Sunday, January 27, 2013

"Sunday Bubble"

We all made it!  I sighed as I plopped into my seat.
Surly something was overlooked. 
Each child was properly dressed, I examined, except one wearing “play shoes” in lieu of the one  “missing” church shoe!

Church starts at 9am.  That's a good 2 hours later than our weekday wake up call for school.  On those days one child at a time is sent out the door armed with completed homework, packed lunches and full tummies.

On this day, it doesn’t matter what time church starts...I am always rushed.  This morning Sam woke me saying “It’s 8 o’clock.”  in a flat line tone.  Perhaps dreading the same course of events lay ahead as I did.

We have 4 sleeping kids and 1 hour to be seated at church. (with a 15min drive to the church building)
I don’t jump out of bed.  Instead, I slowly make my way to the bathroom dreading the race I’m about to embark in.

This happened last week.
 The exact scenario.  
I bribed all the kids with “Double Dessert” if they were ready for church before me.

It worked.

Today I took another stab at it.

65 minuets later I slipped into the back of the chapel, counting my ducks while Sam parked the car.  

I’m missing one!

He shows up (with Sam) shooting me his angry eyes.
“Why do you always leave me?”  He asks still hurt from the time he had to call home after I left him at church for an hour in December. * 

I replay our entrance into the building and remember seeing him run down the hall for the drinking fountain.

He’s right.  I did walk away without him. (...again)

Once we are all seated I take a few minutes to regroup and realize where I am.  
For the next hour I get to s-i-t.  
I get to sit and do
n-o-t-h-i-n-g but enjoy the spirit filled meeting.

That is until Abi climbs on my lap and announces she’s hungry.  I scramble for my church bag being careful that her little feet don’t snag my nylons, like they do every week (which are NOT childproof or cheap!!)
I try to return to the meeting when a little one says he needs to blow his nose, then a different child asks for a drawing book.  Next I’m explaining how a quiet game is played, removing Abi’s feet from the chair in front of us which is causing a toddler to scream, and I’m bending over like an ostrich searching for lost items under the chairs.  

Another child whispers to me with puppy dog eyes, he’s hungry.  That’s when I realize none of us ate breakfast.
I sneak half a bagel from Abi’s stash and hand it over.
I notice I’m not the only one handing out zip-locks filled with cheerios and other grab-and-go snacks. This eases my guilt.. a little.

The toddler in front of us see’s the exchange and eyes my bag. She helps herself to the abandoned cheerio bag which sends Abi after it shaking her head screaming“No!”

I turn to the right side of our row.  There sits Sam.

He is comfortably sitting, scriptures open, and eyes on the speaker.  I call this the “Sunday Bubble”  

I try to pass Abi to him but she prefers my lap.

My experience at church is so different from Sam’s and we sit less than 6 inches apart.  This isn't because Sam is unwilling to help, rather the kids just choose me.(except when it comes to gum.  Dad always has gum.)
 The Sunday Bubble favors him.

Have you ever watched what really goes on with other families during that hour meeting?

Mothers carry in huge bags full of treats, coloring books, and toys with one hand and an infant attached to a car seat in another- while balancing a diaper bag over her shoulder marching a litter of kids into a pew.  It's like entering a war zone.

These kids carry the power to pop the “Sunday Bubble” and apparently Mom’s “Sunday Bubble” is easier to pop than dad’s.

I like to watch what happens to a family when a mother goes out into the hall with a child.
Some fathers sit completely oblivious to the family war going on next to him or he watches with no clue how to manage it in the middle of a crowd.
The best is when the smaller one see their mother exit and they bolt after her as if she is abandoning them-even if it means crawling over their dad to follow her.

I remember a phase when I spent more time in the halls with a baby than I did in a class.  All the fuss to get there didn't seem worth it at times.  It would have been much more pleasant for me to stay at home so the kids wouldn't miss a nap.
  One Sunday a "grandma" approached me with a smile and said, "doing the hallway babysitting again?"  I half hearted joked, "I don't know why I even come."
She came back with, "The reason you keep coming back is because your creating a tradition for your family.  It starts now, while they are small."
I loved that nugget of wisdom and have returned to it for strength many times.

 I’ve managed to survive sacrament for 12 consecutive  years without a “Sunday Bubble” 
I’ve come to church armed with some pretty cool powers though.
When my kids were young I pulled out my octopus arms and worked magic to protect Sam’s “Sunday Bubble” from popping.

