Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Quiz Show

My favorite part of all those teen magazines in middle school was the quizzes. Stuff like "Stressed or Tressed: Your Perfect Yearbook Look" and "How Many BFFs Should YOU Have?" and "What Kind Of Mini-Backpack Are You? Cute 'n' Cuddly OR Slick Transparent Glitter?"  I held on to those answers like gospel. I mean, it was obvious I should have a teddy bear backpack as a Freshman, right?!

I kept taking those glossy tests throughout my adolescence and into my wedding planning year. (Yes, that's right.... year. Approximately 14 months from engagement to wedding date. Do not recommend.) 

And now they've come back with a vengeance on Facebook.

According to these quizzes today I should:

Have raven black hair. Have green eyes. Play the guitar. Be A Creative Master.  Be named Serena. Live in Maine (or Vermont or Washington State depending on the quiz). 

If I was a dessert I would be Pie. If I was a color I would be pink. If I was an animal I would be a tiger. If I was a Disney Princess I would be Tiana. If I was a president I would be John Adams. If I was a '30 Rock" character I would be Jack Donaghy. If I was a TV mother I would be Clair Huxtable OR Lorelai Gilmore (once again, depending on the quiz). 

My ideal dream job, apparently, is a lifeguard at a nude beach AND my most favorite quiz says that I am a Poopstar. Yes, you read that right. Poop. Star. I know a lot about poop.

I think taking all these quizzes say one thing about me.... I need someone else to make choices for me. 

I have about a million things I need to make decisions on and I just can't. 

I look at the mountain of "I need to"s. I start at the bottom and my eyes travel up and up and up. I'm now looking 45 degrees from the horizon and this Everest keeps going up, shadowing any progress I may have made in the day. I don't stop, keep looking for the peak and now the back of my head has touched my neck and my balance is thrown off enough for me to take a step back but I have no view of the snowy summit curving over my head. I'm no longer looking up, but now looking behind me and there it is. The end of what needs to be done. And it crashes down behind me, swallowing me up and spitting me out onto the sweet sanctuary of my bed. 

And nothing gets done it seems. I need someone else to make these decisions for me so I can just go do them. 

What I really need is these quizzes:

"The Perfect Curriculum For Your Homeschooler Years K-12." - Answer three yes or no questions and you'll be linked to the perfect curriculum that are guaranteed board approved and guaranteed to work with your child. Complete with IEPs and weekly lesson plans. 

"What To Make For Dinner: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Clean Eating, Kid AND Husband Friendly Edition"- Use the simple multiple choice test format to tell the quiz what you have in your pantry/freezer and you'll have the perfect instagrammable meal your whole family will happily eat in 30 minutes or less.

"How Should YOU Say 'NO'?"- With a simple apology or with a plate of cookies BONUS RESULTS: how many 'guilt points' you'll acquire with each refusal. Use them wisely. Accumulate too many and you'll crash on the couch browsing nothing on your phone instead of spending time with your husband for an entire evening.

"Exact Color Coordinating Swatches For Your Home" - Using information like your favorite song, yout top 10 pins and name of your first pet this quiz will give you the perfect color swatches for every room in your home. This simple coat of paint will transform your 1200 square foot home into the next HGTV Dream Giveaway Home.

"What Netflix Show Should You Binge On Next?"....... Actually, I'm good. I got this one down.

"Can You Wear Yoga Pants There?" This quiz reads more like a flow chart letting you know when yoga pants can be used in each social situation. Did you know that if they're black you can wear them to a funeral? The more you know!

"Should You Even Try?"- Enter all your past failures and then this quiz will tell you the likelihood of success for your next venture. (Much like those "Mostly A's/Mostly B's/Mostly C's" quizzes you already know the answer before you finish the third question.)

Bottom line is this. The answers to my life questions are not gonna be on Facebook. Ever. My life is not going to be enriched by finding out what 80's Cartoon Show I am... Even if it is "The Snorks".

I need to shut down my phone and walk away. And just do stuff. And not turning on the computer stuff.....

I need to make a list and start knocking stuff off of it. I need to set realistic time tables to get stuff done. I need to put some stuff that I want to do just because I want to do it on there. I need to lay off pinterest because I have 2,500+ pins and there is no way I'll be able to even do a quarter of the stuff on it. I need to do that thing that I want to do and buy the stuff for it... because what's one more failure on the list? This could be the thing! It could be MY thing!

..... Oh, but I don't know what Oscar Winning Movie I am! I gotta go do this one and then I'll get stuff done.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

To be heard.

