Feb 26, 2013

The blog in which good things are happening today.

Wow.  Today was one of those blissful and out of no where amazing days.  I slept through the night.  That hasn't happened in a long time.  After I set up shop in Shay's bed, and sent her to the top bunk in Chaz's room, and Geoff stayed in our bed, and well..... Brody was confused.  That dog likes for us to all be one place, and when we are not, he is pacing amongst the many areas to make sure we are all good.  If he payed enough attention, he would have known I was blissfully unaware of the world, and got a full NINE hours of uninterrupted sleep.  The feeling is akin to a good drug at this point.  I did the migits hair, and then went back to sleep until about 9:30 AM, and then lounged in bed while I watched the completed the Netflix episodes of "How I Met Your Mother."  Today I promised myself to not worry about anything.  To try to relax, and in doing so, my hope was to get rid of a headache I have carried around for the last few days.

I stressed when the only real junk food in the house was vanilla wafers and a canister of no name hot chocolate, but I decided that would round my salad lunch perfectly.  Until... I tried the no name hot chocolate and it tasted like bat urine.  (Don't ask.  It's just what I "assume" if would taste like.)  All I know is that it didn't even smell like hot chocolate.  That forced me to rummage around, and then I found some old hot fudge ice cream topping in a small glass jar in the outside fridge.  I grabbed a spoon and dug in.  I was desperate.  That really didn't satisfy me, and the craving for a Burger King milkshake is stronger than a bear in heat right now.  (I only get those like twice a year.  Milkshakes, not a bear in heat.  Eww.)  I am truly not a fast food person.  I think I eat fast food about six times a year.  Not only is it bad for us, but the cost drives me nuts.  

I was blogging this morning my appreciating of my girlfriends, seeing as I thought my negative thoughts were dooming each the last few days.  Then, I got a text and phone call from one of my fav. gal pals, and that make my afternoon.  The children get off the bus, and I am dutifully combing through the folders and signing agendas, and I get an envelope marked "To the parents of Shayna Ahrens." It was an invite to test for the gifted program!  WOW!  Even if she doesn't get in, that was excitement enough for me and my bladder!  I am not telling her about it, (The testing for that program- not the fact that I pee so easily with excitement nowadays) so please don't tell her that you know ;o)

Then, I get this sudden urge to go work out after Geoff gets home, and as I am heading up, I call a friend and ask if she is still there and if it's busy.  She said it was, but that within the half hour, she intended on going to an Express Pilates class for beginners.  So, I got in a little cardio on a machine, got to see some hotties, headed downstairs and actually enjoyed pushing my friend off a balance ball.  (Actually, she stayed on, and it was more than unfair seeing as she has a head cold and the congestion was screwing with her balance before she even got on that torture device ;o)  Anyway, I learned that exercise in the dark is lovely, and taking my shoes off made it even more cozy and confusing as I am finding that my naval and my spine are not fused, as the instructor was suggesting I pretend.

I was on a high from completing yet another new class for myself, and on my drive home I suddenly remember that a friend had asked me to call her today, and I forgot until my drive home.  I call, and turns out, she is willing to pay to have me help her do a deep clean on her house, and honestly, I am so excited! It is a just a couple hours this week while the kids are in school, and I will feel productive to be out of bed again, and cleaning always makes me feel good.

And, if all that wasn't happy enough, a FB friend of mine, one of Charlie's ABA therapists from years ago, mentioned a job opening at his wife's employment, in our same county!  WOW!  Geoff has never worked less than an hour away from home.  Talk about pee yourself excitement!  I think I should go to bed while I have all this happiness around me.  Afraid my bladder can't take much more good news!  Good night friends!

The blog in which I love winter, but we need some sunshine.

I see that I am not the only one.  While Facebook posts often help us to see the emotional state of those around us, it appears that all of us mommies are in a little funk.  I really assumed mine was situational, then realized that in combination with the finishing and not replacing of my vitamin D drops, it seems like this community of friends needs some sunshine!

I was reflecting on how lucky I am to have my girlfriends around me.  My friends have all learned to appreciate me for my quirkness, and I love them all the more for it.  From an unlikely close friend that I once offended with my honesty, to another friend who seeks my counsel, merely for my brutal honesty.    To another, a more free spirited chick who seems to be always ready for an adventure, to those that have moved away, but are no more than a text away, I am so grateful that you support and love me at all the right times.  Each of you make me want to be a better friend.  Some of you make me want to laugh with you, cry with you, or simply, be quiet since we know we would incriminate ourselves if we spoke "it."  ;o)

Whatever day you are having, remember that us girls gotta' lift each other up, make each of us better for having been in each other's lives, and sometimes, when needed, be ready to pour the next drink, hold the other's crying kid, or become the ear that the other needs.  So, whatever day you are having, give a girlfriend a call, text, or send a little Facebook love their direction!  To my closest girls---thanks for being there for me and my family.

For all of you, my closest friends---- ((()))  I would really love to copyright this, but fear that the snide remarks would tick me off, so for now, vagina hugs to everyone! (Wait, that can't be right....)

Feb 25, 2013

The blog in which I am going to hell for a sick sense of humor.

I am sitting in the waiting room at our speech therapy office, and while there, I get an email asking for  a donation for a gift basket that will be won at our next PTA fundraiser, "Bingo Night." I am the first person to try to help, and donate whatever items are needed, however, I just don't have it this time.  I was successful in sending in the donation for my daughter's class, as I already had that item requested in our box of potential gifts for the spur of the moment gift invite.  So, I had horrific guilt for not being able to help out, and texted the room mom, in essence, asking for a pardon.  She texted back complete understanding, as well as this.....


Yes, three parenthesis in one direction, and three in the other, and honestly, I got a little nervous that perhaps that was not meant for me.  First of all, I am married.  The fact that I am not speaking to him right now is irrelevant.  Second of all, it's just not appropriate.  Third, and most importantly, she is the room mom and -------EWWWWWW!

Then, I realized... it's not a vagina.  It's a hug.  Oh, in that case... awkward.  But you see what I saw, right?  No?  Well in that case..... hugs (or vaginas) for everyone!  ((()))  ((()))

Where am I, and why am I in this hand basket?

The blog in which I completed one!

By this point, we are all well aware of the calamity that ensues any time I try to participate in a group exercise class at the YMCA.  In general, it's painful, never completed, and frustrating to me for weeks on end.  I am not entirely hopeless though, and while my daughter did write and illustrate a story about me and sleeping yesterday, I was motivated by that to get dressed and go get active.  I knew that a Zumba class was going to start within the hour, so I called a friend who seems to be ready for anything I throw her way lately, and we are there, for the Sunday Zumba class at 1:15 PM.  Most classes that I have dropped in to are an hour.  As far as I know, that is the standard.  And yet, I have never made it through an entire class.  We joined the YMCA on February 28, 2012, and a year later, I am still saying that.  Until...

Lucy.  Adorable, perky, realistic, Lucy.  She was the instructor.  And while dancing is incredibly challenging for me, about half way through, when I was beyond my limit, I decided, "just one more song, and then..."  One more song, and Jenn, workout partner extraordinaire, agrees we can do one more.  Well, the next song slowed us down and wasn't as intense.  That set me up for the "we can do another" and then, before you know it, there is only ten more minutes, and how can I quit now?  And then, I realized my knee was hurting.  Yep, same one that caused the cortisone shots last year, and if I remember correctly, it was this Zumba and the Hip Hop dance classes that did it to me last time.  So... while I was so excited and thanked Lucy profusely for getting me from start to finish in my very first full length class, I am up now realizing that I really don't belong in a class.  I will continue with my elliptical and weights, and maybe switch up the cardio onto the step machine.

