Monday, May 20, 2013

6th Birthday planning

Thank you for making planning for my sons' 6th birthday so fun and easy!

Thing 1 and Thing 2 have fallen in love, big time!, with Star Wars. So, it is fitting that for this year's party, we are doing a Jedi Training Academy for the boys' 6th birthday.

First, I made some invitations in photoshop:

Then, I came up with an agenda:

Padawan robes and light sabers
Agenda (3 pm - 5 pm)

3:00   Recruit Intake
As recruits arrive, they will draw pictures of their home planets and paste them on the map of the galaxy. Then they will receive their padawan robes to officially become Jedis in training. (Supplies: poster board, colored paper, crayons, scissors, tape, brown jedi robes, and yarn)

Recruit arrival
Issuing uniforms and light sabers
Our galaxy
The recruits
3:15   Light Saber Training

All Padawans will be given light sabers and will have to practice their skills by keeping a balloon afloat in the air. (Supplies: pool noodle light sabers, balloons)

3:30   Jedi Training Course

All Padawans will complete an obstacle course. Crawl under broken down spaceship,  jump over lava pit, run through storm troopers, and climb through trash chute. (Supplies: jeep top on picnic table, red plastic tablecloth, white helium balloons w/ storm trooper faces drawn on, giant cardboard box full of crumpled up newspaper and packing stuff.)
Crawl under broken down space ship
Cross lava pit
Jump over fire pit
Dodge storm troopers

3:45  Message from Princess Leia

Princess Leia needs your help! She has been captured by The Emperor and Darth Vader and only you can rescue her. All Padawans will work together to pop open the balloons hidden in a box until they find the Princess Leia hidden inside. (Supplies: balloons and letters spelling Princess Leia)
"Help me Padawans, you're my only hope!"
Bust open balloons with lightsabers to find the letters...
(Lost the "N" somewhere)

4:00 Destroy the Death Star
Padawans will take turns hitting the Death Star pinata until it explodes. (Supplies: pinata filled with candy, bandanas, broomstick light sabers)
Death Star Pinata

4:15  Refueling Station
Padawans will refuel on R2D2 cake and Yoda juice. (Supplies: cake, plates, forks, napkins, cups, green punch, bottles of water, pretzels, carrot sticks)
100% edible R2D2 cake (6 layers!)
4:30  Defeat Darth Vader
When Darth Vader crashes the party, only the Padawans can destroy him. (Supplies: Darth Vader helmet, all black clothes, black cape, and black gloves)

4:45   Jedi Certificates
All Padawans have completed their training and are officially promoted to Jedis by Princess Leia in this ceremony.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Orange Rhino Challenge, 2 Week Update

Two weeks ago, I committed to trying the Rhino Challenge.

Believe it or not, things have actually been going pretty well.

I've been able to stay in the 0-3 range 90% of the time, with the occasional "oopsie" snap. I think I've had one or two that might be considered the nasty snap, but I was able to calm myself down and redirect before reaching the yell. (Explanation of yells types here)

For me, just decided that "it is not okay" to yell and then vowing to report if I do, seems to be pretty effective. Committing to keep accountable by writing it up in my blog adds that layer of being watched (even if only virtually and only by the 2 or 3 people that actually read this thing), and I would never yell around most people because of the "they would think I was a horrible mom" complex.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

40 Before 40 Update

I restarted the Couch to 5K (C25K) program on February 13, 2013. I've been doing the program
faithfully 3x a week since then.

Happy Birthday to me!
I decided that instead of waiting until I was already able to run a 5K to sign up for one, that I would go ahead and sign up for one ahead of time. So I found a Color Run in Indy in July. I figured that gave me PLENTY of time to train to run (okay really jog...who am I kidding) a 5K non-stop (goal 7).

But then I thought that also gives me PLENTY of time to procrastinate my training. So I decided to sign up for another 5K, even earlier, to give me a more immediate goal to work towards.

