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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"Gettin HIgh"

The colors surrounding me are brighter; the cold air is not uncomfortable but refreshing.

The beats in my head are mesmerizing.

No thoughts of any responsibilities- not kids, not work, definitely not money.

If life could always feel this free. If only I could hold onto to this feeling during the long days, during the hard times, when I feel like quiting.

Nothing matters for the time being, nothing but the lack of thoughts. A break from all things stressful, mundane, and just plain boring.

My mind is in the present, but my brain is blurred. My mind is not focusing only existing; and, my body is simply going through the motions of fast movement. Heart beating fast, short quick breathe, a nice change of pace.

"Gettin High"

Nothing beats a good run with your daughter's ipod.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Chapman Christmas

Christmas this year for the Chapman's started with my Maddie waking us up to, "Mommy, Mommy, Santa came. Come look." I absolutely love the sweet simple excitement of a child's belief that the gifts under the tree just "arrived." Her joy is pure joy- minus any stress of finances, long lines, traffic, wrapping at midnight. I love that I can vicariously enjoy the same joy through her.

Just as special to me was my eldest child being grateful and excited about her gifts. My fourteen year old has had some major changes in her family life, the addition of not one but two little sisters, take an only child very quickly from the center of attention to a glimpse in passing. Not to mention, her parents adding another non living baby to the family (a business) which for the time being is creating an economic change in her life. She proved she still has a youthful, innocent, kind heart; but, she is mature enough to know that life changes, and with those changes her own desires may not always be met.

My relationship with my man has also been through some major changes. The two B's (Business and Babies) can definitely take a strong relationship and test its strength to the point of breaking. Trying to learn how to work together professionally with the demands of babies thrown into the mix, makes a perfectly happy couple suddenly realize that it takes a lot more than just love to live happily ever after.

Yesterday my man, my children, and I ENJOYED each other as a family. I do feel truly happy and blessed that even though we have had changes and obstacles in our life, I can say that yesterday my man, my children, and I ENJOYED each other as a family.

I do hope that everyone else can say as well that no matter what changes or obstacles you have had that you and yours ENJOYED your day as well.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sweat the Small Stuff

My daughter's freind just lost her Dad. She is 14 years old, and he died unexpectadly.

Loosing someone you are close to is probally one of the hardest parts of life. This little girl's loss has really got me thinking about what is truly important in my life.

In a way, I think I really should "sweat the small stuff."

Smiling everyday at the people I come in contact with, can change my whole day.

Giving my husband a huge hug when he leaves and when he comes home, really can strengthen our bond.

Asking my teenager how her day was and truly listening to all the jibber jabber (without helpful advice), can make a huge difference in our relationship.

Laughing with my little ones, brings tremendous joy.

Simply doing what I can to enjoy my day, appreciating the people in my life, and taking care of business, without forgeting the "small stuff," is all I need to do today.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Childs Laugh

I cannot think of anything more mesmerizing, more heart wrenching, more beautiful than a child's laugh. The kind of laugh you get when you are playing hide and seek, and pretend to look in all kinds of crazy places even though you can totally hear them laughing under the covers.
The days with small children can be full of messes, tantrums, fights, and more messes; but, in addition to these tedious demands, I get to experience moments of pure happiness in the simplest acts.
I don't want the tedious demands to ever trump the laughter. My goal is to take care of the day to day chores while creating many moments where me and my kids LAUGH!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mommy, "Why does santa bring toys?"

Okay, so as I was attempting to collect my thoughts about my role in accommodating my children's belief in santa ,and the effects of totally over indulging our kids with perfectly wrapped boxes filled with failed attempts at material versions of intrinsic pleasures, my preschooler asks, "Mommy, why does santa bring toys?"