Bottom line is- I can do it.  And if I can do it, ANYONE CAN!  I am slowly losing weight, but am still FAR from the finish line in this race.  I am really enjoying the journey in this process.  From changing my diet, to the addition of supplement intake to better aide in natural forms of preventative medicine, I am finding my thresholds for perceived stamina is stretching each day. The competitive in me is being fed, and the excuse making me is slowly dissipating.  I don't suggest that each person spend an hour and a half in the gym each day in order to get healthy.  I do suggest that each person find their own way in getting more active, and do it regularly.  Geoff has learned of a few people around our age that have recently dropped dead of massive heart attacks.  I suppose if you don't take care of your heart, your heart can't take care of you.  Exercise- it does a body good.

Feb 24, 2013

The blog in which Geoff asked me a favor.

Stressful times call for... a headache.  And a headache, calls for sleeping.  And sleeping, calls for my daughter, the budding novelist, to write a story about it.  The story about it- calls for me to quickly try to have my daughter rewrite her work since that is not how I wanted the story to end.  I changed the ending to be something about how I quickly got out of bed, dressed for a workout, and called a friend to meet me at Zumba and then headed upstairs at the YMCA to do weights.  After that, I did my grocery shopping for the week, and that took a mere 12 minutes due to the fact that I had less than forty dollars for groceries this week.

"It is a nice day outside but me and my brother and dad are inside and my mom is sleeping but me and my brother and dad are having fun."  Story by Shayna Ahrens, translated by Erin Ahrens- the aforementioned sleeping mom 

Why is that you ask?  Well, to begin with, it is the reason I am having stressful times.  And Geoff has asked that I share this on the blog so that he might be able to find a job sooner.  He needs a job that pays all our bills.  After taxes, and without any overtime the last few months, he brings in $1,600 a month.  I normally only need about $70 a week for groceries, but that is not happening anymore, and with summer coming up, grocery bill is going to have to go up, and it's just not in the budget.  (I am a freakin' amazing frugal chick, but there is only so much I can do with that amount.)  While we don't want anyone really to freak out, I have to say, we do have money in the bank, but we have been chipping away at that for years, and I am not okay living outside of our means.  I will not allow my children to be without food, and luckily, we are okay this week since I had some frozen meals prepared to draw from this week.  Kids get free breakfast and lunch at school, albeit not the healthiest, and I supplement with a very healthy dinner and snacks.  

So, for Geoff to stop getting the cold shoulder from me, since I have asked him for years to find employment that at will afford us to live humbly, and he clearly only heard the word hum, therefore, we are humming and not affording food this week, and he needs either a second job for nights and or weekends, or he needs one job that will bring in enough so that we don't qualify for free food at school and scholarship at the YMCA.  It is time we start supporting ourselves.

I am a mom.  I am raising my children, and have not yet found employment that would allow me to to be off the nearly 14 weeks each years that my children are off, and allow for me to leave at a moments notice to pick up a sick child at school.  I refuse to let someone else raise my children, or drive Chaz to speech therapy, or do their homework with them.  That is my job.  I am not a single mother.  I am a wife and mother that devotes every second to caring for everyone in the house, as well as the house and managing all that on VERY little money.  (That was my answer to all those that suggest I find employment.  Don't go there.  I will most certainly have a rebuttal to that.)  Although, if that dream job were to become magically available, I would magically find the nicest jeans I own and slap those on with a smile the size of my heiney, and off I would go each day.

So, per Geoff's request, if you know of a company seeking to hire a college educated man that is currently employed as a loan processor with the same bank for the past five years, please pass that information our direction.  Geoff is willing to do anything, so long as it truly pays all the bills, and he doesn't have to drive into Atlanta to do it.  (He currently spends 45 minutes in the car, each direction, in Alpharetta.)  Thank you for your time.  (PS  He needs benefits as well.  Tall order?  We can do this!)

Feb 21, 2013

The blog in which my little girl is growing up WAY too fast.

Actual conversation with my daughter today.  She is six years old.  She is in kindergarten.  This is relevant to the subject matter.  However, I forgot that, and actually carried on this conversation with her, as if we were all a lot older.

Shay- Mom?  When can I date and have a car?

Me- When you are 18.

Shay- I thought you said when I was 40???  

Me- I think we will let you out before then for good behavior.  And, you will need to share the car with your brother.

Shay-  What if we want to go to different places?  Can we maybe borrow yours or Daddy's car?  

Me- No.

Shay- Why?

Me- You know what?  If you want your own car, you can save up for one and buy it yourself.  I had to.  

Shay- Okay, I will.  Charlie?  You need to start folding clothes too if you want to save up some money like me.  (*Chick gets less than a quarter and folds every one's clothes and delivers it to our rooms if she wants to earn money.)  So mom- how many dollars will you give me to dust? 

Me- No dollars.  A few pennies.  

Shay- That's not good.  So, what about Charlie wanting to go to a different place? 

Me-  Well, first of all, you will drive your brother to school with you.  

Shay- Okay.  I'll even let him bring a friend. 

 (*Charlie interjects with "Yeah, I want to bring Abigail!)

In my head, I am freaking out, because part of me is grateful it's a girl, but the other part of me is disturbed knowing that Shay is not her biggest fan, and one day, she is going to be totally off her rocker when he has a girlfriend that she doesn't like.  From my lips to G-d's ears, 'cause if he does not have a girlfriend, the alternative is sorta' freaking me out right now.  

It was somewhere at this point that I was brought back to reality, and remembered, "Oh yeah!  She's only six!  We have a decade to worry about this."  And then, we got home.  She asked if she could play dress up with her new hand me down dress up clothes that were still in the bag from my friend.  "Sure, have at it, sweet girl!"

And here's what she came down in.  And asked for me to take pictures of her.  And here is what she did when I got my phone's camera ready to shoot.  And now I know why I will need help, and why these conversations are not happening too soon.  I am at a loss for words.  But this much I do know- I.AM.SO.SCREWED.

The in which my daughter outed me in front of a group.

Back at the ranch... Yes, it's radKids time again!  Each year, your already "certified" radKid can retake the course as a refresher at no charge.  So, while this is our week to be in class, I am hanging out and handing out "sticka's" and enjoying the migits and the conversation.  The mere mention of dog safety will no doubt spur a child to share that they had a dog that died.  OR the neighbor had a dog that died.  Or, they saw a dead dog on a street and it reminded them that they have always wanted a dog of their own.  (Listen, moral of the story- dogs die and kids want to talk about it.  Darn emotions always getting up in our business while we are trying desperately to suppress them.)

Obviously, I am not as good as I thought about hiding my emotions.  My anxiety, now, not something I shy from discussing, yet very afraid to actually treat, (ironic, I know) was brought out during yesterday's radKids class.  When talking about an emergency situation, Bianca, radKid instructor extraordinaire, says, "Do not be afraid.  Stay calm.  Have you ever gotten scared?"  Naturally, my daughter blurts out (thanks for raising your hand there sista') and says, "Oh yeah, my mom gets scared all the time!"  Wow.  Outed.  And that is not totally true.  When the sun is shining, and I am not reading about end of the world scenarios, and Pope's aren't randomly stepping down, and calendars aren't ending, and wars aren't happening, and there is no traffic on a highway, and I am not in an elevator, or near an airport, or in a gas station or bank, or even a theater, and their is no illness or severe pain in the world, and our finances miraculously balance out, and children aren't in danger, and autism is eradicated, I am not scared.  The rest of the time?  It's a crap shoot.  I usually crap and then yell, "SHOOT!"

