Friday, September 27, 2013

10 Things I Know to be True About My (older) Self

1. I am a former champion multi-tasker – the primary word here being “former”. I still try to be the champ I once was, but I have to admit, Pregnancy Brain morphed into Sleep Deprived Brain, finally settling into Multiple Mom Brain. There is no cure for Multiple Mom Brain, therefore, I relinquish my champion title and humbly accept the status of “former”. Sigh.
2. I am a terrible housekeeper – I fully admit this. I have been a stacker, knick-knack collector, clutterbug my entire life. I can jump into Operation Organize lickity-split if we are expecting company, but don’t expect the house to be clean if you just drop by. Also, just know I won’t be cleaning until the day before you are expected to arrive (see #3). I was raised to make my bed, clean my room etc., so it’s not the nurture part that’s to blame. Who knows why I’m this way, but at this age, I don’t see it changing drastically - much to the dismay of my hersband.
3. I procrastinate- now this is an area where I still hold the Champion status! I excel at procrastination. Planning things is not the problem, I plan things well in advance. It’s the preparation I put off. This is another area where I turned out opposite from the way I was raised. I have to admit though, I always pull it off. If you came to my house for an “occasion” of some sort, you’d think I had been preparing for weeks!
4. I can be impatient with others – I have gotten better since becoming a parent, but I still have a way to go. If you know you are writing a check for your groceries Granny, get your checkbook out while your items are being scanned, please for the love of all that’s holy, get.your.checkbook.out. Also, if you use the drive thru at the bank, have your stuff ready. Checks signed. ATM card out. Drive thru fast food? No need to study the menu, we all know what is served with that side of grease, order already! Come on! The drive thru is for those of us in a hurry! Ok, maybe I haven’t gotten any better.
5. I am not a terrible driver…..but my driving skills could be improved – I have just recently come to this realization. I should have known before now. I’ve had my share of fender-benders (3 in my own driveway). A few speeding tickets over the years. A little brother who at 18 started refusing to ride with me. D says I use the brake too often and make her nauseated. Yes, I’ve definitely had some clues. So while everyone else took note; what finally made ME realize my poor driving skills? Yesterday while in town for only 2 hours, I was honked at 3 times. 3. So, I started thinking, what is the common denominater here? Oh, it’s lil o me in my big ol van. oopsies.
6. I am blunt and should use more tact sometimes when speaking to others – I’ve known this my whole life and actually improved quite a bit. Not enough though. It is the only thing I was docked on for my employee performance review this year. (only ½ point but still) If you say something asinine in front of me, you are probably going to be made aware of it. You’re welcome. I probably just saved you from getting your face smashed by someone else. I seem to lack a filter of some sort. A snarky thought pops into my head and I’ve “matured” enough to deliver that thought with a little more pleasantry than in my younger days. I’ve evolved from, “You are an idiot if you think that!” to “Wow. Well, that’s one way to look at it I suppose, if you’re not educated on the issue.” See, better, but still needs some tweaking.
7. I am not a morning person, nor a night owl, just a person apparently – my mother always described me as a “bear” upon waking. I don’t think I’m quite that bad now, but I’ll fully admit, you are putting your feelings in danger if you try to have a conversation with me before my first cup of coffee. Also not a night owl, in college I put myself to bed with a good book around 9pm (even on most weekends) and it was lights out by 10. I don’t do mornings & I don’t do nights. I do sleep.
8. I tend to overload my family with commitments/plans – I have all these great ideas, make all these plans and totally overload my spouse and the kids. Next weekend is jam packed and I’m already sure there will be tears and we will be late for at least one thing. The challenge is, doing the things we want to do, doing the things we feel obligated to do and doing the things we need to do. It all adds up to a lot. (maybe this ties into #1?)
9. I am getting better at admitting when I’m wrong – Oh boy, I was really bad about this in my younger years (under 30ish). I had a hard time admitting to myself when I was wrong, much less others. I have found in recent years though that when you admit a mistake, it’s a powerful thing to yourself and the person you are admitting it to; especially if it’s a child. The shock and admiration in my son’s eyes when I admitted to him that I delivered the wrong punishment was something I’ll never forget. He hadn’t realized that adults make mistakes too. Adults can be wrong. It is ok to not trust an adult when you see them doing or saying something you think is wrong. That’s the lesson my son learned from me being wrong and admitting it. Much more powerful than him seeing me be right all the time.
10. I am much less likely to pass judgment on others now – that was my New Year’s Resolution about 3 years ago. I’m much more aware that there are always many sides to a person’s story. Several friends have told me I should write a book about my life, it is sitcom worthy for certain. I figure if my life is this complicatedly beautiful, others have some serious shit going on in theirs too. I think I was so judgmental because if I took note of their screwed up ways, it made mine seem better. Like, whoa, at least I don’t ___________. So, you notice I said much LESS likely. That’s because I’m not perfect. I still judge sometimes. (yes, you giggly young moms from my son’s kindergarten class who didn’t realize until I mentioned it to you just before holiday break that your kid does in fact have math homework weekly…and has since school started months ago. Yes, I judged you and I still do. Here’s a thought: put down your cell phone, look in the backpack, check in with your kid and the teacher every so often. What the hell kind of parent are you anyway, doesn't realize your kindergartener is getting zeros for weeks?! Ya damn idiot.) I obviously need to work on this & #6 a bit more. Oh well, I’ve got time.

