Thursday, March 31, 2011

Not Quite the Ropers

     I am so blessed to have had and have wonderful grandparents.  My Nana and Papa are still with us and live nearby.  I have a very special relationship with them.  I can always count on them.  Differences in generations can sometimes lead to misunderstandings or disagreements just because of the difference in ages.  I don't have that with them.  Although times are different, I don't think I have ever went to my grandparents that they didn't listen to me and believe in me.  It was the hardest thing to have to tell them that I was getting a divorce, but they simply said they wanted me to be happy, and they trusted me.  If I was doing it I had my reasons and they never questioned it.  I won't ever forget that. My grandmother always worked, but she still believes in the old fashioned "take care of your man" idea.  She says so many times when we are all together and the moms are rushing around trying to fix plates for the kids, that this is not the way it was when she was younger.  When she and my grandfather were a young married couple it was the men who fixed their plates first.  Then, the women would take care of the kids and then they would eat.  She still stops whatever she is doing to take care of my grandfather.  I joked with her one day when we were in the middle of something at the mall and she had to go home to fix my grandfather a sandwich.  I said, "Nana, has he never heard of a drive through?"  She just laughed, and proceeded to go home to fix his sandwich.  Really, though, I should have probably just minded my own business, after all she is married still and I am not, so maybe she knows what she is doing!  It is sweet.  They love each other very much.  When I was younger I always thought it was funny that their names are Helen and Stanley like the Ropers on "Three's Company".  They don't act like them though.  Not to say there aren't days my grandfather purposely turns off his hearing aid.  I never see them argue.  My grandfather teases my grandmother more than anything.  I had some furniture in a sunroom a few years ago and I wanted to turn the room into a study room for the kids so I gave them my furniture.  My grandmother was so excited.  It had bright colors and she couldn't wait to brighten up her den.  After moving the furniture to their place and Nana finally figuring out where she wanted everything my Papa was pooped!  She has a lot of energy for her age.  Her mind is really sharp and she can talk and talk and talk.  It was fun watching how excited she was, but the more she talked the more tired my Papa got.  She kept looking at the ottoman that was also storage space.  She kept saying I can do this and this and this with it.  Well, after about 10 ideas my Papa had one.  He very matter of factly asked her, "Do you think you can fit in it?"  I will never look at that furniture the same again!

     They never miss out on a thing. They are at all the ballgames and anything else my kids and nieces and nephews are involved in. It is a very special relationship they have with my kids.  They are the same age as most of their friends' grandparents so they don't see them as Great Grandparents.  (We all started having kids at an early age in my family.).  I am so blessed me and my kids have them.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

They Can't Be Serious!

What in the world?  I am all for trying to find a match of your own faith, values, and beliefs, but this is a little too much.  I would think it would be the other way around.  Maybe, give up your dating/social life for Lent.



                                                                catholic match


Can you believe these were once ads?














Maybe the advertising world hasn't always made the best decisions.   These ads are just a few examples.



     Another ad that so many people find disturbing right now is Abercrombie & Fitch for padded bikini tops for young girls.  Good Morning America reported that their facebook page was flooded with comments against these tops.  The controversy is that they are for young girls around the age of 8 years old.  I think it is sick.  There are tons of negative messages this is sending to girls.  Their bodies haven't even had a chance to develop yet. They still have baby teeth to lose. It tells them they are not acceptable unless they look a certain way, but there is another reason I find these tops unacceptable.  There are so many women right now fighting breast cancer or are breast cancer survivors.  These strong women have daughters, granddaughters, nieces,etc.  I think it is disrespectful to put the idea in a young girl's mind that this part of her body's "perfect appearance" is so important. So many young girls may have had women they know go through mastectomies. Many women who have faced breast cancer may have spread their genetic predisposition down to females in their family.  These girls are going to grow up self conscious enough and with the fear that one day their breasts may take them from their own family.  These tops are only going to add to insecurities and I think that is shameful.

What is your opinion?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Can I Borrow A Cup Of Sugar? ("Sister Wives" Style)

     Last night I watched this Sunday's episode of "Sister Wives".  I can't help it, I am just overly curious about how it works for everybody.  I know it is bad and my kids will probably have me on the "Intervention" show soon but for some reason I have to watch it. This episode explained a lot of the financial part of the family.  One of the wives works full fime, one is a stay at home mom, another works but doesn't bring in much of an income, and the new one is unemployed now, but looking for work.  I guess with multiple wives you have the benefit of a working partner and  a stay at home mom for your kids at the same time.  At least they don't have money going out for daycare.  Heck, they have their own daycare!
 
     The stay at home mom explained that part of her job is the grocery shopping and saving money on household needs.  They have this big pantry that everybody kind of takes what they need from.  I know I have gone to the grocery store so many times and when I got home realized I was out of something.  This happened to Christine, the stay at home mom.  She loaded up her pantry and realized she was out of sugar.  The first wife, Meri, admitted she took the last of it.  This brings a whole new meaning to the idea of "borrowing a cup of sugar" from your neighbor.  It must be really confusing for Christine to grocery shop with other wives taking things out of the pantry.

