© U8MyCrayons 2012. Powered by Blogger.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Trans Potty

I've heard many friends tell me why having transgender persons use the restroom that is intended for the gender that they identify with is wrong/bad.

I've spent too much time thinking about this subject today. I guess I cannot understand their perspective. I respect that it's not okay in their opinion. I just cannot imagine what that thought process looks/feels like.

You know that there was a time when "colored" people had to use separate facilities of all sorts. It was believed that they were dangerous. Unhealthy. Diseased. Rapist. 

Then this thing called the civil rights movement came along. And guess what? 

All of the black people weren't raping the white people. 
And the white people didn't contract diseases from the black people. It turns out that the color of their skin, in fact, did not make them diseased criminals.
Neither do our genitals. 

You know what else? It's none of anyone's damned business if my boobs are real or not, and if I have a penis or a vagina. None. 

Since when does sharing a bathroom with someone who lives their life identifying as female who also happens to have a penis cause us harm? Do we think that transgender is something that can be contracted from a toilet seat? 

Do we really think that transgender persons will rape us if they use the bathroom that is intended for the sex which they identify with? 
What happens when a male who identifies as female and is wearing a dress goes into the men's restroom? What if that person is beaten to death because some man didn't want a man in a dress using the same facilities that he uses? 

What are we to do? Is creating separate gender neutral bathrooms a solution?
Maybe it is. It didn't seem to go over so well for the colored folks before the civil rights movement but hey-we are more evolved now. Perhaps we can make that whole segregation think work for this.

What I do know is this. People deserve to be treated with love and respect. I don't give a damn if it's a woman with a penis, or a man with black skin, a boy with disabilities, or a girl who dates girls. We are all people. We are all beautiful spirits stuck in this awful human world where we spend way too much time focusing on the things that don't matter, and focusing on ourselves, how WE feel, and about OUR life experience. And that's a damn shame because that is not the way it is supposed to be. 

"Love is what we were born with.  Fear is what we learned here." -Marianne Williamson

I try to consider others life experiences, and remember that my life experience is never more important/valuable/valid than someone else's. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

It's the 1st day of 2016, and I am sick. I haven't been this sick in so very long. It's torture for a person who keeps as busy as I do to be down like this. 

I can't help but to believe that this is a power greater than me reminding me as we start this new year that I really need to  slooow down.

I'm lying here thinking of my loved ones, peers, and colleagues who did not make it to see 2016. And I hope that I don't take one day for granted. I wasn't prepared to see so many people of my age pass on. 40 doesn't seem like enough years. Most of us have just begun to figure things out, and some are still trying to get there!

I want to focus on living my life with love in my heart. I just want to live my best life. And maybe that doesn't mean I will get 100% to where I need to be. I know that whatever progress I make will be exactly enough. 

Bless those of you who have followed me over the years. I know it's a small handful and that's more than I could ask for.

Love, and peace to you today and always. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

I'm not finished.

I'm not even really sure where to start with this, as I feel this confession is long overdue. I've been struggling with depression most of the summer. Really the entire summer, if I am being honest. And my entire adult life. And much of my childhood. 

I really hadn't realized how bad it had become until today. I had the longest run of seasonal depression in my life last winter. That hung around until about February. By May I was descending quickly once again. 

I knew that I needed to make some changes in my life. I struggle with change. I like the calmness of routine. I thrive on simple. Peaceful. Calm. 
Anything beyond that is chaos for me. 

I turned 40 this year and I thought this would be a year of amazing growth. And it has been. And it will continue to be. What I didn't consider was how painful growth is. How difficult it is to sit with the pain. 

I'm such a creature of habit. My routines are my sanity. They help me to feel in control when I feel like I can't control so many things in my life. 

As I opened up my refrigerator this afternoon I realized what a mess it was. There wasn't anything growing or crawling around. I found only one outdated product. It was just the spills, splatter, and general stickiness that comes along with a family of 6 when 5 of those members take for granted that one will always clean it up. 

As I started to scrub and organize the shelves I felt a sense of calm. Restoring routine and order in my life will be the key to me getting out of this hole before the holidays get here. 

After I cleaned the fridge I decided that cleaning the floor underneath it needed to happen. I hadn't cleaned underneath it yet this year. Something that I try to do at least once a quarter. It was awful. 

As I stood there considering the best way to tackle this mess I started to tear up. THIS is how bad it had gotten. I am so depressed that I can't even muster the motivation to complete my daily routines around the house anymore. 

This is when the anger set it. How does someone get this depressed and no one had cause for concern? How did my husband not see it? How could he not see that I wasn't myself? That I needed help! The disconnect blows my mind. 
I don't know how to live like that. There have been days when I just didn't want to live anymore. I didn't want to talk about it. I just wanted to fade away. 

I opened up my Zone cleaning checklist and pulled out the Kitchen week. I decided that I would work all day to get the kitchen back in order. And I did. And I feel a little bit better. 

