My Trash Can Has Superpowers

So it seems my trash can has supernatural powers. Namely, the ability to turn invisible.

A Now You See Me, Now You Don’t kind of thing.

For example, when a family member needs to throw something away, it appears. Even if it’s full, it’s there to accept just one more Jello cup.

But if said family member walks by that overflowing lid on the way out the garage, POOF!

It’s gone.

As if there is no full trash can to be emptied at all.

Much to my disappointment, I am apparently immune.

The full trash can sits there in all its slovenly glory, completely visible to me at all times.

46 - superpowers

What I was not immune to this past week was a nasty sinus infection.

The kind that completely incapacitates you. During the day, it fills your head with a haze of confusion like you’re the walking dead and feels like a vice is pushing on your brain. At night, it shuts off one side of your nose so you can only breathe in half the air you need and then sends coughing fits that suck out that bit of air from your lungs.

Oh, yes, it was fun.

I wasn’t completely out of it, though. I still noticed the shifty things in the house.

Like the trash can’s ability to disappear.

The dishwasher seems to have some cloak and dagger skills as well.

It sat full of clean dishes for two full days, while the dirty ones kept filling the sink.

I’m thinking it has a motion sensor on its ‘clean’ light. When someone walks by, it shuts off, undetected that there is something to be done there.

Then, when someone might entertain the thought of adding a dirty fork, it glows green again, indicating an untouchable clean space.

Just like the trash can, I am immune to this. I guess it knows it can’t fool me. After all, I’m the one who fills it and starts the cycle.

Household chores can be a touchy subject in marriage, can’t they? Who should do what? Who does more?

I thought being down for the count would make a difference. That hubby would automatically take care of the trash and the dishes. After all, he’s the other adult in the house.

But it didn’t happen.

Now to be fair, hubby stayed home from work a day and a half to help. He kept the boys busy so I could die rest on the couch. He ran to get us food three times because I hadn’t been to the grocery store before I was attacked by nasty germs. He reminded the boys to be quieter so my head wouldn’t explode.

I just wished the other things would have been done.

But that was the problem. I was wishing when I should have been asking.

I think after doing certain things non-stop for several years, you sometimes forget it doesn’t have to be done by you. You also don’t see what someone else always takes care of. Habits are hard to break.

Like I don’t really notice how long the grass is because I don’t cut it. It doesn’t bother me when it snows until I have to get out of the driveway, but it’s cleared before I’m even up.

Hubby wasn’t purposely ignoring the trash. It just wasn’t on his radar.

And Moms don’t get sick, right? Well, we typically keep going like the Energizer bunny even when we do get sick. Part of our problem sometimes. We’re bad at shutting ourselves down, even when we have no choice.

But here’s what I was reminded of.

With all of the duties we assume day-in and day-out, we forget to ask for help when we need it.

I needed help. I wished I didn’t need to ask for it. But sometimes you just need to ask.

And when I did, the trash was removed and the dishes put away.

It’s the same with our Father in heaven. When we need help, He wants us to ask. One difference is…He knows perfectly well what we need help with. But He still wants us to ask.


     “Ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find; knock, and it
will be opened to you.” 
                                       Matthew 7:7


So…we need to ask Him for help even though he already knows what we need. And we definitely need to ask the hubby, because he can’t read our minds.

Mind reading would be convenient, though, wouldn’t it?

Like I could tell him dinner is ready without shouting down to the basement.

Or silently ask that he come close the bathroom door – because pee wee left it open – before all my shower steam leaves the room.

Superpowers could come in handy.

Too bad I can’t make myself invisible once in a while.

Mom, I can’t find my shoes.

Mom, where’s my sweatshirt?

Mom, can you get me some milk?

Mom!

Where’s Mom? 🙂

Which items in your house have superpowers? I’d love to hear your cloak and dagger story!

Remember the Promises (to You)

I don’t usually write about my husband in these posts. But I saw something last night that I thought was worth sharing.

