Posts Tagged With: playful

Another Day of Sun (from) La La Land

It’s raining here again. And to be quite frank, I tired of it.
I’m sharing with you a little song from La La Land to perk us all up.
If you haven’t seen this film, you’re missing out on something wonderful!

Please listen responsibly.

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candy

I’ve been on a Paolo kick lately. This one spoke to me today and I felt like sharing it with y’all.
Please listen responsibly.

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least smile as you go by

Let’s end the afternoon with a little Zee Avi.
This is The Book of Morris Johnson from her album, Ghostbird.
Please listen responsibly.

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for that is the only place to truly live

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I long to remember how live fully in both fantasy and reality. To know my imagination is free to create absolutely anything. To know that I’m as grounded as humanly possible.
You need both roots and wings. I know that’s rather a mixed metaphor, but I honestly believe it’s the truth. If I am safely rooted in reality, I have the ability to spread my wings and soar into fantasy.
I can remain grounded in the real world at the same moment I am King of all the Wild Things.

Most grown ups do forget the delicate balance. Most grown ups don’t believe in fairies. Most grown ups are far too busy to play. Most grown ups don’t embrace the child within.
I am not that kind of grown up. I will never lose my sense of whimsy. I will always remember how to play. I will always always believe in fairies. I’m a grown up and oftentimes I want to actually be a fairy.

Peter Pan told Wendy, “You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”
The place between sleep and awake is where grown ups can remember how to live fully in both fantasy and reality. The trick is being able to do it when you’re awake.
Peter Pan also said, “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” So many grown ups doubt they can fly. I believe I can fly because I work every single day to remember how to move freely between the fantasy and reality. For that is the only place to truly live.

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narcissistic much?

I’m a complete and total narcissist and without question or doubt, the world absolutely revolves around me.

Just kidding.

Or am I?

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hooked on LuLaRoe

I’ve become obsessed with LuLaRoe clothing.
Sundance lives in their leggings. They are the softest damn things I’ve ever felt! They’re oftentimes referred to as “butter soft”. (They ain’t lyin’.)
I’m not about the leggings. But I found out they make dresses. That’s it, y’all, I’m hooked!

At first I was all about the “Amelia”
amelia dress
This dress is so very me. The perfect length, those pleats and pockets and little sleeves. The material is soft and stretchy. I have three of these now.

Until I tried on the “Julia”
julia dress
It’s a tee shirt dress that is flattering as hell! I expected it to be shapeless, or worse, cling in all the wrong places. But it’s “butter soft” like the leggings, the perfect length with the perfect length sleeves (almost to the elbow). I have three of these and one more on the way.

I have one “Cassie” skirt. The softest damn navy and gray striped little pencil skirt you ever did see. I have one pair of blue leggings to wear under one of my “Julia” dresses, if you fold it up a little, it becomes a tunic and the leggings are cute under it. I don’t foresee more leggings in my life…but who knows?

Here’s what the Julia dress looks like in real life.
Heather gray with a navy cardigan (cardigans are my #1 go-to article of clothing), a cream, navy, gray, mustard and burgandy scarf and (gorgeous) brown boots.
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(It’s an instagram photo so I had to lose my head to show the cute boots.)

When I got home, I took off my boots and scarf to get more comfy.
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My knee sock game is completely on point.
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If you don’t know LuLaRoe, you must check it out.
Leggings and dresses and tunics and raglan tees and skirts, even “kimonos” (little sweater-y type things to wear over everything else), in women’s and girls sizes. Even “Mommy and Me” items that match or coordinate. This stuff sells like hot cakes! Everything is reasonably priced, comparable to local women’s clothing stores, and sometimes better made.
They’re all designed here in the U.S. with a limited number (1000) items per fabric pattern. That could mean any item could be any pattern. Some of them are not remotely my style, but others are absolutely fabulous!
I’ve learned in the last three weeks that people are simply mad about these clothes! You can’t refresh photos and type “sold” in the comments fast enough on the facebook “pop up sales”.
I love these clothes so much, I’m seriously considering becoming a LuLaRoe consultant. YBW and I are ironing out the logistics. He was reluctant at first, but the more we talk about it, the more open minded he becomes. I’m not a “sales” kind of girl, but I’ve already got a client base built up and ready to shop with me. The opportunity to “do what I love” excites me. I absolutely love clothes! And I absolutely love these LuLaRoe clothes!
If I’m a consultant, I’ll have first dibs on Amelia and Julia dresses to add to my collection.
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shouting from my soapbox

I saw an article this morning on Scary Mommy: Our Kids Don’t Need F@*#ing Pedal Desks, They Need Recess.
A Kentucky kindergarten teacher got a $12,000.00 grant to install ‘pedal desks’ in her classroom for (wait for it…) “when kindergartners get tired of sitting still.”

