Monday, December 3, 2012


I really feel sorry for my husband right now...I'm currently obsessed my creating a guest room/office. It's not costing much money at all, so I don't feel that guilty. But it is creating a lot of work and probaby annoyance for him.

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, I just get these compulsions or obsessions and I can't shake them until I get it out of my system. I've been this way for as long as I can remember. I would play for hours alone with my barbies in some imaginative playworld. All the time. Every day. Until I was way too old to still be playing with barbies. I was obsessed with certain movies (ahem, Indiana Jones, still obsessed with it!). I was obsessed with the Reds (oh yeah, still am!). Though some of the guys I used to crush on may have changed, goodbye Tom Cruise, hello Chris Evans, very few of my mannerisms have changed.

And I feel I am unfortunately passing this trait on to my kids. I wish I was obsessed over good things, like cleaning really well, exercising, cooking, reading, knitting, etc. Too bad I don't. I try to calm myself down, but I just think about it all the time! At least I can multi-task with my obsessions...I'm able to try to plan a summer trip to Cleveland all based around when they're filming Captain America there so my darling daughter and I might get a glimpse of our super hero, at the same time attending an Indians game of choice that the boys want to see. And plan our spring break trip visiting my dear friend, seeing the capital to appease the husband and fitting in a Nationals game to quench my thirst for more baseball (wouldn't you know they are playing in Cincy the week before...maybe we can go then too!). And we can't forget all things Disney! Planning that big family trip for the summer least I don't have to coordinate those dates around other least not that I know of!

So, I feel sorry for my husband for having to move furniture and watch the same movies over and over. I feel sorry for my friends who have to hear me talk about the same things over and over. And my poor facebook friends that put up with my endless posts about the Reds...but at least that's only for a few months out of the thankful I don't like hockey!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's the most scary time of the year

It's the most scary time of the year and I'm not talking about the elections!!

I used to dread this time of would always put my convictions to the test. I always loved the weather and autumn itself, but as a mother I dreaded what the majority celebrated this season.
For starters, I battle every day of my life trying to defeat fear. Fear of a lot of things. But mostly fear of all things scary, especially supernatural. I've always had a problem with fear. I never had any negative supernatural experiences myself, but I feared having them! Just hearing people in my family or church talk about it or seeing scary things on tv did me in. I had such a paralyzing fear of all things devilish, that my mom wrote down "Perfect love casts out all fear" and would have me carry it with me and make me repeat it whenever I started to panic. I know that God is greater, but I have to remind myself of that every day.
The other issue is growing up my mom always wanted to educate us to make the right decisions. I have watched so many films, had to read so many books & articles about how pagan and non-Christian so many of our holidays really were. She constantly lectured about them ALL of the time. And it wasn't just to me and my brother, it was to everyone. It was squashed inside of me and I had no choice but to follow.
So when my first child was born, I felt this enormous pressure from not only myself but from my mom on how we would celebrate holidays. I was intimidated and so the easiest thing for me to do was to do nothing. I would only decorate for Christmas and be careful about that. She always had her opinion of what I did or she made sure to say it before I even had the chance to do something or not.

So now she's gone and I still find myself dreading this month. But I've learned to be accountable for my own beliefs and convictions. I love the color of the changing leaves and pumpkins. There is nothing sinister in that. The kids love to dress up and play pretend, but I let them do it all year long so they don't feel odd or strange not going out at the end of the month like every other kid they know. And as for the candy, that's a treat any time of the year!

We read the Bible and Bible stories to our kids, pray every day and teach them to love God. But I don't want to bully them into it. I know this will have affect every area of their life where they will have to make decisions and I want them to be accountable for what they chose, not just because it's what their mom told them.

So, I still don't promote anything scary or wicked (would that make God be glorified??) and I don't cram it down other people's throats if they choose to do things differently. I don't totally keep the kids away from all things associated with this time of year either. But above all, I am still searching for the right way to live and raise my kids and if God wants things done a different way, I'm all for change! Happy Fall :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Things Happen When you Try

Now I appreciate having a small house and not so much furniture, namely bedroom furniture for the kids. I thought it would be a good idea to give my daughter her own room and put the two boys in the bigger room together. The kids were sold on this idea and so was I, but there is never any time to do it.

twin's room before
I took advantage of the husband taking one of kids to an out of town wedding where they would be staying the night. And the twins spent the day and night with my dad. So I was determined to get this room switch done. But I also wanted to scratch my itch of eliminating the white walls by painting the boys room. As soon as the door left behind the twins, I was on the clock.

