I Tortured My Kid With Song! Creative Parenting

Simon CowellHow many times have you wished you were different than you were? Wished your hair was straight instead of curly, or that you had a talent for cooking instead of burning, or that you were athletic instead of clumsy? I can’t tell you how often I’ve wished for a beautiful singing voice. I love music, I love to dance (can’t dance but I pretend I can), I love to sing (can’t sing but pretend I can). When my babies were little, they used to love when I sang them songs…actually, now that I think of it, they never actually asked me to sing….hmmm….interesting. Oh well. I sang to them a lot, when they went to sleep, when they woke up, as they got ready for school. Never any specific song, nope. I made up each song as I went along. I thought they loved it because my singing always made them laugh. I’ve noticed that the older they get, the more they plead with me to stop singing….they still laugh….most of the time.

Last week, I stumbled upon a gift that is sure to serve me well for the rest of my life. You will never believe what it was…my voice! My beautiful singing voice! Allow me to fill you in…what I am about to share with you is a true story…one that any parent can appreciate.

It was a Sunday like any other dedicated to cleaning up the house in preparation of a brand new week. There I was begging my 11 year old son to clean his room. I had tried everything to get him motivated to create a space he could relax in. I’ve hidden money in his room, I’ve bribed him with quality time exchanges, I’ve taken away his toys, I’ve made him do his own laundry, I’ve taken his beloved extra-curricular activities away, nothing seems to work long term. The best I got was a half-assed clean sweep.

On this day, in another attempt at motivation, I suggested he crank some music. It always worked for me, Dance! Sing! while you clean up. The job seems to do itself! For whatever reason, I can’t remember he said he couldn’t play the music in his room so I offered to sing to him…..WHAM! That’s when it happened, “No! No! Mom, don’t sing!”idea

“I’ll tell you what, I won’t sing if you clean your room, I mean really clean it. If you stop cleaning it before it’s done, I will sing.” He did as any kid his age would do. He called my bluff. Out of my mouth came Taylor Swift and WHAM! “Okay Mom! Okay! Look at me, I’m cleaning my room! See?” Within less than an hour his room was spotless! Brilliant!! That was a major discovery I made right there!!

Unfortunately, this technique will not work for every parent, only maybe those with a special kind of voice. All I’m saying is just for today trust in your whole being and embrace every part of you because sometimes what you may perceive as a fault may one day prove to be your greatest asset πŸ™‚

Embrace your awesomeness!

If you liked this post, share it with others who will too! You may also like The Solo Adventure of a Geographically Challenged Mom, Mommy’s Escape – The end of a beautiful affair, and The Making of a Book That Broke My Heart

Insomnia – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

01 insomnia2 In the beginning Insomnia was good to me. It spoiled me with unexpected, uninterrupted time to myself. I had time to clean the house, do laundry (of course I didn’t use the time for that, I chose to write instead). I was blinded by quiet beauty of it. This is the part I like to refer to as ‘the honeymoon stage’.

What you need to know about Insomnia

Insomnia unleashes the beast within. It transforms the meek into the fierce.

It bestows upon us the power of realization and deep insight. When one suffers a good bout of insomnia, one becomes acutely aware of just how seriously irritating the world can be.

Insomnia offers X-Ray vision – the ability to see through bullshit.

Be warned! This gift does not come free!

This ‘superpower of sorts’ is given to you in exchange for your patience – the very patience you would normally use to deal with all that bullshit.

Even though you lie with BOTH eyes open, it will rob you! Ever heard of the thief in the night? That’s Insomnia! It robs you of any and all sense of time you once had. No longer would you have the luxury of knowing what day it is, you would be lucky to know what year and month it is.

Insomnia is a ruthless killer. It kills all the antibodies in your system that keep you healthy and strong. In the beginning, I blamed those little fighters for giving up on me when I needed them most. But as I learned to master my X-ray BS powers, the real perp became obvious to me.

