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December 5, 2014

7 Quick Takes - 92



Thank you to Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum for hosting the 7QT. Holy Moly! I haven't participated since October!! Yikes! Well, I know the blogging has been slow around here. But that's the only part of my life that has been. Happy Friday!

**And then, Jen goes and changes up who is hosting! I guess I am glad that I started back up this week... hmmm, guess I should get a new header picture...I will have to see what's going on!


--- 1 ---
The school Christmas program was last night. Dani, Helen and Dominic performed with their classes.
Helen and Dani look so grown up!!
Sarah kept Vincent at home and Craig had to work. It was rather odd, sitting in my chair all by my lonesome. Someone said that I must not know what to do with myself. Oh contrare! I've learned to appreciate the times I don't have someone calling "Mommy!" or saying, "I need..." or "I want..."

I enjoyed the program, though. Dominic played the part of Joseph. That was cute. (Remember when Helen was Mary a few years ago?) Helen was so cute...as soon as she found me, she waved and then she and I would lock eyes and she'd grin at me whether she was singing or not! Dani was a part of a group singing a descant during the last song and it sounded so good. I really hope I can get Dani back into her music a bit more...we stopped guitar lessons a year ago, but if I can figure out how to get it back into the budget...I see how passionate she is about music, I would like to try and cultivate that, if possible. 

One of the things I cherish about my kids being in Catholic school is the opportunity to do a Christmas program. It was short, sweet and very good!

These two are so cute!!

 
--- 2 ---
This is a kettlebell.







Sometime before December started, someone from the Box put out the challenge to do 300 kettlebell swings for 30 days in December. Of course, crazy me, I can't resist this sort of thing -- so I signed up. Holy Moly, that's a workout all by itself! I have been doing them before the workouts every day. I find that mentally, doing 300 swings in a day gets easier every day that goes by. I'm positive that the day I don't do 300 swings will be the day I end (and fail) this challenge. So...I'm going to keep going to 30 I guess. My shoulders were crazy-tight yesterday and I told the chiropractor so. He worked on them, but I still feel tight through there and my lats and upper shoulders/back area.

Today I decided to run my stopwatch on my phone to get a gauge on how long this sort of thing takes (I knew the general time, though). I do these in sets of 25. 25 swings takes me about 45 seconds. So I do 4 sets of 25, resting 45 seconds in between. Then I give myself an extra minute to rest before the next 4 sets. It took right about 20 minutes.


--- 3 ---
Oh yes. Tonight will be my first trip back to Allen Fieldhouse to watch my Jayhawks play basketball! Yay! I'm excited.

Due to Craig's new job and our hectic schedules, Craig's mom has had to find others to take her to the games. :( But I was happy to find one I could make and I think we'll settle in and get to make it to a few, just not as many as we have in years past.

The Jayhawks look to be pretty good this year. Unfortunately, I think Kentucky has a team that very few other teams could beat, if any. They handled the Jayhawks pretty well a couple of weeks ago. But, KU will still be in the conversation for another conference championship, tournament run, etc. I love men's college basketball!


--- 4 ---
Did you see this game going around?






Fun that they pick Effie Trinket as the photo for this
I saw a few FB friends post it, so last night I got on Google on my phone to see what came up when I put in "Michelle Meme." The first one was this, and made me laugh out loud:

I'd never seen it before, but apparently it gets
enough hits that it's number 1

Since the First Lady has the name of Michelle, there's an Obama Meme that comes up 2nd. It wasn't all that funny, so I'm not sharing. But then this one...number 3...it was perfect!!
 
Ummm, hello! I have been hungry since I was born!! LOL
 
So? Anyone else want to play??
 
--- 5 ---
Well, I got one of my drafts published this week. I had to go through that post and rewrite some of it because I started it 8 months ago! Isn't that crazy? I guess I start, then I don't like the way it's going so I stop. I figure I must have looked at it 5-7 times over the course of those 8 months and just couldn't put it together the way I wanted.

That's the thing about being so busy and writing not being my job. I don't practice it enough to get really good at it. Then I get a semi-decent idea to write about, but I don't have time to flesh it all out at once and since I'm out of practice, it takes me longer anyway. Oh well. Such is life.
 
