Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why am I so busy?

ok, at the request of Dawn, a little Friday five......

Why I am so busy.

1. Ava.

It almost needs no explanation, but I will divulge the details. She is 2 1/2 now. Just today, when I have taken my eyes off her she has spread eyeshadow all over my bathroom floor, attempted to put mascara on her baby doll who is affectionately named Mimi, shared her popsicle with the dog (hey at least she is sharing and taking turns licking right?). Hmmmmm, she also stripped down to her panties and streaked across the front lawn right as some innocent neighbor was taking a walk and then decided to climb on top of the kitchen counters to reach the cutco knives to try to cut her apple (YIKES!) She is an absolute doll, but I feel like part of my job right now is to keep her from killing herself......literally. She is as big as a 4 year old but still very much has the mind of a 2 year old. She runs everywhere she goes (unless she is dancing) and then just crashes. Hey, at least she is a FANTASTIC sleeper!

2. Having school aged kids.

Ava's 3 siblings are active, spunky kids. Between the hours I put in volunteering in the school to the time I spend getting them to and from activities, it really keeps me running. Thank goodness for planners. If it isn't written in my planner, it just doesn't happen, LOL. I'm going to pencil in that I need to wash my hair tomorrow, LOL

3. My dh's job.

His nutso job means more single parent time for me, and we all know how busy that is.

4. The time of year.

Fall is VERY busy for this family. 3 of the kids have birthdays in the fall and so does dh. We always host a costume party for Halloween, and then there is back to school.

5. Because I want to be.

I don't want to be OVERSCHEDULED, but I like being busy. It means we are running, playing, *doing*. Enjoying life, living it to the fullest and are taking advantage of our health, youth and energy.

It is a good life :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

there goes summer.........

just like that, summer is over. I haven't had any time to be here posting with 4 kids home for the summer. There were many milestones during our laid back summer of fun. Lazy days at the pool, exploring the woods in the yard and hanging out with friends. We had teeth lost, training wheels expired, swimming without floaties, a triumphant goodbye to diapers (HOORAY!) and much, much more. It seemed like everyone grew up alot, and although I wish I could bottle some of this innocent childhood, the memories of it ARE bottled, very close to my heart. Even if my scrapbooks aren't perfect and there is sand piled by the back door, I won't doubt for a second that we were living this good life in the very best of ways.

And they went to school this morning for the first day. I have a FIFTH grader, second grader and kindergartener. They pleaded with me to let them ride the school bus after years of me driving them back and forth. I can't say that I was ready for it, and I didn't WANT them to want to, but a small part of me felt good about the fact that they had more confidence than I do to let go just a bit. Since I cannot tell a lie, I will admit that I put them ON the bus, then got in my car and followed right behind it all the way to school. All 20 minutes of it ;) They all did just great, and I know I won't feel the need to do that again. But hey......I was one of SIX moms behind the bus!!!!

I am so proud of all of them marching into their new classrooms with eagerness and a smile. Even Andrew who is starting kindergarten just yelled "BYE MOM" as the teacher led them back to his room. I am amazed that my young son has the presence of mind and spirit to confidently walk into the unknown with such comfort.

And so, another change of seasons brings about the changing seasons of life. It is fitting that the air was crisp and cool this morning and the leaves are starting to change color. (Just this past weekend was HOT!) The only thing we can count on really is that change is inevitable. The most we can do is hope that we have the spirit to guide us and comfort us through that change. That we have nurtured ourselves and our families with the right amount of love and guidance to stand alone when we need to, but cherish the important people in our lives. It is an equally humbling and amazing adventure, this role of parenthood.

I quietly spent the day with my littlest princess, who seemed a bit out of sorts today. Part of me thinks that she is adjusting to this change in her 2 year old brain, and isn't sure what to make of it. She has enjoyed the alone time, and the time with ALL the toys to herself, but has asked several time where her sissies and brother are.

