Thursday, June 24, 2010

Interesting Insight

Today I read this article about Happy, Successful women, as chronicled on See link below to check it out: Article 

I realized something as I read about the piece describing how successful women actually LACK balance. Instead, they consistently strive for tilting the scales in their preferred direction, and moving toward what makes them happy. It was interesting, although I feel they took a kind of dramatic/ extreme perspective on what "balance" means (ie:..."For every school play I should attend, cut out a presentation on the road?"...) Their examples are a bit drastic, but do touch on what balance typically refers to. That's never been what I've intended in seeking a sense of "balance". For me it has meant being able to fully embrace & enjoy all of the many varied aspects of life that mean something to me (ie: kids, husband, friends, family, creativity/ art, and many many activities that interest me.) While I'm not about giving each of those aspects "equal" time, I am about making sure that I'm putting more time into those things, without shorting myself of any one of them, particularly not due to directing my time to needless 'shoulds' by the standards of others. But it got me thinking - that perhaps balance isn't really quite what I'm going for. And then it hit me... I think it's more about PRIORITIES. Saying yes more to the things that are meaningful to us, and no to the things that aren't fulfilling or necessary. Thought it was a poignant insight!! And the article is worth sharing :)

Kudos to for opening my eyes to the difference! 

TIP: You can start to re-direct your life... one step at a time! It took me a few years to get to where I am now with that trend... and obviously I still can apply some fine-tuning. Let's LIVE as we learn :)
A QUOTE:  “Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find ''tomorrow'' on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday's defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, ''If I had my life to live over again. ''Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” ~Og Mandino
WHIDFML: Took a cat-nap while the girls played nicely near my side! 

"Getting Married" at the Age of (Almost) Four

Myla: Let's play WEDDING!!!!
Me: Okay. Who's getting married??
Myla: (Raised eyebrows & backward-pointing-motion) "ME!"
Me: Okay... Who are you going to marry?
Myla: Hmmmmm. Ummmm. I'm going to marry... Ummmmm. KIMMY! AND John, and Jenni, and Uncle JEFF! (all aunts & uncles)

Say it with me now: "Awwwwwwww" :)

TIP: Carry around water bottles and/ or juice cups all the time in the heat of summer. They are more likely to drink from them if they aren't out-of-sight, out-of-mind~
A (funny!)QUOTE:  “Why get married and make one man miserable when I can stay single and make thousands miserable?” ~Carrie P. Snow
WHIDFML: 3 words ~ Fruit-filled-Popsicles!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Where the HECK???

So... I've been missing my pink fleece sweatpants now for - hmmm... a few months at least. 
Today, the top half of my favorite pj's went missing. I re-traced my steps............ I was putting away freshly-washed sheets, while pulling out new ones... I put new sheets onto the bed.... I put away a quilt in another closet... I did some laundry... I put some clean clothes away...
Of course, upon realizing that half of my pajamas were MIA, I decided to search for them in the order listed above. Wouldn't you know it? The last place I checked = the place where they resided... in one of the drawers in JOEL'S dresser - along with a pair of my underware!! Little stink #2 took it upon herself to "help" mommy with laundry this morning - when I hadn't noticed yet. How thoughtful ;) 
There is one mystery unraveled. I was in suspense for far too long! Now... I seriously wonder where in the heck she decided to stash those sweatpants! If I don't find them again by winter, I think I'll count them as a permanent loss ~ Such is life when 2-year-olds 'help'. Where is that drive to help when they are actually old enough to make it count? ;) 

TIP: Start your kids young with wearing hats outside in summer too... It blocks the sun from their face and eyes - and offers better protection than sunblock alone! I got them used to it as infants. When they were old enough to start to object, and attempt to remove their head-dresses - I'd bring them into the house immediately. They QUICKLY learned that outside=hats. Period. Not worth doubling their risk of skin-cancer by unwittingly exposing them to too much sun at an early age. 
A QUOTE: "Lost time is never found again." ~Benjamin Franklin
WHIDFML: Danced and danced away the morning in the living room with my girls, per their beckoning! We had a BLAST!! Many thanks to MPR for the great play-list :)

Dam(aged)ned If I Do...

Sure.... The stress recedes by oodles, just a little too late. The damage has been done - at least in so much as my mop is concerned.  

I decided to color my hair (low-lights) at home... Even after upping the anti from my $3 box'o'hair-fun to a $7.50 box of Natural Instincts, my hair had begun to morph into a straw-like, course, frizz-prone, obnoxious version of itself. (I swear it is its own being up there!) Although this brand claims to be less harmful because it's considered "semi-permanent" - I found my hair to be crazier yet after applying it! BLAH. Now I remember why I avoided color-for-fun previously. Even though it IS super fun... I'm toying with the idea of embracing my personal "sliver-lining" again, and trying to "age gracefully" without the color enhancements. :( Sad, but at the same time... I'll be overjoyed to have my NICE hair return! The deep-conditioning treatments are helping to get me through for now~

A bit frustrating though - that my options are either, A) Damaged & difficult to manage,  but funky-colored hues... OR, B) Soft, shiny, well-behaved, and GRAY patches. I think if I were 40-something, rather than 30-something... I wouldn't even wince at nature's preferred course. However, it just seems a little too soon (and I was enjoying the justification for the fun-color-concoctions!) Sigh...

