Oops… I did it again

No, not listening to Britney Spears. (well maybe – she does have a few good workout jams)

I have neglected you, my dear blog. I set you up in a nice fancy home. I dressed you up and made you pretty. And I tried – all through the year. But having a three year old at home, I only visited you a couple of times.

And then the summer came. You were forgotten. I remembered you only when I came up with something to write – and that was usually either in the shower or in the car. Two places you can’t come.

Then school started. And I had a mind to “get to business” – that’s what I told you when I sat down at the computer on Day 2 of school. But the lists and spreadsheets of the first week of school swept you away once again.

So now, my dear but abandoned blog. I am back. I hope to see you more often. Maybe for a weekly coffee. Which IS my jam.

Princess and the pea

School is now (soon) upon us.  And my first baby – my middle child – is going into Kindergarten.  confusing, yes, I know… amazing and long story, for another time. 

Since I have an older child, I thought that this might be a little easier.  Been there, done Kindergarten.  I know that every child is different.  But still.  It’s not my first going to school.  But she is my first.

She is my first little baby that I brought home.  She is the one that made me a mom.  She is the one that I bought the crib for – and that very first little mattress.

Of course, it should be a little hard to see her grow up and head off to school.  So to ease my pain  {haha} what do I do?

Today, bunkbeds for the girls were delivered.  Goodbye to the toddler beds.  Goodbye to that first crib mattress that has been with us since the beginning.  Goodbye to the first bed that my sweet girl from China ever had that was her own.  Goodbye to the little girl room.  Hello to the big girl room.

IMG_6198in the top bunk already…writing

It’s probably time – past time – to do this.  But my heart is having trouble saying goodbye.  Seeing the joy on the faces of my sweet girls is helping.

My big girls are growing up.  They may still be small, but they aren’t little.

 

Dog days of Summer

Why is it called the “dog days” of summer?

According to my “thorough” search on the internet, they were originally named by the Romans, the hottest days of summer coincided with the rise of the star Sirius, “the Dog Star.”  They traditionally start the first week of July and end around mid-September.

Armed with that fun fact, summer marches on…

So my dog days?  I. Am. Tired.  It is HOT.  My kids have endless energy.  And even after a day that should send them to sleeping late into the morning, 6:15 am arrives and – BAM – they are raring to go.  me, not so much.

The even the fun of summer doesn’t wear them out:  playdates, camps, trip, and swimming  {I personally don’t consider swimming a “fun” one… I have 3 non-swimmer kids.  So I can’t just set them loose.  And don’t forget about coating them all with sunscreen.  Multiple times.  And then afterwards I have 3 wet kids.  Luckily after swim lessons I have 2 sort of swimmers.  Not ready for the swim test, but swimmers, as in:  they don’t sink instantly.}

And we have to be sure to get in summer reading, school workbook review time, and school supply shopping  {not that these things can’t be fun, but compared to the other list…}  

And, oh yeah, we need groceries.  And we need clean clothes.

I long for school to start.  For the freedom of routine to be back with us and to have moments in my day that are free of screaming.  Screaming with joy or in anger.  Both are loud.  Freedom to write – as it has been lacking as of late.  Freedom to read.  Wait, read a book?  Bold statement there!

But then I see the calendar dates flying by, like one from a cartoon where the days just fly off to represent the passing of time.  And I just want time to stop.  I want to hold on to each day that summer has, because I will never get this time back.  When they are little and screaming.  When they want my help.  When they think that I am really fun.  When I have to buckle them all into car seats when we make that trip to the zoo.

Finding this balance of wanting time to march forward and wanting it to stop at the same time.  That is what is wearing me out.

But I will never have control of time.  So I choose to listen to the screams and enjoy the 1000th “mommy” each day.  (well as best that I can)

 

 

 

Rookie seeder

I have this garden.  It’s pretty much the only spot in my yard that gets lots of sun – and is not smack in the middle of the yard.  And I accidentally got this plot of land.  There was a tree there at one time.  Then it was on my house.  Then it was out of the ground.

So my gardening luck started with a plot of land that put a tree on my roof.  But with that tree came rich and aerated soil from all of the roots.  This was a BIG tree.

Out of sheer laziness and lack of faith, I decided to not grow grass.  not that I have grass in my yard anyway.  does clover count as grass?

