Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Small steps

So I thought I'd begin my changes by writing down what I wanted to accomplish each day. I haven't done that yet. I did have a conversation with Kyle and I had a couple of arguments with the hub. I went to the lake house Saturday to visit the inlaws, I went to my friend's house Sunday for a barbecue. We had a little blow out between the hub & the kid (oh so very ugly!) and we're still trying to tame Andewd. And, yes, he needs taming like a wild animal.

Writing down, blogging, same difference (my dad's favorite oxymoron).

For tomorrow I will:

Finish the laundry (my nemesis)
Call a client/hostess
Start my blog redesign
Ship the bracelet

Not a big to do list, but it's a beginning. These things are things I would normally put off until "I feel like it". I will post at the end of the day, to remind myself what I accomplished & what I did not. I have evening plans, but that's neither here nor there. I can do what's on this list. Putting this out there for myself makes me promise myself that I will get it done.

I was just perusing my blog looking for posts about my enemy (laundry) & I realized I haven't ever really posted about how much I hate it. But, boy do I!! It's not that I mind washing & drying, that's the easy part. It's the folding & putting away. Yeah! My little ones are getting older, so they can cart their clothes up the stairs & to their drawers. Bad thing about that is, I like to finish my laundry at night, when they're in bed. At any rate - laundry sucks because it just NEVER ends! You can say the same thing about the dishes, but for some reason, I don't mind the dishes.

It was hot today. The kids got to play in the sprinkler (make shift sprinkler, cause ours broke last summer) for about 5 minutes. Really. Before I came inside to start dinner, I told them both not to pick up the hose, cause if either one of them did, some trouble would be started. Less than 5 minutes later, the Princess screamed, then started crying. She called into the house "Andy sprayed me in the face!" She is not in love with water in her face. She still has to have the wash cloth over her eyes (and ears) to wash her hair. So, I went out, turned off the water & sent them both in the house. Fluffy Fart didn't mind. She was pissed about the dripping face. The Dewd, however, was squealing and stomping all the way in the house, up the stairs, down the hall & into the bedroom. I don't know that he will ever be ungrounded. It's hard to reward his good behavior when it's fleeting. Then he gets his reward & a short time later, he's losing that very reward. I went into the bedroom & asked him what I said right before I came inside. He said "not to pick up the hose". I asked him why, he said "because it would be trouble". I asked him if there was trouble, he said "yes". I asked him what kind of trouble, he said "I sprayed Maia in the face". So, yeah...5 minutes.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

A woman in need of transition

So, in the past - as I’ve read through my posts - I’ve talked about needing change, wanting change, feeling stagnant. Since those posts, nothing has changed. Okay, some things have - just not the things I needed or wanted to change. I have felt the need for change for several years, not just the past few.

How many times have many of us stay at homes sat in wonder thinking is this all my life is? Is being a mom and wife everything I’m ever supposed to be? I can tell you that when I was young, this wasn’t what I imagined for my life. I can honestly say, I don’t remember what I wanted to do besides write or counsel. Yes, I did want kids & yes, I did want to be married and I am very happy that I am fortunate enough to have all of this. I’m not knocking it, not at all. I just can’t shake the feeling that there is more to me.

I am not the greatest mom in the world. I am not the greatest wife in the world. I have too many faults to list here, not because there really are that many (and there are), but because I don’t want to put myself out there that much. Well, maybe I do…a little.

I don’t want to fall asleep at the end of my life knowing that there was so much more to me than anyone ever knew. I want my kids to grow up knowing that I gave everything I have to life, so that they will, too. I am the quintessential underachiever. I have been for as long as I can remember. I like to blame fear of failure. I like to blame it, though I know it’s much more the fear of success that is the driving force behind why I am not more than me. Why would I be afraid of success? Lots of reasons. I am afraid of it mostly because I don’t honestly believe that I have what it takes to be successful at anything more than what I’ve already done. I have to ask, too, how is my success gauged? Who says what I‘ve done so far is successful? I don’t honestly believe I deserve it.

