Sturm und Mom

The Storm & Stress (& Joy) of Motherhood

Archive for the tag “randomthoughts”

F is for Happiness

Since I am so bad at sharing links, today I will share two. So there.  Since I came across these two articles, today’s topic is happiness, :  the first on why parents should make their own happiness a priority, and the second from Gail Val-Oxlade on contentment and money (h/t Simply Frugal.)  These got me thinking on how to be happy, and why I am happy, and what makes me happy.

Look at all that matching going on

And the answer is:  Finishing.  I finished my bloody match-matchy Christmas Stockings that cause me so much guilt and grief.  Been there, done that, got the craft.  Next November 21, no longer will I sigh longingly as I gaze out on the freshly fallen snow, pensively wringing my hands, muttering “Oh, those stockings.  I have to finish the stockings.”  Nope, ‘cuz I’ve got 8, count ’em, 8 identical, hand-embroidered, handmade, personalized stockings sitting in a storage tub in my basement.  And as soon as I turned that last cuff out and I saw that it wasn’t backward, or crooked, and was generally OK, I felt great.  I made something neat from nothing.  It felt freaking awesome.  And like birth, I immediately forgot all the swollen ankles, heartburn, nausea, not to mention 20 hours of labour.  I looked at my brand new thing and thought “When’s the next one?”  Yes, I am now looking for a new craft project.  I know. I’m sick.

Part of the reason I need more crafts, is that we finished watching Battlestar Galactica.  Every Friday night, my sweetheart and I would pop some corn and sit and watch two or three episodes of BSG.  It was like a date without a babysitter.  And with a baby.  I’m sort of glad it’s over because for the last eight episodes I couldn’t figure out what the frack was going on.  And why is Bob Dylan channeling some kind of otherworld music?  My sweetheart told me that I am not allowed to shout questions at the TV anymore.  But still we couldn’t stop watching.  These two in the clip could have been us.  Scary.

Family is an F word for happiness

Happiness is finishing.  And faith.  Faith in God first.  And some in yourself to figure out an answer and in the future, that it will turn out okay.  Faith enough to trust to go with the flow when you need to, and put your foot down when you don’t.  Faith to decide to be happy.  Which reminds me, years ago I arranged a “Mom’s Evening Out” with a gal down the street.  We signed up for a Pilates class together, and I thought that since we both had two kids, we would just use it as a time to chat, and blow off a little steam.  I was thinking relaxation.  Boy, was I wrong.  As soon as my backside touched her bucket seat the onslaught began.

“Do you know what happened to me today?  It was Emily’s birthday on Saturday so I had to go to Sears get photos and then Mackenzie started crying and then Emily had a temper tantrum outside the elevator and then I still had to go to Costco to get a cake and then….”

This went on for 5 F-ing minutes.  Finally, I couldn’t take it.  My kids were young, too.  I put up with enough hissy fits and spilt milk all day, I didn’t need my night out to be filled with someone else’s brat attacks.  In one of my least proud moments of my life, I found my mouth suddenly open and I blurted out,

“Yeah, well.  I know someone who’s daughter had cancer.  Twice.  That was really stressful.”

She stopped talking and stared straight ahead for a moment. Then she said, “Our friend has cancer.  He told his wife that now she had to make him spinach dip.  It was really funny.”

My husband suddenly had to work every Tuesday night, the same night as those Pilates’ classes.

The final F of happiness:  fib.


P.S. If you want to see what happens when some Japanese retails decided to use English in their signage and certain language intensifier that starts with, you guessed it, an F, click here.


New Year’s Gratitude

Happy New Years everyone!  I would like to take this time to thank you all for reading these past three months, and to send a special shout-out to a few special bloggers.  First, I’ve been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Kana’s Chronicles, Lady Fairybread and Momma’s Money Matters.  I’m really honoured you listed me along with all those great blogs.  Second, Cinhosa listed one of my posts, Stuck in the Ditch, as one of his top 5 for the year.  Again, thanks for including me with such a super group.  It’s really been an priviledge being involved with such a wonderful blogging community.