Last year, I planted a few things.  Mostly seedlings.  Plants that had already been created.  And the growth was something I had never seen before.  And I had planted a few seeds.  More of a fun and silly venture with the kids to see if anything actually popped up and grew.

And the seeds – so much cheaper and so much more reward.  Growing many huge sunflowers from tiny little seeds.  just ask my friend about the sunflowers…   Forget the kids, I was amazed!!

So this year, I did LOTS of seeds.  *rookie seeder*   I did it all wrong.  Crowding, not thinning enough, and waaaaay too many seeds.  But this seed thing ROCKS.  I love the tiny seedlings poking through.  And hoping I labeled the area correctly… wondering what this green will turn into.

And now I have lettuce and snow peas.  I have beautiful cut flowers in my kitchen right now.  All from seed.

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Something so small can become something so amazing.  I know there’s a lesson in there somewhere…   

I love watching the new growth.  I love eating from my garden.  I’m not so passionate about the maintaining of the garden.  Although weed pulling is quite cathartic and a great stress reliever.

And so now I’ve gotten the last of the peas… and the first of the carrots.  Probably too early on the root vegetable.  But I couldn’t believe it was in there.  And waiting on tomatoes and cucumbers…

IMG_4604Amazed still!

And now to fight the weeds
-I will lose at this point-

And to fight the Japanese beetles
-I’m winning so far-

And to fight the cucumbers
-why do I forget that they take over every year-

Confidence

If you’ve never watched “The O.C.” – you are missing out.  Well at least season one.  But once you get invested, you have to see it through.  And really, the series finale is worth it.  It’s sort of 90210-ish and Dawson’s Creek-ish too.  Lots of money.  Lots of snarky comments and big words.  So the main character is “adopted” by this rich family (makes no sense in the real world, but somehow they made this organic on the show) and he inherits a dorky brother  – who is lacking confidence and cool.

Ocean-Breeze-Malibu-house-where-The-O.C.-interiors-were-filmed-22

but seriously, wouldn’t living in this house define COOL 

So on one ep, he gets a pep talk from a friend to talk to THAT girl.  And she tells him  “Confidence, Cohen!”

tumblr_mdelyz6t8t1qa5olf

that’s it?  can I get any other tips?  


So I’ve been watching The O.C. again recently {thank you syndication} and thinking about this line.  Is confidence something you do?  OR something you are?  OR something you have?

And then it came to me.  It’s not who I am or what I do — it’s WHOSE I am.  I’m doing it all wrong!

Maybe I have been doing it right, but not consciously.   I’ve been trying to figure out how to move forward in simple things.  Writing.  Cleaning out.  Things I love.  And hey, things I’m pretty good at.  So why the faltering?

So onward – moving forward without fear – with confidence.  Looking to the Lord for guidance for the path that I should be on to who I am becoming.  Looking to him for strength to face my fears and doubts.

And looking to him to have the strength to get through this summer with joy and success and FUN!

 

 

Moment Maker

So I survived the end of school.  All of the wild afternoons – the kids knew it was coming. Summer.

The last week was wild.  And I only have one in “school” school.  Taking things here and there.  Taking children here and there.  Lots of parties.  Lots of planning for the FALL.  Can I finish this year first?  No. Ok then…

And just to add to all the fun, I had a double birthday party for my two youngest. Two in one! Yay?

End of year birthdays are not the easiest to do. My kids have probably the 3 birthday times that I would choose last (except Christmas time…  MM I’m looking at you!)  The last week of school birthday, The SUMMER birthday, and The FIRST week of school birthday. It’s so hard to plan for parties and class celebrations.  And really hard to explain to the kids – at least right now – why it’s hard.  It’s a busy time.  But really, what time isn’t busy??
So now the summer begins. Finally. I’m so ready for summer.  I am going to miss the routine of the school year.  I’m trepidatious of what the summer will hold — because spring break, with it’s lack of routine, brought the CRAAAZY!

But since summer is longer than just a week, we have activities.  VBS.  Ballet.  Vacation.  Oh yes, and summer reading!!   I’m somewhere in the middle of having lots of things planned and having free time.  Here’s to free time!  And please don’t have a WWE match because the little brother wants to play with you.

 schools-out-almost-L-73RLPd

I am excited about capturing the moments that this summer will bring.  I want to be a Moment Maker. I want to take the moments that I have and not miss a thing.  Not in a “put pressure on myself” kind of way, but in a grateful and relaxed sort of way.  Is this possible?  We are going to find out!!

