Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Hiding from the camera is a favorite pastime of mine. I have issues.
But when it is time to put together the happenings of our life to send to our dear friends and family this wonderful Christmas time, I put my brave foot forward.
I put on lip gloss.
I am not photogenic. I am ok looking in person, but oh -the lens. Yuck.
And I don't get it either, because in my much younger years, a catalog came out with a model that looked a lot, lot like me. Some friends of ours totally thought I had a side job that no one knew about. And-there is a magazine ad out there right now with a picture of a girl who could be a much younger version of me. I think I am going to get her haircut.
The little miss teenagers at my house were merciless.
"Mom, quit smiling like that."
"You look like your mad at us."
"You look like you're in pain."
"Just do this."
"Put your chin up"
"Put your chin down"
"Don't smile like that."
"Smile like this."
Those girls are posers. Those posers made me laugh and laugh.
It was harder than taking little mr. j's pic.
So, I watched those little misses. You know what they were doing? Posing in the mirror. Funny. Funny. Funny.
Do you think if I practiced, I could get more photogenic?-I highly doubt it.
I'll just enjoy catching their poses and laughing.
And maybe someday I will grow up and let someone catch a picture of me.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
And it did not end badly.
Earlier this week, miss h told me she was babysitting for them (and then waved her arm towards a neighbor's house behind ours) on Friday at 5:30pm.
She has a standing twice a week babysitting job for a neighbor who lives on the street behind ours. So, as far as I was concerned, that's was her Friday night job. We'll call them neighbors A.
I talked to neighbor A mom. She's from another country and does speak English with a beautiful, thick accent, most of the time I understand her. I did today. I heard "miss h (really she said miss h's given name), can she babysit, tonight, & 7pm until really late."
Woohoo, since her job was starting later, she wouldn't miss piano lesson. Had miss h text said piano teacher - let her know all kids would be front and center for lessons. So glad that worked out. We have a very flexible and wonderful piano arrangement ---and teacher (the teacher is more wonderful than the arrangement).
Two minutes later, this is the conversation:
Me, "Miss H, neighbor A says you don't need to come over until 7pm."
miss h, "I'm babysitting for them (more arm flinging towards the back)."
Me, "Yeah, I know, but she doesn't need you so early. That's why I just had you text your wonderful piano teacher."
miss h, "I'm babysitting for them (more arm flinging), not them (more arm flinging)."
By now you might have guessed that we have more than one neighbor behind us.
miss h, "Mom, did you tell neighbor A I would babysit for her?"
Me, "Yes." And our wheels started turning.
(You have to know that at this time in my life, I try to see the problem fast and get to a solution quick. One of my mottos, "There is a solution for every problem." --I can't believe I'm at a point in my life where I'm quoting my own mottos. Weird. I guess I've had enough problems & have learned how to deal.)
miss h, "I'm babysitting for neighbor B."
Me, "my mr. and I are supposed to go out tonight."
Me thinking, "How are we going to handle this?"
Here's a family secret, miss h and I can often speak quite emotionally towards each other. There was no raising our voices in anger, just excited voices. --I have a teenager who is dramatic & often get drawn into the drama.--I am getting better at staying emotionally detached in the conversations, but sometimes-whew baby, she can suck me in.
Little mr. j had a friend over playing. miss s was practicing her piano loudly. Little mr. b was trying to ask me questions, like only a 10 year old can. The phone was ringing. It felt like a funny sitcom.
miss s came to the rescue and said she could help with one of the jobs, but I needed her to watch her little brothers. We called neighbor B and she kindly said it would be alright if miss s sat her little precious ones and brought the brothers. miss h was to go to neighbor A's. The phone rang again. Little mr. j's friend's mom came to pick him up.
After a few texts and a phone call, we get to see our wonderful piano teacher tomorrow afternoon.
about an half an hour later, the phone rang again. Neighbor B's friends all canceled and they didn't need a sitter anymore.
I was quite mature with miss h and told her about another one of life's lessons I love.
Many, many problems are caused by miscommunication.
I promised to have her make her own babysitting confirmations.
Except, I forgot to tell her that neighbor B asked if she could come over for a couple of hours tomorrow.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
So, here is a picture of my sweet little speed racer.
We also had a very cool quiddich player at our house on Halloween.
