Thursday, August 27, 2009

Like You Say All the Time Now...Really?!

Ten years ago today you were tearing open presents in a room full of adults. I'll admit we were in a little over our heads. You had been living with us for five months and we were still all getting used to each other. I didn't know how to throw a birthday party for a four year-old.

There was cake and a character-themed paper table cloth and party hats. There weren't any other kids. You never complained once.

And today you're a teenager! You complain a lot now--but I know the hormones are to blame for that.

In you I still see that beautiful little boy, but now I am also beginning to see the incredible man you will become (that is if you don't stop rolling your eyes at me every other minute, because if that doesn't stop you might not see 14).

Happy Birthday Dude! I am so proud to be your mom.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm Grateful for My Kids...Really...I am. Wha?!

So I was charged with the task of creating a video post talking about what I am grateful for in my life. Yesterday was crazy. I woke up late and rushed around the rest of the day trying to make up for it. I don't have video skills. I knew there was no way I was going to edit up some fantastic piece in one day and properly give tribute to all of the things I'm grateful for.

But I had a video camera.

And of course I had my kids (they're always hanging around).

What a brilliant idea! I'll film my kids being sweet and loving and talk about how much they've changed my life...enriched it.

They were more interested in the cat.*

I've developed an enhanced sense of humor since having kids (I had to). I think that's pretty cool.

And yes that was my underwear you saw flying behind my head. So much for the folded clothes--and my dignity.

*No children were seriously injured in the making of this video and the cat had already hidden herself far away from the crazies. Though head-butted by his younger brother, my middle son has his mother's hard head and popped up unscathed just moments later.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Today I Was the Mean Mommy (insert evil cackle here)

Yesterday's rain storms left us with a gorgeous day today.

My garden needing weeding, the carport needed organizing and well who doesn't want to spend some time at the pool. But were the adults in this family doing that today?


There we were pulling everything out of the car port so we could power wash the siding to remove the dirt encrusted spray of what looked like a case of soda. (I'm not sure it wasn't that much.)

Apparently, when you get a group of kids together and provide them with an ice tub full of soda it's really fun to shake them up and spray them at each other.

So we're pulling out trash cans, setting up the power washer (and fighting over who gets to use it) when I look inside and notice that all three of our boys are inside in the air conditioning sitting out the couch playing video games.

Oh no they weren't!!

All of the sudden I had a wonderful idea!

Boys come here please. Go get the bucket, a few scrub brushes and sponges and the dish soap and come out here please.

The boys were going to learn a lesson.

Oh cool! Yay bubbles! Can we wash the car next?

Yeah that lasted five minutes.

My arm hurts.

I'm doing all the work.

I've been scrubbing for 20 minutes and it won't come off.

You're a horrible mom.

Why yes my children. Yes I am. But my siding is clean and I'm thinking the next time you go to shake up a soda you might remember all the fun you had today.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Friends In Real LIfe

Two years ago, a blond saw a face in the audience. She watched a head nod and eyes that made contact, and with each cue she found her speaking voice.

The brunette with the nodding head was so earnest, so unschooled, so wanted to fit in. The words she was hearing helped her believe in herself.

A friendship began when one person listened as the other one spoke. They had no idea how much the other needed what each was there to give.

Laughter. Honesty. Support. Space. All given and received without one expectation.

Tonight the brunette spoke, actually poured out her guts.

And the blond?

She listened and nodded.

I am taking part in a Gratitude Challenge. For 21 days I am practicing gratitude for the little (and big) things all around me. Tonight's post is a love letter to all of my incredible friends.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sometimes You Just Have to Think About Something

Conventional wisdom says that you need three weeks to form a good habit.

Coincidental that I've been challenged to spend the next 21 days practicing gratitude?

I think not.

Man those people are sneaky. I think I should thank them first for inspiring me to look at my life with a little more gratitude.

I really do have so much to be grateful for.

It's funny how things come together at some points in your life as if all roads led to the same intersection.

Monday morning I sat down with my boss to catch up from the weekend and our discussion turned into a conversation about living in the present--and I hadn't even gotten to the part where I was going to tell her about this Gratitude Challenge.

Practicing a little gratitude is an act that I'm sure can benefit each of us individually and translate into a world that is a little more pleasant to inhabit, but for people like me it's not always easy.

I mean one of my nicknames growing up was Eeyore. "Nice day. So far." (Thanks mom.)

She swears she called me that because I was a worrier and not because I was so negative as a kid, but I will admit that I've spent a good deal of my life looking at the contents of the glass as miserably half gone.

Now I look back at the birth of my children and see that it was probably the point where I began to consider that there might be more left in the glass than I had originally thought. There are still days when I'm not always sure, but just seeing the potential once is really all you need.

So today I proclaim publicly that I will try to form a new, good habit of regularly practicing a little gratitude.

I probably should have started this on Monday, (I'm not sure you're supposed to begin a new habit on a Monday--or that's what I'm standing by) but I needed few days to process this whole thing. And I've noticed something while I've been mulling this idea over.

There are a lot of things I never realized I was grateful for until I startedthinking about the word. Now? I see them everywhere--even in situations that don't initially seem promising (I do have a teenager in my house).

So will I turn all gooey and gross and leave you with a cavity by the end of the first week?

Let's be real. I live with a man and three boys. I'm just going to be grateful that I get to hear the sounds of all those farts.

Monday, August 17, 2009


So here it first vlog!

Untitled from mammaloves on Vimeo.

This is my first attempt. It recorded in .avi and I saved it down to .wmv to load to YouTube. Lost a lot of quality when I did that. If you have any suggestions for doing it differently, PLEASE share!!

Edited to add: The YouTube video sucked. I got a message from Vimeo that my video was done uploading. Right now I don't know what format it's in, but the quality is now better. Hmmm. Still want to hear how you do it. What is the best format to save it in?