Enter At Your Own Risk: Lego Disaster Clean Up

Remember this picture of Finn in his room from How Finn Got His Knack Back?  Yeah, this one where he was looking really happy, surrounded by a sea of Legos and Snap Circuits?

Notice the Lego bin tower in the background that has no Lego bins in it.   They and their contents are ALL ON THE FLOOR.

Notice the Lego bin tower in the background that has no Lego bins in it. They and their contents are ALL ON THE FLOOR.

 

A disaster zone, right?  Although Finn seems to have a mental inventory of each piece and it's location on the floor.

Although Finn seems to have a mental inventory of each piece and its precise location on the floor.

Despite Finn being totally content with the situation, every one else was fed up with not being able to so much as walk through the room anymore.

Time. To. Clean. Up.

Naturally, Finn was completely overwhelmed by the idea.  Being a gracious Mommy (sucker), I agreed to help.  Helping of course means I do 95% of the work while he writhes around on the floor, occasionally tossing something in a bin and acting like life is really hard.

I didn’t mind helping, but I was soon aghast at what I found.  Seriously, it wasn’t for the faint of heart:

Lego mini figures with their pieces strewn everywhere, yellow heads just rolling around willy-nilly, not so much as a hand left attached to an arm. All I could think was “Who does this to their mini figures???”

My first instinct was to put them back together, but soon I was overwhelmed. How do you choose who to help? The grandpa because he’s charming? The Ninja Turtle because he’s part of a set?  The Yeti because we just got him and could we not keep it together for THREE DAYS???  And do I just leave the Snake guy because he’s kind of creepy? Doesn’t he still deserve arms?

So I decided the best thing to do was to gather all their pieces and put them in one bin, creating a sort of safe zone where they might at least have a chance of being reunited with their missing parts.

legopartsAfter AT LEAST TWO HOURS I stumbled out of the disaster zone.  Honestly, I had completely lost all sense of time while I was in there.  Every time I was about to give up I would see another little arm peeking out of the bricks and have to keep searching.  I was physically and mentally drained from the experience.  (That isn’t a joke.  For real, I had HAD IT.)

At the end of the day, Finn had assembled sixteen mini figures, which he proudly declared were his own “Series”.  There are still more displaced torsos and hands in the box, but I will sleep well knowing I did all I could.

And I’m pretty sure that I ranted enough about “You’re not getting anymore mini figures if this is how you treat them” to make an impression on a certain little person…  Let’s hope.

 

 

The Solid Gold Dancers

By now you probably know a couple of things about my Dash.  If not, let me refresh your memory with a few quick Dash facts:

1)  Dash does not like to sleep.

2)  Dash does not like to be still.

3)  Dash is always into something.

You also might remember that I have these other people here who are always WANTING THINGS.  For example, they insist on eating EVERY DAY!  And they want clean plates, cups, and utensils EVERY TIME!  REALLY?   You can’t eat yogurt with a fork?  Come on, it’s Greek yogurt, they made it thick for just such an occasion. OH, and they always want to wear clothes!  Well, some of them would be happy with just underwear, but when they go out, would you believe they have the nerve to ask if they have any clean shorts?  Demanding, right?

Okay, okay, so they aren’t THAT demanding.  And I have them well trained.  Maybe not well trained enough to do laundry or wash dishes, but they know that if something isn’t in their drawers they should check other places, like the laundry basket or the piles of half-folded clothes on the guest bed…

Anyways, there’s a lot to keep up with around here, and sometimes Dash is a bit of a handful.  You can’t turn your back on him.  For one, he could get hurt.  Or things like this could happen:

kale explosion

Kale Explosion.

SO, you can imagine how delighted I was when I found something Dash loves to do:  DANCE.

At first, we were turning on the dance game on XBox Kinect.  Oh, he really loved that!  The only problem (besides having to listen to the same songs over and over) was the sensor couldn’t see his short little self.   It would constantly lose him and pause the game.  Someone could dance with him, but that didn’t work for those times when we just needed Dash to be “Busy, But Not Busy Destroying Things”.

Workout videos to the rescue!  I have a large collection of workout videos.  If you saw them all, you would think “The person who owns these is very fit”.  Or you would think “The person who owns these watches a lot of infomercials” .  Neither is true, but I digress.  The point is, DASH LOVES WORKOUT VIDEOS!

