Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We sing before bed

One of our nightly rituals is to sing in Youngest's room before bed.  SHE loves it, it is practically like oxygen to her. 

It goes a little something like this:

Youngest and I go into her room and sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and The ABC Song.  Then she gets off my lap, barrels down the hall to the stairs (sometimes it looks like she's going to go right over the edge of the stairs) and yells "OLDEST, DADDY, IT'S TIME FOR BAH, BAH BWACK SHEEP," waits until she hears footsteps coming, then barrels back into her room to await their arrival.

Everyone comes in, we say "One, Two, Ready Go," then sing it with different variations.  Sometimes Youngest sings it "sad style," which ends up making us all crack up so much we can hardly finish.  Sometimes Oldest adds a little "Say WHAT?" right after "Have you any wool?" which is also very funny.  Especially the time we tried to teach Youngest to sing it too and this is how it went:

Hey Youngest, say "say what."


No, Youngest, say the word say and the word what.


Repeat after us:  "say."






No, say "say" first.


Are you going to say this?


We don't do all of this because it's funny, though (even though that's a great side benefit).  We do it as a family ritual and we all like it so much now that if one of us isn't here, we're all a little sad.  The funny thing is that I don't even remember how it started.  But I guess that happens with family rituals - they become so much a part of your family it seems like they were always there. 

What family rituals do you have to share? 

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Happiness Project - Mid Year Review

Well, well, well.  Here we are at the end of June.  6 months into 2010.  6 months into My Happiness Project, as defined by Gretchen Rubin and her lovely book with that title.  I thought it would be fun to check into my psyche and see if I'm happier.

My day to day ups and downs are very much related to the kid's moods - and mine.  If they're really difficult or low, I am too.  Then my bad mood will perpetuate theirs and create a circle that it's hard to break out of. 

I do believe, though, that I'm generally happy.  "Things happen" (or as popularized on a bumper sticker years ago) "shit happens."  Life it hard.  It takes effort.  Almost all of the time. 

But to quote the movie, Life is Beautiful too.  In all of its heartache, challenges and difficulties, life is quite beautiful and satisfying. 

Tonight I made a mistake in judgment on the way home from a party.  I convinced everyone to stop for Chinese food at 8:20pm.  We didn't get our order until 8:45, didn't get home until almost 9.  The kids weren't happy with their choices, everyone was tired and I just wanted to be done with my "mommy duties" for the night.  I got crabby with them as I was rushing them to bed.  Then Husband came upstairs to sing our family song before bed, saying "Your dog just had an accident, ladies."  Oldest immediately jumped up, said, "I'll take care of it - Mommy's having a rough patch here and I want to help her out." 

And that, right there, is why life is so beautiful.  Discovering your child really is developing empathy and a sense of community, underneath all that "kid stuff" that we get caught up in so often.  Getting glimpses of the adult they will become - seeing all of your hard work beginning to shine through, even if only for a moment.
Among other things, what I'm going to focus on in the 2nd half of 2010's Happiness Project is the process.  I will not arrive at happiness on December 31st this year, because happiness isn't an end state - it's found in the journey. 

What will you focus on in the second half?

Have a Happy Day. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

6 word Saturday on Sunday?

Last date night for 12 days. 

But lots of other fun is coming too! 

Whoops!  Forgot to schedule the release yesterday!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dear So and So - It's Nothing Personal

Dear, dear So and So.  I missed you last week, my wittle fwiend!  Let's get reacquainted, shall we?  Hello, Kat!  How are you?  Head over to Kat's place now to say hello, everyone.

Dear 500 sites I subscribe to:

Missy had to cut back.  Missy couldn't keep up.  Missy was missing too many good reads because she had too many blogs in her reader.  Missy had to make some tough decisions. 

How could I have authored a blog on blogger for a YEAR (almost) and just now located the "folders" in google reader?  Density - it ain't just a scientific term people - it's Missy in the summer 

Dear Blog Hops:

I haven't done one in awhile - what do you think?  Any good ones going around?  Do you like them?  Think they're fake ways to get followers?  Have you found really good ones through them?