--- 6 ---
Sarah told me the other night to stop saying, "Well, that's how it is as you get older." Apparently I have been saying that a lot. I notice. But, still. She is in 8th grade and life is starting to get a bit more "real" to her. The schoolwork takes more effort, she's busy with her extra-curricular activities, she helps me out a lot on the homefront and she's trying to get a babysitting business going. There's a lot to do! I have figured out, though, that sometimes she just wants to talk at me and doesn't want my advice or commentary. I have been trying hard to remember the part about her not wanting my advice or commentary. It's hard to withhold, but I try to remember that she just wants me to listen. So...I try to listen and keep my mouth shut. It's difficult, believe me, but I'm getting better at it.
 
--- 7 ---

Taylor Swift's new album, 1989, is  my favorite ever! It has been a LONG time since I have listened to an album straight through and loved every song on it. Oh...probably since Taylor Swift's Speak Now album. I know Taylor Swift doesn't need promotion from someone like me. But I can't help it. There are a few songs on this album that I would listen to on repeat. She's got a gift for the catchy tune and rhythm paired with lyrics that take me back to whatever age Taylor Swift is in the songs she wrote. So, anyway...good album.

I think Craig and I decided no concerts for the girls and just figured that's a lot of money to spend for little kid entertainment. I've done it...I took all three girls to see Taylor Swift three years ago. It was a lot of money and it was hard to stay throughout the whole thing at their ages so I thought I wouldn't do that again. But there's a part of me that would feel guilty if I were to go to see Taylor Swift in concert and not take Dani with me (she's a huge fan).

What do you all think? This trend to taking young girls/kids to concerts? Do you do it? What's a good age to start taking them? I would imagine it varies by temperament and level of disposable income for that sort of thing. I still wonder what you all think?
 
BONUS: Oh, it's Advent! I love Advent. Dominic's been the one committed to uncovering the little windows in our Advent calendar and he seems to enjoy it. I wish I knew how to limit the hustle and bustle of this time because I know I need to settle down more in my prayer life for Christmas preparation. Are you doing anything special with your families?

Busy weekend around our house -- basketball scrimmage, service hours, babysitting, cleaning. Have a great one!

Be sure to go visit Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 1, 2014

My Strong-Willed Child

He's the child I never knew I missed.

I wasn't quite ready...but you can see Vincent was :)
He's the one that made us say, "If he'd been first...he might have been last."

He loves to say "CHEESE!"
He tests my patience. Yet he fills my heart so full it could burst.
He wanted us to have "silly sticker noses"
I'd always heard about this thing called a "strong-willed" child. I thought, perhaps, I had seen glimpses in my other children. But I only learned how naive I had been when Vincent was born into our family. Because our experience with him highlighted for me that the glimpses of "strong will" we'd seen in the other children were just your normal, everyday, run-of-the-mill challenges of normal-tempered children at different stages. Vincent showed us that "strong willed child" means strong-will, all the time, every day, every minute, with every choice and every occasion.

Vincent goes all-out, all the time. Even in the beginning--I can look back to pregnancy and labor/delivery and say, "I should have known..."

Vincent was the one of my pregnancies where we checked progesterone early and often and it just kept plummeting. It was Vincent who wouldn't cooperate at 12 weeks and let the doctor get a good heart beat with the doppler thingy and so he had to do a pelvic and jumble things around until we heard it and put my mind at ease. It was Vincent who forced his way to 27 hours of induced labor including 16 hours of "good" contractions before finally deciding to descend and be born in the matter of about 5 minutes. All on his time, you see. I joked with my doctor about whether this was a "5th child" thing -- the kid taking his sweet time to be born (my doctor had shared that he was a 5th child...) Honestly, the newborn months are a blur (as they are with all the kids), but as we emerged into our new normal, Vincent still exhibited this all-out, all the time personality.

Three-and-a-half years in, I regularly acknowledge that Vincent is my strong-willed child. He's wild. He's loud. And...he gets what he wants more often than not.

He loves cars...so surely he enjoyed playing this game with his daddy.

I've tried to be a mother twho "chooses" the "battles" carefully. But I never had so many to choose from before Vincent! I never realized how blessed I was with the older four that "choosing my battle" meant just once or twice a week. Because with Vincent I am choosing between 6 or 7 a day (sometimes the choice between 6 or 7 happens between 6:15 and 7:15 a.m.!!)

The fact that Vincent is 3-and-a-half-years-old now only exacerbates the issue because now he can talk (and yell, scream, etc) and make sure we know what he wants and that he won't back down. Sometimes I force my hand and he has to do it my way -- and I'm rewarded with a screamfest for the ages. More times than I like to admit, I give in and decide it is not worth it to fight.

