Monthly Archives: April 2010

Day two of operation morning dove.

The alarm went off 20 min earlier for the second day in a row and I just about shot it.  Not a single good feeling about my new reformation at all.  Not a pinch of pride for what I was trying to accomplish.  Just pure disgust.  BUT I did get out of bed.  Granted I didn’t bounce up ready to take on the world.  It was still more of a miserable caught in a bear trap reaction but I was up.  Once I forced movement and pried my unwilling eyes open I realized, I can’t believe I am admitting this, that the mornings are actually very beautiful.  For a few hours they are still and quiet just like my beloved nights.  The birds chirp, the sun rises and the world wakes up.  AND if you force yourself awake early, you get to watch the world awaken too!  Yeah, I’d rather be sleeping to but hey, it was worth a try.  There must be something special about the morning considering it was the time Jesus chose for himself as a devotional time to the Father.  He often would arise early and pray.  I do know, as much as I’d like to continue with my night life, that there is nothing like early AM devotion time.  This time with my Lord sets the tone for the entire day and keeps me goal oriented.  Truth, spoken from a morning loather.

Can a grizzly night owl become a morning dove?


I have sat down a few times to jot words but got interrupted by the kids who needed something which ended up being multiple things which turned into hours until I eventually crashed in bed at night too incoherent to form speech.  I must admit I was irritated, annoyed, frustrated (add other adjectives) because this was MY time and as mothers we get so few minutes to ourselves that these moments become choice golden nuggets of opportunity.  Well, actually it wasn’t MY time because MY time has evolved into late nights.  The late night hours have become my prime ME opportunity.  The house is quiet.  Simply BEAutiFUL.  However, the mornings are ugly.  I am ugly.  An ugly groan-yawning grizzly bear.  I realized how effected I am by these late nights recently when a guy came knocking on my door for a sofa (wrong house!) and apologized for waking me up even though I had been awake for a couple of hours.  Sweet.  I realized at that wrong house-door knocking moment that change was in order.

 The Plan:  I have decided to make some changes.  Painful for me but necessary.  I am going to yank myself from the comfy warmth of my bliss (bed) and arise earlier than I currently do.  Yes, yes, I have said this before… just ask Donnie.  I have plotted and I have pledged to wake earlier and have some tea sippin’ devotional time with the Lord and crank out household productivity that would make an assembly line belt jealous. 

Alas, the alarm would obnoxiously ring-a-ding-ding an hour or so earlier than usual and I would whack the snooze button to a pulp.  Bleary eyed, I would finally drag my pathetic morning hating self out of bed [gone was the early awakening] and stumble involuntarily into the kid’s rooms to shake and stir them from their slumber before staggering down the hall with groans and yawns escaping as I proceeded into the kitchen to throw something together for breakfast. 

Part of the problem, other than abhorring mornings, is that I go to bed tooooo late.  Unnaturally late.  Obscenely late.  Just Late.  Common sense will tell you that you can’t go to bed late and hope to get up early.  I’d beat myself up with each early AM failure especially when I’d hear some chirpy soul drone on about how early they get up each AM and how much they are able to accomplish including a 5 mile run around the block! BUT I am more productive at night [I believe]!  I function best at night [I’d tell others].  I’m just not made for mornings [I continue to tell myself].  

Although I do seem to come alive at night thanks to genetic programming, I realized after looking over my late night-time that I could really accomplish much of the tasks during the day as well – minus computer and some TV time.  I realized that by staying up late I was actually just borrowing quality time from the next day.  I want to give my kids the best of me.  Not some grizzly bear appearing, grumpy, groan-yawning creature.

So, here’s the deal:  rather than set the clock to blast myself into cardiac arrest an hour or so earlier than usual, I am going to start with 15-20 minutes earlier.  AND I am going to go to bed 15-20 min earlier the night before.  I can gradually increase the time.  Baby steps.  I need baby steps.  I’ve tried to do too much, too fast, too drastic before.  No wonder why I’d fizzle out!  As mentioned in my previous post I’m making some changes and easin’ on down the road.  I just may be onto something successful.  However, I still despise my alarm clock and I doubt that I will ever welcome it into my world of habit-forming retraining.  I will most likely hit snooze more than the snooze was designed to be hit.  I will most likely stumble, grunt, yawn and groan in the mornings.  I will no doubt continue to hate on the process of waking up but I am waking up!  True it’s only a mere 15 min earlier but it is a start at reform.  Can you reform a night owl?  Only time will tell.

Got Milk?

