Gravity wells and time sinks

Steve, Clara, Lily and Damian riding the tractor pull
at the Baptist Children’s Home Fall Festival
13 October 2008

My computer and the TV each have their own gravity well when they are turned on. To avoid being sucked in and hours of my life (or my children’s lives) disappearing forever in a foggy stupor of mindless media, I have to keep them turned off when we are not actively using them for a purpose.

October 14th, 2008 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

Sadness revealed

Lily in her Cinderella dress holding baby Cinderella.
04 August 2008

After a long, anticipated wait by our three-year-old daughter, the next Ariel movie, Ariel’s Beginning, was released this past Tuesday.  Super Daddy bought it on the sly and put it on after dinner as a surprise.

I cried.  Yes, a direct-to-DVD Disney movie made me cry.  When the whole family was together Tuesday night, I hid my tears because… well, because that’s what we do in this society, isn’t it?  But the next day, when Matt was at work and Lily watched it again, I got the lump in my throat again when King Triton races to Ariel and holds her unconscious body in his arms.  And this time, since there was no one watching and therefore no need to hide my emotions, I cried.  Once I gave myself permission, I sobbed like a little baby.

And I realized that I wasn’t crying simply because it was an emotional scene in the movie.  That was merely the vehicle that finally brought all my sadness out from under the rock where I had been keeping it.  I was crying because of all the crap that has happened this past month.  I was crying because my ITP has gotten worse and my hematologist has recommended a splenectomy.  I was crying because I gave into societal pressure and tried to wean Damian, and the extreme pain of weaning too soon was acute for both of us.  I was crying because I had been dealing with the intense fear of putting my writing and my ego up on the internet.  I was crying because my beloved cat of 11 years was violently killed by a dog right before my eyes.  I was crying because when you’re a parent of young children, you have to keep your shit together no matter what you’re feeling on the inside so you can do the laundry and feed the children and make sure the bills are paid on time.

I was crying because I desperately needed to cry and the movie finally gave me an opportunity.  And that’s when I realized that sad movies are sometimes more than just storytelling; sometimes they are a cathartic release of emotion.

August 29th, 2008 | Podcast, The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

The fashion icon for the next generation

Lani can often be seen lounging in the sandbox.
04 August 2008

Lily’s favorite character from High School Musical is not the leading lady, Gabriella, but the antagonist (well, as close to an antogonist as you’ll find in HSM), Sharpay.  How can this be, you ask.  Wouldn’t Lily identify with the sweet girl next door?  Well, Sharpay has the sparkliest, flashiest clothes and hair by far, so she wins by a landslide.  There really is no competition, actually.

When I surfed the internet to find pictures of Sharpay to illustrate Lily’s love, I found this blog entry about another little girl infatuated with Sharpay’s sense of style.  It’s really funny, and Kenzi, the little girl in the blog entry, sounds exactly like Lily.  In fact Lily bought a little pink sparkly sweater — and she wears it all the time in the heat of the Texas summer — because it looks like a sweater Sharpay has.

Sharpay Evans is molding the fashion style of the next generation.  In 15 years, when our little four and five-year-olds turn 20, don’t be surprised if shiny, sparkly and pink is the leading fashion craze.

August 25th, 2008 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

The Woodings’ Crazy Weekend

If you have ever wondered what a 3-year-old
who does not want her picture taken anymore
looks like, here it is:

Damian is weaned. I’m both happy and sad about this.  I’m happy to have my body back after three and half years of nursing two children, but I’m also sad that I will no longer share that intimate moment with either of my children… very sad about that actually.  That chapter of my life story has ended, and it was a beautiful chapter.

Lily is potty-trained and has finally moved out of the security of her pull-ups.

Damian said his first word which is “Yeah!”  We were all throwing our hands in the air saying “Yeah!” and then Damian did it too.  Since he only communicates through grunts and growls, “Yeah!” definitely counts as a word.

I have had a weekend filled with pain and drugs.  I woke up on Friday with my neck muscles locked tightly and I couldn’t move my head without extreme pain.  A doctor visit later, I was loaded up with Vicodin, muscle relaxants, and steroids.  I can now move my head and the pain is under control, but I have been doped up all weekend long.

… so kind of an eventful weekend actually.  Oh, and I’ve been working hard on  I should have the first podcast up on Friday.  For me, that is both exciting and scary.  There is nothing like having your ego readily available for anyone to download.  But what is the point of being alive if you choose not to live, right?

I hope everyone else had as surreal and progressive a weekend as we did at our little house. 🙂

August 10th, 2008 | Podcast, The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

Leaving for England soon

Wouldn’t you love to see the world
through a child’s eyes for just a few moments?
It seems to be all laughter and beauty sometimes.
08 June 2008

We leave for England on Friday.  Matt is not flying with us, and I refuse to travel internationally with two small children, so Lindsey is going with us to England to help me with the children on the journey.  Matt will be joining us next week.

I don’t handle stress well… I don’t handle it well at all.  So, as this large trip approaches, I am slowing down, freaking out, and becoming very irritable.  Hopefully myself and my family will come through the preparations for this trip emotionally unscarred, but I’m not making any promises.

