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Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year, New Goals

With a New Year upon us I've been doing some deep thinking and goal setting and I have nailed down 3 concrete goals for myself in 2011.

1. Lead by example. Many people might say that I already lead by an excellent example, and I thank you for that. There is always room for improvement. I would like to be a better example of showing empathy and compassion for my teenager. I would like to be a better example of what a wife is for my daughter. I would like to be a better example of what a mother is to my 8 y/o son. I would like to be a better example of what a teacher is to my 4 y/o son as he is making his way into Kindergarten in 2011.

2. Honor your commitment. I made a choice in 2010. I chose to be the wife to my partner of almost 10 years. I made the choice and yet I've stayed on the fence of doing everything in my power to make this relationship a marriage. A union of two into one. In 2011 I am going to work harder to accept my partner for who he is, and love him for what he does and forgive him for what he does not.

3. Respect yourself. I made a big commitment in 2009 to lose the weight. I wanted to be healthier. I wanted to be able to keep up with my children. I lost 45 lbs and went from a size 20 to a size 11. I've gained back 20 lbs in 2010 and it's because I got comfortable with being healthier instead of focusing on being the healthiest that I could be. I am going to really try to make my health a priority every day in 2011 and develop healthy habits that will last the remainder of my life. I don't care if I am a size 6, 11, or 16. I just want to know at the end of the day that I made good choices for myself.

I know that most people think New Years Resolutions were made to be broken. I disagree. I think New Years Resolutions are made to give you perspective on where you ended up after another year of life. It's about resolving the not-so-good choices I made in 2010.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and here's to a new year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

We're taking the Holidays back!

I've been thinking about how chaotic we've allowed the holidays to become. Everyone wants us to come to their house. They want to fix us a large meal that mostly consists of foods the kids don't care much for. They serve dinner late, and this pushes back the gift opening for the kids. It's one of the reasons I do not enjoy the holidays a lot.

We had Christmas with my dads side of the family last night. Tomorrow is Yule (just for us at home), and then we have Christmas eve with my parents, Christmas morning at our home, Christmas afternoon at Grandmas at noon on Christmas day, and then Christmas with my in-laws the day after Christmas at our house.

By the time it is all said and done I am so tired, the house is a mess, and we have more miles on our sleigh than anyone should have accumulated in a weeks time.

I don't get to enjoy our Christmas morning that much with the kids because we wake up early, open stockings, eat breakfast, open gifts, get dressed for Grandmas, and get on the road. The kids bicker (of course) because they don't have time to play with their new toys, and I feel like I am one cup of coffee shy of making it through the day!

This year we are doing something different. A new holiday tradition. Along with our roast, winter squash, yule log and hot cocoa...we are opening our gifts on Yule! We've decided to save the stockings for Christmas morning so the kids still have something to be excited about waking up to. The 4 gifts we buy each child (Something you want, something you need, something to wear, & something to read) will be opened on Winter Solstice and they will have 3 full days to play with them, and we'll have 3 days to find new homes for the toys, clothes, and books.

I'm so excited about this now and I cannot believe I didn't think of it sooner! I think I have finally found a solution to making our time with the kids alone more enjoyable and memorable!

In short, if your Christmas morning is always rushed and chaotic...consider celebrating it at a different time or on a different day, like tomorrow!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Romance...what is it?

I know what the majority of society considers "romantic". I find it fascinating how broad the spectrum is on what is considered romantic between couples.

Why is it that one woman can walk into a bedroom filled with lit scented candles and she immediately feels her hormones surge, while another woman could walk into the same scene and think "eh, I'm not really feeeling it.".

For some women romance is all about wine' and dine. For others "romantic" is having their partner do laundry, or other chores for them.

I know moms who think romantic is a simple bouquet of flowers and an attentive kiss.

For me...I don't really know what romantic is anymore. The candles and flowers just don't spark my interest. There's nothing sexy about laundry or dishes in my book. I'm not into fruit dipped into chocolate either.

Romance, for me, is something more between emotional and spiritual. There's a connection with the mind that sends me over the edge. It's not something I think I can explain, but I also think my clock ticks more biologically and less physically.

I can see a situation between my husband and I and I think to myself "Oh, right...this is supposed to be romantic." and the guilt sets in that I cannot have the feelings that he intended to give to me. I just cannot find them. They seem to be lost.

I find little things to be sweet, but not really romantic, like opening a door for a lady, or fixing her breakfast in bed.

So...what is romance for you? What makes your heart skip a beat? I don't know what happened to me but somehow I have lost touch with my inner romance and it is weighing heavily on my heart.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Goodbye memory!

They say that the memory is the first thing to go. Who's "they"? I don't know...I can't remember! Haha!

In all seriousness though my memory is evading me more and more these days. Some call it mommy brain, and others say it's early onset Alzheimer's. Whatever it is...it's really scary for me!

I've been forgetting to drop off and pick up prescriptions, forgetting school functions, and forgetting to complete my work for my job!

It's very unsettling, but today I came to the realization that I must have way to much going on in life. I'm not so sure that there is an organizational system to keep my life in check anymore. As the kids get older I find myself with more things to do, and remember...and my brain is out of space! My calendar does me no good when I am on the road while it is on my fridge. Using my cell phone alerts doesn't work very well either. Carrying a pocket calendar leads to me needing to duplicate the info on a separate system for mu husband and kids...and then I forget to jot it down on one or the other.

