Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Crayon Scraps

2010 has been a fun year for me blogging. I wanted to do one last "end of the year" post and sprinkle some crayon scraps around you like confetti at the sight of the ball dropping.

At the beginning of 2010 had another newborn (this is becoming a trend every two years) and I had some lessons I had to relearn in breastfeeding. We kicked a little of our "Old School" ways to the curb with some new purchases. I wrote a song to Mama M and then crashed Blissdom trying to run out on a food bill.

Around February (hate spelling that) I told two stories about my engagement to The Head Crayon. Our Engagement which ended up in a stand-off and of how a skunk can bring two people together. I also told a little story about a ring that I had that got stuck on my finger and what being broken can mean. I also discussed my greatest fear.

Some time in March I channeled my inner Edgar Alan Poe and brought you "The Tell-Tale Fart"  and declared there would be no more B.S. in my house. I also gave you a lesson in Happiness 101

In April I announced myself the Mayor of Crazy Town and taught my kids a valuable lesson in having Power over Fear. I also had a very unique Craiglist buying experience and Nashville flooded.

In May I received a Mother's Day Gift to talk about and did a sing-along to my most Frustrating Things. I gave some advice on how to Fight Fair With Your Spouse and did a live interview podcast with Lucille O'Neal (Shaq's mom) about her new book.

In June we moved into our new home and became Country Fried. I then provided a vlog on how to make homemade butter. I topped that one by turning around and showing you how to make homemade bread. Which led to me writing a post to honor my Nana called The Taste Of Breadsticks.

In July I talked about men and then I talked about jealousy and how it isn't easy being green. I talked about a leopard in plaid and provided you with a mind map of my brain while writing.

August I gave instruction on how to use humor in blogging and shared about how to get kids to listen. I wrote about what "What To Expect When Expecting" didn't teach me and what you can expect in Mommy Milestones.

September I explored a Playground of Death and learned we need to eat spinach for breakfast. I also learned that being a parent means answering tough questions and showed you a picture of my big breasts.

In October I wrote a love letter to Twitter and broke up with Facebook. I vlogged about Saving Turkeys and taught you the official Mommy's Prayer.

In the month of November I wrote a letter to annoying cartoons, talked about how we fall into failure and what all I am thankful for. Because of Baby Sophia I asked you to Get Involved and Be A Hammer.

December I talked about how Jesus got run over by a reindeer, how presents get overlooked and wrote a poem about little kids who open their presents before Christmas.

It's been a great year that I have spent with all of you and I laughed, cried and was encouraged to keep blogging after revisiting a lot of these posts. Thank you for being my friends and my readers!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lessons Learned - 2010

Lessons Learned in 2010

Basic  lessons
  • There is no "Easy Button" when you are a mom.
  • There is an "Easier Button" if you look for it. Mine is Speed Dial #1 and its the "I'm calling your dad" direct line. When I push that button everything is easier.
  • There are people who love waking up in the morning, frying bacon, baking biscuits and singing in the kitchen.
  • Then there is me.
  • If you pull out a pack of bacon and stare at it hard enough for 20 minutes, you can convince yourself that it might be spoiled.
  • To be safe, feed the children cereal.
  • Feel pride all day long from the certain food poisoning disaster you avoided.
  • Go to bed that night and mention in your prayer to God that you were sorry you were lazy and lied to the children who wanted bacon.
  • Husbands who had moms who cooked elaborate breakfasts are decidedly miffed when served cereal.
  • Even after 10 years of marriage the comment "My mom always did...." will still come up.
  • Husbands are the reason that mother-in-laws get such a bad rap.
  • With Child #1 you did a constant sweep of the house to make sure there were no choking hazards on the floor.
  • With Child #3 you teach the older ones who to do the "throat sweep" while you trip over tiny Legos.
  • It is possible to get your thumb stuck in a minivan hatch to the point where you can't move.
  • This is the type of thing that only happens to me.
  • It's possible to control tears and cussing when children are present so you don't scare them while you are stuck and in pain.
  • When the husband comes to your rescue and points/laughs first before rescuing you, you can not control the cussing part.
  • Sometimes when you look at all your little crazy mistakes in the day; you wonder why God entrusted small children to your care.
  • After you have asked forgiveness for the whole bacon incident; thank God that he gave you all those little beings to care for.
Selling your home lessons

  • 12 years after the initial construction, it is a good idea to spruce up the house and update major features for selling.
  • Carpet, paint and new floor tiling is a wonderful selling point.
  • Before the new carpet, paint and floor tiling has been installed; you average around 5 showings every week.
  • Once the new carpet, paint and floor tiling has been installed, not one person will look at your house for the next 3 months.
  • 2 children and one dog can ruin the whole look of new carpet in about 3 weeks.
  • The new paint will hold up about one week past the carpet.
  • Although you had initially packed up most of your knick-knacks; they will slowly find their way back into the house after it hasn't shown for 3 months.
  • Once the carpet looks worn, there are scuffs on the paint and the house generally looks like it threw up; you will get 5-6 showings a week again.
  • Around this time the season of Spring has shown up.
  • Before you put your house on the market, you could mow the grass every 10 days to keep it looking nice.
  • A Realtor sign contains some kind of fertilizer. Once planted in your yard, the grass needs to be mowed every 2 days to keep it from being as tall as the trees.
  • On the day the laundry is to be finished and there are 6 baskets of dirty clothes sitting around, you will get a call that the house is showing in an hour.
  • You can stuff 3 loads of laundry in the dryer and the other 3 loads will fit in the car.
  • A loaf of fresh bread takes around an hour to cook.
  • While you are kneading the raw dough, you will get a call that the house is showing in an hour.
  • Go ahead and finish your bread, it seems that Realtors and potential home buyers enjoy having fresh bread while touring your house.
  • Have an exit plan similar to that of a fire escape and drill the children every day.
  • You will get a call that the house is showing in one hour, when the kids are muddy, need a nap, have Legos strewn across the floor or are in a uncooperative mood.
  • Those three laundry baskets will come in handy that you put in the car. Throw a child, toys and dog in one and carry it to the car too.

Grocery shopping with kids
  • When you have small children, you will put off going to the store as long as possible.
  • After trying to make a dinner out of a can of peaches, ranch dressing and 3 olives, it's time to go to the store.
  • Gummy fruit snacks and coffee are the most important items on the 4 foot long list.
  • You will go to the store that has the cool race car shopping carts, not the one with the best prices.
  • You take extra diapers and clothes along with your coupons.
  • Since you know your kids, you already have a pre-written apology letter to the manager of the store.
  • The first meltdown occurs right inside the door when the children discover that all the cool race car shopping carts are being used.
  • A trip to the free cookie counter will appease them for 20 minutes.
  • You spend more time trying to put back the things the kids throw in the cart, than actually shopping.
  • You will lose a child on Aisle 4, 7, 9 & 14
  • Someone will break something on Aisle 3
  • Meltdowns occur on the cookie, cereal and bakery aisle.
  • You wonder why your child feels the need to poke the fresh meat packages.
  • At the checkout line you are so busy explaining that the kids can't just eat the candy off the displays, that you forget your coupons.
  • Once home you realize that you forgot the fruit gummy snacks and coffee.
  • Somehow 3 boxes of cookies, a pack of frozen bagels, bottle of Fish Oil supplement and a bottle of Cinderella hand soap made it into your groceries.
  • You are so mentally wiped from shopping, you order a pizza.

