October 28, 2010

kids pick up more than we think

Right now, my girls are all making "feel better" cards for daddy.  they know something is not right in our house.  they know that something is wrong with daddy.  no matter what we do to make them feel that everything is ok, it still seems to get to them. 

today, the paper ran a story bringing to light accusations being made against my husband.  earlier this week, an email was circulated to a very large group of people.  very little of the email was true.  very few of the quotes were correct.  many quotes were twisted and used out of context. 

it seems to me that nobody cares about the truth.  it's not important.  it's not nearly as fun as demanding a man's head.  no one considers (or cares about) the effect this has on my children.  no one cares if they're worried about daddy.  my youngest actually asked if mommy and daddy were getting divorced.  i don't think my husband has slept in days.  come to think of it, i don't think he's eaten much either.  tonight, instead of attending my monthly book club meeting, i'll be eating out, hiding my face behind a book, then i'll be taking myself to the movies to hide in the dark. 

more than anything, i want my children to feel loved, feel safe and secure.  i want to teach them that the good always wins and that truth will always prevail.  i want them to stand up for themselves and what is right, not to hide, not to be scared off by other people.  i want to teach them to have respect for all people and to not sweat the small stuff.  how can we teach them these things when it's so obvious to them that mommy and daddy aren't so sure.  right now, i don't feel like we can guarantee any of these things.

October 27, 2010

The Weight of The World

I feel like the problems of the world settled themselves on my shoulders yesterday, crushing my happiness and optimism and belief in the fairness and goodness of people.  people are talking, spreading lies, accusations, falsehoods, what have you.  these are people in our community, people we see at the grocery store, the pick up line at school, at church, our neighbors.  These are people who are quick to tell everyone that God comes first in their lives and is behind every decision they make.  I find it hard to believe that God is behind their current decision to do whatever it takes to make our lives miserable for the sake of winning a race.  did anyone consider the effect this would have on our life?  not just one life, but 5 lives. 
i can't tell you the hurt that i have in my heart.  it was almost impossible for me to sit through my daughter's soccer game last night without crying.  it's not worth it.  none of this is worth it.  i feel discouraged, let down and betrayed, not because these were our friends or people we are close to (i don't think it's gone that far yet), but because it is making me question the goodness in people.

yesterday morning (before my heart collapsed), this is what i posted on facebook "lately, i've been feeling like i really want to do something important, something that will make another person happy or make a difference in their lives. every day, the feeling gets stronger, but the problem is, i don't know what that something would be".  i feel this way a lot.  i feel like there is so much i have to give to the world and to people who are troubled, hurting, hungry, needy.  given the fact that i am pretty much talentless and not very creative, i feel at a loss. 
this is what i'm trying to focus on.  what happened yesterday and what is undoubtely happening today while i type this really isn't very important.  we are strong people, a strong family and i'm sure we'll come through just fine.  in the grand scheme of things, the words and thoughtlessness of people isn't a big problem.  there are people with real problems.  people are hungry, uneducated, sick and dying.  their problems are real, they are lasting, not temporary, and they are unable to help themselves.  these are the people i should be focusing on.  these are the people we should all be focusing on. 
i also need to focus on teaching my children to be kind, not just to the needy, but to everyone, no matter what the situation.

October 26, 2010

Treat Yourself Tuesday

Why is it that as wives and mothers and adults in general, we get so weighed down by day to day things that we seem to forget to have fun or we forget to focus on bigger accomplishments or other people?  it seems that most days, i'm so focused on cooking meals, doing laundry, cleaning up messes that there doesn't seem to be room left for anything else.  there are other things i want to do, things that, no matter how much i want to accomplish them, always seem to get pushed aside, never to be done.  i think it's time to focus on some of those things. 

this week, i would like to focus on creating a list.  i'm going to start small with 25 items on my list.  today, i'm going to sit down and make a list of 25 things i want to accomplish over the next year.  i'm not sure what those 25 things are yet, but i will share it with you when i finish it. 