The quiddich player's friend and brother joined the fray and we ate zombie dogs and carrots before they headed out for the evening's adventures.
This was the night my player & his zombie doctor friends ventured out into the wilds of our neighborhood. Alone. And I did not pass out from fear. Miss s and I had a nice visit & we had a lot few visitors than last year. Miss h avoided the holiday by having her own adventure in the wild.
The big boys didn't even stay out too late. And they didn't even hit all the neighborhood (it's really not that big). But they did very well treat and fun wise. And I grew up a little.
And most all of little mr. b's (I'm not going to call the boys "master b & j" anymore) candy was gone by the time I rolled out of bed on my sleeping-in-Sunday. Little mr. j was kinder and shared.
And now we're almost halfway through November, of the year 2009. Wow.
I have enjoyed the past couple weeks of focusing on my family.
I really need to get to the chores, but they will wait.
Time Flies too quickly to worry about the dust-but clean clothing is a necessity, so-
Friday, October 30, 2009
I have one little item left to make for a little guy's costume, but the action figure I was using as my example has gone missing. I think he may have run away.
He was in my hot little hand this morning & I remember thinking, "I should put this in a safe place so I can finish up."
I must have put him in a very safe place. Maybe he thought I was too hot.
I hope I wasn't holding trash in my other hand while I was having my safe place thoughts.
And on that note; Kristen, I hope your keys are just in a safe place and want you to know you aren't the only one who lost something today.
Lesson-put the silly action figure on top of the felt and scissors that are waiting for you at the first possible opportunity and get it done!!!
Post Publish Note:
That was written at 10:30pm. Fessed up to my mr. at 11:00pm. He said, "omph. that's my toy." (He kindly shares it with master j.) I said, "I'm so sorry. I'm sure we'll find him." 11:45pm Went to say my prayers with the little guy weighing on my mind. Began to kneel and saw a little white leg poking out under a piece of furniture in my room. Gave a quick thank you prayer & came to share the news that my eve of Halloween turned out well. I don't know about Kristen's.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Last spring, master b was on a soccer team. My mr. was the coach.
They were a great group of kids and played hard. There were a couple of stand out players. One's name is Tony Estlinbaum. He was tough, agile, strong & smart playing soccer this spring.
As it goes when your kids have activities together, we got to know him and his family a bit. They are hardworking, "salt of the earth" kind of people. At 10 years old, Tony even had his own lawn mowing business.
So along comes the nasty flu. (We've been washing our hands extra well, have you?)
And Tony catches it--or really it caught Tony. When we found out that he was in the hospital, we added him and his family to our prayers. The video footage of him in the hospital showed a very different boy than we knew.
It was wonderful to see on our local news that he headed home yesterday. It was sad to see the toll this bug has taken on this sweet boy. I am so happy for the Estlinbaum family that they are all home together tonight. I hope that this will be their hardest trial in life and that it is over for good.
If you'd like to read CBS's national report from tonight click here. If you knew him and watch this video, it might make you cry-just to warn you!
If you'd like to help out the family with medical expenses, click here for contact info. Tell them it's for Tony.
PS-Don't really know if this is really appropriate after this post, but-woo hoo, I learned how to put in a click "here" thingy! Learning everyday. How about that.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
My ten year old asked me what abortion was.
The looks on his face when I explained almost broke my heart.
He has compassion.
He's growing up.
He doesn't even know the "facts" yet, but I can see the questions coming soon.
It always makes me sad when I have to teach my children about some things that go on in the world.
I love their innocence.
I'm so thankful though, that when the time comes, mr & I will sit and explain and hopefully help them make sense of the world.
Thankful for that responsibility and hope we bear it well.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
They are picking on the old. (This one's really cool. The other side of the tree is dead & the wood is so hard, they can't get it.)
They are picking on the young. (Notice, another sign and the sticks in the water-I think it's a trap.)
Another one bites it. And now the neighborhood knows. Notice the little white sign on the middle left. Pest control. Lower far left-I think might be near the trap.
Very busy indeed. (Does this shadow make me look fat?)
There are some very busy beavers in our neighborhood.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Now I am not a young mom anymore. I am in a middle phase.
My oldest keeps cutting the apron strings thread by thread. Friends are of great importance. I can envision the day that is quickly coming where she is no longer the teen that she is. Our days of "attitude" are becoming less frequent.
