Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Joy of the Family Hotel Experience

That's an oxymoronic statement.
It starts with, "This is a cool room!" "I love hotels!" "Can we go swimming?"

and moves on to, "Why does he get the remote?" "Mom, how does the shower work?"

and culminates in, "You're stealing all the covers." "Get out of the bathroom!" "I don't want to sleep with him!" "Can you please turn off the lights?"

finally, poking, the quiet game, giggles and threats of no video games for the next day unless they go to sleep...

Good times.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Results - Quick Prompt Contest Entry 12/28

Notta nuthin. I'm not surprised, I entered in the last ten minutes of the contest...ah well. Another time.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Quick Prompt Contest Entry 12/28/10

Another quick contest. I barely made it...
using words:
page
chase
bleak
entity
breach

I sigh as I drop a page. I must stop fidgeting!

I stoop to pick up the trivial entity.
Embarrassment draws blood to my face like I stepped in a trap and got strung up by my toes. What are you staring at?!
Deep breath.

I peer at my competition. Are they aware of what is at stake?

I check the clock again.

Why do I chase these dreams of infamy? The outlook for me to win is bleak. I should go.

Was that my number?

I hop up. I breach the director’s office. Wish me luck.

Another page falls.

benefits of being sick

So somebody, namely my third child, had a stomach ache last weekend. We didn't think much of it. He was up and down, but the down wasn't for long...we even let him stay home from school. But he seemed fine. That was my mistake. I assumed it was something he ate or his sensitive stomach - nothing contagious that I needed to sanitize about.

So BLAMMO! I got it. And it was one of those nasty hits-adults-worse-than-kids kind of viruses. I was not a happy camper.

But it wasn't actually so bad after the initial hit. And having a sick day once in a while can have a few plusses...
  1. I was left alone - all day!
  2. I caught up on some movies
  3. I lost a few pounds!
  4. I was able to write in peace
  5. Someone catered to me for a little while
There might be more benefits, but those were my highlights. Unfortunately once I left my room, everyone assumed I was back to normal and quit helping. Back to reality. "Glad you're feeling better, Mom."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

just in time for xmas

I got an inspiration and spit out a short story - check it out, even though it's corny...=)

censor-speak

This is a new one, to me.
I was listening to my boys (11 and 7)  playing around down in the basement and they started joking/yelling at each other:
"Give me the <pause> ball!"
"No! Get your own <pause> ball! This is my <pause> ball!"
Then they would laugh.

They were censoring themselves! I was laughing and shocked!
How dare they! But it was funny. And smart that they thought of it.
I wonder if it will catch on...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

fun with mirrors

Try looking in a mirror when you're in a state - mad, crying, stressed, etc

Seeing how you look when you're upset shows you what everyone else sees. "Wow, I look like that? That's ugly." or "Hey, I look good when I'm crying, my eyes are greener!" Either way, you change your expression.
It also takes your mind off your problem for at least a few minutes and when you think about it again, you have settled down some and can more readily deal with it.

I haven't tried this on my children, but I think I might. Although with them it would probably backfire.

i've been scrooged

This Christmas season has been exhausting.
The snow, sickness and stress have been relentless. I'm really tired of clorox, lysol and rubber gloves. I've washed way too many loads of sheets and towels - and the rest of the housework has been piling up.
And why does it seem that a million other things are added onto my to do list at this time of year besides presents and cards and decorating?
  • Someone or two in my house has been sick at least every other weekend - everyone but me and it's been making me paranoid to get sick.
  • We got our growing boys new furniture, shopped around, made arrangements for the old furniture, unpacked the drawers, delivery at different times so dealt with stress of partial rooms, finally restocked drawers and put everything back.
  • Our car lease is up next month so we had to go test drive - which we kept putting off because of all the sickness and travel.
  • We've had unexpected doctor, dentist and orthodontist appointments come up.
  • The kids have already had two snow days, which means I don't have to work, but I also can't get anything done - and it's only December!
  • My husband has been out of town a bunch - he never goes out of town in December. So I've been running ragged with practices and games. And whiners.

 
I'm not complaining. I'm venting. I'm dealing with it all. It's just exhausting. And I feel bad that I haven't kept up with all I need to. I didn't get some gifts I wanted to and now it's too late. And there's more that I probably won't get to. I finished putting together our last minute donation for the end of the year (which has to be on the porch by 7:30 AM) and was up late wrapping another round of presents tonight, so I figured I'd add my daily blurb... How bout that, it's 3 AM.

 
Things will slow down after the first, right? Wishful thinking.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rudolph the Red Nosed Car

I love the silly people who dress their cars up like Rudolph for the Christmas season. They're spreading joy!

Congratulations!!!

My cousin just had a baby! She and her husband have been trying for quite a while and

WHOOOP - There he is!