*TIME OUT*  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that television and other entertainment media be avoided for children under age 2.  Just wanted to let you know I am aware of this before anyone roasts me on this point.  Destroying things while I make dinner may be better for his brain, but I’m just going to let him dance, okay?

His favorite right now is Zumba.  At first the older boys were like “What on Earth?”  But now they are quite fascinated, particularly with the exotic… (um, that’s the wrong word, isn’t it?) outfits the dancers wear.

“Ha!  That guy was wearing a vest with no shirt, and then he just threw it on the floor!  Hilarious!”

Hmm…

So yesterday, I was making dinner and Dash was doing Zumba.  Beau and Finn come downstairs and start dancing with him.  “Hey, let’s make costumes!”

Oh dear.

Then I hear Finn:  “That girl must be rich!  She has gold pants!”

Beau responds with glee:  “WHOA!  I gotta get me some of those!”

gold pants

He was totally joking.  I hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Help A Mommy Out: A Post By Dash

Hey, people!  It’s me, Dash.  My Mommy was too tired to write anything today, so I thought I’d help her out and do a guest post for her.  What?  You’re surprised that I know how to spell and use the computer?  Haven’t you been reading Mommy’s blog at all?  Anyways…

I’m sure you read about poor Mommy taking a spill in my room the other night.  I was like “OUCH!  That’s gotta hurt!”  So, I decided to try and take it easy on her.  You know, sleep a bit like she’s always begging me to.  Really, I tried.  But that silly Mommy, she just wouldn’t rest!

For example, last week Mommy took us to the pool FOUR DAYS IN A ROW!  That might not sound like a big deal, but my brothers can’t swim too well.  And Mommy seems to think I can’t swim either.  So when we’re at the pool, she’s always looking out for us.  You’ll see her chasing after me hollering stuff like “Don’t jump!” and “Slow down!” and “Close your mouth before you put your face in the water!”  And then there’s the nasty white goop she’s always slathering on us.  Ugh!  What’s up with that?

Anyways, I did MY part to make the pool easy for Mommy.  I never once pooped in my swim diaper.  Nice, right?  And boy, did we all have fun!  Mommy had fun too, but I could tell she was tired afterwards.  I think the sun makes her all wilty.

Besides the pool, Mommy and Daddy were both so silly that they decided to put new paint all over the walls.  Would you believe they stayed up until 1:30 in the morning to get it done?  It sure looks nice, but I can’t wait to find a way to make it look even nicer.  Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll come up with something…  Anyways, that made Mommy even more tired.  But I was like “Well, Mommy, you can’t blame me for that one.”

Then we had a Bible convention to go to.  We had to get up real early.  Then Mommy and Daddy got to chase me around all day.  There were lots of people there.  It was fun, but being around lots of people seems to make Mommy even more wilty than being in the sun.

So today, I could tell Mommy had really had it.  I wanted to help because I love my Mommy so much!  This is what I did:

#1  I know it’s got to be getting old for Mommy to be changing my diaper all the time.  So whenever I’d remember that I was wearing a diaper, I made sure to take it off myself.  That way Mommy didn’t have to worry about it.

Dash tries to help Mommy out (by changing his own diaper.)

#2  I know Mommy’s been trying real hard to keep the counter tops clean.  And they weren’t looking too good today.  So when I spotted a Mag Light on the stairs, I knew I just had to grab it.  It would be the perfect tool for knocking stuff off the counters!  Can you believe she took it away from me?  Come on!  I’m trying to be of assistance!  Oh well, it’s the thought that counts, right?

#3  While Mommy was getting some diapers out of my closet, I found the curtain rod for my room, just waiting to be hung up.  I was like “Great!  Now all I have to do is find Daddy’s drill and I can get these curtains hung!”  Okay, I was downright ticked off when she took that away.  I even threw a little tantrum.   I was like “Help Me Help You!”  Know what I mean?

#4  The dishes were really starting to pile up.  I couldn’t reach the sink, but I knew dishes needed to be washed.  So, I did the next best thing.   I took everything I could lift out of the cabinets, smeared them with either food or my feet, and then poured water on them.  *When* I could get Mommy to give me water, that is, (because you know by now she is not the easiest person to help).  Then I took a dishtowel off the floor that had been used to wipe up some previously spilled water, and got the dishes all shined up.  I’d like to think she appreciated all my hard work, but when she tripped over a pot and the handle hit her ankle she didn’t look too happy.  In fact her head kind of looked like it might explode…

Dash helps Mommy by "washing" dishes

#5  Oh, and talk about getting behind on the kitchen.  I found lunch boxes from the weekend still sitting on the floor, waiting to be washed!  I didn’t want her to forget and think they were clean.  So I drew on them with marker.  That way they’d HAVE to get washed up nice.  YOU’RE WELCOME.

