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Monday, December 31, 2012

Recipe time: Chocolate Covered Cherry Martini

So, I am not a huge drinker at all, but it is New Year's Eve after all so I thought it was time to post a drinky-drink on here!

I went to the grocery store last night, and found "Pinnacle" brand vodka on sale.  It is regularly $15.00 but it had a $5 off coupon, so I thought... why not try it.  I started looking and they had all kinds of crazy flavors... chocolate chip cookie dough, marshmallow, whipped cream (yum), whipped cherry, pumpkin pie... and the list goes on.  So, while standing there in awe, I decided to pick up the whipped cherry and thought that it would either A) make a nice gift or B) make a kick ass cherry Coke.

So, I continued to walk around the Hy-Vee (grocery store) and started thinking about what I could make with that bottle of vodka... And it came to me, a chocolate covered cherry. 

So I whipped out my phone and text my husband to see what we had at home to make this fantastic drink.

Chocolate syrup? CHECK
Whipped cream? NO (so I grabbed it)
Half and half or cream? NO (so I grabbed that)
Then I went to look for Maraschino cherries.  NOW, I would NEVER think a store would be out of them, but this store was (err, it was December 30th after all and 9 pm at night)... So I started to think... what could I use for cherry... and then it hit me... CHERRY PIE FILLING!

I left the store with one mission... to make the best damn-tastic martini with cherry pie filling... EVAH.


Ingredients:

Whipped cream
Chocolate syrup
Cherry Pie Filling (transferred into a bowl large enough to dip your glass in)
1 shot of Pinnacle Cherry Whipped vodka
2 shots of half and half
Finely crushed graham crackers (I used 2 whole graham crackers, or you can buy the box of crushed graham cracker at the store)
 
 
Directions:
 
1) take martini glass and dip it in the bowl of cherry pie filling enough to lightly cover the rim of the glass in the cherry goodness (sauce) 
2) Then immediately place the glass rim (covered in cherry ooey gooey yummo) into the finely crushed graham crackers. (I used a paper plate to make sure I could coat it all).
 



3) Decorate bottom of glass with chocolate sauce and sauce from the cherry pie filling (I even added a couple of cherries to one drink)
 
4) mix together 1 shot of cherry whipped vodka and cream in a shaker and shake it... SHAKE IT RREEEEAAALLLL GOOD!
5) Pour into glass, top with whipped cream, sprinkles of chocolate flakes, cherry sauce and chocolate sauce. ENJOY!
 

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Best Holiday Gift EVAH

So what is the best holiday gift you received this year? Snow? iPad? Food? Air Hog? Barbie dream house? Time together as a family? (YEAH RIGHT... hahhaaaa)

I mean, time together as a family is great, and when someone asks me about the best part of my holiday I always say, time with my family.  Which is great, but after about 1 day of the kids all being together it turns into bat shit crazy.  MOM, MOM... mommy... what are we doing today? Can we go somewhere? What can we do? Can we do this? Mom.... MOOOOOMMMMM????  Mom, he's touching me... Mom, why can't Maddy stop farting?

So, while the time together is precious and wonderful, and well... rather UNIQUE we all truly look forward to receiving a gift under the tree.  I don't care how non-materialistic you are, you like to have a present to unwrap.

This year, I received the best gift ever. And to some people, it may not mean anything and it may be super silly... but to me it is an amazing gift.  One that will keep on giving.  One that melted my heart and truly is the spirit of Christmas...

So, last winter I started a photo wall project.  It started with a blank wall, and then I purchased a wall saying from my friend, Jessica (Simply Said representative) and put it on my wall.  It says, "A smile lasts a moment... the memory lasts a lifetime." Well, for about six months it was just there... all by itself. My plan was to get different photo frames and put different candid moments from the kids, Phillip and I and put them up on the wall.  BUT I wanted vintage, funky frames. This would require me to shop Goodwill and Stuff, Etc (a local consignment store) and I just don't have that kind of time.  At month six, we received two large prints my friend Sarah Sample took of Kennith, Madelynn, and Alex.  My husband put them up on the wall.  And the wall still sits.... Like this...

My dream is to have these different photo frames with pictures surrounding the saying, but the photo frames have to be different shapes, sizes... That is my vision.  Create an art picture wall for our family room.  I take pictures all the time, I just don't have the "time" to find the frames.

So for Christmas, my husband and kids gave me the gift that will keep on giving. My husband went out and shopped for the frames for my wall.  Each one individually wrapped and waiting for me.  All I have to do, is put the pictures in them and hang them on the wall.





 Something so precious to me, for I don't have a lot of time between work and family to get to a Goodwill and hunt for funky frames, yet my husband knows it is my heart's desire to get this wall done... so he sacrificed his time and found them. Perfect, funky frames with my name written all over them.  He gets me.

Gift giving is not about the money spent... it is about the thought behind it.  This gift really melted my heart.  My husband knows me.  He knows my likes... and my dislikes... and he is so thoughtful.  He always is thoughtful.  He gave me the best gift ever... a true place to collect the hidden moments with my kids.  So, of course... after getting the frames, I ordered prints for the wall.  First one? Serina's senior picture that is the same size as Alex's and Kennith/Madelynn's.  Then all kinds of random pictures taken of our moments together.  Moments I treasure.... and now, moments I can see when I am having a tough day... all gathered in two different places.  The wall and my heart.

 Forever.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Is it a Grudge or a Way of Life?

Hi there!

I hope you had a fantastical holiday season. We certainly did here.  We had a pretty chill-lax Christmas and celebrated with a lovely dinner and cheesecake to honor Jesus' birth.  It was a joyous day.

However, part of me was not joyous. Part of me is down right saddened over an event that happened over two years ago between my husband and his mother.

As an adult, when do you say "Enough is enough" and move forward? 


When does it become acceptable to write someone out of your life, who is your family member, but all they end up doing is hurting you?
I mean, it is so much easier to cut down our friends, and rule them out of our lives, regardless... but when it comes to family, why does it become the unspeakable?

This is a very hard topic for me to write about, because I am a very forgiving person, and I have been taught to always find the good in people. But what if there isn't much good to love?

BACK STORY....

My husband and his sister grew up with their mother and father in rural Iowa.  When my hubs was in high school, his mom and dad went to counseling and while at counseling the mother accused the father of cheating on her with the counselor.  Long story short, she moved the kids and herself out of the farm house and into town and talked bad about her husband... causing a riff between the kids and their father.

When my husband was in his late 20s/early 30s he found out that his mother had been lying about the affair.  My husband spent years being cordial to his father and holding anger against his dad for actions his father didn't even take. And to be honest, now that we are in our 40s my husband and his father are very close and they have a bond that will never be broken. And as he accepted his father into his life and loved him with open arms, my husband still did not deny his mother... he was there for her. My father in law is a sweet sensitive man, who is still married to my mother in law, because my mother in law doesn't want a divorce... They fake it... She lives in a town an hour away from my father in law, and they go to family functions together because my mother in law doesn't want her mother to know they are separated.  YET, my mother in law has a boyfriend on the side.  What makes me sad? The love my father in law has for my mother in law after all these years.  She only loves him when she needs him.

