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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Break 2011: Day 3

On the third day of Spring Break my good friend gave to me...4 invitation to a birthday party!

My good friend Susan celebrated her daughters 6th birthday today! We've known her for a few years now and my oh my has her baby grown up...and fast!

More pics to come...my expansion drive is misbehaving by holding my photos hostage. =/

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Break 2011: Day 2

Today has been crazy. It is 5 o'clock and I am ready for dinner. I got up early...early for spring break, anyway. I went to work for a few hours, came home to get the teenagers. I ran them to the movies, then I took the middles out to lunch at the mall. We then ran to daycare to pick up the youngest from Preschool. I dropped them off at home and went back to work. Then I met the teenagers at the mall and did some shopping. We are toying around with the idea of sushi for dinner. I approve!

Teenage boys making plans via cell, text, and Facebook.
Remember when we did this with a cord attached to our head? 

Boys at the theater. Yep...I'm that lame mom that takes pics of everything.
Physical evidence for those times when they say...
"We never do ANYTHING!"

Dane had Luca Pizza. He loved the pepperoni breadsticks. I loved them too!
Sadly Dane did not share. Boo!

Nadine had China Express for lunch. She says you can not go wrong with Bourbon chicken. Mmmm...
I had Sesame chicken. I can tell you that you CAN go wrong with Sesame chicken. Ha!

The boys hung out after the movies for a bit.
I think they had a good time.
For dinner went to the kids fave place to eat for dinner. Tokyo buffet.
I seriously LOVE their sushi bar
The kids always love to eat here!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Quicky Commit To Quit Update!

It has been 87 days and I have saved $779.37. I still miss it every day. I still crave it every night. I have not cheated once, not even a puff for the entire 87 days...and I am damn proud of that!

Spring Break 2011: Day 1

We are not travelers. We don't go anywhere beyond Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. This means our breaks consist of mostly local entertainment.

Today is Monday, day 1 of Spring Break. I took the 4 kids to Incredible Pizza Company. We had a great time! They lowered their prices so it was super affordable. $35 and some change for all 5 of us to enjoy the lunch buffet, unlimited soda, dessert, and $25 worth of gaming cards ($5 each).

One thing I really LOVE about this place is that they offer great specials! Today was $7 mondays. On top of that deal if you dress up like a super hero you get a free $10 gaming card!

Aiden and Dane were both happy to participate. Aiden loves this super hero costume that Uncle Greg bought from Restoration Hardware a fw years back around the holidays. It has a cape, mask, and wrist cuffs. I think it's super cute!

Their buffet is good. It is not gourmet. I think some people expect it to be more than cafeteria food. That it is not. Everything is fresh, and has a good flavor. The salad bar is generous in it's offerings and they will gladly make you a pizza just the way you want it to place on the buffet.

Andrew ordered a pineapple and cheese pizza. He likes his fruit and cheese.

Dane was a bit bummed that they no longer offer gummy worms on the sundae bar, but I think the cookies and dessrt pizza helped him forget all about it.

It was time to get our game on and Aiden was ready to dance!

Dane likes the flight simulator games. They make me nauseous!

Aiden likes to fly too. He also really likes to race cars.

I played a game of mini golf with the boys.

 They asked me to take their picture with the cactus. I have ruined these boys. You will never catch a candid shot of them. They are all super hammy poses, the whole lot of them!
I laughed that he wanted his pic taken in this thing again too!

I had my fill of the noise so we headed to the ticket booth to cash in our tickets.

The older kids went in dutch on a huge snake that they simply could not live one more day without.
Dane got a Lego set, and Aiden got a ton of small prizes. He has already misplaced...I mean hidden...most of them around the house. Haha!

The Preteen & The Stepchild

A friend of mine is fighting the good fight. She is dating a man with a son. His son is 12. I'm no expert, but I know a few things about this subject. I have a son who recently survived the preteens. My daughter is currently a preteen. They are both the stepchildren of my 2nd husband. I am a step child.

My friend asked me for help so I am going to post up what I know and I encourage all of my mommy friends to weigh in. :)

A preteen stepchild can be a challenging beast. Many agree that this is a stage in life where parents must learn to pick and choose battles. This means you may always be "right" but you will not always get your way, mom & dad.

The hormones of a preteen are surging hourly. They can change faces ten times a day. It reminds me of exorcist. I dislike it immensely. Doesn't matter because we have to accept it. You do not have to like their attitude but you do have to accept that this is not who they are...it is who they are right now.

