My Man

Well I know it is past Valentines Day but I just wanted to give a shout out to my man. We met when I was 15 and have been together ever since. And after 11 years of marriage I gotta say I love him more than ever. He is truly my best friend. I love how he makes me laugh. He is so funny. In fact, just now I was asking him what to blog about and his response was “how about talk about what an amazing husband you have” He was kidding, but I laughed and thought, what a great idea, and here I am.

I love how steady he is when I am an emotional yo-yo. When I begin to stress all I have to do is stand next to him. And what I love about him most is that he love me for who I am. I can be hard to handle. I am a dynamic person. I have crazy excited highs and can have tear filled lows. I am the wife that keeps going over her texting limit and phone minutes. I am the wife that starts projects, such as moving dressers that are to heavy for me, across the room and he has to finish the job when he gets home from work. And this kind of stuff happens a lot. I love rearranging! But he loves me as am, my faults and all. There are times that I have been so impatient and rude to him, but he is so patient with me. He knows how to calm me down, and rather than get offended at my attitude, that is exactly what he does. Sometimes I believe he knows me better than I know myself.

I am so grateful for this amazing man. I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for him.

“ Thank you Babe for who you are and everything you do. I love you.”

Not just peer pressure from other parents, but the pressure from myslef…

This is a story I forgot to post awhile back. I found it on the old computer I was using at the time. I thought the information I got from Dean was worth sharing.

I had an appointment with Dean and discussed the recent pondering of selling my 4th child on ebay. I began to vent to him about how I was being more consistent with time outs and it wasn’t working. I also told him he listens to my husband fairly well. I mean he is still his testy self, but more often than not he listens to Michael. I also told him how surprised I was when I watched my sister put him in time out and he just stayed there, he didn’t even fight her to get up. I was so jealous. I usually have to sit him back in time out 5 times in 10 seconds before he will sit there, and that’s on a good day. So I asked him the obvious question “what am I doing wrong? His explanation was quite enlightening and it went like this…

You are taking it personally. You are taking his behavior as a personal reflection of your ability to parent. And you are agenda driven, meaning rather that being in the moment, handling that moment with confidence, you are handing that moment with the intention of creating a “perfect child”. And when it doesn’t go as you think it “should” for a “good parent” raising a “good child”, you experience fear, stress and anxiety. You are also looking around at others taking on whatever criticism you “think” they are “thinking”. Rather than it just being you teaching Bo from a place of Love, you have a whole pile of Fear driven emotions you are bringing to that situation and kids feel that, and don’t usually respond well.

So first off you need to draw a mental boundary of how you will allow you to talk to yourself about you parenting abilities. Look at your parenting tactics honestly and be patient with yourself. It is all a learning process. It is time to stop beating yourself up as a mom, and know you’re a good mom and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, not even YOU. And then remember that Bo is his own personality. He may be stronger willed than your others. That’s o.k. too. Don’t compare him to other kids. Learn to work with him as an individual. And remember to be consistent.

Here are some ideas for your next trip to the store. Before you go into the store jump in the back seat and have a little heart to heart. Make sure you have his attention and tell him if he screams, or throws things out of your cart that you will come out to the car and put him in time out. And then go shopping, and if he screams, leave your cart and go put him in time out in the van. And when you carry him out of the store screaming- don’t even give thought to what other’s may be thinking. Don’t even care about anything accept having a powerful learning moment with your son. This will keep your energy and emotions where they need to be, so that Bo can begin learning to be accountable for his own actions. Because until now he hasn’t really needed to be, because You are doing that for him.

After our talk, I decided to postpone the sale on ebay.

And after this conversation, I was able to let go, and take the pressure off myself and it was amazing the difference in Bo’s response. I still find myself falling into that agenda driven pattern or letting peer pressure from other parents get to me, but I pull myself out of it quicker each time.


Well I had been out of town for a week and we needed groceries. My mom-in-law offered to take my kids so I could shop in peace. First I drove ten min. away to drop them off and then continued on another twenty min. to the store. I live in the country so the nearest big grocery store is thirty min. away. I parked the van all excited about the smooth kidless shopping trip when I realized I didn’t have my wallet with me. So ya, need I say more. I drove home and still haven’t gone back. The kids had a four day weekend and we are living on frozen pizza’s.