I chose the Hoosier Half-Marathon & 5K on April 6th.

Thursday was my 34th birthday. And while I'm not quite ready to jog the 5K without walking, I am excited that this is the first time that I've entered a 5K as a runner instead of a walker, and I fully intend to run more than half of it. And that is a start!

Superman is doing the half-marathon. Show off!

Update: I did it y'all! I finished in 44:33. I am not crossing it off of my 40 B4 40 list yet, because I didn't do it non-stop, and that is the goal, but I felt really good about what I did considering my training time so far. I'm looking forward to running even more of the next 5K!

Superman got a personal best for his half: 1:40:55.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Orange Rhino Challenge: Day 1

Have you heard of the Orange Rhino challenge?

Basically, a mom of four boys felt guilty that she yelled at her kids so often. So she decided to challenge herself to no yelling for 365 days.

As part of the challenge, she first defines what yelling is and then tracks her yelling for a week (looking for her triggers).

Superman doesn't think I yell too much. But I'm uncomfortable with the amount of yelling I do. And really, her blogpost about 10 Things I Learned When I Stopped Yelling at My Kids really hit home with me...(I cried while reading it). Especially 5. Yelling doesn't work. Because as good as it can feel to let all of my frustration out in that moment, it rarely actually works, usually makes the situation worse (i.e. kid collapses into crying fit on the ground), and/or just makes me more mad and/or guilty feeling.

So I am taking the challenge.

I started yesterday, Wednesday March 27, 2013.

I didn't yell all day.

Since starting the challenge almost 24 hours ago, I have twice stopped myself from yelling.

The first time was during dinner last night. Neither of my boys like sitting at the dinner table. They like to stand up. And bounce around. And dance pirouettes. And constantly run to the bathroom.

Usually I'll ask them to "please sit down" an average of three times before I start yelling. Last night I was able to mostly keep them in their seats by using the veiled threat of "You know, the first thing you have to do in a karate class is learn to listen to your teacher. Because you can't learn karate if you aren't a good self-manager and do what the teacher asks you to do when they ask you to do it." (They really want to take karate lessons.) It mostly worked.

Then, this morning was going really well until Thing 1 spilled his cup of orange juice all over the coffee table. The spill itself isn't what bothered me. Spills happen. It was that he didn't clean up the spill. He let it sit there as I asked him over and over again to get a towel and clean it up (while I was making my own breakfast and packing my lunch in the kitchen). Finally the alarm went off to get jackets and backpacks on for the bus, so I ended up toweling up the spill while telling him how disappointed I was that he didn't take responsibility and clean up his own spill. He wasn't phased by this at all.

I was proud of myself that I didn't yell "THIS IS RIDICULOUS! YOU HAVE SAT ON THAT COUCH FOR 5 MINUTES LOOKING AT THAT SPILLED JUICE! GO GET A TOWEL AND CLEAN IT UP NOW!!!" But I'm not proud that in the end he still didn't clean up his spill or have any degree of responsibility for his action.

This is really what I see to be my biggest obstacle to overcome. I yell because my kids don't listen. I yell because I get frustrated and angry when I feel like they ignore me. But HOW do I get them to listen?? While I'm trying to stop yelling, I really need to find ways to get them to be better listeners.

Because really, it is not that hard to clean up a little spilled juice. I really don't feel like I'm asking too much of my 5 year old to clean it up himself.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


It's official! A little over a month until we take the boys to Disney for the first time! Ticker

Monday, January 14, 2013

Bad Mom Confession

The morning started out fine.

A typical Monday morning, no one wanted to get up after two days of sleeping in.

Mommy Dearest
Thing 2, usually the more difficult of the two to get up, got up and going with just a little resistance. I smartly got him motivated to get ready by reminding him that it was his sharing day at school (basically show and tell, but the teacher gives them a theme of what to bring in).