Kids have no sense of humor




  • 3 year olds are not amused when a parent hides in their closet to throw ice cold water on them.






  • 4 year olds will declare themselves a Vegan when a parent drives by a cow pasture and points out the hamburgers.






  • Shorting sheets does not work on those under 4 feet tall.






  • Putting a fake spider in the bathtub will result in a boycott of bath time.






  • Replacing their bowl of vanilla ice cream with sour cream does not cause laughter but puking.






  • Putting an ice cube in a diaper loses the shock factor when the wetness is just absorbed.






  • Finding a perfect hiding spot is not recommended when playing with children under 3. This has a tendency to bring back all the separation anxiety.






  • When working in the kitchen, do not coat hand with ketchup and begin screaming. Children under 5 do not appreciate gory humor.






  • Putting Vaseline on the seat of a toilet does not encourage a toddler to potty train as they continually slide off into the floor.






  • Teaching "knock knock" jokes is impossible when one has the attention span of a gnat and drools constantly.
  • Whew

    December is a super busy month for us. At the end it always leaves you feeling like you just slid into first base and barely escaped getting tagged with the ball.

    There are 2 birthdays with Christmas thrown in.

    Our oldest daughter turned 5.
    It's been a good year for our Buzz. She is doing so much better in her socialization and speech. We are still awaiting a formal diagnosis as she is testing within Aspergers and/or Sensory Integration Dysfunction. She is really thriving in "country life" and getting to have her own dog. I am so proud of how far she has come this year. Even when she gets mad at me and stomps her feet and says "I don't like you"; I have to cheer because she is articulating emotion. It hurts, but with 3 girls who are going to go through puberty; I better get used to it.

     

    Next up I had a fun photo shoot with the best group of kids and Santa. Don't try to tell me that this Santa wasn't real because he just HAD to be! I had a blast watching all the kids sit on his lap and got the privilege of hearing a lot of their Christmas wishes. I loved watching their innocent belief in the magic of Santa. This is one of my favorite from the group of pictures. I am anticipating a good year in my studio for 2011...besides, Santa promised!


    To top it all off with the magic of Christmas we got a White Christmas this year. Snow started falling Christmas Eve and fell all day Christmas. It was our first Christmas at our new house and we now know that when it snows, we are stuck on our hill. We were unable to go to my parents house for Christmas and it really threw a wrench in our plans. We ended up feasting on "Kitchen Sink burritos" since I had nothing cooked. It is not something that we want to become tradition, but we enjoyed each other and the magic of Christmas day. We had a Surprise Party for Baby Jesus (my 5yo idea) and opened presents.

     

    After Christmas was Baby Bitsy's 1st birthday. I cant believe it has already been a year that she has been in the family. She has been our best baby yet. Always happy, never demanding and not too loud. (HAHA) She is often overlooked in the chaos of the house but has learned to get right in with the big girls and make herself known. She isn't walking yet, but that's because she is too smart to walk. She has her sisters trained to carry her wherever she wants to go. 


    That's about all for now. I am still dusting myself off from the December chaos and looking forward to the new year. I am also super excited because I am going to get to go to Blissdom this year after all. Let's just say there IS a Santa! Hoping to get a "Year In Review" post knocked out in the next couple of days, until then....Toodles!

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Twas The Day Before Christmas

    'Twas the day before Christmas, when all through the house

      All the kids were excited, even the spouse;

    The stockings were hung on the stairs with duct tape,

    The tree has fell so much it has lost its shape;

    The tinsel has been eaten and the ornaments are missing,

    The nativity was arranged to show Mary and Santa kissing.;

    And Dad in his flannel, and I in my yoga pants,

    Might look like we have it together at first glance,

    When up the stairs there arose such a clatter,

    I sprang from the chair to see what was the matter.

    Away to the kids rooms I flew like the wind,

    To see what was broken next that I might have to mend.

    The kids eyes were wide and wild with joy 

    For they had sat and unwrapped every Christmas toy,

    I stood there stunned, unsure and certainly mad,

    I finally stomped my feet and began screaming for their dad,

    Up the stairs he came with a leap and a bound,

    And stood shocked in all the present carnage we found.

    More rapid than eagles his shouting became,

    And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

    "Now, Bug! now, Belly! now, Bitsy and Sam!

    Pick up all the Barbies, babies and wooly lamb!

    Pick up the candy, PJs and big bouncy ball!

    Now put is away! put it away! put it away all!"

    As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

    They picked up all the toys with a sob and a sigh,

    The barbies, the babies and the little wooly lamb ewe,

    There is now a bag full of toys, and bouncy ball too.

    Dad and I crept back downstairs with the Christmas joy gone,

    And wondered how we could turn this around before dawn.

    The toys had been seen, played with and cuddled with love

    But to destroy Santa who they thought so much of?

    It would be obvious he didn't come by later that night,

    If the toys were the same; the packaging torn and not right.

    The spouse and I sat down with our confiscated toy bag,

    Scratching our heads at this child induced Christmas snag.

    Our foreheads wrinkled and our lips began to twitch!

    As the laughter began in spite of the glitch!

    This was just another typical day with our little offspring,

    They always manage to cause that one little thing; 

    That one little thing that starts a mess and a laugh,

    Like crayon on the wall or overflowing the bath;

    It never pays to let those things get us all mad,

    But rather to laugh and look at the lesson we had.

    In every mess there is something to be taught,

    That you will never find in the parenting book that you bought.

    The key is to be really fast on your feet,

    And never assume your parenting lessons are complete.

    As for us we are trying to explain,

    Why a day early Santa had came,

    Storing the toys for Christmas Eve night,

    Because there was one reindeer who was scared of night flight;

    So he came in the morning while cereal was served,

    And left all the presents that the kids deserved.

    So to all of you parents scrubbing the crayon from the wall
    "Merry Christmas A Day Early from us all!!!

    The Crayon Wrangler & Scribblers!

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    Blank 365

    A full 365 days with nothing scheduled. I got my new calendar for 2011 yesterday and flipped through it. I guess cause I thought maybe a new month had been inserted or maybe just an extra week was added to the 52. I love my calendars and use them as a sort of diary. The days are filled with what was for dinner, if laundry got done, doctor's appointments, play dates, shopping trips and random things the kids have done. At the end of the year I love to review it before it goes in the trunk with all the calendars before it.

    image courtesy of Google images

    There is something about that new calendar though. You open it up and it smells of new print, new possibilities and the enticement of daily choices. There is nothing on the schedule; a blank 365.