Christines Fabulous Food Pantry


Kody and one of the wives had planned a camping trip for just the two of them.  He does this at times with each of them so they can re-connect as a couple.  That idea is kind of shot in the wind when you go through the house telling 3 other wives and 3 other sets of kids goodbye to go on that little adventure.  And, I know some women enjoy camping, but I am not one of them.  If I had to share my time with my husband I would be like "take me to a Hilton or better yet a Ritz Carlton with a spa."  The wife he took is the one who works full time, so I would be hiding me a little extra money along the way for the next time it was my turn to go away with him.  They had to put up the tent, build a fire and had HOT DOGS for supper.  What?????? I don't know, maybe self-respect is a dead issue here.  I think it is a safe bet to say the other wives were probably eating better at home off of her paycheck. With 4 wives you would think he would have some kind of idea how to romance a lady.

The subject of who is Kody's favorite was brought up too.  All of the wives said their kids thought they were the favorite.  But what about the kids?  With that many, some of them have to feel left out at times.  And now the new wife, Robyn, has three kids from her previous marriage.  There has to be some fighting with the kids and the women to get their time in and attention from him.  I don't care how nice you are, you get 4 women in one room with one man and there is going to be competition.  I know this to be true because  I watch "The Bachelor".  Happens all the time on there.



                                    Photo by tlc.com

I just don't think these wives and kids can be truly happy.  (Truely happens to be the name of the youngest that was just born.)  Especially when he takes one out of the house for "a little bonding time". Even if it is in the woods.  What do the others say when he leaves?  Surely they don't say "have a good time".  And what about the conversation when they return?  "What did you do?"  "Did you have fun?"  "Did you take any pictures or video?"   I have a feeling that is one Kodak moment that none of the other wives will want copies of.

Have you seen it?  What do you think?

Monday, March 28, 2011

5 Things I Am Thankful For

   5 Things I Am Thankful For:

1.  My diabetes and my bad neck/back
        I am a human pin cushion and can't stand up straight, but I could have a lot more to deal with.

2.  My terrible singing voice
        I can't carry a tune in a bucket, but I can speak out and give my opinion, cheer my kids on, and tell them I love them.

3.  My loud 6:00 am alarm clock
        I want to hit it with a hammer, but it wakes me up to the gift of a new day.

4.  My messy house
        I am one box away from the next Hoarders episode, but I am blessed to have a roof over my head and a place for me and my kids to feel safe.

5.  My less than perfect vision
       My glasses look like the bottom of coca cola bottles, but I am able to see the look in my kids eyes when they can't wait to tell me something.


No one ever injured his eyesight by looking on the bright side of things

The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on.- Robert Bloch



What are you thankful for?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Is It Just Me?"

This is totally embarrassing, but is it just me or does everyone else have trouble on the keyboard with words that end in -ful? 

I had a GREAT typing teacher in high school and I type fast and pretty accurately, but sometimes I mess up with words that end in -ful.  I just wonder whose bright idea it was to put the "K" next to the "L"?  Or, was the bad word that I accidentally type sometimes not around when the typewriter was invented?

I am waiting for the horrific moment I send someone a message with the typing error and I don't catch it.  Maybe a message to a teacher, pastor, or anyone I would want to crawl in a hole and die if they saw me make that mistake.

So far so good, I catch it, but I am just waiting.............

Have a wonderfuk day!

Friday, March 25, 2011

HAPPY FRIDAY

HAPPY FRIDAY, EVERYBODY!!!!!

Some of my favorite "Friday Night Lights" quotes:



Riggins: Billy, would you pass me that violin, please? You're hoggin' it!


Eric Taylor: "The kind of pregnant when you have a baby?"


Landry Clarke: [sees Lyla stranded] "I'm pullin' over."
Tyra Collette: "Why?"
Landry Clarke: "Because it's the Christian thing to do."
Tyra Collette: [rolls down window] "Oh, hey, cheating cheerleader bitch. Wanna ride?

Brian "Smash" Williams: "For as long I've known Tim Riggins, there's only two phrases that put a smile on his face:
number one, "We goin' to State!"
Number two, "The results are in. You are not the father!"


Tyra Collette: "Just wish I could build a time machine and go back and shoot who ever it is that invented Algebra, that's for sure"
.Landry Clarke: "Well, see, that's kind of a Catch-22, though, because in order to invent that time machine you may need to use Algebra."


Coach: Right here, right now, God has placed you to do what you do best. Go all the way.


Now...... if I could just find a man with Eric Taylor's character and Tim Riggins' good looks!



                             Photo by Wikipedia


                              Photo by nbc.com

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New York Times blog

I am shifting gears to a more serious side, but I am so glad I found this and really hope y'all have time to read it.
This is a really good article, but I mostly appreciated the second half titled:
Stay-At-Home-Parenting After Divorce by Amber Hinds   (in response to the first half)

It makes total sense to me.  Original decisions based on what is best for the kids shouldn't be changed after divorce.  The change that divorce brings with it is all the more reason consistency should exist as much as possible!  In my situation, my kids, more than ever, need me to be there as much as possible. I am their only parent right now.  If I am not concentrating on them 100%, then I have totally failed them and not completed the JOB I started.  Then, my kids and their future relationships will pay for it in the end.  I am left with no choice but to be there as much as I can.  How can I "afford" not to?  I owe it to them, but it is what  they deserve.

If one parent holds up her end of the agreement, then the other should also.  It's all in the kids' best interest.  There is no room for selfishness.


I would really like to know what all of you think.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Dang Cortisone!"

     I had my injection Monday, but I won't know how well it worked for a few more days, but I do know what worked.....the cortisone cravings!  I hate it because my blood sugar rises a little and I can't have what I am really hungry for.