While raising kids has its successes, it has its failures, too. I’m learning this with my 2 older children right now. I am to blame for their woes, for now. I can sit & believe that eventually, they will overcome. My second oldest has told me, several times via hand written note, that I have done right by him. He tells me that he knows I do more for him than anyone else & that I’m the one who taught him certain things & read with him & spent the time. When I read that, I really want to be encouraged and feel good about myself. I can’t though, because I only read the words I’ve said to him when I was angry at him for acting out. Those are things I’ve said to him. My little mockingbird, how I love you. I really want you to find your own voice. I really want you to achieve greater than I ever have & I really want you to do that for YOU! Not for me, not for your dad, not for anyone but yourself. If ever your eyes come across this post, then you will know that I don’t want you to end up feeling like I do at 40. I want you to know that you’ve done everything you wanted to do for the rest of your life. Not because of anything I ever did, but because you CAN. As we’ve all heard time & again, life is what you make it.

My oldest. I truly want to feel what you feel. I want to go through what you are going through so that I can better understand why. From my perspective, these are my failures:

I had you for your first 2 years in my young life. In those first 2 years I was an irresponsible kid. In the very beginning, I bonded with you, I didn’t want to be away from you & I took the responsibility to heart for a while. Since I was so young & my parents were so willing to allow me to get away with doing much less, I did less. & that less became less & less. One day, it hit me that I wasn‘t doing enough. When I was 17 and not getting along with my own parents, I decided to make changes. For a while, it was working. I was doing most everything for you. I was going to school, working & doing my best to take care of you - with a LOT of help from your grandma. That kind of sounds like an oxymoron, but when I was with you, the responsibility was mine. Your grandma gave me that - it was a gift. I have to mention - a lot of my memories from around those years of my life, say up to age 20 or so, are very cloudy. I only have bits & pieces & those pieces are big things, really, really big things. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to remember how stupid I was back then, nor the things that helped mold me. Deep down, I know, but even deeper I understand why. I would never be able to explain it. I just know it all makes me what I am today.

Miraculously, I was given a door to open (this is one of those things I remember quite clearly - it was one of those really, really big things). A door, seemingly without negative consequence. I struggled to get myself to reach for that handle. At first, I didn’t think I could open it. I didn’t know if it would be the right thing to do. I felt it might be for the best. Then I fought with the ideal that it would always be okay, but never really knowing it would be. Hindsight, if I knew then what I now know…I don’t know that I would have opened the door. On that very same token, what would I have become? What would I have put you through? Because after that, my life is a whirlwind of shit decisions & dumb behavior - and I don‘t remember anything really good, just bad. The door was supposed to help me get myself to a better place, eventually, it did. It took a long time & honestly, at first, it wasn’t all that good. I didn’t use the opportunity to my benefit, or yours. I didn’t go to school, I didn’t try to make my life what I know I was fully capable of making it. I partied, I dated, I partied some more, I met someone who I thought would change my life. And he did. For the better? In some ways. Even since then, my life has changed immensely.

I openly admit, and I always have, that I didn’t spend nearly enough time with you after I opened that door. I lived in the same state with you for almost 2 more years. In that 2 year period, I rarely spent time with you - see above (partied, dated, partied some more). Then I moved to Illinois. One night, while I was in Chicago with the man who changed my life, I broke down. In his arms, I told him my sob story. We were a fresh couple. Everything was new. I told him all about you & how much of a failure I felt I was. He didn’t disagree, but he told me that I could have you back in my life. After we were together for a while longer & I was able to visit you on my trips back home, sometimes only once a year, sometimes twice. Eventually, we had our own place & it felt right then, I started taking steps to get you back with me. Was this my greatest mistake? I don’t want to believe it was. I want to believe that I was finally doing right by you. That this was the way it was finally supposed to be. Never did I think about the consequences - to me or to you. Hindsight comes into play again. I know how much of a tug-of-war it was for me, so what does that mean it was for you? & I know your grandma suffered in the same way I did, again - what exactly does that mean for you or, even better, what you feel it did to you NOW? We gave you lengths of rope. You towed both ends and we should never have given you that rope.

