Friday, February 26, 2010

Supernova Kids

Do you ever have those moments where you sit and just watch your kids be? I swear there are times when I just can just see the radiant light of growth creativity exploding from inside them. Then, well…there are times when I sit back and think, “What the hell is going on in that kids head?” or worse yet, “That can’t be normal.” I mean, there are things that I understand are developmentally appropriate and there are things that have to be touched and even eaten for understanding. But then there are these things that happen…

-Two rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom sink, water turned on.
- Taking off shoes AND socks every freaking time we are in the car.
-Rolling onto the tummy with pro wrestler strength the second the poopy diaper is opened for changing.
-Bugger eating.
-Pulling out a toy that has JUST been put away even though it spent the better part of the day lying in the middle of the floor completely untouched.
-Watching the Beep-Beep Dot Com commercial with the movement of a coma patient.
-Claiming to be “awe-done!” with a meal then going DIRECTLY to the floor and eating the droppings before I can even hope of getting the vacuum. (BTW- I have learned to vacuum the floor and the baby BEFORE she is let loose.)

I am so freaking glad my kids make me laugh. Can you image having a child who never did anything weird?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I need your feedback

I am working on a larger piece for the newspaper I write for and wanted to solicit your thoughts.

What allows parents, in particular mothers, to commit crimes that risk them being taken away from their children? In particular I am interested in white collar crimes, such as embezzlement. Excluding issues of addiction and abuse, what allows someone to do this and risk being separated from their children? I just do not get it.
What are your thoughts? Please share your comments. If you would like to share something less public, you can email me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Apologies – what are they good for?

I received a call the other day from a distant relative (both in the family tree and geographically) who I had not spoken with or seen in nearly two decades. As with any out-of-the-blue call from a person from ones past I was excited but also skeptical. These are rarely the “hey I was just thinking about you” calls so I couldn’t help but wonder what was the real reason for the call. Turns out my cousin was calling to apologize for something that happened almost two decades ago when I was a young teen (very minor incident and one I never even knew took place). I think I actually laughed out loud, and knowing me I am sure it was a boisterous laugh, over being offered this apology. In part it struck me as crazy because I had no idea what she was even talking about and secondly, I could not believe this minor thing had been weighing on her mind and heart for so long. I probably lacked any sort of graciousness in the situation, again I laughed. It was important to her and I could have been more gentle and soft in my acceptance and forgiveness. Of course the problem was I really saw zero need for the apology and even less for forgiveness and this really had no impact on me then or now (like I said NO memory of the incident). In the end it was fun to catch up with her and reconnect with a distant family member.
But as with all things, it got me thinking….
Who is an apology ever really for? If you are truly regretful, isn’t the apology for you? You want to feel the burden of guilt lifted from your own back. Think about the words often used, “I need you to know how sorry I am.”
I need.
Yet, if the apology is really for the other person, could it not be offered even if you really are not sorry, or guilt ridden? But perhaps you just care about the other person enough to want them to feel better?

There are two people in my life I really have needed an apology from. When I explore why it is I need the apology I realize it is not about wanting them to accept blame or admit a wrong but it is because I need to know they really understand the hurt that was caused. I have needed them to know deep down in their bones what they did mattered. Perhaps it is not about getting the apology but rather the validation that my hurt was real. I guess at its core isn’t that was a true apology is all about, validating the emotional reaction to someone we have wronged?

On the flip side, how many times have you given your verbal forgiveness to someone because you love them and do not want to hurt them even though their words or actions are still causing you hurt? Why is it so hard to say, “I love you and know you love and care about me and I am thankful for that. I guess that is why I am so deeply hurt. I am sure we can heal in time, because we care and love each other.” Instead, so often we offer up, “It’s fine.”

I think this is where you draw the line between real relationships and encounters. In a true relationship one where love and respect are actually present, there is honesty. Where everyone can honestly say,
I am sorry I hurt you.
I forgive you.
I love you.

