Wednesday, November 30, 2011
*I fell in even more love with my husband over the last few days, imagine that! Nine years of dating, 10 years of marriage, and I don’t want to stab him… isn’t that wonderful?
*Mistakes happen, I made a big one, I took ownership, learned a valuable lesson and that's all I can do. Moving on.
*I grew as a person (no not my ass, that's another post) emotionally and mentally in a mere 24 hours thanks to my sister Aimee. Love you!
*My friends rule, near and far, who accept me with all my flaws, who kept me sane and secure, as friends do, love!
*I have two beautiful healthy children, and seven healthy and beautiful nieces and nephews that really make me smile and light my soul.
*It's Christmas time! Enough said.
And who would of thunk that I'd find solace in:
Without pain, there would be no suffering, without suffering we would never learn from over mistakes. To make it right, pain and suffering is the key to all windows, without it, there is no way of life. - Angelina Jolie
Monday, November 28, 2011
By Stephanie Trees
In my last post I wrote about the lessons that parents teach their children at home. I said that we can teach those lessons by spending time with our children. I must admit that in the last few months I noticed that my children were flippant with my husband and I. Additionally, they were arguing a lot with each other about basic things like television shows, wii games choices etc. They had no common courtesy, respect or tolerance for one another at all. Those behaviors seemed to trickle down to us. Sure siblings argue and get on each others nerves but it was more that that they were argumentative toward us and in general down in the dumps, which isn’t natural for kids. I had to think where was this stemming from? When I went back to work my free time shifted and my children got the shaft. I realized that my funny bone may have been broken in this transition and that I too was cranky and argumentative. Something had to change. So during one of my bathroom breaks, you know the ones you take to escape, I decided to practice what I preached and I gave spending time with my children a trial. We already have family night and movie night – but this was extra time. I knew it was going to be a huge undertaking for me as an individual. I craved me time (sleep) and couple time (well, you know).
More time? Where was I going to find more time? I thought about my day and came up with some options. My morning routine was usually a burst into flames situation – you know running around the house like a chicken with her head cut off and screaming like a banshee - trying not being late for work. Night time was a fall into the couch type situation –children beside me vegging out. I realized that I needed to change my morning and night time routines. I revamped it so I wouldn’t have so much to do in the morning relieving us of morning pressure and anxiety. Besides, pressure and anxiety isn’t the best way to start your day. Normally, I did tick stuff off my to-do list the night before, but I was still crazy in the morning so I decided to switch it up – doing all morning prep the night before: lunches, clothes, prepping dinner for the next night, bath/showers for me and the kids, and then the big change – time for my kids – real time, sitting in front of the television vegging out and then sending them off to bed with a peck on the cheek a quick story. Now this new plan meant that I was loading up my evenings, but it wasn’t something that overwhelmed me, it felt workable. For our new evening routine I decided that we would start reading some great novels with my oldest son who is 8 ½ and since he has a love of all things magical we started the “Harry Potter” series. The 5 ½ yr. old proved to be a little trickier, but we decided that we would read a short book or play a quick game of whatever he wanted, that didn’t include re-arranging the entire house of more than 10 game pieces.
In order to make sure each child was getting quality time with each parent my husband and I came up with an every other night switch. One night I read to my oldest and he plays or reads with our youngest and vice-a-versa. Now as it happens, my boys share a room, so we all end up playing the game and listening to the adventures of Harry Potter. When we first started this routine we had ourselves on the fast track, as if we were fireman racing to put out a fire, but we slowly figured out that each night, each book, each game has it’s own cadence and if we didn’t push the issue of trying to speed through our nightly routine the happier everyone, my husband and myself included, we all were. Our nightly routine has now become something we all look forward to, my kids get a kick out the character voices my husband and I attempt, and it turns out it we’re all a little less cranky because we took the time to carve out an alternative night time routine. As a family we have found a balance and the patience to deal with each other more effectively. I’ve noticed that my kids complain less about getting up in the morning as well as going to bed at night, which is a huge deal. They’re happier, I’m happier, my husband is happier. And now instead of starting the mornings with panic and anxiety I let my kids jump into my bed for some morning snuggle time –hugs are better way to start the day even if it is only for five minutes. A well-rested child, one who feels loved and protected, can handle their day a whole lot better and so can Mom and Dad. And despite all this additional time we spend with our kids it turns out that we actually have MORE time to ourselves!?! So are you up for the challenge? Give it a try and let me how it worked out.
