Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Resolutions Anyone?

So, did you make a resolution waaaayyyy back in January?  I never do, but it's a very popular thing to do.  Most people don't come anywhere close to accomplishing their resolutions.  A very common resolution is to lose weight.  Did you ever go to a YMCA in January? They are packed!!!  Go back in March.  Not quite so busy is it?  Another common one, to give up smoking.  As a former smoker I can assure you this is very difficult and most people will not succeed.  Why do people give up on their resolutions?  I don't know.  I am not sure it is giving up as much as it is just plain failure.  Why do we always fail? Why do we set the bar so high?  I think we need to learn to break things down into manageable goals.
Ambition is an amazing thing, but like everything else, you have to channel it.  You can't get to the top of the mountain without putting one foot in front of the other.  You can't lose 20 pounds all at once.
Also don't make broad resolutions.  I am going to exercise more this year is probably not going to work.  How about trying, I am going to exercise once a week for the month of January, then twice a week for the month of February, and so on.  Don't try to do too much too quickly.  You will become overwhelmed and quit.  We get so motivated we burn out.  Pace yourselves people!
If you have given up and forgotten all about that resolution - you still have time.  Try again!  Don't give up!  It is never too late to start over. You still have thirty days.  How great would it feel to get to January 2011 and still be working on your resolution?!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When I was a Kid...

When I was growing up there were cords on the phone.  There was no caller ID.  Microwaves were new and maybe dangerous?  You could play video games, but there was no saving, when it was off it was over!  Now I know I am showing my age here, but you already know how old I am so it doesn't really matter.
When I was a teenager if I wanted to use the phone I had to slide the phone cord under the basement door and sit in the stairwell so everyone else in the house couldn't hear me.  (So I thought) Then after about 15 minutes I would start being told to get off the phone.  Kids today have no idea.  They all have their own phones. They don't have to share with anyone and they can move around wherever they want to.  My kids are by no means an exception.  I think that it is a lot harder to monitor your kids today.  As a Mom I can't be in the kitchen making dinner and eavesdrop on my kids phone conversations to know what is going on in their life.  I can, and do however, monitor their facebook pages.
What about video games?  We used to play and play and when we got tired we would beg someone else to play  our game.  There was no saving.  If your Mom made you turn it off because it was time for dinner you had to start all over the next time you played.  You couldn't pause either.  My kids love to pause.  Its as though nothing is ever really over.  All of this leads to new terminology.  When I played tag outside, which is a foreign concept to a lot of kids these days, "time out" was the term we used to temporarily stop the game. (to tie a shoe or something)  Now they say "pause!"  The first time I heard this I laughed so hard!
I know times change, but to see and hear it happening right in front of me is an amazing thing.
I am so grateful for my family and the ability to recognize how great they are, even if they do make me say things like, "When I was a kid..."
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Perpetual Negativity

Everyone has, at some time in their life, had to spend time with, or known a very negative person. People like this are such a drain on your own personal positive energy.  If you are not sure if you know anyone like this, maybe it is you?! (I hope not!) This perpetually negative individual will eventually say something like - "Something bad is going to happen soon, because everything has just been going too well for too long"  Really?  They are looking for something bad to happen!  I can not stand to be around people like this!

I try to be positive about everything.  I always try to find the silver lining.  Why do some people want to see the bad?  If you are always looking for the bad stuff, only the bad stuff will find you. Why is this such a hard concept for some people to understand?! On the off chance something good happens to come along - you will be so busy focusing on the negative stuff that you won't  even notice.  Who wants to live like this?!?!
The thing is, no matter how much positive energy you try to project, that negative energy can just wrap around you like a wet blanket and smother all your good intentions.  I try to distance myself from so much continual negativity.  This is my way of protecting myself.  This is how I protect my boundaries.

So, what do you do if you are forced to be with someone like this - at work for instance?  What I do is bombard this person with positive thoughts.  Every time they complain I say something positive.
Example - It always rains, I hate the rain!  It is so ugly out.
Respond with - But it makes the flowers grow, and think how good a nice hot bath will feel at the end of this long ugly day!
Most negative people will have something else to complain about, it is a never ending cycle with people of this sort.  They however, will not be able to stand all your positiveness and go away and leave you alone. The trick is to hold on to your happiness. It takes commitment to remain positive.  Stubbornness can come in very handy here!  The thing is - your attitude annoys them as much as theirs does you.  You will repel each other like  polarized magnets. How cool is that?!