Dash helps Mommy out by making sure the lunch box must get washed

These are just a few examples of the MANY things I did today to help my Mommy out!  Aren’t I a good helper?  I hope I have given all you kids out there some ideas on how you can help your Mommies out too!

Oh, and I think my Mommy is starting to feel a bit better.  She doesn’t look quite so wilty and she even rewashed some of the pots I already cleaned.  Silly Mommy!  I’m sure she’ll be back to writing on her own again soon… 😉

That Run Over By A Truck Feeling (aka Sleep Deprivation)

The last time I wrote, I was excited after Dash had slept through the whole night on his own.  I hoped that perhaps we had finally turned a corner with him.  No more sleep deprivation!

NO. SUCH. LUCK.

That one glorious night of peaceful slumber has been followed by two (or three? I can’t count) miserable nights of wakefulness.

Apparently, that one full night of sleep was enough to fully charge his little battery and keep him going all week.  Despite lots of time running around outside and trips to the pool, Dash is not one bit tired.  It really defies logic.  How could a one year old spend two hours at the pool and splash park and then not sleep until 9pm?  Of course taking three kids to the pool makes Mommy tired.   But Dash?  NOPE.

I don’t know what’s waking him up. He doesn’t seem to be in pain, but his teeth are still coming in, so maybe he’s uncomfortable.  He basically just seems mad if he wakes up and I’m not there.  If I am there, he just reaches out and tries to pull my hair out of my head to comfort himself.  OUCH!

Last night, I had already given up on my bed and was laying on the floor of Dash’s room.  I had decided to pad the floor with a nice big down comforter, so I was “relatively” cozy there.  Then, sometime in the middle of the night I woke up (to my hair being pulled) and I really had to use the bathroom.  I waited until I thought he was back to sleep and tiptoed out of the room.  “MAMA?  MAMA!  MAAMAAAAAAA!!!”

For goodness sakes.

I tried to hurry up in the restroom and rush back to calm him before he could wake up the whole house.  “Dash, it’s okay, I’m right…”

BOOM!

I stepped on a truck (Rocky the Robot truck to be specific) and like a roller skate it went out from under me and I landed with my ribs on the side of the toddler bed.

Dash just stared at me in the dark as I laid on my face groaning.

EVERYTHING hurt.  I dragged my battered little self back to my floor bed.  “Dash, PLEASE, just go back to sleep.”  He did, laying his whole body on my pillow.  And so did I, with three inches of pillow to lay my throbbing head onto.  (Because the whole thing triggered a headache in addition to a rib ache, hand ache, and foot ache.)

This morning I am a bit sore, my foot has a nice ugly bruise on it.  I don’t think my ribs are broken, which is a plus.  I wish I could say “you should see the other guy”, but Rocky looks no worse for wear.  Stupid Rocky.

I had a lot of plans for today, but now here I am, back to shuffling around aimlessly, feeling like I’ve been run over by a truck.  (Though technically, I ran over the truck, not vice versa.)  I’m trying to type this while figuring out how to spell difficult words like “here” and “this”.  Getting that little taste of having energy and mental acuity again, only to have it quickly snatched away has been somewhat cruel.  Luckily, I don’t have the energy to be bitter about it.  Bitterness is way too exhausting.

This too shall pass.  Someday I will not suffer from chronic sleep deprivation.  Someday I will sleep in a bed again.  Someday I will be able to get up early and exercise instead of getting up at 8 and struggling to limp into the kitchen for coffee.  Someday I will be able to answer complex questions like “how are you?” and “what’s the date today?”

Someday my Dash will be a big boy.  So for now I will *try* and enjoy his snuggly toddler-ness.  And I will also make sure all trucks are cleared off the floor before bedtime.  Yup, definitely going to do that…  ey ey ey.

sleep deprivation gets worse when toys are left on the floor

Sleep Is A Wonderful Thing

You don’t really appreciate sleep until you don’t get any.

Over the weekend, Finn came in our room and climbed into our bed.  It’s only a queen size and admittedly, it’s a little too cozy with three people.  No worries, because before I knew it Dash was crying and *as usual* I ended up spending the rest of the night sleeping on the floor of his room.  Morning came, and we were all up around 8am.  Except Daddy, who is usually the first one up, even on the weekend.  Just when I was starting to wonder if he was ill, he came downstairs looking very groggy.

