Archives for December 2012

New Year’s Resolutions: Trusting Your Family To Make Them For You

New Year’s Resolutions: Trusting Your Family To Make Them For You

2013

Do you trust your family to share their New Year’s resolutions for you?

Aren’t we all just a bit excited for the end of 2012 and the beginning of a new year? Recently, I seem to be focused on the necessary changes and improvements I plan to make in the coming year.  Like almost everyone else in the blog-o-sphere, I, too, have created a list of resolutions.

But I am NOT going to share them with you.  Aren’t I selfish!?!

This year I decided that my New Year’s resolutions were a bit tired (i.e. They haven’t changed much in the past few years). It is time to switch things up a bit and get some new ideas.  And who better to ask than the 2 people who may know me best: my husband and daughter? At dinner last night, I mustered up the courage and requested that Adam and K share with me their own resolutions for the New Year as well as those that they would like me to make.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the conversation:

Round 1: What are YOUR resolutions for yourself?

  • Daughter: To hang up my coat and practice my cello.  (Editors Note: While I applauded her for being so specific, I asked that she stretch the “hang up my coat” resolution to putting all of her clothes awaynot just her coat.)
  • Husband: To keep my things organized and clean so I can’t be accused of being messy. (Perhaps a direct dig at me for not being more organized and for being SO messy but I chose not to ask for clarification lest we get off topic.)
  • Me: To write at least one blog post every week and to be better organized. (Yes, this means get our files in order, shred those things that need to be shredded and get rid of the clutter in my office.)

Round 2: What are your resolutions for me?

  • Daughter: “Stop using your phone all of the time. Every time that I am at a skating lesson, and I look up to see if you are watching me, you are looking at your phone.  I want you to pay more attention to me and less to your phone.”  (Point made.) “Also, I think that you should read more.” In other words, she likes it when I read to her at night and would like that to continue.
  • Husband: Get your office in order and be more organized and on top of things. (Note: He wisely did not mention my blog. I guess he wanted to avoid arguments too.)

Round 3: (Now it was MY turn) What are my resolutions for each of them?

  • Daughter: Better time management. Having never taken a Franklin Covey class in her 9 years, she asked me to clarify.  I explained that I expected her to plan better so we weren’t chasing shoes, mittens, homework etc. moments before we were supposed to leave for school in the morning.
  • Husband: (Now here’s the shockerI could have chosen all sorts of things to ask him to do, like be less critical, help out morebut that’s not what I said.) “Stop and enjoy your life more.  Stop rushing to go from here to there and enjoy ‘the show.’”  The time flies by so fast and if he doesn’t take a moment, he is going to miss some of the greatest moments of his and our lives.  I know I sound a bit like Ferris Bueller but I think it’s important to remind our loved ones that they have permission to enjoy their lives too.

I am not sure if they felt it too, but I am confident that this was an important conversation for our family to have before we start a new year together. At least each one of us has an idea of what the other members of our troop want for us.  Clearly, I need to get it together and be more organized.  My daughter needs to be more proactive and plan better.  And my husband?  Well, he needs to take some time to relax, get off of his phone and take a few moments to enjoy the flurry of life’s activities.  Before we know it, things will change and we will miss these chaotic times.

Here’s my question for you: Are you brave enough to ask your family to share their resolutions for you?  You might be surprised, or even pleased, with what is shared.

Diary of A Wimpy Kid Rolls Into A Windy City Momma’s House

Diary of A Wimpy Kid Rolls Into A Windy City Momma’s House

That’s ME! I’m A WIMPY KID!

Greg Heffley and the Diary of A Wimpy Kid books invaded our house a few years ago and haven’t left.  Not just because my daughter is a HUGE fan of the series (which she is) but  simply because I LOVE the main character, Greg Heffley:

Greg is lazy, selfish and seldom shows any remorse for his wrongdoings. He is totally oblivious to his own character foibles and considers himself basically flawless in personality as opposed to those around him, albeit he does not always treat his family, friends, and schoolmates respectfully, particularly his best friend, Rowley Jefferson…

Greg’s sort of a “middle-school everyman” who faces the kinds of problems we’ve all encountered, like how to ask someone out on a date or addressing Mr. Jefferson as “the driver” because Greg wants to seem more impressive to his “date” than he really is.  As a once middle school student who could have also been described as “self-absorbed and somewhat clueless,” I recognize a kindred spirit and have been a Diary of a Wimpy Kid fan since the author, Jeff Kinney, was interviewed on Terry Gross’ show “Fresh Air” a few years ago for The Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.

The books are targeted towards middle school readers but in actuality appeal to just about anyone (sort of like the Harry Potter series). But unlike the Potter phenomena, Jeff Kinney’s books are really funny — the kind of funny where you have to take a break from reading because you’re laughing so hard that you are actually “snorting” to the point when tears and snot are running down your face, and you feel like you could actually throw up from laughing so hard.

To some adults, the books can be construed as stories in cartoon form: “graphic novels.”  So it’s natural that the Wimpy Kid books have drawn criticism from some teachers who would prefer that their students veer away from “picture books.”  From my perspective on the parental “slippery slope,” despite the (incredibly funny) cartoons, I still give the books a HUGE thumbs up!  My daughter’s READING for goodness sake!

So you could imagine how psyched my family was when we found out that not only were K, Adam and I  going  TO MEET one of our LITERARY and COMIC HEROS, JEFF KINNEY, but that we would also get 30 uninterrupted minutes for K to speak with him during his most recent book tour for the latest, and funniest, Diary of A Wimpy Kid book yet: The Diary of A Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel!  And we were able to video taped the interview for you!  (Did I yell that loud enough?)

My brilliant husband (how often do I refer to him like that?) suggested that K alert her 4th grade class that she was interviewing a famous author and ask that it pull together a list of AWESOME questions for K to ask him.

I think that it was one of the best discussions Jeff had all day!  Click on the link to see her great interview:

 

Amazing right?  K was able to ask all of her classmates questions and judging from the look of things, it appeared that Jeff Kinney was impressed with her professionalism and the caliber of the questions she asked him.

The latest installment of the Diary of A Wimpy Kid book came out in November and if you haven’t had a chance to read it (or any of the books), I absolutely encourage you to pick one up IMMEDIATELY.  I actually laughed out loud at some of the jokes.  And, sadly, I could relate to some of the (self made) messes that Greg creates for himself.  Also, check out the movies which were created based on the series’ characters.  We purchased them as soon as they came out on DVD and have enjoyed Greg’s and his friends adventures many times.  They make for great family night movie viewing.

The Third Wheel Bus

P.S.  Did I mention that the series makes a great holiday gift for your favorite 4th + grader?  Between the Sh*tty Moms Books for my sisters and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books for my younger nephews, I may already have my Holiday shopping done for the year! Of course,  all of these books, DVDs and, yes, games can be found on Amazon.com.

Finally, as Meredith Sinclair, one of the funniest and a most awesome moms and women around, puts it:

“Disclaimer: NONE of these brands, shops, sites, or products have paid me a red cent to promote them.  Nope, not one.”