Sunday, January 30, 2011

Schedule, Interrupted

Last night I was struck by a couple of memories and then felt so grateful that there is calm in place of where there was so much worry.

My friend’s daughter was having a birthday party. I needed to take my son to the party, stay for a little while, meet some other friends for dinner, and then we were off as a whole family to a hockey game.

Last year, we did this same exact thing – attended the birthday party before a hockey game. Except, last year, I was more frantic! I was in a rush. I was nervous about sticking to Parker’s SCHEDULE. I was afraid he would be too hungry before we left the birthday party and ran off to dinner and hockey. I had to make sure I carried enough baby stuff around for all three events. I remember the anxiousness and nervousness of all the night’s events.

Last night, I was not nervous for any of it. I knew we would have a good time wherever we went. We went to the party. I relaxed and talked with people. Parker played.

I saw a new mother there with her little newborn baby in a carrier. The baby was sleeping. I remember taking my own newborn to a party once. I was, again, NERVOUS the whole time, ready to murder anyone who threatened to wake him up. I was afraid he would wake and cry and everyone would watch as I tried to console him. I was afraid I would have to put down the cake and tend to him instead of having a delicious moment to myself.

We left the party and met my husband at another friend’s house where they were eating dinner and getting ready for the hockey game. Parker and I got there, sat and ate our own dinner, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves for a little bit.

At the hockey game, near the end of the game, I looked for the clock in the stadium to check the time. And, yet again, I was struck with ANOTHER memory that was a tell-tale sign of how far we’ve come. When we first started bringing Parker to hockey games, my eyes were always GLUED to the clock. I was NERVOUS about keeping him up to late. I would take him home early from the game so that the bed time SCHEDULE could be followed.

Last night, we stayed for the whole game without a worry about the SCHEDULE. We knew that everything was GOING TO BE ALRIGHT. We were just hanging out, enjoying ourselves, and I only looked for the clock because I was curious.

Those who know me will be shocked by the following tid-bit of information. Parker never even had a nap yesterday! GASP! He was too excited for hockey (he LOVES it), and never ended up sleeping. In the past, I would have been FREAKING out. I would have WORRIED about him being cranky, not being able to go to hockey, and a messed-up SCHEDULE.

Last night, it didn’t worry me. He is at an age where if a nap is occasionally skipped, it’s ALL GOING TO BE ALRIGHT.

Whew. We’ve come a long way, baby. And, no, this does not mean it is time for another one. We are just ENJOYING ourselves. Hanging out. Checking the clock only if we’re curious.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

No Thank You

We are dealing with some challenging behaviors at home to say the least. Our soon to be three-year-old has decided he’d like to find out what happens when we count to 3. I suppose he really enjoys this scenario because we have had to relive it over and over and over.

He finds out that he is sent to his room for a time out. Instead of going up there to SUFFER, he probably plays to his heart’s content, but who am I to actually think that parents have an upper hand when disciplining?

On a positive note, there is much to be learned from a two-year-old on how to handle requests that you do not wish to comply with.

For example, if you were to tell my son, “Put your toys away,” he would likely say, “No thank you.”

I am thinking I NEED to incorporate this savvy strategy in my own life.

For example, “There is a late meeting scheduled today to prepare for our next meeting.”

I could then say, “No thank you.”

Simple as that!

I am really excited about this. Why didn’t I think of this before? It should be all too easy to incorporate some two-year-old behavior into my work life. Everyone else is doing it, why can’t I?

Now, if only I could get my boss to count to three and then send me to my room. Alone. THEN we’d really be getting somewhere.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

I just made that up. Top Ten Tuesday. I like that. I’ll go with it. (You know me, I’ll essentially do what I want when it comes down to it.)

