September Lessons 2014 Style…

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Ah, September…

I know people love fall. My grandmother loved fall with the change of leaves and seasons, but I am not a fan.

Nope.

Fall = start of school craziness.

September is not my favorite month, not by a long shot. It might actually come in 12th out of 12.

However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have anything to teach me; I definitely continued to learn through September; hopefully you will gain some wisdom from my lessons, too and if you don’t gain wisdom then maybe a good laugh or at least a sense of solidarity for a moment knowing that you are not alone.

shit could be worse

1. I CAN NOT DO IT ALL

This lesson keeps slapping me in the face and somehow the resiliency in me keeps ignoring it. I jump right back up and try to do everything again; then a wave of overwhelm comes and knocks me right back down. I need to remember this lesson. You just have to do what matters to you most and forget the rest. What you got done in a day, you get done and really things could always be worse.

2. Tell everything

People that wear masks make me nervous. My favorite people are the people who are open, honest and you know exactly where you stand with them.

I always have been able to see right through to someone’s soul. I know you even if you don’t want me to, so when you wear a mask that doesn’t jive with who you are it gives me the heebie jebbies.

I know a lot of people buy other people based on exterior images all day long, but most of us see past that.

Be who you are. Be open, be vulnerable.

Take my word for it; the past two years I have done my best to be completely open. I haven’t regretted one minute of it. Not one.

It is still scary and I have been hurt, but my life is way more complete now that I am just all out there.

 

Small Town Girl

3. I am a small town, down home girl

Crowds are not my thing. Bypassing any event that has more than 10 people is always a must on my list. I like being where I know people and people know me.

My daughter started a new school this month and having the community there welcome her and make her feel important was HUGE. Her other school was over crowded and she was often overlooked. Being a part of our small town community is a blessing.

I love passing cows on my way home. Seeing pumpkins and corn grow and then being able to buy that same produce at our local produce stands is nothing short of awesome.

Cities smell like sewers and are over grown with people who push, rush, and stampede past one another. No thank you.

Love my small town.

4. It’s way too easy to fall off the wagon

One year of running like a mad woman. One year down 22 pounds.

One year later, I watch too many shows on T.V. and love my couch. I am up 30 pounds to my heaviest ever and crave COKE.

Easy peasy is just too easy peasy.

It is so easy when you are tired to stay sedentary and just flop to sleep. I know I have four kids, two dogs, a full-time job, a new part-time job, am a struggling writer, and try to have some time for friends so it makes sense to be exhausted.

I know I should not give myself too hard a time for not being as fit as I could be right now. I know beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, but I still need to get back on that wagon. I know many of us hop on and off… I know lots of you have been in my shoes.

I have to start where I am every day, accept that and be good with it.

start where you are

I would just like to stay on the wagon and have it be easy. Not going to happen I know, for right now I am just waiting for that wagon to come back round the mountain again so I can jump back on. I will keep you posted.

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5. Parenting strips you of your dignity

Parenting is not a bowl full of Lucky Charms. Parenting absolutely without a doubt takes every ounce of dignity you ever had and up-chucks it out in front of every available audience to see.

At a local school fundraiser, I had to drag a child screaming through the crowd and the parking lot all because he dropped his glow stick in the dark way past where we were going back for it and he lost his mind because I wouldn’t go back for it. This is the up-teenth time I have had to drag a kid screaming from some event or store because the started to throw a fit and I wouldn’t cave.

I have cleaned up poop off of public restroom floors because kids have gone in their underwear and as I remove it to change them it drops right out on the floor. I have had poop splash in my face, same type of scenario.

This month on three separate occasions one of my younger children has asked if the bump on my belly is a new baby – NO IT IS NOT for those of you wondering the same thing – but that of course did not make me feel any better about my appearance.

Kids tell it like it is and embarrass you to no end with their antics. I still content their should be some sort of academy awards for moms. We need a red carpet event that celebrates us and all we do in a day. C.K. Lewis could host with and help bring humor to our stories. And really we could all use a night out where we could enjoy our own dinner without having to be interrupted or cut up someone else’s food. Am I right or am I right?

 

- Sam Parker
– Sam Parker

6. Kindness matters

Sitting in a restaurant this past weekend listening to a grown woman berate her aging mother within earshot of the entire front house and waiter who was standing at their table it was completely clear how much people are disgusted by rudeness.

The same can be said how astonished and cheered people are by kindness. When you wait to hold open a door, stop to help them pick up dropped items, return a dropped item, or even ask if they need help.

This time last year I participated in the 21 Day Kindness Challenge and it made me focus on doing one Random Act of Kindness a Day. I still do this, every day and the acts of kindness have a greater impact on my life than they do on those I help.

Do one RAK a day; it really does make every day sweeter.