Headed to the gym because it's the only thing I can do that slightly alleviates some of my irrational and extended anxieties that I have now learned are just part of me, until the day that I am cured by any number of drugs that people assume need to be consumed in order to cause a whole new set of problems and side effects.  After years of trying to take them, my husband has stopped asking me to try again.  Apparently, that last one, ya' know, the one with the lower libido side effect?  Yeah, that's the one.  He no longer thinks that was overly effective.  Hmm..  Imagine that.  Thanks for supporting me hun.

Feb 20, 2013

The blog in which I am intimidated by cleaning.

I think I need to fire our maid.  Or is that not politically correct?  Is it house cleaner?  I have always referred to her as the resident domestic goddess, however, the more I investigate this field of work, the more I realize, ours' is terrible! First of all, I decided to pose a Facebook question to anyone that has a cleaning service come into their home, or anyone who has ever done this work.  Financially, it appears that we can not continue for me to not work, however, I am not compromising my children in any way to go to work.  As willing as I am to sacrifice myself, I will not allow myself to work in order to pay a nanny to drive Charlie to speech, do his homework with him, or be the first one to see both of them onto or off of a bus, each day.   That's my job first, and I will not give that up.  However, if I could find a flexible schedule type of job that would allow me to work a few mornings a week to earn some much needed funds, I'm in!  Housekeeping seemed like a viable option.  Until....

FB friend number one that responded was amazing.  She and I spoke for about 20 minutes.  I didn't know that talk of cleaning a home could take that long, seeing as I clean my entire house in that amount of time.  (I spray my home made cleaner in all three bathrooms, then go back to the first bathroom and wipe it down, then grab the vacuum and do the entire house.)  On occasion, I grab the mop, but that area of mop need is no larger than about 60 sq. ft..  Could probably do that with a wet cloth and my feet.  With a house that is under 1400 sq. ft., it is almost ridiculous that some people don't have cleaner homes in our 'hood.  However, I thought my home was clean, until....

FB friend number two shared much of the same as FB friend number one, however, each one added a few more details than the last, and what I found is, I am not doing it right.  First, blinds get cleaned, every time a cleaning happens.  I thought they got cleaned as often as the blades of a fan.  And that is clearly when enough dust accumulated to warrant cleaning.  In my home, that is annually.  Oops.  Need to try to pay more attention to that, seeing as it will be hard to do this in other people's homes if I don't know how to do it in my own home.  Second, baseboards?  Each time you clean?  I thought the way to make those look good was to repaint them.  Wait, you actually clean those?  Who knew?  I wonder how those get cleaned..... Third, I thought about my dusting technique, and while I works incredibly well for me, I am not so sure how a client would feel about me grabbing my fleece sock prior to putting it into the wash and wiping down the wood furniture with it.  If you don't do this- you should! I prefer not to use many chemicals in my home, and while I do use them, on occasion, I find that nothing grabs dust as well as the sock, and then, into a wash it goes.  We don't buy paper towels here.  Everything gets cleaned with a washable towel- or my sock.

From learning the extra nice touches of folding over toilet paper into freakin' origami shapes to leaf blowing the outside entrance way, I am intimidated by the thought of cleaning houses now.  I really wanted to just walk into an organized home, clean the bathrooms, kitchen area, and dust and vacuum.  However, it appears there is more to cleaning than that.  And now, it is the middle of the night, and all I can think is, "How the heck do you clean blinds, baseboards and bathrooms in an efficient fashion or in order to make money and be home for the migits?

PS  To Edit, who posed the question regarding how prepared is my back and soft hands for the work at hand?  My back can pull an ox now that I am working out on machines to strengthen, and my hands NEVER were soft and subtle.  Ask Starr- she used to attack my skin (mostly my elbows)  with a nail file in order to soften them.  FYI- A nail file on skin is not very effective.

Feb 19, 2013

The blog in which I hope I am able to give him what HE needs.

This is a sentence that will rock your world.  It will make you think for hours, days, and even, weeks about what was said, what should have been said, how it was said, and if too much was said.  When this sentence comes from a girl, it makes sense.  When it doesn't, it kinda' makes you wish you had some sort of psychology degree to talk about this sentiment.  Or, at best, have one nearby that can help both of you cope with it.

"Mom, I want to be a girl."

When he said it, I think he knew that a seven year old boy should not be thinking this, but he just had to say it.  I sort of blanked out and said something about how G-d made him this way for a reason, and that while it is fun to play with girl things, he is not a girl.  While it hasn't been brought up again since, I can tell you that I am freaked out.  I love him.  I love that he shared that with me.  I wish he had shared something more along the lines of the fact that playing with his sister's dolls was boring, or playing dress up with her dress up bin was yucky, but he didn't.  He told me he wants to be a girl.

Nature vs. nurture debate time.  His sister, a neurotypical six year old, loves being a girl.  Seven year old autistic spectrum brother, does EVERYTHING with his sister.  They are inseparable.   They love each other, and to play together, since they both appreciate and enjoy the same things.  "Girlie" things.  I am not in the least bit feminine, other than the fact that I have ovaries, a uterus, and some other girlie parts that my husband can tell you more about than I can.  (For real- dude can tell me if I am getting a yeast infection before I have one- just by noting the color of my skin.  It's a gift. And it's creepy.) My husband, father of the two aforementioned migits, is not particularly masculine.  He is not competitive, nor is he really the game watching type of dad.  His main interest- musical theater.  He is the man that will always notice if one of my friends got a hair cut/color.  I never notice such things.

Hubby has been trained well to open doors for a lady.  We have forced that upon our son, who I venture to assume, thinks that doors should be held open for him.  Even at younger stages of life, we have always had concerns about him.  When I say, "we," I am not referring to both my husband and I.  Mostly me and others around me.  They have or have had young boys, and his behaviors do not match up.  Is it because he is not around boys enough?  Is it because his male role model is more effeminate than his mother?  Is it because he has a sister that he is so close with?  Or is it the feminist culture we live in where women are allowed every right that the opposite sex is allowed, yet still demand to be treated specially as a woman?

This is not a religious debate for me.  This is me seeing ahead, and seeing how difficult it must be to feel this way.  To feel accepted, and normal.  To feel right.  And to fit in.  All of which, is already a struggle for him.  I do not believe that G-d finds this sinful.  I think G-d made him, and G-d loves him, and so she I.  This is not about me loving less.  It's about me loving so much that I don't want to see him struggle more than he already does in life.

I can see the allure, but I also see a difficult path.  I love the fact that I have had a difficult path in life. It has built character that I might other wise had been without.  I don't want to take all the challenges out of my children's life journey, but I also won't allow either of them to face challenges alone.  I might be premature on this, and he might develop a stronger sense of his masculinity in time, but until that day, I will love him, and how G-d made him.  Gender confused, and all.

Feb 18, 2013

The blog in which I am actively raising my children to not be brats.

Today, I saw my fair share of bratty kids.  Not that my migits are perfect, but let's be honest, they are anything BUT bratty.  I can tolerate the occasional tantrum, tired moment, boredom, frustration, and even the very occasional brat, but today was the exception of stupid parenting.  I NEVER get upset with a child that is acting horribly.  I ALWAYS anger at the parent.  Today, I just felt bad for the mom.  She was way out of her league with one child, and she actually had three.  In my head, if you are screwing up one, there is no need to go any further.  Tell your husband that your eggs have all dropped acid, and you don't feel like procreating is a wise choice for your family any more.