Dissassemble the room and clean it.
twin's room before

Then I finally painted it. Here is where the appreciation of a small house comes in...I can't imagine having big or lots of rooms to paint. Or numerous or large windows to treat either. But the project wasn't too bad. I did have an Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade moment when I was cleaning the walls and thought I could just stretch a little bit more to reach a spot without having to move my stepstool (you know the part at the end of the movie when Indy falls down the crevice reaching for the girl and then can barely touch the cup?). Of course I fell off.
these 3 pics are the boys' room now (the "after")
daughter's new room (new bedding)
To my surprise it was a little fun challenging myself to inexpensively spruce up their new bedrooms. I've decided to keep things simple. Not blow our hard-earned money of useless decor the just collects dust (one more chore). I'm not an interior decorator, but I sure appreciate seeing my friends' ornately decorated homes...I gain more & more respect for them each day! I'm sure my daughter will be disappointed that I didn't make her room pink. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Her walls are still white and she has denim drapes that I like because they block out a lot of excess light. I really wanted something lite and classical for her. So I went with navy & red floral with paisley sheets.

After cleaning things up, I admit I was pretty pleased with things. Until I went downstairs and saw my hallway light fixtures that look like they came right out of the Haunted Mansion in Disney World...not the look I'm going for!

Oh and I've decided, I'm not going to continue to call my house small, I thing I will call it cozy. And my back and legs are kind of telling me to put up with the white walls in the rest of the house for a little while!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Craft

Well I've finally done it. After being a mother for over 9 years, going to multiple "crafty" parties in my life, and spending many hours on Pinterest...I have finally completed my first, non-kid-assisted craft. It is mostly for the kids' stuff, but to save my sanity.

I have kept all of the craft magnets that the kids have made for me and display them proudly. In fact, I have put some to good use.

The little "butterfly" clothespin magnet from the oldest child has been used the most (and for those who know me, it is painful for me to touch it since it is a butterfly, but nevertheless, useful).

I have used it for a couple of years now to hold their homework that is due in the coming days or things that I need to hang on to for a while. I also use it to clip upcoming tickets to Reds games, invitations to the countless events we have to attend and so on. It is vital to our survival!

But the trouble with it is that it would get heavy at times and fall off the cabinet or fridge. Or when someone wanted to clip something to it, often times the other papers would fall out and create a mess. So it wasn't getting the job done as efficiently as I wanted.

I wanted to solve my little dilemna without spending much money or wasting more time. That is when my Pinteresting came through. I thought of a magazine holder or some kind of file folder. But I didn't have any counter space anywhere. I wanted to make some 3-dimensional and keep it on the fridge near the calendar. The I thought of it! An old cereal box.

I would cut it a little, cover it and attach magnets to it!

And there I have it! My first craft that I thought of on my own and did all by myself! My daughter is so proud!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Good Advice

You've probably been to a few showers where the hostess asks you to write down advice for the guest of honor. I know I've been to quite a few and have also been the recipient. There have been times lately where I'm in the middle of this huge problem (you know, the kid's homework!) and needed some advice. Where are those little slips of paper then? Probably in a box with one of the invitations, the confetti, the special little trinkets that I kept, fully intending to scrapbook...Of course now I don't even know where that box is!

So I was thinking, now that I've been married a while and had the kids, what advice would I give myself?

  • Never  run out of milk...and hot dogs.
  • Pick out school clothes the night before, that goes for lunches & snacks too.
  • At least every season go through the toys and box up more than half of them, then switch the toys so they are "fresh" again.
  • Remember that kids outgrow underwear & socks too.
  • What good is it to have gloves, hats, coats & snow pants if I forgot to buy snow boots?
  • They don't need birthday parties every year.
  • Go on a vacation that the husband likes too, then Disney every time after that.
  • Adjust to eating dinner by yourself during family meals, by the time you sit down to eat everyone is done.
  • Wear the nice pajamas every once in a while. And jewelry too.
  • Try to declutter the house before bed, even if that means putting everything in a laundry basket and putting it in the closet until the next day.
  • Stop at one.
If you have any to add, I'd love to hear them!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Live in Da Now Instead of Denial

A lot of conversations I've had with friends lately have involved denial. And all of them had negative impacts not only on the people in denial, but also their loved-ones around them. When I thought about what denial means to me, I define it as deception to one's self, whether intentional or's still a lie. Many times I think we confuse being in denial with having faith, but that's not true at all. Usually with denial there is inaction, whereas faith requires action--usually involving prayer and constant searching for truth.
It didn't take long for me to deal with denial and see how negatively it impacted my family.