     I am craving my grandmother's Russian Chicken.  She passed away 12 1/2 years ago, right before my youngest was born.  She always made this chicken around the holidays and my aunts, unlces, cousins would all get together. We would all hang out and play games after eating. The chicken is SO (in a singing voice, but I can't sing, be glad there's no audio here) good!  I am really achy and just generally don't feel too good afterwards, so I think I am craving the comfort part of the dish as much as the dish itself.  I have to share this with you!

4-6 boneless chicken breasts
1 bottle Russian dressing
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 can jellied cranberry sauce

You just mix together the dressing, soup mix, and cranberry sauce and pour over the chicken.  Sometimes I double the recipe because it makes great left overs and sandwiches, in fact to me it is better the next day.  (I use the Wishbone 8 oz. bottle of dressing.)  She would use chicken with the bones, you can use any kind you like. You can cook it in the oven, covered on 300 for about 2 1/2 hours, 350 for about 1  hour or so, or I put mine in the crockpot sometimes.  The lower the temperature and the longer you can cook it the better.

It is really good with sweet potatoes, or any kind of cheesy potatoes (the kids pour the sauce over cheesy potatoes), and broccoli and cheese or a broccoli casserole.  Don't forget your favorite rolls to dip in the sauce.

You see why I can't have it?  But, it is sooooo very yummy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Sister Wives Take Two" (or three or four or....)

     Ok, I have a couple more things to say about this show.  I watched episode 1 that was on a week ago, Sunday night and recorded episode 2 that was on this past Sunday night and watched it yesterday.  I have a feeling we don't have the entire story.



                                                                           Photo by webtvwire


     The wives got into a polygamist relationship with different backgrounds.  Some grew up in this environment and their families weren't upset with their decision.  Janelle has said that when she decided to become Kody's 2nd wife her family disowned her.

     The second episode showed the whole family going to Kody's parents' farm to get away from things before they went national about their family.  They talked about his parents, but there was always another woman with his mom. I also kept hearing things said about Janelle's mother.  They let us in on something else.  When Janelle decided she wanted to marry Kody, her whole family disowned her, except her mom.  She went with Janelle to meet Kody's parents.  Well......she saw that his dad was a polygamist and decided she would like that for herself.  Janelle's mom married Kody's dad six months before Janelle and Kody were married.  This means Janelle and Kody were step brother and sister when they married.  This whole new dynamic is more than confusing!  They are step brother and sister AND husband and wife #2.  Her kids with him and his kids with the other wives are siblings AND step cousins.  I think I got that right!

This whole thing has gotten a little more interesting and I can't help but wait in anticipation of what else we will find out.  How does he keep it all straight?  You know he has to confuse their names.  Maybe he calls them by number which is unfortunate for the second wife.  I wouldn't want to be called #2, would you?  I am seriously worried about my morals and my intrigue with this.  It is just so strange and I want to make some kind of sense out of it, but they are making it REALLY difficult!  There has been an investigation since the family came out and there may be bigamy charges.  Good luck to the investigators in figuring all of this out!  Can you imagine the board they will have going like they do on shows like "Without A Trace" and "Law and Order Special Victims Unit".


                                                                     Photo by factoidz


I did find some of their recipes online.
I have listed some of the ones that are somewhat appropriate for this family.

1.  Soda Cracker Suprise Toffee
                (Somebody is always pregnant, maybe they got creative with the soda crackers for morning sickness)

2.  Big Pancake  (I guess they share that too.)

3.  Whatever You Want Roll Ups  (I bet they make that a lot.) 

4.  Standby Hamburger Soup  (This just sounds lonely and cold!)

5.  One Pot Spaghetti  (This one is too easy!  Has anybody seen a hot tub around?)

6.  My Friend's Amazing Pumpkin Pie Cake
            (Hmmmmm, this is Janelle's friend's recipe.  Wonder if he will be courting a 5th soon?)

I am not joking about these, you can find them on:
http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/menus/sister-wives-recipes.htmhese

I think this is all I have to say about this show....until next week's episode.  What do you think about it?

Monday, March 21, 2011

"Sister Wives"

     I am kind of embarrassed to say I have watched the show "Sister Wives".  I know it is a way of life for some, and to each his and her and her and her and her own, but I couldn't be a part of that.  The most obvious reason is I think it is gross that these, seemingly intelligent, women "share" a husband.  And they do appear, from what I have seen, to be intelligent and very nice women.  I just don't feel right even watching it, but it is like an accident, you don't want to look and you feel so bad for the people involved, but you have to look.  I feel bad for the kids on the show because they have to be embarrassed.  If they were in a community where this is the norm and that is all they know that is one thing, but now they are kind of reality show celebrities so they have left their own little world.

     The new season just started and they have "come out" about their family dynamic.  The kids are in public schools now so they will soon learn that their way of life is considered different.  There are some things I don't understand about it.  Is there a heirarchy with the wives?   Is the first wife considered "the leader"?       They all seem to do their part and be equal, but the fourth wife that just recently joined the family talks a lot in their interviews. Do you not have to kind of earn your time or are you immediately an equal?  How do they file taxes?  I did a Pro/Con list for being a sister wife:

PRO:
 ---help with the kids
 ---help with cooking
 ---help with laundry
 ---help with housework (the house they live in is like apartments attached, except for the new one who is a  block away, but they still help one another.)
 ---if you aren't in the mood you can tell him to go to the next bedroom

CON:
 ---it's like your husband is having an open affair (some things women just shouldn't share; recipes and        clothes yes, men, no!)
 ---society's attitude about the lifestyle

The husband is all bouncy and happy all the time, but I guess we know why.  (You would think he would be a little more tired though!)

