Sunday, November 18, 2012

There are some crazy people out there...

Every now and then I sell our old shit on ebay. As Christmas approaches, I am trying to get rid of some old toys and "recycle" that money for new toys. Most of the time, buyers are great. But every now and then, you get a crazy. The following is a true account of my message back and forth from someone interested in buying a toy monorail that we bought in Disney like 10 years ago and had been sitting in the closet for like 8 years. I copied it just as he send it, fantastic grammar and all. Enjoy...

Sent:  Nov-15-12 01:22 AM - hi there can you take diiferent types of other payment's on this toy.

My Response - such as?

Sent:  Nov-15-12 11:42 AM - money order cashers check's or just plain cash.
me thinking - yeah sure, let me wait while you send me cash, sorry buddy...
My real reply - No, sorry - paypal only. 
Sent:  Nov-16-12 04:30 PM - sure be like that then and why didn't you E-mail right back then before i bid on it.
How the hell am I suppose to know when you are going to bid on it. Why didn't you wait to bid until I answered your question? He then retracted his bid...I did not reply. He, however, could not get over losing the toy monorail.

Sent:  Nov-16-12 06:09 PM - Oh and a another thing there is a scam going around on people's paypal account's and the scamer is trying to get into people's account's,and boy just let me tell you i'am so happy that i don't have a paypal account,so i don't have to worry about it just like you people do.
I quickly changed my eBay and PayPal passwords...
Sent:  Nov-16-12 06:46 PM - And you say in your listing that your little conducter can recreate the magic and it makes a great gift for a Disney Enthusiast what's up with that,I don't understand that.
Not sure how to reply  to that...
Sent:  Nov-16-12 07:34 PM - Hi there paypal that's fine with me I will have my brother pay for it,I'am sorry I was just mad becuase you can't take a money order or a casher's check.
He replaced his bid...
Sent:  Nov-16-12 07:36 PM - does this come with a transformer or does this take batters.
(he's a great speller by the way...)
Sent:  Nov-17-12 03:12 AM - Hi there i really want your item my brother will pay for the item I was just mad last nights will make my day if i win this and thank's for your understanding with me i have a problem of getting very fast it's not your fault my fault.ain i'am so sorry seller's come frist on e-bay on here paypal no problem i can do that just like i said my brother will pay for it thank's again.
(apparently this monorail is keeping him all night)
My reply - No worries! Good luck with the auction, thanks for figuring out a way for us to work together. My husband used to get stressed and now he does yoga. Thanks again!
Sent:  Nov-17-12 05:50 PM - Hi there i'am the winner just like i said my brother will pay for this just please give him a few day's.
I wonder if I will actually get the money and how long it will take. 
By the way, you can buy the monorail on any time.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why Can't We All Be Friends?

The election is finally over, but it seems the hard feelings are just beginning. I know this because I am an avid reader on Facebook. I have always believed and I still believe that politics and religion have no place on social media sites. I am sure there are plenty of websites where you can go to voice your political/religious opinions where you will find lots of people who care what you think, but let me be the first to say that I am not one of them so please stay the hell out of my feed! It's not that I don't respect your views because I truly believe that everyone has the right to believe what they want to believe (that is why America is so great). But I think where most people fail  is in accepting this freedom extends to everyone, even if and especially when they are different than yours.

Over the last couple months, I have read ridiculous posts aimed at people who have different views. Smart, kind people have called their friends stupid, ignorant and worse. And to top it all off, the ones who have yelled the loudest are also the ones who get angry when someone attacks them. Listen, if you put it out there that is your choice and you have to expect someone might call you on it. I believe the saying goes, "you can dish it but you can't take it."