My mother in law says things that are inappropriate at best a lot of the time.  On the way to our wedding (Phillip's and mine) she told me that her brothers hadn't approved of me yet.  I looked at her and offered to send my resume with salary history to them if she provided the addresses.  She then asked to see my ring and asked me if I got it at the local second hand store, a kind of slap in the face. But I moved on and still treated her with love.

A couple of years ago, in the summer my husband's sister called their mother a BITCH for something she did (the mother accused my sister in laws friend from church of being a drug dealer and made a scene and got kicked out of my sister in laws house)... and the mother in law was copied on the text.

NOW, Phillip and I were 5 hours away at that time, watching a musical at a theater and were not even involved in the situation. Maybe it is the codependent nature of the relationship between Phillip's mother and sister or what...but the mother chose to take it out on my husband instead of his sister.  She called him up and said he was disowned from her as a child and her family disowned him.  All over something that he wasn't even involved in.

STORY OF TODAY:

My mother in law is still friends with his ex-wife and honestly pays more attention to his ex-wife than she does her own flesh and blood.. her son.  She solidifies her love for her son by buying gifts for his ex-wife's baby (which she conceived while still married to my husband and it is another man's baby) for Christmas.  I know what you are thinking, you are thinking... MELISSA it is for the child, not the ex-wife, I agree.  But she was at the hospital when the ex-wife had the baby and all... and because she has crossed motives all the time it is hard to see what to interpret (for example, she bought my niece a toy and told her she couldn't take the gift home, she could only play with it at grandmas as a tactic to get my niece there when my sister in law and my mother in law weren't talking).

 

So, are these actions all the time a grudge she carries or is it just her way of life?


The people this hurts the most? My stepdaughters.  They go between the two and although we don't talk about Phillip's mother... my stepdaughters still do things with her, and it is hard on everyone.

All my husband wants? An apology for the first time in his life from his mother. He is always the one taking the higher road and forgiving her, and he has forgiven her now, but he won't forget.  This time, she went too far and he wants her apology... and has waited TWO years for it. Well, she did send him a plant last year in April, saying that spring is a time to start over... yet no apology. So is it acceptable for him to not communicate with her and wait? Or is life too short? I am so on the fence here. I forgive her actions, I love her despite them... I forgive her, but I don't have to forget... but what if the line was drawn too many times and scratched out? Too many do overs given...

So how do I convince my husband to approach her? OR do I not convince him. In my opinion, it is beyond a grudge on both sides and it is just now a way of life.  She has stopped all communication with us and clearly treats my biological kids and I as we are second class, which will never change.

I even texted her last week out of courtesy regarding my step-daughter's dentist appointment and well... she didn't even give me the common courtesy to respond and let me know she received my message. We really don't exist to her in her world.

THE FUTURE:

On Saturday the 29th there is a family event for my mother in laws side of the family.  I love Phillip's cousins and his grandma... I would love to go with the kids but my husband will not go because of his mother and how she has treated him his whole life. He wants to be surrounded by love and support and the one person in my opinion who should always provide that, HIS MOTHER, refuses to show any love or compassion to him.

So what do I do? I stand by my husband and stand by his right not to be hurt again by his mother.  I know this is hard for our kids to see, but at the end of the day, the relationship between my mother in law and my husband is very unhealthy.  Why subject anyone to that when we don't have to?

My dream would be that she will eventually come to terms with her actions and for once stand up and say "I am sorry for what I did." She was VERY manipulative, and husband wasn't... my husband is a gentle man with a giving heart, he gets that from his dad.  His mother is also STUBBORN... So is my husband. After all, he is her child... and even though the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, my husband had enough sense to know which apples were good, and which apples were rotten.


Photo from: http://www.flashcoo.com/photography/fruit_apple/images/fruit_apple_apple-tree_wallpaper_DU061.JPG


Monday, December 24, 2012

Recipe Time: Mr. Wenndt's Spicy Pretzels

One of our most favorite holiday traditions at our house are spicy pretzels made by the hubs.  Every year, when December rolls around... Phillip will mysteriously head to the kitchen and start pulling out "THE SPICES" for the pretzels.  The kids and I watch... thinking, "IS IT TIME? IS HE? NO... YES? I THINK HE IS GETTING THE STUFF OUT."

As he continues and we realize it is spicy pretzel making day, we all start singing and dancing in the kitchen because friends... the pretzels are THAT GOOD.

This year, Maddy and I were doing the "STIR THE POT" dance and singing "It's spicy pretzel time, Daddy gonna make his preeeeetttttzzzzzeeeellllsss."

 

Mr. Wenndt's Spicy Pretzels


Ingredients:

3 bags of pretzel sticks (we use the small sticks and the braided together)
2 packages of Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix
2 12 ounce bottles of Orville Redenbacher's popcorn oil
1 tablespoon of dill weed
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of Konriko's jalapeño spice (if you want them a little spicier, add more of this to the mix)

Directions:

 Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Mix oil, ranch, dill, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and jalapeño spice in a bowl. Mix Place pretzels into two large roasting pan. Bake 90 to 120 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

PERFECTION. 


Monday, December 10, 2012

Homosexuality and Religion- One Mom Speaks Out

Well, I am sure that got your attention.  Homosexuality and religion.  One mom speaks out.

What the hell will this Jesus freak speak about now? 

For those of you who "THINK" you know me, you may want to stop reading here. I would hate that your feelings get offended by mine (I hope you got the sarcastic undertone, for it was there... TRUST)--- or let me put it to you bluntly, YOU WILL BE OFFENDED.

But here is the thing, I will give you time to stop reading now or you can keep reading and then chose as to whether you continue or not. We are all born of free will.  Before I go into my mom-rant-tastic view, I will first start by saying---- I love you.  I love God, I love the fact that Jesus died for me, and I have a relationship with Him that is never failing. My love for Him and all that He is (He is rather magnificent, don't you think?) means that through Him... I LOVE YOU. If you are someone I call friend, I don't call you friend lightly. I call you friend because I love YOU and He gave me the ability to love again after my heart was stomped on by the "ideologies of some religious folks" and my ex-husband.

I love you for your past, present, and your future, I even love you if you have hurt me.  I love you not for the sins you commit but for the human you are and your compassion and drive to be better.  I love you because it is not my job to judge you...

My job on this Earth is to show compassion and love, even in the midst of anger.

So, today was my birthday.  It was an amazing time spent with my family (although Alex and I spent two hours at urgent care over a really blue and swollen toe --Alex, and acute sinusitis--- me)... I am so thankful of my friends who sent me well wishes and love for my birthday, it really is meaningful to me. 

I am also thankful for the sense of humor God gave me.  It may be snarky, it may be edgy and dark but it is my sense of humor to say the least.

Today I posted the following on my facebook page.  I post a LOT of stuff on my facebook page. A lot of things that are inappropriate, but man, if its funny, its funny. I cannot help it, judge me and persecute me for my bad sense of humor.

But today I shared something that got me thinking... why is religion so against people who are gay? To such an extent that someone would personally send me a message (not on my facebook wall) that stated, "I was confused by your post promoting homosexuality."

