"Boys are found everywhere—on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around or jumping to. Mothers love them, little girls hate them, older sisters and brothers tolerate them, adults ignore them and Heaven protects them. A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair
and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket."
Author: Alan Beck

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday woes.

Little Wes, pretending to make it snow (thanks to shredded paper towels) in his city. 
I'm not the only one who's ready for a change.

Today I'm feeling gloomy. There's not a cloud in the sky, and the outside temperature will reach a toasty 91 degrees today. Sounds dreamy, right? 


This girl is longing for flannels and jeans, sweaters and leggings, scarves and snow. Lots and LOTS of snow.

Browsing through old pictures and stumbling upon these just adds fuel to the fire-

As the Denver forecast isn't going to change much over the next 10 days, I'll continue to live vicariously through these pictures-
(which I borrowed from one of my favorite etsy stores, Grace and Lace)

(I'm pretty sure that the model in the picture above is my very own Aunt Sheila.  She's lucky enough to live in foggy San Francisco, and dress like this 365 days a year.  Like me, she's a leggings and boots type of girl who wears
 a coordinating scarf with every outfit.  I'd duplicate her wardrobe in a heartbeat)
If you're not drooling over these legwarmers right now, you and I may as well part ways.  Just looking at them may help to pull me out of these warm weather blues.  I don't own any, but if I did, I'd take one in every color.
Check out the link above and browse their etsy site.  You'll be swooning in no time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

If mama ain't happy....

If sanity came in a bottle, I'd be first in line to buy it. I'm pretty sure I'd be one of those selfish consumers that is first in line, 24 hours before the store even opened. I'd race in, trampling those who got in my way. I'd snatch it up....all of it. I'd sit back and drink it whenever I felt as if I just may lose my marbles. Which happens to be occurring a lot lately.

However, since bottled sanity remains somewhat of a fantasy (wine does come pretty darn close) and since I'm not mean enough to trample people (in the event a magical sanity juice was ever invented), I've resorted to more conventional ways of staying sane. Like accountability charts for my little men. Nothing makes me more giddy than a good, old fashioned chart.

Last week was the first of 37 weeks for the 2012/2013 school year. By day 3, I was ready to yank my hair by the roots. Each morning was spent in a total frenzie, as I made breakfast, packed lunches, gathered snacks, filled water bottles, and collected homework from the night before. Making sure 5 backpacks are set and ready to go is not one of my fondest tasks. I noticed last Friday, as I hollered at the boys for a little direction, that they seemed to enjoy watching me dance around the kitchen. Like cows chewing their cud, they continued to graze on their warm pancakes, slathered in blueberry syrup. I stopped in my tracks and stared back at their faces.  As I did, I saw little thought bubbles pop above each and every one of their wee little heads-

Pop, POP, PoP, pop, pOp....and I read each individual bubble....

(The following sentences are best read in a  S   L   O   W , southern draw.)

"Ma will do it for us."

"Yeah...she always figgers it out, it just takes er a while."

"Sure is fun watchin' er, iddn't it, fellas?"

"She ain't as sharp as she used to be.  Poor mama."

"Good thing her cookin' hasn't changed...mmmmffff."

That's when I decided to burst their bubbles.  "Things will be different on Monday, boys.  Just you wait and see."

And I came up with this-

In the morning, the stars are empty.  As the boys make their way downstairs, I serve them a hot breakfast and pack their lunches.  That's my job.  And that's where my job ends.

They are responsible for picking a snack and placing it in their backpack.

They are responsible for filling their water bottle and placing it in their backpack.

They are responsible for gathering their homework and placing it in their backpack.

And they are responsible for grabbing their lunch off the counter and, (you guessed it)


As we race out the door (we're always racing), the charts look like this-

All filled....for the most part. 

Everyone is happy.  Everyone is sane.

The End.

Monday, August 20, 2012

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.

Spring isn't the only time for cleaning. Fall is the new black, baby. Having the boys back in school has given me time to clean, think, reorganize, and rearrange.

Oh how I LOVE change!

My closet, my purse, and my car are at the top of my list.  I've also been sweeping up and throwing out the little things in life that don't mean much.

Sorry, Facebook, you're one of those little things.

I was late to the jump on the FB bandwagon.  Having one central location, and broadcasting thoughts to friends and family at the same time, seemed a bit odd to me.  Emailing friends to say hello, and picking up the phone to keep in touch was what I was used to, and I clung tight to the old fashioned way.

Despite my efforts, my kung fu grip on vintage social networking slowly started to slip.  Before I knew it, I was known as Amy Madden Olivas.  I was married, and had 7 friends.