I am trying not to be too judgmental, it is their life, their business, but I just don't understand it.  Also, the husband may think it is great but there are cons to his situation too:

Husband's con's:
 ---4 times pms
 ---at some time 4 times the menopause
 ---having to remember 4 names, birthdays, and anniversaries
 ---What in the world is Valentine's Day like over there?

The money part would be difficult too.  Some of the wives work, but they have A LOT of mouths to feed, clothes to buy, cars to buy, and college tuitions to save for.  On the other hand, there are a lot of hand me downs, a lot of drivers to get everybody where they need to be, a lot of older kids to babysit, and more help with the chores.


Last week the episode was about them coming out nationally.  They went to New York to be on the "Today Show".  They were all, understandably, nervous about the live interview with Meredith Vieira.  It is kind of funny that the husband kept using the metaphor "jumping out of an airplane and not knowing if the parachute works."  He kept saying that over and over like maybe he had thought about it!

I am trying to see their point of view, but I just still think it is weird.  Well, I guess besides the gross part, having other women to share in chores, the husband's bad mood, and in-laws if you don't like yours, it could be okay.  What I would really like to know is when there will be a "Brother Husbands" season premiere!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Would LOVE Some Help Here

     Being a single mom is hard!  I, in my situation, am 100% responsible for my kids.  I love them more than anything and they have never for one second been or will be a burden.  They are my life.  I don't want anything outside of them.  They are fun, humorous, smart, and very gracious.  They are so good to me and sincerely appreciate what I do for them.  But is is hard!

     I have the guilt of feeling like there isn't enough of me to go around.  The biggest guilt is my back problems and the fact that my WONDERFUL family jumps in and helps out all of the time!  But....I still feel guilty if I cannot do everything and with one of me and an active 3 of them, it is impossible and I know that.

     On top of just everyday needs, I am also responsible financially.  It is hard to be all of those things and the breadwinner.  I have to make sure we are financially set. 

     This is where I could really use some help.  While the real estate business is on a hiatus, I am looking into other things I can do to support me and my kids.  I, in a very unexpected way, found I have a talent for jewelry making.  I LOVE it and it is addictive!  I am in no way a perfectionist when it comes to housekeeping.  As long as it is clean (I am a complete germaphobe), clutter does not bother me.  I have what I call organized clutter.  When it comes to making my jewelry though, I am a complete perfectionist.  If I don't like the way one thing looks, I start over.  I am not a patient person at all, but I am with this.  I know it has to be putting me somewhere in a direction God wants me to go, because it is really amazing that I can do this with all of my spine and arthritis issues.  I starting making things while recovering from my surgery in August.  A really strange thing to do while recovering from that kind of surgery.  My daughter saw something she liked and I thought, I can do that, and I have been addicted ever since!  It is such a good feeling to make something for someone specifically and see how much they love what I have made.  I thought I was making Christmas jewelry for a friend which turned out to be a suprise wedding.  I am still in awe that used my pieces for such a special occassion.  Another friend has asked me to make pieces for her daughter's wedding.  To be a part of such a special day means so VERY much to me!  I truly put my heart and soul into the pieces I make.  I think that is what overrides any discomfort from the physical work.

     I have really gotten into gemstones, especially their healing qualities.  I try to keep up with what is the latest fashion and colors.  What I would love help with is how to get a business going.  I feel like I am a little depleted after making sure the kids are well taken of and I have some really pretty, well-made jewelry that I am not quite sure how to "get out there".  And, I REALLY need to because the longer it stays here the more I want to keep it!  I have someone helping me with a page on facebook and to help me get it on here, but I know there are tricks and steps to get a business going and I would really appreciate any advice or help!





These are just a few of the things I like to make.  I know there are a lot of single mom's out there who have taken the bull by the horns and made a successful business for themselves and their kids.  A success also in knowing you can provide all on your own and the confidence that comes with it.  (I would also love advice from you readers that aren't "single moms"!)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Not Again!

     Let me start by saying that there are so many people with worse health issues than me right now, and I  feel guilty complaining about mine.  A lot of moms (and dads) would love to just have to deal with what I have to do Monday.

     But, I am just so over it already!  I dealt with neck pain for years before I finally had surgery this past August.  WONDERFUL! My only regret is that I didn't find my current doctor/surgeon sooner and had it done way before I did.  I think about all the wasted time I couldn't go to ball games, take my kids places, all because I couldn't move or such outings would leave me unable to move the next day.

     What I want to talk about are these insane things called epidural steroid injections.  I had 5 of them from last April to July.  I don't think you are supposed to have that many in that short of a time.  (Maybe he gave me the placebo injection a couple of times as part of some kind of study.)  The doctor who gave them to me was a super nice guy that tried every effort to fix it before giving me the name/referral and sending me to the wonderful surgeon I have now.  I now have a ruptured disc in my low back that has taken away my ability to do what I need and want to do everyday.  They told me it is hereditary and is something I will probably always deal with.  Darn genes!

