Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 7
A week already? Unless I miss count....I'll check.
Today, successful work for LOViNTee, happily.
Meditation 10
Yoga 30
Lovely healthy eating & water
Pleasant check in call with dear friend Miss M

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 6
Meditation 20
Thorough enjoyment & gratitude with quiet house
Creative outlet, writing blog

Atomic E

Yesterday, a visit at the coffee shop, then walk a few blocks to the GGB to hang and check out their diaper display.  It was a beautiful day, sunny, not too chilly, almost like spring.

We passed a playground on the way, I promised that we'd stop back by on our way to the vehicle.  Little did I know how looooong those few blocks would be when we exited the Giggling Green Bean.  The temperature had dropped since we'd gone in, and neither of us Mamas was appropriately prepared for the weather change.  We finally reach the mid-point of our trek, the playground, of course E has to visit it, I compromise by offering her 2 activities, she chooses the merry-go-round (fyi, not so merry now that speed governors of sorts have been introduced on them---what's the fun of a merry-go-round unless you can fall off with sick dizziness?) and the slide...and then my fun really begins.

She doesn't want to leave (of course, it's about to be snowing, and we've no coats, hats, mittens, gloves, bibs)...and she begins to wail and lament tragically.  At this point in the pregnancy it's not especially comfortable to carry a 35# toddler more than a block.
"I don' wanna leave!"
"I know, it's sad to leave the playground.  Do you need a hug?"
"NO!" {pause}  "I don' WANNA LEAVE!!"
"I know, I love you, " I keep walking, through the magic of continued motion and the use of "I know" she follows me.
repeat. repeat. repeat.
She stops, she's cold but unable to admit it.
"Do you need to be carried? or will you walk holding hands?" She needs to hold hands, she's tired and lagging behind enough that a hand will move her along, and I'm flingin'-flangin' COLD.  
I resort to "sack-o-potatoes" carry with her for half a block before she decides to walk on her own again.  Then the whole lament repeats, the carry or walk process repeats....the entire time she's wailing, caterwauling, yelling.  I comment aloud, "I'm not sure CPS heard you yet, could you yell louder?"  to which she hollers, "NO!!"

After our trek my friend and I bid a hasty good-bye, and load up our respective cars.

There was a decent enough nap, then a pick up, short down time, then back out to swimming and gymnastics.  As we left Miss Monkey at her 'nastics so I could bed down Monka-Doo, the latter went Atomic again.  This time I was beyond tired, and barely hanging on to sanity.  She became so belligerent as to accuse her shoes of doing wrong, she hates her coat, "it's make me ANGwee!"  I again sling her to the "sack-o-potatoes" carry to move from the rec center to the vehicle.  I'm not sure that the police vehicle sitting out front contained an officer but I'm grateful that if so, he/she must know what it is to be a momma on her last straw.  I'm almost 7 months pregnant, lugging a wailing 2.6 yo child through the parking lot in the snowy dark.

I stood outside my car for a few deep breaths.  I love snow, everything becomes so quiet, so peaceful, so beautiful.

And all the way home she hollered, between bouts of tragic crying, at the back of my head.  "Stop saying 'I know'!"or "Stop saying, 'maybe so'!" and "Weaving make me feewl ANGwee!  YOU STUPID!"  I'm grateful the metal water bottle she chucked my direction only met with the armrest, then only socks actually flew to the front seat.  This continued non-stop until I started reading a bedtime story, and picked right up again when I finished the book.

Always an Adventure. : )  Life really is tough at Two
Day 5 (day late post)
Oh, not the greatest I suppose. But as I was more tired than reckoned, I didn't do a workout at all.
I did some reading, spent a little time outside delighting in Littles playing with snow.
Our evenings are so busy lately it's kinda crazy.
I did a little writing, which is a creative outlet for me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cookie Fail

The cookie gods have forsaken me as I haven't paid homage in such a long time.   I think the butter was over-browned, hence the total melting non-cookie-form fail.  The flavor is still there, but the texture is only good for a mix-in with vanilla ice cream.  O, well, can't win'em all.

