Friday, December 9, 2011

If I Learned Anything...

If I have learned anything this year it's that just when you think nothing worse could happen to you, something will. You will never be without tragedy in your life. What makes or break a person though is how you deal with it.

Do you let it consume you until you're an empty shell of a person?

Do you let it harden you until you feel nothing at all anymore?

Or do you choose to not let your circumstances define who you are?

I think I've been through the first two of those questions at one point or another. There were times during most of March and April where I would wake up just long enough to get Alanna ready for school (at that point, Lydia was still up in Maine) before I'd collapse back in bed or on the sofa and pass back out until it was time to get her off the bus again in the afternoon.

Despite all that sleep I was still exhausted. Emotionally drained. Empty. Completely empty. No one understood why and I couldn't figure out how to explain it to anyone so the question I was always getting was "Why are you so tired all the time? It's not like you've done anything today." I couldn't make them understand just how crushing the depression I was going through was.

What's worse, is that I couldn't pinpoint what was causing it. There was no one reason for it. And no in-your-face obvious one. But it had consumed me. I was on auto pilot. I did what needed to be done when it needed to be done, but nothing more. I let it suck me down into this deep dark hole that I never thought I'd climb out of.

Later on down the road, after losing Lilly, I just stopped caring. Why care about things when someone or something is just going to come and take it away again. Why put yourself out there to love anyone when in an instant they could be gone? She'd saved me more than we'd saved her, and she was gone. And it broke my heart.

Then in August, September, and November, we lost the 3 remaining Rottweilers that we had. We tried everything we could think of to keep them with us but one by one they just passed away. They were in so much pain and it hurt so bad  to lose them. Every time a scar had started to form another one died and ripped the wound right open again.

I got to a point where I tried to hold my heart in an iron grip so nothing could get to it and nothing could hurt it again.

But that is no way to live.

If you are successful that way of keeping the bad things out, you also miss out on all the good. This year has been the worst year I have ever lived in my 28 years of life. I cannot remember a worse one. It's been heartache after heartache with seemingly no break in between. But if I shut myself off, and shut down completely, then I miss out on the possibility that next year may not be so bad.

Could it be?


But what if it isn't? Am I going to let what's happened this year dictate the things that I do or what I want to accomplish? No. If anything, everything that's happened this year has only shown me, through all my brokenness and heartache, that I can survive. I did survive. Not without injury, but I'm here.

I can't stay that I look forward to what this next year has in store. But I can say that I am waiting for it. And I will meet it head on.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Been a Long Time

Well, it's been a while since I was here last. With my book blog there are always things to say, because I'm always reading books. But here, I hit a mental block. Couldn't think of anything creative or worth reading.

I'm back though. I may still have nothing worthwhile to say, but if I don't try, how will I find out. Right?

Homeschooling is going well. It amazes me the difference in Alanna's work NOW as opposed to what it was when she was actually in school. She's doing so well and she's learning so much. It makes me proud to watch her figure things out and I love learning things along the way too.

Lydia's in preschool. She's doing beautifully. She's so smart. And she picks up things that kids twice her age don't. I can never seem to keep up with her.

This year has been an extremely trying one full of sadness and loss. I think that also plays a part in my being mostly absent. Books are easier to talk about than life most of the time. My sister's ex husband passed away, the horse my mother and I had "rescued" disappeared after we made several attempts to purchase her from her owner, jobs were lost, and all 3 of my remaining dogs died within months of each other.

So, there's my explanation. I can't promise I'll be any more interesting now than I was before. And I know I wasn't all that interesting then. But I will try and post more.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Being a Bully

I was a lucky child in that I don't believe I was ever bullied by anyone at school. Or outside of school. I was friends with people who were, but because it wasn't me I was really disconnected from what was going on.

I remember when I was in elementary school I was friends with a boy around the corner. We were playing in my side yard when another boy(a bigger, older boy) showed up at my house. I was not friends with THIS particular boy and had absolutely no affinity for him. Whatsoever. I didn't like him in the slightest. But he came in to my yard. After my friend. He chased him down and knocked him on his face in the grass. I remember screaming for my mother who was inside the house. She threw open her bathroom window (because it faced the part of the yard we were in) and yelled down for the bigger boy to stop. Luckily, he did. And he left. I hate to admit it, but a few days later I'd all but forgotten about it. Or at least, I forgot about it until I saw him again. He never came near me though.

My brother, I think, was picked on at one point in highschool by a wannabe thug (no seriously, he was... tattoos and everything at like 15, bad attitude, rude, mean to everyone). I don't remember exactly what happened but my brother's friend ended up getting beat up by this wannabe because he defended my brother. We ended up giving him a ride home from school that day. It was funny though, that wannabe sat behind me in an assembly one day, I was a senior, and tried to talk to me. I guess he didn't realize he'd been messing with my brother.

Did you know that each day it's estimated that 160,000 students don't go to school because they're afraid of being bullied? And based on research I've done, in school bullying cases there is only intervention 15% of the time. So 85% of the time someone could be watching your child get picked on or beat up and do nothing. And of that 15% only 4% is ADULT intervention. The rest comes from peers.