Just askin

Dear new followers:

I'm always looking for witty, soul-searching, let's get through this together blogging friendships.  Remember the rules here, "You follow me, I'll follow you." 

Then I'll only unfollow you 6 months down the road if we never talk to each other after our initial follow.  Remember, nothing personal, just self-preservation

Dear Drunken Mom:

Thank you for providing this entertaining clip to me and others like me.


I'm warning you now, Husband's family.  Whoever we "draw" in the Christmas drawing is getting a shirt that is a variation of this story.  Just keepin it real, people

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Important Observations and Questions

Summer gives me time (ha!) to ponder the big questions in life and wax philosophic on who I am.  Here's a glance:

  1. What universal law dictates that all emergencies occur upon the ringing of the phone?
  2. Jumping spiders - no matter the size - are utterly horrific.
  3. Mosquitoes - a reminder us that no matter how good our lives are, a mosquito bite (or 5) can make us forget our blessings. 
  4. Summer TV would blow if it weren't for Big Brother - coming soon!
  5. Why DOES it seem like so little's being done about the BP oil spill?
  6. It's pretty hard to exercise in the summertime, when the kids are home 24/7. 
  7. Heat + unpoppable, under the skin zits = unhappy mommy.
  8. Sometimes when I start rubbing an eye, I can't stop until it's swollen shut.  That's just gross.
  9. I recently decided that a woman's work is truly never done. 
  10. I saw a police officer getting gas at the gas station today.  ???  I thought they had a "lot" where they did things like repairs and keeping their gas tanks filled. 
These are the things that flit in and out of the cavernous corridor that is my brain.  Summer = deep thoughts.  There's a lot to figure out in this world.

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Happiness Project - it Worked!

It's Happiness Monday! I love My Happiness Project, where I decided to spend a year "finding" happiness with the help of Gretchen Rubin and her awesome book. Check out her website for more information. And buy the book! It's never too late to start your own Happiness Project.

Pollyanna Week Part Deux is concluded.  And was mostly successful the second time around.  Wearing those silly, silly, silly bands seems to have done the trick.  Looking at them on my wrist really did help remind me to Carpe Diem with Joi de Vivre OR Seize the Day with the Joy of Life for those of you who don't want to decode latin and french today. 

Plus, the routine is getting more established  - and in a house where routine is about as important as sleep, that helps considerably. 

You know what was the best part of the week?  When I told Oldest why I wanted to wear them, she said, "that is the BEST idea EVER, Mommy!  Let's all do Pollyanna week!" 

So sometimes My Happiness Project brings unintended, positive results.  I like that very, very much.  Though I've had to tailor my original plan for the Project to accommodate my newly acquired volunteering roles, responsibilities and opportunities, here I am coming to the halfway point and can say it's definitely, absolutely, positively worth it. 

What are you learning on your happiness quest?  Anything helpful?  I hope so . . .

Saturday, June 19, 2010

6 word saturday

Whirlwind weekends are becoming the norm.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

From One Inspirational Mom to Another

Well, bestill my heart!  I've been featured at Hippie Mommie's blog!  She wrote up such a flattering intro that I'm convinced she's talking about someone else, but she swears it's me! 

Head over if you want to see her kind words, but also check her out - she is so genuine, such a hard working Mommy.  And she's totally right - WOULDN'T it be nice if children came with an instruction manual?  That was tailored to your parenting style and your child's personality? 

Ahh, maybe that's a book idea! 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oh, Poop!

Youngest will only use the following phrase when she needs to eliminate:  "MOM, I NEEDA GO POOP."  As you read that, make sure you do it in your LOUD reading voice to fully understand the vigor with which she communicates.

Yesterday she yelled this to me from the living room, "MOM, I NEEDA GO POOP."  She had a dress on, so I said, equally vigorously, "OK, GO ON INTO THE BATHROOM AND GO POO-POO."


I say, "NO, you can go to the bathoom honey.  Off you go." 

Next thing I know, there's a lot of grunting and straining coming from . . . the hallway. 

Time to investigate. 

 Here comes Youngest, huffing and puffing down the hall, CARRYING her potty, in order to GO POOP in the living room per her request.  That I denied. 