Congratulations!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

babies are like puppies

If you don't have kids and are considering parenthood, get a puppy. It's like caring for a baby, at light speed. If you can do a puppy, it'll prepare you for the more important challenges of a baby. Some comparisons...
  • They both need constant attention
  • They sleep a lot in the beginning
  • Middle of the night wake up calls
  • It's ok to let them cry a bit before going to sleep
  • Don't let them get into the habit of sleeping with you - it's harder to break than to not start
  • They're so soft and cuddly - it's hard to get mad at them!
  • Bonus of a puppy, you skip over the diapers and go immediately to potty training. "Not on the floor!"
  • And they teethe without the crying, but you still have to yell, "Get that out of your mouth!"
Sleep, eat, play, cry, poop - isn't that what life is all about anyway?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Let me out

Substituting today inspired me to write this poem...
a christmas story snowfall graphic

Peaceful, floating,
      Quiet, white.

La la! Bla bla!
     Ha ha! Yikes!

Softness, blowing,
     Whisper, shhh.

Banging, stomping!
     Ouch! Crash!

Wishing out the window,
     Watching snow falling.

While inside the classroom,
     Students are sprawling,

Waiting for the bell to ring
     And Christmas break to begin!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

hide the pickle

It's not what you  think! Get your mind out of the gutter!
Unless you are thinking of the sweet little Christmas tradition that comes from Germany. I am of German descent and had no idea about it until one of my sons brought a paper pickle home with the story on it. It goes like this:

"The pickle is a German symbol of good luck. Traditionally German parents decorated the tree on Christmas Eve, hiding the pickle ornament last. On Christmas morning, the first child to locate the pickle was rewarded with a special gift from Kristkind."

At first, I was like, sure go ahead. It's funny because the boys really get into hiding this paper pickle that has stayed in tact for three years now. Once we get the tree up, they take turns hiding it. And they don't mess up the rest of the tree, amazingly. I don't do the gift thing, but now we have our own way of playing that makes us all happy. Until they fight over whose turn it is to hide the pickle first...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You can't fight it


I do not look forward to aging. I already have signs of body breakdown - graying hair, eyesight getting worse, can't lift as much... But as I always say, Whatever! Worrying about it will only make it come quicker.

Thinking about aging always reminds me of the circle of life. How we start as helpless babies, grow in knowledge and physical stature, then we reach our peak and start back down the slope, losing our strength and our minds, until we end up incoherent, dribbling and in diapers again...ain't life grand!

Baby, baby, goo goo
I wish I understood you.
Do you want a bottle?
Did you make a poo poo?

Oh my son you can't go
By yourself, you don't know
How to find your way home
Wait because I said so.

My young man is all grown
Out there in the unknown
Living life on his own.
I miss him and wish he'd phone.

Now I'm over the hill.
Can't afford a big spill.
Have to take another pill.
Memory has gone nil.

Hey, Mom, can you hear me?
Wonder if she can see
Does she know that we
always love her dearly.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day!

We had our first snow day this school year. It was very nice. We all had a good day. I even got some writing done. I thought about posting my first chapter for feedback, but I don't get much feedback so I think I'll hold off.

But I would like to write a short Christmas story. If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Stay well!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our God He is Alive

This statue was affectionately called "Touchdown Jesus." It was startlingly visible along I 75 North just south of Dayton, a symbol of the Solid Rock Church. According to their website, it looks like they start out with the scriptures, but they also like a "show" - speaking in tongues, divine healing, etc. Hence the  scary sculpture.

The six-story tall "King of King's" statue of Jesus Christ stands outside of Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio.

It was recently struck by lightening. But never fear, the church is going to spend the half a million dollars to rebuild it. Think they could better use that money?
Flames shot up from the "King of King's" statue of Jesus Christ early Tuesday morning after it was struck by lightning.

Now we have this hideous distortion. If you have money, you can say anything you want, as big as you want.


I'm praying God strikes this with lightening too...if not, they'll know He is, soon enough.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

soothing sights and sounds

I found another study with pleasing results. It says the sounds of nature can reduce stress. Particularly tweeting birds, the patter of rain or a crackling fire. I guess that would include crashing waves and crickets? I think they sell CDs of that stuff to help people sleep?

But I like the advice from a Boston psychologist that said, "Concentrating is meditative." She advises stargazing because focusing and finding things through a telescope is soothing. I like sudoku, myself.

For more December healthy helpers, here is a link to the Prevention article.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Don't be afraid to ask and it shall be given

I know everything. Don't you?
And if I don't know, I like to figure it out for myself. I like to do it my way.
Does this sound familiar? No, I'm not a three year old!
But admitting we don't know something is a hard thing for most people to do.

