December 30, 2010

A Cry for Help

I'm not going to lie.  when it comes to certain things, i am a  total mom failure.  one of these things includes fundraisers.  we always wait until the last minute and honestly, since i never leave my house, it's kind of hard to sell things to people.  finally, though, i am faced with a fundraiser that can be done without leaving the house!  since we totally failed at selling girl scout cookies this year (we sold like 60 boxes as opposed to last year's 200), i am asking for help with the new fundraiser for corrina's girl scout troop.  they are having a thirty-one fundraiser.  if you're not familiar with thirty-one,  they sell personalized handbags, totes, lunch totes, etc.

you can check them out and/or place an order here.  if you could find it in your heart (or pocketbook) to help the girls, it would be greatly appreciated.  all orders have to be placed before Jan 14.  if you place an order, please be sure to let me know so we can make sure the girls get the credit for it or you can send an email to the consultant, melanie hill at tmlm@frontiernet.net and let her know that your order is going to the girl scouts.  any participation is much appreciated.  if i can get a couple orders, maybe i can prove to myself and the girl scout leader that i'm not a total fundraiser failure!

you capture-holiday favorites


I don't have a whole lot to say about Christmas.
It was pretty wonderful

except for the illness that ran through our family.



we got lots of snow on christmas eve. 
it was beautiful


george slept in her bunny hat and wore it all morning on Christmas



Of course it was impossible to get a decent picture of my whole family.
at least no one had their finger in their nose in this one.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!



you can find more holiday photos at

Photobucket

December 24, 2010

A Lesson In Forgiveness

I need a lesson in forgiveness.  It's Christmastime, and it would be such a good present to give to myself.  I've been trying really hard for a long time to forgive and forget.  I spend a lot of time thinking I have.  I tell myself (and others) that this particular problem doesn't bother me.  It is what it is and I can't do anything about it, and accept it for what it is.  It's easy to lie to myself because I don't notice the pain anymore.  It's no longer a constant stabbing in my side.  Then, all it takes is a word, a mention, a question from one of the kids and the knife will twist and I am reminded that the pain is still there.  I've just been living with it so long that I don't notice it anymore.

I need to fix this problem once and for all.  The fact is that holding on to the pain and the anger isn't hurting anyone but me.  It's time I let it all go and learn to really forgive and forget.  The problem is, that I don't know how.  I don't know where to start.  I know what a lot of you are probably thinking and maybe even going to say.  Though it's an idea I'm slowly getting used to, I'm still not there yet.  I'm considering heading to the self-help section of the library.  Did I really just say that?  I make fun of people who read self-help books (sorry if that includes you). 

I don't know where to start to forgive someone or something I've dealt with for way too long.  I don't want to remedy the situation (trying that would only be more painful at this point).  I just want to move on from it.  It sounds like a great idea, but I am kind of wondering if it can really be done.

December 22, 2010

I'm growing as a person-and growing a person

I find it amazing that when you're driving a minivan and someone in the back is watching a movie, that people feel the need to ride your ass the whole time. why?  are they trying to point out that i'm an old person in a van?  do they want to make me feel bad for letting my kids watch movies in the car?  have they never seen cinderella before and don't want to miss anything?  whatever the reason, it is annoying. 

one of these nights, i'm going to strap some dolls into the car seats, put down both dvd players and pop in some really nasty porn.  then, i'm going to drive down the road about 10 mph under the speed limit.  go ahead, ride my ass.  you were probably already judging me for having movies playing in the car anyway.  don't be surprised when you get the finger as you pass me or get to witness how large my vocabulary actually is when you rear end me.  since i don't think i've actually done anything wrong by playing movies in the car, i think there is a lesson to be learned here and perhaps someone should be made an example of.  i don't think it should be me.  i really am growing as a person.

now that i'm done with my rant, i have news.  we went to the doctor today and found out what kind of baby we're having.  it turns out we're having another girl.  on the way home it hit me 4 GIRLS! i'm gong to be the mother of 4 girls before i'm even 31 years old.  it seems kind of surreal and unbelievable. 
so, now, i'm thankful that i won't be carrying my beautiful baby boy around in a pink car seat.  i'm also wondering how many times can clothes be handed down. 