My oldest had spent the day with Dad at the track racing their remote control trucks. After getting home, my son started tinkering with one of his out-of-commission models. He was having trouble with a screw to the engine.

When he approached my husband for help, he was questioned about removing the engine and was discouraged in doing it at all.

You see, my son likes to take things apart. He just doesn’t always put them back together. This drives my hubby nuts, because he is one of those people who refuses to start a project unless he intends to finish it…all at once. It’s also why my painting projects in the living room – for days at a time – get to him. 🙂

My son explained that he wanted to see the engine outside of the truck, to look at it in more detail. But my husband really didn’t want to work on anything anymore. He was worn out.

Despite my hesitation, I intervened.

I said to my husband, “As frustrated as you are right now, he’s just being like you. Rather than discouraging this, could you teach him instead?”

33 - promises

I’m pretty sure he didn’t like me just then.

It meant his back was going to hurt a little more from bending over.

It meant he was still tinkering with machines when all he wanted was to rest his hands.

It meant extending the early bedtime he so desired.

But it also meant he was fulfilling a promise to himself. One I knew was important to him.

My husband is very detailed, organized, and mechanical-minded. He just knows how things work. Except the laundry basket, but that’s a whole different thing. 🙂

This is something he had in common with his father. His father could fix anything just by looking at it with his detailed mind. As a young boy, my husband already had the same tendencies, but his father would usually work alone. Regardless, my husband was tenacious, so even if he wasn’t included, he would sit and watch.

He gained much from watching his father, but he also shared with me his desire to be different with his kids. To teach them, to include them, to sit side-by-side, to welcome their small hands working together on things.

Because he had mentioned this to me more than once, I knew how important it was to him. And I recognized the opportunity even when he didn’t. That’s why I pushed this particular night.

And despite his grumblings, I could tell he saw the value in it. Not because he openly thanked me for pointing out the opportunity. I mean, come on, he was not going to admit I was right – not even a little bit. But after 18 years, you pick up on subtle messages from the man you know so well. I knew what he was really saying when I rolled into bed that night and he immediately whispered, “I love you.” Now, I could be totally wrong. He could have just been saying good night. But I prefer to believe he was saying, “I appreciate what you did.”


     Fathers, do not exasperate your children,
so that they will not lose heart.
 
                                       Colossians 3:21


Are there things your child does that could be an invitation to keep a promise you made to yourself?

Maybe your daughter keeps doing flips into the pillows, and you remember doing the same as a child because your family had no means to get you to a gymnastics class. So you vowed to sign her up.

Maybe the plastic trucks redecorated with markers is a call for more creative outlets, similar to when you got in trouble for using crayons on your walls. And weekends at the art gallery fill your free time.

Are there parenting promises you made that you’ve forgotten? Like never raising your voice, having the patience of a saint, teaching your kids right and wrong by being the perfect role model. I know I have failed some of those promises. I think we all do.

It’s easy to forget the parent you envisioned yourself to be after years of sleep deprivation. After losing some hearing from the middle-of-the-night crying. After trying to reason with a 2-year old about pooping on the potty.

We will fall. We will forget. We will fail.

But we keep trying. We keep remembering.

After a long, noisy day at the track, my husband was no longer in a teaching mode. But a simple reminder helped him fulfill a promise to himself.

Let us remember to be encouraging. Let us remember our kids soak up everything they see, hear, and feel from us.

Let us remember the parents we dreamed of being.

Each time we remember, we get a little closer to reaching our dreams.

And helping our kids reach theirs.

I’m Hiding the Pudding!

Ever have one of those days?

Where the tireless mom tasks go unnoticed? You’re pretty sure no one is aware of half the stuff you do. And any stuff they are noticing is met with disappointment or tears.

I don’t want to go to the grocery store. I don’t want chicken for dinner. Why didn’t you wash my Nike sweatshirt?

Today was one of those days.

In fact, I told myself all day, “You shouldn’t write a post today. You’re feeling resentful toward the family. How are you going to find something positive in that?”