Hmmmm, why do I yell so much, is it my kids or my Husband? Hee hee

My Husband said to me the other day. I think you just need to relax a little. You get so frustrated in the mornings getting the kids on the bus, and you get so upset if they don’t get to bed on time. I think it would be a lot easier if you didn’t yell so much. Being the calm understanding person I am. Being one who doesn’t over personalize I was able to look at the situation and calmly say, “ya know what sweetheart you are right. I am a little overwhelmed and we really could take a look at these situations and see what would work for everyone. Maybe we could come up with some creative ideas to help speed the kids up. NOT! My REAL reaction was…”Duh, we ALL wish I would stop yelling, tell me something I don’t know. Tell me something I haven’t already told myself a million times. I mean I was just at June Cleaver’s(leave it to Beaver’s mom) house the other day, asking her how she does it. All I can say is where is June Cleaver’s 2 year old and her 4th kid at that. Ya know what I think would help. It would help if when I said calmly the 1st time “ok kids hurry up it’s time to go”, that they actually pick up their pace and get on task. No, instead we have to fill up the water bottles, which mind you were part of the after school routine to be done yesterday. Of course when I asked, “did you guys finish your routines” everyone’s answer was “yes”. Hmmm. My mistake, I am sure they did all their jobs and one of their siblings is just trying to sabotage them. That is their argument. Ya, I am the irrational one.
Or may be Timmy can’t find his shoes, Josh cant find his coat, cause heaven forbid we put them away when we take them off. And if it’s not that, it’s me playing referee in the bathroom cause Kate isn’t happy with the way Josh put the toothpaste away, or maybe his elbow touched hers while they were brushing. By now I have said FOUR times, that it is time to go, and yes, it isn’t so sweet this time.
Finally I shove them out the door, dig out my sweet voice again to say “I love you guys have a good day.” Shut the door with a deep sigh thinking I will be sweeter this afternoon. The next few hours of my day consist of cleaning the Kitchen, laundry, sweeping, changing Bo, getting Bo out of my folded laundry, re fold, stop Bo from drawing on the walls, put Bo in time out, feed Bo lunch, clean Bo, and clean the kitchen again. Back to the laundry, clean my bathroom, get Bo out from under my bathroom sink, put everything back under the sink, stop Bo from flushing things down the toilet, put Bo in Time out. Change Bo, Bo doesn’t’ want to be changed, put him in time out till he’s ready, finally change him. Go pick up the kids. As I walk to the van I see the cat vomit in the cat bed that I told Mike about a week ago. Of course my multitasking mind digs out the argument with Mike about why I don’t want a pet. My case being I don’t need anything else to feed or clean up after. His argument is it will teach the kids responsibility, they will take care of the cat, just relax. I get to the school, forget to put Bo in the stroller. Grab a box of work from Kate’s teacher, (‘cause I am an awesome helping room mom). Now with my hands full I chase Bo through the hall ways. Finally, I pile the box on Kate and just carrying the wiggling child out the door. Get home, walk by the cat vomit again, roll my eyes, put stuff away, snack, now chores. Argue about why we have to do chores, argue about why they have so much work to do. Then I of course give my speech when I was a kid I had to vacuum the whole house “up hill both ways”, right! After they do there chores argue about why they aren’t done sufficiently. Do them again. Finally it’s TV time kids disappear. I take this time to prepare dinner, which, yes, is easier now that Bo actually watches a movie with the kids rather than cry at my ankles. So this works well and I begin to feel like I am on top of things again. Eat dinner, clean up after dinner. Argue with kids about why they have to help clean up the Kitchen. When their jobs are done, I send them up to bedtime routine, I finish the kitchen. Head upstairs, argue with Kate about why she is reading when she hasn’t brushed her teeth or picked up her clothes, argue with Bo about why it’s time for Bed. Put the boys to bed, finally put Kate to bed. Mike and Josh play video games till Josh’s bedtime. At 9 I remind them it’s time for bed. Ten min later I remind them again. I go finish up laundry. Five-min later I yell down the stairs that it is now 15 min after Bedtime. They come up, Josh is in Bed and I take a deep sigh and see what I must finish before I can crawl into bed and do nothing. Then off to sleep I go. Up at one, Timmy’s got to pee; up at 3 Kate had a Bad dream. Then the alarm rings a 6:55 and we start the day again…
Yes, I need to find a way to stop yelling so much.