     I am diabetic (darn genes again), so the steroids in these injections are not my friend.  The temporary rise in blood sugar is not what bothers me though, it is the sickness that I get after one, which my surgeon says is anxiety.......well, I feel silly, I have no idea why I am anxious.  The 5 shots they give me to numb me I have decided probably hurt more than the actual epidural.  He said 25% of the population has this anxiety about the injections.  My question is where did that research come from and what is wrong with the other 75%?  What are they on when they have it done because I didn't get any. When you are in labor and have pain from contractions, the epidural is a good thing.  You wait on it and want to kiss the anesthesiologist on the mouth when he comes in to give it to you.  Plus, and this is a big one, you get to bring home a sweet little baby.  What do I get after these?  WATER RETENTION like the Hoover Dam.  I get so swollen from these things that I look like I have been eating salt on a stick.  I don't know why in the world I would be anxious!

Let me tell you about the new place I got my last injection from and get to visit again Monday.  Very nice place, but very misleading.  It is in a shopping center called "The Avenue".  We pulled in to a place with all of these really nice shops and restaurants. I am thinking I am going to have to keep my mom with me at all times or I will lose my driver to all the shops. It is beautiful and I could spend hours there, then you pull around to the back, literally.  This office is way in the back after you have seen all the pretty stores.  The office is very nice, it has a spa-like atmosphere, but unless they have a valium drip I am still scared to death.

I go into the room, and sit on the table.  The nice girl says the doctor will be right in.  Then she shuts the door....my eyes go right to the wall next to the door.  Right to the emergency resuscitation steps.  I have a friend who went to this same doctor and he told me he wished he hadn't seen them so I thought, I won't look, but they totally fooled me.  They weren't on a big tacky poster with the words in red, they had them in a pretty little frame on the wall.  I have a feeling whoever put it up paid a lot more attention to the frame than the instructions which is VERY frightening in itself.  Now why in the world would they trick me like that?  My biggest concern is the size.  The instructions are in an 8 x 10 frame.  If I am rendered unconscious by this 50 foot long needle, I want them to be using a billboard size poster with the steps AND pictures.  They are going to have to take this thing down and look at it to be able to READ the steps!  Which means I would have two less hands working on me because they are holding the instructions up for the doctor to see.  I think Monday I will ask if I can go ahead and take it off the wall and hold it up for them while they are giving me the injection just in case.

      I am hoping and praying it works because if not my doctor will do another surgery.  Although, I will have to say, after the results of the last surgery I would be glad to just have it fixed already and get on with what I need and want to do pain free!  We will see how it goes!

These pictures are for those of you who don't know what I am talking about.  It isn't me in the pictures, but it will be Monday.  And to think they tease me with all those shops.  Just cruel!


                                           Photos by Kenneth Jap-A-Joe


Friday, March 18, 2011

T.G.I.F.F.

T.G.I.F.F.  This was a full week, one that me and the kids say:  Thank Goodness It's Friday.....FINALLY!
   
     Another full weekend.  Spring Break can't get here soon enough to get some rest and caught up!


Joey: You can't have Thanksgiving without turkey. That's like Fourth of July without apple pie, or Friday with no two pizzas.
~"Friends"




     
                           Photo by marjie5                                                                                                 




Violet: Look, I've had a rough couple of days, are you really the owner? Cuz the last think I need is a waitress on a power trip wasting my time.

Lil: You start Friday night.

~COYOTE UGLY



                                          Photo by jovisala47




One of my favorite TV shows and Movie.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Aaaaaaallergies!

I love this time of the year, but it DOES NOT love me!  Even though the weather right now is bipolar, we are having all kinds of trees and flowers beginning to bloom down here.  I am so ready to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, but I know I will pay for it.  My very good, sweet friend just got a new convertible and I would LOVE for her to come get me and take me for a spin, but I will have to take so much allergy medication I won't remember the ride.  Can you take the top half down?

I inherited my allergies and being the great mom I am, I passed them along to ALL 3 of my kids.  We each have our own arsenal of medicines that work for us.  I am big on setting our home alarm system, but even when it isn't activated we set off the glass break chime with our sneezes!  Some days we could make our own song with the chime as each of us has, as my grandmother always put it, our sneezing spells.  She was funny!  I inherited my allergies from my grandfather, Stanley, and he has his own tricks for this time of year, but my grandmother, Betty, had her own trick.  She would cough so much during church so she came up with bringing peppermint candies to eat to keep quiet and not cough.  She didn't quite think ahead because she ALWAYS brought the individually wrapped ones and she would eat at least five during the sermon.  She would make more noise opening the candy than coughing.  Finally, after about 5 years of trying to open them ever so slowly (and quite loudly), she began opening them at home and putting them into a zip loc bag.  I still can't smell peppermint without thinking of her.



                                                                                    Photo by ewanr

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Grandparents Rock!

I used this phrase from my kids.  Grandparents carry a lot of weight in my family.  It's like some kind of ancient tribe where the wise one is the eldest in the group and everyone sits around waiting for him to speak and tell you what you should do.  I personally think it should be like that everywhere.  We look at the older people around us, and in society in general, and think they don't get it.  Times have changed, they don't get the new technology, the "new" language and I think it is just sad!  We are all very, very close and we rely on grandparents around here.  Sort of like, it takes a village to raise a child, but the older ones in our group are still raising all the family members below them in age. 