so, this is my suggestion to you for treat yourself tuesday.  sit down and make a list of things you want to do.  it can be anything.  finish a book you started, watch a certain number of movies, learn french, do a craft with your kids once a month (or week), remodel your bathroom, rearrange your kitchen, take a vacation, ride a roller coaster, clean out your closet.  your list can be longer than mine.  i'm just picking 25 things because i don't want to overwhelm myself, considering that before that year is over, we'll have a sixth person in our family.  when making your list, don't make it all about your family or your house.  remember to include things that you would enjoy doing too.  this is your list, to make you feel a little more accomplished and fulfilled.  it's not a list for your kids, your husband or home improvement only.  at the end of the year, you will know that you accomplished something that needed to be done, something you wanted to do, you will have broadened yourself and had some fun that you might not have had otherwise.  be creative and remember to really focus on yourself.

What kind of things will you put on your list?  Will you make sure you accomplish your list or will you feel satisfied by just writing it?

Is anyone reading Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler?  I'll be discussing it Nov 1.

October 22, 2010

You're in the Presence of Greatness

oh boy, what a week!  i need a drink.  i deserve a drink.  ok, ok, i hear your gasps.  "but you're pregnant", you say.  yes, it's true i am and just because i say that i need/deserve a drink, doesn't mean i intend to actually have a drink.  i'll just have to settle for something g rated like hot chocolate. 

it's not easy living in this house this week.  everyday, my husband has come home with a new horror story from his job.  i'll be so happy when this election is over.  my husband's opponent has been very busy with desperate last ditch efforts to ruin his good name.  all week long, these have discouraged me and actually made me cry.  this worried me that something good in me, something bitchy in me had died.  however, i've come to realize that the crying isn't because i've gone soft.  it's just because i can't smack someone say anything about it.  oh well, at least it's given us something to laugh over this weekend.

also this week, someone tried to buy themselves a mac book pro using my debit card (almost $1300).  they would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for them meddling kids the smart people at apple.  my bank was not very helpful. i'm not sure if they've ever even dealt with a fraud problem.  the money still has not been returned to our account.  i'm starting to get a little annoyed.

i also received my first negative comment this week.  well, it's my first since i actually started putting some effort into this blog and people actually started reading it.  i was upset about the comment and everything else that
happened this week and i may or may not have unfairly taken my frustrations out on this person and their comment.  i feel really bad about that.  ok, seriously, i don't.  they deserved everything i said.  i only say that because the comment wasn't left by a person who reads this blog because they like it.  it was left by a person who knows me personally and only reads my blog in hopes to find a good opportunity to say something nasty to me.  it was a comment left after the nasty one that really got me thinking and helped me put things in perspective.  andrew said "haters gonna hate".

it was after reading andrew's comment that i realized once you reach a certain level of celebrity, people are bound to feel a little jealous, a little put out.  this is probably particularly true of acquaintances and lesser known family members.  i am seriously at a turning point in my life. i'm on the brink of being something big.  i have 13 followers and i'm only related to one.  i mean, my blog gets read about 35 times a day.  i know for a fact that only about 4 of those people are from the town i live in, one is my mom, one is my brother, i may have gone to high school with a couple of you and then there's always my 2 friends.  ok, you do the math.  that's probably about 15 people i don't know reading my blog.  i also know i'm just around the corner from being super famous because i get googled...a lot.  seriously.  who knows how many times "the slutty drunken housewife" or some variation thereof gets googled daily and i don't just mean by people in the u.s.  there's quite a few from other countries.  people all over the world are looking for my blog.  not convinced of my celebrity yet?  let me just say that my husband issues marriage licences (obviously this is important to someone, given their need to comment bout it), i can actually perform marriages (well, i can even though i haven't), not to mention the fact that i belong to a book club.  i didn't even have to show the librarian my card the other day.  she just automatically knew what name to look up. 

so, now that i've realized how important i am and my blog really is in daily life, i guess i can't blame some people for feeling the need to hate on me.  what can i say?  it's not easy being green me.  my husband is singing "i'm breakin' the law, breakin' the law".  i think that's my cue to make that hot cholcolate and imagine it's something stronger.

