Stress Release Saturday

“Stress Release Saturday”

Tweenie’s Greenies: Saturday Edition

Some people do triathalons in their spare time where they walk, bike and swim.  I also do triathalons.  They are just different in that they don’t ever include the biking and swimming part.  Sometimes they have eating involved.  Sometimes they have shopping involved.  Today however, my triathalon involved walking, picking and sleeping. 

Go to fullsize imageMy day began with walking in the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure.  As a group, a few of us from our Mom’s Club walked/ran in this great cause supporting breast cancer research/awareness.  My sister and I have walked every year for about 7 years now making it a tradition.  It was great to join up with some friends and make it a fun and inspirational morning.  We have all been affected by breast cancer in some way and it’s amazing to celebrate victories over this horrible cancer as well as honor those who have passed after fighting valiantly.

When we got back to the house, we decided to make some great memories as a family.  The race reinforced the fact that Go to fullsize imageevery day is precious and should be celebrated.  So, as a family and along with my sister, we trooped out the door and piled into the car to go to a local apple orchard.  This orchard is always fun as it has trees that can easily be reached for picking with the kids.  There is also a fun little area where kids can pet a calf, rabbits, chickens, goats and little kittens.  It’s a great way to spend an absolutely beautiful fall day in Michigan.  Who can beat the sunny 70 degree weather we have been having??  We ended our trip by taking some pics of the kids in the pumpkin field and then eating some absolutely delicious cider donuts and cider at the little orchard store.  Yum!  The donuts alone made it worth the drive.

To further celebrate my Stress Release Saturday, I layed down in a little patch of sun on the floor like a cat and fell asleep (of course, who can fight the warm cozy effects of laying in the sun?)  Well, I ended up sleeping not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 hours!!  Thank goodness for a very kind and loving husband who understands that by the end of the week, I am exhausted!  You can’t release any stress until you restore your body with some good old fashioned sleep.

I finished off the day with a little blogging.  But you would never guess it because it took me until Sunday to finally complete this post thanks to the snoozers again!


Stress Release Saturday

If you read my previous post, you know that I had a somewhat stressful week.  Today, I decided to perform my own therapy.  My usual haunt for destressing is the flower beds around our house.  They are nothing awe inspiring, but I love that I can form a plan for how I want them structured and then follow that plan until completion.  Great for the control aspect of my personality.  Gardening also allows me to dig, hit, and rip things apart without guilt.  Truly a stress release.  Seeing as how I have about a million different plans for my gardens and that these plans vary from year to year, my gardens are definitely always a work in progress. 

Today, I decided that I was going to rearrange and add rocks to a couple of my front flower beds.  My in-laws came by a couple nights ago and dropped off a bunch of rocks for this purpose.  You would have thought they had brought me a bag of gold, I was so excited!  Rocks are outrageously expensive if you actually purchase them and I can’t bring myself to buy a rock so I mooch them off of other people.  I even have my hubby bring them home from work sites when he goes out into the field (a benefit of being married to a geologist). 

Anyway, to make a long story short.  I left the kids inside with Tomas and I ventured into the front yard.  What I accomplished is pictured below.  rocks

end rocks

 My stress releasing rock moving took about 2 hours.  Not because it was such hard work but I decided it would be in my best interest not to hurry the process.  I took a maximum of 2 rocks at a time from my pile at the side of the house.  One in each hand.  I evaluated each one for color, form and function.  Carefully lining up each rock, I was lost in thought.  I forgot about my troubles and woes and focused on these rocks.  I could have hurriedly used a wheel barrow to cart them over to the flower bed and slapped them down.  But that would have been more about production and not about enjoying this simple physical task.  By the end of it, I was satisfied and happy.  I felt like I had figuratively lined up my life and put it back into order.  I felt good!!  But I knew that I could feel even better, so I went inside and scooped a HUGE bowl of icecream.  Now, I am insanely happy and ready to begin blogging anew.  Watch out!



Go to fullsize imageSomehow, I didn’t really feel like to today was a stress release Saturday.  We woke up, got everyone ready to drive for one hour to my husband’s work picnic.  The picnic was fun with lots of good eats.  It was at a large park out in the boonies by a small lake.  The weather was perfect (if you were in the shade) and I got to catch up with all his co-workers and their spouses.  Everything was great, until the two boys disappeared. 

We knew they couldn’t have gone too far because we had been watching them.  Seriously, we were watching them.  I swear I don’t let me children wild.  It just sounds that way.  They simply rounded a patch of trees while chasing butterflies and disappeared.  Frantically, we ran over to the wooded area.  We screamed and yelled but with no result.  Then my hubby, Tomas, dove into the woods.  There were the boys still chasing their butterflies.  Oblivious to our fearful shouts and frantic searching, they sat in a circle of trees watching one of their favorite creatures with mouths open wide.