My Top 10 Books

1. Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
2. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
3. I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
4. Anthem by Ayn Rand
5. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
6. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
7. Staggering Work of Heartbreaking Genius by Dave Eggers
8. Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
9. While I was Gone by Sue Miller
10. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The above books are just a sampling of very memorable books I have read in my life. The book I’m currently writing is a fiction novel. I would like to think it is contemporary fiction, or even more preferably, the next GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL, but realistically there are parts of it that could be considered chick lit.

When I think about my novel, I think about things like, “What do readers want to learn? What are they interested in learning about themselves? What is their angst? How can they relate to the story I am writing?”

After all, people want to read something that is not only engaging but that causes some sort of emotional shift, or an “ah-ha.”

What great works inspire you? What kinds of questions do you ask yourself when writing your own pieces? What do you feel are hot topics in books right now?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I am a Mummy, and my Head Fell Off

Does anyone ever feel like they’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown as often as I do? I seem to go through a cycle of this every couple of months. That seems to me to be sort of a frequent occurrence.

Life starts going, and going, fast. And I feel like I can’t stop it. I try to do too much. I take on more and more at work, and then, all of a sudden I’m complaining to all in ear shot.

The people who know me (and love me in spite of that) also know that when I get like this, I start shouting out at random at least a few times a day, “For crying out loud, I’m a chicken with my head cut off!”

It usually takes some kind of epiphany to SNAP OUTTA IT!

This time, it is knowing, with even more intensity, how important PEOPLE are and the relationships we keep.

I went to a work conference yesterday about autism. The keynote speaker was Kari Dunn Buron, author of When My Autism Gets Too Big and When My Worries Get Too Big. What remarkable work she has done for children with autism and their families.

Throughout the day, I so enjoyed the videos and case studies of these precious children and adults on the autism spectrum.

I thought of the children at my school and their infectious, charming idiosyncrasies. Their heightened sensitivities, and yes, their behavioral difficulties that make our world all the more interesting and colorful and dynamic and mysterious.

School and education is so much more than reading, writing, math, and science or social studies (if you have the time).

I tell you what, MY social and emotional learning yesterday was beautifully increased. Our CARE for others, our connections and relationships are so much more important than…

…oops there’s another typo on this paperwork…

…well, this child only increased by 150 points on their math test, so that is NOT statistically significant ENOUGH to matter…

…you may only wear jeans on Friday, and you may only wear a collared shirt with khaki pants, and we must all judge and be upset with whoever does not follow these rules…

And all the other bullshit that goes on in schools every day.

What really matters is when…

…I look up from my desk because I can sense that sweet, third grade boy standing there, waiting for me to know he is there.

I smile and say, “Hi!”

He breaks into a goofy grin, awkwardly holds up his hand to wave at me, and in a too-loud larger than life voice says, “Hi, Mrs. Lorenzen!”

Then there is a moment of awkward silence as I wait for what I know is next.


I say with as much expression possible, “AFTER A WHILE, CROCODILE!”

And he gives a loud guffaw and walks away laughing, like I am the funniest person on Earth.

Or, there was the time that I am walking a different, dear-to-my-heart third grade boy to my office. He is socially still a little immature and is holding my hand as we walk. I am telling him, “I am so sorry I’m a little late to pick you up today! It has been a busy day. I’m like a chicken with my head cut off!”

Just then, we see the school principal walking by. The student is eager to talk to the principal. The student has language expression difficulties. The student says, “Hey! You know Mrs. Lorenzen. She is like, ummm, she is like a, uh, mummy! She is a mummy, and her head fell off!”

The principal looks at me quizzically. I just give him a smile and say, “He (the student) just knows me so well!”

Or, how can I forget ANOTHER wonderful fourth-grade boy that I have the esteemed pleasure to work with. He often tells me affectionately, “You have been with me ALL my years in school!”

“Yup,” I say. “Since preschool!”

“Yeah,” he says with a little smile curling on his lips. “You have never wanted to leave me. You have always liked me.”

