Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Seven months and counting

September 24, 2009

That’s how long it will be until my son comes home from his first tour with the USMC.  Here’s hoping he comes home to his mentally exhausted mother safe and sound.

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Day Five: Please return your seats to their upright position.

August 18, 2009

The title is in reference to Tasra’s Day Five Post and her observation that the safety spiel that airlines do at the beginning of the flight might apply for life in general as well.

I could really use a flight attendant in my life right about now. I have had the chorus to Lady Antebellum’s song Run to you running through my head for the past few months….but it’s been an especially loud chorus the past few weeks.

“This world keeps spinning faster
into a new disaster so I run to you”

Between the fostering of my second grandbaby and the birth (today) of the third grandbaby, plus the raising of my own set of 7 year old twins, plus the co-raising of my youngest daughter and my niece and nephew….and the job hunt….sometimes I just look at Keith and ask him if the ride is over yet…can I go home? Oh wait hon, you ARE home.

So without further ado, here is today’s challenge (courtesy of Tasra)

“TODAY’S CHALLENGE

1. How would you rate your health in each of these four areas?

  • Spiritual
  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Relational

2. What’s the greatest challenge to improving your health in these areas? 

 

3. Write down a specific goal for each of these four areas that you can pursue during the rest of this month. Make sure the goals are SMART. ”

 

Spiritual Health: I’d have to say that I am content with my health in this aspect…I have faith that what is meant to be is meant to be. There are lessons to be learned in life and whomever is up there and in charge of the big picture (and yes, Kids, there is always a BIG PICTURE) put challenges in our path to learn the lesson’s not to stop them. I can get through this….I have faith in that fact even when I don’t have faith in my abilities to do so. Yes I see the contradiction in that sentence but it’s still valid. I know I will, I just don’t always know how….

Greatest challenge: I want to learn more. I want more knowledge of other beliefs….my basic faith is there, but I have always chafed at the old dogma and rhetoric that “organized” religion often sees.

Goals: Once my bandwidth is up, I want to read more online about different belief systems.

Physical Health: Eh, could be much better. I’m a robust woman with a small country that resides in the general vicinity of my butt and hips. My knees are feeling the strain of supporting aforementioned population. I have had chronic lower back pain for the past 20 years. Oh and I have sleep apnea. On the plus side, my blood pressure is steady and I am not diabetic, despite my family history of type 2 at around my age. Basically if I lost about 100 lbs, I’d be good.

Greatest Challenge: My brain. I’m physically pretty lazy. I wouldn’t say I’m sloth like, and it’s not like I can’t keep up with my kids and my job as a Mom. But given a choice, I’d probably sit and read a book or watch the Food Network rather than go on a two mile walk. I’m not mentally lazy, but it’s fair to say I need to get off my butt more.

Emotional Health: I have said before that I look at things in a dual brained way….I have been fighting diagnosed clinical depression for my entire adult life. With the job loss, and the resulting loss of insurance, I am working through my life and the stress unmedicated, which is a challenge. I can find my way through any issue using my logic but then I also find myself feeling the tears well up on the back of my eyes sometimes too….and if asked I can’t tell you why I am on the verge of tears.

Greatest Challenge (and Goal): Sometimes I need to give myself permission to lose it and cry or be angry or whatever. I’m a control freak and it’s hard to just let go. But if I Don’t then I can get to wound up and then just snap. Better to deal with it as needed to then to just explode.

Relational Health: For the most part, I’d have to say that I’m doing well with my relations…I worry about being to hard on my daughters especially Birdie…she’s got the signs of ADHD, which both of her brothers had…my life with Keith is evening out, we still aren’t married (rats!) but we have been together for 9 years come September 3rd. That’s got to count for something. As with any romantic relationship you have your rough spots and lack of trust. The Trick is to work past the negative and never give up. I believe the man is my soul mate, that has never changed. But it’s about communication.

Greatest Challenge (and Goal): Because of my previously admission of being a control freak the biggest challenge I have is to remember that not everyone communicates the same way or that everyone processes emotions and issues the same way. I’m pretty in your face about things but the people in my life need to process slowly…I have to keep this in mind so that I don’t keep pushing…..say what needs to be said, then let it go and revisit later if needed.