I get on kicks and go through cycles.  I know it.  Usually I approach something with the force of a steam roller, a super charged bionic steam roller.  Then the steam starts to choke and sputter.  The bionic becomes, well, not so bionic and before I know it, I am caput – done with whatever I was being a super freak about.  Worse yet is when you lose your freak before you even had the chance to be freaky?  Yep, I’ve been there too.  Usually this involves purchasing a butt load of items for the new quest I am embarking on only…geeze, I never seem to quite get to the starting line.  Pathetic?  Lame?  I guess.  But I have gained a wealth of information along the way!  Some things I ride for the long haul and make them work no matter what.  When I stick, I stick. 

So here is my thing now…suzie homemaking with a twist o’ natural.   For those of you who know me, stop laughing!  It is possible.  I can do this!  I’ve wised up a little.  I’ve parked my steam roller and I am easin’ on down the road at a nice gradual pace.  I’m taking things s.l.o.w. and introducing changes [think organic, farming, gardening, fresh dairy] to my family gradually.  Thank God because by the way they (with the exception of hubs and older son – ahem, that leaves the two guilty ones) reacted to the farms cow’s milk I don’t think much more could be tolerated.  They squawked and shrieked.  They gagged, dribbled and sputtered milk pathetically.  They yelled insults at the milk “It tastes like farm!”  They plugged their noses and did a “I don’t like this milk” protest stomp which, I’m sure my mom would say reminded her of my infamous “tomato stomp” that I preformed in my ‘teens’ when she gave me a garden fresh tomato sandwich when I wanted chipped ham.  Payback, I know.  However, I decided to bust up their little payback mutiny before it got out of hand.  How?  Simple bribery….works every time.  I put some old fashion chocolate in the milk and was feeling pretty proud of myself.  Then I saw it…the wrinkling of the nose, the flicking of the tongue and the proceeding verbal complaint “EWWW, I can still taste the farm!” What?!?!  Chocolate was rendered powerless?  Sure enough, there was a faint after taste.  Darn you natural stuff.  Why do you have to be so…strong and wild tasting? Or is it because we kill everything beyond dead before we consume it?  Well, just between you and me, I couldn’t imagine this stuff ruining a cup of my perfect tea.  So (shhhh) I went out and bought a 1/2 gallon of store milk and ahhh, sipped on bliss.  I thought I was pretty sneaky until I heard Sammy open the fridge, rummage around and gasp dramatically while hugging and cheek rubbing the 1/2 gallon milk carton “Oh, I didn’t ever think I’d see you again milky!”   hmmmm, gotta make this work somehow!!

Here’s to adjusting our taste buds!

Looking back, moving forward

Mi Bambinos

I had to go for ‘THAT’ annual appointment this month. The one that we woman detest but consider a necessary addendum of our lives thanks to having female parts. While I was sitting in the office I noticed many women who were in the beginning stages of growing their family. Some of these women were pregnant with their first baby, some their second, third, fourth, fifth….and down the line to the Duggers. Some had their toddlers in tow bouncing on their growing bellies and some just waddled around solo. As I sat and observed these sights a flood of memories began to consume me.

I immediately went right back to the feeling of life in my growing abdomen and all of the physical changes you experience when pregnant. I remembered all of the time I spent in THAT office for THOSE appointments. I remembered the full throttle labor(s) and the months of labor, sleepless nights and tears afterward. While it may have been tempting to breathe a sigh of “whew, glad I’m past that – better you than me” relief, I found myself feeling emotional to the point of watery eyes (tears). Why? Is it because I am a sadomasichist who longs for sleepless nights, sex deprivation, pounds of human manure to clean, leaking boobs and having the alluring odor of spoiled milk? Uh, No.  The tears were because life grows. Gone are the sleepless nights, sex deprivation, manure piles, leaking boobage and sour milk perfume but with them, gone also are my “babies”. I will never have that time back and although for sanity sake, it is a good thing that those years come to an end for us mothers, it is also bitter-sweet. I recall laughing at my mom when her spigots would turn on after looking at a baby picture of my brother or myself. “You just wait” was all she could say. Now I understand. I wouldn’t want to go back. I get that life moves forward but just knowing that I can never return to a minature Alexsia, Josh or Sam (and the fact that they will continue to become less and less minature) makes it that much more emotional.

I welcome these years ahead but can’t help but to take a walk down memory lane and “tear up” as I see the sweet smiling faces of my three beauties waving at me in all of their chubby baby glory.

