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