I have a very strong need for order, and control. I need to feel like everything is organized, and just so-so. It's challenging for me to function 'on the fly' and I find that it really affects my anxiety when I do not have things in order.

I'm setting up a new control station this weekend and it will live on our refrigerator until I feel I have regained some sense of control with the family schedule and chores. I have to do something...I feel like I am losing my mind!

What works for you? Do you have a tried and true fail proof system for remembering all of the important daily tasks? Please do share!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Growing pains

I find one of the most challenging aspects of raising pre-teens and teens is watching them grow up, make mistakes, and learn about responsibility the hard way. My pre-teen daughter is in middle school now...well, she's in the 6th grade academy which is actually attached to the middle school...but it's kind of the same thing in my mind.

Gone are the days of classroom parties, bringing in cupcakes on their birthdays, and all of the other little activities that allow parental involvement.

Today is the Winter luncheon at school. It is the only day of the year that parents are asked to come in and have lunch with their students and enjoy a special activity.

I dropped the ball. I didn't remind my daughter. I gave her the Money and she forgot to turn it in. It was in the back of her 5 inch thick binder. When she finally found it her teacher told her it was too late to turn in the money for me to attend the luncheon...or so she says. I have a gut feeling that she lied to me. I have a feeling that she never tried to turn it in, and perhaps just received a reminder yesterday when the school announcements mentioned the luncheon and set off a light bulb in her head.

I really enjoyed this luncheon with my oldest child 2 years ago. I'm sad that I wont have this memory with her. I cannot help but feel responsible for this mishap. Her teacher would say that this is the kids responsibility to remember the money is due. I even feel a slight bit like maybe she didn't want me there...even though I am sure that is probably not the case. She's not usually forgetful, but life has been busy for all of us lately.

So...today is the luncheon and I sit here like a sad momma bear...wishing I was going to the luncheon today. I'm trying to find the motivation to go to work on my day off so I have something to occupy my brain and so I can catch up on some work.

It's hard watching these kids grow up, and even more challenging to watch them learn by natural consequences that their irresponsibility comes with consequences. I was tempted to call the school and ask if I could come and just not eat but I've decided maybe this is a lesson she and I both need to learn. I need to remember that while they are growing up they are still children and do need gentle reminders, and she needs to learn that her responsibilities are valid and important. I hope that she isn't sad when her friends parents are there and I am not.

My oldest and I at his winter luncheon in 2008 :*(

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"I found the turtle!"

For a few years now our kids have been playing a hide and seek game around the house. It all started when I bought my daughter a package on Bendaroos. She discovered that they stuck to the walls and doors and she covered her door with her little creations. One day she made a turtle out of Bendaroos and she decided to place it on one of my African masks in our hallway. She wanted to see how long it would take anyone to notice. Of course, I noticed right away and asked her why it was placed there.

She told me about hiding it to see if any of the three boys would find it. One day one of the boys did find it, and he moved it to a new hiding place...on a picture frame. Let the games begin!

The turtle has been found and hidden about once a week or so ever since then. I'm amazed after almost 2 years it still sticks to anything we place it on. Yesterday we were watching a movie. My 4 year old was whining to me about sissy pushing him off then couch when suddenly, mid sentence, he yells "I found it. I found the turtle!"

You see...poor little guy rarely is the finder of the turtle. He feels like the big kids hide it too hard and he cries when ever anyone else finds it. "No fair!" Haha.

The turtle was on a wall sconce, and cleverly hidden in a colorful flower.

My 4 year old decided to hide it in the kitchen on one of my batea bowls. Very smart boy! The color blends in well and he's excited to see how long it stays hidden. Sadly it is right above the recycling bin so I am guessing it wont last long.

What sort of fun games do your kids play together? We also have a "Hide Andrew" game. My son had a wallet sized photo of himself from school and he attaches tape to the back and sticks it random places. I placed it in the door jam! Shhh..don't tell! ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Take a step back mom!

Hello blog world! I've been spending much of my free time working through some inner issues lately and this morning I had a silly little A-ha moment. As much as I pride myself for thinking things through and thinking outside of the box I was a bit humbled that I hadn't gone down this thought path years ago.

I get frustrated with my children. I get frustrated with them a lot. We have four children, 2 with unique needs, and add on teenager, pre-teen girl, and toddler to boot on that list...it's made for a challenging position for the job title of parent.

My kids all have chores, and rotate responsibilities so that each one has to do the same chores. Some of these include unloading or loading the dishwasher, setting the table for dinner, and laundry.

As I put away the dishes today I caught myself grumbling under my breath. I've been sick off-and-on for 10 days. Not only has no one picked up slack...they all seem to be slacking along with mom. *sigh*

As I put away the plates and cups I thought about my 8 year old. I am constantly reprimanding him for standing on the inside of the base cabinets to reach the plates and cups. He has broken cabinet doors, and chipped off the melamine front of the cabinets as well.

I asked myself today "Why does he do it when I tell him over and over again to not do this?

The answer is quite simple, you dummy! He cannot reach the plates and cups to set the table, or when putting away the dishes. He has to grab a cup 3 times a day to get water to wash down his meds! How did I not think about this sooner?!?

Now, don't think I am absolutely horrible. We have step stools. Several of them. He chooses not to take on the hassle of getting the stool out, opening it up, and then closing it and putting it back up where it belongs. So....he climbs.

I am going to rearrange the cabinets today that hold the plates, bowls, and cups that the kids use. I will move them all to the bottom shelf and am going to get one of those kiddie one-step stools that can be left in the kitchen.

