Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

rap a tap tap

I just thought I'd share this. :) I'll be back up and blogging by this weekend... was out of town last weekend and now catching up on class stuff.

I know, you all miss me so much, right? ;) Here, enjoy a video during my absence for a few more days.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blog Hop

My girlfriend C.A. (you can find her over at Whining and Dining) posted about a Blog Hop last week. This week I decided to try it out myself!



the self righteous eye roll

Do you remember that song from Shania Twain, "Honey I'm Home"? In case you need a refresher, you can find the lyrics here. My day went something like that.

The morning started off okay... until I combed my hair after the shower. As a girl, you know when you are going to have a bad hair day. I take my hair out of the towel. My eyes fall on those falling strands; my eyebrow lifts up, and I ask my hair, "Oh, you are going to be like THAT today are you?" I spritz the detangler on my disheveled mop, run the comb through, and the hairs stand on end in rebellion. Is there even a point in blow drying today? I can already tell it's just not cooperating. Fine, fine, I decide it's a pull-my-hair-back kind of day.

Moving on to make up. I study that face in the mirror and think, "Maybe I'll do a quick waxing too." Oh, the things we do as girls. Now, I just got my eyebrows professionally waxed about two weeks ago. I've done it myself many times. Today, I could have probably held off another week, but I thought since I already have the wax out and heated... might as well roll with it. Well, WOULDN'T YOU KNOW IT, I'm putting a little wax line across the uni-brow hot spot... and my wax is quickly cooling down. I ponder.... maybe I should reheat this before I go further. Naw. It'll be fine.

[hindsight moment: EH. WRONG.]

No, it wasn't fine. I didn't realize I got some extra wax stuck a little too close to the inner brow. I put the wax strip on, rip it off... and... uh oh. I ripped off a chunk of the inner brow. Ugh. I carry on and must be shook up by this point because I butcher another chunk of my eyebrow. For the record, that was the first time I've ever made a mistake waxing my own brows!

Bad hair day and I butchered my right eye brow. Time to go to the store for an eye brow pencil.

We make a quick stop at Best Buy and on to Target.

Along the way, I spill soda down my white shirt. Lovely. Oh, and when I knelt down to pick something up earlier, my jeans started to rip. It's okay, they were my fat-day jeans anyway, so they don't fit that great either (Helllooo PMS).

Now, if you've read my recent posts... we all know Elijah has been testing EVERYTHING. He's trying to get a rise out of me, and I'm working very, very, VERY hard on keeping my patience, ignoring, calm-cool-collected discipline, etc. At the same time, we're also sick and tired of whining behavior and tantrums. It's a fine line. A fine line, indeed.

I know exactly what I'm getting at Target. We make a beeline to the cosmetics section. I head straight to Physicians Formula... well, where Physicians Formula used to be. It's not there. We walk up and down the two aisles, no luck. I ask someone if where it is, and she slowly... slowly... slowly... walks the aisles and concludes they must not carry Physicians Formula at this Target anymore (are you kidding me?!)

Ugh, fine. I'll get another brand. I'm quickly looking for an eye brow concealer/shadow, or a pencil as my last resort. Elijah and AJ have Hot Wheels and are quite content... until... Elijah's Hot Wheel isn't working anymore. The wheel won't turn right.

Let the whining begin.

"Moooooom... the wheeeeeel isn't tuuuuurning!" and he does the bounce up and down magic dance, in hopes it'll make it work.

Mom says, "I'm sorry sweety. Let's try to fix it in when we get home. And please, no whining."

"Mooooooooooom get me another one! This one isn't woooooorking! I want anoooother!"

Mom is growing a bit impatient, because not only can I not find what I'm looking for, now I got a whining kid in my ear, "Elijah. Stop. Whining. You have another garbage truck hot wheel at home. No more whining, that's one."

"But it's noooooot working. And don't say that to meeeee!"