My second is beginning the same. The days of "attitude" are becoming more frequent.
Third is deeply involved in his decade of life. He went into the woods with a neighborhood friend this week. Friend's father was there, but a new letting go experience for me.
The last is now an older preschooler. He still follows me around like a shadow each day. But, two days ago, a knock came at our door. A little neighbor asked if could come out to play. He went out, running down the street with his friend, by themselves. Me-following through every window of the house making sure they arrived to the designated play site, where I knew the other mom was watching. And me-feeling pieces of my heart changing, falling, moving.
I do not have a mentor for this.
I am making my own way. It is a very weird journey.
There is so much information out there about different phases of women's lives. There's getting married, creating a home, raising children, working, taking care of aging parents, getting older.
There seems to be a lack of information about the middle space that I am in. I am looking.
I did find something the other day that spoke to me. It's linked at the bottom.
Referring to that, I do believe that I have arrived at the space she describes I am still getting comfortable, but I am there.
My ability to be clever has turned itself into an ability to be wise.
I have trained my brain to assess the needs of others before my own.
My charm comes from not feeling pressure to be charming.
I prefer the simple life. The life I have now.
(taken from the blog cjanerun--see link at bottom)
Friday, October 16, 2009
As I was checking in with wonderful mrs b and mrs s, looking at their fun, fun, fun (how I wish I could be fun like them) family and friend pictures and posts, I did my usual blog stalking technique of peeking at their "lists" of other people's blogs. I saw the coolest name for a blog & almost clicked on it. Then I realized......it was me. Wow.
My dear mrs (or should it read mrses?), hugs to you. Big ones.
I've been weight training for over a year now.
A very independent, dominant, & excitable puppy entered our family's lives. She and I are in dog training.
An opportunity to learn a form of brain training arose, so I went to that training and I am preparing to train other people using those methods.
In my weight training (fyi-I'm not hardcore), I've learned that I have to push past my comfort zone and go heavier than I'd like sometimes. I have to struggle sometimes. I sweat-I've grown to enjoy that sweat because I know that I am tearing my muscle fibers apart and later, they will repair. I will be stronger. I am stronger.
The dog, oh the dog. We've never had a dog before. She's a whole separate post, but for now I will tell you that she's not really the one in training, I am. I've learned that I have to stand up to her, let her know that I am in charge, and be very firm. We go to class, work, go home and practice. I really have to push her. She makes a mistake, there is a quick correction and we move on. A simple "eehh" noise when I start seeing her lose focus brings her attention back to me--sometimes. We've been to 12 weeks of classes. It's been a struggle. She's improved. I've gained some confidence with her. We are improving.
A main theme in the brain training is "push to the struggling point." Some of the exercises are intense and designed to push the student to their cognitive limit. The trainer has to be firm and in charge. I had an epiphany during an example training exercises when the trainer made the same "eehh" noise I use with the dog when the student made a mistake. Right after the noise, he said, "no, start again." No talking about the problem, no analysis, just moving on. Oh, and there was no time for whining. Push, struggle, gain.
My epiphany: So I've been watching people around me deal with their own personal struggles; health, economic, social, etc. I've been watching our country going through some very strange times. I've been a bit weirded out. But I know we are in training.
Push, struggle, gain.
To get where we need to be.
Push, struggle, gain.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
A funny thing happened this afternoon while I was sitting on the couch, being a potato, trying to remember something I forgot, & keeping one of my people company. I saw something promising on television!!!
But first, this message:
A couple of weeks ago, I went out of town to a seminar to learn a very specific form of "brain training." It's designed to advance a person's cognitive abilities by fairly intense one hour sessions, five times a week, lasting 12 to 24 weeks depending on what is specifically needed for the learner. I went into this to become licensed and learn the program so I could use it on my children -and hopefully get some gains myself. I left the seminar very excited. In my advanced age, I have found my "thing. " Woo hoo. (Well, the program is kind of a subgroup of my larger learning "thing," but you get the picture.) Who knows, if it goes well with the family, maybe I will branch out.
Normally, we don't watch a lot of television, especially on weeknights. This afternoon, my mr. was a sickie (asleep & in and out of it on the couch), there were children present, & (oh my) we turned on the boob tube, saw something called "BrainSurge" on the schedule and took a chance.