The fun happened when Fiona found the win in the situation, "high-five, mom!  it'll be better next time," she hugged me.  She didn't care a wit about the appearance, she ate two of them, and had dairy milk as a treat to go with them.

Day 4 (late post)
walking outside, 1.81 pushing Monka-Doo in jogger added in 3 sets of walk-lunges, bench dips & modified push-ups, RAK picking up road trash
reading a little of Into the Infinite
hangin' with dear friend, swapping story, hangin' at the Giggling Green Bean for their Photo Reward Promo
eating like a king at breakfast, almost a prince at lunch and a pauper for supper---tho' I was SO exhausted by time to p/u Miss Monkey I innervated with some processed sugar just to be friendly and keeping walking around

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 3
Being of service
nap to the tunes of Tron
Meeting with family of choice
Laughing heartily with friends & kiddos
And forgot that my RAK yesterday i picked up garbage while walking

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day 2
reading, Into the Infinite (by Ralph Waldo Trine)
meditation, 20'
hours worth walking, 3.2m, outside with kiddo, playing
creative pursuit of containing bags : )
eating lovely goodness

Some days I feel like a GENIUS!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 1
cardio (climbing stairs in the house)
fitmama yoga with adaptations
outside time reading kiddo story
pregnant lady nap
several good laughs
eating well enough considering we're fairly out of food---fridays are typically like that.
journal/blog : )

A Personal Improvement Challenge

I noticed something about my posts yesterday, both of them categorized in "tantrums" and timeline labeled "January". I looked at other January posts in the past 5 years and didn't notice anything especially crazed,  some winter blues, but nothing especially either I didn't feel that I could write it out on the blog, or it wasn't pronounced enough to note.  Possibly there's a pattern in development?  The greatest thing about keeping a journal (or blogging) is that one can look back for patterns in behavior, recognizing these, one can change.

So, in the spirit of altering patterns I'm issuing a challenge to myself, publicly here, to commit to 42 days of Self Care, and an extra day for celebrating success! I'll call it my CARE FULL 43, and I will report here every day what I accomplished which may include though not limited to:
  • meditation & prayer, minimum 10'
  • yoga, minimum 15'
  • some cardio activity, minimum 20'
  • spiritual study/reading
  • concsious gratitude
  • meeting minimun twice a week with spiritual family of choice
  • journal at bedtime, even if it's a simple list of Got-it-Done-Today
  • set a timer, take twenty to sixty minutes for my self to rest, read something fun, watch something I enjoy, give myself a facial/spa bath---anything that I want to do simply for that reason, I want to.
  • minimum one random act of kindness
  • tell everyone, "You are Loved"or "I love you" either in kindness or in words
  • feed my body for optimum overall wellness
  • drink more than enough water
  • put a little pocket change in the family "give" jar
  • spend time outdoors
  • loudly laughing with my kids
If you're reading, is there anything you might add?

: )  A

"We may assume that spiritual man is already a success, is already with everything that he needs."
SOM p.270

“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”  
~ Martin Luther King

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mommy Lost her Sh*t

I am not perfect, I have a wicked temper once my patience has worn out.  Emotions can be just as dangerous and addictive as any drug, and more subtly damaging to those around us in certain ways.  

It begins with a certain combination of occurrences, stresses that quietly pile up.  

Filing Chapter 13, we have to move within 3 months, pregnancy, baby due in a few more months and no outlet for small nesting instincts, frustration and confusion around stuff built up and resistance to culling it now because I'd rather when I start packing, prayer-meditation-meetings back-seated to other activities for those around evening after a long (albeit successful) day, when he and I both just need a moment to ourselves, a screaming toddler awakened after she'd fallen asleep, we turn on each other...suddenly I'm feeling alone alone alone, with no help and no way out and some little belligerent person who will not got the f*ck to sleep!

