Wow Your Kids Are Well-Behaved

Do you ever take your kids out in public and think yours are the only ones not behaving or listening?  Oh, is that just us?  I mean, I think my kids are pretty well-behaved and I have control over them most of the time, but there are times (often) when we’re out in public, mostly at the grocery store since we don’t go many other places, it seems I’m constantly having to remind them of proper behavior.

“Stop fighting!”

“Stop running!”

“Stop licking that!”

“Stop grabbing things off the shelf!”

“Wait, where did Layton go?”

Then I look around and it appears there’s these little angels of children standing next to their mom or dad, patiently waiting for them to make their next food purchase choice.

Angel Kids

You see the occasional baby crying or toddler throwing an I-want-that-and-I’m-going-to-scream-bloody-murder-until-you’re-embarrassed-enough-to-buy-it-for-me fit, but those are the rare sightings it seems for me.  Mostly I see these children that just quietly walk two paces behind their parents allowing them the peaceful, thoughtful grocery-shopping experience I only get when I sneak out of the house and tell my husband, “I’ll be back in just a bit!”  As if I need to proclaim that my trip will be quick in order for my departure to be guilt-free leaving my husband home with all the kids.

Now keep in mind, my husband absolutely encourages me to go shopping alone or run errands without the kids, it’s just as moms, we still have that little trace of guilt whenever we dare to find a moment with just ourselves.  And as the kids get older, the guilt does seem to diminish some.  Not sure if we think the kids get somehow easier (they don’t) or we’re so worn out we’ll take those moments and run.  Guilt left behind.  I think I’m somewhere in that phase.  The alternative is taking the kids with me, making rushed food purchase decisions, darting evil glances from the mom with the perfect angel trailing quietly two paces behind her as my children tumble in a WWF heap in front of her cart abruptly ending her peaceful shopping experience.  Ya, I’m sorta getting over the guilt when leaving the kids behind.

I’m sure my kids aren’t as loud and obnoxious as I’m making them out to be.  After all, they are boys.  Boys are loud.  They have lots of energy.  And I have four of them.  And come to think of it, I think most the perfect little angels I see at the store are girls.  In ten years, their moms will be giving me the evil glances because she has to deal with a hormonal teenage daughter and I’ll be walking blissfully through the store as my non-hormonal sons are at home doing the list of chores I left for them.  Life’s all about trade-offs, isn’t it?

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Dreary = Lazy

What is it about dreary days that automatically make you lazy?  And moody?  And irritable?  Living in the Seattle Metro area, this can be very debilitating and lead to piles of laundry, days without working out, and a bad mood I can’t blame on my period.  I prefer to save up my moody days for my cycle.  I’m afraid my husband will leave me if I’m moody the other 4 days of the month I don’t blame it on my period.

I woke up yesterday and it was dreary and cold and rainy, and that’s also pretty much how my day felt.  I had no reason to feel this way besides I looked outside and the weather was basically flipping me off.  It’s like it knew I had plans to get a bunch of stuff done around the house and that I hadn’t worked out in many days and it said, “Add one more day, Toots!”  I wanted to flip it off right back and get a bunch of things done and go sweat it out for 2 hours at the gym.  That would show it!  I ended up on the computer most of the day, talked on the phone with a couple of girlfriends, and barely picked up the house before I had to get the kids.

Today I got up and the sun was peering through the clouds and I was immediately rejuvenated (probably also had something to do with the nine and a half hours of sleep I got), but I prefer to think that the weather felt bad for its apparent lack of respect for me, my mood, my ambition, my husband’s sanity, and my parenting abilities that also seem to diminish when it’s crappy out.  Today I made my juice, hummed while I made the 3 rounds of waffles and 3 bags of lunch, and didn’t yell at my kids once!  I’m also about ready to head to the gym.  Yes, today will be marvelous.


So now that I sit here and ponder the weather’s bizarre control over me, I immediately am frustrated.  I am the type of person who will chant to my friends and family when they’re having a bad day, or year, “You make your own happiness.”  And I truly do believe this.  So why, will someone with this mentality, allow the weather to dictate the type of day, wife, mother, and all around productive person I am going to be?  Why am I to be controlled by the weather that is clearly attempting to taunt, rule, and decide how my day will go??

I’m done being controlled, weather.  You can blow all the wind, pine needles, rain and hail you want because, one, after I get done posting this I’m heading to the gym (and I don’t care that you made the sun go behind those now questionable clouds as I rant about you), and two, my husband will totally clean all those pine needles out of the gutter and sweep the driveway and walkways, so again, you have no control over me.

Now, if I can just somehow tell my menstrual cycle, period, the 10 days leading up to my period, and the 10 days after that it takes to recover from my period, that they don’t rule me either, I would be eternally grateful.  Okay, my husband would be eternally grateful.  And my house would be a lot cleaner.  And my kids would probably smile more.  And my dog would stop hiding from me when he has this 6th sense of what’s happening.  I can’t be expected to be responsible for all my moodiness, can I? I didn’t think so.

