Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sometimes it's hard to be happy.

Now don't get me wrong, I haven't given up.  I still have the determination that I will be happy, fun, playful...all those good things from my last post.  But sometimes it's hard.

Like when you're really, really tired.

Or when you're trying to get the house cleaned up and 5 children ready to go visit their beloved cousins, then pick up Dad from the airport and certain of them will not not not stay on task no matter what.  Heck, they won't even start the task!  Even if you mention that if our stuff isn't done we won't go have cousin time after all.  OR if you tell them that before the neighbors (who are moving today) can't come play until the downstairs is tidied.

[Side note: there is something about laundry that brings out the worst in some of us.  Namely, Lee and Cora.  And me.  Because after literally hours of asking nicely, reminding, reprimanding, etc it's STILL in a pile.  Well, the pile would usually be strewn, flattened and flung so much that it looks like a laundromat exploded in my living room by that point.  I can pretty much guarantee that unless I fold a large amount of the laundry myself while Cora invents new and creative ways to fold her Hello Kitty underwear, it won't get done. And even then it often 'misses' the dresser drawers.  Inevitably there are time-outs and wall-sits and pops on the behind...oh, and yelling.  Plenty of yelling.  But yesterday there was much, much more patience and much, much less of the other junk.  I'll take my small victories where I can, thankyouverymuch!]

Remember this?  Some things take a long, long time to change.  And at least THAT was dirty!
It's also hard to be happy when you're very, very disappointed.  You see, Riah's original plan was to fly home today.  Beautiful, glorious Wednesday morning.  We'd leave Tuesday morning, play all day with cousins, jump on the trampoline, swim in the lake, laugh and have a generally excellent time.  Then we'd get up, meet him at the airport for a joyous reunion mid-morning, and--SURPRISE--catch a matinee showing of Despicable Me 2 as a family treat.  We never--and I mean never--go to movies as a family.  It's so expensive, and the little littles are so squirmy!  Then we'd head back to Carin & Scott's until after dinner, at which point we'd head home because Riah's LPN NCLEX was the next morning.

Cora never stops talking about her cousins...especially this red-headed cutie pie
But the project needed more time.  So we bumped it.  Just by one day.  That was no big deal.  Reschedule dentist appointments, call my backup sitter for the boy I watch in the mornings, not convenient, but not too bad.

Last night I got a call from Riah; his dad needs him on the project through the end of the week.  It's hard for him, but he's not here to comfort Alex when he bursts out in frustrated tears and pounds the floor because all of a sudden we're not leaving tomorrow morning after all.  And I don't know when we will.  It's a huge letdown.  

BUT!  If you buy four completos, it's only four dollars!

Sorry.  We love Kid History around here, and if 'BUT!' ever comes up, it's always followed by a line about completos.  Anyway...

BUT!  (It's Silver Lining time.)
*The unfinished tasks were left unfinished and there was no late-night rush to get everything done.*
*I was able to read another chapter of Mossflower to the kids before bed.*  (It's a prequel to Brian Jacques' novel Redwall, and it's the only big fat fiction book that Alex has e.v.e.r. sat down and inhaled in a few days.  Ever.)*
*And when Cora fell asleep on top of the pile of clean towels, I left her there and scooped her unfolded laundry into a basket, to wait for another day.*

Today we don't have anything on the agenda, so I'm going to figure out something fun for us to do.  All of us.  Today I'm going to play with my kiddos.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Heavenly Father has been giving me little hints lately about where I am and where I need to be.  As usual, it's taken quite a few to get my attention.  I really can be quite thick sometimes.

But He's reached me in a handful of different ways:
--my recent meh-pression self-diagnosis,
--the long-time feeling of being lukewarm, "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." --Revelation 3:16
--the almost achy longing I have for friends.  Like friends friends.  Someone calling me to ask if I can go play, then staying out until really way too late laughing until we cried.  The hint came in the form of the realization that if I want to have a friend, I've got to BE a friend.  And how many women around me are feeling the same way?  Probly a lot.
--reading backwards in time through my own blog.  Lately it's been all mopey and depressing, not to mention sporadic.  It's pretty pathetic until I got fired, but before that it was different.  It was witty, funny and chipper (not trying to toot my own horn here, but even my 12yo commented that it was funny).  Even though I had 4 kids, (Riah's) inconsistent income, a gross house, a busy social life and INSANE work responsibilities, I was happy.  I was happy enough to see the silver lining and blog about it instead of a bunch of blech.  Reading my own words helped me see the difference between then and now.
--this.  I saw it posted on facebook, and I read it.  I left it open for days because I knew if I closed it out I'd never find it again.  I read it again and again and again.  It resounded because now that I'm much quieter, I can hear all the garbage that my children verbally throw at each other.  But that's not what I want.  What really struck me about this article was the photos.  You can tell that every one of those big brothers ADORES that little sister.  Words like 'dote' and 'love' and 'play' and 'fawn' and 'patient' many good words that I could SEE all around them.  And I would love Love LOVE for my children to adore one another.

