Some days

Some days

Stretched thin

My heart, my skin

Spread far and wide

And though I’ve tried

My patience fails

My heart, it quails

Some days

Stretched thin

My heart, my skin

The toddler roars

And slams the door

He lets me know

Who runs the show

Some days

Stretched thin

My heart, my skin

The baby cries

The empress queen

Will be obeyed

Or price be paid

Some days

Stretched thin

My heart, my skin

I’m losing sleep

And with is goes

All the wisdom

That I know

Some days

Stretched thin

My heart, my skin

Chalk in the sink

Paint on the floor

Stamps on the wall

Pens on the door

Some days

Stretched thin

My heart, my skin

My mind forgets

My plans do fail

Behind me lies

A messy trail

Some days

Stretched thin

My heart, my skin

Mistakes rubbed in

Do sink my heart

Under their weight

I fall apart

Some days

Stretched thin

My heart, my skin

I write this poem

Take refuge in

The secret world

I hide within

Some days

Stretched thin

My heart, my skin

It’s all about attitude!

The more I think and read about happiness, the more apparent it seems that it’s all about attitude. The way we look at things affects the way we feel about things and therefore how we respond to different situations. For example, the other day I was chatting with my close friend Monique on the phone and mildly complaining about a few of my kids being particularly contrary lately. It was disobeying in silly little things like being told not to playing in the new pop up laundry baskets lest they break (instead she put them on her head) or not going out down the icy back steps (she went out the front but came in up the back…grinning!). Instead of commiserating, Monique looked beyond the behavior and simply pointed out a different view. “Well, she is just asserting her independence in little things. She listens about the big stuff, right?” True enough.

That got me thinking about finding some more legitimate ways for the kids to assert independence, make positive choices and take responsibility. After all, these are skills we want our kids to develop for their future. One of the things I want to work on this year is learning some new recipes, so I thought I would let the kids flip through cookbooks and choose a new recipe before we ordered groceries from Save-On (which is such a life saver!). Perhaps helping choose a recipe will help them take more ownership for the new food instead of being so suspicious of it. A girl can dream, right? 😉

Another thing I did was make sure to spend a few minutes consciously playing with them…lego with the big girls, listening to a story read slowly by my 6-year-old, snuggling with the little ones…because a little undivided attention goes a long way to strengthening bonds. I am certainly more prone to cheerfully listen to someone who is affectionate with me, rather than dismissive and bossy. “Catch more flies with honey,” as they say!

Trying to be calm and positive certainly helps my day go better. Crazy Land is still chaotic and loud with 6 kids, but focussing on being happy within it helps me cope better and be a little more peaceful. I saw the fruits of that today. Last night my accountant hubby got home late from his epic year-end workload and wanted to visit a little after a long day crunching numbers and making tough decisions. Sometimes love means saying yes to that goofy zombie romance movie at midnight (Yes, there is actually such a film!). So of course in the morning was a pretty convincing zombie myself. But I had a choice…walk like one all morning and speak in growls, or tell myself it was a brand new day and not think about the  (lack of) night before. I put some cheerful morning music on You Tube, brewed the coffee and sang happy songs while I cleaned up from breakfast. I manged to fool myself into feeling energetic (so gullible!) and had a good day.

If I hadn’t made the conscious choice to embrace the day and be happy, I would’ve wasted it being tired and miserable. But focussing only on the negative blurs our perceptions and limits our vision. Reality is both light and shadows, and the contrast can enhance its beauty, if we just take a deep breath, pray and choose to see it that way. Look for the good and you will find it. It’s all about attitude!

Why Being a Mom is a Lot Like Being a Rock Star

20140215-094609.jpg

1. You have a loyal fan club who follows you around screaming.

20140215-094818.jpg

2. You have no privacy. There is paparazzi even in the bathroom.

20140215-091049.jpg

3. Cute people want to jump in your bed at all hours. People will do anything to spend time with you.

20140215-095810.jpg

4. In the morning, the signs of partying hard are all there. It looks like wild animal stuck to your head, and then got electrocuted.

