Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Whisper While You Work

This past weekend was child free. Adam and I had a wedding to attend, and we ended up working things out where the girls spent not just one night, but two nights at Gram and Gramps' house. The girls were ecstatic to have a real sleepover, and I was thrilled to have the house to myself. That is absolutely golden to me. I had plans and lists for all the things I was going to get done.

Well, as usual, half my list went undone. I dropped the girls off around lunchtime on Saturday, but by the time I got out of there, drove the hour home, and got my nails done and some new shoes purchased (hey, we had a wedding to attend!), it was already 4:00 and Adam and I had a date night planned, starting at 6:00. I got a few things done, but the date night was overdue and took precedence. And I don't regret that. When we got home and settled in to sleep, I was feeling a little...under the weather. Just a cold...allergies...something. I started my homeopathic remedies and thanked God I wouldn't have a two year alarm clock the next morning.

The next morning I wasn't woken by a two year old, but with an annoying cough. I lazed around a bit, drinking tea, sucking on lozenges, trying to knock it out before we had to be in the car just after lunchtime.  Did I get everything done? No. I still had a lot of work I wanted to do, and before I knew it the girls would be home!

Several home remedies, one dose of Robitussin and a good amount of tea later, we were on our way to the wedding and feeling pretty good. We chatted the whole way up in the car, laughing and talking and enjoying the trip.

Once we were there and waiting for the ceremony, I started to feel some major irritation and suddenly, despite feeling better, I sounded like I had a cold. By the time we were at cocktail hour I was definitely hoarse, and as we took our seats for dinner, it was clear that my voice was pretty much gone.

Long story short? By the time we were driving home all I could do was whisper. And after a good night's sleep, a saline gargle, gallons of tea, and every other remedy both Pinterest and Google had to offer...I still can only whisper.

And I've been there before. I sang for long enough to know that once laryngitis sets in, the absolute best thing you can do is rest. Any talking or whispering will only prolong the issue. Keep hydrated, keep quiet. The end.

Except...have you ever tried to pick up two small children you haven't seen in 48 hours without talking?

Yes, Mommy is excited to see you too...even if you can't hear her!

Or drive them an hour home while they alternate between whispering their issues to you so you are forced to find non-verbal, non-eye contact making ways to ask them to speak up so you can hear what they want over the sound of the car, or yelling at each other while you whisper solutions they can't hear?

If you are whispering, they need to whisper too, no matter how many times you told them it's unnecessary, until it's time to start screaming because Mommy can't make herself or her reason heard..right?

Or read to them before nap/rest time?

Mommy, I can't hear the story!!

Or wake them up to get ready for dance class?

It's always the days that you DON'T want them to take a long nap that they suddenly decide they need sleep.

Or try to negotiate with a crying child?

Ok, you HAVE to stop crying, because you definitely can't hear me when you are.

Or break up a fight over who is bothering who while you make dinner?

I'm just going to go ahead and hand you each your iPad in separate rooms. Screen time, schmeen time, Mommy is going crazy!

Or call them upstairs to bed?

Ok, I really don't want to go searching for you right now, and if you yell to me from the bathroom, I can't yell back.

It's amazing how much the world seems to want to hear your voice when your voice just isn't there.

But on the plus side, all this silence has allowed me to be very productive now that the girls are in bed!

Sorry honey, but you don't want to try and hang out with me. Why don't you head downstairs and just let me sit in silence by myself?

Maybe whispering can get my work done!

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Monday, September 15, 2014

myCharge Keeps me Connected...to My Sanity!

September is here, and that means that everything is changing. The leaves...the temperature...and the schedule. The girls might not be in school, but between dance, gymnastics, cooking, science, library, MOPS and LIFE...for each of them...we're working hard just to figure out what we need to be doing each day. Who needs to bring their iPad while waiting, who needs three pairs of dance shoes, who needs to be a different class just for this week, and when you need to bring a snack. You can tell I've been overwhelmed because I've basically vanished from the online world!

So far, I have made it to the right places at the right time, but I always seem to have packed the wrong dance shoes, have nothing for the waiting child to do, or need to run back out to grab a water bottle. But so far we're in the right clothes and the girls' hair always looks right, so I'm counting it as a win. 

myCharge Giveaway

Three's no question. Back to school means life revs up again from the slow pace of summer. Now that the school year is in full swing, there's no slowing down. In fact, things can start getting pretty hectic this time of year between school and work and homework, clubs and sports, music lessons and carpools, birthday parties and play dates...the list goes on and on! It's a crazy balancing act with Mom trying to keep everyone where they need to be, when they need to be there, and with the right stuff. Even the most organized Mom (which probably isn't me) will tell you things can change at the last minute, and moms of all people can't afford to run out of power... for your phone. Nothing makes me cringe more than when I'm searching for an email to confirm the time of dance rehearsals and my phone is in the red.

myCharge knows how important it is for you to stay charged and connected all day - and all school year - long, so they're giving the gift of portable power so you're never left in the red! To keep you charged and connected myCharge is giving 3 lucky winners each an iPad mini with a myCharge HUB 6000 portable charger! The amazingly compact Hub 6000 features built-in cables and connectors for smartphones, tablets, e-readers and more. Get up to 27 hours of additional talk time for your devices, as well as integrated, quick-charge wall prongs. The Hub series is commonly known as the “Swiss Army Knife of portable power devices.

myCharge HUB6000 myCharge HUB6000 Additionally, 40 winners will each receive an Energy Shot compact portable charger for their smartphones that delivers an additional boost when you need it most. They come in a variety of styles and can give you up to 10 hours of talk time! (Please note, smart phone not included in giveaway).   myCharge Energy Shot

So Moms, stay out of the red this school year! myCharge is here to keep you charged and connected! For more information on products visit the myCharge website or follow them on Facebook. You can find myCharge products available at retailers (Target and Kohl's - my favorite haunts any time of year!) 