A mom often ponders whether she is doing a good job at being a mom. When the kids are older, you start to realize that each of them has a personality and temperament that determines how they behave and what kind of mom you are seems to have less and less to do with anything. With Vincent, I question even more, my abilities, than I did with the other kids.

He's the first one that's been in daycare for his whole life, we've had an awesome experience with our daycare, too. The woman who cares for Vincent all day is gentle, kind, loving and still firm -- is his experience the reason he is so different?

Vincent is the first of my kids to reach this age without another child joining the family (on Earth) -- does that motivate him to behave the way he does? I experience so much more of Vincent because I don't have a baby on my hip, I'm convinced. Is my perception colored by this new and different experience? I am sure it is.

And perhaps my perception is colored, too, by the fact that I miss his little brother at times. Who knows what kind of child Vincent would be with Gregory tagging along...?

Sitting in the Darth Vader chair...hmmmm
While Vincent takes so much of my energy with regard to discipline and formation, he also replenishes my emotional stores faster than I remember it happening with the other kids. Vincent works hard and loves harder. He looks up to Dominic with a ferocity I haven't seen in the other kids. He pays enough attention to his sisters that he knows which of them can provide him with what he wants when he wants it. He makes my heart melt when he requests a hug and a kiss before I leave the house or leave him at daycare. He doesn't say "I love you" all the time like the other kids did when they first realized how much I liked hearing them say it. But he says it when I least expect it and I can feel his emotion reaching my heart every time he says it.

A strong-willed child is a special experience. Yes, it can be difficult and worrisome. But, at least in my case, it's accompanied by such passion! I love that. 

It is only because Vincent joined our family, that I am able to experience it.

November 20, 2014

Well, Hello There...

Allow me to (re)introduce myself...

Since my last post:
Sarah helped Dominic by pulling his first loose tooth!
Wow! Can't believe losing teeth has
already started for him
My "oldometer" ticked up for another year
(how awesome is this card?)
We test-drove, took home for a day, committed to buying
and then backed out of buying a new car
(maybe I'll post on that someday)


Sarah's 8th grade volleyball team took first in division,
and 2nd in City Tournament. What a great year.
Great girls and coaches!

I found a box that had these pajamas in them and they fit Vincent now!
Holy moly, he is getting big (and even more cute, if that's possible)
Took the boys clothes-shopping and found these cool
Lego Star Wars pajamas for Dominic. Perfect.
Wow, it has been awhile, right? I admit that the longer I go without writing anything substantial, the less I care to do so. We've changed our course in the past couple of months. That's a good thing, but it also means that a new form of "busy" has materialized.
First of all, Craig is still working nights. And that is fine honestly. He had been working nights for the past 10 years at the casino. It's just that the hours are a bit longer, so he's going in more like late afternoon/early evening and working through the night. The good part: He is home in time to help get the kids all ready and off to school before he goes to sleep and he's up in time to get them from school before heading off to his next day of work. The not-as-good-but-bearable part: This means my day really begins when I get off work. More on that later.

Secondly, the job is such an improvement over the casino. He's working at the Ford plant on the assembly line. The benefits are excellent and he gets paid overtime when he works it. Novel concept. :) I think he seems to enjoy the work he does, too. Craig's always liked cars (Vincent's obsession with them gives me some idea of what Craig may have been like as a child) and this gives him an opportunity to be up close and personal with at least one make and model. :)

So while all of this has occurred, we have had to make some changes to the way things run around the house. Craig used to do all the grocery shopping, for example, on Friday mornings. Well, that isn't possible every week anymore, so I have had to re-learn how to grocery shop and fit it into an already jam-packed weekend. The first two times I kept going over budget. It was really ticking me off. But the third time I did it, I made my list and I pulled out my phone and added things up as I went and ... Woo-Hoo! ... I was under budget and I got everything on the list! Also, Craig used to get some of the laundry done on Thursdays/Fridays and that's not happening anymore either. This past weekend was the craziest as every person in our family had to get their laundry done on Sunday. I am planning to get on that earlier in the weekend coming up so we don't have that happen again!

And then...there are the activities for the kids. Right now, Sarah has club volleyball, Dani has swim club and Helen has basketball. I'm thanking God for inspiring me NOT to put Dominic and/or Vincent in anything right now because I could not get them there. Mondays are the craziest since Helen and Dani both have practice at 6:30 and then Sarah has practice at 8 all the way across town. I think I'm getting a system down and this coming Monday, I think I'll be able to do it with one less trip across town (I've been heading over there twice -- once for drop-off and once for pick-up) since I will just have us all hang out across town while practice is going on. Dani has practice MOnday through Thursday. Sarah has practices Monday and Wednesday. Helen's practices are Monday and Saturday. So there's a lot of driving around for me during the week. I have no doubt that it is all worth it, but it's been an adjustment for me because I had grown to love having my evenings free to do as I wished.