Your preteen will likely do drastic things. In recent years I have heard of preteens getting caught doing drugs, stealing, committing acts of violence, vandalising property, having sex, cutting themselves, and various other things. Those are not preteen issues people. Those are behavioral/environmental/sociological issues. If your child is "acting out" then this is not the subject for you. Acting out by cutting off your bangs like a toddler is NOT in the same category as a child who is breaking the law and/or putting their lives at risk. If your child is that severe you should be speaking to your family Dr. asap.

Dealing with a preteen can be fairly painless, most days, if you let it. Yes there will still be those days...but they will be less frequent if you don't rock the boat.

I told my husband when our preteen daughter came into this stage that the best thing he could do was stand back, do not make eye contact, and let me handle things. I doubt he remembers that conversation. He still pokes a stick at her from time to time. I'm sure it is harder for men to deal with girls that moms to deal with boys. I find my boys to be easier than my girl. Just being honest here. :)

The most important thing is to be rational. Do not speak to your preteen out of anger...unless their infraction was serious...like it could have got them hurt, or dead. If you are pissed then you tell your child "I am very upset right now. I am going to walk away for a minute and we will discuss this when I calm down."

Take a walk. Think about what they have done. Think about how important this act will be in 6 months. A year. At graduation. I suspect that 95% of the things they do will not matter at all. Some of them will not even be worth remembering.

When you go back to talk with the child it is best to speak in a factual manner. Leave the emotions in your chest. Tell them that you are disappointed in their choices because of X-Y-Z. You want them to know that you will not tolerate this behavior because you know that they are smarter/better/capable of more. Whatever works to finish off the sentence with a compliment. Tell them the consequences for their actions. Give them a hug and let them know that you hope that next time they make better choices. End of discussion. Do not engage the child in debate. Do not worry yourself about getting in the last word. I promise you that you will lose that battle, even if you think you won. They can speak under their breath in  a tone that only dogs can hear!

When it comes to the every day stuff...keep it light and simple. Just tell them like it is. No passion. No anger. No heat. No engaging in heated battle.

"Andrew, pick up your shoes and put them in the mud room where they belong. You know that they are a triping hazard in here.
Leave it at that.
Andrew may sass mouth and he may grumble under his breath. As long as he is doing what I directed him to so...I ignore the sass. If you acknowledge the sass...it will hang on longer. It will. I guarantee it.

Is backtalk respectful? Of course not. Is it acceptable? No. Is it worth rocking the boat if it is only an occasional occurrence? Not in my opinion.

So...what do you do if you have a child who seems to have an attitude all day, every day? There are a few options.

You need to sit the child down and have a family meeting. They need to be told what is considered back talk. You need to make sure that there are NO loopholes. Kids are sneaky. :)

Once you have established WHAT is considered backtalk you establish the rule. No back talking. You get one warning and that is all. After the warning you have to hit 'em where it hurts. If they like money...deduct from their allowance every time they talk back. Are they video game junkies? They lose gaming privileges. It may be for the night, or a set time frame. ie: My son gets 30 minutes of gaming time for a school night. I may deduct 5 minutes from that for every time he back talks me.

The punishment cannot always fit the crime when it comes to preteens. It has to be something that will gain their attention. It has to be an actual consequence that they will feel and understand. Now...if they do not like their clothes and they decide to burn them...natural consequence for me would be to wear what you have for a week. If it's just the outfit on yoru back...that child would be washing that outfit every day until they showed some regret for what they did...and even then the clothes would be replaced at the goodwill, and sparingly.

There is a very, very important step to discipline.

 I feel this is the MOST important part of raising a child.

You have to, have to, HAVE TO praise your child! You have to. Not every 5 minutes. Not every hour. You should be finding a reason to praise your child every single day. Life has to have balance. If you are constantly on your child for being bad...their self esteem takes the hit. The only thing you are teaching them is that they are bad...not that they did a bad thing. Finding a reason to praise him everyday shows him that you love him and are devoted to him. That you want him to succeed and that you believe in him!

Here are some examples from my every day life to share with you.

When my 8 y/o comes home from school he always gets off of the bus with a frown. We have come to expect this. He takes a stimulant and it has worn off by the time he gets onto that bus. When he comes home he feels like he is losing control of his emotions and behavior. He knows what is coming. Poor decision making.

