; window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-6252405-9'); In the Mommy Trenches: February 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Reflections of 3 Years

It's been almost three years since I've started blogging.  My reasons and motivations for blogging has gone through various changes from lofty ambitions of providing a detailed chronicle of our lives to sharing helpful parenting tips that I've learned.  Well day to day chronicling can be pretty boring.  Seriously, haven't I talked about my kid's bowel movements enough?  And parenting tips... well those are few and far between.

What this blog has done though is caused me to reflect and ponder life in a, hopefully, different way.

I think most of us struggle with mother hood in some way or another. There are those of us who are able to embrace the whole mommy hood thing wholeheartedly and with great joy and seem to relish every dirty, grimy moment.  I'm not that mom.  If you are that sort of mom, I wish I was you.

For example:  Here's what I hate about motherhood:
I hate the fighting. I hate cleaning.  I hate refereeing.  I hate not earning money.. my own money.  I hate struggling to pay bills while I stay home.  I hate dealing with the kids in public.  I hate that I have this high standard of how they should behave in public, which means I'm always stressed.  I hate planning everything. I hate not having more me time.  
On the other hand, here's what I love about parenting:
Reading to my kids.  Planning family fun night.  Snuggles, hugs and kisses.  Special surprises they plan just for mommy. Hunting for easter eggs, waiting for Santa, Dressing up, plays, concerts, exploring nature, colouring.  

Things I have learned about myself since I started blogging.

I am a bit of a whiner.  I spend a lot of time moaning and complaining about my life. Most days I can't help but think I've let a lot of opportunities slip by me.  
I find it hard to be content with where I am and what I am doing in the moment most of the time.  
I love my kids and I love my husband but I don't appreciate them enough. 
I like voicing my opinions here.  It gives me a voice where often I feel I have none.  
Things I have learned about myself since reading Blue Cottonmemory's blog post:  Divine Re-Design My Heart

I am not a generous giver of myself.
I do not always speak kindly or courteously to my children.
I do not always correct my children in love.
I am sometimes resentful that I do not still come first.

Most importantly, blogging has enabled me to connect with other parents who are just like me. It has shown me that I'm not alone in my feelings and helps me not feel so bad about those feelings. Parts of me still does feel bad because I wish I could be better and do better than I have done.  But then again who doesn't feel they could be better? 

In my analyzing ways, blogging has also helped me to realize that every day is a new day and there's always tomorrow to try again.  Thank God, children are forgiving.   

What has blogging taught you?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Poo in the Toilet

If I had a breaking point, and I think I do, it'd be the poo in the toilet. 

Can anyone tell me at what point children actually remember to flush the toilet?  I can live with the knowledge that they probably forgot to wipe their bums.  I wash laundry all day every day whether they wipe or not.  What absolutely drives me around the bend though is walking into a bathroom only to be greeted by the sight of a big blob of poo in the toilet.

If it's not the poo then it's the... "Mommy, my bed is wet" five minutes before bedtime.  Did they tell me in the morning when it happened?  No. That would have made too much sense.  It should have been obvious to me when my 5 year old was up and dressed without prompting. 

Or the spilled milk.  Nothing like walking into a room to find a cup tipped over and milk pouring from table to chair to floor. No sign of the culprit in sight.  I, once again, applaud myself on my foresight of putting vinyl on my recovered chairs and mentally scoff at my mother at her suggestion of why bother.

Then it's the caps left off the felts.  I'm not made of money I scream as I feverishly delve into the felt bin trying to match colors to felts top prevent them from drying out.  Who cares if pink is on pink and blue on blue?  I do for some bizarre reason. 

And the paper.  Oh the horror of paper.  My 3 year old's latest obsession is gluing paper together in long strips and then abandoning it for days.  If it's not glue then it's the safety scissors as little bits of paper are strewn about every aspect of my life.  He's learning eye hand coordination I tell myself, it's an important part of development.  He will be graded, after all, on correct handling of scissors when he enters kindergarten (I'm not kidding). 