I had already started going to CrossFit in the early mornings (5:15 -- bright and EARLY) so that hasn't changed. Craig's able to make it to the 6:15 a couple of times a week, too. The kids are pretty good at getting up and around most mornings -- now that the girls are pretty self-sufficient in that arena. So, the exercise is still happening.

As you can imagine, the schedule in the evenings makes it difficult to do dinner. We do a lot of breakfast for dinner so far. I hope we can get some good crockpot things going now that the cold weather is here. But we seldom eat together. Dani is usually grabbing something early so she's ready to swim. There are snacks, with no real dinner-time routine. It kind of drives me bonkers and makes me think I suck at this whole Mom thing, but I don't know what else to do at this point since the evenings are just too crazy for anything else.

Through all of it, though, I was able to spend the weekend two weekends ago (the one before Veteran's Day) doing a huge clean and purge of the house. So now at least, I like being in the house for the time I am there. Our garage is clean and uncluttered and so is our basement. I know where everything is in the storage room, too. And I have been on the kids to keep it straightened up, too (you would not believe the places I found the many puzzle pieces and telepods the boys had scattered all over -- well, maybe you would). The side benefit of being so busy? There really is only so much time the kids are in the house to mess it up. :)

We'll see if I can get the 7 drafted posts in any shape to be published in the near future. #dontholdyourbreath

That's just a little bit of word-spew from me to let you know that while I may feel like I am drowning, I'm still alive and well. And happy, for the most part.

Cheers!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 




November 3, 2014

Monday Mumbles - 78 (CrossFit Competition Edition)

Happy 9th-to-last Monday of 2014. (Why do I like counting down Mondays?)

Let's mumble, shall we?

1. First CrossFit competition ever this weekend is in the books. It went all right. The hard part about doing things for the first time is not really knowing what to expect. The things I will make sure I do better next time:
  • Buy/Wear clothes that fit properly. I haven't updated my workout wardrobe very much in the last year...it showed -- fortunately not too much -- but adjusting my clothing while trying to complete burpees or transitioning from jump rope to sit-ups was not that much fun.
  • Drink more water. I didn't get dehydrated, but I don't think I was in the best shape where water intake was concerned.
  • Try to farm out my kids to friends' houses if I can. My kids do an awful lot to pitch in and help me out on a regular basis -- I'd like for a day I am competing to be fun for them instead of a drag. They just aren't into this CrossFit thing like I am (yet).
  • Stick with Paleo regimen for the whole month leading up to it. I fell off the wagon when the gym's "30-day challenge" ended at the beginning of October and never really got back on it before this competition. My body processes food more efficiently eating that way and I really do notice a huge difference.
2. That being said, I had a good time and I think I did pretty well for my first competition. I ranked 15th out of 28 women in the scaled division. My ranks in the workouts broke down like this:
  • WOD 1: 9th -- this WOD played to my strengths as Deadlift is one of my better lifts and the weights were good for high reps
  • WOD 2: 23rd -- this WOD was one of my weakest lifts -- Snatch. But, I did PR (80#) but it was only a power snatch. I need to keep working on sticking a Snatch in the squat position. Dang 41-year-old hips and knees!
  • WOD 3: 16th -- I completed this WOD last for the day and I felt wiped out. I thought afterwards that maybe if I hadn't eaten my meal about 60 minutes before, I might have been better, but I don't know. It was a paleo meal, so the food wasn't the problem, but maybe the timing of eating it? It was a WOD that was 3 rounds of 400m run-30 single jump-rope jumps, 20 ab-mat situps and 10 shoulder-to-overhead presses. By the third time I headed out for 400m run, I was over it. It helped me push to get through that last round, but I know I didn't run the way I typically do (but, of course, my pants were falling down, too). However, I think 16th is probably about right for that performance.
  • WOD 4: 12th -- this WOD was one where you picked up 80 pounds (two plates that totaled that) ran down to a sled-type thing, loaded the weight and then pushed it to the finish line. I did it in 27 seconds (well slightly more than 27 seconds). I liked that WOD a lot, but it was over so quickly!
  • The way the competition score seems to work is to add up your ranks in each WOD and that is your score. You want a low score. My total points were 60. It seems like if you want to be in the running to win a competition, it's good to win at least one of the WODs and/or be in the top 10 for most of them. (The competitor in me takes note of such things.)
3. My kids were great. I wish I would have taken a picture of them being good. I had Dani, Dominic and Helen with me. Sarah stayed at home with Vincent since he'd been fighting off a cold most of last week. Dani got up from her perch to come watch a couple of the WODs, but on the last one, she informed me she was just gonna wait in the chair. ha.