Do you not know me? I mean, you didn't even ask me how I am doing, or how my kids are.  You didn't even tell me happy birthday for cry eye, but you are confused by my post promoting homosexuality? My post didn't really do anything but make me think. 

You see the post in question... Or maybe it was this one...
(For I posted two, this one is just plain funny, who the hell wears Crocs anymore? Well, I would if my dog didn't eat mine, but that is a different story).


If you did know me, you would know that my cousin is gay.  He is in a committed relationship and one of the most loving relationships I have ever seen in my life.  Some of my closest friends are gay.  They were there for me when my life was upside down.  When my life was upside down, from the "church" I received a phone call from the pastor asking me not to volunteer my time in the nursery.  I was forsaken by my church.

forsaken past participle of for·sake (Verb)

Verb

  1. Abandon (someone or something): "a tiny, forsaken island".

  2. Renounce or give up (something valued or pleasant): "I won't forsake my vegetarian principles".




 So before you go and cast stones my way, check out your own glass house.  God is a good God, He loves, and  He teaches us to love in return. 

My sister's friend, Randy said the following, which truly speaks to me... "'Sodom & Gomorrah was destroyed NOT for sexual sin; but for lack of hospitality and care for social justice issues'. I use the scripture that this is referring to whenever I speak to christian groups about slavery. Not everyone likes it. It's ok to be a lying, gluttonous, cheating, murderer at heart as long as you're not gay."

Why have some people made it their life's mission to persecute people who are gay? Christians who love God as ardently as they do? Why must they practice and preach everything God told us not to? If you are offended by this, you will say that I am picking and choosing different versus to serve MY need... well, aren't you?

I am very saddened today to even have to bring this up, hurt a few people, but I realized I needed to clear the air a bit with my stance on religion and the "homosexuality".  The issues isn't with homosexuality. The issue isn't with religion.  The issue is with the person who uses religion to cause fear and angst in a community for their own well being.

I know when I die, where I am going.  I know I stand alone, not with a church, a pastor, or even my cousin.  I stand alone. It will be just God and I and I know that I did my mission on this Earth. My mission was to love as He did. 

If He were here- walking this earth now...would he forsake anyone?  Would He first ask you if you are straight or gay before He held you? Carried you? Healed your wounds? He would not forsake YOU. 

Love, peace and a forgiving heart....

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Welcome!

Hi!

My name is Melissa and I am a full time mom of  four, chef, worker for corporate America, art and craft maker, activity director, and wife.



Being a mom of a blended family is very hard. I have a biological son, a biological daughter, a step-daughter, and a step-step-daughter, and a step-step-son (who is grown and on his own). Now... does that even make crazy sense? Regardless, I am a mom, and with being a mom I feel as if my life is SO random! More random than it ever has been. I am a coffee-drinking-cookie-baking-homework-helping-dinner-cooking-job-working-dog-walking-craft-building-ADHD-kind of mom. It is like life is ...well life. (A total DUH moment, but instead of me saying it out loud... I just wrote it for the world to read. THIS is what I am talking about.)

So, I decided to be creative and blog about my crazy life. I know, you are thinking... way to go Mel! Do something unique and original. So as I take another sip of my sarcasm (along with a side of coffee), I will open up this blog by telling you I write about anything that I can think of because I am totally random. AND I love to cook and do crafty things. So, I am sure there will be recipes on here somewhere that I have tweaked, and random crafts here and there. Maybe my opinion on wine (which the answer is YES, SIR- MAY I HAVE SOME MORE).

A mom's world is colorful. Sometimes it is the random crayon writing on the wall that colors it... sometimes it is the eight year old boy in your life who wants to play hangman, so you drop what you are doing and his puzzle is, "I love you." Sometimes it is a 14 year old girl who comes to you for advice on boys or to cry over a boy. Sometimes it is your husband bringing you daisies on a random Tuesday. These are the beautiful colors of mom-dome. These are the moments that make all the crazy worth it.

So welcome, enjoy... I blog about the things we moms don't speak of.  Dinner failures, poop, inadequacies, more poop issues, and most importantly... how to find inner peace (AH WHO THE HECK AM I KIDDING).



Be Blessed!

Be a Memory Creator This Holiday Season!


December is upon us and it is the time of giving, receiving, baking and laughter.  This holiday season, my heart is lifted and I really want to focus on the giving aspect of the holiday time. 

I honestly am at a loss as to what to get my husband for the holidays, but I know I will find the perfect gift between now and then (I still have ALMOST 20 days to shop, right? LOL)… I have holiday gifts for my kids, parents, and the rest of my family.

This season, our family has been focusing on random acts of kindness… whether it is helping the next door neighbor carry in her groceries (she recently had hip replacement surgery), paying for the candles for the woman in line before us at the store, or saying hello to people while shopping.  I think sometimes during the holidays, we almost forget to go forth with a thankful heart and gratitude.  People get cranky with the people in the stores who are helping them, and we basically get rude instead of jolly. SO I SAY GO FORTH WITH JOLLY THIS SEASON! Shed some joy on those around you, because maybe their place is a bit darker than yours.

So, this mom of four is on a mission this year---a mission to make a difference. 

 
It may be a small difference, but I am going to try and make the holiday time very special for some people in our lives that we just don’t thank enough… our kid’s teachers. Some schools in our local community actually have teacher wish lists, our school however does not!

Now, usually we give a card with a gift card in it, but really does it reflect us? Does it reflect our children’s teacher? Or is it just a convenience we use so we can give a gift without the thought.  Honestly, I don’t know my kid’s teachers well enough to know where they would like to eat or if they even like coffee.  AND here is the thing, my kids spend more time during the work week with their teachers versus me.  Reality set in… my kids are wonderful, maybe I need to remind their teachers of how awesome they are and thank them… TRULY thank them for what they do… and put a little thought into the holiday for each teacher that touches the lives of my precious children. 

It has been a very fun project for my nine year old son and I--- every day, I ask him to find out something about his teacher and report back to me, so we can make a list of things she likes.  For example, last Monday I asked him… “Find out if Mrs. P wears jewelry.” He came back and said, “Mom, she has fancy pretty jewelry on every day.”  I was able to find a PERFECT bracelet for Mrs. P. on Facebook. Yeah, right? Whowouddathunkit. Not only can you stalk your ex, your spouses ex, your baby daddy, the drunk you went to school with, keep up with your friends... BUT you can shop.  I love logging in on Wednesday nights (7:30 pm central/ 8:30 pm eastern) to find gifts on one of my favorite boutiques (since I cannot physically go to the shop itself).  Jenny Boston is a fantastic place to find affordable, unique gifts. I honestly have found 4 different holiday gifts this season just from playing on Facebook.  Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/events/119674798181809/permalink/146717125477576/?ref=notif&notif_t=like#!/photo.php?fbid=10152129945450582&set=a.10150264131765582.537293.213971580581&type=1&theater

Great, note one in my teacher log. NOT THAT I AM STALKING HER FROM A FAR, but I am trying to get a sense of Kennith’s teacher through his eyes.  The next day I asked him, “Does your teacher like candy? Find out what her favorite candy is.”  He came home and reported, “MOM… She LOVES, I mean LOVES Snickers.”  SO, another item went onto our Mrs. P gift list.  If I forget a day, he reminds me.  He is getting to know his teacher and we are getting ideas for her gift basket.

