I’m Selfish


So, today I was thinking; writing has always been therapeutic.  So why don’t I write?

I used to use it like a cigarette.  Every small status update, every quick tweet or (dating myself here…) post of “SIGH!” in my MSN group, A Place For Teen Parents.  But especially my blogs!  I remember the smile of accomplishment when I expressed exactly how I was feeling in the shortest possible way.  More often than not, it was padded in choice words or explicit song lyrics.  But it released those smile endorphins… and made me feel better… even if only for seconds. 

So, why don’t I write?

I mean, I do write. I look at FB in the car… on the toilet (don’t act like that’s now where you are RIGHT NOW) and occasionally I sneak some FB/blog reading time in before bed (while Mark watches Star Trek and reminds me just how very true it is you marry your father!) .  But mobile is just that… mobile… and not conducive to actual writing

So why don’t I write?

Honestly? Truthfully? Guilt.  

I feel guilty sitting down, on the computer and doing anything that directly benefits ONLY me.  Seems these days if I’m not multi-tasking, I’m not “doing”.  

And that sucks.  And I don’t do things that suck.  

So I’m going to write. I’m going to take five minutes and not think about education, bills, Girl Scouts, the Co-op, Bills or laundry.  I’m sitting, on this laptop WITHOUT (gasp!) a child in my hand or even at my feet!  (THANK YOU MAGNETIC STICK AND STACK and Brooklyn and Tj for the new swing!!!!!!!!!!) and I am writing.

And now my time’s up.  LOL.

But…

HI :)  

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Aurora; Goddess of Dawn and Sunrise


Aurora; Goddess of Dawn and Sunrise

She’s almost here! I know I’ve been MIA for this pregnancy, but now that it’s almost over, expect the radio silence to be broken very soon as things smooth back into normal mode!

Aurora is due in just 7 days and we couldn’t be more excited to meet her! This is our 20 week ultrasound. We had the pleasure of seeing her beautiful (but rather smooshed) face again on Tuesday evening during a fluid check ultrasound. She’s running out of room, so you know what that means! She’ll be in our arms very soon!

Stay tuned…

Caution: Chaos Field


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I knew this month was going to be rough. 

Football/cheer practice is starting,  along with their 5 day a week practice schedule.  Our new Girl Scout troop is in planning stage with orientation and our first parent meeting happening this month.  I’m finalizing curriculum and completely creating one for Lyrik in preparation for the 13-14 school year.  Then, there’s the  financial stress of all of the above AND the new car we just broke down and purchased.  (We’re just too far out of the city to rely on public transportation and our metatarsals.)

I was well aware of the fact that I would be six months pregnant with a toddler, preschooler, elementary schooler and two middle schoolers (and a musician) when all of these things began.  I have been aware for months, which is why I decided to start early!  Plan.  Be ready. 

It didn’t make a bit of a difference!

I am more organized, more researched and more prepared than I have been in years. But this week has still been pressure packed with chaos.    It still is oozing random craziness.  And I still ended up an emotional, hormonal ball of tears this afternoon. 

And it’s only Wednesday.

But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Tonight I re-confirmed what I started to doubt many years ago. 

I got this. 

My crazy might not be your shade of crazy, but it sure comes from the same DNA. 

Life is crazy.  Life is chaos.

You can plan life.   You can research and prepare your every move.  You can organize and keep records and in today’s world; have all the information you’ll ever need to know (or as Johnathan said, “google”) at your fingertips. 

But it’s not going to make a bit of difference. 

Life does its own thing.  It’s going to go its own way.  Planning, organizing, researching and preparing only cushions the turns.  It doesn’t truly help you predict  or avoid them.  And honestly, who would want to?  What fun is a straight line? 

Point is, I’m tired.  I’ve exhausted myself and am in no better place for wear.  I haven’t enjoyed a damn thing about this past month.  I’ve skipped out on Lego sessions.  I’ve lost sleep over dollar signs.  I’ve been go go go go go because I was afraid to fail.  And part of me thought I already had.

But, as I type,  my boys have gathered to watch, “Through the Wormhole”.  Their chores done.  Their bodies sore.  But smiles.  From ear to ear.   All four of them.  Aleya is cheering to herself in the entry way (it has great acoustics) and Zana is drifting off into dreamland with a smile on her chubby little face. 

This is worth the chaos and as far away from failure that I can ever imagine. 

What is life without abnormalities, anyway? 