October 21, 2010

A Lesson in Everything, Even Grief

Last week, i attended a funeral.  it was hard and it really got me thinking about things.  i saw a man that i know, he was one of the pall bearers.  his daughter was there also.  i couldn't help but notice that they didn't speak.  whenever they got too close, the man would move away.  through the entire service, they never said a word to each other and i am not sure that they even looked at each other.  i wasn't sure if they were even aware the other was there, but i didn't want to overstep my boundaries and point it out.  how can a parent not be aware that their children are present?  in a time like this, shouldn't family stick together and support one another?  it was clear that something had passed between the two (or worse, nothing) at some point in time and left them separated.  i couldn't help but wonder (morbidly) that if this were that man's funeral, who would make these arrangements?  who would stand at the casket and grieve?  who would receive condolences from those who came?  would it be the girl that he didn't acknowledge?  would it have to be his mother (i didn't see him speak to her either)?  i felt very sad for the man.  i thought of the man who had passed away and i saw his family, his parents, brothers, children and grandchildren mourning his loss.  that man had a good life.  the proof of this wasn't in the size of the house he left behind or the car in the driveway or the things that remained in the house.  the proof wasn't lying in the bank.  the proof was standing in front of me. the proof was in the tears i saw on their faces and the pain i knew was in their hearts. 

i can't imagine there ever being a time when i won't speak to my daughters.  i can't imagine anything occurring between us that would result in not even acknowledging each other.  these girls are everything to me.  i don't think i'd be able to go on without one of them.  there is nothing they could ever do that i couldn't forgive.  i spend quite a bit of time feeling that i'm failing as a mother.  no matter what, i will probably always feel that way.  what matters, though, is what they feel.  will they feel i was a success?  will they remember how often i hug them and tell them i love them?  will they remember the crafts we did and the cookies we baked or will they only remember that i yell?  i do my best, try my hardest to be a good mother.  my only hope is that when my children are grown, they know this and they agree. i never want them to question that i love them.  the thought that some kids (and even adults) question this about their parents is absurd to me.

as for the man and his daughter, i hope they took something away from the funeral and the grieving family as well.  i hope they find their way back to each other and fix whatever is wrong between them. 

the first and third pictures were taken by kara s. at my brother's wedding a couple weeks ago.

October 19, 2010

Treat Yourself Tuesday

Stress.  we all have it to some degree.  the last couple days, i have been so stressed out and worried that i haven't been able to think about much else.  of course, it doesn't help that anytime i start to, my husband brings me right back to the subject that stressed me out int he first place.  it's a vicious cycle. 

so, here are some things you can do to try to rid yourself of some stress and excess worry. 

1.  go to bed early.  this would be great if you can actually go straight to sleep.  if you can't, i suggest reading something or maybe watching a little tv.  don't go to bed early if you're going to sit there in the dark and think about your problems.  i just like being in bed at 8:30 with the lights off watching something that requires no thought.  sitcom reruns are great for this.

2.  get some exercise.  if you're worrying about something too much, there's a chance that you're holding in some anger toward the source of your worry.  getting a serious workout can help this tremendously.  take a kickboxing class or put a punching bag in your attic or basement.  physically working out your frustration is a great feeling and it's also good for you physically.

on the other side, if you are just feeling a little overwhelmed, go for a walk.  enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.  this time of year is so beautiful.  go out and appreciate it.  i'm sure that no matter what season it is, you can find something wonderful about it. 

3.  focus on the present.  what is happening around you right now?  chances are the people around you would appreciate you focusing on them or what you're doing instead of something that will happen tomorrow, 2 weeks ago or even something that happened yesterday. 