I will be interested to see how this experiment goes. Will he use the stool? Will he insist, as he oftentimes does, on doing it the hard/dangerous/damaging way? We'll see!

The next time I am having a challenge with one of the kids repeatedly doing something they have been told NOT to do I will take a step back and ask myself "Why is he/she doing this?" and then I will speak to my child and come up with a solution/compromise together.

In the words of a friend I recently met "Parenting isn't for sissies!"

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sundays in my City: Halloween

We started to decorate for my fave holiday of the year. Halloween! I am like a child who has entered a magickal wonderland when the Halloween themes products start hitting the shelves. It's my Christmas!

Yesterday we decorated the front porch. IT was raining all day so we decided to wait until next weekend to set up the yard.


This blog is party of UnknownMami's Sunday's in my City meme. You can join along with other bloggers that are sharing their communities with you too at the link below:

Unknown Mami

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Nap

I took a nap yesterday. Nothing I haven't done before in my life, but this time was different. I laid down because my husband was tired after a late night out and an early morning rise for a sporting event. We were out in the cold and rain for hours and the combination would leave most any adult tired. My body was pretty achy from running around the course so while my brain was ready to go go go my body was feeling tattered.

We laid down and my husband gave me some rubs on the tight muscles in my calves, neck, and back. This is an almost instantaneous way to knock me out. I get so deeply relaxed that I cannot keep the eye lids open.

I woke up an hour later, alone in a cold bed. I was confused and disoriented. I thought I had overslept and missed my deadline for my work reports. I thought I had slept through  the entire evening, but it was just 4:30pm.

Suddenly I was overcome with feelings of distrust, anger, and resentment. Why was I alone? The main reason I had laid down was so that my husband would rest. He tends to fight sleep when I am up. I feel like I have to lie down with him, much like a child, to get him to rest.

I then realized why I felt this way. When my husband was having an affair I was very pregnant and tired all of the time. He would wake up hours before me, or get out of bed when I was fast asleep, to email his Mistress. I didn't find out about the situation for months...not until the baby was born, and I found out quite by accident. I had no clue. I missed all of the signs. I was devastated.

This deeply embedded memory somehow resurfaces from time to time. I never see it coming. It just hits me like a ton of bricks and suddenly I am lying in our bed wondering where he is and what he is up to. No good, I suspect. I immediately feel no trust for him, and the feeling lingers for hours, and sometimes even days.

It's amazing to me how humans can carry one act with them for so long, and even the rest of their lives. It's because of experiences like this that I try to be mindful about what I do unto others. I'd sure hate to make someone else feel like a prisoner in their mind with only their thoughts and fears, like I do.

I suspect I will be skipping any co-napping opportunities for a while.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bathroom remodel

I swore I wasn't going to share this on my blog, but I'm getting a bit desperate. After 5 years of ignorning our main bathroom "issues" I suddenly find myself needing it taken care of right now...like yesterday! I'm actually kind of amazed I've been able to ignore it this long...although I have slapped a lot of lipstick on the pig to help make the pain subside over the years.

I am not sure what is worse about the bathroom in my home. It's a toss up between it being the size of a walk-in closet and the fact that you have to use a pair of vice grips to turn on the shower.

This bathroom has been falling apart little by little since we bought this home 5 years ago. We are missing tiles on the walls...tile which is painted poop brown. There's a hole in the wall that is open to the crawl space leaving no need for an air freshner. The musky smell is stronger than any air deoderizer could mask. There's the moldy subfloor in the linen cabinet...which no doubt runs under the rest of the flooring as well.

The whole room needs to be gutted. With 4 children this, unfortunately, has not been in the budget. We cannot even replace the shower knob because it is no longer available from the manufacturer, and to access the plumbing we have to remove the tub and surround which is one unit, and we cannot remove it without removing a wall. Since all of that expense wasn't worth a shower knob we have lived with vice grips for far too long!

It would be just blissfull to enjoy a bubble bath every once in a while without the smell of musky mold, and the view of tools that do not belong in the bathroom!

If you would like to help my family received $5,000 in bathroom remodel suppplies you can vote for my entyr here, every day until October 4th! (Ugly to AWESOME bathroom)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Goodbye panties

I don't know what it is about mothers. We are always willing to sacrifice for the family. We put off treating ourselves to the little things for the sake of groceries, fuel, basketball sign-up fees, doctor bills, and really anything else you can imagine. You had better believe my toddler would just as soon get a package of socks that he almost needs before I would spend that money on myself to replace my worn out panties.

For those few mothers out there whom have magically escaped this curse...consider yourselves lucky! I don't have more than 2-3 friends that splurge on themselves, let alone take care of their most basic needs. Okay...maybe panties are not really a need, but as long as we live in the United States they are an unspoken agreement.

I have panties in my dresser that are older than some of my children. It's disturbing, I know...and possibly TMI, but it's hard to prioritize $10 for a pair of panties when that money could be spent on something...more visible?!?

A therapist once told me that I do not feel that I am worthy of anything. She said that because of the childhood I had I felt I didn't deserve good grades, nice things, and most importantly, Love. I do not love myself enough and apparently this stems from my childhood. Amazing how that childhood creeps back into my life every few years. It's why I try really hard to do right by my own children. I don't know if the therapist is right or not...surely not all of my mom friends had a rough childhood too, but who knows. She may have been onto something. I have been a teeny bit happier since I've allowed myself to splurge on me, even if it is still a rare occurrence.