Back to our show:
It was fun! And it makes you work (if you so choose to be engaged, focus, and play along). Master B wants to be a contestant. We just might try, after I start and finish training him. If we're going to go for it, I think we should go big and win, don't you agree?
Check it out. It's on at 4:30pm central on weekdays (right now & as far as I know). You might want to check out the Nick website which I've linked to at the bottom. I've also linked to a Wikipedia entry that gives more details.
As we were watching the exciting conclusion, the phone rang. It was master b's cub scout leader. I remembered what I forgot, grabbed my keys and the boy and took him to his meeting.
I think I need to watch the show. Maybe it will help.
I find it very funny, ironic, & interesting that this show is on before and near Spongebob (whom we love). Good medicine.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I am still new to this blogging thing and don't know the traditional or appropriate way to say, "Hey, I found something cool. Maybe you'd like a peek." So here's what I'm going to do:
Hey, I found a very interesting article called "The Spiritual Origins of Halloween." It doesn't site references, but does say where he got his information. It's something to think about.
Here's the link:
Ok-how awesome it that that I just learned how to add a link in a blog entry. Woo hoo for me. (What a geek I am-wait-not geek-if I was a true geek, I would already have known how to do this-so- what a dork? Does that work? I think so. Learning something new everyday is good, don't you think? Today was a twofer, woo hoo.)
Friday, October 2, 2009
So, this is why I am doing "why this blog." If I tried to write this tomorrow morning or for the past few weeks, it wouldn't happen.
I am quiet. I like to get to know other people. Not many other people know much about me. If we met, you'd most likely be a quick acquaintance or friend, if you were open to it. You'd probably tell me quite a bit about your life and I would file it away & hope that someday we would meet again--like that really nice woman who shared a sandwich with me in the Denver airport. It was a really good sandwich. She was a very nice woman.
If you are a person who I might be around in social situations or more frequently, I will smile and learn about you. If you hear the line, "so tell me about you," you might be talking to me. I love learning about other people, your lives are so interesting. But, I am afraid of letting you get to know me. I am afraid that you won't like me.
That said, not many folks know too much about me. I noticed myself becoming invisible. I would like to not be invisible and this might be one of the bravest things I've done. Being "out there," as a friend refers to this, is very scary to me.
I am not looking for recognition or validation. I am not looking for attention or comments or criticism. I think I am supposed to contribute something to this world whatever that might be. I want to have a voice. I want to be an influence for good.
And know I've borne my soul, I am going to go to bed or go sit by my mr on the couch.
I feel very sad for her.
I have a friend who lives in Samoa. (earthquake and tsunami this week)
I am worried for her and her family.
I have dear children who are going through their own difficult "growing times."
My heart aches for them.
I have hope.
We all need hope.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I've found my mama bear.
You see, that is my boy in the picture up there. He's my boy. He is playing tackle football for the first time this fall.
There would be a picture from his game yesterday, but I was gripping my camera case hard in my lap-trying to keep myself from jumping out of my seat and schooling a bunch of the kids he was "versing."
It all started at his brother's tiny tot soccer game earlier in the morning. The other team's coach didn't show, so bless some mommy's heart, she stepped in and was helping out her little son's team. That'd be great except that the officials who were scheduled to ref the little soccer game couldn't make it due to the flu and some broken body part.
Apparently, this mom didn't know all the rules like they really shouldn't be picking the ball up with their hands and there is no goal keeping in tiny tot soccer. She and our coach, my mr, did their best. During the game, I had to slap my hand over my mouth mid-sentence because of the hollering that was coming out. Why I would let something like that game get under my skin is beyond me. I was annoyed. Really, it is fun to watch those little guys and girls try to play an organized game. Developmentally they aren't to the "understanding rules" section of their little lives. It's amazing that they do what they do-and it is fun to watch the shenanigans.
So now you know where my attitude started. You also must know that I am not that competitive. They can lose. They can win. I just want them to run, exercise, and enjoy them selves. I do not know where my feelings during master b's afternoon football game came from.
You also need to know that my mr is coaching this football team, also. He was not there to talk me down.