Why do we value someone else’s opinion of us more than our own

I find it interesting that the greatest human need is to be valued and we are constantly looking outside ourselves to others for that value. My question is why do we value someone else’s opinion more than our own. Are they not just as human as we are? What makes their opinion worth more in our own eyes? Just the other day I had an opportunity to go watch the shuttle launch an hour away from the site. I had gotten up at 4:00 am the first night and the mission was postponed a night due to cloud cover. The next night however, I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of bed at 4:00 am for the second time. My husband, daughter and Dad made it. And I was so disappointed I didn’t muster up the will power to do so myself. I can understand my disappointment, it is perfectly natural, what perplexed me was how I began looking for other people to tell me something to make me feel better. I realized this after my husband made the comment, “your body feels better now because you didn’t” You see not only would I be getting up at 4am after going to bed at 1am, but I was expected to check out of my hotel with breakfast reservations at 8:30. Not to mention we had been up till 12 am all week running all over the Disney amusement parks, I had a sore throat and my youngest was coughing all week. So all these factors were on my mind when lying there in bed, essentially choosing sleep over the shuttle. And when my husband validated these feelings I felt somewhat of a reprieve. I mean sure it is disappointing that I missed the shuttle. If I could go back would I do it differently, maybe so, but why couldn’t I let it go NOW. Why were my husband’s words something I depended on to make me feel better? I took a moment to reflect on my patter in life. Yes, very often I look to others to make me ok. There are certain people in my life whose opinion can totally rock my world if they differ or don’t accept mine.
As I pondered that it came to me…seriously, if my opinion of me and the choices I make is what matters most to me then how much happier will I be. And if I can resolve myself to accept the choices I make as the choices I was supposed to make for that day learning from each step, how much happier and at peace would I be. Cause if the main goal is to enjoy life as much as I can. How much more would I enjoy life if I chose to see it as perfect? The only thing that held me in such turmoil was my view that I missed out. When in fact, if I can look at the big picture believing that my peace of mind is worth more than a shuttle launch, then I choose peace. Don’t get me wrong a shuttle launch is pretty dang cool, and it is on my list to do in my life time, but the point is if I spend the next year disappointed and thinking about what a loser I am for sleeping that day, what prey tell is the point. And I, me, just me, can give myself that peace. If I am looking for someone else to give me my peace of mind I am going to spend a lot of time missing out on my life willing my peace of mind, to someone else.

To stress, not to stress, it is a choice

Stress, stress, stress. Here we are at Disney, a big family vacation we take with my Dad, which I love and I am stressed. My 5 year old can hardly stop coughing. He coughs all night. He coughs all day. He is on an antibiotic, Tussin DM, and benedryl yet still is coughing. So I bring him back to the room to rest, but he is not sleeping. So here I am in the hotel room while half my family is at Hollywood Studios and the other half is at Magic Kingdom watching the light parade. Now here I am shoulding all over myself. Well you shoulda stayed with Michael, or you shoulda gone to Magic with your Dad, that would be a nice daddy, daughter & grandson time. But no, you were trying to be responsible and get your son some rest since he will be up till midnight tonight and may cough through the night again. So you drag him back here to sleep and he isn’t sleeping. What a waste. And as I sit here wanting to cry what I want more than anything is to be at peace with it all. What keeps me from that peace? Hmmm. Well, the only thing I can think of is my undying desire to make the “right” decision. And as I say that out loud, well write it down, I start to realize all I have to do is believe there is no “wrong” decision”. I just need to know that I am doing my best and the only thing keeping me from enjoying my moment of sitting here and relaxing is the feeling that I am missing out or causing my son to miss out. I can’t should on myself enough to turn back time, so the best thing I can do is let it go, and enjoy this moment and meet up with my family at the next event, which I am quite sure I will enjoy a lot more if I am not STRESSED over what I “Should” have done today. Crazy thing is, it is all a choice, and I am the one who has to be willing to make it. I think for today, for this moment I will let it go, and see how taking the stress free avenue works for me!! So, gotta go watch cartoons with Timmy till dinner and extra magic hours tonight till midnight. Oh boy.