I have grown out of that attitude, for the most part.
I still know a lot, but I know I don't know everything.
I still like to do it my way - and I think I know what's best for my family.
But as I get older, I realize others know stuff too.
And if I don't know something, I can ask and they'll help me.
It's amazing!
And there are advantages to asking for help.
It saves you time from figuring it out for yourself - use someone's else hard work, they earn their knowledge like we earn ours.
And it makes others feel good to share their knowledge and be helpful. I know I do.
You should try it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Don't touch my stuff!

I've had a pretty good week. Even though I was busy for most of it, I got a ton accomplished and was in a pretty good mood, most of the time. Yeah, me!
But I have to share one incident that shows how insensitive people can be. Wednesday was my busiest day...
  • slept in until 6:50am (ha ha)
  • got child #1 and child #2 on bus
  • took shower, woke child #3
  • got child #3 on bus
  • dropped off HW for child #2 at school
  • picked up roast for dinner at grocery
  • put roast together into crock pot
  • met friend for brunch, relaxed a little =]
  • stopped in 2 stores for xmas gifts
  • home to complete grocery list and let dog out
  • got groceries in record time, incident occurred here
  • sped home to put groceries in fridge
  • dashed to pick up child #3 for unexpected orthodontist appt
  • then picked up child #1 to come with
  • ortho appt over early, time for snack at bookstore
  • picked up child #2 from after school activity
  • dinner & HW
  • cleared rooms and drawers to be ready for furniture delivery in morning
  • made last minute arrangements for bus next morning, husband had surprise am mtg come up
I think that was about it. Tuesday was almost as busy.
The incident: I am anal about my groceries. I hate when things get squished so I organize the stuff as I fill my cart and how I put it all on the belt to be bagged (I'd rather just do it myself and do sometimes). Elderly lady with only one item got behind me. She started "helping" me put stuff on the belt.
"Please don't help me," I said very nicely. Why don't you go do the self checkout or the express lane, I thought. But I kept smiling and unloading and was done in no time. I also don't like waste so I bring my own bags and don't bag anything large. I help the bagging person because they sometimes think all my stuff needs 2 carts - I have NEVER needed 2 carts (unless my husband comes along). Anyway I was hurrying so I could make it home and I felt like that lady was rushing me so I probably looked frantic and stressed (maybe I was).
She said, "You'll live longer if you take life less seriously." (How does she know how I take life?) and "Slow down and exercise." (HUH?) and "I ran marathons when I was younger." (SO??? This is my exercise!)
I just nodded and smiled. I said, "You have no idea what I have to get done."
She said "I had four children." (Yea? You probably sat home and baked cookies, too. I am not you!)
She didn't get why I didn't want her touching my stuff. First, she doesn't care about my stuff but more importantly I've been dealing with sickness in my house on and off for two months! DON'T TOUCH MY STUFF!!!

Whew. But I wasn't mad about it. I just think people should keep their judgements to themselves. Especially when they don't know the whole story.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

give a hand


Heard the expression "cold hands, warm heart?" Well apparently it should be followed by "warm hands, warmer heart."

"Prevention" noted two ways your hands can boost your mood...
1st - Holding hands and being affectionate with someone you love can reduce stress. How nice.
2nd - Holding a warm cup of cocoa or coffee can make a person feel warm and fuzzy.

That's a tough choice, isn't it?
just kidding.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Be Positive

Maybe if I write it down, it will help. Say it with me!

be positive, be positive, be postive...

Monday, December 6, 2010

wedding albums

If you are married (50% right?) - when is the last time you looked at your wedding album? Mine is in a box with several other wedding memories I can't remember.

So, this year forget the cookie parties, shopping parties and recipe exchanges.
I want to have a Wedding Album party! If you have some married friends invite the girls over for some refreshments and sharing. Every wedding has stories and if you're like me, most of the friends you have now, weren't around for your wedding. Even if they were, you can reminisce together.

I'd put up one of my wedding pictures, but that was before digital and I haven't scanned any yet...

BLFC #3

December entry in long sentence contest.

Lamen was born in a baby pool, took his first steps across the street, received his first kiss from a dog, got fired from his first job due to his indifference, never married, never went to jail, never left his hometown and died without feeling a thing.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

how to avoid getting sick

One thing about the older generation, most of them cough into their hands. They were taught, "Cover your mouth when you cough" which was a good thing. But I had an elderly check out person the other day who was clearly under the weather. She kept coughing into her hand then grabbed my stuff to scan it. AAHH! I wanted to scream at her! But I just kept my mouth shut and left and lysoled everything when I got home. COUGH INTO YOUR ELBOW!!! It's a newer concept taught in schools these days, but apparently not everyone knows that they are spreading germs by coughing into their HAND!