But first.  This weekend.  It’s project time.  Once and for all I’m going to tackle THAT space.  The one where I just put stuff and it kept piling up.

Friends_episode184_337x233_032020061517Monica = me

Sure, my upstairs is really neat.  But I have that hidden area of stuff that is piled up for later.  And later has come.  It’s driving me crazy.  I will not carry this over for ANOTHER year.  So the project is planned – a 30 day goal.  There is way more stuff than one weekend can handle.

Another one bites the dust

So. Another weird injury for me. And another debate whether it’s bad enough to go to the doctor. It’s sad when the nurses see me, they get excited because they know that I’m not some boring cold or flu. Oh no. They are going to most likely get to bust out the x-ray machine. Yeah. Last time I might have asked them if they could rename the x-ray room after me. I mean, in the past 2 years, I have been in there about 7 or 8 times. That’s probably not super good…

So my first excitement at the doctor was a broken toe. About 2 weeks after getting our baby boy. I was going too fast… that’s a story for another time… and broke my toe.  Correction – I crushed my baby toe. And the x-ray concurred. I broke it in three places – one fracture straight down through the joint. Yay. The doctor said that my toe would never be the same. Uh huh. I figured that out by looking down. So after 3 more x-ray visits, the toe healed. Well sort of. I’m grading it on a curve [haha. no really]

Then there was the time that I dropped the leaf blower on my foot.  Gross and painful.  And I passed out a little.  But nothing broken.   [ooh, need to try harder]

Then I had the fancy pneumonia x-rays.  Twice.  So fun.

So this weird injury with my foot now.  I can’t really walk.  Or stand.  I’m thinking it’s tendonitis.  But it could be so many things.  My faux-PT skills only go so far.  Ugh.  I do need to walk.  Decisions for tomorrow…

What? I’m a writer?

So… it hit me this week – when the book that I helped collaborate with was published and on sale at Amazon.  And then when I got the hard copy.  And saw my name there on the page.  Did I really write that?  Yep.  Maybe, just maybe I can call myself a writer.

I’m a writer?  What?!  That’s just crazy.

You would think that fact would be obvious to me.  With all the typing and pen writing I do.  And hello, this blog?  But to call myself a writer…

I’ve been writing my whole life. I journaled passionately with all the angst in high school. I even wrote songs – some with music to them.  Alas, maybe just calling those poems, sometimes to a tune.

I’ve tried regular blogging off and on in my adult life. But most of the time life gets in the way.  And ta-da – I’m behind on the blog.  Most of the time because I’m journaling.  Working out thoughts and emotions.  I’m still writing, but just in a private way.

Words have power with me. I can tell if I get behind on my journal because my brain gets heavy. I have to get the words and the thoughts out.  I get bogged down.  And the words are coming out, one way or another.  read: ranting to husband 

A while ago, I was talking with a friend about this blog. She asked: why do you want to write.   And the answer was obvious.  I didn’t need to even think about it.  Because I NEED to write.  I have to get the words out.  I have to write and create.

The words have to pour out of my fingers as I type with purpose

giphy

What may sound like angry clanking of the keyboard is really a race to get the words out – to keep up with my brain.

Or when I’m handwriting in my journal (yeah old school) when my pen goes faster than my hand and my eyes blur out ever so slightly. I’m in the zone, and the words are flowing.

So now I have a book, with a little part of me inside.  A friend and I wrote the last part – about adoptive motherhood.  Something that is very close to my heart.  Sharing the experiences and those fears, doubts and unknowns that adopting a child will bring.

IMG_3586  Available here and here!

And now I’m starting to write a book – just me. Not sure how it is going to go. But I have to get the words out.  And I’m ready.

500 Words or less

Recently, I had laryngitis. It was “last week” when I started writing this.  Now it’s been a while… Sickness has really hit me hard this spring. Or the end of this winter. Who can tell, when one day it’s in the 50s and then next it’s topping out in the 80s.  The beauty of the south.

So no wonder my body doesn’t know what’s going on!  After having pneumonia, then a virus that tagged on the end of that — which turned into laryngitis, I’m so ready for spring.

Or at least to not be sick. Spring is not my season for that. Hello allergies!

dandelion
Hello allergies!

