Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Great Google-y moogley in a can!

This new beta Blog is driving me bersak! I have tried all day to edit my template, and half the time I couldn't even get the home page to load. Extreme exasperation! Hmmm...Sounds like a new soda flavor for Mountain Dew... I may have something here. Just think, I could make tens of dollars by submitting my idea to their company.

The taste of the new and improved Mountain Dew flavor, Extreme Exasperation will make the consumer feel as if they are off road dirt biking, near the thunderous flow of river rapids... all with the hint of "parking ticket".

Anyway, I have posted the new Poll of the Week to the right (in the side bar area), you will note that it is of a very sensitive subject matter and may lead to a heated discussion, reader beware.

ETA: DK was kind enough to point out another option for the poll, so option #3 is in her honor. Thanks DK!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Family Life

Hi again, just wanted to say that I have submitted to The Carnival of Family Life, this week it is being hosted at Everything Under the Moon. Be sure to check it out, I love that the entries have be divided up into categories! A little sumthin' for everyone.

Speaking of family life, I was thinking today of the modern day dilemma: To home school, or not home school. Let me just say that I wrestled with the idea and found that I feared I lacked the intelligence and patience to commit. Anna and love each other very much, but I just couldn't imagine the two of us being able to stay on track and not be short tempered with each other. Anna is very much like me in that she has a short attention span and becomes frustrated easily... don't even get me started on stubbornness!

I have had several people poo-poo the idea that I lack the mental capacities to home school, I guess that is just the "you'll never amount to anything" coming out. I just want my kids to have the best, and as far as education, I just don't feel capable. Now, if my husband wanted to home school, I would have no problem with that. Well, except for the fact that I would have to hold down 3 1/2 jobs to make what he does.

As I said before, I love her so much it hurts. The flip side is we are so much a like, we drive each other to drink (milk of course, preceded by vast and furious amount of chocolate consumption). Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and we literally have bowled each other over with love when I picked her up from kindergarten the first 2 days of school.

I will continue home schooling in my own way... just today we 3 gals enjoyed an art class together in our very own dining room. I was able to share my knowledge of one of the things she and I love the most- art. I explained how to identify basic shapes in still life arrangements- breaking the subject down in to geometrical shapes such as squares, circles and triangles. I taught her how to change those basic shapes into 3 dimensional objects with the use of various grades of shading. And finally, I taught her the value of "negative space", and how to use it to draw the subject matter. We had a lot of fun, and Anna drew and shaded her first cube. Meanwhile, Emma scratched and scribbled away happily with green and orange crayons. I was such the proud mama bear!

I just realized that in many ways , Anna has home schooled me. She has shown me how to be the mom I wanted to be, by loving me despite my faults.

I think I my decision is based on what I felt was best for Anna, and thinking about our art class makes me feel better about my decision. I guess my point is that even though I have handed over the majority of her schooling to better and more patient teachers than I, I am still a mom, and I won't ever stop sharing my knowledge with my kids. More now, less later as they decide that they are smarter than me. *smile*

Friday, August 25, 2006

We need to talk.

Dearest friends,

I have been meaning to talk to you about a few things. Where do I start? I know we have known each other for a long time, so this makes what I am about to say very difficult for me.

Even though we have spent long nights together (and brief moments in the morning and afternoon if I needed), enjoying each others company, our relationship must come to an end. I have enjoyed the times we have shared, but in the end I always end up feeling disgusted with myself, and the realization of what I have been doing overshadows any joy and pleasure I have felt. You are weighing me down, and I just can't take it anymore.

I can't even stand to look at myself in the mirror anymore, that's just how bad I feel. Loving you has hurt me, I see this now. I don't think I can even be in the same room with you anymore... but I hope that one day we can pass each other in the grocery store, or on the street and be polite to one another. One day I might even be able to have you over for dinner, or maybe even a movie out.

For now, I must say farewell. I will be busy running around, so it probably will be a while before I can even think of seeing you again.

For the Love of Cheese, please don't try to work your way back into my heart, just let me be.

Good bye Fast Food, Butter and Chocolate, I wish you well. I will miss you, and know I will always be thinking of you.

Sincerly, Mary

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fear is the Great Equalizer

Nothing brings you to your senses, and your true self like fear. If you want to see the heart of a person, just tell them - heck, hint really- that a loved one has been hurt. Then you begin to see what a person is made of, and that we are all human.