I have sat on my computer day after day reading what my Facebook friends have to say and not always agreeing with their opinions. But I have felt a personal pride in refraining from telling them so. I have also refrained from telling anyone my opinion because I learned long ago that politics and religion are tricky subjects and best avoided (unless you are a politician, activist or religious leader and then it is your job to preach). No good can really come from this line of posts. Which leads me to ask this question - what exactly are you hoping to gain from posting your political views on Facebook? Maybe you are hoping that someone will agree with you and validate your beliefs.  To this I respond, if you need this type of validation then how strong are your beliefs? Maybe you are hoping to sway someone to your side to which I respond, you get more flies with honey...We have all been bombarded with political ads on TV, radio, in our mailboxes, email boxes, voicemails and anywhere else they can figure out to reach us. Personally, none of that has swayed my opinion one way or other. So believe me, calling me stupid on Facebook is definitely not going to help your cause at all where I am concerned. I would guess most people agree.

If you truly believe that I could learn something from you than talk to me. Let's have coffee and a friendly debate where we discuss facts and policies and real world examples. And if after our coffee is gone, we still don't agree then lets part as friends.

In full disclosure, I have made one post that is political in nature. This morning I posted:

"You can either help America move forward or you can wish for the worst so you can say, "I told you so." We all wake up as Americas who should want the best for everyone in this country. Please find a way to swallow your pride and help us move forward even if that means working across the isle. You are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem."

We are all so lucky to live in a country where we have the freedom to have these conversions. But as most things, there is a time and place...I am looking forward to getting my fun and friendly Facebook back, how about you?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Life is too damn hard... worry about what everyone else is doing. It's definitely hard sometimes to remember this but it is so true. If we could all just live our lives without judging others, what a better place this world would be. I have long believed that if something does not directly affect you, then keep your opinions to yourself. This goes for gay marriage (and families), birth control (in any form), breast feeding, who slept with whom, and so on. Chances are those who judge the most could do some good from getting their own lives in order. 

Why do I bring this up now? Good question. While trolling the internet (why I am suppose to be working), I found a great blog by a couple of women who tell it like they sees it and I loved it. So I thought I would share. The blog was written in June right after the controversial "Are you Mom Enough" TIME magazine cover, but the message is as timely as ever.

Here is the blog...

A couple of my favorite quotes..

"It’s your choice whether or not you are going to be a sanctimonious bitch...we certainly can’t control anybody else’s actions...And if those actions don’t truly impact you in any discernable way, back the hell up."

Just some food for thought on a Monday...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ten Things I Learned From My Husband's Brain Tumor

Recently my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor, had brain surgery and is still undergoing treatment. It has been a crazy journey that has only just begun. I have learned a lot in the last 5 weeks, some of which I thought I should share - here are my Top Ten...

10. Knowledge is Power - The more informed you are about things in your life, the better decisions you can make. Most people won't intentionally mislead you, but they may be limited in their own knowledge and they may have their own agendas. Whether it comes to your health, your diagnosis, your treatment, even your kid's school - know everything there is to know and ask lots of questions. And always get a second opinion. Do not be afraid of offending anyone, you must be your own advocate! This is your life after all and you will be the one who has to live with the consequences.

9. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - Easier said than done most of the time, but if something isn't important in the scheme of things just let it go. There is nothing you can do about traffic, bad weather or spilled milk so just take a deep breath and realize that it isn't worth a second thought.

8. Pay attention to the little things - Not to be confused with the "small stuff," the little things are the important things that add up like hugs, sunsets, compliments and kindness. Too often we go through life in autopilot and don't stop to smell the roses or take time to tell someone we love them, or even ask someone we love how their day was. These are the little things that add up and although small, mean a lot.

7. Practice Kindness - "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." - Dalai Lama. This is my husband's favorite quote. Kindness is a hard thing to remember in the midst of everyday life. Too often we go through the day adding up all the bad stuff that happened to us - getting cut off in traffic, being late for work, kids fighting...And then we take it out on others who just happen to get in your way. If we can remember to let go of the small stuff and focus on the little things then we can start to enjoy life more. And we can pass it on. Especially when others are unkind to us, we must remember they could be suffering in some private way and your kindness may change their day too. 

6. Ask for help - This one is hard for both men and women, but so important.There are so many people who genuinely want to help but we are always afraid we are going to burden them. It takes a village to not only raise your kids but even to just get through the day sometimes. Most of your friends and family are offering because they truly want to help. Plus anything you ask, no matter how small, will make them feel useful and important - it's a win win!