June 10th, 2008 | England, The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

The pros and cons of the ubiquitous To-Do list

Uncle Steve, Lily and Clara
over Memorial weekend.
25 May 2008

As I have mentioned (several times by this point, I think), I love my DIY Planner.  I even made a 2-pages per day template and submitted it to the DIY Planner site.  Last night, I tweaked my daily template design to fit the FlyLady system for keeping a house.  I LOVE my new daily pages that now have my Morning, Afternoon, and Evening routines in them.

However, as wonderful as my little DIY Planner is, full of its scheduled appointments, routines, and task lists, it does have one drawback: sometimes I feel like I’m not working fast enough or hard enough.  When my little checkboxes remain unchecked, I get sad and feel like a loser.

That was not my original intent when I created my beautiful DIY Planner.  It was to be a tool to stay focused and bring about desired personal change — a tool for manifestation, if we would like to venture into the world of New Age terminology.  And it has brought about a great deal of wonderful change.  It does help me stay focused on what is important to me…

… but it also makes me feel like a loser sometimes.

Now that is a personal problem I have to work through.  My little DIY Planner is just an object.  The emotions… well, that’s all me.  And I don’t like having negative emotions around something that I created and love so much.  So, I’ll be working through those feelings over the next couple of days.

Well, that was a wonderful session!  Who needs a therapist when you have a blog? 🙂

June 3rd, 2008 | Planning Nerd, The Life of a Suburban Mommy | 2 Comments -


Matt, Lily and I
25 May 2008

I’m writing in my journal because it is on my to-do list.  There.  Now I can check that one off. 😉

June 2nd, 2008 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

When the student is ready, the virtual teacher will appear.

Matt holding a sleeping Clara
25 May 2008

I’ve been using the FlyLady’s system for cleaning my house.  I’m still on the Beginner BabySteps and have some kinks to work out (both personally and with the system), but it is by far the best system I have run across for keeping the house clean.

I was a little sad last night because I wished I had found this system 10 years ago.  But, like any cleaning, it does require effort on my part, and 10 years ago I didn’t clean… no matter what the system or incentive was.  So it wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference had I stumbled upon this system 10 years ago.

I’m glad that I found it now though… very glad.  Our house is actually becoming *gasp* clean.

Wow.  What a boring blog entry.  I thought of a clever title, so I thought I would run with it, but the actual entry just didn’t fly.  Still, there’s a really cute picture to make it brighter.

I have to say this blog entry is a very accurate reflection of my day-to-day life though:  uninteresting thoughts about cleaning with brief moments of clever insight, all surrounded by cute children. 🙂

May 29th, 2008 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

Decadence in small packages

Rick and Carla over Memorial Day weekend.
25 May 2008

After reading my blog entry that described what I liked so much about Donna’s house, Matt stopped by Bath and Body Works while we were out running errands and told me to pick up some of the hand soap that I like so much.  They smell amazing!  I cleaned my bathroom just so it would be worthy of such lovely scents.

Lily loved them too.  She helped pick them out at the store.  And, when I put them out the next day, she washed her hands all day long… really, every 30 minutes to an hour, she would go wash her hands again.  At one point during the day she got out of her seat and said, “My hands don’t smell nice.  I need to wash them.”  And off she trotted to the bathroom to wash her hands again.

After a single day, this is what the bottles looked like:

They do smell wonderful.  I can see why she wants to wash her hands every hour.

May 28th, 2008 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

The Intrinsic Power of Words

Daddy and the kids made ginger oatmeal cookies yesterday.

My stepmom, Donna, and I have very different design aesthetics when it comes to colors.  She prefers the deep, rich Mexican palette and I prefer the bright, soft pastel palette.  So, even though her house is painted very different colors than I would choose to paint my house, her home is still my primary source of inspiration when creating my own home.

And this is for several reasons:

  • Her home is always clean and tidy.
  • Even though they have three dogs that live in the house, her home always smells fresh which immediately relaxes the visitor when they come in from a long drive.
  • Her home is not cluttered.  She follows a clean, open design and puts out only a few knick knacks that she cherishes.
  • She keeps what I call “happy books” in the bathroom.  These would be books that you would find in the self-help section of the bookstore.  They are full of self-affirmations and self-introspection essays.  Whenever you come out of the bathroom, you feel just a little happier than when you went in because of reading the happy essays.
  • Her home, decorated with all its Mexican colors, is very pretty and enjoyable to be in.
  • She uses subtle, bright, lifting smells everywhere — the hand soaps, the body soaps, shampoos, the air fresheners throughout the house. It seems like such a small thing to have a lovely-scented handsoap, but it makes such a difference.
  • And finally, the topic of this blog, she has “happy signs” everywhere in her house.  Signs like “Live well. Laugh often. Love much.”

I was reading the Lifetime Fitness magazine today, and everytime I read it, I feel motivated and empowered — ready to make positive, healthy change in my life.  And then I go do the dishes and the laundry and tend to the needs of small children, and that feeling slowly ebbs away into the hard and repetitive work of the day.  And that is why I like that particularly design feature of Donna’s home so much.  Her plaques on the wall remind you of what is important while you are feeding children and vacuuming and folding the laundry.

Words are thoughts, and thoughts are actions.  I like the idea of self-programming my thoughts with beautiful wall decor.

May 24th, 2008 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -