Bananas Unite!

Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 in From My Perspective, Twins | 0 comments

The girlies start their winter volleyball league tomorrow.  They are both very excited.  So far, this is the only sport that our eight year old identical twins have agreed to love.  Taylor loved dance and gymnastics, but Sydney did not.  Sydney loved soccer and swimming, but Taylor did not.  Craig and I encouraged each of them to play the sports they enjoyed separate from her sister, but it’s the company of each other that they love the most.
So volleyball it is.  Taylor will attack with her left hand, and Sydney will swing with her right.  It makes sense.  They have been a winning team since conception.
And for the time being, we luck out yet again.  Because even though we have three children, we only have two extra-curricular schedules to maintain.  So while we’ll cheer for the girls to ‘Go bananas!’ on the court, we won’t go bananas trying  to get them there.

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Pitying Me Sucks

Posted by on Nov 29, 2012 in From My Perspective |

Man.  I’m having one of those days.  One of those days that feels awful inside my head, but if I were to try to explain why it wouldn’t really seem so bad.  I don’t feel good.  My head hurts and my whole body aches.  But I have too much to do to entertain the notion that maybe I should lay down, even though that’s what I really want to do.
So I’m taking a quick break to eat some yogurt and drink some coffee, in the hopes that I’ll feel energized.  But so far, the only change I notice is a new rumble in my tummy.  This is not good.
I don’t have time for this.  I’m already behind as it is.  The house is in sorry shape.  I haven’t filed our receipts and tax paperwork since, well, July.  Every closet in the house has become a danger zone.  I have clothes that need to be picked up from the tailor, but they’ve been there so long I’m nervous they’ve already been donated to Good Will.  Et cetera.  Et cetera.
This was all true yesterday, too.  But yesterday I didn’t mind.  Today, though, everything just feels heavier.  Tomorrow it won’t.  But today it does.  And I hate that feeling.
So I’m going to turn on some good music and trick myself into being in a good mood.  Then I’m gonna get my butt up off this chair and get to work.  Because the longer I sit here and feel sorry for myself, the crappier I’m going to feel.  In order to make my day bloom instead of gloom, I must suck it up and make the choice to let go of the three capital letters campaigning to ruin my day.

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The Muffin Man

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 in Family Life, From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem | 0 comments

Do you know The Muffin Man?  Because I sure do.  Yes…I know The Muffin Man.
Before Gabriel turned two, The Muffin Man was his very favorite song.  We listened to it on repeat in the car over and over and over and over again.  It didn’t matter if the trip was five minutes long or five hours, we listened to The Muffin Man from start to finish.  And Gabe sang along jovially every single time.  At first it was cute.  And because it’s a festive little song, he’d get a kick out of it when we sang along with him.
Eventually, though, we grew tired of The Muffin Man.  We tried our hardest to introduce other songs that he might also take a liking to.  But, ulitmately, he’d make yet another request for The Muffin Man.
“Oh God…” one of us would mutter begrudgingly as we pushed play for the millionth time.
But as soon as he heard the intro, Gabe’s blue eyes would light up, his head would bob back and forth, and his feet would kick to the beat against his car-seat as he belted out the off-tune lyrics.  Every time, our initial feeling of disdain for the song would be replaced with endearing sentiment.  The Muffin Man made our little boy happy.  How could that be a bad thing?
Then one day we were visiting my dad in rural Michigan.  We were taking Gabe on a golf cart ride around Dad’s property when we stumbled upon a dead mole that had been stabbed by one of my dad’s traps.  I thought it was pretty gruesome for a little boy to see, so I covered Gabe’s eyes with my hands.  Unfortunately, I was a little too late.
“Ewwww, Mommy!  What’s that?” Gabe wanted to know.
“It’s a dead mole, honey,” I told him with regret.
“What’s dead mean, Mommy?”  Gabe asked curiously.
“It means he went up to heaven to live with God, sweetie,” I tried to explain to him in a way that wouldn’t scare him.
He looked at me, his eyes wide with surprise.  Then, strangely enough, a great big smile covered his face.  “You mean The Muffin Man?!” he asked, wild with excitement.
I was confused.  I looked to Craig for help, but he was just as caught off guard by Gabe’s random question as I was.
But then it hit me: Every time Gabe requested The Muffin Man in the car, either Craig or I responded with a dreadful “Oh God…” in negative anticipation of the amount of times we’d be forced to listen to the song on repeat.  As a result of our sarcastic attitudes, our son now believed that God was The Muffin Man.
“Yep, Gabe,” I reassured him.  “He went to live with The Muffin Man.  So say a little prayer for him that he’s having a good time on Drury Lane.”
“Okay, Mommy!” Gabe agreed enthusiastically.
Craig, my dad and my step-mom looked at me curiously.  I told them I would explain my revelation later.  When I did, they couldn’t stop laughing.  And while it was funny, I knew I had some work ahead of me.  First and foremost, Craig and I were in need of attitude adjustments.  Who were we to complain about something so simple that brought our little boy so much joy?  And, eventually, I would have to figure out a way to break it our innocent son that God was not actually The Muffin Man.  But for the time being…my white lie comforted his first experience with death.  And I don’t think God or The Muffin Man minded.