Why are we failing our kids? Why are the people we trust to take care of them at school failing our kids? This isn't just something we can brush under the rug. Bullying is linked to depression, health problems, poor grades, and even suicidal thoughts in children.

And you can't just tell your kids to "stand up to them". Because really, if the person's a bully that's only going to make it worse. It's going to make the bully angrier. And your poor child is going to reap the consequences. Bullies aren't just cowards or insecure people who will back down when their bluff is finally called. They're arrogant, egotistical, and aggressive. For some, violence or name calling is all they know. Standing up to them won't stop them.

Some people say they didn't KNOW their chidl was being bullied. So guess what... I'm going to tell you what to look for.

1. They lose interest in extracurricular activities and even in school.
2. Performance in school drops below what you know they're capable of.
3. They complain of illness to try and get out of going to school.
4. They seem afraid to ride the bus or go to school.
5. Their appetite decreases.
6. The get moody or depressed.
7. They can't sleep.

There you go, from the website My Child Safety, signs you can look for that your little one - or even your big one - is being bullied.
Now.... the parents of those doing the bullying should be heald accountable too right? So pay attention to whether or not your kids are aggressive. Watch out for how they behave towards adults or those in positions of authority, like teachers. Is your child hot tempered or easily frustrated? Are they impulsive? Bullies are good at talking their way out of trouble and they have little to no sympathy for anyone else that's on the receiving end in a bullying situation. They have positive views toward violence.

When your child is being bullied, it is your DUTY to them, as their parent, to step in and DO something. If you don't, who will? According to statistics, definitely not their teachers. And probably not their friends. When your child IS a bully it is STILL your duty as their parent to step in and do something. To stop it.

No child deserves that kind of phsycological torture. "Kids will be kids" you say? Yes, that's true, but it does NOT give YOUR kid a right to scream at my kid for the duration of a bus ride. It does not give your kid a right to call my kid names. It does not give your kid the right to convince others to purposefully ignore my kid and leave them out of things. It does not give your kid the right to push, shove, tease, or do ANYTHING of that nature to MY kid.

Because you better believe if I hear about it I will do what needs to be done to stop it.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


In honor and in memory of all of those who deserve to be remembered forever....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Warning Signs (Please Read)

Abuse manifests itself in many ways. Verbally, physically, emotionally...

And unfortunately it can affect men, women, and children.

Whether or not you personally are in an abusive relationship, you probably know someone who is and you don't even realize it. And they need you. They desperately need a friend. Whether they admit it or not.

Being that I am obviously a woman, I am going to speak from a woman's view point.

Signs you're in an abusive relationship:
  1. Your spouse or significant other is extremely possessive and jealous.Of anything. Friends, family, coworkers.
  2. He try to control you with threats that if you don't do what they say he'll leave you.
  3. He attempts to isolate you from friends and loved ones. He demands that you sever ties with them. Saying that you'd do it if you truly loved him.
  4. He's violent and loses his temper easily. Things that don't bother normal people seem to set off an unnecessary reaction in him. And he blames you for his anger.
  5. Tells you that you are inferior to him. (In the cases of someone being in a supposed Christian relationship he will tell you that the Bible supports this claim). And he will do everything in his power to convince you it's true.
  6. He abuses drugs and alcohol. Sometimes saying he wouldn't do those things if you were a better partner.
  7. He mistreats you and then tells you that it's your fault. That if you hadn't said or done something he wouldn't have had to scream at you or hurt you.
  8. He purposefully embarasses you in public. In front of family, friends, acquaintances. His or yours. When confronted he says that he was only playing. That you're too sensitive.
  9. You find that you're overly worried about how he will react to things. Like if the house is messy or the dishes aren't done. Or if you break something.
  10. If he grew up being abused or witnessing an abusive relationship he may treat you the way he was or the way he saw others being treated. Claiming that it's ok because that's how he was brought up.
  11. If he threatens to harm himself if you leave him. If he threatens to hurt YOU if you leave him.
It's easy to see a woman in an abusive relationship and say "If that were me I'd have left already." It's easy to say "Well, she's stayed with him, she's asking for it." That's not true. Not at all. Some women are brainwashed by their parters in to thinking they deserve to be treated the way they are. They deserve the abuse. That it's there fault and if only they could act differently their partner would stop treating them that way.

Some women are threatened with other things. Losing their children, whether or not the claim is possible, as a mother, one of the scariest thoughts in the world is that of losing either of my children. Some women are actually threatened with police involvement if they choose to leave. And a claim that they'll be charged with kidnapping or abuse themselves (and it is possible for a man to cause himself injury so as to have a woman arrested for domestic violence, even when he's the actual culprit).

Some women stay because they fear something even worse if they leave. If they go with threats of violence or even death to themselves, their children, and other family members. Some women, as I said before, fear that their parter will harm himself. And with the mindset they've been in for so long they are led to believe that it will be their own fault if something happens to their partner.