I am struggling with how far I want to take my kids on the gift filled, red-nosed reindeer driving, elf toy making Santa train. There are two issues I have with the idea of santa, one is how much do I want to incorporate dishonesty into the whole concept of holidays, santa in particular? How elaborate do I get on the details of "the jolly old fellow who comes down our chimney with a bag full of toys for all the good girls and boys?" Not to mention, Mrs. Clause who is traditionally not even on the train. She doesn't make the toys, drive the sleigh, check the list. (We all no I have a problem with that). Now that I think about it, I probably have more than just two issues with santa; but, for the sake of time, (Dora is only 20 minutes long)I will only write about the dishonesty issue and the problem I have with how many toys kids receive during Christmas.

I love the idea of believing in the magical, whimsical concept of santa. This innocent ability to believe disappears with age. I don't want to rob my kids of this short lived joy. In fact, I thoroughly enjoy the whole concept of believing in fantasy, pretending, stepping out of the constraints of reality. I still remember the unmatched delight I felt as a child when I woke up Christmas morning and believed santa ate the cookies and Rudolph the carrot, I left the night before. The enjoyment received from the fantasy may have surpassed the pleasure received from the gazillion presents under the tree. But how far do you take the illusion, and are there negative effects to untruthfulness even in the light of innocent "make-belief?"

The bigger issue for me is the materialization the santa story can bring to Christmas. My husband is out in the freezing cold right now earning our families finances, do I want to take that hard earned money down to Walmart to buy my daughter the lame ass cupcake maker she sees on TV? I know she wants the toy, the TV tells her how great it is. I also know, however, that when we make cupcakes together, it is way cooler than that lame ass cupcake maker.

Don't even get me started on commercials.

Commercials-- legal kidnapping of your kids brain. Not only do commercials steal your child's completely open, unencumbered, persuadable brain space; but, advertisements fill their brains with lame ass ideas about lame ass toys.

Just shut off the TV, simple as that. Sorry, Dora, or actually the uninterrupted enjoyment Dora brings my kids, is way too tempting. Limit yes, complete elimination; not in my house. Also, I will never be able to completely limit their exposure to all things commercial. Advertisements are everywhere.

Okay, I guess I got started on commercials.

Back to santa, and why he brings us toys (with the help of Mrs. Clause of course). I loved opening my gazillion toys as a kid. Waking up to all the Christmas presents, under the tree, supposedly brought by this great dude and his flying reindeer, brings back fantastically fond memories of childhood. However, I do not want to fall victim to unintentionally destroying my kids inherent elation in basic objects. In our desire to bring enjoyment to our kids through gift giving, we rob them of what they all ready possess, which is pure, true, joy in simple gifts or simple things for that matter. Most kids start out, not just playing, but being completely happy with the box that the toy came in. Until, we bombard with a gazillion toys, then we have to keep topping each present with something bigger, louder, LAMER. Inadvertently, the idea of santa becomes an oxymoron. Instead of the intended pleasure he set out to bring; he brings disappointment. After a few years of absurd amounts of cupcake makers, toy cars, toys that do this, and toys that do that, our kids become overindulged to the point of material congestion. The innocent delight in the simple is replaced with the desire for more, more, more which inevitably leads to discontentment.

I do not have the Chapman family version of santa written completely in my head, yet. I do know I will be cautious of the story I tell, and thoughtful of how our version is played out every December, without sacrificing the innocent magic and pure joy in the concept of a "jolly old fellow (and his wife) bringing toys to all the good girls and boys."

(Because, a preschooler does not wait for you to gather your thoughts or write a blog about your answer to their questions....I did reply "Santa brings toys because he likes to bring joy to kids, and teach kids the joy of giving")

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice?!

My teenage daughter plays on a competitive girls soccer team. Last Sunday, they played a team whose players resembled younger versions of Elizabeth Lambert, the college soccer player who has been all over the news for pulling her opponent to the ground via pony tail. These girls were tough, and they wanted to win.

My daughters team, The Strikers, played smart and aggressive and ended up winning the game; however, the other teams complete lack of anything "girlie" made me think, "Can there be a balance between Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice; and Snakes, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails.

I do not want my girls being so competitive and aggressive that they would yank some girl to the ground, via pony tail, just to win a game; however, I don't want them to be so full of sweetness and niceness that they can't stand up for themselves when need be for fear of hurting someone's feelings. Or have any qualms about winning or even competing at a job, position, race or whatever because they don't want to hurt anyone.