Well, you get the idea, we get to "that's three" quickly. I hold his hand/arm to prevent him from collapsing to the floor in a fit because I've been cracking the whip on "no more whining." Now he's mad that I've found a way to discipline him in public. (At home, it's time out. My public solution now was to "time out" standing directly next to me. And if you don't stand, I hold your hand to make you stand next to me).

He's mad. He shouts, "LET GO!" and he screams. And he cries. And he carries on. And on. And on.

And on.

I find what I need and we're walking to check out. Bare in mind, this whole time has only been about 5 minutes. Now, he's screaming and shouting and testing me the most he's ever tested. I'm dragging him along like a limp baby doll, he's fighting against holding my hand and screaming bloody murder. It goes down in history as the most embarrassing mom moment.

The worst part... and the main reflective point of this post... was the LOOKS. Yup. I like to think of it as the self-righteous-LOOK.

You know it. If you have a toddler who has had a melt down in the store, you know the LOOK.

All the strangers around you. Usually people who have kids big and grown look you up and down, look your kid up and down, lift an eye brow, throw their nose in the air and look away.

Yeah, give me that look, because... you are better than me? Because your child never had a tantrum? Your child never tested the limits? Stranger #1 looks away.

I get to the check out line. Three lines open, all full, all taking forever. There are three ladies ahead of me. One even has a child Elijah's age. Elijah is still wailing and carrying on. Now he claims he has to pee (which, by the way, is his excuse when he is in trouble having a tantrum... "I have to pee" and he thinks he'll escape the time out). Apparently the first two ladies are a mother and daughter, the daughter has a baby (not with her) and the gal in front of me is an acquaintance of the other two (they went to someone's baby shower together). It's amazing the things you learn about people's lives standing in a long line.

Grandma-lady looks in her 50s-ish. She sports nice fitting, dark blue denim, cute shoes, and prissy cutesy black and white shirt. By the way, in case you couldn't figure out, Elijah is still screaming bloody murder. I stand in line with my one item praying, "Lord. Give me patience to not smack this child upside the head. They may call CPS on me if I do." Grandma-lady stares at me. She looks at Elijah and does the eye brow lift. She looks back at me. Scans me up and down. Yes, that's right, stare at my stained t shirt, my funky eye brow, and my frizzed out hair. She gives me that look, as if I'm some terrible white trash.

She looks away and has some small talk with her daughter.

I'm still trying to ignore Elijah and remain calm, yet assertive. Cesar Millan runs through my mind, "calm assertive energy... calm assertive energy..."

Gal in front of me turns around and looks at Elijah, looks at me, and looks away. The other gal looks at me, then Elijah, looks away. Then grandma lady looks back at me, scans me up and down... looks at Elijah... scans him up and down... rolls her eyes and looks away.

(ignoring... ignoring... ignoring everyone right now...)

She looks at me. Again. And rolls her eyes. Again.

Now I just fold my arms over and stare at the back of her head, ready to burn holes through her head. She must feel my burning eye power because she quits rolling her eyes or looking at me now.

We finally made it through the line (girl in front of me let me go before her so Elijah could "go to the bathroom" I piped up and said thanks, but he's just making excuses to get out of being in trouble.)

All that eye rolling and mad dogging I got today really made me think how cruel some people are. Why are people so judgmental? Have they never seen a child having a melt down in the store? Do they really think that I'm happy standing there with a screaming kid? Or that the eye rolling is making me feel any better? Maybe they think the eye roll will stop the tantrum.

We all know what it is. People like to feel above others. They like to look at someone else and think, "Well, at least I'm better than her." or maybe, "My child never did that. I'm better than you."

It baffles me that people really have the nerve to give such dirty looks. They don't know me and yet find it acceptable to scan me up and down with disdain. Do people think my kids are like that all the time?

I made a blog post a while back... probably almost two years ago about judgmental people. I always think of a line from Romans 14, "Who are you to pass judgment on someone else's servant?" People who claim to be Christian should know better than to give the self righteous eye roll. People who claim to be free spirited... "we all should live how we want" should let me live how I want and stop giving me the self righteous eye roll.

