“No more excuses.”

346 days of not yelling, 19 days of loving more to go!
Favorite Song Friday #??!

Dear Orange Rhinos,

This is one of my favorite workout songs. It get’s me, well going! The message is simple and totally applies to this challenge. The lyrics are below with my thoughts in parentheses enjoy and well, LET’s GO! No more excuses.

Cheers,
The Orange Rhino

(P.S. To see my other Favorite Song Fridays look in the far left column of my blog and they are under the Category “Favoring Songs.”)

*

Let’s Go by Calvin Harris

Let’s go!
Make no excuses now
I’m talking here and now
I ’m talking here and now
Let’s go!
Your time is running out
Let’s go!
I’m talking here and now
I’m talking here and now
It’s not about what you’ve done 
(you yelled in the past, it’s the past)
It’s about what you doing
 (you’re working on changing)
It’s all about where you going
 (the future with less yelling is yours!)
No matter where you’ve been
Let’s go!
Let’s go!

Let’s go!, Let’s go!, Let’s go!…
There ain’t no better time
I’m talking here and now
 I’m talking here and now 
(the support is here)
Let’s go!
Right now is where you shine
 (trust me, by even following this blog and pondering change, your shining)
I’m talking here and now
I’m talking here and now
It’s not about what you’ve done
It’s about what you doing
It’s all about where you going
No matter where you’ve been
Let’s go!
Let’s go!

Let’s go!, Let’s go!, Let’s go!…
Let’s make it happen… (BELIEVE in yourself to make it happen!)

 

I am a Fighter.

332 days without yelling, 33 days of loving more to go!

Dear Orange Rhinos,

Some of you have probably shared a goal with friends and family this week about no more yelling. And I’m guessing from personal experience that the following may have happened:

You were told that your goal of no more yelling is crazy. You were told you don’t stand a chance. You were told, by yourself, that you should just quit and give up. And so I am going to tell you otherwise.

You aren’t crazy. You do stand a chance, a gigantic chance. And don’t quit when you slip, remember that you haven’t failed, you have just fought to show your kids you love them so and you are ready to try again.

Because YOU ARE A FIGHTER. You are fighting to be the best mom you can be in any moment. You are fighting to change, which is brave and admirable and amazing. You are fighting to prove to yourself that you can do hard things, even when you and the world think you can’t.

YOU ARE A FIGHTER. You are doing this for the kids, for yourself. You are gonna turn heads this year as you change. You are going to make other parents stop and think, “wow, that mom handled that situation really well. And without yelling.”

It is Friday, a day when I share a favorite song that has rocked my world and kept me going during this challenge. I LOVE this song. I’ve highlighted the lines that really spoke to me and inspired me. Read the words and listen to the song; maybe even add it to a playlist.

And remember, I am fighting right along side with you. If you feel like throwing the towel in, if it has been one jab too many, email me and I’ll help you get back up.

The Orange Rhino

*

The Fighter by Gym Class Heroes.
(Original lyrics. My additions are in parentheses. The actual song can be played after the lyrics and you can find two other Favorite Songs that I love.)

Yeah!
Just waking up in the morning
And to be well, (and to get through the day without losing it)
Quite honest with ya,
I ain’t really sleep well
Ya ever feel like your train of thought’s been derailed? (yes, always)
That’s when you press on – Lee nails
Half the population’s just waitin to see me fail
Yeah right, you’re better off trying to freeze hell
Some of us do it for the females
And others do it for the retail

But I do it for the kids, life threw the towel in on
Everytime you fall it’s only making your chin strong
And I’ll be in your corner like mick, baby, til the end
Or when you hear a song from that big lady

Until the referee rings the bell
Until both your eyes start to swell
Until the crowd goes home
What we gonna do ya’ll?

