Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Glimpse Backwards While Moving Forward

There are certain milestone birthdays you look forward to.  The first hint of shedding your childhood when you reach your sweet 16.  The thrill of reaching adulthood at 18.  Your 21st birthday when you can finally buy alcohol legally. 

And then there is the big 4-0.  Somehow, reaching your fortieth birthday is monumental.  Forty sounds so grown up, so official, so... old.

At forty, you aren't waiting to finish your life stages any more.  You have reached all the "firsts" in your life:  graduating from school, finding your first real job, meeting and marrying your one true love, buying your first home, having your first child.  You aren't transitioning from one period in your life to the next.  The awkward teenage years are over.  The lonely twenties when you are trying to find yourself have passed.  And you are finally done with your thirties, when you have been crazy busy trying to build a life for yourself and your family.

Nope, forty kind of hits you in the face and reminds you that you are officially smack dab in the middle of your life.  

So I'd like to take a moment today, on my day of birth, to reflect upon the last three decades and all the trials and tribulations that have come with them...

... I am thankful for who I am right now.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Creepy Crawlies

It's been chaotic over here lately.

The school year just started, and I am still trying to find my rhythm and get into a routine.  And now this week I found out that we have TERMITES and have to move out of the house for three days to get our house tented.  Just imagining all those termites crawling around in the walls and in the attic gives me the heebie geebies.  One of the guys that came to inspect our home took photos of our attic and it was littered with dead termites and wings.  Soooo NASTY!

Such a bummer and a headache to deal with...

Monday, September 16, 2013


I love the way Converse shoes look.  But (is it just me?) I find them to be the most uncomfortable shoes ever.  Maybe it is because I have wide feet and big arches.  Converses are narrow and extremely flat.  So I get no arch support whatsoever in my Converse shoes and end up with discomfort after a few minutes of walking.

I have been searching for Converse looking shoes that are more comfortable for my wacky feet.  It is actually surprisingly difficult to find cute casual sneakers that don't look overtly sporty.

I stumbled across these Lands' End Everyday Lace-Up Shoes and ordered them when they were having a 20% off promo.

I love them!  No break in period needed.  They have a cushy sole and lots of support.  Plus they look stylish and are not too expensive.  I found the shoes to be about half a size too big.  I ordered my usual size 9, and they were a tad loose.  I adjusted the laces and was too lazy to exchange them and so far they have worked out just fine.  I highly recommend them.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dreading The Drop Off

My son started preschool last week.  He doesn't turn three until the end of the year, so he's still just a little tyke.  I signed him up for four hours of class three times of weeks in hopes of giving him a chance to socialize and play with other kids 

First and second days of school went without a hitch.  He literally pushed me away when I tried to say good bye.  He was too distracted by all the toys in the class room.

Today was his third day of school.  And let me tell you, there are not many moments in life that can rival the pain you feel when you are dropping your little one off at school and they start crying. 

The Little Guy is a really happy kid.  He rarely cries, even when he falls and gets hurt.  So to see him weeping, real tears rolling down his face, as he clung desperately to me and told me not to leave.... I'm not super emotional but I'm not made of stone.  It was heart wrenching. 

As a parent, these moments really make you question if you are doing the right thing for your child.  After all, I know my greatest fear is not doing right by my kids.  

I know my son will be ok.  And that in time he will adjust.  Having a chance to play with other kids and learn new things will be great for him. 

But man oh man.  These morning drop offs are tough!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Vaguely Reminiscent

I was not one of those women who relished every moment of the miracle of new life forming within my womb.

I hated being pregnant (I know this is not something I am supposed to say out loud). 

The minute I had my second child, I was ready to burn anything that reminded me of being preggers.  I had all my maternity clothes in bags to be donated.  I got rid of anything with an empire waist, any tunic or smock looking tops, and all my elastic waisted pants.  Never mind the fact that I still had forty-five extra pounds on me and none of my normal clothes fit.  If the tag said "maternity" on it, it was gone.

Likewise, the day my son turned one, I gave away all my diaper bags.  I guess I was sick and tired of hauling around all that extra crap everywhere I went.  