In my darkest hour, …. oh, who am I kidding? My darkest hour probably lasted a week or a few… I finally came to the realization that it was time to weapon-up. It was time to medicate. Armed with a natural sleep inducer, I anxiously headed to bed. My head hit the pillow and I impatiently awaited to renew my relationship with sleep. But Insomnia laughed in the face of my impending sleep and left me lying there; head perfectly positioned on my favorite pillow, eyes wide open. I ‘watched’ my body fall asleep leaving my brain and my eyes fully alert and clearly insane.

insomnia

I will never forget the experience of the next day. I ‘slept’ while I was awake at work. It was the oddest sensation. To anyone else, I looked like a full functioning adult (at least I think I did). But inside, I was sleeping. Literally sleeping. With my eyes wide open and walking around. It was one of those great sleeps too. You know the ones that feel so indescribably relaxing, like an impromptu, much needed afternoon nap? My body was tingling and in total relaxation. I was aware of my limited blinking. It was like walking around in a dream. People were talking to me. I was aware of the sounds that came out of their mouths. And as quickly as their sentences were finished, the whole thing was completely erased from my memory. After countless requests to repeat what was said, I gave up and started to respond based on their facial expressions and hoped for the best. FYI: I work in Customer Service. This was bad. But I was so torn, the sleep – as inconvenient a time as it was – was still sleep. And it was soooo nice. My body was so beautifully, incredibly relaxed. I am ashamed to say, I can’t even share with you the events that took place that day. Let me just say this, it was worse than the time I asked a customer if his parents had any kids 😦

My Insomnia had taken me to a dark place and there was only one thing left to do. It was time for me to turn it over to my Mom. My Mother said to me “Don’t worry” and handed me pills in an unmarked prescription bottle. My Mom is a huge advocate for narcotics….NO! NO! That’s not what I mean! Jeez! That’s my Mother! I mean, she’s a huge advocate for the “don’t ever take anyone else’s prescriptions” message. So before passing me that bottle, she said “Don’t worry, this is an old prescription bottle. I’m putting these (showing me the store-bought package) in this bottle.” I don’t know what she was thinking at that point. I knew she wouldn’t try to poison me. And besides, I would have taken anything. No explanation needed. I hadn’t slept in weeks. I couldn’t function to save my life.

insomnia

Melatonin

That’s the beautiful natural drug who’s helping me put my life back together. Melatonin, it even sounds like a lullaby.

I have always fully appreciated my sleep. I embraced the whole experience of it; the feel of my pillow, the warmth of my blankets, fresh air from the open window in the summer, the tingly feeling of a fully relaxed body, dreaming,… all of it! I’m so crazy about sleep,Β  I’m not even fond of waking up half the time. Insomnia has taught me that appreciation is not enough, sleep needs to be respected; be gentle – don’t expect to fall asleep at a certain time. Sleep likes gentle persuasion which comes only from turning off the mind and not engaging in vigorous list making.

The moral of the story is this:

Tame the beast within – RESPECT SLEEP. And always listen to your Mother.

Embrace the awesomeness of a good nights rest πŸ™‚

Your comments keep me writing, if you’ve enjoyed this blog, please take a moment to let me know you did πŸ™‚

Not-So-Solo Trip To Toronto

My husband (sporting the Movember look) and I on Young Street in Toronto

It would seem that all the excitement from my recent solo adventure in the big city had caused my husband enough anxiety to insist on joining me when I was booked for another one day orientation back in Toronto πŸ™‚

Now, I’ll be honest with you…as much as I was looking forward to this mini trip, I had my reservations. My husband tends to be a little impatient in rush hour traffic when we go to Ottawa. He gets a little agitated when if he gets lost in the city. He can be a bit of a firecracker in highly populated areas. Did I mention that my orientation was booked in Toronto at the same time as the 100th Grey Cup game? And we were staying at The Madison Manor which was located just a couple blocks away from the stadium? As apprehensive as I was, I was excited too. We rarely get time to ourselves, just the two of us, it felt like I was dating my husband!