5. You are what you eat - I made a decision a while back to try to make healthier food decisions for my family. I don't always stick to it as strictly as I would like, but I try. My husband ate what I bought but he never really bought into it until his diagnosis. That is what a life changing event will do, change your life. He will never drink a Diet Coke again! When something goes wrong inside your body and there is no explanation why, you start to realize that there are things you can control, like how many chemicals you choose to put in your body. You only have one body and no one is going to take care of it for you. Obesity, ADHD, autism, these are all relatively new to the human race. We are animals after all and meant to eat meat and vegetables, not red dye #5. Processed food is just that, processed. They take out the good stuff and then try to compensate by putting artificial stuff back in. If you can't pronounce the ingredients or you don't know what they are then chances are they were developed in a lab to make the product more profitable while getting your taste buds hooked on it. Healthy eating can't prevent everything for happening when it comes to your health, but it can definitely prevent a lot and you have complete control over it. Don't take your kid's health for granted either, they don't a choice. That is in your hands, so do right by them as well.

4. If you have a choice, choose responsibly - Things happen to us everyday that are totally out of our control. You could get hit by a car, get laid off or find out you have a brain tumor. However, there are so many things that we can control that we take for granted. For example, we can choose not to text and drive, not to smoke cigarettes. We can choose to eat healthier, work out, laugh more. Your choices do have consequences both good and bad. Be responsible with your life and with those around you.

3. Say You're Sorry - say it often, mean it and make up for it. There are very few things in life worth damaging important relationships on. Just like the saying, "never go to bed angry," never leave the house angry, hang up angry, etc. Life is just too short. If you did something wrong, admit it, make up for it and move on. Even if you don't think you did something wrong, chances are you could have handled things differently and apologizing for that will start things in the right direction.

2. Be a better person - we all want to do this but in practice it's really hard so we put it off saying we will do it tomorrow. You don't have to completely change who you are or donate all of your time to charity to be better. Just read numbers 3-10 and work on them little by little.

1. Be Happy - To do this you may have to make some hard choices to let go of things that are dragging you down. This could be things, commitments or even people. You won't ever have a chance to do Today over, so make it the best day for you and your loved ones. Choose to be happy.

Friday, September 14, 2012

And Life Goes On...(repost from Guest Blog)

This post was originally posted as a guest blog on

My house is a complete disaster. There are dishes to be done, laundry to put away and a million things to do before the first day of school which happens to be tomorrow. And here I sit, feeling guilty about taking time to explore my feelings. Guilt is a feeling I am quite familiar with lately. Maybe that is normal when your husband has a brain tumor, not sure since this is all new to me.

Lately I have been guilty more than anything else. I feel guilty for all the fights we had over the last year for things, it turns out, my husband couldn’t control. I feel guilty for still getting angry at him even though I know he probably still can’t control it, not to mention all the stress that he is under. I feel guilty that our children have to deal with something so big when they should just be enjoying their childhoods. I feel guilty for letting my house go to shit. I feel guilty for not being more vigilant about my husband’s diet (and let’s face it – mine and the kids). I feel guilty for getting angry at how this has all changed my life. I feel guilty. And that’s okay, because as a woman and a mom, I am very familiar with this feeling. It’s all the other crap feelings that I can’t quite get my arms around.

My husband had been having headaches. We didn’t think anything of it. Sometimes he felt dizzy or unbalanced. We self-diagnosed that he had a sinus infection. Our doctor agreed and put him on antibiotics. Some days he would come home from work and go to bed. I got angry. I didn’t get to go to bed when I had a headache. Buck up buddy! (I, of course, did not say this and instead suffered in silence and let it stew.) The Thursday we found out started like any other day. We had a long to-do list that included packing for my husband’s high school reunion that weekend, football practice and a follow-up doctor’s appointment because the meds she put him on weren’t working (cause dah, he did not have a sinus infection). The doctor’s appointment led to an MRI scheduled for 9:30 pm that night. We were still planning on going to the reunion, so sure the MRI would show nothing. And then the phone rang at 11:15 pm, 5 minutes after we got home. And life as we knew it would never be the same.

