Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween and Other News

I've already decided today's kind of a wash. Between the preschool party at 10:30, the elementary kids' parties at 1:45 (and yes, I'm room mom for the 1st grader so my presence is necessary), and of course, Trick or Treating tonight, I'm thinking I'll be lucky to get one load of laundry completed.

And as for that losing weight goal I have (I started to type had, as if it was a thing of the past! Pftt..), well, Halloween is not really the best time to try to make that happen. Because sometimes the kids just get more candy than they can possibly handle, right? I wouldn't want them to overload and get sick. It's my duty as a parent to help them out a little.

Especially if there are Reese Cups and Twix bars in the bags. Smarties, Pixie Stix, eh...I can resist. But the premium chocolate is what kills me every time.

So those are my thoughts on Halloween, and candy, as it were.

My scale battery died this weekend, which is probably a good thing. Because honestly I'm sure the truth would hurt right now. I'm back on the wagon (or is off the wagon...I'm never sure), as far as trying. I had a few bingey days last week which leads me to wonder what happens, why do I feel like eating piece after piece of toast and butter and grape jelly. At least the toast is whole wheat---I'm getting my fiber, if nothing else!

But I do need to start tracking again. And I do need to run again, but that blasted knee...ick. It is still hurting, which is definitely putting a damper on my ability to exercise in any form or fashion. So binging just seems appropriate after days of lethargy and inactivitiy.

So...........moving on.......

I did make considerable progress on our bedroom--which, without a doubt, has been the Number 1 Most Neglected Room in our House. 

Tomorrow is a new day, a new month, and the start of a new week (well, technically today is but just ignore that fact since I'm getting absolutely nothing done today on the homefront. At the moment Bea. is retelling every single moment of her morning at preschool, including "walking down the stairs carrying my pencils in a basket." So clearly today will not be all that productive). Wow, end parens, I guess.

and as is probably obvious, I'm having a few formatting issues. Just ignore that too. :-D

(So now that I have restored my former formatting.............I'm finished. I'm not super tech-savvy, so perhaps on my next post I'll get it worked out. )

My current list looks overwhelming to me, and I have a feeling perhaps I have bitten off more than I can chew. Add to this the kids' busy schedule--they have tech week for a play this week and shows all next weekend, and tonight is Halloween. But I did make progress this weekend so I'm starting with a fairly clean slate. And I'm not bugged and overwhelmed and in a pit right now so as long as the good attitude and motivation keep up, I'm good.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Today has to be a better day

Even if it kills us. Which it might. I woke up this morning to the sound of a 4 year old and an 8 year old having a screaming match. Which, in case you have never woken up to, is not the most pleasant way to wake up. In fact, I can think of many other ways to wake up which would be preferable.

But what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger (or at least I've heard that--I'm still on the fence about whether I should believe that or not).

And yesterday didn't kill us. And this morning, waking up to that awful cacophony of screaming and accusation (which begun over who would pour their cereal first, as it turns out) gave me the resolve to calmly walk downstairs and investigate. I was calm!!

I am so proud of myself. I know that is really terrible, most parents probably keep their cool daily and think  nothing of it, but after yesterday, it's quite an accomplishment.

so today proves to be better, already.

And my 10 week plan is (mostly) coming along. I haven't completed Week 2 yet, but I have through Sunday night and I have definitely made progress. I will make more progress today, no doubt. Because I'll be home alone for at least the afternoon. Which brings me to Another Reason Why Today Will Be a Better Day.

The kids are going to my parents house for several hours to spend time with them since they are off school. No, I'm not jumping up and down rejoicing (although after yesterday, perhaps I should), but I am excited to have some more time to myself to work on all those little mini-projects on Week 2 of my plan.

And while I still have a lot left on my plan at the end of Week 2, I hope to make major progress by the end of the day today, and certainly by the end of the weekend.
But I do know this. After yesterday, I may not have been like Paul and Silas, singing in the prison. In fact,
I'm pretty sure I wasn't reacting anywhere close to the way I should have, but today I will rejoice no matter what in my circumstance.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Um........not what I had in mind

I've had no less than 3 people in the last few weeks tell me something along the lines of " I don't know how you do it" or "You do such a good job with your family" or some other such nonsense (in my mind anyway).

If only they knew. The house, the disorganized mind, the kids arguing and me, well, losing my patience so frequently. The marvel of how I do it pales in comparison to the marvel of why they think I do it so well.

Today was not my finest moment as a mother. The kids are home on fall break today and tomorrow and by 11 a.m., we had more than our share of arguing (them), empty threats (me), yelling (all of us), and at one point, I'm embarrassed to admit, I crawled into bed and literally covered my head with the duvet. I admittedly have wished to crawl into bed and cover my head on more than one occasion, but today is the first day I can remember I've actually done it.

and while I was in the middle of tossing the decorative pillows on the floor and pulling back the cover, virtually un-making the bed, I couldn't help but think, I'm undoing the one thing that I have accomplished today.

Henry's violin teacher called while I was under the covers and I had to fake-cheerfully talk to her. I hate when someone calls while things are not going so swimmingly and I have to fake-cheerfully talk to people on the phone. I'm sure my kids wonder who has taken over my body when I suddenly am the happiest mom on the planet. And I'm sure they are disappointed when I'm off the phone and turn back into mean mom again.

As all of this was transpiring, it occurred to me, I'm so glad I don't homeschool my kids.

Because this, indeed, would be the picture, on many days. Me cajoling/bribing/threatening the kids into doing their schoolwork, them resisting, them arguing, me getting frustrated, and then, at my wit's end, crawling back into bed.

