Manic Monday Blogarrhea: 'Tis The Season...

  • of layering a little bit of every season into your attire because the day may begin winter, and end summer or vice versa.
  • for figuring out which TV shows you are going to stick with following the fall premiers.  (I'm for sure sticking with Up All Night and The New Girl. Person of Interest is turning my crank, too.)
  • for answering the question, "is it going to be Halloween soon?" Or, "can I wear my costume today?" Over, and over, and over, and over, and over...
  • for chili. 
  • for chilly.
  • for wondering if this will be the last day that the leaves fall, or the first day the snow will fall.


Food For Thought Friday: To Celebrate?

It's a big weekend here at the Lindstrom house! The Human Cannonball turns FIVE tomorrow!  Party preparations are underway, and each morning we excitedly announce the countdown, I am not quite sure that I have adequately wrapped my head around the fact that the Human Cannonball has been rocking my world for FIVE years.  To me, he's still my baby and I know he'll stay that in my heart forever.

I am a big birthday planner.  I like to throw parties. To be fair, I'll throw a party for any reason, it doesn't have to be a birthday or an anniversary.  One rainy day when the Twinstroms were just teeny bits, the Human Cannonball and I threw a "Surprise, We Love You" party for Mr. Lindstrom.  We just grabbed things around the house, making flowers from coffee filters, a banner with construction paper, we made a cake and decorated it with sprinkles, and threw together a special dinner just for daddy.  When he came home, we all shouted surprise, and surprised he was.  Who expects a party on any old rainy Tuesday? But, I believe we all deserve to be celebrated on occasion, celebrated just because we are who we are.

I used to work with someone who really felt that the world is excessive about birthday celebrations.  She thought the birthday celebration was "just dumb." She thought it was ridiculous to throw a party for someone "just for being born."  She was afraid of the message we give children by celebrating their birthday. She thought we were turning them into self absorbed, greedy creatures. I could not disagree more.  Throwing a party for someone's birthday says, "I'm glad you were born, the world is a different place because you are here, and I want to celebrate that!" What could instill more confidence than that.  Saying, "you are here for a purpose! We need you!" The birthday is a logical time to have a celebration, but I am of the opinion that we don't celebrate each other enough in this culture.

I think about all the bullies in the world who use their words to hurt other's because they are hurting themselves.  They could use a celebration of their gift to the world. Or the children who are being bullied, being told they are less than, let's celebrate their gift to the world.  I want my children to know that they are unique and special people. I want to celebrate that every year.  Of course, The Human Cannonball is looking forward to opening the gifts, he's looking forward to the cake, he's looking forward to having everyone's eyes on him, but I know that under all of that, he is feeling the generous love of all of us, knowing that life would have been much different (possibly boring) had he not graced us with his presence.

How do you feel about the birthday? Is it excessive? Or are you the celebrating type?

Food For Thought Friday is brought to you by the amazing folks at Welcome Baby Care. They are THE postpartum and newborn experts. Check out their website, and don’t forget to “like” them on Facebook to take advantage of all their knowledge. Also, be sure to follow babycaretweets on Twitter to receive news and ideas on newborn care and thoughts about parenting!


Things I Do When My Kids Aren't Home

  1. Watch adult television. Get your mind out of the gutter. I mean like The View, or The Nate Berkus Show.
  2. Think about cleaning.
  3. Imagine what my house would look like if I could have breakable precious things at eye level or below.
  4. Shower. For an hour. With no interruptions.
  5. Miss the heck out of my kids and wish they were home in our comfortable chaos!
What do you do in the rare occasion that you are home without kids?


Wordless Wednesday: Five

My little Swashbuckler turns FIVE on Saturday.  His story is so important to me. Read a little snippet at It's My Baby Blog, today. 


Manic Monday Bloggarhea: The Restaurant Edition

I am an enthusiastic supporter of restaurant dining.  What's not to like? Food, brought to you piping hot by a willing party, prepared by a trained professional. I mean, they do everything but feed me (wait, I feel a restaurant concept coming on...) However, I've spotted some faux pas in my restaurant travels which need to be brought to light:

1. The chip or bread to dip or spread ratio is generally off.  Too frequently we find ourselves having to ask for more chip or bread to go with the dip or spread. Why can't they just bring the appropriate amount in the first place? It would save the servers the time and energy of going back and forth to the kitchen.