I linked up with my blogger friends this week where we all posted our Top 10 things we know to be true about (fill in the blank) lists. Check others out here.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The F Word & Others

Today’s writing prompt with my awesome group of blogging friends is, words that are off-limits in your house.

I can only remember 1 word being officially off limits in my household as a kid. It was the F word. Our family’s F word was not THE F word. I had never even heard THAT F word before (and wouldn’t until I was a teen).  Our F Word was “Fart”.  I have no idea why my mother banned that word, but we never dared speak it. Instead, we had to call it a “Froggie”. Again, no idea why. Made no sense to me as a kid and none to me now.  
I still don’t use the F word. We call it a toot in our house. Even typing it feels wrong. Thanks mom. Whenever I hear someone say fart, or a kid talk about a cute little froggie, I feel a quick rise in temp and heart rate.

So, as a kid, my list was short & weird. The current list of words off-limits for our household seems to grow weekly. A first grader brings home a lot of words. A spouse that works in a manufacturing plant brings home a lot more words.

For each word off-limits, we’ve discussed why it’s inappropriate and what alternative words we might use instead. (Name calling is off limits and there is no alternative word choice).

Our current list:
Shut-up = Please stop or be quiet
Loser = Falls under the no name calling rule
Retard/Retarded = Usually, the word silly or goofy fits here.
Stupid = Falls under the no name calling rule or use “not thinking”
Fat = Unhealthy
Hate = Dislike
Jerk = Not nice
Fart Head = (gasp!) Falls under the no name calling rule
Idiot = Uneducated
Jesus Christ! = Holy Cow! or Oh my!

Whenever a word from the list is used by any member of the family, we all call them on it. There is no jar of penalty pennies etc. In our house, a stern look and mild blast of guilt works just fine.

You may have noticed our official list doesn’t include cuss words, we haven’t had to deal with that yet. I’m sure it’s just around the corner though. Holy Cow, it will probably happen when some not nice, not thinking, uneducated, person doesn’t know when to be quiet around our kids. That type of person would probably froggie in front of them too! Oh my.

I’m hosting the link today where my blogger friends have written on the same topic. Please check out their thoughts on the off-limits words in their households. Maybe there are a few we should all add?

Photo Credit: Greg Johnson

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Play Kitchen-To Go

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect for Pop's & Nana's house. Here is the kitchen I pinned as inspiration.
A play kitchen that can be put neatly away when the grand kids aren't around. 
I bought a Rubbermaid Tote at Target for $7.99. 
Cooking Utensils, towel, oven mitts & baking pans at Dollar Tree for $1 each.
Black duct tape for $2.99 & used my scrapbook tools to cut the circles for the "stove" top. 
Play food courtesy of big brother's toy box.
30 minutes & $30 later...ta-da!!!

The girls are loving their new little kitchen!