4. When we got home, I was wiped out. I couldn't really rest that much, though. I guess my body needed to calm down a bit from the day. I have also noticed this phenomenon when I have run half marathons or even when I did my triathlon. You'd think you could take a nap...but you really can't.

5. Oh and during that last WOD, I thought more than once that I was never doing a competition again. I'm sure that feeling will pass and I'll do another one. I'm too competitive not to.

6. I was HUNGRY Saturday night, too. Now, I typically can put some steak away. I am a meat-loving fool. But I even surprised myself with the amount of steak and crab legs I ate Saturday night. Yes, I stopped at the grocery store and picked out a couple of bacon wrapped filets, a ribeye and a pound of Alaskan Snow Crab Legs. I didn't eat all of it Saturday night...but a pretty good portion.

7. I was so wiped out, that I forgot to set our clocks back Saturday night before I went to bed. Doh! So, Craig and I got up and got ready to go to 8:00 a.m. Mass Sunday  morning and were just discussing getting the kids up when Craig looked at his phone and saw it was only 6:00 a.m. and not 7:00 a.m. I just went and ate breakfast. I guess that's a positive.

8. Helen and I had a little afternoon date yesterday. It was fun. She's so sweet.

Mommy-Helen Selfie
9. I am clearing out our storage room so that we can then clear out and clean the other side of our garage in the hopes we will buy a new car soon and have a place to house it. I went through one box in the storage room that had this "love note" from my Sarah. It is probably about three or four years old.

I miss Sarah's love-notes

10. We have a busy week ahead. We spent about 10 minutes before dinner yesterday going over how it's all going to go down. Lots of driving for me, lots of kids getting their homework done efficiently and being ready to go when it is time.

So, deep breath. Here we go.

Have a great week!


 



October 31, 2014

One Year of My New Life

Remember this? Here I Go Again

One year ago today, I walked into the Weight Watchers At-Work meeting to weigh-in for the "first time" again. I am happy to report it was my LAST "first time" and I made changes that started that day and stuck with them now for a year.

One year ago on November 1 (tomorrow) I went to my first CrossFit workout. I had surgery six weeks before and had abided by the "no lifting" restrictions. But I was cleared and ready to go. I remember that workout like it was a year ago. :) We did back squats. We did Cleans. And I was oh-so-very sore all weekend long. (I also came down with Strep that weekend, which was not so fun.)

Today, I reread several of my posts over the past year and I link them for you now:


Tomorrow, I will compete in my first CrossFit Competition. I'm nervous. But it's the good kind of nervous. I am entered in the scaled division and I just hope to do the very best I can and see how it goes.

As I think about this past year the main thing that comes to mind is my focus on maintaining these changes I have made. AS my initial "Here I Go Again" post mentions...I had always been an active person, but the food was my problem. I'm not going to lie, even with the changes I made this year, the food is still my problem. It's something I cannot ever let myself become mindless to ever again. I will forever need to keep track of the food I eat on a daily basis. I will forever need to regroup after my inevitable falls "off the wagon" and get back to tracking.

Actually, I've been "off the wagon" for about four weeks now. It's just been crazy with our schedule and Craig's new job. I'm hopeful I can get back on now. Does that mean that I've gained 15 pounds? No. But it means that if I don't get it in check, I might. Does that mean I haven't worked out? Nope. Still haven't had more than a 2-day layoff for exercise in a year. But the exercise isn't the problem.

I recently reviewed the time since November 1 to see about workouts and was pleased to see that it was true that I had not had more than two days in a row with no formal/vigorous exercise since then. Even when we had a 2-day road trip for our vacation, when we arrived at my sister's, I headed out for a 5K just to get something in on that 2nd day. I try not to obsess, however, my anxiety kicks up if I start thinking I won't be able to get a workout in if I didn't get one the day before.