So to prove my point - negative energy draws negative energy and positive energy draws positive energy, try it out with someone who is opposite of you and see if you repel each other? I bet you will!
Thanks for playing!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Produce Relationship Action

Did you ever notice how one bad action can produce another one?  Of course you have.  Or, maybe you haven't.  I was talking with a friend today about relationships, and she was telling me how lately her husband is always in the garage building things he sells on the side. While she loves the money this brings in, she is spending an awful lot of time alone, which is causing her to feel abandoned.  So now whenever her husband goes to the garage, she has a snide comment to make.  He however, thinks he is doing this great thing making extra money for Christmas, and he has NO idea how abandoned she is feeling.  Probably because she hasn't told him either.  (Ladies, Men can NOT read our minds!)  Her inability to thank him for all the hard work he is doing, coupled with the, now rather frequent, snippy little sidebars are providing him with the foundation to feel vastly under-appreciated. The pressure builds as they each continue to suffer silently in there own agony.  Thus allowing their frustration and feelings to drive them farther and farther apart.  He is staying in the garage just to avoid her snide comments. This produces in her more and more feelings of loneliness.  Until... Someone snaps under the pressure at something trivial.  For this couple it was simply that he took her out to dinner and she did not say "thank you".  They did not speak for two whole days! I don't know anyone who has not had a similar experience in a relationship.
She did not understand this so, I explained it like this - If you get up every Friday and eat a big breakfast, when you get to work and someone has donuts - you don't really notice or care because, you're not hungry.  So one Friday you get up and you think Oh it's Friday, donut day!  I will skip breakfast at home and eat a donut at work.  Only the person who ALWAYS brings the donuts doesn't come to work.  What's that you say?  NO DONUTS?!? BUT THERE IS ALWAYS DONUTS ON FRIDAY AND I SKIPPED BREAKFAST!!!
You only cared because you were hungry and you weren't getting what you needed.
So - her spouse is so hungry for appreciation that he notices every time he doesn't get it.  And she is feeling so abandoned and alone that she doesn't have anything nice to say when he is around.
My advice... did you ever notice how one good action can produce another one?  Be the grown-up.  Show a lot of appreciation until he really feels it.  This will probably motivate him to want to reciprocate your sentiment.  If she tells him she appreciates him, he will begin to feel validated.  Then he will probably in turn want to spend more time with her and - TA DA - she will not feel so alone.  He may even ask her if she minds before he goes to the garage, which my guess is, she won't, because all she ever really wanted was for him to notice her to begin with.
That is my relationship advice for the day!  Until next time...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Recipe Anyone?

One month after surgery and I am trying to get back to normal.  I am much more tired than I anticipated and apologize for being away so long.  I will keep trying to post regularly, but no promises right now.  So, for something different I thought I would share with you a recipe that I created the other day...ENJOY!

Grown-up Macaroni and Cheese

This will fill a  9 x12 baking dish
1lb whole wheat macaroni                                          1 lb hamburger
1 Tbsp horseradish                                                    2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup finely chopped onion                                     6 Tbsp margarine or butter
approx. 1/2 cup flour                                                 2-3 cups of milk
1 tsp salt                                                                    1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 block Velveeta type cheese (I cut into cubes for easy melting)
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Boil macaroni.  Drain, rinse, and place in  baking dish.  Fry the hamburger with the horseradish.  Drain off the grease and mix it into macaroni.  Melt butter in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the onions, salt, and pepper. Once the onions are cooked, gradually whisk in the flour until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Turn heat down to low.  Stir in the mustard and milk. Gradually increase the heat.  As sauce to heat up, stir in the cheeses.  After the cheese melts, pour it over the macaroni and meat. Mix well and bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.

Everyone at my house enjoyed this a lot!

Things I may add to this recipe next time..
I thought that possibly placing tomato wedges around the edges of the pan would sweeten this up a bit, and make it look pretty.  Another idea of something to add for a little extra kick would be a couple of banana peppers fried in with the hamburger.

If anyone makes this, please let me know how it turns out.  Thanks!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Repeating History

It is funny how life and what is really important never really changes all that much.  When I was a kid we used to spend every Sunday at my Grandma's.  First my Dad's Mom, where I had a lot of cousins and we would play and run around and have tons of fun. It was generally a very relaxed atmosphere with plenty of aunts and uncles and children and food.  Sometimes we played outside and sometimes we played in the basement, but we always played the entire time.  It was always loads of fun.

Then my Mom's Mom.  Here it was more formal.  Until I was ten, my sister and I were the only grandchildren.  This meant there wasn't a lot of running around and playing.  There was a lot of sitting quietly and doing a puzzle with my Granny.  The football game was always on.  We were supposed to be careful and "try not walk in front of the TV".  We always had a BIG sit down dinner, I think, at half-time.  There was always a lot of food.  Then after the game we would play games, usually cards of some sort.  It was a lot of fun because we received all the attention.  No cousins to compete with!

This weekend we had family visiting.  The entire weekend was a whirlwind of family and cooking and eating and fun.  While sitting in my Grandpa's chair and watching football on Sunday I was reminded of all those Sundays from my childhood.  The game is on, people are milling around, there is a hint of all those good food smells drifting out of the kitchen, and I am trying to quietly remind my children to "try not to walk in front of the TV".  I was literally watching history repeat itself.

