Welcome to My Corner of the World

I hope you find humor, inspiration and something worthwhile on this blog. I plan to be as candid as possible. Life is hard. I know, I've overcome a lot (and still have a way to go).
It doesn't help others if the rough things are glossed over.

I will no doubt fill this blog with stories of my achievements as a mom as well as my personal struggles.

I have an incredible husband whom I call "my sanity." I have two great kids with strong personalities. I struggle with anxiety and depression and I have had a colorful childhood.

I also have an addiction to Gilmore Girls, A&W Cream Soda, and Starbucks peppermint mocha.
I have recently added biking to my list of hobbies and also love to read, knit, and play tennis.

Welcome to my little corner of the world!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Picture #2

New Project "rules"

  So I've come up with some guidelines for my photo project, and I thought I'd share.
  I will try to take a pic every day for a month (and post them, of course).

  I am not going to give any explanation as to why my kitchen looks the way it does.  I won't make excuses when it's a mess (we've all been sick, I've been feeling down, we were busy, etc).  And I won't brag when it's spotless.
  Sure, I may blog about things that affect the state of the house in other posts, but I don't want the "why" to be the focus of my project.

  I want to be real.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Kids' Happiness...

  Apparently today is your lucky day!  It's a two-post-in-one-day, kind of day. Yay!

  I would guess that most parents of spoiled kids don't think of them as being spoiled.  If they do, they think it's cute.  A comment like "oh, he's just so spoiled" is followed by a chuckle and a grin.
  I'm sure there are those who are a bit more realistic.  Unfortunately, a lot of the time it seems as though they're resigned to the *fact* that that's just how their child is going to be.  You may hear a comment made in frustration like "he's so spoiled, but there's nothing we can do about it now!"

  Of course, there are different kinds of spoiled. There are the kids who have every possession they ask for.  There are the kids who get every waking moment of their parents' time.  There are the kids who's parents do everything for them.  But no spoiled kid is fun to be around.

  I just realized as I wrote my post earlier today that I've been spoiling my kids by doing everything for them (or at least doing more for them than I should).  This is quite a disservice to them.  It ultimately robs them of having the chance become independent.

  I will tell anyone who will listen that neither of my kids is mellow.  I totally recognize it's a personality trait that will some day be an asset to them--IF The Hubby and I capitalize on its positive aspects now.
  I find it's easy (especially on days when I'm emotionally down) to just do something myself rather  than "fight" my kids over it.  Almost every request I make of Bug and A is met with resistance (partly, I'm sure, because I've inadvertently trained them that it works).  I get so tired of hearing them whine about picking up their toys, or clearing the table, or putting their dirty clothes in the laundry, that I'd just rather do it myself.

  The other trap I fall into?

  Picture this:
  Bug and A have been playing together and getting along For An Hour.
  Anyone who knows my kids knows that they spend more of their time together bickering than getting along (at least that's how it feels to me).
  What parent wants to interrupt something that seems so rare?  Really, who wants to interrupt kids playing happily?  In my house that's something that falls into the "let sleeping babies lie" category of wisdom.  What's more--who wants to interrupt a moment of peace in order to introduce basically guaranteed chaos (enter: the whining of not wanting to pick up/do whatever is asked)?
  Not this momma!
  There are also the times that the kids are outside, happily entertaining themselves by exploring and playing .   Who wants to interrupt that?
  Not me.
  Or there are the times when A and Bug are each playing their own thing, but they're quiet, happy, and letting me be productive.  Who wants to mess up that peace?
  You guessed it: I don't.

  Here's where a comment my bestie made the other day comes in to play.  "It's not our job as parents to keep our kids happy all of the time."
  Eh?  Come again?
  I didn't realize what I was doing, but I have been totally guilty of adopting the idea that A and Bug need to be happy all the time.  I don't feel that my kids are generally happy, so when I see them being happy, I hate to ruin it.
  However, my bigger motive seems to be purely selfish.
  I don't want to be told "no."
  I don't want to give up the quiet atmosphere.
  I don't want to have to spend 30 minutes cleaning up something, redirecting the kids the entire time, when it would only have taken me 10 minutes to do it on my own.

  See a theme here (I highlighted it, in case ya missed it)?

  It's kind of an ugly one when you're in my shoes.

  So, while it is a fight and it can be exhausting, I realize that I've got to push through all of that in order to help my kids grown into adults whom other people want to be around.  Adults who have good work ethic.  Adults who have respect for possessions.  Adults who have respect for superiors in the work force.

  And, while I feel that I have a pretty good perspective on this (in that about 97% of the time my requests are met with loud resistance), there are those times when A voluntarily cleans up her mess and Bug's mess.  Or when I make a request and it's met with a slightly reluctant "ok."

