Monday, February 28, 2011

What Is It About Star Wars?

Star Wars holds so many good memories for so many people. I remember LOVING when my friend's Mom would let us come in and play with her Star Wars stuff. She had absolutely everything including the AT-AT Walker, Millennium Falcon, ewoks,C-3po andR2-D2! My husband has a childhood story where Dan and his brother covered their kitchen floor in granulated sugar to replicate the ice planet Hoth.
My parents loved Star Wars, I love it and now my kids love it. Let me revise that, Carter doesn't just love it he is obsessed! This is our recent day : He wakes up in the morning (in his Star Wars shirt) and plays Lego Star Wars on the Wii. Then we go to the Library where he picks out his Star Wars books. During our errand running Carter quizzes me on Star Wars facts . We get home and after lunch he makes lego ships, wampas, AT-AT walkers out of his legos. Then it's time to read Star Wars books, repeatedly. Maybe, a little Star Wars movie watching or an episode of Star Wars Clone Wars. When the brothers come home it is time break out anything remotely resembling a light saber and begin the dueling. Dinner time is used for Carter to ask these questions "What does Han Solo do?", "What does Chewbacca do?" "Who uses light sabers?", "Who is a protocol droid?" ect...You must know the right answer to these questions (like the Han Solo questions answer is : He flies the Millennium Falcon) or he just repeats the question until you get it right. After dinner we do a little more Star wars pretend play. Brush teeth get into bed, with Star Wars jammies on, read more Star Wars books and lights out..rinse...repeat. If you wanna make Carter's day just refer to him as Chewbacca instead of Carter.
My favorite character is Han Solo. So, I'll leave you with my favorite Han moment: A shaking of the ship knocks Leia into Han's arms. She tells him to let her go and he says" Don't get excited" to which Leia quips "Captain, being held by you isn't quite enough to get me excited" and Han responds with "Sorry sweetheart, I haven't got time for anything else."

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How Do You Fit It All In?

I want to scrapbook, coupon, learn new cooking techniques, practice baking, garden, compost, teach carter, blog, do family game night, diet, exercise, meditate, do yoga, do tai chi, read fiction, read non-fiction, do tarot readings, learn photography, volunteer, have more babies, start my own business, go back to school, get certified in reiki, refurbish old furniture, play racquetball and about a million other things....but how do you do it all? I have always had a hard time prioritizing and staying on target. I start on one thing and something shiny catches my eye and ... I also lack the energy to do all the things I want to do in a day. Many of these things I do already, but not as regularly as I would like. I think I will contemplate my list and try to come up with 5ish things to focus on. I will now begin deep contemplation and get back to you when I pick!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

End the Madness!