As I opened each cabinet I found tears welling up in my eyes. Years and years of broken promises and bad memories swelled up in my throat as I looked at the glass jar that once contained Popsicle sticks with "date night suggestions" written on them. A Mother's Day gift. We never went on a single one of those dates. 

And I have no one to blame for this sadness. No one but myself. I choose to live every minute of every day of my life up to this point. I had other choices to make. In the end I made a lot of poor choices. The choice to stay in a failing marriage every time my gut told me it was time to go. The choice to go back when my heart pleaded with me not to. 

Today I am faced with another choice to make. My heart says this season of my life is over. It is time for me to stand on my own two feet and take care of myself. It is time for me to stop looking to others for happiness. It is time for me to love myself.

I don't know what tomorrow will bring. I'm scared to death, and that is a wonderful feeling. Because I can actually feel. I'm not numb. 

I don't know how this will all play out. I'm sure that it will be a long journey finding myself and becoming whole. 

I just don't want to die when I feel so unfinished. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Organizing Your Childs School/Sports Photos

My first born child just graduated. I've taken a week to let that sink in. The last minute frenzy to gather up all of his memories and display them for his graduation open house was overwhelming. I consider myself to be a very organized woman! I have the kids school papers and photos organized and together but the open house process definitely gave me a new found motivation to better store these items!

I spent all school year pinning ideas for open house decor, themed props, and menu planning. It never occurred to me to take care of getting our sons memories in better order first!

I am going to work on a series of blogs to share what I am doing to prepare for the next 3 graduates instead of waiting until the week before graduation!

DISCLAIMER: I do not claim to be the first person to ever think of these ideas. I am sure that there are many on the internet who have similar ideas. Some may be more elaborate than my own. I don't have time to scrapbook or do anything extra creative. Maybe in future years but for now this mom is just trying to keep it simple, manageable...DOABLE!

I hope that you enjoy the simple solutions that I will share, and I'd love to hear some of your suggestions too! Let's help each other get organized and make these special occasions more enjoyable and less stressful! I think that this will also be a great way to have these memories ready to pass onto our children when they are settled and ready to collect these memories!

The first thing I want to do is get the kids school pictures out of photo albums (and by photo albums I mean the envelope that they delivered them in), and into individual binders. This is a great display item for your open house, and also makes it easier to pass down photos to each child when they get older!

I purchased an inexpensive 1/2 inch binder and some sheet protectors. I bought the Avery Secure Top (model 76000) because I like that the photos will not slide out of the top so easily.

I opened up Word on my laptop,created a blank document, and typed up the grade and years for each grade of school on the top of page, and printed these pages out. These pages will hold the school picture for each year. I did this because I only buy the basic school picture package with two 3.5 X 5 prints and some wallets. We don't display 8X10 photos so I stopped buying them years ago. These pages give me a marker to easily indicate what grade and years the school photos are from. If you have 8X10 prints for your album you may want to skip this step and find another way to mark the grade/date for your photos.

I also HIGHLY recommend that you write GENTLY on the back of the photo with the school grade, age, and/or year. Apparently I stopped doing this for a few years and we had to reference the year book...couldn't quite tell what order a few years went in for my oldest!

Once you have the pages placed in order inside of your sheet protectors start adding the photos that you already have...unless your little one hasn't started school yet! My youngest is in 3rd grade so I didn't have too much to catch up on for his. I added classroom photos and team/sport photos too. I figured it would be easier to have them all together.

Lastly I made a cover for the binder. You could get more creative than I have but I just created a word document and typed out the Kindergarten through Senior year, and will add the childs name and school years to it.

Now you have a binder that is ready to go, with all of the years marked ahead, and each year you simply have to add the school photo and any sport/team photos to the binder as you receive them, or as you decide to stop displaying them in your home.

It took me less than 15 minutes to put this together and it will be ready for display when graduation day comes with no additional work needed. Unless you have a very active child and may need to add more sheet protectors for sport/team/band photos along the way as they grow up!

Happy Simplifying!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Paying it forward

It's amazing how the pay it forward concept works. This morning I found myself dreading a trip to the fabric store. My son asked me to make him an Olaf costume for a school event.

I had no idea where to begin. A Facebook status update expressing my situation generated a suggestion. Ask your mom friend to borrow hers. 

I had no idea that this mom friend of mine had an Olaf costume. Not just a costume A mascot worthy costume! She does characters for birthday parties so I should have guessed she'd have the latest characters!

I messaged her and asked if I could rent the costume. She replied that I could borrow it as she has been looking for a way to pay it forward to me for years for a kindness I have to her family years ago. 

I never thought about that kindness coming back my way. I'm super thankful that this worked out. Now I can enjoy my weeknd without being stuck behind the sewing machine and he will look better than anything that I could have ever made him.