Then it's the playdoh, why can't they just play nicely with it?  Why does it have to be shredded into a million and one teeny weeny bitsy bits that immediately gets embedded into everyone's socks and tracked through out the house.  Playdoh just doesn't sweep up well until it's dried. 

Or the sneakiness.  How is it I can be sitting just five feet away from them either folding laundry, on the computer or doing dishes and the most heinous of crimes can be committed right underneath my nose?  Hard of hearing mom or just stealth like ninja kids?

It's days like these that I seriously consider going back to work outside the home. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Are You A People Pleaser?

I am. 

It's amazing the topics that run around my head while I'm doing something simple like loading the dishwasher.  One of those thoughts today ran to people pleasing. 

I am 39 years old.  Yes, I admitted it. I'm 39 soon to be the big 4 O.  So it comes as some surprise to me that I am still a people pleaser.  Ever since I can remember I have found myself doing things someone else's way because I knew that's what they wanted. 

Take my inlaws for example.  I often find myself fussing over things and strain myself to be extra vigilante about things I would let slide when they are not around.  Like eating off the floor.  Five second, 10 second rule, smule.  If my kids drop a chip or cookie on the floor, we blow it off and eat it.  With my inlaws, that's not only horrifying but disgusting.  I figure, hey, I keep my floors reasonably clean.  Any dirt on it is their's after all.  When my inlaws are around my kids are not allowed to eat snow.  I figure if it doesn't have dirt in it and it's not yellow, what's the big deal?  How could this glorious white stuff just made for eating be dirty and disgusting?  I ate snow when I was a kid and I was never sick. 

We put off taking our Disneyland vacation even though we have enough travel reward miles because we worry that the family will frown upon it and question us as to how we could afford it when we have so much business debt.  Unfortunately, we had to use the cash we had been saving.  So I can look at it two ways, it was a good thing we didn't go because we needed the cash or it was a bad thing we didn't go because now we don't have the cash to go.  Either way, it was disappointing.

Then there's my mother.  I've been married almost 12 years and completely live my own life, yet there are things I hesitate to tell her because I think she'll disapprove. When we bought our van, I didn't even tell my parents until the deed was done because I figured they'd think we were being financially irresponsible.  I am pretty sure some of my thoughts regarding having a fourth baby, come from the fact that I know my mother wouldn't approve. 

Try walking that line between your inlaws and husband.  I learned very quickly that I couldn't please both my MIL and my husband.  Let's just say she would like to be more involved in our life than hubs would like.

What makes us this way?  I wish I knew so I could fix it.

I admire people that can say no and not feel guilty about it.  People who can simply state their position and not be defensive about it.  People who aren't afraid to ask for what they want. 

Sometimes I feel like I haven't grown up at all.  I may own my own home and have a family which I manage, I think, successfully enough yet some days it all seems so surreal that this is my life.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Letter to Supermom

Dear Supermom,

Let me start by saying, you're sweet, you really really are and I appreciate the example that you set for the rest of us less super moms. 

Thank you for pointing out to me that a little eyeliner and lipstick can go a long way and that getting highlights once a month should be considered mandatory maintenance.  I, of course, couldn't help but feel flattered that you shared these tips with me. 

I too should feel honored when you shared with me how drab you really are dressed underneath but isn't it just amazing what a pair of leather calf boots can do to dress up a pair of jeans and how your stylish jacket is really covering up baby spit.  I was almost mesmorized by the bouncing and jangling of your long sexy earrings.  You tried really hard to make it seem that you were just like me.  How sweet of you.  I really felt the connection as I stood there in my scuffed runners and faded jeans (not to mention considerably fatter than you.)

So I am sure it will come as a bit of a shock to you when I tell you that you have to go.  No seriously, you need to leave.  Vamoose. Adios.  Make like a banana and split!