Then I thought maybe that was the point of the blog. My opportunity to turn things around if I just take the time to think about it differently.

But I’m sitting here at my computer, staring at a cup of chocolate pudding, and it’s hard to think of any positive spin. I told myself I couldn’t eat the pudding until I finished my post. Ugh! What’d I do that for?

29 - pudding

This pudding is just one example of feeling unappreciated, even invisible, at times.

I remember the last time I craved chocolate pudding and picked some up at the store. By the time I remembered I had it, it was eaten. I’m pretty sure that was within 24 hours. Did anyone ask if I wanted any? No. Did anyone ask why I had bought it (when typically I don’t)? Nope. They just gobbled it up.

BTW, cooking is not my forte. I dislike the planning, purchasing, and preparing. But the last two weeks, I’ve been trying new recipes – making good meals for the family – where we can sit at the table together and connect after a busy day. I’m 0 for 4 so far. For all my extra effort, I usually hear, “What is that?” before dinner is even finished. And that’s not just from the kids.

And if you’ve read my past posts, you know I try to find ways to be the fun mom. But honestly, I’m the one that’s constantly taking care of stuff, and it never seems like there’s time to just stop for fun. So when my oldest returned home after spending the day doing fun stuff with Dad, and I had missed seeing him, he laid down to watch a movie snuggled on the blanketed living room floor with…you guessed it…Dad.

I know they love me. But one thing after another today made me feel distinctly unloved. And very unappreciated. And sorry for myself. And many times I just wanted to cry.

Do you ever feel this way?

So here’s what I’m telling myself…and you. Hide the pudding!

You deserve it, and by golly, no one is going to go to the store when you have that craving and get some for you. 🙂

Seriously, though, you need to know that all your effort, out of love for your family – well, most of the time, it’s out of love – is seen and noticed. By Him.

Did you know there’s only one person in Scripture to ever name God? It’s Hagar, the maidservant who conceives for Abram and his wife Sarai. She fled after harsh treatment from Sarai’s jealousy. When an angel encourages her, she names God, El Roi, the God who sees. Because she felt truly seen by Him.

He sees us every day.

  • He sees you handle difficulty at work because you missed a day to be with your sick child.
  • He sees you fighting for patience during a bedtime tantrum after 10 hours of work.
  • He sees how badly you want to – but don’t – give up on your consistent discipline with a whining child.
  • He sees you fall into bed after working a full day, running errands, making dinner, emptying the dishwasher, helping with homework, doing a load of laundry, paying bills, and falling asleep during story time.
  • He sees that despite your feelings of self-pity and disappointment, you love your family and will continue to tirelessly be all you can be for them.

     The Lord looks from heaven;
he sees all the sons of men; from
His dwelling place He looks out on
all the inhabitants of the earth, He
who fashions the hearts of them all,
He who understands all their works.
 
                                       Psalm 33:13-15


So when I feel like giving up because no one is noticing all that I’m doing anyway, I can count on my all-seeing savior to notice, even if my family doesn’t. Which means I keep doing it. And I can let go of the resentment, because there is someone who sees me and knows my heart.

But I’m still hiding the pudding. In fact, I may eat two cups tonight. After all, I finished my post. 🙂

 

RECIPE SUCCESS – BTW, if you have any good, family-approved recipes to pass on, let me know. Although I have to warn you. I have NOT been making anything strange. I’m using honestly good recipes from other moms. But they’ve disliked the homemade tomato soup (despite loving the Campbell’s version), chicken & gravy over noodles, chicken with shells & cheese, and ham & potato stew. Seriously. One of them is mac-n-cheese, people! I’ve decided it’s not me. It’s them. 🙂

I Drive Them Nuts, Too

They drive me nuts.

My family. I love them to pieces, but still…

The noise alone.