December 21, 2010

Mad Housewife Wine

Last week, I had the privilege of being the very first guest blogger for Mad Housewife Wines.  I wrote about Christmas traditions around the world.  You can check it out here.  You can find Mad Housewife on Facebook and also on Twitter


This week, I will be giving away a bottle of Mad Housewife and a Mad Housewife t-shirt to two lucky readers.  To enter, leave a topic related comment before midnight on December 24. 

THE RULES

1.  Your comment must pertain to the post I wrote or to Mad Housewife.  General comments will not be accepted.
2.  You have to be a blog follower.  All you have to do is click the follow button on your right.
3.  You MUST be at least 21 years old

Winners will be chosen at random.  Contest ends at 11:59 December 24Winners will be announced December 27, 2010.

Comments must be left on this blog, not on Mad Housewife

*Thank you to Mad Housewife Wine for supplying me with t-shirts for the giveaway.*

WINNERS- YELLOW TENNESEE AND DARQUE THOUGHTS.  Please send me your mailing address, shirt size (L or XL) and prefered wine to drnknhousewife@gmail.com.

Meal Planning Meltdown

I am trying to plan our meals for two weeks so that i'm ready with a list when i go shopping friday (i know it's christmas eve and probably an insane idea).  i go to the grocery store every 2 weeks on friday.  so, usually sometime between monday and wednsday i sit down and plan what we will have for lunch and dinner for the next two weeks and make a grocery list on thursday. 

i usually spend around $225 per trip.  that includes groceries for 2 weeks and household products, including pull ups, paper products and personal care products.  right now, i'm trying to figure out how to shave a little more off of that total.  i'm trying to teach george to start using the potty (the new baby will use cloth diapers), we only buy paper plates for large family gatherings, i've already cut our paper towel use in half.  as far as food goes, i don't buy many ready-to-eat foods.  i don't make our bread products too often, like i should, so i buy those.  i think that's about all, though.  i don't buy convenience food.  everything we eat takes time to make.  i buy ingredients, not meals.  the same goes with snacks.  occasionally, i will buy some fruit snacks or a bag of pretzels, but not very often.  sometimes, i look at ads and go to different stores to get a bargain, but since i started buying  more store brands and less name brands, they don't really help me too much.  the same is true with coupons.  they are good for some things, but you don't find too many coupons for staples, like milk, eggs and flour.
 
so, the question remains.  what else can i do?  now that it's cold outside, i have incorporated more soups and pastas in our meals because they're cheap, warm and comforting.  one of our problems is that a couple of the kids are pretty picky and, truth be told, i am too, though not as bad as the kids.

 
DO YOU PLAN YOUR MEALS? 
DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT BUDGETING OR MEAL PLANNING? 
I'M DYING TO KNOW IF THE AMOUNT I SPENT IS COMPARABLE TO WAT OTHERS SPEND.  DO YOU THINK IT'S TOO MUCH?  DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS OR RESOURCES THAT COULD HELP?

December 20, 2010

Did postpartum depression discredit me as a mother?

I started writing about my problem with postpartum depression, but I only managed to get one post written.  It's hard to talk about, hard to think about and I am unbelievably ashamed.  I wish I had finished it, but I just can't.  Not now.  Maybe i will sometime in the future. 

It is nearing the 2 year mark since I started getting better.  I have been off all medication for about a year and a half.  Today, I am very comfortable with my 3 children, my husband, my job, my life, myself.  I feel like I know what I'm doing (as much as any mother ever does), I feel comfortable with my parenting.  I can't help but wonder, though, if those 11 months have completely discredited me as a mother.  Do I have the right to feel comfortable?  Do I have the right to act like I know how to take care of my children or to feel like I do it well? 

The whole experience was so awful. There was nothing positive about it.  No one ever came to me offering support.  No one suggested that I was a good mother going through a bad time.  No one acknowledged that I had a legitimate problem.  I did spend a lot of time trying to run away, but the truth is that I spent more time staying than I actually did running.  I spent every day and at least 5 nights out of the week at home.  So much focus was put on the time away that even I forget that I was ever home or ever took care of my children for that year.  I have a hard time, even today remembering the good.  There was good, though.  It was the first year of my daughter's life.  How could it have all been bad? 