I say, "Honey, what are you doing?" 

She says, "Mooooommm, I REALLY wanna GO POOP in the living room.  I told you that two times already!" 

Montessori and its "kids are capable" stuff.  Really, sometimes it's just too much.  2 year olds moving toilets to eliminate in the location of their choice takes "kids are capable" to a whole new level, doesn't it? 

Got any good summer day stories of your own to share today? 

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Happiness Project - Pollyanna week - BLEH

It's Happiness Monday! I love My Happiness Project, where I decided to spend a year "finding" happiness with the help of Gretchen Rubin and her awesome book. Check out her website for more information. And buy the book! It's never too late to start your own Happiness Project.

Last week, I declared the month of June to be attitude month - I was going to have a good attitude about summer, its highs and lows, its banalities and boom weeks.  I also declared last week to be Pollyanna Week, as defined by and suggested by Gretchen in her book. 

What a colossal failure that was!  To just say "this week is Pollyanna Week," with no guidelines or boundaries, no PLAN for it was disastrous.  So by Saturday when I yelled at my kids in the car, violating one of my other resolutions for the year (NO YELLING - EVER), I realized that one way to guarantee unhappiness is to set yourself up for failure. 

Because then, not only are you unhappy about WHAT you're failing at, but you're unhappy about the fact that you've failed! 

So THIS week it's Pollyanna week AGAIN.  And maybe next week too.  I'm gonna do it till I do it right, darnit! 

Here is how I'm going to do a better job of Pollyanna week this week (most of these borrowed from Gretchen):
  1. Wear a reminder bracelet.  What better way to remember to act "Pollyanna" than by wearing a large bracelet to remind me?
  2. Think of things I don't like in a positive way.  Instead of "I hate laundry," how about "laundry provides clean clothes and folding warm laundry is the best."
  3. Don't talk about things that annoy me.  This one's tough b/c I have to talk about some annoying things this coming week.  Hmmm, what to do?  Maybe it's to refrain from talking about the FACT that they're annoying, just get through them.  Grin and bear it, if you will.
  4. Engage in "downward comparisons."  See your good fortune and blessings in relation to other's challenges.  For example, someone, somewhere lost a loved one yesterday.  I didn't.  I am blessed.  Someone will learn they have a life-threatening illness today.  I don't have that - I am blessed.  That kind of thing.  I talk about it a lot - "appreciate these moments - even the annoying ones - they won't last forever." 
  5. Get back to it - NO YELLING AT THE KIDS.  EVER.  Until this week, this has been rather easy.  A variety of happenings made me fall off the wagon this week - but I'm getting back on.  Nothing makes me angrier than when I allow my anger to overwhelm me and lose my temper with the kids. 
 So there you have it - Pollyanna Week Part Deux. 

OR if these don't work, maybe I should just lock myself in my room for a week?  Instant success!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Third day of Church Festival = FUN.

Head over to Show my Face for more!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dear So and So - the Welcome to Summer Edition

Ahhhh, summer.  The bonding.  Read on.  Then head over to Kat's place

Dear "Oh MY You're almost 3, aren't you" year old -
When you scream at me to stop talking when I'm on the phone so that you can tell me something, you don't score points.  Especially when I'm on the phone with a store. 

Maybe I'll do that to you when you're a tween on the phone? 

Dear 8 year old -
When you stomp out of the bathroom angry because you didn't get to see Youngest's poo-poo before we flushed it, you don't win points with me.  When you do this at 7:45 am, you actually score in the negative.

You don't put your poo-poo on display for show and tell.  Do unto others, child . . .

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Silly Bands, Silly Fad

Oldest has discovered silly bands.  Have your children discovered them?  Have you heard of them? 

They are rubbery bracelets made in various shapes.  Kids collect them and trade them.  It's kind of like Pokemon cards from the last couple of years for Oldest.  Gotta catch 'em all! 

Quite literally, she went from not knowing what they were to being semi-interested in them, to now sporting about 20 on her arm.  She has slices of pizza, trumpets, Shrek, hippos, drink cups and more!  And she wants more!  And more!  And more! 