Although moments like these scare me half to death (maybe even 3/4 to death), I know that they weren’t trying to do wrong.  I don’t want to squash their wandering spirits or have them miss out on wondrous adventures because of my parental fears.  I struggle at times to balance their fierce independence with a bit of safe caution.   I constantly pray for balance, for patience, for safety, and for child leashes to be acceptable once again. 

Today is Stress Release Saturday!!  I got to sleep in until 9am today.  I am rejuvenated and spunky once again.  Unfortunately for my husband, the kids woke up at 6:30am.  They are all pretty sleepy yet today.  Zack is even taking a nap today and he NEVER asks to do that.  So with the 2 boys sleeping and my stud of a husband playing in a tennis tournament, I decided to try and get some things done.  I chose to work outside on this beautiful day.  I love to garden/work on the yard, so I could accomplish 2 things at once:  keeping the yard nice and keeping me relaxed on this GLORIOUS BLESSED day!  Can you tell I have more energy today by all the Caps and exclamation points?  I can’t figure out any other way to show you how great I feel.

I put little Gret in the Ergo carrier and set out into the yard.  We watered flowers and picked up dog poop.  We have 2 70-75 pound dogs in our busy little household so this is always a must do when you go out in the backyard.  I told you we have lots of poop issues in our home!  I then decided the lawn definitely needed to be mowed.  But I hate to use the gas powered lawn mower.  It scares me and the noise of it takes away all relaxation.  So, I pulled out my old friend, the reel mower.

We originally bought this mowing machine when we lived in Kalamazoo, MI.  Our yard was fairly small and we didn’t want to have to worry about getting gas, or the tune ups that go along with a gas powered mower.  Plus, since there is no gas, there is no contribution to the destruction of the ozone or local watershed.  Al Gore would be so proud!  So we got a little bit crunchier and got this mower.  All you have to do for maintenance is adjust the cutting level and sometimes sharpen the blades.  They are lightweight and easy to push.  Yes, our more “modern” neighbors would point and laugh.  Joking with us “Did you know they’ve improved those things?”  Our neighbors here do the same thing.  But I don’t care!  Whose going to be laughing all the way to the bank because they haven’t had to pay $3.20 a gallon for gas?  Me!

Anyway, I walked around the yard pushing the mower, enjoying the quiet whir of the blades as Gret snuggled peacefully in the carrier.   Could I look any crunchier than that!  I love it!  The yard is now neatly kept and green, the kids are still asleep (thanks to a quiet mower!) and I feel good about my little effort to help aid Mother Earth.  What a great Stress Release Saturday!  I am going to sit outside, read a book and appreciate the day!

Some Reel Mower Dealers/

You nearest home impovement store should also have reel mowers stocked.

Go to fullsize imageWhew, what a week!  It certainly flew by for me and the fam.  I kept the boys busy all week with a morning camp filled with crafts and fun activities.  I toted lil’ Gret around the whole week in my sling, running errands and chasing her sibs. (I sometimes wonder how the third child ever gets on a schedule when you are chasing the other nuts.)  We all tried to catch up and rest in the afternoons but it often didn’t happen.  Nighttimes were interrupted with nursing Gret and bad dreams from Anson or potty times from Zack. 

As you can imagine we all hit the wall today.  Exhausted by the week, we decided to forego the scheduled park playdate and stay home to regroup.  My kids gave me the signal when they were just laying in front of the TV this morning watching their fav morning show “Little Einsteins”.  There was none of the usual morning energy, none of the usual “What are we doing today Mom?”, just a zoned out tired look from the two boys.  Their motivation and patience was next to nothing and so was mine.  So, we stayed home and took some time to relax.

By the end of the week, my household is usually one tired mess.  I can’t wait for Saturday when the Hubby is home and we can all take a little break from the weekday grind.  Most times I am just glad that all my kids are stilled clothed and fed by the end of the week.  My favorite thing about weekends is that I get to sleep in on Saturday!!  My dear Husband usually helps me start the weekend with a little extra sleep.  It’s my stress release Saturday. 

I don’t know how I could survive life with three kids without this little bit of heaven every weekend.  Even if I only sleep in a 1/2hr to an hour longer, it’s a necessary break from the humdrum mornings when it’s just me and the kids.  I don’t know how your kids are, but my mornings start with a flurry of activity.  Cups of milk, diapers, Pull-Ups, Cereal, Toast, clothes, and Blankies are flying everywhere while I try to nurse lil’ Gret.  I get really annoyed by this routine in the morning.  I am definitely not a morning person.  So when I get a little extra time to collect myself before getting out of bed on Saturday, you better believe I enjoy every minute. 

I highly recommend setting up a regular day to get a little extra well deserved sleep or just some time alone.  Of course, you will need to make a deal with your spouse.  It’s never a one-way street.  They work hard as well.  My hubby takes “Sleep-In Sunday” as a trade off.  That way he can be well rested and revived for the office on Monday.   I can’t wait for tomorrow morning!!