Oh, and just in case you read this and think perhaps I am living some quiet, contemplative life here; I just looked up from my laptop and saw Rock Star eat a bugger. Now I will go vomit.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Sound of Silence

Not something I hear much of these days. With Rock Star and Itty Bitty loving every second of playtime they have together there is usually an endless wave of sound echoing throughout our home from daybreak to bedtime. They each have and enjoy their own private quiet time to read and play, but of course it is never coordinated time! Ahhhh…but today we had a rare but beautiful morning. I had recently moved some of the kids’ books from the playroom to the family library room. As I was cleaning up breakfast after the kids had eaten and taken off from the table at warp speed I soon realized I heard nothing. NOTHING. Dead silence. The wave of sheer panic hit me hard and I went racing to the front of the house where I felt them to be. Sure enough there they were, each sitting as still as could be with a book on the floor of the library. Rock Star was thumbing through an old textbook on how to write a research paper (Yes, I know. I have no idea) and Itty Bitty was reading a baby board book about feelings and what they look like. I eased back so not to disturb the moment and contemplated getting my camera but I knew I would disrupt them and I really, really wanted them to enjoy the time so I just left them. About 20 minutes later Itty Bitty came tottering to me with a book asking me to read with her, soon followed by Rock Star and another book. We snuggled together wrapped in quietly read words for a bit longer and then the morning moved along.
Great way to start the day.
Deep Breath; Big Exhale.

Friday, February 12, 2010

One Step Closer to Nature

I am trying. One little step at a time I am trying to bring my family closer to nature through the food we eat, the items we use, how we consume and through an ever growing appreciation and care for the world around us. A couple of weeks ago I began making homemade diaper wipes (better for baby, cheaper, and reduces the purchasing of plastics and chemicals). I have been really happy with them. I feel better using them to clean up the kid’s faces and find them far more durable and skin friendly. So, my next big step is moving to cloth diapering. Itty Bitty is super-duper interested in the potty and although she has yet to go on it, she sits on it regularly. Although, I do not think she is ready and I will forgo any formal potty training processes for a bit longer, I thought the feel of cloth diapering may help some. I had planned to cloth diaper with any future babes we may be blessed with, so starting with my 15 month old is a rather new idea. But, I figured better late than never and given we go through about 7 diapers a day and she will be in them for at least another three months, I figure we can still save the landfills roughly 630 diapers (not to mention about $300). Not bad. Well, a step anyway.
So today is the first day. I used to change the cloth diapers of my many cousins when I was young and used to sit for them, so I am familiar with the cleaning and handling process and am not worried about it. I am actually really excited. The only down side is I suspect I will have a pinch of trouble getting the hubs on board, he will no doubt be worried about the whole “pin (i.e. sharp object) near the baby” thing, so I may be the primary (okay, only) diaper changer in the house. Eh, he can take over all the butt wiping for Rock Star.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WHAAAAAT am I doing?

I have a total love/hate relationship with connection technology. I despise the idea of being connected all the time via phones, texting, email, blogs, tweeting, Facebook, television, etc. At the same time, as a SAHM I do like the ability to reach out. Obviously I enjoy my blogging, but I also battle the idea that rather than enjoying and sitting with the small moments in life we spend them sharing with the masses. People who tweet as their children are being born for example blows my mind! Put the phone down and get present in your own life already! Trust me; I get the notion of sharing the funny interesting things and thoughts in a day. All of my family lives out of state and I love that I can keep in touch with them and the push of a button. I love that my kids get to talk to and have books read to them via skype with their godparents who live in NYC. I love that I can toss jokes with my cousin mid-day who lives in the woods of Wyoming and that I can get photos of my kids in front of grandparents in Michigan within minutes of taking them. It is wonderful to have the ability to stay connected with the people who I love that are far from me. But I have set some boundaries for myself (those of you who know me and have been reading for a while know I am all about the personal boundaries!) I dropped off of FB late last year because I was just spent on all the mindlessness of it. I had a growing list of friends and friend requests that I did not really know or quite frankly care about, and an endless list of friend request from people I really, really did not know that sat there just making me feel guilty. It was time and energy totally wasted. I decided rather than spending an hour surfing FB on info I didn’t care about I would spend the hour reaching out to people with whom I wanted to foster a healthy relationships. Great move. I have recently gotten back on FB, but again with the boundaries, I am only “friending” my first cousins. As you know I love these guys and gals and since we are so scattered about and all keep odd hours between kids, happening social lives, work and school, it is a great way to keep track of each other.
Okay….I think I am rambling and digressing a bit…lets see where was I going with this??? Oh yeah, I signed up for Twitter. WTF?!?! I hate the entire concept. I loathe the idea of telling the world that I am stoked that I just got eggs for 0.49 or getting excited that Ashton Kutcher just went to CVS. Seriously I do not care. So whaaaaat am I doing???? Well as you know I write a weekly column for The Grain Valley Pointe newspaper and they tweet about local stuff. I clicked on their home page and was reading some of their tweets and given my business here in town and that the hubs is on the P&R Board I figured it would be good stuff to know. So I signed up just to get the GV news. Of course though I am now feeling the pull to tweet something. WHY? It goes against everything I believe in and yet it is calling my name…tweet…tweet….tweet…..tweeeeeeettttt! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! For the love of all things good and pure, I will be strong and reject the urge.