    365 days just waiting to be filled with what I choose to put on there. It can end up being as hectic or peaceful as I allow it to be. I go through the calendar and put the appropriate stickers on birthdays and anniversaries. Then I hang it on the fridge with a pen next to it. It's ready. Ready for the new year whether I am or not. I know that with these 3 kids, my husband's work, my photography business and everything else that fills our days that this moment of a blank 365 is fleeting; so I enjoy it. 365 days to make a choice for my family and myself. Will this be the year that my photography booms? Buzz will be starting school this year, is she going to enjoy it? Will we take a family vacation this year? So many blank little squares just waiting to be filled with all we accomplish, desire, overcome and want to do. 365 separate boxes that are giving us a choice with how we live out the year.

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    Santa Approved

    I got the thumbs up from Santa tonight!

    Wanted to do a little chat about giving presents...

    We are conditioned to mutter “it’s not about the gifts” “presents are not what is important” Until we feel guilty about having the stress of finding the perfect gift, getting things wrapped, crossing off names on our shopping lists. We wander the toy stores, search sale papers and when we walk away empty handed we reprimand ourselves about how it is not about the gifts and we should feel ashamed at our disappointment. When we finally find that perfect gift, our hearts rejoice as we picture the face of the recipient opening it in awe.
    So say it out loud and feel good about it…
    It is about the gifts. The presents are important. Getting family and friends something that they want is essential for Christmas.
    That feels better doesn’t it. Now I will tell you why I think it is OK. God gave us his son as a gift for humanity, to save us, to show us true love and forgiveness. The Magi brought gifts to honor the king, they brought their best. Christmas, through the eyes of believers, is full of gifts.

    As parents, we use Christmas to teach our children of the Virgin Birth, traditions, a time for giving. We use Christmas as a time to be a little bit kinder to strangers. Christmas becomes a time for miracles.

    Whatever your tradition may be (opening presents of Christmas Day, pjs for Christmas Eve, Advent, Epiphany, trimming the tree, stockings, etc.) it has something to do with giving of gifts. Just as God gave a gift. We use those gifts to show family and friends how much we care about them and want to give them our best. It is totally natural to stress about these gifts. The quest to fill the desires of our children’s list to Santa, to find something that someone in your family wants, get them wrapped and presented. It is important that we feel like we gave our best; that we produced a Christmas that follows our traditions and created memories to last the years.

    So good luck as you continue in the next few days to make this Christmas “perfect” for you and your family. Don’t feel guilty about focusing on the presents. I am thankful that to God it was all about the “gift” and his heart rejoiced at our awe of receiving His gift at Christmas.

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Keeping With Tradition

    There is nothing like Christmas looming to bring out the "T" word. When I typed in "Christmas Tradition" into Google images this was one of the first images that it spit back at me.

    image courtesy of Google images

    Thanks to that image, I now have tradition envy. The family is gathered in the living room (or is that called a parlor?) Everyone is neatly dressed and smiling. The ornaments are hung neatly and the presents wrapped perfectly. The children are behaving and the dog is sitting calmly. The grandparents are posed in the appearance of probably heightening the sense of Christmas excitement inside the room. The father is balancing a child on his shoulders and has probably just allowed the small tot to place the tree topper on. Everyone is the ideal picture of Christmas joy....and then you see the mother lurking a little in the background.

    The mother seems to be turned a little away from the festivities that are going on in the room and I think I know just why. 

    She spent at least 4 hours getting those kids cleaned, dressed to perfection and threatened within an inch of their lives if they didn't look happy for the family Christmas scene. Her mother-in-law that is sitting there doing some kind of needlework has been telling her that she prepared the turkey all wrong and it is going to be dry. She also keeps looking at the table beside her and "tsk tsking" the almost invisible layer of dust that was somehow overlooked. The dog is only sitting calmly because it just got done eating the ham that was laid to cool on the counter and its too full to romp around in doggy bliss. The ornaments are hung so perfect because she has rehung those ornaments 5,698 times in the past few weeks due to the baby playing with the tree. After that much ornament hanging practice, of course they are perfectly hung (for another 10 minutes) She has also finally remembered that she never got the stamps put on the Christmas cards. She was supposed to send those out to family and friends two weeks ago with those generic cards she ended up picking up at WalMart because the family portrait card she had hoped to send never got taken due to each child being sick in separate turns.  She is trying to be patient while small talk is made before dinner, but knows they are keeping a tight schedule if they are ever going to make it to the next grandparents house in time for a big Christmas dinner in 4 hours. She is also tensed up because she knows that due to the economy that "Santa" was unable to fulfill the children's wish lists and is anticipating the look of disappointment when the children realize that they didn't get a pony, tricycle or merry-go-round. She has heard this type of let-down is the cause of adult therapy when her children will get older and worries that the whole reason they will never be President of the United States is because they didn't get the gift they wanted for Christmas thus resulting in low self-esteem. She casting a sideways glance at her husband to see if he is still upset about the fit she threw earlier when he suggested that he was just going to wear his sweatpants and college football t-shirt to dinner. She may have over reacted but it was just because she has spent the past 3 months trying to make this Christmas perfect by herself and he could at least act like he was in the Holiday spirit by wearing the clothes she laid out that perfectly coordinated with her outfit and the kids clothes.

    Ah...Christmas Tradition. Doesn't it just fill you with cheer? Are you more like the mother I described above? I don't know about you, but as that mother above...I am tired of "Keeping With Tradition" and I believe it is time for some new ones that don't involve elaborate dinners, Christmas card sending, etc.
    It's time for my family to enjoy a good ole traditional hot dog dinner and they better like it!

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Playing Momma

    Over the years I have wondered if Buzz was getting the message of compassion shown in every day actions. She is sweet, but pretty aloof. Last night I got my answer. I have a horrible cold and was in the grips of the worst of it last night around bed time. She curled up in bed with me and started rubbing my hair from my forehead the same way I do hers. She asked, "sick, momma?" When I told her I was, she started chatting non-stop. Not the most wonderful thing when your head is pounding, but I can think of worse.

    She began telling me that she would take me to the doctor, then to the toy store to get a special toy. She then told me that she would rub my back, get me a special blanket, make me some soup and read me a story. About this time I began to cry. She was showing compassion, but she was also showing me what I do that makes her feel better. She was mirroring what she had been shown.

    When my children are sick sometimes I just go into autopilot. I did not really realize the things that I was doing that were showing compassion. I want to make them feel better, but after a dose of Tylenol and some rest sometimes I feel my job is done. I do all the other things that she mentioned but never put much thought into it. There are so many lessons I try to teach my kids that at their ages I am not sure they "get it". As I start watching them a little closer with their baby dolls, the advice they give each other (blow on the soup because its really hot) I am realizing more and more how every little action speaks in very loud volumes to them. When I rub a back or get a special blanket, I am showing them compassion and love.

    As I fell asleep to the non-stop chatter, I felt better than I had all day.

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    A Present Overlooked

    For several weeks now a Christmas gift for the girls has been in the garage. Its what they both wanted more than anything and between my parents and us; we made it possible for them.

    The box actually has a picture on the outside of it that shows the assembled product, but the box sits among other boxes and the girls have not noticed it. The other boxes in the garage they have known the contents of since we moved in earlier this year. Books that haven't been put up, outgrown clothes and other knick knacks that have not been placed in our house yet. Because they think they know what the boxes in the garage contain; they do not notice this large box that contains their dream. Every day they walk by the box with its contents plainly pictured and every day they don't realize its contents. They are so blinded by what experience has taught them.