Things don't roll off my daughter's back so well. When a hurt is tossed her way she grabs in with velcro gloves and holds it close to her chest, curling up into a fetal position, wrapped around the small ball of ugly... letting it weigh her down and refusing to let it go.

This past week in church the topic was Emotional Health and my husband and I gave each other a knowing look when Pastor said "Some of us have small emotions and some of us have big emotions" (paraphrased). Our daughter has big emotions....BIG emotions.

If that's her SPD or her personality, I don't know. All I know is that she needs to get a light coat of teflon if she's gonna get through this world in one piece. So we work on it. So very hard. We have social stories, role playing, games, you tube videos... you name it, we do it. (We got our own mini PT/OT office in our living room... dining room... school room....Ok let's be honest. HOUSE!)

Yesterday was gonna be a big one. Out the door at 8:30, home at 5 kinda day. No nap. Lots of activity. I was ready for it. I wanted to make sure she was. As we drove we had one of our many "Mommy Talks".

Me: "OK, babe. Now if you're having a rough time with someone what do you do?"

Her: "Talk to them first and then go get an adult to help if it doesn't work."

Me: "Good! Now what do you say?"

Her: " 'That's OK. I don't care.' and then walk away."

The floor fell out from under me. "It's OK."?! Why was it OK? It's OK for one's feelings to be hurt? It's OK for someone to say or do something mean to you personally and just walk away? This wasn't new advice. This was the advice I was given as a child. "Just walk away." but how many hurts from my own childhood am I still carrying with me today? Too many to count. No. For some reason I knew this was another one of those moments that would make or break the woman my little one was meant to be.

Me "NO. That's NOT what you say."

Her: -stunned silence-

Me: "No. Your feelings are important and matter. You should be able to share with someone when they hurt your feelings in a kind way: '_______, I want to be friends with you but when you do that it hurts my feelings. Can you please stop?' Let's practice it."

And we did. Once we were done and the script was in her brain she popped her thumb in her mouth and started tearing up.

Me: "Baby, what's wrong?"

Her: "You listened to me. You heard me."

Then I started tearing up. She just needed someone to hear her. To tell her her feelings matter. To help her express her feelings in a calm, safe way. That she was important. That her feelings were valid and deserved to be heard and accounted for.

We're still working on it but now we have a better starting point.


The last few weeks I've been dealing with horrid migraines. They usually hit right before dinner time and have me going to bed as soon as the plates are cleared up leaving my husband and daughter to fend for themselves all evening long. I try everything. I drink tons of water throughout the day, make sure I wear my glasses all. the. time, getting massages from my husband (the kind that don't go anywhere), I've been eating better, organizing my life a little better, setting more boundaries so I don't get overwhelmed and making sure I get bible time in every day.

Nothing was working.

So last night, after my busy day, when I got hit with a doozy of a migraine I just laid in the dark of my bedroom and prayed. "God, please take this away. Take away the strobing pain, the nausea, the everything."

He said, "Why are you getting migraines all of a sudden?"

"I doesn't matter, just make them go away."

And in all His infinite fatherly wisdom He spoke "It DOES matter."

It was clear as day now. My migraines have been appearing every 2-3 days since I received an email One laced with guilt and accusations and passive aggression. I had grabbed onto a ball of pain, curled up around it and held it close to my chest, curling up into a fetal position, wrapped around the small ball of ugly... letting it weigh me down and refusing to let it go.

I was saying "That's OK. I don't care." and trying to walk away.

As only He can, He spoke gently to me using my own words that I spoke to my daughter only hours earlier "No. Your feelings are important and matter. You should be able to share with someone when they hurt your feelings in a kind way: '_______, I want to be friends with you but when you do that it hurts my feelings. Can you please stop?' Let's practice it."

And I wept. Because I needed someone to listen to me. To hear me. He did. The one who holds every atom on Earth together stopped everything to not only listen to me... but hear me.


I sat down this morning to deal with the email. I wrote something kind but making sure my feelings were clear and would not be lost in translation. I'm hoping for a migraine free-day, we shall see... but at least I know I was heard. Maybe not by the recipient of the email but at least by the God of the universe.

Along with this sweet little five year old, 30-something me is learning my feelings matter. They are important and valid and deserved to be heard and accounted for.

And because I am the Queen of Quantifying (according to my husband):

-I am completely aware of when my child does a wrong. She is not some tragic victim in the world. She can be just as snarky and mean as the next kid. I know.

-I am not a PT or an OT... There are years of training and practice going into those fields of which I have none. Please don't think I claim to be one. I -heart- PTs and OTs!

-Some migraines need medical attention. This is not medical advice. I am not a doctor.... I may go see one soon if this new development doesn't make mine stop.