Intimidation and fear are not love. If a man tells you that you're not allowed to speak to your own family, he's an abuser. If a man tells you that your children are not allowed to speak to your family, he's an abuser. If a man tells you that he's going to hurt himself and it would be your fault if he did, he's an abuser. If he tells you that you're not allowed to have friends, or that you're not allowed to speak to them (if you're allowed to keep them) about anything that goes on in your household, he's an abuser. If he hits you he's an abuser. If he calls you names and tells you that it's your fault, he's an abuser (heck, even if he DOESNT tell you that it's your fault).

And for goodness sake, think about your children if you won't think about yourselves.

If your child tells you he's done something to them that they couldn't possibly have learned from anywhere else, listen to them. Even if you don't believe them 100% LISTEN TO THEM. If you leave them with your partner, even if it's just to go to the bathroom, and they tell you he's done something to them when you come back out, listen. If it happens EVERY TIME you go somewhere, listen. If your partner does nothing but sit and watch your children, waiting to catch them doing something wrong so they can yell at them, he's an abuser. If you find bruises on your child and she seems embarassed or doesn't want to tell you where she got them, PAY ATTENTION. If they tell you they're not allowed to tell or else they're afraid they'll get hurt worse, LISTEN. If your children start saying inappropriate things, but won't tell you where they heard them from, pay attention. If they start reacting violently to things that never bothered them before, pay attention. If they start to touch other people inappropriately, or if they start playing rough, or if they all of the sudden have a change in attitude.... PAY ATTENTION.

Your children are not out to get you. Little girls and little boys are not out to ruin your relationships. They are not lying to you to pit you against your partner. Your friends are not out to get you.

And likewise, friends and family, your loved one may want to leave... but doesn't know how. They may be so emotionally beat down that they don't think they'll ever be able to leave. They may not understand that they're being abused. They may truly believe they are the cause of all of the problems in the relationship.

They need your help. They need your love and support. They need someone to tell them they are loved. And they are important. And they are worth something better. Because speaking from experience... in relationships like that... after a while they feel worthless, useless, hopeless... all they want is someone to reach out a hand.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

My Apologies

I've been fairly absent from this blog the last few months and I apologize for that.

I moved back to Virginia from Maine in January after taking a leave of absence from work for depression and anxiety and honestly, those two things just hadn't gotten any better after the change. Lots of things have gone on recently and not so recently that have made it difficult to write, as well as difficult for any improvement as far as the depression and anxiety are concerned.

I've also been at a loss for things to write about, honestly. With my book blog it's easy, I write about the books I read and love. Here, I have to be creative. :-P And sometimes I'm all out of that kind of juice.

I'm still researching homeschooling and am still planning on going that route with Alanna come the fall. It's a lot to do and a lot to plan for, but I've been fortunate enough to have help from some of my old classmates from highschool and some friends from back in Maine.

I'm also going through a pretty ridiculous divorce that is the source of all kinds of irritation. But that can only last so long and then things are over and done with. My advice in this situation? Make sure you truly know who you're marrying when you marry them. You don't want to look back on however many years of your life that you spent with a person and wish that you could take them back. Do them over. I love his family though. With all my heart. And at least one good thing came out of it all. :-) The pretty little 3 year old who's asleep in the next room.

So if anyone has questions, or if there is anything you would like to see me write about, please don't hesitate to let me know! I will try and start writing regularly again soon.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

I'm going to be an auntie again!

My sister in law is currently in labor right now with my nephew Carter! It's their first child and my 5th nephew. :-)

I had a bit of an issue though when it came to shopping for a shower gift. I've never actually purchased a gift for a little boy. And when I say little I mean infant. I've bought my other nephews Dragon Ball Z toys, Transformers, etc. But a baby? I had NO idea. Every little item of clothing that I saw was cute, but not cute enough. I didn't know what to get as far as toys were concerned. And I couldn't find a THING to match their nursery theme.


SO... what I did was shop for his mommy instead.

I figured I'd give you guys a few ideas what you can get as shower gifts when clothes and toys fail you like they failed me. Hehe.

Bottom Butter (or Desitin or ButtPaste or Bottom Paste, etc). It's a diaper rash ointment/preventative made by Palmer's. I personally chose this because it helps baby butts but doesn't have that awful smell like some diaper rash cremes do. It spreads easy, it's not as messy, and it's moisture-proof.

Travel baby wipe containers. They're useful because they don't take up too much room, but still carry those life-saving babywipes. With my first, I used plastic baggies because I didn't feel like carrying those HUGE baby wipe containers. With Lydia, though, I used the travel containers a lot more. And a lot of them have cute little designs like this one over here. And doing a google search, I see a lot of people customize their own with cute little fabrics, or letter stickers so they can personalize them for their little ones.

This little gem right here is a Fisher Price Precious Planet Bath Kneeler Knee Pad. WOW. That was a mouthful. I never had one of these beauties, but I did buy one for Kearsten to use when she gives little Carter his tubbies. This is going to make me sound old but... my knees kill me. Ok so not literally, but they like to stop working when I need to stand up. Kneeling on the floor to bathe babies can take a toll on you. One that's absolutely preventable. This definitely provides a more cushy alternative.