So, yes, I utterly abandoned reason, and love, and hope for an hour or so.  It's a dark place that I'm un-accepting of its powerful existence, a Jungian mirror of my general upward spiral in consciousness.  

Is it okay that I lost my temper in front of my kids?  Most definitely, yes. Only because when we're all over the emotional compromise, back in a thinking state, we talk about it, we hug and make-up.  I admitted my defect, I use "I feel" statements, I talk about how I don't like behaving like that and I will do better.  

Some might say that I've completely thrashed all the progress I've made, I disagree.  One set-back does not a ruin make.  If I were mid-race and got a flat, they wouldn't make me begin again at the starting line.  The truth is I'm behaving worlds different than I might be if I hadn't done spiritual study, and worked it in the past 8 years.  I'm not excusing the behavior, but I'm allowing my humanity, my learning curve.  I could put on a hair shirt and self-flagellate for days, weeks, months, begging forgiveness reminding them of my terrible awful transgression....that however, is a teaspoon of self-esteem disguising a thousand pound ego.  I obviously need to be more vigilent, not less, around what I do for my Self.

Other ways to let angry energy out:  scribble/draw an angry picture, grounded scream, stomping, running, finding a lonely place and yelling, journaling, phoning someone to reason it out/cry/laugh aloud at our ineptitude some days.

Above all You are NOT alone.

"We should also erase the thoughts of yesterday that would rob us of today's happiness."    
SOM p.245

break it, learn from it, stitch it up, keep moving forward

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Monkey milestones

still sleeps on the floor now and then
On stage as the Evil Queen for Snow White
crazed for the tooth fairy
Mathematics block this month
random Quirkle fun

Monday, January 21, 2013

Little Monkey Money Matters

The little girls receive allowance.  We follow Love & Logic, once they’re old enough not to eat their money, they’re old enough for allowance.  So, the Younger gets $2/week, and the Firstborn gets $6/week, taxes withheld for her, so she nets $5/week.  The Firstborn has been [mostly] saving for a guinea pig going on almost a year now, I've heard her say, "No, I'm saving for a guinea pig, I'm putting my money in the Save Jar."

Toddleator E, a.k.a. Monka-Doodle, had built up quite a bank in her jar, and we’d been chatting about sunglasses for the past couple of months.  She would lament about not having sunglasses every sunny day (which is often here) in the back seat.  One highly productive Monday, while Big Sister attended homeschool connection I found we were timed perfectly to stop by consignment shop for this very purpose.   So, she bought four pair.  At least I was able to talk her out of six pair.  The Man was a bit taken aback by this, and we reminded ourselves that this is her money, not ours.  Well, she’s got 4 new play glasses one of which at least should be kept in the car methinks.  Bonus, when a pair gets crushed or lost, it's easier for me to practice some loving detachment and empathy, rather than reacting with frustration and anger as if it had been my money.

With Miss Monkey’s money, we had a lesson most recently noteworthy.  Had anyone been listening it might’ve sounded as if I was stealing from the child.  One sunny bright day last week, we made plans to head up the mountain for ice skating, little sis was fighting illness though so a ride was arranged.  There was a question as to whether or not F would need to pay entrance + skate rental, I responsibly gave her $10 to pay for just that.  “This ten is to pay for your entrance, should you need it.  Otherwise, I expect my ten dollars back when you return. Agreed?”  She assented, took some money from her Spend Jar for random whatnot, and off they went.