In the last few months, I've had some interesting internal struggles with what I've done and how it impacts my family. First of all, there's no question I am healthier and a better mom when I feel good about myself -- both my actual health and my appearance. Secondly, I know I'm showing my kids what a healthy life looks like and I'm proud of that. The struggle comes in where the potential for weight-related problems rears its head with my kids. My kids are growing right now and are active and make (for the most part) healthy choices in the kitchen. But it was recently pointed out to me what my transformation in the past year may look like to them -- especially my Helen, who wants so much to be like me in all ways. I believe my kids are proud of me for making healthy changes, but I worry that my girls (especially my girls) gain or retain some part of MY insecurity with weight and body image by seeing me work so hard to change my own weight/body to fit something I am happy with. This is a real concern. I want my girls to know they are beautiful no matter what. I worry that because they've watched this transformation over the past year, that they may think that I don't think I am beautiful no matter what. So, that's probably a post for another day. But it's something I've had on my heart for a few weeks.

For today, I am going to celebrate. I'm going to celebrate the fact that my weight is in a healthy range, that my cholesterol (both the good and the bad) are in optimal ranges, that my resting heart rate is fantastic and that my blood pressure is excellent. Today, I celebrate the fact that I know eating a cookie is not going to derail my health because I know to limit my intake to just one (or two! haha) and not eat the whole box. Today, I celebrate that I understand how processed foods and sugars impact my body and I know how to make healthy and moderate choices on those. I celebrate the fact that I can Back Squat 185 pounds; I can Front Squat 145 pounds; I can Hang Squat Clean 130 pounds; I can do good-form "perfect" push-ups to the tune of 10 at a time; I can do unassisted kipping pull-ups. I could go on, but I won't. I feel so empowered from all the goals I have reached in the last year and for that, I am grateful and I want to celebrate it.

Many of you have sent me congratulations and celebrated my success over this past year. Thank you for that. I knew that I needed a lot of accountability and  checks to keep me going and I appreciate that you all agreed to help me with that.

My journey is still far from over, though. Because I believe the hard part is in the maintenance. Yes, losing weight is hard -- I'm not going to deny that. But I'm discovering that maintaining those changes when the weight is gone can be its own kind of incredible struggle. When the focus is not so much on losing and you can widen your lens-of-life and look at more things everyday -- taking the time and the part of your lens to continue to focus on your health still takes effort. Some days that effort is easier than others. But no matter what, I must continue to focus on maintaining these healthy changes.

My focus continues to be on these main things:
  1. Tracking my food in a food diary
  2. Exercise most days of the week (this typically means one true rest day per week and sometimes two rest days per week, depending on the schedule...usually NOT two days in a row if I can help it)
  3. Stick to the Paleo philosophy most of the time
So, I'm going to allow myself a "Birthday" Treat -- if you will.

My New/Healthy Life is 1-year-old today.


October 27, 2014

Monday Mumble - 77

Good Monday Morning. It's about the time of year where I count how many more Mondays there are...so including today, there are TEN more Mondays in 2014. Okay, that's scary. Let's mumble, shall we?

1. Craig and I had a rare chance to get out with a couple of friends for dinner Friday night. We hadn't been able to see this couple in well over a year. In the meantime, she's battled and beaten breast cancer, our kids have all gotten older (and busier!!) and we had a great time catching up with them.
Sweet friend and she's so pretty!
One of the best parts was that they needed to bring their youngest since their daughter wasn't feeling well enough to watch him. He and Dominic are about 8 months apart in age and have always gotten along so well. I love how it seemed like we all just picked up where we left off. We had a great visit.

Dominic and his friend with dessert
ummmm, face first? haha
2. The Royals are in the World Series. They are currently down in the series 2-3 to the San Francisco Giants. BUT! The series returns to Kansas City tomorrow night and I am praying they win and push it to a 7th game Wednesday night. Of course, I hope they win the whole thing, but one prayer at a time, right?

3. This coming weekend I will compete for the first time in a CrossFit competition. I am excited! Craig is signed up, too. Of course, his new job decided to make working Saturday a "Mandatory" day, but if they switch it to "Voluntary" he hopes to still be able to compete.

The Coach Friday Morning caught this photo while
I was swinging a kettlebell :)

4. On Saturday (day before yesterday) I strung together pull-ups for the first time! They are still "Kipping" pull-ups, but I didn't fall off the bar and I did four in a row! Then this morning, I did pull-ups with the whole workout. That made me feel accomplished! I continue to attend my workouts in the mornings before work. I'm grateful for Sarah being willing to get up early and help me out with this. Considering Craig's schedule will be nights, this is going to have to continue for the foreseeable future.