Where is this coming from?  First, sitting in speech therapy for a mere thirty minutes and having to endure this out of control family while Chaz was in his session.  Second, and this was the real motivator, another, and much more well read blogger I follow, was harassed by this community of people I didn't even know existed, this past week.  While I knew that there were some adults that conscientiously chose to not have children, I had no idea that they had their own forum to bitch and complain about people who do have children.   Where the heck do you think you came from you ungrateful group of people who call yourselves the "child free community?"

I know people who don't have children.  And as far as I can tell, it's because they don't desire to have them.  And that's okay.  Being a dick about it?  That's not so okay.  First, I have kids, and still don't feel it is my place to insult another parent's child rearing technique.  (I might slip them a book or mention the book that I have referred to as our "parenting bible.")  Here's how that conversation might go....

Exasperated Mom- I just don't know what to do with "little Johnny.!"

Me- Look idiot!  It's time you mean what you say, and say what you mean!  Follow through with that threat, otherwise, your child will play you like an old fiddle!

*Uh.  Maybe I don't say it like that.  Take two!

Me- I know what you mean.  Some kids are just obnoxious, and you look like a fool for having three of them!

*Cut, cut, cut!  I'm pretty sure that's not it either.  But I swear it's stored neatly in my head with a smile plastered on my face as the baby is literally placing the entire stack of coupon books in my lap while the mom threatens to not take her bratty middle child for dessert/surprise for acting a fool.  Why yes,  it seems appropriate to take an over weight six year old for ice cream after yelling at her mother and questioning "why" she needs to put her socks and shoes on in the therapy office.

Exasperated mother- (Looking in my direction as she mutters under her breathe) This is the longest hour of my day.

Me- (Pasted smile never leaving my face, barely looking up to acknowledge her and said NOTHING since she was beyond my patience for the day.)

However, in my defense, I have more than once lent out my parenting bible to friends.  I swear that while Geoff and I had read this book years before actually having our children, the principles are simple, and yet, effective.  The psychology is broken down, the discipline is swift, and the loving bond is restored immediately, or the lesson is not learned.

Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Ted Tripp.  It's in the revised edition lately, and I swear, you won't be disappointed.  My children LOVE that they know they are different then those children who are lacking manners, kindness, love, or discipline.  Shay will often tell me that "so and so doesn't respect herself  enough."  That is her way of saying that the other child is acting like she is holding a fart in for too long.  *Sorry Mom.  I know you don't like the word "fart."  However, this is a post of parenting, and you are technically done, so you should have stopped after the title.  Or after you had your first, since I was all sorts of f'ed up.  For the record, the word "fuck" is not nearly as offensive to my mother as the word "fart." Random,  but isn't that interesting?

While talking to my friend about my childhood, she questioned my mom's hindsight to see where she screwed up?  I don't know the answer to that.  But I can tell you where I get my parenting from.  From the fact that I didn't want to have to deal with a child like me.  I always knew that when I had kids, I was going to do it differently.  I hover.  I involve myself.  I know what each child is thinking before they think it.  My mom was involved.  But I literally infuse myself into every second of my kids' lives.  I refer to myself as the term, "hover parent."

When talking to an acquaintance at the YMCA this past weekend, she referred to herself as "involved parenting" to her two older high school boys.   It's all semantics.  However, many years back, I marveled at how her husband told one of the boys, then in middle school, to go into a room down the hall and wait, and the boy did- WITHOUT QUESTION!  I never forgot that the child was obedient and respectful for the entire time I saw him.  I knew one day, with enough patience, discipline on my end to actual raise my children, and most importantly, LOVE, my children would be kind, loving, respectful children that other people would actually enjoy having around.  What I learned was- I am those people.  I love being with my kids because they are really FUCKING awesome kids.  (And no, I don't really curse. I just thought the word "fart" needed to be balanced out for the sake of the northerners.)

David- "Where do you get  your ideas to write on?"  I told you, and I meant it.  Life.  I am motivated by the day's events.  As you can tell, the days have not been very eventful this past week ;o) It will be an awesome gift to my children one day.  They will know me as a person when they are older.  But they will know what motivated me to mold them into what they become, by reading my work.

The blogger I was referring to is named Elle, and her blog is "This is Mommyhood."  She is way more crass than I am, yet, she is diverse.  I never guest blogged with her, however, she often accepts guest bloggers.  I think she is a cool chick.  Go check her out.  But don't criticize her parenting.  She is not a fan of that ;o)

Feb 14, 2013

The blog in which I want to share my belief.

This is not the post I advertised earlier today.  This is a random act of Christianity for myself.  It's called "patience" and "gratitude"  I am being patient.  Ever since we got the call that the investor wanted to purchase the house a few weeks ago, and the subsequent let down of that not really working out for us, I knew it was again not in His timing.  (No, we weren't even selling, but the investor saw that we had tried to sell at in the past, contacted our past agent, and the ball went from there.)  Our price then was consistent with pricing of that time, and now, over a year later, our needs have changed based on the market.  However, the dream homes that keep getting forwarded to us at the $150-160K prices are KILLING US!  While I believe a basement is priceless, this is really causing me to stop and remember-

I have my health.  I have a gorgeous family.  I have love of a man.  I have my faith that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  And this is why I post.  Take time, whether you are a believer or not, and think about what you have, not what you don't have.  Appreciate it, or you will never be happy if you are always wanting what you don't have.  And that is my cross to bear today.  I will take that over pain, loss, destruction of heart, and people are living now with one foot in the grave.  I will live my life with my whole body a football field away from my funeral.  There is a longing in my heart.....

Advertised post from earlier still to come.  I swear I am having a blast on that one and I know you will too!  Sorry this was a serious one.  During this time of year, I think it is important to take pause and do some deeper thinking.  But man, the other post is calling out to me!

Feb 13, 2013

The blog in which it's a Lenten love letter to my children.

Gluttony.  That will be my Lenten gift to give up this year.  I hope to make it a life long honest attempt, but I know that from chocolate to being lazy, I have my work cut out for myself.  I really am going to start simple.  Today is a day of fasting and abstinence.  So, today was easy.  Tomorrow, I will figure a safe and healthy moderate number of calories that I can consume, and will stick with that, hopefully, without fail, especially during the days of Lent.  However, there are many ways we can be glutinous.  Staying up too late for days on end and not allowing your body the proper sleep in order to stay healthy.  Doing things that pull us farther from our heavenly Father and only serve ourselves- that is gluttony. While G-d wants us to enjoy this journey, we must remember to always do things that are pleasing and serving Him, not us.

Charlie and Shayna- While I manage most aspects of your lives, I know how healthy your diets are.  I know how active you are.  I know that you don't watch TV or play more than about an hour of video games a week.  Taking that stuff out of your Lenten season might not be as effective for you to focus on our Lord and his Passion.  I struggle to help you think of things to omit this year, therefore, I will pray that you each might spend more time getting to know our Lord, through prayer.  I pray that we find joy in saying a rosary.  Or joy in sitting in adoration.  Or joy to see an answered prayer.  We must open our hearts.

This morning, I was struck and meditated on a line in a song.  "...afflictions eclipsed by glory."  Please remember- for every struggle in your journey, there is a glorious gift of eternal life that awaits all that truly believe.   I love you both, and pray that I allow myself to be an example of Christ's love, through my actions, for both of you.