Scratch mittens. We've all seen babies with their precious little fingernails on their tiny little fingers. And we've all seen babies with scratches and knicks and what not from scratching their poor little faces with those fingernails. Scratch mittens obviously help prevent that. I say help because we all know how good babies are at some how maneuvering in a way that everything that's not buttoned down falls off.

Those are just a few goodies, but if you're ever in the need for shower gift ideas and just don't know what to get, these work for little girls as well of course. Hope that helps someone with gift buying block. :-) If I can save anyone from walking around a store for 2 hours without a thing in their cart like I did, I will.

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter

(this "poem" does not belong to me)

Greatest man in History, named Jesus.
He had no servants, yet they called Him master.
Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
Had no medicines, yet they called Him healer.
He had no army, yet kings feared Him.
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.
Isaiah 53:5 (New King James Version)
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

John 11:25-26 (New King James Version)
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.
Do you believe this?”

Happy Easter.

Remember the reason we celebrate!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Adventures In Homeschooling

I have made the decision to homeschool my 8 year old this coming year. It's something I had thought about before she entered preschool and something I've been thinking about a lot even this school year. She has agreed to be homeschooled prior to today, although I'm not 100% certain she understands what that means. I truly believe that it's what's best for her.

I've already looked into the laws on homeschooling in my state so I'm confident that those won't be an issue and I've already started looking for a homeschooling group/co-op. I've been checking out tons of different websites to get an idea on curriculum.

There's TONS of fun and interesting things that we can do. I've been kind of worried as to whether or not I would make a good teacher for her but really, who better? And I've decided to get her started in Awana's after the summer. Over the summer there are some "camp" like sessions that run 4 weeks at a time that I would like her to be a part of that happen to run the same time Awana does so we're going to do those first. Sign Language being one. And Animals (with hands on experience with live animals) being the second.

I'm excited to see where this takes us. And I'm excited to be a part of her learning. I know her behaviors and how to teach around her difficulties. This will definitely be a great experience. For both of us. She's such a bright little girl and I hate to see her so disiniterested in her school work, the way she is now. She went from being what all her teachers told me as "one of the brightest kids in her grade" to someone who was in trouble for talking, not taking work seriously, needing a lot of teachers' assistance etc.

If anyone has any advice they'd like to offer, any resources or curriculum ideas please don't hesitate to contact me @! They would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party

5 Minutes For Mom: Ultimate Blog Party 2011

I started this blog initially to try and answer questions and offer advice to anyone who wanted/needed/begged for it. Ok, so maybe not a lot of people really begged, but I know there are people who might have felt like they were reaching that point. When I was a pregnant 19 year old there were a lot of questions that I had and a lot of things I was terrified of.

I was lucky to join an email loop on AOL full of other people in my situation. It helped to ease the fear of being a new mom. We shared experiences, questions, tips, tricks, you name it. And they were my friends. For YEARS we all emailed back and forth. I don't know what I would have done without those girls.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Diaper Bag

So this is more for the new(er) mom's that may or may not read my blog.

I was inspired by a youtube video posted by Kandee Johnson (check her out guys, she's soooo sweet and has tons of great videos, go here for all of her wicked awesome make up tutorials!) who just had a little baby girl not too long ago. Her video was about everything she carries around in her diaper bag with her.

Simple right?

A lot of people think so.

But after years of "Oh shoot I forgot it" or "I really wish I had...." you learn that there are some things that really should just never come out of it.