“Yes,” I say, “That is true.” (Let me just fill you in on something – this child is a MASTER at testing those around him to see if they will stick by his side or leave him by acting in a…challenging manner.)

We share a comfortable silence for a moment.

Then, with that smile still playing at the edges of his mouth he says, “You look a lot older than you did when I was in preschool.”

“Yes,” I say with a grin, “I sure do.”

Thank you, God, for the reminders I needed to know why I do what I do. When I feel like a chicken with my head cut off, I also need to remind myself that, to these children I work with, I am actually an older-looking mummy who lost her head and loves them to death.

See you later, Alligators!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Let's Celebrate in Style!

TODAY, MLK, Jr. Day, marks the one-year anniversary of my blog! So, I am celebrating in STYLE – by accepting a new blog award, The Stylish Blogger Award!

Thank you goes to Anna Walker from Acquainted with the Night for this lovely award.

You know, with these awards comes RULES. I must share seven facts about myself. How about I share seven facts about my own personal STYLE? Sounds appropriate.

Secrets of Kristy’s Style

1. A bra is only required in the work place.

2. A wine or cocktail glass makes for a great accessory.

3. Washing of the hair on an everyday basis is blasphemous.

4. Sometimes, the most fun you can have with an outfit is with jazzy, colorful socks!

5. Thank God for ponytails.

6. Ironing is NOT necessary.

7. One can NEVER have too many “lounging” pants.

To share the love and pay it forward, I must give this award to 15 others. In gratitude for an exciting year of blogging, I will give this award to the last 15 people who have commented on my posts! Because, obviously, if they have commented here, then they too, know what style is.

(Florida) Girl
Nouns and Violets
Away We Go
Midwest (Mom)ments
Amy Sullivan
Parenting By Dummies
The Endless Rant of a Multitasking Mumma
Arms Wide Open
Hidden No More
Such a Pretty Girl
It’s Consequential
No Missed Opportunities
Creative Attempts
A Peek at Karen’s World
Adventures in Mommyhood

Thank you for sharing this journey with me in blog land! I will continue to live for entertaining you and making you all laugh. I love it!

By the way, I always try to follow back when people follow me. Sometimes, I cannot find the web page of a person who has followed me. If you have followed me, but I have not followed you, please leave a comment letting me know how I can find you! Thanks!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sweet Nothings

The Red Dress prompt this week was to pull out an item from your pantry and incorporate the ingredients in a story. Hey, I may have pulled the easiest thing (organic honey), but I just couldn't make my brain hurt too much this Friday!

“You never call me a pet name. You ever notice that?” He asked.

“What are you talking about?” I said, puzzled.

“Well, most boyfriends and girlfriends call each other things like ‘Baby’ or ‘Sweety,’” he explained.

Eww. I thought. “So, what are you trying to say?”

“It would just be nice to hear you call me something, you know, affectionate. It would show that you loved me,” he said.

“I don’t see why I need to call you some kind of ridiculous name like ‘Honey’ or ‘Sugar’ in order to show that I love you,” I said hotly, starting to feel irritated.

It just didn’t feel right. Nothing about this relationship felt right.

“Can you just give it a try?” he pushed.

I was incredulous. “You want me to say something, even though I find it silly, just because you think it shows that I love you?”

“If you really loved me, you wouldn’t find it silly, honey.” His voice was tight. He enunciated each word carefully. Like I was stupid.

“Oh, come on, you know I love you!” I said in a bright voice, trying to lighten the mood.

He stared at me.

I considered my next move.

“Well, which, uh, name do you like best?” I asked.

“Baby. I’d like you to call me ‘baby’ sometimes,” he said. “Like, you could say, ‘How was your day, baby.’ It sounds so loving.”

He was completely serious.

“Um, ok. I’ll try,” I said. I knew I wouldn't be able to do it.