2.  I don't know about you, but I rarely find an odd number of people sitting at a table when I dine out.  Usually  people dine in pairs, or even numbers.  So, why is it that so many appetizers are brought in odd portions? I can't tell you how often Mr. Lindstrom and I order some sort of starter and find three of it on the plate. I am confident that 99% of arguments that occur in restaurants are over that last egg roll.

3.  I don't mind when a server asks me if I've been to their establishment before.  Especially if the question is followed up with a simple, "well, welcome to ___." What really bugs me, though is when they follow it up with instructions on how to "use" their restaurant.  So, I may not have been to your restaurant before, but I have been to a restaurant before. Generally, the concept of ordering food and having it brought to my table is not foreign or complicated to me.

4. The only thing that's worse than that is when a server tries to shove the restaurant's interesting or new "concept" down my throat, I'm not really interested.  How about just make some good food?  If the food is good, I don't really care about the concept.  Actually, if the food is bad, I don't really care about the concept either.  I really only want to eat good food.  Good food kind of makes a restaurant succeed in my book.

Call me nitpicky, but this is the kind of stuff that occupies my mind.  I like to fixate on it when I can't handle the real stuff that is taking up my brain space.  If I were running for President, the issue I would support would be a regulation of the chip or bread to dip or spread ratio.  Think of how much happier we'd all be. World peace doesn't seem so far off now, does it?


Food For Thought Friday: Sticks and Stones

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." I remember singing this little rhyme to myself growing up. Trying to remind myself that words were not weapons.  As an adult, I have to tell you, I think this is a load of crap.

We always skip a page in one of the Human Cannonball's favorite books, "Fox In Sox." Page forty something.  Fox says to Mr. Knox, "...you don't have to be so dumb, now." Last night, as I read him the book, partly because he can sound out words these days, and partly because he has a memory like you wouldn't believe (especially for rhyme) and inevitably has picked it up when his dad or I have accidentally dropped it, he pointed to the word and said, "Mom, that says 'dumb', why don't you read that page?"  I told him that the word "dumb" isn't a kind word, and I don't want him using it.

I didn't tell him that I remember just about every person in this world who called me "dumb" or some variation.  So many people, hurling the insult effortlessly like a ninja, my brother, my father, a teacher, kids in the schoolyard, a neighbor that I looked up to, and more recently anonymous emailers who are not creative enough to come up with a legitimate particle of constructive criticism, all confirming a fear that I held about myself.  I am dumb.  Words DO hurt.

Now, do I actually think I am dumb? No.  I know I am not dumb.  I'll spare you the list of my successes, but I will tell you, a "dumb" person would never have accomplished all of this. But the words left their mark. What if people think I'm dumb? I hate feeling misunderstood.

As an adult, I understand that what we are trying to teach our children when we say "words will never hurt me," is that what other people think of you is no match for what you KNOW about yourself.  Words, even ones that are meant to hurt, cannot break your strong spirit.  We tell them this, and simultaneously try to instill the value of not using their words to hurt others.  There are adults who cannot reconcile this, how do we expect our children to?  Words DO hurt.

There are bullies everywhere, at the grocery store, at your work, in your churches, hiding behind their computer screens, reading this very blog (and likely getting ready to comment under the ever-popular moniker "anonymous"). Here is what I know about these bullies, they use words that hurt because they don't feel very good about themselves.  Their hurtful words say nothing about you, they say EVERYTHING about them.  This is a lesson I'd like my kids to learn sooner rather than later, but frankly, I'd rather people were just nice to each other so that I didn't have to teach them the lesson at all.  Words DO hurt, and sometime it can take a lifetime to undo their damage.

Food For Thought Friday is brought to you by the amazing folks at Welcome Baby Care. They are THE postpartum and newborn experts. Check out their website, and don’t forget to “like” them on Facebook to take advantage of all their knowledge. Also, be sure to follow babycaretweets on Twitter to receive news and ideas on newborn care and thoughts about parenting!


Food For Thought Friday: The Biggest Challenge Can Be The Strongest Gift

I'm pretty sure I was a challenging child. Emotions that tended toward the dramatic, an enthusiastic storyteller who would often fool people into thinking that my stories were true, an ever moving mouth spilling my thoughts in a constant loop, an independent spirit with an itch to move constantly (I filled every open space with movement). I sometimes imagine what it may have been like to parent me. Then I need a nap.  I don't think anyone ever had a conversation with my parents about medicating me because of my "challenges."  

