Wednesday, June 5, 2013

30 for 30: Day 25

Hey - did you know that some 3 year olds don't sleep through the night?  Heh, heh, heh...I sometimes I forget how great my kids sleep.  Until I hear other parents talk about their children's sleeping habits - then I count my lucky stars.  My random act for the day was comforting a little sleepless 3 yr. old while his mommy was at the hospital having a baby.

As it turns out, we were on overnight duty for my friend's little boy while she was at the hospital.  SLUMBER PAR-TAY!  Well...not so much slumber, but definitely a whole lot of party.  I had a youth group activity that night, so Kenta was at home alone putting the kids to bed. However, when I came home at 9:00 p.m., all the kids were still awake in their room.  By the time I went up a few minutes later, Thomas had finally conked out, but Abby and our little friend were still going strong.  Somersaults are incredibly fun on a floor mattress, didn't you know?

Anyway, once I separated the two and sent them to their respective beds, it was quite clear that this little guy was sad and missing his mama.  I sang him some songs and rubbed his back and he was soon asleep.

Victory!  I said to myself.  That was easy!  All the kids are asleep and I will sleep wonderfully tonight!  Bahahaha!!  Famous last words, right?

Ha!  Not so much.  At 4:00 a.m., I was woken up by the sound of not one, but TWO crying boys knocking on the door.  As I shook off sleep, I realized Caroline was sleeping next to me and remembered that at some point in the middle of the night, she had gotten up and I got up with her and brought her to bed.  I woke Kenta up to either grab the boys or Caroline (at this point both Abby and Caroline were still asleep....and I wanted it to stay that way).  So ran off to put the boys back in bed while I put Caroline in her crib.  Then I went into the kids' room.  Thomas and his friend were back in bed, but not back to sleep yet.  Our little pal was crying that he missed his mommy and Thomas was crying because his friend missed his mommy.

So, I once again began soothing the little guy back to sleep.  It took a bit longer, but he finally quieted down and fell asleep.  I had *almost* made it out the door when I heard,

"Mommy...I'm hungry."

Doh!  NO!!!  The sun's not even up! Go back to sleep!  I thought to myself.  I was desperate for more sleep myself at this point, so I climbed in with Thomas and snuggled with him.  Thankfully, he forgot his hunger and fell back asleep.

45 minutes after the first knock, I was back in bed.

I wish I could say that everyone slept in and I recovered from the chopped up night of sleep....but I did not.  Not gonna lie.  It was a rough, rough day.  But you know what?  I was happy to do it.  Happy to help a friend in need.  And her little guy was a TROOPER.  He hadn't ever done a sleepover before and he was superb.  A little sadness is totally normal.  But he fell back asleep both times.  And was the only one that slept in in the morning.  Go figure.  No matter how sleep-deprived, my kids are allergic to sleeping in.  Just like their mom.

But as rough as my night was, my friend had it rougher - she delivered an ELEVEN pound baby!  Wow!  I mean every word of it when I say I got the better end of it last night.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

30 for 30: Day 24

I got a little over my head with today's random act of kindness!  Thank goodness for kind neighbors who are ready and willing to lend a helping hand.  It really does take a village sometimes!

I had offered up my services to an expectant friend of mine in town who was due any day with a baby. Our circle of friends is close - but shrinking!  So many wonderful people have been moving away.  Anyhow.....because of that, we are a little "short-staffed" when it comes to the emergency "oh-my-gosh-I'm-in-the-hospital-having-a-baby-and-need-someone-to-take-my-kids!!!!" department.  This particular friend was *positive* baby was going to hold out and wait for Grandma to show up from Korea.  As I'm quite familiar with, baby had plans of her own.  She wanted to already get acquainted with the world before Grandma came.  So, my friend sent out a few frantic texts trying to find someone to meet her daughter off the bus and take her kids for the evening.  Lucky for her, I've SO been in that Waiting For Baby mode (and recently!), so I remember the stress of it.  I was only too happy to help.  And lucky for me, I have an AWESOME neighbor that was willing to sit with sleeping kiddos so I could shuttle my friends' kids around.

Like I said - it takes a village.  And I overcame my fear of asking for help.  Like, I was ready to wake up two sleeping girls and drag them with me and thought, "Nah.  That's stupid".  And my neighbor is always offering to help.  So maybe it was a kind gesture toward her as well?  I don't know.  I was just grateful to be able to help a friend in need!

Monday, June 3, 2013

30 for 30: Day 23

Another thank you note day!

This time I changed it up a bit and wrote a note to a parent that I felt was truly supportive of their daughter and her involvement in church youth activities.  As a parent, I know my kids save some of their worst behavior (and best....I get to see the best of them, too) for me.  Sometimes it's hard for me to remember just what great kids they are, especially after a particularly difficult day.