Boooooring! I’ll pass! <3

Try


The soundtrack to my mind is ever evolving. The last few months, Pink has been a fixture . Fiona Apple and No Doubt have kicked their way in there too.  And Halestorm.  And Flyleaf… I guess my inspiration is female  strength. Good ‘ol fashion, GIRL POWER!

But, I haven’t exactly been the poster girl for “Girl Power” as of late … or, say,  the past five years.

When my will was tested, I broke.  When my faith was tested, I wavered.  When my ideals were tested, I doubted.  When my passion was tested, I gave in.  When my love was tested, I gave up.

But not anymore.  I got burned.  Oh fuck, did I get burned.  And self-infliction is always a degree worse…  But I got up.  I almost didn’t.  I almost chose the easy road.  The painless (or so I selfishly thought) road.  But I got up.  I, in essence, think I’m still in the process of getting up.  And am expecting it to last a while… which is fine.

This song, it couldn’t have come out at a better time.  I first saw her perform it on some award show and remember being amazed by her physical strength, not able to really hear the words through my shitty phone.  Then I bought the album…

pink-tryWhere there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone’s bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You’ve gotta get up and try try try
Gotta get up and try try try
You gotta get up and try try try

Straight to the heart.  THIS is what I can give to my children.  THIS kind of strength.  Not the kind of strength that you just have and get to utilize.  But the kind of strength you have to work at.  You have to earn.  You have to BURN for.  The kind of strength that only comes from mistakes, from IMPERFECTION, from fucking up.

I can show them that you can always get back up.  And you don’t have to be afraid of the flame.  You don’t have to live in fear, in anxiety or in pain.

Show them that sometimes the fire is more bearable than you think.  And necessary.

(draft from April, 2013)

Learning Together


My favorite thing to do is learn.  It’s what draws me to children, psychology and music (arts).  There’s so much and ALWAYS something to learn from everything you do, everyone you meet, every mistake, accomplishment, accident, success, joy, pain and even from overwhelming confusion.

This week, I’ve been focused on showing the family just how much we learn… all the time.  I’ve been trying to take note of  as many experiences  and what we can “take away” from it.  It’s been an eye-opening adventure.  Not just for them, but for myself.
It’s also been a great exercise in positive reinforcement, self-confidence boosting and positive communication.

My favorite example of this is the newly developed sibling rivalry between Alezandria (23 months) and Lyrik (4 years).  She’s about two months  into the “mine” stage and Lyrik’s been pretty passive aggressive and laid back.  Until it was his birthday presents we were talking about… like, every single one that he picked up she immediately wanted… lol!  I asked Johnathan (12) how he thought we should handle the situation and how he thought Ryan would (mostly just for curiosity).  He said he would distract her with something else just as cool, but that he thought Ryan would take the toy and tell her “no”.  I asked why he wouldn’t just take it and tell her “no”.  And he said, “because she’s not going to understand yet, why, she can’t play with all these toys that he’s playing with.” So then, I asked Ryan and he went with the distraction method as well.  “Why?”, I asked.  His answer was based on experience.  He said that he took away a toy from her yesterday and she cried even more and Lyrik ended up giving it to her because he felt bad.

What did I learn?  Even though J and Ry are only 22 months apart and come from the exact same parents, home-life and share most the same experiences; they learn in drastically different ways.  Johnathan thinks things out, uses logic and can predict outcomes without visualizations or actual experience, while Ryan has to engulf himself in the experience to learn.  This conclusion is one that I’ve come to many times, in studying their learning styles, so this was just an extra Mommy Success Moment for me.

(from Drafts: 5/20/13)

I survived 30 Years!!!


This is only, about a month old…. I have this bad tendency to start blog posts and then get distracted… can’t imagine how that could happen… lol…

Grandma WeddingMy grandmother told  me tonight to “take time and reflect on the ‘moments’ in life”.   So I did.  Oh, the hormones made that fun… let me tell you.  But, as usual, the wise woman’s wisdom (say that three times fast) is astounding.

30 years is full of a lot of moments.  In her reflection, my birth, my babyhood and “formative” years were the highlights.  Memory serves me horribly for most of those years.  So, mine seemed to focus more on the relationships.  Not sure if that’s a positive thing or not… but it is what it is…

And what it is… what everything is… is a learning experience.  And an opportunity to find perspective.