On one of the first plays, my master b was playing offence. He had the ball. He was tackled. There was a pile of boys. Number 36 from the other team jumped on top of the pile after the action was over. That just wasn't right. Master b was on the bottom.
Another time, he had the ball and some kid from the other team grabbed his helmet (not his face mask) and took him down. It really is amazing that everyone who plays football is moving and alive.
Here's what I wanted to do: in case #1, I wanted to xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, but that would be WRONG. In case #2, I wanted to go and xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx-cartoon style.
I did not act on my feelings. Although I've been weight lifting, I don't think my physical strength is that capable-yet. I have seen a new side of myself.
My mama bear stayed hidden, but she growled. And her voice was loud.
I don't know if I'm going to make it to the end of the season.
I did have time & thoughts one evening this week, but someone else was on the computer. I did laundry.
So, I am frustrated. I have time now, but the words won't come.
Here is what I would like to blog about-maybe having a list will help me focus.
-why this blog
-what I learned about me
-what I learned how to do
-talking to people
-little boy football/soccer & mama bear tendencies
-people in my life: hair guy, piano teacher, friends, people on the plane, etc.
Ok, that should have gotten me started-there is more, but miss s is begging for some facebook time & she's been good, so it's her turn with this machine for a bit. Maybe, hopefully, I will make it back here tonight.
What I've learned: I need to get my ideas down when I have them. I need a notebook and some time. Anyone have some time they might be able to share?
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I'm doing something this week that I've never done before.
I am leaving my family.
Not forever, just for a few days.
I am going to attend a seminar to learn a specific method of tutoring.
I'm not sure if tutoring is the correct word, but that's all I can use right now.
I am doing this because I think it will help my children.
I think it will help me,
If I don't die of a sinched up stomach and jitters before I get home.
I love to learn.
I don't love to be away from my people.
Wish me luck.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
When miss h was a youngy, and the mrs. was a young mom, potty training was an adventure to be had. I read a book. I was sure I'd be able to train that girl in 24 hours. I was wrong.
She was not ready. She was independent and head strong. She had no interest in sitting on that royal throne.
If you need to, you can make another chart, just double the number of squares to be filled in.
We did run into some problems with one not wanting to #2 in the toilet or shyness in different places. If anyone has any ?s feel free to contact me-but I don't know if anyone will ever really read this, so whatever. Also, you need to know that I don't remember exactly where this method came from. I read a lot. I think it is probably a mish-mash of many things I've read about.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
This is good to know.
Be careful playing with sharp objects.
And today I also know know how to embed a you tube video into a blog.
This is a big day for me.
And p.s.- miss h learned how to replace a brake light in the car she's driving--and she learned from her friend. who is a girl. who is about her age. they rock. woo hoo hoo!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Those noises mean your door is wanting to jump the confines of it's existence. It wants free. And then those garage doors try to free themselves. And when they are one quarter off the track and hanging precariuosly above your vehicle, you have a problem. A big one when you need to go pick up kids and the mr. is out of town. (Not that he knew this lesson at the time, but now he does.)
Ryan is in the phone book and he fixes garages doors. He got that monster back on it's tracks and $100 & 15 minutes later, gave me this advice. Oil those tracks and those hinges. Every month. (Now, I think that's overkill, but if they sound like they are sticking, they are.) It's been two months and the door has behaved. We oiled last Saturday. Thank you, Ryan.
Lesson: oil garage door tracks and hinges & pay attention to unusual noises
This next section was supposed to be at the top of the blog, but as I'm still trying to figure this out, somehow it ended up at the end. So please pretend you read it first. Thanks.
I've learned so much from so many. There are a few that I spend quite a bit of time with and they've educated me is so many ways. They will probably be recurring characters, so I'll give you a small introduction.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Main Entry: learn
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: acquire information
Synonyms: apprentice, attain, be taught, be trained, become able, become versed, brush up on, burn midnight oil, commit to memory, con, crack the books, cram, determine, drink in, enroll, gain, get, get down pat, get the hang of, get the knack of, grasp, grind, imbibe, improve mind, lucubrate, major in, master, matriculate, memorize, minor in, peruse, pick up, pore over, prepare, read, receive, soak up, specialize in, study, take course, take in, train in, wade through
Notes: learn means to acquire or gain skill, knowledge or comprehension; teach means to impart skill, knowledge or comprehension to
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