As he walks into the door I greet him. I hear d once on Dr. Phil that the first thing a child should see is how they light up YOUR eyes when they enter a room...or something like that. So, every day I greet him with a huge smile and wide eyes and I say "Hi Dane Patrick! Hoe was your day?"

We may spend 5 seconds talking. We may spend 30. It depends on his mood. I have found that dedicating the 5 minutes to him makes a world of difference in how soon he is going to consider pounding his 4 y/o brother. =/

When any of the kids do something good/helpful/nice I thank them. I go out of my way to find out who picked up the piece of trash on the floor, or who put the phone book away. I make sure that person knows that I appreciate them, and their help. Guess what? They like feeling good and it makes them want to help more. Most days. Honest!

You have to treat your preteen like an adult but handle them with kid gloves. There is a delicate balance between modeling them into productive members of society and beating them into becoming that not-so-model citizen.

Have patience. Take a mommy/daddy time out. Deep breaths. No yelling. Think about what YOUR actions/reaction will teach them. Think about how your action would make you feel if you were that child's age again.

Don't be afraid to have open dialogue about behavioral issues with your preteen. They can handle it. They want the truth. They want to be good but they may not be ready to admit it. I have a teen son with ASD and another son with ADHD and I use these methods for them just the same as my other 2 children who are on target with their behavioral development. My husband struggles to hold onto these methods. The reaction he gets vs. the one I get makes it very clear how differently they respond to us based on how differently I think we treat them. This is why I know in my heart that these things work...at least for me.

Good Luck to us all! No one every prepared us for these years. We thought picking the right car seat and day care was really important stuff, didn't we. Haha! Kidding. ;)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Meet Me On Monday: 3/28/2011

I came acrossed this meme last night and I thought it might be a fun thing to do on Mondays. Every Sunday NeverGrowingold posts 5 questions and on monday people answer them so that we may get to know each other a bit better. Here goes my 1st MMOM!


1. Crunchy or soft tacos? Crunchy. I am of the opinion that a soft taco is merely an unrolled burrito.

2. Do you scrapbook? I do, but not as much as I used to. I am pretty sure my youngest two will think I favored the older 2 when they grow up and inherit their childhood scrapbooks. I had better get on it!

3. Do you take any daily medications? Not right now...but Ibuprofen has become almost daily. I should take Aleve daily for my RA but I am too stubborn.

4. What is your favorite sound? I'd have to go with rain. I love listening to rain, especially in the woods when it plings off of leaves, rocks, and tree bark.

5. Where were you born? I was born in Oceanside, California. Not very many people know that. I have been in the Midwest ever since I was 1 so I fit right in. ;)

Thanks for taking the time to get to know me! Have a great Monday. :)

Here are a few other peeps that are playing along this Monday!

Sex, Drugs, and PRE-Teens!

My daughter is in 6th grade. She is 12. She just turned 12. She is sweet, and kind, and hormonal. She is a lot of things. There are 3 things I am certain that she is not. She is not sexually active. She has not used drugs. She does not break the law. So far, so good.

I know that in all likelyhood my children will not be innocent forever. We learn my making mistakes. I am sure that their mistakes will mimic some of my own. I am also sure that kids are doing things much sooner (read:younger) than we did "back in the day.".

Most of my daughters peers are her age. Some are younger. Some are waaaaay younger. Like 9 years old. Many of her friends are kissing boys at her age. Some are doing more. Some are abusing drugs. A few have already had their first child. At age 12. In 6th grade.

I recently picked up my daughter from the local skate rink after a 2.5 hour skate. The rink was hosting an all night skate from 7pm-7am. There was no way I was letting my daughter stay overnight. There was no way that I would stay overnight with her! I have four children and hardly any sanity left as it is. I couldn't waste what little remains on a skate rink full of hormonal pre-teen kids.

When I picked her up some of the parents I trusted to "supervise" her said they were shocked by how so many of the girls peers were behaving.

She told me about one girl who is 12 that spent most of her night kissing her boyfriend, with tongue, in a dark corner as she straddled him on his lap and they were not so discreetly dry humping one another. Had I walked in and seen that  I may have fainted. Had I walked in to see my daughter doing that I would have went into cardiac arrest!

She told me about 2 boys who showed up and they appeared to be drunk, slurring their speech and falling all over each other. She said that they were loud and clearly were not afraid to spout off the mouth about the girls "titties" and asses. Middle schooler's. I'm guessing that kid hasn't yet seen a boob in real life.