“Good afternoon!”  I couldn’t resist saying.  (I’m obnoxious, I know.)

“What-EVER!”

“What?  Not feeling well rested?”

“Well rested!  Not with Finn kicking me in the back all night!”

“Ha!  Welcome to my world!  Except without the comfy bed!”

Seriously, over the past 19 months, I have learned to function without a good night’s sleep. Actually I’ve relearned how, because I did the same thing with my other two.  We are zero for three here with Good Sleepers.

So, yes, I have gotten by with very little sleep (or lots of broken up sleep) for what seems a very long time.  And when I say “function”, trust me that I use the term very loosely.  Function translates to shuffling around aimlessly, mumbling things that don’t make sense.  I’m very sorry if you’ve tried to carry on a conversation with me over the past 19 months.  Processing language is apparently one of the first things to go when you’re sleep deprived.  Everything is suddenly a “thingy” or a “whatchamacallit”.  Words!  Bah, who needs them anyways?

True, it would be nice to be able do more than “function” with our homeschool starting in 2 weeks…  Being able to speak in complete sentences could come in handy…  “Eventually” I thought.  “We just have to get through this phase.”   (Somehow!)

THEN:  This very morning, a wonderful thing happened!

I woke up (always appreciated in itself), but it gets even better:  I woke up IN MY OWN BED and it was MORNING.  My husbands’ phone alarm was going off.  Nobody was crying.  I felt like I had… SLEPT???

At first I was confused.  I didn’t have the usual Run Over By A Truck feeling.  I felt strangely well rested.  Should I go back to sleep?  Am I still tired?  Should I be tired?  I decided that indeed, I WAS NOT TIRED!  In fact, I felt like a million bucks!

THEN… the panic set in.  What happened to Dash?  I went to his room and peeked in.  There he was, STILL SLEEPING.  Like a baby (as those crazy people say).

WOOT WOOT!

It was an amazing morning.  I did laundry without anyone throwing dirty stuff in with the clean.  I scrubbed the shower without worrying about anyone putting my hairdryer in the tub.  I emptied the dishwasher without it turning into an extreme sport of catching glasses as the baby throws them to me.  I drank coffee!  I TOOK A SHOWER!!!  All before 7am!

And when Dash woke up and came downstairs, he was just as well rested as me.  (Although he did look a little confused about what had just happened.)  He came running into my arms and gave me a big hug.  Sweet Dash, Mommy loves you so!

NOW… let’s see if we can keep this going!  I hate to get my hopes up, but PLEASE, PLEASE!!!  Oh, it would be nice to sleep like a normal human being again.

baby sleep issues

Floor bed. Looks comfy, right? And yes, he has a crib AND a toddler bed, but sometimes he just likes the floor.  Hey, if he’s sleeping, I’m not arguing!!!

 

 

Theories On Homeostasis And Random Silliness

I’ve been thinking about homeostasis.  Who doesn’t, right?

You know, the ability of a body or system to seek and maintain a condition of equilibrium or stability within its internal environment when dealing with external changes.  Yada yada yada.

Well, I started contemplating that homeostasis could account for my tendency to want to eat like a horse after a good workout.  Sure, some people might call wolfing down enough crackers and chocolate bars to cancel out the effects of sweat and hard work “self sabotage”.  But as I say YES to that third taco, I like to think of it as something more scientific.  I’m just keeping in balance.  It’s homeostasis, people.  Without homeostasis, I might have to buy smaller clothes… could be a problem…

Hmm…

So then, running with my random thoughts as blog writers like to do, I started wondering if our own homes could be like little ecosystems in themselves.  You know, with their own internal regulations keeping them in balance.

For example, My Home doesn’t seem to like to be TOO clean.  And the little Creatures that inhabit My Home’s ecosystem have the innate ability to keep it from ever getting uncomfortably tidy.  Example:

Dishes EverywhereIf dishes are being washed, the Creature must simultaneously pull dishes out of the cabinets and dirty them, in a quantity equal or greater to the number of dishes washed.  Therefore all dishes are never clean and the ecosystem’s balance is maintained.

The Creature uses the same principle in other situations as well.  For instance, dumping out the whole box of markers while marker is being wiped off the table.  Or throwing beans while the dinner food is being put away.  All messes cleaned will be compensated for with messes made in equal or greater quantity.