Feb 11, 2013

The blog in which I share a tale of truth and congratulations.

It took me a whole year to save up my babysitting money.  And then, the wait.  Did I make the team after try outs?  YES!  And so it began.  My first attempt into a school club.  I was so excited!  Lassiter High School Color Guard, HERE I COME!

First of all, I was very good at the tricks.  I could twirl and flip that flag like no body's business!  I could even learn the dance moves.  I loved the band scene.  I was having a great time, up until....

It was time to learn how to get into formations.  I had to memorize where to stand through out the course of our half time shows.  Not happening.  It took me almost seven years to learn how to spell my maiden name.  Are you kidding me?  Memorize where to stand on a field, twirl and flip a flag, and keep up with everyone else, and be in the right spot?  Nay, nay I say. I expressed my concerns, early on.  Everyone said, "You will get it!  We practice every day, and then, we go away to band camp and we do it so much you will be doing it in your sleep!"  Yes, for real, and no, "this one time, at band camp" didn't happen for me.  So, I had saved up an entire year of babysitting to pay for this color guard, which was over a thousand dollars from start to finish. Start to finish lasted from the spring when I learned I made it, to the third football of the season.  Let me go back...

So, I was a cluster from day one.  The Lassiter marching band is a very well know band.  The awards are countless, and the school is huge.  Therefore, the band is enormous, and well groomed.  I, however, stuck out like a sore thumb.  I would flip that flag into all sorts of tricks, but never standing remotely near where I was supposed to be.  So, it didn't take long for the band director, a well known and respected man, to learn my name.  And standing way up high on the platform that was like 30 ft. above our practice area, he would bellow through his microphone, "TANNENBAUM!"  (It didn't take him half as long to say or spell my last name as it took me.)  Yep.  I was sorta' jazzed that out of maybe a 1000 person band, he knew my name.  I felt a little special.  (Put the word special in quotes, and that is more like it.)  So, after all that, I knew it was time to drop out, and find a new scene.  I found the theater, and that was home, until I graduated a half of a year early, and moved up to NY in April of 1995.

Congratulations, Mr. Watkins.  For not resigning while I was screwing up your marching bands. You deserve that award.  And one for not losing more than just your patience with me for those few short months I wasted my money on.  It's not your fault that I have two braincells and that they fight each other.

CCSD CobbCast » Alfred Watkins of Lassiter High School Named ‘America’s Most Admired Band Director’ cobbcast.cobbk12.orgLassiter High School Band Director Alfred Watkins was recently presented with America’s Most Admired Band Director Award for 2012. Watkins received more than 850 votes from his fellow band directors and received what is dubbed the “People’s Choice” of band directing awards.

Feb 10, 2013

The blog in which I am challenged by random acts of Christianity.

Today's Act of Random Christianity: Express love to someone who has been an enemy. #ActsofRandomChristianity

That was my assignment yesterday.  And honestly, it was a stretch.  I have only gone to confession the last few years over this issue, and finally, my stubborn heart finally softened enough to be loving.  However, it was an act of love, as I can be quoted in saying, "Actions speak louder than words."  I owed this action to someone I love, and it was out of that love, that I was able to swallow a heaping helpful of pride and put on my big girl panties.   Literally, big girl panties, since darn it if my efforts at the YMCA  have not shrunken me enough to get out of them.  Is it wrong that my seven year old son has a jacket this is smaller than my panties?  Hmm.. think on that.  

Anyway, I will only say that I was loving, and while religion is a lot of things, it is not judgmental.  (If done properly.)  My action was a pure desire to be a true example to myself .  If anyone benefited from the act, great.  If not, I can know that I did the right thing.  Knowing that I did the right thing, and knowing that I didn't wait for the Lenten season this year, made me really think.  If I could love someone who has been the enemy, could I love those that have not been an enemy, any better? 

Well, G-d didn't wait too long before he started throwing challenges my way.  Like, say, this morning!  We attended a Mass time we don't usually attend, and ran into a person that I had difficulties with, when I was volunteering with the religious education program this past Fall.  As you recall, I ended up withdrawing both of my children from the program, and now, they will have to be on a delayed schedule for their First Holy Communion.  While that disappoints me, it was the only solution after trying to work through and resolve a very unhealthy situation.  I take religious education very seriously, and they take it in survival mode.  The line from "Mr. Mom" comes to mind...  "Jack, you're doing it wrong!"  Ultimately, I am responsible for my children's religious education, and will have to find a more suitable option, in the future.  In the mean time, I need to find grace and peace with everyone.  So I did.  I smiled.  I silently blessed her and what I assumed was a pregnancy, and asked for G-d to give her the knowledge, in order to make positive changes for the program that we could not continue with.  I meant every bit of it.  While it would have been easy to anger when she treated me not as warmly, I was sad for her that she obviously was not comfortable.  In time, she too will be there.  

Here is what I honestly remind myself, and tell my children, at least once a day-  G-d made you.  He loves you.  He made all the people.  He loves them all, just as much.  It hurts him when we hurt his other children.  Simple.  And yet, I get a comment about it from someone who says we should not treat people badly because of their own stupidity.  I would only hope that I am not that pretentious.   Correction- I would only hope that others actions speak louder than those words.  

Feb 8, 2013

The blog in which it's the day after and Duck for a Buck.

So, you all know how yesterday's workout out went.  If not, let me tell you about it.  I was frustrated, didn't accomplish it, and failed.  Every muscle in my body hurts today.  All night, I felt every movement- including breathing.  I have some Epsom salt with lavender, and might end up in it this afternoon if I can make it into a bath tub without assistance.  Moving on.

Charlie earned enough points doing his Accelerated Reading program to be "Coach for Half a Day."  That is a huge accomplishment.  A.R. reading and testing is not mandatory, however, it is strongly advised and while there are general guide lines for reading three books a week, he reads ten.  (Yes, if we are going to do anything, we are going to do it all the way.)  I come in one day a week and help the class do the testing, and I really enjoy my time getting to know his classmates.  Today was the day he signed up to go and do the "Coach for Half a Day."  He was really excited about it.  More than I realized, seeing as he woke up at 5:30 AM!  He turned the lights on, and Shay was yelling at him to turn them off, and he wouldn't.  That woke me up.  That is never good.  The morning was rough, since I had to get out of bed.  (If I tell you that it hurts to breathe, you have to know that I am not even kidding about this.  I had no idea so many muscles were used to breathe.  How come my muscles are not more developed since I have breathing for years????)  So, movement, of any kind, is excruciatingly painful.  His answer to his waking everyone up with the lights is that it was his day to be "Coach for Half a Day."  At this point, I am cursing the A.R. program, the award system, and that class I tried yesterday.  

I make it downstairs, and eat my oatmeal, but don't have enough time to start drinking my tea.  (I make a pot of tea with one tea bag o decaf plain tea, and one tea bag of a green tea, and drink all 90 oz. throughout the day.)  I mix in one packet of a generic "Emergen-c" type of vitamin C packet in the morning cup, and then take some green tea pills and apple cider vinegar pills.  I think it is helping me stay healthy, and I really want to make some changes in my life.  I succeeded that yesterday.  I changed my comfort level.  I am not comfortable.  Mission accomplished.  So, I realize the time, and Friday's I go and sell rubber ducks for the PTA at our school, before my time in Chaz's class with the A.R. testing.  I must have put my vitamin C packet into the mug to remind me to take it with my cup of tea when I got home today.  
It was a rough morning.  Yeah. That's my 1000 mg. of vitamin C.  Not so effective this way.   
I earned my title this morning.  
 The migits are entering school and "Duck for a Buck" lasts until school begins.  We are there for about 45 minutes.  Katie, the main chick for this committee, and I, have a great time.  However, our amazing sales have dropped significantly in the past month or so.  Often, I would see children come with more money to spend, but walk away with most of their money.  Our selection is still quite varied, so I was not sure if maybe this duck thing has just fizzled, or if we are falling down on our enthusiasm.  Katie found our answer.  It was us.  We failed them.