More About Stephanie:
Stephanie is a wife, a teacher, tutor, babysitter and above all else a mother to 2 precious boys - an 8 yr old comedian and a 5 yr old speed racer!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
The Turkey Trot, the race that wasn't.
You could imagine my disappointment when I arrived at the Turkey Trot and found nothing. No time clock, no banner, no table filled with post-race goodies. My boys and I were wandering around the location looking for some sign of a race, but we found nothing. I was really confused I knew I had the race location right, I double checked the night before, it wasn’t until another boob showed up and was just as perplexed, at this time I ripped out my iphone to triple check the location, and whatta know? The race was the week before; we both had the same reaction:
WHAT?! Who does a Turkey Trot the week before Thanksgiving?
Every Turkey Trot I've ever done has been on Thanksgiving morning. This very race, the same organizers, the same everything was held on Thanksgiving last year. What the hell?
I was sad and mad.
Sad because I planned on running the 1 Mile Fun Run with my boys. I really wanted to experience this with them as they are always on the other side of the tape for me. I talked about this race all week, every day. I pumped us up, and literally couldn't wait to run it with them. I had visions of us laughing with each other during the race, slapping hi-fives, hugging after we crossed the finish line, those visions popped as quickly as a balloon hitting a needle.
Mad because my goal of running a race a year has been blown because of my assumption (you know what happens when you do that), I’m mad because I should of paid more attention, but I’m sure I was rushing around as usual. I mean I sent out emails about this race, THANK GOODNESS no one could do it with me! I had a brief moment of relief that I’d hit my goal when I realized I could run the "Run the Turkey Off Race", but then I looked at the race date again, just to double check, but guess what? I had that date wrong too! UGH!
A goal blown because of my own stupidity.
Maybe I’ll double up in December, but in my heart I’ll know I’m a dumb ass and didn’t reach really attain my goal, damn!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Every year (okay a big two years of blogging) I write a post on how thankful I am for all the great things in my life. So, here’s this year’s edition:
I’m Thankful for:
*My husband who plays way too much on my iphone however, I can forgive him because, he makes/packs my son’s lunch, does homework with the boys, mops the floors, does the laundry, cooks dinner, and tolerates me.
*My kids, as awesome as they are I’m thankful they make my life easier by accepting my bribes.
*My sisters who talk me off the ledge on a daily basis.
*My parents who give me constant support even when I don’t ask.
*My friends who keep me laughing till I pee my pants, and lend me a shoulder to cry on.
*My friend Eileen for....well, too much to list!
* My beautiful nieces and nephews
*My #RunDate crew who keeps me honest.
On a sillier note, but very Thankful for...
*Diet Dr. Pepper
*Beer and wine
*My crappy car, hey it gets me around!
*My new awesome sweater from The Gap...outlet! Bingo, sale!
*My bed, my warm cozy bed
*My black and grey boots
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Oh my dearest Tready, I really want to take the time to thank you, thank you for all you do for me, for my body and my mind. I want to thank you for challenging me on the days I want to take the risk, pushing me when I need to be pushed,and I want to thank you for giving me a warm treadmill hug on the days I need to take it easy. Also, thank you for taking my abuse, especially on the days I really f%^K with you - you know those dreaded interval training days - fast, slow, fast, slow, I have to imagine you must hate me on those days.
I'm sorry that you get abused by other lovers; that they never wipe you down after they sneeze their boogers, drip sweat all over your lovely arms, stick their gum, and wrappers in your pockets and never take care of you the way they should. I try to show them way but you know, some people are just slobs. But I'll always take care of you, love you, clean you the way you so deserve.
