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clothes clothes and lots of books

We passed our one year “in waiting” anniversary last week. Not super excited about that anniversary. Hoping to not celebrate another one. Honestly still in distraction mode. It’s easier to wait when you don’t think about the fact that you are waiting every minute of every day. Though admittedly, the distractions are becoming less and less effective. But onto the current distraction.

The tidy challenge continues! It ended up taking us two weeks to go through our clothes and pass the joy on to someone else. Which by the way is super fun, passing on joy. I’m still not entirely done with the baby clothes, but I got through the first few sizes and found a few gems along the way!

They’re just too cute!

I’ve been loving the margin in the closet and drawers in the morning. Actually liking everything in there makes it so much easier to get dressed everyday. Who knew!?

This week the challenge moves on to books. We got a bit of a head start. My two oldest were chomping at the bit yesterday. Me, not so much, sorting through books is like sorting through friends. It’s emotional and difficult, but we did it (except for a small pile of about a dozen I need to finish). Apparently I sell ideas better to my kids, they are ready to do the whole house. They want to be surrounded by things that are their favorites. I’m getting more sold as we go on.

So your mission this week is to take all your books, all of them, from everywhere, and put them in a giant pile on the floor. We choose the living room. Here’s our giant pile.

IMG_1383The object is too see how many you actually have. Mission accomplished. It didn’t look like that many on all the random bookshelves.

We all sat down in a giant circle and passed around books for hours (with breaks of course). If anyone got a book they loved, the put it in their keep pile. If they got a book they didn’t they passed it to the right and if Bycemaster or I got a book twice we put it aside to pass on. No reading, just holding and looking and if it sparks joy, it stays. This, of course, is easier said than done, but practice makes perfect!

Here’s our end results.

IMG_1390This is all our keep. Sorry it’s so blurry, but you get the idea. Today we are going to start putting away.IMG_1389These are our books to pass on. For a family of book lovers, this is a lot of books. I purge books a lot, and we’ve never passed this many on before. But it’s different when you think of what books you want to keep. Gather all your favorites first!

It’s your turn! Looking forward to hearing your book stories!

brainiac stuff

So I’ve done it again! I missed my blogging time! I was even home and not really doing anything (you know as much as a mom can not really be doing anything) and I just totally forgot. This is why habits should not be broken. Routines save my life in the mornings, have I mentioned I’m not really much of a morning person before? Possibly? Maybe? Yeah you’ve heard it a time or ten, moving on.

So I read another book. Though it wasn’t really a whole book, it’s actually like an addendum to another book (which I have checked out now, and added it to my growing stack of books to read). It’s called The Brain and Emotional Intelligence New Insights by Daniel Goleman. The beginning was a little brainy, ha ha ha, I crack myself up. But seriously, lots of names of brain parts and high level stuff that was doing it’s best to loose me and I like that stuff. There’s only so many words I can’t pronounce that I can read before I start not being able to tell them apart. But there was a chapter called the Social Brain that was fascinating.

He starts it by stating the brain patterns we use for self-mastery and knowing ourselves are the same brain patterns used for knowing another person. In other words, if you don’t want to be a sociopath get to know yourself so you can have empathy and the ability to know another person (he didn’t actually use the word sociopath, but sociopaths have been shown to have no empathetic ability, I made a leap). So yay for self awareness! Always happy to see someone promoting this, big deal for me.

However the most incredible thing for me in this chapter was they have discovered “mirror neurons” in our brains. Which is a kind of wi-fi connecting one brain to another. How cool is that? Apparently people can “send” their feelings and emotions to another person’s brain and the other person’s “mirror neurons” will actually start firing in the part of their brain that houses the emotions being “caught.” Authority figures (parents!), people with dominant personalities or whoever is showing the most dominant emotion becomes the sender in the room while everyone else will be more likely to catch was is being transmitted. Now he’s applying this to the work place, but I work on the home front so I applied it to home.

So all those days I’ve come down the stairs in the morning still tired or emotionally neutral I’m allowing one of my two “dominant” children in the family set the tone for how the day goes. Now I love these two children, but they are not the ones prone to happy carefree attitudes. I’ve seen their morning grumpies take over the house, but I’ve always felt a bit helpless to stop it. Once one starts the whining or complaining it just spreads like wildfire through all four of them and then overwhelms me too.

But my authority figure status will overpower their influence, so if I can manage to keep myself visibly and dominantly upbeat, they will be too! Then they will do miraculous things, like pick up the whole downstairs in under 10 minutes with happy attitudes (no joke, this actually happened). So now all I have to do is stay outwardly upbeat! Yeah harder than it seems, but the pay offs seem to be worth it, so I’m writing it on my bathroom mirror so I can remember. I set the tone for the day, smile and stay upbeat! Be the emotional sender and send happy!

Somewhat related, I was doing math with one of the kids a few weeks and ago and they commented that they liked doing their math next to me, even when I wasn’t helping them, they didn’t get as many wrong and it was easier. I told them that it was because I believed in them and when they sat next to me they believed in themselves too and that’s why they could do it easier. Then I read the book above and found out I was right! Double score, I mean it sounded good anyway, but having someone neurologically confirm it is pretty awesome in my book.

a birthday for a girl

We added a new 7 year old to our bunch this weekend. I had every intention of writing this for her on her actual birthday, but she had friends sleep over for the first time the night before and though it actually went very well (I admit I was slightly terrified), my brain was certainly not up to full capacity. I was doing just fine, if I was, you know, sitting, doing nothing, but that actual thinking thing, was a bit delayed (you know, like this over-comma-ed sentence). Then we had Easter and they were all up early again! Which was really more of the problem with the sleepover, the insane hour they awoke (like my fancy wake up there?). I am not used to predawn hours anymore, I don’t wake before the sun, it’s unnatural people. My cushy job of eating bon bons and watching soaps all day allows for me to wake with the sun, not before, its on the pro side.