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It’s the little things…

I try to appreciate something in each of my days that I am either grateful for, or just take a moment to appreciate something that brought me happiness or peace. It can be a 30-second moment, an hour activity, or an all day event. Raising kids is stressful and each day brings along new emotions. As moms we understand the multitude of emotions that come with each day. And depending on our cycles, there could be 15 emotions encapsulated in just one minute. Men, don’t try to understand this. Just accept it. And it’s also wise to just go along with it as if you find this normal. Because it is.

So when those moments come along in the day that are worth taking pause and recognizing it for the value it holds, whatever that may be, I make sure to take a moment to appreciate them. Most of the time it’s the little things that grab me. Last Sunday I had one of those moments. I can’t remember the last time I was up before my kids when I didn’t have to jump on the computer and start working. This past Sunday morning I was up, showered, and had some time to myself. It just doesn’t happen that often. I took pause and appreciated every single minute. It was better than therapy.

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Flashback Friday – Taylor Tribune – 6/25/06

Front Page Forum

For those of you who have been keeping track, it has been exactly 100 days since I wrote my last Tribune.  I have had many inquiries as to what happened over here at Tribune Headquarters… and all I can say is I don’t recommend moving and getting knocked up all in the same time frame.  I’m sure most of you know that both events occurred, but most probably haven’t heard my sob story about being very sick for 14 weeks.  Also, our home computer is now downstairs and up until recently I haven’t liked going down there much because it’s cold.  Now that it’s summer it actually feels good.  But I have also decided to just write The Tribune on my laptop and send it to you from my work email since I don’t check my Comcast email that much anymore.  Okay, do you wish I didn’t start up the Tribune again so you could skip the meaningless details of my thought processes?  Too late!

Toddler Tantrums

We have a new name for Levi’s article… he’s not so much a baby anymore so we will have to reserve that for our next delivery coming this fall.  Levi has turned into this playful, cuddly creature we all can’t get enough of.  Although, he does have his moments!  But I would like to focus on his good traits.  He is very active and pretty much never stops running.  Remember way back when I was making fun of Keith for stating how fast he thinks Levi is?  Well I have to tell you that I really think we have a future track star on our hands.  This kid can run so fast he amazes strangers who witness his sprints.  We have had numerous people tell us how fast he is.  I literally have a hard time chasing him because he outruns me.  Now this may have something to do with my five-month old fetus growing in me, but regardless, he is a little speedster.  I don’t dare let him down in a store because the minute his little feet hit the ground he’s off and peeling around a corner out of seeing distance.  I have to send Logan after him to fetch him back for me.  I always know when Logan manages to get him because I hear a high-pitched shrill from the next isle.  I will also have to say that Levi is not much a talker… why, we’re not sure, considering Keith and I fight for the spotlight.  Levi babbles quite a bit, but he limits his conversations to a language only known by himself.  The cutest thing is whenever he hears the phone ring he says, “Hello?”  He loves to say that.  He also asks us, “What’s that?” about 159 times a day.  Any noise or toy or shadow or bug or speck of dust he will point to and ask, “What’s that?”  Not sure if he really wants to know what it is or if he just likes to say that because we always have a response for him.  Once we answer him he seems content with that and moves on to the next thing.

Life of Logan

Mister Logan has been a busy boy.  He finally got out of school on June 15th and had his first full week off of school this past week.  He decided to attend basketball camp last week which lasted 4 days from 8-10:00 each morning.  He absolutely loved it and said he learned a lot!  We were thrilled that he wanted to do it.  He wished it lasted longer.  On Saturday we visited Camp Killoqua, which is the camp he will be attending Aug 6-12.  He wasn’t sure if he really wanted to go to camp for a whole week until we got there and took a tour and talked with some of the counselors.  Now he can’t stop talking about it and is counting down the days until he gets to go.  Brandon and I went to camp for many years at Camp Wapsie in Iowa, which is pretty much the same thing as this camp.  We loved going to camp and couldn’t wait to go every summer.  Logan is most excited for archery and swimming in the lake.  He won’t want to leave!  Logan continues to be such a great kid.  He is the best big brother and really helps out with Levi.

Logan holding Levi

We have given Logan more responsibility with house chores and he’s doing really well with that, even with minimal complaining!  He will be in 5th grade next year and had to switch schools again because we moved.  I registered him a couple of weeks ago and he got to see his school.  He doesn’t seem too bothered by the new school… he’s most sad about not seeing his friends from his old school.  He was really sad the last day of school because he had to say goodbye to everyone.  It broke my heart.