The drive down went surprisingly well…okay, I fell asleep 3 times. Toronto was congested with football fevered fans. There were people everywhere all dressed up, blowing horns, screaming, and cheering. We decided to grab a bite to eat at a place named “famous” for their wings. We ate the wings…we both agreed, they couldn’t be famous for anything other than a walking heart attack, they tasted like grease and we both knew our stomachs would pay for it later that night – if we even made it that long!

Our hotel was great. Not great in a fancy, over-the- top way, fancy in a cozy, quaint, old fashioned, hospitable way. It was nice. Perfect actually.

Being the fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants (aka never-plan-anything-until-the-very-last-moment) kind of people that we are, we scrambled to find some entertainment. Of course, it was the Sunday night of the 100th Grey Cup…there was nothing else going on. NOTHING. We headed out to Kensington Market and arrived just in time to see all the shops close. I must give my husband credit here – he (like most people I know), doesn’t remotely relate to my sense of style. But, (I suppose to allow for me to bask in my happy place) he accompanied me to every hippie clothing store that caught my eye and with a curious look of bewilderment on his face, he smiled and nodded as I excitedly pointed out multicolored bags and jackets full of peace signs and banners with New Age quotes. (I think he was secretly relieved the market was shutting down.)

When we headed for the movies and I fought the urge to beg him to watch Breaking Dawn (why would I put myself through that movie again you ask? Read here lol) we got tickets for Freefall instead. It’s the least I could do considering I had fallen asleep 3 times while he drove for 5 hours and, well, we can’t ignore the hippie stores πŸ™‚ Note to self: Next time we find ourselves heading to Toronto during the 100th Grey Cup game, buy tickets to attend.

Monday night we took a short stroll down Young Street and ate dinner at Milestones before heading back on the long drive home…I don’t remember the last time we had a quiet dinner out just the two of us. It was weird nice. We talked about our days and at one point he told me I should become a Financial Advisor. I laughed and told him that maybe one day he would have the opportunity to marry one. He looked at me and said “I don’t think I would ever be able to get along with a Financial Advisor” Perplexed, I asked why then would he ever suggest that I become one. He simply replied “Well, that’s different. You and I, we don’t usually ever see eye to eye anyway. It would just be more of the same.” Great! πŸ™‚

Heading back home in the dark, I was determined to stay awake so he wouldn’t be driving alone. No worries, there….my insomnia never lets me down! Snow started to fall. At first it was light and beautiful. It gradually made it’s way to fast and furious. You know when you’re driving in a blizzard,Β  you look out the window and it feels like you’ve been transported into a Star Wars space shuttle flying through the universe? Don’t tell me I’m the only one who sees it. I know you’ve seen it too.

We were both starting to get a little anxious about visibility – or lack there of – so I did all I could to calm our nerves…I started to sing. Hmmmm…..the look on Curtis’ face told me that my singing voice sounded better in my own ears than in his. He tried his best to keep a straight face. Well, at least it made him laugh πŸ˜‰

The further we drove, the worse the roads became. At one point we couldn’t see anything. Not the middle of the road, not the side of the road, only millions of giant white snowflakes coming right at us. We both looked at each other and wondered how we would drive any further. There were no hotels nearby and nowhere to stop to wait it out. At that exact moment, the radio played “We Will Die Young”. I kid you not! We just looked at each other wondering out loud if this is how it ends? Does everyone get a sign like this when their time comes?

I told Curtis that if anything were ever to happen to me, he deserved to find someone who “had it all together”, someone who was always well prepared for each and every day, someone who would take good care of him, and be able to find their keys, someone who was my exact polar opposite. My heart swelled when he shook his head and said that no, he wouldn’t want his life to be any other way than what it was right now. I never knew until the moment I heard those words coming out of his mouth, how much I needed to hear them.

The roads cleared, I continued to sing, Curtis continued to practice tuning me out, and life returned to normal….with a just a hint of even-better!

Isn’t it beautiful how life finds a way of working itself out so imperfectly perfect?