Noise is something I never run out of. Motor sounds of all kinds: cars, trucks, motorcycles, trains, scooters, semis, bulldozers. Just to pull you into my world for a second…

Vvrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, shsshshshshshweew, ckck ckck ckckck ckckck crash, vvrrrrrrrrrrrrr, buh buh buh buh buh buh buh buh buh, jeeee jeeee jeee jeee jeee jeee jeee jeee jee, jeeeeeeeeeeeewwww, vvvvvvrrrrrrrrr.

All. Day. Long.

It’s okay if you just skipped that part. These sounds don’t really translate to the English language…or any language. The boys are actually quite talented at these noises. I can recognize that. I just miss the quiet.

I am an introvert. Constant noise and commotion drains us. I can handle it for a while, but eventually I need the quiet to return to sanity and recharge.

When the noise is combined with visual chaos and clutter, it makes it harder.

Since there’s no volume button on the kids, I tackle the clutter.

25 - crazy

Today, I was in cleaning mode again. But I had a good reason. We were celebrating our toddler’s birthday with family, and I was picking up the house for welcoming guests. Making sure they had places to sit.

After the festivities were over, my toddler grabbed his bag of wooden cars from the toy shelf, saying, “Could you stop putting stuff back where I play with them?”

I chuckled. I had to. His very serious comment was so ironic.

It drives ME nuts to constantly pick up his toys…and it drives HIM nuts when I constantly pick up his toys.

That’s when it dawned on me: I drive them nuts, too. 🙂

What may have felt like 15 minutes to my toddler was actually several hours ago. But simply put, he just wanted his stuff left where he last used them.

How many times have I thought the same thing? I buy a roll of invisible tape for when I need it. Like wrapping a birthday present, maybe.

But when I need it, it’s not in the utility drawer. Where I would look. When I need it. Because that’s where it belongs. And I bought it just for these occasions.

Instead, the tape roll is sitting by a car garage finagled out of a cut-up shoe box. The roll is empty.

I set a bill on the kitchen table to remind myself to take care of it when I find two spare minutes. Later, I’m looking everywhere on the table, on the floor, even in the trash. You never know.

Eventually, I discover my husband put it back with the pile of bills in our paper organizer. That wasn’t helpful. Out of sight, out of mind. At least for me. But he has a thing with clutter, too.

While we’re here…let’s be honest. The kids aren’t the only ones who drive us nuts. Some days I wonder if two adults were meant to live together for more than 18 years? 🙂

I’ll just share a little thing that usually tops the list: laundry basket. You’d think this was a simple concept to grasp. Lift the lid, drop dirty clothes in, and the magic laundry fairy does the rest. Pretty simple. So what I can’t understand is why clothes are piled ON TOP of the basket.

Not inside it. On top of it.

On the lid that can no longer be lifted.

It’s often even an empty basket.

Seriously.

Okay, I’m done.

I have no doubt hubby has countless “laundry basket” issues with ME. And apparently my kids get just as frustrated when their stuff is constantly messed with. Even if I am putting it back where it belongs.

Such is life. We are not infallible. We all drive each other nuts sometimes. I have to remember it’s not just me. I do the same to them.


     As it is written: ‘None is righteous [blameless]’,
no, not one. 
                                       Romans 3:10


So my conclusions are:

  • My kids always know where to find tape, and I will never have any as long as they live here.
  • My husband knows where the bills belong, but he has trouble with the laundry basket.
  • If I expect my imperfections to be forgiven, I must learn to forgive theirs.

What’s that recurring thing that sends you to cuckooville? Venting allowed below – I won’t tell!

DAY 18 – Oh. No. He. Didn’t!

This post is for my hubby. A thank you.

I hadn’t clued him in to this blog right away. I knew his reaction. In my head, it went something like this.

  • [Me: Hey, honey, I’ve started writing a blog.]
  • [Him: What?] Usually, he’s multi-tasking, so half listening the first time around.
  • [Me: A blog. I’m writing about parenting, funny things the kids say, how I’m trying not to yell anymore, stuff like that.]
  • [Him: No yelling, huh?] Yes, there would be skepticism there.
  • [Me: Don’t even go there. I’m working on it.]
  • [Him: Is that on Facebook?]
  • [Me: No, it’s different. It’s like a website, really.]
  • [Him: Are you serious?]
  • [Me: Ummmm…maybe.]