I may or may not have read backwards the entries on that blog until almost 3:30 in the morning because I was so taken by this family.  Yeah, the kids argue and annoy each other.  It happens.  But they also treasure their siblings in such a tangible way.  I mean, how often does this happen?  (Seriously.  Read it.  It is something else.)  And the funny thing is that while I was reading and watching fun videos and looking at amazing photos, not once did I dejectedly think, "I want her life.  pfft!  Like that's ever gonna' happen."  Instead--and this a big deal for me--I thought, "I love that.  I would love that in my home.  What can I do to make our family relationships more like theirs?"  Usually it's just a mild coveting thing, then looking at what I've got and giving up before I even start.  But not this time.  I told Riah this morning about it when he called (btw, if you're ever tempted to lose your cell phone while out of town...don't.  It's not all it's cracked up to be.) and he was surprised and impressed at the different attitude.

I love the focus that this mom has on happiness.  And thinking about all that happiness made me realize something:

I'm not happy.  I haven't been happy for a long time.  My writing shows it, my marriage shows it, my children show it...even my waistline shows it!

And I want to be happy.

I want to be Happy.
I want my children to love being home.
I want to be twitterpated again.
I want to be funny, cheerful, outgoing, witty, silly--all those things I used to be, and still am somewhere.
I want to shine.
I want my home to be a place where people come and they can FEEL a difference.
I want my children's best friends to be each other.
I want to cherish the moments I have with my monkeys.
I want the wisdom to know when to cross off half of my to-do list and play with the kids.
I want to live to my potential.

And guess what?  That's what the Lord wants, too.  He wants me to be happy.  He didn't suffer in Gethsemane and conquer death so I could trudge through life.  He wants me to skip and dance and laugh, thoroughly enjoying the world and body He gave me.  He made it possible for our families to stay together after this life not because we have to, but because we want to.  And I want to.

I want to be Happy.


I have a confession:

I interrupt my children.  

Quite often.

I don't do it to be rude or because I think that what I have to say is more important (though sometimes it's more pressing, like if it's got something to do with looking where one is going or to get the scissors from a certain toddler or something petty like that).  I do it because a) I want to help and b) can be impatient.

I do it because sometimes language development involves taking an eternity to spit out one blasted sentence!  And when I already know where the child is going with what he's saying, isn't it a good thing to help supply the phrasing he's looking for and make it possible for the rest of the world to keep spinning?

I thought so.  Until I started being driven bonkers by everyone interrupting everyone else (especially me) and one day I realized that it was because I have been interrupting them for as long as they've been talking!


So I've been working on that for the last 6 months or so, and I'm getting better about that.  But still it's hard when you know what a child needs and you can give it to them in about 2 seconds instead of watching them struggle.  Rather, it's better to wait until that child has been given the time to process, figure out and select which words are the ones he wants to use.  Sometimes he'll ask for help finding the word he's looking for, and it's usually right there on the tip of my brain, waiting for him to ask.  Or I'll see the struggle, get impatient, and offer the word that I think it might be.

This afternoon I was thinking--shocker!--and had a little light bulb moment that Heavenly Father works in the same way.  He can give us exactly what we need in about 2 seconds, but because He loves us, He waits patiently and lets us process, struggle, problem-solve, try again, fall down, get back up and do whatever we do until we ask Him for help.  Sometimes, however, I think maybe he gets tired of waiting for us and offers us little hints about what we He already knows we need.  (Disclaimer:  in absolutely no way do I believe that God has any imperfections like impatience.  Hopefully you get the gist of what I'm trying to say.)

That's what He's done for me; I've had lots of hints lately.

And I'm finally starting to get it.  But I don't want this to get really long because then it's a chore to read.  So I'll elaborate later and finish with one of my favorite's one of the few I can actually remember.