So thankful for my mom friends kindness and generosity to allow us to borrow this beautiful Olaf costume for the "Tea with a princess" event!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

On the Road Again

2 of you (haha) may remember that I accidentally deleted my original blog earlier this year. I had to add the word blog to U8MyCrayons for my new blog. As luck may have it my old blog address was released by the Google Gods and I was able to secure the old U8MyCrayons.Blogspot.com name.

For now I have set up the new old blog to FWD to U8MyCrayons.com. This blog will remain up for now so that the old posts can be located. I have decided not to merge the two, for now. I may combine them at a later time but for now...fresh start. Again.

Thanks for hanging with me.



Monday, July 30, 2012

Daily Routines and a Fail proof Checklist!

I swear by my daily checklists.Every single time I stop using them things fall apart! I have been slacking on them since school ended and we moved into the rental house. School starts tomorrow and it's time to get that routine back! My routine is based off of the Fly Lady system. Many moms tell me her system in hard to follow because of all of the emails. It's too overwhelming. I get that. That's why I had to make up my own thing! It was seriously overwhelming. That was many years ago. Maybe she has simplified the process?

It took me a while to create my routine, but once I got all the kinks worked out it really suits me. Feel free to modify it to meet your needs. I print mine off and put them into sheet protectors. I can then make check marks with dry erase marker on the sheet protector and reuse the checklist every day! I keep it in a binder with my monthly zone cleaning and my other household lists...which I will post blogs on those another day.

I know it seems like a lot, and it may seem silly to have so much stuff in a routine, but when I don't follow the checklist I get overwhelmed and I forget things! Plus it makes it easier to think of one task at a time instead of rethinking of the same task over and over, only to forget it eventually! In the beginning I suggest you use 3 pages for the morning, afternoon, and bedtime routines so your eyes will have less to be visually overwhelmed by.

Now, you will undoubtedly question the method to a few of these things. One thing to know is that spending just 2 minutes tackling a pile on your counter may not clear it away completely but it is a start and I can assure you that 2 minutes every day is better than no minutes at all. It will slowly decrease and you will start to see results and THEN you may be motivated to dedicate 5 minutes instead of just 2. Just take baby steps and believe that you don't have to do it all at once. You have to start somewhere. Small steps lead to bigger steps and before you know it, if you do your checklists every single day, you will see results. It will feel fantastic.

You're not going to finish it all.  Not today, anyway.

If something on these lists doesn't apply to you, remove them. If everything on these lists applies to you that is very creepy. Perhaps we should meet? Anyway...you have to make it your own so copy, paste, print, and use a pencil to add in things and cross off things for a week until you get your final routine figured out. At that time you can reprint your final official list. The best thing about this is that you can adjust the lists as need be depending on if the kids are in school, on break, etc.

Here is a basic copy of my daily routine checklists.

Morning Checklist

 Wake up-make bed
 Wake Daughter 5am
 Fix her Breakfast
 Drink Water
 Eat Breakfast

 Wake the oldest 5:30
 Give him his meds
 Feed the oldest
 Kids Uniform Check

 Take Shower
 Get dressed

 Start washing bedding
 Clean the Master vanity & toilet

 Wake the middle boy 6am
 Give the middle boy Meds
 Feed the middle boy
 Put clean dishes away
 Load dishwasher

 Sign school planner
 Sign reading logs
 Clean the hall vanity and toilet

 Pack moms lunch
 Print reports
 Check e-mail
 SYL Check-in
 TOAO Check-in
 Camera battery & SD card

It may seem daunting to wake-up and serve 4 kids at 4 different times, but it works for us. We have 3 different busses to catch, and this gives me a small bit of one on one time with each child to help the kids start the day off! I usually cook the breakfast all at once, and just serve it in shifts.

Afternoon routine

 Fold/sort Laundry in dryer
 Load bedding into dryer
 Start new load of laundry

 Dinner prep.
 Drink water
 Check e-mail
 SYL Check-in
 TOAO Check-in
 Kids chore charts
 Homework w/kids
 Set Table
 Prepare dinner
Zone cleaning (15 mins)
 Work on one pile of clutter (5 mins)
 Pick up in the messiest room (5 mins)
 Walk around and pick up all trash, recycling,  (5 mins)
 Work on Power Hour checklist (More on this another time. It's basically like which room gets vacuumed on which day, and whose room gets dusted each day)

Evening routine

 Put laundry in dryer
 Load and start dinner dishes
 Shine sink!
 Fold/sort laundry
 Put laundry away

 7:30 bath routines
 Kids brush teeth
 Set out school clothes
 Sign planners & logs

 Charge home phone
 Charge cell phones
 charge camera batteries
 Check alarms are set/on

 Brush teeth
 Drink 16oz. water
 Check calendar
 SYL Check-in
 TOAO Check-in
 Blog post? <--see that question mark? That's is why I rarely get around to blogging. I need to change that!