What have you done wrong?  Why the answer is simple.  Nothing.  You've done absolutely nothing wrong.   You arrive at school impeccably dressed every day.  Not once have I seen you out of breath or with a hair out of place.  Not only you are well dressed but so are your kids.  All three of them.  When they coined the phrase "Yummy Mummy", I am sure it was you they were thinking of.  You even make the standard mom ponytail rock.

You have an endless fount of patience.  Do you even knjow what frustration is or how to express it?  I would have thought having to stand outside your son's class for 20 minutes while bouncing a baby in a carseat on your hip because he refused to go inside would have brought out some sort of annoyed response.  Not even a flicker.
You volunteer on PAC, at every field trip and for every parent required participation thingy all while packing a baby on your back.

When it's your turn for snack day at preschool, do you throw together some goldfish, cheese and grapes like the rest of us?  No.  You bake homemade bread.   HOME.     MADE.      BREAD!!!!! 

So to be honest, you are making the rest of us, well me actually, look bad. 

I am sure there is a community out there for people like you. Maybe somewhere near Beverly Hills?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

Since My Valentine Got A Computer

Since my Valentine got a computer
My love life has taken a hit.
Nothing I say is important
Unless it’s a byte or a bit.

Before she got her new laptop,
Everything was just fine;
Now she says we can’t talk
Unless we both go online.

"But honey," I said, "I’m attached to you;
Love is what I feel."
"That keyword isn’t relevant,"
She said, with eyes of steel.

She clicked the keyboard furiously;
The screen was all she could see,
And then to my horror and shame,
She started describing me:

"Your motherboard needs upgrading;
Your OS needs help, too.
And you definitely need a big heatsink
To cool your CPU."

"Don’t flame me, my sweet," I pleaded.
"Not on Valentine’s Day."
"Fix the bugs, and I’ll see," she said,
While looking at me with dismay.

"What ever you want, my darling;
Whatever you need; you call it.
I’ll upload or download anything,
And then I’ll go install it."

(Her hostile CD keeps replaying,
And though I don’t want to fight her,
Is this what I want for a Valentine?
I’ve been burned; can I rewrite her?)

"Are you all hard drive now," I asked
"Is there no software in you?
Don’t you remember the good times?
Let our memories see us through."

"LOL," she said to me, chuckling.
"You’re nothing but adware.
"I’ve got four gigs of memory;
I’ve got no problem there."

"Please, honey, we can save it," I said.
"Our love means more than that."
"That’s not in my cache; we’re going to crash,"
She said, as she turned me down flat.

(This woman has really changed;
Do I really want to chase her?
More and more I’m thinking
It might be nice to erase her.)

"Aw, honey, don’t talk like that," I said.
"Can’t we just plug and play?
I hereby accept default,
And I’m yours, my love, come what may.

My goal is to make you happy;
I want to be your portal,
But your sudden, distant coldness
Would test the strongest mortal.

If we need a brand new interface,
So we can FTP,
I’m your go along, get along guy,
And I want you to stay with me."

"If you want to get into my favorites," she said,
And you want to get past my encryption,
If you want to get through my firewall,
Here is my only prescription."

"First, put up your own Web site,
And e-mail me when it’s done.
I’ll check your page rank with Google,
And tell you if you’re the one."

My life has become a real trial,
Since my Valentine got a computer.
If I want her to care about me again,
I guess I’ll have to reboot her.

By Joanna Fuchs

Words of Wisdom - Kiss Your Man

Words of Wisdom
 For a Happy and Successful Marriage
(as given to me by the ladies at my wedding shower almost 12 years ago)

    • - Waste not want not
    • - Never go to bed mad
    • - Kiss your husband goodbye when he goes to work, this may be the last time you see him alive
    • - Don't sweat the small stuff, it just isn't worth it.
    Do you have any memorable words of wisdom to share?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Words of Wisdom - He's the Boss

This week I'm sharing some Words of Wisdom given to me by ladies at my wedding shower, almost twelve years ago.