In less than a week, we would be in and out of the hospital twice (two different hospitals) including a four hour brain surgery. (Yup, they drilled two holes in my husband’s skull and then used a jigsaw.) We would learn things about the brain and tumors we never hoped to know. I would have to buzz my husband’s hair since the haircut the surgeons left him with was a bad reverse Mohawk. I found a whole new use for reminders on my phone, to tell us when he needed his medicine. Our Facebook pages lit up with wishes from people we hadn’t talked to in 10 years and even from people we didn’t know. Family came to visit and help with the kids. Friends stopped by to say hello and bring food (wishing that part didn’t end ). It was a crazy, whirlwind of activity which left little time to think about the hard truth of the situation. And then all the motion stopped and what was left was real life. Because no matter how much you wish it would, life does not stop for your husband’s brain tumor. Life goes on.

The hardest part of all this has been trying to continue on with our lives. We have four boys ages 4 to 14 and they are very active. We have football and sleepovers and back to school shopping. And of course, they actually want to eat from time to time which involves grocery shopping and cooking. The kids have been trying to be good, but they are kids and there are still fights. There is laundry and cleaning and doctor’s appointments. And all of this must go on while my husband still has a tumor on the other side of his brain which can’t be operated on. I am overwhelmed to say the least and when it gets too much to handle, I feel guilty about that too because my poor husband is the one actually going through all of this. He is my best friend and I share everything it him, but I do not want to add to his burden by telling him how hard this is on me. He is starting to get out and about more because I think sitting in the recliner all day is driving him nuts. And so he is going to play golf. And I feel guilty because I am angry that he gets to play golf while I work, clean the house (sometimes), cart the kids everywhere and remember all the doctor’s appointments. Have fun honey, ahhhhhhhhh!

What I have come to understand is that the trauma of the diagnosis and even the surgery was hard, but finding the strength to go on with life is even harder. I know that people go through their own personal battles every day and I applaud them for all their hard work. If anyone has any secrets to not losing their shit along the way, I am all ears.

May the force be with you, I am certainly hoping it is on our side.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Why Men Should Always Listen to Their Wives

Here is my public service announcement for the day...

Men, please listen to your wives when they tell you how to do something.


Because I am not telling you how to do it (load the dishwasher, do the laundry, clean the bathroom, put the kids to bed...) because my way is the right. I PROMISE! I am telling you how to do it because I have done it 367 times the wrong way myself and finally figured out the best way to do it on the 368th time. Let's not reinvent the wheel here. Please take advantage of my many failures and believe me when I say that this is the right way.

Yup, that was how I did it time number 175. I know it really seems like it would be the best way, but if you would like we can discuss why it didn't work for the next 30 minutes or you can do it the right way!

Not to mention that if you do it that way (ugh, trust me that was time 203), I will just have to re-do it and then I will be angry because the help you offered me actually took me longer than had I done it myself the first time. I will then proceed to be quietly angry for the rest of day and make snide comments under my breath for hours.

So let's review. Women are not perfect, far from it. We fail like 99% of the time. Lucky for us, we get to do these wonderful household chores like a million times a day and have had the luxury of being able to perfect them. If you do them like once a week, please do it the right way to save everyone (including yourself) time, energy and fights with your wife.

Hope this helps ladies! Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ten Things I wish my children knew...(repost)

Parenting is hard stuff. Now if you are a parent, you just said AMEN SISTER! and if you are a child, you just rolled your eyes at me. As I sit here writing this, I really wish that our kids knew just how hard it was because maybe then they would cut us some slack. My husband and I were lucky enough to take a 5 day trip to warm tropical places without kids recently and it sure did put things in perspective. I am pretty sure that we didn't fight once, not a single negative thought entered my head during the entire week. Being among adults for that long was like being in heaven. No one talked back to us, no one was rude or condescending and no one expected me to pick up after them. Then we came home and reality hit me like a slap in the face. Life is hard. Being a parent is hard. And doing what you know is right is hard, especially when it makes your children unhappy. Let's face it, as parents we want nothing more than for our children to be happy all the time, but that just isn't possible and its hard to be the reason they are upset. So for all you kids out there, here are ten things that your parents wish you knew and understood cause it would make the next 10+ years so much easier for everyone...