4.  laugh.  laughter is magical.  do what you have to do to have a  laugh.  watch a funny movie, watch your children (they are full of entertainment), have lunch with girlfriends or just call one on the phone.

5.  read a book.  really read it, don't skim it and block everything else out as much as possible.  try to read something light or something you enjoyed reading as a kid.  i've used this a lot this week.  i've thrown myself into every book i've read in the last week.  some of them, i probably shouldn't have because they just made me panicky.

6.  listen to music.  change your play list up and add songs that make you feel good.  some songs i've added to mine are ooh...child bye the five stairsteps, feeling good by michael buble, stuck in a moment by u2, don't rain on my parade by bobby darrin, mr. bluesky by elo, positively 4th street by bob dylan (i don't really know how to answer for having that on the list), (just like) starting over by john lennon.  put on the go-gos, and dance around your living room.

7.  work on a hobby.  if you don't have one, learn one.  learn something new.  learn to knit, learn to bake, learn to speak french, heck, learn to change your oil.  find something to focus your energy on and something that you can feel good about.  there's nothing stressful about a feeling of accomplishment. 

8.  eat comfort food.  have a bowl of something warm, something that makes you feel good.  soup is great.  warm liquids are great for reducing stress.  put a piece of chocolate on your tongue and just let it melt.  that always makes me feel better.  that is, until i realize i've eaten a whole box of chocolate. 

9.  get involve in a charity.  organize an event, donate books to your library, volunteer your time at a hospital or homeless shelter.  not only will it give you something to focus your attention on, but it will help someone else and also, possibly put your problems and stresses in perspective. 

10.  your husband will love me for suggesting this one.  one of the easiest way to reduce your stress is to have sex.  not only can it relieve stress, but it can also lower your blood pressure. 

there are 10 things you can try to reduce your stress level.  so, get as much work done as early as you can, so you can forget about it and focus on something a little more fun and relaxing.

October 12, 2010

Treat Yourself Tuesday

i almost forgot that today is tuesday.  as i've mentioned before we had a VERY long weekend.  my daughter got out of school at 11:30 thursday and didn't return until this morning.  my brain is fried.  i don't know what day it is anymore.  this last week has been so busy, i think i deserve some down time.  you do too. 

one of my favorite indulgences is taking myself to a movie.  i love to go to the movies by myself.  i have to turn my phone off.  i have to eat popcorn with buttery topping (just saying that gives me the willies, but i'll eat it anyway).  i have to drink a coke (a REAL one, not a diet!).  it's so nice to sit there by myself and not think about anything except whatever is happening on the screen.  i don't have to listen to anyone laughing, commenting or trying to have a conversation with me.  this is my time.  it is fabulous.  so, this week, i think i will go see a movie and relax.  i have no idea what is playing at our 2 screen theater.  i'm sure it's something that came out 6 months ago and is due out on dvd soon.  i don't care.  i need that time.  i might even walk by the dairy queen and have an ice cream cone on the way home. 

this week, i suggest taking yourself to a movie.  i promise you won't regret it.  treat yourself to food you wouldn't normally eat.  indulge and relax.

October 5, 2010

Take Care of Yourself Tuesday

This week, due to being sick and tired and cranky, we aren't treating ourselves, we're taking care of ourselves.  in a good deal of places around the country, the weather is changing.  it is now fall and will soon be winter.  this means cold and flu season. 
here are some suggestions to help prevent getting sick:

1. Wash your hands!

2. Don't sneeze or cough into your hands.  use a tissue or your elbow.

3.  Drink plenty of liquids.  keep your system clean and hydrated by drinking up to 8 glasses of water a day

4.  Don't touch your face.  cold and flu viruses enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth

5.  Get plenty of aerobic exercise.  this increases the number of virus-killing cells your body makes.

6.  Don't smoke or drink

7.  Relax.  you're more likely to get sick if you're sleep deprived or stressed.  by really relaxing for 30 minutes a day, you can activate your immune system on demand. 

