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And so it begins again …

4th and 2nd grade.  It’s hard to believe

I’ve been tackling this thing now for 7+ years.  Unthinkable

We mostly have good days.  They’ve definitely grown and matured.

I think we’re still figuring each other out.  Maybe, i guess.  I mean, they’re changing all the time.  Me?  I’m well just trying to survive.

I think we’re making progress though, positive progress.  Like trying not to get on each other’s nerves, although they’re really good at getting on each others.  And that gets on mine and it’s a vicious circle.  But when that calms down all is good.

We’ve got so much going on to start this year.

Soccer.  Tumbling.  Baseball.  Piano.  Religious Ed.  School + Homework + All that.  What else?

Oh, I decided I could coach his soccer team?  As if I have time for that.

It should be fun though.  And she will likely help me … I hope!

I’m actually co-coaching so hopefully it won’t be too bad.

But sigh … I wish all was great.

They said I need to take care of myself first.  I thought I was but I guess I wasn’t

It’s been a tough 5 years.  And a tough past 2+ months on top of that.

I guess I can blame some on genetics.  But I guarantee stress is a leading factor.

I’m pretty optimistic with this though.

I definitely don’t look too negatively upon it.  But it is added stress.

Tears come easy when I think about me/this.

Maybe tears are good though.  Maybe there’s some relief in them.

Anyways, I’m trying to and hopefully will figure things out.  No more procrastinating.

Healthy Living / Healthy Eating … tonight I ate hummus, grilled chicken and a sweet potato.  Go me!

I thought I would use this place more as an outlet.  Maybe sometimes I do.  I wish I kept more on top of documenting our lives.  But hopefully I do that in photos so that failing to write isn’t really that much of a failure at all … hoping that’s true.

So with a new school year we’re sure to have plenty of new experiences and challenges, hopefully lots more good than bad this time around.

Looking forward to a Disney trip in just under two months.  And the kids really want another tropical vacation.  I better start working more!

Oh yea, and then I thought I’d mention … Online Dating.  I mostly do it for entertainment.  An ego boost at times.

Recently this girl who I went on a date with once, maybe 3 years ago (or maybe 2), connected with me again.

I only connected with her just for curiosity.  She’s hot but I’m far from interested.

So she says to me that when we met I was too new to this single parenting thing.  What does that matter?  4 years in?  I suppose.  Is that why we didn’t connect?  How would I be different today?  I’m not.  And I’m def still not interested…but thank you.  Anyways, I kind of took offense and un-liked her … again, which felt good! ;)

I’m not so sure about this online dating thing … or dating at all at the moment … maybe I’ll find someone when I’m 40 … that isn’t too far away these days …

What love is …

Holding the cup as your daughter pee’s into it at the doctor ;)

Got Plans Thursday?

My response … work, c’s end of year party, piano lessons. (the usual stuff minus baseball, soccer practice and who knows what else)

Then someone else asks if I’m doing anything Thursday.

Why did someone else ask me this???  Thinking to myself, that’s weird …

Oh yeah, Thursday, “d” day … deathiversary day.  Dang :-/ I knew that!

But when overburdened with work, kids and everything else, thursday is just another thursday … right?

And as if this wasn’t a crappy enough week to begin with.

So today I decided to treat myself to a late-workday-start.  Or is that just another way to describe major procrastination?

I probably had the crappiest client-meeting day this past Monday.  I thought about going in today but decided against it.  I’m still stressed about it.  Even at this late wednesday hour…

So I just decided to start the day slow.

Thinking back to a text I received the other day… maybe I was asked to go golfing today because this week is one of those weeks.  I should have said yes!

So instead I got a massage.  A much needed one.  I really must get these things on a regular basis.  I can feel the stress building if I don’t.  But now my back is aching.  I think she was a little rough on me ;{

Anyways, Thursday …

The kids are definitely more aware of things now.

They know what tomorrow is and what it means.

I should probably think of some way to make the day … different … I’ll see what the kids think about that idea….

brb …

I’m back.

Sometimes I write these things in one sitting.  Not this one

School got out.  Early on Wednesdays.  Kid play dates.  Some homework and yard work and pre-cleaning-lady cleaning to take care of.

I’m still stressed …

And I’m short with the kids.  I hate this feeling …

But I gathered myself together as best I could and we went out for dinner.

Mostly because I had no desire at all to cook.

We went to a thai restaurant.

Thai?  So not on E’s choice of places to eat but we did it. And she didn’t put up too much of a stink.  She would have rather gone mexican … to get chicken tacos though.

She devoured cucumber salad, go figure, and hardly shared a bite.

She also did well with the chicken lettuce wraps.

She tried Pad See Ew

And Orange Chicken (thai version)

Go E!!!

We were way outside her comfort zone but she sucked it up and tried some.

Of course we ended at Tate’s for the usual birthday cake & sherbet.  He opted for rocky road.  He’s definitely her kid.  And she’s mine!

We discussed what to do tomorrow and we easily came to a unanimous decision.

Planting flowers at Cari’s tree.

There wasn’t even a bit of an argument.

That’s what we’re doing!  And it’s going to be a nice day.

GO FIGURE

Do you know that it has not rained on May 19th in 7 years?