I won't deny... if the lady looked at me one more time, I probably would have made a rude comment. Luckily, she was wise enough to look away.

As frustrated as I was, I held my ground. When we left Target, Elijah calmed himself down. I followed through on discipline at home as well. Despite the judgement, I knew I did well, and I could tell Elijah learned his lesson: no whining, no talking back to Mom, and no screaming fits in the store.

By the end of the day, I just had to laugh it off. A stained shirt, frizzy hair, a funky eye brow, and people who have the audacity to think they are better than me. Who are you, Jesus or something? Nope, your not? Then I don't give a fiddler's fart what you think. Stop judging me.

Maybe next time we see a kid having a melt down at the story... we'll smile to the mom instead of judging. We all know parenting is hard. Nobody is perfect at it and no child is perfect. Children test and parents are put on the spot. No matter what the parents reaction... don't judge! You never know how bad of a day MOM is having (with her fat day jeans, spilled soda t shirt, whacked out hair, and butchered eye brow!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Paint-tastic

Sometimes it's fun to just get messy!

I put crosses out for the boys to paint crosses. Purple crosses for the season of lent. It went from painting crosses, to painting paper, to hands, and finally to "face" painting. (yes, that was interesting!) Oh, and even window painting. ;)

I know, being a preschool teacher (or, former?) the importance of letting kids just get MESSY! Sometimes they just have to go to town painting. Here we explored our fine motor skills, art, creativity, and maybe you could say gross motor
skills when they did their "face" painting.

By the way, a long time ago I gave up on thinking we'd ever have clean carpet. Whenever I dress the boys, I don't expect the clothes to last. I know kids clothes are meant to get dirty. Therefore, I don't fret over paint on the clothes or even paint on the carpet. Now, if we lived in an apartment that'd be another story! Luckily, we live in a house, and have already discussed that someday we'll rip up the carpet and put down laminate floors. I knew the day we moved in the carpet wouldn't last! Just embrace it. :)

AJ is battling a bit of a cold. He was mellowing out in bed this morning, watching "Mighty Machines," and snuggling with his blankie and "di-daur"





We ran out of purple, so what better opportunity to teach "red and blue make purple!"


Elijah came up with the idea to paint his hands. He still remembers painting turkey hands around Thanksgiving.

Of course, AJ had to join in too.

Handprints!

See? Mess never fails. I can't even blame that on the kids. *I* did that one!

And of course, on my pants too.



Wow, AJ. How do you manage?

Trying to look at his painted forehead. Love that face he made. ;)






The all new way to "face paint." Literally.

TIME FOR A BATH!

The beautiful aftermath. I love it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

View from the top


Look at all that space. You can see for miles.

I love my front porch. Yes, that's right, it's the view from my front porch. I must admit, quite amazing isn't it? We have a bit of property too. If you look closely to the right of the photo, you'll see Elijah and AJ playing with one of their friends. Sitting here, I truly feel blessed that my boys have so much room to play and I have the perfect place to sit, watch them, and absorb the view.

We have a front porch swing, but there is something about sitting on the step that lets me feel closer to the world. When my best friend lived in town, we used to sit on the step together and chat forever while the kids ran around playing. Alas, times change, life changes, and although the seat next to me on the step is quite lonely, I've been forced to find ways to fill the void.

Spring is here - FINALLY - so our new routine is after naps the boys will go out to play and burn off their energy while I sit on the step or the porch and read. I'll read for my class or read for pleasure. I like to read, so either way, I'm usually enjoying myself. The sun shines down on us; there is a light breeze rustling the pages, and as I look at the vastness of land out in front of me, I realize how small of a person I really am! Nature amazes me.

Today, I was reading Preface to Lyrical Ballads from William Wordsworth (poet) while sitting on the step. This line stood out to me:

"For the human mind is capable of being excited without the application of gross and violent stimulants..."

