,I work really hard to communicate effectively with others. I make sure that I respond with rational sense and not with emotion. Nothing good comes from responding with emotion. When I make a mistake, I own it. I can't learn if I don't make mistakes, I wont't grow as a person if I don't. I try to not to personalize someone else's problems and make them my own. I feel like I can see when someone is projecting their hostile feelings about something in my direction. It is hard to not take it personally, but I try.
So, as I am wiping my tears away, I say "no thank you." Today, I will not allow you to take your angry and hurt feelings out on me. I will not allow myself to carry the burden of your hostility and make me feel like I did something wrong. When in fact, I did nothing except cross your path. So for today, I will not have anymore tears.
So my bedroom closets are the most organized part of my life. They are organized by color, rainbow order, short sleeve and then move into long sleeves. It sounds so very neurotic, but that's the way it is. Right now they are due to be organized again; I try to rip everything out at least twice a year. The boys put away their own clothes, Ryan has learned MY way and Lucas is still learning. I know this makes me sound a little "Mommy Dearest," but let me tell you why I am crazy about it.
There are so few things in my life that I can say I truly have control over. These things are all important to me, but I don't really have control of them.
From the outside in, my life may appear messy, chaotic and disorganized, BUT I have orderly closets!!
This weekend I had a phone conversation with a dear friend. She commented on how I am such a good mom. Her daughter and I have become friends over the years too. Apparently, she mentioned to her mom and asked her how I find the time to do so many fun things with my boys.
Ironically, I often wonder if I do enough for and with my children.
I think about do I say "I love you" enough or show them with my actions. Never, ever would I want them to ever feel that I don't. When I see other families going on multiple family vacations within one year, I think should I be doing that too. We try and take at least some kind of trip together. The bigger trips are usually something the boys learned about in school or they want to do.
They play whatever sports they want and I never miss a game. I don't want that first home run or touchdown to happen when I am not there. I monitor their school work, but should I be doing more to push them.
When they are home with me, they are typical boys. They play video games, have friends over and play outside. However, should I be spending more quality time with them together, or individually?
Am I teaching them how to be self-starters, to be fearless, always do their best, be kind and to help the underdog? I just worry that I am not doing enough.
In the fall, I decided that I would help my son, Ryan, without him knowing. "We" decided to become more fit together. I wanted to lose some weight and get healthy and Ryan to just start preparing for his baseball season. Last year, speed and agility practice was very challenging for him. It often lead him to tears. So this year, we were going to prepare ofr this challenging activity. Again, without him realizing how this would benefit him.
In the beginning of October, we started Couch to 5K together. I am not going to lie, it was hard! Well, I should say hard for me, he clearly is younger and more agile than I am. We spent three nights a week running. Whether it was raining, cold, dark...we were running! We made our way to actually run in a 5K in December. Despite me being so very sick, and that it had snowed and the temperature was in the teens.
I was not giving up on our goal. I was not giving up on my son!
He did fantastic for his first 5k! Let's just say that I finished. Ryan told me that I can only do better in the next 5k. I was lucky to not need oxygen as I crossed the finish line. lol
There were a couple of lessons learned from this experience. I was able to spend time with my son, which allowed me to get to know him as person. He would just talk and I just listened. I showed my son that even though it was hard for me, I didn't give up. We learned that hard work paid off and that we enjoyed our time together. Speed and agility has now ended for this season and I can say there were no tears. He even said how much the running helped him prepare for the season.
This spring, it is Luke's turn to train for his first 5k.
Before I even realize I am awake, I hear "crap," pause "crap," and another pause, "Crap."
I quickly respond with "what's wrong?" Lucas says “I forgot what today is!"
Well for those of you who don't know me, I am Irish, like last name O'Leary kind of Irish. So in our house today is a special day. It is Saint Patrick's Day. This means that Shamus (yes, I know it is spelled wrong) stops by our house to reek some havoc in our house.
This naughty leprechaun started coming to our house years ago. The kids wrote him a note when they were little, which is why his named is spelled the way it is. We wake up with excitement every year to see what mischief he has caused.