I was so VERY blessed and fortunate to know all my grandparents well.  I was the first grandchild on both sides so it is safe to say I was S P O I L E D!!!  I was spoiled, but I also grew up with the security of knowing there were several people around to help me and take care of me.  Not many people are as fortunate.  We have kids at a young age in my family.  (I am from what used to be a very, very small southern town in Georgia and I guess there wasn't anything else to do around here, but start a family young.)  When I was born there were five generations living.  When my first two were born there were five generations living.  Until this past summer, my mom and dad both still had a GRANDmother living.  My kids and my nieces and nephews knew their Great-Great Grandmother very well.  She came to birthday parties, Christenings, and anything else going on.  We still have my dad's grandmother and the kids have wonderful memories of her, but through no choice of her own, she hasn't been able to get out and about like my mom's grandmother did.  I lost my paternal grandmother over 12 years ago.  Until then I had all my grandparents.  I am saving talking about her for later.  She deserves several blogs of her own.  My paternal grandfather passed away a little over a year ago.  He, was a very big character and he will have many blogs all of his own too.  I am so very very blessed to still have my maternal grandparents not only still with us, but less than 5 miles away.

I can't wait to tell you about all of them.  I had and have my own unique bond and relationship with each of them.  They each had their own part in my childhood and I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to have even known them let alone be raised by all of them.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

When the heck is Spring Break?

     When the heck is Spring Break?  (I'm just joking, I know exactly how many days it is.)  I am not a very big winter person, but after this year I am completely over cold and snow.  We don't get much down here, so it is fun when we get what would be considered a dusting up north.  The kind that leaves every grocery store with no bread, eggs, and milk.  We do make sandwiches, the eggs are not as necessary, but the milk..............I am THE one in charge of the homemade hot chocolate and I can't make it as fast as these kids can drink it!  They end up on a chocolate high.  I always get tickled at one that comes back in and says, "I'll have just one more."  Of course I have to tell him to be careful walking home.

     My idea of a fun snow day is just that, 1 day.  We had an entire week of snow, no school, nothing.  We aren't prepared for the amount of snow we got in January so everybody was just STUCK.  It was way too soon after Christmas break, so the kids had enjoyed their new things, and didn't need the break from school again just yet. 

     Now, the weather just keeps messing with us down here.  We always think we are in Spring and here comes another cold spell.  We have what older people call "blackberry winter."  Evidently it has to be 80 degrees one day and 20 degrees the next for blackberries to grow around here. After that, I always know we are good to go!  Bring on the pool, suntan lotion, MaRGAriTa's (that's how I type after a couple), and warm, sunny weather.  Don't get me wrong, I am never ready to go bathing suit shopping nor lose any clothing and places to cover up. But, I don't have a choice down here if  I want to enjoy the outdoors.


photo by allrose18



     It gets H.O.T. down here, and you don't really care what's hanging out or flailing about when it is 102 degrees.  I am so glad my mom has a pool in her backyard.  I don't care how you do it,  you cannot jump up out of a lounge chair gracefully when you see one of your kids struggling in the water.  I love to swim and that means getting my whole head wet.  Not particularly a good look either.  But we do have fun.  It's hard packing everybody's family up and going somewhere for Spring Break.  We have a staycation at my mom's, which means she has no "cation" at all!  We have mall trips, cookouts, pool parties, and sleepovers.  Whatever we can fit into a week of no school and everything to help us make it to summer vacation!  Oh, and, until we can get those yummy "specially grown" blackberries!                       



photo by d10n2000


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Share and Share Alike

     We had another crazy weekend with lots going on.  The weekends always go by way too fast!  Between me and my brother and sister, we have so many kids we are always having a birthday party or planning one.  The only month my mom doesn't have a birthday for one of her kids or grandkids is November.  I don't think my brother and his wife are done though, so we still have a chance to fill up the calendar!
     This weekend was my brother's twin boys' birthday party.  We were supposed to have had it last week, on their birthday, but one was sick.  That's one of the negatives about being a twin.  But, the one who wasn't sick never said a word to his brother about having to cancel the party.  They are so close and really sweet to each other.
     We were talking Saturday at my sister's house about the party and her 3 (almost 4) year old son, Macalister, asked a very good question.  He was eating his strawberries and he looked up at me and said "Why are we having a party for both of them?  It's supposed to be a party for one person."  First, I was amazed at how observant he is. (Maybe he was making sure his cousins weren't getting the short end of the stick on parties!) Then, I tried my best to answer it so he would understand, but I may have confused him more.  I told him they are twins, they were born at the same time so they both have the same birthday.  I said, you know how your mama had Samuel in her tummy?  Well, Bethany had Timothy and Tyler in her tummy at the same time."
     He looked up and said, "Two in her tummy?"  I thought he was going to get choked on his strawberries.  I could see his little mind trying to imagine his aunt's stomach being maybe twice as big as his mom's was.  I think I made him nervous or gave him too much to think about.  Not paying attention he reached over next to him into his little sister's plate and started eating her strawberries.  It was the 18 month old, Sadie, and she must have thought it was a game.  My 6 year old niece, Skylar, was next to her so she just reached over and started eating hers!

John 1:16   "From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Should I Stay or Should I go?

     Every woman has to decide at some point when she becomes a mother whether to stay at home or go to work.  A lot of women have put a lot of time, effort, and money into their education and career to just throw their hands up when they become a mom and say I hope it's still there when I am done here.  I knew I wanted a family and be a mom.  I had ambitions when I was younger.  When I started college my major was pre-law.  (Shoot! That would have come in handy later on with the divorce.) I later decided that Middle Grades Education would be a wonderful major that would allow me to have a career and family.  Great schedule and Great second income, but not so great for a sole income.  I was very, very blessed to be able to stay at home when my kids were little.  I don't regret that for a minute.  I know what I would have missed out on and the thought of missing any precious moment with them breaks my heart. 