Dear 7 years old,

You are 7 now my dear. This much anticipated birthday for you has come and gone and just as you seem to do everyday, you got bigger. Baby years have long been gone, and you are continually becoming more and more of who you are. This year you started gymnastics. You have excelled, which was the point, we knew you would. You spend your days in one endless cartwheel, why walk to the table when one can cartwheel? why eat at a table when one can chew and cartwheel at the same time? why ride your bike when one can cartwheel down the sidewalk? Long hair splaying, skirts a flying, cartwheeling is how you spend your days.

You got a sewing machine for your birthday this year, you were thrilled. You already have plans to make new pillows and blankets for your dollhouse and I look forward to seeing what else you come up with (and I look forward to seeing how you manage to cartwheel while using a sewing machine). Your generosity and creativity have not abated. I’m sure the sewing machine will end up being a new outlet for those as well. love watching the joy you find in creating and in giving your creations to those in your life. Even if at the moment your incessant momma, Momma, MOMMA!!!! coming from the room you are “sewing” in is not bringing the most pleasant thoughts of you in my head. You are relentless, this has great potential to one day be an asset, to be honest most days it wears me out. But even in my mentally exhausted state from helping facilitate your endless endeavors I am still excited to see where you will go with them all. I am also very very proud of who you are becoming, and as always look forward to watching you grow.

till next year baby girl,

your MOMMA!!!

side note to you readers. I just finished reading The Pioneer Woman’s book: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, go read it now. It was fabulous, I’m semi obsessed with her and her blog now and may or may not have been internet stalking her all weekend. It also made me sorely miss working with Bycemaster. I miss him.

Grant reads me a bedtime story

I took a video of this too, but it’s pretty dark, and my finger was over the lense for the first little bit, and I didn’t even have Grant in the video at all in the beginning, just the book. It’s not my best work, I couldn’t see, I believe I mentioned the dark part.

Now I greatly enjoy it anyway, but I’ve been told I’m a bit biased when it comes to this kid.

I tried my best to transcribe the story for you. It was his version of a little animal book. It’s one of those one picture, one word a page board books. Grant’s version is more involved, and more entertaining in my opinion. Perhaps we have a budding author on our hands, only time will tell. Here goes.

OK. Once upon a time.

*opens book to the monkey page* de monkey got died, and then he got killed (building excitement). One day dey fixed him wit da trees and flowers (excited whisper voice).

*turns to giraffe page* de giraffe was going for a roph one soph (it’s like he just forgot he was speaking english for a moment…and he’s back) when a lion pic him daway *lion sounds* an God jus didn make no lions no more, and din he was fixed, and din he was really happy had an iPhone. dat what da giraffe did.

*turns to elephant page* da elephant was so happy. he was haves new friends wit da dogs, kitties, and fish. And he could liked it two at a time (got a little Noah action going on there).

*turns to the tucan page, that he thinks is a macaw* da cawcaw. here comes da bird. he was he called whatcha eat some food. hes hungy, hungry.

*turns to frog page* (turn down volume Jena’s coming) hey frog i’m hungry, I want to eat some hair. (million dollars if you can decipher this…if I end up posting the video…)

*turns to turtle page* hey turtle! I neber a (more Grant language) turtle. can you get me some food please?

*closes book* did it. de end.

to all the haters

Dear Haters:

I know you’re out there, all you social media haters. I hear you in the halls, I hear you at family gatherings, I hear you in my dreams. “Social Media isn’t real relationships” you say, “It’s just a bunch of surface friendships, nobody really cares on there.”

Now I understand the irony of this letter and it’s intended audience. For you, the social media hater, will more than likely never see this letter. I will publicize this post on Facebook and Twitter, besides it being on a public blog on the Internet. But alas, those are not places you frequent.

So I must ask, how does one communiate with you? Should I spend the next weeks of my life looking up home phone numbers, since you certaintly still have one of those, and placing cold calls to answering machines to bring you my message? Perhaps I should print it and distribute door to door like the Jehovah’s Witness we all love so much. That should only take a few months of my life.

Sadly neither of those are feasible options in my life currently. So I am forced to used the most effective means of communication, even though it is one that you choose not to participate in. It is sad really, but I do hope someday you will be able to read the following, though I imagine by the time you do, it will no longer pertain to you.

Sunday night I posted the following status on my Facebook page

“wanting a good book, and not really feeling the ones I have available”

Now mind you, I posted this to my following of surface friends who really care nothing about me and view me only as a number.

Yesterday morning I come to my desk and the little red bubble tells me that someone has commented on my status. It’s my blogger buddy agreatweirdness, she writes:

“There are three books at Tim’s desk for you – it’s that Voice of the Lion series I told you about. =)”

Last night I sat happily reading a great new book thanks to my surface friend who doesn’t care about me. Being unloved and disconnected from real people never felt so good.

Sincerely,

Joy

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