It strikes me. It sparks a chain reaction of thoughts in my mind... he is so right. I look at the view in front of me and am overwhelmed with the beauty around us. My beautiful little boys (handful that they are, but sweet and beautiful), the beauty in nature, the beauty God creates for us is everywhere. I am excited looking outside, and as Wordsworth says, I don't need "gross and violet stimulants." Think of what is on television and movies, how much is overtly violent? I've lost count how many crime shows are on prime time television. I hope to counteract the gratuitous violence for myself and family!

I certainly am not perfect, but I'll continue to try and surround ourselves with the beauty in the world around us, in nature, beauty in God, in our faith, and beauty in works of literature and poetry.

What more appropriate than to leave this post with a poem from William Wordsworth...

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tickle Monster!

After a rough few days of tantrums and overall toddlerhood... we were able to end our Saturday night with the attack of the TICKLE MONSTER!!!

If you have a minute, you can watch video one. If you have 9 minutes, and want a glimpse into some silly chasing, tickling, and two adorable little boys, you can watch video two. :)

By the way... Flip rocks!

(Okay, I started with embedding the videos into the post... but they were HUGE from YouTube... so I'll just give you the link instead!)



Thursday, April 7, 2011

"One of these days Alice..."

Yes, one of THOSE days. Except, it's more like, "One of these days Elijah... straight to the moon!"

Most of the day consisted of this...

Exhibit A

Terrible Twos. Terrible Threes. Whatever. I'm over it. I'm ready for the tantrums and whining to be OVER! I think threes are worse than twos. They talk back now... and I stand there a bit dumbfounded thinking, "Did this 3.5 year old kid just talk back to me?" WHAT?!

All the two and three year old whining, fits, tantrums, sibling hitting, and yelling just leads to a Mommy Tantrum as well. Then somewhere you regather your thoughts, try to get your act back together, and move on... mumbling and grumbling the rest of the day.

I thought of a line from Mrs. Doubtfire...

"Ever wish you could freeze frame a moment in your day, and look at it and say 'this is not my life'?"

(only, it is kinda funny when Robin Williams says it)

I feel like that today. Many days. You look around and think... is this really how I pictured my life was going to be? Life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I don't want to make lemonade. You can take your stupid lemons back.

However, I did get a couple laughs in the evening.


video



video

Of course, the day ended back at Exhibit A.

I'll just watch the videos and remember, yes, they are sweet... sometimes. ;)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Round 2

"You may delay, but time will not."
Benjamin Franklin

Now ain't that the truth? Let me tell you, I can be the biggest procrastinator. I can also go the opposite extreme with "I gotta do it NOW" syndrome. When it comes to all-things-boring, though, I procrastinate.

This is the month of April, and I'm retaking Literary Theory, LIT 360. That's right, retaking. Now, this was the only class I probably have a somewhat decent excuse for failing. I took it last May, and every single one of us happened to get sick that month. And could we all get sick in the same week? Nope. We spanned it out week by week... if I was a smart person, I would have taken the "W" to Withdrawal. Did I? No, of course not. Here I am now, trying to replace that F. Procrastination has given me a few other F's... (no excuses those time, just lack of planning) and I'm finally learning: hey, don't procrastinate. Plan ahead!

Wow, what a concept.

Back to Lit Theory. Knowing I had to retake this class is like the bane of my existence.

Would YOU like to read this book?

Yes, it really is that thick. I put it next to the laptop as a reference point.

Now you tell me, does this book look appealing to you? I mean, look at that cover. Look how BORING it is. They didn't even TRY to spruce it up. The cover alone just screams, "I'M BORING. YOU DON'T WANT TO READ ME!" At least all the other Literature books put some nice painting, ancient sculptures, etc. But no no, not The Critical Tradition.

To David H. Richter, you didn't have to take Plato's Republic so seriously when designing the cover of this book.