And I'm sorry that some days I really hate you. Like really hate you, like pull the plug on you hate you. I hate your silly buttons, the stupid pre-programmed training sets-do people really use them? And I really, really hate your fricking safety cord that pulls out almost every time I'm with you. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings when I curse the crap out of you, but I can't help myself, when that cord goes flying in my face and you stop dead; I get upset. I get really upset when I forget the distance and time I accomplished, so the F bomb will fly, oh it fly! Because dear Tready for an average or perhaps below average runner those stats are crucial to my self-esteem and running ego. Please work on that.
As much as I hate climbing on your back, Tready I do have a deep love for you. I love you for always being there for me without fail, for never standing me up ever, I love you for helping me achieve my running goals. I love you for helping me lose my 58 pounds, for helping my ass not be a pancake, keeping my mind sharp, my legs strong and my heart healthy. I love you, I love, you, I love you.
Thank you Tready, my dear love, thank you.
Monday, November 21, 2011
*Honey crisp apples are delicious.
*Every person needs a sleepover with their best friends; sooths the soul and warms the heart. I had one this weekend, and I feel at peace right now because I've had my time with my beloved friends.
Friendship... is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything. - Muhammad Ali
*Silence, I love the silence. A pet peeve of mine is when people talk to fill the silence. Stop talking, be comfortable with silence. I know it’s hard because I use to be one of those useless chatters- I’d chat about crap because I was nervous or thought I should be talking- but when I realized what I was doing, I honed the craft of not filling up the universe with useless chatter and guess what? Most of the voices in my head stopped talking to me too. Funny how that worked.
*I don’t understand Klout, I want to but I don’t. Don’t hate me Klout, I’m trying.
*I love, love, love, LOVE THIS:
Saturday, November 19, 2011
If things aren't changing or happening for you it doesn't mean that they never going to change or happen.
It means, despite what you think - you are not yet ready for it. Look to your heart to find the way. When leading your intentions from that place, good things will come - in the time that they are meant to occur NOT in the time we want or even understand. Faith keeps you believing. It makes all things possible...it does not make it easy!
Faith is believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.
Keep on Believing...
Keep the promises that you make to yourself!
Find more great posts from Barbara and the crew at Delayed Reaction Lounge...the place to hang when surviving the storm!
Photo Courtesy of Barbara Ward-Finneran and Drawn 2 Design, LLC
Friday, November 18, 2011
Like a drill sergeant, I was yelling out my orders to the boys during the morning tornado, uh um, routine: “Shoes on, coats on, backpacks ready, we’re leaving in FIVE MINUTES!” Not sooner did that fly outta of my mouth the wails from Richie, the seven year old, began “I hate school and I’m not going!”
Immediately I knew something was wrong, something happened, he was teased, he got in trouble with his teacher, or he might of hurt someone else’s feeling. Whatever. But something happened. He doesn’t hate school at all. He loves school, as much as his mama loves McDonalds french fries, oh when that salty goodness touches me lips…but I digress.
I started to probe lightly but Richie insisted that nothing was wrong. I pushed a little harder, assured him that he could tell me or daddy anything that he wouldn’t get in trouble for telling the truth but he continued to hold onto his story. I pushed some more but the more I pushed the more he insisted that nothing happened. We danced a tango for a good three minutes until I pushed too hard, when the little man lost it, like punching the couch pillows lost it; I slinked away like the snake I became, and apologized for making him more upset.
I threw in the towel but I wasn’t convinced.
A mother knows when her children are hurting.
The next morning, same exact scenario, cries of not going to school. But this time I tried another horrible parenting tactic and told him that I didn’t believe him at all. But he insisted that nothing happened. I went through it all: “Did the teacher yell at you?” “Did someone hurt your feelings?” “Did you hurt someone’s feelings?” The answers were “No! No! No!”
I gave him a few extra hugs, kissed him up as much as he’d let me; and secretly hoped that he’d feel the love, feel protected and know that all would be okay.
Later that night while we were brushing our teeth I asked Richie “Did anything happen at school that you want to tell me about?” Richie, foaming at the mouth said “No”, I said “Do you cross your heart, hope to die, stick a needle in your eye?” (I’m the best aren’t I?) Richie looked at me as if he saw Freddie Kruger and with horror in his little seven year old voice said “I don’t want to do that”. In a very mature manner I started to giggle, hey I got nervous that I freaked him out, so he started to giggle and we left it at that.