So it is ironic that I am inexplicably drawn to this bag: 

After all, it is vaguely reminiscent of a diaper bag.  A more glamorous and somewhat overpriced one at that. 

Maybe it is just nostalgia and I am subconsciously craving those years that I was so eager to get through (see my previous post on the topic of my Baby Goggles).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor (Day) of Love

We just got back from our Labor Day weekend away at the Big Island.  It was a short trip, centered around our good friend's wedding.

The kids did pretty well adjusting to the three hour time change.  Traveling with the kids gets easier and easier the older they get.  This trip was probably the first we've taken with our children where I felt "relaxed" on the six hour plane ride.  Thank God for the iPad.

Speaking of iPads, we brought one to the wedding rehearsal dinner so that my two year old son could be occupied.  We got looks from a few of the older relatives (most of them just surprised a two year old could be so adept at using technology).  But one elderly family friend came by our table and told us that our son should be eating and not playing with the iPad all night. 

The thing is, dinner didn't get started at the rehearsal until after eight.  Which is close to midnight in LA.  So we actually fed the kids dinner before we went to the rehearsal dinner.  I didn't bother explaining, but I did feel really self conscious about being judged by other guests after that comment.

Do you think it is bad form to have your kid playing with an iPad during dinner at a restaurant?  He was playing quietly and was really well behaved considering it was past his bedtime.  When you see kids playing games at the dinner table in a restaurant, do you automatically assume bad parenting?   Isn't it worse to listen to a kid crying?  

I figure when you are away from home you do what you have to do to keep your kids quiet and entertained so they don't disturb the peace.   Just wondering what you all think about it....

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Type A Mama Seeks A Life Less Hurried

I recently read this article and it hit home.  It was as if the writer was speaking straight to my heart.

After all, I am the quintessential Type A personality.  But my kids (especially my daughter) have the stop-and-smell-the-roses type of personality.  I was so convicted after reading this article that I vowed to stop saying, "Hurry up."

Well, that lasted all of eight hours.

The next morning, I found myself once again faced with the task of getting the kids dressed, fed, and ready to go in the morning.   And no matter how hard I tried to embrace my daughter's easy going nature and tendency to get distracted, the fact remained that we still had to get out of the house by 7:55 to get to school on time.

This really conflicted me.  How do I actually go about living a life less hurried?  I may have good intentions and want to embrace my child's relaxed approach to life.  But like it or not, stuff needs to get done.  I hate to think that all of us Type A mamas are just destined live hectic lives, spreading stress and nervous energy onto our family members.  Is there hope for us?

After some consideration, here are some of my conclusions.

1) My children are unique and are allowed to have personalities different from my own.  So my daughter's tendency to be relaxed and easygoing  is not a character flaw.  I should instead appreciate her personality and recognize that her traits are what make her unique.  Likewise, my own Type A personality is not a character flaw.  It is my strength and helped me to accomplish many of my life goals.

(BTW, nothing irks me more than when my husband or any other Type B person tells me to "relax."  I AM relaxed, dammit!!!)

2)  If I want to create a safe and loving environment for my kids, I can start by prioritizing what is most important and letting go of the small stuff that aren't as important.  I think this is important for my own sanity.

For example, I can nudge and encourage my daughter to get dressed and eat in a timely manner in the mornings because we must get to school on time.  But not worry about picking up the toys or washing the dirty dishes in the sink.  I can contain some of the morning chaos by only tending to what is most pressing when time is limited. 

Many times, I feel like it is my duty to multi-task and get EVERYTHING done ASAP.  I feel like I am rushing through life.  But instead of getting props for all my hard work, the kids and the Hubs end up viewing me as a cranky, nagging figure in their life.  I am killing myself to get things done and no one even appreciates it.

What I am beginning to realize that my kids don't care about the crumbs on the floor or whether their socks are bleached (although it obviously has to be done at some point).  They just want me to play with them. 

So in the end of the day, my epiphany is that I may not be able to change my personality or who I am.  But I certainly have control over how I interact with my kids and the tone I set each day.   I hope that my new awareness will help me be more sensitive to how my mood affects my children.  Perhaps even find a neutral meeting point between being overly relaxed and overly stressed.   My goal is to get stuff done but not sacrifice my kid's (or my own) happiness in the process.