Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Long Awaited Day of Sun

Yesterday was wonderful! We had a full day of beautiful sunshine . . . after what felt like 98 days of clouds. I know we live in Washington and I don't mind the rain but so many days of blah make me feel, well, blah.

After school, the kids pulled out all their bikes and trikes and scooters and enjoyed hours of fresh air fun . . . and all the cul de sac friends were back together again!!

Today, although the sun peeked out a bit this morning, we're back to gray and blah . . . but somehow it's not so bad knowing we got a glimpse of whats to come. . . come on spring!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A New Perspective on a New Goal

Can you change your goal after only a few days of having it?

On Saturday I was sitting watching Hannah's basketball game (more descriptions and pictures later) with my mother-in-law. I was telling her about my new goal and what I was hoping to achieve. She listened patiently and then in all her wisdom said, "You know, in this journey of motherhood, this is a very short season. Before long, they will not want to climb in your bed to snuggle in the mornings."

After I got over the initial weepiness of realization that my kiddos are growing  million times faster than I'd like them to, I processed the truth of her words . . . and it made me think . . . is it so bad?!

I was still aiming to give it a try this week and was off to a terrible start as I totally forgot to set my alarm. Hannah climbed up into my bed, snuggled under my blankets and said (in her morning grogginess) "I love that you are my mom and I love that you snuggle with me in the mornings."

I'm not making this up . . . I couldn't have written a better script if I tried . . . it was the sweetest moment and a great reminder that the years are short . . .

I'm not giving up entirely on the idea . . . and think I could use to get up and at it at least a few days a week . . .but no more stress or expectations or feeling like I 'failed' when I don't pop right up out of bed because I would have missed that once-in-a-lifetime moment this morning that made my whole day . . . a long hot shower had nothing on snuggling my not-so-little-anymore girl . . .

Friday, January 14, 2011

A New Goal for the New Year

I like to sleep . . . a lot . . . and I have found it particularly difficult on these chilly mornings to hop out of bed with vim and vigor . . . and my kiddos are sleeping in a bit later since Christmas break . . . and they like to crawl into bed and rest a bit longer . . . fine habits for the weekends . . . not so fine for the week when we have school and MOPS and doctors appointments and life to tackle.

For years I have heard from moms and read articles about how wonderful it is to wake up a half hour or hour before their children to have a shower, make some coffee, read a book, think about their day and how much it's changed their life. To this, I have said for years, HOGWASH! It sounds wonderful and story book and to good to be true and not for me who loves to sleep and stay in my cozy bed a bit longer in the mornings.

And then I had a lunch date with my friend Krista. She shared with me how much she likes to stay in bed a bit to long and has for years admired "those women" who enjoy a moment or two of peace in the morning to get ready before their children and yet how much she thought it was not for her. Then she shared how she'd just read an article that really convicted her . . . it asked how much your life was really changed by an extra half hour of sleep in the morning . . . realistically? Not that much. And on the other hand, how much would your life change if you had an extra half hour to get ready for the day . . . realistically? A lot. Krista said she tried it for a week and wouldn't you know? All "those women" were right . . . it changed her life.

I was convicted by her conviction . . . can that even happen? I decided that this is somthing I can (and must) commit to . . . I shared my new goal with my hubby so I'd have an accountability partner, set my alarm last night and totally failed. When it went off this morning, I thought to myself, Self, wake up and start your day fresh. . . then turned off the alarm.

Disappointed with myself for failing on the first day? Yes. Willing to try it again come Monday? Absolutely. And now, I've put it in writing out into the "Blog-o-sphere" so I have tons of accountability . . . will I fail again? Absolutely . . . but in the long run I will aim for creating a new habit with the goal in mind for a more peaceful start to the day.

Here's to a new goal . . .

Thursday, January 13, 2011

This is the Life

There is nothing like being five years old, having a good friend over, playing hard all morning, then settling down to watch a Franklin the Turtle movie . . .

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Quote to Make you Laugh and Ponder . . .

I recently finished reading "House Rules" by Jodi Picoult (one of my favorite authors . . . she often tackles difficult topics and sometimes her books are a bit scary or a bit sad but she has a way of writing that makes it hard to put the book down). The mom character in the book is a newspaper writer and one of her articles made me laugh out loud as well as agree 100% . . . give yourself a break as a mom . . . and enjoy the quote.