I try not to judge other people. I make a conscious effort to try and think about what may have happened to bring that person to this moment and this behavior. I do it because I think it is very important for our growth as a species to be able to see the bigger picture. OK, that being said , I am not perfect and I am going to drop a little judgment.
It is time to stop the madness! Which madness you may ask? The overindulgence/damnation of our kids. I am sick of seeing parents in the stores, etc...telling kids who are acting the fool that they will get them something. I know why parents do it, "Little Jimmy was so good today" "Little Suzy will only behave in the store if I bribe her","It will teach him to read, it's educational" " I never got to have that and now I can afford to give it to my kids. To that last I say, no you can't. Lots of us now a days don't have savings accounts, retirement accounts or college accounts. More importantly, we are HARMING our kids. Re-read that last statement. Like feeding loads of sugar to your kids is bad for their bodies, loading them up with tons of crap is bad for their spirits and future. The more you give them , the less it matters. If ,since birth, little Suzy has gotten most everything she wanted the less value these things will have. To her it is an expectation not a valuable privilege. She gets it whether she is good or bad.If she breaks it, you just replace it.
Here is another shocker for some parents, you teach your kids how to treat you. If they act like little maniacs because they want juice while you are trying to finish something and in the end you stop what you are doing and get the juice, you just taught them that acting like that works. Every time you give in to a child that is misbehaving they learn that misbehaving works. Also, you don't have to reward your kids with stuff for acting the way they should act. Just give them love and praise instead. If you say, pfft that won't work I will lovingly (in the nicest way possible) say you are lazy. If this is always the policy (love, extra attention, loads of praise instead of toys) it WILL work!
I am not saying that everyone should not buy your children toys. Life is meant to be enjoyed.If they get a really great report card I take them to dinner one on one. I like to get my children toys at Christmas and birthdays. Also, be reasonable about how much you spend and only buy what you are positive will get at least 6 months worth of use and only what you can actually afford. This doesn't mean use every holiday to spoil your kids. Easter baskets should be filled with sweet treats, toothbrushes to go with the sweet treats and maybe a fun dollar store trinkets, not 60 dollar video games.
I am seriously worried about what this next generation of entitled children will have to face when they are adults. We want to leave this world a little better off when we leave it. We can do that by teaching our kids the value of a dollar and that happiness can't be found at the bottom of a Toys'R'Us bag. Teach them to give instead of take. Make them share with their siblings. Make them always say please and thank-you. Have them garden with you so they can see how long it takes to grow food and how lucky we are to have it. Teach them that they are not the center of the universe and love is more valuable than an xbox. I think we have forgotten that the most valuable 2 things you can give your children are free, your time and love.
Don't think to roughly of me for this and ,if you see yourself in these descriptions, don't think too roughly of yourself. Everyday, no, every second is an opportunity for a new start and the whole world and all possibilities are waiting.....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I don't have a title for this post

These are two quotes that inspire me and cause me to do some deep thinking.

"Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength."-August Wilson

I try to do this. I feel like I have the "illumination" but struggle with the "forgiveness". I have always been incredibly confused as to how to go about forgiving onesself. I totally get that guilt serves no good purpose and we need to move on from our mistakes so that we can make room for new experiences. I get caught up in the whole karma thing. If I just say to myself" wow that was wrong of me, what a mistake, next time I will do better" should that really be enough? Does the universe think that is enough and my little karma slate gets the bad erased? Do I have to find some way to make amends? Do I need to do something equally good to break even? Is worrying about not having good karma a selfish way to look at ones mistakes? This confuses me because I try not to live my life for others. I obviously care if I do something that causes trouble for someone else, but I try not to worry about what other people think of me. So, what do you think? Is it enough to realize you made a mistake and agree to not make the same mistakes? Or, do you need to go farther with it?

" Knowing others is intellegence, knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich."-Tao Te Ching
This one hits home for me this time of year. Everyone is buzzing with excitement about tax refunds and all too often about what we are getting with that money. America occasionally makes me sad. We talk constantly about how poor we are when we have food in the fridge, roof overhead, family by our side. We put an inordinate amount of stress on ourselves trying to "keep up with the jones' " We over buy for our kids, in essence, teaching them to over buy. We get embarassed we don't have money because we blew it on useless crap. Useless crap we had to buy to fill all the empty holes we have because we don't want to really look at ourselves. We don't want to examine too close the way we talk to our loved ones, how we bought our kids stuff to occupy them because it was easier then spending time with them, the way we talk about our friends, how we really feel about the people we choose to surround ourselves with, how we spend our money, or our time. Maybe we are making excuses for our behavior and their believeability depends on our not looking too close.The truth is, the more money we spend on plugging those holes the more we rob ourselves of true lasting happiness. It distracts us for awhile from the what we don't want to face, but eventually, inevitablely the shine wears off that pretty new bauble and we are left with the gaping hole again(and maybe a new pile of debt) Maybe we can all try to be brave this year and save that money for a family trip somewhere where there isn't t.v, video games or any of the other junk that distracts us from really looking at each other and interacting, or for a yoga class where we can learn to enjoy the peace that hides in each of us, or even just save it so the next time something breaks you have the money to fix and can save yourself some stress. I know it isn't easy to just save the money. Life is short and everyone wants to get the best out of it, but maybe the real you IS the best you can get out of life. I have really been wanting an iphone, but realized this was completely out of reach, so I settled my sights on the newest ipod touch and I have to say, I really hope I DON'T get it. I will feel rich if I can master myself and realize I have enough.