The point is that nothing ever really changes, at least not what is truly important.  Family and tradition and food, things that are passed from generation to generation.  Traditions and memories, these are the things that really matter.  These are the things that I am truly thankful for.  This is what puts a smile on my face!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Day in a Nutshell

Everyday, Monday through Friday, my alarm goes off between 6:15 and 6:30am.  I get out of bed, turn on the coffee, and wake up any children who are still asleep.  Then I sit patiently drinking my coffee and hand out directions, such as, it's cold outside - wear a coat, don't forget your lunch, and do you have your homework?  These are then followed by, in a much less patient tone, hurry up, you are going to miss the bus!  Most days that is as far as it gets.  Then, while making my breakfast, I empty the dishwasher and reload it.  Somehow the sink has filled with dishes overnight.  I really wonder how that happens sometimes?  Now I put away everything the tornado's (children, mostly daughters) have left in there wake.  Dirty clothes, curling irons, make up, etc...
Time to get the clothes out of the dryer, get ready for work, and then fold all the clothes.  This is usually 2 - 3 baskets of clothes washed the night before.  Now I have about 30 minutes before I have to leave for work. This is when I read my email and catch up on Facebook, as well as, write this little blog.  8:30 - 8:40 I leave for work.   I almost always make it to work by 9:05, somehow this is acceptable to me.  I don't know why, because I HATE to be late!  Skip to end of work day...

Arrive home in time to deliver my little cheerleader to practice by 5:30.  Then I have an hour and a half to make dinner, pack lunches, eat, clean up, and then pick up my cheerleader at 7:00.  Don't forget there is homework and other directions being handed out at this time as well.  There is a reason dinner time is so hectic for most families.  It has way too much stuff going on!  So after I pick up my cheerleader and arrive back home it is close to 7:30.  Now we have to tie up any loose ends, homework and things, all while herding everyone in and out of the shower.  My husband will be calling me between 8:00 and 8:30 (this is his lunch time at work) some days this is the only communication we have, so I try really hard to be available and not distracted when he calls.  After speaking to him I take a shower and then start a load of clothes in the washer.  I usually will watch television or read until those clothes are done so I can put another load in the washer, which my Awesome Hubby will then put in the dryer when he gets home at midnight.  I usually go to bed between 9:30 and 11:00pm, just so I can get up and do it all over again tomorrow!

Keep in mind that this is how it would go if everyday was perfect, but well, YEAH RIGHT!
There is usually another child who wants dropped off or picked up, probably both, somewhere. There is occasionally the project that we have waited until the night before to do, and of course we do not have the supplies to make it happen.  So, now we are making an emergency trip to the store to purchase supplies. Any one of these things, and any other possible scenario you can imagine is likely to happen and mess up the whole process.  The thing is no matter what time I actually get to bed, I love my life and all the crazyness it brings!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Karma...My friend!

Karma..."What goes around comes around."  That's what they say.  (Who is they?)  The older I get the more I believe in this.  There are so many mottoes, life phrases, colloquialisms, whatever you want to call them, that go along with this whole karma theory, which is based I think, on the biblical classic - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

"Patience is a virtue" goes right along with my favorite, "if you give someone enough rope they will hang themselves."  Imagine if you will, that I LOVE to be right?!?  Who doesn't?  I have spent years remaining diligently patient and handing out rope while waiting for someone to hang himself.  Might I say the noose is getting very, very tight. I am INSANELY HAPPY my patience is paying off.  Bonus - I have taken the high road, which is not always easy.  I have treated this person the way I would prefer to be treated.  Since this person refuses to treat me this way, I feel as though the universe has finally said "enough!"  I am feeling very justified by my friend Karma.

I know people who feel if you believe in karma then you can't believe in God. That karma is kinda of like slapping God in the face with your lack of faith.  I do not feel this way.  Whose to say that karma is not God's way of being there for people who aren't quite sure about Him, on the cusp so to speak?  Quietly proving himself in a way that these people can understand, patiently and gently nurturing their faith.

I would never claim to know what God is thinking, but I do know that he is patient and kind and just.  Like a father should be.  In my experience there are people that would prefer to not think of the just part.  They only want a nice God.  Justification and punishment are what keeps the world in order.  I believe that justification and punishment are karma.

I do not currently attend a church, although I have in the past.  I am a deeply spiritual person who does not feel it necessary to go to church and sit with a bunch of people who love God only on Sunday.  Be clear, I do not think that all church goers are this way but, "it only takes one bad apple to spoil the whole cart", right?!  I know I am not the only one who feels this way.  I have personally spoken with and led several people to Christ who left the church because of the hypocrisy they experienced there.  I love my God with a force that is not to be reckoned with!

Please be aware that the opinions expressed here are exactly that. My personal opinions and thoughts and are not written to offend anyone.  Thank you for reading.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Climbing the Rope

It occurred to me today that life is kind of like climbing a rope.  Some days you can see the top. You can't wait to get there!  You are full of energy!  Oh the things you can do and see when you get to the top!  Other days it's all you can do to just hold on, clinging tightly till your hands bleed, swinging in the wind.