For the sake of not being overly dramatic, let me just tell you that nothing has happened to any of my loved ones. I guess my Mother's Imagination ran away with me.

Tonight , Anna decided that she wanted to go with daddy to watch him play softball. She has been wanting to do this all summer, and I have felt guilty for not letting her go because I didn't feel like chasing a 14-16 month old around in 90 degree grimy, sticky, sweat your face off weather- thus getting no rest from what should be a relatively enjoyable outing for the whole family.

Normally, I usually am an over protective- and at times- over bearing mother. It's something that I have disliked about myself for the last... oh, lets say ... 5 1/2 years? I struggle to change this , and I strive to simply be more than the ones who made me. Anyway...... Usually I have this need to be just a few feet away from Anna. You see, I have this general mistrust in the world as a whole, seen as I have survived various types of abuse from my mother and real father. I have been "programmed" to believe that if my own parents could do such things to me, I should expect no less from strangers.

This would be her last chance to go on an outing that would keep her out late, since school starts soon, and the fact that she begged her dad to go, I let her. Emma and I stayed at home, and we went upstairs to their room once she became bored with the hundreds of toys that render the playpen unusable. I watched Miami Ink (I am fascinated with the artistic side of tattooing, and the back story of each customer), Emma played with her Little People. 8 pm rolls by, the time that John and Anna should be home. Emma is having a moment of fussiness at 8:45 pm and I am unable to get to the phone. A little before 9 we went downstairs to see who called.

I noticed it is a number from the hospital John works at. I realize that since he is on call for the week to cover the IT department after hours, he probably had to go in. I call the cell, nothing. I call again, nothing. I page him 3 times, call the cell phone 2 more times, and call his desk 4 times. Still nothing.

This is where my wild and hairy Mother's Imagination begins to rear it's ugly, hairy head. Why isn't he calling me back? Holy Shania Twain, he works in a hospital, you dope. Maybe something happened... And in my worried, grief clouded brain I begin to wonder and doubt that I had taught my 5 year old anything at all. What if while her dad was at bat, she walked away and a stranger took her? What if she went to the bathroom by herself and someone followed her in and hurt her? She went missing, they found her hurt...WHY ISN'T HE CALLING ME BACK?

Thirty of the longest, most agonizing minutes pass, when I decide to call his desk again. He answers.

" Haven't you gotten any of my pages?"

"No, sorry honey... Just as we were leaving the game, I was called into work."

"I have been trying to reach you, since you didn't answer I was worried..." At which point he did the most wonderful thing he could have done at that moment, he handed the phone to my baby so I could hear her voice.

'Hi, mommy!"

Of course, I tried very hard to choke back the tears, but they came anyway when I said that I was glad they were ok. "OK?" she asked. Yes, I explained, I was worried that something had happened to them because daddy didn't call me back.

" I didn't get into any trouble..." she trailed off while handing the phone back to her dad.

I talked to John a few minutes, then he said that they were headed home. I had my self a gut-wrenching cry of relief, and realized many things:

I don't know if I have mentioned this yet, but I have an overly active and dreadful imagination

I regret all the time I have wasted with her.

I don't tell her enough how wonderful and good she is.

All of the sarcasm ( gee, where'd she get that from?), temper tantrums, sassing, mistakes, and down right disobedience... None of it matters, I love her so much it hurts, and I don't know how I could ever live without her.

And that, indeed, I would not be able to live without her.

I would miss:
the feel of her cheek on mine as we snuggle
the way her hair smells as we snuggle
her laugh
that hysterical laugh when she is up to no good
that sparkle in her eye when she is thinking about being up to no good
her calling me momma
her homemade cards that always say "I Love You"
watching her and her baby sister hug
her ability to test the limits of her bodily functions in public, without an ounce of embarrassment

When they arrived home, Emma greeted them with hugs and kisses, as did I, and I greeted Anna with some mac and cheese, her favorite. John then told me that Anna was a really good girl, and stayed where he could see her the whole time, just like he asked. She went as far as to trail him on the other side of the fence when he coached first, or played short stop.

This made me realize that we have taught her well. She is such a smart girl, and I have worked really hard to balance a healthy fear of strangers and safety without going overboard. Well, I hope.