Give em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live life til we’re dead.
Give me scars, give me pain.
Then they’ll say of me, say of me, say of me.
There goes the fighter, there goes the fighter
Here comes the fighter
That’s what they’ll say of me, say of me, say of me,
This one’s a fighter

And if I can last thirty rounds
There’s no reason you should ever have your head down
Six foot five, two hundred and twenty pounds
Hailing from rock bottom, loserville, nothing town

Text book version of a kid going nowhere fast
And now I’m yelling “kiss my ass”
It’s gonna take a couple right hooks, a few left jabs
For you to recognize you really ain’t got it bad

If you fall pick yourself up off the floor (get up)
And when your bones can’t take no more (c’mon)
Just remember what you’re here for
Cuz I know Imma damn sure (MY KIDS)

Give em hell, turn their heads

Here comes the fighter (THAT’s YOU!)
That’s what they’ll say of me, say of me, say of me,
This one’s a fighter

‘Til the referee rings the bell
‘Til both ya eyes start to swell
‘Til the crowd goes home,
What we gonna do kid? (We’re gonna do this. It’s gonna be hard. We’re gonna wanna quit. We’re gonna fall down. But we’re gonna get up. And try again. It will be a process. But we’ll get there. Every moment is a win. Every MOMENT is a way.)

Here are my two other Favorite Song Fridays:
Seasons of Love (click here)
Just know you’re not alone(click here)

 

“Catching my breath, letting it go”

318 days without yelling, 47 days of loving more to go!
Favorite Song Friday #8

Dear Bronchitis,

This week I literally couldn’t catch my breath. My lungs felt cracked, stepped on making it so hard to breathe, so hard to catch my breath, so hard to talk. Was it you causing me the pain? Or was it the world around me, the terror, the fear, the sadness? Yes, I believe the world suffocated me this week leaving me breathless and speechless more so than you. My anger that the purity of Newtown was taken, my disbelief over what the world is becoming, my pain for all my friends and families and Newtown, oh all of it left me unable to breathe. Yes, my emotions suffocated me this week. But it is time to let go. It is time to remember the beauty of Newtown, it is time to look for love, and it is time to move forward. It is time to catch my breath and it is time for the antibiotics to kick in!!!

I’m letting go.
The Orange Rhino

*

Photo Courtesy 25daysofkindness.com

Today’s chosen song is appropriate this week as I move on from Newtown but But it has inspired me numerous times on this challenge. Parenting is HARD and OVERWHELMING. The thought of not yelling is hard and overwhelming. There are literally moments during the day when I get all worked up and can’t catch my breath. Moments where I can’t let go of my child’s behavior, I can’t let go off trying to achieve everything on the to-do list, I can’t let go of a disagreement with my husband, I can’t let go of the frustration of feeling like I don’t know how to parent. During these moments I just want to SCREAM!

But I must not. I must let go of the frustration at that moment so that I can catch my breath and re-focus on the love that is all around. When I hear this song I truly stop and take a deep breath. And it helps. And then often, though I am embarrassed to admit it, I end up with the darn chorus from the song in my head ALL DAY LONG. And I hum it all day long. But you know what? It helps.

Many of us will celebrate Christmas in a few days and all of us have kids home for vacation. This week will be joyful and also full of hyper. When I feel like I am overwhelmed, I will stop and sing this song. Especially the parts in bold. Happy Friday!

Catch my Breath by Kelly Clarkson
(words in parentheses are my addition)

I don’t wanna be (alone)…
Distance was a friend of mine…(I much preferred to not share my feelings for fear of judgment!)
I’ve spent most of my life…
Learning how to react
I’ve spent most of my time

(Pre-Chorus)
Catching my breath, letting it go, turning my cheek for the sake of the show
Now that you know, this is my life, I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right

(Chorus)
Catch my breath, no one can hold me back, I ain’t got time for that
Catch my breath, won’t let them let me down, it’s all so simple now

Addicted to the love I found (in my family, my friends, my Orange Rhino community)
Heavy heart, now a weightless cloud
Making time for the ones that count
I’ll spend the rest of my time
Laughing hard with the windows down
Leaving footprints all over town
Keeping faith when it comes around
I will spent the rest of my life

(Pre-Chorus)
Catching my breath, letting it go, turning my cheek for the sake of this show
Now that you know, this is my life, I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right

(Chorus)
Catch my breath, no one can hold me back, I ain’t got time for that
Catch my breath, won’t let them let me down, it’s all so simple now
You helped me see
The beauty in everything (you, as in my readers, thank you)…

 

“Seasons of Love.”

314 days without yelling, 51 days of loving more to go!
Favorite Song Friday #7

Dear Newtown, CT:

I dedicate this Favorite Song Friday to you. I hope that you soon find peace in the loving moments shared with your lost ones. Until that moment, know that you are surrounded by love. Everywhere.