Which brings me to my next point. The people who are disillusioned enough to somehow think I have my act together. One of them homeschools her three children, and has a career, to boot. And she told me of all people, "I don't know how you do it." Meaning that my kids are super-busy and involved with all sorts of extra-curricular activities. I told her, "I don't know how you homeschool!"

and it's true. I don't. Kudos to those of you who do it. I wish I had the fortitude. I have the degree, just not the patience, and certainly not the overall mental werewithall.

The day got a little better in the afternoon. Better: as in none of the children hurt each other and I don't think I yelled anymore. Better: as in I didn't spend any time in bed. I remade the bed shortly after my 10 minute stint under the covers--and it stayed made for the remainder of the afternoon.

So, better in my book. And my goal of having the kids clean up their rooms, well it didn't get completed, but progress was made. And we all know progress is better than no progress...or yelling.

and tonight, the Mailman (my hero) just finished up carving the pumpkins with the kids.It was apparently suggested that I help carve the pumpkins with the kids instead of him, since our schedule was tight, and that was a no-go. The kids don't expect Mom to do it, they expect Dad. And so it was.

The pumpkins just got ceremonially lit, and were blown out, and kids are heading to bed.

It wasn't exactly what I had hoped for but it's almost over. Another day, that I'm blessed by all I have. And even in my frustration, I'm blessed.

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiney day...

Someday, anyway. Just not today. But that's okay with me. I'm staying the course anyway, because I do *not* want to let myself down again. And I can't let my family down again. They have put up with me more times than they should have.

I have post it note reminders on my laptop and on the kitchen cabinets that say "NO BINGING!" because honestly a little toast and jelly binge (or a Stacey's Simply Naked Pita Chip binge if I'm ever weak-willed enough to buy them again) all I need to get me off track. Mad at myself, slumped and lethargic. Still not sure if it's carb overload or actual self-guilt that causes the lethargy, but either way, it's a killer.

So with that in mind, even though it's cold--and even though it's been raining--and even though I can only walk, and not run (due to a pathetic knee)...I'm off to walk with Bea in a stroller. She thinks she's too big at age 4 but she'll be just fine. And she's taking her baby, Lily of the Valley, to keep her company.


So we just got back from our walk and guess what? The sun came out. Bright and clear, shining through all the red and gold and green leaves along our walk. Just beautiful. Thankful for the sun.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's not wrong, is it?

To want things to be better? 

I know it will never be perfect..and I do believe that progress is better than perfection (well, who am I kidding, I wouldn't mind a little perfection now and then)...and I know I need to learn to be okay with how things are, whether they are perf... orderly or not.  And I'm going to try to keep my perfectionist self from rearing its ugly head because after all, that is what got me in this mess in the first place 

And I did say I was tweaking it a bit. I'm sure I'll remember other things along the way. But for now, I just need some sense of order in my house and a little peace in my life...and that's not bad, right?

And another lesson while we're on the subject of peace...I know that only God can give me real peace and I am thankful for the peace I have in Him.

But I also know God wants us to be people of excellence, and I know God is not a God of chaos and disorder. And I have to believe he wants us to feel okay with how things are and not always be scrambling around running late, losing things, and getting frustrated with ourselves. No, that was never the plan.

I would be lying if I said that deep down, I was okay with looking at my list of weekly things to accomplish and not having it all crossed off now that it's Sunday night. But what can you do except move forward tomorrow?

I do have a lot of work in store for myself. And I'm pretty sure I'll fall down along the way. But I have to start somewhere.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Because I must...

Become a morning person...

Lose those last few pounds...

Build up that emergency fund a bit...

Let go of my anxiety and worry and tendency to binge on toast and butter and jelly when I'm stressed...

Get those loose ends tied up...

Keep the house cleaned up for more than 24 hours...

Be prepared for whatever lies ahead (because God knows, even if I don't have a clue)...

Get organized, once and for all, and teach my children how to be organized...

Get organized, so I'm not late, so my kids aren't perpetually unprepared for this morning.

To back up a bit, 8:30 a.m. soccer games in late October are just cruel. At least in Indiana they are. We crunched through the first frost of the year on our way to the field, the kids were bundled up and could barely move. You couldn't tell who was on what team, because all you could see were the hats and gloves and puffy winter coats. Sure, there were a few freezing children who wore their team shirts tightly stretched over their hoodies, but the majority of the players were team-less, or at least appeared that way.

But even before that, there was the mayhem at home this morning at 7:45--when Henry couldn't find his team shirt (not that it ultimately mattered---we never did find it); he found his shin guards but one of the plastic guards were missing out of the sock part. His reply, "it must have fallen out". Now if you're a soccer mom at all, you know those plastic guards don't just "fall" out of the socks, you sort of have to work and stress just to remove those suckers to wash them--so I'm not quite sure what happened.

I did find it, finally, but not without a lot of frustration and lost time. And yes, Beatrice was wearing a two sizes too big Buzz Lightyear sweatshirt because I couldn't find a sweatshirt to fit her. And I wore my 11 year old's slightly snug gloves because I couldn't find my own.

But I point was, apparently, organization is not my strong suit.

But it has been, in the past, and I feel it could be again, with a little work.

So here's the deal: I can't go on like this. 

As life gets busier and busier, it gets more difficult to keep all the plates spinning at once. So in order to do that, I am committing to getting all my ducks in a row--then it's just a matter of maintenance. Maintenance is easy, right?  and I figure, instead of waiting til 2012 to make new resolutions that will probably not hold up--I want to put myself in a situation where by the end of 2011, I'm there. And I have sort of already started. And already I have made some progress.

(You just wouldn't know it to walk in my house right now. ;-) )

So this is where I am at the moment. I'm holding myself accountable--and will post back tomorrow night.

Because I must make a difference.

But in the process, I need to be okay with it all, even the imperfect. That's a big lesson that I'm sure will extend beyond the 11 week plan.