Do you remember having to climb the rope in gym class?  I dreaded the rope.  I have the weakest arms ever created in the entire history of the universe.  I can remember in 6th grade we had to do some presidential fitness BS, and I couldn't do one pull-up. Everyone had to do one.  The WHOLE class is standing around, because of course, I was last. So they are all waiting for me to get done, and the teacher was all "Come on, you can do one can't ya'?"  No, apparently I could not.  I recall being rather humiliated. - Then in middle school we had to climb the rope.  I knew I was DOOMED!  I couldn't even get on the rope, let alone climb it. To make matters worse I had developed a healthy fear of heights by this time.  (PETRIFIED would be putting it mildly)  I don't really remember how, but somehow I got out of climbing that rope.  I think maybe the teacher turned around and I got some friends to lie and say I climbed it when he wasn't looking, maybe I was humiliated and I've blocked it out?!  It doesn't matter now.  I, literally, have never had a need to climb a rope in my entire life.  Not really sure who does, but it ain't me!

Figuratively, I have climbed a million miles of rope.  I can honestly say I was always glad when I made it to the top, but I often thought that I would never get there.  When you are buried in a situation you can't see your way out of, you just have to hold on.  Tomorrow is always going to come and bring new things.  You will get to the top before you know it, and once you get there you will wonder why you thought it would be so hard.    Holding on is hard, but it is always worth it.  There will always be more rope to climb, but it takes real strength to hang on and swing in the wind, while waiting for tomorrow and the new attitude it might bring...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Babies got Skills!

The other day my daughter wanted to make a pie, which of course prompted my other daughter to want to make one as well.  I really wasn't up to it,  but I decided to go ahead and let them give it a whirl.  I figured it would be, at the least, an amusing time. They made a pumpkin and an apple pie. What do you know?  My girls know how to make pie!  I really didn't do anything but a little prompting here and there.  They rolled the dough and peeled the apples and everything!  It was remarkable!

I don't know where they learned this skill.  They have helped me and my Mom make pies before, but I didn't realize they could do it all by themselves.  It is amazing how much they have absorbed over the years.  Maybe it is a natural born skill?  I have no idea, but I think it is AWESOME!

Does it appear from this blog that I don't know anything about my children?  It does seem as though I am in a constant state of amazement and awe over the things they can do.  The truth is I just think of them as little and helpless.  I know they are not, and I am glad about that.  But in the back of my mind they are just babies - laying there waiting to be picked up and fed.  The feeding part hasn't changed, at least once very thirty minutes I hear, "I am hungry when are we eating!".

I have been accused of not giving my kids enough responsibility, doing too much for them.  I want them to be kids.  I don't want them to have too much to do.  Isn't that what being an adult is about? That will happen soon enough.  My children are ungrateful brats just like all the other children of the universe, but when I really need them they are there.  They have skills.  It is not like they have never washed a dish, or a load of clothes, or mowed the lawn.  They have, and they can do it well when they need to.  And I just don't feel the need to say this is your job, do it over and over so I don't have to, unless I really need the help.  Is it so wrong of me to want my kids to be kids for as long as possible?!  This is why I am always so thrilled when I realize that they can do things like make a pie without my help.  They have skills, and just because I don't require them to use those skills on a regular basis doesn't mean they don't have them.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pride and the Common Enemy

Today I saw something I never thought I would - All four of my kids got on the same school bus.  Now this may seem silly and certainly not an impossibility, but it conjured up emotion in me I really did not expect.  First of all my oldest is a senior, and 17, so you know, he NEVER rides the bus.  "GOD MOM - What is wrong with you? Seniors don't ride the bus!" Which I know is not true, but apparently being cool in high school is a REALLY big deal!  So for whatever reason his ride bailed on him this morning and he had to take the bus.  Secondly, my youngest is 10 and in 5th grade.  She however had her first day of band today.  Her practice is before her regularly scheduled elementary school time and at the middle school. (The high school and middle school kids ride the same bus)  So she was taking the early bus to school today.  I have two other children, one attends the middle school and one is a sophomore and attends the high school as well.  So that is how they all ended up on the same bus.

Firstly this whole situation required military like co-ordinance to get everyone up and out the door in less than one hour.  The amount of begging I had to do to get 2 of my kids to give up five minutes of bathroom time so that their younger sister could get ten minutes in the bathroom was really something to behold.  Is it so hard to be nice to your little sister?!  I guess it is.  Plus I got to hear this little gem from my inconsiderate spawn as well - "You know Mom, band is so NOT COOL, you shouldn't let her do it, all the other kids are just going to make fun of are not doing her any  favors."  Really?!  Anything to get what they want, Amazing!

So after surviving all of this drama, I watch my children trot down the driveway together. They all look happy.  They are smiling and laughing and goofing around.  They are telling my youngest not to worry about riding the bus with the older kids, they will take care of her.  I am so proud!  They care about each other.  They may not admit it in front of me, but they do, and it THRILLS me to watch this.  I don't care that probably what unifies them the most is they have a common enemy - ME.  I don't mind this one bit.