My real experience with denial was 28 weeks pregnant with my first child and I had all the symptoms of labor, but I refused to believe that I would be having this baby already. I was just going to work through it and deny the signs. Once I was finally convinced to go to my doctor, my life changed drastically when I gave birth to a preemie. It still didn't seem real to me, I just kept thinking that this little 2lb, 14oz boy would be just fine and come home from the hospital shortly and not have anything wrong. It did no good to believe that. That didn't stop him from coming home 6 weeks later on oxygen, needing surgeries and developmental therapy for the next 3 years. Each day I was crushed. I didn't want to believe this was happening to my child. But truth was the truth and I had to deal with it. Once I began to live in reality and accept it, I saw it wasn't so bad. God put people in my path that helped us along the way. Denial only made life harder.

Good thing I started living in the now because 4 years later it was deja vu all over again! But this time it was 27 weeks pregnant with twins. I thought this can't be happening to me again! This pregnancy I took precautions to prevent preterm delivery, but whatever, it happened. But this time my perspective had changed. I had seen God do the impossible with my first child and I knew that if I sought His direction, He wouldn't fail. It may not be in the way that I expect, but when I surrender to His will, then He is in control. The twins were in the hospital longer and it was a rockier road. Still had very similar experiences as far as surgeries and therapy goes, but I dealt with it much better.

My mom was 50 years old and died, 3 weeks after the twins were born, from breast cancer. My dad was in total shock. He admitted that he didn't believe she would really succumb to cancer. He was devastated to lose her, but also felt like it was a lack of faith on his part. They sought treatment. They prayed and asked for God's will to be done...and ultimately His will was done. We were created to serve Him and she had. Our human bodies are destructible and destined to die...and she did. Living in denial during my mom's illness and after her death took a toll on my dad. He refused to believe she was really sick and couldn't believe she was taken away. But what good did all that thinking do? No good. He is slowly going back to church and having a relationship with God as his Father again. And his outlook is changing. He enjoys doing things with our family because we are here. I'm not in any way saying that mourning is wrong, but it's not bringing her back.

Nothing good comes out of denying that we need help or maybe our kids need help. Just accept it and get the help! We can't live in denial if our finances are not good. Find out what we're not doing right and make a change! I'm talking to myself here.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Throw Away the Label

The guy in the movie Puncture buys this suit because it’s on sale and is Armani…it doesn’t exactly look great and it definitely doesn’t fit into his work environment. The girls in Sex and the City only wear designer duds and some of their outfits are atrocities! Growing up, I begged my mom to buy me Guess jeans, I didn’t care what they looked like, just so long as the label said Guess. I got handed down a pair of denim overalls from one of my older cousins and I remember wearing them proudly because they were Guess. Even though they were boys and even though I looked absolutely hideous in them!

My mother-in-law was telling me about a guy she saw who was pierced and tatted up, but he was the kindest, most gentle guy who helped her with something. She said she had judged him wrong so quickly and learned a good lesson.

Those labels we want really mean very little and may even project the wrong image to others. But I guess who really cares what others think? So long as we live right and are pleasing to God, His is the only opinion that counts.

I was reading a MOPS publication recently and it was about a mother taking her kid on a playdate and judged another mother for looking stylish and having a big, clean house. She admitted that she missed out on that mom’s friendship on looks alone. I think a little differently…I think that those who are opposite of me- skinny, pretty women with big, clean houses (or guys of any kind) are judging me and therefore won’t waste their time with my friendship or company. So I was intimidated to ever even initiate a conversation with them or even try to be their friend. Since we had kids in the same class at school I ended up being friends with so many of that type of person and it turns out, I don’t think they judged me because I was the opposite of them. They treated me the same as they treated their friends who were the same as them. How stupid was I!!

