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Top Ten: Very Specific, Mostly Realistic Resolutions For A More Positive 2012

January 3, 2012 1 comment

I usually save my resolutions for Lent so that I have a better chance of keeping them – after all, 40 days is a heck of a lot easier than 365. But I thought that maybe if I posted my very specific, mostly realistic resolutions to the general public this year, I could be reminded, kidded, cajoled, convinced and/or shamed into keeping them until at least some become new habits.

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This year, I firmly resolve to:

1. Stop exaggerating numbers, most specifically using the words “a million” or “a bajillion” in place of actual amounts of anything (I’ve told you a million times, You’ve forgotten to do that the last bazillion times). This one is mainly for my husband because it drives him crazy.

2. Stop cursing, especially the word “damnit,” but also including “crap,” “stupid,” and “Oh my God.” Find some new words or phrases to replace said curse words that don’t embarrass me out of using them (I will not stick with this resolution by saying “golly gee,” sorry).

3. Enforce internet free hours during the day: 10-11am and 5-7pm are officially going to be internet free. For me. Which in turn will be for the kids. Feel free to embarrass me if I post during these hours!

4. Say I love you to each of my children at least 3 times per day. I say I love you to James pretty darn often (and my husband), but sometimes forget the younger two. It helps that James says “I love you” at least 15 times per day, no exaggeration as per resolution #1. But I want them all to grow up hearing that daily.

5. Compliment and/or thank my husband at least one specific time per day. This one should be easy enough to do, but in reality is equally easy to forget to do. Since I know it still feels good to be thanked for making dinner, cleaning up the kitchen or any number of other menial tasks, why not tell Ryan just how much I appreciate him taking out the garbage or wrestling with the kids while I clean up?

6. Check all of my voicemails, even if they are from unknown numbers. Sometimes I look at my phone and it says “_ new voicemails.” As long as I know where my kids and husband are, this message often results in me cringing and pressing the “dismiss” button. I don’t know why – maybe it’s the red flashing light. But more likely it’s the fact that my 7 and 8 keys don’t work anymore (thank you Adam), so unless I click dismiss I have to save every message. Excuses, excuses, I know – this one might be a little tricky for me.

7. Stop threatening bad behavior with spankings (especially since I don’t spank my kids). Enforce time outs calmly, consistently and quickly, even if the kids are screaming and everyone thinks I’m spanking them anyway.

8. Fix my “No button” and not feel guilty about using it. It works with the kids but seems to short out every time someone asks me for a favor (maybe another reason I dismiss my voicemails?).

9. Stop using the following phrases, even kiddingly: “I’m going to jump out the window if __,” “I’m going to throw you out the window if ___,” “I’m going to punch you in the nose ___,” “I’d rather die than ____.” Just typing them out is strengthening my resolve. More generally, I resolve to stop using dramatic statements as “threats.”

10. Lose 7 pounds – come on, you thought they were all going to be witty or unusual?

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I’d love to hear about some of your resolutions this year – feel free to leave some in the comments section. In the meantime, Happy 2012!

Monday Minute: Spooky Halloween Edition

October 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Thanks, James, for contributing to an extra special scary edition of the Monday Minute. Thanks, karma, for making us all oversleep (never happens) and adding to the horror of an already spooky morning (I usually roll out of bed by 5:45 to get everyone ready, today it was 7:45). Here’s a small sliver of what this morning was like in the rush to get out the door. Trick or treat?

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(My responses are in bold below)

Cornbread. (James is calling from the dining room to me in the kitchen) You want cornbread in your lunch? Yes. Can you ask more politely? Cornbread, please (said in a huff). Try again. I would like cornbread please (in a smaller huff).

(To my 2 yr old, also eating breakfast in the dining room) You’re  in my seat. Hey that’s my seat. Get out of my seat right now. I hope you’re kidding, James. I’m not kidding. (walking out to the dining room) You’re kidding? No, I’m not kidding! Mom, I’m not kidding! I’m not kidding!!! (becoming apparent he has no idea what I mean) James, just eat your breakfast. We’re really late and you have to go. Mom, don’t tell my teacher on me! what are you talking about? Don’t tell! James, just eat your toast!

Okay, how did you like the ending of your book – you have to say for your reading log. It was a good way to start an ending. What? A good way to start an ending. A good ending. Why? George was nice to his mean grumpy grandma and then she grew tall and then she got very small and disappeared. Good ending. It says how are you like George? What do you both have (meaning grandmas)? We both have ears. And grandmas? Yep. Are your grandmas the same? Yep. Really? No George’s grandma is mean and tall and my grandma is nice.

I’m so lucky to be on 103rd. I like living here. It’s a special day today. Oh, yeah? Halloween! Can I have couch time? No, there is no time for that today – go into the bathroom so I can brush your teeth. Ooooooohhhhhhhhhh! Stop it and go – you sound like a scary monster. (instant change in demeanor, which may or may not have been for the best)

Ha! I’m a scaaarrrryy monster. You sound like a zombie. I’m a zombie! (said in a “zombie voice”)

(from here on James says everything in a slow, monotone, zombie voice)

Go to the bathroom so I can brush your teeth. Okayyyyyy, moooommmmmmm. Come on, stop talking like that and hurry up – you’re going to be late! Okayyyyyyyy, moooommmmmmm.

I am a zombieeeeeee. James, do NOT do that with toothpaste in your mouth – you’re getting it all over me. Okayyyyy. Stop talking while I’m brushing your teeth!! 

Whyyyyy are yooooouuuu spraying meeeee? Because you don’t have time for a shower and I don’t want you to smell bad at school. (scared yet?) Smelllllllll meeeeeeeee. Smelllllllllllll. The sprayyyyyyy smeeeelllllllls. It’s dad’s cologne and it smells good. Smelllllllll. James, stop!

Go get your shoes and socks on right away. You have to go. Okkkkaaayyyy, mooommmmm. James go right now. Shoooooeeesss and sooocckkkksss (standing in the middle of the living room, circling slowly, “looking” for socks) James get your socks on this minute. If you are late there will be no trick or treating! Shhoooooeeess and sooooocks.

Fast forward through Ryan intervening so that James did in fact stop the zombie voice.

(standing in the doorway) Okay I’m going to the lobby. Zip up your jacket. Love you, mom. Love you James. Please, be a good boy on your walk with dad. See you after school, Mooooommmmm. James, please.

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Because we were home and not walking to school as we usually are during the Monday Minute, this conversation was also peppered with Margaret chanting “I want sausage” “Can I have some spray too?” and “I want to go with Dad and James to school” increasingly loudly, Adam screaming for food, screaming to be let out of his highchair, and Ryan scolding James for talking back, not moving quickly enough, or talking like a zombie.

Surely we had the spookiest house on the block this Halloween morning!