I BEG YOUR PARDON!?! (or: WHAT THE EVER-LOVING F**K!?!)
Kindergartners are five and six years old! Five and six! Is there ever a time when they DO sit still? They need to move their bodies! Their brain development relies on that!! How can they be expected to learn anything ‘strapped’ to a desk?
Is this simply another example of the misunderstanding about recess? Recess is about social interactions and imaginative play in addition to movement and exercise. Some of the most important social-emotional development happens when children play together freely.
Recess is a time for unstructured play. Children learn to respect and appreciate each other’s feelings by cooperating and taking turns. They understand that there is a natural give and take to play. If play is designed by one child and doesn’t evolve in a way the all the children like, two things can happen. They’ll either walk away which forces the change in play or they will discuss the changes they’d like to see. More often than not, the entire group will work together to create play that pleases everyone. These children practice negotiation and cooperation without even realizing it.
I’ve focused on social and emotional development and completely ignored the benefits of play to gross and fine motor development. But that seems more obvious to me.

Children need to move their bodies fairly regularly! I’m forty four years old and need to move mine often!
A classroom can and should be a place where you can move about and have different kinds of learning centers.
I know it’s hard to “meet each child where s/he is” but it’s easy to create a safe and authentic learning environment where students and teachers can move their bodies to help the teaching and learning process.

I started kindergarten in our country’s bicentennial year. I realize things have changed since then.
I remember my kindergarten class had a housekeeping area, a “writing center”, dress-ups, blocks and interlocking bricks for math. Sometimes we sat in chairs at big tables and other times we sat in a circle “Indian style” on carpet squares. We got read to and we honed our social skills through play. I could already read and write when I started kindergarten, but that’s just me. I remember loving being at school. It was fun and I actually realized I was learning. I was in half-day kindergarten and there was time for learning, snack, AND recess!

Thing 1 and Thing 2 had individual desks and chairs in their kindergarten classes. But they were grouped into fours in the center of the room to make room for the play based learning centers. Interestingly they were similar to the ones I talked about in my kindergarten classroom. There was a math center with big and little blocks and clocks to play with. I loved that! Little and big hands to move around the numbers. There was a writing center with crayons and markers and colored pencils. (Any scribbling is the beginning of writing.) There was a little kitchen and a mirror and babies.
Thing 1 was in kindergarten twenty three years after I was and there was still learning through play in kindergarten classrooms. Her teacher told me: I need them to walk into my classroom and be able to recognize their name and write it in some way that I can read it, even if it’s not right. I need them to be able to recognize number up to twenty. I need them to know their colors. The rest is up to me and the first grade teachers.
Thing 1 could do all those things, even though she wrote her nine letter name in a mix of capital and lower case letters. She was already reading a little. She was the only white girl in a class of nineteen kids. I was thrilled that she was going to experience that much diversity!
(There were 33 countries represented in our elementary school of 500 students.)

From the pedal desk article:

“Our kids need recess, not pedal desks so they can move while they work like little bots. Seriously, is this real life? Why are kindergartners even sitting in one place long enough to need pedal desks? That’s a question we should be asking ourselves.”

I believe in asking that question. But the people answering it are not educators. They don’t know what’s best for children. Here’s a thought: what if we have educators creating curriculum and education policy? Politicians designing this country’s curriculum can’t see past test scores. Gotta keep up with the Chinese and all that rot.
But in Peter Gray’s article, Give childhood back to children: if we want our offspring to have happy, productive and moral lives, we must allow more time for play, not less, he writes:

“Educators in East Asian nations have increasingly been acknowledging the massive failure of their educational systems. According to the scholar and author Yong Zhao, who is an expert on schools in China, a common Chinese term used to refer to the products of their schools is gaofen dineng, which essentially means good at tests but bad at everything else. Because students spend nearly all of their time studying, they have little opportunity to be creative, discover or pursue their own passions, or develop physical and social skills. Moreover, as revealed by a recent large-scale survey conducted by British and Chinese researchers, Chinese schoolchildren suffer from extraordinarily high levels of anxiety, depression and psychosomatic stress disorders, which appear to be linked to academic pressures and lack of play.”