He's a cute little Creature, isn't he?

He’s a cute little Creature, isn’t he?

Or say, the carpets in the Home Ecosystem are cleaned.  As sure as the sun will rise, before the carpet fibers have dried you will find mini chocolate chips gooey-ing them up again.  And you will have no idea where The Creatures even got mini chocolate chips or why they would abandon them in such a fashion.  It’s pointless to speculate, I suppose.  Homeostasis must prevail.  It’s a beautiful dance of nature, and there is no sense in fighting it.

Yes, of course, upon further contemplation I realize that my logic is completely flawed.  The Home Ecosystem has no desire to maintain equilibrium.  It just flat out wants to get as messy as possible at which point it’s Creatures can return to The Wild.

Well, by now you’ve probably figured out that I’m not very good at being scientific.  But if faux scientific silliness keeps me sane another day, so be it!

 

 

Clutter Gets the Boot

Over the next few weeks, you may not be hearing much from me.  What?!?  Why???  Have we run out of Chaos???  Nope.   We still have plenty of Chaos.  Our friend Chaos sure isn’t going anywhere and I’ve accepted that.  But my problem is trying to get rid of Chaos’s good buddy, Clutter.

And we are positively buried in CLUTTER!

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a dramatic description.  I don’t want you picturing my family on an episode of Hoarders.  You know, with cockroaches scurrying about as we wade through candy bar wrappers, egg cartons, and rodent poop?  NOOO!  If I just see a commercial for that show I end up scrubbing down the house for the next hour.

I am not a real Hoarder.  Just a Pack Rat with a mild case of Organizational Deficit Disorder.  But there ARE those things I have a tendency to accumulate…

Tea bags.  (Because I’m going to give up coffee.  REALLY.)

Dietary Supplements.  (Can I blame Dr. Oz for that?)

Wine corks.  (Stupid Pinterest, giving me ideas.)

So I’m in the process of PURGING!  These little things that just need to be thrown out are the easy part.  SEE, I told you I’m not a REAL Hoarder.  In fact, I rather like the feeling of getting rid of things.  I find it freeing.  My husband on the other hand, although being extremely organized, seems to get a bit panicky when I start to throw stuff away.  This is surely not because I tend to get carried away and get rid of important things?  Hmm. Here’s an example of this Panic, which may or may not be fully justified:

On this occasion, my husband presented me with a t-shirt, having just salvaged it out of the donation bag.  Now this is a shirt that he had given to ME because it didn’t fit HIM.  It was a weird cut, too long for either of us.  So after storing it in my drawer for two years, I finally decided it had to go.

“Wash it again!  Maybe it will shrink.  Or it could be hemmed… You don’t have any more of my stuff in that bag, do you???”

But really, his stuff is not the problem.  He is the one who has to put up with me and my inability to put anything in the same place twice.  And bless his heart, he is really quite patient.  He only occasionally hollers about say, the bottle opener being moved to yet another drawer.   Hey, I just like to keep things interesting!  Who wants their stuff in the same old boring place all the time?

But really, I just put things where they fit.  And if I can’t fit something anywhere, I may just leave it on the counter, waiting for a spot to get freed up.  So, if you’re looking for something at my house, you might just find it hidden under an abandoned art project, or camouflaged by a half eaten banana.

Hey, Super Organized Friend!  Yeah, you!  I can see you’re starting to have a panic attack just imagining all of this.  It’s okay if you have to stop reading and go take a Xanax.  I understand.

Anyways, if you’re still with me, you’ll be relieved to hear that this past week I purged the kitchen area and the pantry.  The pantry included the Extremely Dangerous and Avalanche Prone Craft Shelf.  I would have taken a before picture, but I have some shred of dignity left and so I did not.  I did take a picture of the interesting blob of beans, balloons, pompons, and erasers that were joined together by leaking glue.  It’s only mildly disturbing.  You did take your Xanax, right?

Creepy Crafty

But I’m pretty pleased with the results.  (Of the decluttering, not the Craft Blob.)  The counters are cleared and all the kid’s art stuff is back in the closet, with the idea that it will be PUT AWAY when they aren’t using it.  A novel idea, right?