In the same way of thinking, I need to throw away the perception of myself based on my label. And stop trying to label my family. I have a tendency to label my oldest son as a kid with Rain Man tendencies because he talks non-stop about useless information (useless to me) and can quickly size up a room with burned out lightbulbs…and it just grates on my nerves!! But a friend said to me that it wasn’t a bad quality, he just has curiosity and his quirks just make him who he is. I have this internal label that my daughter should be prim & proper, yet she is so messy that I get mad at her for being so. She has always been messy and not purposely. At least she knows that she is and always eats her dinner with a towel close by! So what if she’s messy? Just teach her how to clean up after herself and never buy her white clothes!!!

Believe me, I can be a label snob when it comes to lots of things. And because of that I limit myself and miss out.

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's the Little Things

Seems like sometimes the biggest obstacles bring us closer together, even though we think it would be the opposite. Usually because we're so focused on getting over that hurdle and the only way we can do it is with support. And then we're so relieved when we finally make it over that mountain.

But the little things really add up and start to chip away at our relationships. I was talking to a friend and he was mad at his girlfriend because she was giving him the silent treatment. And when he asked her what was wrong it was something very petty. Yet she was mad at him and he was mad at her that he left. Turns out it was over $20 for gas, but it snowballed into something relationship-threatening.

I wish I wasn't so vulnerable to the "stinking-thinking" syndrome. There are so many positives in my family's life, yet I fail to remember those when I'm too busy being mad about the little things. I hate it that I get so easily agitated when the kids leave their toys out in the toys' room or how they constantly ask me to do things for them because...hmm, let's see, they're 5 years old and not tall enough to reach the waffles from the freezer (although I should be thankful that they ask me instead of getting a chair and climbing up there themselves!) and put them in the toaster. I wish I would take a minute to think about all of the nice things my husband does around the house and with the kids before I get ticked that he didn't put his plate in the dishwasher that one time. And then I get annoyed at the oldest one for constantly asking me if he's allowed to do this or watch that, even though I'm the one who trained him to always ask my permission before he just does anything.

I am challenging myself to learn from my shortcomings and flip it on itself and try to use the little things to build my family up. Telling each of them that I love them is good, but showing a compassionate face and speaking in a warm tone and having a gentle touch need to accompany everything I do. Looking for the small cues for each member in my house and then acting on them positively may result in a big payoff. And even if not, it can't hurt!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Decisions, indecisions…

We’ve lived in our house for 7 years now and we haven’t painted a thing. Isn’t that just terrible? I know! I did finally buy a new couch and loveseat last year after I just couldn’t stand sitting on my beige couch that was more like brown now and still smelling baby formula even though my babies were 4 years old then. Shew, check that one off my list of major accomplishments. Actually making a decision, that was a major accomplishment. And guess what, I love the new furniture!

I feel this major burden that I should paint some of the rooms in my house. It literally keeps me awake at night, going over what color the walls should be and what is my style and theme? I get consumed by it. I look in magazines, on Pinterest, and I see the beautiful colors at my friends’ homes. And have I even stepped foot anywhere near actually buying a can of paint? Nope. I’m too nervous. I need to just be courageous and pick a color that would be calming and complimentary to our furniture and just do it.

It’s really not that big of a deal either way! If I never paint a room in this house, why do I care? Is that going to stop my friends and family from visiting? I doubt it. And if I paint the walls the wrong color, can I not change it?? Absolutely! What is my problem?

…I’m my own worst enemy

Friday, June 22, 2012

I have to vent...

I like striped shirts. I know I’m not skinny therefore not allowed to wear horizontal stripes, but I’ve decided that’s too bad. If the site of me wearing a striped shirt or sweater is just too much for you to bear, please avert your eyes.

There, I got that off my chest. Now I am officially allowed to buy & wear it if I like it, thankyouverymuch.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Oh another day and another day of terrible meals made by me. Well there not actually meals, more like a little bit of this, a little bit of that; a couple kids eat this and a couple of us eat that, and the poor husband gets this.

I don’t cook well is a major understatement. Yes, I can follow recipes and instructions, but a major part of the issue is putting meals together and picking out what to actually make. Something that won’t take forever in the kitchen and use our monthly income to fund. Something I won’t have to force not only my kids to eat, but force myself to eat too.