I’m grateful for my Grandmother’s encouragement to reflect. She always gives the best birthday presents!  She always knows JUST what I need.    She is, hands down, the most influential person, in my life.  Every part of her is inspiring.  Her compassion, kindness, loyalty, her beauty, patience and understanding… even her chosen ignorance.  Everything she does is natural, innocent and in the purest intent.

In every aspect of my life, I feel her spirit.  I hear her words. I feel her support.  In reflecting today, I realized how much she taught me without realizing it.  Even that inspires me.

Relationships, good or bad, leave lasting impressions.  Parental relationships are the most influential.  My reflection solidified the honor and responsibility found in these relationships.  It’s often not what you do… but how you do it… that triggers lasting memories in those whose lives you’ve touched.

Even without realizing it, this woman is yet again, fixing me.  Molding me.  Uplifting me.

Love you, forever more…

Classroom Re-Design


ClassroomLast year’s curriculum is all boxed and sorted, summer curriculum is organized and our new classroom has room for circle time now! It was not an easy task!  We live in a townhouse with very limited storage space.  I also created two computer work stations, in our living room (they are not quite picture ready yet) and cleared out last year’s Google Drive files to make room for summer and fall lesson plans.  Very productive and very exciting!

Homeschool Moms, where do you center your lessons?  My older boys ALWAYS end up sprawled out on the floor either in their room, the living room or even sometimes on the stairs, reading or writing.  But our lessons are centered at our dining room table.  Do you have a small or large space for you lessons?  I’d love to hear suggestions and ideas for including a more toddler friendly atmosphere, as Zana is almost two and I have never homeschooled with a toddler without a designated playroom, which I don’t have here.

Five Kids… No Car…


ImageSeriously, my luck with cars has never existed.  From the moment I started driving, I started killing cars. Not so sure this latest adventure with our latest fund drainer (a 97 Ford Expedition) was entirely my undoing, but my mojo definitely helped in the necessity of an engine rebuild. At least this time, there was a positive outcome.  No more car, but the loan is now paid off, the loss of payment will pay my midwife and the additional loss of the cost of gas, will put an additional $300 in our pockets!  And, the kids and I get a good dose of adventure in the form of public transportation, which is heavy in planning, patience and humbleness.

First adventure:  Little sister’s college graduation in Reno.  First lesson learned:  Never take the bus at night.  Second lesson learned: Never take the bus at night.  Third lesson learned:  Never take the bus at night. 

I think you get the point.  It was hell.  I took just the “littles” and begged the universe to allow them sleep.  Thanks, universe… I wish you would have reminded me that I am 4 months pregnant and my almost two year old daughter weighs 5 lbs less than my 4 year old son, who sleeps harder than any human being I’ve ever known.  Oh they slept alright… which was great until it was time to get on or off the bus, get our bags or you know… move…  at all. 

But we made it and I got to see my beautiful baby sister walk the stage as the first in our family to graduate from college!  An the experience gave me clarity and strength.  For years we’ve been dependent on automobiles and for years they have been a major cause of my anxiety and stress.  Driving them cause me to panic.  Paying for them cause me to become depressed and with five kids, I’ve had many a crying session just cleaning them.  :p

Ask me again in a few weeks, but for now, I’m calling this a success!  I’m inspired to adventure out more because the stress of actually driving is gone.  And walking in this weather has proven to be a blessing as well.  There’s nothing like a beautiful California day to take away any lingering stress. Not to mention the costs. 

Bring it on universe.  Five kids… no car… no problem! :)

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Congratulations again, baby sister. I’m so so very proud of you! Love you with all my heart and soul! <3

 

21 Day No Complaint Challenge!


Alisha DeCou:

Oooooh, this will be QUITE a challenge for this house. I, especially while hormonal, have a BAD tendency to complain about everything. Going to have to add this book to my Amazon wishlist and I think this would be a GREAT way to encourage the kids and I to be more thankful!

Originally posted on Everyday Power Blog:

I just heard about and ordered Will Bowen’s book, “A Complaint Free World”. When I heard about Bowen’s dare for us to take a 21 Day Challenge where we cannot complain, criticize or belittle – I was hooked. And why not? What a great goal to set. A tangible, personal development goal that defends against the daily demands of life, work and elevating our health.

A New Habit

So what would be different in our lives if we didn’t complain, at all? How much better of a problem solver would you be? How would not complaining affect your daily mood and attitude?  How would this change your personal and professional relationships? How about your sense of gratitude and fulfillment? Where would our focus go? These are all questions that rush through my mind, as the excitement build to start the challenge. So, I ask, who is ready to join…

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