My energy directly affects my kids behavoir

It has been a great day today. I just love those days when the kids all get along and things are relatively smooth. I have been learning through TurningLeaf Seminars and Value Based parenting about how our energy and the way we feel about ourselves directly affects how our kids feel and therefore behave. Yeah, I have been studying this information for about 4 years now, went on to pursue a life coaching certification, and yet I am still amazed to watch these principals work. Of course they sounded fine and dandy and I felt all empowered writing them down. But as I gradually learned to make shifts about how I felt about myself and started to dial down what I stressed about, I saw a significant difference in my kids. I notice it the most in my 2 year old who is with me all day, every day. Some days he is so whiny and so stubborn and tests every boundary. While other days he is so much easier to handle. He is still 2, and has to set in time out occasionally. But there is a difference between time out five times that day compared to fifty. I also realized the way I felt about myself as a mom affected their behavior too. On the days I just don’t feel like a good mom the kids are so much grumpier. But the days I believe I am doing the best I can and embracing my weakness and accepting the fact that I am not June Cleaver and that is just perfect. I embrace my imperfections knowing that I am growing and learning all the time and so are my kids. On those days the kids are a lot more settled. On those days they even do a better job of holding themselves accountable for their mistakes and accepting the consequences we agreed upon.(Part of the TurningLeaf Value Based Parenting program)

So I am writing today to encourage you to take care of you. Take the time to learn about you, grow and find those places of inner peace. If you need help I know a GREAT seminar that I personally went through and has totally changed my life and taught me how, and through coaching I am CONTINUALLY learning how to accept the whole me. Which in turn makes for a more stable and secure environment for my kids. And in turn they are so much more easy going them selves.

It is amazing to watch the shift in them day to day based on my baseline emotion. Who would have thought the best tool for raising them would be working on me!

Don’t leave home without your IT guy

Well I was so excited, cause I think I am soooo cool with my new mini laptop. During my travels today I had a 3-hour lay over. I was not worried, I was actually excited. Now I would look like all those professionals with their laptops and their “smart” glasses, except I wasn’t wearing my “smart” glasses. Problem is I brought my laptop but I left my IT guy at home. As I headed toward my gate I saw a computer station. Oh cool, I thought. I am going to be so productive. I could feel all my OCD “organizational freak” fibers in my body build with anticipation. I got all set up and couldn’t get a connection. So I unplugged and headed down the further. I thought maybe a different spot would be better. This coming from the girl who thought I would get a better connection if I just plugged my computer in rather than use the battery. Ya, that got a laugh from my techy friends. So I plopped myself down once again, only to be denied yet again. No worries, where there is determination there is a solution, I hoped. Off I went to another station. This time I called my IT guy. He is on call 24/7 and is free, for me anyway, seeing that I am married to him. So I asked if there was a way he could use his techy magic to fix my computer from across the states between us. While on the phone I heard a voice from behind telling me what to do. I am sure this traveling IT guy thought I was cute.(hmmm, recalling the fact that I had been in a seminar for 3days prior, didn’t shower that morning, and barely brushed my hair, ok probably not. Despite his efforts I still couldn’t get a connection. So I decided to wonder around looking for the sweet spot. There I was walking the isles with my laptop open. It reminded me of when I was a kid and my Dad would have me move the antennae for TV reception….he would say “Wait, right there, nope move your right arm, ok yeah, nope come back stand on your left leg with your right hand in the air and your left arm touching the floor, now touch your nose. Yeah that’s it stay there.” But for me still no connection to be found. I decided to restart my computer. However, my computer froze and I couldn’t’ turn it off, then after I finally got it off I couldn’t’ turn in on. So I called my IT guy yet again, (yes the one married to me) and I told him that I just wanted a computer that works ALL the time. His response…you and everyone else Babe.

So what I learned today was…

Just because you own a laptop, doesn’t make you techy so don’t leave home without your IT GUY!!