I had another friend at the rink who said that he saw kids with eyes so bloodshot that there was no way to excuse it beyond smoking pot. He said that you could smell it for the first 30 minutes that the boys were there.

I'm not naive. My friend smoked pot in 9th grade. I know kids will find ways to do these things. I know kids will find ways to hide these things. I know not all parents can be observant enough to catch these things. What I don't know is what is going to happen to this generation of kids in 8-10 years.

When you've got 10-12 year olds getting high, and drunk and then having sex and babies...the future of your community takes a huge hit. I knew one middle schooler who was pregnant, and three highschoolers in my 7 years from 6th-12th grades. I've already heard of four in our kids school from 6th-8th grades and those are just the ones I have heard about.

Parents...you really need to keep on your toes. Show up early when picking up your child every once in a while to see what they are up to. Let them know what morals and values you want for them. You have to model responsible behavior for them. Show them how to succeed, and help them reach for success.

I'm seeing far to many parents who have little to no parental involvement. It is one thing to let your child have the run of your home if that's your thing...but when you send them out into the big world...they cannot think that they have the run of the world. They need to understand how the world WORKS. We need to show them a working model of life. I fear we, as a society, are failing here.

As we drove home from the skate rink I spoke casually with my daughter and her friend about how the skate party was. I explained that I had heard that some of their friends were making out pretty heavily and they agreed that a few friends had gone too far. I explained to the girls that when you are willing to make out with a boy in public, kissing with tongue, sitting on his lap and gyrating on his genitals...you are sending the message to all of your peers that you will do that again and with anyone and everyone. I asked my daughter what they thought the next boyfriend would expect. The girls agreed he would expect to get the same treatment. I explained to the girls that once you gain that reputation there is no easy way to lose it beyond moving to a new school system.

I told the girls that I know kissing your boyfriend is becoming more common amongst their peers. I also said that exchanging a kiss goodnight in the privacy of your own home is not at all the same as kissing a boy with tongue in public for hours on end. I reminded them that there was a time when PDA was frowned upon and with reason. If you don't leave anything up to the imagination or save any life experiences for a special occasion...like your wedding day...then that doesn't leave much to look forward to.

I'm trying to raise my daughter with a healthy dose of morals and values along with realistic expectations. I would love for her to save herself for marriage. I am not so unbelievably naive that I don't already know that this is not a very likely outcome.

I am just amazed that these parents have no clue that their child spent the night dry humping their boyfriend. I wonder how the parents didn't notice their boys bloodshot bright red eyes, or that they were stumbling into the skate rink? I hope to never be so oblivious. It's a scary sight! 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Baby Girl Grows Up

I took my daughter to the skate rink last night. They were hosting a spring break all night skate until 7am. I told my daughter she could attend since I knew a few parents who were staying, but that she couldn't stay until 7am. I'd have to pick her up at 9:30. I really wanted to let her stay until 11pm but our schedule both last night and this morning just wouldn't have been very good with such a late night. She is still in bed at 8:45! Haha.  Imagine if I had let her stay until 11!

When we arrived at the rink I decided to let her and her friend stand in line to buy their passes and skate rental. The line was outdoors so I could see her from the car. I planned to stay until I saw her enter the doors past the ticket booth. I was trying to let go...give her some space...spread her wings kind of thing. I do feel like it is time for her to have more independance.

As I watched her and her friend in line I was in awe over how comfortable she was. It was as if she had stood in lines without mommy all of her life. I was grinning on the inside. I may have been frowning on the outside. Mommy's baby girl is growing up!

I am suddenly shocked to see this boy point his finger in her face. He had been in front of her in line and had been mouthy most of the time, but not directly to her. Mostly to the girls in front of him. I could make out that he said "You are ugly. Your boyfriend is ugly too." and momma bear had to pounce. I'm sure I probably shouldn't have...but I did it for HIS own protection.

You see...my daughter is just like me. Feisty and loving, but with a short fuse for ignorance. The last time a boy at school got in her way and was blocking her locker to not allow her to retrieve her coat...she bitch slapped him acrossed the face. She has 3 brothers. She has developed the defence mechanism of drawing out the claws when a boy gets in her face.

Of course I do not condone physical violence but...but...that boy with her hand print on his cheek sure hasn't harassed her ever since. Just sayin'. Since there was an officer parked right at the entrance monitoring the line I figured a bitch slap in public might be cause for some sort of assault charges so I got out of the van and stood with her in line the rest of the time.