Tomorrow’s forecast … 70, Sunny, 0% chance of precipitation :-/

… ANOTHER YEAR

A phone call

If ages 7 & 9 are this challenging I cannot imagine what the years to come will be like …

Maybe it has a lot to do with being relatively stuck inside for the past few months?  Chicago winters … ugh

I’m sure there are all sorts of factors

I’ve talked to lots of parents and we’re not all that different

Bickering back and forth, pushing each other’s buttons, it seems to be more the norm than not

I love them tons.  I just want them to be nice to each other.  I’m sure we’ll figure this out but … sigh, this is exhausting

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We took a Caribbean vacation in Feb this year

It was so needed

And everyone loved it

And I want to go back for an extended period of time

Like forever!

Seriously

I could wake up to that every morning…

Amazing view.  Coffee in hand.  Warm breeze.  If every morning were like that …

So what else … fresh fish & lobster, hours in the pool, amazing weather (even with a brief shower every day), remote beaches, adult beverages, shirley temples, snorkeling, splashing in the waves, friends, swimming with dolphins, trip to the pharmacy, even found some ramen noodles, chicken nuggets nearly every day …

I’m glad we did this.  Truly.  And I really can’t wait to do it again.  Just need to find a way to make it happen $$$$

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Doing this parenting thing on my own is far from simple

Not that I need or want someone to do it with

I mean that’d be great

But it’s such a full time job in itself

Planning, Prepping, Executing, Recovering, Resting???, and doing it over and over again without a break

And then trying to hold a “real” full time job at the same time

I’m crazy to think I can handle all this, crazy!

Maybe there’s a light at the end of this tunnel, I just hope it comes soon

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Every so often I have a dream with Cari in it

Yesterday it happened again

Maybe that’s why I’m writing

It’s also Easter in like 12 minutes

She’s so excited.  They both are.  He came out of his bed and surprised me at like 9:15p thinking the sound he heard was the Easter Bunny.  Thank goodness it wasn’t!  Phew.  She was excited in the car saying “The Easter Bunny is coming tonight!”.  I really love moments like this.

Anyways, she was in my dream

For maybe the first time ever it wasn’t a dream where we were fighting

Usually it’s some sort of fight, and a serious one, probably due to some unresolved issue :-/

But this one wasn’t anything like that

This one was crazy emotional

Like I was seriously crying in my dream

I picked up a phone and called a number, thinking she’d be on the other end

The first time no one answered

Then the second time she did

And we talked for all of a few seconds but we really talked

It was crazy

I was completely choked up and think I woke up crying

It was so real and so crazy

It sucked that I woke up right then but I’ll take it

Man … Even now it feels like it was so real …

Anyways back to life … school … work and then seemingly endless list of kid activities current and upcoming …

- girl scouts
- cub scouts
- volleyball
- piano
- hip hop
- chess club
- fitness club
- hockey
- baseball
- soccer
- piano
- swimming
- gymnastics
- cooking class
- and the neverending request for play dates

is that it??  i’m sure there’s more

Impatience

The other day I found myself venting to a client

Fortunately, he listened and he could relate

Quite a bit of what I had to say related to another client

So he understood

But it was also about my kids … and life

I find myself without an outlet at times

I’m just going through the routines, not always caring for “me”

And then recently I find myself growing impatient with my children

I don’t like the word hate, but I hate when I’m like that

Impatience …. sigh :(

I’m stuck in that rut

The weather blows

My client work is at times overwhelming

Kids …

Life …

Sometimes I wish I had already found someone else to love, someone to love my kids, someone to share this with

But most of the times I’m completely happy the way things currently are

The house is a constant challenge to keep up

Work.  Tenants.  Bills.  Groceries.  Activities.  Family.

Life is complex

I’m usually able to handle things well

I don’t let a whole lot bother me

But when I lose patience with the kids and when our poor attitudes affect each other, well something needs to change

But what?

I dislike facebook, most of the time

But today someone shared, perhaps just for me :) (but probably not), someone else’s solution to this same battle

How do we positively influence our behaviors, the behavior of our kids?

Yelling DOES NOT WORK

Punishment, sometimes, maybe

Empty threats … NO WAY

Positive reinforcement? … probably the best option of all

Our Reward Board works … when we use it.

But we’ve forgotten about it and it’s currently covered by a wall of paper grocery bags that need to be recycled

I don’t need that board now but I do need something

So this facebook post …

First, getting together as a family and talking about as many types of good deeds or positive actions we can think of

And listing them out

That gets us thinking …

But then it’s actions

What happens when we do one of those positive things or some other positive thing we didn’t list out?

Let’s not just write those things down on paper, let’s write them on the wall so we can see them every day.

So my job this week is to get some more chalk board paint and take advantage of an empty wall that we see every day.

Once that’s done

Then we need a way to track our progress

When we see or do something good, we record it

When we see or do something … well, not so good, we record it

So in this post they talked about using beans.  Beans in a bowl that end up in a jar when something good happens.  And are removed (in 2′s) from the jar when something not-so-good happens.  Where removing 2 signifies that doing something not-so-good is well not-so-good

And then when that jar is full we find something fun to do to reward ourselves.  So we list out what our reward could be too

So that’s my plan

So here I am venting in my own virtual world

Venting pretty much to myself or whoever might happen upon this post

I love my kids and I want them to be happy … parenting just ain’t so easy :-/