I have also been purposely picking up our 3 year old from day care (she goes to daycare at the same school where my husband teaches) just so I can talk with all of the teachers and get a sense of who they are and what they like.  For example, Miss Melissa loves Scentsy and I know she likes warm cinnamon scents and needs a new pot… WELL, I know exactly what she will get for her holiday gift! I logged into the Macaroni Kid Cedar Rapids Holiday Gift Guide,  (http://cedarrapids.macaronikid.com/#holiday-gift-guide-2012-13) and wah-lah… there was someone who represents Scentsy. So not only am I giving a gift that her teacher will love but I am shopping locally and giving back to my community!  PROJECT GIVE BACK is fully underway!

I have also noticed when I am at daycare that the director always has a cool scarf on! So, I went on a hunt to find a small business that has scarves out there.  I shopped on Facebook on a random Wednesday night at Jenny Boston (AGAIN, THANK YOU JB) and found a designer scarf PERFECT for the director!  Shipped to my door for less than $20.  Another gift that is perfect for the recipient, AND money going to a small business!

My message: Sometimes we just need to take notice of those around us. The important people in our lives are not only our spouses, children, parents , immediate family members, and friends… but they are also the people who touch our lives in ways we could never imagine.  Teachers.  They do so much for our children and really just ask that our kids succeed in return.  I have seen it when my husband sees a student who is grown up and in college and his eyes twinkle.  They do their job so our kids can have more.

This holiday season, give joy.  Make it count!!! BE JOLLY!


 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Recipe Time: Pork Tenderloin with Apple & Brown Sugar Rub

It is about time I whip out the slow cooker and get to creating! Last night I had a dream. The dream was to create a sweet and savory pork tenderloin in my crock pot.  So I set to work...

 Pork Tenderloin with Apple & Brown Sugar Rub


Ingredients:

2 lbs pork tenderloin (sliced)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard (I used Dijon)
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
2 apples cored and sliced

Directions:


1) Combine brown sugar, vinegar, and mustard in a bowl until mixed---set to the side
2) Place a layer of apple slices on the bottom of slow cooker
3) cover apples with a layer of sliced pork tenderloin, season with salt, pepper, and garlic
4) rub brown sugar mix to the top of each tenderloin piece
5) repeat steps 2 through 4 until all pork is used, top off with remaining apple slices and brown sugar mix
6) cook in slow cooker for 8 hours


Not only does it SMELL delicious... but the flavor is amazing!  Enjoy!



EDIT: So, after thinking more on the tenderloin, the next time I will NOT cut the tenderloin, I will cook it whole and slice the center and stuff the apples inside and rub the brown sugar blend on the outside.  Then before serving, I will let it rest with the brown sugar "juice" to soak it up. NOW, that is some pork.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Feeling Inadequate

Honestly.  I feel inadequate. According to Webster's Dictionary online... I feel insufficient...deficient, lacking...

I feel like I am not enough.


Maybe it is just today, maybe it has been the past month... but I FEEL inadequate.


You may know me and say, Melissa... get out of here, you are a great mom and you have an awesome career... Yes.  These things are true. But I feel lacking. I feel like I am not enough for the people in my life. Normally I don't feel this way, it is just a wave of insufficiency. LOL That is what I am going to call it.

"Hey, Melissa... how are you doing?"
"Ah, I am OK. Just going through a wave of insufficiency but it will be better."

HAHAHA, OK. That is my sick sense of humor.

It is partly how I just feel internally if I cannot do more, give more, be more.

I am quite sad, actually.


And I am not asking for a pity party or for anyone to feel sorry for me, I am just putting it out there because I KNOW I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO GOES THOUGH THIS WAVE OF INSUFFICIENCY.

How many of you have ever let this feeling of being "not enough" for those around you, take a hold of you and just eat at you from the core of your being. It is hard to focus on the positive and grab a "happy take away" from any situation.

I mean, this week at work I had a LOT of successes.   But, I also had one failure. And really it isn't so bad considering the circumstances, however the other party involved kept on trying to blame everyone and everything else for why they didn't succeed and I took on that sadness. I let myself get caught up in the bad aspects of her failure and I couldn't see past it.  I love my job a lot.  I love seeing my student's achieve success.  Sometimes it is not in the cards for everyone and in this case, I felt badgered over a failure and I had no control over the failure.  BUT, who was badgering me more? My student or myself?  I have come to the conclusion that if I wouldn't have been at such a low point emotionally I wouldn't have been bothered by it, but I was truly bothered. I did it to myself.

And then there are my kids.  I feel with one of them in particular, because I am her step-mom I will never be enough.  Anything I do, or even make for dinner is never good enough. I am not good enough.  I have to really just realize that and not base my happiness on that. This weekend has been very hard for me (blame it on the full moon) but the kids have taken an emotional toll on me, I have been crying in the shower.  They aren't listening (the little ones) and the older ones just treat me as if I don't matter. 

Then there is my husband.  I love him dearly and I just want affection from him and a conversation about ANYTHING. I have been taking check at how many times people ask me how I am doing lately, and REALLY care about the answer to the question... and to be honest... it is not a lot. I am stuck in a house all day working BY MYSELF and I hardly ever get out of the house during the week, unless I am carting a child to an activity or getting out to the gym (which hasn't been a lot... maybe that is why I feel inadequate)...  I need social interaction (and believe me, it is not cub scouts, no offense to those who offered me the position of DEN LEADER last night, but no).  I want more social interaction with MY HUSBAND.  BUT I have NOTHING to talk about.  I work. I raise kids. I cook. I clean. I volunteer.

I sound so sad. And it may be a bit exaggerated but when you are clearly in this "wave" you get really down.  And it is hard to pull yourself out... and let's face it.  WHY ARE YOU WAITING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT FOR YOU? SNAP THE HELL OUT OF IT AND GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.

Ok, that was more for me than you but if the message fits...

How will I fix it...

First, I will go to the gym every day.  I feel better when I exercise.

Second, I will just start to make dinners at night and not take it too personally when someone or someones don't eat it.

Third, I will try to laugh more, and try to get out of the house during the work day, even if it is to go outside my house.  WAIT, I will schedule in my workout at my gym then.  THAT's an IDEA!

Fourth, I will try and get enough sleep.  I have been staying up til past midnight and getting up at six thirty every day. Maybe I need more sleep.

I need to try and be in the moment more with those I love.  Maybe the reason why I feel inadequate and why they are not talking to me is because I am not being an active listener.

I need to sing more.  I don't sing a lot anymore and for those of you who really know me, know my love for singing.  Even if in my car, I shall sing.  At the top of my lungs.

I want respect from my kids.  Maybe I should show them respect and then they will give it in return.


THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER THINGS I CAN LIST BUT THIS IS A GREAT STARTING POINT.

So, heart on sleeve. Who else is in this boat with me? Are any of you feeling a bit inadequate lately? Thinking you should be more?  Wondering WHY no one listens to you or respects you? Wondering why you keep having this "wave of insufficiency- party of one"?