10. Being a parent is hard work, really, really hard work. From the moment you are born, until the day you die we worry about you and feel responsible for you even when you are grown up. It is a job that takes every minute of every day and creeps into every thought. And there is very little thanks given until you are old enough to understand the sacrifices we have made for you. But we wouldn't trade it for anything.

9. We don't want to say no all the time. I know you find this one really hard to believe, but our lives would be much easier if we could say yes all the time. But unfortunately, we don't have the time, money or bad judgement to always say yes. If you think No is hard to hear, you should know it is a million times harder to say. We love you and we want you to be happy, but life just doesn't work that way and no is a big part of life. Sorry...

8. We actually do know what you are going through. While it may seem to you that we are ancient, we still remember what it was like to be your age and we definitely remember how hard it was. In fact, most of us wouldn't go back no matter how much you paid us. And even as adults, we hate homework just as much (if not more) than you do. Growing up is hard and other kids can be mean. If we could, we would shelter you from everything bad, but we can't. However, we are always here for a hug (and we won't tell anyone). And every now and then you might want to listen to our advice because we have already lived through it (and no, it wasn't totally different when we were growing up).

7.  We are on your side. That is the great thing about family, we are here for you no matter what and we are always on your side even if doesn't feel like it. We will always listen to you and try our best to help in anyway that we can. But we can't help if you don't tell us what is wrong, so trust us a little - we might surprise you.

6. The world is a cruel place and our job is to protect you. Unfortunately there are bad people out there that do bad things (even good people do bad things sometimes). Our job is to make sure they don't do bad things to you. You may think we are being over protective or just plain annoying, but in the end we are always worried about "what-ifs" and will make our decisions based on keeping you safe. We know you think it won't ever happen to you, but believe me it is going to happen to someone. We don't want that someone to be you. Please listen even half of the time, because it could honestly save your life some day.

5. Money does not grow on trees. I am sure you have heard this a million times, I know I did growing up. (And yes, when you are a parent you will totally say all those annoying things your parents said that you swore you would never say.) It's hard at your age to understand the value of money or just how hard you have to work to earn it. You will soon find out when you get your first job, but until then please take our word for it that money is hard to come by. Not only do we not make enough to begin with, but everything costs money like the house you live in, the food you eat, the car that takes you everywhere, even the water you shower in every day (yes, water is not free). Again, if we could buy you everything you wanted we just might (reference #9).

4. Sometimes it breaks our hearts to punish you. I know you think we love to do this, but honestly we don't. Taking away things you like is no fun for us, remember - we really want you to be happy. Many times after I punish my kids, I feel sad and guilty all day. And most times, without you being occupied by computers, video games and friends, it honestly makes life harder for your parents. But our job is to teach you right and wrong and that you need to be held accountable for your own actions. My advice - if you don't want to be punished for something, then you should think twice about doing something you know you shouldn't do (and you totally know you shouldn't be doing it so don't try to play dumb - we are on to you).

3. If you want me to be nice to you, be nice to me. This should go without saying, but for some reason this is lost on most people under the age of 22 (and even some adults). I don't like to yell, really I don't. I would like nothing more than than to float from day to day with a smile on my face happy as can be. However, I also don't like when people are rude or mean to me, just like you don't like it when I am rude or mean to you. So let's make a deal. I will smile and be nice (and say please and thank you) if you can promise to do the same for me. It may take some getting use to, but I think you might actually find it is nice to get along.