What’s sad is teachers have no real choice. This woman was trying to make the school day better for FIVE and SIX year olds(!!) while accomplishing the unrealistic and inappropriate goal the government set for when these children leave her classroom.
There is something inherently wrong with this country’s education system. How many lives will be negatively impacted before something changes?
Childhood was snatched away from children. They’re forced to learn and do things at ages when their brains aren’t actually developed to do them. This skips natural and necessary building processes in the brain! And they can’t go play!
My heart breaks.
And my hackles go up!

Categories: education, love, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

It’s a stupid thing to do. SO DON’T DO IT!

The Saw Doctors was Thing 2 and Girlie Thing’s first concert, front row seats at a teeny little club in Greenville, SC. Leo and Davy invited the eight year old cousins on stage to dance Tommy K with them. Thing 2 was game, Girlie Thing was leery so they danced on the floor in front of the stage. They flirted and danced and sang all night long. The band signed their Clare Island shirts before we left. Thing 2 still uses hers as a sleep shirt.
It felt like a Saw Doctors kind of day this morning when I woke up.
I’ve been playing them all day and decided to share one of our silly favorites.

(click the playlist icon on the upper left and go to the last song: Hay Wrap)

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miscommunication is a bite in the ass

YBW came home Thursday ready to talk about the weirdness.
I felt better prepared because I’d written about it. He was ready to talk because he read what I wrote.
As it turns out, there was gross misunderstanding. (I can’t even feign surprise.)
He thought I was angry. He thought I was quite fed up with his YBW “shenanigans” so he was putting forth great effort to change his behavior. He also was feeling a great deal of fear after being hurt physically by me. It stirred up residual feelings from living with his second ex-wife.

I was horrified that he felt fearful of me. The only way I know to fix that is not to punch him in the arm anymore. This will be hard for me…it’s my “go to”. I don’t mean to hurt, it’s just a thing that started from having a brother and cousin and then the former husband as a way to make a point. Never hard enough to really hurt, but enough to get their attention and shift their behavior.
Is it a positive or healthy move? Of course not, but it’s what worked.
When I punched YBW in the arm, he was closer to me than I realized and the contact came swifter and with more force than I’d anticipated. He was actually hurt. But I’m realizing that he thought I was angry and hurt him out of anger. And that triggered his hot button of fear.

After we talked about the “kitchen incident”. I explained that I had no anger, that I was just messing around. Both Thing C and Thing 2 were in the kitchen with us, it was nothing more than us being silly about language and I never felt anything but playful.
The fact he thought I was angry and that it was my motivation to hurt him nearly broke my heart. That’s when my tears started. I honestly don’t think he believes me. That will have to come in time.

It turns out that when I was expressing that I noticed an imbalance in our being “handsy” with each other he thought it had to do with the kitchen incident and was under the impression that I was completely fed up with him being goofy.
He was trying to change to make me less frustrated.
It seems to me that he thinks I believe that he’s stupid, ridiculous, annoying, etc. I think he’s playful. Does that become tiresome occasionally? Of course it does. But I am self aware enough to know that I become tiresome occasionally too.

I told him that I liked him for who he really is. That if I’d been with him these six years it was because I liked his personality and for him to suddenly not be him was no way to “fix” anything.
He told me it would take a bit for him to relax enough to be himself and asked for me to be patient.
I told him that I would do my best not to rely on the arm punch.

Yesterday, things felt closer to normal. We went to this Salvadorian joint and had an early dinner yesterday, we came home and watched the Nats lose to the Marlins. We communicated realistically both verbally and physically. (And my bottom got patted while I brushed my teeth.)

Here’s my biggest thing:
I don’t know how to help him hear what I’m actually saying versus what he thinks he hears.
I don’t know how to trust that he’s not going to manipulate me if I make myself vulnerable to him.
Not because we’ve experienced either of these with the other. These are old patterns. Hurt caused by other people who came before each other in our lives.

I made a specific decision to trust him the first moment we were in the same physical space after months of dating over the phone and via email. In that moment I chose to be fearless. I have not regretted it in six years.
I know he’s not passive aggressive.
I know he’s not manipulative.
I know he’s not trying to undermine every forward step I take.
I trust that.
But I spent seventeen years walking on eggshells waiting to make the wrong move and suffer the emotional repercussions of that.
Waiting for “the other shoe to drop” is a pattern I work every day to break.