But I’m relentless.
As we were cuddling on the couch watching TV I asked Richie if he had a good day at school, the reply was an enthusiastic yes. Relieved. So relieved, I tried again, “What happened at school?” (at this point, if he said nothing I would have water boarded the kid). Beaten down, Richie threw in his towel: “Oh, okay, well Sarah wouldn’t let me hold her ninja, she has about 90, and she said I could hold two she gave them to me and then took them back right away.” (insert a Mommy smirk, and whispers of I knew it, (in my head, of course!))
Really? Over a fifty cent bubble-gum machine ninja?
Yes really. His feelings were hurt. I let him get those feelings out, and explained to him that maybe Sarah felt that you might lose them, maybe she changed her mind, maybe she just wanted them, and all of that was okay.
And then I muted the TV and stepped on my soap box; I stepped HIGH on my soap box. I gave my son one of my best lectures on not wanting material crap (again, parenting at its finest), that we’re blessed with so much, that we need to be happy with the things we have, that if you want something you must earn it, life’s not about wanting ‘things’ blah, blah, blah.
But I lost him, probably at my first sentence, so with a glazed look in his eyes I let him finish watching TV, I squeezed the crap outta him, and smiled in delight, finally, finally I was able to tap into a maternal instinct, crappy parenting tactics and all.
One point for Mommy!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I read a post today by Cecily K, The Uppercase Woman that literally stopped me in tracks, and opened my eyes, as wide as a little kid looking under the tree Christmas morning. Cecily, for me nailed it. As a budding writer, just launching my career this post left me with a song in my heart, tears in my eyes, and a smile on my face. I literally stopped my worrying about jump-starting my writing career; stopped obsessing about each blog that I post being well crafted with every t crossed, and i dotted; stopped creating query letters in my brain; stopped convulsing about not posting five blogs a week (ummm...really it’s like three); Stopped. Stopped worrying that I'm not writing enough, because a writer must write, right? I stopped worrying that it aint' gonna happen.
I can see clearly now the rain has gone (does Johnny Nash get royalties for this?).
The rain in my heart and more importantly my head has stopped.
Live life, and breathe.
Smell the roses, or the brussel sprouts in the oven.
Stop and listen to my children.
Listen to life.
When life allows me, I'll write.
Believe in myself, my life, my husband and children, that whenever I'm suppose to "make a living as writer" I will.
The Universe and my God will make sure of that.
I am certain.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
By Barbara Ward-Finneran
*Find the peace within you in order to have peace surround you.
*Find it within yourself or or it will escape you everywhere.
*If you have peace in your mind, heart and soul then you will have the energies needed for your dreams and goals.
*Enough to create them rather then chase them!
*Keep the promises that you make to yourself!
Find more great posts from Barbara and the crew at Delayed Reaction Lounge...the place to hang when surviving the storm!
Photo Courtesy of Barbara Ward-Finneran and Drawn 2 Design, LLC
Thursday, November 10, 2011
That’s one and half soccer teams, a kindergarten class, and probably the population of small town in Alaska.
When I heard the “news” that Michelle Duggar was expecting her 20th child my first thought was “are you fricking kidding me? Because 19 kids clearly is not enough “. I quickly redacted my thoughts, because let's not hate, let's love. And honestly from her interviews, and her show I believe she may be the nicest woman in the world, so not only is she the most fertile woman on the planet, she is the nicest as well. Now with 20 children, she'll be a Saint before she even hits the pearly gates!
And then I started thinking actually I started to hyperventilate cause it hit me that Michelle Duggar has been pregnant for just about 21 years straight. Perhaps she had a few “off” years, wherein I am sure she had her feet up, watching Days of Our Lives (is that sacrilege for a conservative Baptist?) eating bon-bons. I kid. We all know she was crazy busy raising that family, and making homemade soap for Christ sake (can I say that writing about The Duggar’s?) .
But really, for 21 years she has endured:
Being bloated, gasey, having boobs the size of melons, and ankles the size of elephants.