  • Baby wipes are a must obviously. But instead of bringing a whole package of wipes, grab a travel container for them. That way you have what you need but it's not taking up too much space.
  • Diapers. Duh, I know. But not just one or two. I don't think I ever left the house with less than 10. No matter how long I planned on being gone. You never know what's going to come out of your little ones. Hehe. Or how often. Or even, who you might be around who needs to bum one off you because they ran out of their own.
  • Changes of clothes. Notice I said CHANGES. Not A change. But multiple. And I know I've emphasized this very point before, but I don't think it can ever be said enough. Imagine driving home and having your child throw up all over their clothes. You pull over and change them and clean them up as best as you can and then carry on your way only to have them do it again 5 minutes later. You need another change of clothes. I've put my oldest in my own sweatshirt before after she hurled all over her clothes because I didn't think to bring more than one thing for her to change into.
  • Binkies (Nuks, Pacifiers, whatever you call them). And this obviously is only if your child uses one. Some don't. My oldest took one for all of 2 days. My youngest for almost 2 years. Maybe a little longer. And again, this is something you need to bring 2 or 3 of. Incase one gets dropped and there's no way to clean it off. Maybe it gets misplaced. Or they bite a hole in one.
  • Snacks. If you've got a bigger little one who can snack on stuff, bring cheerios. Or puffs. You know, the ones that can taste like strawberries or bananas and all but melt in their mouths so there's no risk of them choking on anything.
  • Extra bottles (if you bottle feed). With my youngest I used liquid formula so this was a little bit less user friendly, as the longer they were out the less they could be used. With my youngest, I used powdered formula so what I did was I'd fill one bottle with powder and water, shake it so it was ready to be had, and put it in an outside pocket. Then I'd take 3 or more (better too much than too little) with just the powder in them incase I stayed somewhere longer than I planned, or little one was just extra hungry.
  • Bottled water. Not only does it help in the above bottle situation, but if you've got older kids or you just get thirsty and don't want to stop somewhere, you've got beverages on hand.
  • Some kind of changing pad. Not all places have changing tables and, lets face it, even THOSE are wicked uncomfortable. At least with your own changing pad you know you're not laying them down in some other baby's goo or germs or whatever.
  • Handi-wipes. Incase you DONT have a changing pad, you can wipe down whatever surface you DO put baby on and somewhat sanitize it. This goes for shopping carts, counters, booster seats/high chairs, tables at restaurants (no not saying you put your baby on those, but they touch them).
  • Receiving blankets. For burping. Covering up. Or using as a headrest in the carseat, because I'm sure anyone who already has a little person KNOWS how uncomfortable they look when they fall asleep and their heads fall forward or just kinda hang their to the side. Helps cushion them a bit and make the ride a little easier on them.
  • A bigger blanket to throw over their carseat to block wind or sunlight or, honestly, people. I know everyone has good intentions but sometimes a cough can slip out or someone can be getting sick and not know it. A blanket over the car seat helps to eliminate all the touching. I mean, I wouldn't walk up to someone who had a blanket over their carseat and yank it off and start playing with their baby. Would you?
  • Teething rings. Gives them something to hold on to and shake around if they're not teething, and to chew on if they are.
  • Any kind of rattle-y toy. I love the rattles that you can velcro around their wrists. Super cute.
  • Diaper rash cream. Everyone needs it at some point or another, bless their little hearts. Makes it easier if you have it on hand instead of having to wait to buy it or use it when you get home.
  • Tylenol, or whatever pain reliever/fever reducer you prefer (if you prefer any at all). Just incase. Hopefully it wouldn't be necessary to use, but you never know.
  • Band aids. If you've got a little one just learning to walk, you will definitely need them. Or if you've got a baby who just loves to scratch at themselves these definitely help. Make sure you've got neosporin to go along with the bandaids though.
  • Scratch mits. To put over their hands so they are less likely to scratch themselves. Babies' finger nails are dang sharp for such tiny people. And it breaks your heart when they hurt themselves.
  • Grooming kit. Which usually includes clippers. One of those suction bulb thingies (that you probably play with more than you use). Tiny brush/comb.
  • Bring a few pairs of socks. Socks always seem to fall off babies and go missing somehow.
  • Two or three hats. Most of your heat can be lost through your head. And not all babies are born with a full head of hair (heck, some of them even lose most of the hair that they have within the first year and then it takes its time growing back).

I'm sure there was probably more that I'm not remembering. OH! Like I always brought a book in my bag because I'm a wicked book nerd and can't go anywhere without one. Put your wallet/keys/phone etc in there because it can get really cumbersome carrying your purse AND a diaper bag around.

But you get the general idea. And like I said, I forgot a lot of stuff or didn't bring enough of something or just didn't think to put something in that could have really been useful at some point (sometimes being a pack rat has its benefits). If I can save someone the trouble of doing what I did, then wonderful.

And just because I can, I'm going to show you the 2 reasons for my diaper bagging days. :-) When they were young enough for me to need diaper bagging days.

Alanna on the left and Lydia on the right.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

That's All I Have To Say About That

It's been a while since I've posted in here. To be honest, I've been rather at a loss for things to post about. Today is not really any different. But I figured it had been long enough since I last graced your blogging feeds with my presence ;-).

Since I am unable to come up with a specific reason for this particular post, I decided just to post some helpful MOM tips. Hopefully these little tidbits of information will help to spare someone from having to learn the hard way (although, sometimes that is the only way to learn).

1. If you have an older child (and by older I just mean around the age of 1-2 and up) who is sick and vomiting (like mine did last night), milk is not a good idea. Really I would wait a few hours before trying to give them ANYTHING, but you don't want them to get dehyrdrated. Start giving them a few sips of lukewarm water. Not too much at a time or it can just upset their stomachs even more. If that doesn't come back up, move on to a few sips of ginger ale or for the younger ones, pedialyte. After a few more hours perhaps some saltine crackers would be ok for the tummy. We don't want blood sugar dropping too low. Sometimes I even throw in a popsicle or two.

2. With a newborn, remember, you're not the first person to get it wrong. You're going to be frazzled. You're going to be tired. You may even be anxious and think you're completely screwing up your child. Believe me, you won't have been the fiest person and you definitely won't be the last. Don't get discouraged. It gets easier. More like second nature. When you feel like giving up close your eyes, take a deep breath, and then say to yourself "I can do this". Now, I know it seems silly, and of course it doesn't automatically make you super mom. But the more you tell yourself you can do it, the more you believe you can.

3. You don't need to buy everything brand new or brand name even. Save your money. It's ok to take hand me downs. It's ok to buy in thrift stores. Heck, sometimes you get BRAND SPANKING NEW clothes in thrift stores for less than half the price. As long as they have clothes that keep them warm or keep them cool, and that fit well, it shouldn't matter.

4. Always always ALWAYS take a change of clothes for your kiddo wherever you go. No matter how old. You never know what's going to spill, stain, get peed/pooped on (ok so this one may not be so much for the older kids, but the other 2....). I've forgotten many many times to bring a change of clothes and I can't tell you how much I regretted it almost every time I did.

5. If someone offers to help you with something.... it's ok to let them. If someone wants to babysit so you can have a night out, why not? If they want to change baby, why not? If someone wants to make you dinner, why not? Let them help you. It keeps the stress down for you AND your baby/kiddo.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bieber Fever

::hangs head::

Crow really doesn't taste very well.

My sister and I took our kids to go see Never Say Never with Justin Bieber yesterday.

Let me tell you that before this movie, I thought he was THE MOST annoying, over-rated teenybopping boy in the entire world.

BEFORE I watched the movie.

I must say, I am now a Justin Bieber fan.

I know I KNOW. What in the world is wrong with me right? Seriously though, this kid is amazing. He was the most adorable little boy and to see him bangin on those drums THAT GOOD when he was barely out of diapers was unbelievable. And he really can sing. Not only that but he's a sweet kid. And HOW MANY PERFORMERS do you see praying ALL THE TIME and MEANING it. Not throwing God at the end of a long list of thank yous. But really thanking Him and meaning every word of that thanks.

Bottom line. Kid is talented. He still sounds WAY too young, but he doesn't bug me anymore. The movie has turned me.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'd Like To Thank The Academy

Yay! I got my first ever Blog Award from Alison at One Lucky Monkey! Too cool. Thanks Alison!

1. Thank and link back to the person who send you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact the bloggers you picked and let them know about the award


Hmmm.... 7 things about myself...
1. I'm a glutton for punishment. The hotter the buffalo sauce... the better (and I love me some buffalo sauce).
2. I'm great with accents. I annoy the people around me with them, but I'm awesome at them. Any accent. Really.
3. I had to learn how to french braide (braid?) by watching YouTube videos. And apparently I still do it wrong. My french braids look more like corn rows. OOps. Oh well, They're cute. Totally learned how to do a fishtail braid (braide?) on YouTube as well.
4. My (not so secret) ambition at one point was to be a comedienne (glad I didn't follow through with that one aren't you?).
5. Photoshop is my friend.
6. I like to bake. Cookies. Cakes. Pies. Brownies. I'm the type of friend that will make you fat.
I've got 8 earrings and 8 tattoos. Hmm.... I'm too even. Must remedy that asap.


And the award goes to
1. Jan at The Simpler Life
2. Kandee - The Make-Up Artist
3. McVal at Sew Not My Day
4. Kimberley at Life With A Possum
5. Siobhan at Thoughts Of A Mad Hatter

Check them out!!

No really... you have to. Cuz I said so.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Travel Package

My girls are no strangers to long car rides. Or plane trips for that matter either.

Not saying that they like them. I mean, really.... who likes being stuck in a car for 12 hours (or 2 days if you can't drive the whole trip in one day)? Show of hands? No one? Me either.

You CAN make the trip less tiresome tedious completely and utterly horrible for them though. Will it alleviate all of the boredom and whines of "MOOOooom... are we THERE yet"? No. But it will help.

If you have one, a portable DVD player can be a life saver. Make sure if you're driving you have a car charger that you can plug in to your cigarette lighter. And bring about 10 movies. It's enough so that they don't have to watch the same movies over and over, but not enough to completely take over your vehicle. And my suggestion would be, make one of the movies a brand new one that your kids haven't ever seen before. Don't let them watch it right away. Keep it as a secret or a surprise. Wait until they're tired of the movies they've already watched and don't really want to do anything else, and then pull it out. It's easier for their attention to be held by something they don't already know every word to.

Some suggestions:
any Barbie movie
Finding Nemo
Care Bears
Wall E
Monsters Inc.
Alice In Wonderland
The Incredibles
Toy Story 1,2,3
Ice Age
Chicken Run

For older kids:
Mary Poppins
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Harry Potter
Chronicles of Narnia movies
Neverending Story

Aside from movies, bring books. I'd say pack a backpack full of age appropriate books for however many kids you're bringing with you. Maybe even some magazines as well, just to change things up a bit.

Coloring books. At least one for each child that you have with you. And honestly, I'd say bring each one their own set of crayons. It doesn't have to be a lot of crayons. Maybe just the eight-five cent small boxes you can pick up from Walmart or something. That way there's no fighting over coloring books and there's no fighting over crayons. You may even want to duplicate one or two coloring books that way if one likes a coloring book that someone else has, there's no screaming or crying over it. And again, doesn't have to be this big huge thing. You can buy tons of cute coloring books from the dollar store.

Toys. Bring some of their favorite toys. My girls love Barbies and My Little Ponies. On my recent trip down from Maine to Virginia I threw every pony that Lydia owned in a yellow bag and just handed her the bag when she got bored and she played with those things for hours.

Bring kid friendly music. They don't always want to listen to what you listen to. Now, my oldest memorized almost all of Emmy Rossum's songs as fast as I did, but not every kid is as eager to listen to grown up music.If you go to Amazon you can find a cute little CD called Car Ride Fun that's got a ton of old tried and true kids songs on it. It also, as always, has recommendations for a bunch of other CDs for car rides if that particular one isn't your cup of tea (or your kids' for that matter).