pg 156 - "When did they stop putting toys in cereal boxes? When I was little I remember wandering the cereal aisle (which is surely as American a phenomenon as fireworks on the fourth of July) and picking my breakfast food based on what the reward was: a Frisbee with the Trix rabbit's face emblazoned on the front. Holographic stickers with the Lucky Charms leprechaun. A mystery decoder wheel. I could suffer through raisin bran for a month if it meant I got a magic ring at the end. I cannot admit this out loud. In the first place, we are expected to be supermoms these days, instead of admitting that we have flaws. It is tempting to believe that all mothers wake up feeling fresh every morning, never raise their voices, ,only cook with organic food and are equally at ease with the CEO and the PTA. Here's a secret: those mothers don't exist. Most of us - even if we'd never confess - are suffering through the raisin bran in hopes of a glimpse of that magic ring. I look very good on paper. I have a family, and I write a newspaper column. In real life, I have to pick superglue out of the carpet, rarely remember to defrost for dinner, and plan to have BECAUSE I SAID SO engraved on my tombstone. Real mothers wonder why experts who write for Parents and Good Housekeeping seem to have their acts together all the time when they themselves can barely keep their heads above the stormy seas of parenthood. Real mothers don't just listen with humble embarrassment to the elderly lady who offers unsolicited advice in the checkout line when a child is throwing a tantrum. We take the child, dump him in the lady's cart and say, "great. Maybe you can do a better job." Real mothers know that its okay to eat cold pizza for breakfast. Real mothers admit it is easier to fail at his job than to succeed. If parenting is the box of raisin bran, then real mother know the ratio of flakes to fun is severely imbalanced. For every moment that your child confides in you or tells you he loves you, or does something unprompted to protect his brother that you happen to witness, there are many more moments of chaos, error, and self-doubt. Real mothers may not speak the heresy, but they sometimes secretly wish they'd chose something for breakfast other than this endless cereal. Real mothers worry that other mothers will find that magic ring, whereas they'll be looking and looking for ages. Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one."

From one real mom to another, have a great week.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

PS - My Favorite Cake Ever

I just wanted to share a few images of my favorite girls in the whole world making and decorating my favorite cake ever . . . it had more pink frosting decorating the cake then I had ever seen in my life . . . and it was perfect. . . thank you sweet girls for making my birthday (and my whole life) so special!!

And PPS - note the Husky jerseys . . . what an incredible birthday gift to win the best college football game of all time (maybe a slight exaggeration but super excited about my Ferndale alumni . . . Jake Locker and his incredible last game as a college player . . . Go Dawgs!!)

Two Memorable Evenings (for two very different reasons!!)

On December 31st, my fabulous hubby took me to the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland for a wonderful overnight . . .

It was absolutely gorgeous located right on the water of Lake Washington. We went out to dinner at Anthonys then came back to the room for some much needed relaxation . . . I took a hot lesurly bath in the huge tub while Travis watched football in peace . . . we both sat watching the sunset over the water as we read books . . . then counted down to New Years watching the fire works off the Space Needle across the lake. We woke up to room service breakfast, walked on the docks along the water and enjoyed a Starbucks on our way home. It was fabulous!! (Thanks Grandma Merry and Grandpa Gerry for keeping the kiddos so we could have this special date.)

Last night, although it was equally memorable, was not so fabulous. One of the tests the Denver doctors wanted me to complete when I returned home was a sleep study to check for possible sleep apnea which can be caused by or worsen asthma. I drove to the facility (also on the water - yet somehow not so peaceful?!) and was instructed to put on my pjs and watch an exciting 10 minute video about the test. I was then hooked up to millions (ok - maybe not millions but a lot) of sensors all over my body . . . literally from my head to my toes . . . it was uncomfortable and awkward and I looked like a martian when it was over . . .

Each of those wires connected to another lead . . . and along with all the leads where tight bands all around my chest and middle (giving a whole new meaning to the term "muffin top" . . . I had muffin top, muffin middle, muffin bottom, muffin in between . . . ), breathing sensors in my nose (a lot like oxygen) and a microphone on my throat to record any snoring. They measured a CPAP machine over my head and face just in case it was needed in the middle of the night and I was asked to lie still while breathing in and out through my nose for 30 minutes to check the flow of air through it. It was then disconnected and I had some time to take my night time meds, read if I wanted and prepare for sleep . . . I had brought a book and was looking forward to at leastsome nice quiet reading time . . . try getting comfortable for some nice quiet any time with a billion things stuck in and around your entire body (yes - the wires have increased to a billion now). The nurse or technician or crazy sleep lady came back in, hooked all the wires into machines, tucked me in and said good night . . . not so much. You can't move from your back, can't get comfortable and can't sleep . . . doesn't bode well for a "sleep" study . . . but, they didn't have to wake me up and bring the CPAP machine in and although she couldn't tell me the results, that seems like an initial good sign.

She woke me up (from my mostly restless-trying-to-get-comfy sleep at 5:45 am, asked me to fill out a survey about how I felt, had me sign a paper saying I could safely drive home (and wouldn't sue them if I couldn't) and sent me on my way with a luxurious room service breakfast consisting of a fantastic tasting (sarcastic) granola bar . . .

In conclusion . . . how in the world did the last two days happen in a row?! It still feels a little ike twilight zone and, although she ripped quite a few electrodes from my skin (son of a nutcracker!), my hair is full of goo and more stickers . . . she says, "No problem . . . they should all come out in a hot shower." Should?! And I paid for this experience?!

Thanks honey for a great birthday gift and a wonderful restorative time away to start the new year . . . and thank crazy sleep lady for a load of junk in my hair . . . off to the shower . . . Happy New Year.