getting kids ready for bed.  

By the end of the day, I simply feel like crap. I haven't really accomplished ANYTHING. I look horrible.  Like a used tissue. (Literally, Angel Baby loves wiping her nose on my clothing instead).  I'm not a nice person to be around because I feel like a mess. And I'll stay feeling like a mess until I clean my act up.

I can't act the part if I don't look the part.  I'll wash my guilty conscience away in a hot shower before bed and SWEAR that I will do it right tomorrow.

But. I Don't.  

I do look through my closet and hate what I see.  I have beautiful clothing... that I can't wear.  I miss it.  I had confidence, comfort, I had Style.  (sigh.... once upon a time.)

So here's my plan. I am going to buy a few pairs of decent jeans that DO fit. Then I will look better, which will make me feel better. I have more energy when I feel better, so I will DO more. More exercise, cleaning, working. It's a fact.  There was a period of a few months where I wore office clothes (my 'good' clothes) everyday. I washed floors in dress pants. I felt FANTASTIC. And I got everything done, every day.  I didn't have the half done to-do list that never ended.

And of course, if I DO more, I will lose more.  In order to pick myself back up so I can lose the weight, I need to buy the 'fat clothes' I've been avoiding.  Make sense?  Well, even if I don't lose the extra pounds, I will look better, and maybe not FEEL so overweight.  It made sense to the Trucker.  I think he's tired of this frumpy wife he's got.  I better morph back into the hot & sexy one he married. And additionally, it just might help destroy these last clingy cravings.  I can't avoid the thought that NOT smoking led to all of this.

Wish me luck!

Do you have a regular "uniform" at home?  What do you wear everyday?  Are you happy with it?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

You Don't Have To Understand

Just the other day, I was having a conversation about my blogging.  It started off with "Well, how much time do you actually spend on that blog crap, anyway?"  This is intended to include twitter, facebook, stats, writing, really everything that I do in relation to my blogs.  I was hurt. Of course I was hurt. There is nothing like having ANY part of your life referred to as crap.  So, I struck back with every single stupid thing that I think that person does. Every little thing that I think is a waste of time. And added to my defense that my kids are involved and LOVE THIS. They suggest things to write about. Macboy even sneaks into the browser on his DSi and reads some of my posts.

It seems to some that this part of my life is interfering with my work time and other responsibilities. And yes, I will admit that it does sometimes mean that I'm juggling my hours a bit differently. But I am still working.  And I'm even finding benefits from the blogging to help me understand my work. I understand some of the things we do a bit better since I've starting working on the other side of the webworld.

Blogging is saving me. It is boosting my confidence, providing an outlet for some of the things in my brain that I just can't always say out loud.  It is giving me something to look forward to.  It is taking me back to simpler times. I am meeting new people, learning tons of new things everyday.  I went from feeling as though NO ONE cared to seeing that some people do like to hear what I say. I am anything but alone in my life. And I have been able to share some funny moments that people could miss easily.  The humour and happiness around us is often overlooked and now I'm paying attention. I'm seeing things in a different way and taking time to enjoy the small stuff. I started off with a small handful of 'followers' and some of them were forced into it. Now I have more, and it grows every day.  See those buttons up on the top? They WORK.

Another advantage of this blogging 'hobby' is that I am simply more AWARE. I am making changes to my life daily because I am looking at the world differently.  Also because I read some of the writing of my peers and feel inspired to make changes.

"Well What Do You Need Vacation For?"
Really?  Sure, I do feel guilty to some degree because I'm taking time off while the kids are in school.  But seriously?  I DESERVE A BREAK.  Work at home is a whole different world, especially if you don't have daycare involved. And it is not all about my job, it's just that work is the only thing in my life I can ACTUALLY take a vacation from!!!  I'm not freaking out because I can't do my job.  And I'm not quitting my job either. I'm taking a week off. That's it. 

I can't stop potty training, or helping with homework, or hugging a crying kid at 2 am who had a nightmare.
I can't stop laundry or dishes or sweeping or vacuuming or... you get it....
I can't stop being a mom of a boy with Tourette's. Sure it's not a severe case, but we have our speedbumps
I can't stop being a wife or a mom or a friend or a daughter or a sister.

I don't want to.

I don't need to stop anything.

I just need a slower week.

Vacation time?  Hell YES, I need vacation time. And NO it is not because I work too many hours in a day, it is NOT because I spent time writing here instead of looking after other things. And it is absolutely not because I "can't handle my expectations as a mother."

My longest 'vacation' was my honeymoon. We took a week. 4 days with the boys in tow, and 3 days just for adults (Angel Baby was still 2 years away).  We went camping. It was still like everyday life, just not at home. I had to clean up, cook, take care of kids... you know.

Next was the August long weekend, when hubs and I got to go camping 2 years in a row with no kids. This hasn't happened since 2008.

I'm still not going anywhere, I'm just lightening the load. For one freaking week.  Give me a break.  I'm taking time off, so that maybe I can use my extra 20 hours that week to put some order back into my home. Find my desk in my office that I JUST GOT and have already lost to a pile of everyone else's crap.  And maybe, just maybe play with my kids a bit more?