And I recommend bringing either one big cooler or two smaller coolers. If you have room. One for bottled water, juice, sodas, milks, etc. And the other is a real time/money saver. One cooler full of lunch meat, cheese, mayo... any kind of sandwich makings or fruit or yogurts. Saves you from having to stop unles ABSOLUTELY necessary (ie gas or the ever so troublesome potty breaks) and also saves you from having to spend money on fast food. It's readily available (I hate having to watch for exits to see which one has food my kids will eat) and even healthier (unless you make really bad for you sandwiches lol). Make sure you also pack some plastic silverware too. For sandwich making/yogurt eating. And don't forget snacks. Graham crackers are a favorite with my kids. Slim Jims (I know, I'm horrible, but they love them). Cheezits. Pretzels. Puffcorn (oh so yummy).

As an aside, if you're a driver who has trouble staying awake while you drive, or you've just been on the road for EVER and you're exhausted.... eat pretzels. If soda/red bull/monster/caffeine pills aren't working for you, eat pretzels. Or anything really. I prefer pretzels or cheezits, but we'll say pretzels for right now. Get the bags with the thin pretzel sticks and if you start feeling tired, just pick up one and take tiny bites off of it. Me, I bite off the salt, and then take small bites of the stick itself. LoL. I'm weird, but it helped me make my one and ONLY "straight through without stopping" trip from ME to VA. Nothing else worked. I could never figure out how my dad managed to always make such long road trips without stopping until I did it myself. Amazing, I'm telling you. Obviously make sure you have something to drink because pretzels will suck all of the moisture right out of your mouth, but still.

WELL, this has been a VERY lengthy post, and I apologize, but, hopefully I've given you some helpful tips to alleviate stress and boredom for EVERYONE.

Friday, February 4, 2011


My 3 year old fancies herself a comedian. And truth be told, she is quite the little joker. I'm surprised at her sense of humor. She's so young and yet... I don't know. It's hard to explain. I'll have to show you. :-)

Lydia: know how you say 'butt' in sign language?
Me: How?
Lydia: a-l-a-n-n-a

Lydia: I don't know how to put the juicebox in my mouth.
Alanna: it's simple.
Lydia: No it's ELMO.
Alanna: No, I said it's SIMPLE.
Lydia: NO. IT'S. ELMO.
Me: Sweetie she's saying it's easy.
Lydia: Oh.

Lydia: Hey I wanted milk!
Me: You mean 'thank you mom'?
Lydia: Thank you mom.
Me: You're very welcome.
Lydia: Can you get me some milk?

Mom: Tara, she's upsetting me.... she's talking to the refrigerator.
Me: No, she's talking to the magnet ON the refrigerator.
Lydia: I'm talking to my kitties and my puppies. That's who I'm talking to. Hi-5 frigerator!

Lydia: Justin Bieber's a MAN. He's not a human.
Alanna: You mean a woman?
Lydia: He's not a woman!

Lydia: Hey I can't see!
Me: No more computer for you tonight.
Lydia: But I want to see a picture of you ugly!
Lydia: I want to see a picture of you ugly with me.

Lydia: Do I have to go away?
Me: Do you want to sit at the counter?
Lydia: No, I want to go away.

Mom: Where's my computer?
Lydia: Where's the beef?

Lydia: Can I have a popsicle?
Me: Not right now.
Lydia: Please?
Me: Not right now, maybe after lunch.
Lydia: But I said please. You have to give me one because I said please.
Me: No I don't.
Lydia: Then I'm getting one anyway.

Lydia: Mim
Me: Who am I?
Lydia: You're Uncle Putz.
Lydia: You're still Uncle Putz

Lydia: (kisses my cheek)
Me: Thank you
Lydia; Wipe it off.
Me: Why?
Lydia: Cuz I don't like your eyes.
Me: You don't like my eyes?
Lydia: No.

Lydia: Say hi grandma Betty.
Me: .....
Lydia: Cuz you're a little pig, mama.
Me: .....
Lydia: What big EARS you have grandma. (Smacks self in face with little canvas purse

Lydia (looking at my arms): Mommy you have hair!
Me: Yes, I do.
Lydia: You need to shave it off or somethin'

Lydia: Mama say "knock knock"
Me: Knock knock.
Lydia: I can't come to the door, I'm naked.

Me: I love you.
Lydia: I want cake.
Me: I love you.
Lydia: I want cake.
Me: I Love You!!
Lydia: I love you too, but I want cake

Lydia: here's your money grandma.
Me: I'm not your freakin' grandma!
Lydia:.... here's your freakin' money grandma.
Me: Oops.

Lydia: Mommy you have a baby in your belly button.
Me: No Mommy's just fat.
Lydia: You're fat? No, you're just a wiggly worm

Monday, January 31, 2011

While You Were Out

So we redecorated the basement "apartment". Above is the girls "sitting" area where they can color and draw and play and read and all kinds of stuff.