    How often do we have "presents" in our life that we simply overlook? Just because they are not under a tree with a shiny bow on them, we walk past them. We have in our minds an idea of what a present looks like and when it shows up in a plain box, we just keep searching.

    Perhaps you are looking for a friend. Did you notice everyone today that may have smiled at you regardless of their age, sex, color or social status?

    Perhaps you want a new start for your life. Did you notice every small opportunity that was presented today or were you looking for the big opportunity only?

    Maybe you wanted a relationship to heal. Did you take every chance to be kind in your actions, words and thoughts?

    Did you want to beat the sadness that is within you? Did you notice the sun coming up, the food that you had for breakfast and all the other blessings that you will have today that show that you are loved?

    Do you have presents in plain sight that you are overlooking?

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Coloring Outside The Lines - Keywords and Tags

    I check from time to time to see what keywords or tags someone used to find my blog. There have been times I have laughed out loud (monkey butt, slip on banana) There have been times I have scratched my head (enter super confusing phrase of someone who has no clue what they are searching for and were highly disappointed when they landed here) Lately though it seems a huge keyword or phrase has been, "When will my child color inside the lines" I bet they are pretty disappointed when they land here.

    Coloring inside the lines...really? As a parent that is a milestone you are concerned with right now? I do searches more along the lines of:

    • when will a child quit putting things up their nose
    • when does a child understand the concept of too much toilet paper and a septic system
    • how to enforce a strict no smearing poptarts on the tapestry couch rule
    Coloring outside the lines is a must for children and adults! I do not encourage or enforce using the lines for "rules". I want my children to look at a piece of paper with a line drawing of an elephant holding a balloon and see something bigger, go wild with possibilities and then make it happen! Likewise, when they become adults and they see a "life situation" I want them to see something bigger, go wild with possibilities and then make it happen.

    Perhaps it is an important milestone. To watch your child gain enough control to curb their creativity and conform to the rules of the lines. (alright....maybe I worded that a little strong) It's just not my thing or style of parenting. I parent with strict moral core values but no hands on the reigns of creativity, intellectual learning or the desire to be a concert belcher. We don't just "dream big" but we "live big".

    Back to those keywords though...All of you who actually searched for "The Crayon Wrangler", you have made me feel a little bit famous for a while in cyberland!

    I have had some issues with blogging lately, so it feels good that you are still looking for me. Just as we face things in our lives and change with each life lesson; sometimes all areas of our lives need a change. This blog is an extension of me; my life. Just as I have begun to change, it needs to change. I will be focusing on new directions with the same theme (same ole' me) as the year draws to a close.

    I would like some input from YOU though...what are some topics that I touched this past year that you would like to hear more from me on? What are some features that I have done that you would like to see more of?

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Jesus Got Ran Over By A Reindeer

    Christmas. That wonderful time of year where Religion fights Commercialism.

    Santa Claus or Jesus?

    Many believe you have to make a choice between the two, especially when you are a Christian parent and responsible for shaping the mortal soul of your young charges with their impressionable minds. I know many parents who actually take it to the level that believing in Santa is one of those "no other gods before me" all or nothing deals.

    I personally believe that in the "WWJD" scenerio, He would don a Santa hat and "Fa-la-la-la-la" with all of us. I think He would highly approve of the Santa figure and all that he represents.
    • Giving
    • Jollyness
    • Holds the "Naughty" and "Nice" accountable
    • Family
    • Fellowship
    When starting off with our children we had to make the decision on allowing them to believe in Jolly Ole' Saint Nick. Was it right to allow them to believe in fantasy? Would it take away from the "reason for the season"? Would it corrupt their gentle souls to believe a fat guy stuffs himself down the chimney once a year? Is not believing going to turn them into a little green Grinch who has a heart that is two sizes too small?

    I believe that is is possible to allow children to believe in Santa and believe in Jesus. A healthy balance of religion and magic. All little children grow up into the adults that rush around making Christmas perfect for their family, putting together impossible toys where the instructions are only in Chinese and trying to balance the budget come January 1st. Why not allow them a little magic of snowflakes, reindeer bells and half eaten cookies by the fireplace? If your home is filled with Jesus the other 364 days of the year; they are not going to lose sight of that fact because of a little "ho-ho-ho".  Jesus is not going to be run over by a reindeer (although I have heard rumor that Grandma will be if she gets sauced on eggnog) and that magic sparkle that happens as they dash to the tree to see what was left just for them is irreplaceable as a parent.

    Allowing a child to believe in Santa is not irresponsible or a sin. It's just a twinkle of time in their lives before they face the real world. As it becomes age appropriate the "truth" will reveal itself in time and they will understand the difference in Santa Claus and what the Spirit of Christmas truly is.

    testing

    Just uploaded the Blogger for droid to see if the darn thing works and will allow me to blog from the backyard, bathroom or store. Wherever a good idea comes to me.
    We will see how well this works...
    Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Ho Ho OhNo

    There was a time not too long ago,
    Christmas was full of ho-ho-ho.
    But then came the children
    Three messy whirlwinds
    And now it is Ho-Ho-OhNo

    The tree is leaning and barely upright,
    There is no such thing as "Silent Night"
    The manager and Mary are missing
    Santa and Joseph are kissing
    The placing of the star always causing a fight.

    The tree ornaments are always hung above 4 feet
    Cause we've learned they are a toddler's favorite treat
    The popcorn strand was ate
    The mistletoe met the same fate
    There is tinsel stuck on the dog's ears and feet.

    The garland is used for roping and jump rope,
    The stockings are hung with duct tape and hope.
    Candy canes are licked one time each
    Baby Jesus is safely placed out of reach.
    Trying to keep everything safe would bring a cuss from the Pope.

    There is something about that Christmas Day glow,
    You forget about all the angst, pain and woe.
    When your childrens' eyes light
    Because Christmas turned out all right
    It makes it all worth the Ho-Ho-OhNo.

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    In 5 Days

    Today marks a very special angel's 1st birthday. Cora, who in just 5 short days accomplished a mission few of us will in a 70 year life span.







    I want to share her birthday with you today. I learned of Cora and her mother and felt an immediate bond. As mothers we both had a baby born close together and we both learned about CHD (Congenital heart disease) after our babies were born. My baby's heart condition turned out to be nothing more than a hole in the heart that ended up closing on its own. Her baby's heart condition took her life.
    Cora spent 5 days with her family. 5 days of knowing nothing in this world but love. As her mother penned it...
    "5 perfect days"

    Those 5 perfect days inspired her mother to begin campaigning for the spread of information to parents about CHD. I watched as day after day she tirelessly educated herself and others about this disease that claims so many lives. She focused on the pregnant and the newly delivered writing posts about the need for blood oxygen tests at birth and I saw mother after mother thank her for her efforts. Not only did Cora inspire her mother to educate, but to do deeds of kindness in Cora's name. Then a movement started. All around the nation people wore pink ribbons and did deeds because of Cora's 5 perfect days. We may never know the extent of Cora's reach, but we know it is far and many have benefited because of her.