Knowing his opinion of Facebook being a waste of time, I figured this would make even less sense to him. I worried he would be concerned about the time factor – just as I was, honestly – with me adding one more “thing” to my TO DO list.

That he might either be concerned about where I get my content – like am I writing about him – or not get the point of it at all.

hubby privacy_pinterest

I honestly wasn’t sure if it would possibly turn into an argument. So I kept it to myself while crafting it. I figured I’d find out just how against it he was before really putting it out there.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I need to preface this story by telling you that my husband is not a snoop. We respect each other’s privacy. We trust each other. Like if I bring home a new dress, he doesn’t ask how much I spent. He doesn’t question the five others in my closet. He doesn’t say a word. Except maybe that I look nice if I’m wearing it for the first time. He knows he doesn’t have to worry about these things. He knows I don’t make decisions without care.

All the more reason why this story is…surprising.

The other day we had a discussion about a decision neither one of us was quite sure about. He felt one way; I felt another. We each saw both sides, but couldn’t quite come to a conclusion. We decided to sit on it for a while; honestly, we were both a bit agitated and needed to cool. Just as he left to run an errand, he quietly said this.

“Maybe you should write about it in your blog.”

HUH?!?!?!?!?!

I had left the house in a rush that afternoon to meet a friend for lunch. My Word doc with my blog posts was still open on our home computer screen. At first, I figured he had just seen the name Blog in the document title and was putting two and two together…and likely wondering what the heck it was.

But I found out otherwise tonight when he came up and circled my waist.

  • [Him: I need to apologize.]
  • Me silent. I wasn’t interrupting this for anything.
  • [Him: Earlier I made a comment I shouldn’t have. About writing on your blog. And I have to admit to you that I read them.]
  • [Me: ALL of them?!?] I’m shocked at this moment.
  • [Him: Yes, all of them. And they’re incredible. You are so talented, and I forget that sometimes…]

At this point, I’m sobbing. I can’t tell you with certainty what else he said. Something about the newspaper, better writing than what he reads daily, funny, made him tear up, etc, etc. Honestly, I wish I had been paying more attention. But in between my sniffles, all I heard was, I believe in you.

Nothing at all against my husband, but it’s been a while since he’s given me such a meaningful compliment. I’m just as guilty about not doing the same for him. We forget to do this. It meant the world to me.

  • [Me: You have no idea how much that means to me. (sniff, sniff, sniff – that stuttery kind of sob that escapes after a hard cry) You really think they’re good?]
  • [Him: I really do.]
  • [Me: Really?]
  • [Him: ‘No, really.’] As in the title of my Day 17 post! He can be a funny man, by the way.

When did we forget to be each other’s friend? Ah, yes, parenthood. Some days we’re just trying to survive among work schedules, soccer practice, homework, nighttime rituals, 20-minute required reading, and eventually I enter the bedroom to one sound, snoring, sleeping husband.

(sigh) A wake-up call to put more time into our relationship. More consideration. More support. A little more faith in my partner.


Let us encourage one another – 
        and all the more as you see the day approaching.
                                                          Hebrews 10:25


I truly believe things happen for a reason. This one’s no exception. I thank God for taking my husband so far out of his norm – for making him snoop today.

It’s my turn to remind him of his talents.

  • He’s made me laugh so hard before, I’ve peed my pants (not a talent, but still true)
  • His ability to sketch intricate drawings amazes me (so thankful he passed this on to our son)
  • He can get us anywhere with no directions (while I can’t get myself out of a closet)
  • He deals with countless stress at work and still comes home with a smile (most days)
  • He never fails me when I really need him (never)

Thanks, honey. You mean the world to me, too. Not just your words.

Day 18 – Sorry, I totally don’t even remember today’s success rate. I was too floored by this other event! BTW – Totally got hubby’s permission to post this! 🙂


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