     But, what about those of us who stayed at home, put our careers, ourselves, our hair, our bodies (let's face it, I didn't go anywhere but the grocery store, pediatrician's office, or walmart for at least 9 years), on hold.  Wearing the latest fashion statement just isn't the same when you are also wearing blueberry buckle, green peas, and carrots.  I like to be an individual and have my own style, but Carrie Bradshaw can't pull off wearing Gerber's idea of pureed turkey.  What is really unfair is when you unselfishly stay at home to take care of your kids and then years later you are divorced and expected to begin a career.



       Photo by ronaddsvalue


      I had a very unpleasant conversation with my lawyer one day when he informed me that a judge might look at me and say, "You are 40 years old, you have an education, you should find a job."  Well, yes, I am 40, finished college years ago and now am expected to begin a career."  Who are you kidding????!!!  I am supposed to compete with 25 year olds fresh out of college, with tons of perky, hmm, personalities, and snag myself a new career!  I kept looking around his office waiting for someone to come through the door yelling, "you are on candid camera" (and maybe give ME a check for participating)!  I am supposed to interview and compete looking like I have been up partying all night against a young thing that actually was out partying all night but looks like she should be on a Covergirl ad. 

           Checklist for interview

___ 1.  bra  (Those have been optional for WAY TOO long.)  
___ 2. a technologically advanced phone (It has to have a  gps, texting, Wi-Fi, media player, internet compatability, voice command--can I get that for my oven and washer/dryer--camera, oh, and the button to begin nuclear war.) 
___ 3.  resume  (Does references from my kids count?  I can also get a reference from my parents, they REALLY need me to get this job.) 
___4.  my reason for applying for the job  (Duh?  I need an income.) 
___5.  reason why they should hire me  (I don't know that this will work for all interviews but I can cook a meal, do 3 loads of laundry, change 20 diapers, check homework for 3 grade levels, straighten up the entire house all while watching an episode of Dr. Phil without hitting the pause button once and not because I don't know where  the remote is or am too lazy to get up and get it!)

I don't think this is going to go very well.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Charlie Sheen and Britney Spears

     "Charlie Sheen and Britney Spears" that looks like a cover for gossip magazines.  I am just puzzled.  Celebrities that are single parents can really get themselves some attention!  Charlie Sheen is all over the news because of his recent troubles and very odd, almost insane, behavior.  Maybe I am just paranoid, but I can't help but wonder sometimes if the stars get themselves tons of media attention on purpose.  I know Charlie Sheen didn't mean to almost die recently, but it wasn't the first time he put his health in danger.  What does Britney Spears have to do with this subject?  No, they aren't a new couple, that would be a disaster wouldn't it?!  I just find the timing of her crazy behavior a little suspicious too.

Let me explain, In Feb. 2007, she began by shaving her head.  That just lead to even more bizarre behavior like attacking the paparazzi.  (I have a link to an article with the timeline of her famous events if you click on her highlighted name.)  All this went on through January 2008 when she had a custody dispute that led to a three hour hostage situation and she ended up in the back of an ambulance.  Stay with me.  She released her Circus cd in Dec. 2008.  It came out a little earlier than it was supposed to, in stores just in time for Christmas shopping.  She was at herself, totally cleaned up, and beautiful at the VMA's in September of 2008, where she won Video of the Year.





photo by samlavi


January 2008 to September 2008.  Is that when she made the Circus cd?  I was rooting for her.  I felt sorry for her, even though she was so out there.  I really hoped she got better for herself and her two cute as pie boys.  I just wonder how long it took her to make the CD.  Seems like a quick clean up and back to very productive work!  I am glad she did it, I love the CD and she has managed to stay out of the spotlight, for now.  I am mostly glad that she seems to be a healthier mom.  These poor kids of whacked out celebrity parents don't have it fair at all.  The people that put all of their parents' behavior in the media should stop and think what if it was their mom and dad.  The kids will see it one day and that is so unfortunate.

Cartoon by Lee Crutchley




     I just can't help but wonder if celebrities lay it on a little thick to keep themselves in the media.  I am also rooting for Charlie Sheen.  He is a dog, and I wouldn't want to date anyone like him, but for some reason I like him and really hope he gets better.  I am really upset that he was fired from Two and A Half Men.  I don't get it.  He didn't even have to sober up and slip into character.  He was in it already.  If he is there, knows his lines, what is the problem?  I love that show and I just can't see anybody replacing him.  He IS Charlie Harper!  John Stamos---NO!  He will always be Jesse from Full House to me.   Rob Lowe?---Getting closer, but he's too pretty.  The only person I can even think of that would touch the character would be John Mayer and he would have to put his singing career on hold.  (They both do like the word napalm.)

I am worrying way too much about people I don't personally know, but it's hard not to.  When they are all over the tv, magazines, and radio, we kind of start feeling like we know them.  We even sometimes start dropping their last names like, "Did you see Charlie's last interview?" or "Boy, Britney really should put her kid in a car seat."  I don't know, it just seems like they clean up pretty fast in Hollywood!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Every Family Has One

     I think all families have that one "wild and crazy" member.  For us growing up, it was my uncle Eddy.  You could always count on him to make family gatherings fun.  I can't imagine growing up without his personality around.  When I was little he was always holding us upside down, teasing us, and made every kind of face imaginable.  Now that I am older, he always has a blonde joke for me, followed by a dirty joke.  I am one of those blondes that doesn't get offended at the jokes, rather I am a proud blonde and use it as an excuse when I do something really stupid.  Sometimes I just have a blonde day.  Uncle Eddy is still a load of fun!  I can always count on him to find the humor in any situation.