I found a lot of cool posters (an actual movie poster for Harry Potter movie numero uno with the reverse side and errything ;-)). Forgive me for the Justin Bieber... Alanna refused to let me rip it in half. And next to the wonderful Charlie and the Chocolate Factory poster is where they put all their coloring books and art supplies. Purchased from Lakeside Collection.

That above is my makeshift bookshelf. With a Harry Potter bookend purchased when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was released (and the dragon you see by the Hatian treasure chest is Norbert!). And there was only one injury! I was attacked by a pushpin. But I think the finger's gonna make it!

I know it's not spectacular, but I used what I had. And I like it. :-P Maybe when I find more old posters I'll put those up there too.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

On A Bicycle Built For 2

Both of my girls have journeyed into the world of training wheels (I am aware Lydia is on a scooter in this picture.... her bike is in Maine at the moment).

And I can tell you, one thing Lydia does not lack is confidence. She thinks she can do just about anything in the world. So apparently she is a natural learner (when she listens, hehe). I know she's only 3 years old but I don't generally hear her say "I can't". When she figured out all she had to do was put her feet on the pedals and push, she didn't stop.

She's daring. She jumps off the stairs when she gets to the bottom. She used to ask if she could jump off the equipment at the playground, saying it was ok if she fell. She loves theme park rides and when she swings it's always "Higher!" or "Faster!"

Now Alanna... seems the polar opposite. When she was Lydia's age, she didn't like to swing too high. She was never the thrill seeking type. She was terrified to go on Splash Mountain at Disney world. She got a bike for Christmas. While we had some daylight left the other day I took her out to ride around a bit.

Seemed like every few seconds she threw her feet off the pedals and back down on the pavement because she thought she was going to tip over. Problem was she was going to slow to stop the bike from wobbling. So I gave the bike a push to get her going and off she went. Still has a problem with the breaks. She doesn't use them. Heh. Puts her feet down. Has ended up with a few scraps from the pedals for doing that.

She kept telling me that she sucked at bike riding. When I took her out, it was only her second time on an actual bike. She's ridden trikes and big wheels before but never an actual bicycle. I told her she was doing great, all she had to do was get started. I feel bad that she has that little confidence in herself. When there is absolutely no reason for it.

Good thing is though, that she's excited to keep learning. And I know she'll get the hang of it soon. And Lydia... well, she's only 3 and she'd probably tell you to take the training wheels off of her own bike before she rides it again. Haha.

Make sure you encourage your children. Don't get frustrated if they don't get it the first time. Or even the 2nd and 3rd times. Remember what it was like when you were young and trying to figure something out? Trying to learn something that scares you? Getting frustrated at them isn't going to make it any easier for them. Or for you. They need to know that you're behind them. That you're there to help them. Pick them up and dust them off if they fall down. Let them know it's ok to make mistakes. They want your approval. They want to make you proud. They don't need you to be upset with them to do that. And I can't tell you how many parents I've seen get ticked off at their kids for not "getting" it the first time.

I hope my girls know that I'm proud of them. Mistakes and all.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Time For An Outing

Today I met one of my favorite authors ever. Maggie Stiefvater. For those of you who don't know her, she's written amazing books like Shiver and Linger (and the upcoming release FOREVER) and books that I have not read (unfortunately, but believe me, I will be remedying that) Lament and Ballad.
She had a book signing at the Borders 5 minutes away from me. So of course, I packed up my kiddos and rolled on over. Meeting up with my best friend, her hubby, and their adorable little boy in the process.
Now... I had to find something for the girls to do, some way to entertain them while Maggie was talking, because let's face it... they LOVE to fight with each other. Non stop. All the time. Seriously. I decided, while looking desperately among the shelves for Lament and Ballad and coming up empty handed, to get them their own books. Both picked out sticker books. And apparently that meant they had to get toys as well. So Alanna picked out a little wolf, and Lydia picked out a little puppy dog. I found this funny considering we're at the signing of an author who writes about werewolves.
She's totally sweet and she's funny. Up until the invention of Facebook... I always pictured best selling authors (or really just any authors) as the stuffy, stuck up type. Intimidating and just kind of scary to be around. Being professional book writers and all.
With Maggie (and really, with most of the authors that I've had the pleasure of "meeting"), my impression of professional writers flew right out the window. As cliche as it sounds, she's a normal person. She lives maybe 20-30 minutes from where I grew up and spent most of my life. She's got a wicked sense of humor. She's completely down to earth. She found something she loved to do, and got other people to love what she does because she's so good at it.
She was even kind enough to take a picture with my girls after everyone at the signing had left with their books (or everyone that I saw, there were probably more after I left).
AND the icing on the cake?!? I was the first at the table (that's just how I roll) to get my books signed. Explained to her that, while I know she likes people to buy from the book store she does her signings in, I was unable to find any copies of her books that I HADNT read. So what does she do? Takes the copy of the UK version of Lament that she brought with her and told me that because I was the first person to the table, she'd give it to me!

So I'd say it was a pretty good day. My girls were relatively well behaved. I got to meet an amazing author/person. And I got to spend time with my best friend all at the same time.