What I love most about my daughter and our relationship is that she didn't care that I was in line. She and her friend chatted with me, pointed out friends to me, let me in on their nicknames, inside jokes, etc. I love that we have still that together and that she wasn't embarrased by me for the time being.

My daughter (Right) with her friend (Left)

As they walk up to the counter I stand back out of the way and watch her buy the tickets...with her money. I am very proud about that as well! I over hear the kids in front of her asking for a variety of passes. Some are paying extra for speed skate, Some are paying for lighted skates, freestyle skate, etc. My daughter can barely skate and has only been to this skate rink a few times. I become nervous that she doesn't know what she is doing. I contain myself and let her walk up to the counter with her friend...mommyless. She says with about as much confidence as I have ever heard her have "How much are 2 passes for regular skate until about 10pm with skate rental, please?"

*Gasp* Is this my baby? she sounds so...mature. She sounded as if she had done this a thousand times before. She sounded so...grown up!

With that I said "Have fun, remember the rules, don't act a fool." and as I was leaving a parent spotted me and invited me to come in and hang out for a couple of minutes. The group of adults gladly introduced me to the mouthy little boy that had verbally abused my daughter in line and they told him to respect me, and be nice to my daughter. I then told him that I do not ever want to hear of him calling her ugly again. I told him to be a gentleman and when someone pointed out how he had hives and shouldn't make fun of others I let him know that my Nadine would never have made fun of him for having hives because that's the kind of friend she is. I told him to treat her nice and she'll always have his back,.

I felt like a million bucks and the most successful mom in the world. I left to head home to the boys and when we came back to pick her up she and her friend were still there alive, and well...in one piece.

I spoke to a few parents about how the night was going...and boy did they paint some pretty ugly pictures about the kids my daughter has been spending her time with.

More on that next time...Sex, Drugs, and PRE-Teens.     

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Do we have to grow up?

I catch myself, from time to time, feeling like it is time for me to stop doing/wearing/saying X-Y-Z because it is time to "grow up".

Then I come back to earth and I think...Why should I?

I adore my inner child and I think that I am at my happiest/sexiest/friendliest when that child comes out to play.

So what if my daughter likes to dress like MY favorite singer. I started dressing that way first! Haha!

In all seriousness though...this post is really about my attitude, and how it has shifted recently. I've noticed a few of my high school peers on Facebook are dating and as I read what their girlfriend/boyfriend posts on their wall I think in my head "Oh my goodness...they sound like they are a couple of teens in high school that are dating for the 1st time." as my gag reflexes and my eyes begin to roll.

Now...I know better than that. I am not the kind of spirit that judges people for how they interact...am I? I mean...of course we all judge even though we know we shouldn't, but really...I just think I am envious of their happy and joyful love. Then again...if my husband posted something cutesy on my Facebook wall...I doubt it would have a different effect on my gag reflex. I wonder why.

Anyway...I don't see why any of us HAVE to fully grow up. As long as I dress appropriately for work and school functions...why not wear what makes me happy on the weekends? I don't care if you stare. I'd stare at me too. I'm hawt! Haha...kidding.

Anyway...not sure what the point is here...I just couldn't think of anything to blog and that would be 2 blogless days in a row which is just totally unacceptable!

Have a great day and let your inner child run free on your lunch break!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Daily Smiles For You!

Do you have websites that you visit when you just need a laugh? I have a few staples that I go to when my frown needs a pick me up. Since I don't have a lot to say this morning I figured I'd share some of my fave happy places on the interweb. (FTR-I have no idea why ppl are calling it interweb, so if you know-enlighten me)

My 1st fave place is a blog. Katie always knows what's fun! She makes my inner child squeeee!

Next up is Damn You Auto Correct...because my EVO is a pop-tard and it changes my texts to the most random shit that no where even remotely matches what I typed.

I love to visit Awkward Family Photos. Some of those photos are HILARIOUS!

Hyperbole and a half cracks me up. I wish I had mad crazy cartoonist skills like this blogger.

Texts from last night can be funny, but honestly I feel like many of them are made up. In the beginning they seemed to be genuinely hilarious and now it sort of feels like a bunch of writers are making shit up. Still good for a laugh from time to time.

And last, but not least...my current fave is a perky young lady signing Cee Lo Green's Fuck You in ASL.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What You Ache For

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

I know I probably quote part of this poem way to often, not only in life but also here on my blog. I cannot help it. I source much of my life from these words. They speak to me. They have for a decade now.