5. So, the new job for Craig. It's going well. He's working a lot. I think he likes getting paid overtime (something he didn't get in his last position) and we're wading through all the benefits, which are very good. We're getting used to the new schedule. This week is a transition week, next week he starts his "for real" shift, which is nights. We did nights when he worked at the casino, so no biggie there. But I do have to figure out transportation for all the kids activities a bit differently. I'm going to be working all day and driving around all evening it looks like.

6. Sarah's volleyball season with her 8th grade team at school is going very well. They are undefeated and having a good time. Starting next week, she'll be attending some special sessions and/or practices for her club team as well as finishing out the regular season for school. It will be busy!

7. Dani gets started back up swimming (again) Monday next week. They had a change in Aquatics director at the Y who has spent October trying to ramp up the program a little bit and ensuring coaches can be at practices. Dani still wants to improve enough to try and make it onto the competitive team through the YMCA. She still needs to perfect her Breastroke and Butterfly. I know she'll do it with some hard work. She set a goal to be ready to try out in February, so we'll see.

8. Helen is all signed up for basketball this year. She wanted me to help coach again, so I said I would. We haven't found out our practice time(s) yet. That may very well throw a wrench into things, too. Hoping to find out soon!!

9. The first quarter for school ended last week. We have conferences this week. After our initial assessment with Helen, and adding some opportunity for one-on-one study time with her godmother, she salvaged the first quarter nicely. She still has some work to do in Math, but as she went in for her Friday quizzes last week, I told her, "It's a new quarter! Double-check your work and take your time to get started on the right foot."

10. The new schedule for Craig means we have to figure out a new day/time to get grocery shopping done. We've done a couple of different things so far. One week, Craig went on a Friday evening. Then, I had Friday off work a week ago, so I was able to do it then. But this past week, there was no opportunity to go until Saturday. Oi vey. I do not like grocery shopping on Saturday midday. I am NOT going to do that again. I'm looking over next weekend's schedule and trying to see how we can switch it up this time. That's the hard part about Craig getting weekends off just like me -- except that he's worked an extra day the last couple of weeks anyway -- the option to do certain things during the week when it's not crazy-busy has been almost eliminated. But, we'll figure it out, I am sure.
Vincent dressed himself Saturday.
And he was crazy in the grocery store, too.

Have a great week!

 

 



 

 

 

October 22, 2014

Parenting Conundrum -- Help? AN UPDATE!!

I'm one of those people that doesn't ask a lot of advice from people. Especially about parenting. It's not because I know everything and don't think that others have anything to offer me. It's more that, when I read blogs or internet threads where advice is dispensed, there is so much that is variable. There's a lot of, "Well, this worked for me....not sure it's the right thing for everyone" and "Every kid is different" and an awful whole heckuva lot of "It depends."

Why would I write a blog post now to ask for advice? Well...a situation has occurred multiple times at my house the last few months and I obviously have not handled it well since it continues to happen. So, I'm coming out of hibernation (why haven't I blogged lately??) to ask for some ideas and/or advice on how to handle something.

You don't even have to be a parent to help me on this. Think about siblings doing similar things...or friends.  :)

Set the stage, here: I wear makeup. Some people might say I wear a lot of makeup and some people might say I don't wear enough. Just about everyone could give me some tips on how to do it better, I know that.

Girls like makeup! Go figure!! :) (Photo Credit)
I have three daughters in my house. They are ages 13, 11 and 8. None of them wear makeup on a daily basis and the oldest will wear it on weekends (the school rule is no makeup). The oldest also has some makeup she's received either as gifts or that I have purchased for her in the last year or so. The younger two haven't expressed much interest in makeup at this point and they do not have any in their possession.

Here's the recurring situation: Someone uses my makeup. No one owns up to it. An accusation that I don't really remember how I left my things typically ensues. And that is typically followed by suggestion that maybe NO ONE messed with my stuff. Today, the suggestion was that my husband must have used it.

I know someone used the eye shadow applicator because I see that the person applied blush (rouge-tinged bristles -- when my eye shadow is clear/very light neutral color) with it. I wipe this brush clean each time I use it as the bristles are a special material that helps apply the powderless kind of eye shadow. Once it was used for blush, the culprit did not clean it off AND inserted it back into its sleeve the opposite direction of how I keep it.

I know someone used my foundation brush because it was damp (perhaps it got dropped in the sink??)

I know someone used my eyebrow comb/brush because it was missing (in this instance, it mysteriously or miraculously showed up in its proper location within a day of my registering annoyance that it is gone and I know someone used it, and then lied to me about it).