As the bus pulls up I wave from the window and wipe a tear from my eye.  Now I know that when I am no longer here, my kids will be alright because they have each other!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Mom, The Hair Goddess!!!

I was at my Mother's house yesterday getting my hair done.  This may seem like an odd thing to say to some, but my Mom used to do hair for a living so it is not strange for me.  She has been fixing, and sometimes messing up, my hair for my entire life.  The first time I had a perm I was 5.  My Mom LOVES to play with hair and make-up!  Much more than the average person.  I personally dislike it a lot.  It is a good thing that she drilled it in to me how important it is to take care of my skin and hair until it became a really good habit. Otherwise who knows what I would look like most of the time.  I am the epitome of what some would call "low maintenance"!

I used to hate that all my friends would get to go to the salon and get their hair done while I had to sit on a stool in the kitchen and get my hair cut - by my Mother!  I selfishly wanted to be like all of my friends.  I had no idea how lucky I was.  When I was 16 my Mom gave me a perm that, shall we say, went very badly.  It wasn't her fault, these things happen, but as a teenager I pretty much blamed her for everything, go figure, and this was no exception.  I ended up going to the salon and having all of my hair cut very short.  Short hair was in and it ended up being a good thing.  But at the time I was very upset and I didn't let her near my hair for a long time.

As I got older and had children and got poorer it became necessary for me to use my Mother's hair expertise in order to avoid looking like - in her words - "A Mountain Woman".    You can picture that anyway you want to, no matter how you do, it ain't good!  I discovered that she was pretty good, and willing to do whatever I wanted.  And, she saved me a ton of money.  Do you know how much it cost to get a haircut and perm these days? About $100.00!  So to have her do it for the price of a couple of pizzas is a pretty good plan.

Now there are disadvantages to doing this in your kitchen.  First and foremost, the kids teasing you about how you look, and complaining about the smell.  You never want to give your kids ammunition, trust me on that one!  But the worst part is having to stand bent over the kitchen sink for what seems like endless amounts of time, rinsing your hair.  There is no chair that reclines and a sink with a space cut out for your neck.  As a child I can remember laying on the counter with my head in the sink, but I don't think that would work so well now.  So my wallet is happy, but my neck is not.

It is still worth it, because the absolute best part about all of this is, spending time with my Mom.  She makes me laugh and it makes her happy to help me and make me look good.  So all the way around it is a win-win situation!  Thanks Mom!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Critical Opinion

I am finding it a lot harder than I had thought to find time to write on here.  I am trying hard. The weekends are incredibly difficult. Especially when I have my nose buried in the Twilight book series!  I put off reading it for a long time.  I like to read a series quickly, one right after the other.  I hate to have to wait 6 months for the next book to be released.  As you can tell, patience is not one of my virtues!  So in 4 days I read the first 2 books of the series.  I have enjoyed them immensely.  OBVIOUSLY!  They are intriguing yet very light and easy to read, maybe because they are marketed towards teenagers and I am 40?!  I also spent some time with the family over the weekend.  We watched the movie Avatar together.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it.  It had something all could enjoy.

I think both of the stories are solid.  They contain all the right elements to be hits.  Action, Drama, Romance, and Suspense.   They are both developed from the  classic good versus evil theme.  It is remarkable how well this type of story always sells, but it does.    While the vampire books are well written, I did not find them thought provoking. This was part of the appeal for me.  Avatar on the other hand has stayed with me for 2 days.  I find it represents the attitude of  American society very well.  The idea that we can pretty much do whatever we want.  If we want something we can just offer what we think is a fair price and then if we are refused,  we can just take it by force.  I find this sad.  This is not something new.  It is what happened to the Native Americans.  I guess Americans have a reputation throughout the world as being rude.  I wonder why?  How inconsiderate can we be?  

I know it is only a movie but, these are things I have only begun to think about in recent years.  Dare I say - as I have gotten older?  Maybe the reason Americans are so selfish and rude is because we are a pretty young nation?  We haven't learned our lesson yet?  Feels like I am making excuses now.  I don't know why these things happen.  I do think we have become a more tolerant society over the course of my generation, but I don't think we are any less arrogant.  All I do know is that I still love my country even if it isn't perfect.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Action and Reaction

Hello Again,

So one of the things I say a lot, and firmly believe is "If you want to change someone's reaction, you have to change your own actions".  The first time I heard this I was completely blown away.  I also didn't think it would work. People consistently do and say the same things and expect to get different results.  I have heard that this is the definition of stupidity.  I don't know that I agree with that.  Mostly I think its just human nature.  It is like trying to sweep up a string with the vacuum cleaner, no matter how many times you go over it, it just lays there, mocking you.  I am quite sure we have all done that.  I know I have.  Comedians have made entire routines around this exact concept.

It all involves taking a proactive approach to a situation as opposed to a reactive approach. What this means is, instead of waiting for someone else to do something for you to react to, do something first.  Be the one to cause the reaction, because then you have more control over the situation.  If no one pays attention to you when you yell, stop, just whisper.  Watch what happens! This worked wonders with my kids a few years ago.