And it's in tiny size print

Paper thin, bible like pages.

Well, I'm proud to say, I'M AHEAD. Yes, for once in my life, I'm ahead of the game. Class started Monday, so first thing Monday morning (knowing what I was in for this time), I got to reading the class lectures right away. I've pushed, I've cranked, I even dreamed about Aristotle. In two days and a half days I finished all the readings for Unit 1, PLUS all four Discussion Board posts. That's right, I read Plato, Aristotle, Horace, and Longinus, plus four DBs... and the last two readings and DBs weren't due until Friday.

WOW. I must say, it feels so good. Franklin had it right; we may delay, but time will not. This time around, instead of being so compulsive, or not well planned... I'm thinking ahead. I planned out (and shopped) for two weeks worth of groceries, baby wipes, and diapers. I have no reason to make those little runs to the store for my lack of planning. That said, I've been able to put much more effort into the reading assignments and get AHEAD. Now, instead of thinking all I could be doing at this exact moment (i.e., procrastinating), I'm thinking if I get ahead... just imagine all the wonderful things I can do at the end of the class, STRESS FREE! While all the other suckers are sitting there making posts at 11:59:59PM... I'm sitting here enjoying my Wednesday night, blogging away.

What if I try to put it at an artsy-like angle, with candles and a delicious dinner in the background...?
Nope. Still dull.

...because I don't "give a fiddler's fart"

I can't resist using that line. I believe it is my new favorite phrase.

I just read Angela's Ashes, a memoir by Frank McCourt. Wonderful book, by the way, you should read it if you get a chance.

A recurring line sticks out to me from the book, time and time again. Young Frank McCourt is describing his Uncle Pa Keating, and he says, "he doesn't give a fiddler's fart what the world says and that's the way I'd like to be myself." I agree. Why should I give a fiddler's fart what the world says, right? Frank, that's the way I'd like to be myself, too.

I haven't blogged in a while. Granted, a couple posts here and there, but not nearly as consistently as I used to blog. Why? I don't know exactly. Somewhere I stopped feeling like myself, and therefore, stopped writing. Although writing has always been part of me, when I feel like part of me is lost, why write? What should I write about? And then all the negative thoughts seep their way into my brain. Why bother blogging; why bother writing; why bother doing anything? There are a bajillion and one blogs out there about peoples daily lives, about mommyhood, about Catholicism, about paper crafts, about writing in general... what am I? Just one more pin drop in the world wide web? Why would anyone want to read what I have to say? So, I gave up for a while. In giving up, I strayed further and further away from who I am. I lost my sense of identity.

Who are you? Marlana Weber. What do you do? No clue.

Someone asked me recently what I do for fun? My jaw opened slightly, the words started to come out, but stopped in the throat. My mouth hung open, probably long enough for a bug to creep in, my eyes glazed over in confusion... are you picturing a deer in the headlights? Yep, hit me with the truck, that was my reaction. There's Marlana, roadkill. It got me thinking over the next several weeks... where did I go? I can tell you what I am to everyone else, and what I do for everyone else, but could not say a single word about myself. I think we all get stuck in a rut, and here I am trying to find my way out.

This all leads me back to the same conundrum... do I want to blog about myself, about my life, and let you all in on a little piece of my mind while I'm trying to find my personality again? Well, writing is my outlet. It always has been, and I know it always will be. When I push it away, I push myself away. If I start writing, I discover a little bit of myself. Make my number bajillion-and-two to the list of blogs. I'm doing this for me. One day, I can look back and say, "Oh that's right, that's what I was up to in Winter 2010... or Spring 2011." However, if you have been stuck in a rut before, if you like to peak inside what is going through someone's mind, or curious about some daily musings, you may want to stick around.

You can read, you can follow, or neither. Do I care if I have zero followers, zero readers, or 100, 200, 1,000 readers and followers? My response...

I don't give a fiddler's fart.