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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 :-/

10 years ago today

So, perhaps it’s a little ironic

For some reason I kept thinking it had been 9 years since our wedding

Then my daughter, after reminder her of the day, said it’s 10 years daddy

I wonder if I would have really messed up the 10 year anniversary

Doubtful ;)

I’m sure we would have been spending the day … and week somewhere warm and tropical

Oh, yikes, I literally just caught another mouse.  Totally unrelated but they’ve invaded my house.  And while I’m writing this I hear the trap …  little bastards.  My mom is freaking out about them

Sometimes it’s just nice to hear …

He’s a great kid, Matt

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I know.  He is.  She is too.  For that I’m fortunate!

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Over 5 months since my last published post.  Ugh!

I do have a few in “draft” but shame on me …

Christmas just passed

So did her birthday

And some tears

Friends still remember, but not as many :(

Maybe they remember but they don’t say things any more

I’ve put a lot on my shoulders lately … working and raising these kids

It’s exhausting.  I’m exhausted.

I’m definitely ready for a break.

I think I need a break more from work than from parenting.

I wish financially money wasn’t a concern.

I think that would lesson the weight on my shoulders.

I suppose it’s my choice, however; to make money a concern.

Those decisions we make … hopefully there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully that light is near.

… taking a break, more to come (hopefully)

Too Much Caffeine

I’m not only wide awake, I am so awake I could probably run laps around the neighborhood right now..

Ughhh

The reason?

Probably, mostly, caffeine

But also work

My work day … all over the place.

Early morning client deployments

Coffee

Making breakfast, packing lunch, getting the kids up, brushing teeth, etc

One kid dressed, fed, packed and out the door

Then break … maybe? Did I eat yet?

Another coffee

Scheduling a play date for the other

Work

Making lunch … do I need to feed the play date kid too?  Allergies?  Are they picky?  Shit, I have work to do

Out the door for afternoon camp

Maybe I can get in some exercise but I have a meeting at 2 … this has to be quick

Client meeting … at a coffee shop, go figure

More work

One kid is home, got to go get the other .. they’re hungry, sweating, and annoying each other

Stop for slurpee’s … more caffeine

Piano lessons

A few minutes of work while waiting …

Dinner … rock  paper scissors to see where we’re going … jimmy johns today

I just want a quick nap … the caffeine is fading fast!

Dishes, Laundry, try to organize some of this mess

More work

Bedtime, showers (but they don’t want to shower … Argghhh … seriously, you’re sweaty, sticky, tired, crabby, just get in the shower!!)

Finally, in bed … but daddy, read “me” a book, lay with “me” in bed …

On the couch, catching up on some scores, maybe a TV show, nothing is on ….

And then … more work … something isn’t working for some client so the adrenaline is pumping …

And now the caffeine kicks in … or a combination of all the above …

It’s a vicious cycle

Plus I’ve been drinking crazy amounts of anything and everything so I’m up peeing every 2 hours … and when I wake up I drink more so then I’m up again before I know it … and then the alarm goes off and it starts again

It seemed so much easier when I was a kid

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That family crap is still unresolved. It’s beyond exhausting. It’s like we’re divorced and having to deal with her side of the family.  I just don’t get them.

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Summer is probably half way over.

She’s in girl scout camp now.

He’s finishing off afternoon antics this week.

Next week nothing.

Then off to vaca in south haven.

She wants to be packed already

I’m so glad she’s excited.

I can’t wait to just disappear for a while.

I’d like to just turn off my phone and leave life behind for the week.

We’ll see …

When we get back, 2 weeks till school, then back in the grind again

As much as I loath the alarm clock and the morning routine, I so want for there to be structure again

Wake up, get ready, out the door, then a solid day of work (or whatever I need to do) until they’re done and back home

I was so ready for the school year to end but I can’t wait til it starts back up

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We are growing another garden this year

We already have dozens of green beans.

I’ll grow more next year.

A couple cucumbers … so good!

A yellow squash … I fried it in some olive oil … I can’t wait for some more

The tomatillo plant is OUT OF CONTROL.  We are going to have more green salsa than we know what to do with.

The onions are just about ready

The broccoli is so good too …

Overall, our most successful garden yet!

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What else???

I feel like crashing … I need to … the alarm will be going off before I know it

I’ve been debating listing our home and downgrading

The effort to move though … seriously sucks

I like the neighbors.  Although something about the neighbors is missing.

But the kids on the block, there’s so many.   The kids seem to have so much fun.

But if I moved it would be in the neighborhood and there are so many kids on every block

And the house next door, the disaster of a construction site, will probably come with at least a few kids.

Some upgrade in the neighborhood or a family moving from the city maybe

But it would be nice to have a lower tax bill and use the money for some other purpose

So we’ll see …

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Ok … time for bed I hope