Now I am grown, my emotions give me sufficient fodder for a blog where I tell my true stories of life, my constant moving mouth has given way to a career in talk radio, my itch to move constantly led me to dance classes and ultimately to a major in dance, with a special talent in choreography (filling space with movement).  When my mom was up to her eyeballs in my "challenges" when I was a child, she didn't know the end of the story (and believe me, we're only in the middle of the story...)

We know enough to be dangerous these days, we have plenty of labels that we can slap on kids and then we can react to them accordingly.  We use them to write children off, excuse their difficult behavior, and find order in the difficult world of child rearing.  I shudder to think of what labels would have been applied to me when I was a child.

The world lost a very important man last week.  Dr. Peter Benson. I am lucky to have known him in life. He is the father of one of my dearest friends.  His legacy is the concept of the Spark. Each child has within them a spark, when it is ignited they shine so bright.  I have a spark, you have a spark, the person behind the counter at the coffee shop has a spark, the person in the car next to you has a spark, each of us, our own unique spark.  When we harness the energy of the spark, we are unstoppable.  My "challenges" were my sparks.

I am an extremely involved parent. I actively pursue education about parenting methods so that I can parent to my unique children. I don't want my children's lives to be easy, but I want their interactions to be comfortable. The Human Cannonball is aptly named, he takes the world by storm. To be frank, I am tired of implications that there may be something "wrong" with him from teachers and other parents alike. I'm not saying that there aren't challenges, or that I should not pursue avenues to help manage and teach different behaviors, I am saying that there is so much focus on what's "wrong" with our children, and not enough focus on what is RIGHT!  For each of us, our biggest challenges frequently turn out to be our strongest gifts. It's a long, winding road, but it doesn't have to be.  If we parent to our children's sparks, how can we go wrong?

What is your child's spark? What is your own spark? What were your "challenges" as a child, and how have they become your gifts?

Food For Thought Friday is brought to you by the amazing folks at Welcome Baby Care. They are THE postpartum and newborn experts. Check out their website, and don’t forget to “like” them on Facebook to take advantage of all their knowledge. Also, be sure to follow babycaretweets on Twitter to receive news and ideas on newborn care and thoughts about parenting!


Wordless Wednesday: A Real Life Dog Whisperer

I see this guy walking all these big dogs in South Minneapolis all the time.  He's pretty amazing!


A Marathon of Manic Monday Blogarrhea

I LOVE Marathon day in Minneapolis.  It's like a holiday for me.  We skip church, eat a special breakfast, and plan to stand and clap for as long as we can.  I grew up one block off the marathon route (on about mile 9 or 10), and now again live one block off the marathon route (about mile 12.5). For those of you who aren't in the Twin Cities area, it is a well known fact that the Twin Cities Marathon route is one of the most beautiful 26 mile runs in the country.  Near the lakes, hugging Minnehaha Creek, and alongside the powerful waters of the Mississippi, all on a crisp fall day when the leaves are really beginning to turn.  It almost makes me wish I liked to run. Almost.

The Marathoners begin in downtown Minneapolis, weave through the natural beauty of the Minneapolis parkways, and then cross the river into St. Paul absorbing the historic beauty there. One time, I watched the Marathon at mile 23. It was frightening.  I mean that in the kindest way possible.  In Minneapolis, the Marathon runners look like anything is possible, in St. Paul, they begin to show the wear and tear.  I haven't crossed the river to watch since.  Two words have kept me from doing so, bloody nipples.

Each year I forget how emotional I get when I watch the Marathon. For the bulk of the runners (save for the ones who have already finished the whole darn thing before the largest pack have even hit the 10 mile mark - those are the pros) this is a true test of what they are made of.  It usually began as a nagging thought, or a casual proclamation, maybe arose from a conversation with a friend who issued a challenge. It started as a goal. I feel geekily privileged to have the opportunity to watch people realize a huge goal like that.  So while I'm clapping my hands loudly and hollering at people who are going for a really long run, the second I realize what they are really doing, how big this moment actually is, I kind of tear up. Okay, I flat out cry.

Imagine how awesome it would be to have a street full of strangers cheering for you every time you went out to accomplish a huge goal.  The person who cut you off on the highway and then flipped you a rude gesture the other day could easily be standing at mile 25 shouting words of support at YOU. Everyone loves each other on Marathon Day!  It almost makes me wish I liked to run.  Almost.

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