Damaged if I do, damned if I don't? I dunno. I suppose I could consider applying the color STRICTLY to the 2 face-framing gray patches... Would this be a little too symmetrical? Probably. There is some possibility of finding a non-permanent color... (But my Q is - will it be re-deposited to pillow-cases, clothing, & hair towels with every shower, sweat & swim??) Not so sure there is a happy-medium for this situation! But there are a lot of hotties out there sporting gray foliage! I just have to keep it youthful! ;) Gray-headed Hotties!

TIP: Sometimes we have to choose based what makes us happier. For me - care-free, low-maintenance hair is preferred over fun & funky hues. Gray IS going to be my new hue. (And actually - its very silver... which I kind of dig!)
A QUOTE: "Age is an issue of mind over matter.  If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."  ~Mark Twain
WHIDFML: Splurged on a spendy brand of conditioner to heal my hair and keep it soft & manageable... Not quite back to the 'norm' yet, but it's helped immensely.  

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Just So We Are All Aware of Our Rightful Places...

This morning Myla doled-out the following:

"I am Sleeping Beauty... Mommy is Belle.... .... *I am Sleeping Beauty* (just so we're sure)..... ... Daddy is Cinderella... Debbie is Jasmine... And Addie is Snow White! And... And Grandpa is a PRINCE!"

Joel and I got a good laugh from that one... I think I'll call him Cinderella from now on ;)
I am quite a bit like Belle's personality... except for the bookworm part (unless you can sub magazines for the books and make it count!)
By the way - has anyone else considered the irony of her desire to be Sleeping Beauty?? [This, from a child who has avoided sleep like the Plague since INFANCY.]

It's Saturday - and we're going to go bumming! I don't have a tip, or a quote handy... but WHIDFML = heading out to enjoy some time as a fam right now!

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's a Weekend-Thaaang -

So! Been trying to figure out some ways around my stress levels increasing unexpectedly when things become - well - busy... 

I've made great strides to beat the tides and avoid all that hustle-&-bustle that our money-prioritizing culture has generated over the decades. We work to live, not the other way around, ya know?? I do things according to priority for the most-part, and have come up with a pretty novel way of determining how to better make those kinds of decisions. I give it the "rocking-chair-test"... If I'm not sure how I'd feel/ what's more important/ have trouble deciding something - I think ahead to reminiscing one day... at the ripe age of _?_ - on my back porch rocking chair. What will I think about it then as I look back? That is the key! Not always easy - as it's hard to fight the crowds who tend to go with the flow. So few rebel quite like me! ;) But I make a point to put my priorities first... And avoid doing things that aren't necessary out of a sense of obligation or the like......

Now, I think I may have just uncovered a new way to give some of the more minor, day-to-day-to-do's, a much needed occasional over-looking! Give it the "What-if-it-were-the-weekend?" test!! 

Joel's schedule is all a-flop lately - causing my brain to feel a little bit damaged when in conjunction with the tendency for all things to coincide and, culminate at one time. *"This is your brain. This is your brain on stress....[insert frying eggs in pan here!] Any questions?"* Luckily, as described in some previous posts - I'm doing well to out-do the constant doing. 

Today - a Friday afternoon when Joel would normally be home already - Joel is at work for the late shift. No big deal, except that I can't figure out what day it is anymore ;) I was wandering around the basement - doing a little of this and that - and thought about completing some laundry. I couldn't recall if had had remembered to put the wet stuff into the dryer last night... I thought - "Oh well - it's the weekend anyway. I'm 'off'on the weekends!" HA! Funny thing is - it technically is considered the weekend... but not how I was originally formulating it as such in my own mind. But it occurred to me... I should treat more days of the week like a "weekend" - and remind myself that it isn't always necessary! 

I do like to stay caught-up in a general way. Keeps things from becoming overwhelming. A friend who visited the house recently kept commenting on how clean my house is! It didn't really occur to me until later - but one reason why it tends to stay that way overall - is because I just do little bits here and little bits there. I don't want to have to devote any extensive amounts of valuable time cleaning. Things have a place... when I'm done with something - I give it back to its home! If I make a mess on the counter-top, I clean the mess... 

I realized after having this 'weekend fog, wait-til-later laundry moment', however, that I can probably let things like that go just a bit more often than I have had a tendency to do previously. Of course, letting go of some stressors - reducing and eliminating all of those unnecessary ones in particular, only aids in seeing things like this with greater clarity. 