Last week I received 2 coupons from a local retailer. One was good up until last Sunday and the 2nd coupon was good starting yesterday. The coupons were for $15 off a $15 purchase. I decided I would buy myself a few pairs of new panties. I'd put it off long enough. None of mine fit right, and the ones that I like the best are so worn out!

The regular price of the style I wanted to try was $14.50/pair. Are you friggin kidding me? The store had a sale on 5 pair for $29. With my coupon I was able to get 5 pair for $14. That's is less than the price of one pair. I was very excited! It doesn't take much. I purchased 5 pair and decided to wear them for a week, and wash them because I am NOTORIOUS for shirking any and all fabrics, and if I liked them I decided to buy more this week with my 2nd coupon.

I ended up really loving the fit. No more rolling down the stomach. No more wedgie. No more underwear that comes up to my rib cage. Finally some right sized, cute, and comfy panties! Are you sick of the word panties yet? So am I.

So...I am now the proud owner of 10 new pairs of underwear. I've not owned 10 new pair at one time since I was a child wearing underoos! I couldn't be more proud of myself.

For the few male readers who made it this far...seriously. Hand your wife $20 and tell her to go buy her something that she needs and refuses to spend money on herself. Don't buy her panties. Give her the cash. You men never buy the right panties. I'll let you in on a secret. No real woman wears lace underwear with frills, and lace under her work pants. Those are what I call floor decor. You wear them for a few minutes until they are removed and tossed onto the floor. No mom NEEDS those kind of panties. I'm just being honest here.

I've made the decision. I am going to throw away all of my old underwear right now. I'm going to do it so I do not postpone buying more next time simply because I have old ones that will suffice.

Goodbye panties.

Hello new, cute panties!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Where am I?

Since I posted a fluff blog today about an awesome give-a-way from my friend Heather over at inexpensively.com I felt like I owed you a real post. I have been M.I.A. for a while now. It's my M.O. when things get rough, really.

I was reading a blog on Eternal Lizdom posted by a guest blogger, Ashli, and one phrase really jumped out at me.

"When I don't work out...well, let's just say it is not pretty. Nothing is on time, I am short fused and I really feel like it would be best if I crawled into a hole so I wouldn't be so irritated with everyone and everything around me."

Story of my life, sister! When I don't work out, read, take time for me, do at least one thing that helps to reboot my spirit...I'm a grouch, and I retreat! This is why I haven't posted any blogs lately. I fear that the days on end of rants and whines would run off the few friends I have in the blog world.

So...here it is. Where am I? I'm somewhere between completely fed up with life, over the self loathing and anger, and just waiting on the universe to give me a swift kick so I can move forward. I've been asking for the acorn to come falling from the sky so it can conk me on my head and knock some sense into me. I guess I may need to shake the tree a bit to get that acorn to fall.

I'm still here, and reading your blogs when I can get myself to sit upright. I'm working on it. I'm just deep enough to be completely exaughsted all the live long day and all I want to do is sleep, and sleep. My appetite is gone, and desire to keep up on the house is non-existant.

I've been down here before, and I know I'll kick my way to the surface eventually. In the meantime I will try to post more often because I know that it helps for me to get this stuff out there.

Love & Hugs...lots of both,

The Coupon Clutch!

I found a blog post today for the Coupon clutch. Have you seen this? It is an adorable binder system to organize your coupons in a binder that sit's inside a fashionable tote.

I simply must have one!

Heather, over at inexpensively, has a coupon code to purchase this sytem, and is also offering a give-a-way for a coupon clutch as well. Better hurry and get over there before it ends!

I cannot decide which one I like best. I LOVE them all!

Simplify your coupons!

I found a blog post today for the Coupon clutch. Have you seen this? It is an adorable binder system to organize your coupons in a binder that sit's inside a fashionable tote.

I simply must have one!

Heather, over at inexpensively, has a coupon code to purchase this sytem, and is also offering a give-a-way for a coupon clutch as well. Better hurry and get over there before it ends!

I cannot decide which one I like best. I LOVE them all!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Goals & Gripes

This blog post will more likely resemble the incessant ramblings of a mad woman. I'm mad. No...I'm not mad. I'm mad as hell! In the following paragraphs you will be subjected to a foul sailor mouth, whining. and possibly a little negativity. If you can't be down with the sickness you might want to skip tonight's post.

 I would like to move on from this stage in life...like right NOW. I am so over being stuck where I am. I've no one to blame. I choose to sit here, stale, in the very same place I've been for longer than I can remember on bad days.

I'm not happy, and it's been that way for so long. I don't know what my deal is. Could it really be fear holding me back? I don't think so...I mean, by biggest fear is waking up in 5 years and realizing I feel the same way I did back in 2010.

As I sat at my desk I was pondering the idea of running. It's another one of those goals I have that I never seem to care enough about to actually act on it. I think I want to run. I think I want to be fit, and active. I think I want to not only keep up with my 4 kids, but surpass them, on occasion. I enjoy running. It gives my mind time to roam. It gives me peace. It's a great thing to do to blow off some steam...something else I seem to have a lot of these days.

So, as I sit here watching Oprah discuss her 10 year anniversary issue of O Magazine I think to myself "I should pick up a copy. I never do that for myself. I've never even read O magazine." I decide to throw on the ONE running outfit I purchased myself back in 2007 when I decided I was going to be a runner. It's still brand new. Worn one time for a half a mile run. What a joke.