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Interrupting Cow
Interrupting Co--

Friday, July 26, 2013

Orange Rhino Days something - something else

I don't know.  I'm not really keeping track of this.  At first I was, and I'd call Hubby (who was out of town when I started this all) and brag that I'd only yelled once that day.  Well, 'brag' isn't quite the right word, but he knows how much of an accomplishment this is!  Or maybe twice, but 'fillintheblank' is my lame rightful excuse.  Blahbity Blahbity Blah.  Whatever.

The point is, I'm improving.

Have I had a day when I didn't get upset?  No way.
Have I had a day when I didn't raise my voice?  Not on your life.
Have I had a day when I didn't lose it a little bit?  I wish.

But have I had a day when I lost it?  Nope.
But have I had a day when I flipped out?  Nuh-uh.
But have I had a day when I raged at anyone shorter than me?  Negatory, good buddy.

And THAT, my dear, is brag-worthy.  At least for me.  Which is really, really sad.  Because these kiddos...

(well, not ALL of them.  This is all but 5 of the cousins from my side of the family)

...these funny, crazy, awesome, wonderful monkeys are really what make my world go round.  Some days it rotates a little faster or wonkier than others, but that comes with the territory.

Anyway--I've been praying praying more consistently, which I believe is HUGE in this whole thing.

I've had a few million times when I had to shop myself mid-sentence for a ginormous breath and do physical things to calm myself down.  Things like consciously lower my shoulders and shake my arms out.  Or even growl at the ceiling.  Yes, I've snapped.  Yes, I've increased the tone, volume and intensity of my voice.  I'm not SuperMom yet.  And just because I'm not hollering doesn't mean that all of a sudden they listen and obey like they should.  (Man, I super wish that!)

(On a side note, I've wondered to myself and asked the children so, SO many times why I have to yell in order for them to even hear that I'm talking to them.  I just don't get it.)

So with all this less yelling and more talking and such, I've learned something:

The kids yell at each other.  A lot.  Especially the boys.  But now Cora has replaced the concept of "please don't do that" with an ear-splitting, shriek.  Lovely.  Abby's 12 now, and she's snippy and bossy to her siblings anyway, which is something that we've been working on.  Even Weston's joining in the squawky fun!  But the boys--wowie wow wow can they bellow!

And hearing the way that my children go at each other sometimes is hard for me.  (It's not hard 'sometimes,' the 'sometimes' modifies how often they go at each other.  And if it's the boys, 'sometimes' means a few times a day.)  In the moment I see/hear it and am simultaneously irritated that they're yelling for no good reason, ashamed because they learned it from me, understanding because I get that a raised voice has been their model and patient because I know that it will take a long, long time for my habits to be so changed and ingrained that they trickle down to their subconsciouses, too.  Of course, I always wonder why--if they're emulating my behavior--do they skip the first 3 times of asking nicely plus a couple of firm reminders and jump straight to the "I've had it" part.  I've always wondered that.

But in the meantime, I am accepting that I'm not perfect.  I am accepting that this will take time.  And I am accepting that this is a big change that will need to be made one millisecond day at a time.  And mostly I'm cognizant that I am raising five of Heavenly Father's wonderful, amazing, choice immortal spirits who are here having mortal experiences.  It's my job, my stewardship, my privilege to raise them up to Him by being loving, supportive, kind, good, loving, respectful, patient, sensitive, empathetic and loving.  Not mean.  By being a righteous mother in Zion I sort of feel that in helping them reach their potential I am fulfilling my own a little more, too.

And anyway, I love my crazy little brood!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Orange Rhino Days 3 & 4...back to square 1

So Saturday was fine...until it was time to go to a birthday party.  Alex flipped out (and lately 'flipped out' for him carries a whole new fatalistic over-dramatized meaning) about the wrapping paper on his gift.  You see, he asked Abby to go down to the basement to choose a roll for him to wrap the gift for his friend Parker.  (This was Friday afternoon.)  She brought up one that seemed pretty gender-neutral--one that had been used to wrap Dad's bday gift in, no less--and he used it.  Only after it was cut & ON the gift, did he begin to think that maybe it was too girly.  It really was borderline.  So we added Seahawk-colored ribbon and called it good.

And it was, until it was time to walk out the door, at which point he noticed that it occasionally read in really really small print, "For the Birthday Girl."