Those simple meals in the magazines are just not for my family. Not only do I have none of the ingredients ever on hand, I have never even heard of most of them! Skip! So then I turn to my inspiration, Pinterest. Now I’m getting somewhere…overwhelmed! Before I know it, I have wasted 7 hours on the computer looking for things to cook when I should actually be cooking something! So now it’s another grilled cheese & tomato soup night or hot dogs & macaroni-n-cheese.

I’m frustrated. My kids are hungry. I’m hungry. I’m sure my husband is hungry too. I try to think about what I ate growing up. Let’s see…grilled cheese & tomato soup, hot dogs & macaroni-n-cheese, sometimes my mom would throw some spaghetti & sauce in the mix. I see a pattern…my mom was not a cook, I am not a cook, my kids don’t know how to eat a real meal. This is not good. I have to make a change.

I’m thinking real hard. I get out all of my pristine cookbooks that I received as wedding gifts…10 years ago…the binding cracking since they’ve never been opened. All of these different types of cooking methods, cuts of meat, vegetables and breads…oh my. The more I read the recipes, the more mad I get at my family because I know they would never eat these meals. What picky eaters they are! They should be punished! I’m already thinking of the discipline in my mind when it’s so far from reality.

And then it’s as if someone hit me on the head with one of my rarely-used, but very expensive non-stick pans! KISS…"Keep It Simple, Stupid". I think I heard that in church when I was younger. Would my family eat eggs, bacon and toast for breakfast and stay filled up until lunch? Yes. Would they eat fruit, lunchmeat and pretzels and stay filled up until dinner? Yes. Would they eat any vegetable and chicken and maybe potatoes and be happy? Yes. And if they needed a snack during the day or dessert at night, would they be happy with some yogurt or more fruit? Yes. Oh my goodness. I may be on to something. Could I actually switch things around a little like some oatmeal here or a bagel there for breakfast? Astounding! Could we maybe eat a quesadilla for lunch with a salad on the side or even some broccoli soup with some good bread? Amazing! What about maybe some steak or chicken fajitas for dinner with grilled vegetables? Drum roll please, yes we can!!!

I should market my meal plan, I’m really on to something! I should sell those cookbooks in a yard sale and read one of the kids’ school lunch menu to get some real solutions. Once again, the problem is clear

…I’m my own worst enemy

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Typical toddler, pushy parent…

It’s summertime and the kids are off school. They beg to let them stay up late since it’s summer break. I sympathize and let them stay up later. They wake up at their normal break of dawn time and we are off to the amusement park.

Hurry up, run to the kids’ area, don’t want to waste 5 seconds of time walking when we could be riding a ride. No, we’ve got to get our money’s worth out of these passes.

Let’s all ride this roller coaster as a family, even though one of the kids doesn’t like those kind of rides…no, you have to, we’re going to do this as a family. As we stand in the long line in the 90 degree heat, I get mad that he pukes from a mixture of heat & anxiety. Seriously? How could he ruin this moment, oh and I let him know I feel this way, all of us let him know that. Like the poor kid timed it and got sick on purpose, right.

I don’t understand why all three of the kids are whining that they’re hungry and their feet hurt. I told them to eat before we left and can’t they understand that I packed food for us to eat in the van after we’re done at the park? Don’t they know how I plan things by now? And why oh why do they keep asking to play those $5 games that they’re never going to win the dollar store prize because all the games are rigged? How could they be sucked in to all the marketing and gimmicks, when I’m clearly not.

Hmmm, could it be that they are tired? Could it be that I should have planned better and communicated better? Wait, could it be that they are little kids and this is how children act and I need to handle them & myself better?

Why do I feel that we have to race around and try to fit it all in to this tiny amount of time? I’m mad that I still haven’t learned that the kids respond kindly when I am kind and they are mad devils when I act like a mad devil.

…I’m my own worst enemy

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's about time...

I just started writing a blog, wait, I actually just started reading blogs not that long ago…I’m a couple years behind.

I’ve only been texting and using a smartphone for just over a year…I’m a couple years behind.

I have finally come to terms with my unruly curly hair, full-sized curvy body and non-creative, not-too-bright self…quite a few years behind.

But really, who I am racing against? Whose timetable am I trying to follow? Any time is the right time, when it’s right. My friends have the latest gadgets and styles, and sometimes I find myself worrying that if I don’t get in on the bandwagon that I’m missing out on something. Who’s pressuring me?

…I’m my own worst enemy