    Cora and her mother will always have a special place in my heart. Cora's 5 perfect days were short in time, but powerful in their impact. Cora mattered. Thank you to her mother who not only gave her life but shared Cora with all of us. 

    Happy 1st birthday Cora!

    Let's PAY IT FORWARD and BE A HAMMER

    So much has been happening these past few weeks that I have barely written here and when I do write; I don't want to waste all that typing trying to tell you everything. I have found a "Blogger App" on my phone and am considering using that and doing shorter more frequent posts from my phone when a thought hits me. I try to save up until I have time to sit down at the computer, but my sitting time is getting sparkly horn unicorn rare.

    Just in the moment after I typed the last few words above I had to save a 11 month old who was tangled in garland, vacuum half a dozen crushed Nilla Wafers from the rug, pour 2 cups of juice, adjust the temp on my pork roast and realize I forgot salt, refill my coffee, explain how an egg is laid and then Obama called me on that matter of "World Peace" that he wanted solved. My mind is pulled in 40 directions all at once and I have got retain some sort of control over the gray matter spillage. Oh yeah and I told Obama to figure out himself. I didn't have time because I was trying to figure out how we are going to afford health insurance this year plus put food on the table.

    The two biggest thoughts that have gone on in my little brain that I want to pass to you are:

    Pay It Forward - I heard these words spoken at Baby Sophia's funeral by her father. It was mentioned several times about the abundance of FaceBook fans and people that have come together to pray for and support her during Baby Sophia's brief stay here on Earth. There is strength in numbers and all of YOUR numbers added up and provided her family with prayers, support and generosity. Sophia's father asked that her time here on Earth should "mean something" and for us to walk away from her death and "pay it forward". So....what is "IT" that we are paying forward? It's super simple folks. The "IT" is "YOU" The giving of YOUR time, prayers, talent, money, etc. for the help in easing someone else's burden. To let someone out there who is struggling with their health, health of a family member, etc. to know that they are not alone and they are supported. Thanks to the internet, it is not difficult to find these situations. Around every corner is a heartbreak waiting for a miracle. I ask that you get involved and get your knees dirty in prayer, support, etc. Let someone know that they are not alone and that they matter. PAY IT FORWARD and when you do it...think of a precious angel named "Sophia" and let's show her parents that her life matters. Perhaps you buy an extra box of food this Christmas for a family in need, buy a toy for a needy child, give a donation to help the homeless, give blood, or support another family in crisis...any of these things....when you do it for Sophia go visit her family's Facebook page and let them know that you "PAID IT FORWARD"

    Indoctrination - I swear I am not picking on a particular person here, but rather a movement. I recently was in a discussion where a mother was teaching her 5 year old daughter about Christian faith. She was questioned over the fact that she was "indoctrinating" her young child and influencing the impressionable mind rather than allowing her child to grow up with a chance to choose her beliefs. Folks, it is time for us Christians to quit being the nail and start being a hammer. It's time to stop tip toeing around the non-believers and trying to not offend their civil liberties. They ask us not to indoctrinate our children with our beliefs, but rather indoctrinate them with non-belief....which is a belief of its own. It's backwards to say the least. Christian parents...it's time to teach our children the basic moral codes of being Christ like. To tend to the needy, feed the hungry, love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable and things like honesty and integrity are a "must have". God was not passive when he wiped out cities of sin. Jesus was not concerned with offending civil rights when he threw people out of the temple. Jesus was not timid when it came time to die. It's time to be a hammer!

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Thankfulness

    This Thanksgiving I am thankful for...

    • 6 half used jars of peanut butter and 8 barely used jars of jelly that are cluttering up the pantry. It means that we have been blessed and my family has enough to eat.
    • The fact that I could find no cold medicine for my splitting sinus headache. It means that my family has been healthy this year.
    • The radio station that dropped the F-bomb this morning that I quickly changed before my children repeated it. It means I live in a country that celebrates its freedoms and all the men/women who sacrificed their lives to ensure that I have those freedoms.
    • The slight feeling of dread at the loud chaos that will take over as 6 adults and 6 children sit down to devour a turkey. It means that I have been blessed with lots of family.
    • The chair that will be empty this year. It means that my Nana no longer suffers, has no pain, no need for wet towels for her head, no frustrations of earthly binds and is celebrating in heaven with her Maker. It also means missing someone means loving them.
    • The traditional gravy that always makes me gag a little. It means that my mother loves us enough to keep with tradition and its always good for a little ribbing year after year.
    • The long and tiring drive to the grocery store for "provisions". It means that we were blessed enough to find our dream house in the country.
    • The 8 shirts that need to be ironed for The Man. It means that I have a husband to care for that cares for me.
    • The fight that will start as I try to chase down my girls and get them dressed to leave. It means that my children have plenty of energy and independence.
    • My email box and text messages that are full and running down my cell phone battery. It means I live in a time where technology allows me to reach out and connect with family and friends. It also means that someone out there cares that I get a student loan and have white teeth.
    During this time of Thankfulness, I want to update on my last post "Involved". Baby Sophia is now resting in Our Father's arms after a long fight here on Earth. Today is the funeral and while we begin to count our blessings, please remember those who are struggling to feel "blessed" right now. To those in my lives who have suffered a loss, holidays are a difficult time especially when the loss is raw and fresh. I am so Thankful to have had the blessing of meeting Baby Sophia and all of her family. Her family and her were an inspiration to me. I am thankful for Sophia's family. That they gave her life and showed her the strength of love during her fight. I am thankful to watch all of Sophia's family hold tight to faith and surround each other in love.

    We have all been so blessed. Sometimes the blessings are small and personal, sometimes they overwhelm us. Be thankful this year for the small and large.

    I will be picking back up the blogging after Thursday. I am thankful for all of you and have a great time this Thanksgiving!

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Involved

    If you are reading this post, thank you for sticking with a lack of posting from me this past week. It's not normal that I take time off from posting on my blog or Twitter, but this past week I had to. I couldn't find words to type. I didn't want to entertain you. I got involved.

    I am sure if you follow me on FaceBook or Twitter than you have heard of Baby Sophia. I have talked about her and encouraged people to pray for her and show their support on her FaceBook page. If you have done this I want to say "Thank You" from the bottom of my heart. It means you have gotten involved and you are part of Sophia's life.

    There is a great difference though in reading a memo and writing a quick word and really being involved.

    When Sophia was born it was just a name I heard in church. A sad story that made me pause. Just for a moment. Then I continued in my own little life. Time has passed and my little life has been shaken to the core by this little life. I got involved. I got to know her family through time and became involved in Sophia's life. I became part of her story. She became real.

    As I type this Baby Sophia is fighting for her very life, for her next breath. It's a struggle that takes my own breath and why I took a week off from being involved here. I had the blessing of meeting Sophia. Holding her hand. I will forever be a different person because of this little girl.

    As a parent, I watched Sophia's parents. The strength and hope of a parent's love was stronger in that room than anywhere I have seen. It made me think back to the time that Belly lay in that same hospital. My fear, my hope, my prayers, my love came crashing back into my heart. Robbing my lungs and crushing my heart. I know their pain because we share a parent's love for their child.