Oh, woof.  (I love you, Muppet Treasure Island)

Commence flippage.  Holy cow, it was her fault, it was his fault, it was everyone's fault and I'm pretty much sick & tired of his frustrated outbursts lately.  They come on rather suddenly and don't go away until he's good and ready.  It's always over a small thing, like...well, like miniscule print on the part of a gift that won't be noticed, THEN will be tossed in the trash.  And it gets big.  Obscenely big.  Let's see...words like 'overreaction' and 'worked up' and 'fury' and 'belligerent' come to mind.  He works himself into a lather and there's not much that I can do to bring him down.  Not right now, at least.  I just need to weather the storm and let it blow over.

Or send it to its room until it can behave civilly.

Which is what I often do when it's clear that he's put up some serious walls of defense around his fury; walls that no logic or breathing or realistic thinking can break through.  When he was little and was driving me out of my ever-loving gourd and I just wanted to throw him out the nearest window (figuratively, of course--though I'll never forget the face of my 5yo niece when she heard me say that once), the best--and most counter-intuitive--thing I could do was to kneel down and wrap that little whirlwind in my arms until it settled into a breeze.  Nowadays, though, he doesn't want me to touch him.

So I send him to his room to calm down.

(Hubby noted that it's weird that he's never witnessed this.  He saves his awesomest behavior for me.  To quote everyone's favorite Idaho nerd, "Lucky!")

And for people like EmF and Kristen and Aubrey and Chicklegirl...please believe me that I'm not just making this up to get attention.  My perfect little angel boy who loves to make others happy and be obedient really does turn into Mr. Hyde.

So anyway...Alex had jumped off the deep end of this empty pool and we were supposed to get into the car at that moment.  And I yelled.  I angrily and frustratedly yelled, "Let it go!  It's not a big deal!  Nobody will notice and nobody will care!  Just LET IT GO!!!"

And he did.  By the time we got 5 minutes down the road, he was fine.  That's how fast these storms blow over.  But the point is that I didn't stay calm and controlled.  I was ugly at my sweet boy when he needed a safe, stable harbor through which to rage.  Blech.

The library was fine, the party was stinkin' hot, but we all had a good time.  Then AFTER the party I 'oopsied' again.

The scene: the swivel rocker and matching ottoman in my living room.  Weston had decided that his nightcap needed to take an extra long time, and I'm hearing voices upstairs.  Wondering whether or not Cora had been obedient (pssht!) and gotten her jammies on, I call to her...

"Cora?"  slightly raised voice so she can hear me upstairs
no response
"Cora!" a little louder
silence, except for the sound of her playing at the top of the stairs
still louder and getting frustrated, but not yet yelling, "Cora, when I call you need to answer me!"
"CORA!" I mean, I'm nursing a really heavy, easily-distractable baby.  I can't really go to her.
Lee: "Go!"
Lee: "GO!"
didja guess it yet?
Yep, this is the part where I was so frustrated and angry that she was flat-out blatantly me that I let fly one of my super-awesome loudest-I-can yells tinged with my own fury.  It actually hurt my throat.  *fail*  She finally responded.  But why in the name of all that is calm and peaceful couldn't the scene have just gone like this:

"Yes, Mom?"
"Are you jammied?"
"Uummm.....not yet."  (Which means I got distracted and I'm not even close.)
"Okay, Honey, go do jammies and teeth."


So I had a couple moments of suckiness yesterday.  Blech.

But!  Check this out:  I woke up late for church, got the kids up, dressed, breakfasted (they stayed remarkably on-task this morning and I praised them for it in the car!), ready, me showered & ready, left the house 3 minutes after the meeting had begun (ugh) and DID NOT YELL AT THE CHILDREN EVEN ONE LITTLE BITTY TIME!!!  Yahoo!!!  Hubby will tell you that that is a MAJOR accomplishment!

2 yuck + 1 super big yippee = imperfection, but improvement.  And that's what I'm looking for.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Orange Rhino Day 2

So I realized that yesterday's post was a little misleading.  It was actually for the day prior, but it kinda' got all mashed up into that day.  Oh well.  The point is that I'm trying to improve.

So yesterday I didn't yell, except for one little "HEY!" when the kids weren't listening to me.  And that sort of doesn't count because right after that my words were much calmer & quieter.  Still firm, but not angry.

I think yesterday was a good day because it was a productive day.  In the morning we made signs and around noon we set up a water stand on the corner.  The kids have asked a couple of times if they can sell lemonade too, but I don't want to have to buy the cups and keep mixing pitchers of lemonade.  Instead, we've got a couple of coolers of water bottles & ice.