I think that women have a lot to offer in all aspects of life not just the family life. I would love for my girls to do or be anything they want (YES INCLUDING PRESIDENT); but, just because it is a man's world does not mean we, as women, have to act like men to be CEOs, Presidents, Managers.

Now, I am not saying all men are ultra competitive and aggressive, but combativeness does seem to be a manly trait. Women tend to be a little softer.

So, all we have to do is learn to win the game, without yanking pony tails, and all will be right in the world.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Not Lost......Reinvented

Okay...... I am not lost. I am still in complete possesion of me. Sure, I no longer have the time or energy to debate the existence or non exsitence of nothingness (Parmenides). Not having the time or energy to absorb myself with myself, did not lead to my cessation. I am stil here; I am still me. I am just preoccupied by other thoughts and desires that are not my own, and this captivation has forced me to act differently.

Babies wake up Mommy early.. (I think my girls are under the impression that they are in charge of waking up the sun)
Feed Babies
Clean Babies
Change Babies
Clean everything in and around babies
An occasional request from the teenager (Mom, can you take me here? Can you take me there? Can you? Can I? Can we?)
Squeeze in a few minutes to run the business 'somewhat.'
Feed Babies
Clean Babies

Okay, you get the picture. Not a lot of time to contemplate philosophical truths or non truths.

Life before babies, I would of went about my plans for the day without any real distraction, except distractions of my own choosing, therefore, no forced alteration.
I have been preoccupied enough to change who I am.

Now, to enjoy my days I must make the MUNDANE MAGICAL. With young children this is simple. Just try looking at life through the eyes of young children. Their hands are not dirty; they are submersed in this fantastic, gooey, sticky substance (yogurt); and, wow, I wonder what will happen when I smash this substance all over my arms.

To get through the thousands of meals and snacks that babies eat, or dress themselves with, until they are truly devolopmentally capable of eating properly; one must have PATIENCE, and be RELAXED about cleanliness.

To find joy and teach happiness, one must comprise with the chosen activities of the day. You cannot have young children and not PLAY. I mean really PLAY. Twirl, dance, dress up, run, jump, skip, sing, throw rocks in a pond (or if your my child, your babydoll stroller).

To accomplish anything one needs to accomplish, one must make the most out of every nap or moment when the babies are somewhat self sufficient. You must LIVE IN THE MOMENT. Even if it is only 15 minutes before they wake up, you will cherish that 15 minutes more than you used to cherish a whole day.

To stay sane, one must TAKE CARE OF ONESELF. Find the 1 hour a day to exercise, or write, or learn something new.

To enjoy your relationship with your teenage girl, you must be OPEN-MINDED. Sure, purple in your hair is great idea. Um, I kinda like this song. want to (fill in the blank).

Last but not least, one must have FAITH. Without true FAITH one can be overcome with FEAR, because now you are in charge of caring for these beautiful, precocious girls, who you love with a love so strong, so true, so captivating just the thought of them not being in your life can literally and instantly bring a tear to your eye.

I have Reinvented myself because of my girls. The person I am now, I am just getting to know; but I am sure this new person is better than she was before.
Thanks Girls

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Finding "myself" at the bank

I just recently realized that have lost "myself." Believe me I do know how clique that sounds......."I have lost myself."
However, I truly have.
Today while I was at the bank, without my little ones, I realized that before diapers, drool, and all else that entails taking care of babies, I actually had some of my own uninterupted dreams, desires, and thoughts.
My ephinany has been long coming.
During a conversation with my accountant, my long lost past was brought up. He asked me about my degree in Philosophy. My conversation with him about that opened my eyes to the "Kativity" that existed before. I love my babies and do love being their mother; however, I truly did not realize how much of my own self would be taken over by the demands of young children. It was my thoughts and desires "my thoughts and desires" that would be put on the back burner.
Truly, is it not your thoughts and desires that is you?