    I want to urge you to be involved. Perhaps not in Sophia's life, but in the life of another that you have heard about. It's not just a memo, not just a blog post and not just a status update; it's a life. Being involved is asking you to be uncomfortable and sometimes that is just what we need. To be shaken, to cry and to love.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Falling Into Failure

    This past weekend our oldest daughter Buzz made up her mind that she wanted to try to ride her bike without the training wheels. She anxiously watched as I took each side off and we discussed what a big girl she was for riding without the training wheels. I set the bike up on just two wheels and that's when she "fell into failure".

    She began to realize that it was going to be unsteady and started to doubt herself. Before she even got onto the bike she was convinced that it was going to be too hard and she would fall. I assured her that I would hold on until she could do it herself and that I would not let her fall. She sat on the seat and could feel how unsteady it was underneath her. She promptly got back off and begged for the training wheels to be put back on.

    Before she could actually fall she "fell into failure."

    Often times we are faced with a new situation in our lives and although we are initially excited about the new venture; that little voice in the back of our head says we are not ready and we are going to fall. We seek reassurance from people who love us and they tell us that they will be there to hold us up, but still we are consumed by our fear and self doubt.

    I did finally convince Buzz to at least try. I told her that she might fall but she was over the grass so it wouldn't hurt and I would be right there to help her back up. She got to the point that she accepted that she was going to fall, but that she could keep trying. We began a few laps around the yard and on her cue, I would let go and yes, she fell. She got very frustrated every time she fell and we finally decided together that we would put the training wheels back on and she could try again later. After the wheels were put back on, she rode all around the yard with confidence that she wouldn't fall. After she was done renewing her love for riding without fear, she again asked for the wheels to be taken off. She continued to fall and we took off and put those wheels back on a dozen times. Each time she feared those falls less but understood that it was just going to take time and skill to do it right.

    How often do we revert back to comfortable and safe actions when we are scared of failure? But when we do venture and try we are able to accept those falls as part of learning. The falls aren't as scary and they are seen as growth. I encourage you to take your training wheels off this week in a new skill. Yes, you might fall but that doesn't mean you have to stay down! Don't let yourself "fall into failure" before you even start.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Blog Boycott Day

    Click this link

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Dear Cartoons - From An Annoyed Mother

    I have been watching cartoons with my kids for almost 5 years. You would think that I would be able to easily tune them out...toon them out (ha!) Anyways, since I make it my mission to supervise all 'toon watching in this house, I have become very well acquainted with all the characters on a spread of several channels. Since I have gotten to know some of the cartoons, I have become annoyed at the characters, the lack of characters and their whole conflict/resolution writing.

    Dear Dora,
    You seem to be a pretty self reliant and smart girl, but what are you; like 8? Why on earth are you traipsing all over the place all by yourself? You get in hot air balloons, climb a tall mountain and go through the scary forest with no adult supervision. I saw you have a chit chat with the grumpy ole' troll; have you never heard of stranger danger? Do you think its OK to talk to people who live under bridges? Do you think it is normal to hear voices coming from inanimate objects? Also you may need an adult to pack your backpack. While a roll of sticky tape is fine; the pinwheel, pair of skies (in a hot climate) and a set of crochet balls is not going to get you far in your travelings. Lastly, that monkey; you shouldn't trust him so much because he is just a monkey. Has he even had any shots? Training? What's to stop that thing from ripping your face off the next time you make him climb up a tall mountain?

    Dear Toot & Puddle,
    Where are your parents and are they OK with you jetting off to Peru, Egypt, etc.?

    Dear Angelina Ballerina,
    Please cease talking and whining, your voice is just annoying!

    Dear Diego,
    Same thing as your cousin Dora...you need better supervision and stop playing with unpredictable and wild animals. Showing your best friend Baby Jaguar is all well and good, but quit portraying him as reliable and not a carnivore who would enjoy gnawing on your leg in the top of a tree.

    Dear Dirt Girl,
    Your face freaks me out. Seriously, my kids are not allowed to watch you because you give me nightmares.

     Image of DirtGirlWorld by Google Images

    Little Bear,
    I feel as though I have taken some heavy narcotics after watching you. The slow pace, trippy music and cat's voice just chill me way out. I think there is something subliminal going on there.

    Handy Manny,
    You remind me of my husband. He talks to his tools all the time too, but THEY DON'T TALK BACK!

    FanBoy & Chum Chum,
    Really?!? What's the point here?

    Yo Gabba Gabba,
    Somehow you have managed to create songs that are like crack for kids. I appreciate bringing Jack Black for an episode but if I hear one more "Tiny Yucky Germs" or "Rain is coming down" song, I am going to foot stomp your radio. You also need to keep a better eye on that red cyclops dude. I saw him recently in a commercial joy riding a stolen car with a sock monkey.

    Wow Wow Wubzy,
    Someone needs to give that rabbit a Super Mega Tylenol 3000, that short thing with the glasses needs more fiber and Wubzy possibly needs ADHD medication. Oh and that tail....it's kooky.

    What about YOU? Any cartoons you want to sound off about before I subject my own mind to them?

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    30 Days Of Truth - Days 5-10

    I got behind on these days of truths due to being a mom, being a wife, working this weekend, writing for NaNoWriMo and playing in the Daily Break Community.

    So I am going to catch it up today and even be a day ahead (cause that's how I roll) Get ready for a whole heap of truths.


    Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life.


    I hope to work for a nature-ish magazine one day taking wildlife photographs all over the world.
    Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do.
    Watch one of my children suffer.
    Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living for.
    (Just one...deadgumit) My husband. (Well, without him I wouldn't have my girls so by choosing him; I am also choosing my girls)
    Day 8: Someone who made your life hard.
    Myself. I caused more heartache and grief for myself than probably anyone else.
    Day 9: Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted. 
    I had this friend in HS named Wendy F. I adored that girl and she was my best friend. I thought perhaps with FaceBook that I would find her again one day, but it hasn't happened so far. Life just got in our way.
    Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know. 
    I've pretty much let this person go, but I DO wish I had never met this person. It was a person who was toxic in the friendship from the start, but I wanted to be a good friend, support this person and help in whatever way. I knew I was being used the majority of the time and spent many years going back and forth in the friendship. Hoping this person had changed, hoping that they grew up and hoping that we could be real friends. It ended with this person stabbing me in the back in the worst way, spreading lies and trying to rip dreams from my hands. I have told this person that I forgive them, but I hope for my heart; to never see them again.


    There...that's my stories and I am sticking to them. It's been kinda bland around these parts as I work on NaNoWriMo. I have an exciting story going and I write every spare minute. I promise to get back to my usual writing and vlogging here on the blog as soon as I get finished. Please be patient with me and know that I appreciate you continuing to check in on all of us here in The Crayon Box.

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Mamavation...kick me in my jiggly parts!