The cutest thing of it all is Cora calling to people as they pass, "Do you want some waddewh?"  Quite the PR rep!  And Lee had the idea to make signs to go ON the stop signs poles that use the existing word 'STOP' in the sentence so it reads, "STOP...anb buy some wadr."  Such a great idea!  I see a possible future in advertising.  They're also learning about business, because at the end of the day yesterday Alex counted almost $45, but then they had to repay the petty change loan that came from their piggy banks, PLUS they reimbursed me 50% for supplies.  So at the end of the day, they had $21.04.  He was a little disappointed, but he chippered up when I told him that everything they make today is profit.  And in the almost 1.5 hours they've been out, they've made over $25!  (Abby's involved too, but she's mostly a behind-the-scenes girl.  She made her own freestanding table signs that identify the different products and prices ($1 large, $.50 small).  She went out this morning only after I told her that if she's not involved today, she doesn't get any of today's profit.  Yeah, she's out there now.)

In the morning I calculated how much they might earn if they sell everything, but I didn't take into consideration the generosity of strangers.  I forgot about people giving tips to cute children to support their entrepreneurial spirit.  A mid-20s guy said he'd take three, but only actually took one bottle.  A guy handed them 5 bucks for nothing.  I had the kids give one to the mailman, but he gave them all the change
in his pockets, which was over $4!  We told the police officer that came by that his was free, so he gave them a $1 tip.  One lady even tried to call the radio station!

So anyway, yesterday was a good day in large measure because they had something to do besides the normal bored everyday life...which happens to include chores.  But also because I'm feeling better.  Not really less 'meh,' but less...mean.

But I'm still praying, and I'm taking deep breaths.  I'll take every day as it comes, and try to find things to occupy the kids.  We'll see how it goes when we all need to go to the store later, and--ugh--trying to get everyone ready for church tomorrow morning.  I might need to use a bit of duct tape for my mouth.  ;-)

And in the meantime, they're outside NOT being bored, earning a buck, and taking advantage of the traffic from two yard sales on either side of the street.  It's shaping up to be another good day.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Orange Rhino Day 1

Day 1  7/18/13

I didn't yell at the kids today.  Well, I raised my voice a couple times, but I didn't totally lose it like I have recently because I've been competing for the Craptastic Mom award.

I'm not sure why I didn't today.  Maybe because Riah left this morning & I never went back to bed after our 4:30 wake up call (I spent the time cleaning) I was too tired to yell?  Or maybe because I was pleased with my productivity?  Or maybe it was just because it was just because my kitchen looked nice?  Whatever it was, it helped.  (Plus I took a nap later, Abby went to a friend's house, today wasn't a cleaning day & I didn't go upstairs to see the disaster zone that the kids' rooms have become.)

So Hubby's going to be gone for 2 weeks.  He's doing some work on his dad's house, plus he'll be able to visit with his siblings while he's there.  His sister & sil went, too, and his brother will join them in about a week.  Fun times.  Anyway, that is rather off-topic.  My point in bringing this up is that for some reason, I feel more motivated to work on big projects when he's gone.  It kinda' sounds stupid, but it kinda' doesn't.  Why would he have to be gone for me to be better?  Well, for one, I don't feel guilty about staying up late into the night sewing bibs (for an etsy business venture I'm starting) or blogging or cleaning or posting stuff to sell online or organizing the basement or or or...whatever because I'm not spending time with him.  No guilt.  Just productivity.  Also maybe (and I'm just coming up with this theory on the fly here) because I know I'm a one-Mama show that I have no reason to sit down and feel entitled to a break because he's just in the other room and the children often forget that they have TWO parents to whine/cry/tattle/query/etc to.  He's not in the other room.  We won't be asking him when he gets home.  I'm it, and it's all on my shoulders today.  (Disclaimer: my husband is not a deadbeat barely-there gamer loser father.  But when he's here I like to share.  A lot.  Or just do something by myself and let him hold down the fort.  Like pee.)  Yeah, it's a mental thing, but we already know that I am, too.  Mental, that is.