I have been a mother for 7 years.  Now that we are expecting baby number 4, I don't feel like I can say that I'm not worried.  I don't feel as though it's ok for me to say "I know what I'm doing, I've done this before".  I feel like I should be acting like a first time mother.  I feel like a total fraud.

December 19, 2010

Housework Holiday

Apparently, i am not cut out to be a shut in.  i have too many children. it's insane to think that i can sit around inside with them 24 hours a day.  it's different in the summer because we can go outside and go for walks, but winter?  no way. 
for a little over a week, george had been pretty much unbearable.  she spent her time screeching for her best friend daddy.  she would't let me do anything for her, she just wanted to wait for her best friend daddy.  oh, it was awful.  that girl is a champion fit thrower. 
corrina (with the help of her dad, i think) spent almost a week thinking that she didn't have to listen to a word i say.  she didn't do what i asked of her and i don't even know why she asked my permission to do anything, because what her father said was what mattered.
kennedy was the only bearable one because (as she pointed out to me numerous times), she's a nice girl.

I had to get away.  i was about to lose it. so, wednesday afternoon, i drove 30 minutes to a nearby lodge and stayed there until early friday morning.  the first night was pretty nice.  i ate dinner, watched a little tv and went to sleep early.  thursday wasn't as great. i woke up too early (i am incapable of sleeping in) and could do nothing because of the ice covering the roads and sidewalks.  i had intended to brave the cold, take long walks, enjoy the fresh air and take pictures for last week's you capture.  instead, i sat in my room all day, watched some daytime tv (which is absolutely dreadful) and did a little bit of work.  the internet connection was horribly slow, so i didn't do much.  i hardly slept at all that night and was pretty anxious to get home when i woke up friday morning.  i didn't even mind the 30 minutes it took to get the ice off of my car.  i missed my screeching, back talking, nice kids. 

Even though things didn't work out the way i wanted, and 1 whole day and 2 nights is too long to stay away from my mad house, it was nice to have some alone time.  the kids seem to be back to normal.  corrina seems to have remembered that i am her mother, that she needs to listen to me and show me some respect.  george went to sleep last night telling me that she loves me and i'm her best friend and woke up this morning saying the same thing.  kennedy is still a nice girl...with a cold.

what have i learned?  well, i learned that "if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard".

What do you do when you suffer from mommy burn out?

i did not take the above picture of the lodge.  i didn't snap a single picture while there.

December 16, 2010

tell me what you really think, it's ok, i'm pregnant

it's not often that steve and i agree on things.  if i think something is annoying, inappropriate or just wrong, he usually acts like i am overreacting.  in the same manner, i tend to think things he thinks are a big deal aren't.  however, today, he was saying that he doesn't understand why people feel the need to comment on our private lives and think it's ok because we're having a baby.  i thought it was funny because i had touched on  this earlier.

his complaint is with people speculating on the sex of our baby.  he says he's tired of people telling him that he wants a boy or saying things like "surely, this one will be a boy", or just stating that this one will be a boy (like the baby won't count if it's another girl).  this is when i told him my thoughts (about others' thoughts) on our home or our sleeping arrangements.  it is amazing what people think they are allowed to say just because there's a baby on the way.  i doubt anyone would come out and say "gee, i bet you wish your 2 year old had been a boy, huh?" or be so quick to bring up the size of our house in regards to the family we already have.  it would be rude to say those things if we weren't expecting, but nobody thinks it's rude now.  steve and i find it amazing.

the truth is, we really couldn't care less what the sex of the baby is.  it doesn't matter to us at all.  it makes no difference to us where the baby will sleep.  we'll make do with what we have and what we have is a wonderful family and a whole lot of love.  we don't put a lot of stock in material things or things that we have no control over.  what matters to us is that our new baby, as well as our other babies, are happy, healthy and know how much we love them.  that is what we think is important.

on the 22nd, we go for an ultrasound and if we want, we can find out the sex of the baby.  we have been debating over whether or not we want to know.  that would be the best way to show people that it doesn't matter to us. however, the girls are so anxious to know.  we have until then to decide.

