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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-- 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. 


Picture from:

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)


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


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.


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.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bringin' Sexy Back

I am not 20 anymore.  I am not even 30. I am OLD.

As most moms I feel like my day just barely starts and then it is over. I feel like I don't get to unwind until 10 pm--- when every last child is in bed, and then I fall asleep while trying to watch something on TV.  I wake up at 11:30 to my husband gently nudging me to wake up, and as I wipe the drool off my chin, I slowly shuffle into the bedroom.  Last night I was so tired, I fell asleep with my glasses on and it was like mission impossible this morning to find them. I feel like a dirty mommy most of the time (not like the bow-chicka-wow-wow kind of dirty).

I am so tired.  Half of the time I feel like I look like a train wreck and it takes so much energy just to find a matching sweat shirt for my sweat pants. Then as I am making dinner my husband comes over and gently pats my tush with a coy smile as I am cooking (with flour everywhere and some goo in my hair from Maddy throwing it there as she is trying to help me cook) and I think.... "HOW could you find THIS sexy at all?"  He is always doing different things to show me he is attracted to me, but let's face it. I am not attracted to me. I look at myself in the mirror most days and I shake my head in dismay.

I need to channel my inner sex goddess and bring some sexy back.

So many times I think that as parents (moms and dads), we get so caught up in our every day routine (work, dinner, kids, family, etc) that we forget that we need to channel our inner sexy so WE feel it on the inside.

I mean, it feels so wonderful to know my husband thinks I am beautiful and sexy, but I don't "FEEL" it on the inside as I once did.  Now, my husband on the other hand is super sexy and he makes me giggle like a school girl when he tells me that I am sexy or hot. Really.  And if he thinks I am sexy, why can't I believe it and internalize it?

How many of you feel the same way? 

So, in order to get my sexy back, I have to figure out WHY I feel like I am NOT sexy.  AND THEN FIX IT.  LOL, easier said than done.

So here is my list of five things that make me feel "NON-sexy" (for lack of better term):

1) Weight.  OMGoodness, I have gained at least 20 lbs in the last year after my heart surgery.  I HATE carrying this extra weight
2) Frumpy clothes (like sweats, but they are oh, so comfortable!!!)
3) Pony tail every day or disheveled hair
4) Granny panties.  I did just type it.  I own granny panties and I love them--- but they don't scream sexy.
5) tired, Tired, TIRED!

So, how do I fix these main things so I can feel sexier? Well, I have an idea... Let me see if it works this time... I will admit this, I think there is a direct relationship between self-confidence and feeling sexy.  The sexier you feel, the more confident you are and people recognize the confidence.  Maybe I am way off, but I don't think so.  I mean, think of the last time you went on a date with your significant other.  You got dressed up, you wore the Victoria Secret panties you got for free with you card you got in the mail (you know, the ones you have been saving for a special occasion such as this), and you put on make-up, perfume, and you wore heals.  Your butt looked good in the mirror.  YOU FELT GREAT. You laughed a lot, flirted with your significant other a bit more, and I bet you even showed him a bit more PDA than normal.  All because you channeled your inner sex kitten and you were getting your cougar on, GRRR.

How I am going to challenge myself to feel sexier on a daily basis.  This is going to be hard, but I am going to try it for a week.  If you are in the same NON-SEXY boat with me, take on a challenge for yourself and then in ONE week we should all report back and see how our week went.

Here it goes.  FIVE things I am committing to doing to get my sexy back:

1) Work out every other day.  I have a membership to Sister's Health Club and I need to use it... Zumba I think!
2) Wear a nice outfit every day (even if just for myself) --- even if I have to, I am going to pick out my outfit the night before when we pick out outfits for the kids.
3) Fix my hair every day, use PRODUCT! :)
4) Pull out my secret reserve of Victoria Secret panties and wear them JUST BECAUSE I own them.  Don't save them for a date night. (LOL, that sounds so funny when I type it, but seriously.  I need to do this)... BURN THE GRANNY PANTIES!
5) Make sure I get enough sleep, make sure I am taking my vitamins every day (don't skip any) and drink more water... drink less coffee!

I think I can do this!  Its like the little engine who could... I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN!!!!
But first, I should probably get out of my pajamas....