So that's the part that kinda' makes sense.  Now for the kinda' stupid part.  Okay, REALLY stupid.  I feel weird kneeling down to pray when he's there to see.  See?  Toldja it was stupid.  I'm not embarrassed to pray in front of him, but it almost feels like,"Ooh, look at me!  I'm praying!  Look how righteous and wonderful I am!"  Which I'm not.  So I haven't actually really prayed for a long time.  And that kinda' gets to the heart of my Craptasticness to begin with, doesn't it?  But last night I did it.  I for-reals knelt down by my bed and prayed.  And I did it again this morning!  It's a decent start, and I hope to keep the momentum going.

But I've also had the silly thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if for the 2 weeks he was gone I exercised like crazy every day and juiced and ate really healthy and dropped a pants size?"  So I want to do better and be better when he's GONE?  I'm a little messed up, I think.

But back to the Orange Rhino thing.  I was not a good mom at the end of the night.  Especially with a certain 4.5yo who has decided that obedience is passe.  "Fold my laundry?  Nah, I'll just go upstairs and play with my dolls.  Put it away?  How about I pull out & dump out all my dresser drawers and put the clothes in a fort that I made by tearing the room apart?  Answer when you call my name?  Pssht!"  So I don't remember if I crossed the line from 'firm, raised voice' to 'angry yelling' last night.  She definitely got at least one reminder on the behind.  But here's what I decided:  if the children are going to live to see adulthood, I need to be consistent with bedtime.  Past around 8:30 I've had it and I need my time to be my time.  And lately it's been 9:45 and I'm trying to wrangle her (and the rest of em) into bed, yelling all the way.

But that sucks.

So  I've got my alarm set for 7:30 to remind me to start the bedtime routine.  And I've decided that I need to go get her when I need her, and go with her to put her laundry away.

Yesterday I did okay.  Today I'll do better.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


A friend started using a term that has grown on me: 


It's only 3 letters, and it seems such an insignificant word, but it carries such meaning.  In order to fully understand its depth, it must be said aloud: "Meh."

But in cannot simply be said.  It must be mumbled noncommittally without changes in vocal tone or pitch, and is most effective without enunciation and when accompanied with a slight one-shoulder shrug.  When done correctly, it sounds less like a word and more like Cavemanese.  Or a teenager.


Sadly, it sort of explains me right now.

Want to exercise?  Meh.
What do you think of the town you've lived in for almost a year & a half?  Meh.
How's your social circle?  Meh.

I was going to bed a few weeks ago and contemplating my state of being, and I coined a new phrase.  


It perfectly encapsulates my current status.  Not up, not down, not anything exciting...just meh.

Please note: I am not depressed.  I am not listless, hopeless, overly sad, pessimistic or isolated.  I do not stay in bed all day, avoid social functions (I look for them, actually) or wear the same clothes for days on end.  I get up, chip away at my eternal to-do list, make yummy food, smile, laugh and even participate in the occasional Twister game with the kiddos.

But when someone asks how I am, the best and most honest answer is, "Fine."  'Cause that's about it.  Not super bad, not super good, not super anything for that matter.  I'm fine.  And 'fine' is such a limp noodle.  'Fine' is...well, it's 'meh.'

All of this would be fine and dandy, but limp noodle just ain't me.  I'm gregarious (I had to look that one up when it was used to describe me), I'm dynamic, I'm expressive, I'm chipper, I'm optimistic, I'm effervescent (had to look that one up, too), I'm fun and playful. least I was.  These are all words that fit me once upon a time.  I want them to fit me again, and I know what to do in order to achieve that again.

But it's hard.  And it's hard to find the drive when I've watched myself fall short time & time & time again.  Remember my prayer jar?  Yeah, that was a pretty good idea.  I still have it, tucked in a box somewhere, about half full of fuzzies.  It's hard when I try to be patient but end up hollering at a child who's in the other room absolutely completely 100% when I call her 4.5yo name.  It's hard when I try to focus on something that really needs my attention, only to have a zillion distractions.  It's hard.

But mostly, it's hard to feel excited and motivated to get up & do something that I know will be an uphill battle when all I feel is...meh.

(PS--Don't worry too much about me.  This post sounds way more pathetic than it should.  Mostly I wanted to share my coined phrase and jot this lovely phase of life down in my online private public journal.  I'll snap out of it, I'll turn myself around, I'll get a break, I'll find the energy and oomph I need to dig out of the muck I'm wallowing in.  And I needed a time out so I won't lose it for the 1,758th time today because the kids STILL haven't completed what I asked them to do yesterday.  Sometimes a Mommy time out is best for everyone.  The vacuuming/kitchen/laundry can wait.)