2. You get more bees with honey. Okay, so the saying really goes "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar", and means being sweet-tempered will get you what you want sooner than being sour-tempered. This is very similar to #3. What is boils down to is this - if you want something from me, ask me nicely. I am much more likely to say yes (even to something I should say no to) if you are nice and polite and give me good (real) reasons as to why this is important to you. Your presentation will actually set the tone for how the entire exchange between us goes, so tread wisely...

1. We love you no matter what. I am not sure there is anything you can do that would make me stop loving you. (That is not an invitation to try however.) I know that you will make mistakes and do stupid things as you grow up. That is what growing up is all about. But please know that I will love you anyway and in spite of all that. My job is to help you through the hard times and move past the mistakes and kiss away your tears. We are in this crazy ride together so we might as well hold hands as we fall.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Top Ten Beauty Faves

I have a beauty products problem, if you couldn't tell from the picture above. My problem is that I have way too much product. I typically use the same stuff day after day and yet I can't seem to let anything go. I am afraid to toss it because I know that the day after I do, I will suddenly need it and then have to go out to buy it all over again. I took this picture after a wonderful trip to Sephora where I brought home some great additions to my collection. Because I love organization and neatness way more than I love my products, I looked at my dresser and knew I had to take action. Letting go of what I didn't need, make me realize the things I loved the most and decided I should share. So here you go, my top ten favorite beauty products as of April 1, 2012:

10. Divine Eyes by L'Occitane - a great light cream that has natural oils to reduce dark circles, puffiness and lines. I use it before bed and when I wake up. It's a bit pricey but totally worth it and a little goes a long way. It definitely reduces puffiness and I feel like it has tackled my "laugh lines" as well. I am a sucker for anything that uses natural oils...

9. Herbal Blemish Stick by  Burt's Bees - another natural solution, but a great one. This contains 10 effective herbal ingredients including Tea Tree and Juniper Oils. It has a roller to apply so there is no mess. And it works better than any other acne treatment I have used plus its not as harsh.

8. Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm - Some people love Chapstick, but this is by far my favorite. Beeswax conditions skin, while antioxidant Vitamin E moisturizes. A final hint of Peppermint Oil provides that one-of-a-kind refreshing tingle. I love the tingle! Plus they make one with SPF. I have one in the car, next to my seat in the living room and in every bag I own.

7. AmazingConcealer by AmazingCosmetics - This may be misleading at #7 but truly something I can't live without! My dark circles drive me crazy, making me look sick and tired, but this is my miracle. It is formulated to erase all skin imperfections: dark circles, broken capillaries, sun damage, blemishes, redness and more. What I love is that the coverage is great, it's waterproof and yet it still goes on creamy and smooth without caking. I have been using this for a long time, like 10 years and haven't tried anything new since.

6. Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil - A lot of people love mineral make up and while I don't use the foundation, I love the Mineral Veil. It promises to minimize lines, absorb oils, and soften your complexion and give you a flawless finis. And I agree, plus it offers a nice brightness to your completion. And you can use it mid-day to freshen up. One of my faves!

5. Ouidad Styling Mist - This is a great styling and finishing mist that smells like cinnamon. While the Ouidad line is designed for curly hair, anyone can use and love this spray. It is made with Jojoba Oil and Hydrolyzed Silk which leaves your hair shiny and healthy. You can use it when hair is wet to help hold as you blow dry and it also holds your finished style well but allows for movement, think the opposite of Aquanet. Love it!

4. DevaCurl No-poo - This shampoo is sulfate free  and has no dehydrating detergents so it won't dry out your hair. It is zero lather so it takes some getting use to but you hair will thank you. It also smells great. Again, this line is made for curly hair but they also offer one called DevaCare if you have straight locks.

3. DiorShow Mascara - I have to admit that I have tried about 200 mascaras and this is by far my favorite. I am very particular about the brush - I want it full and soft. This offers a jumbo-sized brush (which was originally designed for fashion show makeup artists to use on models) and is totally like a magic wand for lashes. It leaves lashes ultra thick, long, and curled. And as an added bonus, it has a great sent!