I get all suited up. Moisture wicking running clothes. Check. Sport bra. Check. Running shoes. Check. iPod. Check. I'm ready to run. I've decided I will run 1.6 miles to the store, get myself that magazine, and run 1.6 miles back home. I can do this. Right. Suddenly I realize that this episode I am watching is from the DVR...and from who knows what year. I start to get angry and as I check the listing...it is an episode from February. Yep. Magazine is no doubt no longer in stores by now.

I get mad. I feel that instinct that has become as natural as sleep to me. I quit. I sit and figure there is now no reason to run to the store. I jump up angrily and tell myself NO. This is what you hate about what your life has become. You're giving up on your dream. It may be a small dream. It may be a dream you will grow to hate. You're the one who wanted to do this. Go run!

I decide to hop on the treadmill. I hate that damn treadmill. Every single time I run on it I feel sick...which has been exactly 3.5 times in 3 years. Did I mention I have a fear of running in public? Yes. I fear judgement of my big fat thighs rubbing together as my shorts wad up in a reverse wedgie with all of my neighbors watching.

I should mention that I didn't even wear shorts from 1999-2004. Nope. Didn't even own them. Fat thighs.

Anyway, I start running on the dreaded treadmill. I am trying to slow it down from 6mph to 3mph so I can walk for 90 seconds. (baby steps) and the damn thing wont slow down. I jumped on the side rails...not a good idea...and I damn near fell down.

I was pissed. I stormed down to the lake, sat on the dock and stewed for a minute until I noticed my neighbors were on their dock and staring at me. I then decided that I needed to run. Like Forest Gump I hoped up and darted up the hill, through the house, out onto the street and just started running. Of course every neighbor I know was out front or driving down the street to witness my ass running like a child who just learned to run...stumbling over my large, dangly, and uncoordinated feet.

I ran forever, give or take a mile. Truthfully I ran for about 1 mile and walked about a half a mile between running. I spent the next hour feeling like I may die at any moment. No doubt because my lung capacity is that of a 90 year old woman with emphysema.

So...now that I have been to mad as hell and back I am here to proclaim my 7 life goals. May I love myself enough every.single.day to make these a priority. I need to do this. For me. Right now. 

T here is a lot of crap in my life that I feel I cannot do anything about right now. There are 7 things I can absolutely work on right here, right now, and right where I am.

1. Put in ONE HOUR of physical activity every day. Run. Go to the gym. Something!

2. Eat healthy. Make a conscious effort with every snack and meal to choose what is healthy. There's a time for splurging. Celebrations. Special occasions. Monthly Moms Night Out. I need to love myself enough to refuse to eat unhealthy just because I worked hard that day, or because I'm stressed, or I'm tired.

3. Quit smoking. For the love of the world why is this so fucking hard? I mean....seriously?!? I started when I was 14 years old. I'd really like to kick both my parents asses for that. I can forgive them for the mental and physical abuse, but I cannot forgive them for allowing me to smoke and not trying to stop it.

But, I am an adult now. I told myself that my mom quit when she was 50, and I could totally show her up and quit by the time I was 35. Well...I'm 35, and have just over 7 months left before I am 36. It's time to make that happen. I'm sick of the excuses. I can't run like this with the lung capacity I have. I have to quit. I have to find a way to do this. I HAVE TO!!! I HATE IT!!!

4. Stop buying my children things. Before I go further I would like to explain that my children are far from spoiled. My daughter maybe slightly spoiled because she is a girl, but the kids typically do not get much in the way of toys, games, or extravagant stuff. I buy my daughter more clothes than the girl could ever need. My boys have enough t-shirts to clothe an army. The shoes...omg the shoes are freakin' ridiculous!!! I blame no one but myself for that. I went without as a child and I over compensate by buying them more than any child could ever need. I'm very frugal about it, but still...it's too much clutter for me and for them. I have to stop that.

5. Kick the clutter once and for all. I've been 'decluttering' my home, and life, since November of 2008. I'm still not done! Every time I finish a room I will notice something every week that I should have let go of. I keep telling myself that it's a process and doing it by myself means that it will take longer than the people on TV take.
I'm pretty convinced I'm a special kind of hoarder. I know I hoard, and for all the reasons that hoarders have for hoarding. What makes me special is the fact that I catch myself just before the hidden storage starts to bust. That doesn't mean I'm better than the average hoarder. It just means I have just enough of a handle on it to keep myself donating and selling stuff just about as fast as it comes in. It also means you wont find any cockroaches, bug, or fungus among us in the house. I'm just enough OC to never let that happen.

6. Become more centered. Daily meditation would be more favorable to the unpredictable schedule that I have now, but I'd be happy to just be more frequently clearing my mind! A regular and consistent morning Yoga workout would be nice too.

7. Clear the calendar. I need to stop filling my days up and start saving time for me time. I need to learn how to sit, be still, and truly enjoy the company I keep in the empty moments.

I leave with that, my friends. I have much more to say about life, but that part of my life I am just not ready to share on here just yet.

Love yas!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I'm childish

That's right. I'm childish. I'm 35 going on 15. I cannot help it. It's as if parts of me froze in time.

Some of my friends say I dress too young, I act too young, and on occasion I apparently speak/text too young. I can promise you I am a grown up. I am professional, when I need to be. I am responsible damn it!