If I am trying to convey that I should have just let you stay there & not wanted anything else, not wanted to try to finally build our relationship, not wanted to love you completely because I thought I needed you with me to be able to love you completely, then that is what hurts me the most. I can see, now, how much hurt that caused. Unconditional love would mean that I let you stay & live your life the way you knew it. That means I let you grow under the support of the loving family that you had & that I don’t get to have any part of that. Struggling to see that, maybe, leaving you alone was the best thing I could have done for you is excruciating because I can’t take it back and even more so because I don‘t want to. I can’t take back the years I was allowed to love you & watch you grow & see you through some of the things you had to go through. I wouldn’t have had the many times we laughed & cried. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get your “Dear Mom” letter. I wouldn’t have had the chance to lose you several times to know what it meant to have you in my life. I also wouldn’t have had to suffer those losses so many times. I know I would regret not having the moments that we had, not having the time we had together. I still don’t think that time was enough, sometimes envying all that your grandma has. Because she has you, I never did. I apologize for all the things I can’t take back & I apologize for all the things I couldn’t do for you on my own, from the beginning, because I missed you, all of you - even having the time we did have.

Now that that’s out, maybe I can move a little forward. The purpose of this, what I’m doing here, is to try to make my life what I want it to be, because it isn’t. I’m not saying that I’m not content, because I am. For me, I want more. I want to be more for my family. If I put this out here, will it force me to do more? I hope so because, even writing this much has me feeling a little empowered, just a smidge. I have to decide what my first step is. What do I need to do? Stop making excuses. That’s my step 1. My most common excuse is “I don’t feel like it.” I’ve never been made to feel like it. It’s not up to anyone but me to make me feel like it. So that’s where it starts, as with everyone else - it starts with me. & I have to say, I’m so glad I don’t have the readers I had before. I’d be ashamed that I am not more than what I was before. I’ve always had promise, I just don’t make promises to myself - until now.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The loss of a friend

I got a message from my mom. Her roommate & old friend gave in to cancer last night. I know she had been suffering severely. She has peace now, and comfort. It's so very sad, especially because I just saw her & got to spend some time with her last September. She was, or seemed to be, just fine back then. She was healthy. She was vibrant & active. She was not old enough.

I've known Helen for more than 30 of my years and I always enjoyed spending time with her & her family. I am so sad that she went so quickly. I will miss you, Helen. You were my mom's friend, you were my friend. I love you! Rest in peace.


Okay - I am not a reality TV junkie. I do like a few reality shows Idol, the First 48, & I will sometimes catch an ep of the Biggest Loser. I'm not into the whole drama fiasco shows. I don't watch Real Housewives, never even seen more than a commercial blurb; never watch Jersey Shore, I've never even seen a commercial blurb for it - I only hear about it & see snippets of the pseudo celebs on Yahoo! WTF is a snookie? I do like to catch episodes of My Fair Wedding w/David Tutera. He does some amazing things for brides to make all their wedding dreams come true. I just like watching him take their ideas & make them rock!

The season of So You Think You Can Dance opened yesterday & I am so stoked! It wasn't a show I thought I'd be interested in, but after watching, the talent is always incredible!! The choreographers they use are imaginative, creative & just plain awesome. I find myself feeling a lot of the emotional numbers. I never thought I'd be moved by a dance number, it happens so often watching that show. I will be posting some of my favorite dances via You tube. I was even thinking of going back & finding my fave from last year. Since I mentioned it - this was my favorite: Robert & Dominic doing a Nappy Tabs number (I can't embed the video, it's not available, but this is a direct link to the video.) My kids LOVE this routine. We even still have the ep dvr'd. My daughter will watch it once in a while. Because I could, here's my fave from Season 6. I LOVED Ellenore:

I know the other day I was thinking about a lot of other things I was wanting to write about. I think it may be too early this morning. My brain isn't firing, yet. Oh yeah, we have a new member of the family. My daughter had to have an ice pack at school the other day, she had an incident. She brings home this baggie full of water & says to me "I want a fish...pleeeeease!?" I tell her to ask her dad. He's pretty good at saying no. Guess what - he said yes... We went to our local pet supply place & we picked out a Betta & a neat little Betta aquarium. 3 cats & a fish. I never wanted more than one cat. I'll tell that story another time. She named her fish Blue Nemo Marlon.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Writer's Workshop

I have participated before in Mama Kat's workshop. It's been a loooong time.

Mama’s Losin’ It

So, this week I contemplated a couple options. Writing about my mom - probably not a good idea, since she reads my blog. I'd hate to hurt her feelings by putting down what I feel I do better than she did. When she reads this, she'll understand. I appreciate she did the best she could and that's what matters most. I love her very much.