2. Hemp and Olive Facial Cream from Pureply Paradise Natural Bath Products in Key West. - I found this great product while on vacation with my husband. All I needed to see was all natural and crafted on-site and I was sold. This face cream is heaven! It goes on very creamy and can seem a little heavy at first, but it does soak in and keeps your face hydrated all day or night. I have combination skin that used to get oily after a couple hours but I find that with this cream, it stays balanced all day. While I bought my first jar on site, I ordered my  next batch on-line and it came with-in a couple days. Fantastic product and service.

Buy it here:

1. Olive Oil - Okay so not just Olive Oil but Caster oil, grapeseed oil and a ton of other oils you can use. I wrote a blog about it before, it's called the Oil-Cleansing Method and it has changed my skin. Even as an adult I have had acne and I have used everything! Most of what I used made my skin too dry and still didn't fix the problem. Every night when I wash my face, it feels like a mini facial and it a great finish to my day. It takes a bit to get used to it and it takes your skin a week or two to balance out, but if you stick with it, you will not be disappointed!

What are your favorites? Comment to share!

Monday, February 13, 2012

To All the Amazing Women I know on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is vastly over-rated. It is one of those holidays (as most are) that receives a lot of hype (mostly by retailers hoping to capitalize on guilt and peer pressure) and rarely lives up. Not because we don't try but because things rarely turn out as great as we anticipate. First of all, this year it's on a Tuesday night and who the hell has time on a Tuesday night for a conversation with our spouse let alone romance. And should we miraculously find a babysitter who isn't celebrating their own Valentine's Day, restaurants are booked for months and their menus are suddenly twice as much for the same food.

This year I am not really into it and I am fine with that. I did run out today (yup, the day before when the shelves are picked over and mostly empty) to get a couple goodies for my hubby and the kids, but nothing too extravagant. The crazy thing is, although I don't really care that much about it, I still want to be remembered tomorrow as if somehow to prove my worth to myself. I mean I know how much I give and do for my family, but what I really want is for them to notice and tell me how completely indispensable I am to their lives. (As if that might happen any time in the next 18 years. I have the same wish each year on Mother's Day and my birthday by the way.)

So this year, I wanted to spread the message to all the amazing women (and men) in my life who spend more time worrying and caring about their families than they do themselves. You are truly amazing. You are a fantastic wife and mother, friend, sister, aunt, and more. You are strong and resilient and at the same time loving and kind. You make the world a better place every day. And yes, all the small things you do every day that no one notices like laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning and cooking is what makes your family tick and you should be proud of it. You remember what each of your kids (and husband) will not eat, their favorite show, what upset them at school, why they are mad at whoever and yet still manage to get everyone where they need to be when and the birthday card to Aunt Sue. You are a Super Woman and don't ever forget it!

So Happy Valentine's Day to you. I thought I would share the card I bought today for one of my friends, it about sums it up...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Being a Good Parent Sucks Part 2

Things are looking much better today but I am still not sure what being a "good parent" entails. Not only did I let my son play in a last minute basketball game last night when he hadn't done his homework for the second night in a row, but I strongly encouraged it. And I am glad I did. It turned out to be a great game for him, pulled him out of his funk and he immediately did his homework when he got home from the game. At first glance I thought, wow - I am a terrible mom! I totally gave in and let him do something fun even though he refused to do his homework. But in the end it worked out and everyone is happier today because of it.

I will say that my four year old is still a challenge but we have noticed that when we limit his electronics (tv, iPad, etc) he is actually a happier and nicer person. So with that being said, I am trying not to be so hard on myself and realizing that I can be a good parent and give in from time to time.

I know the one thing I need to work on is teaching my kids to be more self-sufficient. Let's face it, sometimes it is way easier to do it ourselves than beg and plead for them to do it for themselves. Again, this is me just trying to get through the day. But I know that in the long-run this will be better for them and for me. Here is a great quote that I found today that I think will help me remember. Have a great day and happy parenting!