 

That’s it for now, I’m exhausted….G’night.

And now for something completely off topic

August 18, 2009

Once again Life interfered with my challenge posts….but I have a good excuse.

 

I’m a grandma again. Yes, indeed….Ms. Cloe Anne was born this morning. This is my third grandbaby by my (step)son. Love that boy dearly but he is probably responsible for the majority of white hair that I have sprout from my punkin head.

 

I told him that I’m only 38, and already a three time Nana….Don’t tell him this but I’d have it no other way, really.

 

But don’t tell him that…Please..It is much more amusing to harass him about it.

Day Three-only slightly delayed.

August 13, 2009

Okay so I had planned on doing this challenge on time on a daily basis.

Then life hit and I had several job interviews and had to put in applications, then I had to help Keith with some stuff. Needless to say any time that I spent online was doing mindless stuff like playing Farkle to keep my brain off the fact that I felt like I was withering. I have been out of work for about two weeks and while I fully expected a considerable chunk of that time to be spent looking for more work, I had also hoped to work on my genealogy stuff and my writing because that is the type of thing that brings something to my life, whether it is meaning for MY existence beyond Mother, and Partner. Instead I have been just worn away by the day to day mom and house mouse stuff and the kids starting school. I feel horrible saying that because I don’t want the perception that I don’t love my family, because I do…but it’s hard when there is no time for you.

I have been reading the posts that Tasra has posted during her challenge and I have been keeping up on thinking about the lessons to be learned. I will be posting the daily posts, perhaps two daily to catch up….

But not today…starting tomorrow I will post no less than two. At least till I catch-up….

Okay on to the day three stuff:

Step 1: Keep a time journal this week for how you spend your days.

Step 2: Evaluate the biggest time waster and what the payoff was.

Step 3: Write a short list of alternate activities you can do next time.

Step 4: How would you describe your current season of life?

1: I can’t. Pure and simple. It’d take me more time to write up a time journal. Time has a way of stealing away from me…..when I do track it…I still find myself having to justify not getting this done or that done. Kinda like this blog….It’s something that I have to do to…I feel it. I want to, I need to. But if I take the time to write, it’s like I have to justify the time to my family (not that they would openly give me grief, it’s more of a perceived accusations.)

2: My biggest time waster is called wheel spinning. Today I went to do a drug test so I can start work on the 24th. Fine no problem, then I had to run to the factory 2 you to get a few spare uniform shirts for the girls. Then I put gas in the car and came home. I ate lunch, and then dozed off for about ten minutes before the baby and grandbaby woke up from their nap. Then I had to deal with 4 kindergarten and first grade kids, the 6 month old and the grandbaby. Normally I do well, but the kids were all kinds of funky because Keith has a new schedule for part of the week now and he missed three nights with them, and they aren’t doing well with the change. He isn’t either but he’s not here right now… regardless, that’s where my time goes. I’m trying to get the kids to understand that they don’t need to be underfoot constantly and normally they adjust better but this time it’s just taking a bit longer. It seriously is eating into Momma’s ME time.

3: Write. Walk. Duct tape the kids to the wall….I have hot pink tape I could use. Oh all right I won’t duct tape them. But it DID sound somewhat appealing for all of two seconds.

4: The current season is probably winter. Or perhaps fall going into Winter. With my losing my job and issues with Keith’s job…and then the just stress of having the
grandbaby staying with us…not her per se, but the situation that is causing her to be in our care….just life in general I guess. We are over stressed financially, emotionally…I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s very faint and quite a bit away. I have been accused of having a “What needs to be done will be done.” Kind of attitude in my life and it’s always served me well but there are times where it’s not always easy to see the big picture for others. I have been told that my mindset is not realistic, but it’s worked for me so far.

Whew…I’m tired now.

Siblings up on high…

August 1, 2009

I was visiting Mary over at OwlHaven and I saw her latest post. It reminded me of how younger siblings can put older siblings up on a pedestal. I think it only happens after you have multi generational children. My son was 13 when the twins were born and I have to admit, with my working, I most likely depended on him way to much with raising them. The boy was a natural at diaper duty though.

