Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Right To Be Right?!?!

So today I am on fire and hurt and just plain upset.  Today I logged on to FB with my coffee to see all those fun things people were up to today. Some drinking coffee, some just had a great time with their families, some are hurting and experiencing pain in their families, and some posted wonderful pictures of their accomplishments and beautiful adventures, and then inevitably I run across some post that makes my blood boil yet never type a comment. 

When did we as people feel we have the right to be right all the time?  We have become some of the most narcissistic people ever!  I find it funny that I have friends on both sides of the now infamous Chick-fil-a debacle and both seem to actually trash other people for their beliefs.  I reviewed the Bill of Rights again today thinking I must be missing something.  I must be missing a right stating that our opinions and beliefs are "right" no matter what, giving us full permission to outwardly ridicule and mock other human beings.  Did I miss it?

NO I didn't because IT IS NOT THERE!!!!

Listen, I am FAR from perfect which everyone I know can attest.  However, if we believe Christians are bad, why are we ridiculing them as humans?  If we believe homosexuals are bad, why are we trashing them as humans?  If we believe carrying a gun is ludicrous, why do we call them crazy people?  If we believe that taking food stamps should be against, the law why do we attack the person on food stamps?

It seems to me we all need a hand held mirror to take a long hard look at our own junk.  This world is wonderful in so many ways and my kids remind me of that everyday.  However we as adults are making it crappy for them.  We attack people because their "right" is not our "right".  What happened to the old adage "If you don't have anything nice to say then be quiet."

Please understand, I am all about debating the facts and standing firm to what we believe.  But when we stop debating facts and start attacking people, we have missed the mark and are teaching future generations nasty and unsafe habits that will not benefit us when we are in need of their support.  Soon their "right" might not include taking care of their elders. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

First Week as a Working Outside the Home Mom

So, I have completed my first week of a full time working outside the home mom or what I will refer to as WOTH mom.

First, let me boldly stand and applaud all those mommies who have been doing this since their  children were tiny because it is by far more exhausting in a week than most every week I had as a SAHM (stay at home mom).  I am not here to start an argument over who works harder, etc because both are extremely difficult.  But exhausting??  If I had to vote the WOTH moms win.
I say this only based upon my experience. (Oh and please know that when I stayed at home I could have spent way more time organizing and cleaning my home, as those of  you who have spent time in my home can attest.)  When a SAHM I ran my own day, I was the queen.  For example, if I was exhausted I could lay down with C at nap time or choose to not do laundry for that day, etc. Yeah, that didn't really work this week.:)  I don't' think my principal would like it if I asked to build in a 20 minute power nap to my schedule.

Also, I have learned you have to be organized.  Now know that my current organization level will only probably last the next month.  And then I will be blogging that I have lost all control and feel like a snowball running down Mt. Everest.  But there has to be organization.  Example?  Colin's birthday party today.  Normally I would make my lists and go to certain stores and then if I forgot to run to Target I would say "Forgettta about it (using my best mob voice), I can go tomorrow."  Not the case when working full time.  There are pretty much only certain times for errands so I am thinking to make this work I need to maximize my errand running time. 

Finally a part I have not had the full grasp of quite yet.  Spending all day without my kids.  We have been blessed last week and this to have family staying with the kids as they do not start everything until next week.  Here are my pros and cons. Pro, I have loved spending so much time with adults.  I have had to control my thoughts to ask them if they have to go potty or if they need help at lunch.  It has been nice to utilized my brain in a different capacity.
The cons, ovbisouly the quote from my youngest peanut on Friday "You go to work, NEVER!"  Yes I had to fight back tears and the the idea that I was some horrible mommy that should immediately be tried for neglect.  But I didn't cry in front of him and just said, "A lot of mommies work, I will see you after nap and you will have fun with Kelsey!"  And I was able to do this because of the great advice from other WOTH moms. I know we will have many more months of transition and a few more tears, but in the end I can honestly say I do believe this will be wonderful for all of us.

Which brings me to two pieces of advice that I received from two amazing moms who have had much more experience with WOTH.  I will share them with you as I think they are GOLDEN!!
First, if you don't have the "right" childcare for you little people that you are 100% comfortable with, you and they will be miserable.  Why you ask?  Because you will contstantly be thinking about them, never able to do your work, and spend your whole day counting down the hours until you can run to them.  So, RULE #1 find a good school/provider.
The second piece of wisdom I will call RULE #2.  "If you are okay with it, they will be okay with it."  If you are a mom you know that kids smell fear/anxiety/happiness, etc. even when we don't express them aloud.  So when the little peanut expressed his displeasure in his working mama, I let him and then did not cry or make it a big deal.  More just a matter of fact that I was headed to work and we'd play later.