I have survived an imaginary tragedy once again, just barely to realize something else... One day she is going to want to sleep over, go out with friends, date. *Gasp*One day, she is going to leave us and head off to college, and then get married. One day, all of those things that I realized tonight will come true.

But I can't think about that now, I can only think about today and how I will change tomorrow. I am going to enjoy the hugs, smiles, snuggling, laughter, silly jokes, homemade cards, and yes- even the farts- while I can.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Good Housekeeping my foot, it's insanity!

This is a post from I am my kids mom, she wanted to hear our comments on this article from Good Housekeeping, which was first printed in the May 13th, 1955 edition of their magazine. As my comments -I imagined- would be too numerous to post on her site, I thought I would address them here. Please keep in mind that this is suposed to be in good fun, and naturally, sarcastic. :O)

The Good Wife's Guide

~Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking of him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.Oh, I do plan ahead, and sometimes when I do,this happens.

~Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair, and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.I am guessing the pink nightgown I am still wearing doesn't count as fresh.

~Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it. My husband is usually very interested in how many loads of laundry I've done, and how many diapers I've changed so I can check this one off the list...

~Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Impossible, there is an inordinate amount of clutter that keeps the ankle biters happy, and I would like them to stay happy. Sorry Good Housekeeping.

~Gather up schoolbooks, toys, papers, etc., and then run a dustcloth over the tables.See above.

~Over the cooler months of the year, you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
I could cater, but I would have to charge.

~Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and (if necessary), change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.I guess I could clean the kids up, but then it would be dinner time, so what's the point? Oooh, you mean house work would stop when the hubby gets home? I'm in! As far as the children being quiet... been there, tried that, not gonna happen.

~Be happy to see him.Always. Mostly.

~Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.I see your greet, warm smile, and sincerity... and raise you a kiss.

~Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours. More important? More interesting , maybe. Oye, I am so glad I didn't live in the 50's, I probably would have been put out in the middle of town in stocks and chains.

~Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you . Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.See above.

~Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. Try as I might, order and tranquility do not reside here anymore.

~Don't greet him with complaints and problems.Well see, then we wouldn't have anything to talk about!

~Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
Out all night and not complain? The only reason for being out all night is if you're in the ER.

~Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
OK, I can do the Dew...

~Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.Sotto voce-"Sweetie, Te quieres Taco Bell?"

~Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.What complete and utter scat. WOW, I am nearly speechless.

~A good wife always knows her place.Yeah, sitting at the computer in her night gown, drinking diet Pepsi.

I love my husband sooo much, and he is my best friend... but I can't imagine living like this. I think that if he had wanted a woman who had no opinions, no feelings, no voice, he definitely would not have married me. Here's to living in 2006, where men and women are equals! We live in a time where we can do many of these things because we want to, not because it is required of us. And if your lucky, you do it for each other.

*Writes note to self to remember the Mountain Dew, and the kiss.*

Monday, August 14, 2006

Things I have learned from the ankle biters...

As I was putting Emma to bed last night, and just shortly after her hand lovingly smeared saliva on my cheek, what occurred to me was this:Though I appreciate your keen observation that spit is wet, you need not test it properties on my person.

That got me thinking about other valuable life lessons I have learned from my children...

Poop is an effective tracking device.

Bath water is very tasty, despite all the additives it may contain.

Naps, evidently are more fun for adults than they are for kids.

Having a second child quadruples your already doubled laundry.

Just when you believe you are winning the War on Stuffed Animals, someone gives you another. If you sell 10 stuffed animals at your own yard sale, you will get one free from your neighbors yard sale because your 16 month old is "sooooo cute".

One nose + one finger = one occupied child and 2 embarrassed parents

Dried milk is impossible to clean off of leather furniture. Which is ironic, don't you think?

If you encourage your child to talk at an early age, they will. Take this tidbit in whatever context you wish. *wink*

While encouraging your child to talk, sign language may come in handy in the event that every word sounds like "butt".

Kids don't listen, except when you want them not to.

Rants about your MIL are best kept private because eventually the precocious 3 year old that you taught early language skills to will probably spill the beans.

It doesn't matter how much or little peanut butter you put on a slice of bread, it's always going to land face down.

If your 5 year old tells you that you are getting old 3 times in a 24 hour period, it's probably true.