Now that they are older I have new trick that protects the "Sunday Bubble" of those around us .
 I have the “Mom Stare!” 
I can hold up 1 finger and they get the message to change their behavior.
If I hold up 2 they know they’re walking a fine line for trouble.
If I hold up 3 they know they’ve “struck out” and they will go without dessert.  

I don’t wear a  “Sunday Bubble” yet, but I can make a mad dash to church wearing bags over my shoulders, kids on my lap with torn nylons...therefore, I am a “Bubble Maker" building a strong foundation for my family!! 

*(In my defense to Jace's abandoment- Sam and I drove different cars to church that Sunday.  I thought he left with Sam and Sam thought he left with me and Jace thought we were at Choir Practice.  He played with his friends till everyone went home and then he realized we weren't there. )

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Daniel Tiger Lesson

I grew up watching Mister Rogers Neighborhood.  It wasn't my favorite but at times it was the only thing on TV.  

The shoes, sweaters, fish, mail man, trolley and make believe land were his teaching tools.

Sadly, Mister Rogers died in 2003.  
To keep his TV influence alive they created an animated version with similar concepts he taught.

On a recent trip to Utah I came across the new Mr. Roger’s show they call 
”Daniel Tiger Neighborhood“ 
 In desperation to keep Abi entertained in the hotel I passed on the Sponge Bob channel and gave Daniel Tiger a shot. I found the jingle additively cute and appreciated the new approach.

One of the concepts they teach through a song is something like;

                  "If something seems bad,turn it around 
                             and find something good."

The show didn’t fly with my older kids.  They thought everything about it was annoying. Around the house they sing the jingle in a mocking manner but laugh at it’s practical  application to situations.

Today in church Daniel Tiger taught me a lesson!

 A Missionaries was asked to give a talk.  

When he walked to the podium one of my kids said under his breath: ”I don’t like him.“
”Why?“I questioned
”He’s too “happy” he said with a bounce in his seat. (having obviously been exposed to this missionary’s personality)
“And he sounds like Ernie.” he added with a smirk.

At that moment Daniel Tiger came to mind.  I turned to him and sang the little jingle.
”If something seems bad, turn it around and find something good“

We laughed as I offered my made up version of why he is so happy.

“Maybe he grew up in a family where his parents were always happy.  So he has had a happy life and now he is happy to be on a mission.” 

We considered this as the way to turn around his “happy” annoyance into something good.

Half way through his talk he revealed the answer:
 “I grew up in a wonderful family.  I am the oldest of 4.  I have two sisters and a brother.  My parents have been great examples in my life. 
My mom is 100% blind and she has always been a happy person.  She has taught me that I have a choice in how I wan’t to view life.  I can be happy or I can choose not to be. 
                                         Because of her example,
                     I choose to be happy.”

The two of us looked at each other in disbelief!  

Daniel Tiger knows what he is talking about!

                         “If something seems bad, turn it around 
                              and find something good!”

If a blind mother of 4 can "turn around" her disadvantage to something good, and as a result raise "happy" children- she can see more clearly than me!

Lesson learned.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Shoes to fill

I watched my two small kids chase each other through the house.
Around and around they went, laughing with each step.  Being the "wise- and- all- knowing- mother" I could see the disaster begin to unfold.
After so many laps through the kitchen one of them was sure to knock their head on the counter corner or slam into a doorway.   
The odds were going against them as the minuets ticked by.

Why did I think something like that might eventually happen?  
Been there.  Done that.
Is that the Mantra of Motherhood? 
Am I just a child responding as a Mother?

Realizing Sam and I have 100% full ownership of our kids made my knees a little weak.  
What do I know about being a full time parent?
I feel like I'm a clever teenager -only in a 34 year old body. 
I sneak into the kitchen late at night to eat ice cream just like I did at 16.  
I still drive through "yellow- reddish" lights,  I hate cooking and I still stay up way too late with a boy!
I hit snooze every time my alarm beeps at me and I  spray my clothes with Downy wrinkle free spray instead of ironing!

Babysitting gave me no advantage.  I burned popcorn, killed a hamster, ate cold cereal and let the kids stay up past bedtime while on the clock!
I felt a great sense of relief when the parents came home.  The weight of being "responsible" lifted as I slipped back into "my world" with a pocket full of cash.
My 2 year old sluggishly falls into my legs after the injure free chase with her brother and says, "Mom...Abi needs water."
It's obvious these kids have total trust in our capabilities of being their parents.
It's all a fluke though.  I'm just rolling with the punches.

