Monday, March 31, 2008

When your sink doesn't work you get ...

Dealing with Stress

Yesterday was a good day. This being said, I did manage to burn a grilled cheese sandwich to the point that smoke was billowing in the air. While scrubbing the pan I then discovered that there was not just one leak under the sink -- but two. Now, even though it was almost noon, I still had on my Superman pajamas and had a hairdo that my kids were not hesitant to point out was "funny". It resembled a mohawk in some ways. Just as I had the water turned off so the sink wouldn't work, and grilled cheese sandwich number two in the pan, the doorbell rang. This I knew would be for me and so I ran to get a hat while yelling for Tia to watch the grilled cheese. My oldest daughter had just been woken up and was told by Jake "oh, and something is burning" when she heard me yell. She ran up to help but found not fire, just smoke, and me chuckling over the bewildered boy waiting for me at the door. All in all, this could have been very stressful but it seemed rather hilarious instead.

One of my favorite people asked on her blog what some of the things are that cause you to feel stressed. I never answered, not because I never get stressed out, but because I couldn't narrow it down. The things that bother me vary greatly according to how I am feeling that day and how much sleep I have had. Some days, all it takes is a frown, or someone saying "Mom" for the hundredth time in five minutes to stress me out. Other days, these things can be handled and it takes more of a scary illness, or defiant child to send me over the edge. So what I want to know is not so much what stresses you out, but what your most effective ways for dealing with stress are.

For me, humor can help -- if I have any left that day. Talking to a friend, or writing down my concerns can help make life seem manageable again. When I am feeling more stress than these things can fix I turn to the calming power of hymns, the wisdom of the scriptures, and the comfort of prayer. This happens sometime after I have hidden in my room and tried to plug my ears so as not to hear any negative noises through the door. Bathroom fans are a great invention.

What works for you?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Rest of the Next Story

The first picture, that I added last, is the end of the story. This is Dan with his new hair cut -- completed while he screamed really, really, loud and tried to stop me by putting his hands in the way.
The second picture is Dan after the next blog picture and after having styled his hair with food also. You can see that with a smile, every hair style is charming.

Dan's Self Styled Hair

Yesterday was a great hair day for Dan. It started with the soy sauce that he snuck out of the fridge, managed to open, and dump on his head. I did my best to wash it off with a wash cloth but it was never the same and Dan had plans to improve on the look. He was helping with dishes again (above) and when I turned away he took the opportunity to use the dish scrubbing brush on his hair. It was full of whatever was on the dishes and produced the above look.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Wicked Plants

We watched an old horror movie about wicked plants called the Triphids. I have my own evil plant -- but at least it doesn't uproot itself and chase me. This is one of my rose bushes and it has lots of little, spindly, very pokey branches that grow out farther and faster than I want them to. I have to trim this bush twice as much as the others and it takes longer because there are so many extremely dangerous little branches. I've requested its removal -- but nobody, including me, is volunteering to get in there to try and dig it out.
Fortunately, unlike the evil triphids, my plant has a redeeming value. When it's blooming, its flowers are beautiful. Dan learned the hard way though that you do not want to fall into its wickedly sharp branches. He went walking over to it though, and it did not chase him so I guess I'll keep my rose bush and be thankful it's not a wicked Triphid.
By the way -- this "horror" movie made Tia laugh. We think the triphids were riding skateboards.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Parent / Teacher Conference

Kayli, Connor, and Jake all had parent teacher conference today. Since I've been told I need to brag on my kids more I will say that, as usual, the teachers wish that all of their students were just like my children. Good grades, and charming too. Hooray for them! Also, Tia auditioned for a spot in a choir called Serendipity and made it. Tenth grade should bring some good singing.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Best St. Patrick's Day Ever

St. Patrick's Day as an elementary student meant getting pinched no matter how much green I wore. As a teenager it meant the marching band would go to a college town in Missouri and march on green streets in front of a bunch of people who were drunk and rather scary. As a Mom it means I try to find something even remotely green in my closet and I console any children who got pinched even though they were wearing green. Yesterday was different. I still tried to find something green in my closet (I had worn my favorite green shirts the week before and they were dirty) and my children had stories of people who got teased for wearing too much green but ... I also gained two nephews. They are doing well and so are their moms. That is a great blessing and easily makes this year's St. Patrick's Day the best ever.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Doing dishes with Dan

Here is Dan, "helping" with the dishes. He likes to help when I wash them in the sink too. He usually helps by pouring water on me and drinking out of all of the clean dishes -- or licking them and throwing them on the floor. With the dishwasher he often pulls so hard on the top rack that it falls out. He likes helping with the dirty dishes the most. This is a problem since I can't let him touch most of our dirty dishes so he won't get hives from lingering milk products. He likes to turn on the dishwasher after it's finished drying and turn the knob when it's washing. I bet you all wish you had such a dedicated worker at your house. Dishwashing is when I speed clean. Look! Dan's in the other room. Unload that dishwasher quick. Oh. He's coming. Close it and pretend you're busy doing something else. Then I try to distract him so I can load a dish or two. Did I mention that he doesn't like opened doors or drawers (unless he gets to play in them) and so you have to be careful or he will slam your arm in the dishwasher. If any of you need help learning to be quick let me know and I'll send him over for a visit.

Not Evil After All

Here I am, able to update my blog having apparently been ruled not spam. They promised they'd send an e-mail once they reopened my blog. I'm still waiting for it. Now if I can think of something fun to say so you will all be entertained and want to come see what I have to say next time!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Superior Rating

My lovely girls, Trisa and Kayli played at the National Federation Junior Festival. They both received a Superior rating. They both did a wonderful job and Trisa and I were both impressed with Kayli's nerves of steel. She didn't seem nervous at all and I didn't hear a missed note. Tia did not memorize her music in time to play today but her piano teacher is going to try to schedule her on a later day. Hooray for talented girls and talented teachers. By the way -- the piano they played on was not nearly as nice as the one pictured and both girls agreed that it was "weird and loud".

Thursday, March 6, 2008

No! I won't!

There are some days where I think I should write a book on parenting. My kids are great! Maybe if I just figure out how they got to be so great it will be a wonderful book. Then there are days like today. When my husband called at lunch time I asked if we should maybe hire a substitute Mom because I sure didn't know what to do with these little boys. The six year old was not at Kindergarten because he didn't want to go. He wasn't dressed because "NO! I won't" is what he wanted to say to Mom. No! I won't get dressed, I won't do my homework, and I won't eat macoroni and cheese for lunch!

Then there is the one year old who didn't want to be in his high chair, or out of it, or picked up, or put down. It is all very discouraging. So, tell me to enjoy my day anyway and I might say "NO! I won't!" But, when it comes right down to it -- it's not been a bad day. I have sympathetic friends, the homework did get done, the boys didn't scream the entire day and if someone asked me if I would give the boys away I would have to answer -- "No! I won't!