Words of Wisdom - To Have a Happy and Successful Marriage

"Love begins when you sink into his arms and you end up with your arms in the sink."

Spoil each other

Make him feel he's the boss (but you know better).

Give each other room to grow!

May all your problems be little ones.

and lastly,

Learn how to count to 10 slowly.

What words of wisdom have you been given (or have learned) over the years?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Words of Wisdom - Major Decisions

This week I'm sharing some Words of Wisdom given to me by ladies at my wedding shower, almost twelve years ago.

Words of Wisdom - To Have a Happy and Successful Marriage

At our house, I make the every day decisions and Tom makes the major decisions (so far we haven't had a major decision!)

Never go to sleep mad at each other. 

Keep a sense of humour and laugh together a lot.  
What words of wisdom have you received over the years?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Words of Wisdom - Joint Bank Accounts

Yesterday, I shared how I had come across a small album filled in with Words of Wisdom according to the ladies at my wedding shower.  Almost twelve years later, I bring to you Words of Wisdom - To Have a Happy and Successful Marriage
Recipe for a Good Marriage:

1. Communication
2. Understanding
3. Accepting each other's faults
4. The wife is always right
5. Patience
6. Laughter
7. Hugs and Kisses
8. Make time for each other
10. Joint bank account

Do you remember any pithy pieces of marriage advice you were given?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Words of Wisdom - Peel an Onion

We've been on a crash course this weekend in an attempt to finally get our garage well and truly purged of stuff.  While I was very pleased with the pile of things we managed to donate, I am somewhat afraid of the pile of boxes my unusually motivated husband has managed to pile inside our home.  Because of course, we all know who is going to end up finding a home for the majority of the stuff.  Blah.

Anyways, as I was sorting through my box of photo albums (remember those before the days of digital photo frames?), I came across this one small album that was filled with "Words of Wisdom" from the ladies (both young and old) that attended my wedding shower.  Well, let's just say there was quite a bit in there to give me and K a few good chuckles. 

Of course, I immediately thought what excellent fodder for my blog.  So... almost twelve years later, I bring to you Words of Wisdom, To have a Happy and Successful Marriage 

If you had a busy day, and you are home before hubby, peel an onion and put it in the oven low heat, while you are making dinner.  He will think you have been busy making dinner and be content to wait for dinner.
Come back tomorrow for more Words of Wisdom

(It should perhaps be noted that all of these ladies are still happily married and the only one that did write a note but said she had not words of wisdome to share with me..... is divorced. Sad but true. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Timmy Steals the Show

Don't you just love it when they come out with a cartoon that you enjoy watching as much as the kids?  One of those shows for me is Shaun the Sheep.  I just love everything about it.  The characters, the non-dialogue approach to storytelling, the claymation. Obviously, my kids just love it too.  They will watch the same episode over and over again.  I think the lack of dialogue really forces the kids to pay attention to whats going on onscreen.  Nobody is laying out the story for them, they have to watch and figure out the clues as to what's happening. 

One of the lovable characters of the farm is Timmy, a baby lamb, who gets into all sorts of mishief. He's absolutely adorable, complete with sou sou. Well the Oscar winning Aardman Studios felt Timmy deserved his own show, hence Timmy is off to pre-school in his own series. 

For the first time Timmy Time is being released on February 22nd in Timmy Time:  Timmy Steals the Show.

"Timmy Time follows the adventures of Timmy, a little lamb with a lot to learn as he enters preschool. Fans of Aardman’s hit children’s series Shaun the Sheep will recognize Timmy as the baby lamb on the farm who is frequently drawn into all kinds of chaotic adventures by the mischievous older sheep. Used to having his way by being “the only lamb in the flock,” Timmy is now heading to preschool to graze on some important life lessons about playing nicely with others, namely his fellow classmates of the furry, feathered and spiky types."
Haven't seen or heard of Timmy Time?  Here's a clip. (Note audio wouldn't work for me but maybe it will for you. Let me know if it doesn't so I can switch the clip. Thanks.)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011