I imagine this will continue through their teenage years and beyond.  Because parents see the best AND the worst, it's sometimes easy for them (us!) to forget just how good they are.  This particular parent really has done a great job with their child.  She is so kind and conscientious.  She's always seeking out that one person that may be feeling a little left-out or excluded and wrapping their arms around them (literally and figuratively) to help them feel welcomed and accepted.  And she is fabulous with kids.  Mine just adore her. It's just amazing to see her in action.  I'm sure much of that comes by nature, but I know enough to know that a lot of that is taught at home.

I usually don't know much about what happens after I send out one of my thank you notes, but I did get a "thank you for your thank you note" from this parent.  I think they were really surprised by it.  And, according to the daughter - it completely made their day!  Yay!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

30 for 30: Day 22

Back to my old thank you note trick today.  You can only take so many artistic pictures of thank you notes on I just skipped the photographic documentation.

Today's thank you note recipient was another young woman that I work with in our church youth program.  Do you know people who do wonderful, thoughtful things, but kind of fly under the radar and probably don't receive any kind of recognition for it?  That's what this sweet girl is like.  She's just always thinking of others and always wants to help and be a friend.  It truly makes my job as their mentor easier, knowing that she is reaching out to the other girls and lifting them up.

I'm really, really grateful she is a part of our group.  I know how much the other girls love her.  And I love her, too.  So, I let her know it.  Of course. :)

Friday, May 31, 2013

30 for 30: Day 20

Sometimes a random act of kindness can be as easy as giving up something you love FOR someone you love even more.

Went to a baby shower tonight.  Someone had brought the most delicious chocolate covered strawberries.  Kenta and I had made a pact that tonight we could break our month-long drought of sweets.  When it was time to leave the shower, someone had placed the very last strawberry on my empty cookie platter. looked so tantalizingly tasty.  And after a month of having to say NO to sweets, I was shoveling anything sweet within arm's reach down my gullet with reckless abandon.

But I saved it.  For Kenta.  Because I love him just that much.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

30 for 30: Day 19

We've lived in our house for over two years now.....and we barely know our neighbors.  Shame on us.  Other than the occasional  "hello!" when we see them outside, we've kind of been terrible about reaching out to them to get to know them.

No more!  We invited our next door neighbor over and had a great dinner and a lovely conversation with him.  He's an older, single man who has lived in his house for nearly three decades.  He fled WWII Greece as a young child and ended up seeking political asylum with his family in the northeastern United States.  He had such an interesting life and a truly, unique perspective (I mean, how many of us know WWII refugees?  Not that many any more), so to hear him talk about his childhood and coming to America was completely fascinating.  I want to know more people like him.  I want my children to know more people like him.  And I'm definitely kicking myself quite a bit now that we haven't invited him over sooner.  We'll definitely be making it a point to have him over more often!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

30 for 30: Day 18

Have you ever given a stranger a random compliment?  I try and do this as often as possible.  And I've found the best place to do this is the check-out line at the grocery store.

Does the cashier have a really cute pair of glasses?  I make sure and let her know.  Does the bagger have a really cool name on his name tag ?  I tell him so.  Why withhold a compliment?  I know I always feel a little bit better when someone says something nice to me.  Even if it's something as simple as, "hey - cute shoes!".  It always helps me lift my head a little higher and walk a little taller.  In fact, I was just discussing with a friend today how sometimes I will purposely dress nice on a day when I feel crappy because I'm counting on people complimenting me to help me feel better (high five, Jackie - great minds think alike).  Shallow?  Perhaps.  But it works.  Anyway.....

So, when I was at Costco today - with all three kids in tow - I found myself approaching the checkout line, groaning because there were a TON of people checking out at the same time as me.  But before I could get too grumpy about it, I remembered, "Hey!  This is COSTCO!  They get people through the lines quickly.  They are efficient and capable.  I'll be through the checkout line and out to the car in less than five minutes" (of course once I get to the car and get everyone settled in and all the groceries put away, that's like twenty more minutes...but I digress...).

Remembering how skilled the cashiers and "boxers" (no bags at Costco) are, I decided to let them know how thankful I was for how well they do their job.  They seemed a bit surprised by my praise - the cashier even laughed a little and said something like, "Well, it's not rocket science.  It's really easy to scan things..." - to which I replied, "No, no!  I've tried self-check out!  It's not as easy as it looks!"

Then she told me a secret.  Turns out self check-out is even screwy for the most skilled Costco employees.  Who knew?  So, don't think you are stupid if you have trouble working the self check-out.  They are fickle little things.  I felt about 95% better about myself after that conversation.  I always thought I was dumb because I suck at self check-out.

So we both left that little conversation feeling a little better about ourselves.  Win.