December 14, 2010

Online shopping-a shut in's dream!

Yesterday, i questioned whether or not instant gratification is a good thing.  i mentioned online shopping in that post.  the fact that today, i'm going to sing the praises of online shopping should prove to you that i don't know what the hell i'm talking about or doing. 

i am pretty much done with my christmas shopping, and i have only made one trip out of my house since the beginning of december.  have i mentioned i'm one step (or two) away from becoming j.d. salinger?  before you get all worked up, no, i'm not referring to his writing.  anyway, that one trip was to return items that didn't fit.  so, the upside to shopping online?  it is so much easier to keep track of what i'm buying and how much i'm spending when i do it online.  i've kept a notebook handy to write down my purchases and their prices.  i've been able to keep track of who gets what as i'm buying the gifts.  i'm not shuffling through 10,000 receipts or losing 5,000 of them.  i have lists of what i bought sitting neatly in my inbox.  i don't have to go through 20,000 bags sitting in the back of my van.  that makes me sound way more organized than i actually am.
also, i absolutely hate shopping.  the only thing i like about shopping is getting it done quickly so i can enjoy my margarita lunch, which may or may not turn into an afternoon snack and dinner.  since that's not a possibility this year, i am glad to leave out trips to the mall, constantly going in and out of cold weather, dealing with unobservant assholes who run me over, and assholes who are inevitably out coughing and sneezing all over the place.
lastly, most places have pretty good deals on shipping or even offer free shipping.  i don't think i spent anymore on shipping than i would have on gas or eating out had i actually left my house. 

as for the downside of shopping online, i have been bombarded with boxes that i can't open in front of anyone, which are piling up on our back porch.  that's right, folks, there's probably close to $1,000 worth of merchandise sitting on my back porch.  don't rush, i'll have brought it in before you can make it over to steal it.  i intend to attack that tower of boxes with wrapping paper tonight. 
the other downside is that some companies still use styrofoam peanuts when packing their boxes. 

having said all that, i do feel like i missed out on a little something by shopping online this year.  a little holiday cheer is missing from my soul.  however, i'm sure i saved myself from at least a headache, maybe a fight, and probably a cold or flu.

December 13, 2010

Remember when...


Yesterday, ken wanted to watch frosty the snowman, so i pulled out the dvd and put it in for her.  the other girls weren't interested in it at all.  it made me think about being a kid, and how we had to wait to watch christmas specials on tv.  one time a year, not one hundred.  we were always home on those nights (not that we ever really went anywhere) and enjoyed our one chance to watch those yearly specials.  those days are gone.  we no longer need to check the tv guide (do they even still make them?) and make sure we're home.  thanks to technology, we have these things at our fingertips whenever we want them.

i had to wonder, is all this instant gratification really gratifying?  wasn't anticipation half the fun?  isn't that what made things special and memorable?  i remember when it snowed when i was a kid, we still had to get up in the morning, start getting ready for school, listen to the radio and hope that school would be canceled.  now, we know before we go to bed at night, because the school's automated system calls my cell phone with a message.  kids no longer have to wait for those special nights to watch christmas specials.  thanks to dvd, and abc family, they can pretty much watch them whenever they want.  even adults no longer need to leave the house and join the holiday hustle and bustle, because we can do all of our shopping online.

what are we losing?  i don't really have an answer that i can type.  i just have the feeling that instant gratification can't be healthy, especially for children.  what are they learning when they no longer have to wait for things?  what is really exciting for children these days?  what can i do to change things in my house?  these questions and concerns go way past christmas, these are just a few examples.  perhaps these are a few of the questions whose answers actually aren't right at our fingertips. i don't think there are many of them left.