My first week as WOTH mom, DONE.  Although I left it with exhaustion and wanting to sleep on my couch at 5:30 each evening, I also feel that I am happier, have more patience with my kiddos and actually have spent more meaningful time with them, as well as Jeff and I working more as a team together.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Finding the Right Bribe for Your Kids

So this weekend we made S take off the training wheels.  Well, Jeff did.  I didn't care if he had them on forever, even though we did tell him kids would eventually make fun of him.  S likes to play it safe and only likes to do what he likes to do when he likes to do it. 
Jeff and I tried different tactics, he resorted to telling him that big boys ride on two wheels and it was time for him to learn.  A mixture of sucking it up, feeling good about learning and peer pressure.  
Me??  I use bribery.  Most time with treats.  (Yes I know that this is bad and I am sure if my kids are morbidly obese as adults they will tell their therapists that their mother made them this way by bribing them when little.)
So, I say to S, if you learn today to ride on two wheels then we will all go to ice cream.  His response was to ask what kind of ice cream as if he needed to know his efforts were worth it.  I then said BR, which is down the street and one of the family favorites.  He actually then thought for a bit and said no, he did not want ice cream and would ride with 4 wheels "forever"!
HUH!?!? No to ice cream, that was my best offer--but was it?!?!  I then thought quick and said to him if he learned to ride on two wheels I would video it on my phone and then send it to Samantha.  He paused, thought, and just like that said "OK, Dad, take off the other wheels!"
And that was that. He went with Jeff and although he did whine and still is not totally comfortable, he is riding.  And all it took was telling him Samantha would see it.
I think at this point I should be less concerned about the therapist and more concerned that he'd do anything for the ladies.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I have been thinking about this post for many months.  I have had a hard time composing it without sounding offensive as I have had a lot of mixed emotions on our upcoming transition.  But I am going to lay my thoughts out there the best I can.
We have all see the articles on moms working in the home versus outside the home and all the jargon to go with it.  We have seen the overt statements and the funny jokes, etc.  I have often wondered why we as women continually bash each other ( yes we do).  From who has better shoes in their closet, to who looks better in a dress, to who disciplines their children the "right" or "wrong" way.  We do this to random women on the street and yes to even our greatest friends.  We women are the worst to each other when in fact we should really become allies.  I have never felt this so strongly as when our family made the decision for me to return to work this coming July.

I mainly wanted to write this blog to make two bold statements about having a foot in both worlds.


You probably wonder why I think I have some authority to even write this blog, well, because I have stayed home for over 7 years and am going back to work.  I have had the ability to meet and talk with many stay at home moms and actually a majority of my friends are work outside the home moms.  Yet, I think the only reason I can make that statement so loud and clear that my decision to go back to work was not at all out of any lack of love or compassion for my kids.  I have a passion for social work and a passion for my kids.  We never ask dads when they go to work if they love their kids, we assume they do!  So why do we do that to woman?
Also, I personally do not believe that God has stated that all women should stay home with their kids.  I am not really up for a biblical debate, but just read Proverbs 31 and let me know what you think.  I doubt she took her kids all those places when working, but just my view.


Staying at home is no Real Housewives event.  If it was, I would have 3 nannies and go to the spa at least once a week and let's face it this body would look much better because I would also have a personal trainer and a chef.  Staying at home is long days with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.  You see the good, the bad, and ugly, and if possible the even uglier.  You can go for days with no shower and hardly any adult conversation.  But one of the blessing is you see almost everything, every moment, first, last, and you don't have to use a sick day if someone else is sick.

My dear women friends, who are we kidding?  If we are truthful we all have made snarky remarks about other women in this area and they usually are directed towards the camp in which we do not fall.  How about this, lets say we are all on the same team.  The grass isn't any greener, it is just two different types of grass.  We all are moms who love and hope and pray for the best for our kids.  I am convinced that sometimes the reason men have become so very successful in certain areas is frankly they could give two sh$ts about this kind of stuff, I think we should probably feel the same. 

 I am preparing for July 2012 to about December 2012 to look like a train wreck when I return to work.  I am more excited than I can tell you, but I also know this will be one of the largest transitions for our family.  I will cry and there will be yelling, whining, and probably even gnashing of teeth.  But it doesn't make it the wrong decision.  It just is a transition.  I guess in all of this I have just often wondered what would it look like if we just honored other mom's and family's choices?