Embrace your awesomeness, and the crazy beautiful world in which you live!

Mommy’s Escape….The End of a Beautiful Affair

I am not into vampires, werewolves, or love triangles. In fact, I’m not even a big fan of reading fiction, I tend to prefer non-fiction life-changing books and I occasionally dabble in humor . My favorite movies are inspirational flicks based on true stories and I have a weakness for documentaries. At least that’s who I was before being introduced to Twilight.

Twilight quickly became my guilty pleasure. I had never fully understood the meaning of “getting lost in a book” until this one. I was spellbound. Stephanie Meyer’s world became my unexpected escape. It wasn’t about monsters killing humans or a series of ugly evil doings. The characters came to life and made their way into my heart through their ability to love so deeply. The vampires, the werewolves, nothing was more important than the safety and well being of their families and the community in which they resided. Their heightened senses were intriguing. Through their eyes, ears, nose, and touch I heard, saw, smelled, and felt nature and everything in it in a way that I am usually too busy to pay attention to. The story brought to life the heart-thumping, weak-in-the-knees recollection of falling in love for the first time. Do you ever remember anything more exciting than that feeling?? Young love is one of life’s most exciting experiences.Through this story, Stephanie invites her audience to relive that beautiful experience. She then made the romance forbidden, threw in some danger, threat, and suspense and WHAM! It was a don’t-breathe-until-it’s-over love story!

Edward’s forever calm, protective nature felt safe and strangely exciting, his smile…irresistible! Jacob’s abs,casual, blunt honesty was crazy sexy intoxicating. I could totally relate to Bella’s insecurities, consistent bad decision making, and lack of coordination (however, she didn’t win me over until she became her confident vampire self). Bella’s dad Charlie, OMG! Who wouldn’t love him?! Jasper was my personal favorite…I found his intensity captivating. And Alice! With her graceful moments, her impeccable timing, her immaculate sense of style and calm, friendly demeanor…it’s like we were the same person (tsk, tsk) πŸ˜‰ I loved Alice!Β  Carlisle’s take charge, humble, leadership nature was HOT so appealing. Add to that their animalistic instincts, and …. BAM! Guilty pleasure! I loved them all!

Breaking Dawn 2 was bitter sweet. I didn’t want the story to end. The end of the book series was heartbreaking. The end of the movies seemed so….final. I have to admit, every time I heard about a ‘surprise twist’, my heart leaped…In my mind, the best ending and the most glorious surprise ending would include the words “to be continued”. Dare I hope to see those words light up the screen??

I accepted the fact that I was a wholehearted Twilight fan, but I hadn’t realized the depth of it until the exact moment I saw Carlisle’s head. In that very moment, I felt my heart crack. I was so angry. Angry and devastated. They had ruined the story and I wanted to hold someone accountable! I probably would have screamed had it not been for the massive lump stuck inside my throat. And then Jasper….I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. What were people thinking when they raved “this is the best movie of all!” Were they mad?! You know the ugly cry? The one that hurts your throat, your head, and neck and turns your face into an unrecognizable mess? I’m embarrassed to admit, that’s the cry that came out of me. And it continued until it was replaced by tears of relief and immense gratitude.

At the end of the movie, a slideshow tribute played briefly bringing to life Twilight moments and treasured memories. I sat in my seat, unable to move, tears flowing freely while people (including small children) pointed and laughed. For a moment I wondered what was wrong with these people? Why weren’t they taking this seriously? I scolded myself “What is wrong with you woman?! Pull yourself together!” I couldn’t help it…I was filled with the oddest sensation…Twilight was breaking up with me!

As I sat there with my raccoon eyes, sore neck, and a broken heart I wondered….Was the vampire movie really worth all this?? You bet your ass it was!!!!

Thank you Stephanie Meyer for taking us on a whirlwind adventure through your imagination, your words, and your spirit! I fully embrace your awesomeness!!!

Tell me…was it the same for you??

THECOLORMAGE

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β€œTo live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ― Oscar Wilde

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