What an amazing blessing they all are.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

it's not about Oprah

there has been much hype in the media lately about Oprah and her recent book club selection and online class. The book is titled "A New Earth: Awakening to your Life's Purpose"

I have read several chapters of the book, and have found it so incredible and insightful so far. It is a bit wordy, and heavy reading, but the time and thought spent really digesting the authors words are fantastically worth it.

I understand that Oprah has been accused of trying to start her own religion, become some form of cult leader or turn people away from their own religion (specifically Christianity). Having read much of it, I frankly do not see how it could be interpreted that way, but I also realize that a woman in her position is the target of many, whether the intentions are good or not.

I wish that I could convey my feelings about the book as eloquently as it is written. In a strange way I found comfort in those pages, and more than ever I truly believe that we are not our bodies, we are not our constant stream of thoughts, and no doubt the universe is unfolding exactly as it should be. Being present in each moment of my life is something I am now aware of, and something I am working towards. Being still with myself and realizing that the ego of every human drives so much of our actions and words is now an understanding I possess. Yet, I also realize that what I understand is the tip of an enormous iceburg.

More than anything it has allowed me, and almost given me permission to accept my own feelings about things. Realize that they are not often ME, but my ego, and recognizing that is the beginning step in making progress in controlling my own stream of consciousness. It has shown me the path to forgiveness, and that it is not something I can force or will myself to do. It has illustrated the ownership I must take in situations that even make the quest for forgiveness necessary. And yet, it has given me hope for a life and a mind filled with peace, love and respect regardless of those variables we cannot change.

All of those things can go hand in hand with any religion, and God....whatever any of us perceives that to be. It is a book most certainly not out to change someone's beliefs, but in my opinion, enhance them and live more fully in conjunction with them.

For the most part, the day-to-day lessons I have taken away from it is that when I am present in every moment and really present rather than just standing there with my mind a million miles away, I know that anything is possible. I know that I am taking care of what matters RIGHT NOW and I can see the difference that makes in my attitude. Isn't it great that we have been given each moment? That we can make of it what we want? That we can connect with others and ourselves on this level? It is humbling to see the difference, and to realize the potential that is in each and every person. It is our responsibility to live a life of full consciousness as much as we are able, and to realize the impact it will have. It has enabled a peace within me that is remarkable, and a peace that I long for and work for in my home, neighborhood, and community........

Rich and I talk about this a lot. We have a responsibility of remarkable create a life of peace and understanding that surround our children. After we are gone, our children will be all that is left of us on this earth......don't we want to leave them with that?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

how we use our voice

I have been thinking a lot the past few days about our voice, opinion, appropriateness of debate in certain circumstances. A few incidents have really brought this to the forefront of my mind.

My neighborhood has a weekly coffee get together on Monday mornings. Sometimes there are 4 women, sometimes 10, but it is a nice start to the week, and there are always a bunch of toddlers and preschool aged kids running around playing too, so it is really fun.

What I like about the group is that it is women of all ages, some with a bunch of kids at home, some with older kids, some empty-nesters. Some moms work outside the home, some don't. Some are conservative, some are liberal. It makes for interesting discussion, and is a pretty diverse group.

Well, this week one of the working moms (she is a teacher with a job share situation, so she teaches in the afternoon) was lamenting about how her sitter was not so reliable, or would ask to leave early a lot, etc. You could tell she was a bit stressed by this, and it was bothering her. Another mom who stays home started asking her why she didn't just use a child care center, or better yet, just stay home. she said "WHY do you put this stress on yourself? I don't understand that"

it became a bit tense as the 2 defended their positions, and then I glanced over and saw Ava heading outside to play so I got up from the table to follow her. I heard someone behind me and realized it was the mom who is a teacher. I know her pretty well, and I started to speak some words of support, when I looked up to see her crying.

We talked for awhile, and I just left that day thinking. WHY?

WHY do people have to say things to make someone else feel bad?

WHY do we as women tend to beat eachother up about our choices?

ISN'T it our "jobs" to support eachother? or SHOULDN'T it be?

EVEN IF all of us around that table were wondering why she is making the choices she is, should we berate her until she cries?