I also thought about big trouble. I couldn't pick just one big thing, further proving why my mom did the best she could. I was in trouble quite often.

I decided to go with a photo story of the beach. We live about 30 minutes from the Indiana Dunes Nat'l lake shore, Lake Michigan. We go there a few times every summer. I'm not much of a water person, but my kids LOVE the water. This particular visit, I had just gotten a new camera. It was in 2008. I can't find the power cord for my Ext HD, so I took these from my facebook account. They are my favorite pictures from that day. They are some of my favorite pictures of all time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Trial and error

As I've mentioned, I've tried several things to help Dew understand his responsibility in his behavior. He's getting better & some days are fabulous & some are not. We've been trying a new thing & for the first few days it was holding up pretty well. The last 2 days were a testament to needing to change our strategy, constantly. As with every other thing we've tried, this one fell to the way side early. Incentive doesn't work; charting doesn't work; praise doesn't work; restriction doesn't work. All of those things have been tried, some several times. They all only work for a short while. As I write this, I'm thinking, maybe I didn't give them enough time to fully play themselves out. Some of them I did give several months to. I still practice praise today.

While we all know all kids benefit from consistency, I've confessed my inability (or laziness, it depends on who you ask) to remain consistent. I've never been, with anything except inconsistency. & I have to say the Dew is my one child with whom I've been most consistent.

Sometimes I feel like he gets the brunt of my parental frustration. To be honest, he's probably right in feeling that. Whenever we hear anything going on with him when we're not in the room - it's his name we call out. Once in a while it's Kyle's name. If I ask myself why, it's because his behavior is so frustrating and a lot of the time he is the instigator. How do we get it across to him that he will NOT always get his way & that as a kid, he'll get his way a lot less. When he's an adult, he can get his way if he works for it. And that's his biggest deal. He wants his way ALL the time! I know - like every other kid on the planet. Thing is, every other kid on the planet doesn't cry, whine, squeal, stomp every single time they don't get their way. He's been doing it since he was 3 - he's 10 now.

My other kids didn't & don't do this.

The Princess (and I LOVE calling her that because she has been one - in a positive way. And she is a fluffy fart - the most gassy baby I've ever known, grown into a gassy little girl who is now modest, so the gas can upset her sometimes...) is an over achiever so far. She has so many more good days than bad & usually, it isn't a bad day, it's a bad few minutes. I can see how the positive feedback she gets so much more often will weigh on the Dewd. How do you explain to a kid that "she's not better than you, she just acts better than you"? I've never tried because I don't want him to feel like he is just bad. I do tell him he likes to make trouble, though. It really seems that way.

So, today I asked him to list (like pros & cons) his positive & negative behaviors. He could only think of negatives. That tells me that's what he has on his mind - most of the time. The negative. I had to help him with the positive. As we were listing those positives, his mood did lighten. I do praise him nearly every time he does something I ask without a fight. I praise him when he listens the first time & when he's very helpful. I praise him when the kids play well together. I always hope that the positive will make him feel so good, he'll want it more.

We're going to put up Dew's affirmations around the house. I don't know if that will work, but we are going to try. Affirmations & messages to "stop & think".


Monday, May 23, 2011


There, I said it. I've done it before and I can do it again. Not without much study, cause I do need to study. I haven't in ages. While I did enjoy some of this layout, I need something better. Will I do it - that, I am completely unsure of. I tend to put things on my plate that I never intended on finishing, they just looked good written down. And in this, my friends, I do feel alone. So many things left undone - in figurative & literal sense.

Ahhh, today is "N" day for Fluffy Fart's remaining days of school, alphabet thingy. I have some very wonderful people in my life that, for a couple of them, they only know me online & they only know her through me. Yet, still, they take the time to write my daughter a lovely note - just to say "hi". I know as the day goes on & she receives these notes, she is just going to gush with happiness. Sad thing is, I don't get to enjoy it right when she gets home from school because she has Basketball camp...hrmph!