Since I am the most disorganized person when it comes to myself, my list of 15 Blogs to pass the Versatile Blogger Award to keeps getting winnowed down as other bloggers beat me to the punch, and nominate them before I can.  So….I figure it’s now or never if I am going to complete the other portion of the award:  Listing 7 little known facts about myself.  Enjoy!

1) I hate New Year’s Eve.  It will be forever enshrined in my memory as the time of year when I hold some girl’s hair.  I used to be quite belligerent about this, and walk around proclaiming that I was going to have a March 12th Eve party, when everyone could get excited at midnight for no apparent reason.  Someone once said that New Year’s Eve was like sitting around waiting for your plane at the airport.  Now I’m calmer and I just stay in and make cinnamon buns.

2) The biggest award I have ever won (other than this one!) was in Grade 1.  I drew the best picture representing the Block Parent Program.  I got a colouring book as a prize and realized that I had pretty much peaked at age 6.   I remember thinking “I thought that when I won something, I would be older and it would be bigger.”

3) I wrote my Honour’s Thesis on the 18th Century, English chemist Joseph Priestley’s rejection of oxygen theory in favour of phlogiston.  Priestley was a Unitarian Minister and Natural Philosopher who saw the unfolding knowledge of the natural world as leading directly to a millenarian perfection of the world.  He was also a buddy of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.  And, for fans of the fizzy drink, he invented carbonated beverages.

4) The only problem with my paper, was that when the department had it bound, whoever did it typed “ON” instead of “OF” so the spine reads:  PRIESTLEY’S REJECTION ON OXYGEN THEORY.  Everyone who now sees it will think I’m one of those semi-illiterate liberal arts grads who spends half her life in school and still can’t write.  I’ve thought of sneaking into the History Honour’s Lounge and stealing it, but my vanity gets the better of me.  Plus, I think they would notice some middle aged woman pushing a stroller.

5) I used to have a Springer Spaniel and I wanted to call her Phlogiston, after my thesis topic.  I thought we could shorten it to “Phlog the Dog.”  But my husband said he wanted to call her Karma, after the song “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club.  As soon as he said it, I knew his idea was better, but I kept arguing.  Then, I tried to convince him that we needed another Springer, so we could call him Kismet — get it?  Karma and Kismet.  He just sort of mumbled and walked off.  After writing this and my post on my identical homemade Christmas Stockings, I realize that I really have a problem with over-matching.

6) For a while I was the youngest person to ever cause a car accident in Ontario.  I was only two and managed to push the gear stick into neutral, causing my Grandmother’s Pontiac to roll down a gentle slope and hit another car.  Then, when I was 16 I rode my bike down a 7° incline, fell off and broke my ankle.  I now live on the Prairie, and plan on retiring to Saskatchewan.

7) I live in my head.  One the good things for me about blogging, is that it has forced me to actually type the comments that I make rather than just think them.  I also respond to peoples’ emails and Facebook posts, but forget to actually do it in the physical world.  So, if you are wondering why you never heard back from me, it’s because Brain Liz did it.

Hey, this was less stressful than my INTJ personality type thought it would be.

Have an amazing, super 2012 full of God’s blessings and wonderful memories!

Oh Why….

…does the baby start waking up and screaming all night, after sleeping 8 hours straight for months?

…do the kids think their floor is clean, when it is covered with towels, and paper, and socks, and hair scrunchees?

…think that the proper place for their backpacks is 1½’ in front the back door?

…do all the towels end up rolled into a ball and lying on the floor as soon as someone finishes washing her hands?

…no matter how much you spend to get the kids nice clothes, they still wear their old camp T-shirt to school twice a week?

…that if someone is going to ring the doorbell, it will come during the one time, on the one day, I actually get the baby to nap through the afternoon?

…do I have to remind the girls every single day to brush their teeth? twice?

…is there too much food leftover to throw out, but too little to make another meal?

…do the kids love watching cheaply animated shows with blaring, grating music and really loud voices, over and over and over again?