Fill out the entry form below September 15, 2014 - October 15, 2014 for your chance to be one of 40 winners to receive an Energy Shot Charger (10 winners randomly selected each week) and one of 3 grand prize winners randomly selected on October 15, 2014 to receive one iPad Mini with a myCharge HUB 6000 portable charger. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age or older, must live in the United States and have a valid shipping address. See giveaway form for complete list of rules and details.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway  

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Girls and Friends

Every girl needs a best friend.

Recently another blogger explored the idea that as much as girls are raised to search for a man in their lives, you know, "the one", the antiquated Prince Charming, they are also supposed to have a true blue, soul sister, joined at the hip BFF.

Maybe you are taught that, in reality, you need a best friend, more than you need that romantic partner. You need your rock. You need your sister. You need that Cristina/Meredith relationship where if you murdered someone, they'd be the one you called to help you dispose of the body.

Not that I am advocating murder, or body disposal. But it's important to know that they'd do it if necessary.

When I was in middle school, a friend of mine asked some of us to make a list of all our friends. I really, to this day, do not know what her purpose was. I mean, on the surface, it was probably to make sure that she was on all our lists and that her list was the most populated, but what caused her to come up with the idea in the first place...who knows. Like middle school girls do, we complied. I remember agonizing over my list. What if I added someone who didn't add me? What counted as a friend? A girl I talked to in French class? The girls I was on the team with? Did you have to talk on the phone? Could I count my best friend from when I was in preschool and elementary school? She moved away and I didn't talk to her much! Could I count my pen pal, who I saw once a year? We shared stories and secrets - but only in letters. We didn't even talk on the phone since long distance was so expensive.

I remember that I came up with what I thought was a list of friends - real friends. I want to say I ended up with ten or twelve girls I would have easily said I was friends with and I knew they'd reciprocate. I don't remember my exact "number", but it was somewhere in that ballpark. When asked about the list making, I mentioned this to another girl who was also compiling her list and she was blown away. Apparently, she'd made a quick (and she did emphasize the word quick) list on the bus and had about seventy!

I was in a panic. Seventy? Was I on her list? And if I was, I was one of seventy? She'd made my top ten, someone I thought I was close to. But was I just one of the herd to her?

So if the point was a middle school mission to make girls feel inferior and question all their relationships? I'd have to say it was a rousing success.

Now I'm older, I have a husband that I love, and I still have that core group of great friends. I have friends who are on my speed dial, who I talk to often. I have friends who I mostly text with, but I'd still say I'm close to. I have friends who have moved more into social media. I have "mom friends" - women who are more friends in training. We know each other because we have kids the same age and we'll chat endlessly at the pool, or in a waiting room or at the playground.  Are they on my speed dial? Not yet. We don't have nights out. But they're there.

I'm watching Madison make friends now, and experiment with the label "best friend". With kids, it's usually whoever they wind up in activities with. Madison got very close to a little girl when she was in Gymboree, and although they were in separate preschools, they did dance class, and both took cooking class, and Madison still calls her a "best friend".

She also had a girl who was her best friend in preschool. As soon as I heard that, although they both had Belle as their favorite princess, Madison was willing to wear Aurora's dress when they played together I knew she must love this little girl. If you ask Madison about her friends, these two ladies are the first ones she'll mention.

But this year Madison doesn't have dance class with her best friend, and since her preschool closed, she won't have school with her other. The relationships won't be as easy to maintain.

She'll have the chance for playdates with these two girls, and naturally, she'll make friends in the activities she's in. But I have to wonder if my little girl will suffer her first loss of the "best friend" label. Will these two friends be the first she mentions after we settle back into the fall routine and she doesn't see them every day? Will Madison still hang onto the label, while these girls move on? Will it be the opposite? Will Madison be the one who moves on?

I read recently that moms of girls tend to stress more about their children's friendships, mostly because they relive all the choppy waters they themselves navigated through their daughters. Most - if not all women - remember a painful friendship moment and all they want is to spare their daughters this agony. The not wanting someone at your birthday party. The sides that girls take. The whispers and the rumors.

Now, Madison is four. I remember my best friend from when I was four, and although we definitely still talk, we certainly have moved on and grown from our early start. I wouldn't call her my best friend, but I also wouldn't say that with pain or regret. Making friends beyond preschool is inevitable, Madison is very social, and she'll be just fine, no matter how many transitions she goes through.

I know I'm worrying about nothing. Madison is a happy kid who manages the preschool social circuit without much strife. She talks about the girls in her new dance class with enthusiasm, she hopes she has her best friend with her in cooking class, and she's already trying to schedule a playdate with her preschool BFF (actually, the two of them seem to be trying to arrange it without the assistance of either mom, which is pretty darn cute).

But friendship break ups are real. I've had a chance to read some of the stories in the new book I'm part of, and if nothing else, it has clarified to me that losing a friend can be just as painful as losing the love of your life. Whether we are four, fourteen, forty, or beyond, when your relationship changes with someone you are deeply connected to, you feel it. You think about it. And you don't forget it. I'm deeply honored to be a part of this anthology, and it's reminded me to cherish those true blue friends as much as I treasure my family.

And I hope that lesson is one my daughters carry with them forever.

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