The girls still think he walks on water. Thankfully, being in the Corp, he has finally realized this and actually appreciates the position he holds in their lives.

Aiyana, Damian and Caitlyn

It only took 5 and a half years and a year in the USMC.

Simplify

July 30, 2009

So I walked into work today and three hours later I was sitting in HR with my HR director and direct supervisor being told that as much as I was liked by my peers and other supervisors, they coudln’t just create an alternate position for me.

After almost five years with the company..

Wow.

I called the hubby first..and apologized before I even said hello in tears.  After an hour I thought I was doing well until I called my most bestest wonderfulest friend in the world, Jael…who is a Mary Kay consultant. For those uninitiated into the world of Mary Kay, this week in Dallas is their annual “seminar.” This is where all of the consultants get together, meet the National Directors and such and basically have a very empowering experience. So an hour after I left work I sent her a text message basically saying that I had lost my job. She called me immediately and after about 5 minutes of mindless phone tag because still had my phone on “work mode/vibrate,” she told me that she loved me and that she was sorry….and then proceeded to tell me that she had walked out of a National Directors speech to call me, because I was that important to her.

That’s the sign of a true friend, someone who can make you break down and cry just by saying “You mean that much to me.”

I then sent Keith another text about an hour after that and said that I had been granted a $19 voucher from the local food co-op. I mentioned that it was the high point of my day. He reminded me that the high point of my day was waking up this morning knowing that he and my children were alive and well.

“Simplify” he wrote.

And that’s what it pretty much boils down to…simplify.

Growing up…

July 17, 2009

I am all kinds of confuzzled today….My 19 year old son (who is in the Marines, Semper Fi, thankyouverymuch) had surgery on his wrist last night and I was rather vexed that I couldn’t be there for him.  He was however kind enough to send me a picture message Post-op of himself with the subject of “Well, I’m still alive.”

Sometimes I think I need to thawamp that boys mother for raising such a smart ***.  Then reality kicks in and I realize that I don’t have it in me to thawamp myself.

My precious girls are losing their baby teeth left and right.  Last night my Buggaboo, the youngest of the two girls by one minutes lost her second top front tooth.  I’m not sure who was more upset, her for having to work the tooth out, or me which I looked at her toothless smile and realized that another one of my babies is growning up.  Then she insisted that I take a picture on my phone of her smile to send to the previously mentioned big brother.

I was fine until I woke up at 5 AM this morning and realized that I had gone to bed without exchanging the tooth for the dollar (to show that the Tooth Fairy had shown up and taken the tooth.  Panicked, I snuck in the girls bedroom and carefully made the exchange, all the while trying to shush our toy poodle who seems to think that the bedroom is actually her domain and she just lets the girls sleep there.

Another Childhood Myth disaster averted. 

I was spent.  At 5 AM. 

Oy vey.

 caitlyntwofrnteeth

Welcome to “Wading in the Gene Pool”

July 13, 2009

I created a blog for my genealogy stuff.  If you see dead folks like I do, take a look.

Wading in the Gene Pool…

My Obsession.

July 10, 2009

I can’t help it.  I see dead people everywhere.  I have books of my father’s family that go back to 1700, in one, line and 1600 in another, I have my mother’s family back to 1600 in France.  I’ve even decided to step up and trace my husbands family line back to Norway and to prove that he has an ancester directly related to Bonnie Parker.  I see Dead People.  I see them trying to show me who they are and how they lived.  I see old black and white scanned pictures of men and women that have contributed to my gene pool but have never met me.  I have been known to wake up at two AM, thinking of a new search criteria to find another dead ancestor.

I don’t know when I developed this obsession, but I am relieved to know I am not the only person out there who sees dead people.  I know why I see them.  I want my children and grand children to have an idea where they come from, who they might have been…

Imagine my shock 7 years ago when I realized that the precious baby that I had  planned for was actually a PAIR of beautiful mirror image girls….There were no instances of twins in my family or my husbands….or so I thought….

My great-great aunts were twins.  Hmmmm.  Like I said, I see dead people everywhere.  I see them in the eyes of my girls, or in a mannerism.  My grandaughter is staying with us temporarily, and apparently she has developed my raising of the eyebrow.   That mannerism has been passed down for at least 4 generations in my life time, and rumored to have been present in two more generations. 