We try to leave him a snack as a piece offering to keep his shenanigans to a minimum. However, he always turns some of them green. He tends to pee green in each of our toilets. He also turned the milk green which wasn't the best idea, since the boys thought he peed in it! HA!
He throws shamrock and leprechaun cutouts around the house to lead the boys to his tricks. There are gold coins thrown around too, occasionally there maybe golden dollars mixed in too! And then there is the dog, she is shamelessly dyed green. Sometimes it is in stripes or polka dots, secretly I think she loves it.
The boys took the streamers off that wrapped around the TVs where they play games. They asked to play video games. Lucas is upstairs and Ryan is on the main floor of the house they both turn on their game systems. Ryan is not touching the remote, yet his TV is turning on and logging into a game. We both look at each other with wide eyes as if we both were saying "what the heck." Lucas yells down "my remote isn't working." Ryan starts cracking up and says "He switched the remotes! You started my game from upstairs!!" Lucas runs downstairs in disbelief and laughter fills the house.
We will continue looking forward to this day every year to see what new shenanigans Shamus plans for us!
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY EVERYONE!
I have had a fun filled day with students for the half day and then parent teacher conferences until 8, a class twitter season until 9, and then collaborating with colleagues until 10:30.
Tine to head home. I realized I missed a call from my mom. I call her back to let her know I’m on my way home. She said it didn’t really matter, but I should know Lucas puked twice. I reassured her, I’m on my way!
I get home, check everyone’s temperature. No temps. I find my little guy laying in my bed with a “puke bowl” next to him. Several gentle kisses a planted on Luke’s head. I make sure Ryan gets his “I love you” whispered in his ear with a kiss on the cheek.
My my pjs are on and crawl into bed. I gentle cover Lucas up and check to make sure he is ok. As my eyes become heavy and I start to drift, there is a sudden movement. Lucas sharply sits up and leans to the side, luckily away from me! I guess he wasn’t done.
Just like that- I’m Up. The bed is stripped and remaking the bed, the laundry is started and the carpet is scrubbed. All of that while tending to this little person laying on the floor in the bathroom.
Poor guy! Ironically, his baby nickname was “Pukie Lukie.” I guess it still fits.
This boy is fast asleep on the bathroom floor. I hope to be sleeping soon too. Here’s to wishing the night will be quiet from here on out!
I may or may not have mentioned that I am a school social worker. Within my day to day interactions with student can be very interesting and comical (in a loving way) all at the same time. There are days when I am dealing with situations that range from sexual abuse to someone took someone’s crayon. That is the part that I love, there is something different everyday to keep it interesting. I should say I don’t love the things like abuse, but I am grateful to be there in a time of need. The lighthearted moments are what help keep the balance.
I see a group of boys for social skills, functional still and everything in between. They are the highlight of my day. I love that they give me the balance that I sometimes need in the middle of my day.
The other day we are trying to get started in group, but one boy disappears into the bathroom in my office. The water is running and paper towel being rustled with in there.
“What are you doing in there?” I asked.
There is a mumbled response. He walks out with the paper towel he is using to brush the mud off of him. He then speaks only slightly louder and says “I had a wedgie.”
A different boy with his hands in front of him as though he is giving a speech and peering over the top of his glasses says “hmmm, so what is a wedgie?”
I forgot to mention that that I have a co-teacher who sometimes has a difficult time keeping a straight face. There are some topics that even make her slightly uncomfortable.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see my co-teacher turn away, which is a sign that she can’t prevent the smile and the giggles that she is trying to hold in!
So if you don’t know what a wedgie is and you ask me, I will let you know. In a matter of fact voice, I tell them “a wedgie is when your underwear is bunched up and you need to fix it to get comfortable.”
Well that was it! My co-teacher couldn’t regain herself; I see the giggle in shoulders and her bouncy hair as she exits the office.
The boy with the wedgie very articulately informed the group that you do that in private. I of course agreed with him. “Yes, that is something you do in private.”
As you see we are working on more than just social skills, it is the nuances within social situations that this group is working on. Apparently “wedgies” fall under the “in between” category for which we teach. They are a fantastic group and I will miss them when they outgrow my school!