Another example is, when someone you often go to the movies with invites you, and when they drive you are always late, not late enough to miss the movie per se,  but late enough to miss the previews, which you enjoy a lot. OFFER TO DRIVE!!!  Don't wait for them to offer and then be late so that you can spend the entire movie being angry because you missed the previews! Take matters into your own hands!  Control your own destiny!                     Thank you YODA.

Now I know that I am a radical control freak.  This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me at all.  Some people may think that this is just a way to manipulate a situation to your own advantage, and maybe it is.  Would that be so awful?  Especially if the other person doesn't really care one way or the other who drives?  I think not.  Why shouldn't you fix a problem to your advantage?  It's better than suffering lingering consequences because you didn't.

I am such a control freak that my husband must be a saint.  I swear.  I become physically ill when it appears that I may not be early.  Not late, or even on time, but EARLY!  When we go to the grocery store together and he puts the groceries on the belt, I can't watch.  This is NOT a joke.  I like to put them in a certain order, cold things with other cold things, eggs and bread last (so they don't get smashed), personal items separate from the food, and so on...  He just flings it up there with out looking.  I am sweating by the time I get to the car.  Now it makes no difference at all how it goes on the belt or gets bagged, it all gets thrown in the car and taken home and put away just the same.  I know this, which is why I try not to say anything.  Only he knows me so well he can tell I am climbing out of my skin and recently he just looked at me and said, "Why don't I just hand you the stuff and you can put it on the belt?"  Not sarcastically, just doesn't want me to be crazy.   What a guy!

So maybe I am a control freak, but I am conscious of it. Is it so wrong for me to pass on my manipulative skills for you to use to make your life easier?!  I think not!

Wonder Woman

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Girls at My Dinner Table

Is it wrong that I love my teenage son's girlfriend?  I can honestly say if he never dated anyone else and married this girl I would be thrilled!  I can actually say that about both of my boys.  They are only 16 and 17, so it seems like a real stretch that they would marry and live happily-ever-after.  A Mom can dream can't she?! I want them to be happy so badly.  Both of these girls seem to be really good influences on my boys.  I will hate to have to change my opinion of these chicks if they become little heart-breakers.

I know a lot of Mothers who don't like that the girlfriend comes along and knocks them off of their pedestal, so to speak.  I don't mind at all.  At least they listen to these girls, they never listen to me anyway.  It's not that I want them to run off and get married at such young ages, I don't.  But I do like how grounded they seem when they are with these young women.  And these girls are nice.  Their families are nice.  They are smart, funny, and comfortable to be around.  They fit in well.

I know lots of couples that have been married for a very long time and most of them met in their teen years and have been together ever since.  My parents are a good example of this.  They met at a high school football game.  My grandparents met at a town dance, my grandmother was only 14.  They were married something like 60 years.  I once read that couples are more likely to stay together if they marry young.  I think it has something to do with having to fight the odds and really growing up together.  I don't know.  In your twenties you kind of figure out who you are.  Maybe if you are already married, it helps you define yourself?  

Marriages are often viewed as disposable now-a-days.  My own kids have said that if you get married and you are unhappy, you just get divorced.  I hate that they feel that way and I know they are not the only ones who do.  I know my own divorce from their father contributed to these feelings.  I hope that some day they will understand that my marriage to their dad was far worse than most, and that I stuck in there and tried as long as humanly possible.

I am happy to see my sons growing up to be brilliant young men. There will probably be many girlfriends brought to my dinner table over the years, some I will like and some I won't.  But I will smile and swallow the blood from my bleeding tongue because all I want is for my boys to be happy!

Wonder Woman

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Trained by the bell?


So I have this new fancy phone.  I am quite sure I will never use all of the features, but I am enjoying trying to figure them out very much.  I love it when my kids are jealous of me!  Ha, Ha!  Mommy has something cooler than you!!!  Amazingly, I am currently using this phone to write this blog.  I don't even have to type.  All I have to do is talk into my phone and it types out what I say.  Now it did type maple leaf instead of amazing, so there is some editing to be done, but on a whole pretty neat.  I never thought I would care that much about a phone.  I resisted getting a cell phone for a long time.  They do provide a very nice level of convenience.  The big drawback for me is that I am not sure I always want to be available to everyone.  So I am the master at ignoring calls and or just turning my phone off!  I know a lot of people who can't do that.  Turn their phone off or ignore calls I mean. I understand curiosity, but is it necessary to be available to everyone and everything 24 hours a day 7 days a week?  I think not!  I am one of those people that can sit next to my phone and let it ring and ring and ring until it goes to voice-mail and not even look to see who called me. I also know several people who are driven completely insane when I do it, which I might add, makes it more fun to do when they are around.  Why would I do that you ask?  Because I don't want my phone to be so important that I drop everything when it goes off.  It makes whatever you were doing and whoever you are doing it with, feel less important, don't you think?!  Why in society is it so important to run to the phone every time it rings?!  I don't get it.  Are we trained by the bell?  I think we are.  Resist the urge for one day, see if you can.  It is harder than you think!
Thanks for reading.