Everyone has an opinion, everyone has a voice. Should we use it when we know the way in which we are doing so will cause hurt feelings? What if someone doesn't realize it will hurt feelings? Does the ignorance of that excuse it?

SHOULDN'T we ALL think more about other people??????? Is that somehow silencing our opinion? Silencing or voice, or is it good manners?

The other incident happened at the elementary school. We have a small parking lot and sometimes parents don't get out of the car, they just wait for their child to come out of school, and they wait in their car in the parking lot, sometimes impeding a few parked cars in marked parking spaces. They shouldn't do that, absolutely, and there is even a sign that says not to. One parent has apparently had enough of this inconvenience. At pick-up on Thursday someone blocked him in slightly, although he was still able to get out. He drove up next to that car, rolled down the window and SCREAMED at the top of his lungs to the woman in the other car. He called her a dummy, and many other not so nice things. I was standing on the basketball court talking to another mom, and heard the whole thing. My mouth dropped open as did the 50 kids standing there.

What a way to use your voice, huh? Why should we all be subjected to that, and what can we do about it?

Obviously that guy has some anger management issues. the world in general, whatever happened to manners?

Friday, May 2, 2008

what is it with screens?

TV, computers, video games.

they drive me crazy. They do make life very useful at internet shopping late at night beats taking 4 kids shopping for clothes ANY day!

But, why does it seem like they have TAKEN over society? Is this just a part of change that is inevitable?

This is especially hitting home lately because I have been out-voted in our house and have finally caved and allowed this family to own a Wii. It is fun, I admit.....for about 5 minutes. LOL. It seems as if my brood would rather be playing the thing (well, really it is mostly Andrew) than doing just about anything else. It drives me insane. I have come close to taking it out to the garage and running it over with the car several times!!!!!

Why on earth did I let them get it then, you might ask.

I do think that screens are an inevitable part of life these days. They give us news in an instant, allow us to communicate with friends and family that are far away, allow my husband to be able to do some work from home so he can BE home more often.

Unfortunately with those conveniences go a huge responsibility that is difficult to be vigilant about. Not permitting screens to take over and take PLACE of other things is quite a challenge. I wholeheartedly think that they can easily come in between REAL personal relationships and it is our responsibility to make sure that they don't. Most people that I know aren't very good at it, including myself.

I have m my own love for some things with a screen. It has connected me to a group of other moms that I have been friends with now for almost 8 years. It is an outlet for me at times that I could really use it.

I have succumbed to things like the Wii because I don't think it is my job to attempt to prohibit the inevitable changes in our culture, but to teach my children how to self-limit. Kind of like Fruit Loops.


Well, when I was a kid, I had a dad who gave me a heaping pile of wheat germ on my cereal each morning. Fruit loops were not even on the radar. I became obsessed and what do you think I did the minute I grew up and moved out of the house? I consumed my weight in Fruit Loops several times over.......I cannot tell a lie although it isn't something I am too proud of. ;)

Anyway, I think that if we completely FORBID some things, it becomes so enticing and so mysterious that they will do what I did. I don't want to hear that my kids are in the hospital from playing video games for 72 hrs with no sleep because I never would allow them 10 minutes when they were younger.

Of course, this is not the case with ALL things (ie: guns or weapons, drugs). I'm talking screen stuff only here, and also APPROPRIATE screen stuff. No grand theft auto type things (hey, I only know about that b/c I read an article in Time magazine a few years back, and it wasn't one I will ever forget......yikes!) or frankly even things like Sponge Bob. (But that's a whole other topic).

I am just struggling daily with the kids because I feel like ALL THEY DO somedays is try to figure out how to get me to let them have MORE tv time, MORE Wii time, etc.

I feel like shouting from the rooftops.......EEEEENNNNNNNNNOOOOOUUUUUGGGHHHHHH!