In my opinion. . . a whole lot better.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Behind the Lobster Tank

There is a song by Jason Gray that I love and have listened to over and over call "How I Ended up Here." Here are the lyrics and the link to the song.
There's something I need to confess
At the risk of exposing my faults
But I'm starting to find that most of the time
I just don't like people at all

When I saw you five minutes ago
I was afraid you might talk off my ear
I panicked inside and decided to hide
And that's how I ended up here
Crouching behind the live lobster tank
Hoping you'd just pass me by, oh...

That's how I ended up here
That's how I ended up here

Oh how I wish I could say
It's my first time to hide in this spot
But with all of the people I try to avoid
I find myself down here a lot

I mean, just look at these guys in the tank
With the red rubber bands 'round their arms
If they don't open up
And just keep to themselves
They won't do anyone harm

So I screen my calls,
don't answer the door
Sometimes wish I could disappear,

oh...That's how I ended up here
That's how I ended up ..

Building a wall so no one could bother me
Living my life in isolation
Opening up to only those close to me
Nobody's close to me, what have I done?

See, I really want to be known
But I'm not quite as strong as the fear
That you won't understand the fool that I am
And that's how I ended up here
That's how I ended up here
That's how I ended up here

My favorite lyrics in this song is "See, I really want to be known, But I'm not quite as strong as the fear,That you won't understand the fool that I am".   I know that many of you think that I can relate more to being the person that talks off your ear, and that is true, sad, but true.  But I think we all identify with wanting to be known.  

You know that feeling.  The desperate aching of wanting to share, wanting someone to notice, or even just sit with us.  Wanting someone to share our stories, our sadness, or even just a drink.

I have  friend that considers themselves to be a "loner".  They have friends and a family, but they pride themselves on being the one who doesn't need anyone. Everyone is kept at an arms distance. Somehow they think it makes them stronger than the average person.  Like a superhero with a "I" for independent on the back of their cape.  But, let me tell you friends, I call BS on that friend.  

I believe that God made us to be known.  Why else would he have given us communication skills, or provided mates, BFF's, families, or even created us at all?  Now I am not saying that we have no boundaries and share everything with everyone who comes in contact.  But I have learned sometimes we need to come out from behind the lobster tank in all of our foolishness, whether it be to a friend, a loved one, or our God.  The surprising part is that the outcome many times is not what we expected.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Some Mindful Snapshots

This afternoon was a we-WILL-cry-over-spilled-juice-&-any-other-thing-that-looks-at-us-the-wrong-way.  So if you are blessed to live in Arizona that calls for some let's go outside and try to get through the afternoon work.  So we went out back and played, it was nice, so I grabbed the camera. Here you go. . . .

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lock Up Your Daughters!

Forget locking up Lauren until she is 30, I have recently decided we should lock up our sweet boy S. 

This boy's love language oozes from his body: physical touch.   I do know I will have to warn his future wife of this as he communicates everything that way.  

In preschool he has a journal.  Each day when they first arrive they wash their hands and do some journal work.  It is different each day.  This particular day the prompt was to "Draw something beautiful."  As his sweet teacher was going around looking at journals I am sure she saw a plethora of rainbows and flowers and mountains.  Then she got to my sweet boy's picture and had to ask the very nice teacher question, "Tell me about your picture?"  Which is code for what the heck is that?!?!

Here is his reply:
It is my mom's nightgown.

Yes. . . he . . did.  He did just tell his teacher that something beautiful was his mother's nightgown.  Oye!  Really?  First, for the record I rarely wear a nightgown to bed.  I am more a pajama pants kind of girl.  But really, at 5 years old his idea of something beautiful is his mother's night gown.  He either has a really big Oedipus complex or will just make an amazing husband one day, I prefer the latter. 
Oh dear, when Dr. Leman says that the middle child beats to a different drum he wasn't kidding! :)
He contintues to make me laugh and I do believe he will make a very attentive husband one day. . when we let him out. HAHA!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

For the Love. . . of Reading Week

I had the opportunity to read for the Love of Reading Week last week at L's school.  Each parent who read also told the kids a bit about what they "do". 

So the on the eve of my reading date, L asks me what I am reading and that I will have to tell the kids what I "do".  I said to her, well I stay at home L, what should I say I "do".  (very long pause)  She said, "Well you could tell them you make things.  Or. . . . ummmmm....Oh I know, tell them how you do LAUNDRY!!!"  To which she starts laughing. 