Wonder Woman

Tuesday, September 7, 2010



Sorry I have been away so long.  I know I said I would write every day, so I am sure you are disappointed that I took 4 days off.  All I can say is -  Holiday weekend, only had 2 kids at home that are old enough to look after themselves, so my husband took me away for some much needed R & R.  Thanks honey!  But back to reality now.

It is hard for me to relax when I go away from home.  I don't necessarily worry about things, but It seems to take me a while to flip out of "mom mode"  Anyone know what I mean? I would like to think that I don't act any differently when I am not with my kids, but I do.  I suppose we all do.   So about the time I start to relax, it's back to reality and being mom all over again.  As a woman there are many hats to wear so to speak.  Mom, Wife, Employee, the list goes on, but those are the big 3.  Sometimes they don't seem to mesh, or separate,  as easily as I would like.  I want to be carefree when I am being wife, yet that mom thing always creeps in. I want to be on time and responsible when I am being an employee, but that mom thing manages to make me late, or have to leave early at least once a week.  Thank goodness my job is so flexible.  I guess the thing is - being a mom seems to define a woman more than anything else.  I wonder if this is true for men?  Does being a dad define men more than their job?  I would guess it's a toss up there.  So I probably just ticked off any men who are reading this, but I am not saying daddy's are any less important than mommy's.  Just that society defines women by their family life and men by their job.

I don't think that there is equality in the sexes.  Frankly, this doesn't really bother me.  I do wonder sometimes, what were women thinking?!  I mean really why do they want to go to work everyday AND take care of the house and kids?  It is way too much. Why do women want to go work in construction?  It's dirty and hard!  Why didn't they leave well enough alone?  Was it that bad? Seems like a no-brainer to me, but what do I know?  Who I am I to say?  I just know that I am so busy all the time, and it seems to me if I didn't have to go to work, my life would be a lot easier.  But I do and that's life right?!

Anyway, so we went to this outlet mall, which just means they charge more and people pay it because it's at an "outlet" mall.  Duh! It was super crowded!  But we did have a nice time.  Just watching people is hilarious.  It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round they say.  There sure were all kinds of people there.  Sometimes I wonder, do people look at themselves before they leave the house?  I think everyone should have a mirror by their front door so they can catch a glimpse of themselves before they go out.  I mean combs are cheap people - come on!  I saw a woman who was maybe 50-55 wearing white sweat pants that said "juicy" in gold script across her ass!  No wait, I am not done, super big sunglasses, not so bad, but really high, like 4 inch bright red heels. OMG! What could she possible be thinking?  I know I shouldn't judge, and to each his own, but sweat pants with heels? Really?!?!

Wonder Woman

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Growing up addition

Remember the first time you could put your arm in the open car window and your fingers reached all the way to the top?  I do.  This happened to my daughter today.  She was sooooo excited!  Which was very evident because she is currently grounded and not speaking to me, but at this moment she forgot.  She even smiled at me when she talked.  I love watching my kids discover new things about themselves.  This was especially neat for me because I remember this moment for me so clearly.    It seems like such a little thing, but It must not be.  It's a beginning step to seeing yourself as an adult.  Growing up happens every day, whether you watch for it or not. I can stop watching out for myself now and lay back and watch my kids.

Transition and Growing up...

Hello Again,

In anticipation of my fortieth birthday I began trying to take better care of myself  a few years ago.  When my husband and I married we both smoked,       A LOT!!  On our one year anniversary we quit.  While there have been a few minor slip ups, mostly on his part I might add, (sorry to out you honey) we are both still smoke free.  The following year we began taking walks.  What an adventure - At first, it took us 45 minutes to walk around the block! We huffed and puffed the whole way, but we stuck with it, even when it was really cold out.  Another year has gone by, and we continued to walk and began to eat healthier.  We have both lost weight and feel a lot better.    We can now easily walk 3-4 miles at a time.  I am very proud of us. I wonder,  have I been subconsciously preparing myself for this time I now have to improve myself mentally.  Maybe?
Funny, I always thought I was pretty great!  No, seriously there is always room for improvement right?!  I find as I get older I think about politics and the world as a whole and all those serious things I used to think only my Dad thought about.  Could it be, I really am an adult?!  Up until now I have never really thought of myself as grown up. This I find amusing because my whole life I felt like I was 30.  My Mom says I have an old soul.  When I turned thirty I could not have been  happier - I was finally going to feel my age. Or so I thought.  My thirties brought me a lot changes, the first half bad, the second half good.  Let's just call them the transition years.  I guess the transition is over.  I am all grown up now.  And you know what?  I do feel different. I am excited, and happy, and nervous with anticipation.
I am sure my forties will also bring a lot of change.   I feel more prepared somehow.  Like I can handle whatever comes my way.  Hey, I kind of feel like Wonder Woman right now.  Life is constantly changing, and it seems just when you figure out how to stand up, something comes along and knocks you down.  I no longer mind being on the ground. In fact, I kind of like the view.   I think I have learned that it's not about how well or how long you stand on your own two feet, but how you handle it when you fall.
Thanks for reading!