All my love,
The Orange Rhino

*

As soon as I hit publish on ‘Tis the Season for Giving…or Yelling? my mind was full of the notion of giving love to my boys. This song immediately popped into my head. I knew it MUST be the song I shared for Favorite Song Friday; the words were just too perfect. I planned to post it about 1:00 when the kids were all having quiet time.

But I never posted it. Instead I urgently called my friend in Newtown, CT to make sure all her children were safe, to see if she was holding up as well as one could expect, to ask if there was anything I could do. I then cried with her and for her, for all of Newtown. We wondered how will Newtown move on? Will Newtown ever recover? How will the lives lost be remembered?

It wasn’t an easy conversation. And I haven’t stopped crying since. And then I played this song and the crying stopped. I finally felt “some” resemblance of peace, some sense of hope because it gave me some sort of “plan” for moving on. I thought the lyrics were perfect before…well now they are eerily perfect, in the most wonderful way.

Enjoy the lyrics, feel the lyrics, think about how it applies to The Orange Rhino Challenge, how it applies to life, how it applies to Newtown. Then listen to the song. I love this song not just for the lyrics, but for its incredible ability to get inside my soul and move me, to get inside my soul and make me sing out loud wherever I am. I hope you have the same experience.

Yelling less, loving more, one MINUTE or moment at a time.

“Seasons of Love” from the RENT soundtrack.
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Moments so dear
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure – Measure A Year?
In Daylights – In Sunsets
In Midnights – In Cups Of Coffee
In Inches – In Miles
In Laughter – In Strife

In – Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure A Year In The Life?

How About Love?
How About Love?
How About Love?
Measure In Love
Seasons of Love.
Seasons of Love.

Joanne:
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Journeys To Plan
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure The Life Of A Woman Or A Man

Collins:
In Truth That She Learned Or In Times That He Cried
In Bridges He Burned Or The Way That She Died

All:
It’s Time Now – To Sing Out
Though The Story Never Ends
Let’s Celebrate
Remember A Year In The Life Of Friends

Remember the Love
Remember the Love
Remember the Love
Measure In Love

Joanne:
Oh you got to you got to remember the love,
You know that love is a gift from up above
Share love, give love, spread love
Measure, measure your life in love.

Click here to read about my other post, What Happens when your Mantra fails you, written in response to the tragedy at Newtown, CT. 

“I’m not afraid”

304 days without yelling, 61 days of loving more to go!
Favorite Song Friday #6 

Dear Eminen,

I can NOT believe I am quoting you on my blog. I do not consider myself one who likes rap. At all. In fact, I strongly dislike most of it (and most of your lyrics in this song for that matter!) But back in January when I just started this Challenge, I heard this song on the radio and it has stuck with me since. So much of it resonated with where I was at before, where I was then, and where I have been since. I received a lot of doubt when I shared this idea of mine (understandably) and have since received a fair amount of criticism: you’re a lazy parent for not yelling, your kids are not doubt spoiled by your “softness.” This song reminds me to disregard the doubt and the criticism. To stand strong. To not be afraid. To shoot for the moon.

Word?
The Orange Rhino

*

Eminen, “I’m Not Afraid” <no video as it was um, too, um, colorful?! But hopefully you know the tune and can hum along.>

Lyrics first, followed by my “interpretation”

I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid.
To take a stand, to take a stand…
Yeah, it’s been a ride
Everybody, everybody, I guess I had to,
Come take my hand, come take my hand,Go to that place to get to this one.
We’ll walk this world together through the storm. Now some of you.
Whatever weather, cold or warm. Might still be in that place.
Just lettin’ you know that you’re not alone. If you’re tryin’ to get out.
Holla if you feel like you’ve been down the same road.
Just follow me, I’ll get you there.


‘Cause ain’t no way I’ma let you stop me from causing mayhem
When I say I’ma do something, I do it, I don’t give a damn what you think
I’m doin’ this for me… I’ma be what I set out to be, without a doubt, undoubtably
And all those who look down on me, I’m tearing down your balcony
No if, ands, or buts, don’t try to ask him why or how can …
I’m not afraid, I’m not afraidTo take a stand, to take a standEverybody, everybodyCome take my hand, come take my hand…
And to the fans, I’ll never let you down again, I’m back…
All I’m tryin’ to say is get back, click clack, pow’ Cause I ain’t playin’ around, it’s the game called circlin’ I don’t know how, I’m way too rough to back down…
And I just can’t keep living this way
So starting today, I’m breaking out of this cage
I’m standing up, I’ma face my demons I’m manning up, I’ma hold my ground
I’ve had enough, now I’m so fed up
Tryin’ to put my life back together right now
It was my decision to get clean, I did it for me
Admittedly, I probably did it subliminally for you…you helped see me through
And don’t even realize what you did, believe me you
…’Cause the way I feel, I’m strong enough to go to the club Or the corner pub and lift the whole liquour counter up’ Cause I’m raisin’ the bar, I shoot for the moon But I’m too busy gazin’ at stars I feel amazin’ 