While having laryngitis, I thought about how I really had to choose my words — more specifically when I talked…  And it was HARD.  I’m a talker.  Even to the verge of rambling.  I’m also the crazy lady that is talking to herself in the grocery store.  I guess I just love words.  {welcome to my blog}

500 words.  Not sure where that number came from – It seems when you write things it needs to be 500 words or more, when the teacher is trying to teach you to be more verbose.  And then 500 words or less, if you are learning to be concise.

Really there are two main types of writers.  Trying to reach that 500 word mark.

The first:  “Pioneers worked very very very very very very very very hard a long long long long time ago.”   This is going to take forever. 

The second (read: me):  They have to go back through several times and figure out where to take out two “ands” and put in semicolons to get it down to 499 words.  Just under!  Whew! 

Since I wasn’t talking a lot those few days, stricken with my limited playlist voice, I started thinking.  Uh oh.  What if I was limited to only 500 in a day?  Interesting.  What would I choose to say?   I think I would have to think a lot more.  But then I don’t think I’d be ruminating after the fact as much.  Oh, I’d miss that.  yeah right. 

And then magical “two-thirds conversation” that moms with young kids – or really any kids that are going in different directions – try to have with each other.  Those would be limited, maybe making only 1 whole conversation, instead of 3 two-thirds.

But I had to get through THIS laryngitis.  And having three small children that are loud (oh so loud), I have to get their attention.  Well, screaming was out of the question.  I tried clapping, but they didn’t hear it or thought I was cheering them on.  So I got a whistle.  Yeah,  a whistle.  But it was loud, quick — and they paid attention so that I could whisper instructions.  {well actually quiet talk instructions – whispering is bad for your voice}

And I only sort of completely felt like this:

Unknown  Unknown-1

Thankfully my Von Trapp days are over.

Sprint to the finish

I can’t believe the end of school is so close.  If it weren’t for the tattered look of our school folders, I would think that we were still in the first few months of school.  This year has just flown by.  And next year, having two in school — I can’t imagine how fast that year will go!

And now I’m planning summer activities – well, I better have started planning in March.  Because for some things, it’s already too late.  Whoa!  And then in a couple of weeks, it will be time to plan for the fall.  (I’ve already started that.  Planning preschool for my youngest – and who will be where during the school year)  It’s crazy.  I haven’t even finished this year, and yet the next school year is already being planned in my head.  And my head is still trying to catch up to the fact that it’s the end of this school year.

Ugh.  I’m exhausted.

It’s no wonder that I’m finding it hard to find the time to blog.  During spring break, it went really well.  I had a plan and time to write it.  And I’m thinking the summer might be that way too.

It’s the daily grind that gets me.coffee-3

and not the good kind of daily grind

It’s the everyday necessities.  The things that have to be done.  Get kids ready for school and get them to school. Then run an errand, do a couple chores, hopefully workout, and maybe shower. Then it’s time to pick them up — snacks, homework, playing outside, activities, dinner, bath and then to bed. And then do it all over again the next day.

In this ongoing cycle, I’m finding it hard to find time to blog.  Yeah, I know.  I probably should make time.  And that is the challenge that I am putting on myself.  Productivity.  Where does my time go?  If track it, I watch it and I don’t lose any of it.  It’s like a game to me, albeit, an unsustainable game.  So, tracking my time doesn’t work for me.  It’s when I’m not looking that I lose time.  What?  It’s 4:30 already? 

About 2:30 in the afternoon, I just start wandering around the house.  I’m hungry.  I’m not.  Maybe some coffee.  Maybe a power nap that I enjoy so much.  Wait.  Don’t we need to do homework?  Hmm.  I’m hungry.  Wait.  What am I doing?

 cca02f8827ccf86149c769be7ebfbc2f184f13b52d4814796359361052cca311
it’s very much a Dory kind of afternoon


I can organize stuff all. day. long.  One, because it’s fun for me.  And two, it’s tangible and visible.  My organization challenges come in the unseen.  The mysteries of TIME.  Ooooh.  By nature, I’m a late arriver, a slow waker, and a procrastinator — I’ll just put that in the later pile.  I need to learn skills of time management.  Like now.  Well, really I need to learn ME management, how I work within time.  What happens?  Especially in the afternoon, but I have these moments all day.

The days that I have more to do, I seem to do more.  Huh.

I’ve been reading a few books about building habits, routines, and general productivity.  Let the research begin!!  I plan to figure out where all my time is going.  But wherever it’s going, it’s going fast.