So, really, any judgemental 'friend' can take their opinions and ....... fill in your own blanks here.

I blog because I want to. Because I can.  It is the first thing to suffer when life gets crazy. I drop it like it never existed.  It's not my first priority, but it is on the list.

You don't have to read it, you don't have to understand it, you don't have to care.
And I don't have to stop.
 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesdays Without Electronics - Our Own WWE

I had no clue how this was going to go. Our first media free night was deemed a success. And not just by me. The family enjoyed it too. Or at least that's what they said and I'm holding them to it.  So far, no one hates me (yet) and we are going to continue it.

Truthfully, we almost forgot about it. Art was the first to realize, so we didn't actually start until 4 pm.  And then I had to go pick up dad from work, so the boys snuck in an extra episode of Phineas and Ferb while I was out. But I'm not holding a grudge. They confessed freely and it was our first attempt. This will get easier.

The very first thing the boys did was head outside. They played until dinner and then finished up homework. It was kid's dish night.  I expected the most resistance to come from the Trucker, but he really didn't seem to mind. We were sitting and visiting in the living room until he couldn't stand the level of laughter from the kitchen any longer. I held my breath and waited for the booming "what are you doing?" to come when he walked in there. Angel Baby was being 'helpful' again and there were a lot of bubbles floating around. 

But it didn't come. 

The next thing I know Dad is laughing saying "how do you like it??" and by the time I got in there, all three kids had bubbles on their heads. Not many dishes were washed. 

Along with homework there was lego and reading involved. Dad didn't have to go to bed too early, so he even helped with our bedtime routine.  He got very involved in tucking everyone in. Some squishing, some tickling and at least one upside down child appeared during the tuck in times.  The Trucker didn't even turn on the TV as per normal when he went to bed.

It was a fantastic, fun, happy and FAST evening. I can't believe how quick it went without TV or video games numbing our brains.  We allowed one radio to play, but even that got shut off early.  Sadly, because of my internet outages, I had to try to get some work done before I went to bed after everyone else was asleep. But it was definitely worth the time unplugged.

Hopefully with a little practise, I will be able to shut everything down for the night. Including the laptop.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Upcoming Changes

I've mentioned once or twice that I've lost my direction... well, I never really had any, but I'm not sure I'm going anywhere.

Over the next week or so, I will be spending a bit more time on 'behind the scenes' items.  Cleaning up some items, streamlining the flow, and possibly transferring a few posts between here and Who Took My Last Cup Of Coffee?.  I hope to make this an easier blog to read or search through and make it a bit more 'share-worthy'.

I am also working along with the SITSgirls, on learning how to improve my blog so that you guys might actually stick around and read some more.

I get a little sidetracked sometimes.... okay, almost all the time.  So bear with me. If I do this right, you shouldn't feel a thing. You may notice my background has changed. Again... It's like rearranging my bedroom, I just have to do it sometimes. haha.

I am just one week away from my vacation at home, and greatly looking forward to it.  I will force organization back into my home and my blog and my life.  No more hiding in the shadows, no more wishing things were different. June 12, I will MAKE things different.

I've also decided (partly because I am so horribly late with the story) that I will write my WWE stories and post them the following week. So this week will be about last week and our first attempt.  I can't post on Wednesday, or I will be breaking the rules. But there is nothing saying I can't write it and let blogger post it for me!!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Karma Bites You Back, But Only If You Bite First

I've promised a story of our media free day, and you will get that. Just not today.  Today I must speak out about something much more serious.
Karma

Today, I made a formal apology to the rulers of wi-fi.  And I got my service back.  Go Figure.

It is the way of the world. 

A few examples? 

  1. Media free day, I pushed to be unplugged and we got completely disconnected. Talk about 'call waiting!"
  2. If you complain about the person in front of you in line at the store, at least one cashier will go on break and you WILL end up waiting longer.
  3. Compliment your kids responsible behavior behind their backs and they are sure to do something wrong. I praised their ability to get to school on bikes okay, only to catch them crossing the street half way down the block, without even looking!
  4. If you demand all markers be put away indefinitely, the toddler will find a different way to draw (like your makeup). Might as well cover the walls with paper!
  5. When you intentionally decide to ignore the socks with holes when you put away your hubby's clothes, you will end up getting holes in your own for the next few days.
  6. Pay attention, never agree to something because you are embarrassed to admit that you didn't listen to the question. I've gone to some really bad movies because of that mistake.
  7. Keep one huge stuffed animal in your home, even if you hate it.  As soon as you get rid of it, another will find it's way in. Or if you must get rid of it, try to plan for the longest break between birthdays or Christmas.
  8. If you procrastinate, you will end up with twice as much to do 'later'.
But I do believe you can beat the bad side of karma.  For example, three times in a row, I found money (like a dollar or two) on the ground on the same day I donated a bunch of stuff to goodwill.  If you praise your children IN FRONT OF THEM, they will praise you too.  If you listen to your kids, they will listen to you. If you want everyone to cheer up, you need to smile first.

I'm determined to give Karma a good name.  Who's with me?