December 6, 2010

Unintentional Co-Sleeper

I've been thinking a lot lately about the the size of our house and where on earth we'll put a new baby.  can we really fit 6 people in this house?  the subject doesn't seem to bother me as much as it does other people.  i'm torn between amusement and annoyance when i hear the wonder in there voices as they question "when are you going to get a bigger house?" and "where will you fit another kid in that house?"  while other people seem to be worried about crib placement and privacy (what's that?), i have realized that we have unintentionally become co-sleepers.

when corrina was a baby, i was adamant that she would learn to sleep on her own and she would not sleep in my bed.  that worked until she was 2.  then, we moved and she spent some time with my mom while i got settled.  my mother spoiled her, ruined her by not making her sleep alone.  when she came home, she slept with me until she was 4.  however, around 4 (probably a little sooner), she no longer wanted to sleep in our bed and quietly started sleeping in her own bed.

we never had a problem getting kennedy to sleep.  she would happily lay in her crib and put herself to sleep.  georgia, however has never (and still doesn't) sleep through the night.  she has pretty much been by my side at night always.  when kennedy was about 18 months old (shortly after george was born), we tried to move her to a toddler bed, thinking that george might sleep better in the crib instead of the bassinet.  neither one liked the new arrangement and both ended up in bed with me.  my husband ended up on the couch for a while.  then, we moved all of the girls in one room.  kennedy started sleeping in the toddler bed and we added an extra full size bed for george (and me).  

i don't mind it.  i actually enjoy laying with them to put them to bed, reading to them and talking about our day.  i get up and sleep in my own bed until george wakes up, then i stay with her for the rest of the night.   i like being close to the girls.  i like being there when they need me.  i love that george wants to cuddle me when she sleeps.  now that corrina is in her own room (i have to admit that i miss her, but i'm dealing with the separation anxiety), kennedy sleeps in her old bed.  she's 3 1/2 and she now sleeps alone.  i no longer have to lay with her to get her to sleep.  it's nothing i planned on or tried or, it just happened.  she's just old enough now to do it on her own.  i'm sure that george will go it alone in her own time too. 

i don't understand why this tends to be such a hot button topic.  i want my children to always feel loved, safe and secure.  i want them to know that i'm always there when they need me.  i don't want them to feel like they are a burden in any way.  i don't like the idea of letting them scream (especially when they're babies) just because i want to be alone.  people told me when corrina was litttle and when kennedy started sleeping with me and with george too that i'm spoiling my children, keeping them from being independent and that i would never get them out of my bed.  right now, i don't agree with any of those things.  if i only have to roll over to wake corrina up to get her off to high school in the morning, then i'll worry. when george wants to fit a full size bed in a dorm room so i can sleep with her, then i'll have to put an end to it.

i've never put much thought to co-sleeping.  i've never really had an opinion for or against it.  i didn't set out to make it part of my parenting style.  it's just something that seems to be something we fell in to, something that works for us.  as it turns out, i am a co-sleeper and i wouldn't have it any other way.

December 4, 2010

A Christmas Miracle

Had i known about this before thanksgiving, i would have passed it on to you.  if i had, i might have saved Kristina C. a trip or two to her tequila stash.  that's right, kristina, instead of drinking your mother-in-law away, you could have eaten her away.  this wonderful new product is Whipped Lightning.  it is alcohol infused whipped cream or whipahol, if you will.

white lightning comes in 9 flavors, white chocolate raspberry, amaretto, spiced vanilla, tropical passion, coconut, strawberry colada, german chocolate, macadamia and cinnamon.  whipped lightning is about 18% alcohol, whereas a beer ranges from 3% to 10% depending on the brand, and wine is about 10%.  it costs about $10.00 a can, so only use it on special occasions.

i don't often drink anything that has whipped cream on top.  whipped cream on a drink means that it's meant for lightweights (sorry if i offend), not for me.  however, if there was booze in the whipped cream, i may totally change my outlook on these drinks. 

what can i do with this?  well, if i weren't expecting, mommy would need whipped cream on her morning coffee, whipped cream on her lunchtime smoothie, whipped cream on dessert at dinner, and whipped cream on her hot chocolate before bed.  man, where was this stuff a thousand years ago when i worked at steak 'n shake?

you could use it for any of those things, you can use it in cocktails, you can go trashy college student and suck it right out of the can.  how many of those kids get drunk and take a can of whipped cream to the bedroom?  now, you can start sober and get drunk as you go.  this stuff is turning the world upside down!

you can check out the website for recipes.  there, you can also see where it is available.  mind you, it isn't available everywhere.  maybe they would be interested  in hosting a giveaway right here on the drunken housewife.  that would be great for christmas, whipped lightning!

what are your thoughts on alcohol infused whipped cream?  have you tried any of the flavors?  could it be as promising (and frightening)as bacon flavored vodka?