8.  East a balanced, healthy diet, full of fruits and vegetables (especially dark green or red veggies)

What do we do if we do get sick?

1.  Blow your nose often.  don't sniffle and don't blow too hard.


3.  Gargling with salt water 4 times a day can moisten your sore throat and bring temporary relief.  try 1 tsp salt per glass of water.

4.  Drink hot liquids.  these can relieve nasal congestion, sooth your sore throat and help keep you hydrated.

5.  Take a steamy shower to help moisturize your nasal passages and help relax you. 

6.  Use a salve under your nose.  they can help clear your nasal passages and soothe raw skin

7.  Sleep with an extra pillow under your head.  This will help your nasal passages drain.

Here are some things to help you get through your cold or flu.  I didn't suggest herbal remedies or medicines because I am not a doctor or an herbalist.  the last thing i need is someone dragging me into court yelling "the drunken housewife said those berries would be good for me.  i assumed they weren't poisonous".  also, given the fact that I am pregnant, i am also sensitive to those who are pregnant or breast feeding.  most medications aren't ok to take and many herbs aren't safe either.  i don't know which is which, so it's best to stay away!

I hope this information heps you in some way.  I hope that you can avoid getting sick.  It is very difficult to take care of small children and their boundless energy when you're sick.  You should probably follow my advice.  If for no other reason, just so you can avoid making that "help me" call to your mother-in-law. 

What do you do when you get sick?  What are some of your favorite or most effective remedies?

Tree Craft

this week, we made a tree for the window of our back door.  for this craft, you need construction paper (preferably brown), coffee filters, markers in fall colors, scissors and a spray bottle filled with water. 

first, using the construction paper, draw and cut out a tree trunk.  i didn't have brown paper, so i had to color my trunk brown.  what a lot of work...phew.

while you're doing that, give the kids some markers and coffee filters and let them color away.  they can make designs, circles, stars, or just scribble.  that's what makes this a good craft for younger kids who can't color yet. 

after the coffee filters are colored, hold them upright (over the sink) and spray them with water.  you can use as much or as little as you like.  if you want the colors to really run, spray heavily and turn the filter as you do to avoid too much color dripping off.  if older kids have spent a lot of time on their designs, you may want spray lightly to preserve as much of their design as possible. 

after spraying, lay them to dry on towels. 

when the coffee filters are dry, cut them into leaf shapes and tape to your tree trunk.

we use this idea often.  our back door always had some form of this craft on it.  we have done snow flakes, hearts, flowers.  i'll be posting other fall crafts throughout the month.

October 4, 2010

Monthly Read

This month's read is Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler.  i will be discussing the book on november 1.  i am inviting you to read the book and join in the discussion too.  you will be able to link your post about the book to my post or just leave your thoughts in the comments.

 tell me how you feel about it.  did you like the characters? the plot?  could you relate to the story at all?  please feel free to let it be known if you hated it or loved it. 
i have not read this book.  i have no opinion of it yet.  you will not hurt my feelings by disagreeing with me in any way. 
so, please, head to your local library and pick up a copy of this month's book.  i look forward to discussing it with you. 

turning it around.

last week, i subjected everyone to my pessimism and general bad attitude.  it made me feel a little better, though, and i did something that i wouldn't have been able to do a year and a half ago.  i turned it around.

 as soon as i published my post, i grabbed the kids and headed out the door.  as we were walking to the car, my best friend (who NEVER makes surprise visits) was walking toward the house.  i was so surprised! we took the kids to the library, out for lunch, to the park and even out for ice cream. 

we watched a soccer game

and worked on a puzzle.

 (here's a little side note about the puzzle: last week, we forgot who we are.  for a minute, we thought that we were the kind of family who put together large complicated puzzles as an act of family fun.  let it be known that we are not that family.  almost 1 week later, the puzzle is still sitting on the table unfinished.) 

anyway, what started out as a day bound to be filled with discouragement ended up being a day filled with a lot of joy and laughter. 


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