The poem was introduced to me as just that. A poem. I later found that this poem was from a book when doing an AOL search to locate the author. I found the book to have a simple, yet profound, message.

I find that this first part comes to me in almost every relationship I create. It really doesn't interest me what you do for a living. We simply cannot live without learning something. Your position at McDonald's is just as irrelevant in life as the Doctor I visit once a year for a physical. It has little to do with who you are, on the inside.

I don't want to know what you do because it does not matter, to me. I want to know what you ache for. I want to know what you hold deep inside your soul. I want to know what dreams you have stashed away inside that heart and how you plan to bring those into fruition. I want to help you on that journey if I can. I will help you if you let me. I want you to help me achieve my highest heights. I want you to guide me to know more. To understand things in a different light. To encompass humanity in all that it has to offer the universe.

Do you dare to dream of meeting your hearts longing? Do you dare to dream of reaching out to the seemingly impossible? Do you have a deep seeded desire to know more, understand more, do more, give more? Are you content with just being?

I don't have a profound message to give you. I'm not trying to steer anyone to or from God, or any higher power. I'm not trying to steer anyone anywhere. I'm just tired of the lies, the deceit, the secrets. I'm tired of the message not being as important as who the message is about. I'm just plain tired these days.

I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your hearts longing...I hope you will take me along on your journey. I also hope you will join me on mine.

Blessed be.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Giving Your Whole Heart

It takes a lot of work for most people, to give of your whole heart. I understand that many people just aren’t wired that way. I get that. It's one of the things I love most about myself...the ability to feel the pull on my heartstrings. I feel a call to do something great, no matter how small.

I think most people know I wear my heart on my sleeve. It's oftentimes a painful way to live, day to day, but it's the only way I know to live. It makes my heart more accessible, which isn't always a good thing. It leaves me open to painful experiences, but with the pain I grow, so I suppose that’s not a bad thing.

Sometimes people think of me as strong and independent, and while I may be both of those I am also so much more. I am flawed. I am weak. I am uncertain and at times I can be unkind. I am human.

I don’t always get a person’s intentions. Sometimes I mistake them. Sometimes I just don’t believe them. Sometimes I think I am just paranoid.

I have some really great friends who have grown to love me and accept me for who I am. I am trying to learn how to do the same from them. I have a hard time accepting people for who they are. I see them for their potential and I want to help them achieve their highest heights. I can see their ability to be more, to do more, to have more…whatever. What I don’t always see is that…maybe they just don’t want more. Maybe they are content with where they are in life. I need to learn how to love them for who they are and accept that they may not desire to be their best self right now.

Here’s the thing. If you know me. If you REALLY know me. You will know that no matter how annoying I am. No matter how mean I can be. I have the very best intentions. It may not come out right the first time, but I will get it right…eventually…for the person that gives me a chance.

Those that know me know that I need reassurance every once in a while. I like having my hand held sometimes. Actions speak louder than words. Sometimes I just need to know that you are there. I need to know that I can trust you. I need to know that you intentions are honorable. I need to know that you will do right by our relationship and that you will help to nurture it and keep it growing. I need to know that you value it as much a I do.

If you cannot do those simple little things that keep things afloat when I am down…I think we are wasting our time.

I’m a fairly simple girl. I don’t ask for much. I don’t think it unrealistic to expect some sort of reciprocation in life, especially when you know that the person you are relating to is uncertain.

If your friend needs a hug to know that everything will be okay, or a late night phone call to ensure that you got home safely I would think that you would want to make the effort to do such a simple thing to reassure your friend.

Living life with your whole heart can be painful, but with that pain comes a lot of love and growth. If you let people into your heart amazing things can and will happen.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green with Envy

Happy St. Patrick's day! I'm sure there are a dozen of cute stories I could post about leprechauns and green beer outings for today but...I'm just not feeling that festive. I've been trying to think all day about something green to post about. Green foods? lame. Where to pinch? ummm..no.

Let us talk about how mothers, and women in general, tend to envy others and how we can have a very unrealistic expectations for life, in general.

I recall having a friend who seemed to have a great marriage. I had such envy for her life. She was seemingly all that and the bag. Pretty, great relationship with her husband, adorable family, great parenting skills...the works. I strived to be a little more like her as a wife. Later I found out that while  was striving for the excellence that she was putting out there...it was mostly a sham. She had been experiencing nearly the exact same marital issue that I was experiencing all along! I was trying to be something that didn't even exist.