Wonder Woman

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Regrets and Choices...

So today I have been thinking about regrets.  I really don't believe in having regrets.  I try really hard to be positive as much as possible.  I think you should own your feelings.  Everything in life is a choice.  Choose not to have regrets.  If there is a chance you are going to regret not doing it, then you better try.
However, often the problem is not regret over not having done something, but after you have done it, or said it, you wish you could take it back.  Wow - that is definitely harder.  This takes more work than most people are willing to put out.  It is not ok to just spew garbage and hurtful things and then apologize.  "I'm sorry" just doesn't cut it sometimes.  So think before you speak.  My husband is a master at this.  I am in complete awe at his ability to hold his tongue.  This is something that I strive to achieve.  Especially when I am dealing with teenagers!
I have done and said plenty of things in my life that I should probably regret, but I don't.  They made me who I am today.  I don't regret my first marriage. It gave me four beautiful children and a compassion for stupidity.  Some people really can't help it.  I don't regret all the dumb things I did in high school.  I was having fun, and I learned a lot about life.  Some things that, maybe had I waited until I was older and not so naive to do, might not have turned out so well for me.
The only regret I have is that I didn't go to college after high school.  It's too hard now.  I did manage a little bit here and there later, but the idea of a 4 year degree is completely crazy to me.  Who has time for all that?  Not me!  Plus it's so expensive.  Good grief!  Who can afford it?  So that is my one regret, and it's a biggie!
So my advice to anyone who wants it is...think before you speak, look before you leap, and if you don't - find a reason why it was good the way you did it.  Because everything happens for a reason!
What a rant today!  Thanks for reading!

Wonder Woman

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 1 - Random moments of Freedom?

Well twice today I thought I was going to sit down here and write a few things, and now I finally am.  This may be harder than I anticipated?!  Here's my thoughts...

Today when I woke up I realized my kids don't need me too much anymore.  I mean kids always need their mommy, but they are very independent.  They can all get ready for school and I pretty much just need to stay out of the way.  This is evoking strange feelings in my being!
First - HELP, What do I do?  No one needs me!  Otherwise known as PANIC!
Second - Cool, I must be a really good parent to have taught my kids to be so independent. PRIDE!
Third - I can now smoke an entire cigarette, while drinking my coffee completely uninterrupted. Crap, I quit smoking two and a half years ago.  REMORSE!
Don't worry - I don't plan on smoking again, even though it still holds certain appeal for me.  But why do parents need to be needed so bad?  I have spent all my time teaching my kids to take care of themselves. Now they can, and  I don't want them to?!  What the heck is that about?  I am torn mostly because I just am feeling so lost.  I guess I am having an adjustment period.  It is very weird.

Now most parents probably find something else to do with their time.  As I am sure I will.  Hence - the blog!
I should be thrilled to have more time, and I kind of am, but then here's the thing... #4 - GUILT!
What kind of a parent wants to be away from their kids?  I do darn-it!  But where do I go?  What do I do?  They are still young enough to need me to drive them places and be available. So it's not like I am really able to just hop on a plane.  I am just having random moments of freedom.  I am guessing God designed things this way.  Just a little taste, and then...REALITY!  I am sure this is meant to help the adjustment period be gradual, but it just feels like I am being teased...

Thanks for reading my rambling!
Wonder Woman

Monday, August 30, 2010


I am not entirely sure what I am doing so please bear with me.  I recently watched the movie Julia and Julie and while it was a perfectly good movie it made me kind of sad.  I love to cook.  I love to write.  How come I didn't do what she did?  OMG!  I am forty and I haven't done a lot of things I thought I would do with my life.  Now don't get me wrong. I am mostly satisfied with my life.  I am married, for the second time, to the most wonderful, patient, man on the planet.  Trust me I am not that easy to get along with.  And I have four children!  Wait, he has three.  Yes, I know you are frantically thinking 7 children!!!  It is crazy and wonderful and I am so blessed.  This blog is not really about that, although I am sure it will be a part of it.  

What I want this to be is something that I am passionate about.  Writing!  People tell me I am funny.  Kind of like Erma Bombeck.  I don't know if that is true, I guess we will find out!  I need to do something for myself.  I am forty!!! My life has been about family, and kids, and just making the ends come close to meeting for a very long time.  As my kids are getting older and more independent I find myself with a little bit of free time now and then and no way I have tried to fill it has satisfied me.  I hope this will.  This blog is about discovery, and passion, and expression, and my life.  I hope you find it interesting.  I think there are a lot of women like me out there. I will try to post daily, but If you are a Mom you know that may not be possilbe, but that is what I am shooting for. One more thing,  I am using the name Wonder Woman because that is what my mother has been calling me for years.
Thanks for reading, I would love to know what you think...

Wonder Woman