Here is the reality.  YOU are enough. Don't sit there and think that you aren't valuable.  You are. You have to believe it first and then others will see it in you. Maybe I (err, WE) should change our perspective and start seeing ourselves as having the value others see in us.

I know I can get there...I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel...
 
    Photo taken from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/image_galleries/tunnel_vision_fierce_gallery.shtml?10





Monday, November 26, 2012

What is a Parent? Put Yourself in Check.

So I haven't blogged in a while, and to be honest that is because the past few weeks have been insane.  Kids were out of school, Maddy was sick and then hospitalized, then off to Thanksgiving with my sister, her hubs, my cousin Ted, his partner Don, and their son, Dantae. So a whirlwind of sorts for the past few weeks.

One thing that has been eating at me is what makes someone a "good" parent? Is it all of the money in the world? Buying new things for your child? Letting them stay up late? Giving into your child when they scream at you in the store? Making your child go with you to an "adult" event? Having the 'guys' over for beers and football? Only bonding with your child when it is convenient for you?  How about not keeping your child on a schedule because you are too chillax' to do stuff like that, just roll with it?

My answer is no.  None of those things make you a good parent.

So before we talk about being a good parent, lets talk about being a parent who needs help first...

And here is the thing, if you are offended by my comments below, maybe you need to check yourself and get right with your child before they grow up and realize that you were too selfish to give anything up for them. Quit being a douche, check yourself... fix your shit, then move on.


I think my husband said it best to Maddy's biological father last night... "when you give birth to a child you automatically get the title of mom or dad... you really don't have to earn it. BUT when you are a step parent, and the child one day calls you mom or dad, it is because you earned it.  Being a parent is NOT something that should be taken lightly. A child should change your life...for the better. I have earned the title DAD with my step kids, not by biology, but by being there and being someone they can rely on--- I earned it and I cherish it."

Maybe when we are the biological parent to a child, we don't have to work as hard to earn that title, but we really should.  Things I know parents do that they shouldn't... now these are not made up, these are real events that have happened and I am relaying it and FINALLY voicing my opinion publicly. IT FEELS GOOD TO PUT THE BITCH HAT ON.


Things a parent shouldn't do...

1) Take your child to a pub for dinner on the weekend at 9 pm at night. So many times I see children in a bar after 9 pm eating dinner while old geezers are getting drunk at the bark and pinching the waitresses asses or commenting about whose tits are bigger. UM, NO. This is not the kind of behavior a child should be privy to.  Let them experience this behavior when it is age appropriate. Don't you force it upon the child because YOU want to be there. Get over it. It is a bar, this is your child. REALLY? WHAT should come first.

2) A parent shouldn't smoke weed or do any drugs. PERIOD. END OF STORY. Let alone around their kids, are you kidding me here? If you are a parent, or an expecting parent, for the love of all things holy put the crack pipe down and care about someone else besides yourself for a minute.  Do you REALLY think the worlds problems are solved when you are high? Great act of responsibility, genius.

3) Wait, what about keeping your toddler up until one in the morning because you don't like to get up in the morning and take care of him. GROW THE HELL UP. Get that baby to bed at a descent time and go to bed yourself.  Feed your child, take care of your child, get up and do the dishes if they are dirty. I don't care how old you are, if you made the decision to have the S-E-X and you were irresponsible enough not to "wrap the sausage" then you have to now grow up.  Put your child's needs first. It is that frikkin' easy. Your life is now on the back burner.  Your child comes first. Do you even understand that you are to SACRIFICE your own needs for your child?

4) Don't eat before your child. Really? I had a "friend" feed herself first and leave her toddler screaming because she was hungry too.  Come on bitch, your child cannot even feed herself yet, YOU have to do it for her. What part of common sense are you missing?

5) Hey, it is so cool that you are on public assistance and you have an iPhone and a new car, and then trade your food stamps for beer and your kid is eating ramen noodles. WTF? Really? I shouldn't even have to go into this in more detail.  One word explains it well "LOSER."

6) A parent shouldn't spend more time in a bar than with her kids. Come on, everyone wants to get out and "let their hair down" but really? Every weekend your drunk? That is really showing responsibility.

7) As a single mother, you introduce your children to every man you date when they get up in the morning.  Like that is healthy... "Hi honey this is (what was your name again?)... I guess I got the whole dating thing wrong. I wouldn't introduce my kids to just anyone. SMH.

8) Taking your child's child support for botox. (enough said)

The list goes on and on...



What makes a good parent?


It's easy.

Be there for your child. 

Tell them you love them, and show it.

Put them first, even before yourself.

Get on a schedule.

Make your child accountable.

Lead by example.


Think about your actions.  Do you really want to bring your child down or lift them up? I want my kids to be better than I am. I want them to attain more that what I have. I want to lead by example. That means I will go to Cub Scouts with my smiley face on. I personally cannot stand how disorganized it can be, but my son loves it. AND I can learn from it as well... a skill called patience.

This man in the picture is a fantastic parent.  He honestly spends every day of his life leading by example.  He is the daddy to my children.  He is an amazing parent.

XOXO












Saturday, November 17, 2012

Recipe Time: Breakfast Croissant Roll

So, I have found a new love at the grocery store...and no, it is not the 16 year old who takes my cart out to my car, and loads my groceries into the trunk for free (LOVE FAIRWAY)... it is actually the Pillsbury Croissant Sheet. 

I have always been a lover of croissants...their flaky goodness, all buttery and sweet.  However, when I happened to see the croissant sheet I about fell over and had to buy a few to try.

So-- my latest "foodie" experiment...

Breakfast Croissant Roll





Ingredients:
1 Pillsbury Croissant Sheet
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk (or heavy whipping cream, YUMMO)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 slices of ham
4-6 slices of cheese (I used mozzarella and American)


Directions:
Preheat oven to 375

Whisk eggs, milk, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.  Add mixture into a lightly buttered or sprayed pan (I used pam).  Scramble eggs.

While eggs are cooking spread out croissant sheet on counter.  Place the slices of cheese evenly over the top of the sheet, followed by the ham.  Once the eggs are scrambled, add scrambled eggs to the top, covering the ham.

Roll croissant (I did it lengthwise so it was longer, and not as thick) up and seal edges, I placed the open edge on the bottom of a greased baking sheet.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool for 3-5 minutes and slice....


We really loved this! It was a perfect breakfast food... EGGY, CHEESY, and SWEET.  Gotta love the sweetness from the croissant!

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Recipe Time: Italian Meatloaf!

So, I had these croissant sheets left that I had to use... So, I decided to do an old family favorite, Melissa style.

My dad's favorite food was meatloaf. 


Every week we would have meatloaf and on special days, it would be Italian Meatloaf.  Now, my dad always told me it was his special recipe and I always believed him... that was until my mom finally caved.  She finally told me this year (I am 40) that my dad never made the Italian Meatloaf... she did.  But to see us look at him like he was a genius cook was priceless.