FB quickly sucked me into it's dark and deep black hole.  Without realizing it, I was spending every spare second (that I really didn't have) checking my status feed from my steadily-growing list of friends.  Every new friend request that came my way gave me a jolt of confidence and was quickly accepted with glee.  After all, it's not every day that someone who never gave you a second glance in high school is suddenly popping up with a hankering for your friendship.  So what if we only spoke to each other a total of two times during our entire high school career?  We were adults now, and our lives have evolved far beyond locker codes and algebra books.  I was desperate to know who was married, who was single, who had kids, who did not, who's moved away, who's stayed close to home, and who was changing the world.  Besides, I've never been one to turn a 'friend' away.

Like a moth to a flame, it didn't take long for my facebook fondness to turn into a full blooded addiction.  Checking my phone for new friends and status updates was a constant habit.  I enjoyed seeing pictures of family and friends, high school classmates, and all of their adorable kids.  I found it enjoyable to share 'glimpses' of my crazy life.  Even more satisfying, was if and when I'd get a few 'likes' or even a comment on my most recent post.  Who knew social networking would be so gratifying.

Three years ago, as the Lenten season was vast approaching, I debated (as I always do) over what to 'give up' for 40 days.  Chocolate was too easy, as was pop, wine (OK, OK.  you caught me there), and all of the other usual and traditional items I had ditched in recent years.  As I continued to ponder my options, a little voice popped in my head and said, "Alright, missy....if you truly want to sacrifice, try giving up facebook for 40 days!"

Give up facebook for 40 days?  No way!  It's my only link to the real world.  It's the way I stay sane.  It's the only chance I get to converse with adults.  It keeps me happy.  I can't leave my friends.  What if I get a new friend request, or someone leaves me a message in my inbox and I'm not there to accept and reply? 

Oh, the horror.

I forced myself to really listen to the lame excuses raging through my head.  It was then and there that I knew it was the right thing to step away from.

I'm not going to lie.  The first time I deleted the FB app from my phone, I needed a paper bag to breath in.  I had the shakes (a bit of a stretch) for the first few days, but they eventually subsided and I succeeded in my Lenten Journey....sans facebook.

During the 40 days of Lent, I was much more in-tune with my family, and much less worried about missing something great from my 100+ friends floating about in cyberspace.  I came back to FB feeling proud and refreshed, but sank back into the vault even faster than before. 

This cycle continued for two more years.  Give it up, claim it back.  Give it up, claim it back.  Each time, leading me on a two-day post Easter FB binge in an effort to soak up everything I had missed.

What in the world was I thinking?  Constantly checking and comparing my status to that of my cyber friends?  Wondering why my status (which I thought was ultra witty and down right hilarious) only got 2 likes?  Fretting over why Norma Jean (fake name inserted) wants to be Sally's (another fake name) friend and not mine? Wondering if people thought my kids were cute (duh, they're freaking adorable)? And best of all, losing my every day thought process to always, ALWAYS thinking in terms of my next brilliant facebook post.

What a shame.

I've felt this way for awhile, but it wasn't until a recent (and currently ongoing) health scare made me look at life through a completely different set of lenses.  It's time to simplify.  Much to my oldest son's dismay, I'm about to become even more 'old fashioned.'

Ditching facebook this last (and final) time will be easier than ever. If I wanted to, I could rant and rave, and tell you everything about facebook that annoys me.  I could go on and on about all of the political rubbish that clouds up my feed, and how the recent trend of eecards (oh how I DESPISE eecards) makes me wince. I could tell you that I don't believe in prayer requests via facebook posts, and how the God I know requires much more from me than a mass petition for prayer.

Life just ain't that easy.

So instead of ranting, I'll just kindly say that facebook is being tossed away.....and it feels SO good!

To the 176 friends I leave behind, please, PLEASE write, call, or read this little blog of mine from time to time.  You know, just to check in and see what my current status is.

This girl is over and out.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The BIG bus riders.

Lil' preschool man.

Will someone PLEASE tell me how in the world we went from 'week two of summer break' to the first day of school in 2.2 seconds? I'm sitting here (alone) at my kitchen table looking at my surroundings, which are still shoving summer in my face. Flip flops and sandals strewn throughout the house, a mountain of swim towels upon my kitchen table, a back yard littered with squirt guns & beach balls, and a mildewed slip n slide flung over the railing of the deck.

These are a few of my favorite things.

What's a mom, who hasn't been alone at home in over 11 years, supposed to do?  Of course, I have my list of things that need to be done-

Clean bathrooms
Organize closet
Sort toys
Make beds
Pay bills

But I also have a list of things that sound entirely dreamy-

Read a book
Read a magazine
Read a newspaper
Read fricken anything I can get my hands on
Blog a post
Write a children's book
Drink tea

I'm torn between the chore list, and the selfish list.  Cleaning and organizing feels right, while sitting on the couch reading a book seems a bit sneaky.

As I glance at the clock, I realize that now I've only got 20 minutes until I leave to grab lil' preschool man.

 Just enough time to fold the towels that are sprawled across the kitchen table, and wipe up the puke the dog just left by my side.