Upon returning, there was some amount of cash and change on the counter, I asked her whether that was hers or mine?  There was some confusion from her.
“Do you have my $10?”
“Well, J used it to buy Twizzlers.”
“Oh, so where is my ten?”
Somewhat distressed, “J used it to buy Twizzlers!”
“Well, F, I gave you the ten to pay for your entrance.  Did you have to pay for your entrance to the skating?”
She shakes her head, no.
“Okay, then I expect my $10 back….is this it on the counter?”
Then the frustration sets in for her.  I counted the money on the counter finding it was a little short of $10, “Well, it looks like you owe another $1.10 to pay me back.”
Then the crying lament starts, she apparently spent all of her money on treats for herself and her friends, and really does not want to pay me back any of the money I gave her.
“Oh, so you spent your money on treats for yourself and your friend?  That’s really generous and friendly. {pause}  The money I gave you for entrance was money only for that, and I expect it returned since it wasn’t used.  I’m fairly certain you and I were clear on this before you left.  I love you, I know this is hard.  Come back downstairs when you’re calm and can discuss it in a friendly way.”

Briefly I thought, it is only a dollar-ish, it’s not that big a deal.  Then my Love & Logic overtook that doubt---it’s not about the quantity, it’s about the lesson there in.  A $1.10 mistake now, will avoid a $110 (or more) mistake later.  The Man returned from some errand, fresh and ready to mediate. And after bedroom time Miss Monkey was freshly ready to attempt to manipulate the situation in her favor with Papa home now.  In no uncertain terms he let her know the tragic sound of her feelings would not change the circumstances.  He reminded her “if she wants to have her own money to use, she has to behave responsibly with it.  Otherwise, we can find other options for that money.”  (Hooray parental unity!)

I did get my money back, thanked her, and we went on about our day.
Stay the course. All is well.  I’m grateful and proud!
: )

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Begin again Gym

I've been procrastinating this post for some time.  Parenting is challenging, especially when we have to choose a path our kids most likely don't appreciate in the now.  After 2+ years at the gymnastic club we were attending, we decided Miss Monkey needed to venture out into other activities rather than becoming hyper focused, therefore leading our family into a situation that we certainly were unprepared to commit life and limb to.  Her last meet was her best, and (gasp!) we opted out of State.  I practically guffawed when F's coach tried to reason that State competition was the celebration at the end of the season---she mustn't have been paying attention.  My perfectionist daughter had had terribly difficulty dealing with the stress of competition, the emotional rack of being "switched on" for half a day, and the total let down (in her head) of her winner's vision not being fulfilled.  It.was.brutal.  Scenes played out in parking lots with other parents staring or offering solutions.  

Since I'm conscious of how I speak with her about her participation, I never used the phrase, "Don't you want to do this?" or anything like it.  That line of questioning only serves the parents' wishes, and causes inner conflict in the child---they're intelligent, they know though it only sounds as if they're being asked what they want, the child also doesn't want to displease her parent, only furthering distress in the situation.  Ever caught an episode of the train-wreck show Toddlers In Tiaras?  Not that I'll ever watch again, but it was a constant barrage of moms asking their daughters the very question but in different forms. 

In our case, she didn't want to quit, she wants to be in the Olympics like Gabby and Jordan, she loves gymnastics, "gymnastics was my life, and you RUINED it!!"  It was actually, she's been doing it since she was about 2, over half her life had been doing something regularly in the gym.  The stark reality set in during this competition season: the massive commitment of practices, very job like, stripping away childhood's imagination and dream time; of sending my child to be subjectively judged by persons unknown, who hand out scores based on their personal opinions regardless of the code (they are human after all, see "cutie points") amidst hundreds, or thousands, of other little girls whose more rabid parents are push-push-pushing...well the prospect was daunting, and made me feel ill.  

F had an example of the perfection required in the sport with Miss Polina, who recently qualified for Nationals, she saw it daily, she knows what it looks like.  Moreover, she knew when her performance didn't match that ideal, when she didn't win at meets, putting dents and dings in her burgeoning self-esteem.  The medaling at local meets is confusing at best, and these girls know that the participation medal isn't the same as the podium medal.  "It is a sport of unforgiving perfection", as one coach/parent/owner remarked to me.  Take that statement into an incredibly competitive arena of subjective judgement, where who you know matters, what you look like matters, how much time and money you have matters.  I'd rather my daughter be judged on her character first, and everything else second, but in the gymnasium that's not what shows first.