So, this recipe in a way is a tribute to my dad.  I cannot believe that he passed away 10 years ago and my mom still kept his secret.  I know he is smiling down on me now as I type this going, "I got you good on this one, sunshine" and I nod, yes dad... you sure did.

Italian Meatloaf


Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb of ground beef (I used 93% lean)
1 cup of marinara sauce (I used a nice chunky kind)
2 eggs
1 envelope of onion soup mix
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 sleeve of saltine crackers crushed

6 slices of mozzarella cheese
1 croissant sheet by Pillsbury

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350

Combine ground beef, 3/4 cup of marinara sauce, eggs, onion soup mix, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and crushed crackers together. Make sure it is mixed up well.  Place in loaf pan and spread remaining marinara sauce on top.

Bake meatloaf in oven for 1 hour.

Remove meatloaf and let cool.

Roll out the croissant sheet a bit and place three slices of mozzarella cheese in the center of the sheet.  Tap out meatloaf on top of cheese and add three slices of mozzarella on the bottom of the meatloaf.  Seal the croissant dough around the meatloaf, flip it over and place it in a larger baking dish (coated with butter or Pam).  cut three slices in the top of the bread.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Serve hot.

Not only is it delicious, but it looks purdy! 

Enjoy!

Friday, November 9, 2012

LAUGH! NOW! Do it!!

You ever have one of those weeks where you feel like you are spinning plates with the left hand, juggling pens with the right hand while walking upstairs with a pie on your head and two kids holding on to your ankles?

 
Just imagine that kind of week (lol, how many of you can totally relate because you have had that week?).

We all have those weeks when the days run together and we don't really have any time to think, let alone plan out a meal or even focus long enough to make it through "The Big Bang Theory" on Thursday night... But how do you chose to unwind?

I mean, this week has been so busy that I forget to eat during the day (wait, I did stop to have a kit-kat mini bar out of my kids Halloween candy)--- but I would finish work, make dinner, play with the kids, get them ready for bed, go to the gym to work out... and then realize that I hadn't eaten myself. So I get home and make something fast. I start eating it... then the next thing  you know, I am falling asleep in the damn chair again... so then I just go to bed so I can start the whole crazy cycle all over again... *DEEP SIGH*

How do you unwind? I think I need to have an unwind moment that is more productive that the one I currently have. By productive I mean a way to unwind that truly takes my mind off of the stressful stuff that surrounds me every day.

I think we need to laugh more... and I don't mean that little "ha-ha" courtesy laugh you do when someone tries to be funny, but they really aren't... a from-the-gut, rip-roaring, can't-stop-yourself-and- tears-are-streaming-down-your-face kind of laugh.
Laughter truly is the best medicine.  Think about it, when was the last time you laughed so hard you could hardly breath... You sat there and almost cried, you pounded your hand on the table, and maybe you even snorted!  Then--- the rest of the night you are smiling, and you casually think back to how hard you were laughing earlier and then you do it, you smile big and you giggle a little.

How many of you have been so depressed that it hurts to laugh? I have been there. I have been at a very low place and I couldn't pull myself out. I couldn't even laugh with my kids at a Disney show.  But did you know that if you just try it, you might like it (like Wheaties)... Maybe MAKE yourself laugh at first to get comfortable with it. Just try it.

Laugh with friends.  Have a night every week on purpose to just do something to laugh and not think about all the "what ifs" that life presents...

Some laugh-o-riffic things you can try:

* Play a game that is silly (like Pass the Pigs, or Twister)
* Have a marshmallow eating contest (Virginia, you gave me this idea tonight. LOL)
* Play a question game (you ask a question and someone else has to answer it, make it funny)
* Look in the mirror with your child and see who can make the silliest faces.
* Make up songs and dance.  (like MOM RAPPERS, LOL)
* Walk a mile in your child's shoes.  Take an hour to play with them and do silly things, you will be surprised at how wonderful it feels to be childlike and carefree for just a moment
* Truly enjoy friends and family.  Be fully engaged....
* Smile more... the more you smile the more your heart will be lighter (which then opens you up to laughter)

Enjoy your friends.  Enjoy your family.  This life is too short not to laugh a little.

I thank Virginia and Char for making me belly laugh tonight and helping me take my mind off of work, medical issues with Maddy, etc... Everyone  should be so blessed to have friends to giggle with.









Thursday, November 1, 2012

Maybe Its Just Me....

OK. So I have been on this get healthy kick, and thanks to my friend, Kendra A., I even have been keeping track of the food I eat (app is MyFitnessPal), which is great.  I am feeling great and I look forward to working out. Matter of fact, I just fit back into my size 10 skinny jeans and my muffin top was there, but a bit more "under control". LOL

So, I am working out, feeling better about me personally, but I feel like I am letting a person down in my life.

Have you ever felt like that? Someone that you love and care about and you are trying to do EVERYTHING in the world to make them happy, but they aren't happy and it starts to feel like it is you that is making them unhappy...You know... you start to feel like, YOU are the only person they have an "issue" with.  They are kind and thoughtful to everyone else, but to you, they get asshole like.  Short and snappy as if you can and you will take it.  NOW, because you love this person with your whole being, you take the shortness for a while.  But when it has been going on for two months, and they don't see it... what do you do? Do you keep taking it? Do you try to confront it? Do you find comfort in your own thoughts?  What do you do? What if you are worried about the other person and you have tried to talk to them and they blow you off and instead of confronting the issue at hand, they bury themselves into work, video games, vodka...

I think you have to confront the issue and deal with the consequences... you already know they are going to get upset.  What if they are just in their own depression and feel like they are on an island alone and they don't know how to rescue their own emotions? What if it really isn't you, but they are so sad they don't even see how they are treating you? By talking to them it is the ONLY way to find out the real story, you can only read their mind so much. You don't know what they are truly thinking or where their heart is.

So, what if you didn't talk to them.  What if you let it go to the wayside.  Would you start taking your anger out on someone else? Someone who is an "easier" target because you don't have to "live with them" every day?  You probably would. So why should you carry the other person's anger and give it to someone else.  Don't do that--- so many of us do that and surely it is the fastest way to ruin a friendship (trust me on that one).

I know that in my life, if I am hurt and I don't resolve the issue, I will carry the hurt and let it build and build until it is just boiling in my gut and I explode.  I don't want that.  I want people to like me, even love me. I like to stay busy.  But, when the one person you love with all of your heart doesn't show you love back, it makes you feel less.... less important... vulnerable.

So why feel less than what you truly are? If you are faced with a person like this in your life, confront it.  And trust that your heart will lead you in the right direction.




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Friendship is Learned

I have been doing a lot of reflecting the past few days about love and how to love someone unconditionally and what that means--- and that leads to friendship.

I have to give great thanks to my sister, Sarah, for providing me with wisdom in the area of love  .  She also blogs, and I would highly encourage you to spend some time reading her blog, "Love is a Skill." (her blog-- www.redheadotrun.blogspot.com) She inspires me with her life, and written word... and this blog resulted from reflections on my past, reading her blog, and meeting up with my besties from college on Saturday afternoon for a few hours... or maybe finishing up the book "The Shack" by William P Young (a must read), or the song "We Need Each Other" by Sanctus Real.... Probably a combination of all the above...