  So, I'm going to try hard to work on this.  My patience will be tested.  There will be days when my nerves are shot.
  BUT there will also be days when the house is tidier.  Days when the kids realize they are going to be accountable for what they do/don't do.  Days when my requests will be met with a simple "yes ma'am."

  For now, I'll keep my sights set on those days.


Stepping out on a limb...Yikes!

  Ok, so there's a neat little saying I've seen floating around Pinterest and facebook.  "Don't compare your movie to someone else's highlight reel." That will someday be referred to as an "old adage."  But for now, it's relatively new to our society.
  Facebook is a fantastic place to share stories, both the positive and the negative.  I, of course like to be optimistic, so a lot of my fb posts are, well...positive.
  I love to post fun things I do with my kids.  Crafts we make, special things I do for A to make her life easier, things we do in home school, things I do with/for my babysitting kids, things I do with my nieces and nephew, etc.
  But the truth is, that is totally just a snapshot of my life.
  My motive behind those posts is not to say "look at how awesome I am!" Rather, it lies in wanting to share the cool stuff we do and show us having fun.

  A honest, typical day in my life?
  Here's a brief run down:
  Since we started home schooling A, I frequently find myself struggling to get up in the morning (there's no bus to miss to motivate me).  As a result the kids get up late.  We are then running late.  Neither of my kids have a hurry bone in their bodies and being rushed stresses A out.  So then my morning is filled with me constantly nagging them about eating breakfast, getting dressed, getting coats on, and getting out the door.  My focus is poor, so nothing gets picked up before we leave the house--it's all I can do to just to get us to Leave The House!  We haven't been able to get school work done lately because I have been adjusting to ever-changing babysitting schedules.  When we get back home (we go somewhere almost every morning, even if it is just to take Bug to preschool on Tues/Thurs.) I feel like I have two choices: housework or doing school with A.  Unfortunately the 2 year old I've been watching interferes a lot so nothing really gets done.  I frequently feel like I'm in a daze when I fix lunch for everyone, since the feeling of being overwhelmed gets stronger as the day progresses.  Miss Alexis always takes a nap at rest time, so there goes another 2 hours (I'm being honest...don't judge!).  By the time I get afternoon snack and find something to occupy the kids after rest time, it's time to start thinking about dinner.  Of course the evening doesn't slow down until the kids are in bed since there are kids to entertain/play with, disputes among them to help settle, baths to take, pajamas to get on, teeth to brush, etc.

  Point being?  The vast majority of my days are not spent doing bead work with the kids.  Or making home-made play dough.  Or doing science experiments.  Or holding hands with the kids and singing Kumbaya.
  Sure I have days like that occasionally...those are what I post about!

  I say All of that to say this:
  I am starting a new project.  I am willing to step Way out of my comfort zone in order to help others out there realize that we are not failures if we don't cook everything from scratch, feed our families strictly organic foods, sew our kid's clothes, make elaborate costumes, or sell pies or crocheted/knitted/hand-made goods in order to bring in extra income.  We are human.  Another phrase I've heard that I can totally relate to: "Comparison is the thief of happiness."

  My project is simple, I will take pictures of my kitchen (one of the hardest places for me to keep clean...even though I feel like I spend half of my day in it--shouldn't it be easier to keep nice?!) every day and post them on here.
  Some days it will look fantastic!  Other days (ok, who am I kidding?--most days) it will not be pretty.
  Again, I want those of us who try our hardest every day to meet the demands of our families, but who still at the end of the day, have something big that was left undone (whether it's laundry, vacuuming, or some other "mommy" job) to realize that we are still amazing.  We are not failures.

  So, here goes.  Picture #1:


Monday, January 20, 2014

One Amazing Kid

  So today something amazing happened.
  A woke up in a fantastic mood!  She voluntarily got dressed before she ate breakfast.
  She voluntarily, and cheerfully, wiped down the table without being asked.
  She opened up the pantry and came up with her own breakfast choices.

  Then later, the kids and I were walking into the garage to put toys away.  A was riding a cute little toy and accidentally ran over my ankle.
  It hurt badly enough that I yelped and took a moment to mourn the loss of a patch of skin.
  A apologized, and then an amazing thing happened.  She carried on about her business.
  A, the kid who, two days ago, would have glued herself to me and apologized incessantly.
  She apologized once. Once.

  I was torn between throwing a small pity party for myself, thinking "where are all my apologies?" and being amazed at my self confident little girl!
  Being the wonderful, supportive parent I am, I threw a 2 second pity party.  Then I rejoiced over the changes in my beautiful kid!

  Then again, at dinner, I was recapping my day for The Hubby, and when I mentioned the heel incident A said "it was an accident"...then she moved on.  No downward gaze.  No running over to me and grabbing my arm desperately.  No repeated apologies.

  Yay!  What a big step in the right direction!