December 3, 2010

Friday nights

Friday nights at our house consist of pizza.  usually homemade, but lately, ordered. tonight, i'm trying a new recipe for the crust.



Family. tonight we're watching Molly: An American Girl on the Homefront because Corrina recently finished reading all of the Molly books.

and snacks.tonight, we're having chocolate chip cookie bars topped with ice cream!


How are Friday nights at your house?  Any big plans?  Whatever your plans, I hope you're sharing your evening with someone special

December 2, 2010

where is my pregnancy glow?

I wish i could be one of those women who make being pregnant look beautiful and mysterious, and elegant.  i suppose since i don't have the ability to make anything look good, i shouldn't really expect to make pregnancy look good (or fun).  in the end, i'm still just me, not really any fatter (everything has just moved around to the front, making it impossible for my pants to fit), but definitely moodier and with worse skin.  right now, the majority of 13 year old boys in the world have better complexions than i do.  it's a good thing i'm basically a shut-in, or i'd be pretty embarrassed.  actually, it might not be so embarrassing, given the fact that i'm barely recognizable underneath  the amount of acne sprouting from my pores.

i was determined this time to not spend an enormous amount of time focusing on being pregnant.  i actually don't have the time to focus on it too much.  i can't tell you how far along i am to the day, i don't know if i'm craving anything, i'm not tracking my weight, i'm not worried about every little cramp, pull or twinge.  it's not that i don't care or that i'm not excited, because i am.  this is the fourth time i've done this.  i know that i'm healthy, so far, all signs point to a healthy baby, so i just don't see any need for extra concern.  i'm more concerned about preparing the others (especially the 2 year old) for the arrival of their new sibling.  the last week and a half, though, i have had to focus on it. 

i have a headache that started a week ago saturday, on corrina's birthday.  we've been so busy, that i had to pretend i wasn't in pain in order to get things done.  i have been in pain, though.  this isn't just a normal headache, and tylenol doesn't seem to help at all.  saturday night, i woke up with a migraine and my headache has gotten worse since the migraine went away.  monday, i called the doctor and she prescribed tylenol 3.  i took it.  it didn't do any good.  i could still feel my head pounding through the warm fuzzies i was feeling.  later that evening, while i was making dinner, i passed out. 

tomorrow, i am heading to the doctor.  they believe the problem is my low blood pressure.  until friday, i'm supposed to eat a lot of salt, refrain from driving and spend as much time sitting or laying as possible.  how in the hell do i have low blood pressure?  i eat an amazing amount of salt (i always have).  normal people are disgusted by my salt intake.   i am overweight.  i thought most fat people had high blood pressure.  the only exercise i get is every 2 weeks when i go grocery shopping and lugging kids and laundry up and down stairs 10,000 times a day.  i am stressed out and high strung and spend a good deal of time yelling.  i'm one step away from mainlining caffeine.

i don't understand it.   my low blood pressure is a mystery.  a mystery that is making me miserable.  hopefully, i can get this worked out so i can stop whining and get back to my life as normal.  until then, my posting may be more boring than usual and more sporadic. i also think that when i get back to normal, i might spend less time being sentimental and more time complaining.  that's what i'm really good at! 

November 24, 2010

my hormones are getting the best of me

yesterday, i went to visit my doctor.  while sitting in the waiting room, a newborn baby was crying.  it was crying that tiny little newborn cry that doesn't seem like much to us, but you know he's giving it all he's got.  next thing i know, tears start rolling down my face, my heart starts racing and i start shaking.  i was having a panic attack.  these thoughts started racing through my head and feeding my panic

"if that were my baby, i wouldn't know what to do",
"thank God that's not my baby",
"what do you do when a baby cries",
"what were we thinking to have a baby",
"i don't know how to take care of a baby".

i have no idea where this came from.  it was bizarre.  then, of course, the nurse came to get me and i had to explain why i was crying.  she told me that it's natural for a new mother to feel a little nervous and scared.  it's ok if it seems like i don't know these things now, because once i hold that baby, everything will click into place and i will know exactly what to do.  when i explained that this is my fourth baby, she looked at me like i'd lost my mind.  when ii got home and told steve what had happened, he interrupted me to tell me that he needs to get ingredients to make chili because he wants chili (like he could actually cook anything). 

so, i guess my mini-breakdown meant nothing and was unimportant.  it's possible that i have lost my mind. 

incidentally, i am a little over 17 weeks.  i really didn't know.  with the other three, i kept track, always knew what was going on with the baby.  it's not that i don't care or don't want to know this time, i just...haven't looked.  is that awful?

