Thursday, March 31, 2011

Groundhog's Day

So, have you ever felt like you were living on the set of the movie Groundhog's Day? The kind of day where everything is the same again. Every morning I get up and make the same breakfast for the same kids (well, I'm glad about the same kids part). I vow the same vow to be patient and kind and loving all day long to said kids. I tell them to do the same chores (because they don't remember the day before...I think it was like that in the movie kind of....or maybe that was 50 First Dates ? where only some of the characters know what happened the day before? And the rest (or in 50 First Dates ONE) have no clue what happened the day before or the one before that? So, my kids are blissfully clueless. They forget the chores I assigned them yesterday and the day before. So, I list the same ones off...again. And I wash the same dishes. And I pick up the same toys/books/clothes. I fold the same towels. You get the picture? It's all so...the same. Nothing changes. Especially that I am overbooked, overwhelmed, under-prepared. And I yell. Too much. And get cranky. When truthfully I'm the one that allows our family to get overbooked.
All of the things we're in or do are valuable. To be sure. But each family would tell you a million different things that they find valuable. We can't do them all. Right? Unless you're me. Spastic.
We used to joke about my ability to multi-task. It's no longer a joke. The more necessary it becomes the less capable I am of doing it. I can no longer track multiple conversations as well (my husband used to be so amazed that I could be talking to him during Sunday School class and still have the answer when the teacher called on me). And I can no longer do 20 things at the same time. Or maybe I've finally gotten old enough (because I know I'm kids and my gray hairs tell me so) to realize that I can do it. I just don't want to. And it leads to nothing getting done WELL. I need to pare down our activities. Our "must-do"s...because we are all overwhelmed, and cranky. And I think it's because I am overwhelmed and cranky. And you know the saying there....if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy.  Part 2 tomorrow. Maybe.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Have a Dream

Ok, so it's not as big as Martin Luther King Junior's dream, but it's big for me. It's this: rows and rows of fresh produce growing in my yard. For several years (ummm, almost 5?) I've picked people's brains, checked out books, searched online...and something always stops me. I think it's mostly fear of the unknown. If you have never done something you don't really know how to "do" it. Head knowledge is not the same as knowing how to do something and doing it right. Right? And then there's the babies that have come with some regularity in our home.
My first foray. I planted my little tomato seeds in cups left over from Haley's first birthday party. I found out the best watering method was to spray them with a spray bottle. So, I got a spray bottle. I dutifully watered those little pink cups til they had some beautiful (albeit delicate) plants growing from them. My own little window sill garden. But then they needed to be transferred to a real garden. But I didn't have one. And so I went on search for tomato cages. Did you know that only when you want to buy some (and need them fairly quickly) you can't? They are not at any local stores? It's true. I promise. So, eventually I gave up and threw away my beautiful little future tomatoes. :( I was so sad. I was looking forward to tomatoes that taste like real tomatoes. Rather than wet cardboard. Blech.
I did do a "stick your toes in the pool" version of gardening. I planted ONE. just ONE. tomato plant. Here was the problem: we had a drought that year (I was pregnant with Nathan also...). So, we watered and watered our one little sun torched tomato plant. And after almost a whole summer of this. One tomato. One. Small. Tomato. Argh. Seriously? I think you need more than one plant to get it to produce. And this is where you see I was right about the difference of knowing something and knowing it. And, I found out that our water has some chlorine in it. Too much. So, if you're using garden hose water you should have a rain bucket type thing (could be a large barrel of some kind) to allow the chlorine to dissipate out of it....but then you would also have mosquitoes. So, we eat wet cardboard flavored red balls. Again. And pay too much for them.
One day I will have a garden though. With lots of good stuff in it. And I will use compost that I've made through worm composting. It's one of THE coolest things EVER! I found it in my searches

Monday, March 21, 2011

Better Than You Are

I've come to a conclusion. There are certain people in your life (at least I assume they are in everyone's lives) that make you want to be better than you are. No, not the kind that make you feel like you'll never be good enough. Never measure up. Just the opposite. People who make you feel like you can be better. And not in superficial ways. In the best kinds of ways! Some people make you want to gossip and complain. You get drawn into that kind of thing. (at least I assume you do. I do.) When you are with those people you find yourself (okay, I find myself) not liking who you (read: I) are (am).  I cringe when I'm alone again. Thinking how I should not have been complain-y and grumpy and gossip-y. And wonder if there wasn't something better we could've spent time talking about.

But then there are those people who just by their sheer postive-ness (positivity??) and goodness make you think it's possible to smile rather than frown. Be kinder and more patient. You could overlook a fault of someone else that annoys you. Because sometimes it's just not that big of a deal. Especially when you think of things that ARE  a big deal.

I have someone like that in my life lately. She is such a kind person. A ray of sunshine. And honestly, I wondered early on in our friendship if it was real or if she just was a really good actress. I think it's for real. And that makes it so desirable to be a little more like her. Someone who you just feel good and clean when you have visited with her. She's so understanding and kind. And yet, definitely real.

She makes me want to leave other people with that good feeling when they've been with me. I'm afraid I have a long way to go. But I can start working on it, right?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fake It Til You Make It

So, the other night I wrote that dreary, dismal post. The one where I had nothing to give in any area of my life. Where I was not enjoying anything and didn't even have the desire or energy to try.
I don't know what happened, maybe just seeing the pathetic-ness of those words out there? Or maybe it was just "getting it out"? But the next day I purposed to do some stuff. The main (most noticeable/memorable) was that I made cookies with Haley! I was so proud of myself. How sad is that? It's something that I *should* do. And  yet I felt like it was this major accomplishment. And I let her do almost of all of it-even knowing that there might be huge messes! That is a double accomplishment for me!

Some time has passed since working on this post. Seems these days I can't get a post done before I'm off and running. Today, any computer time has been purely consuming because I have been folding laundry allllll day long! It feels so good though to replace those dirty piles with nice clean (good smelling) stacks of folded laundry. Yum!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Burned Out

Have you ever just been so burned out that you have nothing left? I am there right now. I keep wanting to blog but nothing will come. No words. No thoughts that run together to make any coherent sense. Unless it's negative. And I just don't want to be that person. That negative person.

I know the things I need to be doing. I need to play with my kids and take them to do the things that make childhood fun and magical (not huge things, just the little things. The things they will remember for a lifetime-games and baking and stuff.) But I lack the energy to do any of it right now. I seem to spend most of the time waiting for naptime to get here. And I take a nap while the baby naps. I assuage my guilt by telling myself that the big kids are getting a little bit of freedom during this time (because I give them an assignment for school and then they are free to read or play quietly) and Haley is okay, her brother and sister are making sure she is.
I should be taking them to the park. For a walk in a natural area. To the library. And none of it seems worth the effort.
I find no joy in any of it right now. And I know they know this. That they sense my lack of happiness and joy in life. And, as most children do, they probably take on the responsibility for it. For my unhappiness.
I know that the days of their childhood are passing so quickly that they will be grown in a flash. All of this I know. But it doesn't make it any easier to do what I need to do.
I feel so used up and burned out. Like there's not enough. Not enough of me for everyone.
So, that's where I've been.
There is not a creative juice in me right now. Not a drop. 

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