Katie got this genius idea to sell a "duck of the day."  It was actually about 20 or more "Duck of the Day's," but every time we wanted to move either the last duck from a variety, or one from a variety that isn't selling at all, she would name it the "Duck of the Day," and if you bought it, you would get a song from us with your name in it.  The kids started gathering around, and that was where it all began.  Katie even suggested I do tricks, after she heard my singing.  I am not sure if this lies within the fair labor act or not, but if I am challenged to do something, by golly, you can bet your pretty panties that I will follow through. It wasn't until I was mid-air in the toe touch that my body decided to have a conversation with me.
This is really the types of ducks we sell.  

Me- I'm doing a toe touch for this child who just spent a buck!
Body-Um, no you aren't.
Me-Yes, yes I am!  SEE?
Body-Hey genius- you can't do that anymore!  And remember what you did to us yesterday?
Me- (feeling like I just took  knife to every bit of connective tissue in my body) Um... yeah, about that.  Where were you three seconds ago to tell Katie that if she thinks "we" should do tricks, she needs to step up her game?

So, the only trick I was able to perform after those shenanigans was wiping my own tears.  Oh holy hell that hurt.

The songs were fun, but I don't know where Katie learned to sing the "Name Game" song, but she's doing it wrong.  We will have a PTA meeting (just the two of us) to work on our incentive package for purchasing a piece of plastic.  I must go now.  I need to save my finger muscles for if I have to call 911 for help.  They are the only muscles in my body that work right now.
"Coach for Half a Day" comes with it's perks.
1.  Gets you out of morning work in class.
2.  Gets you a whistle you can keep.
3. See number 1.  

Doing the fun stuff in PE! 

It is time to grab snack and head to the gym to be "Coach for Half a Day!"  

Feb 7, 2013

The blog in which I try a pilates class.

Well, that didn't go so badly.  Never mind.  It was worse than terrible.  I was thinking that I have attended probably six to eight group exercise classes since starting the YMCA a year ago this month, and surely one was worse.  Then I thought some more on it, and guess what...  Nope.  The only way the pilates class could have been worse?
1.loss of limb
2.loss of sight
3.loss of oxygen
3.loss of a job
4.loss of memory
5.loss of my dog
I mean, really now!  First of all, you have to know, that while I was trying to believe I could do this, my  mind really had no idea what the word pilates means.  I looked it up.

Pilates, verb meaning the act of trying to attach your belly button to your back.

I might be paraphrasing, but let me set the tone for you.  There are no lights on in the room.  You take your shoes off.  (I felt like the class was trying to "take advantage of me."  wink wink)  Then, you grab a big ball.  (Geoff, get your mind out of the gutter.)  (And now stop giggling.)  Then, you grab a mat, and a flimsy mat to put over that, for comfort.  I don't think it would have mattered if I were on a fire pit of coal, nothing about this workout was "comfortable."

I suppose I could have gotten out of my pajamas for the class, but I really thought this would be a bunch of downward dog type work.  And had I known my shoes were coming off.... 

The instructor was late.  (Thank G-d!)  One of my friends came with me for moral support.  And by "moral support," I mean, make me laugh so that I was crying down my leg within the first ten minutes.  She was trying to get positioned up on her ball, and out of the corner of my eye, I see her ball go one way, and her land on the ground.  I was nervous, and that always makes me laugh more, but as soon as I laughed till' I peed, that was the end of the story.  I am pretty sure had the instructor asked me to do kegels, I would have been fine.  Clearly, that is a lonely girl exercise, therefore, I forgot to employ that muscle, and every other muscle she asked me to utilize was on a break for most of the class time.  Another friend, one of the two main aquatic directors, decided to jump in with me since I told her how nervous I was.  She is way more fit than I am, therefore, you could see it was a cake walk for her.  It was great having those two with me, but even Brenda, the aquatics/gymnastics instructor said that she was excited to get a good workout since Irene was teaching the class.  (I will move on to calling her  "the nicest Nazi you will ever meet.")  She is not really a Nazi.  That is harsh.  However, she is truly a sweet person that asks too much of me and my body when in a class.  She is like Jillian Michaels on Prozac.  She will get you inspired and motivated, but she can't do the workout for you.   However, she referred to focusing on my belly button and my back often, and each time, I thought of Scarlett's advice from earlier.

So, while it was a low light, instructor speaking in a low, calming voice, what she was asking of us to do with our bodies was akin to asking me to lick the back of my knees.  Speaking of which... I got this message from a friend right before I left.
Apparently, I am way more skilled with my tongue than any other muscle in my entire body.  That should not surprise those that know me well.  However, even my neighbor-friend recognized that this was not going to go well.  And she knows that I just might run after her car if there were, in fact, a baked good affixed to her bumper.  I love you Scarlett.  May I use this in the blog?  It doesn't matter, since I think I just did.  Sorry 'bout that.

While I frustrated myself for about thirty five minutes, I mean, tried to do what the instructor was telling us to do, I was only able to do about 1/3 of each exercise, and then, only modified versions of each exercise.  If you know me, you know I do things one hundred and ten percent, or not at all.  I walked out of the class early- shocker.  I went upstairs for twenty five minutes of cardio on my machine, and felt great after I worked up a sweat.  I ran into one of Charlie's most effective speech therapists of all time, and was so happy to see her.  That was my sign that I belong upstairs.  (Yes, this was the same speech therapist that I blogged about in the past that when she told me she was pregnant and leaving us when the baby was due, I had a hard time being happy for her.  I am so happy to see her happy and her family thriving- now.)
Home sweet home... 

So, to Jenn, Brenda, and yes, even the instructor, thank you for allowing me to check that off the list of things I know now to not ever do again.  IF only Irene would come upstairs and force me to try some of the machines out, and motivate me off of my elliptical....  I'd feel more accomplished with her if I could make it through one of her classes, and be physically able to do at least 75% of it.  Until then, I will suggest you try a class of hers, then wave to me upstairs.  And Scarlett, get to bakin' sista'!  I think I want to learn to run!

The blog in which I share what I do as a SAHM.

Today I was texting with a girlfriend about, well, what sounded more like a men's locker room convo., and mid convo, she goes ahead with what I assume she was waiting on me to ask.

Her-  "You can put this sh*t in the blog.

So, it often comes up....  (I generally ask permission of my friends and family to blog them for all eternity.)  However, chick knows good material when she sees it, and thought she would save me the question.  Thanks friend!

First of all, we are two stay at home moms.  My mom was a stay at home mom, and I don't know what I really thought she did with her time while we were at school, but I am pretty sure it didn't involve conversations like I have with my friends.  From religion to the bedroom, our topics are as varied as our interest in cleaning products.  I happen to be on the extreme side of everything- from saving money to family fun. And EVERYTHING in between ;o)  So, when the convo turned to pirate/locker room talk, the best we could do was laugh about it.  And honestly, while I navigate my role as a stay at home mom of two full time students, I realize that if I used just half of my time more productively, I would not be nearly as happy as I am either going full speed a few days a week, or my days like today, of lazing my day away until it is time to move my tail into gear for the later part of the afternoon.