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Keepin’ It Real…

Posted by on Nov 27, 2012 in Family Life, From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem | 0 comments

Recently I had a fellow blogger comment on her appreciation for the depth of my blogs.  And while it was a very nice compliment, I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony.  Because while I’m alone at my keyboard, I can go deep.  But when I’m with a crowd of people, I prefer to keep it light.  So light that the term airhead might be a more applicable description for me.

     Just the other day, we were having drinks with a great group of people.  In attendance were old friends, new friends and business acquaintances.  While Craig worked early to get the necessary business conversations out of the way, I was having fun catching up with my old friends and getting to know my new ones, who happened to be world travelers.
      Daryl, my new friend, was surprised to learn that I loved the city of Charlotte.  He was very curious as to what made  me love it so much.  He’s 31, single and doesn’t have children.  He was intent on listening with an open-mind so that his next experience to Charlotte might be better than his previous trips, which have been lacking.
     I told him about the shopping, both designer and antique.  I gushed about the scrumptious food on every corner.  I marveled about the romantic quaintness of the city.  I was impressed with how safe I felt walking the streets at night.  I appreciated the upscale classiness that merged with down-home charm.  I was amazed by the preservation of historical beauty as it is a town that makes old feel better than new.  I went on and on with dramatic flair.
As I spoke with reverence to Charlotte, I could tell by the undeniable look of confusion plastered on his face that my explanation of the city was nothing like he’d before experienced.  Feeling the need to add strength to my claim, I told him that a mutual friend of ours (who is also a world traveler)  was the one who referred us to the city in the first place.  In fact, we even visited his home while we were in town.
Suddenly, his confusion changed to frustration.  “Wait!!!  Are you talking about Charleston?!!!” he exclaimed, already knowing the answer to be true because that’s where our mutual friend lives.
“Oh my God!”  I doubled over with embarrassed laughter.  “Yes!!” I squealed as I cupped my hand over my mouth in surprise.  “Forget about Charlotte!  I’ve never stepped foot in that city!” I admitted in hysterics.  “But Charleston is fabulous!!!”
     Daryl shook his head from side to side in amused disgust, and threw his hands in the air in exaggerated defeat.  I was mortified.  But, God, it was funny!
     I wish it ended there…but it doesn’t.  A little while later, we were all talking together in a circle when the subject of Brazil came up.  Craig asked if it was a country I’d ever consider going to visit.
     I looked at him sideways due to the negative assumption in his tone.  “Sure I’d go!”  I reassured our audience.  “I mean, seriously, do I seem like the downer of the group?” I made light of the obvious beer buzz I was enjoying.
     People laughed.  I should have stopped there.  But I didn’t.  As usual, I felt the need to continue.
     “Besides…I speak Spanish really well, so I’d be able to get you around!” I boasted to Craig.
     The circle fell quiet.  Dangerous smiles lurked on everyone’s face but mine, threatening to make me the punchline of the joke.
     Daryl’s friend, the other world traveler, kindly offered, “Yes…except they speak Portuguese in Brazil.”
     Airhead strikes again.  Crap!  The room erupted into laughter.  Once again, I laughed just as hard along with them.  What else was there to do?
     And in that instant we went from being new friends to old friends.  Because now we have a collective story to “remember when” the next time we’re together.  Hopefully, it won’t always be me providing the entertainment in the future, but I won’t make any deep promises.
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My Living Will

Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in From My Perspective, Raising Great Kids | 0 comments

I fear death.  It’s not the end that scares me, but rather the feeling that I’ve only just begun.  I’m afraid for my children to grow up without my guidance.  I have so much left to teach them.

At 8, 8, and 10 they are just entering the tough years. The years that will be plagued with an overload of confusing emotions.  They’re going to need my help to figure out who they are and where they stand in this great big world.  If I am here to offer them a strong foundation of where they came from, then it will be much easier for them to understand, love and accept the direction of their own lives.

Gabe’s innate sense of fairness is unwavering.  I need to help him navigate through the reality that life isn’t always fair.

Taylor’s charismatic spirit is larger than life, and she commands attention everywhere she goes.  I need to help her blend in when necessary and take comfort in sharing the stage.

Sydney is always careful with the feelings of those around her.  I need to help her develop a thicker skin when the world isn’t kind in return.

All of this takes time.  And I pray to God that I will be here to continue to offer them support when I’m eighty years old.  But just in case I’m not…I write.  And in every entry, I leave for them a little piece of me.  A glimpse into what I would say or do in a given situation.  The encouragement necessary to make the often difficult choice to be the bigger, better person.  A cheerleader for taking comfort in who they are on the inside, instead of altering who they are on the outside.

Through my words, they will hear my voice.  Through my voice, they will know they are loved.  And through my love, they will find strength.

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