She went on a playdate with 5 school friends the day after school got out last week and they spent much of the day trading them back and forth to each other.  I've heard some schools banned them because of the problems they have caused with learning and concentration. 

So, as a mom, I think they're, well, silly.  Utterly unnecessary and annoying.  A waste of household time in how much she takes them off and on every day.

As a mom with a child who doesn't make friends super easily, I recognize their value as a commonality builder.  As a way to connect, establish bonds, share with other kids on a meaningful level (in kid world, that is). 

As a former kid, I remember this feeling.  We had those safety pin beads we shared and friendship bracelets.  It meant something to give those to certain people and it really meant something special to receive them from certain people. 

So I get it. 

But I still think it's silly. 

Do you?

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Happiness Project - Attitude is Everything

It's Happiness Monday! I love My Happiness Project, where I decided to spend a year "finding" happiness with the help of Gretchen Rubin and her awesome book. Check out her website for more information. And buy the book! It's never too late to start your own Happiness Project.

It's June and this month I picked "Attitude" as my Happiness Project subject.  Why?  Because as I said last Wednesday, summer time isn't my easiest time of year. 

I don't get as much time to do my work, though it's still there.

I am the one responsible for occupying my children every day.

I don't like bugs.  Or excessive heat.  Or sunburns.

It's tiring. 

But summer's great too:

I get to reconnect with the kids.

They get to recharge from a hard working school year. 

I'm reminded that slowing down is one way to appreciate life. 

So June is about attitude.  I can drag myself, kicking and screaming, into summer and all of its extra togetherness, or I can remind myself (like I so often do) that this time is so short. 

June's resolutions:

  1. Have a welcome to summer family party.  Whether it's going out to dinner as a family, spending an evening at the pool, or doing a real party at home.
  2. Do Pollyanna week.  Gretchen talks about one week that she did this.  No matter what was tossed her way, she responded with good cheer and a good attitude.  My week will be the first full week of summer - which begins today. 
  3. Don't talk about my aggravations.  Sometimes it helps, but sometimes it just perpetuates them.  Have you noticed that?
  4. Be easy to please
  5. Buy happiness - buy new sheets for our bed.  Nice ones.  What a great way to promote a good attitude - soft sheets.
  6. Don't listen to negative reviews.  Or in other words, don't promote gossip.  I'm doing this because the pool tends to become a cesspool of gossip about kids, husbands and people not there that day.  I'm not going to be a part of it - who wins in that situation?  No one.
So what would you do do foster a good attitude in a month when that's harder than others?  I would love to hear your attitude resolutions. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

6 word Saturday

Facebook is annoying and fascinating, simultaneously. 

Now head over to Show my Face

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Last Day of School

The last day of school.  Remember the feeling it evoked when you were a kid. 

Joy.  Exhiliration.  Freedom.  Relief, with a little bit of doubt mixed in as you got into your school age years. 

This is a bitter sweet day for me.  I'm happy to have some time with my kids, but dreading the days where they start bickering 5 minutes after they get up.  I am thankful they (especially Oldest) will get this chance to recharge, but feel like their recharging will happen at the expense of my recharging. 

I'm looking forward to the later bedtimes and therefore, later wake up times! 

And I'm looking forward to family time.  With rules.  Wanna see them?

Summer Time House Rules

1. Put it back after you play with it (downstairs).

2. Rooms get cleaned twice per week.

3. If you take it out of a wrapper, the wrapper gets thrown away.

4. Clear your own plate and one parent’s plate at meals.

5. You hang up your own towels and bathing suits after the pool.

6. No freaking out. Ask for help.

7. Yelling is for outside.

8. Use words to express yourself. No hitting, biting, pulling hair, etc.

9. If it’s out of your room, it’s available to all. If it’s in her room, ask first.

10. Everyone gets 5 minutes to complain about the injustices of life a day. This happens at 5pm.

11. Follow the chore chart. Or else you will get more.

I think we should all get 5 minutes to complain about the injustices of the day, don't you?  Wait . . . maybe that's what my blog is for????

Happy Summer, friends!
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