Sarah and I being silly after Madelynn's birth

Like love... Friendship is a skill, a learned behavior. 


You can love someone and not have true friendship, however true friendship doesn't come without love.  So you need to have both skills in order to be a good friend to others, unconditionally.


In the past I was a shitty friend.  You read that right, down right bad friend. I only cared about NUMERO UNO--- myself.  I was so self involved when I was in my 20s that I didn't really care about how my actions would effect anyone around me.  I would get what I needed from my friends, (Err, Diane--- I think I still owe you money for a computer that I bought from you in 1994) and then just walk away as if friends were something to burn through. And that was...IS wrong.

We are only in this world for a short time, so ENJOY this life... because we don't know when this life will be taken from us.  We should spend our time unconditionally loving those we have in our lives and making sure our friends matter.

I know I have blogged about this topic before, but seeing my dear friends this weekend (my roommates from college) really made me regret... AND I DON'T REGRET MUCH... but it made me regret the time we wasted between the last time we all were together and today.  The last time the three of us were all together was in 1995, that is way too much time between visits.  Sure we wrote letters, and we message and stalk each other on FaceBook, but friendship is more than that.

Friendship means sacrifice.

Sometimes as friends we have to give up our selfish ways and make sacrifices. Now, most of the time we see the word sacrifice and we think on it negatively.  However, in this context I mean giving up something important or sacred... like your time, money, love, listening ear.  Friendship means being there. Give more, take less.  Make those sacrifices.

Friendship means really listening.

Even when you don't want to.  Friendship means you hear each other out, especially in an argument.  Take time to really HEAR what the other person is saying, don't sit there planning your attack or rebuttal.  I know that when I get together with Alana, we are both so excited to see each other we don't stop talking. So sometimes we both sit there and are planning on what we are going to say next versus listening.  I have really worked on this skill and I pick on Alana because we have actually had a talk about the listening part of friendship.  However, I laugh because now we live 5 hours apart and our phone calls are a bit more than ADHD. :) Oh, I love you Alana. More than peanut butter.

Friendship means setting boundaries.

Nothing wrong with boundaries.  It has taken me 40 years to learn this, but friends don't walk all over you.  Friends don't just take from you. Friendship is a give and take.  I wear my heart on my sleeve and I would give what I have to a friend if they needed it.  I used to let people take advantage of my heart, and unfortunately I have started guarding it a bit more, and I set boundaries. (again, another word we associate with bad, but boundaries can be a good thing). Here is one of my boundaries: if someone asks me for money, I actually base my YES or NO decision on the following: If I lent this money to him/her would I need it back? If I can give it and not expect it back, I do it.  If I need the money back (which means I cannot fully give the money without expectation of getting it returned) I don't lend it... boundary.


Friendship means physical love.

You just read that and either snorted your beverage out your nose or you quietly said, "OH no she didn't." But yes I did it...  I recently read an article that said a person needs 12 hugs per day to really flourish.  So why not be more physical with friendship, give hugs when greeting each other or saying good by.  I have practiced hugging on those I love and it is paying off in spades.  I am happier.  Show you care through your actions.


Friendship means treating others as you would want them to treat you.

I cannot put it any better than the Bible.  Why treat your friends with anger and talk down to them? Is this what you want bestowed upon you? I don't think so. There have been times that I have really gotten angry with a friend (Alana, err... remember that one time on Tim's porch???) and I blew up, started using big words and I was nasty. EVIL actually.  Why would I do that to someone I care about so much who loves me unconditionally? Because they love me unconditionally, or lets reword that... they love me without conditions.  Despite everything I do right or wrong they still love me. Which means I can get nasty and mad and they will forgive me, right? So what gives me the right to treat them like crap, just because I am having a bad day? That is not fair. If they are there for me without condition, maybe instead of lighting my friend's ass on fire with horrible words, I should take a step back and think before I speak, maybe even give her the benefit of the doubt because not all people are out to cause harm. THIS too has been a hard lesson for me to learn, and it is one I have to constantly "practice what I preach".

Alana and I in August of 2012 (At Ted and Don's house)

 

Friendship means forgiving.

Ah, this is a lesson I learned a long time ago from my grandma, but I fully didn't understand it until earlier this week when I finished reading "The Shack".  You always should forgive people, but that doesn't mean you have to forget what they did.  Forgiveness makes your heart softer and pliable.  Easier for you to open it up again and let friendship in.


Friendship means learning.

Learning new things (Karin, we still have to do our pottery), our friend's favorite hobbies (and maybe even participating in them... Like I want to geocatch with Monty and Karin).  Friendship means learning about the time that has transpired since the last time you got together.  When my friends from college and I got together on Saturday with our spouses, we told the stories of how we connected with our partners and our "love" stories.  I cried.  Why? Because Diane and David dated in college but I never really knew their love story and it was sweet and amazing.  To see David look at Diane when he was talking about it was simply wonderful... the glimmer of love after 18 years of marriage.  Listening to Elizabeth and Nathan talk about their meeting 10 years ago and their elopement. To listening to how my husband searched for me and sent random emails to strangers.  Listening to his words, and the love behind them I learned how much he loves me and always has.



So, step out of your comfort zone a bit.  Look at your friendships a bit differently. And here is the thing, if you are someone who has been a crappy friend, admit it... seek forgiveness and move on... but really try NOT to do it again.

Over the past few days I have really grown to appreciate the few close friends I have in my life.  God has blessed me and my bucket runnithh over.

Enter "Thank you for being a friend... traveled 'round the world and back again..."

Thanks, Char for sharing that song with me.  You and the song truly inspire me.

Be blessed.  AND be a blessing to those around you.










Monday, October 15, 2012

Bringing Sexy Back- A Confession of Sorts

YO, YO what's up?


I know, formal way to start a conversation by blog... I should get some kind of props for being a 40 year old who uses the phrase, "YO YO" and I am not meaning a little toy you learn how to "walk the dog with"... haha

Actually, I am just doing  a two week check in from my post about bringing sexy back. 


I HAVE A CONFESSION... OR CONFESSIONS.

Picture from: http://hairheartsfliptextiles.blogspot.com/


In my search for bringin' sexy back (so I feel find myself attractive) I have realized that I am not sticking to my list as much as I had planned on.  HOWEVER, I am feeling a lot better about myself as of late. 

I am still wearing sweats every other day, BUT on the other days I am wearing jeans and a nice shirt and I have been styling my hair.

I have not lost weight.  I actually have gained THREE pounds.  In my journey to find myself attractive, I did join a gym after I talked about working out and feeling better on October 1st.  Not only did our family join the gym, but I have worked out every day except for Sundays... AND we (the girls and I) had a fitness assessment done, so I know what I need to work to get my body in shape.

What I found out is that I need to build muscle and do cardio.  So every other day I lift weights and every day I do some kind of cardio.  I have gained weight because my body is building muscles. I actually have 'guns' now... they are small guns (like a tiny pistol, not like a machine gun or a Gatlin gun, but gun none the less). And I have started running a "couch to 5k" program and I am finishing up week two.

In my adventure, I have found that working out and getting into shape makes me feel better about myself. 