We had a severe storm roll over our community (well, all around the state really) last night & it was kind of creepy - the clouds. Maybe I should have taken some video of the clouds like the Big Boy said. Then later, I begin to read online that Joplin, MO was hit very hard by a massive tornado & my heart just crushes. I stumble across a flikr stream of photos, by a photographer, who just happened to live right in the middle of the storm. There is so much devastation there and, it's one of those things - makes me want to jump out of my own life & into helping them with theirs. I know there are people that do that kind of thing every day, but I know my hub wouldn't approve. Maybe that's selfish of him, but he would say that I'm needed here. On that same token, what would I do there? I'd be standing around, in awe, not knowing what to do. This is certainly one of those things that people say "called them to action". I am not quite getting the call. The text comes through, but the message is empty.

I have always been on a trial & error thing when it comes to punishing the Dew. He's never been diagnosed with any ADHD or ADD, nor do I believe he is afflicted by either of them. Sometimes, however, his lack of focus is very apparent & I attribute that to being an active boy. Some days his behavior is very immature. Okay, somedays is a bit of a stretch - nearly every day is more appropriate. He only exhibits this behavior at home, or around people he's close to. Having been a parent (quasi- for nearly 25 years) for nearly 17 years, I know that a lot of whatever behavior he exhibits is due to the parenting skills I, and his dad, possess. One of the hardest things for me to do in any aspect of my life is to be consistent - with anything! So, I think he has a bit of that in him. Looking from that perspective has made me have to strategize behavior issues in different ways, often. (when I'm not being lazy, that is) I am trying something new & hopefully, we can curb a lot of the whining, squealing & crying.

The Big Boy is still an avid under achiever. At 16, I don't how to go about making him want to try harder, because the feedback I get from him is "You're just trying to control my life...". Well, DUH! Because I want you to understand what it takes to live in the real world. If you do go into the military out of high school, you will be in for the shock of your life at boot camp. Life here is cake compared to life in the military. *sigh*

Friday, May 20, 2011

I've been reading!

Surprise! No, really, I have been perusing my old posts & again, I have to say that it is great to keep a blog. There are memories in here that I might not easily remember at the length they are posted here. I just have to commit to posting.

There have been several occasions since my leaving blogging for a long time that I wanted to post something interesting, something that happened or just tidbits from my favorite tv shows or movies that I'd seen. I just didn't do it. I have always been consistently inconsistent. That is the way my life goes. Of course I know it's all my doing. Everything I do I am in control of.

What's been happening - well, I worked at Walmart for all of 2 weeks. My kids got sick (ALL of them) at the beginning of March, then I got it - for THREE LONG weeks! I rarely get what they get & if I do, it's usually minimal. I wouldn't even mention my sick if it had been a cough or annoying runny nose or whatever, but this time it was bad! Bad for almost all of the 3 weeks! Needless to say, I knew I was going to need time off, I just didn't know how much, so I quit.

Tupperware was going extremely well! All of my parties have been successful & so much fun! I LOVE doing it! The bad thing is, I recruited 2 people & lost my network. The people in my community are just not devoted enough friends to care whether or not I succeed. With the exception of 1, but I recruited her, so she's in it with me. Her network is a bit bigger than the people I know here, but the people in it are just as unwilling to help. Being a hostess for a party is a grand thing, not a nuisance, or it shouldn't be. We will send the invites, we will bring what we need - all you do is supply the guests and get a couple of outside orders because it really does help to ensure a successful hostess crediting. & being a hostess, the potential to get LOTS of stuff for free is a huge draw in my eyes. That was why I had my own party.

Princess fluffy fart is an absolute angel in school and most of the time at home. Now I understand why people say girls are easier as young children & boys as teens. It's been proven to me. Dew is still a pita. Still squealing & I am trying so hard to get him to stop. He's just too old for it. As far as the big boy here, well, he's the same. He's growing up so much & I have a lot of respect for the things he wants to do with his life. I just hope he does what makes him happy & in the end, does everything he's capable of. He's such an underachiever in school. *sigh* I know he's capable of so much more. And the oldest. The young man, well, I love & miss him, as he still doesn't talk much to me. Once in a while I will get a return text or phone call, but again, it's been over a year. Right now, I think he's trying to sort things out. I am one of the things I think he has to decide on. Was I good enough? I'm not sure. All I know is that I have tried to do my best by him.

Funny, when I say that it brings me to feeling like my mom's words. Being a mom myself, her good enough was good sometimes. There are other things, though - that I would NEVER have done. I think my "good enough" is so much better than hers was, at least when it came to me. But that's my opinion alone.


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