…is the willingness of a pre-schooler to wear mitts, hat, and boots correlated inversely to how cold it is?

…when you say to kids “Be ready to leave at right at 10:00,” they hear “Be ready to spend 15 minutes getting ready at 10:00”?

…are six kids with the same genetic material, raised in exactly the same environment, so different?

…did God give us tween girls that think that they know everything there is to know?

…when kids find a jellybean on the floor, do they eat it?

…do I make sure everyone has clean laundry, except myself?

…do I dwell on all this stuff when in 20 years I probably won’t remember it, and instead only remember the happy times?
…aren’t I just happy now?

Random Thoughts for a Frosty Day

Who's been eating the cheese?!?

Please grow up soon

Today, as I stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around myself, the phone rang.

The Princess brought it to me.  The display said it was the school.


“Hello, Mommy?”

“Honey!  What’s wrong?  Are you sick?”  It was Art Girl sounding all tiny and far away.  “Are you okay?  What happened?”

“Ah, ah, um…”  A heard a gentle voice in the background.  “Just tell her you forgot your PJ’s.”

Oh, right.  It was PJ day today.

“I’ll be there in 20 minutes.”

And that leads me to the first random thought of the day.  Why do some parents consider young children “easier” than older kids?  Why?  Why?  Why?

Do you know how much I wished that, as I stood there dripping, gazing through the curtains at 90km/hour wind gusts, contemplating how I now had to quickly wrestle a 7 month, 3 year and 4 year old into snow jackets and mittens, how much I wished that they were 7, 9 and 10?  And I could just say “get your jacket, guys?”  Or that they were 9, 10 and 12 and they could have just stayed home for the 15 minutes it would take to run to the school and back?  It’s only December 2nd, and I am already so sick of monitoring who’s still wearing mittens, who’s lagging behind, of switching boots back to the right foot, calming someone down because they think that a truck 3 blocks away is going to run them down.  I’ve had it with brushing other people’s teeth.  Even if they are my own children.

Maybe people are reacting to the fact that their kids are growing up and away.  I know that I would like them to stay young forever — if only they could be 9 while they did it.

We made it to the school, by the way.  PJ’s were restored, along with order in the universe.

And, Big Boy finally figured out how to get his thumb into the right spot in his mitts.  Victory!  Just one more to go……

Mom’s need a new word

I was listening to Sweetie Pie tell me about her classmate.

“She doesn’t wear a winter jacket.  She comes to school in a big green hoodie.  Our teacher said ‘You should put a winter jacket on your Christmas List.'”

We live in Northern Alberta and in Canada, anytime the word “Northern” occurs in relation to geography, you need a winter jacket from November to April.  And that’s every year, unless it’s some freak weather event, and then it ends up on the National News.

So this little tidbit gave me a weird sense of happiness followed by guilt and then satisfaction, and then guilt again.  Some poor Mom was way more screwed up and behind than I was.  Score!  Wait — isn’t that wrong?   I shouldn’t be feeling good.  Still, it’s nice to know that you aren’t the only one who drops the ball.  Not that it matters, because it’s not a competition or anything.   But if it is a competition, it’s a good to know that when you cross the finish line, there would be someone behind you.  Though, I guess you should stop just short of the finish line and cross it together.  Right.

So….us Moms need a word  for this.  Sort of like Schadenfreude — the german word for taking joy in someone else’s misfortune (literally “damage joy.”)  We need a word for being reassured at another Mom’s blunder — and then feeling guilty for it.  So I came up with some suggestions:

Mutterschuldfreude (mother guilt joy)
Mutterfreudeschuld (mother joy guilt — for Moms who are naturally guilty)
Zugunglückschuld (train wreck guilt)
Zweiterverliererfreude (second loser joy)

I’m going to work on this.  Maybe we need a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) type abbreviation.  How about MoHaMoBa (Mother Happy Mother Bad)?  I think I’m on to something here.  Not that I should be.  I really shouldn’t be competing.


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