I fill her cup with water.  She sips and is off again.  
That was an easy one.  
What happens when she returns years later with a bigger dilemma?
Do I stop the injury before it happens or
do I continue to fill her cup and send her off again?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

"Hotter than You!" A P90X Story

**Warning- all content on this blog belong to their rightful owner. (Me) Any copyright infringement or tampering will be punished by penalty of the Law. (Death)  I reserve the right to brag as I please.  If you feel this post must be shared with your husband for a little encouragement please contact www.P90X for further assistance.

According to the #1 New Year Resolution of 2012 was to loose weight. (I'm pretty sure that's been in 1st place since McDonalds was created)

Only 45% of Americans actually keep Resolutions.
I fall into the looser category and I don’t mean loosing weight.  I’m part of the 45% that don’t stick to it.

I always make New Year Resolutions but somewhere around April I forget what it was.
Last year I decided it would be doing 30 day challenges.  I figured I would have a better chance at accomplishing something for 30 days rather than 365.
 Again, that was lost at Feb!
Consistency is NOT in my genes.

The good news is consistency is Sam’s middle name!  
He keeps things going around here.
I'm more of the "New Rule!" mother if you know what i mean.

At the end of 2011 Sam and I had a little competition going on.  We called it: "Hotter than You“
(I named it that because I was sure I would win)
The goal was to transform our bodies by Valentines Day. (cheesy, I know)
Whoever made the most progress owed the other a vacation of their choice.

I was stoked about this....and then I never started.  About a month into it Sam came home with new running shoes.
He placed them in front of me like a gift. 
”Cool shoes“ I admired
”What do you think?“ he says with a smile.
I come back again with, ”cool shoes.“
”Look closely“
I stare at them wondering why he is bringing so much attention to a pair of shoes.
”What do you see?“
By now I am bored of this game and give in.
He tells me to look at the tongue of the shoes.
I saw the words: "Hotter Than You" printed across them.
My man was on a roll!  This did ignite a new found desire to start over so I went a bought a new pair of shoes too, but they didn't run as fast nor as often as his.

This is a picture of him before the "Hotter Than You" shoes were purchased:

 January (2012)

This is him with over 900 miles on those shoes!
Heartford Ct. Marathon

After a few months running he came home with a small box that looked like this:

I was toast!
Before and After pictures are a must with this program!

This was his before (which doesn’t show the 10lbs he just lost from running a month prior)

Day 1

90 Days

Day 1

90 Days

Day 1

90 Days

 He is a Rock Star!  
Is this what 45% of American’s are missing out on by not keeping their New Year Resolution of Loosing weight?!

Instead of P90X I did Insanity.

If you want to get your butt kicked everyday-this workout is for you!
  Note: Insanity is not a program to build muscle like P90X does, but you do look fit.  It is a great conditioning program.
I picked up running after I completed it and found myself running 6 miles in an hour!

I’m  a long way behind Sam but the view is good from where I am! :)
 He is still hard core exercising everyday 

It makes us laugh when we see his before pictures!  It didn’t occur to us that he carried so much weight in his face!
color him green and call him the Hulk!

These kids thought he was strong 

It's clear that Sam won the contest.  I'm begging him to go on vacation where he can strut his stuff!

Interested in more statistics? Try this
amusing article about people showing up to the gym in January.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hobi's in India Video

I don't know where my brain has been!  While updating the Rising Star blogs I realized I never posted my family video from India on my own blog!!
Here it is...10 months later!

The year of Karma

I think I'll call 2012 my year of Karma.

Karma is a fundamental doctrine in Buddhism, coming from India.  
I like the concept of it.  
There are various theories on how it all works which include; past sins or advantages from a past life, that follow you into this life identified as Bad Karma or Good Karma.  
My version is all Karma is good Karma.  It's a reflection of our actions, whether we like it or not.    
Thanissaro Bhikkhu (an American Buddhist monk) said:
Karma is caused by Ignorance, or not knowing things as they really are.

Or put differently Karma is a catalyst to knowledge, if you see it as such.  

You don't know what you don't know, right?  
If Karma is a result of being ignorant; It's a smack in the head telling you to smarten up! 
To me, that's Good Karma.

Well, my Karma came, ironically enough, while I was in India last Spring.
The day I returned to the US the wheels were in motion to turn me upside down and teach me a few things.

The following months, even up to this day, God is showing me what I don't know.

However you want to look at it, Karma is just another expression used to teach what the Apostle Paul did:
 Whom the Lord loves he chastens
Hebrews 12:6

That's what I call God Karma!