7. ADD

Check email, check Facebook, check messages, fast forward through commercials, DVR favorite shows, listen to Sirius Radio, check Google for answers, ask Siri, all these things have made me prone to attention deficit disorder.

I had to watch regular, love TV the other day and could not believe how irritated I was at the commercial break. At one point, I almost forgot what I was watching. The pitfalls of technology.

Sometimes I think we do need to drop all the devices and remember how to get things done without them and how to soak up what is around us.

8. I have issues with things taking their time

Delayed gratification might just be a nemesis of mine. Relationships take time and you have to let people get to know you, but I have never been good at that. I am a quick judge of character and I am ready to be your friend right away if we get along. When it takes two years to finally get to know people and start to do things together that drives me crazy.

That and lost socks.

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I mean really where do these things disappear to?

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9. I used to be…

intelligent, witty, current, driven…then I had kids. Now I am home Friday nights preparing for a big day of soccer, Home Depot maybe pick out some wallpaper and Bed, Bath and Beyond if we have time.

 

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10. I am a crazy, embarrassing mama bear

At soccer one Saturday, you may have heard a crazy mom after her son was pushed several times by the other team and no call was made by the ref say something like, “Don’t let him push you! Push him back!” If you did, that was me. I don’t know what came over me.

Doing the best I can, right where I am, one day at a time,

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My Real Life

My Real Life

These bruises make for better conversation
Loses the vibe that separates
It’s good to let you in again
You’re not alone in how you’ve been
Everybody loses, we all got bruises

-Train, “Bruises”

Last night before getting ready for bed, I looked in the mirror and for the first time in a long time I liked what I saw. I thought; you know I appreciate this body – it has carried four children, these are the arms that hug them tight, and the face that greets them each day, this smile is the smile that they help elicit, the wrinkles on my face are smile lines and all of that is what makes me beautiful. And I thought to myself, I think I am finally getting a handle on this joy thing. But before you congratulate me or call BULLCRAP – I am going somewhere with this.

See directly after that vision of grandeur I stayed up working until midnight and then writing my blog cheer post until 2 AM.

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 11.45.08 PMWhen I awoke at 6:30 this morning and I stumbled to the bathroom, all the while wishing Starbucks had miraculously opened a new location in my living room, I looked in the mirror and to my dismay I realized that I had just been drunk with joy the night before – SERIOUSLY?! I had looked at myself and thought I looked presentable – for one my eyebrows are atrocious. I really need to pluck them, but before I could do that one of the twins peeks in and asks if he can have milk, and then my daughter comes in asking if her underwear is clean because she can’t find any underwear in her drawer.

Really?! She has about 35 to 40 pairs of underwear and on top of that she can’t tell me when she is down to her last pair so I know I have to make a load of whites a priority, okay so maybe that is asking too much of a 7 year-old. But do not despair my fellow readers; I had done the laundry and my trusty treadmill was displaying it for me. So in seconds I was able to produce the underwear, finish throwing on my clothes while my little Z man pleaded for milk and asked when we would be seeing Santa Claus. As my husband passes by me he asks when his parents can come by to which I have to rifle through our hectic schedule, of guitar, parent teacher conferences, Nutcracker rehearsal, Christmas Girl Scout Parade Walking, Dance Recital Watching, Tennis, etc. so that we can find a good time for them to actually see all 4 children in one place. This sets me back a good five minutes, but I do think we miraculously made the bed while we talked. I know, you can be impressed, it’s okay we are professionals at this multi-tasking gig.

Then Z man and I headed down the stairs, and he directly joins his older brother and sister in their search for Jackey, our elf on the shelf. I scramble to get milk and vitamins on the table and then pack two lunches that my children won’t eat. During lunch packing  I help lead them to finding the elf so that they will just sit down and eat their breakfast.

As I am rushing around grabbing clothes for the twins and helping my oldest brush his hair and my daughter get a sweatshirt – my little Z man is following me all the way whining mom, mom, mom, mom don’t leave me – where are we going – mom I need a hug, mom carry me, and finally to just complete meltdown because I won’t meet his every demand and answer his every question IMMEDIATELY. While Z man is melting down, my oldest is letting me know he needs $2 for his class party, so I am scrambling to get that and an envelope for him all the while listening to my youngest throw his mega tantrum because I didn’t carry him down the stairs.

Then while I help my daughter pack her backpack so that we can leave the house on time, I completely forget that I was supposed to go to Micheal’s. I know that the teacher gave us plenty of time get the materials on this list, but it was given to us right before the holidays when we went out of town and then my daughter was sick all week – anyway check out this list – I love her teacher, but seriously an art project with this many necessary supplies can’t really be worth it, can it?