I’ve made a good amount of progress but I’ve got a ways to go!  Also on my list:  The Mountain of Un-filed Paper, as well as the Pack N Play that we have become attached to as a spot to hang clothes to dry.  And don’t tell my kids, but all those toys with missing pieces are also on The Hit List.  Plus I have to drag the items I want to donate to a Goodwill drop off station.  Whew.  Really makes you think twice about buying more stuff, right?  Clutter can be a real jerk when it comes to overstaying his welcome.

So, WHY you ask, am I suddenly so interested in being Organized when I’ve been blithely basking in Crazy for all these years?

You see, I really want to get this house running like a well oiled machine before we start our home school.  Quite some time ago, I read an excellent book entitled  Leadership Education:  The Phases of Learning.  The entire book was REVOLUTIONARY to me and I dogeared every other page.  One part that really hit home was about the importance of having a clutter free learning environment.  “Brilliant!”  I thought.  And then, I put it on the shelf and decided to wait until the last minute to implement the advice.  (Procrastination is another one of Chaos’s buddies.)  But I am doing it, slowly but surely, and I think it’s going to make a HUGE difference!

Anyways, I’d better get back at it.  But I’d love to hear all your tips for organization and keeping clutter at bay!  And be sure and tell me if you know a personal organizer who doesn’t mind being paid in Tea.

No more Avalanches!  (Just be careful when you move the plastic wrap, okay?)

No more Clutter Avalanches! (Just be careful when you move the plastic wrap, okay?)

 

 

Chasing Supermom

Have you ever noticed that the words Preview and Publish look almost exactly the same?  No?

Well, neither had I.  At least not until Friday night when with tired, bleary eyes I looked at the screen and clicked “PUBLISH” on accident.  And WHOOSH, there went my rough draft, landing neatly in your inboxes, complete with typos and run on sentences.

Sorry about that. @_@

When I told my Mom about what I did, she said “That’s what happens when you try and do too much!”  Don’t you hate it when your Mom is right? 😉

Okay.  So I have a little problem with The Concept Of Time.  The whole “Time Is Limited” nonsense.  What do you mean I can only do so much?  I don’t understand.  Surely there is a way!  I will just get up an hour earlier!  You can sleep when you’re dead, right?  <- A saying that sounds a lot better at night than in the morning.

I know I need sleep.  BADLY.  I do NOT do well without a good night’s rest.  But, I hate saying NO. I detest compromise.  And worse yet, I can’t bear to disappoint anyone.

I think it is a common problem, particularly for women and especially for mothers.  Have you heard of the increasing number of women who are taking Adderall?  One little problem:  They don’t all have ADD.  These women are taking a highly addictive prescription drug out of desperation to keep up with every day life.  They lie to their doctor about symptoms they don’t really have, buy pills illegally, or even take their children’s prescriptions.  All in an attempt to be Super Mom.

I admit, Super Mom is an appealing figure, isn’t she?  Super Mom decorates her house with flair on a budget.  Super Mom makes Angry Birds Bento Boxes and delightful Fondant Cakes, all with the ingredients pulled straight from her lush organic garden.  Super Mom’s house is immaculate, cleaned with homemade products that cost less than 10 cents a month.  Whew, that Super Mom is one busy gal…

But I think we all know that Super Mom doesn’t exist.  Or she only exists on Pinterest and the blogs linked thereto.  I like Pinterest.  And I like blogs too.  It’s nice to find advice from people who have strength in areas that I am weak in.  But it has to be taken with a grain of salt.  Blogs are like reality TV.  We only see a small slice of the big picture.  But by piecing together a bunch of these small slices (like onto a Pinterest board, per say), we get a skewed view of reality.  It appears that EVERYONE else is busy being awesome, while we’re still in our pajamas wondering whether to take a shower or pay bills.

It isn’t REAL.  We DO know this, right?  So why do so many people have Pinterest Stress? Why are mothers popping pills so they can stay up until 3 am scrubbing baseboards and alphabetizing spice racks?  Why is our best effort not enough?  What are we trying to accomplish with all of this?

This world we live in has some messed up priorities.  People are often looked at as commodities, their value based on their marketable skills and high production output.  Does this view carry over to how we view ourselves?  Do we place all our value on accomplishments that are visibly seen to others?  Do we feel like if we can’t keep up the image, that someone else can do this better?  Do we feel expendable in our own family?

Not everyone has had the experience of growing up in a stable environment.  When early in your life you have experiences that make you feel unsafe or unloved it is hard to ever totally get your footing back.  In your head you know that it wasn’t your fault.  You know you’re in a different place now.  Still, that feeling of being on shaky ground keeps coming back.  If I don’t do enough, if I’m not enough, I’ll be abandoned… Again.