Uh…just in case you want to check and make sure I do not start tweeting you can follow me @mamacomedy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday’s 3 Quick 3’s

3 Things I think about when I watch TV…
1. Why do you think shouting at me will make we buy your product?
2. I hate you for making my children think Pop Tarts are healthy because they are made with “real fruit”.
3. When I ponder which brand of tampons to buy, I promise you I am not thinking about which one will best protect me while dancing in my stilettos and red flowy dress but rather which one will survive not having time to use a restroom for 9 ½ hours straight.

3 Things I love about myself…
1. My hands
2. My really, really loud obnoxious laugh
3. I am learning to avoid people and relationships that are void of trust and respect; and put the extra time and energy into people I can trust and respect.

3 Things that make my days a bit brighter
1. Coke-Cola (yeah, for the record – probably not giving it up)
2. My iPod
3. Art Supplies

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I aspire to be …Dora?

When I was young I thought of being something great in life. You know an aerobics instructor, a department make-up counter lady, the next Tiffany or Debbie Gibson …you get the idea. But never, oh never did I think on any given day of my life my true aspiration would be to be Dora the *Freaking* Explorer. My kids, and yes I sorrowfully say kids as Itty Bitty is much aware of the mind grating “I’m a Maaaaaap!” song, are obsessed. So much so that Rock Star requests I play Diego and Dora with him daily. Multiple times a day in fact. I find it interesting that he continues to ask me being as I apparently suck at being the almighty Dora.
No Mooom! Not like that!” Argh! So here I am day in and day out try to be the best little Dora I can, only to achieve tremendous failure and have myself esteem shaken-again. I mean really, I already had to give up on being the next hot teen pop star, now this!? Life is so unfair.

Oh Dora, what a love –hate relationship we have evolved into.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Update to below...

Just for kicks I posted my blog on Bullies on the Dr. Phil website:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Battle of the Bulge

Ugh. I have been seriously fighting the battle of the bulge since giving birth to my daughter 15 months ago (who was only a mere 6lbs btw). I actually gained very little during the pregnancy but have had totally out of whack hormones since and have gained more since her birth than I did during. And, in the interest of full discloser I was carrying extra weight before I got pregnant with her. So I have started a few natural things to help stabilize the hormones and increase my energy, but now I must commit to hitting the gym and being extra vigilant in healthful eating and lifestyle habits. Now I tend to be fairly conscientious of what I feed my family as a whole. We eat primarily organic, lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains and beans but I also have a few really, really bad habits.

So let me confess:

1. I drink coke (regular, not diet) daily. Usually 2-3 cans a day.
2. We eat dinner pretty late (usually during the 7-8pm hour). By this time I am tired and starving and greatly overeat.
3. I am not formally exercising. I am in constant movement with the kids, but I am not getting any serious cardio or strength training.
4. I will tell you I do yoga but I do it in my living room with my children climbing on top of me like I am their personal jungle-gym. Thus it really is not that effective.
5. I do not sleep well, and am therefore tired all the time. This is extra bad for me because I am a fatigue eater. I eat mindlessly when I am tired. I will find myself perusing the kitchen with no direction just munching on anything I can find when I am not the slightest bit hungry, just tired. The few times I have forced myself (and had the opportunity) to take a power-nap, the munchies magically go away.
6. I reward myself with food.
7. I am a social eater. It is hard for me to imagine a social situation without something to nosh on. I think this is the equivalent to an alcoholic not being able converse with a group of people without booze.

I have joked for awhile now that I am a reverse-anorexic (no I do not think anorexia is funny). I think of myself, and even see in the mirror, the skinny me. But pictures…oh the pictures do not lie. So, today I begin the journey. I am going to the gym tonight for my first (alone) workout in a long time. I am starting the menu planning and will slowly and steadily work on the list above. I am thinking of starting another blog just to chronicle the process. I would use actual numbers (YIKES!). Other than to be nosy to see what my fat bootie actually weighs in at, would you read it?
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