Of course none of my friends would deny any of that. They know I am good people. They also know that I tend to suffer from the inability to see clearly when my behavior is annoying to others. I appreciate honest and constructive criticism because...I'm just to immature to "get it" sometimes. Just be gentle. I do wear my heart on my sleeve, you know.

I like to play! I love to laugh! I enjoy dreaming! I hope to never ever lose that quality!

I'm silly, and crazy, and fun. This is how you know that I am truly comfortable with you. When you see me let down...you know that I trust you. If I act this way around you it's because I get a sense of comfort from our relationship, and I trust you to not hurt me.

This doesn't always work out the best for me, but the pain from that hurting is not for nothing. I learn something new about myself and the world from every uncomfortable situation.

Now...who would like to see some photos of the real Lety?

I LOVE pixie stix. Know what I LOVE even more?
Spelling it wrong so it sounds like a fairy woodland creature.

I LOVE gigantic pixie sticks more than my luggage.
I LOVED when my friend Michelle ganked her kids pixie stix for me from his Halloween loot!
I LOVE how my naughty hair is ever changing!

I LOVE when I stick my foot in my mouth because often times I've slipped up on something I've been keeping inside far too long. Open mouth, insert foot and away with the guilt of secrets!
I LOVE when someone makes me mad enough to want to hit them, and then they make me smile and the anger melts away.
I LOVE animals. Especially tiny ones that I can hold in my hand...until they poop or pee on me.
I LOVE Cherry Limeade...and this shirt...and how I Fb these photos to tease my friends.
Na na na na boo boo...I have a cherry limeade and you don't. ;)
I LOVE Sharpie markers...and this shirt...again...I really, really do!
I also love funky bracelets that make me feel all rocker chick.

Okay, now I am just being silly. So much so that I forget what this blog was all about. Oh well...it's hump day, and I'm stuck at home with a sick little man. A girls gotta entertain herself, right?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Observe Nature

I try to take time to observe nature a little every day. Ideally this happens at unexpected times and in unexpected places. I hadn't taken much time to "smell the roses" lately, and it's showing in my moods.

I was having a late start to my morning. My toddler was not ready to get dressed to go to PreK so I sat at my desk in the sunroom and I heard a funny noise. It sounded as if something was scratching the siding on the back of the house. As I went out back to check out what was causing the noise I found that a squirrel was decapitating one of my sunflowers for his morning breakfast.

He scurried along the deck railing with this huge sunflower in his mouth. I went back inside as he enjoyed his breakfast. Please ignore the dead fern plant. I have learned this year that wild ferns do not like living in pots very much. I'm hoping they come up again next year so I can put them into the ground!

I went outside late to inspect the sunflowers. The wind has all but taken them down. I am sure that Mr. Squirrels snacking didn't add much damage to them.

Later my son observed that the herb garden that the sunflowers are planted in has aquired quite a few catapillars. He took a photo of a few of them. He's a pretty good photographer!

Next time you are feeling stressed out...take time to observe nature. I'm not sure exactly why it works, but it does...at least for me!

You Simply Amaze Me

Poetry. I gave up on my poetry over a decade ago. I rarely write anything these days. I used to be a good writer. I'm not sure where those skills went but I thought since I am having such a hard time blogging these days perhaps I'd try to return to my roots of poetry.

I wrote this poem for a very special person in my life. This person does not know it is for them, and I intend to keep it that way. I just picked one person and started writing. I'm not really pleased with the results, but I'm posting anyways...because I've got nuttin'.

Have a great day!

You Simply Amaze Me
by Leticia

I can listen to the sound of your voice.
Strong and confident.
And I know that I can always trust you. Completely.

There is a look in your eyes.
Soft and sincere.
It’s undeniable that your thoughts are heartfelt. Genuine.

I feel the pain in your heart.
Malicious and unkind.
I too feel that gut wrenching pain. Crumbling.

When I am near you it is the most natural thing.
Intended and effortless, it seems.
I cannot help but imagine that we will be together. Forever.

Your wisdom and grace moves me.
Onward and upward.
You help me see my highest heights. Success.

When I am with you it’s blissful joy.
2 pieces of the same small puzzle.
I am in awe of how well you know me.

I could talk with you everyday.
Every day and every night.
And never grow tired of our conversations.

You embrace your humanness.
Weak and strong.
Refusing to recognize limitations.

I will forever hold you in my heart.
Mind, and soul.
You simply amaze me.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Meaning of life

I've not had much to blog lately. Well...I have things to blog, I just don't feel like I can right now. I saw an inspirational video on Facebook and it's such an excellent message. Very much how I try to live my life. I typed out the message since the video is not on YouTube and I'm not sure I can post a Facebook video here. If it can be done please teach me how. :)



The Meaning of Life

Be happy

Show up.

Follow your heart.

Find a new perspective.

Have a sense of wonder.

Find people you love.

Set goals.

Help others.


Pamper yourself.

Face your fears.

Go to a museum.


Limit television.

Get in touch with nature.

Lighten up.

Get a good night’s sleep.

Read books.

Buy yourself flowers.

Don’t compare yourself with others.

Don’t beat yourself up.

Be open to new ideas.

Don’t focus on negative thoughts.

Focus on creating what you desire.

Make time just to have fun.

Keep the romance in your life.

Make a gratitude list.

Love your Mother earth.

Want what you have.