While Geoff works, I count the minutes until his return.  Well, I have to know how long I can do nothing before he comes home and sees me acting like a fantastic mom and wife ;o)  My house is clean,   made home made peanut butter cookies for him, and laundry folded and put away for the day.  Dinner in the crock pot, and migits still not due home for another hour.  That gives me an hour to thank G-d for what I have.

PS I am really trying to avoid thinking about an anxiety filled plan for the YMCA and me today.  Some times one must go out of their comfort zone- I know.  However, I LIVE outside of mine!  I don't know where it is anymore!  MUST FIND A THERAPIST!  Yep, avoiding that as well.  Not ashamed to admit that I am anxious about having to address my anxiety disorder.   The whole thought makes my brain wrinkle.  Remember, it was just this past summer that Charlie's therapist dropped us like a bad habit.  I am not sure why he dropped us.  However, he was ineffective for Charlie at the time, so I guess it all worked for the best.  Charlie is actually thriving in school, and no longer afraid to go.  (That was his issue this summer.)

Feb 6, 2013

The blog in which it's buyer's remorse. (For my migits.)

I used to be a shopper.  My mom can attest to that.  Her closet is full of my shopping binges from my move to NY after high school.   I worked as a live in nanny, and made good money, considering I had no living expense.  I skied more than most professional skiers that amazing 1995 winter, but even with that, I had lots of money and time to clothes shop.  After I moved back to GA, I realized that I would have had SOOOO much more money if only I had not purchased enough clothes for all of a small village.  That was a fairly easy lesson to learn, early in life.  To this day, everyone of my friends can't believe how few clothes I actually own.  

I paid cash for all my cars (five in the past 20 years, including cars with Geoff) and loved the idea that I don't have car payments.  Have never been upset to have a used car.  We have been incredibly lucky.  We only buy what we have need and money for nowadays.  So...

It doesn't make any sense how we ended up with this spur of the moment home purchase, over ten years ago.  We were newly married, living in a really fun time of our lives, in a very transient, yet nice and new apartment complex.  At the time, we lived in Woodstock, just a stone's throw from my childhood, Marietta.  I began working at an OB-GYN office right near the hospital in Marietta.  The drive wasn't too bad, and Geoff was working about the same distance to his work at the time.  It seemed ideal.  But our lease was coming up in a few months, and we knew that our prices would go up if we stayed.  So, we threw out the house idea, but neither of us seemed incredibly into the idea. 

One Sunday, we decided to go to a biker bar that was holding a church service.  It was a fun little outing, however, I was pretty bored, and picked up a real estate magazine on my way in to the bar that morning.  I was looking through it, and found a developing neighborhood I wanted to go check out.  Turns out, we were heading up to spend the afternoon with a new couple we met through my work.  The girl was so much like me; no make up, no nails, not pretentious, just a cool chick.  Yeah, I like hangin' with me.  And she told me that her hubby and her loved to have couples to hang and play games with.  (Geoff and I ended up learning to drink and play darts with them.)  I had the directions to her house, and asked if she was any where near this new development.  Turns out, she said it was attached to her neighborhood, and if we bought there, she would get a referral bonus!  We bought our house within the week.  

We had great times.  We moved in the day after Christmas, and had our house warming with our friends on New Year's Eve.  All I can say is, Geoff met the neighbors (we had four other homes built in our subdivision that night), and I got drunk enough to vomit.  (No hang over yet in my life.  That's a real accomplishment.)  We did a lot of partying with that couple.  Until, she decided she was lesbian, moved on, then he left.  (Years later, she ended up on the same ALTA team as me down in East Cobb. It was weird.  Her ex-girlfriend was her partner, and the whole time I played with that team, it was surreal.)  Kinda' like buying this house.  

Why in the world would I buy a house so quickly?  I had no experience making a major purchase, and nothing about this house was a good fit for us.  Can't force a circle into a square, peeps!  So, this post is for my migits, in the years that they start making money, and have to make wise financial choices.  

1.  Determine what your needs are.  
2.  Take your time.  
3.  Research.
4.  Pray on it, and make sure it really "feels" right.  
5.  And if you make a mistake, learn to accept it, and then, work hard to mentally store that lesson for a later date.  

As for me... I am working on number five.  We have gotten to that stage by learning from our mistakes.  I will always be there to lend advice, solicited or not.  I hope that you might open yourselves to advice and still make your own decisions. And if I offer more than my two cents worth--- know that it comes from a place of love.  And if you are preparing an "in-law" suite, I would like one in a basement.  (GRIN)  

Feb 5, 2013

The blog in which I lost that lovin' feelin'.

Shay came in crying in the middle of the night after waking and thinking about a ghost story a bus mate told her yesterday.  So, that woke Geoff and I and then Geoff's snoring had Shay and I up.  I left the king bed to head to a queen bed by myself, and even with a door closed, I was unable to fall asleep for hours.  Ironic, seeing as Geoff says he never got back to sleep.  Shay heard that and told me that his snoring kept her up.  HMMMM.  So, meanwhile, in crazy town....

I had a rough day.  One of my girlfriends loves to hear when my day is slightly screwy.  Her words, "It makes you more real."  Lisa- I am so freakin' real right now, you would love me!  I really hate when I miss a trip to the YMCA during the week.  It helps my anxiety disorder so much, and mentally, I feel clearer.  It has absolutely ZERO affect on my weight.  That is strictly maintained by not eating much.  I have had to change that recently.  I gained a few pounds back.  However, a friend of mine suggested that I build some muscle mass, and that my weight loss would change.  We shall see.  I think there is a class tomorrow.  I might find myself there.  

The worst part was an email I received today.  It was a realtor that has listed our home in the past, when the market was really hot, and we thought we might make it into our dream home- a ranch on a basement.  (When the news story came up about the Alabama bunker, I wondered how long it might take for us to make one.  True Story.)  So, when we were unable to sell without having to pay to move, we let our listing lapse, and decided that it wasn't meant to be.    Now, a year later, I get an email from that realtor that said she was contacted by an investment buyer interested in paying us our asking price from back then.  While that would be great, it is no longer such a buyers' market, and we could not afford a basement home now.  While my mom made some really great points to make my brain not so mad, I am frustrated.  "WHY YOU EMAIL AND GET MY PANTIES IN A WAD,  REALTOR LADY???????????" (Shaking an angry bunched up pair of panties in the air at her as we speak.)  

Besides the fact that we live on the most psychotic and dangerous street in all of Canton, I WANT A BASEMENT!  (Not a bigger home, as I am not much for cleaning, and have very little furniture.)   Okay, panties will relax in a few days of me accepting G-d's will for us.  I truly appreciate what I have.  
I have my health.  The love of a husband who treats me like gold, and two children that I wanted before they were even conceived.  I guess I need to stop wanting, and start appreciating more.  

While I am at it, is it too much to ask for prayers for my friend and cousin?  Friend's hubby lost his job, and they are in need of a job and for their hearts to not be so angry.  As for my cousin... he is fighting Cancer.  I fear, the Cancer is winning.  For us believers... we know He has perfect timing, and that through Christ, all things are possible.  Please band with me to pray that my cousin's heart is transformed.  Thank you.  
Leaving gymnastics today, Chaz grabbed his water bottle and his shoes.  It wasn't until after he drank out of it, and we were home, that I realized that he is not "LIZZY." 