Many of us have grown up with those feelings.  They don’t just go away.  You want them to go away.  You want to feel loved and worthy.  So you keep trying to do more.  And more.  But you just can’t keep up.  And you look online and see what everyone else SEEMS to be accomplishing and you feel inadequate.  Like you are selling your family short because you don’t extreme coupon or refinish furniture.  For goodness sakes, you can’t even keep the floor clean.  It’s always sticky.  And the shower is mildewy.  And you’re making scrambled eggs for dinner.  Maybe someone else could do it better.  Maybe you could be replaced.  Maybe if you could just find something to give you a little more energy, it would be enough…

No.  It’s just not true.

You couldn’t be replaced.  No one else could do it better, because no one else knows and loves your family like YOU do.  And your family loves YOU.  They don’t love you because you are the best gourmet chef.  They don’t love you because you are the tidiest housekeeper.  They don’t love you because you make fabulous crafts out of burlap and recycled straws, or because you can carve sandwiches that look like Phineas and Ferb.  They don’t love you because you’re the timeliest chauffeur who never says no and never makes them late for an activity.  They love you because YOU are THEIR MOM.

Admittedly, I don’t know anyone who has chefs or housekeepers or chauffeurs.  But I do know, with 100% certainty, that NO ONE loves their chef or housekeeper or chauffeur like a family member BECAUSE of the things they do for them.  If they do actually love these people like family, it is because of the relationships they have developed.  You are not hired help.  You are family.  And family is not replaceable.

It’s funny (in a funny-sad way) that we can be so wrapped up in doing things to make people love us, that we are too busy to build the relationships that would actually bring love into our lives. And failing to build relationships is the one sure way to get what we are most afraid of:  Being Alone.

So if you’re feeling tired and desperate and like you can’t keep up, you’re in good company.  But please don’t resort to things that will damage your health or put you at risk to make it better.  It’s okay to ask for help.  It’s okay to say NO.  It’s okay if sometimes people are disappointed because they have gotten so used to you doing everything and forgotten you are a real, live human being.  It’s okay to leave the dishes in the sink.  Really, it hasn’t killed any of us yet.

No one can do it all.  Work hard but don’t be a martyr.  Care for what is most important.  Take care of yourself, because there are people who need you around.  Let some things go.  Make relationships a priority.

It will be Enough.

These are just my thoughts on the matter.  What do you think?  Why do moms feel so much pressure?  Do you think it always was like this?  Has social media made it worse?  I’d love to hear from you.

 

P.S. Supermom could not be reached for comment.  Her publicist says she’s at a retreat in The Poconos, but who knows?  People who don’t exist are really hard to track down. 😉

It was pretty rude of Supermom to leave me here with all these dishes.  Who does she think she is?

I hear Supermom is really good at keeping up with the dishes.  If you see her, tell her to come on over here.  I could use the help!

 

 

 

The Kindness of Strangers

Yup.  I think this card aptly describes what happened (AGAIN) today.

You see, we have to bring a picture ID to our subdivision pool to check in.  Along with the magnetic card that opens the gate and a color coded wrist band.  I’m pretty sure they would do a retina scan as well, but the HOA budget doesn’t allot for that AND mowing the grass.

Anyways, it’s all good.  I know they are just trying to control the chaos, which I totally understand.  And I do always remember to bring my ID to the pool.  Along with towels, sunscreen, floatation devices, swim diapers, wipes, water bottles, snacks, and three children.  But, after 2-3 hours of sun exposure and constant “Is Everyone Not Drowning?” vigilance, I pretty much NEVER remember to remove my picture ID from my pool bag.

Which brings me to today…

I decided to make the trek to Whole Foods.  Pretty much everything I needed I could get closer to home, EXCEPT for Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans.

I know it might seem crazy to a “Normal” person to drive 45 minutes away just to get chocolate coffee beans.  But as you may have already figured out, I’m not “Normal”.  Ha!  Anyways, in my defense, I do have to get up at 5:00 AM tomorrow, probably after a meager amount of sleep.  And it’s going to be a busy weekend.

I NEEDED THOSE BEANS!

Plus, the boys really prefer Whole Food’s “soft” bread to Mommy’s Homemade Rock Bread.  And Alaskan Sockeye Salmon was on a one day special, so I didn’t ONLY get espresso beans.  I got a cart full of stuff, including one bottle of wine to drink with the salmon.  And THAT was my problem.