I know someone used my makeup (in general) because things are out of place. I am meticulous with my stuff and I store it exactly the same way when I am finished every single time (thank you, OCD). The child using it clearly doesn't understand why anyone would do that -- which is why said child thinks she can get away with not owning up to it and trying to convince me that perhaps my husband (???) is the one who has been dabbling in my makeup (Yep -- that was actually uttered this morning).

Here's the thing: I think it's NATURAL for a girl to want to wear some makeup. I wear makeup because I like it! I am sure my girls want to wear it, too. And I am not opposed to them learning how to use makeup and wearing it (just not to school since that is against the rules). I am hurt because this situation where they use my makeup without asking makes me think that they believe I would not let them use makeup. I think I've been fairly reasonable about the whole makeup and clothes things with my girls. I've been flexible, but held firm on certain things -- but none of the things I've felt the need to "hold firm" on have been makeup related.

So, if one of my girls asked to use my makeup, I would most likely say "yes" (if no rules were being broken) and also see if it were time to get her some (more) of her own.

Here's another thing: I don't like lies. If I confront a child of mine with a question like, "Hey, did you use this makeup thing?" I expect an honest answer. When I believe I am being lied to, it hurts my feelings and also makes me angry. I think it hurts me more than angers me, though, because I don't know why my kids want to deceive me.

THIS situation occurred this morning: I came home from working out and was getting ready for work, used my foundation brush and found it damp, then found my eye shadow brush had been used and put away incorrectly (completely different from how I store my brush). My first thought was that it was the oldest. When confronted, she denied it. I can't imagine it had been either of the younger two, but I asked them and they said they hadn't. used it.

No one every owned up to it. I went about my routine getting ready. I thought about how I could get the truth from my girl(s).

My solution for this time is that no monthly allowances will be paid until the person who used the makeup (and did a pretty shoddy job of putting stuff back) makes herself known to me. I don't JUST MEAN November allowances -- I mean no more allowances EVER until the person owns up to it. Allowances are these girls' only way of obtaining money (well, the oldest gets babysitting jobs...) so I am hopeful this will work. I even said, "you can come to me individually, if you want. I promise you that the anger I feel toward being lied to will most likely be overcome with happiness to forgive and move on once the truth has been acknowledged." And, knowing how I felt in the past with situations like this, I believe it to be true. Once I know the truth, I can address the initial lie, discuss the harm that it caused the relationship, but then move on from it. Especially with one of my dear children.

I did tell the girls that the longer I am lied to, the more angry I am about the whole thing and that I wouldn't have been all that angry if the person had just owned up to it from the get-go.


Photo Credit

Let's be clear about something: My anger = disappointed look, a little bit of yelling. So, the fear of me being angry that they use my makeup without asking first is a little weird, in my opinion.

So --  my question(s) for you, readers:

1) Is there a better way (i.e., more efficient) to get the information from my girls, than just withholding their monthly allowance? (I do suspect the oldest, but man, she was figuratively digging in her heels even as we drove to school...)

2) How can I stop this lying? I'm of the opinion that when kids start lying, they start with small things (like saying they didn't use mom's makeup without asking, when they really did) and when they get away with it, the lying moves on to bigger things until the kid is just an all-out liar. I don't want to push my girls away, but I'm really hurt by the lying. And it's my job as their mom to call them on it, put a stop to it and make sure they understand what they do to our relationship when they lie to me.

3) Once this is settled, I fear that I've got a trip to a makeup counter in my future to get a full set of something for at least the oldest. But I don't want to "reward" this bad behavior (if, in fact, she is the one who used the makeup and then lied profusely -- AND wanted me to consider that CRAIG used my makeup!!!)

Please respond in the comments or even tweet me or IM me or e-mail me. I am not lie-awake-at-night stressed out about this, but I'm quite interested to read your thoughts.

UPDATE!
I called to talk with the kids after school and asked my oldest if anyone could tell me the truth yet. She said that the youngest confessed to it while they were at before-school care this morning. So I got the youngest girl on the phone and she also told me that it was she who had gotten into the makeup. We talked about how I was not angry that she wanted to play with the makeup, but that I do wish she had asked first. I likened it to the times recently when she has gotten upset at her brothers coming into her room and playing with her dollhouse without her permission. I also told her that it really hurt my feelings that she lied about it.

So, we talked about respecting people's property and being honest.

I guess the girls will get their allowances now, and I probably don't have to go to a makeup counter yet. The 8-year-old has a few years of "playing" before using makeup becomes a real thing, haha.

Thanks for the comments so far! Stuff like this always gets to me!!