In the final analysis it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings. ~ Ann Landers

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Being a Good Parent Sucks

Let's face it, being a parent is hard, but being a good parent (aka, doing the right thing as opposed to the easy thing) is almost always shitty. With my first son, life was pretty easy. There was only one of him and for the first four years it was only me (with a lot of help from my family). He was pretty well behaved, very smart and of course spoiled. I had no one to answer to as I was a single mom and I could make any decision I wanted about anything and no one could tell me I was doing it wrong (that I had to listen to anyway). I know I wasn't always as strict with him as I should have been, but he was a good kid and since I was working full time, I admit I took the easy way out a lot. (I look at pictures of me back then and think who cares, look at me all in shape, dressed nice and with my shit together.)

Fast forward 11 years, a marriage, another baby and two step sons and I still tend to take the easy way out, which without also having my shit together is not so great. Who the hell has time to do anything else! Not only do I have someone to answer to now (aka my loving husband with whom I share all my decisions with), but we also have four boys ranging from 4 to 14 who all think they are the boss. Many days (between work, school, homework, 5 basketball practices and games, shuffling kids around, grocery shopping, meals and everything else) all I want to do is just get through the day - never mind make my life more difficult, which is what doing the right things usually offers me. I know that in the long run, being strict and firm will make my life easier, but getting there is shear hell and I am not sure I am strong enough to make that journey.

First let me start by telling you that our 4 year old is amazing. He is cute and funny, super smart and a fantastic dancer. He also never sits still, and his two favorite things in life are TV and candy. Yup, bad mom here confessing that TV has been a great babysitter while trying to make dinner, do laundry or just keep the peace among siblings. And also recognizing that while candy might be a great bargaining chip or bribe, it probably isn't very high on our doctor's recommended list of foods for good behavior. Oh, and did I mention that he likes to swear? And I am not talking 4 year old made up swears, I am talking things that would be offensive if an adult said them to you. We are finally to the point of knowing that something needs to change, but changing it and not killing each other in the process is a huge challenge.

We have been limiting his TV to about an hour or so a day (down from like 6), limiting the shows is watching to educational (think Super Why instead of Supah Ninjas) and trying to be better about his diet. I am pretty sure the results aren't that different than what a crack addict goes through when you take away his crack pipe. Seriously. Picture one of the cutest little boys you have ever seen (picture below to support this statement) turning into a demon child who will spit at you and say F**k You on a dime when you turn the TV off - how the hell is that making my life easier? Not to mention that his listening skills are that of a deaf mute. So when we finally have had enough and go to bring him where we told him to go (usually time out or to his room), he turns into Gumby and makes it impossible to do anything but drop him - to which he screams, "Daddy! Mommy just threw me on the ground!"

As if that wasn't enough fun for one family, we have two tweens and a teenager. I am pretty sure that the only way they know how to communicate is to argue. Honestly, if you tell them that two plus two equals four, they give you ten ways that they can disprove that. And they will stick to that for hours if not days. The most frustrating thing is that they will do things they think they are doing to punish us which inevitably also punishes them. But god forbid you point that out! My husband and I have somehow gotten so stupid that nothing we say is correct. (Funny how if someone else says the same exact thing who isn't us, it is some how right.) Here again is where doing the right thing kicks you in the ass every time. At least with the four year old, he moves on quickly from a tantrum to loving you. With the teenagers, they hate you for days. They dig their heels in and won't budge. If only I was good at the silent treatment and just ignoring them. But no, every time I come up with something I think is witty to say, I open my big stupid mouth and keep everything going for like 3 more days.

Last night was an argument over homework. Apparently my son was so angry that two of his grades weren't As, that he thought not doing his homework was some kind of protest. instead of working harder at getting the As he wants, he spend the night in his room (because no homework no TV, computer or even Kindle - yup, I would not even let him read!) and went to school today having not done his homework. Must have been an interesting conversation with his teachers today. And somehow I know this is my fault, cause in the end it always is.

I never thought I would see the day when Monday would be my favorite day, but lately the workdays are so much better than the weekends. The other day I actually said out loud, "I am not looking to be a good Mom, I am just looking to survive." That about sums it up...