     I have been watching my immediate family looking for our  "wild and crazy" member.  I am the oldest of me and my brother and sister.  Between us, we have 11 kids.  It just occurred to me the other day.........

     I think I haven't found them yet, because it is me.  My brother and sister's kids are still very young and all around the same ages.  Me, being the oldest, my kids are teenagers, so I think I just like to have fun with the "little ones."  I'm not sure that all that fun hasn't helped me label myself as the wild and crazy aunt. 

     This realization came to me one afternoon last week.  My sister just had her baby and it is so funny the things kids notice.  She happens to be a lot more blessed in the chest area after delivery.  Her 18 month old was looking for the built in pillow on mama's stomach she has laid on for the last three months.  My sister is tiny and she never looks pregnant from the back, she is ALL stomach!  My niece was looking for that pillow when she found her mom's new boobs.  She was poking on them and looking at me grinning like "ok, the bump on her tummy moved up and divided."  She was very amazed.  Then, she started looking for mine.....way too high. 

     I don't know why a Barney song came to mind. My youngest is 12 so you would think the Barney "voices" would have left my brain by now.  Maybe it was some kind of flashback. I still think somewhere in the next 20 to 30 years a Barney song is going to come on at one time all over the country and every adult that listened to it as a kid is going to do something crazy.  I really think there are evil subliminal messages in the songs, that's why they get stuck in your head and don't want to leave! (I think I just added to the reasons I may be the crazy aunt.) Anyway, I couldn't help but sing my version of "Do Your Ears Hang Low."  It's pretty much the same old song, I just for some reason substituted boobs for ears. 

    You know, "Do your boobs hang low do they wobble to and fro, Can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow, Can you throw them over your shoulder like a continental soldier, do your boobs hang low?"

     My niece looked at me like she was scared for a moment, my singing usually has that effect on people.

     I don't mind being looked upon as the crazy one.  I absolutely adore my uncle and wouldn't want him to be any other way!  I am so fortunate that all of my family has always lived close to one another.  Growing up, we were always with my dad's brother and sister and my cousins, just like now with me and my brother and sister and our kids.  If I am the one to carry on the legacy of the "wild and crazy" one that is just fine with me!  If my nieces and nephews have as much fun with me and love me as much as I do my uncle then I am happy to take over the title!

"A happy family is but an earlier heaven"  ~George Bernard Shaw

Saturday, March 5, 2011

In Like A Lamb

In the midst of a bad week, personally,  (I won't bore you with it all), I had a HUGE blessing!

My sister, who happens to be my best friend and lives next door, gave birth to her fifth, yep #5, baby this week. He was born March 1st.  After a lot of thought, and baby name books, she finally named him.  She had to before they would let her take him home! 

His name is Samuel.  I have been in the delivery room, holding an epidural induced dead leg, each time.  When I saw his sweet little face I told her he looked like a Sam.  She had several names picked out, but none seemed to fit him like Samuel.  His middle name, Donald, is for a family member that we all love and look up to so much.  He is also my sister's godfather.

He is a tough little fellow.  He was 36 weeks, but weighed 7lbs. 6oz. and 21 inches long.  He came out crying and had no problems.  I have witnessed this 5 times, my babies were C-Section babies, and it just absolutely amazes me every time.




                                         Photo by davis.josh             



I think anyone walking around on this earth that doesn't believe in God should witness the birth of a baby.  If you can watch that and still think there is no God, then there is just no hope for you. 

I had a rough week, but Samuel is God's way of reminding me to put things into perspective.  I am a very stubborn person, but I had to pay attention to this message! 

It is a gray, gloomy Saturday here in Georgia, (a little symbolic of some of my week), but I have a beautiful, healthy little nephew next door that shines over the weather today!  I am going to go breath in some of that purity, innocence, and God's way of saying, "Never mind the little problems, pay attention to your blessings!"


                                 
                                   Photo by tolomea

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Single Mom's ODE TO CHILD SUPPORT

                                  ODE TO CHILD SUPPORT


Hi ho, hi ho, It's off to court I go,
Oh, wait a sec and hold the cuffs,
He's reached in his rear and found just enough
Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho,
Oh no, here we go again
Another month late, maybe now I'll win,
Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho,
This will never end I know it so,
For my health I should just let it go,
Hi ho, hi ho,
His kids don't want him near,
It's ok, he's never here,
Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho,
What's the charge for abandonment,
His kids' trust in him has up and went,
Hi ho, hi ho,
Whatever will I do,
It's all on me, and he knows it too,
Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho,
I need to use some control,
But I'm always on jerk patrol,
Hi ho, hi ho,
I guess it's just as well,
For his deeds he may end up in h#%*,
Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho,
Let's give him the benefit of doubt,
While all along his kids go without,
Hi ho, hi ho,
My nerves are shot and I am drained,
The kids' needs never seem to wane,
Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho,
I must admit,
This is all a load of s#%*
Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho,
There are welfare moms everywhere
Let's make all dad's do their share,
Hi ho, hi ho,
Just do the right thing all along,
And WE won't have to sing this song!
Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho!



                     Photo by istolethetv