Nothing about this relationship felt right.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Words of Wisdom (because, you know, I'm full of it)

Today, I participate in Post-It-Note-Tuesday with That One Mom at Only Parent Chronicles!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wishful Thinking

I want many things right now.

I want my goal weight right now.

I want to see my best friends right now.

I want my grandma back.

I want to know right now whether or not it will snow enough tonight for a snow cancellation tomorrow. Then I will know if I need to prepare my lunch for tomorrow right now.

I want to have a creative burst of energy and write many glorious pages for my novel right now.

I want enough time during nap right now to do everything I want to do, plus lay around and enjoy a movie.

I want it to be spring break right now.

I want someone to pack this house and prepare for moving for me.

I want to watch more Real Housewives of Beverly Hills right now, but there are no new episodes.

I want the greatest profit out of absolutely everything with the least amount of effort required.

I want to somehow feel better after this brain dump.

I want silence and time.

I have that right now. It is mine.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Crib


I heard Parker screaming at my husband while I tried frantically to get ready for work. “Oh, shit,” was my only thought.

Every once in a while, out of nowhere, Parker wakes up on the WRONG side of the crib. When this happens, he usually DEMANDS that only MOMMY can change him and get him ready. However, getting Parker changed and ready is DADDY’S job while Mommy finishes getting ready for work.

We have the routine down to a science. It works. It is efficient and fast. It is predictable.

Except on times like today.

We did not have time for this.

By the time I arrived at work (very late), no one has any idea that I have already withstood the MIGHTY toddler tantrum. I have wrestled with an octopus and a car seat. My husband and I have taken multiple trips of STUFF to the car because The Mighty Toddler refused to put on socks and shoes and jacket. We have Had-It-Up-To-Here. I still needed to drop the maniac at daycare.

All it looks like to anyone else is that I was practically running through a snowy, busy school parking lot so I could arrive in my office before students at the bright and early time of 7:45 am. Who knew what teachers, administrators, and parents thought as I barely made it in time to hand out the morning behavior cards.

I hoped my child was settled in at daycare. I hoped my child was not coming down with something.

I made it in the school building.

Ready to help take care of other people’s children all day.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Oops, I did it Again

“Woopsie!” is more my style, rather than plotting out steps for positive self-change.

I typically prescribe to the philosophy, “Lower your expectations, and you will be more satisfied.”

As a new year begins, I am not one to declare concrete goals and then try (and inevitably fail) to stick to them.

Through the year, if I want to do something or need to do something, I will try to do it…if I feel like it. I do not need a brand new year to do that.

But this year, I read something interesting. I read it in O magazine, and those of you who know me will now think, “Of course. O. Oprah is Kristy’s life-long spiritual guide. What on earth will she do without her daily show????” Yes, the wise Martha Beck (life coach and regular contributor to O magazine) wrote about resolutions.

She advises to choose ADJECTIVES for the way you would like to feel. Visualize yourself feeling that way. Think about what you will do to feel that way. Feel it. Own it. Love it. Visualize it. Do it.

(If you want to know more about the reasoning behind this and why it works, blah, blah, blah, check out the article yourself. However, if you are here to only know more about how this applies to ME, then I would love to have your attention for a little while.)

Here are my top 3 adjectives for the New Year (there are others, but I’m keeping secrets).




I will TRY to do things that help me feel that way. I’m not one who likes to feel a lot of pressure though, so don’t expect too much of me. For crying out loud, I can only commit to make really good choices for about 80% of the time. Maybe 70%. 60%???

(Naughty is just too damn fun!)

Seriously though. I will buy small bottles of wine instead of big ones. I will try to bum cigarettes less. I will eat better and move more, and all that hoopla. Basically, I will try to treat myself better, as though I actually like myself and want this body to live for a long time.

I will follow my passion and continue to write. I will write my way out of my full-time job eventually, dammit. (This part relates to the INDEPENDENT adjective above there.)

Apparently, I will NOT commit to swearing less. Happy Fucking New Year!