More advice from a "Prevention" doctor was: during the cold and flu season try to avoid touching your facial orifices - eyes, nose and mouth. They are prime entry points to germs. I use the back of my hand or my wrist or anything other than my fingers when I have an itch and I haven't washed my hands in a while...even at my house. Those boys bring germs home daily!

Oh, yeah. And get lots of rest, eat healthier and exercise...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

tough love?

We went out to dinner tonight, as we do most weekends. At a nearby table there was a large group celebrating a birthday. There were 3 or 4 kids all under seven and they were pretty much running the table. But my favorite part of their spectacle was when one of the kids removed the string from a helium balloon. Aww, see what happens? It goes to the ceiling. But never fear, Dad will make a fool of himself, risking life and limb to get it. He stood up on the seat and held the child up over his head to get it while Mom took pictures. Yeah!

What's wrong with this picture? What have we learned here? That no matter what she does, Daddy will fix it for her. What if the kid had fallen? I couldn't watch.

I'm a mean mom. I would've let my kid cry a little and hope they learned not to do it again.

Then I looked at my own table and cursed the handheld games keeping my family occupied. Spoiled kids!

Friday, December 3, 2010

De-stressing advice

As I read my December "Prevention" magazine today, I came across yet another article about stress. I really like this magazine, but after a while the articles all sound pretty much the same...eat more healthy food, get more rest and exercise more. Those 3 things seem to be the cure for everything. And yet I can't bring myself to do it!

So here are new and improved ways to lessen stress:
1) sleep more - gosh, lookie there! If I didn't have so much to stress over, I would probably sleep more.

2) let it out! - Yell if you're angry, cry if you're sad and laugh if you're happy. Such and such study was done and said it was healthy to do so. I like this one. Being a Scorpio, I pretty much wear my emotions on my sleeve. Everyone knows how I feel most of the time.



3) hug your dog - or your cat or other huggable creature. If you don't have one, think about it - unconditional love.

4) don't share so much - this is more for those who go on and on about their problems. Basically it means: don't dwell on it, move on already!

5) chocolate is good! - of course it is, just don't overindulge. Have self-control. Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah. The BIBLE! (fruits of the spirit, Galatians 5:22-23)

6) find a way to escape - do you like yoga? jogging? reading? Take a break and do something you enjoy. Make time for yourself.

here is the link to the article .

PS - Later in the magazine it said to sing away stress - sing, sing a song, sing out loud...and don't worry if it's not good enough - belting out some carols will lift your spirits (a study said so)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's hard to be a Christian

I have a fiesty personality, especially when I'm late or if I've been wronged or when I have to take crap from nasty people. Those are the hardest times for me to have a Christian, turn the other cheek attitude.

And it seems that it all piles up and hits at once. But I guess it's not really a test if it's only one problem. It's gotta be one thing on top of another, pushing me to the limit. Well, I was tested tonight.

Problem #1, idiots on the road cutting me off and driving super slow because they didn't know where they were going - AHH! GET OUT OF MY WAY! Yelling at them inside my car is pointless and sets a terrible example to my kids.
Grade = "F"

Problem #2, son's opposing team is huge and playing down a level. So for our first game of the season we had to play Gulliver and his cronies. Two of our kids got hurt and I was responsible for both of them - AHH! THIS IS SO UNFAIR! WE SHOULDN'T BE PLAYING THESE GUYS! THIS IS RIDICULOUS! Tried very hard to keep mouth shut, complained some in stands with other mothers, happy to have boys to take care of to get mind off frustration.
Grade = "C"
(Final score 56 - 11 or something like that. And not only did they score a lot, but they were aggressively mean, no mercy, bullies - How can people like that coach be proud of their wins? Not just win at all costs - CRUSH THEM! And there is so much more, but I have to continue with my test...)

Problem #3, since we were late, house was a mess and it was pointed out to me when we got home. Fine, whatever, I cleaned it up while grumbling.
Grade = "A-"
(more to that story too, but not worth it)

Problem #4, Survivor. Two healthy young girls quit. There should be a penalty for quitting. They should at least let people that were voted off get another chance. One was just a wimp. The other was an obnoxious, selfish, defiant girl with way too much attitude - she is going to have a rough life if she doesn't find some humility or just some humanity. Good riddance, woulda been voted off anyway. Not really a test, just adds fuel to my "kids today are a bunch of lazy, spoiled whiners!"

Now I must attend to the dishes and get ready for work tomorrow. Maybe my evening will have a big finish and I'll get sick...hope not!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

too big for our britches

Is there anything we can do about these kids?

Each generation thinks they know better than the previous one. Young people are losing respect for their elders more and more. I see too many parents let their kids walk all over them. They are on their cell phones or texting and their kids are running wild.

What happened to discipline? No one wants to be the bad guy and enforce rules. So many don't care what their kids are up to. They ignore the bad behavior.

Proper discipline promotes respect.