*

I’m not afraid … to stand up and say that I think we can parent and discipline without yelling. I’m not afraid to try and change. Perhaps afraid it will be hard and I’ll “fail” but that ain’t gonna stop me.

Come take my hand … we will learn to change together. Sincerely. Together. This isn’t my challenge, my blog, it is all ours.

Holla if you feel like you’ve been down the same road … PLEASE HOLLA LOUDLY! We all feel better when we know we aren’t the only ones struggling. Holla loudly and find comfort!

When I say I’m gonna do something … please just believe in me, don’t belittle me and P.S. if you do belittle me, it just fires me up to do even better.

I just can’t keep living this way … feeling awful that I scream so, hiding my shame and struggles. I want to be free.

I’m breaking out of this cage, starting today … And taking on The Challenge!

You helped see me through … all 630 of you! and gratitude ain’t even the word.

I’m shooting for the moon…and I feel amazin’ … because taking a stand, trying to change, pushing through, seeing the stars, feels beyond amazin’!

“When times get rough, you can fall back on us”

282 days without yelling, 83 days of loving more to go!
Favorite Song #4

Dear Peter Gabriel,

I still sing and smile and remember when I was a teenager who dreamed about a boy showing up to her window with a boombox whenever I hear the song “In your eyes” from Say Anything. And now this song made me smile because it reminds me of a strong belief of mine, to not give up. Whatever the challenge, don’t give up…I hadn’t sung this song in ages but my post last night brough it right back. And the words couldn’t be more fitting.

Thank you,
The Orange Rhino

*

Don’t give up by Peter Gabriel

 

In this proud land we grew up strong
We were wanted all along
I was taught to fight, taught to win
I never thought I could fail

Dont give up
cos you have friends (right here Orange Rhinos!)
Dont give up
Youre not beaten yet
Dont give up
I know you can make it good

Dont give up
You still have us
Dont give up
We dont need much of anything
Dont give up
cause somewhere theres a place
Where we belong (it’s right here)

Rest your head
You worry too much
Its going to be alright
When times get rough
You can fall back on us
Dont give up
Please dont give up

cause you have friends
Dont give up
Youre not the only one (you are so not!)
Dont give up
No reason to be ashamed (none what so ever)
Dont give up
You still have us
Dont give up now
Were proud of who you are (I am amazed by anyone trying to be a better mother)
Dont give up
You know its never been easy
Dont give up
cause I believe theres the a place
Theres a place where we belong 

“I will survive!”

Friday’s Favorite Song #3…

Yesterday, after a mere two hours of being up with all my boys and a whopping 11 to go, I started writing an email to my husband. “Dear hubby, I don’t think I will survive this day.” Then I paused. I read my words and pressed delete. I realized that with that defeatist attitude, yeah, I wouldn’t survive, that my thoughts would indeed become reality. And then Gloria Ga

ynor popped into my head. Yes, this power outage is getting to me. Before I knew it I was humming…”I will survive. Hey hey!”

So there you have it, today’s song is “I Will Survive!” I am pretty sure we all know the words but just in case, here are a few key lines for you to hum on a bad day:

“…did I crumble \ Did I lay down and die \ oh not, not I! I will survive! \
Oh and as long as I know how to love I know I’ll stay alive \
I’ve got all my life to live, I’ve got all my love to give \ and I’ll survive! \
I will survive! Hey, hey! \ It took all the strength I had not to fall apart \ … \ And spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself. I used to cry! \ But now I hold my head up high. \ and you see me somebody new!

Happy Friday and weekend…you will survive!