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(Sorry for the poor photos) I know first world problems, but Christmas Cookies – I think I should just buy stock in Micheal’s. I then ask my daughter to let her teacher know that we will get to Micheal’s to get the supplies and have them at school tomorrow, please tell your teacher I am VERY sorry for the delay.

As soon as that is taken care of; I go to wake up the other sleeping twinlet and get him downstairs so that I can get him bundled for our trip outdoors in the 26 degree California Freeze that we had this morning. All the while mind you Z man has not stopped crying. But I somehow manage to dress both boys and get us out the door.

We are rushing along because we left a bit late; and while I am rushing her along what I really want to do is revel in the ice and frost covering the houses, lawns and sidewalks but instead we are hustling our butts to school. When we get to school we are SECOND in line – this literally has never happened to us all year. So I hustled us for no good reason. Now we get to enjoy the cold while we wait for the second bell to ring so she can be led inside.

With the oldest kids off to school my husband and I take turns on conference calls so that we can get our work all done in between the “Can I have two candies out of my bag?” (Yes, we still have Halloween candy and I am fully aware that it is almost Christmas). “Can I have a dwink?” Can I have a snack?” “When are we going to see Santa?” “Does Santa have a sleigh?” “Can I play on yours iPad?” I also am pretty sure I changed 10 poopy diapers today; what they are eating I don’t know because anytime I put food out these days they take two bites and I really don’t think that all the goldfish crackers that they eat can really turn into that much crap – but I guess it’s a Christmas Miracle.

Anyway, as I am plugging along finally zipping through some projects after finishing my morning conference calls, At a about quarter to one my cell phone rings and it is the school nurse say that my oldest son has hit his head pretty hard and that he wants me to come get him. He told the nurse two different stories of how he got hurt so when we get to the car, I ask him for the real truth of what happened. Sure enough he had played hot lava (some kind of crazy tag game) with his friends and they were running toward the slide and his best friend bumped into him tin his hurry to get down the slide quickly – sheer accident – they were just running fast and when he slammed into the back of E; E hit his head on the top bar of the slide. He had a fantastic goose egg and already has a bit of a black eye. He didn’t tell the nurse what happened because he was worried his friend would get in trouble.

We swing by to pick up his sister from school, too because by the time we are all through she is out for the day as well. We head home where again I am on the phone for pretty much the rest of the day until 4:30 non-stop. The kids do two hours of homework. I beg my husband to pick up dinner on his way home from the vet – yes our dog has some virus she picked up from the kennel while we were gone, she will be fine – and he agrees. The man is a saint really.

While he is gone I bathe two of the kids, help with homework, and remember I should go to the bathroom because I don’t think I have gone since about 11 this morning. When he returns, I head out to deliver holiday cheer and come back to one child already in bed and another crying. So I put the twins to bed and then come down to another child crying because her homework is too hard, but luckily dad is saving the day; so I decide I should eat dinner before I forget.

I check work email; make another call and send a quick couple emails and go off to tuck the other two kidlets into bed and I remind myself that these are all first world problems, I have healthy kids, a great husband, running water, modern appliances, family for support and the warm showers I need to remember those things and be grateful, especially because I get to do this crazy, wild ride all over again tomorrow.

I’m imperfect and I’m enough – I just have to keep telling myself that.

photo(14)P.S. please excuse the grammar mistakes on this one – i literally am falling asleep typing.

Tuesday Surprise

Today was like any other day lately…submerged neck deep in 3-year-old drama – double time. If one isn’t throwing a fit because they can’t color with marker on the dining room walls, then the other has started to throw themselves into a yelling fit because they can’t use the monster truck as a weapon. Anything can set the unpredictable fits off; no cookies for breakfast, putting on shoes too fast, not having the right jacket clean, they want it zipped up and then it isn’t zipped up far enough. I am sure any caregiver of a 2-3.5 year old knows that you are in constant hostile negotiations over just about everything and you have to be a redirecting guru to manage meltdown after meltdown from your beautiful, sweet, miraculous toddler.

Toddler meltdown of course came with a side of work overload, 6 loads of laundry, conference calls with attorneys, and a lack of sleep. So my sweet husband decides to take us out to dinner as a way to just get out and do something a bit different. Off we go and as we get into the car one of our beautiful, sweet miraculous toddlers decides he wants a hug. We are all buckled and I say, “We are already all buckled, we have to get going I will give you a hug when we get to the restaurant.” To which shoes get kicked off and screaming ensues. For the 15 minute drive to the restaurant we hear constant crying and screaming. That was just the beginning. Through dinner husband and I muse to each other that we can’ t have more than two kids happy at a time and then wonder if going out to dinner with four kids under 9 was a good idea to begin with. We are packing up and receive the check defeated and tired and you know what?! Tuesdays kids eat free. BEST DAY EVER!!