*This one is my husband's contribution* Men, if you have a cup, wear it. Your reproductive parts that you cherish so much will always be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Pretty much every bad habit your child has is a direct reflection upon your self. Where do you think they learned it from, the mailman?

And finally... No one gives a hug like a 16 month old. Hugs from your 5 year old are just as wonderful, but infrequent. Take them when you can get them.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Accidental Depressionist

Yeah, I know, it' not a real word. Get over it. :D After 18 years of debating on whether or not to watch the movie The Accidental Tourist, struggling with the thought that actually renting it may not be worth the money, and just missing the beginning of the movie by an hour and 45 minutes, I finally got to see it the night before last.

I was pleasantly surprised at 5 minutes after midnight, that I actually enjoyed it. It was touching, it was quirky and funny... best of all I didn't pay to see it. Man, were Gina Davis's teeth huge in this movie!

Ok, moving on...I wanted to say that the moment that I got up from my computer after finishing my last post, after obsessing about a new blog template for about 40 minutes, I had a bitter sweet epiphany. I stood to see my youngest sitting on her little Dora sofa, her attention fully intent on Al-bow (Elmo), and sadness and joy filled every fiber of my being. My oldest was in the dining room playing a game on her laptop, and I looked back and forth between them. As I stood behind Emma looking at her coppery-brown curls, and her dainty little neck, I realized life is just too short.

Years from now, no one will care what blog template I used or how many downloads I had in my Sims 2 folder. It means nothing, and there she sat alone and not alone while her mom wasted over an hour.

I read a book with her, snuggled a bit and then put her down for a nap.

I realized that I am a bit saddened, just as every mom is, to see their baby going through so many changes. Emma is quickly learning so many words each day. Yesterday she said tuddle (turtle), pish (fish), and dee (knee). Anna will be starting kindergarten in a few weeks, and I think back at all the time I wasted with her. Over nonsense, obsessing, house work... All the mistakes I made.

I think that we have so much on our plates right now, as far as: finding a house, buying a house, selling our house after we finish remodeling the bathroom, probably fixing the air conditioner because it has been puttering out on us here and there the last week, the owners of the house that we want to buy jerking our chains, our real estate agent not always looking out for our best interests, me being 36-almost 37 and still not having a drivers license, trying to find the time and energy to practice driving to get my license, our baby starting school and realizing that we can never go back... It's a lot to handle. I think I am just stressed out. I think the thought that for the next 13 years she will be spending the majority of her waking hours in school with other people is just the straw, you know?

I can only move on and hope that my actions now, this moment, will make up for it all. I try everyday not to be like my mother, but now that I have a second child my mistakes confront me like scarlet letters in a sea of black words. Each and every mistake is with me, and there are days when I ask her to forgive me. And she does, and at that moment I think about what a blessing she is, that despite all that I have done, God knew that we needed her.

I hope that one day she can forget the past ( like the time I ruined Easter, don't ask, loooong story... and the time I let her balloon slip out of my hands by accident, and especially the really hurtful things I did and said), and that she can realize that I tried my best to change not only for Em, but for her, too.

And just like last Saturday, while we watched the bride and groom have their first dance, I realize that time does indeed march on. One day she will be smiling at her dad and I over the shoulder of the man she loves, and it will all have been worth it. Probably as I sit sobbing over a plate of wedding cake. *smile*

For now though, I will settle for a smile over her shoulder as she enters school for the first time, as I wait to have my nervous breakdown until after the door closes behind her. *sigh* My baby is all grown up. Kinda.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I am feeling blue. I feel like I have no purpose besides cleaning and being a mom. I feel like I have no voice, that my mouth moves and stretches but no one hears. I feel like my wants are trivialized, that I am fodder and merely entertainment to those who think they are better than me.

I feel like nothing. I just want to crawl into a hole so that everyone forgets I exist, but I can't.

I have 2 kids who need my attention, care, love and domestic management skills. Hah, I made myself laugh.

I don't care who reads this, or if it is read at all. I only needed to express my thoughts and emotions in a way other than anger and tears. To purge myself makes me feel like I am in control, I feel empowered, and I know this is why I used to actually binge and purge years ago. Now, I am trying to do it in a more constructive manner.

I guess that is one thing to be proud of. I will never make myself bulimic again. Whatever stress I may have isn't worth destroying my body over. Well, at least not in that way.