I am safe in this relationship. I know it like I know my own name.
I believe that YBW feels safe in this relationship. He’s trying to break his patterns too.
He’s been told he’s “less than” for so long he probably doesn’t even hear my words when I talk about his character and his kindness. He’s beautiful inside and out. That is his true self. He doesn’t know that. He doesn’t believe that.
I can’t change that for him, but I can keep expressing it in the hopes that one day he hears my words and not the words left over from his past.

I’m still not sleeping through the night. But I am sleeping in the bed we share and I’m not struggling to lie next to him.
It’s progress.
There is a great deal of love in our lives. I love YBW like I’ve never loved another man. I didn’t know I could love someone who didn’t come out of my body with this kind of unconditional love. I waited my entire life to find him. He has no idea that he elicits that kind of love just by being himself.
All that love doesn’t erase the past. But I hope that it can heal it. I hope it can create a new kind of relationship upon which to build the rest of our lives.

I’ve been told I’m more stubborn than a mule. (Thanks, Mommie.)
This statement is true, however unkind it may have sounded hearing it my whole life. Therefore I will use that stubbornness as I continue to chip away at old patterns in both of us. Eventually I’ll get there. And I will stop feeling like I need to wait for the other shoe to drop. And he will start hearing what he truly is and perhaps even begin to believe it.
And I’m hopeful we’ll continue to love and be loved the way we do. Playfully and earnestly. Only it will be better because we will use our past lives as foundation upon which to build this new way of being.

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14 days!

I never underestimate the importance of a countdown.
I talked about countdowns at they apply to my birthday in counting down.
During the four years that YBW and I dated long distance, we always made a countdown when we knew we would see each other again.
I love counting down to pretty much anything! Right now I’m actually counting down two things simultaneously.
The first is easy: last two weeks at this preschool. The second one is my new favorite: 14 days until Thing 2 arrives!

She and I have been trading texts and emails the last few days:
Me: I’m so excited to see you! I’m going to kiss your face off!!
Thing 2: You know, I have really been needing a good Momma hug this week so all of that love will be hella reciprocated when I get there! I also wanna hug those boys!
Me: It’s gonna be SO great!! Snuggles. Baseball. Tom’s Diner. Snuggles. Lin’s. Hanging out. Snuggles. New do. Girlie stuff. Snuggles. (Y’all notice a pattern? Cause I sure do!)
Thing 2: All those made me really really really excited and smiley!

Me too, girl. Me too!
I’m near bursting with excitement to see my baby girl! We have yet to celebrate her birthday. I can hardly wait for her to open her pressies!
YBW and I scheduled a meeting with the event coordinator at the winery for when Thing 2 is here because we want to share it with her and have her input.

YBW came home today and I said: Want to know something SO exciting?
He said: Sure!
Me: (with a giggle) 14 days!
He giggled and hugged me.
Me: Do you know till what?
YBW: Thing 2 comes!
More giggling.
Me: I’m so excited.
YBW: Me too!
Then I said: I have a little Momma jealousy, I think she’s just as excited to see you as she is to see me.
YBW: REALLY!?!
Me: Yep.
YBW had a GREAT BIG GRIN!

I love a good countdown. It’s a playful way to mark the passing of time between me and something I feel happy about.
I thought, today, of the countdown clock on the wall in Matt Albie’s office on the show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
It’s an old show that only lasted one season. It was a tad left-leaning for me but I loved the characters and the way they related to each other. I adore Matthew Perry, and the natural on screen chemistry between him and Bradley Whitford was a joy to watch! Aaron Sorkin’s rat-a-tat-tat dialogue suited these actors.
One of my favorite scenes happens during the second episode: The Cold Open.
Danny Tripp, played by Bradley Whitford turns on the clock.

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Matthew Perry’s character, Matt Albie reacts:
Matt: How did it know?
Danny: How did it know what?
Matt: Exactly how much time was left in the week?
Danny: Yeah, it’s a miracle of technology that we’ve invented, an electronic device that can count backwards from seven.
Matt: But it was off.
Danny: It has a battery.
Matt: [in horror] So it always knows?
Danny: Don’t endow the thing with special powers, Matt – it’s a clock.

I disagree, Danny. I’m all about endowing the clock with special powers! But only if you’re counting down to something good.
Matt is counting down until the next show…and he has to write it.
Isn’t that every writer’s nightmare? The deadline.
My deadline is picking up my child at the airport on time. I’ll countdown to that ANY day, thanks!

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