Thing 1, usually the easier to rouse of the two, kept trying to crawl back under the sheets. I had to physically dress him myself with him pulling against me. Once he was dressed, I sent him off to brush his teeth, while Thing 2 and I headed to the basement to find a sphere, a cube, a cylinder, and a cone. (Yes, I really should have taken care of this this weekend, but I forgot. Bad mom move #1.)

When we came upstairs, we put Thing 2's items in his book bag and I quickly got on his coat, hat, and gloves (of course it was freezing this morning!). Again, he is usually the harder of the two to do these tasks, so I was pleased it was going so quickly.

But then all hell broke loose! Thing 1 was crying hysterically in the bathroom "But I didn't brush my teeth yet." (P.S. I had left him in the bathroom with instructions to brush his teeth BEFORE we had headed downstairs on our shapes' scavenger hunt.)

I snapped! "Why didn't you brush your teeth? Fine, I'll brush your teeth for you. I dressed you like a baby. Now I'll brush your teeth like your a baby. Are you a baby or a big boy? You should be doing this stuff for yourself."

Of course then he is crying. (Bad mom move #2.)

We leave the bathroom and I am fervently trying to get his coat and hat and gloves on him. Of course I'm having to put them on for him, because he is crying because I basically called him a baby. :(

Then just as we are heading to the door, we see the school by.  Grrr!

So, me, worst mom ever turns to Thing 1 and says "Great! Now you made us miss the bus!" So his sniffling cry turns into FULL BLOWN HYSTERICS!


I go out and start the car. (Which at this point he is sobbing uncontrollably because he thinks I'm leaving him.)

Then I come back in and tear around the house getting the rest of my stuff together for work, so I can drop them at school on my way to work.

With my jacket on, purse on my arm, lunch box in my hand, I look over at my son and think "My god, what have I done?"

I sit down on the couch and ask him to come to me. We hug and I say "I'm so sorry I hurt your feelings. Of course you aren't a baby. And it's not your fault we missed the bus. It's mommy's fault because I should have gotten you up earlier. I am just frustrated and I'm taking it out on you. But I'm not really frustrated with you. Do you understand." He nods his head, but of course he doesn't.

"I love you so much. And I'm so sorry I was being mean. Sometimes mommy gets frustrated and loses her temper and can be mean. I really hate that about myself. Do you forgive me." He nods his head and hugs me tighter.

And I feel like the worst person ever because I KNOW what I do. I know I have a temper. I know I handled the situation badly and even though I've apologized, I can't erase what I've already said. I can't erase that he (and my other son) saw my behavior. I don't want them to learn to act that way. I don't want them to inherit my temper and my ability to fly off the handle.

But, I guess the silver lining (to me at least) is that I am big enough to see my faults and #1 apologize for them and #2 admit them to my sons. I hope that I am teaching them that you have to apologize when you hurt someone and you have to own up to your bad behavior. I just hope that rubs off on them more than my actual bad behavior.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Superman

So, I was up early this morning and reading through my google reader, I came across this blog post 10 Reasons Father CAN Be Referred to As Babysitters.

My Superman
Now, I've been following this blog Scarymommy: An Honest Look at Motherhood, for a while now. And usually most of the posts are sarcastic and/or humorus. So I'm just going to hope that for this guest blogger's sake that this blog is tongue and cheek and that she doesn't really mean most of what she says. Because really, who could be married to much a "man"? It seems more like someone describing leaving an older child to watch the kids, not a equal partner.

And then I have to remind myself that not everyone's marriage is like my own. And not everyone has the same expectations out of a marriage that I do. Because I can tell you, if I were married to that guy, I'd be divorced.

But we all make our own decisions. And whenever I read blogs like this, I'm more thankful than ever that 6 years ago I chose Superman to by my husband. Maybe he's not the best communicator, and not the most romantic, but he is an AMAZING dad! And he does laundry, and dishes, and vacuums, and changes the oil and fixes the plumbing. We truly are equal partners in this marriage. And I could not imagine anything less.