Keith’s Korner

Keith is at work today.  In the past 48 hours he has had about 9 hours of sleep.  Partly because his last shift only allowed for 3 hours of sleep and the rest because we went out last night with his family and stayed out until 12:30am.  We went out with his cousins he hasn’t seen in over 20 years.  We went to a karaoke bar (imagine that) and caught up on what they have been up to.  It was very cool to meet some of Keith’s family that I hadn’t met before and he hadn’t seen in a long time.  One of his cousins he hadn’t even met because she wasn’t born yet when they lost touch.   They were all very cool and down to earth and I’m sure we will be seeing more of them.  Keith has been a busy man fixing up our yard.  I have to tell you how impressed I am with how much he can get done and how good of a job he does.  I think he missed his calling as a landscaper!  He is very particular about getting things done around the house and doing it right the first time.  The result is a beautiful yard that is clean and healthy and weeded.  Keith also made me a raised garden in the backyard.  We planted corn, peppers, tomatoes, green onion, green beans and peas.  So far all of them have sprouted except the bell peppers.  He just seeded the backyard as well since the grass is scarce and there’s a lot of sand.  So once the backyard is looking good I think he’ll be happy with his work.  He spends most of his days with Levi and Logan outside working in the shop or the yard and organizing everything.  What is it about men that they spend so many hours in the garage?  I mean, I try to only spend time in the garage to give me enough time to walk from inside to my car and then high-tail it out of there.  Just one of the many differences between the sexes.

Hormonal Confessions

I have decided to keep the title of my article because it just seems to suit me so well.  I think Keith would have to agree.  Pregnancy definitely does a number on the hormones!  They are raging and unpredictable.  I cry all the time, but not because I’m unhappy or sad, mostly because something moved me on TV or I think about something sentimental and it draws a tear to my eye.  Keith has got to be the best husband put on this earth because he is so good to me…  I think sometimes too good even when I don’t deserve it.  He rubs me, pampers me, puts up with my mood swings, takes care of the children when I need to rest, and gets up with Levi so I can sleep in.  Do they make them any better than that?  I am thankful I have such a wonderful husband and father to my children.  As most of you know we found out on Thursday we are having another boy.  Even though I made it clear I wanted a girl, the minute I saw his little body on the ultrasound screen I couldn’t want anything but what he already was.  So I will now be the proud mama of 3 beautiful, precious boys.  Work has been good.  I now have a new title and job description.  I sort of created my own position within the company.  My new title is Internal Recruitment Administrator, which is just fancy for the person responsible for all of the on-boarding for our new recruiters.  Our Virtual Recruiting Team has grown so much that it mandated a person responsible for processing all of the new hire paperwork, scheduling for orientation, conducting backgrounds, references, etc.  Pretty much all of the HR stuff which I love to do!  So I no longer do the recruiting, which I am just fine with.  My least favorite aspect of HR is the recruitment part, which is pretty ironic since that was what I used to do.  I have been so busy that we had to bring on an assistant to help me with all of the processes.  He lives in LA and is very cool.  He’s very low-maintenance so that makes it nice.  I just give him stuff and he does it with minimal questions.  He just started last week so let’s hope this stays true.

Painting Getaway

You know a mom needs a break when her getaway is doing labor for 3 days in someone else’s house.  When my mom asked for help on her must-do painting project, I jumped at the chance.  The thought of having 3 days with adult-only conversations, no alarm clock in the form of a child, no making lunches, dropping off and picking up at school, loads of laundry, fighting, whining, bedtime routines, and mid-night awakenings, I packed my bags a little quicker than probably appropriate for someone leaving their family for 3 days.

My mom and stepdad bought a beautiful home in Wenatchee earlier this year and have been busy updating, redecorating and renovating areas of the house they didn’t quite like.  I have lived thousands of miles away from my mom for 15 of the last 18 years.  To say that my mom and I are close is an understatement.  It has not been good (mostly for my husband) that I have lived that far from my mom for that many years.  So when they told me last summer that they were moving from Texas to Washington to be closer to us, I literally cried for hours, okay days, with tears of pure joy and excitement.  I’ve always said that the one missing thing in my life was not having my mom close.

Problem solved!  Mom is here.  I am happy.  Mom needs help painting.  Count me in.  In the last 3 days we’ve bought paint, taped, rolled paint, brushed on paint, bought more paint, removed tape, cleaned paint, performed contortionism in order to paint certain areas, taken Ibuprofen for newfound muscles, and loved every single second.

Moe Gymnastics Painting

Tomorrow I will head back West to be back with my husband and kids.  I’m not sad that I’m leaving and I’m not sad that I’ve been gone.  These are the moments I longed for when I was thousands of miles away from my mom.  And these are the moments that a mom needs to regroup, recoup, and refresh.  I find myself missing the alarm clock in the form of a child, making lunches, dropping off and picking up at school, loads of laundry, fighting, whining, bedtime routines, and mid-night awakenings.  I left for 3 days to get a break.  But what I really needed was to spend time with my mom.  She’s the reason why I love being a mom.

Mom Moe Painting