Bookapalooza (a direct effect of Snowapalooza)

I have been reading a lot lately. It started cause it was so flippin' snowy and cold outside! It has increased because of a list my Mother-in law found and posted on her live journal of the 100 best YA books for the feminist reader (thanks Ann!). I am hooked on these now! I love all these stories about strong, sassy ladies. Some of the ones I have been reading recently are Howl's Moving Castle, A Wrinkle in Time, Dealing with Dragons, The Golden Compass (just started), Alanna the First Adventure and The Hunger Games. They are all excellent books. That being said, my favorites were:

The Hunger Games- Some parts of this book are so vividly written that I could see this world and feel this girl's anguish. I am not one to shed tears, but the descriptions in this book had me tearing up . The main character, Katniss, is smart , independent and very resourceful.

Dealing with Dragons- The main character here is Princess Cimorene and I want to be like her. I love, love, love this character! She is no nonsense, witty, confident and altogether too charming. This book had me laughing out loud and looking for people to tell about it.

I am in the beginning parts of The Golden Compass but I can already tell Lyra is my kinda gal.

So, that is what I have been doing with my time in the tundra, how about you?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Learning Fun!

We are readers, so I am super excited about my 3 year old getting a jump start on learning to read. I have found a great tool to help us in that endeavor. It is Hooked on Phonic's for Pre-K.

It comes with 3 workbooks. The first deals in uppercase letters, the second one is lowercase letters and the last one works on letter sounds. There are also flashcards that work with the books and DVDs with fun letter games. For each step there is a poster where your kids can mark off their progress with stickers. For the parents there is a a guide book to give you ideas of how to successfully use the programAs you can see, my 3 year old really likes learning using this system so I thought I would share it for any of you who wanted to get a jump on reading!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Poem

I like poetry and was thinking of posting a weekly poem. We will see if I stick to it or not . Oh look, here is one now!

You wanna snake and shake me and see what might fall out.

You approach and slowly snake and shake me all about.

I was the rigid frozen ice minding my only own, when I heard the raven caw

Along you came to snake and shake and make me promises, if only I would thaw.

You pulled me in and heated me through and through and through.

But,I am no fool, not the fool that would believe that you were true

After the shake you took my gold, baubles and my shine

You violated my body, stripped my spirit and my time

and when I was all used up and nothing left was worthwhile

you decided that my burden cramped your vastly imaginary style

Now my ice is melted right away, exposing all my latent fears

and I'm left here in this salty puddle that tastes suspiciously of tears

Snowapalooza Update

It wasn't a blizzard or anything worse than regular Michigan madness. This was not the ice planet Hoth-like day I had envisioned, but the boys had some fun on their snow day:

I managed to have a little fun too.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowapalooza 2011!!!!!

The news is blowing up about this! The weather guy on channel 4 was so pumped up last night he reminded me of those excitable dudes that sell stuff on t.v after 2 am. He couldn't even hide his excitement while discussing how people would be in danger if they tried to venture out. I imagined him thinking this in his head "If you bastards even step outside you'll be instant Popsicles, AWESOME!" I was totally pulled in! I have realized that I am still a little kid at heart. I can't wait to see what this snow storm is gonna look like.
I washed all our extra blankets, put batteries in all our flashlights, and stocked up on foods that don't need to be cooked. My hubby has even got the green light to work from home! I am imagining the ice planet Hoth here people, wouldn't that be awesome! I keep telling myself I live in Michigan and they always get the weather wrong, but I can't help but be excited about seeing an epic snow storm (as long as everyone stays safe, no collapsing roofs or anything!). I will let you know if the reality is as exciting as my imaginary snow storm.

p.s(for anyone who doesn't know what the ice planet Hoth is...shame on you)