    So all across Twitter and from a few friends, I have been hearing about this whole Mamavation bit. I have watched two friends go from flab to fab (no offense meant, but its the truth) while using this program. I decided to join in, because I do not want to be that fat jolly guy...errr, girl...whose belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly. There is a happy green button in my sidebar that will lead you to their website if you are interested in a little jiggly part kicking!

    So now I have to talk about a weekly plan of sorts to get back into shape.
    1.) Quit the snacking especially after the kids have gone to bed.
    2.) Move faster with a more determined attitude.
    3.) Every other day: bicycle
    4.) Days in between: cardio inside
    5.) Sunday - Rest and reward
    6.) Smaller portions and tone down the Fry Daddy.

    My Ultimate Me Goals
    1. Lose 20lbs quickly but safely
    2. Get a control on my breathing problems in order to excersise more effectively.
    3. Tone up those jiggly parts (I hate that my lower arm waggles after I have quit waving 5 minutes ago)
    4. Re-assess weight loss towards a healthy weight limit.

    That ought to do it for now until I start connecting well with the Sistahood and get some better ideas towards a healthier ME.

    30 Days Of Truth - Day 4

    *Big Oopsie - Yesterday I announced the Living Social Live Chat was that night. It is actually TONIGHT at 8EST and I am a big doodoo head.

    Also in addition to that sweet Southern Belle I introduced you to yesterday...her boyfriend got on the blogging bandwagon. This duo is hilarious together and I am thrilled to get to follow both of their lives! J.R. is aiming to become an elementary school teacher to 2nd graders and you can read about him HERE 

    Day 4 - Something you have to forgive someone for.

    From the wording here I am assuming that I have to write more about the "something" than the "someone" *Whew* Glad I wasn't going to have to call out names or anything.

    The "Something" that I have to forgive that someone(s) are doing is: Assumption

    I can't stand for someone to assume anything about me. If you spent half the time it took to assume "xy" about me actually talking to me about "xy" then we may have gotten somewhere. When you assume "xy" about me and let your actions reflect your belief then you haven't even given me a chance.

    I am pretty open and direct on my feelings, etc. I have no problem at all telling you if you did something to irritate me, shun me, etc. If I haven't told you this; then it hasn't happened. End of story. I am not one to merely fade into the background nursing some kind of grudge. I would rather confront the issue at hand and lets solve is together.

    So if you are reading this and you have made an assumption about a certain way I think of something without asking me and it has affected our relationship; I forgive you. Chances are I don't even know this assumption you have made about me (since I am not a mind reader or anything) and all I know is that our relationship is strained. Let's talk about it, mm'kay?

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Lessons Learned - Kids Have No Sense Of Humor

    Kids are not born with a sense of humor. Humor must be something that is perfected over time.
    Lessons in kids with no humor:

    • 3 year olds are not amused when a parent hides in their closet to throw ice cold water on them.
    • 4 year olds will declare themselves a Vegan when a parent drives by a cow pasture and points out the hamburgers.
    • Shorting sheets does not work on those under 4 feet tall.
    • Putting a fake spider in the bathtub will result in a boycott of bath time.
    • Replacing their bowl of vanilla ice cream with sour cream does not cause laughter but puking.
    • Putting an ice cube in a diaper loses the shock factor when the wetness is just absorbed.
    • Finding a perfect hiding spot is not recommended when playing with children under 3. This has a tendency to bring back all the separation anxiety.
    • When working in the kitchen, do not coat hand with ketchup and begin screaming. Children under 5 do not appreciate gory humor.
    • Putting Vaseline on the seat of a toilet does not encourage a toddler to potty train as they continually slide off into the floor.
    • Teaching "knock knock" jokes is impossible when one has the attention span of a gnat and drools constantly.
    What has proved to you that kids have no sense of humor?

    30 Days Of Truth - Day 3

    Before I get started on Day 3, there are some announcements to make.

    1st: The Daily Break Community is having a live chat tonight at 8pm EST. You can join in HERE where we will be discussing communities: how they influence us and connect us. 

    2nd:  A sweet young woman has started a blog to journal her life outside of high school and going to college. I met her through being her photographer on her senior class portraits. We connected right away and I just know you are going to love this sassy, strong young lady. You can visit her blog HERE.

    Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for. 

    Forgiving yourself. I do believe that "YOU" is the hardest person to forgive, but something that I have made a practice of doing. 

    About 13ish years ago, I was holding every grudge against myself that I could. I detested myself because of my failures, my choices, etc. I would not forgive myself because I felt like I deserved the grudge. I convinced myself that the self-loathing was good because I had entitled myself to the bitter feelings because of my actions. I wallowed in self imposed pity and beat myself back down every time that something good came my way. I didn't deserve the good stuff. I was convinced.

    The came the day that the pity pit was so deep, I cracked. The loathing and hatred I had for myself made me feel like not only did I not deserve the "good stuff", but that I didn't really deserve life. Life was good and who I thought I was did not merit one ounce of that. Lucky for me there was a person back then who was willing to pull the dead shell of who I was out of the pit and work with me on forgiving myself. He convinced me that I was worth something and I deserved the best life had to offer. He showed me that through love. Loving the unlovable was the greatest act of forgiveness that I could fathom and some small part of me reached for it and clung to it like a life preserver.

    Since those days, I have learned to forgive myself for every infraction I inflict. When I really mess up, I know that I am not unlovable or undeserving. I have made some whoppers of mistakes, but it doesn't have to be who I am. My mistakes don't define me, they educate me. They teach me to try harder, do better and consider someone else I may have affected. I actively forgive myself because I love myself and I know that I deserve every good ounce that life has to offer. 

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    30 Days of Truth - Day 2

    Day 2: Something you love about yourself. 

    Most people I have met struggle with this question. It's not because they don't love something about themselves; it's because they lack the confidence to share that self-love with someone else. Worried about scrutiny of what they like most about themselves. There is nothing like thinking your eyes are your best feature and sharing that with someone only to have them look at you and laugh, saying "Really??"
    You may not be doing this 30 Days Of Truth with me, but why don't you take a minute to tell me what you love about yourself. Seriously. I won't laugh even if you love the way your pinky toe looks. The things you love about yourself if what makes you uniquely you and that should be celebrated!

    What I love about myself...

    My humor that is shared with others. I love to make people laugh, but not with a funny joke. I try to show people the humor in their everyday life and that funny connects us. Anybody can regurgitate a good joke and gain laughter, but when you are sitting there about to pull your hair out because the kids have overflowed the toilet, the insurance company is denying your claim, there are bills coming in, your significant other and you had a fight and the dog just puked on the rug...if you can laugh about it; you can live with it. There is a funny in just about anything if you look for it. I love that God gave me a humor that helps me see that and the ability to share that with others.

    OK...now it's your turn. What do you love about yourself? 