Sometimes to see where we need to go, we need to have a clear understanding of where we have been.  I hope that my girls grow up sharing my obsession with personal family history.

Kids same the damnedest things

June 19, 2009

“Daddy, are your going to call God? If you do, he can let you talk to YOUR daddy.”

This came from my Diva twin 6 Year old last night. We had just found out that my hubby’s stepdad died last January and no one told us.

wow.

Parental Accountability….

March 23, 2009

Once Again, this post was inspired by CNN.

There is an article with an excerpt by Jack Cafferty..in any case, the article has Cafferty’s perceptions that parents are not taking responsibility for their children….Wait, let me clarify, they are not accepting accountability for their Children. Here’s a quote:

“Parents’ growing inability to impose manners and limits on their kids when the kids are in school is reflected in record dropout rates, as well as teen drug and alcohol abuse, teen sex, and unwed pregnancies. Maybe it’s parenting that’s on the decline, more than the schools. “

I agree with this. Parents have given up on raising their children with disipline….but whereas Cafferty pretty much chalks this up to “it has to do with the breakdown of authority, the collapse of strong family structure, and the abdication of parental responsibility, dictated in part by the necessity that both parents work.” I believe there is some truth in this, but his point actually makes mine as well.

The reality is that we are a society of extremists. In a matter of 50 years we have gone from corporal disipline in the home to “time outs.” We went from children being un-spared by the rod, to realizing that sometimes parents went overboard and that was abuse, to those children growing up and out of rebellion and out of spite, deciding to do the opposite and go into uber-“nuture” mode and placate their children.

Don’t get me wrong. My dad was strict. My dad went overboard to the point where I had bruises on my backside more often then not. Did I deserve it? Who knows. I didn’t think of myself as a bad kid…but I lack the parental perspective on my kidself. But dad, right wrong or indifferent taught me something about accountability and responsibility.

I know children today in my family that didn’t have that kind of disipline and I do believe that there is a correlation between a lack of disipline and the lack of control and bounderies that most children today have….I’m not saying that beating your kids is the way to go…if you don’t feel right spanking, I’m okay with that BUT you have to counter that with something that teaches accountability.

Cafferty is correct…no child is more special then another. To us, yes they are, but to society? No. I hope that more parents start to understand that we are raising a generation of narsicisstic children who have no concepts of bounderies….What’s funny to me is that when I was growing up as a teen ager and a young adult, all I heard was that corporal punishment only teach violence and that disipline was not the way to go, that it bred devient behavior.

So what does raising a child with no concept of boundries breed?

Parenting is not easy and those pesky kids don’t have the common courtesy to come with an owners manual, but at some point parents have to actually take the time to RAISE their children, not just coddle them. There has to be a middle ground between the velvet glove and the iron fist. The trick is to find it.

Thursday Musings

March 5, 2009

So I visited Thursday Thunks for an idea on something to write as I avidly avoid actually working today….I didn’t like any of the potential topics for this week but I liked one from last week so here we go…

You open your front door and there is a box with a puppy in it… what do you do?

Answer: RUN!!!! Shut the door before the children see anything even resembling cute, fluff/furry bits of puppyness. Now lest y’all think I don’t love puppies, I can appreciate them. I prefer kittens but I’m not against puppies.

Except that I have too damn many to begin with…..I have a chow/German Shepard mix, a black lab, a neurotic Weenie dog, a boxer, and a moody wolf.

And with the exception of the weenie dog, they have all been found puppies. Don’t even get me started on the cats we have inherited. I am to the point now where I have said “no more critters.”

I suspect this resolve will last only until the next time Keith or one of the kids comes home with a little furball hissing/spitting/panting/drooling wrapped up in old towel or jacket and I’m gazed up on with the standard “boo-boo lip” expression and I hear the words “But Mommie/But Babe….”