She has worn maternity clothes for the last 21 years and even though they’ve gotten cuter they haven’t gotten that cute, she still has had some sort of elastic in her clothing for at least 15 years.
She’s changed at least 69,000 diapers, and probably nursed in the least 55,000 hours. That’s ridiculous! I nursed, and couldn’t handle it; I would have been locked up in a straight-jacket and thrown in a padded room.
And the boobs, what the hell do they look like? I know mine need a little lift with two children, how about 18 more?
Laundry – I can’t even add that high; let’s see I do at least two loads a day with four people, add fifteen more people to The Duggar household, that’s what ten loads a day? Over 3,000 loads of laundry a year? NO Thank you!
Meals - I can’t even feed the two I have; imagine 18 more? Who has that many plates? Do you use paper or is that not eco-friendly? With that many children does eco-friendly even matter? How do you even feed that many children? What do you cook? How do you cook? And is it a buffet every day? Imagine a sit-down dinner? By the time you passed the potatoes to the first person, they’d be freezing by number 19!!
Housework - Who has time for it, she has/had to nurse, dress, and feed 19 children 365 days a year. Screw the housework! Or hire someone, or better yet talk to my mother, she'll have each child assigned to a chore, or two and marching around like soldiers!
What about down time, watching TV, reading, knitting, or heck sex? There is no way she has time for any of it, actually she has 19 children with one in the oven, she must make time for sex, but how? How the hell does she have time? And how the hell does she have the desire? She has GOT to be exhausted every day, day in and day out. After minding 19 kids I can’t believe the first thing on her mind is to jump on Jim-Bob.
Oh, and home-schooling, man I forgot that they home school! Mother of God. I can't even touch this one. Where do you begin?
What gives? Does she EVER scream? 19 children and one horny husband have GOT to get you screaming at some point, right? Am I wrong? I'd be hoarse every damn day, you'd think I was at some sort of University football game cause with two children, and one horny husband I'm hoarse at least twice a week.
And sleep, when can she possibly sleep? She can’t, I’m convinced that this woman does not sleep.
Not only is she caring for 19 ½ children, she’s also minding a home, trying to fit her ass in her skinny jeans, taking on all her children’s worries cause that’s what moms do.
Okay, I have to stop. With all the stuff that Michelle Duggar manages in a day, I’m getting anxious, sweaty, and I have a headache for her.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
6 Trains + 6 Adults + 7 Children + seeing my sister finish the NYC ING Marathon
My oldest sister Lori ran the NYC marathon on Sunday and it had to be hands down the most unbelievable race that I have ever attended. The spectators, the runners, the entire vibe of the city was absolutely unbelievable. I was so pumped with the entire race that it actually sealed the deal for me, and I will definitely be running a marathon one day!
I planned our day so that we could see my sister in two locations; I really wanted to be there if she needed us for ANYTHING! I came equipped with oranges, water, peanut butter crackers, pretzels and coke! In order to get all across NYC we had to haul ass! With six adults and seven children that was a feat! But we did a great job, got where we needed to be and the kids were awesome! Not one cranky complaint during this very long day as we were out the door by 9:00 a.m. and didn’t come home till 9:00 that night, if I was them I would have complained!
The cast of characters running the race was awesome, we saw runners in full chicken costume, the blues brothers, a dude in a sumo costume, tons of turkey's, and the list goes on, and on!
My sister did an unbelievable job, she trained her ass off and it paid off, during her five and half hour trek she suffered two asthma attacks; the fact that she persevered through those two episodes and five plus hours of running proves that she is one tough cookie! I’m not sure I would have continued running after the first one.
I’m so very proud of my sister Lori, she is an unbelievable person inside and out, and I know how much she trained, and worked for this great achievement. Way to go!
Here are two posters made by nephews:
You maybe old but don't quit, running + old people = Aunt Lori
Run, Run as fast as you can but you can't catch my Aunt Lori
Friday, November 4, 2011
- *It’s the perfect distraction when I need a break from my crazy kids and husband.
- *It’s faster than Google, seriously. If tweet that I need information on bee’s mating, I’ll send a tweet and in less than two seconds I have a bee expert sending me all the formidable information I need #Winning.