So I read my book and then took questions and sure enough one sweet boy said "What do you do?"  Then L said out loud in front of her classmates "Tell them about how you do laundry, laundry and laundry!" 

Needless to say her teacher found this funny and I laughed as well.  I knew that 2 years ago when she stood on her preschool stage and told everyone "When I grow up I want to be a mommy, because I love my mommy",  would have to be a memory I clung to for moments just likes these. 

So on this Saturday if you are doing laundry, know that I am right there with you!  :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My sweet 'S'- yes again :)

I am beginning to think this blog could just be about the funny interactions with my sweet, eldest son.

If you have taken Love and Logic parenting courses, you know the words "I love you too much to argue." 
Well that has been my mantra this afternoon.  And I am a bit tired.

Then I see/hear this.
My sweet boy taking a large wooden pole (the kind used to hold up trees) and using it as a ramming rod against our glass french door.  Of course I immediately scream his name and he stops and I send him straight to his room.  He begins to argue and I repeat as calm as possible, "Go to your room,  I love you too much to argue."  And also explain that I am WAAAAY to angry to talk so I will need a few minutes to calm down.

After I take my few minutes we have a conversation about love, actions, why I don't want him to do things that can hurt him, etc. I wanted to share part of it.

Me:  Who loves you even more than mommy and daddy? 
S:  Hmmmmm.  (long pause)  I am trying to decide between God and Jesus!  ummmm, ummmm, GOD!!!
Me:  That is right, God loves you even more than. . . .
S interrupts:  Yeah I knew it was God because Jesus is just a baby and is tiny.  :) 

This made me laugh aloud and yes, I know we have a bit more training to do about Jesus getting past the infant stage, but in my defense it was just Christmas.  Just add it to my list of things I need to teach my kids.

Have a great rest of your week!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Zoo Moments: Brought to you by the middle child

Here are my "kid in the middle" stories today from the zoo.

Story 1:

Me:  Look guys there is the mama lion and her 2 cubs! She has three, but I don't see the third out and about.
S:  He probably smacked his mom on the head and is in time out. (Said very matter-of-fact)

The elephants and the zebras are near one another at the Tucson zoo.  L and S walked over to the Zebras (where I could still see them) and C and I stayed watching the elephant keepers putting out food. We are all having a nice time.  Then, I looked toward the zebras.  There, facing me, was my sweet five year old, S, pants down to his ankles peeing on a zoo tree!! My quick response was a yell (that could be heard to PHX) of his FULL name.  He knew. . BUSTED!  He quickly pulled up is pants and came over.  I made him sit on the bench until I could compose myself and explain in a kids version, indecent exposure.  His response. "Yeah I shouldn't do that because no one really wants to see my penis." 

I hope you laughed as hard as Jeff did when I called him at work to relay the story. 
Have a great rest of your Wednesday!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mindful Snapshots

I feel that I have been reminded over and over these past few weeks to take what I have decided to call "mindful snapshots".  Mindful meaning in my mind and purposeful. Snapshots, obviously meaning pictures.

Maybe the best way to describe it was the mindful shot I have in my mind from yesterday.  Let me describe the scene.  We had lunch after a great morning at church, just the five of us at Culvers.  The snapshot is all of us sitting at the table.  Sean snuggling his daddy almost on his lap, content and smiling, Jeff laughing while Lauren sits next to him laughing with her toothless grin, I am across from them with Colin putting his sweet hugging arms around my neck saying "mommy" in a little voice.  I chose to make that a mindful snapshot as we were all there, all loving each other, all laughing.  We had no agenda right then, no place to be, nothing to do other than be there in that moment sharing time with one another.   My heart was so full.  Who would have guessed that a Sunday afternoon lunch at Culvers could hold such a moment? 

Therefore, I have decided to take more mindful snapshots, more times that I just stop, live in the moment and take it in.  I know this sounds morbid to some, but it is absolutely true that life is short and 30 seconds from now I could no longer abide on this earth.  Some I know can't stand when I talk like that, and I get that it can be scary and sad, but it is reality.  Yet, because of grace the promise of new life for me is a gain, so it doesn't bother me. 

I want to live in those moments, for I believe that they are gifts from above.  I believe that they are the moments that make pain, stress, agony, and turmoil disappear from our lives even if only from an provide peace, love, happiness, joy, and contentment. 

I hope to posting more descriptions of my mindful snapshots and would love to hear some of yours as well.