20140215-100159.jpg

5. “Normal” noise levels are much louder for you than for most people. You host a lot of impromptu dance parties.

20140215-095236.jpg

6. People copy everything you do…for better or for worse…

20140215-095126.jpg

7. Lots of people you know are addicted to the bottle.

20140215-095540.jpg

8. Your sense of fashion has drastically changed since you entered your current career.

20140215-095038.jpg

9. You’re no stranger to feeling pukey in the morning.

20140215-101129.jpg

10. You’re more ‘creative’ when you’re in love, and lots of people are in love with you.

20140215-095402.jpg

Rock on, fellow moms! You are stars! Keep making that sweet music…

20140215-100808.jpg

“Who needs sleep?”

Tonight the lyrics of a Barenaked Ladies song come to mind:

Who needs sleep
Well you’re never gonna get it
Who needs sleep? Tell me what’s that for?
Who needs sleep…this guy’s been awake since the Second World War!

It’s 2:30 am and with my kids sick it’s been a night of musical beds, coughing, crying, and administering Tylenol and ear medicine. Bit of a long haul lately. Good thing I had that last slug of coffee around 8pm, cause I’m holding up ok with a catnap here and there. I was hoping for a cosy evening with my husband, maybe watching a funny show together and falling asleep holding hands, but that was not to be. To prove my point, my two year old just crawled out of bed and brought me a Dora sticker book. Super!

“Dora…she can say map instead of saying map, Mama. Baby can’t have a show right now.”

“True enough.”

I’ve been playing Nurse Mommy for quite some time now, as I’m sure many other moms are this January. Post-Christmas-sugar-crash-cold. My house might feel like Slime Central Station, but it’s only one stop on the Flu Train. So cheers to all you other parents who are pulling crazy night shifts with sick kids…I’m with ya!

One buddy requested a poem of the soundtrack of our house right now, so here goes:

Cough cough achoo
Whaaa, whaaa!

Cough cough achoo
Whaaa, whaa!

Muuuummmy!

Muuummmmy!

Ok, now repeat. 80 times. And intersperse with requests for vitamin C, apple juice, Kleenex, new blankies, another show, another chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and new diapers. You get the picture.

It’s made reading The Hunger Games trilogy even more suspenseful, if that’s even possible:

“Oh, no Katniss and Peeta are out of luck this time for sure…wall of poisonous nerve gas approaching…starting to convulse…”
“Achoo! Mummy! I need a Kleenex! And my sister has a bare bum!”
“What?! Coming!”

Peeta leaned towards her and spoke quietly, ‘Katniss, if we don’t make it back…’

“Mummy, I’m too hot. My tummy hurts. Why do we have to get sick? I need a bucket.”
“Coming!”

And so, my kids have ensured that this rare indulgence of reading a novel for fun has been sliced up into tiny little portions, lest I get a sick tummy from overdoing it. How thoughtful! 😉

Of course, when I do need to escape from my escape, the treacherous world of Panem, with it’s ruthless Capital and sadistic gamemakers, it’s so nice to have those little lovely faces to burst into bright smiles after a few tickles, and throw their little chubby arms around my neck and hang on for dear life. Then, slime or no slime, there’s nothing better to warm my heart than a little snuggle with my wee ones.

They are our hope for the future and our joy in the present, and even though it’s demanding to care for 5 sick kids, I don’t see it as bad. If the measure of our humanity is in how we care for the weak and vulnerable, I hope that caring for them when they are sick will make me more compassionate and more human. Will help me grow…but hopefully not horns!

The other thing that’s been keeping me going in this flu marathon, is you, my wonderful readers. Just knowing you’re out there, and having other “big” people to talk to, or write to, is really great. Also, my iPad mini makes the most lovely sparkly harp sound every time someone likes a post, makes a comment, or starts to follow my blog, so these little magical noises brighten my day as I’m taking care of the kids. It’s like finding candy to see new notifications from my blogging platform, WordPress, on my home screen when I flip open my iPad.

You’re all awesome! Thanks for visiting Crazyland, and as my herd of wild monkeys has finally settled down, it’s time for me to sleep.