Be true to yourself.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


I've been doing some research this morning on income guidelines for various services in Indiana. Our oldest son (8th grade) was approved for the 21st Century Scholarship when he entered 6th grade. Thankfully that was a rough year for us, and our income was low enough to get approved for this. Sadly, we have recovered financially and now it looks like we are no going to meet the income guidelines for our daughter to receive the same scholarship. While I am super bummed about that, I am grateful for the income increase!

As I reviewed the state's income guidelines for a family of 6 I was sort of taken back. In order to receive services we would have to make less than $54,000 a year. For a family of 6. This is the high end, mind you.

We would have to do a whole lot more than modify our living arrangements. We'd have to completely start over to work with that budget. We'd be forced to live in a very small house, or rent in the inner city where crime is high and childhood's a rough.

Don't get me wrong...I'd do all of that and then some if we had to. Hell...I'd live in a tent if we had to. I just think it's very sad...that a middle class family such as ours works hard to keep out heads above water, and lower income families get more benefits on top of their pay than we make in a year.

A friend of mine receives $800 a month in food assistance. She doesn't work, and neither does her boyfriend. He works the occasional odd job for a month or so at a time. Meanwhile my husband works 5 days a week, and I work part-time outside of the home, and we should have just $400 budgeted for food from our income, based on budget calculators.

How does this make sense?

I'm not saying that lower income families do not need/deserve this help. I'm just confused why a family of four gets so much in food assistance when the recommended allowance of 12% of income for food comes to $400 for an income of $54,000.

Mind you, we make more than $54,000 and we spend more than $400 a month on food...but based on this budget, how does someone whom makes $12,000 a year receive so much more than the state says I require to feed my family of 6?

This is all so confusing that I don't even think I am getting my point accross here, but I just feel like these numbers don't add up.

Don't even get me started on the medical expenses!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friendship and Fighting

My daughter had a falling out at school towards the end of her 5th grade year. It was probably her 1st major drama with friends and it made the first few weeks of summer almost unbearable.

She recovered with a few of those friendships in tact. The one's whom were willing to ask for forgiveness were deemed worthy of a second chance in my daughters eyes. While I was struggling to agree, despite my modeling to her that all persons deserve a second chance and that everyone is inherently good, I keep my mouth mostly closed and allowed her to live her life and make her own mistakes. It's how we humans learn, after all.

One friend in particular didn't feel as though she owed Nadine an apology. Nadine accepted this fact and they parted ways. It was a shame because she'd known this girl since 1st grade and they had spent some time together outside of school, and in sports as well.

I had warned Nadine that when school started back up some of these friends would want to pretend as if nothing had happened. I cautioned her about allowing that to slide by. I told her that some kids do not have conflict resolution skills, and some just think time heals all wounds. I told her that the best thing she could do in that situation was stand firm to her feelings and let them know that their choices and actions had caused her pain.

We are ending our 3rd week back to school and sure enough, as her psychic (Ha!) mom had predicted, she ran into one of the old friends during the school day. This friend casually said hello and mentioned they hadn't seen each other since the whole situation last year. My daughter replied with something along the lines of "Yea, well...that situation still has yet to be resolved." and they moved on.

The friend sent her an e-mail last night and I was so impressed with my daughters reply that I wanted to share it...even though it is a private matter. It's times like these that I know I must be doing something right, and that these kids of mine...they really do listen to me sometimes!

The friend was telling my daughter that they couldn't not be friends. After all, they'd be spending time around each other at mutual friends parties, at school, etc. She didn't take ownership of her role in the relationship parting ways, and not surprisingly she tried to justify the incident while placing blame on other friends.

My daughters reply really impressed me. At 11 years old...such a wise young girl. She replied to her friend:

"What you did and said is not something I am going to forgive and forget. If you really want to be friends, and you don't want me to be mad at you than you are gonna need to earn it. If you want to have fun with me I need to trust that you aren't gonna back stab me again. I don't want to just go to a friend's birthday and use it as a chance to make up and be best friends without more than just an apology over email, it takes a lot of guts to tell a person you mean something in person. And if you can't do that than I can easily mind my own business and not mess you with you at the next party."

She told her what she expected, expressed her true feelings, and planned for a future event.

We should all be so willing to tackle life's struggles head on. She makes me very proud. She could have chosen to just go along with the flow and start talking to this old friend as if nothing ever happened. She commanded respect for herself, and held her friend accountable for her actions.

In my mind, this is just more proof that my daughter is a very good friend. She can take the heat and she is willing to sacrifice her pain in order to help her friends achieve their highest heights. I am impressed.

It goes without saying that my daughter shares her fair share of flaws. For those who know me beyond the blog world...I would hope that you know well enough by now that I do not think my child is an angel of perfection. What I do know is that I have 4 children, and I see a lot of kids respond to life in a lot of different ways. I just happen to be particularly pleased with how she is doing it.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

School pictures

As a mother, I think I will always cringe at the thought of the annual yearbook photos. My mother was not the best teacher when it came to styling hair, or make-up application 101. That's being nice. I love my mother dearly, don't get me wrong, but my blue jean and flannel wearing hippy momma did not put a lot of time into her look.

This resulted in a young girl experimenting with hair and make-up on her own. We didn't have YouTube videos back then, or even the Internet to learn such things. We were too poor for magazines so I scoured magazines at the local library and did my best to mimic the looks I'd see. I was NOT, as it turns out, born to be a make-up artist.