There is always chocolate.

I have periods of slight depression, when my self worth is in the toilet... sometimes from external influences, sometimes not. I wonder sometimes if I am sick like her, my mother, and if I need medication. I struggle some days, I so do not want to be like her. At least I don't beat my kids. I am what I am, and cannot change some of it, except maybe chemically and spiritually. I have this fear that if I do take medication, it will mean that I am crazy, like her.

I am worth more than a momentary glance, a second of acknowledgement. I am worth so much more than the sum of my desirable body parts. I am worth more than my entertainment value. Yes, I am boring at times. Yes, I obsess about tedious things... but what about the good parts of me? Do my negatives out weigh the positives? Why is it that my tedium is less tolerable than others?

Gee, so far I am kicking the crap out of positivity.

Typing all of this has helped. Now my urge to explode into tiny droplets has subsided to a moderate ache in the back of my throat. Other than that, I feel almost nothing. Nothing at all.

Must go... doody calls. :O)

Monday, August 07, 2006

This just in: Sarcasm Girl Goes Cold Turkey!

Ok, my dear husband and I are starting a new thing to stop ourselves from trash-talking... It's a little thing called If you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all. You may have heard of it? *snort* I am pretty sure that anyone with a mother has heard that one. Any way, we are trying really hard, to the point of clamping our mouths shut mid sentence and saying "nevermind". Since I have been dubbed Sarcasm Girl by my lovely and perceptively precocious 5 yr old, saying nothing is quite the daunting task.

We had a wise friend tell us one time that Christianity shouldn't be hard, not even 2nd nature. I get that, if you are a born again creature, Christianity is your nature. But I was thinking, the Bible doesn't call it the straight and narrow for nothing. Practice makes perfect, and even though we may not be perfect, we are going to give it a go.

We went to a wedding this last Saturday, believe it or not except for a few minor incidents we had a lot of fun. Usually at weddings, we kind of end up sitting by ourselves, feeling awkward. This was a sizable wedding, with at least 300 guests, many of which were related to my husband.

Here are a few things I learned this last Saturday:

*Given the opportunity, men will acknowlege your breasts, but not you as a whole human being.

*Even the smallest amount of visible cleavage is irresistible to the male species, including those that are related by marriage.

*Though the cut of the blouse may be flattering to your full figure, and may be the nicest blouse you own, your feelings of well being and attractiveness to your husband will be overshadowed by feelings shame and remorse (see above).

One incident in particular made me feel this way. My MIL and I were walking towards the beverage table, she stopped to talk to a family member. We talked for a few minutes, and as soon as my MIL turned to walk away his eyes went straight for my chest. I guess what bothered me was the fact that it was no accident, he was able to control himself until my MIL wasn't paying attention, then BINGO! I felt dirty, and very uncomfortable, and just wanted to rip one of the table cloths from one of the tables to cover myself.

I should have trusted my instincts, and that Voice that told me no. I struggled with that stupid blouse for 3 days, and asked my MIL and husband if it were inappropriate to show 3/4 inch of cleavage. I don't usually wear that sort of thing, and this blouse has been sitting in the closet for almost a year since John's class reunion. I modeled the shirt, they both said I looked fine. Actually, my husband said that I looked better than fine, and I hadn't felt that attractive in months. I should have known that if I didn't feel comfortable wearing it a year ago in front of strangers, that I certainly wouldn't feel that good about it in front of family.

My old self got my new self in trouble, and all I want to do is give my old self a good whack over the head with a shovel *LOL*.
Well, at the very least smack it in the forehead and say "DUH!".

I wish that there was a Christian designer out there that made clothes specifically for fuller figured Christian women. I know that when I go shopping, most of the plus sized clothes are made with older women in mind. I feel so matronly when I try to find something that fits, and I usually end up trying on clothes for 2 hours until finally giving up and buying the least awful outfit. I am only 36, I don't want huge flower prints and polyester. Is that too much to ask?

This experience has made me remember:

*That some situations can be completely avoided if you just listen to His voice.

*It's not really appropriate for a Christian woman to wear something that will obviously cause other people to sin.

*It is possible to avoid dropping food on your shirt for once, even while feeding cake to the 16 month old on your lap.

*Finally, wedding cake is the perfect ending for the slightly uncomfortable evening.