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    30 Days Of Truth - Day 1

    I saw this little prompt over at "Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy" and thought it would be perfect for this month. I am participating in NaNoWriMo this month and sometime when I write elsewhere my creativity suffers here. So I wanted to jump on in and give you 30 days of truth. The prompts are as follows:

    Here are the topics, one Truth for each day in November...starting Monday, Nov 1st!
    Day 1: Something you hate about yourself.
    Day 2: Something you love about yourself.
    Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for.
    Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone for.
    Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life.
    Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do.
    Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living for.
    Day 8: Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
    Day 9: Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
    Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
    Day 11: Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
    Day 12: Something you never get compliments on.
    Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
    Day 14: A hero that has let you down. (letter)
    Day 15: Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
    Day 16: Someone or something you definitely could live without.
    Day 17: A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
    Day 18: Your views on gay marriage.
    Day 19: What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
    Day 20: Your views on drugs and alcohol.
    Day 21: (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
    Day 22: Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
    Day 23: Something you wish you had done in your life.
    Day 24: Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
    Day 25: The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
    Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
    Day 27: What’s the best thing going for you right now?
    Day 28: What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
    Day 29: Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
    Day 30: A letter to yourself: tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

    So here is Day 1: Something you hate about yourself

    Wow...that's an intense question to start off with.

    One thing I hate about myself is that after 30+ years, I still don't seem to acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses that are mine to own. I have a tendency to underplay my natural talents and not achieve anything with a focused intensity. My weaknesses? I don't factor those in when I do attempt to break out and do something new.

    Although I know what my strengths and weaknesses are; I don't allow for them when making short or long term plans. How many times could I really have done something great if I had applied a focused intensity to my talent? How many times has a plan failed because it fell into my weaknesses and I took it as a personal failure rather than just accepting it is something that I am not good at? How many grudges have I held against myself because of these things?

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    A Mommy's Prayer

    I do not wait to say my prayers when the day is done,
    I need to get my plea to God before the day's begun.
    For when I lay me down at night to sleep,
    My sanity, I probably did not keep.
    So, Our Father who art in heaven, please hear my prayer.
    Help me find my keys and get the gum out of the baby's hair.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of scattered toys, I will be calm.
    I'll answer all their questions without saying, "because I'm your mom"
    When all three kids are screaming and crying that life's not fair,
    Help me not totally blow it and pull out all my hair.
    Give me patience as I scrub the crayon off the wall,
    Please let them be quiet just once as I take another phone call.
    Give me courage as we go to the grocery store,
    And silence the mouth of the toddler who repeats the word I swore.
    Give me stamina to last until I put them all to bed.
    And help me remove the paint from the dog's head.
    My God and my coffee will strengthen me today
    Dear Lord, hear these words I pray.

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Just Once

    Just once I would like to introduce my child and give no disclaimer.

    Just once I would to like to have a conversation with my child.

    Just once I would like to look at other children and not compare.

    Just once I would like to not have to play the interpreter.

    Just once I wish I had the grace to be the mom she deserves all the time.

    It has taken me almost 5 years to accept the fact that I have a special needs child. It wasn't because I thought I was too good to have a special needs child; it was simply because I thought she was too perfect to be a special needs child.

    By the end of the day my heart hurts.


    By the end of a lesson my heart hurts.


    By the end of a play date my heart hurts.

    Sometimes when my heart hurts I am not a great mom. The frustration and sadness overwhelm and my reactions are knee jerk. My responses are impatient and my tone is bitter.

    I know better and I do it anyways.

    The power a mother has over her children is a crushing weight; the demand to always meet needs and mold character. Some days I am less than impressed with the way my children saw me. How I failed to meet expectations and hurt feelings. I have to remind myself that fighting a battle isn't easy and sometimes I am weary. In that moment, I have to accept that I have a special needs child and that is a separate battle.

    Just once I would like to understand everything my child tells me.

    Just once I would like to have a moment of clear communication.

    Just once I would like a clear diagnosis so I can understand our enemy.

    It has to be something more than just a lack of communication. It has to be some form of something bigger.

    Can this speech delay really be all it is? Is that what causes the emotional problems?

    It has to be something bigger.

    Just once I would like to understand.

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Monday Mingle

    Linking up with 80mph mom for Monday Mingle

    Saving The Turkeys - A Mission

    This video is a mission for The Daily Break Community. Please visit and show your support against the slaughter!

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Twitter #loveletter

    First I would like to thank @raymourflanigan for the wonderful suggestion of a follow up letter to Twitter after my horrible break up with Facebook last week. I love when my readers have requests!

    Secondly, Disqus is now my commenting system...so hopefully it won't crash my blog and you and I can talk.


    LOVE LETTER TO TWITTER

    Me: Dear @Twitter I have something really important to confess to you. I have a special place in my heart for you. In fact, I think it might be #truelove 


    Twitter: Oops, your message is over 140 characters please try again. 

    Me: Dear @Twitter I have something really important to tell you. I think I have #true love for you.


    Twitter:
    Me: Dear @Twitter I have something really important to tell you. I think I have #true love for you.


    Twitter:


    Me: Dear @Twitter I have something really important to tell you. I think I have #true love for you.


    Twitter:

    Me: Dear @Twitter, I am starting to get frustrated. I just want to tell you #iloveyou







    Twitter: 

    Me: OK one hour later...my #truelove for you still has me wanting to confess #lovefortwitter

    Twitter: Tweet sent

    Me: Only you understand my need to tell people what I just ate, a pic of my cola and obssession with #hashtags

    Twitter: Tweet sent

    Me: This whole 140 character thing is cramping our relationship too and I don't like using the extender thing. Do you think we can deepen our relationship with 170 characters?

    Twitter Oops, your message was over 140 characters please try again.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Where's Wrangler

    So Where's Wrangler

    Image of Where's Waldo courtesy of Google Images

    It's been a pretty good week, but as usual when things are good; it means I am busy and I don't post as much. I have felt pretty out of the loop, but thanks to the Daily Break community by Living Social and The Blog Frog, I have been able to keep some fun going with my online time. If you haven't headed over there yet, I am a community leader and let me tell you....tons of fun going on with great women and conversations!

    I took the girls to a birthday party/pumpkin patch over the weekend and we had a lot of fun there! There was hay rides (hello hay fever) train rides and pumpkin picking. Those two beauties above are Bug and Belly doing the "Found a pumpkin" dance.

    I started off the week with a wonderful photo shoot with an amazing young lady who is a senior this year. We have more pictures on Saturday, but she was so much fun, so mature and so photogenic!
    Next up was getting the last of my dental work done. I hate mouth pain worse than anything! Seriously...give me labor and delivery any day! Luckily, my dentist believes in after care pain management through narcotics. Well, that pretty much explains where I was for two of the days. 

    Tomorrow begins the festivities for Belly's birthday. 1st party will be Friday night (and I still have no clue what to do at her party....Hello, Mom Of The Year) and another small party on Sunday night. That's where I have been...and it looks like it won't be until this weekend before I can check in again with pics from Belly's party.

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    My Big Breasts

    Today I heard a commotion outside and the dogs had finally caught and wounded some of the turkeys that are always in our yard. Being the responsible carnivore, I put them out of their misery and waited until the husband got home to clean them. I haven't gone all farm woman yet to actually clean a real turkey. I did however help with the plucking and it is decided that the girls will dress up like Indians for Halloween with authethic headresses. 'Cause that's how we roll.

    Since I never could resist a good pun, even in the face of appearing crude....

    Check out my big breasts.






    Someone pass the cranberry sauce. We are feasting tonight.

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