After careful thought, sorting though our feelings about the situation, we decided it was time to leave.  Too many good people we knew in the beginning had gone by the wayside during growth spurts the business experienced.  The Man & I both were losing confidence in the young coach's abilities to lead the little girls creatively and compassionately while encouraging them to try harder for that elusive perfection.  Added to that was an accounting discrepancy that barely came to resolution, not without some ugliness, which simply added to my sadness around our experience.  

While he is completely soured on the sport, especially for little girls, I still have some hope that we can creatively keep her in touch with the strength and flexibility, but without the incredible pressure to perform to perfection.  I think it un-just to send children in for judgement on an ideal that exists only fleetingly and impermanently, dependent on the person judging.

So, ultimately we're looking to separate her DOing from her BEing, gymnastics is one facet of a growing persona, but it's not the end-all.  I want the fun of it to come back for her, participation with a healthy detachment around results---we'll explore options until we get something that works.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Because he loves me

Eons ago in my professional life, during a company function where an empowerment speaker worked with our overtly masculine crowd, he notes the location of women in the crowd, and asks, "For the women in the group, what its the first thing you think when he brings you flowers?"

Of the other remarks I heard only, "what did he do wrong?"
Without hesitation, I responded, "Because he loves me!"  Which the speaker hit upon and launched into the next phase of his talk.

Its true still today, almost 10 years later, I don't dream with suspicion or fear, only gratitude and love.
And I'm SO grateful that these little girls get to experience this, "because he loves me" attitude!

Happy day!
: )

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Play off weekend

It's been so nice today.  Super chilly out, apparently going to hover around 20F for the game this afternoon.  We got to attend the last regular season game (Chiefs v. Broncos) a couple of weekends ago, it was cold then but about 10 degrees warmer comparatively.

It's been a fabulously quiet morning, the girls slept in, I made small breakfast then cinnamon rolls, prepped for deviled eggs.  Now the TV comes on and then there are football guffaws and The Man desperately trying to listen to pre-game analysis begging Little Girls to quiet their enthusiasm for "daddy-day".  Funny thing is when they're whispering it's not exactly a quiet, subtle whisper.  It's difficult for my Littles to whisper when their typical volume resides between Loud and YELLING.

Thankfully there haven't been any altercations this morning which had been a habit of Miss Monkey lately.  She'll wake, hang around, mosey downstairs, and somehow she and Toddleator E will immediately begin to fight, and one or both will be sent back to bedroom time.  She's spent the better part of a morning in her room on more than one occasion.  I say it's usually her because typically the Younger has been up and moving cheerfully for almost an hour before her sister.  I've enacted a guideline that unless you're coming to breakfast cheerfully (or at minimum, cooperatively) do not come down doesn't always stand.  One thing I dislike heartily in the mornings is too much noise, especially pre-breakfast.  Precisely why I prefer to wake earlier than everyone else, workout, meditate, (decaf)coffee, email, hopefully some writing, etc. Then the noise can start and I'm prepared.  I'm still working on my mornings, been successful a couple of times; however, it's more difficult when Utero-Baby wakes me around 2-3am.  Then it's hard to get back to sleep while someone is squirming about, and I lack inclination to wake again at 4:30 or so.  I intend that it'll happen though, and change never happens all at once, does it?
Happy weekend!
: )

Dirty Diaper Business on Display

The Giggling Green Bean's Denver, CO store window.  AWEsome, no?

I love this store. Had it not been for scheduling difficulties I could be working there.  This photo has gone viral, HOORAY!  It's an incredible visual.
AND with busy sites like Dirty Diaper Laundry blogging about them I'm excited for their exposure, I had to share it on my little blog as you well know how big an advocate for cloth I am.

Happy happy happy diapering!
: )