So although I haven't really accomplished everything on my "bringing sexy back" list, I am making headway.


OH, and I know you are wondering... the granny panties are in the back of the drawer... I did start actively wearing my Victoria Secret undies on a daily basis.  :) HAHAHA

Have a wonderful week and be happy.  This life is too short to sweat the small stuff!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Confessions of a Mom-aholic

Sometimes we tend to do (or even think about) some of the craziest stuff that we would NEVER admit to anyone.

Right? RIGHT!


Today, I am coming clean.  I am going to confess some of my mom-aholic tendencies.

(NOTE: I hope my children who can read do not read this- lol)


Confessions:


1) I have licked my finger and then used said saliva covered finger to wiped off my son's chin while driving to school to get food off of it like a crazy mom who has had to much caffeine... AND I SWORE I WOULD NEVER DO IT!

2) On one of my first dates with my hubby -I farted really loud in the car and couldn't stop laughing... it was the most embarrassing moment of my life.

3) I have put my kids on time out or even grounded them for rolling their eyes.  NOTE: If they would see how many times I roll my eyes on a daily basis---  I would never be able to leave my bedroom--- I would be grounded for life.

4) I have said a ton of things I swore I would NEVER say (things that irked me when I was growing up)... Things like:
                            * If you keep making odd faces like that, your face is going to stay that way!
                            * Do you think I am made of money?
                            * Last time I checked, the money tree in the back yard is bare.
                            * WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE (to which my son sweetly replies, your son... lol)
                            * Make sure you have clean underwear on... what if you had to go to the hospital today (actually, I don't say that to the kids, I say that to myself. LMAO)

5) I purposely make brownies before the kids get home from school so I can lick the bowl and not share the spatula.

6) I have picked a booger out of my daughter's nose while in public.

7) I told my kids that I can tell if they are lying by looking into their ear.  I told them all that there is this little thingy in their ear that sticks out when they lie.  NOW, they stopped lying--- but is this wrong? To lie to them about how I find out if they are lying or not?

8) I forgot my son's school picture day.  He went with a crazy mo hawk and a Annoying Orange T-shirt.  (Mom of the year award on that one)

9) During my lunch our (while the kids are at school) I pull out the X-box and I practice Dance Party 3 and Wipe Out so when the kids want to play I can actually come close to winning.

10) I make my kids eat green beans (they love them)... I cannot stand them for some reason. So when they are not looking I feed mine to the dog--- SOME of the time.

11) I put butter on everything I can.  Matter of fact, if I could eat it plain I would.

12) I stalk my children on Facebook and what is even worse, I stalk their friends... Not really stalking, just "keeping an eye" on their social networking.

13) Talking about social networking, I almost---ALMOST--- thought about getting onto MyYearbook (a high schoolers version of Facebook) as someone else and being my daughter's friends just to survey the land.

14) I dream about being a rock star.  Like Lita Ford.  Big hair... leather pants...

15) I make my kids clean their rooms every week, yet I cannot find a single pair of jeans in my mess of a closet.

16) I hide veggies in mashed potatoes (I put cauliflower in the mashed potatoes).

17) I give boyfriends a hard time, just because I can. I want them to know what they are really getting into when they date one of our daughters. LOL

18) I speak the truth.  My kids ask me about periods, sex, drugs and drinking... I tell them the truth... even if it can be embarrassing...

19) I have purposely yelled out at my child in an obnoxious accent while at the mall just to embarrass her.

20) I have given the stink eye to someone who has hurt my child.  I will not say anything, but I will give them the stink eye.

21) I hide the noisy toys every once in a while on the weekend just so it is a bit quieter. LOL

22) I secretly want to be a real housewife of something for one day so I can drink martinis and buy a Louie handbag as a souvenir.

23) I cry when my kids get special awards at school or are recognized at a major event.

24) I take pictures of everything because I don't want to forget one single moment. Even a little breakfast outing on a school day.

25) and this one is really bad... I am extra nice to people I cannot stand... in a really overly nice kind of way. That way they THINK I really like them, when in all actuality I am trying to find the nearest salad fork so I can poke an eye out.

26) I know I am quirky.  I know I am weird.  But, I am OK with it.  Really... I may pretend to be more normal than what I am just to hide my quirkiness.

I know I have more confessions, but I think this is enough for today. I feel cleansed... renewed!

Have a great day!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

POOP Resolution AND Still Waiting...

Tuesday morning we took Madelynn (our 3 year old) into the pediatric speciality clinic at the University of Iowa.  And we talked

POOP.


That's right. We finally had people who specialize in poop issues talk with us about the poop. 

We found out some great things to pass along to those parents who are struggling with poop issues and toddlers. 

Here are some of the things we found out:

1) If your toddler hides and yells at you while he is pooping, that is because he needs to focus on keeping it in and getting through the stomach cramping... leave him be...

2) Most toddlers who have held in the poop since birth, do have hard dry poop as toddlers when they finally go (their rectum enlarges, so they don't get the normal " I have to poop" trigger like most of us, and the colon is doing its work... drying it out). OH FYI the rectum will shrink back to normal size on the inside after time...

3) In order to help your child you have to give them something to soften poop (almost to runny liquid) and build it back to a more toothpaste type consistency.  The doctor told us to give Madelynn Miralax 2 times a day (starting with a larger dose the first three days, then reducing it every three days until her poop has the right consistency).

4) Solving a severe poop issue can take years and it definitely needs the assistance of a great pediatric gastro doctor.

5) Consistency with rewards and praise when your child goes!

6) Keep a schedule for your child so they try and sit on the potty three times a day just to try and poop... reward for sitting on potty for one minute, reward again for actually going... We have Madelynn sit on the potty first thing in the AM, after lunch, and before bed time.

7) Keep the child in school/ day care and have them stay on the routine all the time.

8) Enlist a great support network to help (Maddy has the most wonderful teachers at preschool that keep track of everything and are helping us while she is there).

9) Don't be afraid to have your child wear pull ups for a while while using something to soften the poop!

10) remember this too shall pass (lol, pun was SO intended)... Don't give up!

So far, Maddy is doing well with the schedule.  Phillip went and bought her a potty time log book.  If she sits on the potty she gets one sticker, if she goes poopy she gets a second sticker.  She keeps the log in her back pack and she brings it back and forth between school and home.  And we see the specialists again for the poop in three months.  I am so happy we took her in, because now we can see the light at the end of the crap tunnel.

However....

The doctors did find that Madelynn's anemia is not connected to the constipation.  So, they are running blood tests (6 to be very specific) to see what may be causing her anemia.  They are checking her for everything under the sun... The waiting is KILLIN' ME.  KILLIN' ME... I want answers NOW... but when I called yesterday (yes I am THAT mom) they told me they were waiting for a couple more tests to get back and I should call back on Friday.  That is tomorrow, people!  FOR CRY EYE! I WANT ANSWERS NOW!

Anyway, they are checking to see if she has celiac disease, kidney issues, her red blood count, production of red blood cells, plasma, and white cells and white cell production--- along with a few other things.
 

Thank you to everyone who has kept Madelynn in their thoughts and prayers!  We definitely appreciate it.