It doesn't help that I am married to a very wonderful and loving man who loves these things as much as the kids. He played and watched a lot as a child and says "well, I turned out pretty good". Some days I wonder how, but that is even ANOTHER whole story, and probably one best kept to myself. ;)

But why are all things screen so coveted? I allow the school aged kids no screen time on weeknights, and 1-2 hrs per day on weekends. I have been known to let 30 min be allowed during the week after chores and homework, but it kills me that THAT IS WHAT THEY WOULD CHOOSE TO DO ALL THE TIME IF THEY COULD.

Ok, I should stop screaming and step away from the screen. LOL

Sunday, April 6, 2008

ooooh, I love a good questionnaire!

Cat passed along these questions, which I must say I find quite thought provoking and cause for looking inward....and I am always looking for another reason to do that ;)

1. What is the best part of your life right now?
**well, my first knee jerk thought was that I don't live anywhere near my inlaws. I realize that is neither productive nor positive, but I don't want to just skip over it and deny that I HAD the thought. I'm beginning to think that some things just aren't fixable. I am learning to let go of anger, realize there is no WRONG or RIGHT, there is just different.

ok, the TRUE and REAL best parts of my life right now are good health for me and my family, which, as my husband saw at 4am this morning with a 39(!) year old who had a massive heart attack....can NEVER be taken for granted. The other best parts are spring finally coming, bonfires in the backyard, watching the kids roll down the hill on the golf course a gazillion times until they are shrieking with delight and hysterically dizzy, my sense of humor (when I feel like I am up to my ears in "mom, can you get me this, mom I need that, mom....can you help me, moooooommmmm, she bugs me, etc......), good friends, and my favorite parts of my favorite books (which I can read over and over and still get tears in my eyes).

2. What do you think the best part of the near future will be?

Growing our roots in this town which we have now called home almost 2 years. We have made some fantastic friends, and watching the kids grow up with the neighbor kids and dear friends is going to be awesome. Just today they congregated with a few in the backyard and went exploring in the woods. Watching the kids grow in their early school years, learning from us and teaching us so much all at the same time.

3. What are you most afraid of?

Death, regret, outliving my kids, or something happening to me and leaving them without their mom.

4. What are you a little worried about?

making the right decisions for and about the kids. I mean, how does anyone know what is the right thing for me and my kids?

I'm also a little worried about end of life issues. My grandmother is currently grappling with being tossed back and forth between nursing home and hospital, contemplating hospice........this cannot be the way to go. It seems so inhumane.

5. What do you dream of?

leaving a legacy of trust, support and love to my kids. I also dream of growing old with Rich, surrounded by our children, their spouses and our grandkids. (when I tell Rich that, he says "can you please not make me OLD yet?")

I also dream of peace......our family living in peace, peace within myself, and with all the angry people there are in the world. Yes, that is idealistic, but what is the POINT of all the fighting? Really!?

6. Who do you trust most to share these things with?

Rich, my friends (old and new), and myself.

7. What questions do you have?

What really happens after you die?

Does our soul still have a voice?

Are we leaving a home, town, country and world to our children that we are proud of?

Why do some people seem to think only of themselves? Do they see it as selfish?

Will I be friends with my children when they're older? What will they say about their childhood?

How does Elmo hear? Does he have ears?

Is there really truth to the law of attraction?

When I talk to people that have passed away, do they know it?

8. What gifts can you share?

I am resilient. I am patient. I am kind even when I don't feel like being kind. I give of myself and look out for others.

Good questions!!! Now I have to tend to the littlest princess (who just turned 2!) waking up from her nap.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

we are the music makers......

we are the dreamers of dreams. It is one of my favorite quotes.....

to me it kind of has to do with laws of attraction. What do we WANT in life? If we THINK we will fail, aren't we destined too?

I believe in that kind of stuff to some degree. I do think that life is all about attitude and how we take what is thrown our way. Can you tell I have been writing about very similar themes lately? I won't get into all the details here, but I am writing about it because I am having to work extra hard at being happy lately. I do realize how fortunate I am in my life. I have my health, 4 amazing kids, a wonderful husband, etc..........

when things happen around you that have great potential to bring you down, how do you prevent them from doing so?

I'm working hard at it lately.



I am not a quitter. I am not a doormat. I will not let it bring me down.