Life is short- Laugh it up.

Who needs a dinner bell, when you have a smoke alarm

I remember 5 years ago when we built our house I thought it was awesome that the smoke alarms were wired into our electrical system and if one went off they all went off. That year I tried to burn the house down by putting taco shells in the oven on broil and went up stairs and forgot them. The smoke alarms went off and the kids came running. “We have to get out of the house,” they hollered. Michael put the fire out with the extinguisher and we ordered pizza.

Well, since then the smoke alarms have gone off numerous times. They are very sensitive and anytime cheese falls off the frozen pizza’s, the alarms go off. Last night I was making dinner and the alarms went off. The earsplitting “beep, beep beep, in every room in the house. The kids came down the stairs hollering, “dinner is done”. And my husband walked through the door home from work and said the same thing. I guess since I set them off about once a month they have grown accustom to them being more of a dinner bell than a sign of fire.

Oh well, I don’t have to call them to dinner on those days. They come running on their own to man their posts, they open the doors, and turn on the fan.

Back to Meijer with Bo, only this time with a plan

Well, after putting some of Dean’s suggestions to the test I have decided to cancel the sale of our fourth child. hee hee I dared to venture with him to the grocery store today. It was either that or starve my other 3 children, and I am pretty sure as parent we are required to feed them. I guess I could bring that question to Dean in my next coaching session. hee hee

Anyway, with my new course of action I acquired from Dean, I set out on a mission. I knelt down and told Bo if he screamed, through groceries out of my cart, or just plain didn’t listen, then we would be going back to the Van for time out. I made sure he understood and headed into the store. We made it through the doors and over to the carts where Bo had his first protest. Apparently I had chosen the wrong cart and he was refusing to ride in it. So I said “ok let’s go take a time out”. I think when I first headed for the door he was thinking “well I showed her” because he was content to leave Meijer, but when I strapped him in his chair without any toys, movies, snacks etc. he began to complain. After a couple min. I asked him if he was ready to go back in. Of course he was, and I reminded him of the procedure once again.

The second time back into the store we didn’t even make it to the carts, he got distracted by the candy dispensers and he insisted on getting some. Of course when my answer was “no” the second fit was displayed and back to the van we went to repeat the process. This time he decided to play his own game and when I asked if he was ready to go back in his first response was “no”. So I decided to clean my van until he was ready. No sense wasting any time, might as well be productive. So I left him in time out while I proceded to clear on the stale goldfish and french fries. After a few more min. he decided his game just wasn’t paying off and was ready to cooperate.

The third time back into the store I did manage to get him buckled into the cart and got the produce portion of my shopping done, during which he saw me put grapes into the cart and started screaming at me again because I wouldn’t give him any. So with a deep breath reminding myself that he looks like me and he is REALLY cute when he sleeps, I dropped my cart to the greeter and headed for the van to repeat the process AGAIN.

The fourth time back in the store we finally started to cover some ground, he had a few complaints but when I didn’t respond he settled in for the ride. I finally was just about finished when the groceries piled up to his reach. He grabbed a bag of popcorn and mischievously held it over the side of the cart. I said “Don’t drop that out of the cart or you will have to go back to time out. He played around a little putting it in the basket and then holding it out again. While he amused himself wanting to get a reaction out of me, I continued on. And then he dropped it. I felt the emotions of being overwhelmed begin to flood. How many times are we going back to the van. But again, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I do think he is cute, and if all this consistency starts to work it will be worth it. Worth it to the both of us. So Back to the van we went .

Finally the fifth time back into the store we were able to finish. He was so sweet for the remainder of the time. At the check out he grabbed a candy bar off the shelf and when I told him “no” and asked him to put it back, he did. I was so excited. We checked out and I grabbed a penny to let him ride the pony ride by the door.

As I walked out I could feel the difference in Bo. He had learned a lot today. And I felt proud of myself. I stayed calm and stuck to it. As I walked to my car I had to laugh just thinking of the look on the greeters face the 4th time I left her with my cart. I am sure she was glad to babysit my cart, it beats the alternative of hearing those dreaded words, ” Clean up in isle six”, cause the kid through the grape jam out of the cart.