- *Hashtags make any statement funny: #mykidsfartssmelllikecandy #tenthingsIhateaboutmyhusband #thingslongerthankimkardashiansmarriage
Funny? Yes indeed!!
- *The one and only Sandra Bernhard responded to one of my tweets. To me. Personally. ENOUGH SAID. Oh, wait…more to be said, I just about peed my pants in excitement.
- *I found my first writing gig through Twitter, it may not be paying but it’s a writing gig!
- *The running community is beyond supportive! I’ve had virtual run dates to get my ass out of bed and it works, can’t let them down doesn’t matter if they’re in Ohio, Texas or India, Yes INDIA gotta get up and run.
- *The nutrition community, hello – not only supportive but so kind especially if I tweet that I just ate 10 supersized fries, two cheeseburgers, downed a shake with a Krispy Kreme chaser, no judgment AT ALL just support.
- *The mom community? Well let's say this: I can bitch about my kids without being chastised! YAY! And when I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy and want to brag about my kids, well, those moms are cheering me on as well.
- *It saves me from getting arrested; how? I can take out all my aggressions without maiming anyone; i.e: I’ll tweet about the asshat that just cut me off instead of ramming my car up his ass, not only will I not get arrested but I’ll also minimize the risk of getting a bullet between the eyes. #Winning.
- *Charlie Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, P!nk, Christina Applegate need I say more?
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Perfection is overrated.
As a Virgo I want everything to be perfect, in-order, and I usually need all my ducks in a row. Living life in a perfect little box isn’t reality. Just like surprising your kids with a trip of a lifetime you may not get the reaction you want but who cares? They didn't believe us that we were going to Disney I mean would you if you were dragged out of bed at 4:30 a.m.?
Or perhaps snapping the perfect picture, that ain’t happening either, so just take the damn picture and move on.
Patience is a virtue.
Patience is necessary in life, whether it’s waiting for a plane, waiting for your meal at a restaurant or hell waiting for anything. Ya gotta let life happen, and let go of the things that you can not control. We can’t expect our family, friends, business associates or a damn plane to jump through hoops for you based on your demands, wants and needs – good things come to those that wait.
Waiting for the plane, the boys never flew before they were excitied, anxious and scared too. The little one said "He has tears in his eyes", broke my heart.
Live life happy.
Being happy takes a lot of work but it’s worth it. Follow my four year olds train of thought – ride through life on the happy rides. These happy rides (It's a Small World, Dumbo, The Tea Cups etc) they made him happy, very happy, so happy we rode the Finding Nemo ride four consecutive times, as mundane as it was I was happy just watching him smile in pure delight as we rode again, again and AGAIN. Life is definitely more fun when you're happy!
Perspective is everything.
Looking at something (whether that something is the Disney Castle, a fight with a loved one, a problem you need to solve etc) from a different perspective may give you the answer you need.
I looked at this beauty at least 10 times and always found something different.
Looking at life through the eyes of my children, well, makes the world go round. They oooed and aaaahhhed at everything especially the animals from our balcony every day, it was if they were seeing a Zebra or Giraffe for the first time every time. Simply amazing. I learned to look and discover new things on this trip and hopefully every day because of them.
The support and love of your family means more in life than anything money can buy; and you can define family any way you want to. I got to spend seven days with my family and yes there was some rough patches but it was the best, we laughed and we cried but it made us stronger. We also had the chance to spend time with extended family which just confirmed the fact that family is way more important than that Gucci bag (although nice, and definitly nice to have, just not as important).
- ► 2012 (87)
- I Know This Much Is True
- Time Well Spent
- Race Eleven of Twelve: Turkey Trot
- Thankful, I am
- A Letter to Tready, My Dear Tready
- I Know This Much Is True
- Keep on Believing...
- Wanna Meet The World's Best Mother?
- Every t Crossed, and i Dotted
- GUEST POST!
- 20 Children. Really ?
- Marathon Madness
- Twitter, Oh Twitter, How I Love Thee
- Five Life Lessons I Learned In Disney
- ▼ November (14)
- ► 2010 (58)