More than I can chew

Remodeling, reorganization, and redoing seems like a constant theme of our life.  Possibly because we bought a really outdated home for a bargain price. At that time we believed the remodeling challenges were worth the deal considering we were getting prime reality in a prime location…surely we were up for the undertaking…right?  Laugh, laugh, laugh at us!  We had never owned a “fixer upper” and we were totally naive to what it would actually take to get this home where it needed to be.  I can still recall us (ok, primarily me) walking through the house saying “we can fix this, and change that, and do this” like it was easy or something.  I had big vision and this visionary ability got the sellers their much-needed sell and bought us a lot of work.  When I mean outdated, think everything needed for a home to function….windows, roof, furnace, siding, air conditioning, carpet, floors, paint, kitchen, bathrooms, EVERYTHING [ doe, rae, me $$$).  But our budget didn’t cover everything and we refused to go into big debt.  Thus, it has been a process and we are winding down on our list.  Could we actually be almost done???  Big sigh.

So this leads us to our most recent project — daughter’s room.  It is the third largest of our four bedrooms.  We painted it when we moved in but now that she is a teen, she has been wanting to re-think the look considering it hasn’t been touched since her earlier years and her nasty chihuahua decided to pee all over the carpet.  Gross.  We are heavy into the process and I’m feeling a wee bit overwhelmed.  Not because it is difficult or anything.  I know difficult, I lived difficult during our 6 month kitchen remodel when my promised 3-4 days without a functioning kitchen turned into 12 weeks!!  I was cooking our meals on hot plates in the garage and it was not a pretty sight.  We became proficient at eating on styrofoam and plastic and finding a somewhat clean place to eat where the dry wall dust had not invaded (if that’s even possible).  That experience tested the fiber of my being and I perfected my glare which I routinely utilized to bore holes into the back of the heads of the lying contractors!

So this minor remodel is mild in comparison.  However, I am overwhelmed and I think it has to do with focus.  She has an idea in mind and is very, very good at communicating her need [demands] but when we enter IKEA it is like all logical, organized brain matter evacuates and a jumbletron of randomness enters.  I even had a list, complete with measurements, dimensions and drawings to help keep my focus on the task at hand but it turned into mush too.  Have you ever been there?  I see this, she sees that…oh wouldn’t this look nice here or that there?  Do we need this?  How about that?  Look at that design!  How did they do that room?  This would be nice to do.  And all functioning practicality is lost and replaced with overwhelming fatigue and confusion.  It is during these times of  futility that I plop onto one of the chairs, or on the bed totally wishing for this design to be our finished room project.  It is there that we sit and discuss life as we wait for the cameras to being rolling one of the famous IKEA commercials.

I give designers A LOT of applause.  Let’s make it a standing ovation!  How they do it, I’ll never know but I do know that if we could afford one, I’d be dialing them instead of blogging about it right now!  We should be done with the major room stuff in a week and then the world of accessories will be left.   Focus, focus, focus!!

Built to last

Looking over my life recently and all of the blessings I realized yet again, that I have a great husband.  I really do.  What did he do?  He didn’t do anything special recently that would spark this feeling of blog worthy appreciation.  But that’s the beauty.  He doesn’t have to.  He is who he is and that is what makes him a wonderful husband and father. 

I have been matched with my perfect puzzle piece.  We fit.  It’s those times spent talking where we say nothing yet everything.  The times where words are not even necessary because a single glance communicates volumes.  Being totally unique yet one.  The inside jokes and memories we’ve made together.  The fits of uncontrollable stomach laughter that we could not contain even if we wanted to.  The tears of joy and sorrow.  

This is what commitment is all about and I am blessed.

The power of a Smile :)

Did you ever notice what a smile can do for you?  It’ll either melt your heart or P’ you off.  When I am having a bad day or yelling at my kids because of their animalistic behavior all that it takes is one smile from their faces and I tone down my rantings or choke them…depending.   

Once when I was driving this wild woman got out of her car and began to seize in fits of physical and verbal rage as she stomped on the pavement and sent showers of spit flying into the air space around her.  I guess she didn’t like something about my driving????  Anyway I had all of the kids in the car with me and they were wide-eyed and taking in the performance of this gorilla woman.  She was so primal that I was seriously waiting for her to beat on her chest like King Kong.  Before I knew it a huge smile was creeping across my face until I was beaming.  The kid’s wide-eyed expressions also turned into smiles that mirrored mine with giggles even escaping.  It was these smiles that sent gorilla woman over the sanity barrier.  She was officially an insane freak pushed over the edge by a few smiles.

And try this one:  Smile at a random stranger in the store.  Three things will happen. They will either suck up your smile and smile warmly back – or – look at you with that “what the heck are you smiling at?!”  look – or – fix their hair, wipe their face or check their clothing to see if there is anything the matter with their appearance.

Amazing.  All these reactions from a simple smile.  Talk less, smile more!