Later, my co-teacher and I crack up about the situation. She always laughs and asks how I keep a straight face. I may have to share with you the story about proper hygiene and our “Cracks and Crevices” talk. :-)
It is about 5 in the morning; I am starting to have some pain in my stomach area.
I think this is it. I wake John and tell him to take his bag to work so that he is ready to go. I call my mom and let her know to come straight to my house so she can watch Ryan. She is pretty funny, instead of taking side streets to my house like she normally does, she said she will "even take the expressway" to my house.
I call the doctor, by the time we connect with each other is getting closer to 5:30 in the morning. He says it is time to go....
John suggests I have time to shower, but my gut instinct is saying no. I get dressed and head to the car, the pain is getting worse. My mom is now there and I am waiting in the car by myself. I yell out to my mom and inquire, "what the F#$% is he doing?" then he hurries out of the house and reassures me he is there, he was saying good bye to Ryan. OMG! I kind of forgot that I had a kid in the house. The pain in coming and going, I am only focused on the pain.
We park at the hospital, only to realize this side of the hospital isn't open yet. Someone sees that I am slightly in distress and shuffles me through those doors.
As we get to my room, I let two different nurses know that I want an epidural. I don't want to miss my opportunity; the window is smaller with your second child. They reassure me I have time. We are the only patients for the doctor, so he hangs out with us until its go time.
There were three sets of pushes and a little time between each set. During the last set of pushes, I thought, should I tell them I don't really want them to put "it" on me? I had watched too many "Baby Stories" on TLC, honestly it grosses me out.
Too late, this little chunk was placed on my tummy. It was a BOY! We are so blessed, he was healthy, a big boy at 9 lbs 6 oz born at 9:37 am. Pure joy!
Happy Birthday 11th Lucas! You are everything I hoped for and so much more. Thank you for making me your mommy.
,Over the course of a month, there are piles of my work papers, the mail I haven't sorted yet is also in a stack and shoes are everywhere. Honestly, how many pairs of shoes can four people wear during the course of a few days? The sports equipment is gently strewn across the main floor of the house. This very busy household doesn't always have time to prioritize all of the nitty gritty house work. Ok, really I don't want to prioritize the scrubbing the toilets kind of cleaning. I really want to prioritize my time with my kids.
I look forward to the second Tuesday of the month. Yet, it appears to be the most stressful day for me and my mom. It never fails; it always creeps up on us.
We spend the weekend before "that Tuesday" straightening the house. The straightening has to occur so that the cleaning lady can actually clean my house. I frantically spend lots of time getting ready, when really I should do this daily. I can say most days I am just tired.
The second Tuesday arrives, the house is in order and the check is on the table. I love walking in the house at the end of the work day. The smell of the cleaners in the air and the lines vacuumed in to the carpet put a smile on my face. For that night, my house is awesome!
I am sitting, on my favorite chair trying to complete something in all of the many classes I decided to take for work. One son is playing the Xbox; the other is running around the house with his bestie. His bestie is the little girl who lives next door, Natalie. They giggle run around, play games and are just so stinkin' cute together. They became the best of friends as soon as we moved in.
Lucas and Natalie plop down side by side on the couch next to my chair. Next thing I know, I hear her telling Lucas, "You have it on your phone." They describe what the app looks like; its yellow, looks like a ghost. They struggle to find it, and I ask if they are talking about Snap Chat.
YES! was the answer, followed up with "Can I get it?"
Oh NO! I immediately text her mom, she is one of my besties. The test read "Does your kid Snap Chat?" Before there is a response, I hear the garage door open. It is Jackie, it her mom.
She describes the parameters of allowing her to have it. No boys, only a few friends from school and her skate friends. My rule is that you just can't have it. I hate it! I constantly have students who are not responsible on social media and especially this app. They feel like they can put whatever they want on it with no consequence because it goes away after a little while. WRONG
So do I really want my kids to use this app, NO. But this cute little blonde girl with these big blue eyes said "C'mon Ms. Michelle, you have it. I'll friend you too." One of her guidelines is that she can't friend boys, but yet she is going to friend Lucas. Her dad said, "Well it's just Lucas." They really are the best of friends. My rule was no Snap chat, and he was signed up.
Tonight the children won, the adults were taken advantage of, go figure. They are lucky they are cute! :-)