Charlie's  eye appointment went well.  But every time the doc told Chaz to look at his ear,  all I could think was, "Van Gogh would have made a terrible eye doctor."  

I pre made a bunch of meals.  I have needed to stock the freezer.   Took three hours.  And a missed workout today ;o(  Tomorrow is another day.  Hopefully, a day where I get to sleep the night before.  

PS  I didn't get to blog yesterday.  Therefore, I am no longer in the running for the month long theme bit. So, I don't have to blog on love anymore.  Phew.   Talk about a stretch ;o)  

Feb 3, 2013

The blog in which I love where I live.

Last night was a rare date night for Geoff and I.  The YMCA allows it's members to sign up up for a free parent's night out each month where the kids go for the evening and the parents are free to leave. (While they offer child care six days a week, parents are to remain on the premises.)  This is an awesome luxury for our family, seeing as we have only paid for a babysitter for a date once in the past  seven years.

So, we were driving the kids to the YMCA, and on the corner near the "Y," we see a police car with lights on behind a stopped car in the middle of the road.  We then see a lady standing with an umbrella, and a police man standing near her, but without a hat or an umbrella.  It is not only rainy, but cold.  So cold, that there were reports of freezing rain and snowflakes in the air from throughout the area.  I notice the policeman first, and mention to Geoff how we should stop at the drug store next to us and get him an umbrella.  He says we have an extra one in the car and that we will stop and give it to him as we pass them after we drop the kids off.  When we go to leave, we see that both the lady and her car, as well as the police, are all gone.  I was relieved for both of them.

And here is the rest of the story. (Taken from the Canton P.D. Facebook page.)  

Canton Citizen’s Random Act of Kindness!

Canton PD responded to a disabled vehicle on Riverstone Pkwy yesterday. The driver reported that she had run out of gas and had forgotten her wallet. She was staying at a local hotel because her house had caught on fire earlier today. A citizen drove by, brought her some gas and paid $15.00 in the gas pump across the street for her to fill her vehicle. The unknown citizen left the scene, possibly without knowing what a difficult day this person had just been through. What a big difference such a small act of kindness can make!

*And the rest of the story included a snippit that the house fire was the house fire they had posted from earlier that same day.  

And here is what I want each of us to take away from that-  No matter what is going on, if you live in Cherokee County, when you drive through it, when you move from it, when you think about it, when you consider the options.... Cherokee County people take care of each other, those that visit, and those that leave it.  There are plenty of good people to out weigh the not so good ones.  No place is perfect.  But whatever perfect is, I think we are pretty darn close.  Kuddos to that citizen.  Kuddos to the police officer who stood near that lady in need.  (From the mom in me- Put your hat on!)  When I think of Cherokee County people, I think of my neighbor who jumped to help me this week and pick up my son from school this week.  It wasn't just her offer that made that happen.  It was the other neighbor who watched her children so that she could pick up my son with a car seat so that everyone was safe.  Those acts of kindness gave me a sense of closeness and security.  I was secure in knowing that the people I share community with are people who care for our family as they care for their very own.  

Feb 2, 2013

The blog in which I love the simple.

Date night compliments of the YMCA tonight.  It is the third date night we have accepted on behalf of the YMCA staff in so many months.  Last week was so amazing, and I thought there was no way we could top it.  Alas, Geoff whipped up the simplest, yet, romantically (yes, a new word- you're welcome) evening.  After dropping the migits off, we stopped off at Zaxby's to grab a salad to share at home, and enjoyed the fresh beer bread, and chit chatted before playing three games of Mexican Train, and I WON!  Then, he set the iPod to the ten year anniversary show of Les Mis.  Check mate!  We sat beside the fire in the round chair, and enjoyed the show.

Never underestimate the power of staying in pajamas all day with your spouse.  

Take one.  That was freakin' blinding!

I almost got my eyes open!  

We give up- on the picture with eyes open.  Not on each other- ever.  Nearing the ten year mark of marriage, we have talked a lot about our past.  I can't imagine what the next ten will bring.  I bet it will be a lot less adventurous.  I can take a break from our adventures ;o)  
Kids- we have more than most couples have.  We have love.  Simple love of just sitting together.  We can sit in silence, or we giggle trying to take pictures of ourselves and being blinded by the flash.  Whatever we do, we remember how hard we have worked to grow our marriage to love that goes beyond a fancy dinner, or spending money to try to enjoy each other.  We love each other, and we love you.

Feb 1, 2013

The blog in which I love my family & whatever "lame" activity we do.

Today, I am validated.  My writing idol, if I really have one, mentioned how awesome Neil Patrick Harris is.  That did it for me.  If she blogs it, it must be true.  So, staying on theme, I love you Jenny Lawson!  (Even though you use curse words in an art form akin to my Aunt Carol, I still love you.)

I don't know if I really idolize her, but I do appreciate her screwy-ness.  Yep.  Yet another "Erinism."  If you spell check this nonsense, you really need to get off the blog.  Just roll with it.  Which brings me to another thing I love- FRIDAY FAMILY FUN NIGHT!  With the craziness of the last few months, I have been pretty slack about coming up with some elaborate good times.  We have still had fun, but nothing like what I used to do.  So, this morning, I threw a suggestion out there- "How about we grab some of those wood building kits we have stock piled and do a few of those?" First, the fact that I had not been pre-planning our trifecta should clue you in on my level of functioning. Then, the mere mention of doing something with a hammer should cause concern/worry/anxiety, and your fingers should be on speed dial to a nearby marriage counselor or an AA sponsor.

I post on Facebook our plans.  The neighbor, who honestly does nothing more than build a new house for himself each day, thought that sounded cool.  Awe.  Sad.  He doesn't know that there are way less "lame" things to do on a Friday night!  Like, say, watch your daughter put a pair of underwear on her head and sing a song.  Or have your son sing Jason Mraz songs with you.  Or do a silly scavenger hunt attached to a migit running around in the house (BTW- our family scavenger hunts are like a freakin' torture exercise of will- I play hard core.)  Catching fireflies on a summer night... camp fires... game night (another hard core competitive night for me)... swimming at the YMCA indoor pool...movie night...hide and seek, in the dark....oh... I think I have my inspiration again.  Looking forward to making a less "lame" adventure for us next week.  In the mean time....

How is it that I have found myself not fully throwing myself into our family fun?  Super Saturday and Sunday Funday are fairly easy to improvise, but Fridays?  Meh.  I realized, that it really doesn't matter what we do, but that we do it together.  I love to hang with my migits and my man.  I love to laugh, sing, dance, and do all these things with my family.  I don't care if we are doing something "lame" or not.  I love my life.

Finished product.  Took about an hour.  Yes, they are essentially boxes with wheels.  Don't ask.  

That can't be right. 

That one screw made me want to drink.  

Charlie does not really like to hammer.  Or screw.  Or anything that requires use of his hands.  He enjoys dancing.  I don't know why I bothered with this tonight.  I need medication.  Yesterday.  

I would say that he hit this one nail, for about five minutes.  Didn't get very far.  After 15 minutes of mostly me hammering, we had four nails in.  NAILED IT!

Shay has got it going on.  She is better, but even this one they managed to screw up the ladder part on top.  So, she doesn't have one.  

This is a happy scene.  We hadn't started yet.  

They each picked two from the bag of maybe six?  Then, we managed to complete one.  Right, about that.  

He would still be hammering if I made him do it himself.  Geoff took over for me since I got an important call that I had to take.  Bless his heart.