All that time she wasted pretending to be happy she could have been honest and had a friend to support her and have compassion for her frustrations in daily life. Instead she choose to live a lie and in the process leave others with the feeling that they were less of a wife, mom, and friend because they weren't as good at this as she.

I hear friends from time to time make generic comments to me like "I don't know how you do it all. I am amazed at how much you accomplish. Wow, you're like a supermom." and I almost always am quick to reply saying Noooooooo! I don't "Do it all" I just do most of it, and all of what I do is half assed! I mean...seriously...I may "clean" the whole house...but that doesn't mean it is CLEAN! That just means you can walk through the main rooms without something sticky grabbing onto your socked foot!

I don't want to give people an unrealistic ideal of what kind of person, mom, wife, friend, etc. that I am. I am just as flawed as the persons on either side of me and I intend to stay that way because baby, perfection simply does not exist! That size 3 mom...her boobs totally have stretch marks.

My point is...don't waste your time and energy trying to be someone else. Just be who you are! If that is a mom who takes her kids to experience great things in daily life but has a messy home-so be it! If you are the mom who needs her kids to grow up in a spotless home and cannot imagine being that mom who doesn't clean for days on end-then don't do it!

Don't envy other people. Just be yourself and most importantly-be happy with who you are! You can always make improvements, but make them your improvements and not a mirror image of somebody else!

I'm getting off of blogger to finish my work reports. I want to go out for the Angel Burlesque show tonight and drink green beer...without being green with envy!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

So nice to meet you!

I have been tossing this subject around in my head like a hacky sack for months now. I've spoken to a few friends about this and have been trying to figure out how to express my thoughts on this subject in a manner in which it would be well received.

This is why I am never consistent in my blogging. I'm too nerdy. I mean wordy. Whatever.

So...I am going to just put this out there. It may be rambly. It may not make much sense. I never claimed to be a language arts major so my apologies in advance.

This is another reason why I am never consistent with my blogging. I over analyze everything. If people would quit grading my papers and just give me a damn A- I would do so much better. I just know it.

Here goes. I belong to a group of moms whom I have met online on a local social network site for moms. I like this group. It is full of interesting, like minded free spirits. I've learned a lot about myself, and life from the members of this group. It is definitely a testament to the benefits of having a social life online.

What I have in common with this group of women...it's simply too many things to post. The biggest things that come to mind is that we are all moms, and are either living our lives without religion, or are open to and accepting of others who choose that path for themselves and their family. Some of us are atheist, some agnostic. Some are Secular humanist. We even have a few religious moms who are loving enough to not attempt to indoctrinate us as we partake in our monthly MNO (Moms night Out).

I fall somewhere in the middle...which is where I usually sit in life. I am not atheist. I am spiritual but not religious at this point in my journey. I am not so unbelievably naive as to assume that I may not one day wake up and find my path has changed. I am basically a spiritual mutt who uses the label "Secular Humanist" whenever someone insists on labeling me.

Oh my...I am off track here. Sorry about that. If that drives yo crazy...you are following the wrong blog. I am terrible about that...I'm all over the place.

So...sometimes a new mom wants to join our group. Sometimes one or more of us know this mom from another group and can vouch for her ability to join us without trying to interrupt our sacrificial goat rituals. Other times it is someone that no one seems to know, or that someone doesn't like.

Some members get leery. Understandably so. The nature of our group is a sensitive one. We live in the bible belt and lets face it...even in the 21st century there are still a lot of closed minds out there. So...you can understand why some members would be hesitant to let a noob into the group.

Months ago we had a mom who wanted to join us. Some members didn't think she fit well with our group. I was one who sat on the fence and saw no harm in giving her a chance...while I agreed that it may not work out...I felt it was worth being open to the idea.

A few members preferred that she not join. I did not love this reaction. I don't like people making decisions for me, or decisions that directly affect me or my family without having some say in the matter. I am, after all, a voting kind of girl. I'm a free thinker...and I'd like to keep it that way.

Anyway...the mom did not get to join our group. I suppose in the end she did not want to deal with causing any friction between the standing members and she just sort of bowed out.

I was saddened by this because while that mom may not have had much to offer me in the way of friendship or education...that doesn't mean that there wasn't some way that I may have been able to serve her. That doesn't mean that one of the other women in the group wouldn't have benefited from getting to know her.

I digress...my vat simply isn't big enough to fry all of the fish in life, right?