November 23, 2010

Treat Yourself Tuesday

this week, i am going to keep this simple.  thanksgiving in itself is hectic, not to mention this week kicks off an entire month of craziness, stress, lots of family and frantic money spending.  there is a good chance that your thanksgiving preparation will begin tomorrow night, followed by the actual event and, for some, that is followed by a day of shopping and crazy people.  so, my suggestion this week is to do NOTHING tonight.  put on a cozy pair of pajamas, pick out a movie, buy yourself a bottle of wine and relax.  drink the entire bottle.  i also suggest ordering your dinner.  you'll have enough cooking to do this week. 
later this week, i think you'll be happy that you took this time to yourself.  you may even thank me for suggesting it.  this may be the last time for a while that you are able to sit down and relax.  ENJOY! if i could, i would definitely be joining you for that bottle. 


are you going shopping friday?  do you have a routine you follow every year, do  you wing it, or is avoiding it your routine?

November 20, 2010

Seven

wow, seven years old, i'm not sure what to say.
it seems like just yesterday you were two, putting puzzles together on the floor. 

when you were 3, the doctor asked if you could count to 10, you gave it to her in english, spanish and french. 

when you were 4, you memorized whole books and made us believe you could read.

when you were 5, you picked up a magazine and read it to me.  sigourney weaver was on the cover and you pronounced it perfectly, proving to me that you can read.

when you were 6, you proved to us over and over than you weren't the typical kindergartner.

always my little know-it-all.  you amaze me with your intelligence everyday.
i only hope that i am succeeding in teaching you what is really important in life and that you exercise that knowledge.  that concept seems funny considering that it was you who taught me what is really important in life.

November 19, 2010

The house that love built

i may have mentioned before that for my daughter's birthday, i decided to fix up a tiny room in our house and make it her very own.

 we live in a very small house.  our upstairs bathroom is tiny and the room right next to it is just as tiny.  years ago, we had the bright idea to knock out the wall between the two and make the bathroom larger and add a linen closet to it.  we had no intentions of having other children, so we didn't care if we had a 2 bedroom house as long as i had a larger bathroom.  i'm almost positive that the minute we started seriously looking into this, we discovered that we were expecting a baby.  needless to say, the tiny room never became a bathroom extension, but a baby room.  it really is just big enough for a crib, a chair and a changing table.  it stayed that way until shortly after george was born.  she never slept in there, so it eventually became storage/toy room.  however, now it is corrina's very own bedroom.  it's not much, but she's so grateful to have it so she no longer has to share with both of her sisters and me most nights.

i remember panicking before kennedy was born because i couldn't see how we were going to fit in this house.  we did.  then came george and we still fit.  now, we're adding another member to our family and we will still fit (we'll fit longer if we have another girl). 

the size of our house no longer matters to me.  a whole lot of life is being lived in our house.  it's stained on our carpet and it's drawn on the walls in crayon.  there is a lot of fighting within these four walls, a lot of messes being made, there is sharing, debating, laughing, crying and more love than anything else.  i love this tiny house, not for what it is physically, but for everything that comes with living in it.

November 18, 2010

Our not-so-big night out

Last night was family reading night at corrina's school.  it's basically a book fair, but they are so good at making it so much more.  this year's theme was heroes.  we got to meet local heroes, color pictures, make crafts, pet service animals, play games and hear stories.

corrina tried on fire gear and george got cuffed by the state police (i had an eerie feeling this wouldn't be the last time).  we all had a pretty good time.  one thing i can say about the students and parents at corrina's school is that i'm impressed with the way everyone participates in events like this.  the school was packed.  i'm also impressed with the amount of work the faculty puts in to this night.  when we were ready to go home, we walked through the parking lot to see the live nativity complete with mules, camels and goats.  the kids loved it.