Life is short. So is summer. Life gets messy - but I have to also remind myself to FROG it! (Fully Rely On God) and it'll work out the way its supposed to. My affinity for frogs was only heightened when I learned about the above mentioned acronym. Plus, it can be a great replacement for a 4-letter-word. What the FROG? Ah - FROG it! FROG you! ;) 

TIP: Also recognized my need for regular creative self-expression... It's such a happy place! Writing, photography, painting, even coloring with the girls in their coloring books~ It's all good froggin' & forgettin' it! Feed your creative energy into something meaningful to you - and soothe the soul.
A QUOTE: “Always reward your long hours of labor and toil in the very best way, surrounded by your family. Nurture their love carefully, remembering that your children need models, not critics, and your own progress will hasten when you constantly strive to present your best side to your children. And even if you have failed at all else in the eyes of the world, if you have a loving family, you are a success.” ~Og Mandino
WHIDFML: Deposited some $ into an account for a couple of upcoming camping getaways this summer! Wallah - PAID FOR! The fun will be that much more enjoyable when remembering it's pre-paid~

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Monkey See, Monkey Spew

Today - I pondered the motivation behind Addie's weird new 'trick'... I came around the corner to find the 2-year-old bent in half over the potty - face centered within the seat's opening - spitting. Abruptly pulling her away, I explained the hazards of playing in the potty... My mind raced around possible reasons as to why she decided this might, in some way, be considered a normal behavior. 

Not even10 minutes later, daddy came up to the kitchen. "Haaaaacccccccck!" He coughed up one of his notorious balls of nasal-goo to be emitted through the mouth.
Myla, as daddy rounds the corner: "Where are you going daddy?"
Joel: (talking through a full mouth) "I've got to go into the bathroom for a minute, I'll be right back..."
Me: "Um, to spit that into the toilet, no doubt?? THAT might explain why Addie had her head in there, sputtering saliva, not longer than ten minutes ago!!" (eyebrow raised slightly)
Joel: (through gobs of LAUGHTER!) "She saw me do that ONCE. Just once!"
Me: "Well apparently once was enough!" (more laughter)


TIP: They're Watching! And a note: Bathroom doors lock ;)
A QUOTE: “Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners” ~Unkown
WHIDFML: In spite of my efforts to limit my 'duties' on mommy-day - yesterday swept me up in a multitude of phone calls and their related accomplishments (better left to days without craze/ kiddos underfoot)... But alas, I did curl up in some sunshine, briefly, to read a couple of articles. This followed a wonderfully freeing, meditative walk along the riverside. I made sure that I got those in!!

The Sweetest Thing!

I've come to the conclusion that there isn't much out there in the world that can outdo the sweetness of the soft whisper-of-a-kiss from tiny little lips as they press gently against your cheek.

TIP: These are the things we'll miss when they get older. REVEL in those little moments with our little people :)
A QUOTE: Each kiss a heart-quake...  ~Lord Byron, Don Juan
WHIDFML: Added some fun & funky red-hued low-lights to my dark-brown hair. Fun, fun!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Felt Guilty.... Until -

This morning, we were on our way to meet up with some friends for breakfast. As I was placing Myla into her car-seat, I realized she had some dried up substance all around her mouth (must have been remnants of the "top-tarp" [translation: pop-tart] she had eaten earlier to squelch the onset of hunger.) 
I paused for a moment as I considered it - recalling how much I despise the way in which I learned this trick-of-the-(mommy)-trade, but then proceeded thinking, "I'll only do it once!" [suuuure.] 
I licked my thumb, and rubbed off the crusted mysterious residue. During the process, Myla was gasping for air, and scrunching her face - flailing it in every possible direction while trying to out-maneuver my thumbs. 
As I finished the job, she blurted out, "Oh... Yuck... MOM-slober!" It was a great start to the day, seeing as I couldn't control my laughter for a good solid 5 minutes. They just looked at me like I'm crazy or something... (Shhhhh... That craziness-thing is our secret!)

TIP: Walgreens sells nail polish called SINFUL COLORS for $2 per bottle. The various tints are to-die-for funky & fun, and they're always coming out with more. But the best part? They are all Toluene, Formaldehyde, DBP, & Camphor-free!! The girls and I have a pretty good collection going now!
A QUOTE: "I am not a perfect mother and I will never be.
You are not a perfect daughter and you will never be.
But put us together and we will be the best mother and daughter we would ever be.
Zoraida Pesante
WHIDFML: Joel and I had a (much-overdue) 24-hour (plus!) date: Went for a river-walk hand-in-hand, had a fire in the "valley pit" (the farthest away from the house, amongst more trees, where the baby-monitor's signal otherwise becomes lost), sipped wine, didn't cook or clean, ate sushi (and chocolate, gluten-free cake), planted flowers, did a tad of thrift-shopping, stayed up late, slept-in, woke up slowly - stepping out onto the deck in our pajamas to greet the day, had coffee in the quiet, and talked & laughed... [Yes, I left out the juicy parts... Use your imagination!] ;)