To my Son: I won’t give up on us

258 days without yelling, 107 days of loving more!
Friday’s Favorite Song #2 

Dear Jason,

Thanks for writing this song. Whenever I hear it, even if intended for a girlfriend or something, I think of my son, of our relationship and am reminded not only to not give up, but more powerfully of just how deep my love for my son is. Even when the skies are rough. And let me tell you, my love for my son is deep. Sure he has thrown a thing or two at me, but it isn’t every day. He has phases – some days the skies are rough but most days they are beautiful. And when those days are beautiful they are as picture perfect as a sunrise. Look what my son drew on a peaceful, spur of the moment?

“A picture of a man walking on the beach at sunset.”

 

 

 

 

 

Or how about this flower, made orange just because of my blog?

 

 

 

 

 

Or how about that his favorite color is now orange, not red?

Yes, the skies can be rough, but they can also be breathtakingly beautiful. Beyond words. Because what comes with intense (negative) emotions are also intense positive emotions, like love and lots of it. My son loves me fiercely. His heart is bigger than what I imagined a kid’s to be. He has a grasp of empathy second to none.  And that is why I won’t give up on him, on us. Our love is too strong.

So thanks for the beautiful song; it’s touched my heart in a way you cannot imagine and that is why it is my Favorite Song this Friday.

Best,
The Orange Rhino

*
“I won’t give up” 
by Jason Mraz

When I look into your eyes
It’s like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
Well there’s so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you’ve come so far (you have my son, you have)
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?

I won’t give up on us (you and me kid, we can do this)
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up

And when you’re needing your space
To do some navigating (to learn how to handle yourself, to grow)
I’ll be here patiently waiting (when you need help, I’ll be here)
To see what you find

‘Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We’ve got a lot to learn (together, we’ll figure this out)
God knows we’re worth it
No, I won’t give up

I don’t wanna be someone who walks away so easily (and I won’t)
I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make
(however long it takes)
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use the tools and gifts
We got yeah we got a lot at stake
And in the end,
You’re still my friend at least we didn’t tend
For us to work we didn’t break, we didn’t burn
We had to learn, how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I got, and what I’m not
And who I am

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up
I’m still looking up

I won’t give up on us
God knows I’m tough, he knows
We got a lot to learn
God knows we’re worth it

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up…

Not sure what Favorite Song Friday is all about? Read here: You’re not Alone 

“Just know you’re not alone”

251 days without yelling, 114 days of loving more to go!
Favorite Song Friday #1


Dear Orange Rhinos,

I love music. The right song literally goes into my soul and brings me up when I am down, pushes me when I want to quit, makes me dance when I need to let loose, makes me sing when I want to yell. Yes, music has been a HUGE part of my learning not to yell. There are so many songs I hear that make me stop and think “wow, it’s like this song was written with The Orange Rhino Challenge in mind” or “wow, that song said exactly how I feel but couldn’t put into words.”

I realized that in all my blogging, I have done a lot of “phew I didn’t yell” and not as much “and this is what I did to not yell” or “this keeps me inspired to not quit” as I had hoped. I have been trying to think of ways to do so and voila! I got this new idea. I hope you like it because I am pretty jazzed about. Pun intended, remember, I am a total dork!

Starting today, I am going to TRY (time and parenting constraints permitting and unforeseeable circumstances!) and make Fridays my Favorite Song day. I will share a song that has inspired me, helped me, or just made me get dancing with my kids. If you have any songs that have done the same for you, please email me and I’ll look to include them.

Today’s song I LOVE. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Why? Because it is EXACTLY the message I want to send to all of you.

Have a listen to this video and then have a read below. The original lyrics are in black, my thoughts in orange, obviously!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HoRkntoHkIE

Home, by Philip Phillips

Hold on, to me as we go (yes we, this challenge isn’t just mine, it’s ours)
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home (My thoughts exactly. This Facebook page, my blog, I am going to make it your home. A place where you can come to when sad, lost, frustrated, happy. A place where you feel safe, happy, inspired, welcomed. Home is where the heart is.)

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons (ah, the demons that try and tell you that you can’t do this, that you can’t succeed ignore them, you can!)
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone (Orange Rhinos, you are not alone. You are not the only one who feels he/she yells too much. You are part of us, a community of parents willing to admit we are struggling, that we are working hard to change, that we love our kids. You are one of the few courageous enough to try and change.)
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found (If you yell, or lose interest in the Challenge, in yourself, you are always welcome back here, no questions, just support).

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home