November 17, 2010

a change in the weather

Remember these two? the best of friends?

always so sweet to eachother?


do everything together?

so close in age, yet such different people?
all the sweetness has ended this week.  it seems that they can only play together for a couple minutes before they start fighting. 
yesterday, i developed a pretty heavy duty eye twitch because of it.
not to mention the clumps of hair i pulled out.
what happened?
when and why did things change?
how did i miss it?

they were so sweet to eachother.
emphasis on were

November 16, 2010

Treat Yourself Tuesday

I'm not sure than anything makes you feel like a better person than helping someone else.  i mentioned here that i started cleaning our toy room (what a task that was).  i also mentioned here my need to downsize.  this last week, i finally put both together and accomplished something.  i got rid of 6 bags of toys from our playroom (and 3 bags of trash, but that's not what is important).  

i mention this for a reason.  the first 2 bags, i gave to salvation army.  it wasn't anything big and the toys weren't in the best shape.  my husband suggested donating some toys to the local women's center for victims of domestic abuse.  that was something i had never considered, not for any particular reason, i just never thought of it.  so, i decided to pack up everything.  there were toys that have almost never been played with and toys that the kids have outgrown.  these toys were in great condition and i was saving them to sell at a yard sale...someday.  these are the toys i decided to bag up and send to the women's center.  i was amazed at how much they needed and appreciated these toys.  my husband took 2 bags in the morning and 2 in the afternoon  when he returned in the afternoon, she had already given away almost all of the toys we took that morning.  i can't tell you how good it felt to know that someone who really needed these toys were using them before i had even finished cleaning the room. 

so, what is the point of my story?  if you're looking for a place to donate items, maybe you should look up your local women's shelter.  most of these places aren't really obviously advertised, but i'm sure you can find a number listed or call your local police station, they can give you info on who to contact.

many of these women leave their home with nothing but the clothes on their backs.  many of them leave their jobs as well.  depending on the situation, a lot of these women basically are in hiding.  donations can be a wide variety of items from toys, women's clothing and children's clothing, personal items, furniture.  if you can imagine what you would need if you were starting your life over from scratch, you can come up with something someone needs. 

the upside for us: i feel as though i accomplished something good, i took care of a problem that has been bothering me for a while, i don't mind walking through that room anymore and our children are actually playing with the toys that are left.


this week (or month, or year), treat yourself by helping someone else.  donate something to your local women's shelter.

November 15, 2010

...and I'm feelin' good

I don't have a whole lot to say today.  i just want to mention (to anyone who will listen) that i got 8 whole hours of sleep last night.  it was good sleep, too.  i went to bed and my wonderful children (mostly george) let me sleep until 5:40am!  i only bring this up because i honestly don't remember the last time i slept so long.

this morning, i feel like i could conquer the world...maybe i will!

November 12, 2010

you capture: serenity

Yesterday was a day full of screaming, unhappy children who couldn't be calmed.  it was full of frustration because i feel like i have too much to do, because i have started jobs too big for me to finish alone and yet, i don't seem to be getting any help.  i felt panicky because i started a project with a deadline and i was pretty sure i'd never finish on time.  yesterday, i yelled, complained, cried, complained, worked, complained, shopped, complained. 
right in the middle of my complaining, my anger, my frustration and discontent, we took the kids to lunch on the river.  it was perfect, a break that was much needed.  it was almost...serene.

the weather was almost perfect and we were able to eat our meal outside
the kids were all so well behaved i thought maybe we have accidentally took the neighbor's kids

there was no complaining, yelling or crying
we watched the water, a few boats, a barge, some birds and skipped rocks
i think our new favorite thing to do on a nice day is to eat cheeseburgers on the river.

if i could truly have captured serenity, it would have been the way i felt when i came home from shopping and realized all the things my husband did while i was gone.  it was almost amazing and everything that i spent the day complaining about vanished.  that was truly the most serene moment of the day.



you can find more photos of serenity at
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