This resulted in some very clown-like school photos. I remember the day I brought home 6th grade school pictures. My father promptly tossed them into the wood burning stove and I watched my clown face curl up and fry. I had thought it was a good idea to wear blue and white eyeshadow, because our school colors were blue and white. It turns out that was not a good idea.

So here I am. My daughter just entered the 6th grade. I am always worried that I will do her make-up and it will look good to me, and when the pictures come back she will look more like a lady of the night. Yikes!

It's amazing how much our childhood memories stick with us as adults. It is the main reason I react, as a parent, in the manner in which I do. I'm more cautious about how I respond to my children, and react to their unsavory behaviors. I remember watching my school pictures go up in flames, and I felt like a complete failure, and unworthy of my fathers love and affection. It's funny how that memory stuck with me, and how the little things like that affected my self esteem more than the physical abuse that my brother and I endured.

So this morning as I did Nadine's hair and watched the pre-teen morning scowl on her face, as if she disgusted me for screwing up her hair...again, I remained calm, started over and kept at it until her frown turned right side up. Usually I would do it and if she didn't like it I would walk out of the bathroom and tell her she was free to change it if she'd like to.

When she asked if she may wear make-up in this years school picture I cringed. It was as if she had punched me in the stomach. I didn't want to do it. I didnt want to watch her do it. Her BFFs have been wearing make-up since 5th grade, and while my daughter doesn't desire to wear it everyday, I do feel like this age feels appropriate for a starter course.

I didn't dare take a photo of my end results. We'll wait until the photos arrive and hope that her beautiful smile distracts from any hair & make-up flaws I may or may not have given her this morning. Wish me luck!

I will say this. It felt REALLY great for her to wake me up in the wee hours of 5 something to help her. It's nice to feel wanted & needed, especially during these trying, hormonal pre-teen years. *sigh*

Just for fun, here's a few school pictures of my beautiful daughter and my 2 oldest handsome boys from last year. Enjoy, and happy picture day!

7th grade-Andrew
5th grade-Nadine
2nd grade-Dane

Monday, August 16, 2010

Aiden's 1st day of PreK!

Well, the time has come...our "baby" has graduated to PreK. *sad face*. I can't believe it! He was so excited to see his new classroom. I hope he continues to enjoy it!

He was anxiously awaiting his 1st day of school like a kid at a bus stop. Ummm...mom & dad are driving you. We're not ready to put you on a bus yet baby!
He was looking very impatient!
C'mon guys...I have friends to see!

Aiden in the hall of his preschool.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Indiana State Fair: Day 2; Selena Gomez!

I took my 11 y/o daughter, and two friends to the Indiana State Fair and to see Selena Gomez and the Scene in concert today. They boys were with my husband at Grammy & Grampy's house for the weekend so this was a great time for some girl time.

We arrived at the fair at noon. I thought this was plenty of time to enjoy some of the fair, but was surprised at how fast the time slipped by. It seems to be the trend in our lives!

I had planned to skip the midway this time, but on the way to the fair the girls were talking...

Mykalah tells the girls that she hasn't been to the Indiana State Fair yet. I decided that this warranted a celebration, which clearly had to start at the midway!
Nadine told the girls they simply must ride the Kite Flyer. She thought it was very relaxing last week. I think I'd have tossed my cookie.
Peyton wanted to ride the Tugboat ride next.

After that we walked the midway for a while.
The girls fell in LOVE with all the big pig plush prizes.
This is the year of the pig, after all.

The girls decided to ride another ride. Who's crazy enough to ride the Crazy Mouse coaster?

Nadine & Peyton!

After that we had just enough tickets for one more ride...a Super Slide Race!

Peyton won!
Poor Mykalah's potato sack got stuck on the slide and she had to come down after the girls did, and she scraped her knee on the slide on the way down.

Next we visited the animal barns. Nadine loves to pet the babies!
As I took this picture the calf started eating Nadine's hair!
Of course the girls had to swoon over the piglets!
The girls wanted to sit on the pig statue. Poor pig...he was outnumbered!
As we were walking around in the search of dinner the girls kept doing this really cute thing. They called it a "shadow high 5" and I thought it would make a really fin picture. As it turns out a shadow high 5 isn't as easy as it seems. The girls weren't actually touching hands. They all had to move the hands just right to make the shadows line up.
Have I mentioned it's the year of the pig? Of course this meant delicious pork meals! We had pork burgers, and pork chops, and bbq pork, and they even had pork chop samis. It was delicious!
We hopped over to the Bridge to Japan, and enjoyed some AC while they gave a performance.
These hams will find a photo op anywhere!
We stopped by the IndyMoms table to visit the Mom squad and to say thank you for the tickets we won in a recent contest on their website!
We headed to the grandstands just in time to find our seats for the Selena Gomez and the Scene concert! The girls thought the metromix-Indianapolis VIP seats were uber cool.
I got lots of bonus "best mom ever" points for winning these tickets from MomsLikeMe.com! It's a good thing too because the 1st week of 6th grade had me way down in points!
The grandstands behind us were packed. They sold out! Selena later told the crowd of fans that this was her largest sold-out concert in her career. Go Indianapolis!
The opening band, Days Difference, was really good! We had not heard of them, but they boys did good!
When Selena came out the girls went wild!

The girls started climbing up on their seats. They were pumped!
It was crazy hot but that didn't stop these fans from singing and dancing with Selena.
The place was packed. We had such a great time!
Silly girls on the way out of the fair.
I am blessed to be able to enjoy these times with my daughter, and to be able to share this with her friends too. Today was a good good day!