Yes, it is possible

March 5, 2009

So even when I slack on updating my blog myself, I never miss visiting Mary over at Owlhaven. The woman is a Goddess on earth, full of humor and wisdom, and she’s probably the biggest reason why I started blogging again. She has managed again to astound me with her time management skills (Yes Mary, it takes skill to keep all of your hair attached to your scalp and live on 2-4 hours of sleep….) and has published a book entitled A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family. If you have children (at all people, you don’t need to have a small country sized family to enjoy the wisdom in this book) at all or are thinking of having children, Run, don’t walk, over to Amazon and BUY THE BOOK!!!!!!

I think my favorite gem from the book is on page 84. “Humor is one of a parents most powerful allies.” My husband has no issues teaching from a point of silliness, even resorting to fart humor to get his point across. Myself, it takes a little work to utilize my dry sense of humor into the appropriate level of silliness to get point across.  But it will work.   Just ask Mary.

Big Brother is watching….

February 12, 2009

So I know that I have been seriously slacking on my posting and I decided to make use of the “Daily Meme” link (it’s the big button over there to the left, yeah that’s the one) on my page and do my very first Meme post. I ended up at Thursday Thunks and started reading some of the suggestions. I first have to say I’m not sure I understand the concept of a Meme. I have loads of throwaway thoughts that could conceivably turn into a post, I just flake out on the follow through. But I digress…on to the real reason for THIS post. One of the Memes for today stem from the comment that “a school PTA group wants to try to ban white bread, cakes, brownies or any other “treat” from their lunch menus… plus make kids’ lunchboxes brought from home not include any “junk food”. Thoughts on that one?”

My thoughts? What a Load of crapola! Don’t get me wrong. Obesity is a real issue and it starts young. I have had food issues since I was five but what I chose to do with them now is on me. I can’t keep blaming my issues on my parents. Now that I have children, raising them with the appropriate habits and values is MY job. It’s not the schools job…my children’s teacher’s responsibility is to keep them safe at school, make sure they have the availability to eat lunch and teach them academics. And in conjunction with my own teaching, they should be teaching my 6 year old’s social skills. But that’s it. If my kid is overweight it is not the schools fault. And who does the school think it is telling me and my child that we can’t provide a treat for a school lunch, especially if I pack my daughter a lunch?

What makes this totally tragic is that it isn’t even the school or the school district. It’s other parents. Parents who are not willing to accept their own accountability in the upbringing of their children, who have a compulsive need to blame their Children’s dysfunction on someone other then themselves. The incessant whining of those who don’t want to believe that Little Mary Lou is pulling Susie’s pigtails just because she is a spoiled brat who has no concept of consequences or boundaries because we are a generation of parents that have grown up getting the hell knocked out of us and we actually have followed through with the old “When I have kids I will never spank/ground/timeout my child.” This is not a bad thing in theory but there is no middle ground. As parents there still needs to be some consequences, some boundaries. That’s how children learn right from wrong.

This kind of went off topic from the big Brother title but I’d love to see if I am the only parent of young children out there that thinks we have done a complete 180 with parental responsibility. So What are YOUR thoughts?

Redneck Food Bliss

January 28, 2009

So I have made no bones about the fact that I am a recovering redneck.  But I often find myself channeling Al Pacnio in Godfather 3.  “Everytime I get out they pull me back in..”

I think that I have adopted most of Keiths Midweastern eating habits and blended them with my So-cal/TexMex habits, bypassing my former Redneck tendencies…Except for Gravy.

No don’t get me wrong, I can wield a mean gravy packet…but I make some pretty fine pan gravy too…in fact it is expected that when Momma makes gravy, it’s from scratch…

Albertson’s had Pork Chops on sale for .88 a lb. Naturally I HAD to buy a pack and basically simmer fry it in the electric skillet with a bit of canola, salt and pepper…Normally this means mashed potatos as a side…but this time I bought 3 lbs of shredded potatoes and made milk gravy…4 teaspoons of canola…a cup of flour…two cans of evaperated milk and a cup and a half of water…season salt, garlic powder, onion powder and PEPPER!!!

OMG…FOOD BLISS BABY!!!!!!!!  The consensus is that I may have outdone myself with the gravy…Even the sick Buggie pronounced it Yum even though she could 0nly eat a few bites….

sometimes, Momma is just that damn good.

Heh