Now we are getting to the meat of this subject...finally!

I recently met a mom that I have known online but had not had the pleasure of meeting in real life. She has always seemed like a nice person. Nothing really stood out about her. She came acrossed as a good mom, a loyal wife, and a nice friend to those closest to her. She is friends with another group of moms where I do not fit in well. Because of that she and I haven't really been in the same circle before. just by happenstance we ended up meeting and to my surprise she and I hit it off really well. We have some common interest. We have similar parenting styles. Her child and mine are very close in age and have similar personalities.

My point is that after all of these years of her not having any interest in meeting me because perhaps some people in her group do not care much for me...we both missed out. It's too bad that we couldn't have met sooner. I'm just happy that we finally did and without either of us even putting effort into it. I love when things fall into place like that.

So...the next time you find yourself rejecting the idea of including someone in your group/circle/church/club...think about the others in that organization and how you may be robbing them of the chance to get to know someone that they may really benefit from developing a relationship with.

I often tell my children that it is a small world, and it does not revolve around you.

Give each other a chance to make a difference in someone else's life, and to allow someone else to make a difference in their life too. Share your friends and loved ones. Let them grow! More importantly-Give yourself a chance to connect with someone you never imagined you would or could. You might just be surprised by what you can offer them and they you.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'm giving up my ATTITUDE..for Lent.

I look at Lent as a time for personal, spiritual and psychological growth. Most of the people that know me know that I am not religious.

In some faiths the act of restraint with respect to actions of body, speech, and mind is very liberating and can achieve a mind-body transformation.

Many of my Christian friends believe that lent is to sacrifice for Jesus and to prepare them for Holy week.

I believe that there is nothing wrong with giving something up that is important to you because I think there is a lot to be said, and learned, from the longing of something. Longing teaches us many things, and also helps us to grow.

I was reading a friends blog today and as I read it I felt, as I often do when reading her blog, that she was speaking directly to me. She has touched on some things that I have let fall by the wayside in my own life.

She talks about serving and about being meek and suddenly I realized that HEY-I have gotten away from the two very things that represent a big part of who I am! How did this happen? I don't know!?

So, for Lent I am giving up...my ATTITUDE in it's entirety. I am going to change the way I am looking at life. I am going to reevaluate what I want in this life and what I need to do to achieve that. I will think before I speak/type and really access how my words/thoughts/actions/body language will affect others.

I'm not sure how long I will continue this sacrifice but I presume I will until it is effortless...which may take much longer than Lent. ;)

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's time to love myself enough

"You don't need knowledge or great philosophical concepts. You don't need the acceptance of others. You express your own divinity by being alive and by loving yourself and others." don Miguel Ruiz

Last night I spent some time in my head after my husband fell asleep. I was thinking about how we seemed to be getting along better as of recently, and how we had even been a bit more playful together. I circle back to this place often. This place where I see that glimmer of hope. I see that yes, this marriage can be a happy one. If only we can duplicate the last week almost every week.

I wake up in a great mood this morning. I am ready to take on Monday head on! I woke up in a timely manner, did some housework, helped the kids get breakfast and ironed my daughters hair. Yes, I was very much feeling this day.

As I got dressed Jon was in the restroom. I had been styling my hair but had stepped out to get clothes on so I waited patiently for him to finish so that I could finish getting ready for work. When he came out my 8 year old had been chewing my ear off with talk about some characters on a new video game that the kids had purchased over the weekend. I was more than ready to go and hide with my coffee in the bathroom while I finished getting ready! Our 8 y/o talks a lot, and fast, and loud! ha ha.

As I started to inspect the skin on my face I noticed out of the corner of my eye that my cell phone was sitting there. The light was not flashing so I hadn't missed any calls or messages. Good. It was early!

I suddenly felt that creepy feeling where you feel like you are being watched. There was some funky energy floating around me in that bathroom and it was tinged with deception.

I unlocked the screen on my cell and sure enough...my husband had been in the bathroom reading my text messages.

I'm tired of not having any of myself. I'm done with not having time for me, or space for me. I have 4 children and a husband who is never going to know what he has in life until it is gone. I'm done.

I have given away so many pieces of over the years that there is nothing left there. I have to rebuild and I'm not going to do that while someone else is constantly taking bricks down as I build.

I don't know what more to say. This morning was no different that a hundred other mornings where I go to bed feeling hopeful and wake up feeling betrayal.

I think it's time I stop going through the motions in life.