As soon as I put that bottle of wine on the conveyer I realized that my ID was probably at home in the pool bag.

Now, do I look like I could be under 21?  Possibly to a legally blind person.  But even a legally blind person could tell by the height of the small blurry figures in my company that I am not that young.  I mean, I don’t think I look BAD for my age.  Possibly with some Botox to paralyze the deep lines on my forehead I could even pass for… 30???  So I was hoping that the cashier Just Wouldn’t Ask.

She did.

And OH MY GOODNESS, she was so slow in ringing things up!  I had already heard the woman behind me whisper to her husband that she had picked the wrong line.  I didn’t want to make a big deal of it.  So I took a quick peak in my wallet and said “I forgot my ID in another bag.  I can give you my birthdate or you can just take the wine off.”

She took the wine off the bill without saying a word.  So I swiped my card and was loading my bags in the cart when I heard the lady behind me again.

“How much is that bottle of wine?”  The cashier didn’t know.  “Oh, just ring me up for it!  Can I have it now, please?” said the woman.

Then this dear stranger handed me my abandoned bottle of wine.  She explained that it just wasn’t right, that she understood stores needed to ask for ID’s, but they needed to use common sense too.  I thanked her and her husband profusely and tried to give them cash, but they wouldn’t let me.  They waved me off saying “Just enjoy it!”

I mean, how nice is that?  Obviously, I didn’t NEED the wine.  I mean, after a trek to Whole Foods with three kids I needed wine as badly as anyone NEEDS wine.  But it wasn’t a dire situation.   It was pure generosity, just a gift to make another human being’s day a little brighter.  So, thank you, THANK YOU again to that sweet couple who gifted me, a total stranger with a bottle of wine.  I so appreciate the act of kindness and I will be sure to pass it on to someone else as soon as possible!

AND I came home and put my ID back in my wallet.  I’ve heard it can be useful to have for with you, even for things besides buying alcohol. 😉

 

How about you?  Have you ever been the benefactor of a Random Act of Kindness?  I’d love to hear your stories!

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Meet The Super Heroes

Yesterday evening we had to run an errand.  Two little boys fell asleep in the car.  Now, I’m not sure what happened with them, but come 10 pm, I had two Super Heroes buzzing around, wide awake and ready for a late night mission.

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Meet Dark Night and his partner, The Bit.

Now, I know you’ve heard of The Dark Knight, but this is a different guy.  (Trust me, I was confused at first too.)  Dark Night’s super power is to turn everything jet black.  For instance, when it was time to brush his teeth he said “But my teeth need to turn BLACK!  I’m Dark Night!!!  I need black toothpaste!!!”

“Hmm, how about if you just use regular toothpaste and try and get them a shiny black instead of a dull black?  Okay?”

Dark Night claims that he NEVER sleeps.  I do think he sleeps sometimes, but he definitely likes to be ready for late night missions.  Why just last night, he was needed in Antarctica.

Antarctic ModeGood thing we had plenty of hero gear for the subzero temperatures.  I am not sure why all that gear is now all over the floor…  AHEM, If you’ll excuse me for a moment….

HEY DARK NIGHT!  YOU DON’T HAVE A MAID YOU KNOW!

Okay, I’m back.  Sorry about that.

So what about The Bit?  Well, The Bit is a little spitfire of a guy who sleeps even less than Dark Night.  His super power is to get under the bad guy’s feet and make him trip.  I can tell you I have seen The Bit in action and he’s quite a force to be reckoned with.

Oh, and I almost forgot!  There are actually THREE Super Heroes.  The last one in the trio is Camo Man.

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Here he is.  Sorry, he’s kind of hard to see.   He totally blends in.  Even his eyes.  At least that’s what I’ve been told.  Or you might not be seeing him because his Alter Ego didn’t fall asleep in the car and went to bed at a reasonable hour.

Now here’s the exciting news:  This Elite Group has asked me to be a part of their team!  Can you believe it?  They even have a Super Power invented just for me.  My long hair can shoot out of my head and tangle up bad guys.  And they thought of a name too:  Hairy Girl.

Okay, not to be ungrateful for the privilege, but can I pick a different name?

 

P.S.  I wanted to write something serious, perhaps even useful.  But when you have kids up half the night it’s really best to keep it light.  The brain can only handle so much before it implodes.  Oh well, “Useful” is probably not my niche anyways… 😉